Conscientious objector Omar Saad sentenced to prison for the first time for his refusal to join the Israeli Army
Omar Saad, 18 years old from Mghar, a village in the Galil, arrived, Sunday 22/12/2013, to the Induction Base in Tal Hashomer, where he declared his refusal to serve in the Israeli Army. On 23/12/2013, Omar was sentenced to 20 days of imprisonment for his refusal, for the second time, in the military prison No. 6 near Atlit.
In his refusal deceleration Omar wrote:
"I refuse that because I am pacifist, and I hate any kind of violence, and I believe that the army institute is the top of physical and psychological violence, and since I received your order for making the checking procedures my life changed completely. I became very nervous and my thoughts were dispersed. I remembered thousands of hard images, and I could not imagine myself wearing the military uniform and participating in suppressing my Palestinian people, and fighting my Arab brothers. I reject enlisting to the Israeli army or to any other army, because of national and moral reasons. I hate oppression, and I reject occupation."
1. Sending Letters of Support
2. Letters to Authorities
preferably by fax
Feel free to modify this letter or write your own
The imprisonment of conscientious objectors such as Saad is a violation of international law, of basic human rights and of plain morals. The repeater imprisonment of conscientious objectors is an especially grave offence, as it means sentencing a person more than once for the same offence, and has been judged by the UN working Group on Arbitrary Detention to constitute a clear case arbitrary detention.
I therefore call for the immediate and unconditional release from prison of Omar Saad, without threat of further imprisonment in the future, and urge you and the system you are heading to respect the dignity and person of conscientious objectors, indeed of all persons, in the future.
Writing op-ed pieces and letters to editors of media in Israel and other countries could also be quite useful in indirectly but powerfully pressuring the military authorities to let go of the objectors and in bringing their plight and their cause to public attention.
by R. Teichmann (first published on www.news-beacon-ireland.info)
The news is just breaking. Isaeli forces are mounting yet another attack on Gaza. See Palestinian girl ‘dead’ as Israel sends jets, tanks in retaliatory Gaza op
According to unconfirmed twitter reports Israel launched 15 airstrikes in the last 2 hours killing 2 including a 4 year old girl and injuring many others. It claims this is a response to the killing of a worker repairing the fence between Gaza and Israel by a sniper. Even if this was true how can this justify the bombardment of the most densely populated area on earth, a concentration camp with no way out?
Israel has in the past torpedoed all efforts of a peace with the Palestinans. The stealing of Palestinian land continues unabated by establishing illegal settlements. Gaza was recently flooded with raw sewage water. It is selling Palestinian oil. It is shooting at fishing boats in Palestinian waters. It is uprooting olive trees on Palestinian Land. It is flattening Palestinian homes with bulldozers. Is it any wonder that this policy breeds desperation and spawns acts born of desperation?
To contact Bartolo email firstname.lastname@example.org
By Lawrence S. Wittner
The State University of New York (SUNY) – 64 higher education campuses with nearly half a million students – is the largest university system in the United States. Therefore, when university administrators join the state’s governor in turning SUNY into a loyal servant of big business, that fact has significant ramifications.
The university’s new mission became increasingly evident in the spring of 2013, when Andrew Cuomo –New York’s pro-corporate Democratic governor – began barnstorming around the state, calling for a dramatic “culture shift” in the SUNY system. Faculty, he said, would have to “get interested and participate in entrepreneurial activities.” The situation was “delicate because academics are academics. . . . But . . . you’d be a better academic if you were actually entrepreneurial.”
by R. Teichmann
I am outraged
Because every second children die of hunger by design
Because every second old people die lonely
Because brother fights against brother
Because children are made sick by force
Because we are deprived of blue skies
Because lies become truths
Because living beings have become commodities
Listen to this show and you may not think of air travel the same way again. Lisa Simeone runs the civil liberties watchdog site TSA News Blog, where she and her writers keep track of the abuses of the Transportation Security Administration. Simeone has been working in public radio and print for 30 years. She has hosted NPR's All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, and Performance Today, also the independent documentary series Soundprint. She's written book reviews and op-eds for the Baltimore Sun and now writes on a variety of subjects for Style Magazine. In 2011, she was fired by Soundprint and blacklisted by NPR for her involvement in the Occupy movement. She managed to hang on to two radio gigs and continues her lifelong political activism.
Total run time: 29:00
Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.
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
By Norman Solomon
The New York Times is hardly a progressive newspaper -- but when it comes to the surveillance state and ongoing militarism of the Obama White House, the establishment’s “paper of record” puts MoveOn.org to shame.
And so, the same day that the Times editorialized to excoriate President Obama for his latest betrayal of civil liberties, MoveOn sent out a huge email blast sucking up to Obama.
The Times was blunt in its Saturday editorial: “By the time President Obama gave his news conference on Friday, there was really only one course to take on surveillance policy from an ethical, moral, constitutional and even political point of view. And that was to embrace the recommendations of his handpicked panel on government spying -- and bills pending in Congress -- to end the obvious excesses. He could have started by suspending the constitutionally questionable (and evidently pointless) collection of data on every phone call and email that Americans make.”
But, the newspaper added: “He did not do any of that.”
As the Times editorial went on to say, “any actions that Mr. Obama may announce next month would certainly not be adequate. Congress has to rewrite the relevant passage in the Patriot Act that George W. Bush and then Mr. Obama claimed -- in secret -- as the justification for the data vacuuming.”
Let’s reiterate that the Times is far from a progressive outlet. It serves as a highly important megaphone for key sectors of corporate/political elites. Voicing the newspaper’s official stance, its editorials are often deferential to spin and half-truths from favored political figures. And much of the paper’s news coverage feeds off the kind of newspeak that spews out of the Executive Branch and Congress.
But on crucial matters of foreign policy, militarism and surveillance, the contrast between Times editorials and MoveOn is stunning. The “progressive” netroots organization has rarely managed to clear a low bar of independence from reprehensible Obama policies.
Instead, millions of people on MoveOn’s list are continually deluged with emails pretending that Republicans are the only major problem in Washington -- while nearly always ignoring Obama administration policies that are antithetical to basic progressive values.
And so, on the same day the New York Times was ripping into Obama’s latest affront to civil liberties and privacy rights, MoveOn was sending out a mass email that began by quoting from Obama’s 2008 convention acceptance speech -- as though his five-year record as president still makes him an apt source of inspiration: “The change we need doesn’t come from Washington. Change comes to Washington.”
After five years, MoveOn seems not to have noticed what the New York Times editorial board has often pointed out: that some of the change Obama has brought to Washington has not been in a progressive direction. As the Times put it in a follow-up editorial Sunday, at his latest news conference Obama “insisted that there was no evidence that the phone surveillance program was being abused -- a truly disturbing assessment given all the revelations since June.”
As usual, the MoveOn email did not include a single word of criticism, much less challenge, of Obama. Instead, the email blamed Congress for all the political obstacles to needed “change.”
This is typical. Year after year of the Obama presidency, MoveOn has been routinely silent on such crucial matters as U.S. drone and cruise missile strikes across borders, war in Afghanistan, assaults on press freedom and whistleblowers, and methodical undermining of precious civil liberties.
The intertwined warfare state and surveillance state have little to fear from MoveOn. And that’s tragic.
Norman Solomon is co-founder of RootsAction.org and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. His books include “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.” Information about the documentary based on the book is at www.WarMadeEasyTheMovie.org
Syria State media: Terrorists attacked a number of families who last Wed were fleeing Eastern Ghouta to Beit Sahm and turning themselves in to the authorities, Three civilians killed and others injured - breakingnews.sy
To contact Bartolo email email@example.com
Truman’s True Warning on the CIA
December 22, 2013
Editor Note: National security secrecy and a benighted sense of “what’s good for the country” can be a dangerous mix for democracy, empowering self-interested or misguided officials to supplant the people’s will, as President Truman warned and ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern explains.
By Ray McGovern
Fifty years ago, exactly one month after John Kennedy was killed, the Washington Post published an op-ed titled “Limit CIA Role to Intelligence.” The first sentence of that op-ed on Dec. 22, 1963, read, “I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency.”
"Stop. Screen. Go."
Those are the magic words in a new TSA video cartoon aimed at children, called Prepare for Takeoff. It’s on a nifty page — “TSA Kids” — that’s part of the “Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security,” which also includes links to other fab TSA stuff, such as “Fun Page” and “Parents Page.”
Syria is a swirling cauldron of battles and tragedies as the thirty-day countdown begins for the January 22, 2013 United States-Russia sponsored peace talks in Montreux, Switzerland. (Image)
Syrian government sources reported between 80 and 100 killed in Adra, an industrial town northwest of Damascus. Al Qaeda aligned Al Nusra rebels and the Saudi sponsored Islamic front entered the town on December 12 after a series of defeats in the surrounding area. Reports indicate that Christian and Druze Syrians were singled out. According to local workers, rebels infiltrated factories then began shooting workers. Workers staged a protest on December 20 demanding a response by the United Nations and support from the International Labor Organization.
Battles between the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and rebels heated up in Aleppo, Syria's largest city, and the mountainous Qalamoun region near the border with Lebanon.
Remember that one time when Obama closed Gitmo...?Neither do we!
By Debra Sweet. Last week 17 people died from a U.S. drone strike in a remote area of Yemen as they drove in a convoy returning from a wedding. People in the area had heard the drone overhead since the day before. As to what really happened, we are fed a lot of speculation by the US news media, because, of course, the U.S. military won't comment... “those killed were linked to al Qaeda, and therefore legitimate targets... the government of Yemen is running the war, and they choose the targets... the drone strike targeted that convoy by ‘mistake.’”
December 23 marks the tragic 100th anniversary of the private Federal Reserve System, when the U.S. government gave to a private banking cartel that which no government has the right to give away--the sovereign right of a people to create and control their own money, the very lifeblood of a free and independent people.
"The Congress shall have The Power To...coin Money...", Article 1, Section 8, U.S. Constitution.
Contrary to what most Americans think, the Federal Reserve System is not a part of the U.S. government. Rather it is network of private banking corporations, wholly controlled by a handful of Wall Street mega "too big to fail" banking corporations. Anyone doubting their absolute power should hearken to Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin of Illinois 2009 statement following the financial crash and the inability of Congress to regulate these banking corporations, "frankly they (banks) own the place (Capital Hill)."
Senator Kirk was praying to Senators Schumer and Menendez, or rather to his god but for their benefit. He was praying in his office where the three were gathered late at night. He was praying for a chance to drop bombs on Iran.
An aged stranger entered the office without a sound, despite the closed door. He moved with slow and noiseless step toward Senator Kirk's desk, his eyes fixed upon the senator, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he reached the desk and stood there waiting. With shut lids the senator, unconscious of his presence, continued with his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal, "Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!"
The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside -- which the startled senator did -- and took his place in the senator's leather chair. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience of three bewildered senators with solemn eyes, in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said:
"I come from the Throne -- bearing a message from Almighty God!" The words smote the room with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention. "He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd, and will grant it if such shall be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import -- that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of -- except he pause and think.
"God's servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two -- one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of Him Who heareth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder this -- keep it in mind. If you would beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon a neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain upon your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse upon some neighbor's crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.
"You have heard your servant's prayer -- the uttered part of it. I am commissioned of God to put into words the other part of it -- that part which the senator -- and also you in your hearts -- fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard these words: 'Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!' That is sufficient. The whole of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory-- must follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!
"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle -- be Thou near them! With them -- in spirit -- we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the Iranians. O Lord our God, help us to tear their men and women and children and infants to bloody shreds with our missiles; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it -- for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.
(After a pause.) "Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits!"
It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.
Apologies to Mark Twain.
From Japan Council against A & H Bombs (GENSUIKYO) http://www.antiatom.org/
Fukushima Prefectural Assembly unanimously adopted a "Recommendation Calling for Decision and Action for a Total Ban on Nuclear Weapons" to the government of Japan. This petition was made by Fukushima Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo). It was discussed and adopted on December 17, 2013. Fukushima people and the Japanese peace movements are much encouraged by this result.
The recommendation is as follows:
December 17, 2013
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Speaker of the House of Councilors
Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Recommendation Calling for Decision and Action for a Total Ban on Nuclear Weapons
The NPT Review Conference of May 2010 agreed to “achieve the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons” and declared, “all States need to make special efforts to establish the necessary framework to achieve and maintain a world without nuclear weapons.”
True, a certain number of nuclear weapons, including those dealt between the U.S. and Russia, were cut down, but still some 19,000 nuclear warheads are stockpiled or deployed. Even such moves as developing nuclear weapons are continuing, as seen in the current tension on the Korean Peninsula. Whether intentional or accidental, the danger of nuclear weapons actually being used remains real.
Fukushima Prefectural Assembly
The Martyrs Day was marked by Bahraini people on Tuesday 17th December in their revolutionary styles of protests, demonstration, visits to martyrs families and graves of those murdered by the Alkhalifa regime. On Tuesday night most towns and villages were engaged in an activity in one form or another to mark the occasion which has become rallying point for anti-regime activism for the past two decades. On 17th December 1994 two Bahraini youths were shot by police using live bullets. It was the beginning of the longest-ever uprising that continued until 2000. Hani Khamis and Hani Al Wasti were demonstrating against the regime in two separate locations (Jidhafs and Sanabis) when they were shot. Since then annual demonstrations continued to mark the “Martyrs Day”. On that day in 2007 another martyr was killed. Ali Jassim, 22, lost his life after he had taken part in a demonstration to mark the day. The regime’s forces took harsh measures in a desperate attem pt to stop the country-wide protests. But it failed. To revenge that the regime’s forces stormed the residential areas in Aali, Duraz, Bani Jamra, Sitra and other towns, arrested people and raided many homes. Among the detained is Isa Al Aali from Manama who had been taken away to unknown location, where torture is routine, especially the secret houses in various locations.
In UK, the Bahraini opposition organized several events including a special service for the martyrs at one of the mosques, protests outside Downing Street and the Saudi Embassy, a demonstrations on Saturday 14th December, a roundtable discussion among Bahraini human rights bodies at the Headquarters of Human Rights Watch (Monday 16th December) and a seminar at the House of Lords on Tuesday 17th December. Lord Avebury chaired the event at the House of Lords saying that the situation in Bahrain has now sunk further into repression and dictatorship. He criticized the UK government for failing to support the people and continuing to receive Bahrain’s dictators. A prominent Human Rights lawyer, Daniel Carey of London-based Pierce Deighton Glynn law firm talked of his work trying to stop the 1.6 million gas canisters to be supplied by a South Korean company to Bahrain’s brutal regime. Sarah Walden of the Campaign Against Arms Trade said that the UK is lik ely to approve more arms deals to Bahrain, thus offering legitimacy to the regime. When Bahrain buys UK arms, she said, it knows that it buys UK silence too. Jawad Fairooz , a former MP from Al Wefaq block talked about the significance of the Martyrs Day and called for concrete international action to bring those responsible for human rights violations in Bahrain to justice. Mrs Jalila Ni’ma, the aunt of Martyr Ali Ni’ma talked about the ordeals of the martyrs families and how they are persecuted to the limit. She called on the world to exert pressure on the regime to stop this persecution and prosecute killers of their sons instead.
A special report by Amnesty International published this week described how Bahrain’s children have become victims of regime’s brutality. The report said that children are being routinely detained, ill-treated and tortured. It provides an insight into the secret world of the Alkhalifa dungeons where children are subjected to horrific torture including beating and rape.
The use of public relations firms in UK and USA by the Alkhalifa regime is increasing with people’s wealth lavishly spent to defend the hereditary dictatorship. According to John Horne of Bahrain Watch, the Washington-based PR company, Qorvis was paid $239,844 by Bahrain Embassy in US between April and September this year. An article by former Bahrain Ambassador to US in The Hill was secured by PR firm Qorvis. He also said: I have found out today that one of Bahrain's favorite UK PR firms “Gardant Communications” is now called Meade Hall & Associates.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
18th December 2013
To contact Bartolo email firstname.lastname@example.org
Very rarely does our government ask us what to have a war on. The proposal for missile strikes into Syria was a rare occasion when public pressure and other factors compelled Congress to demand a say. Public pressure then compelled Congress to say No.
But daily drone buzzings over various nations aren't occasions for public debate. We aren't being asked about another decade in Afghanistan or cooking up a future war on Iran. And our current president and his predecessor combined have wiped out eight wedding parties (six in Afghanistan, one in Iraq, and one in Yemen earlier this month) without our having ever been asked about any of them.
What if we were?
There are various ways a debate over whether to launch a war could go. In a highly-informed debate, we might investigate whether a war would violate the Kellogg-Briand Pact, the U.N. Charter, and the U.S. Constitution. We might ask how many adults, children, and infants would likely be killed, injured, and traumatized, how many refugees created, what sort of environmental damage, what economic cost, what erosion of our civil liberties, what heightened secrecy in government, what increase in violence throughout our culture and the country attacked, what likely blowback for decades to come, and what obvious alternatives are available to violence. But, of course, if we asked all that, then we'd never have any wars.
In a more plausible scenario, we might expect a debate to squeeze its way onto our televisions that would ask questions like: How many U.S. troops will die? How much will it cost? Why are we on the same side as al Qaeda this time? How will it end once begun? How does bombing more people express our support for suffering people? Or, depending on the circumstances, maybe even this: Haven't we been arming that dictator for decades -- why the urgency to overthrow him now?
But how would a debate over whether to send hellfire missiles screaming into a wedding party look? What if such a debate were to develop in our news media this Christmas season?
In areas of frequent drone strikes, people are often afraid to get together in large numbers. In Yemen, parents resort to home schooling for fear of letting their children out of the house. Few and far between are the events deemed important enough to risk violating that rule. One such event is a wedding.
How much, we might hear our pundits ask, could be saved by killing 15 people at a wedding as opposed to killing them each separately? (If the missiles alone cost $1 million each, the answer is well over $14 million.) What element of surprise might be gained in obliterating people whose minds are distracted by love and friendship and an important
right rite of passage? What fear and respect might be placed into the minds of the survivors? Let's say one of the wedding couple survives and the other doesn't; which one would it be most desirable to let live? Does it matter what kind of dress the bride is wearing? Should fashion consultants be brought in by the Pentagon, or should morning talk shows contribute that analysis as part of their patriotic duty? Should the missiles hit just as little kids bearing flowers enter the scene?
The debate may sound absurd, but its creation would actually be a significant step toward sound government. We ought to vote on or be represented by officials who vote on important decisions for us. We ought to be informed, engaged, and consulted. Therefore, a debate before the next wedding strike is a perfectly reasonable proposal -- unless of course we're going to unilaterally stop blowing up weddings. Far be it from me to suggest anything that rash.
US hypocrisy over diplomatic immunity: US Embassy and Consular Employees Deserve It, Foreign Diplomats Not So Much
By Dave Lindorff
The diplomatic brouhaha between the US and India over a federal arrest and multiple strip-search and cavity search of a high-ranking Indian consular official in New York has exposed the astonishing hypocrisy of the US when it comes to the issue of diplomatic immunity.
Ann Wright is a 29 year US Army/Army Reserves veteran who retired as a Colonel and a former US diplomat who resigned in March, 2003 in opposition to the war on Iraq. She served in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia and Mongolia. In December, 2001 she was on the small team that reopened the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. She is the co-author of the book "Dissent: Voices of Conscience." (www.voicesofconscience.com)
No peace through military strength. A response to Catherine Ashton’s “To Secure Peace, Be Ready for Battle”
By Patrick T. Hiller
“The War to End all Wars” never achieved what H.G. Wells implied with this term. On the contrary, World War I not only resulted in the death of more than 16 million humans, it also resulted in a victor’s peace directly setting the stage for World War II where an estimated 60 to 100 million people died. I like to believe that no World War is on the horizon, but I was quite surprised to read the headline of a Wall Street Journal opinion piece “To Secure Peace, Be Ready for Battle." The surprise was not so much the title itself. This language -- promoting ‘peace’ by amassing more military -- has been all-too-familiar and all-too-common in the twenty-first century perpetual ineffective and counterproductive war on terror and other misguided relics like humanly insane nuclear deterrence or the offensive, war-waging North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
My surprise with this opinion piece came after the headline when I realized it was not one of our usual media “experts” whose insights supporting the military status quo are abundantly available in major corporate media. The article is authored by Catherine Ashton, high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy and vice president of the European Commission. Wait, didn’t the European Union receive the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize? And was it not the will of Alfred Nobel to recognize “the person who shall have done most or the best work for fraternity between nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses”? The answer to both questions is yes. Previous Nobel Peace Laureates Desmond Tutu, Adolfo Perez Esquivel and Mairead Maguire co-authored a letter stating that the EU was “clearly not one of the ‘champions of peace’ Alfred Nobel had in mind,” adding that the EU condones “security based on military force and waging wars rather than insisting on the need for an alternative approach.” The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama also caused considerable controversy as he admitted himself. In his acceptance speech Obama noted: “So yes, the instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace.” No Mr. President, and no Ms. Ashton. This is not what Alfred Nobel had in mind with when he wrote his will.
The entire article by Ashton is so misguided that it is hard to focus on one part. Should we talk about the immorality of Western global power projection, the ineffectiveness of military versus nonviolent alternatives, the myth of the “defense” sector as a job creator or corporate interests in building “defense” machinery? Apparently it would have been nice from Ashton’s European Union perspective to have more of their own air tankers refuel the fighter jets while bombing the country of Libya to get rid of a dictator. It is troubling that Ms. Ashton seriously is using the Libyan example as a success story. All alarm bells should be ringing by now.
Unfortunately Catherine Ashton, a diplomat at the highest level of the European Union, merges the need for international law enforcement and the prosecution of war criminals with the need for military power and domination. Unfortunately she proposes to treat the symptoms while at the same time projecting military power. Unfortunately she considers strengthened military capacities as vital to build a more peaceful world. Unfortunately she is telling us that the EU has not abandoned its identity as a peace project while promoting peace through military strength.
We need to eradicate this skewed defense and security paradigm built upon the belief that peace and security should be pursued through military force. Security of the European Union unfortunately is defined in relation to military power and its global projection -- does this sound familiar? This view is created and maintained by those who benefit from legitimizing direct or structural violence -- violence which kills or social structures which prevent people from fulfilling their basic needs.
Author and peace studies professor Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer helps us move toward a more authentic concept of security. He distinguishes between protection of interests and authentic security. The first one is supported by offensive militarism. Nelson-Pallmeyer writes: “Militarism is not defense. Defending interests isn’t the same thing as defending legitimate security needs.” The second one based on the idea that leaders “take steps to keep families, homes, neighborhoods, and nation safe and secure.” Which one would you chose?
Or let us look at human security as another concept which outweighs Ashton’s EU proposal. Jody Williams, who received the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for her work to ban landmines believes that peace is defined by human and not national security and that is must be achieved through sustainable development, environmental justice and meeting people’s basic needs (2011 Ted Talk). Mairead Maguire, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976 for her action to help end the violence in Northern Ireland continues to speak out against the institutions of militarism and war. Both those extraordinary women know violent conflict and its consequences.
A Nobel Peace Prize is not necessarily a Nobel Peace Prize. Jody Williams, Mairead Maguire, Desmond Tutu and Adolfo Perez Esquivel have the moral and intellectual authority to inform us what about the necessary steps toward peace and security. They certainly do not involve instruments of war as President Obama suggests or preparing for battles as Catherine Ashton suggests.
Patrick. T. Hiller, Ph.D., Hood River, OR, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is a Conflict Transformation scholar, professor, on the Governing Council of the International Peace Research Association, and Director of the War Prevention Initiative of the Jubitz Family Foundation.
The media are once again doing the TSA’s dirty work for it. Who needs PR flacks when you have newspapers, TV, radio, and the internet?
As we’ve written so many times, security at U.S. airports was working just fine after 9/11. Planes weren’t being blown out of the sky left and right. Then along came TSA Administrator John Pistole to implement the Reign of Molestation. And he's been shoveling the shit ever since, abetted by a credulous media just as intent on fear mongering as he is.
Originally posted at AcronymTV
TIME magazine generates plenty of buzz each year in rolling out their PERSON OF THE YEAR.
Corporate media keeps US citizens in the dark: Pakistan Outs Three US CIA Station Chiefs in Three Years
By Dave Lindorff
For the third time in three years, a CIA station chief has been outed in Pakistan, a country where the CIA is running one of its largest covert operations. It’s a remarkable record of failure by the CIA, since each outing, which has required a replacement of the station chief position, causes a breakdown in the agency’s network of contacts in the country.
by Jim Lobe Copies of the bill that Sens. Kirk, Menendez, and Schumer hope to introduce in the Senate this week — presumably to be pressed for passage after the Christmas/New Year recess — are circulating today around Washington, and, as predicted, it is clearly designed to sabotage last month’s first-phase deal (the Joint Plan of Action) on Tehran’s nuclear program, as well as prospects for a final agreement. The bill is called the Iran Nuclear Weapon Free Act of 2013, although I would prefer to call it the Wag the Dog Act of 2014, given the implicit discretion it gives to Bibi Netanyahu to commit the U.S. to war with Iran. Its key provisions, as described by the sponsors, are laid out at the end of this post.