Bill Clinton’s War: Reviewing the attack on Yugoslavia and other Clinton war acts, a study of arbitrary power and media servility

By Paul W. Lovinger

Early in U.S. history, it was firmly established that Congress made the decision to fight a war. The Constitution assigned that grave decision to the national legislative body so it wouldn’t be made often or frivolously, in the manner of Old World kings. Nowadays, the United States wages wars constantly, on the whim of a single person.

Why does a president commit those unconstitutional acts? There are the official reasons, for which he (or she?) gets free time on television networks and which make the headlines. Then there is the truth.

 To illustrate pure, presidential war-making, in which Congress and law played no direct role, take the actions of Bill Clinton. The Clintons may be back in the White House next year, albeit in reversed roles. In any event, Bill’s deeds have lessons for Americans. Had we learned them, maybe no U.S. forces would be fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and elsewhere.

Who Killed the People of California? Should Kaepernick Protest His Uniform?

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been given much deserved credit for protesting racism by sitting out the Star Spangled Banner, which not only glorifies war (which everyone, including Kaepernick is totally cool with) but also includes racism in an unsung verse and was written by a racist slave owner whose earlier version had included anti-Muslim bigotry. As long as we're opening our eyes to unpleasant history hiding in plain sight, it's worth asking why the 49ers is not a team name that everyone associates with genocide. Why isn't Kaepernick protesting his uniform?

Of course, protesting one injustice is worthy of infinite thanks, and I don't actually expect anyone who speaks out on one thing to also protest everything else. But I've just read a terrific new book that I suspect unearths a history that most Californians are largely unaware of. The book is An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873, by Benjamin Madley, from Yale University Press. I doubt I've seen a better researched and documented book on anything ever. While the book maintains an engaging chronological account, and while there is plenty of uncertainty in the records used, the 198 pages of appendices listing particular killings, and the 73 pages of notes back up an overwhelming case of genocide by the UN's legal definition.

Paying the Price for Peace to be screened with the director at UVA on 9/29

WHAT: Screening of Paying the Price for Peace: The Story of S. Brian Willson, and discussion with the director Bo Boudart and with peace activist David Swanson. See

WHEN: 7-11 p.m., Thursday, September 29

WHERE: Commonwealth Room, Newcomb Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.

HOST: Students for Peace and Justice in Palestine

COSPONSORS: World Beyond War,, the Peace and Social Concerns Committee of Charlottesville Friends Meeting, Pax Christi, Amnesty International - Charlottesville, and Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice. (More welcome!)

COST: No one turned away. Donation appreciated: $10, or $20 to leave with a copy of the DVD. Donations pay for Bo Boudart's travel. You can also donate at

Please sign up on Facebook if you want to come, and please share it to spread the word:

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Focus: Libya News - Sept 14, 2016

Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army seize forth oil port Brega in Libya - Al Jazeera

VIDEO: Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army seize oil port Brega in Libya - Al Jazeera

LNA spokesman: Captured ports handed over to Libya National Oil Company, Haftar's forces would continue to guard the ports - AFP

Libya oil company chief says to 'begin work immediately to restart exports' from seized ports - Reuters

Libyan National Oil Company's positive statement on port seizures -

Libya UN-backed government rules out military response to captured oil ports, calls for urgent talks with Eastern rivals - The National

UN-backed Presidency Council divided on Libyan National Army's takeover of oil terminals as Hafter and HoR president call for exports to resume -

U.S., Europe condemn Gen. Haftar’s for seizing Libyan oil terminals - World Tribune

Joint Statement on Libya by the Governments of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States -

Italian FM: Oil ports attack destabilizing the country, conducted by Sudanese and Chadian rebels loyal to Haftar - The Libya Observer

Libyans to hold mass demonstrations in support of Libyan National Army, reject foreign intervention -

Kobler tells UN Security Council Hafter has a role, but bats away a reporter’s question about what might be done to persuade Hafter to start talking to the Presidency Council -

Libyan economy faces possible collapse, Kobler warns - VOA

Libya is now a major drug trafficking juncture to Europe, after the 2011 NATO intervention - The Daily Caller

Report: 82 per cent of migrants in Italy complain of violence at camps -



British lawmakers condemn 2011 intervention in Libya, say based on poor intelligence and leading to the rise of the Islamic State - New York Times

Libyan intervention based on erroneous assumptions; David Cameron ultimately responsible - UK Parliament

Full Report: Libya: Examination of intervention and collapse and the UK's future policy options - House of Commons, Foreign Affairs Committee

David Cameron saw doubts over Libya as unhelpful, says ex-Forces chief - London Evening Standard

David Cameron must be summoned to Parliament to explain his decision to invade Libya, says Tory MP -

Cameron's resignation as MP comes two days before DAMNING Libya report - Daily Express

David Cameron's warmongering in Libya resulted in catastrophe but only 15 MPs opposed it at the time, among them Jeremy Corbyn - anotherangryvoice

ARCHIVE: Hillary's huge Libya disaster, she strongly advocated and succeeded in convincing the administration to intervene militarily - The National Interest

ARCHIVE: Secret tapes reveal Pentagon officials distrusted Hillary Clinton on Libya, opened their own diplomatic channels with the Gadhafi regime to halt the escalating crisis - Washington Times

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

Suing Saudi: Congress Is Right, Stephen Kinzer Is Wrong

Now there you have two things that I never expected to write. How often is Congress right about anything or Stephen Kinzer wrong? Congress wants 9/11 victims' families to be able to sue Saudi Arabia for its role in those crimes. Kinzer does not.

It's not that he doesn't care about victims' families. It's not that he's worried about disturbing relations with the Saudi monarchy (which could perhaps stop selling the United States the fossilized poison it uses to ruin the earth's climate, or stop buying U.S. weapons and working with the U.S. military to blow up little children in Yemen, or perhaps increase or decrease its support for ISIS depending on which of those options the U.S. makes up its mind to oppose). No, Kinzer's concern is that if you let one set of criminals be held accountable for their crimes, other criminals might be held accountable for their crimes as well.

Kinzer's is an argument designed to win over Congress (which doesn't really answer to rational argumentation) or the President (who already agrees with it). But it's not an argument that should win over you or me.

"Americans have a right to be furious with some foreign governments," writes Kinzer. "People in other countries have an equal right to be furious with the United States. We best address that fury not with lawsuits, but by changing the way we approach the world."

If laws are to "address fury" I'd like to abolish every last one of them, domestic and international, as an embarrassment to our species. In reality, the best laws are powerful tools with which to "change the way we approach the world." Obamesque "looking forward" -- that is, granting immunity to all powerful law breakers and wishing they wouldn't continue their law breaking -- does not work. Neither, of course, does bombing families in Libya or Syria based on the flimsy allegation that someone powerful managed to break a law that happened to be the one law not to ignore that day.

Kinzer's concern that suing Saudi Arabia could result in law suits against the United States is misguided nationalism. Why does suing Saudi Arabia not bother him? Why does suing the United States bother him? If Saudi Arabia kills large numbers of people, every nonviolent tool at our disposal ought to be used to put an end to that, to deter its repetition, to seek restitution, and to work for reconciliation. And the exact same applies to the U.S. government.

This was the pretense at Nuremberg, that victor's justice would someday become universal justice, that the people of the United States would want their own government held to the rule of law. This is why 37 thousand U.S. citizens thanked Spain for trying to prosecute U.S. officials for war crimes a few years ago, when the U.S. government had made clear that it would never do so itself. Instead it brought pressure to bear on Spain that shut down the prosecution.

Of course, a country that doesn't want to be sued (by its own people as well as foreigners) could abide by the rule of law or enforce its treaty obligations itself, as legally required to do anyway. Of what real use is a law that a blatant violator cannot be brought to court over? The UN Charter and the Kellogg-Briand Pact make seven current U.S. wars illegal, plus numerous drone killings if you claim they constitute "war." They're illegal as murder is you claim they do not constitute "war." Kidnapping, torture, spying, sabotaging -- these things are crimes. Those instances of these crimes that are in the past should indeed be brought to court in the present, unless the United States sees its way clear to apologizing and making restitution to the satisfaction of the victims.

But here's the real problem. If disputes could be taken to court, instead of to war, potential terrorists would become potential litigants, and Pentagon propaganda for the next war would become a lawsuit instead. Did the latest "Hitler" really truly use the wrong kind of weapon? Don't bomb the residents of his capital. Take him to court instead. Take him to arbitration. Take him to a truth and reconciliation commission. Because if you don't, if you bomb some cities instead, you should have to expect that victims families will be taking you to court.

If U.S. officials find that they must constantly be looking over their shoulders to make sure they aren't going to be taken to court, they will simply be joining the rest of us who are -- horror of horrors! -- obliged to comply with every existing law every day of the year.

Security Firm Guarding Dakota Access Pipeline Also Used Psychological Warfare Tactics for BP

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

G4S, a company hiring security staff to guard the hotly contested Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL), also works to guard oil and gas industry assets in war-torn Iraq, and has come under fire by the United Nations for human rights abuses allegedly committed while overseeing a BP pipeline in Colombia and elsewhere while on other assignments.

Talk Nation Radio: Elizabeth Murray and John Kiriakou on Working in a Corrupt Government and Whistleblowing

maxresdefaultJohn Kiriakou is a former CIA counterterrorism officer, who in 2007 became the first U.S. Government official to publicly confirm and describe CIA use of waterboarding on al-Qaeda prisoners, which he described as torture. In January 2013, Kiriakou was sentenced to 30 months in prison and was released after serving more than 23 months. Since then, he has become a tireless writer and speaker on whistleblowing, torture, and civil liberties. Kiriakou is the sole U.S. Government official to have been jailed for any reason relating to CIA torture – a victim of the Obama administration’s unprecedented crackdown on government truth-tellers. When President Obama openly acknowledged at a White House press conference on August 1, 2014, “We tortured some folks,” John was in prison for having said essentially the same thing seven years earlier.

kathyElizabeth Murray served as Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East in the National Intelligence Council before retiring after a 27-year career in the U.S. government. She is a member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), and of Sam Adams Associates. She writes for Consortium News.

Murray and Kiriakou will be speaking at No War 2016. See

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Tomgram: Aviva Chomsky, Deportations "R" Us

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

Why We Must Go to the Pentagon on September 26, 2016

A call to action from the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR):

As people of conscience and nonviolence we go to the Pentagon, the seat of the United States military might, to call for an end to the ongoing wars and occupations waged and supported by the US. War is directly linked to poverty and the destruction of the Earth’s habitat. The preparations for more war and a new US nuclear arsenal are a threat to all life on the planet.

This September as we observe the United Nations International Day of Peace, the great many actions around the country for Campaign Nonviolence, and the “No War 2016” conference in Washington, DC we call upon our political leaders, and those at the Pentagon to stop the planning and waging of war.

September 11, 2016 marked 15 years since the Bush regime used the criminal terrorist attacks as an excuse to wage a series of unending wars and occupations continuing still under President Obama. These wars and occupations waged by the US are in fact illegal and immoral and must end.

We demand that the planning and production for a new nuclear arsenal stop. As the first and only country to use nuclear weapons on civilians, we call upon the US to take the lead in real and meaningful nuclear disarmament initiatives so that one day all nuclear weapons will be abolished.

We demand an end to NATO and other military war-games around the world.  NATO must be disbanded as it is clearly hostile to Russia thus threatening world peace. Military plans commonly referred to as the US’ “Asian Pivot” are provoking and creating ill will with China. Instead we call for real diplomatic efforts to address conflict with both China and Russia.

We demand that the US immediately start closing its military bases abroad. The US has hundreds of military bases and installations around the world. There is no need for the US to continue to have bases and military installations in Europe, Asia, and Africa while expanding its military alliances with India and the Philippines. All of this does nothing to create a secure and peaceful world.

We demand an end to environmental ecocide resulting from war. The Pentagon is the largest single polluter of fossil fuels in the world. Our dependence on fossil fuels is destroying Mother Earth. Resource wars are a reality we must avoid. An end to war and occupation will lead us on a path to saving our planet.

We demand an end to US military and foreign aid and support for proxy wars. Saudi Arabia is waging an illegal war against the people of Yemen. The US is supplying weapons and military intelligence to this corrupt undemocratic country ruled by a despotic and extremist royal family which oppresses women, LGBT people, other minorities, and dissidents within Saudi Arabia. The US gives billions of dollars in military aid to Israel where the Palestinian people have faced decades of oppression and dispossession. Israel has continuously used its military might on the unarmed Palestinians of Gaza and the West Bank. It imposes an Apartheid state and prison camp conditions on the Palestinian people. We call on the US to cut off all foreign and military aid to these countries violating international law and human rights.

We demand the US government renounce regime change as a policy against the Assad government of Syria. It must cease funding Islamic extremists and other groups attempting to overthrow the Syrian government. Supporting groups fighting to overthrow Assad does nothing for peace and even justice for the people of Syria.

We demand the US government support refugees fleeing from war-torn countries.  The unending wars and occupations have created the largest refugee crisis since the last world war. Our wars and occupations are causing human misery by forcing people to leave their homes. If the US cannot bring about peace in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and the Middle East then it must withdraw, end military funding for proxy wars and occupations, and allow others to work towards stability and peace.

Since September 11, 2001 US society has seen its local police forces become militarized, civil liberties attacked, mass surveillance by the government, the rise in Islamophobia, all while our children are still recruited in the schools by the military. The path to war since that day has not made us safer or the world more secure. The path to war has been an utter failure for almost all on the planet except for those who profit from war and the economic system which impoverishes us all in so many ways.  We don’t have to live in a world like this. This is not sustainable.

Therefore, we go to the Pentagon where the empire’s wars are planned and waged. We demand an end to this madness. We call for a new beginning where Mother Earth is protected and where poverty will be eradicated because we will all share our resources and redirect our economy towards a world without war.

To join us, sign up at

We will also be delivering to the Pentagon a petition to close Ramstein Air Base in Germany, as U.S. whistleblowers and Germans together deliver it to the German government in Berlin. Sign that petition at

The event at the Pentagon at 9 a.m. Monday, September 26, follows a three day conference, with a planning and training session at 2 p.m. on Sunday, September 25. See the full agenda:

Libya News - Sept 12, 2016


In a blow to the UN-backed Libyan government, forces loyal to eastern commander Haftar tighten their control over four major oil ports - Reuters

Capture of oil facilities resets power equations between the two Libya rival governments - The National

Haftar, the strongman who seems himself as Libya's saviour - AFP

VIDEO: Haftar's oil blitz could fatally undermine UN-backed Libyan government - YouTube

VIDEO (Arabic): Field Marshal Haftar of Libyan National Army announces a successful campaign 2free key coastal cities - Egypt Built on Twitter

ARCHIVE: Former CIA asset Haftar has become a U.S. headache in Libya - The Washington Post

ARCHIVE: La Stampa: Rift between Haftar and France pushes him to enlist Russia's aid - The Libya Observer

Seizure of oil terminals sparks call for military action, UN-backed Libya government GNA calls on forces to protect ports against ‘flagrant aggression’ by rival administration - The Guardian

Statement (Arabic) of UN-backed Libya government GNA on the Haftar forces attacking oil ports of Es Sider, Ras Lanuf, Brega & Zueitina - SaadAbedine on Twitter 

UN-backed Libyan governement’s plans to restore oil production suffer a significant setback - Bloomberg


Kobler: I call for immediate cessation of hostilities in oil crescent, respect for Libyan political agreement and recognizing Presidency Council / GNA as the sole executive authority in Libya - UNSMIL

EU statement: Libya's energy infrastructures must remain under the sole control of the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) as the sole legitimate government - EU

Turkey condemns Haftar forces attack on Libya oil fields - Daily Sabah

MAP: Libya oil and gas infrastructure - IFI Advisory on Twitter



‘Fighting to die’: Fresh IS attacks delay liberation of Sirte - Middle East Eye

Sirte battle pauses as IS feared in rear areas -

19 U.S. airstrikes in support of GNA against Daesh: Sept. 9 to 11 - United States Africa Command

US carried out more than 140 strikes on IS in Libya in six weeks -

ARCHIVE: Libya hospital overwhelmed by wounded in anti-IS fight - Daily Mail Online

Italy to open hospital, deploy 200 soldiers and 100 doctors and nurses to Libya: source - Reuters


Weekend migrant rescue tally off Libya at 3,400, Italy is sheltering growing numbers of would-be refugees as its European neighbors to the north move to tighten their borders - The Japan Times

Clashes in Tripoli between Tripoli Revolutionaries’ Brigade and Misratan forces -

ARCHIVE: Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade seized General Intelligence Department HQs after clashes in Tripoli - The Libya Observer

Libya in world top ten for graft -



Former Deputy Chief of Mission for Libya Gregory Hicks op-ed: What the Benghazi attack taught me about Hillary Clinton - Nwo Report

VIDEO: Interview with Gregory Hicks on the Benghazi attack - Fox News

Pompeo: 'Scores and scores' of Benghazi documents not yet seen -

After Clinton fails to respond to lawsuit, parents of Benghazi victims want judgment against her - LawNewz


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

Tomgram: Bill Moyers, Money and Power in America

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Isn't It Time to Ban the Bomb?

Although the mass media failed to report it, a landmark event occurred recently in connection with resolving the long-discussed problem of what to do about nuclear weapons.  On August 19, 2016, a UN committee, the innocuously-named Open-Ended Working Group, voted to recommend to the UN General Assembly that it mandate the opening of negotiations in 2017 on a treaty to ban them.

Snowden: Best Film of the Year

Snowden is the most entertaining, informing, and important film you are likely to see this year.

It's the true story of an awakening. It traces the path of Edward Snowden's career in the U.S. military, the CIA, the NSA, and at various contractors thereof. It also traces the path of Edward Snowden's agonizingly slow awakening to the possibility that the U.S. government might sometimes be wrong, corrupt, or criminal. And of course the film takes us through Snowden's courageous and principled act of whistleblowing.

We see in the film countless colleagues of Snowden's who knew much of what he knew and did not blow the whistle. We see a few help him and others appreciate him. But they themselves do nothing. Snowden is one of the exceptions. Other exceptions who preceded him and show up in the film include William Binney, Ed Loomis, Kirk Wiebe, and Thomas Drake. Most people are not like these men. Most people obey illegal orders without ever making a peep.

And yet, what strikes me about Snowden and many other whistleblowers I've met or learned about, is how long it took them, and the fact that what brought them around was not an event they objected to but a change in their thinking. U.S. officials who've been part of dozens of wars and coups and outrages for decades will decide that the latest war is too much, and they'll bail out, resign publicly, and become an activist. Why now? Why not then, or then, or then, or that other time?

These whistleblowers -- and Snowden is no exception -- are not passive or submissive early in their careers. They're enthusiastic true believers. They want to spy and bomb and kill for the good of the world. When they find out that's not what's happening, they go public for the good of the world. There is that consistency to their actions. The question, then, is how smart, dedicated young people come to believe that militarism and secrecy and abusive power are noble pursuits.

Oliver Stone's Ed Snowden begins as a "smart conservative." But the only smart thing we see about him is his computer skills. We never hear him articulate some smart political point of view that happens to be "conservative." His taste in books includes Ayn Rand, hardly an indication of intelligence. But on the computers, Snowden is a genius. And on that basis his career advances.

Snowden has doubts about the legality of warrantless spying, but believes his CIA instructor's ludicrous defense. Later, Snowden has such concerns about CIA cruelty he witnesses that he resigns. Yet, at the same time, he believes that presidential candidate Barack Obama will undo the damage and set things right.

How does one explain such obtuseness in a genius? Obama's statements making perfectly clear that the wars and outrages would roll on were publicly available. I found them with ordinary search engines, needing no assistance from the NSA.

Snowden resigned, but he didn't leave. He started working for contractors. He came to learn that a program he'd created was being used to assist in lawless and reckless, not to mention murderous, drone murders. That wasn't enough.

He came to learn that the U.S. government was lawlessly spying on the whole world and spying more on the United States than on Russia. (Why spying on Russia was OK we aren't told.) But that, too, wasn't enough.

He came to learn that the U.S. was spying on its allies and enemies alike, even inserting malware into allies' infrastructure in order to be able to destroy things and kill people should some country cease to be an ally someday. That, too, was not enough.

Snowden went on believing that the United States was the greatest country on earth. He went on calling his work "counter cyber" and "counter spying" as if only non-Americans can do spying or cyber-warfare, while the United States just tries to gently counter such acts. In fact, Snowden risked his life, refraining from taking medication he needed, so that he could continue doing that work. He defended such recklessness as justified by the need to stop Chinese hackers from stealing billions of dollars from the U.S. government. Apart from the question of which Chinese hackers did that, what did Snowden imagine it was costing U.S. taxpayers to fund the military?

Snowden's career rolled on. But Edward Snowden's brilliant mind was catching up with reality and at some point overtook it. And then there was no question that he would do what needed to be done. Just as he designed computer programs nobody else could, and that nobody else even thought to try, now he designed a whistleblowing maneuver that would not be stopped as others had.

Consequently, we must be grateful that good and decent people sometimes start out believing Orwellian tales. Dull, cowardly, and servile people never blow whistles.

An Open Letter to the People of Brazil

As I read of the latest coup in Brazil, once again removing a democratically elected leader from power, my anger surged. Not again! However, as I see and read about the ongoing massive protests, as well as calls by prominent community leaders to mobilize in defense of your country's democracy, I feel great hope for Brazil. Having been a nonviolent activist for many years, I would like to support Brazilian activists to develop a nonviolent strategy that will increase your chances of success.

Focus: The FBI Investigation of Clinton Emails - Sept 9, 2016

DOJ reportedly granted immunity to computer expert Combetta who deleted Clinton emails - Fox News

Server was wiped with BleachBit by Combetta after a conference call with Bill Clinton's aides - The Daily Caller

Timeline leading up to Combetta wiping Hillary's server - Zero Hedge

Invoice shows Clintons paying for Combetta’s travel and legal assistance, it raises the question of how independent his cooperation with the FBI was - Complete Colorado

House Oversight panel zeroes in on deletion of Clinton emails, is on track to hold three hearings in five days - TheHill

Committee chairs want DOJ interviews with Clinton's server IT team - POLITICO

Trump, Gowdy hit reported immunity deal connected to Clinton email controversy - POLITICO

Statement on the immunity granted to the IT worker who deleted Clinton emails while they were under a preservation order from Congress - Donald J Trump for President

VIDEO: Gowdy blasts Department of Justice for giving immunity to 'triggerman' who deleted Clinton emails - YouTube

Editorial: A fishy story in Platte River Networks' purge of Clinton e-mails - Denver Post

Obstruction of justice and destruction of evidence haunt Hillary’s future - National Review

The FBI’s blind Clinton trust, Comey’s agents were forgiving about some incriminating evidence - WSJ

VIDEO: FBI ignored key evidence in its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private server - WSJ

How the FBI went easy on Hillary Clinton - New York Post

Did the FBI botch the Clinton email investigation? - Fox News

FBI managers instructed to exonerate Hillary Clinton - Washington Times

Was the FBI handcuffed from doing a credible full-fledged transparent national security investigation on Clinton emails? - Forbes

VIDEO: Fox’s Judge Napolitano just flat out accused FBI of corruption - YouTube

FBI Director Comey defends decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton over email servers - CBS News

Hill Republicans: Clinton investigations won’t stop if she wins - POLITICO

Clinton email had 'multiple' classified markings, challenging her claim to FBI - Fox News

Clinton comes up with ANOTHER new email excuse - AEI


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


International Union for the Conservation of Nature Ignores Impact of Militarism

U.S. Military Forgets to Mention Its Fuel Consumption, Carbon Footprint, Destruction of Nature During Presentations at World Conservation Congress

By Ann Wright

The worldwide, prestigious World Conservation Congress of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) was held in Honolulu this week. The IUCN has come in for criticism for its lack of focus on the detrimental effects of wars and military operations on nature.  Considering the degree of harm coming from these human activities one would think that the organization would have a specific theme and a series of workshops on that theme.  Of the over 1300 workshops crammed into a 6-day marathon environmental meeting, followed by 4 days of discussion of internal resolutions, nothing specifically addressed the destruction of the environment by military operations and wars.

The heavy funding the IUCN gets from governments is undoubtedly the rationale for not addressing this "elephant in the room" in a conference for the protection of the endangered planet-a tragic commentary on a powerful organization that should acknowledge all pressures on the planet.

New poem by TCBH resident poet Gary Lindorff -- 'Monsanto and the EPA: How are they doing?"

Monsanto is walking

With his best friend-with-benefits, the EPA:

So why are you dragging your heels

Signing off on glyphosate?

Documents: How Big Oil Pushed to Make Dakota Access-Style Permitting a New Normal

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

In the two months leading up to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' decision to issue to the Dakota Access pipeline project an allotment of Nationwide 12 permits (NWP) — a de facto fast-track federal authorization of the project — an army of oil industry players submitted comments to the Corps to ensure that fast-track authority remains in place going forward.

This fast-track permitting process is used to bypass more rigorous environmental and public review for major pipeline infrastructure projects by treating them as smaller projects.

A win and a loss, at least for now: Federal Judge finds 8th Amendment Violation in Pennslvania’s Refusal to Treat Mumia's Hep-C

By Dave Lindorff


Depending on how you look at it, lawyers for Mumia Abu-Jamal, the Philadelphia journalist and political prisoner serving a life sentence in a Pennsylvania prison after a controversial 1982 conviction for killing a white Philadelphia police officer, won a huge victory, lost big or maybe won and will win again soon.

The Trumpillary War Machine Is Bad News

I was fortunate enough to view a screening of the new Snowden movie Wednesday evening with some of the whistleblowers who have cameos in it and with its director Oliver Stone. I'm not allowed to review it until Saturday night, but it is a truly great movie and has the potential to be the most widely seen, heard, or read thing of any political decency or truth in the world this year. That's not, however, why I'm glad I saw it.

I'm glad I watched Snowden because it gave me an extra several hours of living on earth without having yet seen the NBC special on the Trumpillary war machine, in which first Hillary Clinton and then Donald Trump promised NBC they'd wage plenty of wars. Earlier, on Wednesday I had posted this on my Facebook page:

Here are a few of my favorite facts that you will not learn tonight from NBC, Donald Trump, or Hillary Clinton: Nonviolent resistance is more effective than violence and its victories longer lasting. Peaceful spending or even tax cuts for working people is economically superior to military spending. The war on terrorism has increased terrorism, including in the seven nations the United States has bombed this year. Over half of federal discretionary spending, through multiple departments, is dumped into war preparations each year, about as much as the rest of the world's nations combined. The U.S. is the top arms dealer to dictatorships abroad, and today's wars typically have U.S. weapons on both sides. The U.S. Army can't figure out what it did with $6.5 trillion this year, while the United Nations says that $30 billion a year could end starvation on earth. Every recent U.S. war has been illegal under the U.N. Charter and the Kellogg Briand Pact. Over 95% of the victims of every recent U.S. war have been on the other side, and the vast majority of them civilian. The top destroyer of the natural environment is the U.S. military. Routinely bombing Muslim countries, giving war weapons and war training to local police, and expecting non-racist, law-abiding policing cannot work. The U.S. backed a violent coup in Ukraine. Sitting out the National Anthem is not "true patriotism" but a truly courageous challenge to the poison of patriotism.

NBC did not disappoint. Matt Lauer did not ask Trumpillary how much money, even within a quarter trillion dollars or so, they would like spent. He did not ask which wars, if any, they would end or start. He did not ask how many people they would murder with drones. He did not ask if they would kidnap or torture or murder in prisons. He did not ask about foreign aid. He did not ask about leading by example. He did not ask about climate change. He did not ask about the arms trade or the bombing of Yemen. He did not ask about the announcement ISIS had just made of having named a U.S.-trained (and, of course, U.S.-armed) sniper as its Minister of War. He did not ask about the racism and violence permeating U.S. culture. I don't think any of the three people (Clinton, Trump, Lauer) or any of the veterans asking questions ever said the word "peace."

Lauer opened by claiming that September 11th launched years of war. In fact, the U.S. government launched years of war.

NBC then showed clips of 9/11 and of Obama announcing the killing of Osama bin Laden, but not a single image of a single body or bombed out house. After 15 years of immoral, illegal, catastrophic murder sprees, Clinton began by taking credit for her "experience" of having been part of making all those wars happen.

So, Lauer asked her, not about any of those wars, but about her emails. Eventually he turned to Iraq, and she claimed to have learned her lesson. Although she still wanted war in Libya and several other countries and still wants it badly in Syria (though Lauer didn't get into that), so she's clearly learned nothing. She did claim accurately that Trump backed war on Iraq and Libya too, while still claiming inaccurately that Gaddafi was planning a massacre. Lauer confirmed and corrected nothing.

What if Iran cheats on its nuclear agreement, Lauer wanted to know. Clinton then lied about Iranian hostility, blamed Iran for supporting Syria against U.S.-backed attacks, and "improved" Ronald Reagan's phrase to "distrust but verify."

Clinton promised no ground troops in Iraq, but there already are U.S. ground troops in Iraq. Lauer said nothing. Clinton promised to "go after" ISIS leader Baghdadi for the purpose of "focusing our attention." This is war for propaganda, not just propaganda for war.

Turning to Trump, he opened by claiming that Russian planes and Iranian ships are taunting the United States. Remind me again which coast of the United States the Baltic Sea and the Persian Gulf are on.

Trump then lied that he opposed attacking Iraq. Lauer said . . . (you guessed it) nothing. Trump also, if at odds with that lie, lied that Obama ended the war on Iraq and that so doing was a terrible thing.

Trump claimed, with as straight a face as he can manage, that it was a big success for him that the people who brought him to Mexico have now been thrown out of the government as a result.

A pre-approved veteran asked Trump how "defeating" a terrorist group won't just produce a new one. Trump talked a while without answering and then said "Take the Oil." Steal Iraq's oil. That was Trump's answer. If you steal their oil, then they can't have any power, he suggested. Trump seemed to believe no hostility or resentment would find any leverage after such a theft, that such a theft could be completed quickly, and that he was providing us with new information as "people don't know this about Iraq" (that it has among the world's largest reserves of oil).

Lauer asked Trump if he really has a plan to "defeat ISIS." It was clear he does not.

NBC had a veteran ask how Trump would deescalate tensions with Russia. He answered by claiming Russian airplanes are engaged in hostility against the United States. That ought to do it.

Then Lauer piled on, falsely and baselessly blaming Putin for aggression in Ukraine and interference in the U.S. election, and blaming Russia for  supporting Syria and Iran.

Lauer and vets asked Trumpillary about caring for veterans, all taking it as unquestionable that more veterans must be produced through more wars. Trump even said that he'd let immigrants remain in the United States if they would "serve" . . . not his dinner apparently, but his war machine, Hillary's war machine, NBC's war machine, Comcast's war machine, the war machine of people who've watched this stuff for 15 years and started to believe it's the way normal decent human beings should be allowed to behave.

Tomgram: Engelhardt, A 9/11 Retrospective: Washington's 15-Year Air War

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

Focus: United States and Russia - Sept 7, 2016

Ash Carter: Russia sowing seeds of global instability through coercion and aggression - The Washington Post

VIDEO (Full speech): Ash Carter: Russia’s aggression and ISIL’s barbarism are robust challenges for U.S. - DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

TRANSCRIPT: Secretary of Defense Speech at the University of Oxford - DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Trump campaign slams Defense Secretary Ash Carter's attack on Russia -

Trump blasts Clinton as 'trigger-happy', says her legacy in Iraq, Libya and Syria 'has produced only turmoil and suffering and death’ - POLITICO

TRANSCRIPT: Trump's speech: 'We want to achieve a stable, peaceful world with less conflict and more common ground...This will require rethinking the failed policies of the past - Washington Examiner

POLL: Donald Trump leads Hillary Clinton by 19 points among military, veteran voters - Washington Times

Tim Kaine: Hillary Clinton plans to strengthen European Allies against Russia - Sputnik

Hillary Clinton suggests alleged Russian hacking is designed to help Trump, says the Republican nominee has 'allied himself with Putin's policies' - NBC News

Clapper: Russians hack U.S. computer networks 'all the time' - POLITICO

Guccifer 2.0 denies Russian involvement in hack of Democratic Party - WSJ



U.S., Russia divided on way forward in Syria: State Department - Reuters

Foreign Ministry statement: Russia expresses "grave concern” about the advance of Turkish troops in Syria - MFA Russia on Twitter

Turkey ready to join US in capturing Raqqa from ISIS: Erdogan - Business Insider

Turkey seeks to establish ‘safe zone’ along Syrian border -

White House dismisses Turkey's suggestion for Syria no-fly zone - Daily Sabah

Boris Johnson insists Russia should end ‘indefensible’ support for Assad regime in Syria - The Independent


UK Foreign Office spent £1m on US lobbying on behalf of Syrian opposition - The Independent

Syrian opposition unveils road map for transition: Assad must go after six months, adding it will reject any US-Russia deal that strays from its terms - Al Jazeera

Text of the Syrian opposition transitional plan -

Iraq Shite militia says it has dispatched more than 1,000 fighters to join battle for Syria's Aleppo - Reuters

VIDEO: Saudi Arabia FM's thoughts on fresh attempt to end Syria conflict - BBC News

Ukraine's president Poroshenko warns that a full-scale invasion from Russia could be on the horizon, with Europe powerless to fight the Kremlin's ‘aggression' - Daily Mail Online

President Poroshenko: Our strategic goal is NATO membership - Official website of the President of Ukraine

Poroshenko: Loss of Russian market has cost Ukraine $15 billion -

Ukraine's alleged pro-Russian Inter TV burned, picketed -

Pentagon head Ashton Carter to meet with Ukrainian partners in London -

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


Bob Kerrey Asked to Resign Over His War Crimes

7 September 2016
Dear Mr. Kerrey,

We are writing with the heartfelt and urgent request that you resign from your position as chairman of the Fulbright University Viet Nam (FUV) board of trustees.

It is our firm belief that you should never have been offered this appointment and, having been offered it, should have declined the offer. We strongly believe that there are other more appropriate roles for you to play in support of FUV, and that there are better qualified people without your historical baggage.

Mark Bowyer, an expat in Viet Nam, expressed doubt in an early June 2016 blog post that “reminding the world of previously unpunished US atrocities in Viet Nam is a judicious use of the political capital accumulated during Barack Obama’s recent successful visit.”

Shawn McHale, a George Washington University colleague, wrote the following comment in response to your interview with WBUR’s “Here & Now” program:

Bob Kerrey is letting his ego get in the way of US-Vietnamese rapprochement. The man has done a lot of good -- but killing civilians, a war crime, makes him unfit to be head of the Fulbright University Vietnam Board of Trustees. For the good of the university, he should recognize that he is not the person for the job.

Finally, Linh Dinh, a Vietnamese-American writer, poet, and a signatory to this letter, wrote that

“This sick and vain spectacle is hurting not just him but the university. By hanging on, he's focusing the spotlight on his war crime.”

We agree with these assessments. Your appointment is a politically- and emotionally-charged issue that is not going to go away, least of all in Viet Nam. In early June, you told the New York Times via email that you would resign, if you felt your role were jeopardizing FUV. That time is now.

There are many US veterans who have returned to Viet Nam to do penance, so to speak, some on short trips and others for the long haul. They are each making a modest contribution, trying to find a way to give back, to make amends, to make whole that which they and their government tried to destroy. On a personal level, as you can imagine, they also find this experience to be therapeutic and even cathartic.

We’d like to take the liberty of offering you some advice. Travel to Thanh Phong. Arrange to meet with the victims’ family members and the survivors. Ask for their forgiveness. Burn incense and pray at the graves of the people you and your unit killed. And do all of this with the greatest sincerity, contrition, and humility.

Offer to meet a local need, to build something of lasting value that will benefit the community. We believe that these acts will be greatly appreciated and may help you find a measure of peace. You could even invite the other members of your unit to join you.

Thank you for taking the time to read our note. We look forward to hearing from you.

Wishing you peace and happiness,

Mark A. Ashwill
Hanoi, Viet Nam
Educator; First US American to be awarded a Fulbright Senior Specialist Grant to Viet Nam, 2003
Author of Bob Kerrey and Fulbright University – What were they thinking? (7-8-16)

Patrick Barrett, Ph.D.
Madison, WI
Havens Center for Social Justice University of Wisconsin-Madison

Linh Dinh
Philadelphia, PA
Political essayist, fiction writer, poet and translator. Author of Postcards from the End of America

Mike Hastie
Portland, OR
Army Medic Vietnam

C. J. Hopkins
Berlin, Germany
Playwright, author of Horse Country, The Extremists, and screwmachine/eyecandy, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Big Bob

Sanford Kelson
Conneaut Lake, PA
Lawyer, Labor Arbitrator, Educator – Lessons of the Vietnam War

Ann Hibner Koblitz
Tempe, AZ
Professor of Women and Gender Studies, Arizona State University and Director of the Kovalevskaia Fund

Neal Koblitz
Seattle, WA
Professor of Mathematics, University of Washington

Dr. Deepa Kumar
New Brunswick, NJ
Professor of Media Studies, Rutgers University Activist, Unionist, Author

John Marciano
Talent, OR
Professor Emeritus, State University of New York
Author, American War in Vietnam: Crime or Commemoration?

Tom Miller
Berkeley, CA
President, Green Cities Fund
Co-founder, Center for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery established in Saigon in 1966 to treat war-injured children
Co-founder Vietnam Green Building Council

Viet Thanh Nguyen
Los Angeles, CA
Aerol Arnold Chair of English and Associate Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at
the University of Southern California
Author of The Sympathizer, Awards: Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Edgar Award for Best First Novel by an American Author
Author of Bob Kerrey and the ‘American Tragedy’ of Vietnam (6-20-16)

T.T Nhu
Berkeley, CA

Andrew Pearson
Kittery Point, ME
TV news and documentaries

Peter Shaw
State College, PA
Korean War veteran, co-founder of the State College Peace Center and creator of its documentary film series, lifetime member of Veterans for Peace.

John Stauber
Madison, WI
Founder, Center for Media and Democracy
Author of books, including Weapons of Mass Deception

Jeffrey St. Clair
Portland, OR
Editor of CounterPunch; Author of Born Under a Bad Sky

Paul Street
Iowa City, IA
Journalist and author of Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics

David Swanson
Charlottesville, VA
Director, World Beyond War
Author of books, including War Is A Lie

Michael Uhl, Ph.D.
Walpole, ME
Author of Vietnam Awakening: My Journey from Combat to the Citizens Commission of Inquiry on US War Crimes and The War I Survived Was Vietnam: Collected Writings of a Veteran and Antiwar Activist (Oct. 2016)

Douglas Valentine
Longmeadow, MA
Author of The Phoenix Program

Peter Van Buren
New York City, NY Former US Diplomat

S. Brian Willson
Portland, OR
Author of Blood on the Tracks: The Life and Times of S. Brian Willson
Subject of documentary, Paying the Price for Peace: The Story of S. Brian Willson
Viet Nam veteran, peace activist, and trained attorney

Push-ups, September 11, and Veteran Deaths

By Gar Smith

A new PR campaign is calling on Americans of all ages to do "22 push-ups in 22 days" to dramatize the fact that, on average, 22 American combat veterans commit suicide every day.

September 11 marks the day when 2,996 Americans lost their lives in attacks on the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon, leading to the start of George W. Bush's War on Terror—an "endless" battle that now has US troops engaged in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen.

By September 11, 2016, 5,588 US soldiers will have committed suicide—nearly twice as many as the number of Americans lost in the 2001 terror attacks. 5,588: That's a lot of push-ups.

(Note: This accounting does not include the thousands of soldiers killed in combat or the hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians whose epitaphs read:  "Collateral damage.")

By the end of 2016, 8,030, soldiers will have committed suicide owing to the unendurable trauma of the "War on Terror."

What can we conclude from these figures? (1) Serving as a US soldier must be one of the world's most demoralizing jobs and, (2) The War on Terror is a bloody failure.

Trump and Clinton Prep to Strut before an Audience of Soldiers and Vets

By Gar Smith

On September 7, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are set to appear on the same stage in a broadcast NBC is calling the“Commander-in-Chief Forum," an event devoted to "national security, military affairs and veterans issues." The candidates will not debate face-to-face. They will appear separately, back-to-back.

For an event that marks the beginning of one of the most critical presidential debates in US history, NBC is mounting a disturbing preamble. Instead of focusing on the full range of domestic issues that are roiling the electorate – lack of good jobs, declining wages, rising housing costs, failing schools, crumbling infrastructure, mass incarceration, and the tandem proliferations of gun possession and police violence -- the lead issue selected by the National Broadcasting Corporation, is war-fighting.

Under NBC's marching orders, the two candidates will vie for the allegiance of "an audience consisting mainlyofmilitaryveteransandactiveservicemembers."

The evening is being sponsored by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veteransof America, an organization that has received a respectable 86% Charity Navigator rating and whose mission is to "connect, unite and empower post-9/11 veterans."

#NoWar2016 Events Planned for Washington, D.C.

A major conference presenting alternatives to permanent war has been planned for September 23-25 at American University in Washington, D.C.
Main webpage:

Events on the first two days and the third morning will be in the Founders Room of the School of International Service. Closing events will be at the Kay Center nearby on the campus of American University. Media cameras and journalists are welcome throughout. But RSVP. Rooms are expected to be at full capacity.
Detailed agenda:

Speakers will include: Dennis Kucinich, Kathy Kelly, Miriam Pemberton, David Vine, Kozue Akibayashi, Harvey Wasserman, Jeff Bachman, Peter Kuznick, Medea Benjamin, Maurice Carney, David Swanson, Leah Bolger, David Hartsough, Pat Elder, John Dear, Mel Duncan, Kimberley Phillips, Ira Helfand, Darakshan Raja, Bill Fletcher Jr., Lindsey German, Maria Santelli, Mark Engler, Maja Groff, Robert Fantina, Barbara Wien, Jodie Evans, Odile Hugonot Haber, Gar Alperovitz, Sam Husseini, Christopher Simpson, Brenna Gautam, Patrick Hiller, Mubarak Awad, Michelle Kwak, John Washburn, Bruce Gagnon, David Cortright, Michael McPhearson, Sharon Tennison, Gareth Porter, John Reuwer, Pat Alviso, Larry Wilkerson, Thomas Drake, Larry Johnson, John Kiriakou, Craig Murray, Raed Jarrar, Alli McCracken, Lilly Daigle, and Alice Slater.
Speakers' bios and photos:

World Beyond War is a global nonviolent movement to end war and establish a just and sustainable peace.

Partners Include: Jubitz Family Foundation, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom,, Code Pink, International Peace Bureau, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Jane Addams Peace Association, Veterans For Peace, Delaware Peace Club, United for Peace and Justice.

Co-Sponsors Include: Washington Peace Center, Pace e Bene/Campaign Nonviolence, Liberty Tree Foundation,, Nonviolence International, Peace Action Montgomery, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Military Families Speak Out, Peace Action, WILPF-DC, International Movement for a Just World (JUST), Center for Bangladesh Studies, Society for Peace and Conflict Resolution at American University, Nuke Watch, Friends of Franz Jagerstatter, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR), WILPF-DC, International Society for Inter Cultural Study and Research (ISISAR), Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice, On Earth Peace, The Virginia Defenders, UNAC, Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore, Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice, National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund/Peace Tax Foundation.

U.S. Groups, Citizens Ask World: Help Us Resist U.S. Crimes

The following letter is being delivered to the New York U.N. consulate office of every nation on earth:

This year’s UN General Assembly comes at a critical moment for humanity – 3 minutes to midnight on the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock. Recognizing our country’s primary role in this crisis, 11,644 Americans and 46 U.S.-based organizations have thus far signed this "Appeal from the United States to the World: Help Us Resist U.S. Crimes," which we are submitting to all the world’s governments. Please work with your colleagues at the General Assembly to respond to this appeal.

The appeal has been signed here: The first 11,644 individual signers and their comments are contained in a PDF document here:

Since the end of the Cold War, the United States of America has systematically violated the prohibition against the threat or use of force contained in the UN Charter and the Kellogg Briand Pact. It has carved out a regime of impunity for its crimes based on its UN Security Council veto, non-recognition of international courts and sophisticated "information warfare" that undermines the rule of law with political justifications for otherwise illegal threats and uses of force.

Former Nuremberg prosecutor Benjamin B. Ferencz has compared current U.S. policy to the illegal German "preemptive first strike" policy for which senior German officials were convicted of aggression at Nuremberg and sentenced to death by hanging.

In 2002, the late U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy described post-September 11th U.S. doctrine as "a call for 21st century American imperialism that no other nation can or should accept." And yet the U.S. government has succeeded in assembling alliances and ad hoc "coalitions" to support threats and attacks on a series of targeted countries, while other countries have stood by silently or vacillated in their efforts to uphold international law. In effect, the U.S. has pursued a successful diplomatic policy of "divide and conquer" to neutralize global opposition to wars that have killed about 2 million people and plunged country after country into intractable chaos.

As representatives of civil society in the United States, the undersigned U.S. citizens and advocacy groups are sending this emergency appeal to our neighbors in our increasingly interconnected but threatened world. We ask you to stop providing military, diplomatic or political support for U.S. threats or uses of force; and to support new initiatives for multilateral cooperation and leadership, not dominated by the United States, to respond to aggression and settle international disputes peacefully as required by the UN Charter.

We pledge to support and cooperate with international efforts to stand up to and stop our country's systematic aggression and other war crimes. We believe that a world united to uphold the UN Charter, the rule of international law and our common humanity can and must enforce U.S. compliance with the rule of law to bring lasting peace to the world we all share.

A Good Beginning

By Kathy Kelly

It seems that some who have the ears of U.S. elite decision-makers are at least shifting away from wishing to provoke wars with Russia and China.

In recent articles, Zbigniew Brzezinskiand Thomas Graham, two architects of the U.S. cold war with Russia, have acknowledged that the era of uncontested U.S. global imperialism is coming to an end.  Both analysts urge more cooperation with Russia and China to achieve traditional, still imperial, U.S. aims. Mr. Graham recommends a shifting mix of competition and cooperation, aiming toward a “confident management of ambiguity.”  Mr. Brzezinski calls for deputizing other countries, such as Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran to carry out the combined aims of the U.S., Russia and China so that this triumvirate could control other people’s land and resources.

It’s surely worthwhile to wonder what effect opinions such as Brzezinski's and Graham's might have upon how U.S. resources are allotted, whether to meet human needs or to further enlarge the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and further enrich the corporations that profit from U.S. investments in weapons technology.

Speaking Events

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


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