Hear David Swanson Speak in Maine

Visit PeaceWorks of Greater Brunswick.

David Swanson in Brunswick, Maine
Feb. 15, 2014 Saturday
3 - 5 p.m. Curtis Memorial Library
Sign up on Facebook.
Flyer: PDF.

David Swanson in Portland, Maine
Feb. 15, 2014 Saturday
6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Lee Hall, Wishcamper Center, USM, 34 Bedford Street
Parking in garage next to Wishcamper
Flyer: PDF.

Talks & Book signings.

Free and open to the public.

David Swanson will discuss and sign copies of his new book, War No More: The Case for Abolition.

Swanson's books include When the World Outlawed War, named by Ralph Nader as one of the six books everyone should read; the best-selling classic War Is A Lie, and Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union, of which Glenn Greenwald said, "There have now been many books written which chronicle the imperial, lawless presidency of the Bush era, but Swanson’s superb new book is one of the very few to examine how we can recover from it and reverse its pernicious trends."

Swanson is the host of Talk Nation Radio. He helped plan the nonviolent occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington DC in 2011. Swanson holds a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a
communications director, with jobs including press secretary for Dennis Kucinich's 2004 presidential campaign.

He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org and works for RootsAction.org. Swanson is Secretary of Peace in the Green Shadow Cabinet.

These events are co-sponsored by: PeaceWorks, PeaceActionMaine, GlobalNetWork, CodePink Maine, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Maine Veterans for Peace, Brunswick Friends Meeing, PAM Action Committee.

For more information contact mSpiess@myfairpoint.net 207-865-3802.

Syria News - Jan 26

 

Syria Geneva II talks: Breakthrough in sight with humanitarian corridor that could see aid convoy heading to Homs within 48 hours - The Independent


Homs aid a 'trial balloon' for peace talks: Syria opposition - GlobalPost


VIDEO: Lakhdar Brahimi, full press conference on direct talks between Syria government and opposition - YouTube


VIDEO: Horrific footage of starvation in Palestinian Yarmook camp in Syria - YouTube


Syrian Coalition Calls for Setting a Specific Timeframe for Geneva II Negotiations - Syrian National Coalition

 

Weak Rebel Support for the Syrian Peace Talks - Syria in Crisis - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

 

American Official Reveals Secret Communications with Regime - The Syrian Observer

 

Chaos in Syria could avalanche if regime changes abruptly: Lavrov - Interfax

 

Russian-Chinese Naval Training Exercise Begins in Mediterranean - RIA Novosti

 

CNN gets hacked: ‘Syrian Electronic Army Was Here…’ - Poynter

 

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Jihadist announces creation of ISIS branch in Lebanon - Naharnet


VIDEO: Jihadist announces creation of ISIS branch in Lebanon - YOUTUBE


Nusra Front claims responsibility for several attacks in Lebanon, urges Sunnis to avoid Hezbollah areas - THE DAILY STAR


Israel foils Al Qaeda plot to attack American Embassy in Tel Aviv - Fox News


Israel fears it is next target of al-Qaeda-linked jihadis in Syria, to re-evaluate its policy of neutrality in the conflict - The Times of Israel


Israeli officer: With 30,000 Al Qaeda fighters in Syria, ready to embark on cross-border military action to stem this direct threat - DEBKAfile


Al Qaeda group claims responsibility for Cairo bombings - The National


Al Qaeda offshoot ISIS imposes strict Islamic rules in north Syria, beheaded on Friday two men by sword over charges of insulting The Holy Prophet -  ZAMAN ALWSL

 

VIDEO: ISIS Beheader - LiveLeak.com

 

VIDEO: New ISIS mass grave near Atareb, 2 women pulled from it - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Ex-ISIS man reveals torture in name of 'prison jihad’ in Syria - LiveLeak.com

 

Child exploitation by ISIS terror group in Syria war - alalam.ir

 

VIDEO: Syrian kid about 3-4 years old shooting with AK 47 - LiveLeak.com

 

Belgium’s Syria Jihadist Fighters ~ An Overview of 2012 and 2013 - JIHADOLOGY

 

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Kobanê To Declare Kurdish Autonomy on January 27th - The Rojava Report


Kurdish members of Syria opposition coalition lashed out al-Jarba after he did not mention the rights of the Kurds in his speech - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Lavrov: Kurds and NCB should be included - Transnational Middle-East Observer

 

Jabhat al-Nusra, ISIS and Ahrar ash-Sham form joint front to seize western Ras al-Ayn from PYD control - YALLA SOURIYA

 

VIDEO: Rebels get ready to storm Ras al-Ayn to free it from YPG - LiveLeak.com

 

VIDEO: Fighters from ISIS, Ahrar and Nusra sing for unity & the end of fighting that diverts them from jihad - YouTube

 

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Report on Martyrs Who Died in Regime's Detention Center Branch 215 of the Military Intelligence Division, Damascus - Violations Documentation Center


Ten Inconsistencies in the Carter-Ruck Torture Report - SibiaLiria


Carter Ruck clients: Yasin Qadı, Yusuf al-Qaradawi and other people allegedly connected with al-Qaeda, Erdogan and Islamic Relief Organization (IHH) - nsnbc international

 

Does a Qatar-Sponsored ‘Smoking Gun’ Torture Report Reveal An Ulterior Motive? - mintpressnews.com

 

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Citing DeSmogBlog Series, "FrackNation" Screening Cancelled by MN Film Festival

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

"FrackNation," the documentary film about hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") with close conservative movement ties, recently had its showing cancelled at Winona, Minnesota's annual Frozen River Film Festival (FRFF).

Outlaw drone strikes, says Yemeni National Dialogue

From REPRIEVE:

Yemen’s National Dialogue Conference (NDC), the body appointed to chart a post-revolutionary course for the country, has recommended that the new Yemeni constitution make a criminal offence of extra-judicial killing. The recommendations, issued today by the National Issues and Transitional Justice Working Group, would outlaw the US drone strikes that have killed and injured hundreds of people in Yemen, including the December targeting of a wedding party that killed 12 and injured 14.

The news comes amid an apparent ramping up of US drone strikes in Yemen; there have been eight strikes in the last two months alone. Last week, a Yemeni delegation to the United Nations admitted that the Government has had to establish a counselling centre for children because the level of trauma caused by drone attacks in the country is so high.
Meanwhile, a growing clamour of voices is urging the US government to reconsider the controversial policy. This week, former US commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal told the BBC that drone strikes risked creating “a tremendous amount of resentment” in places like Yemen.    

The NDC was established in 2012 as part of an internationally-sponsored initiative that led to President Ali Abdullah Saleh stepping down in February 2012, following the 2011 uprising. It was designed to be representative of all Yemeni society, and met throughout 2013 to agree a way forward for a new constitution for Yemen.

Baraa Shiban, a Reprieve Associate based in Yemen and a leading member of the group, said: 

“To date, there has been little to no accountability in Yemen for the suffering caused by drone strikes, which have terrorised local populations.   

“We welcome this move to take real steps towards protecting the rights and security of Yemen’s citizens, and urge the Yemeni Government to ensure that these recommendations are included in the country’s new constitution.   

“It’s disheartening, however, to see the US intensifying drone strikes in Yemen at the very moment the Yemeni people are working to criminalise them. The US has supported the NDC process, but persists in ignoring its outcomes when inconvenient.”

Turkey News - Jan 25

 

Former US envoys to Ankara say Erdoğan doing great harm to democracy - Today's Zaman


Op-Ed by former U.S. ambassadors to Turkey: The United States needs to tell Turkey to change course - The Washington Post


US State Department on Turkey graft probe claims: No comment - CİHAN


Turkey's Government Sees US Hand in Anti-Corruption Probes - VOA


EU president urges Turkey to respect rule of law - Today's Zaman


EU to wait before taking action, Erdogan failed to convince the European Union leadership of the existence of a parallel state - CI˙HAN


‘Parallel structure’ case to bring gov’t closer to authoritarianism - Today's Zaman

 

PM Erdoğan confirms partial suspension of HSYK bill - Today's Zaman

 

Turkey's main opposition: Draft military law bill jeopardizes promotions, amendments will require prime minister’s approval before trying senior members of the military by the judicial authorities - hurriyetdailynews

 

Legal proceedings underway for Turkish Justice Minister Bozdag - hurriyetdailynews

 

Truck-intercepting prosecutor stripped of some powers - Today's Zaman

 

Turkish PM Erdoğan's son ready to testify over graft probe: Lawyer - hurriyetdailynews

 

Turkish PM Erdoğan slams top business group head for probe warning - hurriyetdailynews

 

Int'l press institutions: PM identifying journalist as target worrisome, hampers press freedom - Today's Zaman

 

Intellectuals call on gov't not to ‘acquit' corruption, coup plotters - Today's Zaman

 

Online Petition Drive in Turkey Attempts to Force Anti-Corruption Reforms - VOA

 

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Erdogan threatens to unveil graft accusations against main opposition candidate for Istanbul mayor - Reuters


CHP Istanbul candidate Sarıgül replies to TMSF: ‘You cannot scare me’ - hurriyetdailynews


Turkish government accused of trying to sabotage poll - FT.com

 

A Race for More Than the Mayor of Istanbul – NYTimes.com

 

Turkish Opposition Eyes Its Opportunity In March local elections - KNAU Arizona Public Radio

 

Lira slide becomes headache for Turkey's embattled Erdogan - Reuters

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Open Letter to The 85 Richest People on The Planet (cc: Kevin O’Leary) VIDEO

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org Responding to the Oxfam report that concluded that the world's 85 richest people own the same amount as the bottom half of the entire global population, self appointed spokesperson for the global elite, and celebrity Judge on the reality show The Shark Tank Kevin O’Leary,applauded the news, stating that is  “fantastic news (…) the motivation everybody needs (…) it inspires everyone to want to be like the 1%” and scoffing at the idea of “re-distribution of wealth” stated, “ I celebrate Capitalism.” His remarks inspire this open

What we learned touring Close Guantanamo NOW

by Debra Sweet         5 years ago yesterday Obama signed an executive order to close Guantanamo. But the Obama administration is still making arguments in US federal court, and to the public that indefinite detention is necessary in Bagram, Afghanistan, as well as other places. From Guantanamo and beyond: indefinite detention and other forms of torture are wrong and must be stopped!

Asia Pacific Working Group: Weekly Posting of Articles

 
 

Friends,

            If we needed any incentives to focus more of our efforts to preventing a catastrophic great power war growing out of tensions in East Asia, this week’s reflections by Joseph Nye and Shinzo Abe (see below) – each of whom has made more than his share of contributions to the dangers we face – should more than suffice.  Take a look at the first two articles in this week’s posting.

With this year being the centenary of the outbreak of World War I, an increasing number of analysts are raising alarms about the parallels between the current situation across Asia and the Pacific and the years immediately preceding the gunshot in Sarajevo that triggered the First World War.  They include the inevitable tensions between rising and declining powers, with the dominant powers (then Britain and France, now U.S. and Japan) committed to enforcing the status quo while the rising power (then Germany, now China) presses to modify the prevailing to expand and protect its perceived interests and to exercise the influence it believes is its due. There are territorial disputes, intense arms races, interlocking alliance systems, and nations dependent on naval power being challenged by a continental power asserting itself on the high seas.  As in the early 1900s, international trade and economic globalization surging. There are new technologies increasing communication and new and cataclysmically destructive weapons. Again there is widespread belief that great power war is unimaginable. And, as in Europe in 1914, there are numerous wild cards including potentially failing states and rising nationalism.

Of course, as in 1914 war is not inevitable. Much depends on what we do.

And, meanwhile, voters in Nago voted overwhelmingly to block the construction of a new U.S. Marine air base, and the Abe and U.S. governments are hypocritically assaulting this exercise of democracy doing their best to crush Okinawan resistance. Look for a petition next week to communicate your support for peace, democracy and human dignity.

So, read, work for peace, and share these articles as you think best.

Joseph Gerson

 

Dangers of Sino-Japanse War:

 

1914 Revisited – Joseph Nye

http://www.asiapacificinitiative.org/?p=3636

 

Will Japan and China Go to War? – Time Magazine

http://www.asiapacificinitiative.org/?p=3655> (1/22)

 

United States

 

US Pacific fleet chief says North Korea is top security concern in Asia

http://www.asiapacificinitiative.org/?p=3661

 

China

 

 

 Chinese patrol ship to be based at disputed islands in South China Sea

http://www.asiapacificinitiative.org/?p=3651

 

Regional security tops Sino-US talks in Beijing

http://www.asiapacificinitiative.org/?p=3657

 

China's nuclear missile drill seen as warning to US not to meddle in region

http://www.asiapacificinitiative.org/?p=3659

 

Work under way on China's second aircraft carrier at Dalian yard

http://www.asiapacificinitiative.org/?p=3624

 

China stands for 5 principles in a political settlement of the Syrian issue

http://www.asiapacificinitiative.org/?p=3634

 

 

Japan

 

Nago mayor wins re-election in blow to Abe, U.S.

http://www.asiapacificinitiative.org/nago-mayor-wins-re-election-in-blow-to-abe-u-s

 

Base setback denied after Nago poll

http://www.asiapacificinitiative.org/?p=3641

 

Bidding starts on Futenma base relocation work

http://www.asiapacificinitiative.org/?p=3647

 

Kadena (Okinawa) moms demand truth

http://www.asiapacificinitiative.org/?p=3645

 

Shinzo Abe seeks 'frank discussion' with China and South Korea

http://www.asiapacificinitiative.org/?p=3627

 

Abe’s Version of History Doesn’t Sit Well With Chinese

http://www.asiapacificinitiative.org/?p=3639

 

Ex-teacher sues over ‘Kimigayo’ rule

http://www.asiapacificinitiative.org/?p=3643

 

 

Foreign Minister Kishida criticized for remark on nuclear weapons while speaking in Nagasaki

http://www.asiapacificinitiative.org/?p=3663

 

Korea

ADIZ: a four letter word

http://www.asiapacificinitiative.org/?p=3631

 

S. Korean ruling party exec calls Japan ‘terrorist state’ after hero criticized<http://www.asiapacificinitiative.org/?p=3649

 

South East Asia

Vietnam marks 40th anniversary of China's invasion of Paracel Islands

http://www.asiapacificinitiative.org/?p=3629

 

This resource is a service of the Working Group for Peace and Demilitarization in Asia and the Pacific.

Bahrain: Preparations underway for 3rd anniversary as regime steps up repression

The meeting between the Alkhalifa crown prince and a delegation from Al Wefaq on Wednesday 15th January was seen by the revolutionary youth as a dirty ploy designed to confuse the situation and give false impression of a blood-thirsty dictatorial regime. While Salman Alkhalifa is himself discredited for his support of the violence perpetrated by his clan against Bahrainis, the two other Alkhalifa members present at the meeting has enraged the people for the atrocities they committed against the country and its native inhabitants. The Bahraini opposition is planning to bring them to international courts for demolishing mosques, torturing people to death, acts of rape of prisoners, extra-judicial killings and gassing demonstrators, elderly people and children to death. The aim of the meeting is seen as nothing more a desperate attempt to stall the preparations by Bahrainis to re-invigorate the Revolution on its third anniversary on 14th February. The dictator’s son has re peated his failures time and again with those hollow meetings that have been discredited for being hollow gestures. The people’s stand has remained defiant; that the Alkhalifa regime must go.

Among the atrocious acts committed by the regime is the continuous arrest, torture and unfair trials of Bahrainis. According to Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), Ahmed Al-Arab’s fate is still unknown since his abduction by Death Squads on 9th January. Children Jehad AlSamea (10 years) and Abdulla AlBahrani (13 years) had their detention renewed until 27 January 2014.  The Committee to Defend Athletes has reported a rise in targeting athletes. There are now 73 of them behind bars for protesting peacefully. The  Committee to Defend Imprisoned Athletes stated that it had documented dozens of  arrests among athletes, the total sentence of 42 athlete is approximately 634  years. Athlete Abdulla Al-Maghni was sentenced to 72 years in more than a case.

The BCHR has  also documented three arrests since November in cases of vengeance against the arrested individuals' for the political and human rights activities of their. The security forces arrested Mahmood Aqeel Al-Sari on 6 November 2013, and Ahmed Hasan Mushaima on 28 December, while the airport security forces arrested Sheikh Yasser Al-Saleh on 26 December 2013.

There has been a deep feeling of disappointment at the decision by UK to send Prince Andrew to Bahrain. According to the British Embassy in Manama the trip was to help promote what its website calls “Great British Week”. This included a performance by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and is designed to boost trade and “emphasise the friendship and strong bilateral relationship between the United Kingdom and Bahrain.”  The Duke of York wanted to promote 200 years of British/Bahraini relations by forging stronger links with, and defence of the Alkhalifa hereditary repressive dictatorship.

The British policy in Bahrain has been a source of unease among political activists who see UK’s expertise in the security field being used to repress Bahraini people. Torture has been rampant  and new cases of this horrific treatment like that of Ahmad Mushaima confirms this. The UK’s image is being tarnished by this involvement which does not serve British interests.

Amnesty International has issued an Urgent Action on behalf of Bahraini photojournalist Ahmad Fardan who was released on bail on 9 January, pending investigation on a new charge of “involvement in a Molotov cocktail attack on police in December”. He has said that he was tortured.

Meanwhile, the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) has commented on the controversy surrounding Formula 1 future. It said: Bernie Ecclestone has stepped down from the F1 board as he faces trial for bribery. Formula One and the FIA will be facing a media backlash because of the case and the last thing they need is Bahrain creeping up on them. This is a massive boost for the campaign. BIRD has already sent a letter to the Chairman of the FIA Jean Todt asking him for an immediate suspension of all FIA activities in Bahrain pending an investigation into a breach of their code of ethics.

Bahrain Freedom Movement
22nd January 2014

They Never Announce When You Prevent a War

There exists, I suppose, some slight chance of this one making it into the State of the Union address, no doubt in a distorted, bellicose, and xenophobic disguise.  Typically, there's no chance of any announcement at all. 

We're stopping another war.

There are a million qualifications that need to be put on that statement.  None of them render it false.  A bill looked likely to move through Congress that would have imposed new sanctions on Iran, shredded the negotiated agreement with Iran, and committed the United States to join in any Israeli war on Iran.  This would be a step toward war and has become understood as such by large numbers of people.  Efforts to sell sanctions as an alternative to war failed. Tons of pushback has come, and is still coming, from the public, including from numerous organizations not always known for their opposition to war.  And the bill, for the moment, seems much less likely to pass. 

This is no time to let up, but to recognize our power and press harder for peace.

Pushback against the sanctions bill has come from the White House, from within the military, and from elsewhere within the government. But this bill was something the warmongers wanted, AIPAC wanted, a majority of U.S. senators wanted, and corporate media outlets were happy to support.  The underlying pretense that Iran has a nuclear weapons program that endangers the world had the support of the White House and most other opponents of the March-to-War bill.  That pretense has been successfully sold to much of the public. The additional supporting pretense that sanctions have helped, rather than hindered, diplomacy has similar widespread backing. But when it comes to a measure understood as a step into war, the public is saying no, and that public response is a factor in the likely outcome.

In this instance, President Obama has been on the right side of the debate. I've never known that to actually be true before. But there's been a whole infrastructure of activism set up and fine-tuned for five years now, all based around the pretense that Obama was right on various points and Congress wrong.  So, when that actually happened to be true, numerous organizations knew exactly what to do with it. War opposition and Obama-following merged.  But let's remember back to August and September.  That was a different situation in which . . .

We stopped another war.

Raytheon's stock was soaring. The corporate media wanted those missiles to hit Syria. Obama and the leadership of both parties wanted those missiles to hit Syria.  The missiles didn't fly.

Public pressure led the British Parliament to refuse a prime minister's demand for war for the first time since the surrender at Yorktown, and the U.S. Congress followed suit by making clear to the U.S. president that his proposed authorization for war on Syria would not pass through either the Senate or the House.  Numerous Congress members, from both houses and both parties, said they heard more from the public against this war than ever before on any issue. It helped that Congress was on break and holding town hall meetings.  It helped that it was Jewish holidays and AIPAC wasn't around. 

And there were other factors.  After the public pushed Congress to demand a say, Obama agreed to that.  Perhaps he wanted something so controversial -- something being talked about as "the next Iraq" -- to go to Congress.  Perhaps he expected Congress would probably say No.  In such a scenario, the decisive factor would remain the past decade of growing public sentiment against wars.  But I don't think that's what happened.  Obama and Kerry were pushing hard and publicly for those missiles to fly.  When they couldn't get the "intelligence" agencies to back their fraudulent case, they announced it anyway.  Those lies are just being exposed now, in a very different context from that in which the Iraq war lies or the Afghanistan or Libya war lies have been exposed.  Obama told us to watch videos of children suffering and dying in Syria and to choose between war and inaction.  We rejected that choice, opposed war, and supported humanitarian aid (which hasn't happened on remotely the necessary scale).

In the space of a day, discussions in Washington, D.C., shifted from the supposed necessity of war to the clear desirability of avoiding war. The Russians' proposal to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons had already been known to the White House but was being rejected. When Kerry publicly suggested that Syria could avoid a war by handing over its chemical weapons, everyone knew he didn't mean it.  In fact, when Russia called his bluff and Syria immediately agreed, Kerry's staff put out this statement: "Secretary Kerry was making a rhetorical argument about the impossibility and unlikelihood of Assad turning over chemical weapons he has denied he used. His point was that this brutal dictator with a history of playing fast and loose with the facts cannot be trusted to turn over chemical weapons, otherwise he would have done so long ago. That's why the world faces this moment." In other words: stop getting in the way of our war! By the next day, however, with Congress rejecting war, Kerry was claiming to have meant his remark quite seriously and to believe the process had a good chance of succeeding, as of course it did.  Diplomatic solutions are always available.  What compelled Obama to accept diplomacy as the last resort was the public's and Congress's refusal to allow war.

These victories are limited and tentative.  The machinery that pushes for war hasn't gone away.  The arms are still flowing into Syria.  Efforts to negotiate peace there seem less than wholehearted.  The U.S. puppeteer has stuck its arm up the rear end of the United Nations and uninvited Iran from the talks.  The people of Syria and Iran are no better off.

But they're also no worse off. No U.S. bombs are falling from their skies.

There could be other proposals for wars that we'll find much harder to prevent.  That's precisely why we must recognize the possibility of stopping those proposals too, a possibility established by the examples above, from which we should stop fleeing in panic as if the possibility that everything we do might have some point to it horrifies us.

Any war can be stopped.  Any pretended necessity to hurry up and kill large numbers of people can be transformed into a negotiation at a table using words rather than missiles.  And if we come to understand that, we'll be able to start dismantling the weaponry, which in turn will make the tendency to think of war as the first option less likely.  By steps we can move to a world in which our government doesn't propose bombing someone new every few months but instead proposes helping someone new. 

If we can stop one war, if we can stop two wars, why can't we stop them all and put our resources into protection rather than destruction?  Why can't we move to a world beyond war?

Syria/Turkey News - Jan 24

 

Syrian opposition chief Jarba says Russia not sticking to Assad - THE DAILY STAR


VIDEO (and transcript): Russian FM Lavrov: Geneva II talks must not include any discussion of Syria regime change - EA WorldView


Kerry: Some nations ready to deploy Syria peacekeepers - AFP


Iran president Hassan Rouhani calls for “free and fair elections in Syria,” says Tehran “ready to engage” neighbors - CBS News

 

Syrian opposition refuses to meet govt face-to-face at Geneva 2 talks - RT News

 

FSA seeks new US arms supplies as Geneva talks resume - Telegraph

 

A Revolution in Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood? - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

 

VIDEO: Syrian President’s Media Advisor Bouthaina Shaaban goes on fiery rant - CNN

 

Many Syrians still see Assad as indispensable in saving their country - McClatchy DC

 

Hope Springs in Syria? How Local Cease-fires Have Brought Some Respite to Damascus - Foreign Affairs

 

VIDEO: Footage shows Syria 'FSA' militants defecting to the Syrian army - YouTube

 

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Nearly 1,400 dead since Syria rebel infightiing began, The Observatory says the figure included 760 moderate and Islamist rebels, 426 ISIS fighters - Al Arabiya


VIDEO: Northern Syria: Al-Qaeda's New Home, VICE filmmaker unprecedented access to both al Qaeda factions ISIS and Al Nusra  - YouTube


Al Qaeda ISIS militants seize Manbij east Aleppo: activists - ZAMAN ALWSL


VIDEO: FSA fleeing, Manbij retaken by ISIS - LiveLeak.com


MAP: Seems that Islamic Front lost Manbej to ISIS - Transnational Middle-East Observer

 

VIDEO: In New Video Campaign Islamic Front Appeals To Foreign Fighters, apparently offering them an alternative to the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham - EA WorldView

 

Qaeda chief Zawahri urges end to deadly clashes between rebels - THE DAILY STAR

 

AUDIO (and English transcript): Syria: Statement of Al Qa’eda Leader al-Zawahiri - EA WorldView

 

More on Al Qaeda head addressing rebel infighting in Syria - The Long War Journal

 

European Jihadists in Syria: More and Younger - Gatestone Institute

 

Interview: How Kuwait Emerged as a Rebel Finance Hub - Syria Deeply

 

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Syrian Kurds protest "exclusion" from Geneva II talks - AFP


Salih Muslim: The Solution is Democratic Autonomy - The Rojava Report


Christians and Kurds Form Coalition in Syria - Assyrian International News Agency


VIDEO: Press Conference: Christians and Kurds Form Coalition in Syria - YouTuber

 

PYD to open representative office in Baghdad - Kurdpress News Aganecy

 

Barzani offers to help in fight against terrorism - Al-Monitor

 

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New photos thought to show more Syrian torture - Anadolu Agency


PHOTOS: New photo gallery thought to show more Syrian torture - Anadolu Agency


State Dept. Learned in November of Photos Said to Show Torture in Syria - NYTimes.com


Report on Assad's tortures in Syria 'full of inconstistencies' - expert - The Voice of Russia

 

IIT Exclusive- 10 Reasons to Reject Syria Torture Report as Untrue - LiveLeak.com

 

Torture Report: Malicious Syria Bashing - rense.com

 

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Brawl occurs in Turkish parliament arliament during a debate over the corruption scandal - The Washington Post


VIDEO: Turkish lawmakers brawl over judicial reforms - Reuters.com


Draft to mandate Turkish PM’s consent for prosecution of top commanders - hurriyetdailynews.com


Inspection of trucks carrying weapons to Syrian rebels reignites debates on MİT Law - Today's Zaman


Weapons being shipped to Syrian rebels in accordance with MGK decision: Report - Today's Zaman

 

Intel not tasked with carrying weapons, Turkish main opposition leader says - hurriyetdailynews.com

 

Syria-bound trucks put spotlight on Turkey - Al-Monitor

 

French prosecutors ask Turkey for details about Paris murder suspect connections - Today's Zaman

 

New developments in Paris killings threaten to derail PKK peace talks - Al-Monitor

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

An Open Letter to Soldiers with 'Mental Health' Issues

Are you a soldier or veteran who is supposed to have a ‘mental health’ issue such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia or PTSD? If you are, then I have some suggestions for you to consider.

Reproductive Rights in a State of Emergency

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org

http://youtu.be/uo0_e5aVYA8

This Wednesday marked the 41st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, which protected a women’s decision to have an abortion was marked by thousands of anti-abortion activists taking part in a march for life in Washington, D.C. Carrying signs saying “I AM the pro-life generation”, and “conceived from rape, I love my life” marches converged on the National Mall Wednesday and marched to the Supreme Court.

While public opinion on abortion has not shifted much since the 1970s, the war on female reproductive rights, which was raging at a fever pitch in 2013, continues to escalate.

Playing the Defense Jobs Card Isn’t Working Anymore

By William D. Hartung, DefenseOne.com

The history of Pentagon spending is rife with examples in which programs have been saved from the budget cutter’s axe because of the jobs associated with them.  From the revival of the B-1 bomber in the 1980s to the current effort to keep the M-1 tank line open, jobs in key states and districts have provided powerful leverage to contractors seeking to save or extend major procurement programs. But those days may be coming to an end.

For the past two and one-half years, the Aerospace Industries Association, or AIA, has repeatedly played the jobs card in an effort to spare the Pentagon budget from automatic cuts called for in 2011’s Budget Control Act.  The association sponsored studies claiming that a million jobs would be eliminated if sequester level cuts took effect at the Pentagon, and spread the word far and wide.  But despite the partial reprieve supplied by December’s budget agreement, the bulk of the cuts called for by the Budget Control Act are taking effect and the widespread economic damage claimed by the AIA has not occurred. The jobs card didn’t work, and the massive job losses never materialized.

Even if the jobs argument didn’t save the Pentagon top line from reductions, it can still play a role in determining the future of specific weapons systems. The determination of the Congress to continue funding for programs like the M-1 tank and the Global Hawk is evidence that job-driven pork barrel politics is a alive and well. But even in fights over specific programs, the jobs argument isn’t as powerful as it used to be

The termination of the F-22 combat aircraft — known as the Raptor — is a case in point. When the Pentagon decided to end the program at 187 planes, Lockheed Martin and its partners on the project claimed that the program was supporting 95,000 jobs in 44 states. Over 200 members of the House, 44 Senators, 12 governors and the leadership of the International Association of Machinists sent “Save the Raptor” letters to the president, emphasizing the jobs argument. But when the showdown vote came in the Senate, a bipartisan anti-F-22 coalition led by Senate Armed Services Committee leaders Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and John McCain, R-Ariz., carried the day. While liberal Democrats like Patty Murray, D-Wash., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. — with significant F-22 work in their states — voted for the program, their votes were offset by Republican budget hawks like Sens. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., John Ensign, R-Nev., and Mike Enzi, R-Utah, who voted against the F-22. The jobs argument failed.

A similar logic played out when Congress finally ended General Electric’s bid to be a second engine supplier for the F-35 combat aircraft. A bipartisan effort led by Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., ended the second engine program despite the fact that the work would have been done near fellow Republican House Speaker John Boehner’s Ohio district.

The F-35 is the latest big project that is being touted as a major jobs creator as a way to fend off critics and ensure a steady flow of funding. But if the program is to be fully funded, it may have to win on the merits, not by emphasizing how many jobs it could create.

In a new report by the Center for International Policy, we have found that Lockheed Martin has exaggerated the number of jobs associated with the F-35 by a factor of two. In addition, the jobs generated by the program will be much more concentrated than F-35 boosters would have us believe, with over half of the jobs in just two states, Texas and California. And large portions of the aircraft will be built overseas.

In short, there just aren’t enough F-35 jobs in enough key locations to make the jobs argument a decisive factor in funding decisions about the plane. If the F-35 is to be fully funded, the contractors and the Air Force will have to prove that the planes can overcome current, serious cost and performance problems, and that they are needed to address the most urgent 21st century threats. Given that the F-35 is slated to be the most expensive weapons program ever undertaken by the Pentagon, that could be a hard sell. And if recent history is any indication, making exaggerated claims about the jobs the F-35 program will create won’t be much help in making the case for the plane.

William D. Hartung is the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy and the author of a new report, “Promising the Sky: Pork Barrel Politics and the F-35.”

“Take me out to the ball game” — so I can be groped?

Ah, well, it was only a matter of time. Anybody with a brain knew it was only a matter of time.

New Year’s Resolution: Push US to Withdraw Military from Afghanistan

 

If it were proved to me that in making war, my ideal had a chance of being realized, I would still say ‘No’ to war. For one does not create a human society on mounds of corpses. — Louis Lecoin, “Paix immédiate”

By John LaForge

After so much blood and destruction in Afghanistan, a lot of people dream of Secretary of State John Kerry reviving his monumental 1971 question, “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?”

A July ABC News/Washington Post poll found only 28 percent of North Americans think the war is worth fighting. “… a steady drumbeat of bad news” like these poll numbers forced Gen. Joseph Dunford, commander of occupation forces in Afghanistan, “to turn his attention to the home front” to try and combat the viral realization that the war is lost.

Last year, Gen. John Allen, Dunford’s predecessor, put the chances of victory this way, “Let me make sure I’m clear on this: Nothing is sure.”

Former Pentagon Chief Leon Penetta has said that corruption in Afghanistan’s government and safe havens in Pakistan for the resistance fighters were major US problems. “None of those are likely to be fixed with American firepower,” he said. One thing “fire” power could fix is the million-dollar-per-month CIA cash deliveries to the offices of Afghan President Hamid Karzai — just fire the CIA delivery boys.

Because of the persistent strength of the Taliban, the slow-paced drawdown of US troop numbers is accompanied by fear that imperial gains made through US bombing and invasion will be lost. “[M]any areas in the south and east where troop pullouts are under way have had only tenuous security gains at best, despite years of hard-fought [US]-led advances,” the New York Times said last summer.

Some of the General Staff’s fears harken back to the bloodier war in Vietnam, where the US propped up similarly corrupt regimes. “Alliance commanders acknowledge that one of their greatest fears is an insurgent offensive on Kabul,” the Times reported last May. Even if such an offensive failed technically — “like” as the Times put it, “the Tet Offensive in the Vietnam War” — it would so humiliate Afghan, US and NATO  forces that their governments would face bolder demands for immediate withdrawal.

US Needs to Concede on Status of Forces

“Status of forces” negotiations are ongoing over how and how many US troops are to stay in country. The Orwellian “pullout” may leave 12,000 soldiers forever. One sticking point is Afghanistan’s demand that US troops not be granted immunity from prosecution for crimes committed there.

With US atrocities blaring from front pages, radios and TVs, it’s easy to understand Afghanistan’s indignation. There is the video of US Marines urinating on Taliban corpses, the burning of a truckload of Korans taken from prisoners by US soldiers, hundreds of civilian deaths caused by US jets, thousands of terrifying nighttime house raids by US commandoes, and the recurrence of massacres, one of 16 civilians by Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales.

Atrocities committed last winter moved the Afghans to ban US commandoes from an entire province. Reports had it that US Special Forces commanded Afghans troops in torturing and killing civilian villagers. A statement by President Karzai hinted that the crimes “may have been committed by Special Operations forces and not just Afghans.” Karzai called US forces “occupiers” with “little regard for the lives of ordinary Afghans.” After Marine Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich — the ringleader in the massacre of 24 civilians in Iraq — was sentenced to three months in jail and a reduction in rank (he had faced 152 years in prison), one can see why Afghan negotiators are holding fast against immunity.

In another echo of the US war in Vietnam, battlegrounds in Afghanistan once called “vital” have been abandoned to the Taliban. One example is the Pech Valley, formerly referred to gravely as “central to the campaign” against the Taliban and al-Qaida. More than 100 US soldiers died there and hundreds more were wounded, but it’s now been deserted by the Pentagon. In 1971, John Kerry, who was then a combat veteran, told a panel of senators, “We watched while men charged up hills because a general said that hill has to be taken, and after losing one platoon or two platoons they marched away to leave the hill for reoccupation by the North Vietnamese.”

The Pech Valley symbolizes the whole of the Afghan quagmire, where it is only vital that the bloodshed be ended. It’s as Dr. King said of Southeast Asia: “The great initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours.”

John LaForge is a Co-director of Nukewatch, a nuclear watchdog and environmental justice group in Wisconsin, edits its quarterly newsletter, and writes for
PeaceVoice.

Speak By Skype With Peace Workers in Afghanistan

Dear friends,

“The political and economic mafia of Afghanistan and the world run this country with their guns and bombs,” says Abdulhai, a 17 year old Afghan Peace Volunteer. “We the people are rather helpless, unless we stand together.”

Abdulhai’s sentiment helps to describe what is needed in the Borderfree movement : ordinary people of our human family from all walks of life and from every country standing together to build non-violent alternatives under the same blue sky (symbolized by the Borderfree Blue Scarves), relating and working for a better, more equal world.   

Today, 60% of Afghan children are malnourished. At least 2500 Afghan women committed suicide in 2012. And over the past four decades, Afghan families have lost at least 2 million loved ones to wars.

Abdulhai and the Afghan Peace Volunteers wish to address these crises by abolishing wars, sharing resources and taking care of the earth. No more war! No more economic exploitation by the 1%! No more destruction of the earth and climate! No more systemic hunger and homelessness! No more thought-numbing bias from the media!

Taking up Prof Noam Chomsky’s challenge to build a world free of borders, we hope for people and friends to work together around climate change, socioeconomic inequalities, militarism with its wars and other global challenges facing humanity today, organizing solidarity actions as a strong 99%!

We believe that an immediate way to be a strong 99% is to get to know one another through arranging Skype or telephone connections across all borders. The Afghan Peace Volunteers in Kabul can connect with you on any day of the week except Fridays. Please arrange a suitable date and time of connection by emailing: borderfree@mail2world.com

We wish to speak via Skype or telephone with ordinary folk, youth, students, farmers, labourers, teachers, musicians and artists, environmentalists, social workers, indigenous communities, friends and activists from every single country in the world, thus catalyzing the most powerful force in the world – love.

Please send this request to your family, friends and acquaintances.

We wish to hear your ‘Borderfree’ voice!

Love from Afghanistan,

Toorpikai, Khalida, Sonia, Razia, Sadaf, Zerghuna, Basir, Abdulhai, Ali, Ghulamai, Zekerullah, Faiz, Raz, Khamad, Barath, Feroz, Hikmat and Hakim, with the Afghan Peace Volunteers

The Thugs of Halftime

Three remarkable items in Thursday's Charlottesville Daily Progress.  First, a football player explaining that when he proclaimed his superiority to his opponent after a game he was caught up in the game's passion, and that the overblown reaction to his obnoxious comments seems racist. Indeed it does, but it seems to reflect another type of willful ignorance as well.

Spectators at gladiator matches don't want to see too deeply into the minds of the gladiators.  We want to watch violent sports without peering inside the helmets. Do they have to tell themselves the other team is dirt? Are they scared? Are they vicious? We don't want to know that stuff.  We want them to give the other guy brain damage and then jump up and talk to the microphone like a coach: "They played a great game today, and in my analysis we won by outplaying them at the game of football. That's what it really comes down to."

Football players are the least of it. Their thoughts would be far more acceptable in prime time than the thoughts of some other people on that field.  In many ways, football games have become advertisements for wars and militarism.  Jets fly over. Soldiers hold flags. Guns are fired. War-based national anthems are sung. Troops are honored. But do those troops chant what they chant in basic training? Do they scream about how blood makes the grass grow? Do they shout their racism and bigotry and insatiable desire to kill? Of course not.  Barbara Bush didn't want her beautiful mind disturbed with body counts and why should we?

If Richard Sherman is a thug for saying he's better than an opposing player, what are soldiers, sailors, Marines, and drone "pilots" who have been conditioned to kill on command because they are so far better than the men, women, children, infants, and grandparents they kill, as to consider those lives expendable?  Football fans don't want to know.  Who wants to see what went into a hotdog? Who wants to know what it means to have panem with your circenses? Who wants to experience what it takes to make the United States -- in a recent poll of 65 nations -- the overwhelming leader as the greatest threat to peace in the world? Who wants to hear that Pat Tillman came to oppose the war he was engaged in and was killed by "friendly fire" with no "enemies" for miles around?  It's a good thing the uniformed thugs of halftime don't speak unrehearsed into microphones.

I recall in a recent Super Bowl hearing the announcer thank U.S. troops for watching from 177 countries. That number could go up a little this year. To put it in context, there are 196 countries on earth.  What are armed Americans doing in 177 countries? They're making their fellow Americans hated.  Look at this week's election in Okinawa, where the victorious mayoral candidate ran on a platform of opposing the U.S. bases.  Look at Italy, where the entire nation turned against the massive U.S. base construction at Vicenza.  Look at South Korea, where the people of Jeju Island are willing to give their lives to stop the construction of a huge base for U.S. ships.  Look at Bahrain, where the people are courageously resisted a vicious monarch, a thug if ever there was a thug, and the United States that stands behind him for the sake of docking its deadly ships in his little boat-dock nation. Look at Yemen, whose corrupt government was forced to admit last week to a major humanitarian crisis of traumatized children -- traumatized by the constant buzzing of U.S. drones. Who wants to know that? I want to see cheerleaders and funny commercials!

Item number two: "Kaine Talks War Powers Bill." This article suggests that Senator Tim Kaine wants to restore warmaking powers to Congress.  But read Kaine's press release.  This bill would violate the Constitution which gave war powers to Congress, and the War Powers Resolution which retained partial war powers for Congress.  Rather than a Congressional authorization, under Kaine's bill, presidents would just have to talk to Congress, after which they could tell Congress to go to hell and proceed with their desired wars (except for endless drone wars, for which Kaine says the requirement to talk to Congress is waived).  And why undo the War Powers Resolution? The thinking, as recounted in the article, is that, since presidents keep violating it, repealing it is the way to uphold "the rule of law."  So, what will uphold the new law?  If presidents don't even talk to Congress -- as Obama went out of his way to avoid doing before bombing Libya -- will the new law have to be repealed to uphold "the rule of law"?

One would think presidents couldn't be impeached and prosecuted.

If only there were someone to ask about that!

Item number three: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to speak at UVA's Miller Center at 3 p.m. Thursday. Public not welcome. 

I don't recall the exercise of one's rights under the First Amendment requiring an invitation. Do you?

Syria/Turkey News - Jan 23

 

Syrian Geneva II peace talks witness bitter exchanges between opposing parties - Chicago Sun-Times


TRANSCRIPTS: Statements at the Geneva Conference on Syria - unog.ch


VIDEO: Syria rivals exchange blame in Geneva talks - YouTube


Russia's Lavrov says Syrian rivals vowed to hold direct talks - Yahoo News


Syrian enemies may discuss prisoner swaps, local ceasefires and humanitarian aid despite talks acrimony - Reuters


VIDEO: Clashes between pro-Assad men & his oppositionists in Montreux - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Verbal spat between pro-government and opposition individuals at Montreux - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Switzerland: Protesters show support for Assad as Geneva II begins - YouTube

 

Islamist militias full statement: Regime ‘has left no room for dialogue’ - Syria Direct

 

NCB statement on Geneva II - Transnational Middle-East Observer

 

Syria hails Aleppo airport reopening as a victory over rebels - Yahoo News

 

Loyalty to Assad runs deep on Syrian coast - CSMonitor.com

 

Due to a Shortage of Troops, Assad Issues Decree to Call Back Former Soldiers - The Syrian Observer

 

Minutes of US envoy Robert Ford past meeting with Syrian opposition: Report - .alalam.ir

 

Fierce clashes between Al Qaeda's ISIL and rebel groups near Azaz, north Aleppo - ZAMAN ALWSL

 

Where Is Al Qaeda Holding Its Western Hostages In Syria? - The Daily Beast

 

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

 

Syria’s Kurds will declare self-rule in the whole Kurdish regions within a week - hurriyetdailynews.com


Syrian Kurds Announce Local Government in Cizire Canton with Qamishli as Capital - CİHAN


VIDEO: Kurds celebrating their self-declared autonomy in Qamishli - Syria


Residents throughout the Cizîre Region Celebrate After Declaration Of Autonomy (VIDEO) - The Rojava Report


The Kurds claim an autonomous government in north-east Syria. Three Christians among the 20 ministers - Fides News Agency

 

Special Report: Amid Syria's violence, Kurds carve out autonomy - Reuters

 

Kurdish women fight for equality in Syria - ekurd

 

KNC Foreign Delegations Head on Geneva II (VIDEO, Kurdish) - Transnational Middle-East Observer

 

Iraq Kurdish leader sees little gains at Syria conference - Yahoo News

 

Turkey fighting PYD, PKK, al-Nusra, says Erdoğan - Today's Zaman

 

The Kurds and Geneva II - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

 

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Turkey launches new mass purge of police and judiciary, Up to hundreds of police and 96 judges and prosecutors reassigned - GlobalPost


Turkish judicial purge brings corruption investigation to halt - Reuters


Turkey's Main Opposition CHP Exposes Document of Threat Against Prosecutor by Undersecretary - Good Morning Turkey


3 former ministers to be named members of criminal organization in graft indictment, web portal claims - Today's Zaman


Erdoğan gov't abusing regulatory agencies to punish opponents - Today's Zaman

 

700 party members resign from ruling AK Party in Diyarbakır - Today's Zaman

 

AK Party's Adana administration board resigns in protest - Today's Zaman

 

Report: Bill to authorize MİT to transport arms to Syria - Today's Zaman

 

Turkish intelligence service trucks reveal secrets - Al-Monitor

 

Turkish Government Would Show off if Trucks were Loaded With Humanitarian Aid to Syria: BDP Leader - Good Morning Turkey

 

‘MİT profiling directive a crime, contradicts universal law' - Today's Zaman

 

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Syria government says torture report 'politicized,' photos ‘fake’ - AFP


AUDIO: Syrian government advisor pours scorn on torture report - BBC News


Ministry of Justice dismisses as baseless Carter-Ruck’s torture report- SANA

 

Who Attacked Ghouta with Chemical Weapons?: Analysis of the Second UN Report shows the opposition has used sarin on at least three occasions - whoghouta.blogspot.com

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Students Rally To Topple The TPP

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.orgClick here to stop Fast Track of the TPP: http://www.stopfasttrack.com Former US Trade Representative Ron Kirk said that if the people knew what was in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, it would be impossible to get it signed. The Obama administration is going to great lengths to make sure that people do not know what is in the TPP before it gets signed into law, and have made “fast tracking” the TPP bill a top priority.

To See Climate Change in Florida, Check Out Miami Beach’s Storm Sewers

By Dave Lindorff


Miami Beach – Len Berry was relaxing with colleagues on a hotel patio here one evening last October when one of them shouted, “Look! It’s happening!”  Peering over the railing, the group could see water pushing up onto the street below from storm sewer drains – something that thanks to sea level rise has been happening with increasing frequency in this low-lying resort city. Berry, director of Florida Atlantic University’s Center for Environmental Studies, says he and the others were in town to attend a conference on climate change when they got this first-hand view of the crisis.

State Dept's Keystone XL Contractor, ERM Group, Also OK'd Controversial Pebble Mine in Alaska

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

A DeSmogBlog investigation has revealed Environmental Resources Management Inc. (ERM Group) — the contractor performing the U.S. State Department's environmental review for the northern half of TransCanada's Keystone XL tar sands pipeline — gave the greenlight to Alaska's controversial Pebble Mine proposal in June 2013.

Talk Nation Radio: The Congo and the U.S.-Backed Deadliest Conflict Since WWII

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-the-congo

Maurice Carney is cofounder and executive director of the Friends of the Congo ( http://www.friendsofthecongo.org ). He discusses the history of the Congo and its abuse and exploitation by Belgium and the United States. If the worst conflict on earth is off our radar screens, it's not because our government isn't involved. Also watch this film: http://congojustice.org

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

Republicans Recycle Excuses: Christie's Defense Ties Bridgegate to Racial Profiling

By Linn Washington


New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s Bridgegate defense of being misled by staff members resembles a defense advanced in 1999 by another once top Republican NJ official to distance himself from a his role in a contentious 1990s-era scandal that roiled the Garden State: racial profiling by NJ state troopers that targeted minorities for illegal enforcement.

The Blind Alley of J Street and Liberal American Zionism

By Abba A. Solomon and Norman Solomon

Since its founding six years ago, J Street has emerged as a major Jewish organization under the banner “Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace.” By now J Street is able to be a partial counterweight to AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The contrast between the two U.S. groups is sometimes stark. J Street applauds diplomacy with Iran, while AIPAC works to undermine it. J Street encourages U.S. support for “the peace process” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, while AIPAC opposes any meaningful Israeli concessions. In the pressure cooker of Washington politics, J Street’s emergence has been mostly positive. But what does its motto “Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace” really mean?

That question calls for grasping the context of Zionism among Jews in the United States -- aspects of history, largely obscured and left to archives, that can shed light on J Street’s current political role. Extolling President Obama’s policies while urging him to intensify efforts to resolve Israeli-Palestinian conflicts, the organization has staked out positions apt to sound humanistic and fresh. Yet J Street’s leaders are far from the first prominent American Jews who have struggled to square the circles of the moral contradictions of a “Jewish state” in Palestine.

Our research in the archives of the American Jewish Committee in New York City, Johns Hopkins University and elsewhere shows that J Street is adhering to -- and working to reinforce -- limits that major Jewish organizations adopted midway through the 20th century. Momentum for creation of the State of Israel required some hard choices for groups such as the influential AJC, which adjusted to the triumph of an ideology -- militant Jewish nationalism -- that it did not share. Such accommodation meant acceding to an outward consensus while suppressing debate on its implications within Jewish communities in the United States.

In 1945, AJC staff had discussed the probability of increased bloodshed in Palestine -- and a likelihood of “Judaism, as a whole, being held morally responsible for the fallacies of Zionism.” In exchange for AJC support in 1947 for UN partition of Palestine, the AJC extracted this promise from the Jewish Agency: “The so-called Jewish State is not to be called by that name but will bear some appropriate geographical designation. It will be Jewish only in the sense that the Jews will form a majority of the population.”

A January 1948 position paper in AJC records spoke of “extreme Zionists” then ascendant among Jews in Palestine and the United States: The paper warned that they served “no less monstrosity than the idol of the State as the complete master not only over its own immediate subjects but also over every living Jewish body and soul the world over, beyond any consideration of good or evil. This mentality and program is the diametrical opposite to that of the American Jewish Committee.” The confidential document warned of “moral and political repercussions which may deeply affect both the Jewish position outside Palestine, and the character of the Jewish state in Palestine.” Such worries became more furtive after Israel became a nation later in 1948.

Privately, some leaders held out hope that constraints on public debate could coexist with continuing debate inside Jewish institutions. In 1950 the president of the American Jewish Committee, Jacob Blaustein, wrote in a letter to the head of an anti-Zionist organization, the American Council for Judaism, that the silencing of public dissent would not preclude discussion within the Yiddish-language and Jewish press. In effect, Blaustein contended that vigorous dialogue could continue among Jews but should be inaudible to gentiles. However, the mask of American Jewry would soon become its face. Concerns about growing Jewish nationalism became marginal, then unmentionable.

The recent dispute in the Jewish student group Hillel -- whether its leadership can ban Hillel chapters on U.S. college campuses from hosting severe critics of Israeli policies -- emerged from a long history of pressure on American Jews to accept Zionism and a “Jewish state” as integral to Judaism. The Jewish students now pushing to widen the bounds of acceptable discourse are challenging powerful legacies of conformity.

During the 1950s and later decades, the solution for avoiding an ugly rift was a kind of preventive surgery. Universalist, prophetic Judaism became a phantom limb of American Jewry, after an amputation in service of the ideology of an ethnic state in the Middle East. Pressures for conformity became overwhelming among American Jews, whose success had been predicated on the American ideal of equal rights regardless of ethnic group origin.

Generally flourishing in a country founded on the separation of religion and state, American Zionists dedicated themselves to an Israeli state based on the prerogatives of Jews. That Mobius strip could only be navigated by twisting logic into special endless dispensations for Jewish people. Narratives of historic Jewish vulnerability and horrific realities of the Holocaust became all-purpose justifications.

*****          *****          *****          *****

As decades passed after the June 1967 war, while the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza wore on, younger American Jews slowly became less inclined to automatically support Israeli policies. Now, 65 years after the founding of Israel, the historic realities of displacement -- traumatic for Palestinians while triumphant for many Jewish Israelis -- haunt the territorial present that J Street seeks to navigate.

The organization’s avowed goal is an equitable peace agreement between Israel and Palestinians. But J Street’s pragmatic, organization-building strength is tied into its real-world moral liability: continuing to accept extremely skewed power relations in Palestine. The J Street leadership withholds from the range of prospective solutions the alternative of truly ending the legally and militarily enforced Jewish leverage over Palestinians, replete with the advantages of dominance (in sharp contrast to the precept of abandoning white privilege that was a requirement in the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa).

Every conceptual lane of J Street equates being “pro-Israel” with maintaining the doctrine of a state where Jews are more equal than others. Looking to the past, that approach requires treating the historic Zionist conquest as somewhere between necessary and immaculate. Looking at the present and the future, that approach sees forthright opposition to the preeminence of Jewish rights as extreme or otherwise beyond the pale. And not “pro-Israel.”

Like the Obama administration, J Street is steadfast in advocating a “two-state solution” while trying to thwart the right-wing forces led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. A goal is to reduce his leverage by altering the political environment he encounters in the United States, where AIPAC -- riding high astride much of the U.S. Congress -- is aligned with the hard right of Israeli politics. In contrast, J Street is aligned with a fuzzy center that copes with cognitive dissonance by embracing humane rhetoric about Palestinians while upholding subjugation of Palestinians’ rights.

At J Street’s 2011 conference, Rabbi David Saperstein congratulated the organization: “When the Jewish community needed someone to speak for them at the Presbyterian Convention against the divestment resolution, the community turned to J Street, who had the pro-peace credibility to stunt the efforts of the anti-Israeli forces, and they were compellingly effective. They did so at Berkeley on the bus ad fights, debating Jewish Voice for Peace.” Saperstein -- a Reform Judaism leader described by Newsweek as the USA’s most influential rabbi -- lauded J Street for its special function among “the strongly pro-Israel peace groups that have the credibility to stand before strongly dovish non-Jewish groups and guide them away from delegitimization efforts.”

Such praise for being a bulwark against “delegitimization” is a high compliment for J Street. And it is surely gratifying for its founder and president, Jeremy Ben-Ami. When he reaffirms “our commitment to and support for the people and the state of Israel,” he frames it in these terms: “We believe that the Jewish people -- like all other people in the world -- have the right to a national home of their own, and we celebrate its rebirth after thousands of years.” His official J Street bio says that “Ben-Ami’s family connection to Israel goes back 130 years to the first aliyah when his great-grandparents were among the first settlers in Petah Tikva [near present-day Tel Aviv]. His grandparents were one of the founding families of Tel Aviv, and his father was an activist and leader in the Irgun, working for Israel’s independence and on the rescue of European Jews before and during World War II.” Readers are left to ponder the reference to leadership of the ultranationalist Irgun, given its undisputed terrorist violence.

Whatever its differences with the Likudnik stances of AIPAC and Netanyahu, J Street joins in decrying the danger of the “delegitimization” of Israel -- a word often deployed against questioning of Jewish privileges in Palestine maintained by armed force. In sync with U.S. foreign policy, J Street is enmeshed in assuming the validity of prerogatives that are embedded in Netanyahu’s demand for unequivocal support of Israel as “the nation-state of the Jewish people.” In the process, the secular USA massively supports a government that is using weapons of war emblazoned with symbols of the Jewish religion, while the U.S. Congress continues to designate Israel as a “strategic ally.” An AIPAC official was famously quoted by Jeffrey Goldberg as boasting, “You see this napkin? In 24 hours, we could have the signatures of 70 senators on this napkin.”

J Street is aligned with more “moderate” personalities in Israeli politics, but what is considered moderate Zionism in Israel may not match sensibilities outside Israel. On a J Street-sponsored U.S. speaking tour, Knesset member Adi Koll said she is pleased that Palestinian refugees from 1948 are dying off, which she portrayed as good for peace: “This is what we have been waiting for, for more and more of them to die,” to finalize the War of Independence expulsion of Palestinians. J Street’s Ben-Ami has warned of “the ‘one state nightmare’ -- a minority of Jewish Israelis in a state with a majority of non-Jewish residents.” For J Street, an embrace of perpetual Jewish dominance as imperative seems to be a litmus test before any criticism of the occupation is to be deemed legitimate.

A human rights lawyer active with Jewish Voice for Peace, David L. Mandel, sees a double standard at work. “Too many progressives on everything else still are not progressive about Israel and Palestine,” he told us. “And J Street, by making it easier for them to appear to be critical, in fact serves as a roadblock on the path to a consistent, human rights and international law-based position.”

Covering J Street’s annual conference in September 2013, Mondoweiss.net editor Philip Weiss pointed out: “J Street still can claim to be a liberal Zionist organization that wants to pressure Israel to leave the settlements. But more than that it wants access to the Israeli establishment, and it is not going to alienate that establishment by advocating any measure that will isolate Israel or put real pressure on it.”

*****          *****          *****          *****

While evocations of the “special relationship” between the United States and Israel may sound uplifting, J Street ultimately lets the Israeli government off the hook by declaring that relationship sacrosanct, no matter what. The organization insists that political candidates funded by J StreetPAC “must demonstrate that they support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, active U.S. leadership to help end the conflict, the special relationship between the U.S. and Israel, continued aid to the Palestinian Authority and opposition to the Boycott/Divestment/Sanction movement.”

The sanctity of the proviso about “the special relationship between the U.S. and Israel” became evident to one of us (Norman Solomon) while running for Congress in 2012 in California. After notification that J Street had decided to confer “On the Street” status on Solomon and another Democratic candidate in the primary race, the group’s leadership suddenly withdrew the stamp of approval -- after discovering a Solomon op-ed piece written in July 2006 that criticized Washington’s support for the Israeli bombing of Lebanon then underway. In a specially convened conference call, J Street’s top leaders told the candidate that one statement in the op-ed was especially egregious: “The United States and Israel. Right now, it’s the most dangerous alliance in the world.”

In December 2013, while visiting Israel, Secretary of State John Kerry affirmed that “the bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable.” He added that -- despite occasional “tactical” differences -- “we do not have a difference about the fundamental strategy that we both seek with respect to the security of Israel and the long-term peace of this region.”

Two days later, on Dec. 7 at a Saban Center gathering in Washington, Kerry joined with President Obama in paying tribute to the idea of a nation for Jews. Obama endorsed the goal of protecting “Israel as a Jewish state.” (He sat for an interview with billionaire Zionist Haim Saban, who joked: “Very obedient president I have here today!”) For his part, Kerry addressed Israeli ethnic anxiety by urging that Israel heed U.S. advice for withdrawal from some territory, to defuse what he called the “demographic time bomb” -- non-Jewish births -- threatening the existence of a “Jewish and democratic” state.

Although “militant Islam” is common coin in U.S. discourse about the Middle East, militant Jewish nationalism lacks a place in the conversation. This absence occurs despite -- and perhaps because of -- the fact that militant Jewish nationalism is such a powerful ideology in the United States, especially in Congress. Yet recent erosion of the taboo has caused some alarm. In May 2011 the Reut Institute, well-connected to the Israeli establishment, held a joint conference with the American Jewish Committee and met with smaller organizations to formalize a policy of  “establishing red-lines with regards to the discourse about Israel between legitimate criticism and acts of delegitimization.”

In its own way, J Street has laid down red-line markers along the left perimeter of American Zionism. For instance, some of the most telling moments of J Street’s existence came during the November 2012 Gaza crisis. As the conflict escalated, Israel threatened a ground invasion. J Street urged Israeli restraint but did not oppose the ongoing intense bombardment of Gaza. Instead, echoing President Obama, the organization endorsed Israel's “right and obligation to defend itself against rocket fire and against those who refuse to recognize its right to exist and inexcusably use terror and violence to achieve their ends.”

J Street’s statement, titled “Enough of Silence,” eerily mirrored the brutal asymmetry of the warfare then raging -- and, for that matter, the asymmetry of the entire Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While far more Palestinians than Israelis were dying (87 Palestinian and four Israeli noncombatants lost their lives, according to a report from the human-rights group B’Tselem), J Street condemned the killing by Palestinians but merely questioned the ultimate efficacy of the killing by Israelis. While J Street was appropriately repulsed by the bloodshed, it could not plead for reversal of the underlying, continuing injustice beyond its advocacy of a two-state solution. During the years ahead, J Street is likely to be instrumental in establishing and reinforcing such red lines.

A rare instance when J Street has not endorsed President Obama’s approach in the Middle East came in September 2013, when the administration pressed for U.S. missile strikes on Syria following claims that the Bashar al-Assad regime had used chemical weapons. J Street remained officially silent on the issue; Jeremy Ben-Ami reportedly pushed for endorsement of an attack, but many others in the organization were opposed. The Forward newspaper quoted a J Street activist: “Jeremy is a pragmatist. He wants to keep us as progressive as possible without going too far from the mainstream.”

*****          *****          *****          *****

J Street is striving to support Israel differently than AIPAC: by fostering the more peaceful, humane streams of Zionism. But among new generations of U.S. Jews, the Zionist rationales for Israel as a whole are losing ground. In a 2013 Pew Research Center study, 93 percent of American Jews state they are proud of being part of the Jewish people -- but only 43 percent say that “caring about” the State of Israel is essential to being a Jew, and the figure drops to 32 percent of respondents under 30 years old.

The Jewish establishment has always represented those Jews choosing to affiliate with institutionalized Judaism. More and more, this leaves out large numbers who don’t believe that blood-and-soil Jewish nationalism should crowd out their Jewish and universalist values. As the Pew survey shows, American Jews are less sympathetic than American Jewish organizations to enforcing Jewish political nationalism with armed force.

Last summer, Ben-Ami told the New Republic: “We are advocating for a balance between the security needs of Israel and the human rights of the Palestinians. It is by definition a moderate, centrist place.” Ben-Ami highlighted his strategy for practicality: “We have the ear of the White House; we have the ear of a very large segment of Congress at this point; we have very good relations with top communal leadership in the Jewish community. If you want to have a voice in those corridors of power, then get involved with J Street.”

We recently submitted three questions to Ben-Ami. Asked about the historic concerns that a “democratic Jewish state” would be self-contradictory, he replied: “J Street believes it is possible to reconcile the essence of Zionism, that Israel must be the national homeland of the Jewish people, and the key principles of its democracy, namely, that the state must provide justice and equal rights for all its citizens. In the long run, Israel can only manage the tension between these two principles if there is a homeland for the Palestinian people alongside Israel.”

Asked whether relations with non-Jewish Palestinians would be better now if Jewish leaders who favored creation of a non-ethnically-based state had prevailed, Ben-Ami did not respond directly. Instead, he affirmed support for a two-state solution and commented: “History has sadly and repeatedly proven the necessity of a nation-state for the Jewish people. J Street today is focused on building support in the American Jewish community for the creation of a nation-state for the Palestinian people alongside Israel -- precisely because it is so necessary if Israel is to continue to be the national home of the Jewish people.”

The shortest -- and perhaps the most significant -- reply came when we asked: “Do you believe it is fair to say that the Israeli government has engaged in ethnic cleansing?”

Ben-Ami responded with one word. “No.”

“They have destroyed and are destroying ... and do not know it and do not want to know it,” James Baldwin wrote several decades ago. “But it is not permissible that the authors of devastation should also be innocent. It is the innocence which constitutes the crime.” Those who have seen to the devastation of “others” -- and have even celebrated overall results of the process -- cannot begin to atone or make amends without some genuine remorse. With a pose of innocence, in the absence of remorse, the foundation of J Street’s position is denial of the ethnic cleansing that necessarily enabled Israel to become what it is now, officially calling itself a “Jewish and democratic state.”

Population transfer of Arabs was part of the planning of Zionist leadership, and it was implemented. Benny Morris, the pioneering Israeli historian of the ethnic cleansing of Arabs from Israel, said: “Ben-Gurion was right. If he had not done what he did, a state would not have come into being. That has to be clear. It is impossible to evade it. Without the uprooting of the Palestinians, a Jewish state would not have arisen here.”

In a talk five decades ago at Hillel House at the University of Chicago, philosopher Leo Strauss mentioned that Leon Pinsker’s Zionist manifesto “Autoemancipation,” published in 1882, quotes the classic Hillel statement “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And if not now, when?” -- but leaves out the middle of the sequence, “If I am only for myself, what am I?”

“The omission of these words,” Strauss said, “is the definition of pureblooded political Zionism.”

The full integrity of Rabbi Hillel’s complete statement -- urging Jews not to be “only for myself” -- is explicit in the avowed mission of J Street. But there is unintended symbolism in the organization’s name, which partly serves as an inside Washington joke. The absence of an actual J Street between I and K Streets is, so to speak, a fact on the ground. And sadly, the group’s political vision of “Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace” is as much a phantom as the nonexistent lettered street between I and K in the Nation’s Capital; unless “peace” is to be understood along the lines of the observation by Carl von Clausewitz that “a conqueror is always a lover of peace.”

________________________________

Abba A. Solomon is the author of “The Speech, and Its Context: Jacob Blaustein's Speech ‘The Meaning of Palestine Partition to American Jews.’” Norman Solomon is the founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, cofounder of RootsAction.org and the author of “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.”

Syria News - Jan 22

 

Syria warring sides join world powers in Montreux for peace talks - AFP


Geneva II: Syrian Regime And Opposition Announce Delegations - haberler.com


Order of speakers at Geneva-II revealed - Anadolu Agency


Syrian National Council quits opposition bloc over the Geneva II peace talks with the Damascus regime - Al Arabiya News


Statement of three rebel groups – the Islamic Front, Jaish al-Mujahideen and Ajnad al-Sham – on Geneva II - YALLA SOURIYA


VIDEO (English): Islamic Front military leader Zahran Aloush dismisses Geneva, denies kidnapping Zeitouneh and describes war on ISIS - Syria Direct


Syrian internal opposition group rejects Coalition offer to join delegation to Geneva II - The Back Channel

 

Syria to seek 'anti-terror' support in Geneva - Al Jazeera English

 

Russian-backed Syrian Proposal: Presidential Elections Under International Supervision Within Three Months - The Syrian Observer

 

TRANSCRIPT: President Bashar al-Assad’s interview with Agence France Presse - SANA, Syria

 

VIDEO: President Bashar al-Assad's interview with Agence France Presse - YouTube

 

US getting "messages" from within Syrian regime anxious to end war - AFP

 

Damascus residents pray for ‘miracle’ at Geneva - GulfNews.com

 

NGOs: Christian representatives should participate in the peace negotiations at the Geneva 2 conference - Fides News Agency

 

Obama, Putin discuss Sochi security, Syria talks - Yahoo News

 

Russia: Booting Iran out of Syria talks 'mistake' but 'not disaster’ - AFP

 

Syrian Coalition: Iran Must Meet Our Conditions If It Wants To Participate In Geneva II - Syrian National Coalitiion

 

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

 

US secretly backs rebels to fight al Qaeda in Syria - Telegraph


More than 1,000 Syrians flee al-Qaeda-linked ISIS in northern border-town of as they mow down children and behead prisoners in cold blood - Al Jazeera


Islamic Front says State of Al Qaeda behind Bab Al hawa suicide blasts - ZAMAN ALWSL


Al Qaeda offshoot ISIS imposes strict Islamic rules in north Syria - Reuters


ISIS release 4 statements that decree new laws on the Syrian citizens in the areas under its control in Raqqah - Syrian Observatory for Human Rights


ISIS Raids Anadolu Agency's Syria Office - haberler.com

 

VIDEO: ISIS pulled its troops from the Western countryside of Aleppo & left this mass grave - Twitter / joshua_landis

 

Al-Nusra Front in Lebanon claims Beirut suicide bombing - Yahoo News UK

 

Eyewitness account: Jabhat Al-Nusra committed "massacres" in Adra - Syria Newsdesk

 

Prominent doctor freed, activists accused al-Nusra Front of kidnapping - ZAMAN ALWSL

 

A Third Press Statement on the Kidnapping of Lawyer and Prominent Activist Razan Zeitouneh and Her Colleagues -  Violations Documentation Center in Syria

 

The disillusioned FSA defectors joining Assad's forces - ITV News

 

AUDIO: Translation of the new audio-message by ISIS chief Abū Bakr al-Baghdādī - pietervanostaeyen

 

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

 

Syria photos prove mass torture by Assad regime: Report - AFP


Gruesome Syria photos may prove torture by Assad regime (VIDEO) - CNN.com


VIDEO: Gruesome Syria photos may prove torture by Assad regime - YouTube


REPORT into the credibility of certain evidence with regard to torture and execution of persons incarcerated by the current Syrian regime - theguardian


There exist ample reasons to question the assertions made in the Syria war crimes report - comeDonChisciotte.net

 

Why one day before the Geneva meeting? This report is altogether most unconvincing, based on alleged photos of alleged victims by an alleged 'defector' in Qatar - Media Lens Message Board

 

The state of Qatar and Al-Jazeera are both clients of London-based law firm Carter-Ruck who commissioned the report - Media Lens Message Board

 

Carter-Ruck law firm behind new Syria smear defended 'al-Qaeda financier' Yasin al Qadi in 2007 - inagist.com

 

Human Rights Watch says US undermining efforts to bring Assad's regime before global court - Star Tribune

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

79 year old peace activist jailed in Ireland

79 year old Irish peace activist Margaretta D'Arcy lay down on the runway of Shannon Airport to prevent U.S. war planes from using it as a stopover to the battlefield in Afghanistan.  When this feisty lady refused to sign away her right to protest, she was sentenced to serve a three month prison sentence, in spite of the fact that she suffers from Parkinsons disease and is being treated for cancer.  She has been at Limerick prison since January 16th, her supporters have been holding daily protests in Ireland, and supporters from Iceland, Britain, the U.S., and international organizations, notably the Global Women's Strike (GWS Ireland), are demanding her release.
 
I see this amazing woman as an inspiration much like our own sweet Father Louie Vitale, honest and fearless in condemning the needlessly vicious warmongering of the Pentagon and its Anglo, Israeli, and NATO cohorts.
 
Here are a few youtubes about Galway protests in support of Margaretta:
youtube clips re protests last Fri

 

 Here is a letter written by her son:
The Guardian, Monday 20 January 2014 21.00 GMT

My mother, the anti-war activist and writer Margaretta D'Arcy, is serving a three-month sentence in Limerick prison for trying to stop the violation of Irish neutrality by US military planes, which stop over at Shannon airport on the way to and from the war in Afghanistan. She took peaceful direct action to stop crime being committed by lying down on the runway of the airport. Margaretta, the widow of playwright John Arden, is 79 and undergoing treatment for cancer. Imprisoning her for an act of conscience is inhumane. I call upon the Irish government to release her immediately and for the British government to use its influence to secure her release. To keep her spirits up while she remains in prison, I urge readers to send cards c/o Limerick Prison, Mulgrave Street, Limerick, Ireland.
Jake Arden

Here is an excerpt from a statement by her colleagues:

...

We first met Margaretta at Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp outside the US Air Force nuclear weapons base in Berkshire UK, where we lived during 1983/84.  Margaretta stayed there in the ’80s and ’90s, living outside for weeks at a time, helping maintain the camp’s presence and anti-war activities at Yellow (Main) Gate. Yellow Gate women fought and eventually won the fantastic legal victory that the base was illegal and the Common was restored to the people.
Invest in caring not killing!
Kay and Sian
(Orange Gate 1983-84) 
 
and finally I forward this:
 
Statement to the Press and the Public

We are outraged to learn that our dear sister and colleague Margaretta D’Arcy has been jailed – and for three months! – for protesting the use of the civilian airport at Shannon for US wars.  And we are deeply worried about her health and well-being as a cancer patient.  One of the many public services Ms D’Arcy has performed is to protest the Irish government’s many years of complicity in US war crimes and its destruction of Irish neutrality.  She has been dedicated to highlighting that the most devastating impact of war is on women and our children, both directly from the bombs that rain down on us, and by paying with our poverty for the horrendous weapons of massive destruction that surround us all.   
Ms D’Arcy is a veteran of Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp, which opposed the US military placing cruise missiles on common land in England, and won – the camp is no longer a military base.  To dissent from a perspective of permanent war and austerity, and demand the protection of life and the planet, is increasingly labeled subversive and even criminal behavior.  While war criminals are allowed to pass through Irish airports and financial criminals go unpunished, the Irish State in thrall to the US, UK, EU and IMF Masters of War has imprisoned a pensioner who has dedicated herself to highlighting and preventing war crimes.
An attack on courageous and principled Margaretta D’Arcy is an attack on us all.
We demand the immediate release of Margaretta D’Arcy.
Selma James                           
on behalf of Global Women’s Strike

Maggie Ronayne
on behalf of Global Women’s Strike, Ireland

There is access to an
online petition contact.ie/node/271
Comments can be registered at gws@globalwomenstrike.org
Updates are available from Clare Daly (Clare.Daly@Oireachtas.ie)

Thank you for sharing this story with any and all persons you can reach who are concerned with issues of free speech, social justice, and over all, peace.

Jeannette

Obama Gives Bench Nomination to Murder Advocate

On January 6 Obama nominated David Barron from Harvard Law School for a slot on the US First Circuit Court of Appeals, where he will warm the bench for the US Supreme Court. Barron was one of two law professors who wrote the infamous Department of Justice Opinion Letter authorizing Obama’s murder of U.S. Citizens. This is a total disgrace.  If approved we will have a murderer and a war criminal sitting on the US First Circuit (where I am admitted as an attorney) and perhaps someday on the US Supreme Court ( where I am also admitted).

--Francis A. Boyle

To Dump Citizens United, We Need To Legalize Democracy

Originally posted at AcronymTV

This is an excerpt from the documentary, Legalize Democracy.

The premiere of the full documentary will be airing on Free Speech TV (FSTV) Tuesday, January 21, 2014- and all throughout the week

Check here for full listing, including how to watch live on the web.

Legalize Democracy
Written and Directed by
Dennis Trainor, Jr.

Produced by
AJ Russo and Dennis Trainor, Jr.

Cinematographers
Messiah Rhodes
Paul Westlake

Color, Titles, and Graphics 
AJ Russo

Original score
Goldi

Post Audio Engineer
Tom Hutten

Additional Camera
Arthur Louis

To Dump Citizens United, We Need To Legalize Democracy

Originally posted at AcronymTV

This is an excerpt from the documentary, Legalize Democracy.

The premiere of the full documentary will be airing on Free Speech TV (FSTV) Tuesday, January 21, 2014- and all throughout the week

Check here for full listing, including how to watch live on the web.

Legalize Democracy
Written and Directed by
Dennis Trainor, Jr.

Produced by
AJ Russo and Dennis Trainor, Jr.

Cinematographers
Messiah Rhodes
Paul Westlake

Color, Titles, and Graphics 
AJ Russo

Original score
Goldi

Post Audio Engineer
Tom Hutten

Additional Camera
Arthur Louis

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