Another $11.6 Billion for Obama/Trump Wars? Hell No!

President Obama waited until after the election last week to propose an unpopular idea. He asked Congress for $11.6 billion extra — outside the huge existing military budget — for wars. Here’s his letter including all the gory details. Please read it yourself when you begin to hope that I’m making up some of what follows.

warsuppweb

This massive pile of money, equivalent to the annual spending that the United Nations says could end the lack of clean drinking water globally, adds between 1% and 2% to U.S. military spending — but is by itself more than the entire military budget of all but 14 other nations on earth, 12 of which top-spending nations are U.S. allies.

Tomgram: Mattea Kramer, You Don't Leave Home Without It

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

Focus: Congress, Trump and Russia - Nov 16, 2016


Lawmakers move to restrain President-elect Trump on Russia - The Washington Post


GOP foreign-policy power brokers in Congress could foil Trump on Russia, Syria, and other top security issues - Foreign Policy


Statement by McCain on U.S.-Russia relations: Another ‘reset’ would be complicity in Putin and Assad’s butchery of the Syrian people - mccain.senate.gov


Top Republicans don't know where Trump will be on Ukraine - The Weekly Standard


Top Senate Democrat Cardin challenges Trump on Russia: In interview he lays out a foreign policy platform for the incoming Congress - al-monitor.com


House passes sanctions on anyone who provides the Syrian government with financial, material or technological support - The Washington Post


NSA head: Dem hacks were a conscious effort by Russia - TheHill


Washington Post editorial: The United States is giving Putin the green light for atrocities - The Washington Post


Influential conservative think tank Heritage Foundation says Russia — not ISIS — is greatest threat - Washington Examiner


Heritage Foundation 2017 Index of U.S. Military Strength: scores security threats worldwide, the global operating environment, and U.S. military power - heritage.org


Transatlantic Forum on Russia: Event will be webcast live from this page on Nov 17 - Center for Strategic and International Studies


European leaders, NATO caution Trump on warming relations with Russia - The Washington Post


NATO says Crimea still a concern, day after Trump-Putin call - nation.com.pk


Ex-Nato leaders call for extraordinary meeting with Trump, warn US president-elect against deal with Putin that would cede Crimea - The Guardian


Ukraine President asks Trump to help counter ‘Russian aggression’ - WSJ


Putin pulls Russia out of International Criminal Court day after report on Crimea annexation - Fox News


Two-thirds of Russians want Putin to remain president after 2018: study - RT Russian politics


Le Pen says 'world peace' would gain from a Trump-Putin-Le Pen trio - Reuters

 

Russian sanctions cost Italy €7bn and up to 200,000 jobs: Italian MP - RT Business


Italian M5S movement ‘against NATO's creeping policy' of nearing Russian border - Sputnik


Philippine President wants to be friends with Trump, Putin - ABC News


Trump-led US could become Syria’s ‘natural ally’ if it fights terrorism: Assad - RT News


Full text of President Bashar al-Assad interview given to RTP TV - Syrian TV

 

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

John Heuer Was a Tremendous Advocate of Peace

I knew John Heuer was elderly from the day I met him, years ago, and came to know him as one of the most dedicated advocates of peace on earth. Losing him is a blow. He was youthful, vibrant, recently married, and intent on ridding the world of pointless mass slaughter. John was active in every organization and independently. He advanced nonviolent action, lobbying, education, and inspiration.

John wrote this four years ago:

Dear young citizens,

First, I want to congratulate you on your many accomplishments.  Second, I want to counsel you on your roles as citizens.

When I graduated 8th grade in 1960, citizens could not vote until they were 21.  Boys could be drafted into the army and sent to war at age 18, but they could not fully participate as citizens, including engagement in public, democratic decisions about whether or not the nation should send our boys to war.  This travesty was somewhat remedied by passage of the 26th amendment to the US Constitution in 1971, granting the right to vote to 18 year-olds.

I say “somewhat” a remedy, because the issue of the rights, responsibilities, privileges and duties of citizens under the age of 18 have not been addressed.  It is these rights, responsibilities, privileges and duties about which I write today:  Your citizenship.

As rising 9th graders, you are well aware that your education is, as yet, incomplete.  But it will come as a surprise to many and a shock to some to learn that your education has contained deep strains of fraud, about who actually runs our government and how.  Here are three examples:

OLF – The US Navy proposed construction of “Outlying Landing Fields” (OLF) in wildlife sanctuaries near North Carolina’s east coast, in order to practice landings and take-offs for military aircraft.  Public outcry caused the Navy to scuttle these plans.

Sonar Training Field off the Florida—Georgia coast.  The Navy has proposed designating hundreds of square miles of Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the southern US for submarine sonar training, despite opposition of environmental groups which point out that these areas are breeding grounds for whales, and that high frequency sonar is known to drive marine mammals insane.  The US Supreme Court overruled the environmentalists with the judgment that, while there could be incidental injury, there was also a lack of proof that the sonar testing area would threaten any species’ extinction.

$185 Billion Dollars is what our government proposes to spend in the next 10 years to modernize our nuclear weapons arsenal.  It is difficult to measure (or imagine) $185 Billion, but it would pay for a lot of school lunches, teachers’ salaries and school nurses.  Besides, what business do we have maintaining a military arsenal designed to incinerate cities?

When you consider these government programs, you have to wonder if our government has gone mad, and what we, as citizens, of all ages, can do about it.

Why don’t we hear more about these grave assaults on planet earth and this terrible squander of our wealth?  The fact is that the agents that propose these travesties are the same ones that often own our newspapers and write your textbooks.

So, what are we to do?  One of the 1st steps, I think, is for you to understand that the wealth being squandered and the planet being desecrated belongs to you, your generation, your children, grand children and posterity.

The 2nd step is to realize, however painfully, that your parents and grandparents have failed to establish your legacy of peaceful nations living together on an abundant earth.

The 3rd is to exercise your rights, responsibilities, privileges and duties of your citizenship to carefully study your local resources in order to propose a reconfiguration of those resources to meet the needs of your community, and to engage your peers in an earnest identification of those needs.  Start with identifying the military footprint in your district and discuss how much, if any, that investment enhances the security of your community, and how redirecting that investment could improve the security of your community.  Use your networking capabilities not just for socializing, but for building solidarity among your peers.  Use that solidarity to demand a school curriculum that addresses the needs of your community or create your own curriculum.

Finally, a word about citizenship.  Many of you go to school with non-citizens of the USA.  Please recognize them as guests, and afford them as much hospitality as you can.  Remember, your US citizenship may be established by the Constitution and subsequent laws, but we are all world citizens by virtue of our birth.

Political Discourse in the United States

One might think that it should no longer be possible for the bizarre proclamations of U.S. politicians to astonish this writer. He has studied and written about them for years, and there is, it seems, nothing new under the sun, when it comes to such statements. Yet thisis nto the case; some statement leave him in a condition of awestruck wonder, amazed that people who have the repsect and votes of miillions of citizens can tell such blatant lies, or issues such ludicrous opinions and statments.

Let's look at just a few , some current, and some a bit older, but stillpertinent.

It was reported in The New York Tims on September 30 that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made this remarkable statement: "The problem is the Russians don't care about international law, and we do"

The Skeletons in Keith Ellison's Display Case

Congressman Keith Ellison, candidate of progressive Democrats and many regressive Democrats for chair of the Democratic National Committee eagerly urged the illegal and disastrous violent overthrow of the government of Libya in 2011, which he celebrated as a success despite what it meant for the rule of law, despite all the death and suffering, despite the predictable instability and weapons proliferation to follow.

Ellison moved on to pushing, and using his perch as co-chair of the Progressive Caucus to push, for a similar war on Syria. For years now he has advocated for the illegal and murderous creation of no fly zones and "safe zones" -- what Hillary Clinton admitted only to Goldman Sachs would require that you "kill a lot of Syrians." Ellison was an early backer of bombing Syria in 2013. He met with peace activists but rejected their appeal.

Back in 2007, before Ellison's leadership, the Congressional Progressive Caucus had helped organize 90 Congress members to commit to voting against war funding.  Most of them turned around and voted for war funding. That ridiculous disappointment was a high point for the CPC.

Since then, the CPC's commitments -- such as to vote against corporate healthcare -- have hardly been taken seriously, and so it's hardly been news when most members have gone back on their commitments.

But in recent years, the CPC has shifted away from even pretending to take a stand on things, and instead moved toward issuing statements full of non-committal rhetoric. Some began referring to it as the Congressional Progressive Statement Caucus.

Yet even that standard must be looked back to with nostalgia when it comes to Co-Chair Ellison's rhetoric on war. He promotes misinformation about protecting innocent people in Libya and Syria and uses those claims to justify war making. This is exactly what the war makers were looking for in funding Hillary Clinton for President. Should the Democratic National Committee now give it to them in the form of Ellison as Chair?

Of course there are differences between Clinton and Ellison. He hasn't been around long enough to do nearly as much damage, and he's legitimately better than Clinton in many ways. He introduced legislation in the Minnesota State Legislature to urge the impeachment of George W. Bush. He dropped support for that once elected to Congress but did sign onto impeaching Dick Cheney and Alberto Gonzales. He has voted against war funding, more than once. He has asked Obama to end the war on Afghanistan. He was against rewriting laws with signing statements, at least while Bush was president. It's conceivable that he no longer, post-Bernie, throws a fit if called a socialist. And on domestic issues there's no comparison: Ellison is excellent by Democratic standards.

But is that good enough? Does empowering someone who is a Muslim erase all concern over bombing Muslims and turning their nations into hell?

This is the best the Democrats have, we're told. But putting an active member of Congress into another fulltime job is not ideal. And the Democrats have unemployed figures like war-advocate Howard Dean crawling out into the spot lights.

Who would I propose instead? The first name that comes to mind (and I have not discussed this with him, it's possible he has no interest, and he certainly wouldn't sanction my criticizing of Ellison) is Dennis Kucinich. You want change? Hope even? Try him.

Note on Russia and the next Secretary of State - Nov 15, 2016


The next Secretary of State should understand the positive role that Russia is playing not only in the crucial existential fight against terrorism (if Islamic State gets chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, they will use them) but also as a force of peace and stability in the world. Russia has a formidable military which has not being engaged in recent past wars therefore not affected by combat fatigue unlike the U.S military. Russia military should not be underestimated and threatened like Rudy Giuliani did in a recent interview: "Russia thinks it's a military competitor, it really isn’t, it's our unwillingness under Obama to even threaten the use of our military that makes Russia so powerful.” John Bolton expressed the same line: "Well, I think relations are very unsatisfactory, largely due to the behavior of Russia...I think he [Trump] is going to be a strong leader, I think that will have two dramatic impacts on Putin. Number one, it'll make him a lot more hesitant to try and extend Russian influence, and two, what may seem paradoxical but what I think is true, it'll make Putin more inclined to cooperate.” Putin will not desist because Ukraine and Syria are Russia’s strategic and security interests. Plus Russia has the backing of China in international conflicts.


Russia has legitimate interests in Ukraine because of their hystorical relationship and economic cooperation and because there is the presence of a sizeable Russian speaking population in Ukraine: according to 2001 census they are 29.3 percent of the total population. In some Eastern regions they are the majority. In Crimea they are 77 percent. This Russian speaking population has close economic, cultural and family ties with Russia. The European Union proposed to Ukraine the Association Agreement without taking into consideration the Russian interests and rejecting trilateral talks between Ukraine, the EU and Russia.


In Syria, Russia is opposing well-armed jihadist groups who threaten the lives of the people, the fabric of the society and its State institutions and impede a political solution leading to democratic elections. Russia has been accused to prop up the Assad government but the ouster of Assad, which has been demanded by the past US administration, would throw the country in a state of chaos with no central authority and with militias holding the real power.

Talk Nation Radio: Jonathan Simon on How Machines May Have Counted Our Votes Wrong

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-jonathan-simon-on-how-machines-may-have-counted-our-votes-wrong

Jonathan Simon is author of CODE RED: Computerized Election Theft and The New American Century. He serves as Executive Director of Election Defense Alliance (www.ElectionDefenseAlliance.org), a nonprofit organization founded in 2006 to restore observable vote counting and electoral integrity as the basis of American democracy. In addition to CODE RED, Dr. Simon has published, both individually and in collaboration, numerous papers related to various aspects of election forensics and election integrity. We discuss the counting of votes in last week's U.S. elections.

The CODE RED website is www.CODERED2016.com.

Total run time: 29:00

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

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Tomgram: Nick Turse, America, the Election, and the Dismal Tide

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

Now More Than Ever: Stand for Peace in Charlottesville

Here's a proposal backed by RootsAction.org, WorldBeyondWar.org, Pax Christi Charlottesville, Amnesty International Charlottesville, the Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice, and 257 people who have signed this petition: http://bit.ly/cvillepeacepole

Charlottesville, Virginia, has the potential to be a leader for peace at home and abroad. Our city council in recent years passed resolutions against the war on Iraq, against threatening Iran, against drones, and in favor of moving resources from wasteful and deadly military spending to human and environmental needs. Other cities and towns followed Charlottesville's lead on some of these measures. Our voices were heard in Richmond and in Washington.

We now need to be a voice for peace and nonviolence more than ever. Wearing a safety pin is a wonderful way to communicate that one is a safe person not inclined toward bigotry or violence. But we need something more visible as well.

Charlottesville's monuments to wars, including the Native American genocide, the defense of slavery, and the slaughter of 3.8 million Vietnamese, dominate public space. Charlottesville's support for peace is nowhere visible on the public landscape.

Charlottesville has four sister cities, and signs indicating them are visible in Charlottesville. But the motto of Sister Cities International, "Peace Through People," is nowhere to be found. There is no location set aside to celebrate these relationships, as there could be in combination with a peace pole.

Put a Peace Pole in Charlottesville

A peace pole is of course just one option. Any public memorial to efforts for peace would work.

A peace pole is a popular means of expressing a desire for peace around the world, including in the United States, where peace poles are found in public plazas and parks in many locations.

One idea would be to have 6 sides including English, Spanish, and the languages of Cville Sister Cities: Italian, French, Bulgarian, and one of the many languages from Ghana. Or 8 sides with some left blank to be filled in later.

Please sign the petition so that we can deliver it to Charlottesville City Council. Please share it widely.

A Soldier's Life

Focus: US, EU and Russia - Nov 14, 2016


Putin, Trump speak by phone, agree to work to improve ties - Fox News


Statement by Trump’s transition team: ‘He is very much looking forward to having strong and enduring relationship with Russia’ - Ace News


Statement by Russia: We agreed to ‘normalise relations and pursue constructive cooperation on the broadest possible range of issues' - President of Russia


High hopes in Russia that Trump will ease trade sanctions - CBS News


Treasury sanctions individuals for activities related to Russia's occupation of Crimea, underscores the U.S.-EU commitment to counter Russia in Ukraine - treasury.gov


US expert says Trump may take ‘softer position’ on Crimea and Ukraine - TASS


Diplomat says impossible to restore full contacts of Russian, US military under Obama - TASS


Mogherini: EU policy toward Russia will not change regardless of U.S. - rferl.org


Trump ignorant of Europe, poses risk to relations: EU's Juncker - Reuters


German defense minister says Trump should be firm with Russia as NATO stood by US after 9/11 - RT News


Trump-Putin alliance sparks diplomatic crisis as British ministers demand assurances from US over Russia - Telegraph


As Trump warms to Putin, Trudeau vows ‘we will not back off’ over Ukraine - VICE News


Moscow clout rises as Bulgaria, Moldova elect pro-Russia leaders - VOA


Estonian PM loses no confidence vote after coalition crumbles, possibly opening up the path for a traditionally pro-Russian party to gain power - Reuters


Russia may sell Iran $10 billion worth of tanks and jets in new arms deal - Telegraph


Russian Air Force hammers west Aleppo ahead of planned Syrian Army offensive - almasdarnews.com


Recession-hit Russia hoping for growth by end-2016 - Business Standard News


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

 

Europeans agree defense plan after campaign swipes by Trump - Reuters


European Council conclusions on implementing the EU global strategy in the area of security and defence (links to full documents) - EU Consilium


EU ministers met informally to talk strategy after Trump′s electoral victory - DW.COM


Remarks by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini at the end of the informal dinner of the EU Foreign Ministers - EEAS


NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg op-ed: US mustn’t abandon NATO now – nor should its allies go it alone - The Guardian


Europe must spend on defence or face Russian advance, warns ex-Nato chief - The Independent


Jeremy Corbyn says NATO should ‘demilitarise' its border with Putin's Russia - The Huffington Post


Putin aide: Trump could build confidence with NATO slowdown or pullback - AP


Pentagon to NATO: talk to Team Trump - Business Standard News


Obama Says Trump told him he supports U.S. commitment to NATO - Bloomberg Politics


NATO to postpone next Summit until summer over Trump's US election victory - Sputnik


Nearly 300,000 NATO troops put on a higher alert last week over Russian tensions - The Mercury


Britain to deploy batteries of high precision long range missiles on Russian’s border - Daily Mail Online


Russia's new electronic warfare system capable of disrupting NATO communications - Sputnik


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

 

About that legacy, Mr. President: Obama Has a Small Window to Go Out with Some Flair and Excitement

By Dave Lindorff

 

            There is a lot of talk going on among the pundits about how President Obama is leaving no enduring legacy -- that his progressive actions as president, few and small that they may have been, were written in the sand of executive orders, which can and likely will be erased within days of Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Tomgram: Engelhardt, Through the Gates of Hell

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

Empire of Chaos 
With President Trump, Is the American Experiment Over? 
By Tom Engelhardt

The one thing you could say about empires is that, at or near their height, they have always represented a principle of order as well as domination.  So here’s the confounding thing about the American version of empire in the years when this country was often referred to as “the sole superpower,” when it was putting more money into its military than the next 10 nations combined: it’s been an empire of chaos.

Un-Trump the World

A couple of dozen young people marched back and forth through downtown Charlottesville, Virginia, Saturday evening shouting "Love Not Hate!" and "No Human Being Is Illegal!" and "Black Lives Matter!" and similar anti-Trump inspired slogans. They didn't hand out flyers or interact with other people at all, though I cheered for them.

Meanwhile some people my age looked on and made scornful condescending comments to the effect that the election was over and these fools should get over it. And one drunk guy, restrained by his wife or girlfriend, announced that "Black lives aren't worth s---!"

My response is different, if perhaps equally cynical. I'd like all the fools not marching and rallying to recognize that the dream of self-governance is over and to get over it. I'd like everyone to have gotten over it last month or last year or last decade.

I love that people march around shouting "Love Not Hate!" And the fact that anyone would object to that statement of preference ought to deeply disturb the most apathetic voter/consumer/spectator. In fact I've just helped set up a petition that reads:

"We will not stand by as hatred and violence are promoted by our president-elect. Racism and bigotry at home have been fueled by U.S. wars abroad, but also make more such wars easier. We commit to nonviolently resisting hateful attacks on our fellow human beings wherever they live."

I also love and am practicing the new trend of wearing a safety pin to indicate that one is a safe and caring person to anyone who might be worried about any variety of bigotry.

But here's where I get a bit cynical. Hillary Clinton told a room full of Goldman Sachs bankers that creating a no fly zone in Syria would require killing lots of Syrians. And she told the public she wanted to create that no fly zone. And if she had been declared the winner of the election, I can guarantee you that nobody would have been marching up and down my street yelling "Love Not Hate."

So, I worry that even those who value kindness to others value it only for the 4% of humanity in the United States but not so much for the other 96%, or value it only as directed by the less hateful of the two big political parties.

I also worry that it's even worse than that. I worry that, as cheerleaders for one political party over the other, people have lost touch with the idea of bringing demands from the public to the government. For seven years we had protests of the war on Afghanistan, for example. Then for eight years we didn't, even as the U.S. forces there grew by over 300 percent before declining. Perhaps next year those protests will recommence, but probably only in the unlikely event that the Democratic Party raises the issue.

Where was the outrage over the Trans-Pacific Partnership? Or over the lack of single-payer healthcare? Or over the failure to restrain inequality or environmental destruction? Or over the threat of a nuclear war with Russia? Why the selective outrage on-command as directed by televised coverage of the model or template protest in New York City?

But, really, what choice do people have? If they want others to join in, if they want the local media to cover them, they have to go where the momentum is. And when the momentum is for love against hate, everybody should be cheering and joining.

But we should also be directing our energy toward strategic areas for systemic change.

Is it a problem that the winner of the popular vote can be denied the U.S. presidency? Then let's compel our state legislatures to change the law to distribute electors in proportion to actual votes.

Is it a problem that a small cartel of major media corporations can choose to give someone like Donald Trump wall-to-wall free airtime, effectively handing him a nomination for president? Then let's channel widespread (including Trump's) disdain for the media into breaking up that cartel.

Is it a problem that the Democratic Party can slant the playing field of its primary to guarantee a win to a weak candidate? We should disempower and democratize parties, including by ending the corruption of privately financed elections, and by creating ranked-choice voting in the other 49 states as Maine's voters just did there.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is dead for the moment, and the president-elect made at least 1,000 speeches condemning NAFTA. Let's put an end to NAFTA, and not replace it with something worse.

It took President Obama two days after the election to put in his request for more billions for more war. Trump has already said he wants to end the arming of fighters in Syria. Let's end that supplemental spending bill along with that policy. And let's make clear that we won't stand for another form of escalation in Syria or Iraq.

Is it too early to impeach Trump? Then let's focus on blocking his horrendous cabinet nominations.

Much of recent Trump-driven hatred took the form of voter suppression. Let's demand investigations and prosecutions.

And what about loving future generations? Let's work to advance a wiser environmental policy at the local, state, and international levels, and to make clear to Congress and the president-elect that we will not stand for the destruction of the earth's climate.

Let's energize and strategize with everyone marching against the recent election. Let's take these protests where their leaders think they need to go. Even if we're just telling each other and the world that we're not among those accepting hatred and violence, that's all to the good.

But let's not start to believe that activism is principally for displaying our identities. Let's make sure we're transforming major structures that impact millions and billions of those whom we need to love and not hate.

Focus: Turkey - Nov 12, 2016

 

Note: I strongly disagree with General Flynn opinion on Turkey and Gulen: Under Erdogan, Turkey is not an ally in the fight against ISIS; Gulen is not a 'masked source of terror.'

 

Erdogan asks U.S. to extradite Gulen without prior judicial due process, says 'was there such a decision-taking process with (Osama) bin Laden?' - laht.com


Lawyers to Trump: Do not to pressure judges in Turkey extradition case of Gulen, 'The extradition process is a serious one...clear about the steps that need to be taken' - POLITICO


Turkish media lights up with Gen. Michael Flynn's call to extradite Gulen - Breitbart


General Flynn op-ed: Turkey is our strongest ally against ISIS, Gulen is a 'masked source of terror and instability' - TheHill


Trump adviser Michael Flynn is lobbying for company with ties to Turkish government - The Daily Caller


Opinion: Setting the record straight on Turkey, Flynn’s op-ed on Turkey and Gulen is 'appalling and alarming' - TheHill


Opinion: Flynn gets Erdogan wrong, whitewashes recent Turkish behavior, fails the logic test, and proposes a policy prescription that would make matters worse - AEI


Egypt's foreign ministry condemns statements by Turkish President Erdogan - allAfrica.com


Greece concerned Trump administration may show favoritism to Turkey - GreekReporter.com


Baghdad proposes Ankara handover of Bashiqa camp to Iraq, rejects Turkey’s proposal to run the camp under the auspices of the coalition forces - hurriyetdailynews.com

 

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Turkey halts activities of 370 groups as purge widens, More than 110,000 people have been sacked or suspended from their jobs and 37,000 arrested - Reuters


Turkey closes human rights and civil liberties lawyers′ groups as thousands languish in jail in post-coup crackdown - DW.COM


Turkish police arrest pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party advisors amidst ongoing crackdown - ARA News


Turkey arrests head of opposition newspaper - AFP


Turkey seeks long jail terms or life sentences for nine staff of a pro-Kurdish newspaper: state media - Reuters


Report: French journalist detained in Turkey - AP


Turkish dissident journalist Can Dündar granted citizenship of Paris - hurriyetdailynews.com


UN’s arrested Turkish justice denies Gülen links, says he is a Freemason - hurriyetdailynews.com


Turkey complaints pile up at European rights court - hurriyetdailynews.com


Ankara denies torture accusations as prisons fill with dissenters - al-monitor.com


Erdoğan appoints rector for first time to Istanbul’s university, after he was given the authority to directly appoint rectors following the emergency decree - hurriyetdailynews


Erdogan makes veiled threat to unleash 3 million refugees into the EU - Greek Reporter


20,000 Anti-Turkish Govt Protesters Demonstrate in Cologne - ABC News


VIDEO: Clashes break out as thousands rally against Turkey’s Erdogan in Cologne - RT News


A Good Time to Review Bush's War Crimes

I'll be speaking at the upcoming Iraq Tribunal about war lies of 2002-2003 vintage. I'm nostalgic for the days when presidents had to lie to Congress and the public and obtain some modicum of support before bombing a foreign country.

Already by the day after this week's election we saw the return of street protests, of big plans for mass mobilizations, and of preparations to urge a presidential impeachment as soon as Trump commits the first obviously impeachable offense not routinely committed by Barack Obama.

But we are not going to see the return of the office of the presidency as it was inherited by George W. Bush or even as it was passed along to Barack Obama. When Bush became president, spying on everything everybody did was deemed unacceptable. Imprisoning people without charge or trial was an outrage. Torture was illicit. Going through a list of men, women, and children on Tuesdays to pick whom to murder with a drone would have filled the streets with protest. When Congress passed laws, presidents were supposed to veto them, sign and obey them, or quietly ignore them in secret until caught, not sign them and publicly announce which parts they would violate.

Focus: Syria - Nov 10, 2016


Obama directs Pentagon to target Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front in Syria, one of the most formidable forces fighting Assad - The Washington Post


US Treasury designates Saudi jihadist cleric, three others in Syria for 'acting for or on behalf of Al Nusrah Front' - The Long War Journal


Lavrov: Double standards created impression West shielded al-Nusra Front - Sputnik


Obama asks for $11.6 billion more in supplemental defense budget to fight Islamic State and sustain high overseas troop levels - oann.com


U.S. says it has killed 119 civilians in Iraq and Syria since 2014 - The New York Times


Trump team warns Obama not to make major moves on foreign policy - POLITICO


Putin applauds Trump win and hails new era of positive ties with US - The Guardian


Euphoric Russian leaders literally cheer Trump's victory by drinking sparkling wine with other party members in Moscow - WUNC


Donald Trump presidency may improve US-Russia ties: Mikheil Gorbachev - The Asian Age


President Assad top adviser: Syria is ready to co-operate with Donald Trump - The Independent


Assad supporters hopes Trump will cut U.S. support to Syrian rebels - NPR


Here's why Trump also won on the streets of Damascus - The Canary


Syrian opposition reaches out to Trump - AFP


Statement: Syrian opposition welcomes Trump election, discuss civilian protection with German FM - etilaf.org


Syrian Kurds hope for recognition of federalism from new US president - ARA News


Opinion: Can Trump’s presidency overturn Hillary’s bloody legacy in Syria? - americanthinker.com


Israel won't let Iran have military bases in Syria, Netanyahu tells Russian PM - The Times of Israel


Israel IDF hits Syria after rocket fire on Golan - JEWSNEWS


Syrian army to Israel: Don't attack us again - israelnationalnews.com


Turkey FM Cavusoglu says Manbij strategically important for Turkey - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English


Turkish jets not participating in airstrikes in Syria, Security sources say that after the killing of PKK/PYD ‘terrorists' Syrian aircraft started to lock on Turkish jets - Daily Sabah

 

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

 

UN: Eastern Aleppo faces mass starvation this winter - VOA


Transcript of press stakeout by Mr. Jan Egeland, Special Advisor to the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria - ReliefWeb


Russia says extra ‘humanitarian pause' in Aleppo helps militants, but promises that such halts will continue - ABC News


U.S. slams Moscow plan to strike Aleppo: Russians flying armed sorties from navy carrier Admiral Kutnetsov, massive strikes likely soon - usni.org


VIDEO: Russia begins flights over Syria from Admiral Kuznetsov - breitbart.com


INFOGRAPHIC: Missile capabilities of Russian naval task force for Syria - southfront.org


Russia says its warships drove away Dutch sub shadowing them - VOA


Russian Air Force paralyzes jihadist supply lines to Aleppo - almasdarnews.com


Up to 6,000 militants attempting to enter east Aleppo: Russian FM - almasdarnews.com


Syrian regime makes advances in western Aleppo - THE DAILY STAR


Aleppo: Regime forces take control of 1070 apartments district - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English


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

 

Hurricane Donald and the Storms of Changing Climate

John Feffer argued on Wednesday that Demagogue Donald, whose very existence will lead me to pretend I'm not from the U.S. the next time I'm in Europe, is part of a wider trend that's already hit Europe hard:

"The ugliness has been percolating in Europe for some time now. It wasn’t just Brexit, Britain’s unexpected rejection of the European Union. It was the election of militant populists throughout Eastern Europe — Viktor Orban in Hungary, Robert Fico in Slovakia, the party of Jaroslaw Kaczynski in Poland. It was the electoral surge of the National Front in France and the Alternative fur Deutschland in Germany. It was the backlash against immigrants, social welfare programs, and 'lazy Mediterraneans' — but also against bankers and Brussels bureaucrats."

Focus: Turkey - Nov 9, 2016


Turkish opposition CHP defends pro-democracy declaration on arrest of pro-Kurdish HDP lawmakers, vows to fight ‘fear and darkness’ - hurriyetdailynews.com


President, PM slam Turkish main opposition CHP for criticizing arrests of HDP deputies - hurriyetdailynews.com


Erdogan files criminal complaint against the main opposition CHP for insulting him at a party meeting criticising a relentless crackdown - Middle East Eye


AK Party to finalize constitution proposal this week which outline a full executive presidential system, says PM Yıldırım - Daily Sabah


Turkish President Erdogan: 'I don't care if they call me a dictator...It goes in one ear, out the other' - Breitbart


HDP Co-chair Demirtaş: Kurdish MPs taken hostage to consolidate one-man rule in Turkey, Erdogan's 'empire of fear' will collapse soon - ARA News


HDP Co-chair Demirtaş in solitary confinement since last week, lawyer says - Turkish Minute


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

 

Declaration by the High Representative Mogherini on behalf of the EU: ‘Grave concern' on the latest developments in Turkey - EU Consilium


EU's Mogherini comments on Turkey 'unacceptable': foreign ministry - Reuters


EU rapporteur calls for freezing accession negotiations with Turkey after crackdown on Kurds - ARA News


EU report: Turkey backslides in fundamental rights and rule of law - Turkish Minute


Key findings of the EU 2016 Report on Turkey (full report included) - European Commission


Ankara rebuffs EU’s harsh progress report - hurriyetdailynews.com


Turkish government criticizes EU envoys at HDP meeting - hurriyetdailynews.com


In response to criticism which compared Ankara's post-coup crackdown to acts committed by the Nazis, Erdogan says Europe are ‘real Nazis’ - Middle East Eye


PM Yıldırım blasts Germany for supporting terrorist organizations against Turkey - POLITICS


Erdogan threatens to ‘open the gates’ for refugees in EU dispute - ft.com


Turkey urges Trump to extradite Gulen - Al Arabiya English


Turkey arrests 55 more pilots in post-coup investigations: NTV - Reuters


UN judge under detention in Turkey in aftermath of coup - Fox News


Reporters Without Borders representative on trial in Turkey for ′terror propaganda′ - DW.COM

 

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

 

Turkey, U.S. backed Syrian Kurds at loggerheads over Raqqa offensive - The Boston Globe


US-led coalition says current SDF operation aimed to isolate Raqqa, Turkey to play role in long-term plan 'for seizing, holding and governing Raqqa' - ARA News


Turkey says Raqqa operation to starts in weeks, stresses Kurdish forces will not enter the town - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English

 

Turkey FM says 200 YPG terrorists remain in Manbij, calls on US to fulfill pledge - Daily Sabah


Why Turkey's hostile stance doesn't worry PYD leader - al-monitor.com


US rejects cooperating with Russia or Assad in Raqqa operation - ARA News


Iraq ‘ready for war’ with Turkey over who should control Mosul after Isis – Global Affairs Press


Trump, Turkey's Erdogan discuss boosting ties, fighting terrorism: sources - Reuters


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


Now We Can Finally Get to Work

Dear Democrats,

Are you finding yourselves suddenly a bit doubtful of the wisdom of drone wars? Presidential wars without Congress? Massive investment in new, smaller, "more usable" nuclear weapons? The expansion of bases across Africa and Asia? Are you disturbed by the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen? Can total surveillance and the persecution of whistleblowers hit a point where they've gone too far? Is the new Cold War with Russia looking less than ideal now? How about the militarization of U.S. police: is it time to consider alternatives to that?

I hear you. I'm with you. Let's build a movement together to end the madness of constantly overthrowing governments with bombs. Let's propose nonviolent alternatives to a culture gone mad with war. Let's end the mindset that creates war in the first place.

We have opportunities as well as dangers. A President Trump is unpredictable. He wants to proliferate nuclear weapons, bomb people, kill people, stir up hatred of people, and increase yet further military spending. But he also said the new Cold War was a bad idea. He said he wanted to end NATO, not to mention NAFTA, as well as breaking the habit of overthrowing countries left and right. Trump seems to immediately back off such positions under the slightest pressure. Will he adhere to them under massive pressure from across the political spectrum? It's worth a try.

We have an opportunity to build a movement that includes a focus on and participation from refugees/immigrants. We have a chance to create opposition to racist wars and racism at home. We may just discover that what's left of the U.S. labor movement is suddenly more open to opposing wars. Environmental groups may find a willingness to oppose the world's top destroyer of the environment: the U.S. military. Civil liberties groups may at long last be willing to take on the militarism that creates the atrocities they oppose. We have to work for such a broader movement. We have to build on the trend of protesting the national anthem and make it a trend of actively resisting the greatest purveyor of violence on earth.

I know you're feeling a little beat down at the moment. You shouldn't. You had a winning candidate in Bernie Sanders. Your party cheated him out of the nomination. All that stuff you tell yourselves about encouraging demographic trends and the better positions of young people is all true. You just looked for love in all the wrong places. Running an unpopular candidate in a broken election system is not the way to change the world. Even a working election system would not be the central means by which to improve anything. There's no getting back the mountains of money and energy invested in this election. But activism is an unlimited resource. Directing your energies now in more strategic directions can inspire others who in turn can re-inspire you.

 

Dear Republicans,

Your outsider is threatening insiderness. He's got the same tribe of DC corporate lobbyists planning his nominations that Hillary Clinton had lined up for hers. Can we resist that trend? Can we insist that the wars be ended? Can those moments of off-the-cuff honesty about dinosaurs like NATO be turned into actual action? Donald Trump took a lot of heat for proposing to be fair to Palestinians as well as Israelis, and he backed off fast. Can we encourage him to stand behind that initial inclination?

Can we stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership and end NAFTA as well? We heard a million speeches about how bad NAFTA is. How about actually ending it? Can we stop the looming war supplemental spending bill? Can we put a swift halt to efforts in Congress to repeal the right to sue Saudi Arabia and other nations for their wars and lesser acts of terrorism?

How about all that well deserved disgust with the corporate media? Can we actually break up that cartel and allow opportunities for media entrepreneurs?

 

Dear United States,

Donald Trump admitted we had a broken election system and for a while pretended that he would operate outside of it by funding his own campaign. It's time to actually fix it. It's time to end the system of legalized bribery, fund elections, make registration automatic, make election day a holiday, end gerrymandering, eliminate the electoral college, create the right to vote, create the public hand-counting of paper ballots at every polling place, and create ranked choice voting as Maine just did.

Voter suppression efforts in this year's elections should be prosecuted in each state. And any indications of fraud in vote counting by machines should be investigated. We should take the opportunity created by all the McCarthyist nonsense allegations of Russian interference to get rid of unverifiable voting.

There are also areas in which localities and states, as well as international organizations and alliances, must now step up to take the lead. First and foremost is investing in a serious effort to avoid climate catastrophe. Second is addressing inequality that has surpassed the Middle Ages: both taxing the overclass and upholding the underclass must be pursued creatively. Mass incarceration and militarized police are problems that states can solve.

But we can advance a positive agenda across the board by understanding this election in the way that much of the world will understand it: as a vote against endless war. Let's end the wars, end the weapons dealing, close the bases, and cut the $1 trillion a year going into the military. Hell, why not demand that a businessman president for the first time ever audit the Pentagon and find out what it's spending money on?

 

Dear World,

We apologize for having elected President Trump as well as for nearly electing President Clinton. Many of you believe we defeated the representative of the enlightenment in favor of the sexist racist buffoon. This may be a good thing. Or at least it may be preferable to your eight-year-long delusion that President Obama was a man of peace and justice.

I hate to break it to you, but the United States government has been intent on dominating the rest of you since the day it was formed. If electing an obnoxious president helps you understand that, so much the better. Stop joining in U.S. "humanitarian wars" please. They never were humanitarian, and if you can recognize that now, so much the better. The new guy openly wants to "steal their oil." So did the last several presidents, although none of them said so. Are we awake now?

Shut down the U.S. bases in your country. They represent your subservience to Donald Trump. Close them.

Want to save the earth's climate? Build a nonviolent movement that resists destructive agendas coming out of the United States.

Want to uphold the rule of law, diplomacy, aid, decency, and humanitarianism? Stop making exceptions for U.S. crimes. Tell the International Criminal Court to indict a non-African. Prosecute the crime and crimes of war in your own courts. Stop cooperating in the surrounding and threatening of Russia, China, and Iran. Clinton wanted to send weapons to Ukraine and bomb Syria. Make sure Trump doesn't. Make peace in Ukraine and Syria before January.

It's time that we all began treating the institution of war as the unacceptable vestige of barbarism that it can appear when given an openly racist, sexist, bigoted face. We have the ability to use nonviolent tools to direct the world where we want it to go. We have to stop believing the two big lies: that we are generally powerless, and that our only power lies in elections. Let's finally get active. Let's start by ending war making.

Talk Nation Radio: Sonia Kennebeck on the Drone as National Bird

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-sonia-kennebeck-on-the-drone-as-national-bird

Sonia Kennebeck is director and producwer of National Bird, an amazing new documentary about drones. Kennebeck is an independent documentary filmmaker and investigative journalist with more than 15 years of directing and producing experience. She has directed eight television documentaries and more than 50 investigative reports. She lives in New York where she runs her own production company (Ten Forward Films) that makes films about international politics and human rights. Filmmaker Magazine recently selected her as one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film 2016.” Sonia Kennebeck received a Master’s degree in International Affairs from American University in Washington, D.C. and was born in Malacca, Malaysia. National Bird is her first feature-length documentary film.

Learn more: http://nationalbirdfilm.com

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
http://TalkNationRadio.org

and at
https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/tracks

At Standing Rock, A Native American Woman Elder Says "This is What I Have Been Waiting for My Entire Life!"

By Ann Wright

This time I have been at Standing Rock, North Dakota at the Oceti Shakowin camp to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) for four days during a whirlwind of national and international attention following two terrible displays of police brutality toward the water protectors.

On October 27, over 100 local and state police and National Guard dressed in riot gear with helmets, face masks, batons and other protective clothing, carrying assault rifles stormed the Front Line North camp. They had other military equipment such as Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Personnel carriers (MRAP) and Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRAD) and a full assortment of tasers, bean bag bullets and clubs/batons. They arrested 141 persons, destroyed the Frontline camp and threw the personal possessions of those arrested in garbage dumpsters.  The Morton county sheriff reportedly is investigating the purposeful destruction of personal property.

In another overreaction to the unarmed civilian water protectors, on November 2, police shot tear gas and beanbag bullets at water protectors who were standing in a small tributary to the Missouri River.  They were standing in the frigid water to protect a handmade bridge across the river to sacred burial sites that was being destroyed by the police. Police snipers stood on the ridge of the burial hill with their feet on sacred burial sites.

On October 3, in solidarity with water protectors, almost 500 religious leaders from all over the United States arrived to join water protectors in a day of prayer for stopping the Dakota Access Pipeline.  Retired Episcopal Priest John Flogerty had put out a national call for clergy to come to Standing Rock.  He said he was stunned that in less than ten days, 474 leaders answered the call to stand for protection of Mother Earth.  lDuring the two hour interfaith witness, discussion and prayer near the current digging of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), one could hear the digging machines destroying the ridge line to the south of Highway 1806.

Tomgram: Michael Klare, Whose Finger on the Nuclear Button?

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

[Note for TomDispatch Readers: There will be no TD post this Tuesday. The next one will appear sometime between Thursday morning and Sunday night.  Now, go vote. Tom]

Post-Election To-Do List

1. Stop the efforts to ram through the Trans-Pacific Partnership during the lame duck.

2. Stop the efforts to ram through a supplemental war spending bill for assorted future wars during the lame duck.

3. Stop the efforts to repeal the right to sue Saudi Arabia and other nations for their wars and lesser acts of terrorism during the lame duck.

4. Build a nonpartisan movement to effect real change.

5. Ban bribery, fund elections, make registration automatic, make election day a holiday, end gerrymandering, eliminate the electoral college, create the right to vote, create public hand counting of paper ballots at every polling place, create ranked choice voting.

6. End the wars, end the weapons dealing, close the bases, and shift military spending to human and environmental needs.

7. Tax billionaires.

8. End mass incarceration and the death penalty and the militarization of police.

9. Create single-payer healthcare.

10. Support the rule of law, diplomacy, and aid.

11. Invest in serious effort to avoid climate catastrophe.

12. Apologize to the world for having elected President Clinton or Trump.

 

IF TRUMP WON

1. Build a movement that includes all the Democrats eager to get active.

2. Build a movement that includes a focus on rights of refugees / immigrants

3. Build a movement that resists racist violence at home.

4. Demand a swift end to NAFTA and NATO.

5. Oppose all the horrible nominations for high offices.

6. Break up the media cartel.

7. If win came through voter suppression, seek prosecution immediately.

8. If win came through fraudulent counting, launch massive campaign to compel Democrats to admit it and protest it.

 

IF CLINTON WON

1. Build a movement that includes all the Republicans and Libertarians eager to get active.

2. Build a movement that includes a focus on rights of refugees / immigrants

3. Build a movement that resists racist violence directed at nations abroad.

4. Demand serious action on climate change.

5. Oppose all the horrible nominations for high offices.

6. Break up the media cartel.

7. If win came through fraudulent counting, support Trump's noisy denunciation, and if it did not, then reject Trump's noisy denunciation.

 

IF STEIN WON

1. Support the independent media that made this possible.

2. Support all the wonderful nominees for higher office.

3. Help people in other countries turn their disastrous political systems around too.

4. Volunteer for public service.

How a Company With Ties to a Dakota Access Pipeline Owner Flew Over Protests in the No Fly Zone

Photo Credit: Richard Bluecloud Casteneda | Greenpeace USA

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

Lobbyist for Dakota Access Formerly Led Army's "Restore Iraqi Oil" Program

Photo Credit: C-SPAN Screenshot

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

Robert Crear, one of the lobbyists working for Dakota Access pipeline co-owners Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics, formerly served as a chief of staff and commanding general for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

Speaking Events

January 10 and 11:
Events in Washington DC to present a petition telling president elect to end wars:
https://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=12501

January 20-21 Occupy the Inauguration
 
January 29 David Swanson speaking in Arlington, Va.
 
February David Swanson debating a war supporter in Boston, Mass.
 
April 21-23 UNAC's annual conference in Richmond, Va.

April 29 possible multi-issue protest in DC.

Find Events Here.

 

 

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