Libya News - Aug 10, 2016


Libyan forces capture Sirte convention center as well hospital and university complex from Islamic State - Reuters


MAP: Remnants of ISIS militants are now hiding in [Sirte] residential areas 1 and 3 and some parts in area 2 - Libya Observer on Twitter


ISIS shoots down Libyan aircraft in Sirte, pilot killed - almasdarnews.com


16 Misrata-led fighters were killed and 35 others wounded in Wednesday fighting in Sirte, field hospital has reported - Libya Observer on Twitter


Libya's Misrata pays price in fight against IS - AFP


VIDEO: Libya’s Misrata pays price in fight against IS - YouTube


U.S. Special Operations troops aiding Libyan forces in major battle against Islamic State - The Washington Post


Pentagon denies U.S. troops in direct combat role in Libya - Washington Examiner


Pentagon: Islamic State down to 350 fighters in Sirte, Libya - Stripes


We don't need foreign troops: head of Libya's Government of National Accord - Africa Review


ISIS jihadis flushed out of Sirte with help from British troops - Daily Express


Italian special forces in Libya: sources - lifeinitaly.com


Key dates of the IS group in Libya - AFP


House panel finds ISIS intel was cooked, general pressured his intelligence analysts into playing down the ISIS and al Qaeda threats - The Daily Beast


2 Benghazi victims' parents sue Hillary Clinton for wrongful death - NPR


VIDEO: Mom of Benghazi victim sues Hillary: 'I am still here and I want answers!' - Fox News Insider


VIDEO: Interview with Larry Klayman, attorney on Benghazi lawsuit against Hillary - Fox News Insider

 

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

Western nations concerned by mounting conflict around Libyan oil port - Reuters


Joint statement on Libya by the Governments of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States - GOV.UK


Libya’s oil production drops to 207k barrels a day - FT.com


Libya: Tobruk govt wants UN envoy replaced, 'not neutral' - ANSAMed.it


Libyan parliament delegation in Cairo seeking more support from Egypt to strengthen its position against the Libyan Government of National Accord - Al Bawaba


Libyan parliament rejects UN envoy's proposal to hold intra-tribal dialogue - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT


France withdraws its Haftar-supporting troops from Benghazi - The Libya Observer

 

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

Not just toilet lids Pentagon Money Pit: Unaccountable Army Spending of $6.5 Trillion and No DOD Audit for the Past Two Decades

By Dave Lindorff

 

What if the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services were to report that $6.5 billion in spending by that federal agency was unaccounted for and untraceable? You can imagine the headlines, right? What if it was $65 billion? The headlines would be as big as for the first moon landing or for troops landing on Omaha Beach in World War II.

Tomgram: Engelhardt, The Election From Hell

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

The Greatest Show on Earth 
How Billions of Words, Tweets, Insults, and Polls Blot Out Reality in Campaign 2016 
By Tom Engelhardt

Talk Nation Radio: John Pilger Describes World Perspective on U.S. Politics

  https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/john-pilger-describes-world-perspective-on-us-politics

John Pilger provides an outside perspective on U.S. politics. Pilger is a journalist, film-maker, and author who lives in Lambeth, south London. He is only one of two to win British journalism’s highest award twice. For his documentary films, he has won an Emmy and a British Academy Award. His epic 1979 Cambodia Year Zero is ranked by the British Film Institute as one of the ten most important documentaries of the 20th century. His Death of a Nation, filmed secretly in East Timor, had a worldwide impact in 1994. His books include Heroes, Distant Voices, Hidden Agendas, The New Rulers of the World and  Freedom Next Time. He is a recipient of Australia’s international human rights award, the Sydney Peace Prize, “for “enabling the voices of the powerless to be heard” and “for fearless challenges to censorship in any form”.

Total run time: 29:00

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

Download from LetsTryDemocracy or Archive.

Pacifica stations can also download from Audioport.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

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

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

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

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

Focus: Aleppo - Aug 8, 2016


Government forces and rebel factions send hundreds of reinforcements to Aleppo as both sides brace for a crucial battle - AFP


SouthFront: Syrian Army deploys 100 tanks, 400 BMP's to Aleppo - almasdarnews.com


Rebels face onslaught by regime forces after breaking siege of Aleppo, intense air strikes continue unabated - Irish Times


Aleppo: Narrow corridor bombed heavily by Russian jets, blocking rebels from opening a path to go through and bring supplies - Farsnews


VIDEO: Russian airstrikes on rebel positions in southern Aleppo - YouTube


VIDEO: Syrian Army’s warplanes conduct a series of sorties targeting jihadi fighters inside the Artillery School in south Aleppo - LiveLeak.com


Syrian Arab Air Force destroys a rebel convoy heading from Idlib province to southwestern Aleppo - southfront.org


Media: dismissed the commander of the Syrian troops in Aleppo - News Israel today


Syrian government delivers supplies to Aleppo via alternative route: monitors - Reuters


Syrian Army makes advances in Latakia, Jaish Al-Fateh jihadist conglomeration on southwest Aleppo has weakened the rebel defense lines on other fronts (VIDEO, MAP) - almasdarnews.com


Iraqi, Lebanese militias deploy to Syria's Aleppo to shore up Syrian President Assad's forces - The New York Times


Eight Hezbollah fighters killed in Syria's Aleppo - THE DAILY STAR


Iran says ready to assist Russian humanitarian operation in Syria's Aleppo - Sputnik

 

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

Russia, US tensions grow over Aleppo - news.com.au


UN envoy Samantha Power says no swift victory in Aleppo, despite overwhelming force of Assad, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah - Daily Mail


Foreign help behind rebel advances in Aleppo, opposition replenished with new weapons and cash across Turkey’s border - FT.com


Aleppo offensive is being heavily backed by Turkey whose role seemingly minimally affected by failed coup - Charles Lister on Twitter


Russia (in Aleppo) believes (I quote) "Jihadists received MANPADs with the knowledge of the USA, through countries of the region” - Elijah J. Magnier on Twitter


Iranian source: US warships in Mediterranean sending intelligence to terrorists in Aleppo - Farsnews


Heroes? Jihadists with Al Qaeda links break Assad siege of Aleppo, seize the initiative in northern Syria - The Daily Beast


English translation of the Army of Conquest's (Jaysh al-Fateh's) announcement on plans to take control of the whole of Aleppo City - syria.liveuamap.com


Hard 2 believe Jaish alFateh [Army of Conquest] wont commit crimes when operation named after officer who killed Alawis based on sect - Jenan Moussa on Twitter


VIDEO (Arabic): New statement by Jabhat Fatah al-Sham [former Nusra] declaring intent to separate Sunnis fr Nusairis (Alawis) & kill them - YouTube


VIDEO: US-backed rebels who beheaded a Palestinian child show up in Aleppo battlefield - YouTube


There are no good terrorists in Syria, Iraq: Russia’s Putin - en.alalam


Russia: US-backed Syrian rebels used poison gas on civilians - Veterans Today


Obama questions Russian commitment to peace in Syria - armytimes.com


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

Yes, There Is an Antiwar Movement

By David Swanson

The demise of the antiwar movement has been greatly exaggerated. Working on planning a series of events in Washington, D.C., next month, and related events around the world, I'm finding tons of enthusiasm for organizing and mobilizing to end war. In fact all kinds of events are being organized all the time, from conferences to marches to protests, a peace fleet taking on a military fleet in Seattle, a crowd demanding the closure of a U.S. base in Germany or Korea, counter recruiters keeping military tests out of schools, solidarity actions and support actions with victims and refugees around the world, and many other stories that flood in under the corporate radar.

Libya News: Aug 4, 2016


US bombing missions in Libya now total nine over three days - Military.com


Libya, U.S. face entrenched Islamic State: Airstrikes aim to help retake Sirte but the extremists are dug in around the country - WSJ


US-backed Libyan govt forces ‘resting’ after U.S. airstrikes with no timetable to try to take more of the Sirte city - Antiwar.com


Libyan forces welcome Washington's involvement but remain wary of advancing for fear of ISIS mines and snipers - defenceWeb


Italy's foreign affairs undersecretary: Sirte anti-ISIS op 'still difficult on the ground' - ANSAMed.it


U.S. says Libyan forces 'spectacularly successful' fighting ISIS - Washington Examiner


In Libya, defeating ISIS one recoilless rifle at a time, a blow-by-blow accounting of airstrikes released by the U.S. Africa Command reveals the modest scope of the effort - Washington Examiner


VIDEO: U.S. releases video of precision strike against ISIS tank in Sirte, Libya - militarytimes.com


Beyond Sirte: US mulling expanding Libya intervention against IS - alaraby.co.uk


Defense industry bonanza: U.S. spends nearly $12 million daily to combat Islamic State - Breibart


Dueling Libyan governments at odds over US airstrikes, Tobruk authorities say they are illegal and conducted without any coordination with them - CNS


Statement Issued by the House of Representatives in Tobruk on US bombing in Libya (English translation at the bottom) - libyanwarthetruth.com


Spokesman of Haftar’s forces says US airstrikes on Sirte elections’ propaganda - The Libya Observer

 

Will US strikes on IS deepen Libya divisions among governments and militias? - AFP


Competing militias and centres of power hinder Libya’s fight against Islamic State - theaustralian.com


As Obama bombs ISIS in Libya, are we backing the right government? - The Fiscal Times


Expert on US airstrikes in Libya: Will the US be drawn into another quagmire? - Sputnik


Libya's bungled oil deal: The eastern Tobruk government and the western Tripoli-based GNA are pursuing separate and conflicting oil policies - al-monitor.com


Libya’s dangerous oil deal: The UN-brokered ports deal cannot on its own increase the country’s oil output. But it may worsen the conflict - Petroleum Economist


Citi on Libyan oil deal: It’s a “headfake” - OilPrice.com

 

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

Trump calls Clinton 'a founder of ISIS' for creating the conditions that have allowed the terrorist group to thrive - LA Times


Hillary’s with us…if you want a destabilized world (Libya edition) - Donald J Trump for President


Hillary Clinton's Benghazi scandal: Arming jihadists in Libya…and Syria - National Review


WikiLeaks' Julian Assange: Clinton lied under oath about her knowledge of Libyan arms exports to Syria - Breitbart


Leaked email shows Hillary bragged about her role in Libya - independentsentinel.com


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

U.S. Military Releases High School Testing Data

Popularity of enlistment test grows. Numbers of participating students and schools on the rise. Many required to take the exam while results are shared with recruiters without parental consent.

By Pat Elder

Data released by the Department of Defense on August 1st shows the military administered its 3-hour enlistment exam to nearly 700,000 students in 12,000 high schools during the 2013-14 school year, a 2% increase over the prior year. 

The Military Entrance Processing Command (MEPCOM) administers the exam, known as the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, (ASVAB). The database was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

An examination of the data raises serious issues regarding student privacy and the integrity of the student testing program in America's schools. The three-hour test is the linchpin of the Pentagon's school-based recruiting program and provides MEPCOM an invaluable tool in prescreening candidates for military enlistment. Students are required to furnish detailed demographic information and their social security numbers before sitting for the exam.

Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, Pseudo-Election 2016

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

[Note for TomDispatch Readers: TD is taking this weekend off. Next post: Tuesday, August 9th.  Tom]

Trumped

Why would it be that 8 years ago you couldn't win a Democratic presidential primary if you'd voted for a war on Iraq after pushing all the Bush White House lies about it, and yet now you can? Back then the war looked closer to ending, the death count was lower, and ISIS was only in the planning stages. Reports on the fraud, criminality, and knowingly self-destructive nature of the war launch -- reports like the Chilcot report -- hadn't yet been produced. How can you drag this albatross across the finish line at this late date in 2016?

Well, you can't, in fact. Claiming that Hillary Clinton won the 2016 primary is like claiming Bush won the 2000 election. It's one of those things that everyone will say, using it as shorthand, and repeating it until everyone forgets that the thing was stolen. So, let me rephrase: How can you get people to pretend en masse that you won the 2016 Democratic presidential primary despite lugging around the same baggage as 8 years before only now stuffed with putrid rotting flesh?

And not only that, but how can you pull loved ones of people you sent to kill and kill and kill and die in that criminal calamity onto the stage of your coronation convention and get people to cheer for it?

How can you get your supporters to scream "U - S - A! U - S - A!" at anyone who shouts "No more war"?

How can you get people to the point of believing that, should the ongoing war on Iraq make big news in October, that will actually benefit, rather than hurt, you?

How can you, in fact, get liberals to start saying that ending the overthrow of governments would be irresponsible? After Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Honduras, Ukraine, and Brazil, how can you get all the bleeding hearts to rally behind your intention to overthrow the Syrian and possibly the Iranian governments?

How can you get them to go even further and support world-risking hostility and threats toward Russia?

How can you get popular support for maintaining and expanding NATO and for committing to being dragged into any new wars that any of NATO's mushrooming list of members might get themselves into or claim to have gotten themselves into?

There is only one answer to all of these questions: partisan perversion in the form of Trump. If Trump occasionally and inconsistently says he might abolish NATO, then abolishing NATO must be bad. If Trump says the war on Iraq was a horrible idea (even though he supported it at the time) it must have been a wonderful idea. If Trump suggests that demonizing Russia is stupid, then it must be genius, and Trump must be a commie-loving pinko. If Trump badmouths loved ones of someone who died making war on Iraq, then making war on Iraq must be heroic and noble.

Of course this way of thinking is on Trump's intellectual level, which means that with a slight twist or two here and there, Trump propaganda could replace Hillary propaganda in the hearts of some of Trump's most passionate opponents. And the two camps' lesser-evilist doctrines are identical, only with the greater and lesser evil figures reversed.

All of which is not an argument for only letting the smart people vote. On the contrary, this is all good material for building a case for direct democracy. People are entirely capable of voting No on banning all Muslims while voting Yes on abolishing NATO. When it comes to policies, the majority of the U.S. public will get many more right than wrong. It's when policies are associated with personalities that people choose to reverse their positions for no good reason.

For decades we've heard the tired old refrain "We need leaders." I'm afraid we won't survive many more leaders. I think what we actually need is democracy. Single payer healthcare should get an up or down vote regardless of whether single-payer healthcare once insulted someone or has been married three times or giggled when it killed Gadaffi. Policies don't have those problems.

Get rid of the super-delegates, the delegates, the representatives, the senators, and the president, and let people set the policies. Any bureaucrats needed could be randomly appointed with darts and a phone book, guaranteeing better results than the present system.

Focus: Hillary Clinton Campaign Finance - Aug 2, 2016


Hillary Clinton has biggest fundraising month yet in July, raising $90 million - Chicago Tribune


Obama holding first fundraiser for Clinton, $33,400 for a seat at the Atlanta home of former CEO Andy Prozes - wsaw.com


Clinton heads back to Hamptons for $33K-a-ticket fundraiser, Loews Hotels CEO and New York Giants co-owner will host the event - Page Six


Apple’s CEO Tim Cook hosts $50,000-per-ticket Hillary fundraiser - breitbart.com


Susie Buffett's private event raises more than $1.5 million for Clinton, 15 supporters paid $100,000 to attend the two-hour dinner - omaha.com


Leonardo DiCaprio to host $33,400-a-ticket Hillary Clinton fundraiser - The Guardian


Billionaires for Hillary: Clinton campaign lining up moguls to say 'I'm with her' but appearing too buddy-buddy with them holds risks - POLITICO


VIDEO: Here are some of the billionaires who support Hillary Clinton, They’ve also made it a point to attack Donald Trump - Fortune


Lobbyists have raised $7 million for Hillary Clinton. For Trump? Zero - The Washington Post


Lobbysts contributions to the 2016 presidential race - OpenSecrets


Hedge-fund money: $48.5 million for Hillary Clinton, $19,000 for Donald Trump - WSJ


Contrary to a story published by the Wall Street Journal, Clinton is not completely annihilating Trump among hedge fund donors - Fortune


Hedge fund managers purchase Hillary Clinton - Donald J Trump for President


Guy Cecil of Pro-Clinton PAC Priorities USA will not be outspent, A Q&A about how he intends to spend his $200 million - Bloomberg Politics


Democrats say want reform — but court big money in the meantime - Center for Public Integrity


Leaks show DNC asked White House to reward donors with slots on boards and commissions - OpenSecrets Blog


After lying low, deep-pocketed Clinton donors return to the fore - The New York Times


DNC sought to hide details of Clinton funding deal - POLITICO


Julian Assange says he has 'quite a lot of material' from Hillary Clinton's campaign - Daily Mail Online

 

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

Donald Trump: ‘I’m afraid the election is going to be rigged’ - WSJ


Donald Trump says Bernie Sanders 'made a deal with the devil' meaning Hillary Clinton - ABC News


Donald Trump: Hillary will never reform financial markets, she ‘is owned by Wall Street' - newsmax.com


VIDEO: Trump releases powerful new ad: Hillary’s Wall Street donations - Tea Party News


Selected Industry Totals: Contribution of the security and investment sector to the 2016 presidential race - OpenSecrets


The billionaire Koch brothers are rejecting calls from big donors to back Donald Trump - Business Insider


The Kochs freeze Donald Trump out denying him access to their state-of-the-art data and refusing to let him speak to their gatherings - POLITICO


"I turned down a meeting with Charles and David Koch. Much better for them to meet with the puppets of politics, they will do much better!” - Donald J. Trump on Twitter


Trump promises more federal infrastructure spending than Clinton, skeptical of full employment figures says ‘people have given up looking for jobs' - WSJ


In dueling campaign swings, Clinton, Trump make very different plays for Pa. voters: Analysis - PennLive.com


In Youngstown, Ohio pro-Trump protesters recall another candidate Clinton's unfulfilled promises - BillMoyers.com


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

Talk Nation Radio: Phil Wilayto on Ukraine, Poland, and the Dangers of the New Cold War

  https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-phil-wilayto-on-ukraine-poland-and-the-dangers-of-the-new-cold-war

While the U.S. public is distracted by endless election circuses and the hunt for more bread, the U.S. military and NATO are stirring up WWIII in Eastern Europe. This week we speak with Phil Wilayto. He is editor of The Virginia Defender newspaper and a member of the Administrative Committee of the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC). Phil has been spending time in Ukraine and Poland working with antiwar and anti-fascist groups. For more on UNAC see https://unacpeace.org

Total run time: 29:00

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

Download from LetsTryDemocracy or Archive.

Pacifica stations can also download from Audioport.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

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

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

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

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

Tomgram: Nick Turse, The U.S. Military Pivots to Africa and That Continent Goes Down the Drain

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

Scandinavia on the skids and the failure of social democracy: Denmark: SOS Save Our Sovereignty

By Ron Ridenour

(This is the first of seven articles on the reality of Scandinavia’s “socialism”)

I first met Denmark’s last truly Social Democratic Prime Minister, Anker Joergensen, in his state office, unannounced, in late 1980.

Grethe and I had just been married. We had met the year before in Los Angeles where I had been a “participatory journalist”, and activist for social/racial/gender equality and against the Vietnam War. I wanted to start a new life with Grethe in her peaceful, social democratic land.

Peace activists to meet the U.S. Navy Fleet arrival at Seafair on Tuesday, August 2, 2016 in Elliott Bay

Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action
www.gzcenter.org

Seattle, Washington:  Local activists will stage a water-based nonviolent protest against the glorification of weapons of war at the Seattle Seafair festival.  Peace activists will meet the U.S. Navy fleet in Elliott Bay.

This year the Peace Fleet will be joined with the original peace ship, the Golden Rule, that set sail in 1958 to the South Pacific to stop nuclear testing in the atmosphere, and which inspired the many peace makers and peace ships that followed.  See http://www.vfpgoldenruleproject.org.

Other peace activists will meet on the Seattle waterfront on the rooftop of the Bell Street Pier Cruise Terminal at Pier 66 at the same time for a nonviolent demonstration against weapons of war. 

What:  Peace activists at Seafair.  This is the fifteenth year for this demonstration. 

When:  Tuesday, August 2, noon, Peace Fleet in Elliott Bay.  Demonstration on land on the rooftop of the Bell Street Pier Cruise Terminal at Pier 66 at 1 PM.
            
Where:  Elliott Bay, near Pier 66.  Demonstration on land on the rooftop of the Bell Street Pier Cruise Terminal at Pier 66.

But, Mr. Putin, You Just Don't Understand

Once in a while one of the videos somebody emails me a link to turns out to be well worth watching. Such is this one. In it a former U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union tries to explain to Vladimir Putin why new U.S. missile bases near the border of Russia should not be understood as threatening. He explains that the motivation in Washington, D.C., is not to threaten Russia but to create jobs. Putin responds that, in that case, the United States could have created jobs in peaceful industries rather than in war.

Putin may or may not be familiar with U.S. economic studies finding that, in fact, the same investment in peaceful industries would create more jobs than does military spending. But he is almost certainly aware that, in U.S. politics, elected officials have, for the better part of a century, only been willing to invest heavily in military jobs and no others. Still, Putin, who may also be familiar with how routine it has become for Congress members to talk about the military as a jobs program, appears in the video a bit surprised that someone would offer that excuse to a foreign government fixed in U.S. sights.

Timothy Skeers who sent me the video link commented: "Maybe Khrushchev should have just told Kennedy he was just trying to create jobs for Soviet citizens when he put those missiles in Cuba." Imagining how that would have played out may help people in the United States to grasp how their elected officials sound to the rest of the world.

That one main motivation for U.S. military expansion in Eastern Europe is "jobs," or rather, profits, is almost openly admitted by the Pentagon. In May the Politico newspaper reported on Pentagon testimony in Congress to the effect that Russia had a superior and threatening military, but followed that with this: "'This is the "Chicken-Little, sky-is-falling" set in the Army,' the senior Pentagon officer said. 'These guys want us to believe the Russians are 10 feet tall. There's a simpler explanation: The Army is looking for a purpose, and a bigger chunk of the budget. And the best way to get that is to paint the Russians as being able to land in our rear and on both of our flanks at the same time. What a crock."

Politico then cited a less-than-credible "study" of Russian military superiority and aggression and added:

"While the reporting about the Army study made headlines in the major media, a large number in the military's influential retired community, including former senior Army officers, rolled their eyes. 'That's news to me,' one of these highly respected officers told me. 'Swarms of unmanned aerial vehicles? Surprisingly lethal tanks? How come this is the first we've heard of it?'"

It's always the retired officials speaking truth to corruption, inlcuding retired Ambassador Jack Matlock in the video. Money and bureaucracy are euphemized as "jobs," and their influence is real but still explains nothing. You can have money and bureaucracy promote peaceful industries. The choice to promote war is not a rational one. In fact, it is well described by a U.S. writer in the New York Times projecting U.S. attitudes onto Russia and Putin:

"The strategic purpose of his wars is war itself. This is true in Ukraine, where territory was a mere pretext, and this is true of Syria, where protecting Mr. Assad and fighting ISIS are pretexts too. Both conflicts are wars with no end in sight because, in Mr. Putin's view, only at war can Russia feel at peace."

This was, in fact, how the New York Times reported last October on the event from which the video linked above is taken. (More here.) I condemn the Russian bombing of Syria all the time, including on Russian media on almost a weekly basis, but if there is a nation that is always at war it is the United States, which backed a right-wing anti-Russia coup in Ukraine and now refers to the Russian response as irrational war-making.

The wisdom of the New York Times writer, like the wisdom of Nuremberg, is selectively applied in a hostile manner, but still wise. The purpose of war is indeed war itself. The justifications are always pretexts.

Tomgram: Frida Berrigan, Guns for Tots

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

Focus: Trump, Clinton and Russia - July 31, 2016

 

Trump says not wrong a good relationship with Russia: 'If our country got along with Russia, that would be a great thing’ - Indian Express


Trump says he may let Russia keep Crimea: 'the people of Crimea...would rather be with Russia than where they were [Ukraine]' - CBS News


VIDEO: Donald Trump on Russia, NATO, Ukraine and Crimea - YouTube


Hillary Clinton: Donald Trump has 'absolute allegiance to Russian wish-list foreign policy' - Washington Times


Clinton says Russian intelligence services hacked DNC, 'For Trump to encourage that and praise Putin...raises national security issues' - Reuters


VIDEO: Hillary: 'Trump has shown a very troubling willingness to back up Putin' - Breitbart

 

VIDEO: Sessions: 'Trump is right' - we need to end this cycle of hostility with Russia - Breitbart


VIDEO: Russia expert Stephen Cohen: Trump wants to stop the new cold war, but the America media just doesn't understand -  RealClearPolitics


Top spy DNI James Clapper: Despite intelligence war with Russians, 'I don't think we're quite ready' to blame them for DNC hack - POLITICO


VIDEO: James Clapper comments on DNC hack - YouTube


CIA chief John Brennan: People 'jumping to conclusions' over Russia hacks - Washington Examiner


VIDEO: CIA Director Brennan on hacks of campaigns & elections - YouTube


Assange refuses to say if Russia behind DNC hack - Washington Examiner


Is D.N.C. email hacker a person or a Russian front? Experts aren’t sure - The New York Times

 

NSA whistleblowers doubt DNC's claim of Russian role in damaging e-mail leaks - thenewamerican.com


No, We don’t know yet that Russia is behind DNC email hacks. Here’s Why. - LawNewz


Who hacked the DNC? Jeffrey Carr, author of Inside Cyber Warfare, shows that the identification of the hacker groups as Russian state actors is based on arbitrary definitions - Antiwar.com


Jeffrey Carr: Can facts slow the DNC breach runaway train? - Medium


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

The Psychology of Ideology and Religion

Two of the drivers of world affairs that manifest in the daily decisions that affect our lives are ideology and religion.

Ideology is the term widely used to describe the underlying set of values, myths, ideas, attitudes, beliefs and doctrine that shape the behavioral approach to political, economic, social, cultural and/or ecological activities of an individual or organization. This organization might be a political party, government, multinational corporation, terrorist group, non-government organization, community or activist group.

The world is at war because it has lost peace (Pope Francis)


But it’s not just the world that has lost peace.

 

 

I lost my peace.

 

 

The Problem with Chanting "USA"

These were instructions passed around during the last night of the Wells Fargo Arena Anti-Russia Don't-Say-TPP Call-It-Debt-Free-College-Not-Free-College Democratic Party Extravaganza. Noise Makers were deployed. Lights could be switched off on people as needed. Delegates were prevented from walking out. And chants like "Black Lives Matter" and "Love Is Love" were joined in by the corporatists.

However, if you chanted "Ban Fracking Now," they would chant "Hillary" back at you, as if having Hillary as their beloved leader was better than banning fracking. Also if you chanted "Stop TPP" or "Walk the Walk" you'd be greeted by screams of "Hillary!"

But what if you shouted "No More War"? Wouldn't they join in and try to own that one? Don't Christmas decorations even today still sometimes say "Peace on Earth"? Didn't Tim Kaine pretend in his speech that Woodrow Wilson was a peace maker? Doesn't the Pentagon claim that it kills people for peace? Wouldn't trying to shout down opposition to war be a step too far even for a pro-fracking, pro-corporate-trade, cult of personality?

The response of USA has got to be the worst choice they could have gone with. The poison of nationalism/patriotism is the driving force behind support for mass-murder expeditions. It turns clever shouts into mindless obedience.

Shout this over and over again, out loud: Hey You Ass Hey You Ass Hey You Ass Hey. Not the nicest thing to scream at a retired four-star mass-murderer, but still less repulsive than USA, USA, USA. This was supposed to be a convention marketing a candidate, an incredibly unpopular candidate, as the anti-fascist. Instead it became the convention of militarism, bluster, and blind loyalty to the god of war.

Focus: Obama and Clinton - July 29, 2016


Obama Tells DNC: 'America is already great. America is already strong’, Trump 'just offering slogans and fear' - ABC News


VIDEO: Obama says 'America is already great. America is already strong’ - YouTube


VIDEO: Obama: 'There has never been a man or woman, not me, not Bill, more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president' - YouTube


VIDEO: President Barack Obama's full speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention - YouTube


TRANSCRIPT: President Barack Obama's full speech at the DNC - UPI.com


Conservatives stunned by how much they liked Obama's DNC speech - talkingpointsmemo.com


Our country does not feel 'great already' to the millions of wonderful people living in poverty, violence and despair - Donald J. Trump on Twitter

 

President Obama spoke last night about a world that doesn’t exist. 70% of the people think our country is going in the wrong direction - Donald J. Trump on Twitter

 

Donald Trump again praises Putin’s leadership, saying it’s better than Obama’s - The New York Times


VIDEO: Trump: President Vladimir Putin better leader than Obama! - YouTube


Trump to look at recognizing Crimea as Russian territory, lifting sanctions - POLITICO


Trump has a record of siding with Putin on key issues - AP


Trump and the GOP old guard divide over Putin at the Republican convention - newsweek.com


Trump campaign manager Manafort has Ukrainian history - DW.COM


Madeleine Albright warns a Trump victory would be a ‘gift’ to Putin - talkingpointsmemo.com

 

Donald Trump’s Reddit appearance tops Obama’s as most popular - VOA

 

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

IRS looking into Clinton Foundation 'pay-to-play' claims - Fox News


Expert: The IRS investigation of the Clinton Foundation will involve the same type of cover-up that we saw in the FBI email investigation - WND


Dinesh D'Souza's 'Hillary's America' is top-grossing documentary of 2016 - Breitbart


The other Clinton ‘change’, No one in Philadelphia wants to talk about the Clinton Foundation - WSJ


Thousands cheer 'Clinton Cash' at Bernie rally outside the Democratic national convention: 'Get educated’ - Breibart


Haitians at DNC: 'We hate Hillary'; she ‘belongs in jail - Breibart


How the Clinton Foundation got rich off poor Haitians - National Review


Chelsea Clinton’s net worth: 5 fast facts to know - Heavy.com


How Hillary has used donations to the Clinton Foundation: to pay 'personal consultant' Huma Abedin, a $34,000 a night Caribbean holiday for Chelsea and to silence Bill's sex accusers - Daily Mail


RADIO: The Clinton Foundation: Where have all the millions gone? - Progressive Radio Network


Less than half of Clinton Global Initiative projects were ever completed - Washington Examiner


Clinton Foundation ignores best practices of nonprofits - The Daily Caller


Clinton Foundation's auditor has troubled history - The Daily Caller


Author charges Clinton Foundation is ‘criminal operation,’ calls for state-level campaign to shut down operation - WND


Charles Ortel: States and foreign governments investigating Clinton Foundation ‘charity fraud’ - Breitbart


Norwegian donations to Clinton Foundation sparks scandal - The Daily Caller


Donald Trump alleges Hillary Clinton received money from Indian politicians for nuclear deal support - Times of India


Mystery surrounds sources of many Bill Clinton speaking fees - freebeacon.com


Bill Clinton got rich peddling influence for a sketchy higher education company - Patterico's Pontifications


These are the two companies that might land the Clinton Foundation in hot water - The Daily Caller


FBI boss Comey connected to Clinton Foundation - Alex Jones’ Infowars


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

It's Not the Economy, Stupid

The last time a Clinton tried to get into the White House, his campaign motto was "It's the economy, stupid!"

If you engage with peace organizations, you will very quickly be told repeatedly that nobody gives a damn about distant mass murder, and that consequently a smart organizer will talk to them about something local, such as the local impact of the financial burden of war, or perhaps the militarization of the police, or local recruitment, or local environmental damage from military bases, etc., but mostly the financial cost.

The reasoning behind all such thinking is that people are often busy, overworked, overstressed, concerned with their day-to-day struggles, etc., and so, while some of them might occasionally also take a mild interest in the affairs of others in distant corners of the globe, virtually everyone can be appealed to using local community concerns and, in particular, economic concerns related to their own needs and greed.

The evidence that this line of thinking misses something includes the following:

People often back political candidates who work against their economic interests, but who win their support for other reasons, including race, religion, militarism, nationalism, scapegoating, etc. Blaming China for U.S. poverty, or opposing the TPP and the WTO, or promising fewer wars or the abolition of NATO -- these are economic positions, but they are something else as well.

Other people back political candidates who work against their economic interests, but who appeal to other needs. The Democrats are framing themselves as the inclusive, loving, multicultural, corporate militarist party, in contrast to the angry, white, bigot, corporate militarist party. Talking about equal (low) pay for equal work, and paid family leave, support for people with disabilities, equal rights for LGBTQ people, etc. -- these are economic positions, and the Democrats defend them as supposed engines of economic growth, but they are something else as well.

People take incredible interest in elections, while taking very, very little interest in activist campaigns for better economic policies. People who try to maintain living wage standards or even stop banker bailouts make up a tiny fraction of the number of people who obsess over candidates' personalities and related pomp and fluff.

Millions of people take part in some way in religion, which for the majority of them is not a tool for economic advancement, but something else entirely, often -- for better or worse -- a means of advancing a moral vision.

Activism around protecting the earth's climate is far more widespread than activism around ending the earth's wars and preventing nuclear holocaust. Neither disaster is local or economic in a simple immediate and selfish sense. Both activist campaigns are up against that same supposed hurdle. I would suggest that what actually holds back peace activism in comparison to other types of non-local activism is primarily pro-war patriotism and propaganda.

Pro-war propaganda does not focus primarily on any supposed economic benefit of wars. Sure, there are false claims made about militarism serving as a jobs program. But what turns people out in the streets to cheer for wars usually has nothing to do with their busy economic struggles. Rather, it's a moral vision related to the supposed good work of policing the globe (whether the globe wants it or not), punishing evil monsters, slaughtering inferior populations, rescuing less fortunate peoples, etc.

When people all across the United States suddenly declare "We are all France," this is not because France is in their neighborhood any more than Syria or Congo or Afghanistan is in their neighborhood. The magic of television and the internet has long made distance irrelevant. When people hold local drives to collect supplies for victims of a hurricane in Central America, it's not because that helps their budgets or increases their job security. It's because they have been encouraged to care about others suffering in a country not currently being targeted for war. The same applies to helping victims of natural disasters within the United States -- often they are thousands of miles from those helping them. A candle light vigil for victims of 9/11, a marathon against cancer, and a campaign to save rainforests -- these and millions of other activities have nothing to do with local economic well-being.

The peace movement of the 1920s was driven by as altruistic a distaste for any human suffering as was the movement to abolish the slave trade in Britain. And it succeeded in so far as it did by advancing a moral argument against war, not a claim that war would hurt your next paycheck.

Of course there is an economic argument against war, but there is also a civil liberties argument, an environmental argument, an argument for safety against the counterproductive impact of war, and -- critically -- a moral argument against mass murder. And there is powerful potential in making the case for a coherent worldview that outgrows war and manages foreign relations by other means.

My point is not that peace activism is more important than economic activism. And of course economic activism must focus on the economy, stupidly or otherwise. But the need to do so with a passionate vision of a better world remains. At the Democratic Convention now underway, a victim of Trump University began her remarks by saying that Donald Trump had been born into extreme wealth. "And that's fine. There's nothing wrong with that," she said, before denouncing the scams by which he maintained and enlarged his wealth.

The main problem with this is not the nasty schemes by which Trump's racist slumlord father piled up his money, but that once you've claimed that hoarding obscene piles of wealth is just fine you're never going to rid the world of ripoffs far worse than Trump University -- and people know it. People want the billionaires, bankers, and corporations taxed. People want the war profiteering ended. People want widespread prosperity and peace and massive investment in environmental and human needs including free college. They don't want acceptance of plutocracy except for one plutocrat who's running for president against another one. They don't want equal lousy pay, taxes for weapons, but paid family leave for a week or two. That doesn't excite them.

The Democrats have no idea why Bernie Sanders almost won, even against their organized rigging of the primary. I think this failure to grasp the obvious is in part a reflection of how lesser-evilist thinking is modeled on economic game theory in which human beings are reduced to robots with very limited interests programmed in to them. Only a privileged white person would go off and vote for a decent candidate like Jill Stein, the Democrats say, privileged as they are to not live in any of the countries their own candidate would bomb, and privileged as they are to have forgotten all the damage that she and her husband have done for decades, packing prisons, merging media, outsourcing jobs through NAFTA, destroying welfare, etc. They forget all this by focusing on fear of Donald Trump.

Sure, appealing to fear of Trump is an emotional appeal. But hardcore lesser evilists who recognize how bad Clinton herself is, argue for a vote against Trump and for Clinton, based on the idea that humans won't act like humans. The theoretical lesser evil humanoid will protest Clinton's wrongs while campaigning for her and after electing her, threatening her with voting for her again while feeling even more flustered about it than last time -- and such a theoretical creature will do so only in swing states, while voting for Jill Stein in non-swing states.

The real world doesn't work that way. People who join a team join its delusions and distortions. Campaigning for and resisting candidates don't mix. And people don't build momentum around mediocre muddling. They will, however, pour energy into a powerful vision of a better world, if allowed to imagine it's possible.

Focus: Islamic State - July 26, 2016


In France Catholic priest forced to kneel and filmed before being killed by ‘two soldiers of the Islamic State’ during Mass - irishtimes.com


One of the ISIS knifemen was a convicted terrorist and was fitted with an electronic tag but it let him free to roam in the mornings - Daily Mail


France church where priest was killed came up on ISIS hit list - New York Post


Murder of French priest brings ISIS' long-threatened war on Christians to Europe - Fox News


White House statement stresses ‘religious liberty' commitment after Normandy terror attack, doesn't mention ISIS - PJ Media


In video Bavarian attacker pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and said Germans 'won't be able to sleep peacefully' - AP


ISIS celebrates the murders of innocent children on Twitter after Munich massacre - Daily Mail Online


Alarmed Germans wonder about the security risks posed by asylum seekers - The Washington Post


Afghanistan marks day of national mourning after Islamic State huge attack that killed at least 80 people - ABC News


NATO spokesman plays down Islamic State strength in Afghanistan - Stripes


Afghanistan, Pakistan vow to battle Islamic State together - Stripes


Suicide bombing north of Baghdad kills 16, Islamic State claims attack - Reuters


ISIS burn parents and 2-year old daughter alive after trying to flee Iraq - Daily Mail Online


ISIS execute another man in Iraq for being gay - thesun.co.uk


ISIS’s flying carpet torture tool which snaps victims' backs in two is revealed - Daily Mail Online


What does Daesh mean? ISIS 'threatens to cut out the tongues' of anyone using this word - Mirror Online


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

No mention of Islamic State during Democratic national convention's first day - usatoday.com


Trump knocks Dems for not mentioning ISIS at convention (VIDEO) - CNNPolitics.com


Trump says he would consider alliance with Russia against Islamic State - Reuters


Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus: 'Democrats have their heads buried in the sand on national security issues' - TheHill


GOP: Enough of Clinton's foreign policy failures - GOP


Clinton camp expect convention to address terrorism, says Trump 'wants to break down the alliances that are helping us fight terrorism' - Washington Examiner


Report: Tim Kaine appointed Hamas supporter to state immigration commission, spoke at dinner honoring a Muslim Brotherhood terror suspect, received donations from Islamist groups - Breitbart


Obama says Trump's approach on NATO and Islamic State is dangerous - LA Times


Obama: Islamic State is 'being defeated in Syria and Iraq' but there would still be instances where 'small cells, individuals, are going to be able to do some harm to innocent people' - POLITICO


Obama rushing Mosul offensive against ISIS to influence election, some U.S. officers in Baghdad fear - Washington Times


Robert Kagan and other war hawks are backing Hillary Clinton - theintercept.com


VIDEO: Donald Trump: Clinton’s legacy is death, destruction, terrorism - Bloomberg Politics


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

Tomgram: William Hartung, How to Arm a "Volatile" Planet

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

The Democrats' War Within, War at Home, and War Abroad

On this episode of "By Any Means Necessary" host Eugene Puryear is joined by Congressman Dennis Kucinich and former Presidential candidate to talk about the fall out at the DNC over leaked emails exposing their coordination with the Clinton campaign.

And later in the show Eugene is joined by David Swanson, author, activist, and journalist and Reece Chenault, National Coordinator for US Labor Against the War to talk about the Democrats false narrative of supporting the rebuilding of American communities while at the same time supporting foreign war. The group also discusses the current state of the anti-war movement and its intersection with the labor movement within the United States.

Listen here.

Speaking Events

David Swanson at St. Michael’s College, Colchester, VT, October 5, 2016.

David Swanson in Fairbanks, Alaska, October 22, 2016.

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