Ukraine News - Apr 10, 2015


Ukraine outlaws Communist names in fresh break with Soviet past, It also bans Nazi symbols and propaganda - Yahoo News


Decommunisation: Dismantlement of monuments, all cities and streets with Soviet names to be renamed - EN.Censor.net


Poroshenko: Hitler and Stalin to blame for World War II - UNIAN news


VIDEO (English Subs): Poroshenko blames Hitler and Stalin for outbreak of WWII - YouTube


Ukraine’s Parliament Votes To Open Soviet-Era KGB Archives To Public - ibtimes.com


Ukraine recognizes ultranationalists as freedom and independence fighters, Organizations include the UPA and OUN - Sputnik


Historian on the legal status of Ukrainian independence fighters: Was this crude distortion of the past really necessary? Can one legislate historical events in such a fashion? - ukraineanalysis


Martial law bill passed in first reading by Verkhovna Rada - Russia Beyond The Headlines


New Martial Law Lets Poroshenko Seize Assets at Will - offguardian


Ukraine sets sights on joining NATO - Reuters


Ukraine to sign new cooperation agreements with NATO: PM - Global Times


Ukrainian Armed Forces working towards meeting NATO military standards: Poltorak - interfax.com


Ukroboronprom to shift to NATO arms production standards by 2019 - Russia Beyond The Headlines


US, Russian war games rekindle Cold War tensions in Eastern Europe amid Ukraine crisis - Fox News


Russian Defense Ministry: NATO needs Ukraine crisis to justify its existence - TASS


Russia Warns US That It Can Counter Its Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems: Sees PGS Of US As A Serious Threat - ibtimes.com


Russian Missile Operators Brought Up to Speed on Iskander-M - Sputnik International


As Russia Improves Its Surface-to-Air Missiles, US Looks To Counter - Defense One


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

Amnesty International reports execution-style killings of captured Ukrainian soldiers - Reuters


Amnesty: Separatists must urgently remove from their ranks anyone suspected of war crimes and cooperate with an investigation - Amnesty


Interview with Amnesty official on the executed Ukrainian soldiers, 'I must emphasize that we have evidence of this happening on both sides' - rferl


'I kill if I want to': Russian rebel commander ‘Motorola’ says he shot dead 15 Ukrainian POWs (VIDEO) - mashable.com


Ukrainian rebel ‘Motorola' can officially be considered a war criminal now (VIDEOS) - Ukraine@war


Ukraine separatist leader Zakharchenko warns of possible return to war - Yahoo News


Pro-Russian Rebels Told: Major Attack on Ukraine Imminent - newsweek.com


East Ukraine Ceasefire Violations Increase Near Mariupol As Pro-Russian Rebels Prepare For Combat - ibtimes.com


OSCE: Ukrainian forces moving new heavy weaponry to buffer zone in Donbas - InSerbia News


Fortification work on demarcation line in Donbas to cost UAH 1 bln: ATO deputy commander - interfax.com


OSCE mission reports increase in ceasefire violations in Donbas - interfax.com


Two Ukrainian servicemen killed in past 24 hours-military spokesman (VIDEO) - uatoday.tv


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

Main players in Ukraine debt battle prepare to face off - Reuters


Ukraine Creditor Group Has Plan to Avoid Writedown in Debt Talks - Bloomberg Business


IMF expects Ukraine agreement with creditors by June - Reuters


Ukraine’s Tanking Economy, Car-Production Plunges 96% And Many Banks Also Fail - Dissident Voice


Ukraine’s exhausted economy to rely on agriculture in Q2 - Reuters


Ukraine: Another crisis for ′Europe′s bread basket′ - DW.DE


Ukraine's cash-strapped Metinvest announces default, seeks breather from debt repayments - Reuters


Ukraine Seeks to Scrap Utility Sales in Move Against Tycoons - Bloomberg Business


Ukraine: Poroshenko earned $16 mln last year: report - InSerbia News


VIDEO: Supposedly another vid of Ukrainian radicals humiliating an allegedly corrupt official, in Ivano-Frankivsk. Nasty - Shaun Walker on Twitter

 

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

 

To unsubscribe reply with “unsubscribe” in the subject line.

The Video That Could Indict the Pentagon for Murder

As Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting points out, until a video surfaced of South Carolina policeman Michael Slager murdering Walter Scott, the media was reporting a package of lies manufactured by the police: a fight that never occurred, witnesses who didn't exist, the victim taking the policeman's taser, etc. The lies collapsed because the video appeared.

I find myself asking why videos of missiles blowing children into little bits and pieces can't dissolve the stories churned out by the Pentagon. With several qualifications, I think part of the answer is that there are not enough videos. The struggle for the right to videotape the police at home in the United States should be accompanied by a campaign to provide video cameras to populations targeted for wars. Of course the struggle to videotape people dying under a bombing campaign is at least as great a challenge as videotaping a murderous policeman, but enough cameras would produce some footage.

There are other parts to the answer as well, of course. One is complexity, exacerbated by intentional obfuscation. To explain the current war in Yemen, the Washington Post finds someone to quote saying, "nobody can figure out either who started this fight or how to end it."

Really? Nobody? The second U.S.-armed dictator in the past few years is overthrown by militants empowered by opposition to U.S.-armed dictatorship. This after a Yemeni man told the U.S. Congress to their faces that the U.S. drone strikes were empowering terrorists. A larger neighboring U.S.-armed dictatorship in Saudi Arabia starts bombing and threatening to take over, as in nearby U.S.-armed dictatorship Bahrain. Saudi U.S. weapons are destroying piles of Yemeni U.S. weapons, and nobody can figure anything out?

Here are some U.S. children hiding from Soviet nukes many years ago, and a Yemeni child hiding from U.S. drone strikes more recently (source). How does that alone not indict anyone?


Here are photos and stories of innocent children murdered with U.S. drones in Yemen. How does that not indict anyone?

Beyond complexity and obfuscation and the justification of pretended rationales and euphemized explanations like "collateral damage," lies the problem of getting Americans to give a damn about people far away. But the U.S. government is horrified by the idea of releasing more photos and videos of torture in Abu Ghraib. It seems that direct, personal violence, even short of murder, is seen as more offensive than mass-murder by aerial assault.

I think these weaknesses in how visual documentation of killing in war is perceived can be overcome, and that in fact a greater volume of videos and photos obtained more rapidly could have a qualitative impact. Most Americans imagine a video like collateral murder to be an exception. Most have no idea at all that U.S. wars are one-sided slaughters killing primarily civilians and overwhelmingly the people who live where the wars are fought. One video of a family being dismembered by a bomb could be dismissed as accidental. Tens of thousands of such videos could not be.

Of course, logically, war victim selfie videos ought not to be needed. It's no secret that the U.S. wars on Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan and Yemen and Libya have fueled greater violence and failed utterly to drop little baskets of liberty and democracy on the people being burned to death. It ought to be no secret that 80 to 90 percent of the weapons in the supposedly inherently violent region of the Middle East are U.S.-made. The White House does not deny that it has significantly increased weapons sales to that region among others. With no plan for success and open confession that "there is no military solution" it rushes more weapons into war after war with no end in sight.

But words don't seem to do the job. Explaining that police were getting away with murder wasn't producing any indictments. A video finally indicted a cop. Now we need the video that can indict the world's policeman.

Mumia’s specialized mistreatment: Emergency Illness Exposes Lies in Abu-Jamal Case

By Linn Washington, Jr.


The recent emergency hospitalization of Mumia Abu-Jamal arising from alarming failures to address his chronic illnesses has exposed the inaccuracy of an assertion long made by adversaries of this inmate whom many around the world consider a political prisoner.

His adversaries charge that Abu-Jamal receives special treatment in prison.

You're a War Monger

New Tsarnaev Prosecution Exhibit Shows Backpack Different Color as One Tsarnaev Was Carrying

Cross-posted at MarathonTrial.

High quality image files from just-posted evidence exhibits in the Tsarnaev trial by the US Department of Justice show conclusively that the backpack carried by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in a surveillance video, and the one said to contain the bomb which killed eight-year-old Richard Martin, do not remotely match in color.  The US Department of Justice exhibits show that one is black and the other is white.

An Equally Obscene "Miller's Tale"

Judith Miller’s Blame-Shifting Memoir

April 7, 2015

U.S. intelligence veterans and associates recall the real story of how New York Times reporter Judith Miller disgraced herself and her profession by helping to mislead Americans into the disastrous war in Iraq. They challenge the slick, self-aggrandizing rewrite of history in her new memoir.

MEMORANDUM FOR: Americans Malnourished on the Truth About Iraq

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: A New “Miller’s Tale” (with apologies to Geoffrey Chaucer)

BNSF Challenges Lawsuit From Engineer Who Ran For His Life From Exploding Oil "Bomb Train"

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) has responded defensively to the oil-by-rail lawsuit filed by former BNSF locomotive engineer Bryan Thompson, a case recently reported on by DeSmogBlog.

April & May 2015 War Criminal Appearances & Protests

George Bush
4/15/15 Chicago IL

Leon Panetta
4/30/15 Madison NJ

David Petraeus
5/11/15 Washington DC

Colin Powell
4/20/15 Orlando FL
5/17-21/15 Washington DC

Erik Prince

Chelsea Manning and "Collateral Murder" video

by Debra Sweet     It's been 5 years since the video “Collateral Murder” hit.  Curt Wechsler writes  “Collateral Murder” occasioned vigorous government suppression of independent investigative reporting on the massacre of innocents.

Mumia Abu-Jamal's illness & mistreatment by PA authorities

by Debra Sweet       Mumia has been in ill health for some time, not receiving adequate medical care in the central PA prison where he's been sent for life, after his death sentence was overturned in a decades-long legal battle.MumiaThis week he was sent to the local ICU in diabetic shock, which occurred while he was in the prison infirmary.  He's since been returned to the infirmary, where he had such bad treatment.  Noelle Hanrahan of PrisonRadio.org reports that the prison authorities have made a new rule that he can't have a visit f

Every City, Every Town, Has Its Own Michael Brown

by Debra Sweet     I think most of you reading this were very heartened last fall by the protests that swept across the country in response to the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and others, killed by police. Those actions involved very large numbers of young people, most of whom had never gotten involved in protest before, and they were striking for how multi-national they were, with large numbers of white people uniting with black and brown.

Many of you wrote to me that those protests gave you hope.

Talk Nation Radio: NYU Students on Hiring a War Criminal to Teach Humanitarian Law

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-nyu-students-on-hiring-a-war-criminal-to-teach-humanitarian-law

Amanda Bass and Aman Singh are law students at NYU and organizers of a letter condemning the hiring of Harold Koh. Read and sign the letter here:
https://rethinkkoh.wordpress.com

Amanda Bass is a third year student at NYU School of Law where her work has focused on human rights and racial justice. Amanda has interned with the Worker Justice Center of New York, where she assisted workers with wage and hour claims, and with the Southern Center for Human Rights, where she worked on the post-conviction appeal of an individual sentenced to death-in-prison by Alabama courts. Upon graduation from law school, Amanda plans to return to Alabama to work with the Equal Justice Initiative on behalf of prisoners.

Aman Singh is a second year student at NYU School of Law.

Total run time: 29:00

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

Download from Archive or  LetsTryDemocracy.

Pacifica stations can also download from AudioPort.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

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

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

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

and at
https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/tracks

WHY ARE WE PLANNING TO WALK ACROSS THE DEMILITARIZED ZONE (DMZ) THAT SEPARATES NORTH AND SOUTH KOREA?

By Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate, N.Ireland. Co-Founder, Peace People. N. Ireland

Almost two years ago, when Christine Ahn proposed international women peacemakers walk across the De-Militarized Zone (DMZ) which separates North and South Korea as an important action to help support Korean women and men working for reconciliation and reuniting of Korean families, I couldn’t resist. This was an important first step in establishing a peace process in which women and civil community would be included.

Although many hurdles must still be jumped, including affirming support from three governments—North Korea, South Korea and the United States representing the United Nations Command. The UN command at the DMZ has said it would facilitate our crossing once South Koreas Government gives its approval —a small team of women are planning a historic walk of 30 international women peacemakers from twelve different countries to cross the DMZ on 24th May, 2015, International Women’s Disarmament Day. Some of the women participating are: Gloria Steinem, Hon.Chair,Ann Wright (USA) Suzuyo Takazato (Japan) Abigail Disney, (USA) Hyun-Kyung Chung (SouthKorea/USA),   Many people have asked ‘why are they planning to walk across the DMZ that separates North and South Korea.’?   Maybe the real question should be ‘Why not’!

In many countries around the world, women are walking and calling for an end to war and for a de-militarized world. As the DMZ is the most highly militarized border in the world, women peacemakers believe it is only right, whilst working all their lives in their own countries for disarmament and demilitarization, that they should walk in Korea, in solidarity with their Korean sisters, who want to see an end to the 70 year old conflict to reunify millions of Korean families. Seventy years ago, as the Cold War was being waged, the United States unilaterally drew the line across the 38th parallel—later with the former Soviet Union’s agreement—dividing an ancient country that had just suffered 35 years of Japanese colonial occupation. Koreans had no desire or decision-making power to stop their country from being divided; now seven decades later the conflict on the Korean peninsula threatens peace in the Asia Pacific and throughout our world.

The international women recognize that one of the greatest tragedies arising out of this man-made cold war politics and isolation is the tearing apart of Korean families and their physical separation from each other. In Korean culture, family relations are deeply important and millions of families have been painfully separated for 70 years. Although there was a period of reconciliation during the Sunshine Policy years between the two Korean governments where many families had the joy of reunion, but the vast majority remain separated. Many elders have sadly died before reunion with families, and most are getting older now. How wonderful if the governments of both North and South allowed the remaining elders the joy and peace of mind of being able to meet, kiss and hold their loved ones, before they die. We are all wishing and praying—and walking—for this to happen for the Korean elders. Also due to western sanctions and isolationist policies put on the North Korean people, their economy has suffered. Whilst North Korea has come a long way from the 1990s when up to one million died from famine, many people are still very poor and lack the very basics of survival. During a visit to Seoul in 2007, one aid worker told me most people in South Korea would love to pack their car with food, drive an hour up the road, into North Korea, to help their Korean brothers and sisters if the governments would agree to open the DMZ and let them cross over to see each other! Many of us take for granted that we can visit family, and we find it hard to imagine that pain of separation still felt by Korean families who cannot travel an hour up the road, through the DMZ to visit their families.

We international women want to walk for peace in North and South Korea, and hope the Governments will support our crossing the DMZ, recognizing that we are seeking to do this because we care for our Korean brothers and sisters. We want to plant a seed that Korean people, too, can be free to cross the DMZ in their work to build reconciliation, friendships and trust and put an end to the division and fear which keeps them in a state of war instead of peace.

The DMZ with its barbed wire, armed soldiers on both sides, and littered with thousands of explosive landmines is a tragic physical manifestation of how much the Korean people have suffered and lost in war. Yet from all my encounters with the Korean people, all they wish for is to be reconciled and live in peace with each other. In recognizing the wishes of the Korean people, I believe the political leaders of North Korea, South Korea, United States and all governments involved must play their parts to help Korea move from war to peace.

For the 30 international women who travel from over a dozen countries, we wish to go to Korea to listen to the Korean peoples stories, hopes and dreams, to tell them we love them, and join in solidarity with them in their work, and ours, in building a nonkilling, demilitarized Korea, Asia and World.

www.peacepeople.com

www.womencrossdmz.org

www.nobelwomensinitiative.com

 

Ukraine News - Apr 7, 2015


Poroshenko denounces federalization at the constitutional reform commission, Rebels say 'these things are absolutely unacceptable…we did not receive any invitations' - NYTimes.com


Poroshenko: the Ukrainian language is and will remain the only state language of Ukraine - interfax.com


Poroshenko: defense, national security and foreign policy of Ukraine not affected by decentralization - interfax.com


Poroshenko: tougher punishments for separatist statements, let alone actions, so that people are afraid to even think about it - interfax.com


Poroshenko: I won’t allow people carrying illegal weapons to walk around free - interfax.com


Poroshenko submits presidential bill on legal regime of martial law - interfax.com


Yatseniuk: Russia has no right to dictate to Ukraine form of its constitution - UNIAN news


Ukraine to resume paying pensions in occupied Donbas after control is restored: justice ministry - interfax.com


Donbass leaders to Germany, France: Make Kiev pay pensions approved by Minsk deal - RT News


Lavrov says constitutional reform must agree with militants - molbuk.ua


Ukraine far-right leader made army advisor in move to control militias - THE DAILY STAR


VIDEO: Ukraine Nationalist Leader Joins Government: Right Sector MP Yarosh given Defence Ministry position - YouTube


Four Ukrainian Soldiers Killed In 24 Hours; Daily Death Toll Rising With A Total Of 13 Having Been Killed In Three Days - Interpreter_Mag


Donetsk Separatists Release 16 Captured Ukrainian Soldiers - rferl.org


Over 150 children killed or injured by landmines in east Ukraine: UNICEF - Novorossia Today


Russian bomb defusers on Ukraine's front lines, Battlefields in Donetsk and Luhansk are strewn with mines and other unexploded ordnance posing serious risks to civilians - mashable.com


Russia's Role in Ukraine Seen Shifting to Training Rebels - The Moscow Times


VIDEO: Drone video from Donetsk shows huge Russian military bases w/ heavy weapons (ceasefire violation) - Ukraine Reporter on Twitter


Ukraine bans broadcast of many Russian films - The Washington Post


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

Crisis-hit Ukraine’s annual inflation rate hit 45.8 percent after a sharp acceleration of 10.8 percent in March - Business Insider


After a year at war, Ukraine at financial breaking point - Yahoo News


Ukrainian economy in free fall, National Bank projects an economic decline of 15 percent for the first quarter of 2015 - shafaqna.com


Ukrainian government approves framework for $15 billion debt-swap: Finance Ministry - Reuters


Cabinet approves list of eurobonds to be restructured: finance ministry - interfax.com


Russia expects Kiev to pay off debt in late 2015: deputy finance minister - TASS


Ukraine bank in plea for loan relief - The Sunday Times


Ukraine Pension Fund Is Bankrupt: Social Policy Minister - russia-insider.com


Ukraine to Triple Cheaper Gas Imports from Russia, Kiev is to pay $248 per 1,000 cubic meters during the April-June quarter - Oil and Gas News


Naftogaz imports gas from EU at average of $304 per 1,000 cubic meters in Q1 2015 - interfax.com


Ukraine reduces gas imports from Hungary in early April - interfax.com


Russia steps in as job losses, closures ravage east Ukraine - timesofindia


Russian state companies face bans from Ukraine investment - RT Russian politics


The American Woman Who Stands Between Putin and Ukraine - businessweek

 

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

 

To unsubscribe reply with “unsubscribe” in the subject line.

ALEC Climate Denial: Corporate Bill Mill Threatens Lawsuit For Saying So

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has threatened public interest group Common Cause with a lawsuit for pointing out what the public record has made clear: ALEC denies the scientific consensus on climate change.

As first reported by The Washington Post, ALEC's lawyers Alan Dye and Heidi Abegg wrote a cease-and-desist letter to Common Cause president Miles Rapoport. Dye and Abegg demanded that Common Cause stop calling ALEC a cog in the climate denial machine. 

"We demand that you cease making inaccurate statements regarding ALEC, and immediately remove all false or misleading material from the Common Cause, and related, websites within five business days," they wrote. "Should you not do so, and/or continue to publish any defamatory statements, we will consider any and all necessary legal action to protect ALEC."

ALEC critics call the organization a "corporate bill mill." 

Dye and Abegg also demanded an immediate and public retraction of statements the Common Cause has made about ALEC with regards to climate denial.

ALEC Climate Denial Lawsuit

Image Credit: Common Cause

Further, Dye and Abegg argued that ALEC — contrary to the vast amount of evidence collected by those who research the organization — does not deny climate change.

Credit where credit's due...but only where it's due: How Can Obama Claim the Alternative to a Nuclear Deal with Iran is War?

By Dave Lindorff


A kudo to President Obama. But just one.

If he manages to pull off an agreement with Iran on limiting that country's nuclear fuel enrichment program in the fact of determined resistance from Republicans, Neocons, the Israel Lobby and the warmongers in both the GOP and his own Democratic Party, he will have finally earned at least some small portion of the gold in his Nobel Peace medallion.

Iran News - Apr 6, 2015


Obama Strongly Defends Iran Nuclear Deal (VIDEO) - NYTimes.com


Interview with Obama on the Iran nuclear deal (VIDEOS) - NYTimes.com


Obama’s ‘technocratic’ approach: How Iran nuclear deal came together proton by proton - Telegraph


Netanyahu blasts ‘very, very bad’ Iran nuclear agreement - The Washington Post


VIDEO: Netanyahu: Iran nuke deal "very bad" - CNN


Dianne Feinstein: Iran Deal Does Not Threaten Israel's Survival, I wish that Netanyahu would contain himself (VIDEO) - huffingtonpost.com


Senate Democrat Murphy: Netanyahu's Version of an Iran Deal is Unrealistic (VIDEO) - NBC News.com


Sen. Elizabeth Warren Believes A Nuclear Deal With Iran Is 'Our Best Promise In The Region' - huffingtonpost.com


Corker works overtime to get last few votes to ensure Congress has mandatory review of Iran nuke deal - Fox News


G.O.P.’s Israel Support Deepens as Political Contributions Shift - NYTimes.com


Pentagon Worked to Improve Biggest ‘Bunker-Buster’ Bomb as Iran Talks Unfolded - WSJ


How the U.S. Would Destroy Iran’s Nuclear Program - TIME


Iran Top General Signals Supreme Leader Backing of Nuclear Deal - Bloomberg Business


If an agreement is seen as too weak, Saudi Arabia will try to find a way to counter-balance it: Western diplomat - Yahoo News


Pope backs Iran nuke deal, urges end to extremist violence - usatoday.com


VIDEO: Pope Francis welcomes Iran nuclear deal - CBS


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

White House looks to scientists to sell Iran deal, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz has emerged as the face of the push - POLITICO


VIDEO: Energy secretary Moniz: Iran deal blocks pathways to bomb - CBS News


TRANSCRIPT: Face the Nation: Moniz, Graham, Santorum - CBS News


Conservatives Trash Iran Deal Framework That Experts Call "A Very Convincing Agreement" - Media Matters for America


Proposed accord far tougher on Iran than expected, experts say - McClatchy Washington Bureau


Five views on the Iran nuclear framework - Washington Post


William J. Burns, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: The Fruits of Diplomacy With Iran - NYTimes.com


Anthony Cordesman: Verify and Trust May Come with Iran: The Parameters for the Proposed Joint Comprehensive Plan - Center for Strategic and International Studies


Joseph Cirincione: Why the Iran nuclear deal is a victory for American national security - daily-sun.com


NPR talks on the Iran nuclear deal with Gary Samore, executive director at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government - WGBH News


Is The Iran Nuclear Framework Agreement A Good Deal? We speak with Ariane Tabatabai - huffingtonpost.com


Former intelligence head Amos Yadlin: Israel mustn't reject Iran deal - Al-Monitor


VIDEO: Is Iran nuke deal good or bad for US? John Yang, Ali Arouzi, Hillary Mann Leverett and Ayman Mohyeldin join to discuss the complex details of the nuclear deal with Iran - MSNBC


VIDEO: Former IAEA inspector Olli Heinonen reacts to framework deal with Iran - Fox News Video


VIDEO: Analyst Michael Genovese: Reasons For Caution, Reasons For Hope In Iran Pact - YouTube


The Iran Nuclear Deal, by the Numbers (CHARTS) - The Atlantic


Outline of Nuclear Deal Sounds Different in the U.S. and Iran Accounts of Their Agreements - NYTimes.com


Joint Statement by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif - European Union, EEAS


Parameters for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran's Nuclear Program - US State Department


English translation of Iranian Fact Sheet on the Nuclear Negotiations - Iran Matters

 

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

 

To unsubscribe reply with “unsubscribe” in the subject line.

Disclosure Fail: Industry Reps Testifying for Denton, Texas Fracking Bill Left Ties Undisclosed

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

March 24 hearing prior to the passage of a controversial bill out of committee that preempts cities in Texas from regulating hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") for oil and gas obtained from shale basins, featured numerous witnesses who failed to disclose their industry ties, including some with ties to the Koch brothers

Cold War 2.0

By William Blum

Cold War 2.0, part I

In last month’s Anti-Empire Report I brought you the latest adventure of US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki trying to defend the indefensible. She said then: “As a matter of longstanding policy, the United States does not support political transitions by non-constitutional means,” which prompted me to inform my readers: “If you know how to contact Ms. Psaki, tell her to have a look at my list of more than 50 governments the United States has attempted to overthrow since the end of the Second World War.”

On March 13 her regular attack on all things Russian included this exchange with Associated Press writer Matthew Lee:

Lee: On this issue, did you get any more about this request to the Vietnamese on Cam Ranh Bay and not allowing the Russians to - and not wanting them to allow - you not wanting them to refuel Russian planes there?

Psaki: Well, just to be clear - and maybe I wasn’t as clear yesterday, so let me try to do this again - it’s - our concern is about activities they might conduct in the region, and the question is: Why are they in the region? It’s not about specifically refueling or telling the Vietnamese not to allow them to refuel. [emphasis added]

Lee: So there hasn’t been a request to stop refueling them, or there has?

Psaki: It’s more about concerns. It’s not as much about Vietnam as much as it - as it is about concerns about what activities they would be in the region for.

Lee: Okay. Well, you - I mean, there are U.S. planes flying over there all the time.

Psaki: Sure, there are.

Lee: So you don’t want Russian planes flying there, but it’s okay for U.S. planes to fly there? I mean, I just - it gets to the point where you - the suggestion is that everything the Russians are doing all the time everywhere is somehow nefarious and designed to provoke. But you can’t - but you don’t seem to be able to understand or accept that American planes flying all over the place, including in that area, is annoying to the Chinese, for one, but also for the Russians. But the suggestion is always that the American flights are good and beneficial and don’t cause tension, and that other people’s flights do cause tension. So can you explain what the basis is for your concern that the Russian flights there in the Southeast Asia area are - raise tensions?

Psaki: There just aren’t more details I can go into.

Cold War 2.0, part II

On Saturday, the Obama administration released a series of satellite images that it said showed the Russian army had joined the rebels in a full-scale assault to surround troops in the area around the city. Russia has denied that it is a party to the conflict, and it was impossible to verify the three grainy black-and-white satellite images posted to Twitter by the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt.
According to the United States, the images, commissioned from the private Digital Globe satellite company, showed artillery systems and multiple-rocket launchers Thursday in the area near Debaltseve.
“We are confident these are Russian military, not separatist, systems,” Pyatt tweeted. (Washington Post, February 15, 2015)

When the time comes to list the ways in which the United States gradually sunk into the quicksand, slowly metamorphosing into a Third-World state, Washington’s campaign of 2014-15 to convince the world that Russia had repeatedly invaded Ukraine will deserve to be near the top of the list. Numerous examples like the above can be given. If I were still the jingoistic nationalist I was raised to be I think I would feel somewhat embarrassed now by the blatant obviousness of it all.

For a short visual history of the decline and fall of the American Empire, see the video “Imperial Decay” by Class War Films (8:50 minutes).

During Cold War 1.0 the American media loved to poke fun at the Soviet media for failing to match the glorious standards of the Western press. One of the most common putdowns was about the two main Russian newspapers – Pravda (meaning “truth” in Russian) and Izvestia (meaning “news”). We were told, endlessly, that there was “no truth in Pravda and no news in Izvestia.”

As cynical as I’ve been for years about the American mainstream media’s treatment of ODE (Officially Designated Enemies), current news coverage of Russia exceeds my worst expectations. I’m astonished every day at the obvious disregard of any kind of objectivity or fairness concerning Russia. Perhaps the most important example of this bias is the failure to remind their audience that the US and NATO have surrounded Russia – with Washington’s coup in Ukraine as the latest example – and that Moscow, for some odd reason, feels threatened by this. (Look for the map online of NATO bases and Russia, with a caption like: “Why did you place your country in the middle of our bases?”)

Cold War 2.0, part III

Following the murder of Russian opposition leader, and former Deputy Prime Minister, Boris Nemtsov in Moscow on February 27, the West had a field day. Ranging from strong innuendo to outright accusation of murder, the Western media and politicians did not miss an opportunity to treat Vladimir Putin as a football practice dummy.

The European Parliament adopted a resolution urging an international investigation into Nemtsov’s death and suggested that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Council, and the United Nations could play a role in the probe.

US Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham introduced a Senate Resolution condemning the Nemtsov murder. The Resolution also called on President Obama and the international community to pursue an independent investigation into the murder and redouble efforts to advance free speech, human rights, and the rule of law in Russia. In addition, it urged Obama to continue to sanction human rights violators in the Russian Federation and to increase US support to human rights activists in Russia.

So it went … all over the West.

Meanwhile, in the same time period in Ukraine, outside of the pro-Russian area in the southeast, the following was reported:

  • January 29: Former Chairman of the local government of the Kharkov region, Alexey Kolesnik, hanged himself.
  • February 24: Stanislav Melnik, a member of the opposition party (Partia Regionov), shot himself.
  • February 25: The Mayor of Melitopol, Sergey Valter, hanged himself a few hours before his trial.
  • February 26: Alexander Bordiuga, deputy director of the Melitopol police, was found dead in his garage.
  • February 26: Alexander Peklushenko, former member of the Ukrainian parliament, and former mayor of Zaporizhi, was found shot to death.
  • February 28: Mikhail Chechetov, former member of parliament, member of the opposition party (Partia Regionov), “fell” from the window of his 17th floor apartment in Kiev.
  • March 14: The 32-year-old prosecutor in Odessa, Sergey Melnichuk, “fell” to his death from the 9th floor.

The Partia Regionov directly accused the Ukrainian government in the deaths of their party members and appealed to the West to react to these events. “We appeal to the European Union, PACE [Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe], and European and international human rights organizations to immediately react to the situation in Ukraine, and give a legal assessment of the criminal actions of the Ukrainian government, which cynically murders its political opponents.”

We cannot conclude from the above that the Ukrainian government was responsible for all, or even any, of these deaths. But neither can we conclude that the Russian government was responsible for the death of Boris Nemtsov, the American media and politicians notwithstanding. A search of the mammoth Nexus news database found no mention of any of the Ukrainian deceased except for the last one above, Sergey Melnichuk, but this clearly is not the same person. It thus appears that none of the deaths on the above list was ascribed to the Western-allied Ukrainian government.

Where are the demands for international investigations of any of the deaths? In the United States or in Europe? Where is Senator McCain?

Torture via sanctions

Discussions on constraining Iran’s nuclear program have been going on for well over a year between Iran and the P5+1 (the five nuclear powers of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany), led by the United States. Throughout this period a significant stumbling block to reaching an agreement has been the pronouncements of Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The IAEA is the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, and its inspections are considered a key safeguard against countries using civilian nuclear energy technology to produce weapons. Amano has consistently accused Iran of failing to reply fully and substantially to queries about “possible military dimensions” of present and past nuclear activities, or failing to provide sufficient access to nuclear facilities.

Failure by Iran to comply fully with IAEA demands undermine Tehran’s efforts to win the lifting of crippling UN, US and other sanctions, which currently prohibit foreign companies from doing business with Iran and deny access to the global financial system. Media coverage of the negotiations regularly emphasize Amano’s claims of Iran’s insufficient responses to IAEA’s demands. It is thus worth inquiring just who is this man Amano.

In 2009 Japanese diplomat Yukiya Amano became the head of the IAEA. What the Western media routinely fail to remind its audience is that a US embassy cable of October 2009 (released by Wikileaks in 2010) said Amano “took pains to emphasize his support for U.S. strategic objectives for the Agency. Amano reminded the [American] ambassador on several occasions that … he was solidly in the U.S. court on every key strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments to the handling of Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program.”

Even if Iran makes a superior effort to satisfy IAEA and Washington’s demands on all issues, it would remain questionable to what extent and how rapidly the sanctions would be removed, particularly under a Republican-controlled Congress. Iran specialist and author Gareth Porter recently wrote that “the United States and its allies have made no effort to hide the fact that they intend to maintain the ‘sanctions architecture’ in place for many years after the implementation of the agreement has begun. Last November, administration officials explained that US sanctions would only be removed after the International Atomic Energy Agency had verified that ‘Tehran is abiding by the terms of a deal over an extended period of time’ in order to ‘maintain leverage on Iran to honour the accord’.”

To appreciate the extraordinary degree of pressure and extortion the United States can impose upon another country we should consider the case of Libya in the decade-plus following the destruction of PanAm Flight 103 in 1988 over Scotland. To force Libya to “accept responsibility” for the crime, Washington imposed heavy sanctions on the Gaddafi regime, including a ban on international flights to Libya and payment of billions of dollars to the families of the victims. Libya eventually did “accept responsibility” for the crime, although it was innocent. As difficult as this may be to believe, it’s true. Read my account of it here.

Even after Libya accepted responsibility it still took years for the US to wipe out the sanctions, and it’s not clear that at the time of Gaddafi’s death in 2011 all of them had been removed. Once a nation becomes an Officially Designated Enemy of the empire the methods of torture can be exquisite and endless. Cuba is presently negotiating the end of US sanctions against Havana. They will need to be extremely careful.

“Like others of his ilk - such as David Horowitz and Christopher Hitchens - he learned too much in college and too little since.” Sam Smith

I’ve never been too impressed by what college a person went to, or even if they attended college at all. Gore Vidal did not attend any college; neither did H. L. Mencken; nor did Edward Snowden, who has demonstrated a highly articulate and educated mind. Among the many other notables who skipped a college education are George Bernard Shaw, Ernest Hemingway, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Then we have graduates from Ivy League colleges like George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Tom Cotton. I don’t have to present the case for Bush’s less-than educated mind; we’re all only too familiar with its beauty. But Obama has matched Georgie Boy for stupidity and inanity time and time again. My favorite, which he’s used on at least five occasions, is his reply to questions about why his administration has not prosecuted Bush, Cheney, et al for torture and other war crimes: “I prefer to look forward rather than backwards”. Picture a defendant before a judge asking to be found innocent on such grounds. It simply makes laws, law enforcement, crime, justice, and facts irrelevant. Picture Chelsea Manning and other whistle blowers using this argument. Picture the reaction to this by Barack Obama, who has become the leading persecutor of whistleblowers in American history.

Is there anyone left who still thinks that Barack Obama is some kind of improvement intellectually over George W. Bush? Probably two types still think so: (1) Those to whom color matters a lot; (2) Those who are very impressed by the ability to put together grammatically correct sentences.

And now we have Mr. Cotton, Senator from Arkansas and graduate of Harvard undergraduate and law schools. He’ll be entertaining us for years to come with gems like his remark on “Face the Nation” (March 15): “Moreover, we have to stand up to Iran’s attempts to drive for regional dominance. They already control Tehran and, increasingly, they control Damascus and Beirut and Baghdad. And now, Sana’a as well.”

Heavens, Iran controls Tehran! Who knew? Next thing we’ll hear is that Russia controls Moscow! Sarah Palin, move over. Our boy Cotton is ready for Saturday Night Live.

Notes

  1. Washington Post, February 15, 2015, “Amid doubts, truce in Ukraine appears to take hold
  2. RT, March 12, 2015, “EU lawmakers demand international investigation into Nemtsov’s death
  3. John McCain website, Press Release, “Senators John Mccain And Lindsey Graham Introduce Resolution Condemning Murder Of Russian Opposition Leader Boris Nemtsov
  4. Research for this section was done by a person who was raised in the Soviet Union and now lives in the United States.
  5. Middle East Eye, March 27, 2015, “Sanctions and the fate of the nuclear talks

We could all soon be crying 'I can't breathe!': Catastrophe Looms by Century’s End if Climate Change isn’t Sharply Curtailed Now

By Dave Lindorff


Harold Wanless, a leading climatologist and geologist based at the University of Miami, returns to PRN.fm's “This Can’t Be Happening!” program to revisit his year-ago claim that global warming and sea level rise are going to be much more severe than the consensus predictions of the UN Climate Committee, NASA, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and other official groups.

BNSF Engineer Who Manned Exploding North Dakota "Bomb Train" Sues Former Employer

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

A Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) employee who worked as a locomotive engineer on the company's oil-by-rail train that exploded in rural Casselton, North Dakota in December 2013 has sued his former employer

Casselton North Dakota Oil by Rail Explosion

Photo Credit: Shawn Rode

Filed in Cass County, the plaintiff Bryan Thompson alleges he "was caused to suffer and continues to suffer severe and permanent injuries and damages," including but not limited to ongoing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) issues.

Thompson's attorney, Thomas Flaskamp, told DeSmogBlog he "delayed filing [the lawsuit until now] primarily to get an indication as to the direction of where Mr. Thompson's care and treatment for his PTSD arising out of the incident was heading," which he says is still being treated by a psychiatrist.

The lawsuit is the first of its kind in the oil-by-rail world, the only time to date that someone working on an exploding oil train has taken legal action against his employer using the Federal Employers' Liability Act.

BNSF Engineer Casselton Lawsuit

Image Credit: State of North Dakota District Court; East Central Judicial District

Lodestar of Peace

By Robert C. Koehler

“Deeply sensible of their solemn duty to promote the welfare of mankind . . .”

What? Were they serious?

I kneel in a sort of gasping awe as I read the words of the Kellogg-Briand Pact, a treaty signed in 1928 – by the United States, France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan and ultimately by every country that then existed. The treaty . . . outlaws war.

“Persuaded that the time has come when a frank renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy should be made . . .”

ARTICLE I: “The High Contracting Parties solemnly declare in the names of their respective peoples that they condemn recourse to war for the solution of international controversies, and renounce it as an instrument of national policy in their relations with one another.”

ARTICLE II: “The High Contracting Parties agree that the settlement or solution of all disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them, shall never be sought except by pacific means.”

Furthermore, as David Swanson has reminded us in his book When the World Outlawed War, the treaty is still in effect. It has never been rescinded. It’s still, for what this is worth, international law. This is nuts, of course. War rules and everyone knows it. War is our default setting, the ongoing first option for pretty much every disagreement among global neighbors, especially when different religious beliefs and ethnicities are part of the divide.

You know: “The inescapable conclusion is that Iran will not negotiate away its nuclear program.” This is neocon nutcase John Bolton, George Bush’s former ambassador to the U.N., writing from a pulpit in the New York Times last week. “. . . The inconvenient truth is that only military action like Israel’s 1981 attack on Saddam Hussein’s Osirak reactor in Iraq or its 2007 destruction of a Syrian reactor, designed and built by North Korea, can accomplish what is required. Time is terribly short, but a strike can still succeed.”

Or: “President Obama informed (Egyptian) President al-Sisi that he will lift executive holds that have been in place since October 2013 on the delivery of F-16 aircraft, Harpoon missiles, and M1A1 tank kits. The President also advised President al-Sisi that he will continue to request an annual $1.3 billion in military assistance for Egypt.”

This is from a White House press release, issued the day before April Fool’s Day. “The President explained that these and other steps will help refine our military assistance relationship so that it is better positioned to address the shared challenges to U.S. and Egyptian interests in an unstable region.”

This is the amoral chatter of geopolitics. This is what it has been my entire lifetime: hopelessly, cluelessly entwined in militarism. War, if not today then tomorrow – somewhere – is taken for granted in all verbiage emanating from the inner sanctums of the powerful. It’s only challenged as “protest,” which is marginalized speech, cordoned off from the corridors of power, usually treated in the corporate media as reckless tirade or naively irrelevant sentimentality.

The language of peace has no power. At best, the “war weariness” of the public can cause a certain amount of trouble for the military-industrial engine of geopolitics. In the wake of the Southeast Asian holocaust known, in the United States, as the Vietnam War, for instance, two decades of “Vietnam Syndrome” limited American military activity to proxy wars in Central America and in-and-out invasions of Grenada, Panama and, oh yeah, Iraq.

Vietnam Syndrome was no more than public burnout and despair. It never materialized politically into lasting change, or actual political power for peace proponents. Eventually it was supplanted by 9-11 and the (guaranteed perpetual) war on terror. Peace has officially been reduced to the status of wishful thinking.

The value of Swanson’s book, which tells the story of the Kellogg-Briand Pact, ratified by President Calvin Coolidge in 1929, is that it brings a forgotten era back to life, a time – prior to the entrenchment of the military-industrial complex and the corporate convergence of the mass media – when peace, that is, a world free of war, was a solid and universal ideal and even mainstream politicians could see war for what it was: hell mixed with futility. The disastrous failure of World War I was still uppermost in human consciousness; it had not been romanticized. Humanity wanted peace. Even big money wanted peace. The concept of war was on the verge of permanent illegitimacy and, indeed, criminality.

Knowing this is crucial. Knowing that the peace movement of the 1920s could reach so deeply into international politics should embolden every peace activist on the planet. The Kellogg-Briand Pact, written by United States Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg and French foreign minister Aristide Briand, remains a political lodestar.

“Deeply sensible of their solemn duty to promote the welfare of mankind . . .”

Can you imagine, just for a moment, that such integrity could outshine all the lesser “interests” that crowd the corridors of power?

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.

© 2015 TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, INC.

Lower Drinking Age, Raise Killing Age

The United States sends people to kill and die in war that it doesn't trust with a beer.

It trains police in war skills to assault young people it suspects of going near beer.

Here's an idea: Drink At 18, Don't Kill Till 21.

Alcohol prohibition is not working, and creates unsafe drinking by people old enough to vote, drive, and work. A case can be made, and is being made, for returning the drinking age to 18.

But allowing 18-year-olds to join the military has created illegal and immoral recruitment of minors, not to mention deep moral regret, post-traumatic stress, and suicide in young veterans.

Raising the age for war participation (for joining either the military or one of its contractors) to 21 would do more for education and informed career choices -- not to mention reducing drug and alcohol addiction, and suicide -- than banning alcohol does.

Make-Daiquiris-Not-War is a policy based on actual dangers. The problem with alcohol is not responsible drinking of it. Alcohol is not a satanic liquid to be counterproductively made into a forbidden fruit. The problems with alcohol are: drinking and driving, which should be addressed by avoiding the driving, not through an unenforceable ban on drinking; drinking to dangerous excess, which should be addressed through open discussion, not the secretive plotting of contemporary speakeasies; and addiction, which is driven not so much by the chemicals involved as by the life of the person who becomes addicted.

And what could we most easily do to assist young people in leading more fulfilling, less horrific, lives? We could put off the decision to join in a program of mass murder until age 21, thereby giving a young person a chance to consider all the options.

In many nations there is no drinking age. In others the drinking age is after you're dead (alcohol is prohibited). Among those with a drinking age between zero and forever, far and away the most common is 18.  Exceptions are Egypt, Kazakhstan, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, United Arab Emirates, Cameroon, Indonesia, the United States, and various Pacific island colonies of the United States, all of which make the legal age to drink 21.

But how's that working out for them? In Egypt if you happen to witness the police murder someone, you'll face prison or worse, while the U.S. President chats with the Egyptian President promising him more weapons and money, but if you want to drink underage, apparently nobody really minds. The inevitable result of making it legal to sell alcohol to some but not all adults (taking adults to be 18 and up) seems to be either stiffer and stiffer penalties or routine violation. This of course creates both a disrespect for laws and drinking in secret without appropriate discussion of dangers and measures to prevent recklessness.

In Argentina enlistment in the military is allowed at 21, or at 18 with parental consent. In Bahrain and Kazakhstan military enlistment starts at 15. Who's right? Who's respecting the enlistees? Well, according to some brain scientists at MIT -- not that they should know anything:

"As a number of researchers have put it, 'the rental car companies have it right.' The brain isn't fully mature at 16, when we are allowed to drive, or at 18, when we are allowed to vote, or at 21, when we are allowed to drink, but closer to 25, when we are allowed to rent a car."

Scientists at Dartmouth agree. (But they would, wouldn't they?) Not to mention neuroscientists who write books and go on NPR.

So upping the killing age to 21 would be moving in the direction of the wisdom of the scientists and the rental car companies. Why lower the drinking age at the same time? Because alcohol needs to be treated principally not as a means of drunken escape, but as an enjoyable beverage with dinner. Nations with no drinking age at all tend to have less alcoholism than do puritanical nations. The point is not that 18 year olds are qualified to head off to parties at which they'll drink gallons of hard liquor (as some currently do, law or no law) but that alcohol, like other enjoyable and risky parts of life -- from dangerous sports to sex to other drugs to those televisions in airports blasting Fox News -- should be dealt with openly and calmly by parents and teachers and friends, with the actual dangers made crystal clear and imaginary dangers debunked.

The fact is that prohibiting alcohol leads to more reckless drinking, while prohibiting war participation leads to less reckless killing. We've got our priorities wrong. Let's rework them.

Redditor finally discovers the TSA is abusive

From a thread started at Reddit by someone who is just now discovering that the TSA is abusive. Duh. Sorry, patience is admittedly not one of my virtues, but I really can’t take it anymore — not only the surprise exhibited by people who seem to have been living under a rock for the past, oh, years and years, but worse, those who deny, deny, deny what’s right in front of their faces. Read the whole Reddit thread to see what I’m talking about. The ignorance on display is breathtaking.


Read the rest at TSA News.

Execution by medical neglect?: Pennsylvania’s Prison System is Torturing Mumia Abu-Jamal and his Family Too

By Dave Lindorff

 

Mumia Abu-Jamal, the radical Philadelphia journalist convicted of killing a white Philadelphia police officer in a trial fraught with prosecutorial misconduct, witness coaching and judicial prejudice back in 1981, spent nearly three decades in solitary confinement in the deliberately designed hell of Pennsylvania’s supermax SCI Green prison before a panel of federal Appeals Court judges eventually ruled that he’d been unconstitutionally sentenced to death.

 

Wisconsin Grandmother Jailed for Opposing Drone Murders

Joy First reports from Mauston, Wisc., that Bonnie Block, a Madison grandmother and long-time peace activist, was found guilty of trespassing in a jury trial in the Juneau County Courthouse on Wednesday, April 1, 2015, and sent to jail.

Sadly, this is not an April Fool's joke. Block, pictured at right, was compelled to either pay $232 or spend 5 days in the Juneau County Jail. Faced with that choice, Block said in court:

"Your Honor, I asked for a jury trial in this matter so I could explain to the citizens of Juneau County my moral, constitutional, and legal reasons for opposing the drone training via handing out a leaflet at the Volk Field Open House. I also wanted to point out the absurdity of being arrested for trespassing at an event to which the public had been invited.

"However, the Court’s pretrial orders based on the District Attorney's 25-point Motion in Limine precluded me from explaining this to the jury because the pre-trial orders prohibited any mention to the jury of the very issues that I believe constitute a defense for my nonviolent action.

"These prohibitions also made it impossible for me to testify on my own behalf because I couldn't honor the oath 'to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.'  And to top it off, there was the unilateral refusal of Volk Field Commander Romauld to honor my third-party subpoena to testify so he could explain the military rules and rationale that he considers the justification for my arrest.  It puts the military brass above the law and I object.

"For these reasons, I can't in good conscience pay the fine.  It would be giving consent to the outcome of a legal process I believe was unfair and which sets dangerous precedents for those of us engaged in nonviolent civil resistance and seeking justice for victims of U.S. drone warfare. So I'll 'do the time instead of paying the fine.'"

After sentencing Block to 5 days in jail, First reports, Judge Paul Curran told Block that he would allow her to have lunch with her husband and son before reporting to the Juneau County "Justice" Center to begin her sentence.

First explains the background: "The trespassing charge was the result of a May 17, 2014, action in which Block and Fr. Jim Murphy took a bus tour of Volk Field which was part of the Base's Open House to which the public was invited. As they left the bus at the National Guard Museum, they handed out a leaflet with four questions about drones to the other passengers on the bus. As a result they were arrested and ultimately charged with trespass. Block opted for a jury trial because she believed her constitutional right of free speech was violated as was her conscientious objection to drone warfare.

"Block, who represented herself in front of the 6-person jury, was prevented from mounting a vigorous defense as a result of Judge Curran's pretrial ruling in favor of a motion which prevented Block from talking about international law, the U.S. Constitution, morals and ethics, and other topics important to the case. . . .

"The jury deliberated for thirty minutes before returning with the guilty verdict."

Block is part of the Wisconsin Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars which holds monthly vigils outside the gates of this Wisconsin Air National Guard Base. Since 2009, Volk Field has been training operators of RQ-7 Shadow drones that are part of U.S. drone wars.

BUT CHARGES DROPPED IN SYRACUSE

Meanwhile Ed Kinane reports from Upstate New York: "This afternoon in the Dewitt (NY) town court, after hearing about 90 minutes of motions, Judge Robert Jokl dismissed charges against four Hancock Air Force Base defendants 'in the interest of justice.' Arguing against Assistant D.A. Peter Hakes were attorneys Jonathan Wallace representing Julienne Oldfield and John Honeck; Kathy Manley representing Andrew Schoerke, and Kim Zimmer representing Mary Snyder.

"Their charges were trespass, two counts of disorderly conduct, and obstruction of government administration -- a misdemeanor. The four perps were among 31 arrested in a nonviolent die-in at the front gate of Hancock’s 174th attack wing (home of the reaper drone) on April 28, 2013, following a weekend drone conference here in Syracuse. For half a decade we have been charging Hancock with war crime and terrorism against the people of Afghanistan and elsewhere.

"This acquittal follows our March 19th 'big books' action at Hancock’s main gate in which seven of us were arrested with similar charges. Arraignments will be in late April."

Kinane's report was generally taken to be an April Fool's joke by drone activists around the country, but he says it is not. So, thank you to Judge Jokl for acting in the interest of justice.

 

Iran News - Apr 2, 2015

 

Iranian chief negotiator Araghchi: no deal without a ‘framework for the removal of all sanctions', disagreement on R&D of centrifuges - newsmax


VIDEO: Iranian chief negotiator Araghchi: no deal without a 'framework for the removal of all sanctions' - YouTube


Iran negotiator Baeidinejad: P5+1 countries agreed to remove oil, gas, and banking sanctions, remaining only technical aspects - Breitbart


VIDEO: Iran negotiator Baeidinejad: 'Oil, gas, banking sanctions issues resolved’ - PressTV


Iran nuclear talks: Delays in agreement blamed on repeated consultation with Supreme Leader Khamenei - The Independent


Iranian President Rouhani trumps the supreme leader Khamenei — on Twitter, at least - rifenews.com

 

POLL: Iranians already seeing better economic conditions with the limited easing of international sanctions last year - gallup.com

 

Deal Prospects Stir Hopes of Iranian Consumers, Importers - WSJ

 

Iran nuclear deal could unlock huge economic potential - CNN

 

VIDEO: Impact of lifting sanctions on Iran - CNN Video

 

VIDEO: Companies waiting for Iran sanctions to end - DW.DE

 

VIDEO: Sanctions push poultry prices up in Iran - BBC News

 

Iran’s oil: Rusty taps - The Economist

 

CHARTS: Iran GDP | 1965-2015 - tradingeconomics

 

Background: Explaining The Iran Sanctions - Eurasia Review

 

Navigating the Iran Sanctions Thicket - RealClearWorld

 

A Look at Iran's Various Nuclear Assets - ABC News

 

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

GOP slaps Obama over Iran talks extension - CNN.com


GOP calls for Iran sanctions get louder, as nuclear talks drag on - TheHill


Statement of GOP Sen. Cruz: Obama Administration’s Iran Deal is Only Getting Worse - Ted Cruz, U.S. Senator for Texas


GOP senator Kirk: Sanctions will strengthen Iran deal - TheHill


POLL: GOP, voters at odds over policy towards Iran - MSNBC


Limited Progress On Iran Talks Unlikely To Impress Even Senate Democrats - huffingtonpost.com

 

Menendez indictment stifles prominent Democratic critic of Obama foreign policy, calls into question the future of Iran legislation - WashingtonExaminer.com

 

Obama Adviser on Iran Worked for Pro-Regime Lobby - Breitbart

 

Netanyahu Meets Boehner, Warns Against Emerging Iran Deal - Bloomberg Business

 

VIDEO: Netanyahu Blasts 'Unconscionable' Iran Deal - Breitbart

 

Israel tests U.S.-backed missile shield as Iran nuclear talks churn - Reuters

 

Fabius: Iran talks a 'few metres from the finishing line' - ITV News

 

Lavrov, Zarif claim breakthrough in Iran nuclear talks - Yahoo News

 

On sanctions relief, Russia and China are on Iran’s side - Quartz

 

'Oman can become trade hub if international sanctions on Iran are lifted’ - Times of Oman

 

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

 

To unsubscribe reply with “unsubscribe” in the subject line.

The Blood Sacrifice of Sergeant Bergdahl

By Matthew Hoh

Last week charges of Desertion and Misbehavior Before the Enemy were recommended against Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. Tragically, Sergeant Bergdahl was once again crucified, without evidence or trial, throughout mainstream, alternative and social media. That same day Sergeant Bergdahl was offered as a sacrifice to primarily Republican politicians, bloggers, pundits, chicken hawks and jingoists, while Democrats mostly kept silent as Sergeant Bergdahl was paraded electronically and digitally in the latest Triumph of the Global War on Terror, President Ashraf Ghani was applauded, in person, by the American Congress. Such coincidences, whether they are arranged or accidental, often appear in literary or cinematic tales, but they do, occasionally, manifest themselves in real life, often appearing to juxtapose the virtues and vices of a society for the sake and advancement of political narratives.

The problem with this specific coincidence for those on the Right, indulging in the fantasy of American military success abroad, as well as for those on the Left, desperate to prove that Democrats can be as tough as Republicans, is that reality may intrude. To the chagrin and consternation of many in DC, Sergeant Bergdahl may prove to be the selfless hero, while President Ghani may play the thief, and Sergeant Bergdahl's departure from his unit in Afghanistan may come to be understood as just and his time as a prisoner of war principled, while President Obama's continued propping up and bankrolling of the government in Kabul, at the expense of American servicemembers and taxpayers, comes to be fully acknowledged as immoral and profligate.

CHOOSE LANGUAGE

Support This Site

Donate.

Get free books and gear when you become a supporter.

 

Sponsors:

 

Financial supporters of this site can choose to be listed here.

Speaking Events

2015

April 11 Michigan

April 18 Baltimore

April 25 Houston

May 8 New Jersey

May 30 NYC if LeftForum approves proposals

August 27, Chicago

Buy Books

Get Gear

The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.