Phone in Tonight

Tonight, Monday, August 3, 2015, 6-7pm CT
Listen to David Swanson on Chicago's WCEV, 1450 AM, or http://tunein.com/radio/WCEV-1450-s23599/
And phone in with questions and comments 312-263-4752
Topic: http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20150803/discuss/150809848/
Event coming up in Chicago on 27th: https://www.facebook.com/events/1451800825124185/

Final Declaration from the Kyoto International Conference on Space and Peace (August 2, 2015)

The United Nations was established in 1946 after the Second World War to “Save the succeeding generations from the scourge of wars, which twice in our life time has brought untold sorrow to humankind”. The UN visualized establishing a New International Order. But the US and the erstwhile European colonial countries have joined together and instead of a New International Order, they have brought a “New International Disorder”.     

 

Chicago's unknown hero of peace

By David Swanson, Guest columnist, The Daily Herald

In its 1929 Man of the Year article, Time magazine acknowledged that many readers would believe Secretary of State Frank Kellogg the right choice, as probably the top news story of 1928 had been the signing by 57 nations of the Kellogg-Briand Peace Pact in Paris, a treaty that made all war illegal, a treaty that remains on the books today.

But, noted Time, "analysts could show that Mr. Kellogg did not originate the outlawing-war idea; that a comparatively obscure lay figure named Salmon Oliver Levinson, Chicago lawyer," was the driving force behind it.

David Swanson

Indeed he was. S.O. Levinson was a lawyer who believed that courts handled interpersonal disputes better than dueling had done before it was banned. He wanted to outlaw war as a means of handling international disputes. Until 1928, launching a war had always been perfectly legal. Levinson wanted to outlaw all war. "Suppose," he wrote, "it had then been urged that only 'aggressive dueling' should be outlawed and that 'defensive dueling' be left intact."

Levinson and the movement of Outlawrists whom he gathered around him, including well-known Chicagoan Jane Addams, believed that making war a crime would begin to stigmatize it and facilitate demilitarization. They pursued as well the creation of international laws and systems of arbitration and alternative means of handling conflicts. Outlawing war was to be the first step in a lengthy process of actually ending that peculiar institution.

The Outlawry movement was launched with Levinson's article proposing it in The New Republic magazine on March 7, 1918, and took a decade to achieve the Kellogg-Briand Pact. The task of ending war is ongoing, and the pact is a tool that might still help. This treaty commits nations to resolving their disputes through peaceful means alone. The U.S. State Department's website lists it as still in effect, as does the Department of Defense Law of War Manual published in June 2015.

Levinson and his allies lobbied senators and key officials in the United States and Europe, including French Foreign Secretary Aristide Briand, U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Chairman William Borah, and Secretary of State Kellogg. The Outlawrists united a U.S. peace movement far more mainstream and acceptable than anything that's borne that name in the decades since. But it was a movement that had been split over the League of Nations.

The frenzy of organizing and activism that created the peace pact was massive. Find me an organization that's been around since the 1920s and I'll find you an organization on record in support of abolishing war. That includes the American Legion, the National League of Women Voters, and the National Association of Parents and Teachers.

By 1928, the demand to outlaw war was irresistible, and Kellogg who had recently mocked and cursed peace activists, began following their lead and telling his wife he might be in for a Nobel Peace Prize.

On August 27, 1928, in Paris, the flags of Germany and the Soviet Union newly flew along many others, as the scene played out that is described in the song "Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream." The papers the men were signing really did say they would never fight again. The Outlawrists persuaded the U.S. Senate to ratify the treaty without any formal reservations.

None of this was without hypocrisy. U.S. troops were fighting in Nicaragua the whole time, and European nations signed on behalf of their colonies. Russia and China had to be talked out of going to war with each other just as President Coolidge was signing the treaty. But talked out of it they were. And the first major violation of the pact, World War II, was followed by the first ever (albeit one-sided) prosecutions for the crime of war -- prosecutions that rested centrally on the pact. The wealthy nations have, for a number of possible reasons, not gone to war with each other since, waging war only in poor parts of the world.

The United Nations Charter, which followed without replacing the Kellogg-Briand Pact, seeks to legalize wars that are either defensive or U.N. authorized -- loopholes more abused than used over the years. The lessons of the Outlawry movement may still have something to teach both the neocon war advocates and the "Responsibility to Protect" humanitarian warriors. It's a shame that their literature is largely forgotten.

In St. Paul, Minn., appreciation is reviving for local hero Frank Kellogg, who was indeed given the Nobel, is buried in National Cathedral, and for whom Kellogg Avenue is named.

But the man who led the movement that began to stigmatize war as evil and to make war understood as optional rather than inevitable was from Chicago, where no memorial stands and no memory exists.

David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War." He'll be speaking in Chicago on Aug. 27. For information, see http://faithpeace.org.

Syria/Turkey News - Aug 2, 2015

 

US-backed rebel group flees north Syria HQ after clash with Nusra - THE DAILY STAR


Saga of U.S trained Syria rebels continues. Nusra attacks their HQ. 5 dead, 18 injured & 20 captured out of 60 - Jenan Moussa on Twitter


Al Qaeda’s branch in Syria says it captured US-backed rebels - The Long War Journal


Nusra statement: About Division 30 and Assistance of the Coalition Airplanes With Bombing Nusra (English) - justpaste.it


VIDEO (Arabic): Nusra publishes video of abducted U.S trained Syrian rebels including an interview with one of them - YouTube


According to the New York Times U.S officials thought Nusra would welcome U.S trained rebels as an ally in its fight against Islamic State - Jenan Moussa on Twitter


Syria's rebel fighters recruited to fight Isis, but captured and beaten by Jabhat al-Nusra for 'collaborating with crusaders' - The Independent


More on the relationship between U.S backed rebel group Division 30 and Al-Qaida affiliate Nusra Front - Juan Cole


According to local sources Turkey opens its border for Al Nusra - ANF


Al-Qaeda-linked group in Syria flaunts U.S.-made TOW anti-tank missiles - Al Arabiya News


Qaeda-led court executes 10 in Syria's Aleppo, two were accused of adultery and the rest of collaboration with the Syrian government: monitor - Yahoo News

 

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Syrian Kurds Accuse Turkey Of Attacks, Ask U.S. For Explanation - huffingtonpost.com


Ascendant Kurds emerge from Syrian civil war as major power player - The Guardian


US commander Killea hails Kurdish group opposed by Turkey, 'YPG for the coalition against ISIL has been a very reliable partner' - Military.com


VIDEO: Marine Corps Brigadier General Kevin J. Killea on the coalition against ISIL - dvidshub.net


YPG kills 25 IS militants and drags their bodies at the outskirts of the city of al- Hasakah - Syrian Observatory For Human Rights


VIDEO: Hasakah : Syrian Army 104th Repulican Guards and Tribal Fighters capture the Central Prison from ISIS - LiveLeak.com


Syrian army advances on plain after rebel offensive: activists - THE DAILY STAR


25 Syria rebels killed in failed Aleppo attack - Al Arabiya News

 

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Turkey military presses ahead with strikes against PKK in northern Iraq, as many as 28 F-16 jets raid 65 PKK targets - todayszaman.com


Turkish Airstrikes Kill Nine Civilians in Kurdistan Region, Local villagers ask PKK to leave the area - BasNews


Witnesses tell the massacre in Zergêle village in Kandil caused by Turkey bombing (VIDEO) - ANF


PHOTOS: Photos of civilians killed by Turkish airforces in village near mountain Kandil - LiveLeak.com


VIDEO: Turkish F16 hit kurdish village killing civilians - LiveLeak.com


Turkey says ’saddened’ over reports of civilian deaths in air strikes, vows probe - todayszaman.com


Iraqi Kurdish regional government asks PKK to 'withdraw' to prevent civilian deaths amid Turkish airstrikes targeting the group - AP


KRG condemns PKK attack on Turkey's oil pipeline - middleeastmonitor.com


Sources: Turkey Military operations 'kill 260 PKK terrorists’ - Anadolu Agency


HDP leader Demirtas denies his brother injured in air strikes on PKK in northern Iraq - todayszaman.com


Turkey has not struck IS targets since 24 July, but strikes against PKK targets have continued every night since then - Alev Scott on Twitter


Turkey used 3 planes to strike IS targets in Syria on night of 23-24 July. The next night it used 75 planes to hit PKK targets in Iraq - Alev Scott on Twitter

 

Kurds Claim Turkish Airstrikes on PKK Destroyed Health Clinic in Iraqi Kurdistan - breitbart.com


2 Soldiers Dead, 24 Wounded in PKK Suicide Attack in Turkey: Officials - ABC News


PKK military wing HPG: At least 14 soldiers and 2 police officers killed in the past days - ANF


We are ready to sacrifice our sons, Davutoğlu says amidst terror attacks - todayszaman.com


Turkish prime minister Davutoglu op-ed : We will stop at nothing to defeat terrorism - The Washington Post


Police break up march in Turkey demanding PKK leader's freedom - Middle East Eye


HDP co-chairs file complaints against Erdogan, Davutoglu for swaying judiciary - todayszaman.com

 

HDP co-leader Yuksekdag faces propaganda investigation - Anadolu Agency


There are ‘preparations’ to close HDP, says co-leader Demirtaş - hurriyetdailynews.com


Are Turkish courts delaying trials of IS militants? - Al-Monitor


The one who got away: 40 Indian workers in Mosul were abducted and 39 killed by the Islamic State - Fountain Ink Series


US Report: ISIS Still Kidnapping and Selling Women - aina.org


al-Ḥayāt Media Center presents a new magazine issue from The Islamic State: “Istok #2″ - JIHADOLOGY


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

Revolting World

There is much that is revolting about the current world and Andre Vltchek, Christopher Black and Peter Koenig are well placed to document it, which they have done in their new book The World Order and Revolution! Essays from the Resistance.

Using a combination of political, legal and economic analyses, Vltchek, Black and Koenig carefully strip away the façade that the corporate media presents to us, and which the imperial elite wants us to believe, so that we can see some of the ugly, underlying truth about our world.

Saudis continue Qatif, Yemen killings, Crimes Against Humanity in Bahrain

On 27th July young citizen from Qatif in the Eastern Province of Arabia was cold-bloodedly shot and killed by regime forces. Mohammad Al Faraj was added to the list of victims of Saudi regime’s terror campaign against activists seeking political change. More than 30 people were killed in those attacks. In addition, there have been two terrorist attacks by regime’s allies on two mosques in the past three months in which scores were martyred. Several others were gunned down in Al Ihsa last year by those groups. The killing came as hundreds of Yemenis were killed by Saudi air attacks in the past few days despite declaring a temporary ceasefire to allow humanitarian work. The Saudis and their Alkhalifa allies have been bombing Yemen mercilessly for four months in an unprecedented aggression. Human rights groups have described some of the atrocities committed by the unholy alliance of evil forces as “war crimes”.

A public statement was issued on 27th July by Amnesty International calling on the Bahraini authorities to make public investigations into allegations of torture and other ill-treatment of prisoners during a riot in Jaw prison, south of the capital Manama, on 10 March and other abuses that continued for several weeks afterwards and to bring to justice any officials responsible for ordering or committing such acts.  The call came after the trial of 57 individuals, including on charges of assault on public officials and destruction of public property, started on 23 July. It was postponed to 17 September. Many people were severely tortured as the regime sent Jordanian troops to the jail to attack native Bahrainis.

The wave of arrests and detentions has continued unabated. In the week 20-26th July at least 38 people were arrested including six children. Last night four people from Sitra-Wadyan were detained from their homes. Hussain Taqi and his brother, Sadiq, Khalil Ibrahim AlTawq and Abdulla Essa Khudayyer were snatched from their homes. They were arrested within hours after an “explosion” that killed two Pakistani mercenaries attacking native Bahrainis in the area. The circumstances of their death are not clear. Bahraini Revolution is the most peaceful among the Arab Spring protests; the opposition has condemned violence and called for peaceful transformation to democracy. The regime has used violence as main tool against native Bahrainis. The Community Care Advisor at the Embassy of Pakistan in Manama, Maqsoud Lader Jah, revealed that 100 thousand Pakistanis live in Bahrain, most of whom work in construction and driving. But he said that 20% of them work as security guards in t he Bahraini Ministry of Interior (nearly 20 thousand Pakistanis). Other sources said estimated that more than 25,000 Pakistanis have been naturalised at a time when hundreds of native Bahrainis had their nationality revoked.

On 27th July Salah Saeed was kidnapped from Satra-Wadyan by masked members of the regime’s Death Squads.  Another youth, Sadiq Jaffar Al Asfoor from Sitra was detained on 21st July. Concern is rising for the safety of two native Bahrainis; Sadiq Thamer, Jaffar Sultan and Abdul Hamid Nasser who had been kidnapped by regime’s Death Squads on 8th June, but their families haven’t heard from them.  Reports of systematic torture have continued. It is now established that the under-aged Ahmad Al Arab has been repeatedly tortured at the toilet facilities, while other private houses and farms have become the new torture centres, away from the main prisons.

On  25th July Ali Abdulla AlAradi, 50, was kidnapped from his home, tortured with heavy tools before being drowned in the pool of a house, several miles from his town of Arad. The torture included the use of blunt instrument that split his head with deep wound. It is now almost a week but the regime has failed to catch the killers while claiming to have caught the alleged perpetrators of the Sitra explosion within hours. The general belief is that Mr AlAradi has been liquidated by regime’s Death Squads to send a message to the native Bahrainis that Alkhalifa, Saudi occupiers will stop at nothing in their war on the natives.

In recognition of the sad episode of Dr Abdul Jalil AlSingace who has been on hunger strike for more than four months, the English PEN has adopted him as a chained writer and thinker. It has urged its members to adopt Dr AlSingace and protest against his continued incarceration. A protest has been organised by English PEN at the Bahrain’s Embassy  in London on Wednesday 29th July to highlight the plight of Dr AlSingace.

On 24th July, The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) declared an additional eight Bahraini prisoners of conscience to be arbitrarily detained. Last week, the group of experts issued a series of official decisions on the Bahrain government’s detention of Jassim al-Hulaibi, Mohamed Sudaif, Abdulaziz Mousa, Ebrahim al-Sharqi, Ahmed Abdulla Ebrahim, Taleb Ali Mohammed, and two unnamed minors. The Group found that these detentions were arbitrary and in contravention of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Bahrain acceded to the ICCPR in 2006. Additionally, the WGAD held that the detention of one of the minors contravened the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Bahrain acceded in 1992. The opinion also pointed out, “Under certain circumstances, widespread or systematic imprisonment or other severe deprivation of liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law may constitute crimes against humanity.”

Bahrain Freedom Movement

A Campaign to Save Egypt

Message to The United Nations, European Union, United States, and all Democratic and Free countries

There are growing concerns that the government of Egypt intends to execute Egypt’s first ever democratically elected President, Mohamed Morsi in the coming weeks. Mr. Morsi along with hundreds of political opponents received the death sentence following what major international human rights organizations described as a hopelessly flawed and politically motivated trials that ignored acceptable minimum international standards.

Imagine there’s no army

By CJ Hinke
Excerpted from Free Radicals: War Resisters in Prison by CJ Hinke, forthcoming from Trine-Day in 2016.

hammer
Acting Costa Rican President José “Don Pepe”Figueres Ferrer takes a sledgehammer to the Cuartel Bellavista military barracks, 1948

The 22 countries which have abolished their militaries or were founded without one are uniformly tiny, isolated, and often island nations. In many cases, these states maintain national police or paramilitary forces for internal protection (some might say from their own citizens in the event of a popular uprising to effect regime change), maritime defence patrols, or are defended by their former colonial masters. Some might say they are at little risk of invasion because there’s nothing more to take and few to fight back!

Although countries with armies may be more complex and have extensive economic and foreign policy agendas, there is no reason why they, too, could not take the first step in abolishing their large and costly militaries. One country’s standing army can only be an implied threat against other nations. When a country has an army, there is every incentive to put it to aggressive use.

Bluntly stated, war is illegal under international law. All member states of the United Nations signed its Charter in 1945: “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.” The ‘purposes’ in Chapter I of the Charter are focused on the need “to maintain international peace.” The Preamble to the Charter emphasise its purpose: “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind.”

Syria/Turkey News - July 31, 2015

 

U.S.-backed Syrian group says Nusra abducted its leader and members, a blow to U.S. efforts to train fighters to combat ISIS - Al Arabiya


US moves to quash reports on Syria trainees captured by al-Nusra - Middle East Eye


Despite Pentagon Denial, Reports Confirm That U.S.-Trained Syrian Rebels Were Kidnapped By Al-Qaeda Almost Immediately - PJ Tatler


If u want to know more about U.S trained rebel group allegedly captured by an Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, read this - Jenan Moussa on Twitter


Kidnapping of Pentagon-Trained Fighters in Syria Is New Hurdle for U.S. Effort - The New York Times


Pentagon price tag for Syrian rebels: $4 million each - POLITICO


Pentagon: Cost of War Against ISIS Already Exceeds $3 Billion - Breitbart


US, Turkey differ over how to fight IS from Incirlik air base, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Bilgic: support for the YPG is not one of the elements of the agreement - Asharq Al-Awsat


Syrian Kurds fear their territorial gains are at risk after Turkish action - The National


Syria Kurds’ spending plans reflect ambition as the authorities provide services for a greater population due to the territorial gains - THE DAILY STAR


Syrian Kurds refine oil for themselves for first time - Yahoo News


Turkey Seeks To Prevent Syria Kurds' Autonomy, Not Fight IS, Analysts Suggest - rferl.org


Turkish military builds 2.5 meter-high, rocket-proof wall on Syria border - Todays Zaman


POLL: Majority of Turks would prefer Kurds over ISIL controlling northern Syria - Todays Zaman


ICJ acknowledges request for inquiry into Syria-bound MİT trucks - Todays Zaman


Assyrian Christians Demand Turkey Stop Bombing YPG - Breitbart


Cairo slams Turkey’s proposed safe zone in Syria, defends territorial unity - bgnnews.com


Egypt accuses Turkey of working with the Islamic State on the Sinai Peninsula - Washington Times


Syria ‘doubts Turkey’s intentions in anti-ISIS effort’ - Al Arabiya News


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Erdogan taking Turkey to war to avenge Kurdish territorial and political gains: leader of pro-Kurdish opposition Demirtas - Reuters


VIDEO: Kurd leader Demirtas attacks Turkey's 'safe zone' plan for Syria - BBC News


Demirtas: PKK withdrew from its separatist agenda 20 years ago, it is Erdogan’s fault that the PKK did not lay down their arms - Rudaw


Turkey prosecutors open probe into Kurdish leader Demirtas - France 24


Summary of proceedings prepared for Demirtas' immunity to be lifted - Todays Zaman


Erdoğan hits out at the Kurds, says their representatives have links to terrorist groups and the peace process is impossible – POLITICO


VIDEO: Erdogan responds to accusations by the head of a pro-Kurdish party - YouTube


New wave of attacks in southeastern Turkey blamed on the PKK with at least 11 police and army members killed since last week - AFP


PM’s office: 1,302 detained in 39 provinces in terror raids across Turkey targeting ISIL, the PKK and illegal extreme leftist groups - Todays Zaman


CPJ calls on Turkey to restore access to banned websites - Todays Zaman


Turkey onslaught on Kurds fuels anger - Yahoo News


VIDEO: Turkey’s Kurds condemn renewed fighting with PKK - France 24


In Iraq bastions, PKK braces for new war with Turkey - Yahoo News UK


Turkish Lira Declines as Soldier Deaths Spur Security Risk - Bloomberg Business


German defense minister cautions Turkey about attacks on PKK - Todays Zaman


Germany Wants to Withdraw Patriot Missiles From Turkey due to attacks carried out by the government forces against the Kurds - Sputnik International


Iraqi PM: Turkish Airstrikes on Kurds 'Dangerous Escalation and Violation of Sovereignty' - Breitbart


Turkey urged by Nato to show restraint as Erdogan says Kurdish peace process 'impossible' - Telegraph


UN calls on Turkey and PKK to find peaceful solution - Rudaw


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

Iran Deal Prevents Naked Muslim Ray Gun

Nukes get all the attention, but the fact is that intense inspections of Iranian facilities will also prevent Iran from developing a ray gun that causes your clothes to vanish and your brain to convert to Islam.

No, there is not the slightest scrap of evidence that Iran is trying to create such a thing, but then there's also not the slightest scrap of evidence that Iran is trying to create a nuclear bomb.

And yet, here are a bunch of celebrities in a video that certainly cost many more dollars than the number of people who've watched it, urging support for the Iran deal after hyping the bogus Iranian nuclear threat, pretending that the United States gets "forced into" wars, making a bunch of sick jokes about how nuclear death can be better than other war deaths, suggesting that spies are cool, cursing, and mocking the very idea that war is a serious matter.

How #AllLivesMatter and #BlackLivesMatter Can Devalue Life

By Sam Husseini


"This doesn't happen in the United States -- okay. This might happen in Afghanistan or somewhere. This just does not happen in the United States."
-- Cincinnati Prosecutor Joe Deters

The last several months have seen a debate, at times heated, between the #BlackLivesMatter movement and those who respond with #AllLivesMatter.

I think a lot of people -- perhaps not all -- who are using both tags are missing a larger point and opening themselves up to ultimately devaluing a lot of lives. 

People use #BlackLivesMatter to denote that given our criminal "justice" system, African Americans are frequently targeted, endangered and at times killed largely because they are black. And that's totally true and needed saying a long time ago.


People saying #AllLivesMatter presume to appeal to universal values, perhaps also noting that poor whites and others have particular vulnerabilities to police abuse as well. And the last part is certainly true. But it is odd to seem to appeal to universal values in a way that seems to seek to broaden the point to include a relatively privileged group. 

They crit each other: "The Defacement of Sandra Bland Mural Proves #AllLivesMatter Is Destructive" ("#AllLivesMatter is a mantra of white supremacy that ignores history..." and "#BlackLivesMatter Should Move Towards #AllLivesMatter" ("Twice as many Whites are killed than Blacks by cops, which means they are killed at about a third of the rate as Blacks.")

But both sides limit who they mean by "lives." They effectively exclude the victims of the U.S.'s highest officials. When most people use #BlackLivesMatter, they seem to be saying that all black U.S. lives matter when taken unlawfully by the government. And when most people who use #AllLivesMatter use it, they seem to be saying all U.S. lives matter when taken at the hands of police authorities -- not just black U.S. lives. But the formulation effectively excludes the lives of millions of people who U.S. officials have deemed expendable for reasons of state. 

Charles Blow of the New York Times for example at one level makes a legitimate point: "#AllLivesMatter may be your personal position, but until that is this COUNTRY'S position it is right to specify the lives it values less..." But aren't some of the lives that this country values less the lives our government and military has taken in Iraq and Afghanistan the last 15 years? Blow also tweeted: "I will not be an accessory to my own oppression. #BlackLivesMatter” But nor should one be an accessory to the oppression of others. 

What should be a glaring blind spot has at time reached absurd proportions. Hillary Clinton saying "all lives matter" at a predominantly black church was deemed a "misstep" by NPR, but why not examine if it makes any sense coming from her? While Senator, Clinton voted for authorizing Bush to invade Iraq, resulting in hundreds of thousands killed and millions displaced. While Secretary of State, Clinton helped preside over the U.S. massive nuclear weapons arsenal, which threatens the entire planet, the drone assassination program which has killed thousands and the NATO bombing of Libya, boasting afterward of Muammar Gaddafi: "We came, we saw, he died." That doesn't exactly square with a position of "all lives matter."

As it is, #BlackLivesMatter fails to genuinely uplift the lives of the most discarded by remaining within a national confine. And #AllLivesMatter isn't being universal at all -- in its current form, it's being outright nationalistic and parochial. 

Many now know the names of Sandra Bland and of Samuel DuBose and other African Americans whose lives were devalued by law enforcement officials, we know their names and we know some of their stories.  

The U.S. government has been outright bombing and attacking several countries in the Mideast for years now. Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Pakistan, Yemen. How many names do you know of the victims of U.S. foreign policy? 

We know the names of the victims of the so-called Islamic State, people like Steven Sotloff. We know the names of victims of the Taliban, like Malala Yousafzai, who recovered from their attack on her. But the U.S. government has killed thousands of people in Iraq and Afghanistan, but we don't know the names, we don't listen to their stories. Virtually the only time we meaningfully perceive the violence of U.S. foreign policy -- in media or anywhere really -- is when U.S. soldiers are hurt or killed. Otherwise, the violence is normalized as in Deters's quote atop this article. It is decidedly off stage, a sideshow at best. 


Have you thought of a civilian victim of U.S. policy who you could name? You probably came up with Anwar al-Awlaki. But the reason you know his name is he was a U.S. citizen, proving the point that often that is what bestows value upon a human life. 

A study by Physicians for Social Responsibility earlier this year found: "The number of Iraqis killed during and since the 2003 U.S. invasion have been assessed at one million, which represents 5 percent of the total population of Iraq. This does not include deaths among the three million refugees subjected to privations." 

But that's a non-story. We've ended up in a sense embracing Stalin's aphorism: "The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic." 

A year ago, the U.S. government backed the latest of Israel's regular brutal bombing on Gaza, in which Israel killed over 1,000 Palestinians, hundreds of them children. For several months now, U.S. ally Saudi Arabia has been bombing Yemen to minimal attention and virtually no protest. President Obama just visited Ethiopia and Kenya -- with barely any criticism of how those nations have carved up Somalia, perpetuating killing there

It may be possible to honor the noblest possible intent in #BlackLivesMatter: That we should rush to aid those lives that are disregarded by many. Likewise for #AllLivesMatter: We should be universal and apply the principle of veneration of the value of life truly to all

Both impulses in their best form would argue to seriously scrutinize the U.S. government's role as global rogue cop -- a "cop" more dangerous than the most violent, racist police operating in the U.S. today. 

Addendum: When I made an abbreviated version of this argument to my partner, Emily, and said: Both #BlackLivesMatter and #AllLivesMatter can in effect devalue non U.S. lives, she replied that it actually devalued all lives -- including U.S. lives. "How's that?" I asked. She said: "It helps continue the militarism and that will eventually take U.S. lives, so it devalues those lives as well." If it were not a pseudo military analogy, I'd say "touché."

Viet Nam a Half Century Later

Jimmy Carter called a war waged in Vietnam by the United States -- a war that killed 60,000 Americans and 4,000,000 Vietnamese, without burning down a single U.S. town or forest -- "mutual" damage. Ronald Reagan called it a "noble" and "just cause." Barack Obama promotes the myth of the widespread mistreatment of returning U.S. veterans, denounces the Vietnamese as "brutal," and has launched a 13-year, $65 million propaganda program to glorify what the Vietnamese call the American War:

"As we observe the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, we reflect with solemn reverence upon the valor of a generation that served with honor. We pay tribute to the more than 3 million servicemen and women who left their families to serve bravely, a world away . . . They pushed through jungles and rice paddies, heat and monsoon, fighting heroically to protect the ideals we hold dear as Americans."

Which ideals might those have been? Remember, this was the bad war in contrast to which World War II acquired the ridiculous label "good war." But the Pentagon is intent on undoing any accurate memory of Vietnam. Members of the wonderful organization, Veterans For Peace, meanwhile have launched their own educational campaign to counter the Pentagon's at VietnamFullDisclosure.org, and the Vietnam Peace Commemoration Committee has done the same at LessonsOfVietnam.com. Already, the Pentagon has been persuaded to correct some of its inaccurate statements. Evidence of the extent of the killing in Vietnam continues to emerge, and it has suddenly become universally acceptable in academia and the corporate media to acknowledge that presidential candidate Richard M. Nixon secretly sabotaged peace talks in 1968 that appeared likely to end the war until he intervened. As a result, the war raged on and Nixon won election promising to end the war, which he didn't do. There would seem to be at work here something like a 50-year limit on caring about treason or mass-murder. Imagine what it might become acceptable to say about current wars 50 years hence!

No Warlords Need Apply -- a call for credible peacemaking in Afghanistan

By Kathy Kelly and Buddy Bell

A second round of peace talks between Afghan government officials and Taliban representatives, expected to begin before the end of July, 2015, suggests that some parties to the fighting want to declare a cease fire.  But even in the short time since the first round on July 7th, fighting has intensified.  The Taliban, the Afghan government forces, various militias and the U.S. have ramped up attacks, across Afghanistan.

Hancock Anti-Drone Resisters Jailed Tonight

From UpstateDroneAction.org

Four anti-drone resisters were sentenced tonight in Judge Joseph J. Zavaglia’s DeWitt (NY) Town Court for alleged trespass at a “die-in” on April 28, 2013 at Hancock Air Base, home to the 174th Attack Wing of the NY National Guard, just north of Syracuse, NY. At their four-day trial this past June trial the six-person jury acquitted the four of disorderly conduct and obstruction of government administration.

The four are members of Upstate Drone Action Coalition – a scrupulously nonviolent, loosely-knit grassroots network which, since 2009 has actively opposed the Hancock Reaper drones flying missions over Afghanistan. The Reaper, an unmanned robot, is notorious for violating international law by killing, maiming and terrorizing civilians in several U.S. undeclared wars.

There have been over 160 anti-drone arrests at Hancock resulting in bails as high as $10,000, numerous trials, many incarcerations, and Orders of Protection (a legal device usually meant to protect spouses and other vulnerable persons against violence).

The four defendants are: Joan Pleune of Brooklyn, Beverly Rice of Manhattan, Ellen Barfield of Baltimore, and Jules Orkin of Bergenfield, New Jersey. Pleune is a former Freedom Rider; Barfield, Rice and Orkin are active with Veterans for Peace.

All four were identically sentenced to one year’s conditional discharge, $250 fine, $125 court costs and a two-year order of protection. Both Pleune and Rice told Judge Zavaglia, through their attorney Lewis Oliver, that they would not agree to the conditional discharge – which led him to sentence the two to 15 days in Jamesville Penitentiary. Pleune and Rice were taken from court in handcuffs.

The circus is in town: The United States of Absurdity, Circa 2015

By John Grant

 

"Someone must have been telling lies about Joseph K., for without having done anything wrong he was arrested one fine morning."

Effects of Oppression and Occupation

I am sure there are many effects of the Israeli oppression and occupation of the Palestinian people.  I probably have written about some of them in past entries.  I have had so many experiences living behind the wall.  Part of me wanted this blog to be about the stories that I have heard but I also wanted it to be about the experiences I have had living behind the wall.  It's interesting too because after the first few weeks, random people stopped telling me their stories, as my Arabic got better, people stopped telling me their stories, as I went from  being known as a tourist to known as someone who lived here, people weren't flocking to me to tell me their stories.  But also as I stayed here and as my Arabic got better and as I went from being known as a tourist to someone who lived here, my personal stories about living behind the wall were racking up but I became blocked mentally.  One day in the Palestinian life is like a week.

The Only Democracy in the Middle East

Doesn't that indicate freedom.  Freedom of movement.  Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of travel.  Maybe equal rights.  Liberty...if it's the only democracy in the Middle East then why is it the only country in the Middle East that I have traveled to where I have been interrogated at the airport on the way in and the way out...each time I have been there?  Why is it the only country I have traveled to in the Middle East where I am scared to post on Facebook?  Where I'm scared to blog about my experiences?  Where I'm scared to tell people where I am living?  Where I am scared to tell people where I am volunteering and what I am doing?  Why is it the

Focus: Hillary Clinton - July 29, 2015

 

Hillary Clinton dodges Keystone pipeline question - POLITICO


VIDEO: Hillary Clinton refuses to take a position on Keystone XL pipeline - The Guardian


VIDEO: Clinton Dodges Twice More On Keystone - YouTube


Fact sheet: Hillary Clinton's Vision for Renewable Power - hillaryclinton.com


VIDEO: The Clinton plan: Taking on the global threat of climate change, Building an economy for tomorrow - Hillary for America


CHART: One Simple Chart Explains The Climate Plans Of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley - ThinkProgress


Bernie Sanders attacks Clinton: It is hard for me to understand how one can be concerned about climate change but not vigorously oppose the Keystone pipeline - POLITICO


VIDEO: Bernie Sanders on climate change - YouTube


How does Hillary's climate change plan compare to Martin O'Malley's? - Yahoo News


A Jobs Agenda for our Renewable Energy Future - Martin O'Malley for President


The holes in Hillary Clinton's climate plan, She has avoided taking stands on Keystone XL, fracking, oil exports and Arctic offshore drilling - POLITICO


Hillary Clinton's Climate-Change Plan Is Anything But Comprehensive - The New Republic


Hillary Clinton's clean energy challenge doesn't match up with climate - slate.com


Hillary Clinton has a renewable energy plan, but she still needs one for fossil fuels - Grist


Hillary Clinton’s platform on climate and energy made headlines, but it did not break much new ground - InsideClimate News


Yet another study finds that reducing carbon emissions saves Americans money - Vox


Clinton's 'clean energy' agenda would benefit her corporate allies - Washington Examiner


Clinton Solar Plan Winners Include Supporters’ Clients, Employers - Washington Free Beacon


Hillary Clinton boards private jet hours after global-warming push (VIDEO) - Daily Mail Online


Hillary Clinton campaign pledges to go 'carbon neutral,' after private jet video - Daily Mail Online

 

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

House speaker: Hillary Clinton should "come clean" and hand over private email server - Reuters


The Missing Hillary Emails No One Can Explain - The Daily Beast


Intel Community Warns: Posting Hillary's Supposedly Harmless Email Could Jeopardize National Security - Breitbart


Did Hillary doomed Stevens with ‘classified’ emails? Inspectors-general query points to info on ambassador's movements in Benghazi - WND


The Clinton Emails: Will DOJ Conduct a Real Investigation? - dailysignal.com


Donald Trump: Hillary Clinton's private email use was 'criminal’ - The Guardian


Attorney seeks oral arguments on case bringing RICO claims against Clinton Foundation - WND


Bill and Hillary Clinton's charities got £50million of British taxpayer-funded foreign aid cash - Daily Mail Online


Clinton adviser Huma Abedin earned $69,263 for the first quarter of the campaign - OmniTalk


Hillary Clinton’s $600 haircut puts Bergdorf on lockdown - Page Six


Martin O'Malley Faults Hillary Clinton for 'Closeness' to Wall Street - The New York Times


Liberal Organization Democracy for America Slams Clinton Econ. Speech - The Daily Caller


Tell Hillary Clinton to join Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Baldwin in standing up against the Wall Street revolving door - Democracy For America


Hillary Clinton aides' Wall Street links raise economic policy doubts - The Guardian


POLL: Trump leads GOP field in NBC poll; Sanders gains on Clinton - StarTribune.com


POLL: The 2016 unpopularity contest, presidential candidates are unpopular in New Hampshire and Iowa, The one exception? Bernie Sanders - NBC News


POLL: Why Hillary Clinton’s numbers are down in the states that matter - The Washington Post


POLL: 95 Percent of Registered Voters Deem It Important That Next President Be Honest, Trustworthy - Washington Free Beacon


Barack Obama: I think if I ran I could win a third term, but I can't under our constitution - Daily Mail Online


Obama: I'd win a third term, but I can't under our constitution - YouTube


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

Only thing that we did right was the day we refused to fight

By CJ Hinke, WorldBeyondWar.org

Excerpted from Free Radicals: War Resisters in Prison by CJ Hinke, forthcoming from Trine-Day in 2016.

The lines of resistance to war take many forms as these stories of resisters in prison in World Wars I (“the Great War”, “the war to end all wars”) and II (‘the good war”), the Cold War, the undeclared Korean “conflict”, the ‘Red Scare’ of the McCarthy period, the 1960s and, finally, the US war against Vietnam, demonstrate. There are as many reasons and methods to refuse war as there are refusers. The Department of Justice classified WWII resisters as religious, moral, economic, political, neurotic, naturalistic, professional pacifist, philosophical, sociological, internationalist, personal and Jehovah’s Witness.

Why are some awake and aware, why do some feel their conscience so strongly they cannot ignore it? As A.J. Muste proclaimed, “If I can’t love Hitler, I can’t love at all.” Why isn’t that spirit inside all of us? Most of us have unconsciously shut up the voice of our troublesome conscience to make our lives easier. I assure you, however, the world would be immeasurably better if we all learned to listen to even its faintest of stirrings.

The reason The Resistance was so effective against the draft is that meetings listened to everybody. This stratagem was learned in vivo from Quakers,  SNCC, and CNVA. The Resistance functioned because of its underlying commitment to principled consensus. Many of us—(does not play well with others)—went ahead to devise our own actions out of frustration with this long and often tedious performance. Sometimes others joined us seeing its value and sometimes they did not. If there were “leaders” of The Resistance, I never met any!

Talk Nation Radio: Do Ethics Professors Behave Ethically? Someone Checked.

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talknationradio-20150728

Eric Schwitzgebel is Professor of Philosophy at University of California at Riverside.  His most recent book is Perplexities of Consciousness. We discuss his article "Cheeseburger Ethics" on his research into whether ethics professors are any better behaved than anyone else. See http://schwitzsplinters.blogspot.com

Total run time: 29:00

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

Download from Archive or  LetsTryDemocracy.

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Help Prevent a War on Iran! Public Forum in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 5, 2015

PUBLIC FORUM ON IRAN DEAL

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Print and distribute flyer.

To be held exactly 70 years after nuclear age opened in Hiroshima (including time zone difference).

7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Wednesday, August 5, 2015

At The Haven, 112 W. Market Street Charlottesville, VA 22902

Sponsored by World Beyond War, Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice, RootsAction.org, and Amnesty International Charlottesville, (more welcome to join).

Video of event to be widely distributed.

Speaker: Gareth Porter, independent investigative journalist and historian who specialises in U.S. national security policy. He is the author of Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, and the winner of the Gellhorn Prize for journalism in 2012 for exposing lies and propaganda about the Afghanistan War. Porter spent two weeks in Vienna covering the final round of negotiations and is now writing the definitive account of the how U.S. and Iran finally reached agreement.

Also invited, not confirmed (so please invite them!): Rep. Robert Hurt, Sen. Tim Kaine, Sen. Mark Warner.

Tomgram: Eduardo Galeano, The Previous Sole Superpower

 Recently, Susan Bergholz, the devoted literary agent of the late Uruguayan writer and planetary great Eduardo Galeano, sent me this brief email: “A friend of Eduardo's and mine called yesterday to tell me, ‘Now we know where Eduardo went: he became pope!’” Somehow, that thought raised my spirits immeasurably.

Speaking Events

2015

August 27, Chicago

September 22, DC

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