Ten Revealing War Lies

Read the initial remarks as an article at teleSUR.

Introducing IOGCC: The Most Powerful Oil and Gas Lobby You’ve Never Heard Of

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) is far from a household name, but a new investigation published by InsideClimate News' Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Lisa Song may have just put what is likely the most powerful oil and gas lobbying node you've never heard of on the map.

Image Credit: Google Maps

The problem’s that Clinton IS qualified for president: Is Bernie’s ‘Political Revolution’ the Real Thing or a Pathetic Joke?

By Dave Lindorff

 

Bernie Sanders had a shining moment last week at a massive rally in Philadelphia at the Temple University Liacouras Sports Center. The high point came when he mentioned that his opponent, Hillary Clinton, had implied that he was “not qualified” to be president -- a charge that she has continued to make in a tense campaign for the April 19 Democratic primary in New York state.

Tomgram: William Hartung, What a Waste, the U.S. Military

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

New poem by ThisCantBeHappening! resident poet Gary Lindorff: 'We are not all in the same boat'

If the 5% disappeared

And the 95% became the 100%

There would be a tomorrow.

We could buy maybe another hundred years

Ending Human Violence is a Task for Each of Us

Do you think that ending human violence is impossible? Do you believe that even aiming to do so is unrealistic? Well, you might be right. But you might also be interested to know that there are a lot of people around the world who are committed to trying. And, if you think the aim is worthwhile, you could be one of them.

Focus: New York and the Closed Primary System - Apr 11, 2016


New York's primary is ‘closed shut' to certain voters, experts say its rules prevent people from voting for their preferred candidate - ThinkProgress


The ‘wacky’ delegate rules: a New York primary primer - The Buffalo News


NY election boards inundated with calls from voters “pissed off" about registration issues - Gothamist


New York election fraud? Voters have reported problems with their registrations - Heavy.com


Can New York change to an open primary election? Voters are pushing for the State to set new rules before April 19 - Heavy.com


Protest NY's closed primary: event set for Thursday, April 14 at 12 PM at NYC City Hall - facebook.com


Two of Trump’s kids will not be voting for their father during New York’s closed primary because they missed the October deadline to register for a political party - TheBlaze.com

 

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

Trump: Primary process 'corrupt' on both Republican and Democratic sides - TheHill


VIDEO: Trump complaining about the primary process: Whether it’s me, or whether it’s Bernie Sanders... the system is corrupt - Reuters


Ordinary primary voters feel sidelined, it turns out that the world’s foremost democracy is not so purely democratic - New York Times


Closed primaries threaten our democratic ideals, a political parties’ stranglehold on the system - centralfloridafuture.com


ARCHIVE: Why Trump wins: Open primaries, maybe? - nbc.com


ARCHIVE: A stolen election: Without closed primaries, early voting system and archaic registration rules, Bernie Sanders wins - The News Hub


ARCHIVE: Bernie Sanders won Michigan due to an “open” primary. What does this mean for Hillary Clinton? - dailynewsbin.com


ARCHIVE: Arizona’s closed primary part of reason for long lines - AP


ARCHIVE: Sick of political parties, unaffiliated voters are changing politics - NPR


LIST: Presidential primary or caucus type (closed or open) by State - FairVote


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

Focus: Hillary Clinton and Campaign Finance - Apr 8, 2016


How 'Citizens United' Is helping Hillary Clinton's White House bid: Report - NBC News


REPORT (Full version): How ‘Citizens United’ is helping Hillary Clinton win the White House - Center for Public Integrity


Inside Hillary Clinton's big-money cavalry, More than a dozen groups are boosting her presidential effort - Center for Public Integrity


POLL (Ipsos): 50% think Clinton relies on super PACs and big money too much while 18% think it is right - Center for Public Integrity


POLL (Ipsos): Campaign finance full results, including all presidential candidates - Center for Public Integrity


RADIO: Interview with The Center for Public Integrity senior reporter Dave Levinthal: Clinton camp taking mega money from Super PACs - wben.com 


See how much the 2016 presidential candidates have raised so far - Center for Public Integrity


Pro-Hillary Clinton PAC spending on TV and radio ads surges (GRAPHS) - AdAge


2016 presidential campaign on track to become most expensive, surpassing $1 billion - Washington Times


How Hillary Clinton bought the loyalty of 33 State Democratic parties - counterpunch.org


Dem House super-PAC reserves $12M in TV airtime - TheHill


Union Effort to Create Super PAC Stalls - WSJ


Understanding political committees, 101 - Center for Public Integrity

 

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

Wall St is pretty certain Clinton will be president, institutional investors and online prediction markets rate the presidential candidates - CNBC


Hillary Clinton fundraiser hosted by all-star cast of financial regulators who joined Wall Street - theintercept.com


Sanders: Clinton ‘hustling money from the wealthy and the powerful' - POLITICO


Sanders links Clinton to Panama Papers scandal - Bernie Sanders


Bernie Sanders outlines plan to pare down big banks - WSJ


GE CEO op-ed: Bernie Sanders says we’re ‘destroying the moral fabric’ of America. He’s wrong. - The Washington Post


Shaky foundations: The Clintons’ so-called charitable enterprise has served as a vehicle to launder money and to enrich family friends -  Harper's Magazine


Oil Companies donated to Clinton Foundation while lobbying State Department during her tenure - ibtimes.com


Emails show Clinton intervened on behalf of tax avoiding corporate crony Corning Inc. - The Daily Caller


FBI director James Comey: No rush to finish Hillary Clinton email probe before convention - POLITICO


Why is the FBI so slow on Clinton e-mail probe? An investigation that drags on past the convention, into the fall, is more than a partisan concern. It’s unfair to the country as a whole. - Boston Globe


State Department lawyers want to limit the questions to ask former Clinton aides about her private email system and are dead set against Hillary testifying - The Daily Beast


#HillarySoQualified gets hijacked, used against Clinton - NY Daily News


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

 

Something’s happening in the presidential race: Clinton’s Crumbling, Bernie’s Surging ‘Political Revolution’ is in the Air

By Dave Lindorff


            Philadelphia -- Something “YUGE” is happening in the Democratic presidential campaign, and perhaps in the broader American body politic. It’s hard to put your finger on it, but like that feeling of your neck hairs rising off your skin as a big thunderstorm approaches, you know it’s big and it’s coming.

Tomgram: Rory Fanning, Talking to the Young in a World That Will Never Truly Be "Postwar"

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

New TCBH! poem: 'Fishing the Red Herring'

We were at Shelby’s at the bar and Jeff,

Who was watching Fox News,

Slams down his empty bottle

And says,

I’m so sick of hearing about damn red herrings

Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, Presidential Wars

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

Focus: Syria News - Apr 5, 2016


Syrian opposition says no place for Assad in Syria, ahead of a meeting in Saudi Arabia before the third round of Geneva negotiations - alaraby.co.uk


Hijab: Syrian opposition will not go further in the negotiations unless a transitional governing body formed without Assad and his clique - etilaf


Syrian opposition's High Negotiations Committee warns truce on verge of total collapse - etilaf


Syria opposition says US 'ambiguity' on Assad future is very damaging - AFP


Obama vetoed 50 plans by the CIA to engineer the downfall of the Assad regime in Syria: former agent - The Telegraph


No compromise with US over fate of Syria President Assad: senior Russian diplomat - RT


Russia ships more equipment to Syria than it removes - Business Insider


Video of military convoy new evidence Russia not pulling out of Syria (VIDEOS) - Fox News


Russian aircraft carrier to go to Mediterranean Sea carrying new fighters: source - TASS

 

Missile corvette joins Russian naval group in Mediterranean - TASS

 

Russia's Mi-28N helicopter's combat debut is Syria - TASS


Russia’s secret weapon of the Islamic State war: Mi-28 attack helicopter - The Daily Beast


Russian nuclear ballistic missile "Iskander" spotted in Syria - Zero Hedge


Moscow's campaign in Syria leads to arms sale windfall, Russian weapons exports expected to receive $6bn boost as result of ‘marketing effect’ of bombing - The Guardian

 

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

Ceasefire broken: Over the weekend Nusra Front with other Islamist groups and US-armed FSA rebels attack Syrian army in Aleppo - LA Times


Nusra Front and other armed groups attacks positions of Syrian army, Kurds on Monday: Russian Defense Ministry - TASS


Groups breaking ceasefire in Aleppo included Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham, FSA Division 13, Turkestani Islamic Party, Levant Brigade - Juan Cole


Eight Hezbollah fighters killed in Aleppo clashes over weekend - THE DAILY STAR


Three senior Iranian officers killed in confrontations with Syrian rebels in Aleppo - ARA News


VIDEO: Syrian rebels mount offensive against government forces in Aleppo - Al Jazeera


VIDEO (Arabic) - Syrian rebels’ footage of the operations in Aleppo - YouTube


VIDEO (Arabic): Free Syrian Army units moving into Khalidyah village - YouTube

 

VIDEO: State Department: U.S. unsure of ceasefire violations but Assad is the biggest violator - YouTube


Two senior intelligence analysts at U.S. Central Command say the military has forced them out of their jobs because of their skeptical reporting on U.S.-backed rebel groups in Syria - The Daily Beast

 

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

U.S. behind strike that killed Nusra Front's prominent leader Abu Firas: officials - Reuters


U.S weighs more special ops for Syria - CNNPolitics.com


Russia, U.S. discussing coordination to liberate Syria's Raqqa: Interfax - Reuters


Putin's Russian air force bombing Islamic State effectively, Pentagon concedes - Washington Times


DoD Report: Operations against Islamic State costing average of $11.4M per day - cnsnews.com


After Palmyra Syrian troops take another Islamic State-controlled town, Qaryatain is crucial for securing oil and gas pipelines and for blocking militant supply routes - AP


Destruction, razed monastery left behind by Islamic State in Syria town Qaryatain (PHOTOS) - AP


Syria: About 40 bodies reportedly found in mass grave in Palmyra, 23 of them women and children - FOX 11 Los Angeles


Islamic State fights back in Deir Zor, advances on Syrian airbase - ARA News


Islamic state militants use mustard gas in attack on Deir Zor airport: Syrian state TV - Reuters


Islamic State executes and crucify eight people in Syria's Raqqa for deserting its ranks or violating regulations - ARA News


Russian UN envoy says Turkey is key supplier of weapons to Islamic State - TASS


Turkish officers recruiting fighters for Nusra Front in Syria: Russian Defense Ministry - sputniknews.com


Erdogan uses closed-door meeting to blast Obama administration, the Turkish president says that the White House is wrong to back the Kurds in the fight against the Islamic State - Foreign Policy


Syrian Kurds proceed with federal structures despite Turkish threats - Al-Monitor


Turkish court releases all 96 Islamic State suspects who are now on trial - clarionproject.org

 

US orders diplomatic, military families out of south Turkey due to 'increased threats from terrorist groups' - AP


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

 

Tomgram: Dilip Hiro, Flashpoint for the Planet

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

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

By Dave Lindorff

 

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

 

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

 

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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

By Gar Smith

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Friends at the IRS,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,  David and Jan Hartsough

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


NATO reaches agreement With Kiev on military reforms - sputniknews.com


NATO says Russian forces in Syria complicate crisis - sputniknews.com


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


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


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


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

 

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

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


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


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


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


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

 

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

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


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


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


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


Clinton blasts Trump over NATO comments - Business Insider


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

 

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


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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

March 31, 2016 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
Contact: Robert Majors 702-646-4814 rmajors@mail.com

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

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

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

New Veteran-led Campaign Challenges Islamophobia

By Brian Trautman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The formal statement of the VCI campaign reads as follows:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Inside Drone Warfare

Speaking Events

2016

War Is A Lie: Second Edition
Book Tour

May 19, Sarasota, FL, 7:00 p.m. Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center 525 Kumquat Court, Sarasota, FL

May 20, Jacksonville, FL, 7:00 p.m., Florida Christian Center Auditorium, 1115 Edgewood Ave S, Jacksonville, FL 32205, (904) 381-4800.

May 21, Gainesville, FL
7:00 p.m.
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville, Florida
4225 NW 34th St, Gainesville, FL 32605
(352) 377-1669
Sign up on FB.


May 28, San Francisco, CA
11 a.m. to 1 p.m., David Swanson interviewed by Daniel Ellsberg, at San Francisco Main Public Library, 100 Larkin Street.
Sign up on FB.

May 28, Marin County, CA
4 to 6 p.m., David Swanson in conversation with Norman Solomon, at Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, CA
Sign up on FB.

May 29, Oakland, CA
3 to 4 p.m., David Swanson interviewed by Cindy Sheehan, at Diesel: A Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue at Kales (near Manila), Oakland, CA
Sign up on FB.

May 29, Berkeley, CA
7:30 to 9 p.m., David Swanson and Cindy Sheehan at Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, sponsored by the Social Justice Committee and Cynthia Papermaster, 1606 Bonita Ave. (at Cedar), Berkeley, CA
Sign up on FB.

May 30, Fresno, CA
2 to 4 p.m., David Swanson and Cindy Sheehan at a Peace Fresno event
Community United Church of Christ
5550 N. Fresno Street
Fresno, CA 93710


June 11 St. Paul, MN, 6 p.m. at Macalester Plymouth Church Social Hall 1658 Lincoln, St. Paul, MN.
Sign up on FB.

June 12 Minneapolis, MN, 9 and 11 a.m. at St. Joan's 4533 3rd Ave So, Minneapolis, MN, plus peace pole dedication at 2 p.m.
Sign up on FB.


Other Events Here.

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