Sai asks for your help in battle against TSA

Regular readers will remember the two times we’ve written about this young man, one of thousands of people who’ve been abused by the TSA. 

His name is Sai. He is disabled and requires medication. The TSA detained him, taunted him, and denied him his medication . . .

Sai isn’t taking his mistreatment lying down. He’s fighting. And he’s asking for your help. Following is the email Sai sent to me explaining his next steps. I have his permission to publish it:

Syria/Iraq News - Sep 18, 2014

 

House approves Obama's plan to help Syrian rebels fight Islamic State - latimes.com


85 Democrats buck Obama on proposal to arm Syrian rebels against the Islamic State - TheHill


CIA privately skeptical about strategy of arming the so-called moderate Syrian rebels, sources Say - huffingtonpost.com


Military Experts Say U.S.-Backed Fighters in Syria May Be Difficult to Control - mashable.com


Rebels battling Assad are not eager to fight IS, Lawmaker: 'The so-called moderate rebels have often been very immoderate and ineffective' - NYT


Will Syrian Rebels Stop Fighting Assad To Fight ISIS Instead? - KMBZ


Syrian Rebels: We’ll Use U.S. Weapons to Fight Assad, Whether Obama Likes It or Not - The Daily Beast


Beheaded journalists warned about ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels - wnd.com


Factions within the Free Syrian Army have pledged services to the Islamic State, handed over its weapons in large numbers - conservativepapers.com


Frustration drives Arsal’s FSA into IS ranks - AFP


Multiple arms shipments from the U.S. to the “vetted moderate” FSA were suspiciously raided and confiscated by rival groups including IS and Jabhat al-Nusra - PJ Media Reporting


'Moderate' Syrian Revolutionaries Front chief Maarouf continues to support al Qaeda - Threat Matrix


Ceasefire signed by SRF chief Jamal Maarouf of Free Syrian Army & Qaida’s Nusra brokered by Muhaysini - Joshua Landis on Twitter


Maarouf bombed by Baghdadi & Assad. IS sent 4 suiciders. SAA bombed house, killing daughter - Joshua Landis on Twitter


Al Qaeda branches urge jihadist unity against US-led coalition against IS - The Long War Journal


Al-Qa'ida in Islamic Maghreb and Arabian Peninsula Statement on the U.S.-led coalition against IS - Syria Comment


Muslim Brotherhood decries foreign intervention against Islamic State - middleeastmonitor


Syria Muslim Brotherhood Official Statement on American and International Anti-Terror Coalition - Freedom & Justice Party FJP


Syrian Brotherhood, whose members are prominent among the Free Syrian Army, stands nearer to IS than to U.S. - The Counter Jihad Report


Muslim Brotherhood cleric, just expelled from Qatar along with other leaders, declares his support for the Islamic State - Jihad Watch


Muslim Brotherhood leaders expelled from Qatar heading to Turkey - todayszaman.com


Syrian National Coalition accuses Kurdish YPG forces of killing civilians in Tel Hamis - Kurdpress News Aganecy


YPG General Command regarding the statement by the Syrian National Coalition on recent developments in Tel Hamis - YPG Defense Units on Twitter


Syrian Kurdish YPG Allies With FSA Factions To Fight The Islamic State - VICE News


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

Obama insists: No U.S. ground combat troops in Iraq - usatoday.com


VIDEO: Obama on Iraq: U.S. Won't Commit to Another Ground War - YouTube


Foreign troops not wanted in fight against IS, Iraq PM says - Fox News


VIDEO: AP Interview: Iraq PM Says No Foreign Troops - YouTube


Dempsey: Half of Iraqi army not OK as US partners - AP


Iraq Official Briefs Syria's Bashar al-Assad on IS Fight - NBC News.com


Reported US-Syrian Accord on Air Strikes Against IS - Consortiumnews


Assad's letter to the US: How Syria is luring Washington in military collaboration to defeat their mutual enemy IS - The Independent


Coalition Of One: Iran Leads Own Fight Against Islamic State Militants - rferl.org


The unspoken US-Iranian alliance against IS militants - France 24


VIDEO: Hagel, Dempsey Testify on Islamic State: Q&A Part 1 - Businessweek


VIDEO: Hagel, Dempsey Testify on Islamic State: Q&A Part 2 - Businessweek


Islamic State video threatens U.S. troops, White House - freep.com


VIDEO: New Islamic State Video Trailer 'Flames of War' - YouTube


Warning to U.S.: IS Has Shot Down a Syrian Regime Fighter Jet - International Business Times


VIDEO: Islamic State fighters shoot down a Syrian warplane - Reuters.com


Islamic State goes underground in Syrian stronghold Raqqa - The Globe and Mail


Islamic State Militants Ban Mathematics, Social Studies, Sports for Children - ndtv.com


Qatar Regulates Charities After Western Concern Over Islamic State Funding - Gulf Business


Saudi Arabia's top clerics speak out against terrorism - Reuters


VIDEO: Dempsey: I know of Arab allies who fund IS - YouTube

 

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

New York Event: Celebrating 10 Years of Resistance: Iraq Veterans Against the War

Iraq Veterans Against the War was founded by 6 members of the US military who felt that they could not remain silent about what they had witnessed during the war in Iraq. Since then, our membership has expanded into the thousands and our work has evolved to address militarism at its root. On October 2, we will be celebrating 10 years of resistance against US occupations and militarism at home and abroad.

The event includes music and poetry performances by members and supporters as well as updates on our work, a light buffet and drinks. Each guest can enter a drawing to win a door prize with IVAW shirts, books, and other merchandise. There will be opportunities to contribute to our work by participating in our silent auction, the pre-sale of the ground-breaking Fort Hood Report, art created by IVAW members and other artists, and by taking part in our community. We hope to see you there!

Go here.

Congressman McDermott Calls Congress's Disgraceful Performance What It Is

McDermott Statement on Voting “No” on McKeon Amendment to Continuing Resolution H. J. Res. 124

Washington, D.C.- Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, made the following statement after voting no to the motion to approve U.S. military training and arms for Syrian rebels:

“Today, I voted in opposition to the motion to approve U.S. military training and arms for Syrian rebels.  

I did not arrive at this decision easily. The threat ISIS poses to the people of Iraq and Syria and to U.S. personnel across the wider Middle East is a serious one.  I also empathize with Americans’ emotional desire to respond assertively, and immediately, to the abhorrent murder of our two journalists.

The President continues to show admirable restraint; his speech last week was careful and thoughtful.  However, after much deliberation and reflection on the perils of rushing into yet another military conflict in the Middle East, I decided I could not support the McKeon Amendment.

I have said consistently that if the President was prepared to escalate military action against ISIS, he must present Congress with a plan and ask for our support.  I am alarmed that President Obama continues to believe he can take action against ISIS on his own authority.

This amendment, which is valid only through early December, serves as nothing more than a faux authorization designed to get Congress through the election season.  Moreover, it addresses only one aspect of the strategy the President outlined last week.  That is not a responsible way to conduct public policy.

I remember the last time Congress failed to thoroughly debate a plan for military action in the Middle East; it unleashed a veritable Pandora’s Box in Iraq and the wider region that we have struggled to contain ever since.  The McKeon Amendment calls for the U.S. to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels, some of whom have murky identities and shadowy allegiances and who could - in the not too distant future - turn the very arms we supplied against the United States.

I appreciate this President’s thoughtful efforts to respond to the complexities that arose from George W. Bush’s irresponsible actions, but – at this time – I will not vote to sanction military action by proxy, even if sanctioned for a brief period of time.

Over the next several weeks, I will continue to urge the President to present his plan before Congress and ask for our support.  When this Congress reconvenes in December, when this amendment expires, I will push for a robust and deliberative debate over a new Authorization for the Use of Force, one that is limited in scope and addresses the whole of the President’s plan.

After a decade of reckless military action, that is the only responsible way to proceed.”

Traces of Evil

Barack Obama’s central dilemma last week, when he tried to sell a new war to the American public on the eve of the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11, was to speak convincingly about the wisdom and effectiveness of U.S. foreign policy over the last decade-plus while at the same time, alas, dropping the bad news that it didn’t work.

Thus: “Thanks to our military and counterterrorism professionals, America is safer.”

Hurray! God bless drones and “mission accomplished” and a million Iraqi dead and birth defects in Fallujah. God bless torture. God bless the CIA. But guess what?

“Still we continue to face a terrorist threat. We cannot erase every trace of evil from the world, and small groups of killers have the capacity to do great harm.”

So it’s bombs away again, boys — another trace of evil has popped up in the Middle East — and I find myself at the edge of outrage, the edge of despair, groping for language to counter my own incredulity that the God of War is on the verge of another victory and Planet Earth and human evolution lose again.

Obama ended his executive declaration of more war with words that the military-industrial shills have slowly managed to turn into an obscenity: “May God bless our troops, and may God bless the United States of America.”

God bless another war?

Tom Engelhardt, writing a few days ago at TomDispatch, called it “Iraq 3.0,” noting: “Nowhere, at home or abroad, does the obvious might of the United States translate into expected results, or much of anything else except a kind of roiling chaos. . . . And one thing is remarkably clear: each and every application of American military power globally since 9/11 has furthered the fragmentation process, destabilizing whole regions.

“In the twenty-first century, the U.S. military has been neither a nation- nor an army-builder, nor has it found victory, no matter how hard it’s searched. It has instead been the equivalent of the whirlwind in international affairs, and so, however the most recent Iraq war works out, one thing seems predictable: the region will be further destabilized and in worse shape when it’s over.”

Obama’s speech is addressed to a nation with a dead imagination. Doing “something” about the Islamic State means dropping bombs on it. Bombing runs don’t inconvenience a politician’s constituents and always seem like stalwart action: a squirt of Raid on an infestation of bugs. They never kill innocent people or result in unintended consequences; nor, apparently, do they provoke an instant sense of horror, the way a beheading does.

Indeed, declarations of war always seem to lift people up. This is because they separate us from the evil that our enemies are committing. Addressing the complexity of others’ brutal behavior means facing our terrifying complicity in it — which is asking far too much of any Beltway-entrenched U.S. politician. Obama hasn’t broken in any way from his inarticulate predecessor in attempting to exploit the simplistic emotional safe haven of war and militarism.

“How do I respond when I see that in some Islamic countries there is vitriolic hatred for America?” George Bush asked during a press conference a month after the 9/11 attacks (quoted recently by William Blum in his latest Anti-Empire Report). “I’ll tell you how I respond: I’m amazed. I’m amazed that there’s such misunderstanding of what our country is about that people would hate us. I am — like most Americans, I just can’t believe it because I know how good we are.”

Obama is trying to extract the same public acquiescence to military aggression from the IS beheadings of two U.S. journalists and a British aid worker as Bush did from 9/11. Bush had the distinct advantage of not having himself — and the disastrous mess he created — as his predecessor. Nevertheless, Iraq 3.0 is going to become a reality, even though bombing Iraq will just strengthen IS and likely open the door to the next multi-year military quagmire.

As David Swanson laments on the website World Beyond War, speaking of the first journalist IS brutally murdered, “James Foley is not a war ad.”

“When 9/11 victims were used as a justification to kill hundreds of times the number of people killed on 9/11, some of the victims’ relatives pushed back,” Swanson writes. Linking to a video in which Foley talks about the hell and absurdity of war with filmmaker Haskell Wexler during the NATO protests in Chicago two years ago, he adds: “Now James Foley is pushing back from the grave.”

He invites us to watch Foley talk about “the dehumanization needed before people can be killed, the shallowness of media coverage” and other toxic realities of war that usually don’t show up in presidential speeches.

“We cannot erase every trace of evil from the world . . .”

I can’t believe I live in a country that still tolerates such simplistic, knife-edged rhetoric. Oh, so much evil out there! The U.S. government, in all its might and purity, has no choice but to go after it with every weapon in its arsenal. What Obama doesn’t bother to say, though perhaps in some helpless, futile way he knows, is that engaging in the game of war is always an act of defeat. And the opponents, in their brutal aggression toward each other and everyone else, are always on the same side.

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

© 2014 TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, INC.

War Resisting


War Resisters' Stories

Newsletter of War Resisters' International

 


September 2014

Take action for military free-education and research

Militaries across the world gain access to young people through education systems. It gives them an extraordinary chance to shape every generation's perception of military violence, and lay the groundwork for future recruitment. From 25 - 31 October, join our international week of action for military-free education and research! You could sign our call to action (write to cmoy@wri-irg.org for a copy), raise awareness of the role the military plays in education in your area, or directly challenge it. Visit this page for action ideas, and write to cmoy@wri-irg.org if you'd like to tell us what you are planning.

Read more...



 

 

Colombian conscientious objector arrested for desertion

Jhonatan David Vargas Becerra was forcibly recruited by the Colombian military last year. He left the army as soon as he could, and later the police issued an arrest warrant for him on grounds of desertion. He was arrested by the police on 4 September in Barrancabermeja, and is still being detained. WRI put out a CO Alert on Jhonatan's behalf, and on September 16 we heard the news that Jhonatan had been recognised as a conscientious objector by the Constitutional Court. The ruling orders the Colombian army to 'unenlist' Jhonatan within 48 hours. Jhonatan's supporters, through Justpaz, ask that we keep up the pressure to ensure this happens. Please find the new CO Alert here.

Read more...



 

Resisting NATO is resisting War

 

 

Once again the deadliest military alliance got together, this time Newport, Wales. As state leaders met to discuss their plans for a stronger military presence in eastern Europe, the creation of a rapid response force, an increase in the military budget, how to intervene in Iraq, and many other militarist plans. Groups gathered to resist and counter the summit. Several activities were organised by the No to NATO No to War network as well as the No NATO Newport group. They included demonstrations, a counter summit, an anti-NATO camp, direct actions, a Women Say No to NATO action and much more.


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Spreading the word on resisting war profiteering

War profiteering is one of the main causes of war. To keep informed on what groups are doing to resist the merchants of death, you can sign up to WRI's War Profiteer's News. In our last issue we had stories about how the Palestinian BDS movement is gaining momentum, and how it learned from South Africa; how the EU is becoming more and more a militarised and pro-military industry union; how activists in Ecuador are nonviolently resisting the government's plans to extract oil from the Yasuní national park. Regular features of the newsletter include the campaign of the month, which this month highlighted the "Arming all Sides" initiative, which looks at the arms trade during WWI and beyond, and the war profiteer of the month, which profiles Elbit System, the Israeli arms manufacturer, and their increase in profit thanks to the attacks on Gaza.


 

 

 

We Pushed Urban Shield Out of Oakland, But the Struggle Continues!

On Friday 5 September, hundreds of protesters in the US gathered in front of the Marriott in Downtown Oakland, California, to stand against Urban Shield and declare two major victories: Urban Shield will no longer be held at the Marriott and it will no longer take place anywhere in Oakland. Reclaiming the streets in celebration of our power, we made it loud and clear that we do not welcome militarization and policing of our communities. Urban Shield is part of a growing national and international coordination of policing empowered by military tools and tactics, and our Coalition insists that we must work to roll this back while advancing community-led initiatives to provide actual safety.


If ISIS Were Really a Movie

ISIS has created a movie preview for the coming war, a war it eagerly wants Washington to take part in. The White House and Congress would like to oblige, as long as the movie can be a short one, on the model of Libya. Here's the plot: Evil force arises out of nowhere; United States destroys it; credits roll. If Libya-The-Movie had begun with years of support for Gadaffi or ended with the disaster left behind, the critics would have hated it. Framing is everything.

Kathy Kelly published an article on Wednesday describing her visit some years back to a U.S. prison camp in Iraq where Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai spent four years under the name Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi before becoming the leader of ISIS.

Imagine a Hollywood-like movie that began in that camp. An opening scene might show Baghdadi and his fellow prisoners paraded naked in front of female soldiers and forced to say "I love George Bush" before they could get their food rations. We'd see them sleeping on the ground in the cold, cursing their captors and swearing every last drop of energy and instant of remaining life to that highest of all Hollywood values: violent revenge.

Cut to the present and a scene in a small house in Iraq with 500-pound U.S. bombs exploding just outside. Baghdadi and his gang of loveable heroes look horrified, but -- with a twinkle in his eye -- Baghdadi gathers the others to him and begins to smile. Then he begins to laugh. His comrades look bewildered. Then they start to catch on. "You wanted this, didn't you?" exclaims Sexy Female Rebel. "This was your plan, wasn't it!"

"Hand me the ultimate weapon," Baghdadi says, turning to a future nominee for best male supporting actor. BMSA grins and pulls out a video camera. Baghdadi raises the camera over his head with one hand. Turning to Sexy Female Rebel he says "Go on the roof and look north. Tell me what you see coming."

Cut to view through binoculars as music swells to high enthusiasm. Countless oceans of people on foot are making their way over the land with burning U.S. flags on sticks leading the way.

Of course, even Hollywood, which made Avatar, wouldn't make exactly THIS movie. The White House is going to have to make it. But who's directing? President Obama is hunting around for a name for this war, while ISIS has already released one in its video preview. Even the U.S. public seems increasingly interested in the full-length feature. "How does this end?" they want to know. "This was begun by Bush" they say, depending on their partisanship.

What if the script were flipped, not to portray the Iraqi as protagonist, but to abandon the religion of violent revenge?  What if Washington were to say to ISIS this:

We see that you want a war with us. We understand that you would gain local support because of how deeply we are hated. We're tired of being hated. We're tired of taking direction from criminals like you. We're not going to play along. We're going to make ourselves loved rather than hated. We're going to apologize for our occupations and bombings and prisons and torture. We're going to make restitution. We're going to provide aid to the entire region. It'll cost us a lot less to do that than to keep dropping bombs on you, so you can forget the plan to bankrupt us. We're going to save trillions of dollars in fact by ceasing to arm ourselves and the rest of the world to the teeth. We're going to announce a ban on shipping weapons to the Middle East. And since we ship 80% of them, not even counting our own military's, we're already off to a huge start. We're going to prosecute any oil company or country that does business with your organization. But we're going to hold no grudges against anyone who abandons your organization and seeks peace, just as we ask you to do what you can toward overcoming grudges against our past barbarity.

What would happen? You might be surprised. Gandhi-The-Movie brought in over $50 million in 1982.

We Are Not Your Soldiers Ready for New School Year

As the 2014-2015 high school and college year starts, we send you our  greetings and best wishes for a rewarding year. The We Are Not Your Soldiers project is ready to visit your school or  classroom with Iraq/Afghanistan-era veterans to talk about their on-the-ground experience in occupying countries, where civilians pay the price.

Gather - Alice Walker Poem on NYPD Murder of Eric Garner

Over a month ago, Michael Brown was shot six times by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.  More witnesses have come forward to corroborate eye-witness testimony that Brown's hands were up, and he was not aggressive. But, still Officer Darren Wilson is on paid vacation.  No indictment, no justice.

Beheading, Bombing & Western Values

by Debra Sweet    If “brutal” enemies do the beheading, start bombing whole regions, asHenry Kissinger said on Sunday, and respond disproportionately, in a way that “you would not analyze in terms of a normal response.”If authoritarian “friendly” governments do the beheading, as Saudi Arabia has done 26 times since August 4, 2014 (mostly to non-Saudis and political dissidents) say and do nothing. Human Rights Watch says the U.S. maintains a “deafening silence” on human rights violations by Saudi Arabia, its key ally in the region.

Lessons Learned in the Bucca Camp

By Kathy Kelly

In January of 2004 I visited “Bucca Camp,” a U.S.-run POW camp named for a firefighter lost in the 2001 collapse of  New York’s World Trade Center.  Located near the isolated port city of Umm Qasr,  in southern Iraq, the network of tent prisons had been constructed by U.S. Coalition authorities. Friends of five young men thought to be imprisoned there had begged our three-person Voices delegation to try and visit the camp and find out what had happened to their loved ones.   

This was a year before the capture of Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai, who, starting in 2005, would spend four years in the camp under the name Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, on his way to becoming the head of the recently founded Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Our friends with the Christian Peacemaker Teams had developed a database of people thought to be held by the U.S. military.   They assembled their list of 6,000 prisoners as much through contact with terrified loved ones as through tireless and persistent correspondence with U.S. authorities. 

They were able to find the “Capture Tag” numbers for two of the prisoners.  These two people, at least, were still alive and at the camp.   

With a translator, our small Voices delegation headed from Baghdad to Basra and then on to Umm Qasr, assuredly one of the bleakest spots on the planet.  It was Saturday afternoon. At the outskirts of the prison, a U.S. soldier politely told us that we were too late.  Saturday visiting hours were over, and the next visiting day would be the following Thursday. Reluctant to leave, we explained that we’d come a long way, along a dangerous road, and that we wouldn’t be able to come back a second time.  An hour later, jostling on the benches of an army jeep, we were taken over bumpy desert terrain to the prison visitor’s tent.  

There we met with four of the five young men, all in their early twenties, and listened as they shared stories of humiliation, discomfort, monotony, loneliness and great fear born of the uncertainty prisoners face held on zero credible evidence by a hostile power with no evident plans to release them. They seemed immeasurably relieved that we could at least tell their relatives they were still alive.  

Upon leaving, we asked to speak with an officer in charge of the Bucca Camp.  She said that the outlook for the young men being released wasn’t very positive, but she thought it would be worthwhile to try approaching the International Commission of the Red Cross.  “Be glad they’re here with us and not in Baghdad,” she said, giving us a knowing look.  “We give them food, clothes, and shelter here.  Be glad that they’re not in Baghdad.”  I was surprised.  At least in Baghdad it wouldn’t be so difficult to visit them.  She repeated herself, “I’m just telling you, be glad they’re not in Baghdad.”

Later, in May of 2004, I began to understand what she meant.  On May 1, CNN released pictures from the Abu Ghraib prison: The hooded man.  The man on a leash.  The pyramid.  These pictures are now burned into people’s minds. Suddenly there were very few places that seemed as horrible as that prison.  Yes, we were very glad the young men we visited were not in Baghdad.  

To be very clear, these men at Bucca had been marched naked in front of women soldiers.  They’d been told to say “I love George Bush” before they could receive their food rations.  They’d slept on the open ground in punishingly cold weather with no mat beneath them and only one blanket.   The guards had taunted them and they had had no way of telling their friends they were still alive.  But worse humiliation and torture were inflicted on detainees in other U.S. prison centers throughout Iraq.

The November 3, 2005 issue of the New York Review of Books quoted three officers, two of them non-commissioned, stationed with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Mercury in Iraq.

“Speaking on condition of anonymity, they described in multiple interviews with Human Rights Watch how their battalion in 2003-2004 routinely used physical and mental torture as a means of intelligence gathering and for stress relief… Detainees in Iraq were consistently referred to as PUCs.  The torture of detainees reportedly was so widespread and accepted that it became a means of stress relief, where soldiers would go to the PUC tent on their off-hours to "fuck a PUC" or "smoke a PUC." "Fucking a PUC" referred to beating a detainee, while "smoking a PUC" referred to forced physical exertion sometimes to the point of unconsciousness.

"Smoking" was not limited to stress relief but was central to the interrogation system employed by the 82nd Airborne Division at FOB Mercury. Officers and NCOs from the Military Intelligence unit would direct guards to "smoke" the detainees prior to an interrogation, and would direct that certain detainees were not to receive sleep, water, or food beyond crackers. Directed "smoking" would last for the twelve to twenty-four hours prior to an interrogation. As one soldier put it: "[The military intelligence officer] said he wanted the PUCs so fatigued, so smoked, so demoralized that they want to cooperate.

Maybe half of the detainees at Camp Mercury, released because they were clearly uninvolved in the insurgency, were nonetheless bearing memories and scars of torture.  As one sergeant told Human Rights Watch, "If he's a good guy, you know, now he's a bad guy because of the way we treated him."  

When U.S. politicians want to sell a war, their marketing is top notch: they can count on the U.S. public to buy that war at least long enough to become irretrievably committed to it, as long as the advertising for that war leaves them feeling threatened.  And no brand, in quite a long time, has been as frightening as the Islamic State.

The violence that brought the Islamic State into being, and which now promises to extend its legacy into ever wider regional violence and polarization, has a long history.

In between the first two Iraq wars, in numerous trips to Iraq from 1996 to 2003, our Voices delegation members grew to understand the unbearable weariness and suffering of Iraqi families eking out an uncertain existence under punishing economic sanctions.

 
Between the wars, the death toll in children's lives alone, from externally imposed economic collapse and from the blockade of food, medicine, water purification supplies and other essentials of survival, was estimated by the U.N. at 5,000 children a month, an estimate accepted without question by U.S. officials.


The most shocking death figures from our 2003 invasion, estimating the eventual toll from war and social breakdown at credibly more than one million, were underestimates as they inevitably took as baseline the inhuman conditions under our years of economic warfare in Iraq.

 

On September 16, 2014, the New York Times reported on a newly released UN report which notes that in Iraq, “the share of hungry people has soared: Nearly one in four Iraqis are undernourished, according to the report, up from 7.9 percent of the population in the 1990-92 period.”
 

And now, the U.S. government says that U.S. intervention is once again needed to improve and civilize the nation of Iraq,

It’s widely acknowledged that the 2003 invasion of Iraq radicalized Al-Baghdadi, with his humiliation at Camp Bucca further hardening him. Then the haphazard flood of weapons and easy cash into both Iraq and Syria fueled potential for further war.

This will not be our third Iraq invasion. U.S. assaults, achieved through munitions, through children's forced starvation, through white phosphorous, through bullet fire, through blockaded medicines, emptied reservoirs and downed power lines, through disbanded police forces and abandoned state industries and cities left to dissolve in paroxysms of ethnic cleansing – it is all one continuous war, beginning long before we finally turned on our former client Saddam in 1991,  the longest war in U.S. history, continued now, extending into the future until it has no end that we can plausibly foresee. 

One year to the day before his death, Dr. Martin Luther King urged a turn away from the war in Vietnam and a desperately needed rebirth, a “revolution of values” that was all that could free America from future such commitments.  It would be so much better for the world if, instead of hearing President Obama’s September 10 speech justifying renewed U.S. military offensives in the region, we could have heard the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech.  In it, he begs us to see ourselves as we are seen by our so-called enemies.  It’s not easy to look in that mirror, but understanding the history of previous U.S. wars and policies, against Iraq, would help us look for alternatives.   

We need not choose blindness, or the hatred that lets us be herded in fear. We can reach out with truth, with compassion, with the activist courage that leaps from heart to heart, rebuilding sanity, civility, community, humanity, resistance. We can find hope in our own active work to prove that humanity persists, that history can yearn toward justice and that a love which is in no way comfortable, sentimental bosh remains vigorously at work in a world with such need of it.

This article first appeared on Telesur English.

Kathy Kelly (Kathy@vcnv.org) co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence (www.vcnv.org)

Ukraine News - Sep 17, 2014


Ukraine ratifies EU association agreement - DW.DE


VIDEO (Live): Ukraine ratifies EU deal - Yahoo News


In a concession to Russia key element of EU-Ukraine trade deal is delayed until 2016 - DW.DE


Poroshenko is facing a backlash for bowing to Russian pressure and postponing the implementation of an EU trade deal - Yahoo News


VIDEO: Ukraine critics denounce Russian influence over EU trade deal - YouTube


Is Postponing the EU Trade Agreement Harmful to Ukraine? - EconoMonitor


Ruble plunges to new lows, authorities tell Russians not to panic - smh.com


White House says rouble plunge linked to sanctions on Russian economy - Reuters


Russia central bank starts overnight forex swap operations with banks to increase short-term banking sector liquidity - brecorder.com


Russian Central Bank Fears Weak Oil Price Could Threaten Economy - WSJ


Gazprom's Profits Down 41% In First Quarter - Business Insider


EU delays decision on Russia’s access to OPAL gas pipe - ITAR-TASS


Ukraine Battles to Eject Russian Telecoms Giants - The Moscow Times


Russia needs government investment to avoid recession, says former finance minister - Reuters


C.Bank chief says Ukraine 2014 GDP may shrink by up to 10 pct - agency - Reuters


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

Ukraine parliament grants self-rule, amnesty to eastern regions - Telegraph


Ukraine presidential bill proposes local elections in Donbass on December 7 - ITAR-TASS


Splits in Ukraine's pro-EU camp emerge over Poroshenko autonomy plan for East Ukraine - Business New Europe


VIDEO (Ukrainian): Tymoshenko: Self-rule status for Donetsk and Lugansk is a “humiliating and disgraceful surrender” for Ukraine - YouTube


VIDEO: "Peace can only be reached by winning" says Svoboda leader about self-rule for Donetsk and Lugansk - YouTube


Donetsk Oblast Governor Taruta says Donetsk will feel 'raped' because of new law on self-rule of Donbass - kyivpost.com


Leaders talk peace, some Ukrainian nationalists contemplate guerrilla war - The Washington Post


Q&A: Ukraine’s Donbas Battalion Commander Seeks US Support - VOA


VIDEO: Nazis symbols in the helmets of Azov Battalion members in Ukraine - LiveLeak.com


Tires on fire: Right Sector rallying in Kiev as govt votes for political purging (VIDEO) - RT News


Ukrainian Parliament Member Tossed In Trash Bin By Angry Protesters (VIDEO) - ibtimes.com


VIDEO: Clashes break out in Kiev between Right Sector and police - YouTube


Ukraine s self-rule offer slows rebel independence drive - Yahoo!7


Donetsk, Luhansk armies to form armed forces - ITAR-TASS


Separatist leader: Luhansk Wants to Introduce Ruble as National Currency - RIA Novosti


Donetsk council says 3 killed, 5 wounded in eastern Ukraine city despite cease-fire - Fox News


Another exchange of prisoners of war between Donetsk and Kiev to take place in 2 days - ITAR-TASS


Top Ukrainian And Russian Business Leaders Propose 10-Point Peace Initiative - huffingtonpost


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

NATO, Russia to Hold Countervailing Military Exercises in and Around Ukraine - The Jamestown Foundation


Russia to send troops to Crimea as NATO holds exercises in Ukraine - Yahoo News


VIDEO: Ukraine And NATO Allies Commence Rapid Trident Military Exercise - YouTube


NATO countries have begun arms deliveries to Ukraine: defense minister - Reuters


Russia still has around 1,000 troops in Ukraine: NATO - Mail Online


Showing Off A 'Captured' T-72B3 Tank, Separatists Provide Further Evidence Of Russian Support - Interpreter_Mag


Israeli diplomats nix drone sale to Ukraine mid fears Russia would disapprove: report - The Times of Israel


Russia raids Crimea Tatar assembly after polls - GlobalPost


Updated Evidence Review: Who Shot Down Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17? - The Interpreter

 

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

Talk Nation Radio: Kevin Zeese on Activist Media, TPP, Climate, Wars

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-kevin-zeese-on-activist-media-tpp-climate-wars

Kevin Zeese (at right in image) is an organizer at http://PopularResistance.org We discuss activist journalism, stopping the Trans-Pacific Partnership, saving the climate, and ending the wars.

Total run time: 29:00

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

Download from Archive or LetsTryDemocracy.

Pacifica stations can also download from AudioPort.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

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

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete at
http://TalkNationRadio.org

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

 

Another Drone Protester Found Not-Guilty

From upstatedroneaction.org

Eve Tetaz, 83, found NOT GUILTY last night in De Witt town court for opposing Reaper Drone War Crime at 174th Attack Wing at Hancock Air Base near Syracuse, NY

Immediately after Onondaga County prosecutor Jordan McNamara rested his case against DC peace and justice activist Eve Tetaz, DeWitt town judge David Gideon granted Ms Tetaz’ motion to dismiss. Ms Tetaz represented herself pro se with the support of DC attorney Mark Goldstone.

Ms. Tetaz had been arrested on April 28, 2013, along with 30 others as she stood reading aloud Preamble to the UN Charter and the First Amendment of the Constitution on the edge of the driveway leading into the Hancock Reaper drone base on East Molloy Rd., Town of De Witt. The prosecution’s video of Ms Tetaz’ arrest showed the arresting officer grabbing those documents from her hands and tossing them aside.

When police ordered her to stop, Ms Tetaz continued her reading aloud, facing the base, thereby expressing her First Amendment right to peacefully “petition my government for redress of grievances” – i.e. the war crimes being committed by the weaponized Reaper drone robots piloted over Afghanistan by the Hancock Attack Wing.

Ms. Tetaz’ trial is one of the ongoing series of trials of those arrested on April 28, 2013 scheduled through spring of 2015. Many will be jury trials due to the misdemeanor charge of obstruction of government administration. The next jury trial -- that of Bronx Catholic Worker Mark Colville -- will begin at 8:30 a.m. this Thursday, Sept 18.

43 Million People Kicked Out of Their Homes

By David Swanson

War, our leaders tell us, is needed to make the world a better place.

Well, maybe not so much for the 43 million people who've been driven out of their homes and remain in a precarious state as internally displaced persons (24 million), refugees (12 million), and those struggling to return to their homes.

The U.N.'s figures for the end of 2013 (found here) list Syria as the origin of 9 million such exiles. The cost of escalating the war in Syria is often treated as a financial cost or -- in rare cases -- as a human cost in injury and death. There is also the human cost of ruining homes, neighborhoods, villages, and cities as places in which to live.

Just ask Colombia which comes in second place following years of war -- a place where peace talks are underway and desperately needed with -- among other catastrophes -- nearly 6 million people deprived of their homes.

The war on drugs is rivaled by the war on Africa, with the Democratic Republic of the Congo coming in third after years of the U.S.-backed deadliest war since World War II, but only because the war on "terror" has slipped. Afghanistan is in fourth place with 3.6 million desperate, suffering, dying, and in many cases understandably angry and resentful at losing a place to live.  (Remember that over 90% of Afghans not only didn't participate in the events of 9-11 involving Saudis flying planes into buildings, but have never even heard of those events.) Post-liberation Iraq is at 1.5 million displaced and refugees. Other nations graced by regular U.S. missile strikes that make the top of the list include Somalia, Pakistan, Yemen -- and, of course, with Israeli help: Palestine.

Humanitarian wars have a homelessness problem.

Part of that problem finds its way to Western borders where the people involved should be greeted with restitution rather than resentment. Honduran children aren't bringing Ebola-infected Korans. They're fleeing a U.S.-backed coup and Fort Benning-trained torturers.  The "immigration problem" and "immigrants rights" debate should be replaced with a serious discussion of refugee rights, human rights, and the-right-to-peace.

Start here.

refugees

Responding to Ebola: Cuba Sees a Crisis, and Sends Docs; The US Sees an Opportunity and Sends Troops

By Dave Lindorff

 

How’s this for a juxtaposition on how nations respond to a global health catastrophe. Check out these two headlines from yesterday’s news:

 

Cuba Sends Doctors to Ebola Areas

 

US to Deploy 3000 Troops as Ebola Crisis Worsens

 

Laughing Our Way to Destruction

If members of the U.S. public were ever to wonder what the other 95% of humanity thinks about them, would it be better to break that harsh truth to them gently or just to blurt it out?

I'm going to go with the latter.

Here's Frankie Boyle explaining the advantages of Scottish independence: "Scotland would no longer have to invade places like Afghanistan for American interests. . . . I don't support America's wars. I don't even think they are wars. They're one-way traffic, mass-murder. There's never been a time when a shepherd has beaten a helicopter. You never switch on the news to see 'A shock result in Afghanistan today when a missile was destroyed by a wedding.' Because not only will America go into your country and kill all your people. But what's worse I think is they'll come back twenty years later and make a movie about how killing your people made their soldiers feel sad. Oh boo hoo hoo. Americans making a movie about what Vietnam did to the soldiers is like a serial killer telling you what stopping suddenly for hitchhikers did to his clutch."

If you don't think people find such remarks acceptable, listen to this laughter:

Living in the United States we've been trained to appreciate the fact that the wars do in fact make the soldiers feel sad. In fact they significantly increase rates of depression and violence and suicide. We tell each other not to blame the soldiers, rather to blame the top politicians. But then we don't really do that, do we? Bush is off painting himself in the bathtub and otherwise doing his imitation of the original King George III during his blue urine period. Obama is cheered by his fans because his wars make him sad and he declares them with such heartfelt reluctance. But from the point of view of people who are told about non-American deaths in their newspapers and on their televisions and radios (that is, from the point of view of 95% of humanity) U.S. wars are mass-slaughter of innocents. Ninety percent of the deaths are on one side. Ninety percent of those deaths are civilians by every definition. When the U.S. says it's going to launch another war because it opposes genocide, the rest of the world responds "We what the f%^$^! do you call your wars?"

Think the rest of the world is crazy? Think it's just bad jokes that miss the serious complicated facts of the matter. Watch how an intelligent Englishman watches an Obama speech:

Or you can watch how an American views Lindsey Graham's speeches:

Or how an American comedian views U.S. foreign policy:

When an American gets honest about U.S. warmongering it has to be a joke. It has to sneak in. We don't want to hear it. But we shouldn't keep imagining the rest of the world doesn't know what's going on.

Lindset Graham Panics

Iraq/Syria News - Sep 16, 2014

 

Iraq wins pledge of global military support against Islamic State at the international meeting in Paris - THE DAILY STAR


Iraqi Leader Asks World Powers to Pursue Islamic State in Syria - Alaska Dispatch


VIDEO: World’s Top Diplomats Pledge Iraq Support - VOA


White House claims Arab nations offer to join airstrikes against IS in Iraq, Syria - Fox News


French Rafale Fighter Jets Fly over Iraq as Anti-Islamic State Paris Summit Begins - Yahoo News UK


First U.S. airstrikes near Baghdad in expanded Iraq fight - US News


Airstrikes Have Halted Islamic State in Iraq, U.S. Says - WSJ


POLLS: Obama’s Iraq policy gains bipartisan support, polls show - LA Times


Rights group calls for probe into Iraqi airstrike that killed 31 civilians, including 24 children - US News


Iraq: Survivors Describe Government Airstrike - Human Rights Watch


Iraq′s prime minister halts airstrikes in civilian areas - DW.DE


Kerry: Airstrikes against Islamic State would be ‘deconflicted’ with Syria, but there would be no formal cooperation or coordination - The Washington Post


AP Sources: US would hit back against Assad if he were to go after American planes launching airstrikes in his country - ABC News


US covertly giving Assad intel on Islamic State, regime daily claims - The Times of Israel


Intelligence operation focuses on Syria's Raqqa in Jihadi John hunt (PHOTOS) - Mail Online


VIDEO: Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister 'Action against Islamic State should include Syria’ - BBC News


US rejects military cooperation with Iran in Iraq, open to talks - Yahoo News


Iran supreme leader spurns U.S. overture to fight Islamic State - Reuters


Iraq FM says 'regrets' Iran not invited to Paris conference - Yahoo News


Iran fills key role in battling Islamic State in Iraq - LA Times


Hezbollah vows to destroy Islamic State in Syria - The Times of Israel


Turkish military weighs 'buffer zone' against Iraq, Syria threats: media - Reuters


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

House Republicans drafting resolution to authorize training and arming of Syrian rebels - WashingtonExaminer.com


Syria's 'moderate' rebels say they need weapons, not training - Reuters


Lobbyists For Syrian Rebels To Woo Congress For Funding In Closed-Door Meeting - huffingtonpost.com


IS Strikes Non-Aggression Deal With ‘Moderate' Syrian Rebels: Reports - huffingtonpost.com


White House Denies Truce Between Syrian Rebels And IS - huffingtonpost.com


A statement from Jamal Marouf, leader of Syrian Revolutionary Front, denying his group signed a truce with IS - Hassan Hassan on Twitter


‘Moderate’ Syrian Revolutionaries Front continues to support al Qaeda - Uprootedpalestinians's Blog


Wow. US-backed Syrian Revolutionary Front rebels killed & crucified 2 apparent IS suicide bombers - Charles Lister on Twitter


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

Kurdish fighters capture several Syrian villages amid heavy fighting with Islamic State, “We are fighting, on behalf of the world, the terrorism” - AP


YPG statement on recent clashes with IS - LiveLeak.com


Kurdistan Prime Minister Barzani and PKK leaders Discusse Joint Force Against IS - Rudaw


Peshmerga and Syrian Kurdish Forces Agree to Fight Together in the push to retake Yezidi town from Islamic State - Rudaw


West Widens Contacts With Syria's Kurds But Suspicion Remains - Business Insider


Analysis: YPG - the Islamic State's worst enemy - IHS Jane's 360


Peshmerga Forces Recruit Christian Fighters, says Local Official - Rudaw


Peshmerga's Spokesman: US will build two military sites to attack the Islamic State, one in Erbil - National Iraqi News Agency


VIDEO: On the Peshmerga front line in the fight against IS - BBC News


VIDEO (English Sub): IS running away from Kurds - Rudaw


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

Barbaric IS earning $3m a day: Experts - AP


U.S. Targets Islamic State’s Lucrative Oil Smuggling Operations - oilprice.com


Islamic State fighters drawing on oil assets for funding and fuel - The Washington Post


Complex Network Smuggles Oil for Islamic State - WSJ


Who All are Buying Oil from Islamic State? Possibly Everyone - ibtimes.co.in


Turkish minister denies buying smuggled oil from ISIL, slams Western reports - hurriyetdailynews


Islamic State sells ‘blood antiquities’ from Iraq and Syria to raise money - The Washington Post


How IS became the wealthiest terror group in history - The Independent


Funding ISIS Infographic - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

 

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

Lawless Law Enforcers: In America the 'Terrorists' All Too Often Are the Police

By Linn Washington

 

Two acts of ugly terrorism occurred in Birmingham, Alabama on September 15, 1963.

One act was widely abhorred. The other act ignored.

Many across America know about the 9/15/63 Birmingham murders of four little girls slain in the bombing of a black Baptist church 18-days after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his stirring “I Have A Dream” speech.

Statement from Ann Wright for the September 13, 2014 Conference in Washington, DC on the 16th Anniversary of the Imprisonment of the Cuban Five

By Ann Wright
I thank the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five for the opportunity to speak on the injustices of the law enforcement,  judicial system and media of the United States concerning the pre-trial incarceration, trial, sentencing and the appeals process of the Cuban Five.  https://www.facebook.com/events/772622612780775/

I am a 29-year veteran of the U.S. Army and retired as a Colonel.  I was also a U.S. diplomat for 16 years and resigned in March, 2003 in opposition to the decision of the Bush administration to invade and occupy Iraq.  Since my resignation eleven years ago, I have spoken and written frequently about my deep concern about policies and decisions taken by the United States government.
I, like many others who have served in the United States government, am deeply concerned about the lack of fairness of American law enforcement and judicial systems as it pertains to the Cuban Five.  Earlier this year, in June, 2014, at the “5 Days for the Cuban 5” events in Washington, DC, the international audience from countries around the world heard of their concerns about this unfairness from former U.S. government officials:   Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General; Larry Wilkerson, Retired U.S. Army Colonel and former Chief of Staff to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell; and Wayne Smith, former Chief of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana.
I am proud to add my voice to their condemnations of the American prosecutorial and judicial processes and the American penal system.
I first met families of the Cuban Five in 2006 in Havana, Cuba.  I had travelled there as a member of a human rights delegation sponsored by CODEPINK: Women for Peace that went to the gates of the U.S. military base in Guantanamo to protest the torture and inhumane conditions of the prisoners who had been kidnapped, tortured and imprisoned following the events of September 11, 2001, almost three years to the day, the Cuban Five were arrested. 
During our trip to Cuba, our delegation talked with the families of the Cuban Five who at that time had been in U.S. prisons for eight years, many of those years in which the U.S. judicial system was deeply influenced by the events of 9/11 and the subsequent curtailment of civil and political rights in the United States for U.S. citizens and extraordinary abridgement and violation of legal rights for non-U.S. citizens.
We know well the history of the decision of the Clinton Administration to prosecute the Cuban Five for their unarmed, non-violent monitoring of Miami-based terrorist organizations in the United States to prevent further attacks against the people of Cuba who have suffered more than 3,478 deaths and 2,099 injuries from terrorist acts from U.S.-based criminals. 
We know the story of the Cuban government’s cooperation of providing documents, videos and other evidence to the United states government for the investigation to lead to the prosecution of persons residing in the United states who had committed acts of violence against the Cuban people, including the blowing up of a Cuban airliner that resulted in the deaths of 75 people and the explosion in a nightclub in Cuba that killed many persons.  We know the United States never prosecuted the perpetrators of these crimes and the criminals currently are living in the open in the United States, including Luis Posada Carriles. 
In 2008, I and several members of CODEPINK: Women for Peace went to Miami, found Carriles wife’s home and his presence in the home as confirmed by a housing complex gardener and went to the Miami FBI office and reported that we have found the location of a dangerous criminal.  We put a large banner  with Carriles’ photo and the words “Criminal” in the back of a truck and went drove around Miami with the banner.  Then we had a press conference in Miami across the street from the Versailles restaurant, a hang-out for right wing Cubans, announcing that we had located Carriles and that the police should arrest him.  We were attacked with baseball bats.
We know the Bush administration paid reporters to write negative stories about the Cuban Five during their trial in Miami, Florida jeopardizing the fairness of the trial.  We know that in August 2005, a three judge panel of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta overturned all of the convictions on the grounds that the Five had not received a fair trial in Miami and that one year later, in August 2006, in spite of the strong disagreement voiced by two of the three judges who made up the original panel, the full 12 member Court of Appeals revoked the decision of the three judges. 
We know the Obama administration’s Solicitor General, now a U.S. Supreme Court justice, Elena Kagan, argued that the U.S. Supreme Court should not grant a hearing on the case of the Cuban Five. 
We know that many international figures including ten Nobel laureates, among them East Timor President Jose Ramos Horta, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Rigoberta Menchu, Jose Saramago, Wole Soyinka, Zhores Alferov, Nadine Gordimer, Gunter Grass, Dario Fo and Mairead Maguire, as well as the Mexican Senate, the National Assembly of Panama, and Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland (1992-1997) and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997-2002), and UNESCO General Director Federico Mayor, among others, signed the amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court. They were joined by hundreds of parliamentarians from around the world. Among them were 75 members of the European Parliament, including two ex-presidents and three current vice-presidents of this legislature.  Also represented were numerous legal and human rights associations from different countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America, as well as international personalities and legal and academic organizations in the United States.
We know that in 2005, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, concluded that, based on the facts and the circumstances in which the trial was held, the nature of the charges and the severity of the convictions, the imprisonment of the Five violated Article 14 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Liberties, to which the United States is a signatory. We know that this was the first time the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention had denounced a conviction in a case in the United States because of the violations committed during the legal process.
Despite the appeals from the international community and the United Nations, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case of the Cuban Five.
We know that many persons convicted of being agents for a foreign government and for espionage against the United States and of providing classified U.S. government documents to the State of Israel, China and Taiwan have received much lighter sentences than the Cuban Five.
We know that two of the Cuban Five, Rene Gonzalez and Hernando Gonzalez have finally been released after serving their sentences.  We know that three of the Cuban Five, Gerardo Hernandez,  Ramon Labanino and Antonio Guerrero, still remain in U.S. maximum security prisons facing decades more of imprisonment.
What We Don’t Know
What we don’t know is how long the United States government will continue its 50 year old campaign against the government and people of Cuba, to include using its judicial system to violate the human and civil rights of those who attempt to prevent further criminal attacks coming from the United States on their own citizens.
What we don’t know, is when the tipping point will come through citizen activism, that at long last, a U.S. political administration will be willing to challenge the strangle-hold the right wing Cuban lobby in Miami has on American politics to ultimately correct the injustices the Cuban Five have suffered.
But, we do know that, despite its lofty pronouncements of protection of human rights around the world,  the United states government seldom holds itself accountable for its well-known abuses.
Without international and domestic education and pressure, such as this forum tonight and other important conferences of the International  Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five,  to hold the United States government accountable for its actions, accountability will not happen in these sensitive political cases.

I am honored to have had the opportunity to add my voice calling for justice for  the Cuban Five and release of the remaining three victims of U.S. injustice-- Gerardo Hernandez,  Ramon Labanino and Antonio Guerrero.

Nationalist Illusions

After thousands of years of bloody wars among contending tribes, regions, and nations, is it finally possible to dispense with the chauvinist ideas of the past? 

"I Don't Think About It" - Supreme Court Justice Explains Survival Strategy

By Susan Harman

On Sept. 10 the UC Berkeley Law School (aka Boalt Hall) held its first major speaking event of the school year. This was Sujit Choudhry, the new Dean's, first event. The guest was Rosalie Abella, Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and a mentor of Choudhry's.

They each told charming stories about the other. Then the judge gave a very literate and entertaining speech on discrimination.

At one point, as she was listing human rights violators around the world, Cynthia Papermaster said loudly, "and John Yoo walks the halls of this law school."

I asked the second question. I first thanked her and the Dean for her presentation.

Then I thanked the two of them for their respective roles in winning a little justice for Omar Khadr, who has spent his adolescence in Guantanamo (see Sharon Adams' summary here: http://www.firejohnyoo.net).

Then I asked how they deal with the cognitive dissonance that must come from believing what they do about justice, and presenting in an institution that harbors convicted war criminal John Yoo.

The Honorable Supreme Court Justice replied, "I don't think about it."

After New York: Rally for Peace and Climate in DC

An interactive townhall discussion of how we get to peace

Speakers: Andy Shallal, Barbara Wien, David Swanson, and YOU

When: Monday, September 22, 11:30-1:30

Where: SIS Founders Room, American University
4400 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016

Food and drink provided!



War, Whistleblowing, and Independent Journalism
 
Join us for the powerful documentary Body of War (co-produced and co-directed by Phil Donahue), followed by a discussion with whistleblowers and journalists.
 
When: Monday, September 22
 
6:30 pm: Body of War film screening

8 pm: Q&A with Phil Donahue

8:15 pm: Panel
*  William Binney, NSA whistleblower
*  Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, EPA whistleblower
*  Phil Donahue, journalist
*  Thomas Drake, NSA whistleblower
*  Peter Kuznick, professor of history
*  Jesselyn Radack, DOJ whistleblower
*  Kirk Wiebe, NSA whistleblower
Moderator: Norman Solomon
 
Where: American University -- Butler Board Room (located on the 6th floor above the Bender arena sports complex)

Optional: You can sign up on FaceBook here.

This event is sponsored by RootsAction.org and the Nuclear Studies Institute at American University, and co-sponsored by ExposeFacts.org.

For more information on the speakers, click here
.
 
 

Nonviolent civil resistance for peace and climate at the White House

When: Tuesday, September 23, 10 a.m.

Where: Pennsylvania Ave. in front of White House.

More information.

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