Talk Nation Radio: Joseph Gerson on NATO's Drive Toward War with Russia

  https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-joseph-gerson-on-natos-drive-toward-war-with-russia

Dr. Joseph Gerson has just attended an anti-NATO summit in Poland and has just authored an article called Imperial NATO: Before and After Brexit. Gerson is Director of Programs for the American Friends Service Committee’s Northeast Region and Director of AFSC’s Peace & Economic Security Program. He focuses on preventing nuclear war and achieving nuclear weapons abolition, education and organizing for peaceful and just alternatives to U.S.-led militarization of the Asia-Pacific, and prevention of U.S. wars, focusing most recently on NATO, Ukraine and Iraq. His books include Empire and the Bomb: How the US Uses Nuclear Weapons to Dominate the World and The Sun Never Sets…Confronting the Network of U.S. Foreign Military Bases.

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.

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Tomgram: William Astore, We Have Met the Alien and He Is Us

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

Imagine a secret government facility buried deep in the bowels of a mountain; a deluxe bomb shelter -- encased within dense, almost fissure-less rock -- for top government officials to ride out doomsday.

I did. A lot.

Next Step, Local Police Use Aerial Assassin Drones

By Ann Wright

 Inline image 1In response to the killing of five police officers and wounding of seven more, David O. Brown,  Chief of Police of Dallas, Texas became the first city or state official to order a remote controlled execution of a suspected killer with whom hours of negotiation had not resulted in surrender.

The decision of the local city police chief to remotely assassinate the cornered suspect rather than make an attempt to incapacitate him is a stark continuation of what appears to be a U.S. military and police tactic of kill rather than capture.  Brown has 30 years of law enforcement experience with training at many police schools including the National Counter-Terrorism Seminar in Tel Aviv, Israel. 

Due to the past fifteen years of U.S. ground and drones wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya and Somalia, many veterans of the U.S. military and CIA paramilitary are on local, state and federal police forces.  These officers have served under wartime rules of engagement which should be much different from civilian law enforcement.

However, with the militarization of U.S. police forces, it appears that the Dallas police chief used the military tactic of assassination by a remote controlled weapon system to protect the lives of the police and sacrifice the rights of an accused to trial.

No doubt the Police chief will argue that he could have ordered that snipers shoot to kill the suspect—the method of death didn’t matter when the decision to kill rather has been made. 

The Chief of Police and the President of the United States use the same rationale to execute without trial someone suspected of a crime.

Community activists should ask their city council members what rules of engagement their police officers use.  I suspect that in many cities the rules say shoot to kill rather than shoot to incapacitate/capture/detain, certainly the statistics on police shootings seem to indicate that the national tactic for police departments is to shoot to kill.

Will U.S. government officers at all levels-- national, state and local-- argue that shooting to kill is safer for the police and cheaper than holding a trial, jailing the accused and imprison a  person convicted of a crime. 

It appears that shooting to kill is easier in all aspects whether it's unmanned aerial drones killing people outside the United States or unmanned ground robots with bombs.

The next step in this the slippery slope is the use of small aerial weaponized drones by local police departments to kill suspects, just as this ground drone robot bombed a suspect to death.

About the Author:  Ann Wright served 29 years in the US Army/Army Reserves and retired as a Colonel.  She was in the US diplomatic corps for 16 years and served in US Embassies in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan and Mongolia.  She resigned from the US government in March 2003 in opposition to the war on Iraq.  She has been arrested several times protesting US military assassin drones.  She is the co-author of “Dissent: Voices of Conscience.”

To Prosecute Blair for War You Do Not Need the ICC

To prosecute Tony Blair or George W. Bush or others responsible for the criminal attack on Iraq, or other top officials for other recent wars, does not require the International Criminal Court (ICC).

It is commonplace to insist that the ICC cannot handle the supreme crime of aggression, although it might at some point in the future. The United States is also believed to be immune from prosecution as a non-ICC member.

But this focus on the ICC is a sign of weakness in a global movement for justice that has other tools readily available. When the losers of World War II were prosecuted, there was no ICC. The ICC's existence does not impede anything that was done in Nuremberg or Tokyo, where the crime of making war was prosecuted by the victors of World War II under the Kellogg-Briand Pact.

Nor does the existence of the UN Charter throw up any obstacles. The invasion of Iraq (and every other recent Western war) was just as illegal under the UN Charter as under Kellogg-Briand.

Nor does one have to go back to Nuremberg for a precedent. The special tribunals set up for Yugoslavia and Rwanda prosecuted the waging of war under the name of "genocide." The notion that the West cannot commit genocide (anymore) is pure prejudice. The scale and type of killing unleashed on Iraqis by the 2003 coalition perfectly fits the definition of genocide as routinely applied to non-Westerners.

The special tribunal on Rwanda is also a model for addressing the lies and propaganda that are such a focus of the Chilcot Report. As at Nuremberg, the propagandists were prosecuted in Rwanda. While Fox News executives should certainly be prosecuted for sexual harassment where merited, in a fair world in which the rule of law were applied equally, they would face additional charges as well. War propaganda is as illegal under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as war was under Kellogg-Briand.

What we are lacking is not the legal ability to prosecute, but the will power and the democratic control of institutions. In war or genocide, as with torture and other atrocities constituting "the evil of the whole," we are dealing with crimes that can be prosecuted in any court under universal jurisdiction. The possibility that U.S. or UK courts are going to handle this matter themselves has long since been ruled out, freeing the courts of any other nation to act.

Now, I'm not against prosecuting Blair before Bush. And I'm not against prosecuting Blair for minor components of his crime before the entirety. But if we wanted to end war, we would pursue those lesser measures with an openly expressed understanding of what is actually possible if only we had the will.

When France, Russia, China, Germany, Chile, and so many others stood against the crime of attacking Iraq, they acknowledged the responsibility they have shunned ever since of seeking prosecution. Do they fear the precedent? Do they prefer that war not be prosecutable because of their own wars? Imagine how shortsighted that would be, and how ignorant of the damage they do to the world by allowing the truly monstrous warmakers to walk free.

U.S. Plans to Saturate Globe With Weapons

My headline above is a plain English translation of this Pentagonspeak found in a Reuters headline today: "Demand for U.S. arms exports set to keep growing, official says."

As the United States and NATO antagonize Russia, and pressure NATO members to buy more weapons, and showcase U.S. weapons in numerous wars, and use every carrot and stick in the State Department to market U.S. weapons, an "official" who happens to have been located at a giant weapons trade show predicts that of its own accord "demand" for weaponry is going to grow. Here's Reuters' first sentence:

"International demand for U.S. weapons systems is expected to continue growing in coming years, a senior U.S. Air Force official said on Sunday, citing strong interest in unmanned systems, munitions and fighter jets."

Thus is the proliferation of drones around the world spun as something positive, along with bombs and jets. And thus is it spun as something that simply results from the quality and desirability of the products.

Quick, which five nations do you most want murdering their enemies with missiles from drones over the United States?

On forgetting and forgiving: Killing and Our Current American Crisis

By John Grant

 

Kill one person, it’s called murder.

Kill 100,000, it’s called foreign policy.

        - A popular bumper sticker

Focus: NATO and Russia - July 9, 2016


NATO leaders meet to deal with Russia threats from east, Islamic terrorism from south - US News


NATO approves buildup in eastern Europe at Warsaw summit - Stripes


U.S. sending 1,000 rotating troops to Poland, building radar systems in Germany and Turkey, moving drones to Italy - usatoday.com


Britain commits 650 troops to Nato’s Baltic forces to counter Vladimir Putin - telegraph.co.uk


Trudeau pledges troops, frigate and jets as NATO faces off against Russia - CTV


NATO takes over U.S.-built missile shield, amid Russian suspicion - Reuters


NATO agrees to ensure freedom of movement of troops, equipment amid Russia's alleged aerial denial capabilities' development - Sputnik


New chess game between NATO and Russia, Moscow’s investment in ‘access denial’ military systems calls into question the Alliance’s ability to defend Baltics — and divides it politically - POLITICO


According to NATO statistics, the U.S. spent an estimated $650 billion on defense last year, more than double the amount all the other 27 NATO countries spent between them - GantNews.com


Fact sheet: U.S. contributions to NATO capabilities - whitehouse.gov


Compendium of defence expenditures of NATO countries (2009-2016) - NATO

 

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

Obama urges NATO to stand firm against Russia despite Brexit - Reuters


Obama op-ed: America’s alliance with Britain and Europe will endure - FT.com


Obama: U.S. to be lead nation for enhanced NATO presence in Poland - U.S. Department of Defense


Kerry says U.S. will remain firm on Russia sanctions - rferl.org


Merkel: Russia's actions have deeply disturbed our eastern allies and require a clear reassurance of their safety - spacewar.com


Kremlin says NATO talk of Russian threat absurd, short-sighted - Reuters


Kremlin spksm Dmitry Peskov's in no doubt about NATO threat: "If it walks like a dog, smells like a dog, barks like a dog, then it's a dog.” - Steve Rosenberg on Twitter


Russia vows to ‘do anything’ for Black Sea balance despite NATO plans - newsweek.com


Putin increases Russian Armed Forces’ organic strength to 1.885 million - TASS

 

Russian media unhappy with NATO summit - BBC News


Stoltenberg: NATO-Russia Council may meet at ministerial level, after meeting at the level of ambassadors on July 13 - TASS


Stoltenberg: NATO’s door remains open to Ukraine, Georgia - Ukrinform News


‘No to militarism!’ Anti-war activists mirror NATO meeting in Warsaw with own summit - RT News


Trump’s Russia adviser criticizes U.S. for ‘hypocritical focus on democratization…and regime change”’ - The Washington Post


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

As Police Killings of Minorities Mount, Attacks on Police Like the One in Dallas, While Awful, Are Also Sadly Predictable

By Dave Lindorff

 

            The tragedy that is America has deepened with the news that several people on Thursday organized a military-style sniper attack targeting police in Dallas during a protest march and rally against police brutality and killings of black people in that city.

 

Tomgram: Engelhardt, Where Did the American Century Go?

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

Whose Century Is It? 
Life on an Increasingly Improbable Planet 
By Tom Engelhardt

Don't Move

By Kathy Kelly

Two major news stories here in the U.S., both chilling, point out how readily U.S. authorities will murder people based on race and the slightest possibility of a threat to those in places of power.

On July 5th Baton Rouge police killed Anton Sterling in a Louisiana parking lot.  Sterling was a 37-year-old Black father of five selling CDs outside of a local storege. As captured on widely seen cellphone video, two officers tased him, held him with their hands and knees down on the ground and then shot him multiple times at close range. The officers pulled a gun out of Sterling’s pocket after they had killed him but witnesses say Sterling was not holding the gun and his hands were never near his pockets.The situation might have escalated further but clearly little concern was shown for the sanctity of a human life deemed a threat to officers. In the witness-recorded video one officer promises, "If you f---ing move, I swear to God!"

Two Years Ago Israel Attacked Gaza for 51 Days as Drone Warfare Becomes the Norm

By Ann Wright

Inline image 1

Two years ago today, on July 7, 2014, the Israeli government launched a horrific 51-day air, land and sea attack on the people of Gaza.  Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) fired missiles, rockets, artillery and tank shells relentlessly on 1.8 million Palestinians squashed by Israeli land and sea blockades into a narrow strip 25 miles long and 5 miles wide, one of the most densely populated places in the world.  Nearly 500 Palestinians  were killed by Israeli assassin drones.

Drone warfare has become the norm for both the United States and Israel. Drones fly above Gaza 24 hours a day watching the movements of every Palestinian and ready to fire rockets at those chosen to die by the IDF.

Impeach and Prosecute Tony Blair

The Chilcot report's "findings" have virtually all been part of the public record for a decade, and it avoids key pieces of evidence. Its recommendations are essentially to continue using war as a threat and a tool of foreign policy, but to please try not to lie so much, make sure to win over a bit more of the public, and don't promise any positive outcomes given the likelihood of catastrophe.

The report is a confused jumble, given that it records evidence of the supreme crime but tries to excuse it. The closer you get to the beginning of the executive summary, the more the report reads as if written by the very criminals it's reporting on. Yet the report makes clear, as we always knew, that even in 2001-2003 there were honest people working in the British, as also in the U.S., government -- some of whom became whistleblowers, others of whom accurately identified the planned war as a crime that would endanger rather than protect, but stayed in their jobs when the war was launched.

Chilcot makes clear that the attack on Iraq was illegal, against the British public, against the international community and the UN Charter, expected to increase terrorism, based on lies about terrorism and weapons, and -- like every other war ever launched -- not a last resort. Chilcot records, as reality-based reporting always has, that Iraq claimed honestly to have no nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons. Chilcot fails to explain with any clarity that one cannot legally or morally attack another nation even when it does have such things.

Chilcot does make clear the extent to which France was pushing back against war, along with Russia and Germany and Chile and China. The key supporter of U.S. war plans was the UK, and there is some possibility that a UK refusal to join in this crime might really have done some good.

But Chilcot steers away from criminal responsibility, and from the damage done by the crime. It avoids the Downing Street Memo, the White House Memo, Hussein Kamel, the spying and threatening and bribing involved in the failed effort to win UN authorization, Aznar's account of Bush's admission that Saddam Hussein was willing to leave, etc. This is a report that aims for politeness and tranquility.

Not to worry, Chilcot tells us, as nothing like this will happen again even if we just let the criminals walk. Chilcot claims bizarrely that every other war before and since has been defensive and in response to some attack, rather than an act of aggression like this one. Of course, no list of those other wars is provided.

Even more bizarrely, Chilcot claims that Blair and gang literally never considered the possibility that Iraq had no "weapons of mass destruction." How you make all kinds of assertions, contrary to your evidence, that Iraq has weapons without considering the question is beyond me. But Chilcot credits with great significance the supposedly excusing grace of groupthink and the passion with which people like Blair supposedly believed their own lies. Chilcot even feeds into the disgusting lie that Blair pushes to this day that Iraqis chose to destroy their own country while their occupiers nobly attempted "reconstruction."

Despite itself, however, Chilcot may do some good. In the United States, when James Comey describes crimes by Hillary Clinton and assures us they should not be prosecuted, most people can be counted on to lie back and accept that blindly or even fervently. Yet our friends in Britain appear less than eager to accept the attitude with which Chilcot has reported on the supreme international crime.

Tony Blair may now be impeached as he needs to be. Yes -- sigh -- one can and should impeach people no longer in office, as has been usefully done in both British and U.S. history. Removal from office is one penalty that sometimes follows a conviction at a trial following an impeachment; it is not itself the definition of impeachment. Blair should be tried and convicted by Parliament. He should also be put on trial by the International Criminal Court or, better, by a special tribunal established for Iraq as for World War II or Yugoslavia.

The victors in World War II used the Kellogg-Briand Pact to prosecute the losers for the new crime of launching a war. Blair violated both the Kellogg-Briand Pact and the newer, yet never used, United Nations Charter, which also bans war. While Kellogg-Briand allows no exceptions, the exceptions in the UN Charter were famously not met in the case of the war on Iraq or, for that matter, any other recent western wars.

You can sign a petition urging Blair's impeachment and prosecution here. Of course the goal must be to build momentum for holding the chief (U.S.) war criminals accountable, pursuing truth and reconciliation, and making massive reparations to the people of Iraq and their region. What the U.S. needs is action, not a 7-year "investigation." Our own Chilcot report, better in fact, was written long ago.

The Chilcot report could, against its own wishes, move us in that direction.

If you like Obama you'll love Trump

By William Blum

Oh what fun we have with the nonsense that flows out of the mouth of Donald J. Trump.  The man is suffocatingly banal, racist, dishonest, inarticulate, uninformed, uneducated, narcissistic, a bully, just plain stupid, and an asshole (or in the immortal words of my people -- a schmuck!).  I would guess that as the boss of his own enterprises for many years, with the power and the habit of firing people, he eventually became deeply accustomed to not having his thoughts seriously questioned or challenged, to the extent that he really believes the crap that comes out of his mouth and doesn't really understand what others actually think of him.
    But if we look at what comes out of the mouth of The Barack is there any reason to castigate The Donald for his supposedly outrageous or weird way of expressing himself?  Here's a sample:
 -- On numerous occasions, in reply to a question about why his administration has not prosecuted the Bush-Cheney gang for mass murder, torture and other war crimes, former law professor Obama has stated: "I prefer to look forward rather than backwards.”  Picture a defendant before a judge asking to be found innocent of any crime on such grounds.  On other occasions, Obama, without apparent embarrassment, has stated that "nobody is above the law".  (A public figure can be labeled stupid not just for saying or doing stupid things, but for not even realizing that the public will SEE his words or actions as stupid.)

VIPS Make Fresh Appeal for Sanity on Russia's Borders

 

 


Merkel Urged to Temper NATO’s Belligerence

 

 

Editor Note:  U.S. intelligence veterans are calling on German Chancellor Merkel to bring a needed dose of realism and restraint to the upcoming NATO conference, which risks escalating the dangerous new Cold War with Russia.

MEMORANDUM FOR: Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: NATO Summit in Warsaw

REFERENCE: Our Memorandum to You, August 30, 2014

The Activist as a Young Girl

Clare Hanrahan's memoir The Half Life of a Free Radical: Growing Up Irish Catholic in Jim Crow Memphis is a remarkable feat: part Jack Kerouac, part Dorothy Day, part Howard Zinn, and a bit of Forest Gump.

First and foremost this is an entertaining and irreverent tale of childhood and adolescence told with great humor, honesty, and empathy. But it's also told by someone who became a peace and justice and environmentalist activist in later life, someone able to look back on the poverty, racism, consumerism, militarism, sexism, and Catholicism of her youth with passion and perspective -- even appreciation for all the good that was mixed in with the bad. Hanrahan writes what in outline form would read like an endless tale of misfortune, and yet leaves you with the thought of how much riotous fun she and her eight siblings and other acquaintances had.

I know Clare, though I learned much more about her from this book, and I wouldn't risk changing her if I had a time machine and magical powers. But I still found myself wondering, as with most stories of most people in the United States and much of the world, how different Hanrahan's life would have been in a society with the decency to provide free college and free job training as needed, or a society that integrated civic activism into everyone's life, or a society in which peace activist careers were marketed on the level of military recruitment ads or even marketed at all so that they weren't so frequently found so late, or a society in which some of the best people didn't live below a taxable salary level so as not to pay taxes for wars.

Hanrahan gives us her family genealogy first, and by doing so teaches some U.S. history that echoes through the book and the years. So, she shows us the cruelty of Jim Crow, for example, through personal experiences as a white girl, but illuminates it with an understanding of its origins, and -- even more importantly -- an awareness of its latest incarnations today. She also contrasts what she knows of the history of Memphis with what she was taught in school in Memphis growing up.

Hanrahan tells her story largely in chronological order, with no lengthy flashbacks, but with numerous quick bits of foreshadowing. For example:

"Brother Tommy gouged his initials, TPH, with a pocket knife on that same bannister long before the American war in Viet Nam maimed his hand, stole his youth, poisoned him with Agent Orange, and eventually took his life and that of his twin brother Danny. The bannister was later knocked down by a speeding car that careened into the porch stopping just short of the front bedroom."

Tommy returned from Vietnam to a  hospital. "In my naiveté," Hanrahan writes,

"I rushed to my brother's bedside to embrace him. I may even have called him 'my hero' as I approached, expecting a hug. Lightning fast his good arm flailed out knocking me across the room and onto the floor. 'Wake up!' he said. 'Wake up you stupid bitch.' I can still hear those harsh words. Dazed and confused, I picked myself up and backed away. This was not the brother I had sent away with a patriotic poem, proudly recited before my senior class."

Hanrahan's two veteran brothers suffered in many ways, and failed to fit back into society in many ways, but it was the cruelty toward women that they came back from the war with that their sister Clare eventually found intolerable.

When Hanrahan left Memphis she saw a lot of the country and a bit of the world, including living off the grid on land and water, joining intentional communities and finding her way to a job writing for peace. She also protested for peace and spent six months behind bars. During the course of her ramblings, Hanrahan managed to be present at or part of an extraordinary number of crucial events and developments in recent U.S. history. Hanrahan became editor of Rural Southern Voice for Peace just in time for the first Gulf War and the awful wars that have followed.

Hanrahan found her way back to Memphis on numerous occasions, sometimes for funerals, but also to be part of activist efforts such as the successful campaign to preserve the band shell in Overton Park launched by one of her brothers. Hanrahan intersperses her memories with her dreams and poetry, adding emotional depth to an account of an extraordinary family in a struggling city that I've enjoyed visiting but would like to visit again with this book as a guide.

Focus: FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton emails - July 6, 2016


FBI says Clinton's handling of email 'extremely careless,' but no charges recommended - Chicago Tribune


VIDEO: FBI director James Comey full statement on Hillary Clinton email investigation - C-SPAN


TRANSCRIPT: Statement by FBI director James Comey on the investigation of secretary Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail system - FBI


Clinton fact check: Key assertions by Hillary in defense of her email practices have collapsed under FBI scrutiny - AP


FBI boss James Comey's 7 most damning lines questioning Hillary Clinton’s judgement, competence - CNNPolitics.com


F.B.I.’s critique of Hillary Clinton is a ready-made attack ad, James B. Comey all but indicted her judgment and competence - The New York Times


Hillary Clinton’s email problems might be even worse than we thought - The Washington Post


FBI says Hillary Clinton claim on reading emails was false - TIME


Despite FBI findings, experts say Clinton's email likely hacked - POLITICO


Former official: FBI agents likely to be ‘way beyond disappointed' on Clinton - The Daily Caller


The Internet is furious over what James Comey said about Hillary Clinton’s emails - The Daily Caller


Opinion: Nine big questions for FBI Director Comey about Hillary's emails - Fox News


Opinion: FBI rewrites federal law to let Hillary off the hook - National Review

 

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

FBI investigation: Donald J. Trump statement on Hillary Clinton's bad judgment and the rigged system - Donald J Trump for President


Donald Trump: FBI decision on Clinton emails a 'total miscarriage in justice' - CBS News


VIDEO: Donald Trump interviewed on the FBI investigation: 'No choice but to convict, or to go to some form of very harsh punishment' - Fox News


VIDEO: Donald Trump: ’Bernie, my poor Bernie lost the FBI primary' when the decision on Hillary Clinton was announced - CNN


Paul Ryan, GOP officials blast Clinton over FBI email findings - usatoday.com


RNC chief: 'FBI’s findings are a glaring indictment of Hillary Clinton’s complete lack of judgement, honesty, and preparedness to be our next commander-in-chief' - Breibart

 

Sen. Judiciary to the FBI: Release all information on Hillary email case to the public - Breibart


VIDEO: Rudy Giuliani: Hillary broke the law; ‘gross negligence equals extreme carelessness' - RealClearPolitics


Anti-Hillary video quickly seizes on ‘Clinton’s lie’ after FBI director reveals findings of email investigation (VIDEO) - TheBlaze.com


Judicial Watch blasts Comey for 'weak recommendation' on Clinton emails - POLITICO


Now Judicial Watch points investigators at Attorney General Lynch, Clandestine meeting with Bill Clinton raises questions about investigation of Hillary - WND


Sanders stays quiet on FBI announcement about Clinton, says he is not altering his plan to remain a presidential candidate - The Washington Post


Bernie Sanders supporters melt down over FBI's Hillary Clinton decision - CNNPolitics.com


Celebrity Bernie supporters on FBI Clinton investigation: System rigged - Breitbart


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

Talk Nation Radio: Mel Duncan on why unarmed civilian protection is better than war

  https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-mel-duncan-on-why-unarmed-civilian-protection-is-better-than-war

Mel Duncan is a co-founder and current Director of Advocacy and Outreach for Nonviolent Peaceforce, an international non-governmental organization that provides direct protection to civilians caught in violent conflict and works with local civil society groups on violence deterrence throughout the world.  He has received numerous awards. The Utne Reader named Duncan one of “50 Visionaries Who are Changing Our World.”  The American Friends Service Committee nominated Nonviolent Peaceforce for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize.

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, Revolving Doors, Robust Rolodexes, and Runaway Generals

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

Russians Ask “Why Do You Demonize Us When We Are So Much Like You?”

By Ann Wright

13612155_10153693335901179_7639246880129981151_n

Photo of Russian kids attending a youth camp called Artek in Crimea.  Photo by Ann Wright

New poem by TCBH resident poet Gary Lindorff -- 'A poem about this'

I’m looking at a box of tissues.

It is my supermarket’s brand.

The photo on it is very beautiful and understated.

It shows a swan gliding from the left.

Some Reflections from our Recent Trip to Russia

By David and Jan Hartsough

We have recently returned from a two week citizen’s diplomacy peace delegation to six cities in Russia under the auspices of the Center for Citizen Initiatives.

Our trip included visits with journalists, political leaders, teachers and students, doctors and medical clinics, veterans of past wars, representatives of small businesses and nongovernmental organizations, youth camps, and home visits.

Since David’s earlier visits to Russia over the past fifty-five years, much has changed. He was struck by how much new building and construction has taken place, and the “westernization” of clothing, styles, advertising, automobiles and traffic, as well as global corporations and private companies and stores.

Some of our reflections include:

  1. Danger of US and NATO military exercises on Russian border, like a game of nuclear chicken. This could very easily escalate into nuclear war. We must wake up the American people about the danger and encourage our government to move away from this dangerous posturing.
  1. We need to put ourselves in the Russians’ shoes. What if Russia had military troops, tanks and bomber planes and missiles on the US border in Canada and Mexico. Wouldn’t we feel threatened?
  1. Russian people don’t want war and want to live in peace. The Soviet Union lost 27 million people in World War II because they were not prepared militarily. They will not let that happen again.   If attacked, they will fight for their Motherland. Most families lost family members in WWII, so war is very immediate and personal. In the siege of Leningrad between two and three million people perished.
  1. US and NATO must take the initiative and show a commitment to living in peace with the Russians and treat them with respect.

Focus: Donald Trump and Trade - July 1, 2016

 

Trump amps up trade war with Clinton in Manchester, NH - Bloomberg Politics


Trump highlights N.H. factories closed thanks to Hillary Clinton trade agenda - breitbart.com


Donald Trump on TPP: We should seek a guarantee from Hillary Clinton that she won't sign it in any form - Breitbart


VIDEO: Trump: There is no way to fix Trans-Pacific Partnership - YouTube


VIDEO: Trump: TPP greatest danger yet to U.S. manufacturing - News Planet


Donald Trump: Americans should 'pay a little bit more' for U.S.-made products to save jobs - LA Times


VIDEO: Full Speech: Donald Trump delivers remarks on trade in Manchester, NH - YouTube


Trump attacks Hillary’s support for NAFTA and other trade agreements in Monessen, PA - Reclaim Our Republic

 

Trump vows to scrap NAFTA if Mexico and Canada don’t renegotiate - The Yucatan Times

 

TRANSCRIPT: Donald Trump's trade and jobs speech in Monessen, PA - POLITICO

 

Trump: Sanders and I know the trade deals are terrible - Washington Examiner

 

VIDEO: Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders sound alike on trade - CNN

 

Chamber of Commerce, business groups blast Trump over trade - CBS News

 

Trump’s trade policies would make America recession-bound again - U.S. Chamber of Commerce

 

Donald Trump slams Chamber of Commerce ‘sinister' trade agenda: They ‘don’t care’ about working Americans - breitbart.com

 

VIDEO: Trump: Chamber of Commerce controlled by special interests that don't care about you - RealClearPolitics

 

Bush's top NAFTA negotiator bashes Trump, says she will vote for Clinton - Forbes

 

Top GOP donor and hedge fund executive warns Trump trade policies would cause global depression - theaustralian.com

 

Here’s the growing list of big-name Republicans supporting Hillary Clinton - The Washington Post

 

POLL: Polls find Republicans voters shifting into the anti-trade party - providencejournal.com

 

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

Bernie Sanders pushes Democratic Party to oppose Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal - masslive.com


Backers of Sanders mobilize to overthrow DNC platform's pro-TPP stance - Common Dreams


Democrats and Republicans poised to clash on trade at Conventions - newsweek.com


Environmental groups deliver more than 500,000 anti-TPP petitions to congress - InsideTrade.com

 

Wealthiest U.S. senator backs Clinton, supports TPP - courthousenews.com

 

In Canada, Obama rebukes Trump on trade - TheHill

 

White House to Trump: We already overhauled NAFTA during the talks on the Trans Pacific Partnership - Washington Examiner

 

Keystone Pipeline company demands $15B to US governemnt under NAFTA deal - Common Dreams

 

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

Guess Who Wants Authority to Murder by Drone

If you haven't been hiding under a partisan rock for the past several years, you're aware that President Barack Obama has given himself the sort-of legalish right to murder anyone anywhere with missiles from drones.

He's not the only one who wants that power.

Yes, President Obama has claimed to have put restrictions on whom he'll murder, but in no known case has he followed any of his self-imposed non-legal restrictions. Nowhere has someone been arrested instead of killed, while in many known cases people have been killed who could have easily been arrested. In no known case has someone been killed who was an "imminent and continuing threat to the United States," or for that matter just plain imminent or just plain continuing. It's not even clear how someone could be both an imminent and a continuing threat until you study up on how the Obama administration has redefined imminent to mean theoretically imaginable someday. And, of course, in numerous cases civilians have been killed in large numbers and people have been targeted without identifying who they are. Lying dead from U.S. drone strikes are men, women, children, non-Americans, and Americans, not a single one of them charged with a crime or their extradition sought.

Who else would like to be able to do this?

One answer is most nations on earth. We now read news stories from Syria of people dying from a drone strike, with the reporter unable to determine if the missile came from a U.S., U.K., Russian, or Iranian drone. Just wait. The skies will be filled if the trend is not reversed.

Another answer is Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders, but not Jill Stein. Yes, those first three candidates have said they want this power.

Another answer, however, should be just as disturbing as those already mentioned. Military commanders around the world want the authority to murder people with drones without bothering to get approval from civilian officials back home. Here's a fun quiz:

How many zones has the United States divided the globe into for purposes of complete military domination, and what are their names?

Answer: Six. They are Northcom, Southcom, Eucom, Pacom, Centcom, and Africom. (Jack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack and Quack were already taken.) In normal English they are: North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Western Asia, and Africa.

Now here comes the hard question. Which of those zones has a new would-be commander who was just encouraged by a prominent Senator in an open Congressional hearing to acquire the authority to murder people in his zone without getting approval from the U.S. president?

Clue #1. It's a zone with the empire's headquarters not even located in the zone, so that this new commander speaks of killing people there as playing "an away game."

Clue #2. It's a poor zone that does not manufacture weapons but it saturated with weapons made in the United States plus France, Germany, the U.K., Russia, and China.

Clue #3. Many of the people in this zone have skin resembling people who are disproportionately targets of U.S. police department killings.

Did you get it right? That's correct: Africom is being encouraged by Senator Lindsay Graham, who a short time back wanted to be president, to blow people up with missiles from flying robots without presidential approval.

Now here's where the morality of war can wreak havoc with humanitarian imperialism. If a drone killing is not part of a war, then it looks like murder. And handing out licenses to murder to additional people looks like a worsening of the state of affairs in which just one person claims to hold such a license. But if drone killing is part of a war, and Captain Africom claims to be at war with Somalia, or with a group in Somalia, for example, well then, he wouldn't need special permission to blow up a bunch of people with manned aircraft; so why should he need it when using robotic unmanned bombers?

The trouble is that saying the word "war" doesn't have the moral or legal powers often imagined. No current U.S. war is legal under either the U.N. Charter or the Kellogg-Briand Pact. And the intuition that murdering people with a drone is wrong can't be a useful one if murdering people with a piloted plane is right, and vice versa. We actually have to choose. We actually have to set aside the scale of the killing, the type of technology, the role of robots, and all other extraneous factors, and choose whether it's acceptable, moral, legal, smart, or strategic to murder people or not.

If that seems too much of a mental strain, here's an easier guide. Just imagine what your response would be if the ruler of Europe Command asked for the authority to murder at will people of his choosing along with anybody too close to them at the time.

Lament for Humanity: A 50 Year Reflection

Deeply affected by the death of my two uncles in World War II, on 1 July 1966, the 24th anniversary of the USS Sturgeon sinking of the Japanese prisoner-of-war ship Montevideo Maru which killed the man after whom I am named, I decided that I would devote my life to working out why human beings are violent and then developing a strategy to end it.

The good news about this commitment was that it was made when I was nearly 14 so, it seemed, anything was possible. Now I am not so sure.

Documents: Fracked Gas Exports Central to Panama Canal Expansion

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

After nearly a decade of engineering work on the project, the Panama Canal's expansion opened for business on June 26. 

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