Tomgram: Dilip Hiro, Flashpoint for the Planet

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

CIA ‘K-9 test’ gone wrong or something else?: Plastic Explosives Found in School Bus Engine Compartment by school's mechanic

By Dave Lindorff


            What on earth was the CIA doing putting plastic high explosive charges on school buses and in hidden places in a Virginia public school in a “test” of K-9 dogs reportedly belonging to the Agency itself?


Focus: Pew Poll on Campaign Issues, Values and How Life Has Changed in the U.S. - Apr 2, 2016


Note: Only 30 percent of Democratic or Democratic-leaning voters say that the primary process has been a good way of determining "the best-qualified nominees.” Among Clinton voters 37 percent have a positive opinion of the primary and among Sanders voters 25 percent. The Independents, which account for the majority of the voters, were not polled as a separate group; I guess that, given the limited role assigned to them by the primary system, their percentage would be even lower than the Democrats.

POLL (Pew Research Full results): Campaign exposes fissures over issues, values and how life has changed in the U.S. - Pew Research Center

POLL (Pew Research): A poll that asks about 'people like you' shows why Americans are voting the way they are - Quartz

STATS (Pew Research): 10 demographic trends that are shaping the U.S. and the world - Pew Research Center

POLL (Pew Research): Democratic voters more dissatisfied with primary than Republicans - The Weekly Standard

POLL (Pew Research): Republicans, especially Trump supporters, see free trade deals as bad for U.S. - Pew Research Center

POLL (Pew Research): Most U.S. voters view immigrants positively. Most Trump voters don’t. - The Washington Post

POLL (Pew Research): Support for border wall with Mexico drops to … 38/58 - Hot Air

POLL (Pew Research): Poll shows most Americans oppose bans on Muslims - The Arab Daily News

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

Obama Apologizes to Argentina: Now It's Time to Apologize to Cuba

By Gar Smith

In an unprecedented act of geopolitical contrition, Barack Obama has become the first US president to apologize to another world leader for America's role in overthrowing an elected democracy and installing a brutal military regime that murdered and "disappeared" more than 30,000 civilians.

The apology was tendered on March 24, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Well, actually, what Obama apologized for was the US being "slow to speak out for human rights." Washington's military role in supporting the coup, the dictatorship and the "dirty war" were only inferred. As Amanda Taub observed on Vox World: "Obama was, unsurprisingly, pretty vague on what role the US played in that conflict."

Obama reportedly was compelled to offer the mea culpa at the insistence of Argentine President Mauricio Macri who made it a precondition of Obama's state visit—on the 40th anniversary of the US-backed military coup.

David and Jan Hartsough: Why We Don't Pay Taxes

Hartsoughs 721 Shrader St., San Francisco, CA 94117
March 30, 2016

Dear Friends at the IRS,

We cannot in conscience pay for the killing of other human beings or pay for war and preparations for war. Human life is too precious to drop bombs on people because we do not like their governments. Developing a new generation of nuclear weapons which could put an end to life on our beautiful planet is insane.

Giving the Pentagon hundreds of billions of dollars when we are cutting funds for schools, libraries, head start programs, job training and creation, and now even social security, does not increase the security of our people.

The wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria and the use of drones have NOT increased our security, but have created more enemies of the United States in these countries, in Pakistan and around the world. Let’s end the war on terror and bring the tax dollars home to meet the needs of the American people.

We are Quakers and cannot in conscience contribute in any way to the killing of our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world. Fifty percent of our tax dollars go for wars and preparations for wars. Together with our IRS Form, we are sending a check for $424 or 50% of what we owe to the Department of Health and Human Services and ask that you designate all those funds for health and education and human well-being – and NONE for war and killing.

The other $424 or 50% (the portion which goes for war and killing) we are contributing to organizations working for peace and justice and programs meeting human and environmental needs in the US and around the world.

Instead of paying for war and killing, we are joining together with others to build what Martin Luther King called the “Beloved Community”. We hope and pray that all the taxes from people all over the world can go for schools, good health care and housing for all people on earth and a healthy planet for our children and all future generations rather than for wars and killing one another.

Sincerely,  David and Jan Hartsough

Focus: NATO, Russia and Donald Trump - Apr 1, 2016

US sending thousands more armed troops and heavy weaponry to Eastern Europe in response to 'aggressive Russia’ - VICE

Official news release: Eucom announces European Reassurance Initiative implementation plan - U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

NATO to switch defense doctrine from 'assurance to deterrence' in E. Europe: Eucom chief Breedlove - GlobalPost

Remarks from the Eucom chief General Breedlove in Riga, Latvia - United States European Command

NATO commander Breedlove calls for return to service of U-2 spy plane to help conduct surveillance on a resurgent Russia - The Independent

First Look at $3.4 billion in weapons the US is sending to NATO - The Fiscal Times

NATO reaches agreement With Kiev on military reforms -

NATO says Russian forces in Syria complicate crisis -

Russia envoy: Moscow won't passively watch US military build-up in Europe - TASS

Get ready, NATO: Russia's cold war T-72 tank is set for a big upgrade - The National Interest Blog

ARCHIVE: Pentagon chief Carter: Russia top global threat to U.S. - News.Az

ARCHIVE: The Pentagon's secret foreign aid budget, U.S. sends billions to foreign militaries each year - Politico



Terrorism and North Korea dominate Nuclear Security Summit in Washington - NBC News

Kremlin: Russia skips Nuclear Security Summit over lack of cooperation with partners - TASS

Russia’s absence from the Nuclear Security Summit raises questions about the international community’s ability to keep nuclear materials out of the hands of terrorists, say analysts - VOA

Will the Nuclear Security Summit help stop terrorists from getting the bomb? - The National Interest Blog

America's nuclear weapons in Europe are the nuclear elephant in the room - VICE News



Pentagon: Donald Trump is wrong, NATO is not 'very obsolete’ - TheHill

VIDEO (and transcript): Trump: NATO is obsolete and expensive, doesn't have the right countries in it to fight terrorism - RealClearPolitics

Trump adviser Page has deep ties to Kremlin’s Gazprom, says his close relations with Russian business are a strength - Bloomberg Politics

Trump adviser Page criticized what he considers American aggression toward Russia, compared U.S.-Russia policy to slavery -

Clinton blasts Trump over NATO comments - Business Insider

VIDEO: Hillary Clinton on NATO: "If Mr. Trump gets his way, it will be like Christmas in the Kremlin" - YouTube


Patrick Buchanan op-ed: Trump is right about NATO - WND

Is it time for America to quit NATO? - The National Interest Blog

Donald Trump highlights debate over NATO's relevancy, interview with two experts - NPR

How did NATO survive the Cold War? NATO's transformation after the Cold War from 1989 to the present, lecture by acting NATO spokesman Jamie Shea -  NATO

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

Veterans and Activists Arrested Protesting Drone Terror at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada

Veterans For Peace national President Barry Ladendorf, Board member Tarak Kauff, and Advisory Board member Ann Wright were among eight peace activists who were arrested early Thursday morning, after physically blocking the main gate to Creech Air Force Base near Las Vegas, Nevada.  

Also arrested were VFP members Barry Binks (long time, often arrested drone protester),
Ken Mayers, Chris Kundson and Leslie Harris, along with Joan Pleume of the New York Granny Peace Brigade.

Drone pilots based at Creech AFB, directed by the CIA and the Pentagon, regularly carry out drone strikes against targets in Afghanistan and Pakistan, killing many civilians and terrorizing the population.
A larger civil disobedience action is planned for Friday.
See Press Release, attached and below.

Contact: Robert Majors 702-646-4814

Military Veterans Arrested at Creech Air Force Base Trying to Stop Drone Warfare 
Indian Springs, NV - During peak rush hour traffic on Thursday March 31st at Creech AFB, military veterans and friends were arrested while waving Veterans for Peace (VFP) flags and nonviolently blocking traffic at the East Gate on Hwy. 95, the primary commuter gate into the base. As the traffic was impeded, Las Vegas Police diverted cars up the highway to less used, alternative gates. 
At the same time, 20 people held vigil between the frontage road and US Highway 95 as four other peace and justice activists greeted the diverted traffic with a second peaceful anti-drone blockade expressed as a sitting silent meditation in front of the second gate. 
The arrests at 7:50 AM today were part of a week-long orchestrated effort by over 100 activists from over 20 states in the country, mobilized to oppose the U.S. drone program that uses remotely controlled planes controlled at Creech to indiscriminately drop missiles on some of the most vulnerable populations in the world. Thursday's traffic was delayed for fifteen minutes, as Creech employees and contractors were diverted to the 2nd gate, and then to the 3rd gate once demonstrators blocked the 2nd gate. The prayer-activists at the 2nd gate were not arrested. 
This was the first of several civil resistance actions planned during the week-long National Mass Mobilization against Drone Warfare known as SHUT DOWN CREECH. All of the demonstrators who were arrested were taken to the Las Vegas Metropolitan County Jail. 
Meanwhile the remaining activists at "Camp Justice" across from the base continue the regular schedule of nonviolence training and strategy sessions for creative and nonviolent ways to stop the illegal assassination program at Creech Air Force Base for as long as possible. 

The 8 activists arrested were:
Barry Binks, VFP, California 
Leslie Harris, VFP, Texas 
Tarak Kauff, VFP, New York 
Chris Knudsen, VFP, CA, California 
Barry Ladendorf, VFP, California 
Ken Mayers, VFP, New Mexico 
Joan Pleune, NY Granny Peace Brigade, New York Col. 

Ann Wright, VFP and retired 29 year army veteran, and former U.S. diplomat, Hawaii

New Veteran-led Campaign Challenges Islamophobia

By Brian Trautman

Violence against American Muslims is growing faster than at any time since 9/11, with assaults on Muslim individuals and their places of worship having tripled since the Paris and San Bernardino terror attacks. A NY Times article published last December cites several examples, which include shootings and vandalism. According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), last year set a record for the highest number of incidents targeting U.S. Mosques. As a result of this violence, Muslims across the country, including women and children, have conveyed to the public that they genuinely fear for their safety and security.

Hostility toward Muslims because of their religious faith is fundamental to the root and expression of Islamophobia. A 1997 reportof the Runnymede Trust defined Islamophobia as "an outlook or world-view involving an unfounded dread and dislike of Muslims, which results in practices of exclusion and discrimination." The report also identified eight common misconceptions about Islam, such as the religion is inferior, primitive, and barbaric and embodies a political ideology rather than a true religious faith.For these reasons, among others, it can beargued that Islamophobia is a form of racism.

The hate propaganda and political demagoguery observed in the current presidential election season has fueled Islamophobia and contributed to the sharp rise in hate crimes. Many public figures, social commentators and members of the media tragically conflate terrorism with Islam, despite the lack of credible evidence pointing to any connection between the two. Sadly, it is quite possible that the anti-Muslim responses to the terror attacks in Brussels from Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and others may have incited more Islamophobia and put Muslims at greater risk of victimization.

There are about 3 million Muslims in the U.S. today and more than 1.6 billion worldwide. They have the same right to religious freedom, freedom from fear, and human dignity as members of any other religion, particularly in a nation that touts itself as a beacon of hope and the "Land of the Free."As citizens, we have a moral responsibility to act to protect and preserve these rights. Accordingly, Islamophobia must be confronted every time it rears its ugly head. There is no room for apathy or complacency on this matter.

Determined to defy and combat Islamophobia before more innocent Muslims are targeted and harmed, Veterans For Peace (VFP), working closely with Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), has organized a campaign called “Veterans Challenge Islamophobia” (VCI). This national campaign is a broad-based, action-oriented effort which calls on military veterans everywhere to defend the values of religious freedom, equality and individual rights – the very same values that are embedded in the U.S. Constitution. The campaign strives to prevent further abuse of our Muslim neighbors while building strong, positive relationships with Muslim communities to help guard them against hate-motivated threats and behavior.

VFP understands that terror groups like ISIL do not speak for Islam and in fact the vast majority of ISIL’s victims are Muslims. To quote Muslim Navy veteran and VFP member Nate Terani, ISIL’s atrocities represent “utter cowardice carried out by thugs who know NO religion except violence and destruction. They are NOT members of my faith which preaches the sanctity of creation.” In a recent op-ed, Paul K. Chappell, retired Army Captain and a member of VFP’s advisory board, argues that ISIL deliberately provokes Islamophobia for the purposes of recruitment. The terror organization requires two specific conditions before this objective can be fulfilled: “It needs to dehumanize the people it kills, and it also needs Western countries to dehumanize Muslims.” Chappell contends that ISIL “commits horrible atrocities against Westerners because it wants us to overreact by stereotyping, dehumanizing, and alienating Muslims.” Islamophobia, therefore, has the real potential of strengthening ISIL, especially if left unchallenged.

Besides being used as a mechanism to denigrate Muslim Americans, Islamophobia has been employed as a vehicle to demonize Muslims in foreign lands, functioning as a convenient tool for lawmakers pushing to reject war refugees from the Middle East or furnish a pretext for sending more military troops to the region. VFP also believes that the pro-torture rhetoric of several presidential candidates is linked to Islamophobia, a position that VFP has articulated publicly. The ongoing vilification and targeting of Muslims both here and abroad demonstrates the urgent need for and importance of the VCI campaign.

The formal statement of the VCI campaign reads as follows:

“We are U.S. military veterans, many of whom saw combat in Afghanistan, Iraq and Vietnam, who are appalled by the current spate of bigotry, racism and hatred expressed toward Muslims, the huge majority of whom are law-abiding and productive citizens.

Bigotry and racism violate all of the values we believed we were defending during our military service. The ideals contained in the Constitution, to the degree they have been manifested in America, have been a beacon to much of the world because of the diversity, openness, and respect for people of all faiths that most Americans live by. It will be a great calamity if we let fear give rise to hatred.

Fear-mongering endangers our national security and gives rise to hatred and racism that play into the hands of an enemy that wants to convince Muslims around the world that the West, led by the U.S., hates them, and that joining ISIL or similar organizations is the only way to truly observe and defend their religion. We can never defend ourselves effectively by playing into our adversary’s strategy, giving credibility to their recruitment propaganda. We endanger ourselves whenever we make that mistake.

We call on all Americans to let their voices be heard and to stand up for the values of tolerance, respect and love. As Pope Francis told Congress, “to imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their place.”

The above statement is published on the VCI campaign website where veterans can sign on to support the campaign and non-veterans can sign upfor campaign news while helping make sure the voices of veterans are heard as we defend freedom of religion and stand against bigotry.

A number of campaign-related activities have taken place since VCI was launched last January. At the end of February, for instance, a VFP sponsored rally titled “Muslims Are Not Our Enemy” was held outside the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, New England’s largest mosque (video). The campaign has inspired the hashtag #VetsVsHate, a movement of veterans who have posted personal messages of solidarity to social media and held nonviolent protests at political events nationwide, including in South Carolina, Alabama, Nevada and Arizona. Veterans involved in protests have displayed banners with appeals to stop the hate, two of which read, “Veterans to Mr. Trump: End Hate Speech Against Muslims” and “We Stand With Our Muslim Brothers and Sisters.” During some of these actions, several veterans were accosted and manhandled by security officials and belligerent political supporters.

It is the hope of VFP and its allies that the VCI campaign functionsas an educational instrument and a call to action. The attempts to manufacture fear and hatred of Muslims in our society must be stopped. All veterans, whether or not they agree with VFP on other issues, can be prominent and influential leaders in the struggle against Islamophobia and in persuading their fellow Americans to oppose hate. This campaign is intended as one small but significant contribution toward that effort.

Brian Trautman serves on the national board of directors of Veterans For Peace (VFP). He is a post-Cold War veteran of the U.S. Army. Brian teaches peace studies and economics at Berkshire Community College in western Massachusetts and resides near Albany, NY. On Twitter @BriTraut.

Inside Drone Warfare

Focus: Donald Trump and the Polls - Mar 30, 2016

POLL (NBC News/SurveyMonkey): Trump nearly at 50 percent support among Republicans nationally, holds 21-point lead - NBC News

POLL: NBC News/SurveyMonkey weekly election tracking full results -

POLL (Public Policy Polling): Trump Most Acceptable Candidate to GOP - Public Policy Polling

POLL (Rasmussen Reports): 84% of likely Republican voters think Trump is likely to win their party’s nomination - Rasmussen Reports

POLL (Monmouth University): Most Republicans want the GOP to unite behind Trump - Washington Examiner

POLL (Quinnipiac and YouGov/Huffington Post): New polls cast doubts on anti-Trump movement - PJ Media

POLL (Morning Consult): Voters, especially women, push Donald Trump to 49% on national security after Brussels terror attacks - People's Pundit

POLL: In New York poll Trump leads Cruz by 33 points -

POLL: New poll shows Trump leading Cruz in California by 7 points - KCRA Home

POLL: Kasich trails Trump by 3 points in latest Pennsylvania poll -

POLL: Trump and Cruz in tight race in Wisconsin - Realclear Politics

Donald Trump berates Scott Walker for not raising taxes in Wisconsin, 'he cut back on schools, he cut back on highways, he cut back on a lot of things' - The Guardian

Donald Trump Is bringing message of jobs and trade to Paul Ryan's hometown in Wisconsin - The New York Times

Portraits beyond the polls: who’s really voting for Trump, two reports from RAND Presidential Election Panel and the Institute for the Study of Citizens and Politics - Yahoo News

Trump signals he’s ready to fight for every delegate, his legal team would soon file its formal complaint over 10 Louisiana delegates - Bloomberg Politics

The vast majority of Republican politicians aren't even trying to stop Donald Trump - Vox

Trump, Cruz and Kasich back away from their pledge to support GOP nominee (VIDEOS) -

VIDEO (Full): CNN Republican Town Hall: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, John Kasich - YouTube

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


Fred & Eleanor
Tues. Mar. 29, 2016
We had a most successful 1st vigil on Mon. Mar. 28, with a good crowd of about 20  "Creechers" joining us for the very 1st morning vigil, with over 16 campers for the first evening at Camp Justice Sunday night.
Monday afternoon spring desert winds picked up ferociously, at times with gusts at over 60mph  (evening weather reports said 70mph winds), and temperatures dropped drastically, testing our inner strength to continue our protest of drone warfare at the killer drone base known as Creech AFB, in southern Nevada.  Large banners were substituted for smaller visuals and signs, including the 7 small coffins with names of 7 of the predominantly muslim nations we have been bombing over the last 15 years.  We also showed a banner for GI RIGHTS HOTLINE with its phone number. Surprisingly, we stayed our ground throughout most of the 2 hour planned vigil, in spite of strong winds and dropping body temperatures.
The winds were still blowing fiercely throughout the night, and CODEPINK welcomed all campers onto the sacred grounds of the Temple of Goddess Spirituality, where the walls of the modest guest house/mobile home provided a haven and protected us from nature's elements.  Everyone was well nourished with a simple meal and friendship...and space was found in the guest house for even the campers, as many of their tents had been blown into uninhabitable shapes!  The winds howled through the night, and continued into the morning, letting up for only brief moments.  Gigantic thanks to Don Kimball who held the peace fort at Camp Justice thru the night, keeping all secure.   Dennis, Ralph and Ray have also been super generous, taking on the role of peace camp security crew for the entire week!
Col. Ann Wright joined us in the wee hours of the night, and woke up at 5am with the rest of us for today's vigil....with continuing very cold gales, some of us dared to hold a few of the medium sized banners, and smaller signs and visuals.  As body temperatures continued to drop, an impromptu silent "funeral procession" was created with most of the 7 coffins/countries represented, with activist Susan Witka carrying the final message, following the coffins:  "Who's Next?"   The procession gave a somber tone about the overall human costs of global wars, while allowing some of the activists to warm up while being in continuous motion.  
Counter protesters from town, the same 3 to 4 that have been coming regularly for years, are holding their space, in at times a very confrontation-seeking fashion, but thus far we have been able to do our best to stay within our nonviolence guidelines, and keep the confrontations from escalating, though it has been trying for some.  The police have lined up barricades on most of both sides of the entrance into the base, anticipates the major civil resistance planned on Friday, but also showing favoritism, at times, to the counter-protesters.   A beautiful sight this morning was seeing Phil, a local counter-protester deliver a cart load of firewood for our fire circle.
As I write this message the early afternoon winds continue to blow, with a forecast for calmer weather in time for our 3pm vigil today....let us hope so.  Weather predicted to warm as week progresses.  The EEK Team, "Environmentally Evolved Kids", our beautiful children's affinity group from Northern California, has been working hard today getting their "Angel attire" ready for the big day on Friday to SHUT DOWN CREECH.
The peace keepers bright yellow headbands were completed yesterday, thanks to the help of Arla, Maggie, Casey and Toby, ready for the "big day."
More folks are due to arrive tonight, as we all get ready for 3 days of more scheduled activities, including civil resistance/affinity group preparedness, the Drone Whistleblowers Symposium on Wed. night, the Concert with David Rovics on Thurs. night, and the big climax on Friday to peacefully and nonviolently put a halt to the killer drone operations at Creech, for as long as possible.
We will try to update you all throughout the week.
Please consider joining us next time.
Ground the Drones & Stop Global Warfare,
Toby Blome

Israeli War Lies Fall As Corporate Media Falls

A new film narrated by Roger Waters, The Occupation of the American Mind, traces the rise of Israeli war propaganda in the United States. This propaganda, which has skillfully swayed U.S. public opinion in support of Israeli wars and occupations, has in fact been not so much a matter of skill as a matter of control.

The U.S. corporate media has obeyed the Israeli propaganda office, because the U.S. government has done so, and the U.S. corporate media generally obeys the U.S. government. How much the U.S. government's stance is shaped by its own independent, albeit perverse, interests, and how much by Israeli propagandizing and corruption is one question. But the U.S. corporate media's lockdown on criticism of Israeli wars is only a slight variation on its coverage of U.S. wars.

What happens when you take the control away? When young people in the United States get their news from the internet and foreign media, their support for Israeli wars and occupations plummets. Backers of Israeli wars find it necessary to start trying to ban criticism on U.S. college campuses. Just as young people have overwhelmingly backed Bernie Sanders despite corporate media opposition, those who avoid the corporate media are able to back justice for Palestinians (and often to a much greater extent than Sanders does).

When informed people in the United States hear about international opposition to Israeli crimes, they are hardly shocked, and might just yawn. But Fox News reports shock, outrage, and disbelief in its staff:

"You can't make it up. UN names democratic Israel as world's top human rights violator"!

Fox wants enemies, and thus reports in this way on a story that much of the U.S. media will likely ignore or downplay. If most corporate media consumers in the United States learned that Israel was viewed by the world as a top abuser of human rights, they would react approximately like Fox News.

One of the great services that The Occupation of the American Mind provides is that it shows us footage of news coverage of Israeli wars in the United States and, in great contrast, in Europe. In Europe we see Palestinian voices included, and we see false claims questioned by tough grilling of Israeli officials. In the United States we see top U.S. officials of both political parties, and top media figures parroting over and over again the same exact words dictated by Israeli propagandists or their U.S. advisers.

This film is good for beginners who've never escaped their televisions before, in that it provides a basic history of Zionism and the Nakba. But it quickly turns to a particular subject that should intrigue the better informed as well, namely the rise of Israeli propaganda since 1982. We see footage of U.S. network TV news readers reporting honestly and straightforwardly on Israeli bombing of Lebanon, and on Israeli facilitated massacres in refugee camps -- and showing footage of the carnage.

In 1984 the American Jewish Congress held a meeting in Jerusalem on "hasbara" (propaganda, war lies) chaired by a U.S. advertiser who had made "tastes great / less filling" ads for Miller Light beer. In 2009 Frank Luntz produced the Israel Project's 2009 Global Language Dictionary. These efforts are not kept secret. In fact, a television show in Israel similar to Donald Trump's "The Apprentice" is called "The Ambassador," and it challenges contestants to do the best job of selling Israeli war crimes as being justified or admirable. The acceptance of such a show is itself terrific hasbara, of course, as it suggests that concocting excuses for killing people is justifiable and admirable.

The central lie of Israeli war propaganda is also the most effective lie in the United States and the focus of the first chapter of my book War Is A Lie, namely the lie that wars are defensive. Just as the U.S. corporate media engages in blowback denial with September 11 or Brussels, it tells us that Palestinian resistance is spontaneous irrational aggression, unprovoked and inexplicable except by understanding Palestinians as less than human. In the U.S. corporate media, the Palestinians always started it, and Israel is always acting in defense, even when it's aggressively bombing civilians as it was doing in 1982 when U.S. media voices had not yet been properly trained.

The undercurrent to the "defense" lies is the justification of revenge, which threads through all war propaganda, even that for U.S. wars, which has often tended in recent years to emphasize a lie of "humanitarianism" in which a war that is also supposedly defensive and a last resort is somehow also a benefit to people it is rescuing. Israel has not used that line, and it's worth noting that the U.S. government has found it ineffective in reaching more than a sliver of the U.S. population.

It would be humorous if it weren't so blood-soaked to watch U.S. politicians and pundits parrot specific Israeli military talking points over and over. The 1988 Hamas Charter, long since disavowed by the Hamas leadership, is quoted over and over again, like the mistranslation of then-Iranian President Ahmadinejad, and with identical words in both cases, while the actual platform of the Likud Party is never mentioned. The lie that Israel freed Gaza in 2005 is repeated so many times a Gazan might start to believe it.

When Israel broke a ceasefire on the day of the 2008 U.S. elections and then claimed the Palestinians had done so, the facts were available, but the lie was endlessly repeated on U.S. television. We see footage in The Occupation of the American Mind of a European journalist confronting an Israeli official with an Israeli report acknowledging the truth, but nothing like that on U.S. corporate newsertainment networks.

Phrases like "rockets raining down" and "what would you do?" and "what would the U.S. do?" are chanted like mantras. Sadly, we know what the U.S. would do in response to blowback. We know what it has been doing for the past 15 years.

The chief difference in U.S. discourse between propaganda for Israeli wars and for U.S. wars (other than awareness of where the weapons came from -- the United States in both cases) is the difference between "anti-American" and "anti-Semitic." In the film we see Ted Cruz object to criticizing Israel because of the holocaust. Any criticism of Israel is defined as anti-Semitic.

There have been times in U.S. history when any war criticism earned one the title "anti-American." Currently it is far more likely to earn you the title of "peacenik who would have opposed World War II" -- with World War II falsely understood as having been fought for the Jews who in fact the U.S. government refused to allow in and certainly didn't give a damn about. Thus, advocating civilized conflict resolution in the United States circles back to a charge of "anti-Semitism" as well.

As the corporate media's dominance crumbles, so potentially does all of this nonsense. And the first to fall may be U.S. support for Israeli wars. That opposition to U.S. wars lags behind among U.S. youth may suggest a certain power to the label of "anti-American" after all, or rather an internalized nationalism that hardly needs name-calling to prop it up. But any failure of war propaganda advances the total failure of war propaganda, if we can keep organizing, keep educating, keep BDSing, keep the internet open, and go watch The Occupation of the American Mind.

David Swanson's book War Is A Lie: Second Edition will be published April 5, 2016.

"Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite" Abandoned for Forced Asylum

By Maya Evans, writing from Calais

Moving house

This month, French authorities (supported and funded by the UK government to the current balance of £62 million) [1] have been demolishing the 'Jungle,’ a toxic wasteland on the edge of Calais. Formerly a landfill site, 4 km² it is now populated by approximately 5,000 refugees who have been pushed there over the past year. A remarkable community of 15 nationalities adhering to various faiths comprises the Jungle. Residents have formed a network of shops and restaurants which, along with hamams and barber shops contribute to a micro-economy within the encampment.  Community infrastructure now includes schools, mosques, churches and clinics.

Afghans, numbering approximately 1,000, constitute the largest national group. Among this group are people from each of the main ethnicities in Afghanistan:  Pashtoons, Hazaras, Uzbeks and Tajiks. The Jungle is an impressive example of how people from different nationalities and ethnicities can live together in relative harmony, despite oppressive hardship and infringement of universal rights and civil liberties. Arguments and scuffles sometimes break out, but they're normally catalysed by French authorities or traffickers.

Earlier this month Teresa May won a significant battle to restart flights deporting Afghans back to Kabul, on the grounds that it is now safe to return to the capital city. [2]

Just 3 months ago I sat in the Kabul office of 'Stop Deportation to Afghanistan.’ [3] Sunlight poured through the window like golden syrup on a top floor apartment, the city of Kabul shrouded in dust splayed out like a postcard. The organisation is a support group run by Abdul Ghafoor, a Pakistan-born Afghan who spent 5 years in Norway, only to be deported to Afghanistan, a country he had previously never visited. Ghafoor told me about a meeting he had recently attended with Afghan government ministers and NGOs - he laughed as he described how the non-Afghan NGO workers arrived at the armed compound wearing bullet proof vests and helmets, and yet Kabul has been deemed a safe space for returning refugees.  The hypocrisy and double standards would be a joke if the upshot was not so unfair. On one hand you have foreign embassy staff being airlifted (for security reasons) [4] by helicopter within the city of Kabul, and on the other you have various European governments saying it’s safe for thousands of refugees to return to Kabul.

In 2015, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan documented 11,002 civilian casualties (3,545 deaths and, 7,457 injured) exceeding the previous record in 2014 [5].

Having visited Kabul 8 times in the last 5 years, I’ve been acutely aware that security within the city has drastically declined. As a foreigner I no longer take walks longer than 5 minutes, day trips to the beautiful Panjshir Valley or the Qarga lake are now considered too risky. Word on the Kabul streets is that the Taliban are strong enough to take the city but can't be bothered with the hassle of running it; meanwhile independent ISIS cells have established a foothold [6]. I regularly hear that Afghan life today is less secure than it was under the Taliban, 14 years of US/NATO-backed war has been a disaster.

Back in the Jungle, north France, 21 miles from the British isles, around 1,000 Afghans dream of a safe life in Britain. Some have previously lived in Britain, others have family in the UK, many have worked with the British military or NGOs. Emotions are manipulated by traffickers who describe the streets of Britain as paved with gold.  Many refugees are discouraged by the treatment they've received in France where they’ve been subjected to police brutality and attacks by far-right thugs. For various reasons they feel the best chance of a peaceful life is in Britain. Deliberate exclusion from the UK just makes the prospect even more desirable. Certainly the fact that Britain has agreed to take only 20,000 Syrian refugees over the next 5 years [7], and overall the UK is taking 60 refugees per 1,000 of the local population who claimed asylum in 2015, compared to Germany which is taking 587 [8], has played into the dream that Britain is the land of exclusive opportunity.

I spoke with Afghan community leader Sohail, who said: "I love my country, I want to go back and live there, but it's just not safe and we have no opportunity to live. Look at all the businesses in the Jungle, we have talents, we just need the opportunity to use them". This conversation happened in the Kabul Café, one of the social hotspots in the Jungle, just one day before the area was set ablaze, the whole south high street of shops and restaurants razed to the ground.  After the fire, I spoke with the same Afghan community leader. We stood amid the demolished ruins where we had drunk tea in the Kabul café.   He feels deeply saddened by the destruction. "Why did the authorities put us here, let us build a life and then destroy it?"

Two weeks ago the south part of the Jungle was demolished: hundreds of shelters were burnt or bulldozed leaving some 3,500 refugees with nowhere to go [9]. The French authorise now want to move onto the north part of the camp with the aim of rehousing most refugees within white fishing crate containers, many of which are already set up in the Jungle, and currently accommodate 1,900 refugees. Each container houses 12 people, there's little privacy, and sleeping times are determined by your 'crate mates' and their mobile phone habits.  More alarmingly, a refugee is required to register with French authorities. This includes having your finger prints digitally recorded; in effect, it's the first step into forced French asylum.

The British government has consistently used the Dublin Regulations [10] as legal grounds for not taking its equal quota of refugees. These regulations prescribe that refugees should seek asylum in the first safe country they land in. However, that regulation is now simply impractical.  If it was properly enforced, Turkey, Italy and Greece would be left to accommodate the millions of refugees.

Many refugees are requesting for a UK asylum centre within the Jungle, giving them the ability to start the process for asylum in Britain. The reality of the situation is that refugee camps like the Jungle are not stopping people from actually entering the UK. In fact these blights on human rights are reinforcing illegal and harmful industries such as trafficking, prostitution and drug smuggling. European refugee camps are playing into the hands of human traffickers; one Afghan told me that , the current going rate to be smuggled into the UK is now around €10,000  [11], the price having doubled over the last few months. Setting up a UK asylum centre would also remove the violence which often occurs between truck drivers and refugees, as well as tragic and fatal accidents which come about during transit into the UK. It's perfectly possible to have the same number of refugees entering the UK via legal means as there are by the ones which exist today.

The south part of the camp now stands desolate, burnt to the ground other than for a few social amenities. An icy wind whips across the expanse of littered wasteland. Debris flaps in the breeze, a sad combination of rubbish and charred personal belongings. French riot police used tear gas, water canons and rubber bullets to aid the demolition. Currently there's a stalemate situation wherein some NGOs and volunteers are reluctant to rebuild homes and constructions which might quickly be demolished by French authorities.

The Jungle represents incredible human ingenuity and entrepreneurial energy exhibited by refugees and the volunteers who have poured their lives into making a community to be proud of; simultaneously it's a shocking and shameful reflection of the decline in European human rights and infrastructure, where people who flee for their lives are forced to inhabit communal crate containers, a form of indefinite detention. Unofficial comments made by a representative of the French authorities indicates a possible future policy whereby refugees who choose to remain outside of the system, opting either to be homeless or not to register, could potentially face imprisonment for up to 2 years.

France and Britain are currently shaping their immigration policy. It is especially disastrous for France, with a constitution founded on "Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite", to base that policy on demolishing temporary homes, excluding and incarcerating refugees, and forcing refugees into unwanted asylum. By giving people the right to choose their country of asylum, assisting with basic needs such as accommodation and food, responding with humanity rather than suppression, the State will be enabling the best possible practical solution, as well as complying with international human rights, laws set down to protect the safety and rights of everyone in the world today.

Maya Evans coordinates Voices for Creative Non-Violence UK, she has visited Kabul 8 times in the last 5 years where she works in solidarity with young Afghan peace makers.

U.S. State Department: Don't Hurt ISIS

So Many Enemies, So Little Logic
By David Swanson, teleSUR

Islamic State Group fighters

The U.S. State Department does not want the government of Syria to defeat or weaken ISIS, at least not if doing so means any sort of gain for the Syrian government. Watching a recent video of a State Department spokesperson speaking on that subject might confuse some U.S. war supporters. I doubt many residents of Palmyra, Virginia, or Palmyra, Pennsylvania, or Palmyra, New York could give a coherent account of the U.S. government's position on which enemy should control the ancient Palmyra in Syria.

The U.S. government has been arming Al Qaeda in Syria. I doubt many people in the United States, of whatever political extraction, could explain why. In my experience, having just begun a tour of speaking events, very few in the United States can even name the seven nations that President Barack Obama has bragged about bombing, much less explain which parties he is or is not bombing in those countries. No nation in the history of the world has had so many enemies to keep track of as the United States has now, and bothered so little about doing so.

The particular problem with Syria is that the U.S. government has prioritized one enemy, whom it has utterly failed to scare the U.S. public with, while the U.S. government has made a distant second priority of attacking another enemy that most people in the United States are so terrified of they can hardly think straight. Consider what changed between 2013 and 2014. In 2013, President Obama was prepared to heavily bomb the Syrian government. But he did not claim that the Syrian government wanted to attack the United States, or even to attack a handful of white people from the United States. Instead he argued, unpersuasively, that he knew who was responsible for killing Syrians with chemical weapons. This was in the midst of a war in which thousands were dying on all sides from all kinds of weapons. The outrage over a particular type of weapon, the dubious claims, and the eagerness to overthrow a government, were all too close to U.S. memories of the 2003 attack on Iraq.

Congress Members in 2013 found themselves at public events confronted with the question of why the U.S. would overthrow a government in a war on the same side as al Qaeda. Were they going to start another Iraq War? U.S. and British public pressure reversed Obama's decision. But U.S. opinion was even more against arming proxies, and a new CIA report said that doing so had never worked, yet that was the approach Obama went with. The overthrow, which Hillary Clinton still says should have happened, would have quickly created the chaos and terror that Obama set about developing slowly.

In 2014, Obama was able to step up direct U.S. military action in Syria and Iraq with virtually no resistance from the public. What had changed? People had heard about videos of ISIS killing white people with knives. It didn't seem to matter that jumping into the war against ISIS was the opposite side from what Obama had said in 2013 the U.S. needed to join. It didn't even seem to matter that the U.S. clearly intended to join in both sides. Nothing related to logic or sense mattered in the least. ISIS had done a little bit of what U.S. allies in Saudi Arabia and Iraq and elsewhere did routinely, and had done it to Americans. And a fictional group, even scarier, the Khorasan Group, was coming to get us, ISIS was slipping across the border from Mexico and Canada, if we didn't do something really big and brutal we were all going to die.

That being why the U.S. public finally said yes to open-ended war again -- after really not falling for the lies about a humanitarian rescue in Libya, or not caring -- the U.S. public naturally assumes that the U.S. government has prioritized destroying the evil dark force of Islamic Terror. It hasn't. The U.S. government says to itself, in its little-noticed reports, that ISIS is no threat to the United States. It knows perfectly well, and its top commanders blurt it out upon retirement, that attacking terrorists only strengthens their forces. The U.S. priority remains overthrowing the Syrian government, ruining that country, and creating chaos. Here's part of that project: U.S.-backed troops in Syria fighting other U.S. backed troops in Syria. That's not incompetence if the goal is to destroy a nation, as it seems to be in Hillary Clinton's emails - (the following is a draft of this article):

"The best way to help Israel deal with Iran's growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad. ... Iran's nuclear program and Syria's civil war may seem unconnected, but they are. For Israeli leaders, the real threat from a nuclear-armed Iran is not the prospect of an insane Iranian leader launching an unprovoked Iranian nuclear attack on Israel that would lead to the annihilation of both countries. What Israeli military leaders really worry about -- but cannot talk about -- is losing their nuclear monopoly. ... It is the strategic relationship between Iran and the regime of Bashar Assad in Syria that makes it possible for Iran to undermine Israel's security."

ISIS, Al Qaeda, and terrorism are far better tools for marketing wars than communism ever was, because they can be imagined using knives rather than nukes, and because terrorism can never collapse and vanish. If (counterproductively) attacking groups like al Qaeda were what motivated the wars, the United States would not be aiding Saudi Arabia in slaughtering the people of Yemen and increasing the power of Al Qaeda there. If peace were the goal, the U.S. would not be sending troops back into Iraq to use the same actions that destroyed that country to supposedly fix it. If winning particular sides of wars were the main objective, the United States would not have served as the primary funding for both sides in Afghanistan for all these years, with decades more planned.

Why did Senator Harry Truman say the United States should help either the Germans or the Russians, whichever side was losing? Why did President Ronald Reagan back Iraq against Iran and also Iran against Iraq? Why could fighters on both sides in Libya exchange parts for their weapons? Because two goals that outweigh all others for the U.S. government often align in the cause of sheer destruction and death. One is U.S. domination of the globe, and all other peoples be damned. The second is arms sales. No matter who's winning and who's dying, the weapons makers profit, and the majority of weapons in the Middle East have been shipped there from the United States. Peace would cut into those profits horribly.

Blowback Denial, Climate Denial, and Apocalypse

By David Swanson, American Herald Tribune

Sanders Trump 6f237

Last week Donald Trump suggested something Bernie Sanders would never dare: getting rid of NATO. I took some time to read people's comments and tweets online about it, and a huge number seemed to believe that NATO and the U.S. military have been performing a service for Europe, and that it's time for Europe to pay its own bills. But will someone explain to me what the service is?

The United States dragged NATO into a -- thus far -- over-14-year-long war on the people of Afghanistan that has turned a country in poor shape into hell on earth, compounding the damage inflicted by U.S. (and Soviet) policies since the 1970s.

The United States dragged European nations into a disastrous war in Iraq in 2003, without NATO. But when Belgium allowed a prosecution of U.S. commander in Iraq Tommy Franks to move forward, Donald Rumsfeld threatened to move NATO headquarters out of Brussels. Franks' apparent crimes suddenly became part of a noble and legal humanitarian effort.

The United States and France used NATO to destroy Libya in 2011 and proliferate weapons across the region. The United States and Turkey have been compounding the chaos by generating reasons for NATO to exist in Syria. And perhaps NATO headquarters views the wars that created ISIS, and the U.S. support for Al Qaeda in Syria in just those terms. But to an ordinary observer, a war on terrorism that continues to increase terrorism has a fundamental flaw.

Former CIA Bin Laden Unit Chief Michael Scheuer says the more the U.S. fights terrorism the more it creates terrorism. U.S. Lt. General Michael Flynn, who quit as head of the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014, says blowing people up with missiles is generating more blowback, not less. The CIA's own report says drone killing is counterproductive. Admiral Dennis Blair, the former director of National Intelligence, says the same. Gen. James E. Cartwright, the former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says drone strikes could be undermining long-term efforts: "We're seeing that blowback. If you're trying to kill your way to a solution, no matter how precise you are, you're going to upset people even if they're not targeted." Dozens of just retired top officials agree.

So, it seems, does much of the public in Europe, which turns out protests of NATO meetings, as well as wars, of a size rarely seen in the United States. When the U.S. military builds new bases in Italy, the protests are so huge they've toppled local and national governments. It was a vote of the House of Commons in London not to bomb Syria in 2013 that helped reverse President Obama's decision to do so. To tell the people of Europe that they must start taking responsibility to pay a greater share of the bill for killing Afghans, Iraqis, Libyans, and Syrians, and for generating the blowback that sets off bombs in their train stations and airports, and for creating the refugee crises they face might prove just a step too far into the realm of delusion.

Thinking this way requires blowback denial, the Trumpian belief that Muslims do evil things because they are Muslims. The U.S. government knows better. George W. Bush's own Pentagon concluded that nobody hated us "for our freedoms" but rather they hated bombs and occupying armies, and free weapons and support for Israel's wars. One wishes it were needless to say that such motivations don't excuse acts of murder, but knowledge of such motivations puts additional blood on the hands of those continuing to generate them while engaging in blowback denial.

Climate denial is not so very different. Just as every anti-western terrorist says they're outraged by the bombs and bases and armies and buzzing drones, every scientific study says unnecessary and wasteful human activities (first among them: war making) are pushing the earth's ecosystem toward collapse. Yet billions of people fail to shut every thing down until basic policies are altered. And many fail to do anything at all to resist environmental devastation, by means of denying to themselves that it is real.

Clearly, the human species evolved to favor relatively short-term localized thinking. While more Americans are killed by dumb accidents, pollution, or toddlers with guns than by foreign terrorists with knives, the latter danger dominates all public policy thinking. While the earth is at severe risk of environmental or nuclear holocaust, the weather looks nice outside today and all the bears and leopards seem to have long since been killed off, so what's your worry?

When humans killed off those animals millennia ago, they replaced them with gods. Now humans pray to those gods rather than thinking. Now they wish for what they'd like and call it a prediction. Now they vote for hope and change and call it progress. And this habit of wishful thinking may be at the root of the greatest threats to end us all.

Talk Nation Radio: Erin Aubry Kaplan on Loving Obama No Matter What

Erin Aubry Kaplan is a Los Angeles journalist and columnist. She discusses her book I Heart Obama.

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

Download from LetsTryDemocracy or Archive.

Pacifica stations can also download from Audioport.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete at

and at

New poem by TCBH! resident poet Gary Lindorff: 'One day, in the asylum'

We were having a bad day in the asylum,

A bad 8 years, a bad sixteen years,

Oh, heck, a bad era,

Well, let’s face it, a bad history.

But we had a good leader for a change,

Syria/Iraq News - Mar 28, 2016

Syrian army retakes ancient Palmyra in major victory over Islamic State, the town is known as the 'Pearl of the Desert' - Yahoo News

Encircled: Syrian army poised to storm key Christian town Qariatein near Palmyra - Sputnik International

Russian air force made 40 flights over Palmyra in last 24 hours, destroyed 8 terrorist command centers - Sputnik International

Palmyra Liberation: Syrian army officer reveals details of operation - Sputnik International

Retaking of Palmyra a huge morale boost for Syrian army -

VIDEO: Liberation of Palmyra: Awesome footage from drone -

List of Syrian army advances since Russian intervention - AFP

President al-Assad: Palmyra achievement proves army strategy more effective than US-led coalition efforts – Syrian Arab News Agency

Putin congratulates Assad on Palmyra liberation - Sputnik International

UN chief Ban hails removal of Islamic State from Syria's Palmyra - AFP

Why is David Cameron so silent on the recapture of Palmyra from the clutches of Islamic State? - The Independent

Syria antiquities chief: Palmyra ruins generally 'in good shape', Islamic State destroyed the grand Temple of Bel, the shrine of Baal Shamin and several funerary towers - AFP

Palmyra National Museum completely plundered, artifacts partly destroyed - Sputnik International

Preserving Syria's threatened treasures in digital - France 24

In Syria, militias armed by the Pentagon fight those armed by the CIA - LA Times

Book review: ‘Syria Burning’ suggests U.S. stoked the flames -



Thousands of Iraqis flee fighting south of Mosul in new front by the Iraqi army against Islamic State - AFP

VIDEO(English Subtitles): People leave homes in Mosul by car - YouTube

VIDEO (English Subtitles): Men, women and children fleeing the Islamic State-controlled areas to the Kurdistan Region's capital Erbil - Liveleak

Iraqi forces make slow progress south of Mosul - Reuters

Tentative push for Mosul reveal's Iraq army's failings - The National

VIDEO (English Subtitles): Makhmour clashes fail to achieve Iraqi army objectives to capture key villages before any thrust into Mosul - Rudaw

The Pentagon is planning to send more combat troops into Iraq to enable operations in Mosul -

Air force moves to replenish bomb stockpile drained by Islamic State fight -

Iraq: Islamic State imposes curfew on residents of Mosul - AhlulBayt News Agency

Islamic State executes 12 of its members’ relatives in Mosul over intel links: report - Al Arabiya English

Islamic State executioner killed by assassins in occupied Iraqi city of Mosul -

The Battle for Mosul and the Future of Islamic State -

Trump would consider halting U.S. oil purchases from Saudi Arabia unless it provides troops to fight Islamic State -

VIDEO: Obama weekly address: Defeating Islamic State - YouTube

Islamic State chief executioner says Brussels was ‘just a taste' of what terrorists are planning in horrifying new video - Mirror Online

VIDEO: Official Islamic State threat video says Brussels is 'just a taste' - YouTube

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

Syria News - Mar 26 , 2016

Palmyra: Syrian government forces 'retake citadel’ from Islamic State, a strategic medieval castle on the hill overlooking the city - BBC

VIDEO: Footage shows Syrian Army entering Palmyra -

VIDEO: Syrian Army retaking the citadel castle -

VIDEO: Drone footage of Palmyra castle earlier today - YouTube

Islamic State launches counteroffensive against Syrian army in Palmyra: commander -

IS video claims to show group still in control of Palmyra (VIDEO) - Middle East Eye

Russian warplanes flew 41 sorties to support Syrian offensive against Islamic State near Palmyra, destroyed 146 targets - Reuters

Russia warplanes in Syria attack IS militants carrying weapons to Palmyra from Raqqah and Deir ez-Zor: source - TASS


Russian general says military special forces active in Syria - ABC News

Spotted and surrounded by IS, Russian special forces officer called for fire on himself - RT News

U.S. State Department: Replacing Islamic State with Syrian troops in the city of Palmyra is not a 'great trade-off', The Syrian people should not have to decide between IS and Assad - Fulton News

VIDEO: U.S. State Department: Replacing Islamic State with Syrian troops in the city of Palmyra is not a 'great trade-off' - YouTube

UNESCO Director-General welcomes the liberation of Palmyra - UNESCO World Heritage Centre

VIDEO (starts at 2:25 min): Interview with UNESCO official: ’Palmyra is not just an archaeological site, it is a symbol of Syria’ - YouTube

VIDEO: Drone footage captures ancient Palmyra after Syrian army enters the city, what is left of the archelogical sites destroyed by Islamic State - YouTube



US, Russia push for new Syrian Constitution by August - VOA

Russia says U.S. agrees not to discuss Assad's future for now: Ifax - Reuters

US says it hasn't changed position on Syria's Assad - AP

TRANSCRIPT: Press conference of Kerry and Lavrov on Syria -

UN envoy De Mistura: Syria peace talks to resume April 9 - AP

VIDEO: De Mistura touts 'essential principles' as latest Syria talks conclude - YouTube

TRANSCRIPT: Press conference by UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura - ReliefWeb

Moscow insists Kurds participation in Syria peace talks - Kurdpress News Aganecy

Russia admits to training Syria Kurds - Kurdpress News Aganecy

U.S. emphasizes 'YPG and PKK are separate entities' - Kurdpress News Aganecy

IS ‘second in command’ killed by US raid in Syria, Sec. Carter says - Yahoo News

Profile of senior Islamic State leader killed by US - The Long War Journal

Jordan begins covert operations against IS in Syria - Middle East Eye

Jordan's king accuses Turkey of sending terrorists to Europe - Middle East Eye

Turkish journalists face secret trial for revealing Ankara arms deliveries to Syria Islamist rebels - The Guardian

IS, oil & Turkey: What RT found in Syrian town liberated from jihadists by Kurds - RT News

Iran deploys Army Special Forces to Syria and Iraq - The Long War Journal

Iraqi army says border area with Syria taken from IS - Al Arabiya English

Iraqi Shiite fighters in Syria boon to Assad, bane to Abadi’s authority - Al Arabiya English

Are North Koreans fighting in Syria? It’s not as far-fetched as it sounds. - The Washington Post

Syrians describe horrific torture in jails run by militants of Army of Islam -

Why many jihadi terrorists are criminals before they turn to extremism -


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

Focus: Clinton, Sanders and the Polls - Mar 25, 2016


The Independents are the largest segment of the American voters. According to the Gallup Historical Trends of Party Affiliation, 38% consider themselves independents while 32% are Democrats and 26% Republicans. Also Democrats and Republicans are not solidly behind their own parties: the Fox News poll shows that 38% of the Democrats and astonishingly 68% of Republicans 'feel betrayed by politicians from their political party'.


Unlike the November elections, primaries privilege the Democrats and Republicans compared to the self-identified Independents and are skewed toward the two established parties. Many states require voters to affiliate with a party in order to take part in presidential primaries and caucuses. The Fox News poll find that only 21% of the Independents vote for the Democratic party and 33% of Independents vote for the Republican party during the primaries. Moreover the presence of the superdelegates at the Democratic Convention strengthen the party establishment offsetting the influence of the grassroot movement. While the Independents play a limited role in the primaries, they will be a key factor in electing the President in November because Democrats and Republicans do not have enough votes. 


Independents are a major political force behind the popularity and success of the Bernie Sanders candidacy. While Clinton so far has the backing of the majority of the Democrats, according to the Quinnipiac poll 46% of Independents and 80% of Republicans say they would never vote for her in the presidential election. In contrast Sanders is opposed by only 19% of Independents and 58% of Republicans. With his campaign Sanders is potentially in a position to build a large coalition of a majority of Independents, Democrats and Republican swing voters. That is the reason why Sanders has a much better chance than Clinton to beat Trump. The Quinnipiac poll shows that in a November matchup Sanders beat Trump 52% to 38% while Clinton beat Trump 46% to 40%.


Below are the latest polls:


POLL: Sanders pulls even with Clinton in a new national poll. Because it’s the economy, stupid. Clinton came out on top on issues of foreign policy while Sanders on domestic issues - The Washington Post


POLL: Words used to describe Clinton and Trump presidencies aren't that great, for Hillary most frequently used word was ‘disaster’ and ‘scared' 'disappointed' rounded out the top five -


POLL: Clinton leads Sanders by 6 in Wisconsin - TheHill


POLL: New Pennsylvania poll: Clinton up 25 points over Sanders, Kasich three points behind Trump - PhillyVoice


POLL: Polls give Trump and Clinton huge leads in NY Primary ⋆ Hudson Valley News Network


POLL: California poll: Trump leads GOP; Clinton, Sanders close - POLITICO


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

Stolen primary in Arizona?: Questioning Hillary’s Tuesday Primary Win Amid Widespread Evidence of Voter Suppression in Phoenix

By Dave Lindorff


         It sure looks like there was some voter fraud committed in the Democratic primary in Arizona on Tuesday.


Speaking Events

David Swanson in Fairbanks, Alaska, October 22, 2016.


Find Events Here.


Support This Site


Get free books and gear when you become a supporter.



Speaking Truth to Empire


Families United


Ray McGovern


Financial supporters of this site can choose to be listed here.

Buy Books

Get Gear

The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.