Syria News - Sep 26, 2014


PYD leader warns about Kobani genocide, asks the international community to arm YPG fighters or at least sell them weapons - BAS NEWS


YPG calls for airstrikes to protect Kobani, “Although IS heavy weapons are visible to everyone, they have not yet been targeted” - BAS NEWS


Text of the YPG press statement: if US coalition helps Kurds in Kobani they will provide intel on IS positions - Pieter Van Ostaeyen on Twitter


Besieged Kurds in Syria and Iraq see the United States' bombing campaign against the Islamic State as a good start, but not enough - foreignpolicy


Kurds say they pushed back Islamic State in northern Syria - Reuters


Islamic State Would Tighten Its Rule in Eastern Syria by Capturing Kobane - Businessweek


VIDEO: The Islamic State use heavy weapons to kill Kurdish fighters in Syria - YouTube


VIDEO: Kurd refugees in Turkey return to Syria to fight IS group - usatoday.com


President Barzani: Peshmerga didn’t have a Way to Enter Kobani - BAS NEWS


Turkey party leaders going to Kobani border to support the Kurds - ANF


Who’s Fighting IS? Kurdish Forces in the Regional Conflict - Bipartisan Policy Center


Woman uses hidden camera to expose life in Raqqa under Islamic State (VIDEO) - CSMonitor.com


Militant in Syria beheading videos identified: FBI - Reuters


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

Kurds see Turkey impeding Islamic State fight - AP


Turkey's Kurds Warn Ankara's Syria Policy Threatens Peace Process - VOA


Exclusive: PKK military commander threatens to resume war with Turkey - Al-Monitor


VIDEO: PYD Claims Erdogan Regime in Ankara is in Bed with Terrorist Groups in Syria - YouTube


Turkey deploys tanks on its borders to control refugees from Syria, hold back Kurds trying to go in the opposite direction to fight IS - Daily Mail


VIDEO: Turkish tanks cross the border under IS flag, into areas held by the terrorist group - ANF


Turkey mulls security zone along Syria border - Al-Monitor


Turkey Prevents Humanitarian Aid From Iraqi Kurds Reaching Kobani - freerepublic.com


VIDEO: Kurdistan Regional Government sends 12 aid trucks to Kobani - CİHAN


Thousands of IS members allegedly crossed border from Turkey a day before the attack on Kobani began - ANF


Erdoğan to discuss Turkish involvement in IS strikes with cabinet, official says it is “unlikely that Turkey, its airspace, or the Incirlik Air Base would be used by coalition forces” - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT


VIDEO: Turkey’s President Erdogan statement at the U.N. - NYTimes.com


Obama calls President Erdoğan to discuss IS, Syria - Yahoo News


Turkey's possible role in anti-IS coalition dominates Erdoğan-Biden meeting - CİHAN


US embassy issues security warning for personnel in Turkey, warns Americans of risk of attacks in Turkey Eastern and Southeastern provinces near the borders with Syria and Iraq - Stripes


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

U.S. says airstrikes have crippled most oil refineries seized by Islamic State in Syria - The Washington Post


VIDEO: In press briefing Pentagon says Syrian refinery airstrikes believed to be successful - Yahoo News


VIDEO: Airstrikes Target IS Oil Refineries - DoDNEWS


MAP: Location of the IS controlled oil refineries in eastern Syria hit by the US and its Arab allies - theguardian.com


Pentagon puts ISIS costs at $7M to $10M per day - TheHill


Pentagon: No evidence that airstrikes killed civilians despite reports - LA Times


U.S. Reassured Syria’s Assad in Back-Channel Message - Bloomberg


Assad exploits airstrikes to sweep through 40 villages - The Times


Syrian government says it's retaken key city Adra near Damascus - LA Times


Syrian rebel groups unite to fight IS, say the strikes must also hit Assad's forces - CNN.com


[The now sidelined] Supreme Military Council (SMC) condemns US-led strikes in Syria as only benefiting the regime - Charles Lister on Twitter


Syria: Suqur al-Sham of the Islamic Front condemns U.S. airstrikes - Aymenn J Al-Tamimi on Twitter


IF's Ahrar al-Sham, Liwa al-Tawheed , Liwa al-Haq , Islamic Union (Non-IF) release statement against strikes in Syria - SyriaConflictMonitor on Twitter


US-backed Forqat 13 issues statement condemning US-led airstrikes as “aimed at weakening the revolution” in Syria - Charles Lister on Twitter


Key Aleppo FSA faction Jaish al-Mujahideen say strikes are “a conspiracy vs. the Syria revolution - Charles Lister on Twitter

 

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

Going, going, gone, but let’s not forget him: Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder Leaves Office

By Dave Lindorff


Good riddance!


Eric Holder has announced that he is leaving his post of Attorney General, which he has sullied and degraded for six years.


St. Petersburg FLA Protest: Say No To War In Syria!

St. Pete for Peace
 
St. Petersburg, FL – Activists from the Tampa Bay area will protest the new US war in Syria this Saturday, September 27 from 2:00-4:00pm at the corners of Dale Mabry Highway and Gandy Blvd in Tampa.  The protest location was chosen due to its proximity to MacDill Air Force Base, which acts as Central Command for the war in Syria.

US airstrikes in Syria have already killed innocent civilians. In its first day of launching bombs, the US killed 8 civilians, including children in Aleppo province, and 5 more civilians were killed on Wednesday.

"ISIS, which formed in response to the US invasion of Iraq, exists because of US military interventions.  For the US to say it is trying to solve the problem it created is duplicitous," said Dwight Lawton of Veterans for Peace.

"The US attack is happening without the approval of the Syrian government which is a violation of Syria's sovereignty and is against international law," according to Marianne Huber of St. Pete for Peace. "There is no doubt that the Assad government in Syria will ultimately be a target of US airstrikes in the near future."

"For over 20 years the US has relentlessly bombed Iraq and now it is bombing Syria -- two countries that have never attacked the United States," said Jared Hamil of Students for a Democratic Society at USF. "The US has used money, guns, bombings, occupations, economic sanctions and puppet-governments to control the peoples of the world. None of these things have resulted in peace or have brought humanitarian aid to anyone - only violence and instability."

The protest is sponsored by St. Pete for Peace, Students for a Democratic Society at USF, Friends of Human Rights, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Florida State Progressive Democrats of America, NatureCoast Coalition for Peace and Justice, The Refuge, Students for a Democratic Society St Pete, Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign, and the Revolutionary Caucus of Tampa Bay.

Webpage: http://stpeteforpeace.org/syria2014.html
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/781393101906727/

Goodbye, Eric Holder. Now Can We Prosecute Torture?

Dear Colleagues,

Attached (PDF) is the shadow report of Advocates for US Torture Prosecutions submitted to the UN Committee Against Torture through the US Human Rights Network.

We are gathering organization and  individual signatures of support for the shadow report.  If you are interested in signing on, please contact Deborah Popowski (dpopowski@law.harvard.edu) of the Harvard Human Rights Clinic  before Monday, September 29, 2014.  

Please pass this message on.
Best,
Ben
Benjamin G. Davis
Advocates for US Torture Prosecutions
Ben.davis@utoledo.edu

Were the Nuremberg Tribunals Only Victors' Justice?

By Elliott Adams

On the surface, The Nuremberg Tribunals were a court assembled by the victors which prosecuted the losers.  It is also true Axis war criminals were tried though Allied war criminals were not. But there was a greater concern at the time about stopping wars of aggression than prosecuting individual war criminals, since no one thought the world could survive one more world war.  The intent was not retribution but to find a new way forward.  The Tribunal in its Judgment said “Crimes against international law are committed by men, not by abstract entities, and only by punishing individuals who commit such crimes can the provisions of international law be enforced."

Nuremberg was starkly different from the typical case of victor's justice of the time. With Nuremberg the victors turned away from the accepted vindictive punishment of the vanquished. The motivation to punish those who started a war which killed seventy two million, including sixty one million on the victor's side, was immense.  Justice Robert Jackson, US Supreme Court Justice and the main architect of the Nuremberg Tribunals,  said in the opening statement of the Tribunals "The wrongs which we seek to condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant, and so devastating, that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored, because it cannot survive their being repeated." Stalin proposed a suitable deterrent would be executing the top 50,000 living German leaders.  Given the wanton killing on the Eastern Front experienced by the Russians, it is easy to understand how he considered this to be appropriate.  Churchill countered that executing the top 5,000 would be enough blood to assure it would not happen again.

The victorious powers instead set a new path, one of criminal trials, the Nuremberg and Tokyo Tribunals. Justice Jackson declared "That four great nations, flushed with victory and stung with injury, stay the hand of vengeance and voluntarily submit their captive enemies to the judgment of the law is one of the most significant tributes that Power has ever paid to Reason."

Acknowledged as imperfect, Nuremberg was an effort to establish the rule of law to deal with  sociopathic and despotic leaders and their followers who would start wars of aggression. "This Tribunal, while it is novel and experimental, represents the practical effort of four of the most mighty of nations, with the support of seventeen more, to utilize international law to meet the greatest menace of our times - aggressive war." said Jackson. The experiment provided that each defendant be indicted, have the right to a defense before a court, similar to a civilian court. And there seems to have been some level of justice since some were found completely innocent, some were only found guilty of some charges and most were not executed. Whether this was just a victor's court dressed up in fancy trappings of justice or the first faulting steps of a new way forward would depend on what happened in the years after, even what happens now. Some of what is accepted as normal today comes to us from Nuremberg like the terms war crimes, crimes against humanity

Jackson said "We must never forget that the record on which we judge these defendants is the record on which history will judge us tomorrow. To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well." They knew they were only writing the first part of the story of Nuremberg and that others would write the ending. We can answer this question about victor's justice by looking just at 1946. Or we can take a broader perspective and answer it in terms of today and of the future, in terms of the long term results from Nuremberg.

Whether it was justice only for the benefit of the victors is our challenge.  Will we let international law be a tool only for the powerful? Or will we use Nuremberg as a tool for "Reason over Power"? If we let the Nuremberg Principles be used only against the enemies of the powerful it will have been victor's justice and we will be "putting the poisoned chalice to our own lips."  If instead we, we the people, work, demand and, succeed in holding our own high criminals and government up to these same laws it will not have been a victor's court.  Justice Jackson's words are an important guide today, "The common sense of mankind demands that law shall not stop with the punishment of petty crimes by little people. It must also reach men who possess themselves of great power and make deliberate and concerted use of it to set in motion evils."

Going back to the original question - Were the Nuremberg Tribunals only victor's justice? - that depends on us - that depends on you. Will we prosecute our own high war criminals?  Will we respect and use the obligations of Nuremberg to oppose our government's crimes against humanity and crimes against peace?

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

Elliott Adams was a solider, a politician, a businessman; now he works for peace.  His interest in international law grew out of his experience in war, in places of conflict like Gaza, and being on trial for peace activism.

A National Call: Save Civilian Education

SaveCivilianEducation.org

Signers listed at bottom

The militarization of our schoolsOver the last several decades, the Pentagon,conservative forces, and corporations have been systematically working to expand their presence in the K-12 learning environment and in public universities. The combined impact of the military, conservative think tanks and foundations,  and of corporatization of our public educational systems has eroded the basic democratic concept of civilian public education.   It is a trend that, if allowed to continue, will weaken the primacy of civilian rule and, ultimately, our country’s commitment to democratic ideals.

The signers of this statement believe it is urgent for all advocates of social justice, peace and the environment to recognize the dangerous nature of this problem and confront it with deliberate action.

THE THREAT TO CIVILIAN EDUCATION

The most aggressive outside effort to use the school system to teach an ideology with ominous long-term implications for society comes from the military establishment. Over the last two decades, with relatively little media coverage or public outcry, the Pentagon’s involvement in schools and students’ lives has grown exponentially. Now, for example:

  • Every school day, at least half a million high school students attend Junior ROTC classes to receive instruction from retired officers who are handpicked by the Pentagon to teach its own version of history and civics. These students are assigned “ranks” and conditioned to believe that military and civilian values are similar, with the implication that unquestioning obedience to authority is therefore a feature of good citizenship.
  • Armed forces academies are being established in some public schools (Chicago now has eight), where all students are given a heavy dose of military culture and values.
  • A network of military-related programs is spreading in hundreds of elementary and middle schools. Examples are the Young Marines and Starbase programs, and military programs that sneak into schools under the cloak of Science / Technology / Engineering / Math (STEM) education.
  • Military recruiters are trained to pursue “school ownership” as their goal (see: Army School Recruiting Program Handbook). Their frequent presence in classrooms, lunch areas and at assemblies has the effect of popularizing military values, soldiering and, ultimately, war.
  • Since 2001, federal law has overridden civilian school autonomy and family privacy when it comes to releasing student contact information to the military. Additionally, each year thousands of schools allow the military to administer its entrance exam — the ASVAB — to 10th-12th graders, allowing recruiters to bypass laws protecting parental rights and the privacy of minors and gain access to personal information on hundreds of thousands of students.

THE THREAT TO PUBLIC EDUCATION

Efforts by groups outside the school system to inject conservatism and corporate values into the learning process have been going on for a number of years. In a recent example of right-wing educational intervention, The New York Times reported that tea party groups, using lesson plans and coloring books, have been pushing schools to “teach a conservative interpretation of the Constitution, where the federal government is a creeping and unwelcome presence in the lives of freedom-loving Americans.” (See:http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/17/us/constitution-has-its-day-amid-a-struggle-for-its-spirit.html )

Corporations have been projecting their influence in schools with devices like Channel One, a closed-circuit TV program that broadcasts commercial content daily to captive student audiences in 8,000 schools. Some companies have succeeded in convincing schools to sign exclusive contracts for pizza, soft drinks and other products, with the goal of teaching early brand loyalty to children. A National Education Policy Center report issued in November 2011 documents the various ways in which business/school partnerships are harming children educationally by channeling student thinking “into a corporate-friendly track” and stunting their ability to think critically. (See: http://nepc.colorado.edu/publication/schoolhouse-commercialism-2011 )

The development of this corporate-friendly track dovetails with a radical corporate agenda to dismantle America’s public education system. States across the country are slashing educational spending, outsourcing public teacher jobs, curbing collective-bargaining rights, and marginalizing teachers’ unions. There is a proliferation of charter and “cyber” schools that promote private sector involvement and a push toward for-profit schools where the compensation paid to private management companies is tied directly to student performance on standardized assessments.  The cumulative effect is the creation of institutions that cultivate a simplistic ideology that merges consumerism with subservience. (See: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/12/michigan-privatize-public-education )

The corporatization of education via charter schools and the administration sector growth at universities is another troubling trend for public education.  Diane Ravitch’s book Reign of Error ( http://www.npr.org/2013/09/27/225748846/diane-ravitch-rebukes-education-activists-reign-of-error ) and Henry A. Giroux’s newest book, Neoliberalism’s War on Higher Education,  http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/22548-henry-giroux-beyond-neoliberal-miseducation ) give pointers to the doubtful role of corporate values in public education. 

Why is this happening?  Giroux notes that “Chris Hedges, the former New York Times correspondent, appeared on Democracy Now! in 2012 and told host Amy Goodman the federal government spends some $600 billion a year on education—“and the corporations want it.”

There are also some organizations supporting efforts to introduce history and civics lessons from a progressive perspective, such as the Howard Zinn Education Project (https://zinnedproject.org ) and Rethinking Schools ( http://www.rethinkingschools.org ). And a small movement is working against Channel One and the commercialization of the school environment (e.g., http://www.commercialalert.org/issues/education and ( http://www.obligation.org ).

STOPPING THESE THREATS

There is reason to be hopeful about reversing this trend if we look, for example, at some of the successes in grassroots efforts to curb militarism in schools. In 2009, a coalition of high school students, parents and teachers in the very conservative, military-dominated city of San Diego succeeded in getting their elected school board to shut down JROTC firing ranges at eleven high schools. Two years later, the same coalition got the school board to pass a policy significantly limiting military recruiting in all of its schools. Though such initiatives are relatively few in number, similar victories have been won in other school districts and on the state level in Hawaii and Maryland.

There are also some organizations supporting efforts to introduce history and civics lessons from a progressive perspective, such as the Zinn Education Project (www.zinnedproject.org) and Rethinking Schools (www.rethinkingschools.org). And a small movement is working against Channel One and the commercialization of the school environment (e.g., http://www.commercialalert.org/issues/education/ and http://www.obligation.org/ ).

As promising and effective as these efforts are, they pale in comparison to the massive scale of what groups on the other side of the political spectrum are proactively doing in the educational environment to preserve the influence of conservatism, militarism and corporate power.

It is time for progressive organizations, foundations and media to confront this and become equally involved in the educational system. It is especially important that more organizations unite to oppose the growing intrusion of the Pentagon in K-12 schools and universities. Restoring the primacy of critical thinking and democratic values in our culture cannot be done without stopping the militarization and corporate takeover of public education.

Michael Albert
Z Magazine

Pat Alviso
Southern California
Military Families Speak Out (MFSO)

Marc Becker
Co-chair,
Historians Against the War

Bill Bigelow
Curriculum Editor,
Rethinking Schools

Peter Bohmer
Faculty in political economy,
Evergreen State College

Bill Branson
VVAW National Office

Noam Chomsky
Professor, Retired, MIT

Michelle Cohen
Project Great Futures,
Los Angeles, CA

Tom Cordaro
Pax Christi USA Ambassador
of Peace, Naperville, IL

Pat Elder
National Coalition to
Protect Student Privacy

Margaret Flowers
Co-director,
It’s Our Economy 

Libby Frank
Northwest Suburban Peace
& Education Project,
Arlington Hts., IL

Hannah Frisch
Civilian Soldier
Alliance

Kathy Gilberd
National Lawyers Guild
Military Law Task Force

Henry Armand Giroux
Professor, McMaster
University

Frank Goetz
Director, West Surburban
Faith Based Peace Coalition,
Wheaton, Il

Tom Hayden
Activist, Author,
Teacher

Arlene Inouye
Treasurer, United Teachers
of Los Angeles

Iraq Veterans Against
the War (IVAW)
National Office,
New York City

Rick Jahnkow
Project on Youth and
Non-Military Opportunities,
Encinitas, CA

Jerry Lembcke
Emeritus Professor,
Holy Cross College

Jorge Mariscal
Professor, Univ. of
California San Diego

Patrick McCann
National VFP President,
Montgomery County (MD)
Education Association
Board Member

Stephen McNeil
American Friends
Service Committee
San Francisco

Carlos Muñoz
Professor Emeritus
UC Berkeley Ethnic
Studies Dept.

Michael Nagler
President, Metta Center
for Nonviolence

Jim O’Brien
Co-chair, Historians
Against the War

Isidro Ortiz
Professor, San Diego
State University

Jesus Palafox
American Friends Service
Committee, Chicago

Pablo Paredes
AFSC 67 Sueños

Michael Parenti, Ph.D.
Author & lecturer

Bill Scheurer
Executive Director
of On Earth Peace,
Stop Recruiting Kids
Campaign

Cindy Sheehan
Peace and Social
Justice Activist

Joanne Sheehan
New England Regional
War Resisters League

Mary Shesgreen
Chair, Fox Valley Citizens
for Peace & Justice,
Elgin, IL

Sam Smith
Fellowship of
Reconciliation,
Chicago

Kristin Stoneking
Executive Director
Fellowship of
Reconciliation USA

David Swanson
World Beyond War

Chris Venn
San Pedro Neighbors for
Peace & Justice,
San Pedro, CA

Veterans for Peace
National Office,
St. Louis, MO

Veterans for Peace
Chicago Chapter

Vietnam Veterans
Against the War
National Office,
Champaign, IL

Amy Wagner
YA-YA Network
(Youth Activists-Youth
Allies), New York City

Harvey Wasserman
Activist

West Suburban
Faith-based
PEACE Coalition
Wheaton, IL

Colonel Ann Wright,
Retired U.S. Army/
Army Reserves

Mickey Z.
Author of Occupy
this Book: Mickey Z.
on Activism

Kevin Zeese
Co-director,
It’s Our Economy

Open invitation to
additional
Endorsements

Time to get off the Merry go 'round.

By Joshua Denniss from Darwin, Australia.

On Tuesday the U.S began bombing ISIS targets inside Syria, in concert with its five allied regimes: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Jordan. It began doing so without the approval of the U.S. Congress nor the United Nations, making the war in Syria unconstitutional and illegal. As it is, empires are rarely held accountable for their actions, including switching sides i.e. who they fight and who they support in the Middle East.

It was just over a year ago that officials from the U.S were insisting that bombing and attacking Bashar al-Assad (president of Syria) was a moral and strategic imperative. To combat Al-Assad, the U.S government armed and trained Syrian rebels that opposed President Al-Assad's regime. These men, once rebels turned into trained soldiers, went on to join ISIS. This was due to the fact that both groups are opposed to President Al-Assad and the ISIS success in fighting the Iraqi government. The ISIS existence, its growing number of members and its resources are mostly the result of U.S. interference.

Now that U.S interests have changed they've turned and switched sides, declaring war on the very people that they have armed and trained. If, when I broadly blanket the entire reason for the ongoing war in the Middle East to be the United States and its allies' fault, you sit there and say "Well, it's easy to just say something like that without providing proper reason of how or why." Let me tell you why I believe it is. The U.S. and its allies constantly provide arms and resources to both sides of a conflict under the pretense that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."

In reality, they are just creating more enemies; strengthening them and then having to fight them in some future conflict. Weapons do not rain from the sky in the Middle East like some of you may think. Seventy nine percent of them are shipped there by the U.S, with the rest mostly by its five allies mentioned above. When loyalties and alliances change as with ISIS, the only answer they have is to bomb the ISIS stronghold which, in actuality, kills more innocents than terrorists, destroying civilians' homes.

These actions create more anti-American sentiment in the area, resulting to a soar in ISIS recruits. The increasing number of people wanting to join ISIS is understandable -- why not join the group who defends you from the people bombing your home and your people? This exact situation has been created and emulated time and time again just pertaining to different groups. This same reason is the cause for the ongoing conflict.

Do we, as the people of this world, honestly not see how this works by now? Do we, as global citizens, honestly believe going to war AGAIN is the right answer? Do we want our fathers, brothers, mothers and sisters dying on both sides in another futile and frivolous war? Stop following your government blindly into war because this is not the answer!

We, as a people, need to begin prompting our governments and leaders to form peaceful and solution-based efforts, not more wars. I, for one, feel that a large portion of the world is also sick and tired of the hatred and violence being perpetuated by these groups, sick of people believing borders drawn on a map define who we are, sick of people thinking these men, women and children are any different from us! Some of them may be angry and misguided, but so are a great number of us. It's time we think of each other as ONE people because that's what we are.

Save the Climate or Save Capitalism? | #FloodWallStreet Dispatch

Originally posted at AcronymTV

An exclusive Acronym TV dispatch from the Flood Wall Street day of action, featuring exclusive footage, analysis, and interviews with Adam Clayton Muller (Idle No More), Tim DeChristopher (Peaceful Uprising), Andy Bichlbaum (The Yes Men), Arun Gupta (Counterpunch), and Flood Wall Street organizer Goldi Guerra.

***
The positive momentum generated by the People’s Climate Parade spilled over into a massive direct action on Monday.

Talk Nation Radio: Dave Lindorff on Ukraine and Why This Can't Be Happening

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-dave-lindorff-on-ukraine-and-why-this-cant-be-happening

Award-winning investigative reporter Dave Lindorff has been raking the journalistic muck now for 40 years. A regular columnist for Counterpunch, he has also written for BusinessWeek, the Nation, Extra!, Treasury & Risk, and Rolling Stone. Lindorff is the founder of ThisCantBeHappening.net

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

 

Is Ireland Backing the Bombing of Syria?

by Shannonwatch

 

On Sept 1st 2014 the Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said “the invasion of Ukraine is against international law & must stop” (RTE News). He made no reference to role of NATO as one of the root causes of the Ukraine conflict.

 

oiljets-260x260On 22nd September 2014, the United States and its allies launched air strikes in Syria using warplanes, armed drones, and Tomahawk Cruise Missiles.

 

Syria News - Sep 24, 2014


Exclusive: United States defends the legality of Syria airstrikes in letter to U.N. chief - Reuters


Text of Samantha Power' letter to UN chief saying strikes in Syria are legal - NYTimes.com


UN chief welcomes airstrikes in Syria - Yahoo News


VIDEO: President Obama Delivers a Statement on Airstrikes in Syria - YouTube


Obama thanks Arab nations for joining Syria strikes - Yahoo News


Arab coalition behind Syria strikes is diplomatic coup - usatoday


Syrian rebels angry that strikes hit al Qaida ally but not Assad - McClatchy DC


Kurds welcome air strikes on Islamic State, curse Turkey's absence accusing it of supporting the Sunni Muslim terrorists - Reuters


U.S. Informed Syria Of Impending Airstrikes Against Islamic State Militants, Assad Backs All International Efforts To Fight Terrorism - Yahoo News


Exclusive: U.S. told Iran of intent to strike Islamic State in Syria - Reuters


Iran's President Rouhani: US-Led Coalition's Airstrikes Illegal, Should've Been OK'd by Syria - ABC News


Hezbollah leader opposes U.S.-led action in Syria - Yahoo News


Russia: airstrikes must be agreed with Syria or will fuel tension - Yahoo News


Turkey mulls military role against IS, but has so far not committed to the U.S.-led coalition - huffingtonpost.com


Again Erdogan asks UN for no-fly zone over Syria - yenisafak.com


PM Davutoğlu slams Kerry's remarks expressing concern over Turkey's willingness to help to the US-led coalition against the Islamic State - todayszaman.com


Turkey government to submit motions to Parliament seeking authorization to send troops to Iraq and Syria against possible security threats - todayszaman.com


Britain close to joining U.S.-led air strikes against Islamic State - Reuters


France not to join U.S.-led air strikes against Islamic State in Syria - Reuters


China says it supports international efforts to crack down on terrorism, sees parallels at home - VOA


Japan sides with U.S. over airstrikes in Syria, Kishida tells Kerry - The Japan Times


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

U.S. hit 8 bases tied to al Qaida affiliate in Syria, 14 belonging to Islamic State - McClatchy DC


U.S. Reports Significant Damage in Syria Strikes Against Buildings and Infrastructure Used for Command and Control by Jihadists - WSJ


VIDEO: Pentagon Briefing on Airstrikes in Syria - Bloomberg


MAP: Map of Airstrikes in Syria - Juliane Meyer on Twitter


These Are the Weapons the U.S. Is Using to Attack IS - TIME


Arab role in US coalition: Jordan: 4 F15s, Saudi/UAE: 4 F16s, Bahrain: 2 F16s, Qatar: 2 Mirage 2000s that did not drop ordinance - Jenan Moussa on Twitter


CENTCOM releases videos showing airstrikes on Islamic State facilities in Syria (VIDEOS) - Threat Matrix


VIDEO: Analyzing CENTCOM Gunsight Videos of the Precision Targeted Airstrikes in Syria - ABC News


VIDEO: US Navy launches Tomahawk missile strikes on IS targets - U.S. Navy on Twitter


Videos and Photographs Claim to Show Civilians Killed by US Led Air Strikes in Syria (VIDEOS) - bellingcat


The Kurdistan Regional Government calls on the US to expand its airstrikes to protect Kurds in the town of Kobani - BAS NEWS


US should bomb IS positions on the Kobani front: YPG - The Kurdistan Tribune


Kurdish PYD leader Salih Muslim holds Turkey responsible for fate of Kobani, says Turkey is not allowing reinforcements from the PKK across its borders - Al-Monitor


Kurdish PYD leader Salih Muslim informed me YPG were facing at least 50 IS tanks in the current offensive around Kobani - Michael Stephens on Twitter


Revealed: the Islamic State 'cabinet', from finance minister to suicide bomb deployer - Telegraph


Leadership of Free Syrian Army Dismissed by the Syrian National Coalition - Latin American Herald Tribune

 

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

Behind the Beheadings: Turning History on its Head

By Gar Smith

When the Islamic State (IS) released a sickening video purporting to show the beheading of American journalist James Foley, a militant chorus of neocon voices thundered: "It's an act of war!" On Fox News' "The Kelly File," Charles Krautheimer excoriated Attorney General Eric Holder for announcing the Department of Justice planned to investigate the murder as a criminal case. "Acts of terror," Krautheimer erupted, are not criminal acts. "They are acts of war!"

This could be open to debate. Under 18 U.S. Code § 2331 the term "act of war" means "any act occurring in the course of (A) declared war; (B) armed conflict, whether or not war has been declared, between two or more nations; or (C) armed conflict between military forces of any origin."

An "act of war" generally requires two or more national, sovereign belligerents. While an attack by a group of dissident insurgents may constitute an act of rebellion, it may not constitute an act of war.

Interestingly, if Washington were to "declare war" on the Islamic State, that might serve to grant diplomatic status to the Islamic forces and thereby acknowledge their claim to having established an "Islamic Caliphate." There would seem to be a moral argument for intervening against IS, a militant force that routinely executes captured soldiers, murders "infidels" and also has reportedly beheaded children. But there is a strategic caveat: Does bringing force to bear guarantee less violence or greater violence? In short: Is the cure to war, more war?

An Act of War or an Act of Revenge?

But there is a more fundamental flaw behind the "act of war" cry.

What happened to James Foley—and subsequently to fellow American Steven Soltoff and British citizen David Haines—was not an act of war but an act of retaliation.

President Barack Obama understood there was a quick and clear path to avoiding the death of James Foley and the threats to ISIS' other US and UK hostages: Simply call a halt to the US' punishing aerial campaign. And the president clearly understood the consequences of continuing to wage a war against ISIS targets: If US attacks continued, American hostages would most likely die.

Barack Obama and his advisors chose the path that they knew would result in the deaths of US hostages. And each time a hostage was brutally murdered, the White House invoked the name of the dead American to help fuel the passion for resuming and expanding a new US military adventure in Iraq.

The timeline (though subsequently muddled by the US media) is clear: The barbaric beheadings, shocking as they were, followed a series of US aerial attacks on ISIS ground forces that killed scores of Islamic fighters and, inevitably, a number of adjacent civilians.

And the use of the term "barbaric" deserves some attention. Certainly, the use of a knife blade to commit a beheading is "barbaric" but is it any less barbaric than blowing someone to pieces with a Hellfire missile? A beheading is a surgical operation with limited impact committed by an individual who is personally accountable and can be held criminally responsible for the act. The use of a Hellfire missile tears entire bodies into heaps of bloody, (Collateral Damage) or breaking into song (see video).

First the Bombs, Then the Beheadings

The IS beheadings did not occur in a vacuum. They were acts of revenge triggered in response to American military attacks. It was America that committed the first "act of war" when it launched an aerial assault inside Iraq on August 8. On that date, US Navy McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet fighters flew into Iraq and bombed Islamic State artillery units and destroyed an Islamic State military convoy.

Still much of the American media has trumpeted the false narrative that ISIS—in the form of a masked murderer with a British accent—was the aggressor. On September 18, the San Francisco Chronicle's Washington bureau correspondent Carolyn Lochhead reported: "Obama had resisted intervening until the Islamic State group beheaded two American journalists and captured several Iraqi cities."

This was a patent falsehood. But it was a widely disseminated falsehood. Still, the cause-and-effect relationship remains: The US began bombing Islamic rebel forces in early August. It was not until 12 days later that ISIS executed James Foley.

On August 12, ISIS sent Foley's parents an emailed warning that their son would be executed in retaliation for US airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq. The email read, in part:

We have left you [the USA] alone since your disgraceful defeat in Iraq. We did not interfere in your country or attack your citizens while they were safe in their homes despite our capability to do so! You were given many chances to negotiate the release of your people via cash transactions as other governments have accepted. We have also offered prisoner exchanges to free the Muslims currently in your detention like our sister Dr. Afi Sidiqqi, however you proved very quickly to us that this is NOT what you are interested in.You have no motivation to deal with the Muslims except with the language of force….

Now you return to bomb the Muslims of Iraq once again, this time resorting to Arial [sic] attacks and "proxy armies", all the while cowardly shying away from a face-to-face confrontation! You do not spare our weak, elderly, women or children so we will NOT spare yours!

You and your citizens will pay the price of your bombings!

The first of which being the blood of the American citizen, James Foley!

He will be executed as a DIRECT result of your transgressions towards us!

In the video of James Foley's execution, the ISIS spokesman specifically ties the commencement of US bombing attacks to Foley's fate:

Today, your military air force is attacking us daily in Iraq. Your strikes have caused casualties amongst Muslims. You're no longer fighting an insurgency, we are an Islamic army and a State that has been accepted by a large number of Muslims worldwide, so effectively, any aggression towards the Islamic State is an aggression towards Muslims from all walks of life who have accepted the Islamic Caliphate as their leadership.

So any attempt by you, Obama, to deny the Muslims their rights of living in safety under the Islamic Caliphate will result in the bloodshed of your people."

James Foley's final statement (a prepared statement that may or may not have represented Foley's actual thoughts) reinforced the point that his fate was an outcome of renewed US bombing in Iraq, stated that the US decision to launch bombing raids on ISIS was the "last nail in my coffin":

I call on my friends, family, and loved to rise up against my real killers, the U.S. government, for what will happen to me is only a result of their complacency criminality…. I wish I had more time. I wish I could have the hope for freedom to see my family once again, but that ship has sailed. I guess all in all, I wish I wasn't an American. [Read the complete statement below.]

The Beheading Was Not Shown

Another surprising media misstatement involved the videos themselves. The US media—from TIME Magazine, The New York Times and The Washington Post on down—routinely and repeatedly claimed that the IS videos "showed the beheading" of hostages. (In fact, the actual act of the beheading was deleted. See details below.) With this excuse in hand, the videos were scrubbed from the Internet—along with the videotaped final statements of the victims and the anti-US commentary of the IS executioner. (Many people refused to view the videos because they believed they depicted a gruesome "beheading.")

The response of the media/government complex was schizophrenic. On one had the government claimed the videos provided justification US retaliation. On the other hand, government pressure made it impossible for the American public to assess the criticisms of US global military policies that were cited as justification for the killings. The critical political content was the major reason the videos were released in the first place. The beheadings were simply a barbaric tool in the IS public relations tool kit. Government pressure to promote the videos as propaganda tool while denying the public an opportunity to watch and judge the content. In the UK, ABC reported, merely watching the James Foley video could expose viewers to a terrorism charge. At the same time, Twitter and Facebook were tracking down everyone who posted the video and were deleting their accounts.

Those who did watch the videos before they were purged from the Internet, expressed surprise. Popular Resistance, writing on TopInfoPost noted:

The most interesting thing about the video is that despite the hype in the media, there was no actual beheading in the video. The TIME article headline was not an accurate description of the video. There was a dead body that was, as many in the media have said, 'purportedly' a beheaded James Foley, but the actual act of beheading is not shown. The video does show someone purportedly using a knife to saw at Foley's neck, but there is no blood and seems to be no actual cut.

We have seen the videos out of Syria, which are truly atrocious, or the video of the beheading of Daniel Pearl a journalist killed by Al-Qaeda, but unlike those there was a strange absence of blood in this video. The supposed killer just puts the knife to Foley's neck, saws back and forth for a few moments and no blood comes out. Then it cuts to a shot of a severed head over a dead body.

Why didn't the most brutal terrorist group, according to western media, show the actually bloody murder to get the full terrorizingeffect? And why hadn't the lack of that scene been a crucial part of the media's coverage?

Are Beheadings Not 'Barbaric' When Done by Allies?

In a September 17 interview on Democracy Now! Phyllis Bennis elaborated on an article she had published in The Nation in which she pointed out that acts of criminal brutality were happening on both sides of the Syrian/Iraq conflict.

According to Bennis, "The New York Times was the only mainstream media outlet that reported … that the Free Syrian Army—the so-called moderate part of the Syrian rebels, who the US wants now to increase aid and military support and training and arming—that the Free Syrian Army had itself beheaded six captives. Six prisoners that they had control of, they beheaded them, right after shooting to death -- right after the shooting death of an American who had been caught by ISIS."

(Barak Barfi, a spokesperson for Steven Sotloff's family, raised another inconvenient truth that was not widely reported. Barfi pointed out that the so-called "moderate" Syrian rebels that Washington has chosen to support were the same ones that first captured, then sold Steven Sotloff to ISIS.)

Human rights organizations have also expressed concern over the number of beheadings by officials in Saudi Arabia. During the first three weeks of August, Saudi executioners decapitated more than one prisoner per day. On August 18, four family members were beheaded for smuggling marijuana. A day later, another Saudi was beheaded for committing an act of "sorcery." In the first seven months of 2014, the Saudis beheaded 41 victims. No one in the US government condemned (let alone mentioned) these apparently "acceptable" beheadings.

And it is not just our Allies that commit acts of barbarism. America itself is also culpable.

The President Invokes Victim's Names to Justify War

Speaking from The Edgartown School in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts on August 20, President Obama somberly declared: "Today, the entire world is appalled by the brutal murder of Jim Foley by the terrorist group, ISIL." The president then went on tooffer the following characterization of ISIS: "They have rampaged across cities and villages -- killing innocent, unarmed civilians in cowardly acts of violence.  They abduct women and children, and subject them to torture and rape and slavery." (Worth noting: nearly every one of these crimes also has been ascribed to US forces during American assaults on Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.)

Speaking from Estonia after ISIS made good on its promise to execute reporter Steven Sotloff, President Obama condemned ISIS and insisted "Their horrific acts only unite us as a country and stiffen our resolve to take the fight against these terrorists." And then, the Commander-in-Chief used the occasion to further ramp up the rhetoric of war:

It's not only that we're going to be bringing to justice those who perpetrated this terrible crime against these two fine young men. The United States will continue to lead a regional and international effort against the kind of barbaric and ultimately empty vision. Our objective is clear, and that is: degrade and destroy ISIL so that it's no longer a threat, not just to Iraq but also to the region and to the United States.

Looking at the timing, the lost opportunities and the rhetorical escalation, one comes away with an apprehension that this president (like many presidents before him) had engineered a casus belli—allowing the sacrifice of innocent American lives to provide an excuse for war that would outrage and galvanize the American public against the latest "barbaric enemy" to threaten the world.

Look Who's Funding ISIS: Some of our Closest Allies

In her Democracy Now! interview, Phyllis Bennis tried to draw attention to the bloody hands behind ISIS's rampage across the border from Syria into Iraq. According to Bennis:

Saudi Arabia is the source of the largest amount of money, from what all the reports are indicating, that is going to ISIS as well as a host of other Islamist and other organizations…. Some of it probably comes from the government, although that's never been confirmed. But this is a very tightly controlled society where, if there was an interest by the government in stopping its own citizens—whether they are Saudi princes or ordinary citizens, who are the source of a huge amount of the money funding these organizations, including ISIS—it could be contained.

Bennis concluded by pointing out the close military ties between Washington and Riyadh:

The Saudis don't want to talk about that alliance with the United States. But there is $60 billion worth of arms that they've been engaged in buying from the United States over this last two years. Many of those arms are the ones ending up in the hands of ISIS. It's US arms and it's Saudi arms that are ending up there.

Whether it's individuals or whether it's part of the government, that money is coming to a large degree from Saudi Arabia, from other parts of the region, as well—from Qatar, from Kuwait, from UAE, from a number of countries—but Saudi Arabia is very much at the center of this.

And the US-Saudi alliance is such that if the US chose to challenge the arms sellers in this country, who are making a killing on this new war, this Iraq War 3.0, we might say—if they were to prepared to challenge those arms suppliers, and thus challenge the Saudi government, there could be a real effort to put a stop to the funding and arming of these terrible organizations like ISIS.

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Lost Testimony in the War of Words

After the IS hostage videos were falsely described as containing actual footage of beheadings, they were quickly removed from online viewing. This act of censorship prevented much of the public from hearing the full statements of the victims and the executioner contained in the videos. The brutality of the IS executions cannot be fully understood without listening to the justifications offered by the killers. Here are transcripts of the complete statements contained in three IS execution videos.

Transcript of Video: The Final Words

Of US Hostage and Journalist James Foley

I call on my friends, family, and loved ones to rise up against my real killers, the U.S. government, for what will happen to me is only a result of their complacency criminality.

My message to my beloved parents: Save me some dignity and don't accept any meager compensation for my death from the same people who effectively hit the last nail in my coffin with the recent aerial campaign in Iraq.

I call on my brother John who is a member of the U.S. Air Force: Think about what you are doing. Think about the lives you destroy, including those of your own family. I call on you, John, think about who made the decision to bomb Iraq recently and kill those people, whoever they may have been. Think John, who did they really kill? Did they think about me, your and our family when they
made that decision? I died that day, John. When your colleagues dropped that bomb on those people they signed my death certificate.

I wish I had more time. I wish I could have the hope for freedom to see my family once again, but that ship has sailed. I guess all in all, I wish I wasn't an American.

Transcript of Video: The Final Words

Of US Hostage and Journalist Steven Sotloff

I am Steven Joel Sotloff.

I'm sure you know exactly who I am by now, and why I am appearing before you.

And now it is time for my message.

Obama, your foreign policy of intervention in Iraq was supposed to be for the preservation of American lives and interests, so why is it that I'm having to pay the price of your interference with my life.

Am I not an American citizen?

You've spent billions of US taxpayers dollars and we've lost thousands of our troops in our previous fighting against the Islamic State.

So where is the American people's interests in reigniting this war?

From what little I know about foreign policy I remember a time when you could not win an election without promising to bring our troops back home from Iraq, from Afghanistan, and to close down Guantanamo.

Here you are now Obama, nearing the end of your term, having achieved none of the above, and seemingly marching us, the American people, into a blazing fire.

The man who appears to wield the knife seems to have a British accent that has been disguised. His statement suggests he is the same fighter who killed James Foley last month. Below is a transcript of what he says:

I'm back Obama. And I'm back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards Islamic State, because of your insistence in continuing your bombings in Amerli, Samarra and Mosul Dam despite our serious warnings. You, Obama, have yet again through your actions, killed yet another American citizen. So just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.

Transcript of Video: The Final Words

Of UK Hostage David Haines

My name is David Cawthorne Haines. I would like to declare that I hold you David Cameron entirely responsible for my execution. 
You entered voluntarily into a coalition with the United States against the Islamic State just as your predecessor Tony Blair did following a trend amongst our British Prime Minsters who can't find the courage to say no to the Americans. Unfortunately, it is we, the British public, who will pay the price for our parliament's selfish decisions."



The man the Western media has nicknamed "Jihadi John" then says:

This British man has to the pay the price for your promise Cameron to arm the Peshmerga against the Islamic State. Ironically, he has spent a decade of his life serving under the same Royal Air Force that is responsible for delivering those arms.

Your evil alliance with America, which continues to strike the Muslims of Iraq and most recently bombed the Haditha Dam, will only accelerate your destruction. And playing the role of the obedient lapdog, Cameron, will only drag you and your people into another bloody and unwinable war."



The footage then shows another British hostage paraded before the camera.
Jihadi John says: 


If you, Cameron, persist in fighting the Islamic State then you like your master Obama, will have the blood of your people on your hands."

ISIS, Weapons Makers, Thugs Benefit from This Crime

President Obama is bombing the opposite side in Syria from the side he swore we needed to attack one year ago, and those pleased by this declare that he is "doing something."

U.S. polls suggest that the same people recognize that this something will make the U.S. more likely to be attacked and nonetheless favor this action. This is unthinking fear produced by slick beheading videos for audiences too distracted to notice that the Iraqi government, Saudi government and numerous other U.S. friends and allies behead. And are we to imagine that when Obama kills a 16 year old American and the 6 kids near him his head remains intact? Should we pretend that the people being killed by U.S. missiles right now aren't losing their heads?

This action is illegal under the UN Charter, Kellogg-Briand Pact, and U.S. Constitution. This action is immoral as it fuels violence that needs to be reduced. This action is knowingly, maddeningly counterproductive, guaranteed to build hostility to the United States, which is already so hated that ISIS openly advocates for a U.S. attack on it. This action by this White House is what ISIS wants and what weapons makers want. It is not what the people of Syria or Iraq or the world want. It further shreds the rule of law while dumping gasoline on a fire of U.S. creation.

What's needed is, contrary to what your television suggests, not to "do nothing" or love beheadings. What's needed is an arms embargo. The U.S. ships 79% of the weapons shipped to the Middle East, not counting the weapons of the U.S. military. An arms embargo could be 79% successful with just one country participating, and others could certainly be brought to do so.

What's needed is actual aid on a massive scale, restitution to the people of the region for the crimes of the U.S. government. An aid program sufficient to make the United States beloved rather than hated would cost a lot less money than the missiles and bombs for which price seems to be no concern at all.

What's needed is diplomacy. The U.S. government is happy to talk with Syria or Iran or Russia when the object is war. Why can it not talk to them when the object is peace?

Our Constitutional scholar Nobel peace laureate no-dumb-wars end-the-mindset president will be protested today at the White House and at his appearance in New York, and should be protested everywhere he goes.

Congress members should not know a moment's peace, but should be taught that cowardice is not a campaign strategy. None who voted for weapons to Syria should be returned to Washington next year.

War as a first resort, as our biggest public program, as the be all and end all of U.S. foreign policy is a form of insanity that has no redeeming feature. War is our top destroyer of the natural environment, of the economy, of civil liberties, of self-governance, and of morality. This is a case of a doctor trying to cure the world while suffering from a deadly and highly infectious disease that in his own mind is the epitome of health.

You can't cure war fever with more war. You can only get to peace through peace.

Stop the bombing.

Syria/Iraq News - Sep 23, 2014


U.S. And Five Arab Countries Begin Airstrikes Against Islamic State In Syria, Pentagon Says - huffingtonpost.com


VIDEO: White House Press Briefing: Josh Earnest concerned about 'destabilizing impact' of Syrian refugees - YouTube


Kurds: We want the international community to impose an exclusion zone around Kobane to protect it from the IS militants - Rudaw


Peshmerga ministry cannot send forces to Syria, calls for airstrikes againt Islamic State: Jabar Yawar - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Syrian opposition urges airstrikes against Islamic State - THE DAILY STAR


130,000 Syrian refugees fleeing Islamic State seek refuge in Turkey - Fox News


VIDEO: Islamic State advance in Syria sparks 'refugee wave' in Turkey - YouTube


Öcalan calls for mass mobilisation against Islamic State’s attacks - ANF


PYD leader: "Kobane will only fall if everyone there is killed!” - Kurdish Question


As masses seek refuge in Turkey, Kurdish fighters rush back to Syria - CSMonitor.com


VIDEO: Hundreds of Kurds crossing Turkish border, going back to defend Kobane - YouTube


VIDEO: More PKK units arrive in Kobane - YouTube


As Europeans Flock to Syria and Iraq to Join the Islamic State, Some Kurds Make the Same Trip to Go Fight Them - VICE News


Syrian Kurds say they halted Islamic State advance near Kobane - The Guardian


Thousands protest IS's Kobane siege in Istanbul, show solidarity with Kurds - todayszaman.com


VIDEO: Thousands protest IS's Kobane siege in Istanbul, show solidarity with Kurds - CİHAN


Kurdish solidarity protest in front of United Nations to draw attention to the attacks by IS - ANF


Kurdish MPs from Turkey in Hunger Strike at UN for Kobane - Rudaw


EU Politicians Appeal for Military Aid to Syrian Kurds - Rudaw


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

Turkey Bars Kurds From Entering Syria to Fight Islamic State - Bloomberg


VIDEO: Clashes with Turkish troops at the border as Kurds flock to assist their brethren in Syria - euronews


VIDEO: Turkish soldiers demolish tents built by Kurdish refugees and fighters from Kobane - LiveLeak.com


People allegedly shot with live ammunition at Kobanê border - ANF


Turkey accused of colluding with Islamic State to oppose Syrian Kurds and Assad following surprise release of 49 hostages - independent.co.uk


Islamic State appears to have released Turkish hostages in exchange for key figures of the group - todayszaman.com


Erdoğan confirms bargaining with IS, allegedly 1,500 IS terrorists went by train to Syria via Turkey 3 days before the hostages were released - ANF


Islamic State: 'Turkey has indirectly recognised the Islamic State’ - ANF


Islamic State: 'Turkey fed us' - turkafile.com


Islamic State members wounded in Syria receive treatment in Turkey hospital originally established for the treatment of Islamic Front militants - ANF


Turkish nurse says she's tired of treating IS terrorists - LiveLeak.com


Is Turkey A Reliable Partner In The Fight Against ISIS? - THE ISIS STUDY GROUP


CIA stops spying on friendly nations in Europe, except Turkey - todayszaman.com


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Islamic State spokesman al Adnani threatens the anti-IS coalition in new speech - Threat Matrix


VIDEO (Arabic): Islamic State Spoksman al Adnani Sends a Message to the World - YouTube


TRANSCRIPT (English): Islamic State spokesman' new speech - ia601400.us.archive.org


Islamic State Spokesman: “We do not fight Kurds because they are Kurds. Rather we fight the disbelievers among them” - BAS NEWS


Sources: IS allegedly executes group’s Kurdish members for refusing to join the military campaign - Rudaw


IS Allegedly Kills 300 Iraqi Troops with Chlorine Gas - teleSUR


VIDEO (Arabic): Islamic State allegedly kills 300 Iraqi soldiers in chlorine gas attack - lbcgroup.tv


Iraq said to foil Islamic State chemical attack - The Times of Israel


14 IS militants killed as their chlorine gas rocket explodes - Business Standard News


Disguised Islamic State militants kill 40 Iraqi troops, capture scores - AP


Oil-rich Kirkuk in Iraq's north fears attack by Islamic State - LA Times


US airstrikes in Iraq expand to Kirkuk area - Threat Matrix


VIDEO: IS recruiting children to join its force - Al Jazeera


PHOTO: Post is very disturbing !!! Pic shows IS making CHILDREN behead people - LiveLeak.com

 

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

Stop the Bombing: Bravery in an Evil Cause Is Evil

By David Swanson

There will be a protest of the new war at 10 a.m. Tuesday in front of the White House. Some thoughts on the context of this latest decision to bomb yet another country are below.

Following a screening of Phil Donahue's film Body of War in Washington, D.C., on Monday, during which the United States began illegally bombing Syria, Donahue engaged in an interesting exchange with one of those audience members who asks a question and a dozen follow-up questions.

Donahue had belittled drone pilots as sitting at desks with cups of coffee. This member of the audience shouted out that that was unfair, that drone pilots were often engaged in perfectly legitimate murders, and that drone pilots were serving their country just the same as the U.S. Army veteran who is the focus of the film.

The film and its director treat this Army veteran as having honorably served a worthy cause even while describing the war as unjustified and a horrible decision. So, if a ground troop in an immoral illegal war is to be thanked and honored, not just respected and sympathized with, why not thank and honor drone pilots?

Donahue's response to this sort of logic was that the drone pilot is less brave.

At the end of an exchange on that theme, Donahue reached a conclusion that ranked various types of troops based on their levels of bravery, and possibly also of suffering. That last point ran into trouble, as the questioner pointed out the PTSD rates among drone pilots who do in fact sometimes see their victims more than do troops who are physically closer to the action.

But bravery remained standing at the end of the discussion as a contributor to the level of morality.

In my view, this is madness, as Bill Maher lost his job for pointing out. Nobody was braver or more immoral than the 911 terrorists. Bravery in a good cause is admirable. Bravery in an indifferent cause is aesthetically nice, but morally indifferent. And bravery in an evil cause is evil. I made this case to Donahue after the event, and he said that he actually agreed with me.

The idea that bravery redeems participation in evil is war-thinking. Participation in evil can be understood and sympathized with but not redeemed.

Another audience member on Monday evening pointed out something useful about U.S. polling: Americans believe that bombing Syria will make attacks on the United States more likely (indeed, experts agree and history seems to solidly confirm it) and at the very same time, Americans believe that Syria should be bombed.

A willingness to endanger one's self and family and neighbors and millions of people in order to be tough is an irrational and apparently macho position.

This culture of machismo is not without humanity, but that humanity is horribly misinformed. We're not told by the big corporate media about the 95% of deaths in U.S. wars that are the deaths of non-Americans. 

The brilliant Peter Kuznick pointed out at Monday's event that as states require women to watch movies about fetuses before having abortions, they could require people to watch Body of War before wars.  I wish they would. It's a powerful movie. But there's been no Ludlow Amendment and people don't get to vote on wars. And we're now being sold a war on the claim that it won't kill Americans.  If we don't acquire the knowledge that wars also kill non-Americans and that non-Americans matter, we'll be susceptible to manipulation into the idea that a war is a character choice, a matter of expressing and demonstrating bravery.

Following discussion of the film on Monday, we heard stories of bravery in noble causes from five whistleblowers who had put their lives and welfare at risk to advance peace, justice, public safety, the rule of law, and honest government. Their names are Jesselyn Radack, Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, Thomas Drake, William Binney, and Kirk Wiebe. They talked about morality, not machismo. Here's video of them in Baltimore on Sunday.

A sixth speaker on the topic of speaking out was Phil Donahue, who lost his job at MSNBC for dissenting from war fever in 2003. He heartily denounced the dishonesty and sycophancy of corporate media on Monday. He also came back to the topic of bravery, rightly pointing to the five panelists next to him as the highest examples of moral courage.

Now there's a useful phrase:moral courage. Let's celebrate only that kind.

I spoke at an event Monday morning at American U. at which I asked people to raise their hands if they thought war was good for us and character building, or if they thought some wars were necessary, or if they thought all war was unjustified. The crowd was roughly evenly split between the last two choices. Not a single person accepted the notion (popular 100 years back) that war is good for us. But this unscientific poll was conducted in a room of peace studies students and opponents of war. What would the whole U.S. public say?

After the event I spoke with Medea Benjamin about the just-begun bombing campaign, and she remarked, "This is exactly what ISIL wants. They're trying to get the U.S. involved in a war. There are already U.S. troops in combat and this will mean more. We shouldn't fall into the trap of another immoral and unwinnable war."

Medea and I will be protesting this new war at 10 a.m. on Tuesday in front of the White House along with National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance.  We encourage you to join us or to demonstrate locally. Your Congress members and Senators have fled Washington in order to pretend the blood is not on their hands. Take your message of peace to them where they can be found.

Needed: New York March Against War, Because U.N. Is About to Pretend to Legalize It

Here's Francis Boyle on the draft resolution:

So this is a Chapter 7 Resolution, which arguably establishes the predicate for the use of force. It should have been adopted under Chapter 6 to rule out any use of force against Syria. It was not. SC resolutions are binding under either Chapter 6 or Chapter 7 according to ICJ in Namibia Advisory Opinion. So obviously, Obama wants to set the predicate here for using force against ISIS in Syria, which will ultimately lead to the deposition of the Assad government, the crack up of Syria, and genocide against the Alawites and the Christians.

OK. Well obama’s puppet government that he just installed in Iraq could on the basis of this Resolution, Article 51 right of collective  self-defense and the bogus doctrine of hot pursuit ask Obama to bomb ISIS in Syria in order to prevent their cross-border movement from Syria into Iraq and back. Under international law there is no doctrine of hot pursuit on land, only at sea. That Obama scenario and strategy become very clear in OP5 and OP10 and OP14, inter alia. Basically trying to create a right of hot pursuit across land  borders where it did not previously exist —at least Obama will interpret it that way to justify bombing ISIS in Syria at the request of Iraq. There is nothing in this Resolution to rule out that scenario. Indeed, it seems that this Resolution has been drafted for precisely that purpose.

OK. I have read but am not going to go through the rest of this Resolution. It appears that USG specifically drafted this Resolution so that its puppet government in Iraq can on its basis as well as UN Charter Article 51 right of collective self-defense bomb ISIS in Syria. Otherwise, it would be naked aggression against the wishes of the Syrian government. So Obama will use this Resolution as his legal fig-leaf to start the bombing campaign in Syria upon his return to Washington. He will do to Assad and Syria  what he did to Ghadafy and Libya.

ISIS: Bush Was Right

Finally, somebody commenting on the state of Iraq thinks George W. Bush got something right. Turns out it's ISIS. In the new hour-long ISIS-produced film about how nice it is to die for ISIS -- Flames of War: Fighting Has Just Begun -- Bush is quoted: "You are with us or against us." Video shows him saying "Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists." A graphic in the upper corner of the screen reads: "Bush spoke the truth, although he's a liar."

What truth does ISIS think Bush spoke? The Manichean truth that there are two groups of people on earth with nothing in common between them and a shared dedication to annihilate each other. Of course, the notion that they have nothing in common is delusional. They have almost everything in common: their belief in violence, their monotheism, their stupidity, their desire for a U.S. war in the Middle East.

"In the face of the dark wave of the crusader force..." begins the ISIS movie.

"This crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take a while," said Bush.

ISIS shows Obama as well as Bush and denounces both as liars, including rejecting Obama's lie that he won't send combat troops to Iraq. As even a number of U.S. Senators and Congress Members have pointed out, the 1600 troops he's already sent are trained and equipped for nothing other than combat, and a pilot in a plane is engaged in combat. 

But ISIS wants more.  This film is not aimed at provoking the United States the way the beheading films were. It's far too long and boring for Americans to watch.

(Why did ISIS make a full-length movie? Because they couldn't find an editor.)

This film is aimed at recruiting fighters. ISIS claims to be fighting the United States, to have long been the core of the resistance to the United States, and to be defeating troops armed with U.S. weapons. (ISIS never mentions that its own "beloved" weapons come from various infidels, including the U.S.) Here's the ISIS pitch to recruits:

Join us in fighting the evil empire. If you die you'll go to paradise. The afterlife is far longer and more important than this life. "Unshakable faith" is the "most effective weapon of war." Come join "Allah's soldiers" and experience courage, excitement, vengeance, adrenaline, the thrill of victory, and martyrdom. Never mind that our movie is so boring, the fighting is really fun, and Allah is guiding our RPGs!

Of course, ISIS is mistaken. God does not have time to be guiding their RPGs when he's busy making sure the football team that prays the loudest wins each game. And of course Obama has told us that "No religion condones the killing of innocents," forgetting that all the religions of Moses contain this teaching: "Kill every male among the little ones and Kill every woman that has known man by lying with him. But all the women children that have not known a man by lying with him keep alive for yourselves" -- forgetting in fact that all of these religions have violent and peaceful traditions but venerate as holy ancient texts from a barbaric age and teach as essential the idea that there is another magical world that matters more than this one whose climate we are destroying. Sing it, soldiers!

Here's the ISIS pitch to the U.S. government:

We will accept only victory or death, just like Patrick Henry, and we will fight you. Fighting you builds our movement because people hate you so much after the past decades of your attacks. We have no doubt that you are stupid enough to fight us if we keep insulting you.

Here's their pitch to opponents:

Oppose us, and we will make you dig your own grave on camera, because we are so courageous and brave that we wear masks to hide out faces and shoot anybody we don't know how to talk to.

Here's their pitch to Hollywood:

We've got dramatic potential. Sure, make us the bad guys, but put us on the silver screen. We're not as slick and convincing as a White House video news release aired by an "independent" media outlet, but we're way more dramatic. We only have a narrator, no actual characters, but we're still more entertaining than C-Span, and the weapons makers are going to absolutely love us -- just check with them about funding. Then die, you faithless dogs.

Turn Left for Earth

I appreciate that there's more happening than just a march for the climate today on the International Day of Peace, and I get the idea that keeping the safe and obedient march-to-nowhere separate from protests actually at the United Nations where our corporate overlords are determining the rate of the earth's demise is intended to please all of the people some of the time, but I can't help wishing that the march would just turn left instead of right when it reaches 42nd Street, in order to march to the United Nations rather than to nowhere.

This is not a radical idea. A nonviolent protest march expressing popular opinion should be allowed to march to the place it is protesting. The idea that insisting on that constitutes something radical or extremist bewilders me. The New York Times refers to "protest or terror groups" as a category of people, but has a protest group ever engaged in terrorizing and has a terrorist ever joined a protest? Would protesting the United Nations at the United Nations somehow be an act of violence, perhaps purely because it would be an act of disobedience? You've got to be kidding me.

I'm in favor of mixed-use protests, not just urban developments. Don't just let the conservative marchers know about opportunities for more direct protest, but get them involved. Take a safe march to a resistance action, where its size will keep it safe and its members will be energized. Let the crowd demonstrate within sight and sound of the people it is petitioning for a redress of grievances, and let those who are ready join in disruptive protest actions.

Of course turning left in order to go where needed makes a nice metaphor for what our whole culture must do if it is to cease destroying the earth's climate. Paul Krugman figured out this week that green energy pays for itself, but he seems to imagine that therefore it will be created, as if the corrupting influence of the fossil fuel profiteers just doesn't exist. We need to turn so far left that we abandon such naiveté, stop yammering about transition fuels, abandon all talk of "peak oil" as if existing oil isn't sufficient to kill us all, and forswear all pointless pursuit of the political "center."

Naomi Klein's new book does a much better job of identifying the corrupting influence of profiteers. She also points out that the sooner we act to slow down climate change the less radical our actions will need to be. The longer we wait to take meaningful action, the more drastic our actions will have to be when we finally do something. Green energy, Klein's book makes clear for anyone who was unaware, is not failing in a marketplace. It is being killed by political corruption, loan conditions, corporate trade agreements, penalties and disincentives, and the subsidies given to the fossil fuel corporations.

Klein notes that activist movements around trade and climate have, oddly, progressed while virtually ignoring each other. Klein comes closer than most environmentalists to not ignoring another big question, that of war. The military is the elephant in the room in terms of both economics and climate destruction, but is largely ignored by activists and the broader public.

In a common delusion, the government tells the truth about war, and war is worth giving up freedoms for, but scientists lie about the climate and do so in order to (somehow) attack our freedoms. In other words, the fears of bureaucrats and of limits to plutocracy are strong but perhaps not as strong as the fear of terrorists. And the fear of bureaucrats is augmented by a fear of being insignificant, because when nuclear energy or geo-engineering is proposed as a solution, those who like those ideas also see their recognition of the climate crisis increase.

When Klein mentions the military, she first proposes that the weapons companies pay their fair share toward climate protection, and then proposes (along with a bunch of other good ideas) cutting the military by 25% -- while calling that proposal "the toughest sell." The U.S. military budget has doubled in the past decade. The idea that it can't be seriously cut is ridiculous. It is not a question of selling the idea to the public. Go back and look at the public's preferred solutions to the supposed financial crisis in Congress a few years back. The problem is in the corruption of the U.S. government.

Elsewhere Klein says that large public sector expenditures will be needed to save the climate, but surely not as large as the military. So why talk about increasing, rather than changing, expenditures? And then again, elsewhere, Klein says what we need is "wartime levels of spending," even though base military spending is about 10 times as much as war spending. Klein also cites a study suggesting that $1.9 trillion a year, or exactly what the planet now spends on war preparations, would solve the climate and various other crises and human needs.

Congress members have skipped town in order to avoid voting on war. You can find them in their districts. November 6th will be the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict. The two movements named in this holiday should be combined and our actions should escalate. A slight left turn won't be enough to save us.

Ten Acres & A Yard Tractor: Plowing Under The Great Kansas Corpone Revolution

By Michael Caddell


North Jefferson County, Kansas -- The Sept. 6, 2014 Kansas State Fair debates in Hutchinson, with a maximum arena crowd of 2500, had satellite trucks linked to MSNBC, CNN and reporters from as far away as New York. Certainly proof something was happening in Kansas, but for too many in the state that “something” remains unknown.


Drone Protester Found Guilty, Could Face Years in Prison

Syracuse, NY -- Carrying flowers and three documents to Hancock drone base can result in severe consequences. Drone resister, Mark Colville, of the Amistad Catholic Worker, in New Haven, Connecticut, was found guilty, after a two day trial and fifty minutes of deliberation by a De Witt Town Court jury.
 
On December 9th, 2013, Colville and two Yale Divinity students, brought a People's Order of Protection to the front gate of the base to prevent further victims of drone attacks perpetrated from inside Hancock Airbase.  This action was in response to a request on Nov. 25th, 2013, by Raz Mohammad, an Afghan, who's brother-in law was killed by a U.S. drone strike. Gate personnel rejected the petition. 
 
Colville, who's not an attorney chose to represent himself. He faced five charges, including violation of the Order of Protection, (O.O.P's) (max - 1 yr) given on behalf of Colonel Evans. Activists are challenging the validity of these O.O.P.'s, which the Colonel acknowledged in court, in two separate cases, are served "to keep the protesters away from my base". Colville was also charged with Obstruction of Government  Administration (max. 1 yr), 2 Disorderly Conduct charges (15 days max each), and Trespass (15 days max). 
 
Colville's action is a part of a global campaign to ban weaponized drones. Locally, the five year Upstate Drone Coalition campaign has resulted in multiple trials, acquittals and convictions, including the sentencing of grandmother, Mary Anne Grady Flores, to one year for taking photos of an Ash Wednesday witness from the cross walk in front of the base. She was found guilty of violation of her O.O.P.'s. 
 
After trial Colville stated, "This court, by its conduct, continues to condemn itself by manipulating and misapplying the law, intentionally disregarding the cries for justice from those who the law is supposed to protect. The petition that we brought to the base, the People's Order of Protection, demanding that we give relief to the innocent victims of these horrible drone killing machines remains unresponded to.  We will continue to tell the truth in the streets of the Town of De Witt and in its court room until true justice flows down like a mighty river." 
 
An hour before trial, in judge's chambers, Assistant District Attorney McNamara and Mark Coville met with Judge Jokl, who promised to sentence Colville to the maximum penalty allowed. When Colville asked "Why?" The judge responded, "Because I think you deserve it." 
 
Sentencing will be on Dec. 3rd, at 4pm, at 5400 Butternut Drive, De Witt Town Court, E. Syracuse.  
 
                               

 

House Bans War Powers Resolution Actions

The U.S. House of Representatives has not just left town, but prior to leaving passed a rule preventing any member from using the War Powers Resolution to force Congress to return and vote on war.

Here's a video of Congressman Jim McGovern denouncing the rule (or read the transcript here):

If you watch the video, following Rep. McGovern's remarks two of his colleagues run their mouths. The first is Congressman Pete Sessions nonsensically replying to McGovern. The second is Congresswoman Virginia Foxx on an unrelated topic. If you jump ahead to 10:25 McGovern replies to Sessions. It's well worth watching.

In addition, Congressman McGovern and five other Democrats and six Republicans have asked Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to hold a vote on war. Here's their letter: PDF.

Syria News - Sep 20, 2014


In major assault Islamic State fighters seize Kurdish villages in Syria, attacking with U.S. tanks and heavy weapons captured in Mosul - VOA


Syrian Kurd forces withdraw from around 60 villages: monitor - THE DAILY STAR


The northern Syrian city of Kobane under heavy siege by Islamic State militants for the third consecutive day (VIDEOS) - The Long War Journal


Kurds warn of genocide in key city Kobane under siege - The Times


Thousands of Syrian Kurds fleeing Islamic State group cross into Turkey - AP


An Exclusive Interview with Premier of Kobane Anwar Moslem About Ongoing Islamic State Attacks - Kurdish Question


Kurdish PYD leader Muslim: Whoever is going to do something for Kobane must do it now - ekurd


Kurds call for US air strikes, ‘The world cares nothing’ for Syrian city Kobane under Islamic State siege - The Independent


As Global Efforts Galvanize in Iraq, Syrian Kurds Left Alone Against IS - Rudaw


PKK Appeals to Kurds in Turkey to Fight for Kobane - Rudaw


Kurdish President Barzani: 'Use Every Means' to Protect City of Kobane - NBC News.com


VIDEO: 1000s of Syrians attempt to escape to Turkey amid Islamic State attacks - PressTV


PHOTOS: Islamic State wave of terror drives thousands of frightened Kurdish families over Turkish border - Daily Mail


VIDEO: Tension and tear gas as Turkey deals with Kurdish refugee crisis - Reuters


VIDEO: Kurdish YPG fighters vs Islamic State Terrorists in Kobane - YouTube


VIDEO: Latest video from Kobane, Kurdish YPG fighting Islamic State - LiveLeak.com


VIDEO: IS under heavy attack by YPG at night in Kobane - LiveLeak.com

 

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

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