A Show on Future Weapons: Discovering Hidden Politics

By Gouthama Siddarthan

The Discovery Channel has been doing a yeoman’s service in visually capturing day-to-day activities of dangerous animals and rare birds in forests untouched by human footfalls, animals living in depths of oceans and animals facing extinction threat.It has been winning laurels for reconstructing the life of tribals and the tribals living in dwellings built on trees, piercing into the areas unknown to the world and untouched by the sunny rays.

(By the way, we can set aside the criticism made by certain media that the channel is stage-managing such rare scenes in their studios and sets.)

However, the magnificence of such rare depictions of animals and tribals cannot camouflage the channel’s failure to speak about animal rights and analyse the reasons for the miseries of the tribals, political factors behind their woes and about the tribal rights.

Local Police and Much Else Will Be Militarized As Long As Federal Government Is

Groups on the ground in St. Louis are calling for nationwide solidarity actions in support of Justice for Mike Brown and the end of police and extrajudicial killings everywhere.”

As they should. And we should all join in.

But “nationwide” and “everywhere” are odd terms to equate when discussing police militarization. Are we against extrajudicial killings (otherwise known as murder) by U.S. government employees and U.S. weapons in Pakistan? Yemen? Iraq? Gaza? And literally everywhere they occur? The militarization of local police in the United States is related to the militarization of U.S. foreign policy, which has now reached the point that bombing and “doing nothing” are generally conceived as the only two choices available. Local police are being militarized as a result of these factors:

  • A culture glorifying militarization and justifying it as global policing.
  • A federal government that directs roughly $1 trillion every year into the U.S. military, depriving virtually everything else of needed resources.
  • A federal government that still manages to find resources to offer free military weapons to local police in the U.S. and elsewhere.
  • Weapons profiteers that eat up local subsidies as well as federal contracts while funding election campaigns, threatening job elimination in Congressional districts, and pushing for the unloading of weapons by the U.S. military on local police as one means of creating the demand for more.
  • The use of permanent wartime fears to justify the removal of citizens’ rights, gradually allowing local police to begin viewing the people they were supposed to protect as low-level threats, potential terrorists, and enemies of law and order in particular when they exercise their former rights to speech and assembly. Police “excesses” like war “excesses” are not apologized for, as one does not apologize to an enemy.
  • The further funding of abusive policing through asset forfeitures and SWAT raids.
  • The further conflation of military and police through the militarization of borders, especially the Mexican border, the combined efforts of federal and local forces in fusion centers, the military’s engagement in “exercises” in the U.S., and the growth of the drone industry with the military, among others, flying drones in U.S. skies and piloting drones abroad from U.S. land.
  • The growth of the profit-driven prison industry and mass incarceration, which dehumanize people in the minds of participants just as boot camp and the nightly news do to war targets.
  • Economically driven disproportionate participation in, and therefore identification with, the military by the very communities most suffering from its destruction of resources, rights, and lives.

But policing is not the only thing militarized by what President Eisenhower called the “total influence — economic, political, even spiritual” of the military industrial complex. Our morality is militarized, our entertainment is militarized, our natural world is militarized, and our education system is militarized. “Unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex” is not easily opposed while maintaining the military industrial complex. When Congress Members lend their support to a new war in Iraq while proposing that the U.S. Post Office and a dozen other decent things not be defunded, they are speaking out of both sides of their mouths. The United States cannot live like other wealthy nations while dumping $1 trillion a year into a killing machine.

The way out of this cycle of madness in which we spend more just on recruiting someone into the military or on locking them up behind bars than we spend on educating them is to confront in a unified and coherent manner what Martin Luther King Jr. called the evils of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism. Not racism, extreme materialism, and what the military does to the local police. Not racism, extreme materialism, and what the military does to weapons testing sites. Not racism, extreme materialism, and what the military does to the people of Honduras causing them to flee to a land that then welcomes them with an attitude of militarism. Not any of these partial steps alone, but the whole package of interlocking evils of attitude and mindset.

There is a no-fly-zone over Ferguson, Missouri, because people in the U.S. government view the people of the United States increasingly as they view the people of other countries: as best controlled from the air. Notes the War Resister League,

“Vigils and protests in Ferguson – a community facing persistent racist profiling and police brutality – have been attacked by tear gas, rubber bullets, police in fully-armored SWAT gear, and tank-like personnel carriers. This underscores not only the dangers of being young, Black, and male in the US, but also the fear of mobilization and rebellion from within racialized communities facing the violence of austerity and criminalization.

“The parallels between the Israeli Defense Forces in Palestine, the Military Police of Rio de Janeiro, the Indian police in Kashmir, the array of oppressive armed forces in Iraq, and the LAPD in Skid Row could not be any clearer. . . .

“This is not happening by accident. What is growing the capacity of local police agencies to exercise this force are police militarization programs explicitly designed to do so. As St. Louis writer Jamala Rogers wrote in an article on the militarization of St. Louis Police this past April, ‘It became clear that SWAT was designed as a response to the social unrest of the 1960s, particularly the anti-war and black liberation movements.’ Federal programs such as DoD 1033 and 1122, and the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI), in which St. Louis Police are active participants, provide weapons and training to police departments across the country, directly from the Pentagon. Commenting on the ominous growth of the phenomenon, Rogers continues: ‘and now, Police Chief [of St. Louis Police] Sam Dotson wants to add drones to his arsenal.’

“The events in Ferguson over these last few days demonstrate that the violence of policing and militarism are inextricably bound. To realize justice and freedom as a condition for peace, we must work together to end police militarization and violence.”

The War Resisters League is organizing against Urban Shield, an expo of military weapons for police and training event planned for Oakland, Calif., this September 4-8. The Week of Education and Action will take place in Oakland from August 30-September 5. Read all about it here.

 

David Swanson is a member of the National Committee of the War Resisters League and wants you to declare peace at http://WorldBeyondWar.org  His new book is War No More: The Case for Abolition. He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works for http://rootsaction.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook.

Senator Bernie Sanders Wants More Nations to Join with U.S. in Bombing Iraq

Full statement:

“The United States is not the only country on Earth with an air force. While I support President Obama’s decision to use airstrikes to protect the lives of thousands of innocent people of the Yazidi minority, the U.S. should not have to act alone militarily in this crisis.  ISIS is a danger to the entire region and to the world.  The international community must work with the U.S.”

Borderfree

By Kathy Kelly

Here in Kabul, Sherri Maurin and I are guests of the Afghan Peace Volunteers’ recently formed live-in community for young women.  Hollyhocks in the garden reach as high as the second floor of our living space.  Rose bushes, morning glories and four-o-clocks have bloomed, and each day we eat tomatoes, mint and green onions plucked from the well-cared for garden. The water source is a hose and tank outside, (there’s no indoor plumbing) so dishes and clothes are cleaned outside. The latrine is also outside, --and unfortunately we’re sharing it with playful kitties, but otherwise  Zarghuna, Zahidi and Zahro have managed to efficiently manage almost every detail of housekeeping, each day, by 7:00 a.m.

A group of local seamstresses also have two rooms here, but lately they have been with their families as Ramadan came to a close followed by Eid celebrations.

The men's community, separate now from the newly launched “Borderfree Community Center of Nonviolence,” where projects and programs take place, also has a fine garden and similar room arrangements.  An added plus, - their yard has four trees!

Going and coming from our communities to "the center" is a 35 minute walk through village-like streets if you take the back ways.  The Borderfree Community Center, when it was first rented, needed considerable rehab and repairs. Hakim, Faiz, Zekerullah and Abdulhai worked very hard to shape it up.  Now, guests enter an attractive space, neatly painted, with plenty of classroom and meeting space.  Plants, curtains, photo exhibits, and choices for rugs and carpets have all been carefully chosen.  Sadaf, one of the APV women who has been very active Borderfree scarf production, organized art students from local Universities to paint images on the walls of a children’s classroom as well as the reception area.  Painted on a wall inside the center’s gate is a playful graffiti with lots of floating bubbles. Letters floating in some of the bubbles spell out “We love Peace,” although certain bubbles have wafted up and down, making it a challenge for linear thinkers.  Another artist, a well-known cartoonist, painted an image on the outside wall of the Borderfree Community Center, (a wall that can be seen by anyone passing by), of a figure shooting a slingshot at a drone, but instead of a rock, a red heart breaks the drone in half. 

 

The graffiti, ‘We Love Peace’, on the wall of Borderfree Community Centre of Nonviolence

 

Classes and programs keep the center lively.  Earlier this week, the center invited a small group of people to the first session of a four week course orienting people to better understand nonviolence and the APV history and goals.  We also gathered for the weekly Global Awareness sessions which focus on a wide range of topics related to militarism, environmental concerns, and socioeconomic inequalities.  Hamidullah Natiq, a seasoned practitioner of conflict resolution in Afghanistan, meets with the group once a week. Local children who are part of a “street kids” project come once a week for Dari and math classes, guided by Hadisa and Farzana, two capable young volunteer teachers.  And, once a month, the “street kids” receive, for their families, large sacks of rice and containers of cooking oil. These donations allow them to attend school rather than work as vendors on the streets of Kabul.

Rent for the center costs $500 per month. The APVs hope that by selling the borderfree sky blue scarves they can help cover this cost. Sherri, I and other internationals will encourage people in our home locales to assist with the center’s expenses. 

During a recent visit to the Emergency Surgical Center for Victims of War, here in Kabul, the staff shared with us news that they get about what's happening around the country.  They rely on reports from staff working at several dozen clinics and the two main hospitals they run in two additional provinces.  Much of our conversation pointed to the reality that Kabul is "a bubble."  Full scale wars are being fought by heavily armed sides in eastern and southern Afghanistan, but generally the only news coverage that goes beyond Afghanistan pertains to Kabul.  The groups fighting the Afghan government include various warlords, the Taliban, drug kingpins, and foreign fighters, some of whom may be strategizing ways to cut off the roads to Kabul. Clearly, the Kabul “bubble” can be quite vulnerable. 

I asked Faiz what he most appreciates about the center.  He immediately spoke of the graffiti outside, saying that it gives him hope and suggests a sense of freedom.  The heart of love that breaks apart the drone, propelled by a slingshot converted into a peace-making tool, points all of us in a direction, sorely needed, that aims to abolish war. I hope the Bordefree Centre, like the live-in community’s gardens, will flourish.

Audio: The Iraq Debate -- David Swanson and Brad Friedman

Isn't this a good war, Brad Friedman asks David Swanson.

Listen to this clip:

http://archive.kpfk.org/mp3/kpfk_140813_150002friedman.MP3

Starts around 7:30

 

UPDATE: Also here on Brad's site where he'd like you to comment:
http://www.bradblog.com/?p=10759

 

Iraq and Endless War

By Robert C. Koehler

Our kills are clean and secular; theirs are messy and religious.

“In their effort to create a caliphate across parts of Iraq and Syria,” CNN tells us, “ISIS fighters have slaughtered civilians as they take over cities in both countries.

“In Syria, the group put some of its victims’ severed heads on poles.”

Stomach-churning as this is, the context in which it is reported – as simplistic maneuvering of public opinion – numbs me to its horror, because it quietly justifies a larger, deeper horror waiting in the wings. To borrow a phrase from Benjamin Netanyahu, this is telegenic brutality. It’s just what the U.S. war machine needs to justify the next all-out assault on Iraq.

“In another instance caught on camera,” the CNN report continues, “a man appears to be forced to his knees, surrounded by masked militants who identify themselves on video as ISIS members. They force the man at gunpoint to ‘convert’ to Islam, then behead him.”

This is positively medieval. In contrast, when we kill Iraqis, it’s quick and neat, as emotionless as a chess move. The same CNN story informs us: “Iraqi officials said U.S. airstrikes Saturday killed 16 ISIS fighters, and an Iraqi airstrike in Sinjar killed an additional 45 ISIS fighters, Iraq state media reported.”

That’s it. No big deal. The dead we’re responsible for have no human qualities whatsoever, and our killing them is as consequence-free as cleaning out the refrigerator. It’s simply necessary, because these guys are jihadists, and, well . . .

“The main U.S. strategic priority now should be rolling back and defeating ISIS so it can’t establish a terrorist caliphate,” the Wall StreetJournal editorialized several days ago. “Such a state will become a mecca for jihadists who will train and then disperse to kill around the world. They will attempt to strike Americans in ways that grab world attention, including the U.S. homeland. A strategy merely to contain ISIS does not reduce this threat.”

And here’s South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, saying the same thing with more hysteria on Fox News, as quoted by Paul Waldman in the Washington Post: Obama’s “responsibility as president is to defend this nation. If he does not go on the offensive against ISIS, ISIL, whatever you want to call these guys, they are coming here. This is not just about Baghdad. This is not just about Syria. It is about our homeland. . . .

“Do you really want to let America be attacked? . . . Mr. President, if you don’t adjust your strategy, these people are coming here.”

The belligerence that passes for patriotism has never been more reckless. I was stunned by these arguments a decade ago; the fact that they’re coming back pretty much intact, rising from their own ashes to call for a new war to quell the horrors created by the old one, pushes me to a new level of incredulous despair. Fear springs eternal and can always be summoned. War devours its own lessons.

As Ivan Eland wrote recently at Huffington Post: “In war, the most ruthless groups grab the weapons and use them on everyone else. If doubt exists about this phenomenon, when ISIS recently invaded Iraq, it disarmed the better-equipped Iraqi military and sent it on the run. In its current air campaign against forces of the now renamed IS, American airpower is fighting its own weaponry.”

He added: “With such a great recent track record, one would think that American politicians would be too embarrassed to get re-involved militarily in Iraq. But they now think they need to fight the monster that they created. But if IS is more ferocious than its ancestor, al Qaeda in Iraq, what more formidable creature are they now creating in opposition to U.S. bombing?”

Let’s let this sink in. We completely destabilized Iraq in our now officially forgotten “war on terror,” displacing millions of people, killing hundreds of thousands (and by some estimates more than a million), shattering the country’s infrastructure and polluting its environment with war’s endless array of toxins. In the process of doing all this, we stirred up unimaginable levels of animosity, which slowly militarized and became the present Islamic State, which is viciously and ruthlessly taking the country back. Now, with our ignorance about Iraq’s socio-political complexity intact, we see no alternative but to jump back into a bombing campaign against it, if not a far wider war.

President Obama and the moderate Democrats see this as a limited, “humanitarian” intervention, while the Republicans and the hawkish Dems are clamoring for a major killfest in order, once again, to protect “the homeland,” which otherwise they would prefer to abandon for tax purposes.

And the mainstream analysis remains as shallow as sports commentary. Military intervention, whether full-bore, boots-on-the-ground, or limited to bombs and missiles, is always the answer, because war always looks like a solution. What’s missing above all else is soul-searching of any sort.

Meanwhile, Iraq and its people continue to suffer, either directly at our hands or at the hands of the monsters we’ve created. As the arms dealers would say, mission accomplished.

Robert Koehler is an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist and nationally syndicated writer. His book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound (Xenos Press), is still available. Contact him at koehlercw@gmail.com or visit his website at commonwonders.com.

© 2014 TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, INC.

Historians' Letter to President Obama and Members of Congress

http://www.historiansagainstwar.org/gazapetition.html

We deplore the ongoing attacks against civilians in Gaza and in Israel. We also recognize the disproportionate harm that the Israeli military, which the United States has armed and supported for decades, is inflicting on the population of Gaza.

In many US communities, cops are the ‘terrorists’: Police Need to Be Demilitarized and Remade as ‘Peace Officers’

By Dave Lindorff


The apparent murder by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, of Mike Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black youth who was shot a number of times while he was allegedly on his knees with his hands up in the air, pleading “Don’t shoot, I’m not armed,” is exposing everything that is wrong with policing in the US today.


The Genocide of Palestinians is Israel’s Long Term Goal | Mnar Muhawesh (1 of 2)

Originally posted at AcronymTV

In launching Operation Protective Edge, Israel has stated it has a goal of achieving “sustained calm in the region.” To achieve this, they maintained, they needed to destroy the tunnels and do anything required to protect Israeli citizens.

Kiev, US and EU Stall Humanitarian Aid - Why?

The United States and European Union created a horror show for millions by enabling acts in support of the extremist government of Ukraine.  The horror comes in the form of Ukraine government attacks on towns and cities in the southeastern regions, attacks initiated by the central government in Kiev. After months of these war crimes, the Kiev government now threatens to stall a massive shipment of urgent humanitarian aid for devastated metropolitan areas of nearly two million people including the large cities of Donetsk (1.0 million) and Lugansk (.5 million). (Image:  Russian aid convoy, RT)

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) identified the emerging humanitarian crisis in mid July and called for immediate aid.  ICRC executive Laurent Corbaz said:

Rise and Fall of Berlin Wall & Ukraine

The Berlin Wall and Missed Opportunities

Editor Note: The U.S. State Department’s obsession with “information warfare” as a strategic weapon has made U.S. credibility one more casualty of the Ukraine crisis, along with any remaining trust in the mainstream U.S. media. It was not always thus.

By Ray McGovern

Top 9 Reasons to Stop Bombing Iraq

1. It's not a rescue mission.  The U.S. personnel could be evacuated without the 500-pound bombs.  The persecuted minorities could be supplied, moved, or their enemy dissuaded, or all three, without the 500-pound bombs or the hundreds of "advisors" (trained and armed to kill, and never instructed in how to give advice -- Have you ever tried taking urgent advice from 430 people?).  The boy who cried rescue mission should not be allowed to get away with it after the documented deception in Libya where a fictional threat to civilians was used to launch an all-out aggressive attack that has left that nation in ruins.  Not to mention the false claims about Syrian chemical weapons and the false claim that missiles were the only option left for Syria -- the latter claims being exposed when the former weren't believed, the missiles didn't launch, and less violent but perfectly obvious alternative courses of action were recognized.  If the U.S. government were driven by a desire to rescue the innocent, why would it be arming Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain?  The U.S. government destroyed the nation of Iraq between 2003 and 2011, with results including the near elimination of various minority groups.  If preventing genocide were a dominant U.S. interest, it could have halted its participation in and aggravation of that war at any time, a war in which 97% of the dead were on one side, just as in Gaza this month -- the distinction between war and genocide being one of perspective, not proportions.  Or, of course, the U.S. could have left well alone.  Ever since President Carter declared that the U.S. would kill for Iraqi oil, each of his successors has believed that course of action justified, and each has made matters significantly worse.

2. It's going to make things worse, again.  This bombing will aggravate the Sunni-Shia divide, increase support for ISIS, and create a lasting legacy of hostility and violence.  President Obama says there is no military solution, only reconciliation.  But bombs don't reconcile.  They harden hearts and breed murderers.  Numerous top U.S. officials admit that much of what the U.S. military does generates more enemies than it kills.  When you continue down a path that is counterproductive on its own terms, the honesty of those terms has to be doubted.  If this war is not for peace, is it perhaps -- like every other war we've seen the U.S. wage in the area -- for resources, profits, domination, and sadism?  The leader of ISIS learned his hatred in a U.S. prison in Iraq.  U.S. media report that fact as if it is just part of the standard portrait of a new Enemy #1, but the irony is not mere coincidence.  Violence is created. It doesn't arise out of irrational and inscrutable foreignness.  It is planted by those great gardeners in the sky: planes, drones, and helicopters.  A bombing campaign justified as protecting people actually endangers them, and those around them, and many others, including those of us living in the imperial Homeland.

3. Bombs kill.  Big bombs kill a lot of people.  Massive bombing campaigns slaughter huge numbers of people, including those fighting in the hell the U.S. helped to create, and including those not fighting -- men, women, children, grandparents, infants.  Defenders of the bombing know this, but ignore it, and make no effort to calculate whether more people are supposedly being saved than are being killed.  This indifference exposes the humanitarian pretensions of the operation.  If some humans are of no value to you, humanitarianism is not what's driving your decisions.  The U.S. war on Iraq '03-'11 killed a half million to a million-and-a-half Iraqis and 4,000 Americans.  A war that puts fewer Americans on the ground and uses more planes and drones is thought of as involving less death only if our concern is narrowly limited to U.S. deaths.  From the vantage point of the ground, an air war is the deadliest form of war there is. 

4. There are other options.  The choice between bombing and doing nothing is as false now as it was in September.  If you can drop food on some people, why can't you drop food on everyone?  It would cost a tiny fraction of dropping bombs on them.  It would confuse the hell out of them, too -- like Robin Williams' version of God high on pot and inventing the platypus.  Of course, I now sound crazy because I'm talking about people who've been demonized (and personified in a killer straight out of a U.S. prison).  It's not as if these are human beings with whom you can lament the death of Robin Williams.  They're not like you and me.  Etc.  Yadda.  Yadda.  But in fact ISIS fighters were sharing their appreciation of Williams on Twitter on Tuesday.  The United States could talk about other matters with ISIS as well, including a ceasefire, including a unilateral commitment to cease arming the Iraqi government even while trying to organize its ouster, including an offer to provide real humanitarian aid with no nasty strings attached, but with encouragement of civil liberties and democratic decision making. It's amazing how long minority ethnic groups in Iraq survived and thrived prior to the U.S. bringing democracy, and prior to the U.S. existing.  The U.S. could do some good but must first do no harm.

5. There are now enough weapons already there to practically justify one of Colin Powell's slides retroactively.  The U.S. accounts for 79% of foreign weapons transfers to Western Asia (the Middle East).  The war on Libya had identical U.S. weapons on both sides.  ISIS almost certainly has weapons supplied by the U.S. in Syria, and certainly has weapons taken from Iraq.  So, what is the U.S. doing?  It's rushing more weapons to Iraq as fast as possible.  Americans like to think of the Middle East as backward and violent, but the tools of the violence trade are manufactured in the United States.  Yes, the United States does still manufacture something, it's just not something that serves any useful purpose or about which most of us can manage to feel very proud.  Weapons making also wastes money rather than creating it, because unaccountable profits are the single biggest product manufactured. 

6. This is going to cost a fortune.  Bombing Iraq is depicted as a measure of great restraint and forbearance.  Meanwhile building schools and hospitals and green energy infrastructure in Iraq would be viewed as madness if anyone dared propose it.  But the latter would cost a lot less money -- a consideration that is usually a top priority in U.S. politics whenever killing large numbers of people is not involved.  The world spend $2 trillion and the U.S. $1 trillion (half the total) on war and war preparations every year.  Three percent of U.S. military spending could end starvation on earth.  The wonders that could be done with a fraction of military money are almost unimaginable and include actual defense against the actual danger of climate change.

7. Bombs are environmental disasters.  If someone photographs a big oil fire, some will give a thought to the environmental damage.  But a bombing campaign is, rather than an environmental accident, an intentional environmental catastrophe.  The poisoned ground and water, and the disease epidemics, will reach the United States primarily through moral regret, depression, and suicide.

8. There go our civil liberties.  Discussions of torture, imprisonment, assassination, surveillance, and denial of fair trials are severely damaged by wartime postures.  After all, war is for "freedom," and who wouldn't be willing to surrender all of their freedoms for that?

9. War is illegal.  It doesn't matter if the illegitimate government that you're trying to dump invited you to bomb its country.  How can anyone take that seriously, while the U.S. installed that government and has armed it for years, as it has attacked its people?  War is illegal under the Kellogg Briand Pact and the United Nations Charter, and pretending otherwise endangers the world.  Domestically, under U.S. law, the president cannot launch a war.  While the Senate has been silent, the U.S. House voted two weeks ago to ban any new presidential war on Iraq.  Offering Congress a slap in the face, Obama waited for it to go on break, and then attacked Iraq.

Iraq News - Aug 13, 2014


Desperate Yazidis fleeing Islamic State throw themselves at relief helicopters in Iraq (VIDEOS, PHOTOS) - Mail Online


VIDEO: Desperate Yazidis mob helicopter in dramatic rescue mission - YouTube


VIDEO: Heroic mission rescues desperate Yazidis from Islamic State on Mount Sinjar - CNN


Helicopter crashes during aid mission to Yazidis killing the pilot, report says too many civilians attempted to board it - huffingtonpost


Islamic State seize 63 members of a Yazidi family, allegedly have been collectively sentenced to death for refusing to convert to Islam - NBC


US fighters hit Islamic State checkpoints near where thousands of minority Yazidi refugees have been trapped on a mountain - Yahoo News


U.S. to send 130 military advisers to help Iraq's Yezidis - ABC News


Yazidis at risk: UN urges rescue from Islamic State jihadists, says international action needed "within days or hours" - DW.DE


Syrian Kurdish fighters rescuing stranded Yazidis - Fox News


VIDEO: Yazidi refugees continue to flee Iraq over Syria border - BBC News


Pentagon Says Airstrikes Have Slowed but Not Stopped Islamic State Militants - NYTimes.com


VIDEO: US Air Strikes Pound Islamic State in Iraq - Arutz Sheva


Militants have not yet displayed surface-to-air capability, Pentagon says - Air Force Times


Iraq militants changing tactics, complicating US airstrike mission - Fox News


POLL: Air Strikes Against Islamic State Radicals In Iraq Has Strong Public Support In UK And US - huffingtonpost


Islamic State militants behead, crucify and execute 23 in crushing of tribal rebellion in Syria - Mail Online


Who are the tribesmen standing up to the Islamic State in Syria? - GlobalPost


VIDEO: The Islamic State (Part 3) - VICE News


VIDEO: The Islamic State (Part 4) - VICE News


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

U.S., allies rush heavy weapons to Kurds to fight Islamic State militants in Iraq - LA Times


Britain to transport weapons to Kurds battling Islamic State in Iraq - Washington Times


France Urges Europe to Arm Kurds to Battle Islamic State - Bloomberg


Germany struggles to find consensus on arming Iraq’s Kurds - The Washington Post


Kurdish fighters hold off Islamic State, await more help from US, Baghdad - Fox News


Islamic State has exposed peshmerga's military vulnerability - The Guardian


Why the Kurdish Peshmerga Have Many Troubles in Stopping the Islamic State - VICE News


Islamic State captures Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Makhmor area, Mosul - Iraqi News


Kurds from Syria and Turkey helped to turn the tide against Islamic State in Iraq - McClatchy DC


Iranian Kurdish Parties Support Peshmerga With Fighters - Rudaw


How Mosul Dam Allows the Islamic State to Inflict Water Torture on Iraq - ibtimes.co.uk


Islamic State funds caliphate with Mosul Dam as terror spreads - The Boston Globe


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

Maliki’s Bid to Keep Power in Iraq Seems to Collapse - NYTimes.com


VIDEO: Obama throws support behind Maliki successor in Iraq - YouTube


Biden urges Kurdish leader, new Iraqi PM to work together - KUNA 


Iraqi Kurdistan's leader says supports Iraq's new leader Abadi - Yahoo News


Iran puts support behind Maliki's successor as Iraqi prime minister - The Guardian


Saudi king praises nomination of al-Abadi as Iraq’s new PM - Al Arabiya News


Profile: New Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi - Al Akhbar English

 

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

Do (Fill in the Blank) Value Life Less than We Do?

By Robert J. Gould

During the Vietnam War, my mother, an otherwise sweet and compassionate person, said “they” (Vietnamese) don’t value human life like we do, suggesting that I be more comfortable killing them.  I never was comfortable with the idea of killing them, and so I didn’t. 

However, I still hear some people say that an “enemy” doesn’t value human life like we do.  Over the years, the enemy changes, but the refrain is the same: some people on "our" side believe that enemies think life is cheap and therefore expendable, to be easily sacrificed.  These same people in our society believe that we, and probably our allies, think life is sacred, and only sacrificed in freely chosen heroic acts. 

Whenever mass violence and war breaks out, the mainstream media decides (most often with the help of government spokespeople) who are the good guys and who are the bad guys, who is the enemy and who are the allies.  Once this occurs, and media footage and commentary follow the script, it is surprising how many members of the public become comfortable with the killing of “enemy” people, especially when they are of another race, nationality, or religion.

Suddenly the term “enemy” expands to the whole population of people (civilians, children, the elderly) and they collectively become evil, treacherous, and targetable.  We can justify our hard-heartedness towards this enemy by saying they do not value human life like we do.

We look at what the enemy has done to us, or our allies, and ignore what we, or our allies, have done to them.  Through the entire news cycle, the mainstream media, selected public officials, and commentators continually feed this mismatch of perceptions.  The psychological term for perceiving the enemy to be inhuman is called “enmification.” Perversely, then, life becomes cheap for us, as long as it's lives of the enemy.  Falsely seeing the enemy as evil, and then doing evil to them, is deeply ironic and doubly unethical.

This enemy-making process reminds me of figuring out which team to cheer for, and which team to hate.  We can come up with the flimsiest of reasons to support our choice.  I cheer for Green Bay and disfavor that team from Texas for no good reason.  But I don’t want any players of the Texas team to be killed, certainly not at the hands of the Green Bay players.  It’s just a game, a bit of friendly competition. 

But in so many ways (sports, justice, neighbors, celebrities, to name a few categories), we judge who is better, and who is lesser.  I call this our tendency to take the judgmental view—very popular now in the world of quick-take, Internet opinions. 

What would the world look like if we took a compassionate view?  It would look like the world that my international students in conflict resolution tell me about, a world where every culture has a spectrum of good, caring people who just want to live their lives in peace, and extremes of people who have been driven to use violence out of fear or the evils of oppression.  

Across the globe, we all similarly value life, but security fears, and campaigns for self-rule, often drive people to violence.  They resort to violence because they have yet to learn the power and effectiveness of nonviolence, which has now been thoroughly studied to show how it has become much more effective than violence in creating security and democracy.  Excusing violence against people by claiming that they don't value life is one of the greatest ethical oxymorons of our time.  This practice should be abandoned forever.

-end-

Robert J. Gould, Ph.D., an ethicist syndicated by PeaceVoice, directs the Conflict Resolution Graduate and Undergraduate Programs at Portland State University.

"The Lawyer" Made Me Do It

 

 


The Rear-Guard Defense of Torture

 

 

Editor Note:  Official U.S. policy is to decry torture – at least when done by adversaries – but ambiguities abound when U.S. operatives do the torturing. Then, torture becomes debatable and its defenders go on TV talk shows and even get honors from universities, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern notes.

By Ray McGovern

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition to Sail to Gaza Again

​Responding to the Israeli aggression and the  complicity of world governments
 
The Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC) met in Istanbul in the shadow of the latest Israeli aggression on Gaza. We have watched atrocities being committed against an already besieged population. In the two day meeting (August 10th and 11th), the FFC concluded that it is the responsibility of civil society worldwide to sail to Gaza and challenge the Israeli blockade, the source of most problems facing the Palestinian population of Gaza.

We plan to sail to Gaza during 2014, the UN International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People: http://unispal.un.org/unispal.nsf/solidarity.htm?OpenForm 

This initiative, following in the footsteps of the 2010 and 2011 flotillas as well as other attempts to challenge the blockade of Gaza (between 2008 and 2014), is expected to include a wider and more diverse international participation.  This new flotilla is a reflection of the growing worldwide solidarity with the Palestinian people; from the US to Malaysia, from Scandinavia to South Africa.

"Calls to end the blockade of Gaza need to move from words to actions," said Ann Ighe, chairperson of Ship to Gaza and member of the FFC. We invite all interested citizens worldwide to participate in this initiative in any way you can."
These boats are also expected to carry Palestinian commercial products purchased by buyers worldwide to complete the work of Gaza's Ark, the cargo boat built by the Palestinians and the FFC in Gaza and was bombed by Israel on July 11th.

"We urge all governments to defend Human Rights and the right of the Palestinian people to freedom of movement, to facilitate the sailing of our ships to Gaza. It is their responsibility," added Ehab Lotayef of the coalition. 
In addition to sailing to Gaza, the FFC will organize demonstrations at sea and in ports worldwide over the next months. Along with other projects, the initiative will support the right of Palestinians to operate international marine lines in and out of the port of Gaza.

We support the Palestinian demand to open the port of Gaza to international marine traffic. The FFC also will work on twinning ports in the Mediterranean and beyond, with Gaza City, as a sign of solidarity and support.

Finally, we assert that all that we do is peaceful, civil society driven non-governmental actions.

Freedom Flotilla Coalition members:

European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza
Freedom Flotilla Italia

Gaza's Ark

IHH
International Committee for Breaking the Siege on Gaza (ICBSG)
Rumbo a Gaza
Ship to Gaza Greece
Ship to Gaza Norway
Ship to Gaza Sweden

also participating in the project:
Palestine Solidarity Alliance - South Africa
Free Gaza
Haluan Palestin - Malaysia
Life Line to Gaza - Jordan
Miles of Smiles
Sahabat Al-Aqsha

Talk Nation Radio: Bad Honeywell, Really Bad Honeywell

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-bad-honeywell-really-bad-honeywell

Mathias Paul Quackenbush is an organizer of http://BadHoneywell.org

What's so bad about Honeywell? Let us count the ways!

Quackenbush lives in San Francisco, where he works as a dual diagnosis Residential Counselor and spends most of his remaining time engaging in activism for peace, human rights, and campaign finance reform.

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

DRONE ACTION ORGANIZERS BULLETIN – August 12, 2014


From KnowDrones.com

Edited by Nick Mottern – Coordinator, Network to Stop Drone Surveillance and Warfare.

Next organizers’ conference call: August 27, 2014 at 9 pm EST
Call in number: (605) 562-3000 - Access code: 484539#

PLEASE DO YOUR UTMOST TO JOIN THIS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT CALL WHEN WE WILL DISCUSS JOINT ACTIONS FOR SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER. 

1.    Editorial: GAZA, IRAQ AND OUR TRAGIC DRONE FANTASY
2.    ISRAELI DRONE IMPACT UNEXAMINED BY THE PRESS
3.    OPENING A NEW FRONT IN DRONE PROTEST
4.    RUSSELL BROWN DEFENDS HIMSELF AND WINS
5.    COURT ACTIONS GROW / CONTRIBUTIONS NEEDED
6.    BEALE WITNESS AND PLANS 
7.    HORSHAM DRONE BASE VIGILS CONTINUE 
8.    OCTOBER 4 INTERNATIONAL DRONE ACTIONS

 

Bilde
An MQ-9 Reaper UAV taxies after landing at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. US, Iranian and Iraqi unmanned vehicles share airspace over Iraqi skies. (Tech. Sgt. Erik Gudmundson / US Air Force) from DefenseNews.com

We’re human fodder caught in the crossfire of armed groups and armed governments: "No to wars!"

By Dr Hakim

“Her father was killed in Helmand amidst fighting between the Taliban and the Afghan/U.S.-NATO forces,” said a relative about Gul Jumma, who looked down, shy and full of angst, sensing a future that’s not promising.

Gul Jumma, together with the Afghan Peace Volunteers, expressed their opposition to wars in this video. Gul Jumma holds up the sign for ‘Ukraine’, indicating ‘No to wars in Ukraine’. She understands what it is like to be caught in the crossfire, as happened to her father when he was killed in battle.

Gul Jumma on the right

She and her surviving family members were displaced from her own village home in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan and now live in a squalid Internally Displaced Person’s ( IDP ) camp in Kabul. She is one of an estimated 600,000 IDPs in Afghanistan, whose flight is described as being ‘on the run without aid’.

So, at 10 years of age, Gul Jumma can already identify with the 100,000 Ukrainians who have been internally displaced in Ukraine,  the 730,000 Ukrainians who have fled to Russia and over 1,300 Ukrainians who have died since fighting began in April 2014.

Her hard experience has taught her to protect herself. She gets upset when the other street kids mistreat her in the literacy class. Sometimes, she snaps back at them.

When she was asked to draw a picture of her work in the streets, collecting scrap paper and plastic for her mother to use as fuel, she ignored her unpleasant work and drew herself wearing a colourful dress.

“I like wearing colorful dresses when I go to weddings or when my family and I are guests at the houses of our relatives and friends. My favorite fruit is the pomegranate.”

In a child-like way wiser than the complicated confusion of adults, Gul Jumma and the Afghan street kids see past the false differentiation between the ‘right and wrong and the good and evil’ sides of war.

They challenge us to be honest in giving an account to them, “Which warring side is good? Which killer is better?”

Like the Ukrainian child pictured below, they would say to any side or killer, whether the U.S.-backed Ukranian army or the Russian-backed rebels, or the U.S./NATO coalition-backed Afghan army or the Taliban/Afghan militia groups, “Don’t kill us!”

When Afghan youth, including little girls like Gul Jumma, hear people say that war is not the answer, like the anti-war Ukranian protesters are saying, they can empathize.  The Afghan Peace Volunteers swiftly agreed to express their solidarity with the ordinary people of Ukraine.

The United Nations reported in June this year that a record number of 50 million human beings worldwide have become refugees.

50 million persons, for the self-interests of fighting groups and governments, have become human beings seeking refuge from fellow human beings.

Whether they are Iraqi Christians, Iraqi Yazidis, Iraqi Muslims, Ukrainian free thinkers, Ukrainian Orthodox Christians and Catholics, Ukrainian Muslims, Palestinian Muslims, Israeli Jews, Syrian Muslims, Syrian Christians, Guatemalan Catholics etc., they are all refugees, and share the risks and crises all refugees face.

Some Palestinians, including children, who took refuge in UN schools in Gaza, were bombed and killed by the Israeli military nonetheless. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon called one such attack ‘a moral outrage and a criminal act.’

But, Mr Ban and the UN have been unable to do what the UN charter set out to do, to ‘remove the scourge of war from future generations’.

Waziri was an Afghan refugee in South Waziristan for 17 years. He and his family returned to live in Kabul in 2006. He told me the story of Pakistani Pashtun refugees who recently fled North Waziristan for relative safety in Khost Province of Afghanistan. “My friends and I mobilized a few community groups to provide oil, rice and sugar for about 610 refugee families in Khost,” Waziri shared.

Who did the Pakistani refugees flee from?  The Pakistani refugees fled from the Pakistan Army!

A Pakistani army commander had told the BBC that ‘the Taliban had already left North Waziristan before the offensive by the Pakistani army started.   

So, the Pakistani army, backed by the U.S., stormed through North Waziristan, finding few if any Taliban, and forced fellow Pakistanis to flee from their own homes!

Waziri considers the military operation ‘a really big show’ at the expense of ordinary people. “I think the ISI and the Pakistani government themselves had informed the Taliban to leave! “said Waziri.

“The refugees I met in Khost lamented that they can’t go back to Waziristan now because they could be mistakenly killed by the Pakistani soldiers in the offensive. And, if the Taliban returned to the area after the offensive, the Taliban may kill them.”

Waziri ended off with this horrid story of our terrible human condition, “One of the refugees I met in Khost told me that as they were fleeing, his new-born baby was so weak from thirst that the baby died in his arms. Angry, disappointed and profoundly sad, the man carried the dead baby in his arms, and crying, he shouted at a Pakistani soldier, saying, ‘You might as well take the corpse of my baby and eat it. This is what you’re doing to us!”

These refugee stories show that the current leaders of the world, whether leaders of democratic or socialist governments or leaders of ‘extremist’ groups, have the same simplistic responses to wars, to the global refugee crises, and even to antiwar protesters : spying and surveillance, imprisonment, shoot and bombard, or Hillary Clinton’s slogan in Afghanistan to ‘fight, talk, build’!

The elite 1% of armed groups and armed governments are waging economic, environmental and military wars against the people! They, and perhaps we ourselves too, have lost our imagination and empathy.

But not Gul Jumma, not Waziri, not Ukrainian mothers who went on foot to a bridge carrying placards reading "Save our boys!"and not Israeli reservists who refuse to fight in Gaza. Certainly, not activists who go to jail for protesting elaborate secret government programs of targeted killings, drone murders, detentions without trial, torture and other clearly brutal acts.

Each of us should emulate them to protest against all wars, in solidarity with all refugees.

If there are 50 million refugees, there ought to at least be 50 million of us working together to divest and boycott, to stop military mobilization and conscription, to take the guilty elite to court, to participate in non-violent direct actions and protests and to provide all kinds of humanitarian assistance.

There ought to be at least 50 million of us working together to restore human dignity and freedom, including the building of small, self-governing, non-violent egalitarian communities, as practical alternatives to the status quo of a large, 1%-dominated, violent, unequal world.

‘No to Afghanistan in Ukraine. No to Ukraine in Afghanistan. No to wars in the world!’

We wish to live differently.

We no longer want anyone anywhere to be human fodder caught in the crossfire of armed groups and armed governments.

Dr Hakim, ( Dr. Teck Young, Wee ) is a medical doctor from Singapore who has done humanitarian and social enterprise work in Afghanistan for the past 9 years, including being a friend and mentor to the Afghan Peace Volunteers, an inter-ethnic group of young Afghans dedicated to building non-violent alternatives to war. He is the 2012 recipient of the International Pfeffer Peace Prize.

Ukraine News - Aug 12, 2014


World leaders OK plan for Russia humanitarian aid delivery to eastern Ukraine - LA Times


Relief Aid Convoy Leaves Russia for East Ukraine - RIA Novosti


Statement of the Rec Cross regarding aid delivery to Eastern Ukraine - ICRC


Readout of the President Obama's Call with President Poroshenko Regarding Humanitarian Aid Delivery to Eastern Ukraine - The White House


VIDEO: Raw Vid of approximately 70 Russian trucks assembled before they set out for Eastern Ukraine with supplies - LiveLeak.com


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

Ukraine close to cutting off separatists in their stronghold of Donetsk: military spokesman Lysenko - Business Spectator


Kiev mayor's ally killed by separatist sniper, his death brings to 568 the number of Ukrainian soldiers and volunteer militiamen killed - Fox News


NSDC: Ukrainian military losses in the last 24 hours: 6 servicemen killed and 24 wounded - Info Resist


MAP: Military situation in Easter Ukraine: military and rebel controlled areas, 11 August - Info Resist


VIDEO (English) - Press Conference of Ukraine Military Spokesman Lysenko, August 11 - Ukraine Crisis Media Center


VIDEO (English): Press Conference of Minister of Justice Petrenko, Minister of Internal Affairs Avakov, August 11 - Ukraine Crisis Media Center


VIDEO: Ukraine Says Its Forces Close to Taking Rebel-Held Donetsk - Reuters


Ukraine's most dangerous prisoners escape as shell hits Donetsk jail (PHOTOS) - Mail Online


VIDEO: Prisoners escape jail, some plea to fight for Donetsk - YouTube


Avakov: Air Drone Squadron Established As Part Of National Guard - Ukranian News


Ukrainian Paramilitaries Battle Separatists Near Donetsk - rferl.org


Ukraine crisis: the neo-Nazi brigade fighting pro-Russian separatists - Telegraph


VIDEO: Ukrainian Paramilitaries Battle Separatists Near Donetsk - LiveLeak.com


Impunity reigns for abductions and ill-treatment by pro-Kyiv vigilantes in eastern Ukraine - Amnesty International


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

New Ukrainian rebel leader Zakharchenko asks for aid, seeks cease-fire - AP


Ukraine rebel leader Zakharchenko says mulls counter attack - GlobalPost


VIDEO (English): Donetsk separatist Prime-Minister Alexandr Zakharchenko briefing, 11/08/14 - YouTube


Ukraine military: No Cease-Fire With Pro-Russia Rebels Until 'White Flags' Fly - NBC News


Poroshenko declares readiness for international discussion on Donbas peace settlement - ITAR-TASS


Russian-Backed Rebels Put a Local Man Out Front, But Still Look Divided - atlanticcouncil.org


VIDEO: Soldiers belonging to the Vostok Battalion took part in a mass prayer in Donetsk on Sunday for a peaceful resolution in the ongoing conflict with Kiev forces - Zie.nl


In Ukraine Separatist Commander 'Strelkov' Seems To Be Getting Frustrated, Says Donetsk is “Fully Surrounded” - rferl.org


Donetsk Artist who Mocked Ukraine Separatist Leader Igor Strelkov Kidnapped (ART PHOTOS) - ibtimes.co.uk


Prisoners of separatist Bezler aka 'Demon' in war-torn Ukraine - BBC News


Russia Must Recognize Ukraine Rebels' Human Rights Abuses - Human Rights Watch

 

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

Israel’s Operation Protective Edge Spurs Growth in BDS Movement

Originally posted at AcronymTV

Awareness of, and commitment to the movement of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) is growing both here in the United States and around the world.

Describing BDS in an early 2014 piece, Beth Perry wrote:

“It’s a broad tactic aimed to pressure the state itself to change. But it also reserves a special focus for companies that are actually involved in — and make hefty profits from — occupation policies. These organizations may be forced to pay attention to the boycott very soon — and they may not be the ones you’d expect.”

A Meditation on Peacemaking: Americans Need to Break the Cycle of War

By John Grant


All we are saying is give peace a chance
             -John Lennon


Speech: The Peace Movements Vision: A Universal Call for Peace through the abolition of Militarism

(Militaries are outdated and they should go, like hanging and flogging).
By Mairead  Corrigan Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate, Peace People. N.Ireland
http://peacepeople.com

I would like to offer my congratulations to IFOR on this its 100th anniversary.

I once asked Fr. Dan Berrigan, the great American Anti-war activist, for some advice to me in my life as a peace activist.  He replied ‘Pray and Resist’.  The IFOR members will appreciate this advice, coming as they do from their roots in 100 years of building International Fellowship and Reconciliation between peoples of all faith traditions, (and none) many of whom believe in the need for prayer in order to strengthen their spiritual lives, and many take their prayer, very seriously.  Our Muslim brothers and sisters show us great example by their very beautiful lives of prayer, (5 times a day), and Fasting at Ramadan.

But I would like to ask how serious are we about Resistance?  What is our Vision?

And how does Resistance fit into this?  What do we need to resist?  How can we resist effectively? And what methods are allowed? In resisting, what are our aims and objectives?  

I would like to propose that IFOR and the Worlds’ Peace Movement adopt a vision of the total abolition of Militarism.  Such a Vision would empower us to know where we are going.  It would inspire and energize each of us to pursue our different projects,  be it arms trade, nuclear abolition, nonkilling/nonviolence, culture of peace, abolishing arms, drone warfare, human rights, environmental rights, etc.,   We will know as we work towards this vision of a demilitarised, disarmed world, that we are part of an ever growing new ‘consciousness’ of men and women, choosing to uphold human life, the right to individual conscious, loving our enemies, human rights and international law, and solving our problems without killing each other. 

 Why Resist militarism?  We are witnessing the growing militarism of Europe, and its role as a driving force for armaments, and its dangerous path, under the leadership of the USA/NATO towards a new ‘cold’ war and military aggression.  The European Union and many of its countries, who used to take initiatives in the UN for peaceful settlements of conflicts, particularly allegedly peaceful countries, like Norway and Sweden, are now one of the US/NATO most important war assets.  The EU is a threat to the survival of neutrality, as countries are being asked to join NATO, and forced to end their neutrality and choose (unnecessarily) between West and East.

Many nations have been drawn into being complicit in breaking international law through US/UK/NATO wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and etc., Germany being the third largest exporter of military hardware in the world, continues to increase its military budget and is complicit with NATO, facilitating USA bases, from which Drones leave to carry out illegal ex judicial killings on the order of the US President, in countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc.,  Germany has also provided Israel with its nuclear submarine and continues to be complicit under the Geneva Convention, in Israeli war crimes against Gaza and illegal Occupation of Palestine.

I believe we need to abolish NATO and increase our task of dismantling the Military Industrial complex, through nonviolent and civil resistance.  The means of resistance are very important.   As a pacifist and person deeply committed to nonkilling/nonviolence as a way to bring about social/cultural/political change, I believe we need to use means consistent with the end, and it is wrong to use violence.

Our message that Militarism and War do not solve our problem of violence, challenges us to use new ways and that is why we need to  teach the Science of peace at every level of society.  We are all aware there are forces at work who are determined to continue their agenda of the militarization of our societies and there are Gov./Corporate/Media attempts to make violence and war acceptable.  The greatest danger to our freedoms being eroded, by Gov., and endangered by ‘armed’ groups, is a fearful, apathetic, civil community, refusing to take a  stand  for human rights and real democracy, and against violence and war. 

We can take hope from the fact that most people want peace not war.  However, we are facing a civilization problem.  We are facing a Political/Ideological challenge with the growth of what President Eisenhower warned the USA people against – the Military/Industrial complex.  He warned it would destroy USA

Democracy and he has been proven right in this.  We know now that a small world group made up of Military/Industrial/Media/corporate/Academic elite, whose agenda is profit, arms, war and valuable resources, is now holding power and have a stronghold on our elected Governments.  We see this in the Gun and Israeli Lobbies, amongst others, who hold great power over American Politics.    We have witnessed this, in ongoing wars, invasions, occupations, and proxy war, all allegedly in the  name of ‘humanitarian intervention and democracy’. However, in reality they are causing great suffering, especially to the poor, through their policies of arms, war, domination and control of other countries and their resources.

Unmasking this agenda of war and demanding the implementation of Human Rights and International Law is the work of the Peace Movement.  We can turn around from this path of destruction by spelling out a clear vision of what kind of a world we want to live in, demanding an end to M/I complex, and insisting our Governments adopt Policies of Peace, Just Economics, etc. 

We the Peace Movement are the alternative to militarism and war, and as we want a different world, we must be part of building it.    We must not be satisfied with improvements and reform to militarism but rather offer an alternative.  Militarism is an aberration and a system of dysfunction.  Militarism should be outdated and go like hanging and flogging!     I hope that IFOR will join in a Universal Call for peace through the wholesale abolition of Militarism.


Iraq News - Aug 11, 2014


20,000 Iraqi Yazidis besieged by IS escape from mountain after US air strikes - The Guardian


Kurdish rebels help rescue besieged Yazidi refugees from Iraq mountain - The Guardian


Iraqi Yazidis describe flight from Islamic State militants - LA Times


U.K., France Join U.S. Aid Efforts For Displaced Iraqis - rferl.org


VIDEO: US Cargo Planes C 17 Drop Humanitarian Aid over Northern Iraq - YouTube


VIDEO: Bleeding Yazidi children trapped on Sinjar Mountain - YouTube


PHOTOS: Yazidis rescued by Kurdish peshmerga after escaping Jihadist horde - Mail Online


Iraq Claims IS Militants Executed Hundreds Of Minority Yazidis - NPR


Claims IS buried women and children alive should be treated carefully - i100.independent.co.uk


Pope Francis: IS violence against minorities in Iraq must be stopped - The Guardian


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

Targeted US airstrikes hamper Islamic State's advances in Kurdish territory - ibtimes.co.in


American intervention against IS boosts Kurdish morale as President Obama launches more air strikes - The Independent


Iraqi Kurds say U.S. attacks helping push back Islamic State militants - LA Times


After resisting for years, U.S. increases military aid to Kurds in Iraq - WJLA.com


Obama Says Iraq Airstrike Effort Could Be Long-Term - NYTimes.com


TRANSCRIPT: President Obama's remarks on airstrikes and humanitarian efforts in Iraq - LA Times


VIDEO: US Military Releases Video Showing Air Strike in Iraq - YouTube


Kurdish Peshmerga Retake Gwer; IS in Retreat in Nineveh - Rudaw


Suicide bomber kills 10 Kurdish fighters in Iraq - THE DAILY STAR


VIDEO: Kurdish Special Forces raid on ISIS compound! (raw) - LiveLeak.com


VIDEO: Kurdish Peshmerga reclaim Gwer from IS militants - YouTube


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

Maliki defiant as his special forces deploy in Baghdad, says he will not cave in to pressure to drop a bid for a third term -  Reuters


VIDEO: Maliki forces deployed around Baghdad - CNN


U.S. says backs Iraqi president after Maliki forces deploy in Baghdad - Yahoo News


ISIS recruiting on the rise in Iraq, officials say - CNN.com


Tens of Arab Tribes help IS in Northern Iraq - BAS NEWS


Fighters abandoning al-Qaida affiliates to join Islamic State, US officials say - The Washington Post


VIDEO: Grooming Children for Jihad: The Islamic State (Part 2) - VICE

 

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

Obama Does Pete Seeger

If I had a Hellfire
Missile in the morning,
And another in the evening,
Oh that'd be grand!
I'd take out Iraqis,
I'd take out Ukrainians,
I'd take out folks between,
The Atlantic and Pacific,
Oh that'd be grand!

If I had a drone
I'd buzz it in the morning,
I'd buzz it in the evening,
All over your sand,
I'd take out Yemenis,
I'd take out some Syrians
I'd take out folksy folks between,
Argentina and the Arctic
Oh oh oh that'd be grand

If I had a bomb
I'd drop it in the morning
I'd drop it in the evening
Wouldya lend me a hand
We'd destroy Libya
We'd demolish Palestine
We'd take out all male folks between
age eighteen and a hundred
Oh let me be clear that'd be grand

Well, I've got a Hellfire
and I've got a drone
I've got a 500-pound bomb to drop
Come lend me a hand
It's the Hellfire of justice
It's the drone of freedom
It's a Nobel Peace Prize bomb
from a Constitutional scholar
Oh isn't it grand!

It's the Hellfire of justice
It's the drone of freedom
It's a Nobel Peace Prize bomb
from a Constitutional scholar
Oh isn't it grand!

U.S. Bombs Won't Save Iraqi Lives

Daddy George H.W. Bush; Bill Clinton; W. Bush and now Barack Obama have an unbroken streak of bombing Iraq.Let us say as strongly as we can, that the bombing begun overnight in Kurdish areas — no matter who “asked” for it to be done — is outrageously dangerous, will not “save civilians,” but instead will endanger them further. Rather than protecting people in harm's way, US bombs and secret operations are a message to other powers that no one else will be allowed to run Iraq.

 

Avoid bullies and thugs: Beware the World’s Leading War-Monger and Terrorist Organization

By Dave Lindorff



There’s an old adage that goes: “You can judge a man by the company he keeps.”


If that’s the case, then applying it to nations, the world has to judge the US to be a truly wretched and repugnant country, and should be steering clear of it.

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