Recent Federal Court Decision Could Muddy Waters for Keystone XL South, Flanagan South

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

On June 6, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit handed down a ruling that will serve as important precedent for the ongoing federal legal battles over the Keystone XL and Flanagan South tar sands pipelines.

War Stories: Bad Wars and the Voice of Disillusion

By John Grant

 

      When lo! An angel called him out of heaven,

      Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad, . . .

U.S. Conference of Mayors Adopts Bold New Resolution

U.S. Conference of Mayors Adopts Bold New Resolution Calling for Constructive Good Faith
U.S. Participation in International Nuclear Disarmament Forums; Commends Marshall Islands for
bringing lawsuits against U.S. and 8 other Nuclear-Armed States

The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM), the non-partisan association of America’s big cities, on June 23, 2014 unanimously adopted a sweeping new resolution Calling for Constructive Good Faith U.S. Participation in International Nuclear Disarmament Forums at its 82nd annual meeting in Dallas, Texas. According to USCM President Kevin Johnson, Mayor of Sacramento, California, “These resolutions, once adopted, become official USCM policy.”

Recalling that “August 6and 9, 2015 will mark the 70th anniversaries of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which killed more that 210,000 people by the end of 1945,” the resolution notes that “the people of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) continue to suffer from the health and environmental impacts of 67 above-ground nuclear weapons test explosions conducted by the U.S. in their islands between 1946 and 1958, the equivalent of 1.6 Hiroshima-sized bombs detonated daily for 12 years.”

On April 24, 2014, the RMI filed “landmark” cases in the International Court of Justice against the U.S. and the eight other nuclear-armed nations, claiming that they have failed to comply with their obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and customary international law to pursue negotiations for the global elimination of nuclear weapons, and filed a companion case in U.S. Federal District Court. In its resolution, the USCM “commends the Republic of the Marshall Islands for calling to the world’s attention the failure of the nine nuclear-armed states to comply with their international obligations to pursue negotiations for the worldwide elimination of nuclear weapons, and calls on the U.S. to respond constructively and in good faith to the lawsuits brought by the RMI.”

Over the past three years there has been a new round of nuclear disarmament initiatives by governments not possessing nuclear weapons, both within and outside the United Nations. Yet the U.S. has been notably “missing in action” at best, and dismissive or obstructive at worst. The USCM resolution documents the dismal U.S. record and calls on the administration to participate constructively in deliberations and negotiations regarding the creation of a multilateral process to achieve a nuclear weapons free world in forums including the Third Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons to be held in Vienna, Austria in December 2014, the UN Conference on Disarmament, and the May 2015 NPT Review Conference.

The USCM also “calls on the President and Congress to reduce nuclear weapons spending to the minimum necessary to assure the safety and security of the existing weapons as they await disablement and dismantlement, and to redirect those funds to meet the urgent needs of cities.”

Recalling the U.S. commitment under the 1970 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) to pursue negotiations in good faith on the elimination of nuclear weapons, the resolution notes that “forty-four years after the NPT entered into force, an estimated 16,400 nuclear weapons, most held by the U.S. and Russia, pose an intolerable threat to humanity, and there are no disarmament negotiations on the horizon” and that “the U.S. and the eight other nuclear weapon possessing states are investing an estimated $100 billion annually to maintain and modernize their nuclear arsenals while actively planning to deploy nuclear weapons for the foreseeable future.”

The resolution states that “according to the General Accounting Office, the U.S. will spend more than $700 billion over the next 30 years to maintain and modernize nuclear weapons systems,” and that “this money is desperately needed to address basic human needs such as housing, food security, education, healthcare, public safety, education and environmental protection.”

Reflecting current international tensions, the resolution warns that “the U.S.- Russian conflict over the Ukraine may lead to a new era of confrontation between nuclear-armed powers, and nuclear tensions in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and on the Korean peninsula remind us that the potential for nuclear war is ever present.” The resolution “urges President Obama to engage in intensive diplomatic efforts to reverse the deteriorating U.S. relationship with Russia.”

Expressing its “deep concern” about the U.S. failure to engage in recent intergovernmental and United Nations nuclear disarmament initiatives, the USCM “calls on the U.S. to participate constructively and in good faith in the Third Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons to be hosted by Austria in Vienna, December 8 – 9, 2014” and “in urgent commencement of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament for the early conclusion of a comprehensive convention on nuclear weapons,” and “to press the other nuclear weapon states to do likewise.”

The USCM “calls on the U.S. to demonstrate a good faith commitment to its disarmament obligation under Article VI of the NPT by commencing a process to negotiate the global elimination of nuclear weapons within a timebound framework, under strict and effective international control, at the May 2015 NPT Review Conference, and to press the other nuclear weapon states to do likewise.”

The USCM also “calls on its membership to Proclaim September 26 in their cities as the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons and to support activities to enhance public awareness and education about the threat posed to humanity by nuclear weapons and the necessity for their total elimination.”

The resolution notes that Mayors for Peace, with over 6,000 members in 158 countries, representing one seventh of the world’s population, continues to advocate for the immediate commencement of negotiations to eliminate nuclear weapons by 2020, and that “Mayors for Peace, with members in the U.S. and Russia; India and Pakistan, and Israel, Palestine and Iran can be a real force for peace.” The USCM “expresses its continuing support for and cooperation with Mayors for Peace,” and “encourages all U.S. mayors for join Mayors for Peace.”

The resolution was sponsored by Mayor Donald Plusquellic of Akron, Ohio, past President of the USCM and a Vice-President of Mayors for Peace, and 26 co-sponsoring mayors from cities in Virginia, North Carolina, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Florida, Massachusetts, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Maine, California, Minnesota, and New Mexico.

Mayors for Peace is an international association, founded in 1982 by the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The United States Conference of Mayors is the national non-partisan association of cities with populations over 30,000.

Full text of the resolution, with the complete list of co-sponsors: http://wslfweb.org/docs/MSPUSCMsponsorsfinal.pdf

More information about Mayors for Peace: www.mayorsforpeace.org and www.2020visioncampaign.org

More information about the U.S. Conference of Mayors: www.usmayors.org

# # #

Ukraine News - June 25, 2014


Putin asks parliament to cancel Russian authorization to use force, wants to extend cease-fire in Ukraine - AP


Ukraine's Poroshenko welcomes Putin's step towards military de-escalation - Yahoo News


US welcomes Putin call to revoke authorization to use force in Ukraine - AFP


EU hopes for implementation of Putin’s offer to revoke right to use army in Ukraine - ITAR-TASS


VIDEO: Ukraine crisis: Putin & Fischer press conference in Austria (recorded live feed) - YouTube


OSCE chair says some solutions to Ukrainian crisis must be found in next few days - ITAR-TASS


Contacts on resolving conflict in Ukraine should continue until certain results reached: Russian Deputy FM - The Voice of Russia


Ukraine rebels down helicopter, killing nine despite truce - GlobalPost


Ukraine president says may revoke ceasefire after helicopter downing - Khaleej Times


Donetsk separatist leader: Kiev sabotages ceasefire agreements - ITAR-TASS


Miners call on all sides to the military conflict in Donbas to lay down their weapons, cease fire, and stop killing people and destroying enterprises - Interfax


Coal mines in Ukraine could close amid conflict - worldcoal.com


VIDEO: Ceasefire holds in Ukraine's flashpoint city of Slavyansk - YouTube


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UN Estimates 423 Killed in Ukraine's East - ABC News


UN: Numbers of Displaced Ukrainians Rising - VOA


Despite recent positive steps, Ukraine situation remains deeply worrying, Security Council told - United Nations News Centre


VIDEO: Ukraine situation remains deeply worrying, Security Council told - unmultimedia.org


VIDEO: Remarks by Ambassador Samantha Power at UN Security Council Meeting on Ukraine Situation - dvidshub.net


TRANSCRIPT: Remarks by Ambassador Samantha Power at a Security Council Meeting on the Situation in Ukraine - usun.state.gov


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Austria defies US, EU over South Stream during Putin visit (VIDEO) - DW.DE


VIDEO: Austria and Russia sign South Stream gas pipeline treaty - RT Business


Putin: US unhappy with South Stream because it wants to deliver gas to Europe - RT Business


U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers to Break With Obama Over Russia Sanctions - moneynews.com


Russia to set own barriers in response to Ukraine's EU trade pact - Reuters


Russia to Substitute 95% of Ukrainian Defense Imports - RIA Novosti


Putin's Renunciation of Force in Ukraine Sends Ruble and Stocks Skyrocketing - The Moscow Times


Ukraine Supreme Court Clears Tymoshenko Of All Charges In Gas Case - Eurasia Review


Shale gas won't be extracted in Donetsk, says separatist leader - Ukrainian Journal

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

Face-off at the DMV

  I took Kevin to the DMV yesterday to get his learners permit.  I’d planned on sleeping in, but Patty roused us at 7.  “It could take most of the morning,” she said, “and you’ll never get the grass cut if you sleep in.”  She seemed to believe that was a negative.

 

We got there early, before the doors opened, but two dozen people were already ahead of us.  We slowly worked our way toward the front of the line, and were almost there by 10 am.  I’d read the sports section of the paper twice, and Kevin stayed busy texting on his phone.  But then things took an odd turn.  

Talk Nation Radio: Nell Bernstein: Close All Juvenile Prisons

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-nell-bernstein-close-all-juvenile-prisons

Most kids commit crimes. Those locked up in juvenile prisons are more likely to commit crimes as adults than are those left alone.  So, why do we lock them up? What drives such counterproductive programs that create such misery despite demonstratd failure to achieve their purported ends? And how can we alter our approach?  We speak with Nell Bernstein.

Nell Bernstein is the author of Burning Down the House (forthcoming from The New Press) and All Alone in the World (The New Press), a Newsweek "Book of the Week." She is a former Soros Justice Media Fellow and a winner of a White House Champion of Change award. Her articles have appeared in Newsday, Salon, Mother Jones, and the Washington Post, among other publications. She lives in Albany, California.

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://davidswanson.org/talknationradio

Audio: Connect the Dots on Iraq

Listen to Lila Garrett's Connect the Dots on KPFK: AUDIO.

Guests include:

David Swanson organizer of WORLD BEYOND WAR does an in depth analysis of our intervention in this civil war in Iraq including its connection to those interests in the US determined to feed and maintain our permanent war economy.

Former Congressman Bob Filner served as Chair of the Congressional Com. On Veteran Affairs from 2006-2010.   As chairman, Filner increased spending on veterans healthcare, and a new GI bill for veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq.  Filner describes the serious cut backs by this Congress on those benefits. This includes the 50,000 vets on medical lists waiting to see a doctor for months…even years.

Senate Candidate  Shenna Bellows, Democrat from Maine, whom journalist John Nichols has called “possibly the future of progressive politics in America”, describes Maine’s extreme rightwing leadership.  About Bellows' opposition, Republican Susan Collins,  author Stephen King writes: “Senator Susan Collins is considered a moderate who compromises a lot. Sounds good, but when it comes down to casting votes that serve Mainers, she always seems to end up with her Republican colleagues, led by Mitch McConnell.”

Lila Garrett (Host of CONNECT THE DOTS)

KPFK 90.7 FM in LA; 98.7 Santa Barbara; 93.7 San Diego;

99.5 China Lake

Airs Mondays from 7AM to 8AM.

So That's Why They Kept the Drone Kill Memo Secret

Now that the U.S. government has released parts of its We-Can-Kill-People-With-Drones memo, it's hard to miss why it was kept secret until now.

Liberal professors and human rights groups and the United Nations were claiming an inability to know whether drone murders were legal or not because they hadn't seen the memo that the White House said legalized them. Some may continue to claim that the redactions in the memo make judgment impossible.

I expect most, however, will now be willing to drop the pretense that ANY memo could possibly legalize murder. 

Oh, and yall can stop telling me not to use the impolite term "murder" to describe the, you know, murders -- since "murder" is precisely the term used by the no-longer secret memo.

The memo considers a section of the U.S. code dealing with the murder of a U.S. citizen by another U.S. citizen abroad, drawing on another section that defines murder as "the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought."

David Barron, the memo's author, needed a loophole to make murder-by-missile a lawful killing rather than an unlawful killing, so he pulls out the "public authority justification" under which the government gets to use force to enforce a law.  It's a novel twist, though, for the government to get to use force to violate the law, claiming the violation is legal on the Nixonian basis that it is the government doing it.

Alternatively, Barron suggests, a government gets to use force if doing so is part of a war. This, of course, ignores the U.N. Charter and the Kellogg Briand Pact and the illegality of wars, as well as the novelty of claiming that a war exists everywhere on earth forever and ever. (None of Barron's arguments justify governmental murder on U.S. soil any less than off U.S. soil.)

In essence, Barron seems to argue, the people who wrote the laws were thinking about private citizens and terrorists, not the government (which, somehow, cannot be a terrorist), and therefore it's OK for the government to violate the laws.

Then there's the problem of Congressional authorization of war, or lack thereof, which Barron gets around by pretending that the Authorization for the Use of Military Force was as broad as the White House pretends rather than worded to allow targeting only those responsible for the 911 attacks. 

Then there are the facts of the matter in the case of Anwar al Awlaki, who was targeted for murder prior in time to the actions that President Obama has claimed justified that targeting.

Then there are the facts in the other cases of U.S. killings of U.S. citizens, which aren't even redacted, as they're never considered.

Then there are the vastly more numerous killings of non-U.S. citizens, which the memo does not even attempt to excuse.

In the end, the memo admits that calling something a war isn't good enough; the targeted victim has to have been an imminent threat to the United States.  But who gets to decide whether he or she was that?  Why, whoever does the killing of course.  And what happens if nobody ever even makes an unsupported assertion to that effect? Nothing, of course.

This is not the rule of law.  This is savage brute force in minimal disguise.  I don't want to see any more of these memos.  I want to see the video footage of the drone murders on a television.  I want to see law professors and revolving-door State Department / human rights group hacks argue that dead children fall under the public authority justification.

Ukraine News - June 24, 2014


Ukraine separatists vow to honor the govt cease-fire as peace talks get under way in the east - Fox News


Separatists set conditions for negotiations with Kiev - RT News


Three-party talks on resolving Ukraine's crisis begin in Donetsk - The Voice of Russia


Poroshenko invites Russia to send inspectors to Ukraine to monitor ceasefire - ITAR-TASS


Obama and Putin talk on the phone on Ukraine - chicagotribune.com


Oligarch Medvedchuk may have convinced Putin that Poroshenko's peace plan is a step towards reaching a final settlement - CSMonitor


"Ukrainian choice" Medvedchuk could start a political settlement - Russian news and facts


VIDEO (Russian): Peace Talks Underway in Donbass As Viktor Medvedchuk Arrives With Federalisation Proposal - LiveLeak.com


Ukraine looks to Polish federalism as a model for political reform - GlobalPost


Current requirements and recommendations on constitutional reform in Ukraine of the Parliamentary Assembly and Venice Commission - pravo.org.ua


EU prepares civilian mission to assist security sector reform in Ukraine - European Union, EEAS


U.S Department of State: Background Briefing on Ukraine - Scoop News


VIDEO: Ukraine crisis: 'We recruit volunteer fighters from Russia’ - BBC News


Ukraine railroad blown up, Russian train derailed (PHOTOS, VIDEO) - RT News


VIDEO: Police Clash With Maidan Supporters In Kharkiv


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

Europe to Sign Free Trade Agreement with Ukraine on June 27 - naturalgaseurope.com


Guide to the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement - eeas.europa.eu


Ukraine to dominate EU foreign ministers’ summit - France 24


Kiev Willing to Consult Moscow on Implementation of EU-Ukraine Association Agreement - RIA Novosti


New Ukraine FM Seen Bringing Sober Style to Kyiv Diplomacy, Regarded as  a consummate diplomat capable of deftly navigating the integration with Europe  - VOA


Russia to protect its market if Ukraine signs free trade agreement with EU: Russian deputy PM - The Voice of Russia


Russia may impose temporary ban on farming products' imports from Ukraine, They may contain the dangerous pest corn rootworm - The Voice of Russia


Gazprom's Gas Flow to Europe via Ukraine Remains Stable as Debt Feud Continues - ibtimes.co.uk


Naftogaz May Review Transit Contract with Russia in Court - RIA Novosti


Ukraine hopes for out-of-court deal with Gazprom: Naftogaz CEO - ITAR-TASS

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

Fund billboards and ads to organize for abolition of war, an idea whose time has come

We need funds for billboards and ads around the world to bring together those ready to work for an end to war. Please contribute at http://igg.me/at/worldbeyondwar

Ukraine News - June 23, 2014


Putin backs Poroshenko's peace plan, calls on both sides in Ukraine conflict to lay down arms and compromise - The Guardian


VIDEO: Putin calls for “genuine dialogue” between Kyiv and eastern rebels - euronews


Putin Orders Forces in the Urals on Combat Alert - ABC News


VIDEO: Combat Ready Alert: Putin orders surprise drills in Central Military District - YouTube


Ukraine president Poroshenko offers talks with pro-Russian separatists - Yahoo News


Poroshenko warns of ‘detailed Plan B’ if Ukraine ceasefire fails - RT News


New Ukrainian constitution may be passed in September: Poroshenko - The Voice of Russia


TRANSCRIPT: Televised Address of President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko - Official web-site of President of Ukraine


Fighting strains Ukraine ceasefire - Reuters


VIDEO: Ukrainian peace broken amidst cross-border shelling - euronews


Ukraine Blames Separatist Militias for 'Violating Truce', Says Gunmen Carried Out 11 Armed Attacks on Army Positions During the Last 24 hours - mashable.com


Rebels Shell Border Guard Convoy In Luhansk Region - Ukranian News


Ukraine’s National Guard shelling Lugansk village Ananyevka despite ceasefire: LPR militia - ITAR-TASS


Ukraine's military resumes bombardment of the town of Shchastye near Lugansk: media - ITAR-TASS


VIDEO: Russian TV shows footage exposing Ukraine’s artillery strikes in the Lugansk region - ITAR-TASS


Latest statements from separatist military commander Igor Strelkov (June 22) - The Vineyard of the Saker


Why Ukraine's Separatist Movement Failed in Kharkiv: Mayor Kernes Returns To Different City After Being Shot - New Republic


Russia indicts Ukraine’s Kolomoisky, Avakov for using prohibited means of warfare - ITAR-TASS


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Kiev nationalists clash with police outside Orthodox monastery, as churchgoers were holding a peace service to end war (VIDEOS) - RT


VIDEO: Nationalists clash with anti-war march in Kiev - YouTube


VIDEO: Kiev peace demonstration demands end to warfare - YouTube


VIDEO: Kiev nationalists vandalize SberBank of Russia - YouTube


VIDEO: More footage of protesters attacking Russian bank in Kiev - LiveLeak.com

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

'Just a war on teachers and students': NY Principal Attacks Rush to Push a Flawed New Common Core' Math Curriculum

By Dave Lindorff


Host Dave Lindorff talks on this week's broadcast of Radio "ThisCantBeHappening!" with guest Dr. Carol Burris, principal of South Side High School in Rockville Center, NY, about the new “Common Core” math curriculum being pushed on about 70 percent of the public schools in New York, to the consternation of most children, parents and teachers.

Moral Injury: WashPost Neocons and Iraq

 

 


Iraqis Are Not ‘Abstractions’

 

 

Editor Note:  U.S. policymakers have long behaved like spoiled, destructive children treating Iraq as if it were some meaningless plaything. The game has been about who “wins” or “loses” in Washington, not who lives or dies in Iraq, a moral failure that ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern addresses.

By Ray McGovern

Strongest Antiwar Statement Yet from a Congressional Candidate

In this local TV news interview (video), we see Virginia Fifth District Democratic nominee for Congress Lawrence Gaughan say, "We need to get back to the Constitution on the issue of war, and I will never authorize the executive to use force when there is no direct or imminent threat to our national security here on our soil."

I'm not aware of a stronger statement from any candidate for Congress. 

Virginia's Fifth District is currently misrepresented by Republican Robert Hurt who on Thursday voted against blocking funds for a new war on Iraq:

Lee (D-CA)- Amendment No. 31 - Prohibits funds from being used to conduct combat operations in Iraq. – REJECTED 165 – 250

Twice:

Lee (D-CA)- Amendment No. 33 - Prohibits funds from being used pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force against Iraq Resolution of 2002. – REJECTED 182 – 231

Prior to Hurt, VA-05 was misrepresented by Democrat Tom Perriello, an enthusiastic warmonger who recently moved to the State Department from the Center for American Progress, which is advocating for missile strikes on Iraq.

Prior to Perriello, this district was embarrassed and disgraced by Democrat turned Republican Virgil Goode.

When people voted for Perriello (and Obama) in 2008, many blindly followed a party line, and many fantasized that they were electing an anti-war representative. 

Many imagined Hurt was hopeless in this regard, although he did prove willing in the end to oppose missile strikes into Syria.

Now, as it happens, there appears to be an opportunity to vote for someone who is actually running on an antiwar platform, not just a platform of being from a different party than Bush and Cheney.  And what a platform!

It's quite common to say you'll only back wars when "U.S. national interests are at stake" or when the U.S. is threatened, but those phrases can usually be defined to mean anything at all, including U.S. troops halfway around the globe getting into a shoot out.  That's not what Gaughan has said.  He has said there must be a threat to the United States in the United States.  That's a rejection of at least the past 70 years of U.S. war making.

It's also common to claim that one will take a decent position against wars if asked by the President.  That's not what Gaughan has said.  He has said that he will abide by the Constitution, which does not allow presidents to make wars, and that he will not permit the executive to wage wars except under the narrow circumstances described.

We're not going to find better than this around here for a long, long time to come, and I doubt anybody can find better elsewhere in the country. 

I therefore suggest that wherever you live, you consider supporting putting this man in Congress.

Ukraine News - June 21, 2014


Ukraine leader declares week-long ceasefire in east - THE DAILY STAR


Ukrainian president rules out talks with separatists of self-proclaimed republics - ITAR-TASS


Ukraine peace plan to call for 10-km buffer zone on Russia border - GlobalPost


Rebels in eastern Ukraine reject peace plan and ceasefire offer by Poroshenko - The Irish Times


Militia of Donetsk People's Republic distrusts Poroshenko's security guarantees - The Voice of Russia


Militants of Lugansk won't lay down arms while Ukraine won't take away army from LNR - ITAR-TASS


Poroshenko, local authorities of Ukraine’s eastern regions fail to find negotiating position - ITAR-TASS


New battles as Ukraine says 300 separatists and 7 Ukrainian troops killed in fighting, rebels drive tanks - Yahoo News


VIDEO: Fighting continues in eastern Ukraine despite cease-fire - AFP


Kiev’s army shelling kills 5yo boy & his mom in Slavyansk (VIDEO) - RT News


VIDEO: Huge build up of troops near Lugansk - LiveLeak.com


Donetsk Republic forms division of miners - ITAR-TASS


Good morning, Donetsk -- Ukraine rebels spread the word on radio - Yahoo!7


US hits 7 Ukraine rebels with sanctions - Mail Online


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Russia: Poroshenko’s ceasefire looks more like ultimatum, “Key element is yet lacking - a proposal to start talks with the separatists" - ITAR-TASS


Russia re-deploying near Ukraine border, stockpiling additional tanks and artillery - skynews.com


President Putin calls emergency meeting with security council to discuss southeast Ukraine events - The Voice of Russia


Ukrainian Rebel Commander Identified As Russian GRU Military Intelligence Colonel - Washington Free Beacon


Kiev seizes 'Russian armoured vehicle', says fighters and military equipment have been coming into the country from the Russian border - ibtimes


Ukrainian military refute reports on full control over eastern border with Russia - ITAR-TASS


Russian checkpoint on Ukraine border comes under fire, Moscow expects explanations from Kiev (VIDEO) - RT News


Putin plotting to halt UK fracking, warns Nato chief - AP


‘What are they smoking?’ Greenpeace ridicules NATO claims of Russian fracking plot (VIDEO) - RT News

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

Global Days of Listening

GDoL Photo 6.21.14 2
SEE THE SCHEDULE HERE

Summer Solstice Global Days of Listening

The Afghan Peace Volunteers have been rethinking . . . recommitting.

Talk & listen with them on Saturday June 21 - Request a time, here.
Kabul: 5:30 - 10 pm / England: 2:00 - 6:30 pm
US - Eastern 9 am - 1:30 pm, Pacific 6 - 10:30 am


They hope borders are not seen as a line to separate people,
but a place where we find our neighbors, our friends. 

LISTEN TO THE LIVE CONVERSATION

Follow the Afghan Peace Volunteers at their website:

Our Journey to Smile


See and promote the Blue Scarf Campaign

love is how we will ask for peace,
 
the Afghan Peace Volunteers                                         

for more information: globaldaysoflistening@gmail.com                           
 

Heather Zichal, Former Obama Energy Aide, Named to Board of Fracked Gas Exports Giant Cheniere

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

Heather Zichal, former Obama White House Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, may soon walk out of the government-industry revolving door to become a member of the board of directors for fracked gas exports giant Cheniere, who nominated her to serve on the board. 

Helping the People of Iraq

by Debra Sweet  N THE EVENT of U.S. bombing of Iraq, choose the best protest location in your city/town, and call on people to go there at 5:00 pm the day of the attack, or, in the case of an evening attack, the next day at 5:00 pm

Hunter HS Commencement Award Protest Report

On Friday, June 13, a group of protesters, organized by War Criminals Watch/World Can't Wait and KnowDrones.com gathered outside Hunter College as families and students began to gather for the Hunter College High School commencement.  This otherwise happy occasion was marred by the fact that the Distinguised Graduate award was about to be given to the Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Avril Haines - in absentia (it would be accepted for her by a Hunter High School assistant principal).  The fact that the school administration kept the award quiet until two days before the ceremony is an indication of how unacceptable the choice for this year's award was.

Iraq News - June 20, 2014


Obama sending 300 military advisers to Iraq in no-combat role, leaving open the possibility of targeted airstrikes - AP


VIDEO (short version): President Obama Remarks on Iraq - YouTube


VIDEO (full version): President Obama Remarks on Iraq - C-SPAN.org


TRANSCRIPT: President Obama's remarks on Iraq - CNN.com


The military advisers will have a number of missions, Pentagon officials say - NYTimes.com


Dempsey: Too Soon for US Air Strikes in Iraq "until we can clarify this intelligence picture" - Military.com


CIA facing gaps in Iraq as it hunts for ISIS militants - THE DAILY STAR


VIDEO: General Patrick Dempsey and Chuck Hagel Senate Committee Testimony on Iraq - Unedited Politics


Kerry says U.S. may share information with Iran over Iraq, not cooperate - Reuters


Iranian Leader Vows to Protect Holy Sites in Iraq - NYTimes.com


Saudi FM blasts Iraqi PM Maliki’s ‘sectarian policies’ - Al Arabiya News


With eye on Iran, Saudi insists Iraq solution is internal, opposes "all foreign intervention and interference" - Yahoo News


Gulf Nations Struggle With Iraq Militant Blowback - ABC News


ISIS advance in Iraq forces Gulf donors to rethink their patronage - Yahoo News


How Arab backers of the Syrian rebels see Iraq - The Washington Post


Turkey gives cold shoulder to US strikes in Iraq - todayszaman.com


Turkey Gives Up On Unified Iraq - The Daily Beast


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Iraq's Maliki: I won't quit as condition of US strikes against ISIS militants - theguardian.com


Iraqi capital out of danger; urgent need for U.S. strikes eases: Maliki ally - Yahoo News UK


Iraq's al-Maliki extends overtures to Sunni and Kurdish rivals - Yahoo News


Biden urges Maliki , Barzani and Nujaifi to unite against ISIS - shafaaq.com


Readout of the Vice President's Calls with Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki, Nujaifi and Barzani - The White House


Kurds support dividing Iraq into three autonomous regions - Al-Monitor


Battle rages for Iraq's largest oil refinery - Middle East - Al Jazeera English


Iraq exodus? Oil majors withdraw staff as terror threat rises - RT Business


Kurdish Oil Keeps Flowing, For Now - Rudaw


Iraqi Kurds link Kirkuk to own oil pipeline, plan more exports via Turkey - hurriyetdailynews


Iraqi Kurds seize control of key Syria border crossing - Al-Monitor


ISIS alliance with a deeply rooted network of Saddam Hussein loyalists - nytimes.com


ISIS photos show gains and Iraqi support - The Long War Journal


ISIS, Inc. – Jihadists attract investors, fighters with annual reports & glossy PR - RT News


ISIS publishes its annual report called al-Naba covering all its activities with attack metrics: Analysis - Institute for the Study of War (ISW)


With gritty determination, Iraqi Shiites rush to fight ISIS militants - CSMonitor.com


VIDEO (Arabic) : We'll "demolish" ISIS and Saudi, Qatar “enemies”: Iraqi Shia Volunteer leader - YouTube

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

Supporting Democracy is So Yesterday: Washington’s Rats are Abandoning Maliki

By Dave Lindorff 


The rat, among mammals, is one of the most successful animals on the planet. Cunning, ruthless, competitive and above all adaptable -- it is able to change its habits quickly as needed to accommodate the situation it finds itself in.  


When it comes to foreign policy, the US government is filled with rats.

U.S. Veteran on Violence in Iraq

By Evan Knappenberger, Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice

My Friends,

I have been asked a few times this week what I make of the situation in Iraq.  As an analyst who worked in the southern tip of the Sunni triangle at the north end of Baghdad, and somebody who dealt extensively with the sectarian issues, working to uncover what is now known as the Islamic State of Iraq, I have to explain what happened. 

But also my heart is heavy and I have been walking in grief over this for nearly a decade.  Here's the thoughts which I feel compelled to share, and I hope that they can clarify for you what I believe has happened.


A short explanation of Iraq, 2004-2014


The Americans were unable to defeat in any significant measure the Sunni insurgency in 2005 and 2006 when I was there.  Because the Bush administration was desperate for a political fix, they hired Petraeus to implement a special plan in 2007, as part of the "surge."  At this point, 70% of the American public was of the opinion that going to Iraq was a mistake, and tensions with other countries in the region were high.  Troop morale was low, and StopLoss (the backdoor draft) was the only way that the military was able to keep at acceptable numbers.  The situation was desperate.  In Iraq, we were losing a dozen soldiers a day to the insurgency -- quantitatively worse than anything that happened in fighting in Afghanistan in the last several years.  Also, the Iraqi government was terribly corrupt, and the security forces were a shambles.

The success of Petraeus' "surge" was not sending in more troops to Iraq.  The success of the surge was in literally paying off the Sunni insurgents.  We gave them millions of dollars and helped them organize the Sunni militia groups, empowering them because we could not overpower them.

As a disabled veteran I receive about $850 per month.  A Sunni militiaman in 2007 could receive about $600 per month, just to have name placed on the rolls by the local Shayk, payable by the US government and your tax dollars.  This was the Bush administration's secret weapon to pacify the peace movement that was burning his butt politically.  The Sunni insurgents used this time to train, to re-equip, to organize and to plan.  The US military watched that happened, encouraged it.  Wait till we're gone then, whatever.


The wrong narratives

Of course, the Peace movement started losing momentum as soon as Obama was elected, and the relative stability of US body counts was no longer a news item, so we started bickering about gays and health insurance.  Now, veterans are feeling betrayed, "we fought to make that city safe!  We're just gonna leave em' and let em' die!"

And the narrative is at a turning point.  The Sunni militiamen are doing it right this time, taking no prisoners, and there is no stomach for any intervention.  The Iranian government is so scared, they're ready to ask the US for help!  The Kurds, the Turks, the Syrians, the Israelis are all freaking out.  What are we to make of this?

Good pacifists will say that you reap what you sew, violence begets violence.  That's still true, but it doesn't speak to the feelings of betrayal and loss that Iraq veterans are experiencing as the country implodes into chaos.   It misses the nuance of the situation, and disengages the political truth.  Leftists, centrists and rightists will engage in a blame-game: whose fault, Democrats or Republicans?  Who's less effective, the "bomb em to dust" militarists or the "human security" cultural anthropologists who work with them?  Did we "lose" the war?  Was it "because of" the pacifists?  Please, friends, do not let the narrative turn into the simplified Vietnam apologetic: "if only those damn hippies would have supported the troops..."

But the reality is, that this tragic middle east situation has been in the works for years.  I myself have been mourning it for eight years now since I was made aware of it. 



The hard truth


The hard truth of the situation is not that now we have left the savage hordes are going to revert to murdering each other.  The hard truth is -- and this is something that needs to be minded most especially by comfortable center-left Americans as we go about our summer vacations -- that the US put this regional, genocidal conflict into motion in 2003 and 2004 while Paul Bremer was dictator of Iraq.

Because the US military was blinded by the Bush administration's ideology, the occupation paradigm was unable to handle the inevitable insurgency.  And rather than stay and admit that we caused this, the occupation under Petraeus decided to stave it off for a few years till we could leave, in the process making it much, much worse.  That is the narrative that won't be spoken in the media, and that is what you need to know to connect with the soldiers who left blood and tears in the Sunni Levant.


An Iraq Vet for Peace Responds

My friends, the men and women who left a decade of the best part of their lives in Iraq are hurting as Mosul, Tall Afar, Fallujah, Ramadi are burning.  Reach out to them.  Help them make sense of this.  They are sensitive human beings, and they need listening, as I do.
 
There will someday be a chance to reconcile all the evil of the past.  The events of this summer in Iraq will shatter the entire paradigm of smug satisfaction of militarists everywhere.  They will be looking for new paradigms, and may even be open to the difficult truth of peace.  Now is the time to begin reaching out to veterans, if you haven't already.  Pacifist institutions need to jump on the opportunity now. 

I am not the only Iraq veteran interested in peace, though I may have been on the early side of it.  There are a million former analysts and interrogators and tankers and military policemen who need that truth now.
 
Thank you for your solidarity and support until the peace that surpasses understanding reigns.
 
v/r,
 
Evan K.M. Knappenberger
Veterans for Peace Chapter 171, (president)
Charlottesville Center for Peace & Justice, (board member)

Eastern Mennonite University, (B.A. 2015)

The Democratic Push to Bomb Iraq Again

People forget the extent to which Democrats, who controlled the U.S. Senate at the time, pushed for and supported the 2003 attack on Iraq.  Remember them or not, theeeeeeeeeey're back!

The Center for American Progress, the head of whose "action fund," former Democratic Congressman from Virginia's Fifth District Tom Perriello, slipped through the revolving door into a State Department job in February, is now pushing for "principled" bombings of Iraq.

Principled or not, the Center for American Progress is funded by Lockheed Martin and other huge war profiteers. C.A.P. has just put out a report recommending that air strikes be considered.

For that to happen, many other things need to not be considered:

1. The views of the U.S. public, which opposes more wars and some of whom here in the fifth district of Virginia fantasized they'd elected an antiwar candidate in Periello several years back.

2. The views of the Iraqi public, who have been nonviolently and violently protesting an illegitimate government installed by the U.S.-led occupation.

3. The rule of law, which bans wars (under both the U.N. Charter and the Kellogg-Briand Pact) even in places where the U.S. has recently fought wars in blatant violation of the law without any legal consequences.

4. The U.S. Constitution, which required that wars be authorized by Congress even before Article VI came to encompass the aforementioned treaties.

5. The 100-year history of foreign military interference consistently making things worse in Iraq.

6. The 11-year history of foreign military interference making things dramatically worse in Iraq to the point where it is no exaggeration to say that the nation has been destroyed.

7. The record suicide rate among U.S. war veterans, many of whom are realizing the role they played in destroying Iraq.

8. The liberties we keep losing as long as the wars for "freedom" role on.

9. The environmental destruction of our largest consumer of petroleum and greatest poisoner of land masses, the U.S. military.

10. The financial cost of trillion-dollar wars when tens of billions in reparations and actual aid could make a world of difference.

11. The history of small numbers of "advisors" in Vietnam and many other wars mushrooming into devastating occupations and millions of murders.

12. The need people have to imagine that Democrats are fundamentally different from Republicans. Think of the damage being done to that already tenuous pretense.  Spare those tender souls any troubled thoughts if you can't spare the lives of Iraqis for their own sake.

Silent Coup: How Enbridge is Quietly Cloning the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

While the debate over the TransCanada Keystone XL tar sands pipeline has raged on for over half a decade, pipeline giant Enbridge has quietly cloned its own Keystone XL in the U.S and Canada. 

It comes in the form of the combination of Enbridge's Alberta Clipper (Line 67), Flanagan South and Seaway Twin pipelines.

Iraq Veterans Warn Obama: Military Intervention Will Be a Disaster

WHEN: 1 PM THURSDAY, JUNE 19

WHERE: NATIONAL PRESS CLUB (Lisagor Rm.), Washington, DC, 529 14th

WHO: ROSS CAPUTI and MATT SOUTHWORTH, Iraq War Veterans

 TIM KAHLOR, Father of 2-tour Iraq veteran with PTSD

 RAY MC GOVERN, former CIA Intelligence Analyst

Iraq War veterans are sending a message to President Obama: Don’t intervene in Iraq, it will only

result in more lost lives, both U.S. and Iraqi.

After the nightmare of more than a decade of war, many Iraq veterans see the destabilizing U.S. invasion and

occupation of Iraq as the reason for the crisis the country finds itself in. They point to the futility of further U.S.

military action and the likelihood that airstrikes, rather than benefiting the Iraqi people, will continue to bring

them death, destruction and dislocation, while also putting U.S. service members in further danger.

Today, Iraq veterans and family members are calling on the Obama administration to stay out of the

brewing civil war; to provide humanitarian aid to refugees; and to pursue international diplomacy towards

reconciliation for the people of Iraq.

ROSS CAPUTI is a Marine Corps veteran of the 2nd siege of Fallujah in November and December of 2004,

considered the bloodiest battle of the U.S. war in Iraq. Today he is on the Board of Directors of ISLAH

(www.reparations.org) and he is a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War.

“The many American lives that were lost in Iraq cannot be made meaningful by propping up an

unpopular government with violence. Any further actions taken by the U.S. to arm the Maliki

government in Baghdad or support it through military intervene:tion and airstrikes would be completely

unacceptable and immoral, as Iraqi civilians will surely suffer the most.“

MATT SOUTHWORTH is an Iraq War veteran who in 2004 was stationed near the strategic town of Tal Afar,

260 miles northwest of Baghdad, which was captured by Sunni militants this week. He has expressed his

sadness and outrage in an article for Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), where he works. Matt

is a member of Veterans For Peace, an organization that represents thousands of U.S. veterans.

“With nearly 5,000 U.S. troops killed, over 30,000 wounded, hundreds of thousands of Moral Injuries

and millions of Iraqis killed, wounded and displaced, today I wonder for what? Never until this

moment have I felt so much like it was all for nothing.... The human costs are incalculable, but will

the trillions of dollars spent on war and veteran care do any good whatsoever for the U.S., Iraq or the

world? A decade after the invasion, almost no positive effect of our involvement in Iraq remains intact

and yet the talk is almost exclusively around military intervention. Why?”

TIM KAHLOR is the father of medically retired Sgt. Ryan Kahlor. His son served over 24 months in 2 tours in

Iraq. He and his wife Laura live Murrieta, CA.

"People want to believe that when your loved ones come home from war, it’s all good. End of story.

Yet seven years after our son’s last deployment and getting him diagnosed with TBI and PTSD, we

are still fighting to make sure our son is alive and well and getting the treatment he needs for all his

injuries. Now I know the wounds of war will never heal completely and our son like so many others

continue to be in mental combat every day."

RAY MC GOVERN served as an Army Infantry/Intelligence officer during the early Sixties; was then a CIA

analyst for 27 years. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

“Already too much carnage in Iraq has been ‘justified’ by ‘unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-
existent’ intelligence (Senate Intelligence Committee, June 5, 2008). 100 years ago as WWI loomed,

Rudyard Kipling pulled strings to get his (under-aged) only son, John, into the army. Filled with remorse

when young John was killed a year later, Kipling put the following words in his dead son’s mouth:

‘If they question why we died, tell them because our fathers lied.’ The soil of Iraq is caked with blood

borne of lies – lies that persist and poison public discourse. We are all responsible for this chaos.

No more war!”

“U.S. intervention will give new energy to current fighters and likely draw a whole new group of people to

fight against the U.S.,” said Michael McPhearson, Executive Director of Veterans For Peace. “The U.S. does not

need to create new enemies. This will make a political solution even more difficult, while endangering the lives

of Iraqis and Americans. It is time for the U.S. to move away from war.”

Veterans and military families will participate in a White House rally at 1 pm this Saturday, June 21, in

conjunction with demonstrations around the country.

Iraqi Perspective

Kumi Naidoo

IRAQ VETERANS WARN OBAMA AGAINST MILITARY ACTION

        
Press Advisory from Veterans For Peace    
             216 S. Meramec Avenue St. Louis, MO 63105 (314) 725-6005


                           www.veteransforpeace.org


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
            


IRAQ VETERANS WARN OBAMA AGAINST MILITARY ACTION

WHENThursday June 19, 2014 (tomorrow) at 1 pm EDT
WHERE:  The National Press Club, Lisagor Room
                   529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor
                   Washington D.C. 20045

WHAT: As Iraq approaches the brink of another civil war U.S. veterans of the war in Iraq call on the Obama administration to learn from the lessons of our country’s past and to pursue non-military diplomatic solutions in supporting the people of Iraq in reaching reconciliation. Those veterans who have served inside of Iraq know intimately that not one more life should be lost inside of Iraq due to U.S. military actions neither service members nor Iraqis.
WHO: Veterans of the Iraq War Calling for An End To U.S. Military Intervention in Iraq with military family members and former CIA analyst Ray McGovern




PRIMARY SPOKESPEOPLE:

Ross Caputi is a Marine Corps veteran of the 2nd siege of Fallujah. Today he is on the Board of Directors of ISLAH (www.reparations.org) and he is a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Matt Southworth is an Army veteran of the Iraq War.  He currently works in Washington, DC for Friends Committee on National Legislation and he is a member of Veterans For Peace.

Tim Kahlor is the father of medically retired Sgt. Ryan Kahlor. His son served over 24 months in 2 tours in Iraq.  He is a member of Military Families Speak Out.

Ray McGovern served as an Army infantryman/Intelligence officer in the early Sixties and was then a CIA analyst for 27 years. He a co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).



SPONSORS: Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) , Veterans For Peace (VFP),  Military Families Speak Out (MFSO)


Attention Media: On camera interviews will be available with various Iraq veterans and family members.





#####

* Veterans For Peace is a 29-year-old U.S. based nonprofit educational organization with chapters in over 100 US cities and several international chapters.  VFP members include veterans of World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the US occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as non-veteran allies.  The mission of Veterans For Peace is to abolish war as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy.




 








Veterans For Peace, 216 S. Meramec, St. Louis, MO 63105, 314-725-6005

www.veteransforpeace.org

Ukraine News - June 19 , 2014

 

Ukraine's president offers unilateral ceasefire after talks with Putin, Merkel - Fox News


VIDEO: Ukrainian President calls for peace plan after Putin phone call - euronews


Ukraine to cease fire in eastern regions in next few days: acting defense minister - ITAR-TASS


Military operation to secure Ukraine's eastern border nearly complete, says defense minister - UPI.com


Ukraine’s Poroshenko nominates new Foreign Minister, suggests relieving Deshchytsia from post after he shouted “Putin is a dickhead” - RIA Novosti


Russian diplomat welcomes Ukraine president’s choice for foreign minister - ITAR-TASS


Poroshenko offers condolences over death of Russian journalists in Ukraine - ITAR-TASS


Ukraine's Poroshenko proposes ally as central bank chief - Yahoo News UK


Ukraine’s Parliament Proposes to Dissolve, calls new elections - RIA Novosti


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

Rebels Reject Ukrainian Leader’s Cease-Fire Idea, “If they want peace, then they can leave” - NYTimes.com


Donetsk, Luhansk leaders say contacts with presidential settlement envoy are impossible until Ukrainian troops stay - ITAR-TASS


'No to war!': Thousands of miners protest Kiev’s crackdown on E. Ukraine (VIDEO) - RT News


Lavrov: Moscow expects full-scale ceasefire from Ukrainian authorities and negotiations with southeast separatists - voiceofrussia.com


VIDEO (Russian): Lavrov Urges Ukraine to Negotiate With Pro-Russian Separatists - YouTube


Russian Army Ready for Any Developments in Ukraine, World: Defense Minister - RIA Novosti


U.N. Report Details Casualties in Eastern Ukraine - NYTimes.com


REPORT (Full): Report on the human rights situation in Ukraine - United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights


Russia Foreign Ministry: UN report fails to objectively assess Kiev’s criminal actions - ITAR-TASS


Ukraine Defense Ministry says 147 servicemen killed in military operation - ITAR-TASS


2 Russian journalists killed in eastern Ukraine - AP


VIDEO: Moment Ukraine army shell hits Russian TV crew caught on tape - RT News


Kharkiv Mayor Gennady Kernes Returns After Assassination Attempt - The Moscow Times


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

Interior minister: Blast at Ukraine gas pipeline due to bomb, security increased - Reuters


Ukrainian pipeline blast caused by poor investment: Gazprom - ITAR-TASS


Ukrainian government is ready to introduce state of emergency in the energy sector - ITAR-TASS


Kiev wants joint EU-Ukraine gas strategy - skynews.com


Moscow to Hold New Gas Talks Only After Kiev Clears its Debt: Russian Energy Minister - RIA Novosti


Hungary to increase reverse-flow gas supply to Ukraine - ITAR-TASS

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

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