In Iraq, The U.S. is The Problem, not the Solution

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org

The oil rich country of Iraq is facing a possible collapse.

Again.

Sunni militants, largely shut out of the new government installed by the U.S. after our illegally invasion and occupation are overtaking large parts of Iraq in a quickly developing story. U.S. foreign policy seems to lack the imagination to do anything but intervene militarily. How that intervention takes shape, whether it be in aid, advising, air strikes, boots on the ground, or the kind of shock and awe only a Nobel peace prize winning Commander in chief can deliver remains to be seen.

Joining Dennis on Acronym TV this week to discuss the situation in Iraq are Lila Garrett and Dr. Dennis Loo.

How is Harlem Like Afghanistan?

by Debra Sweet        Anand Gopal has written a fascinating book after learning Pashto and living in Afghanistan for 5 years. No Good Men Among the Living, through the stories of 3 Afghans, tells the tale of how the US quickly defeated the Taliban in 2001, and then so oppressed, alienated, and night-raided the population, that they revived the Taliban, and created thousands of indidigenous operators becoming enriched by US contracts.

Iraqis Are Not Abstractions

by Debra Sweet        Today, help on challenging how people in the U.S. are looking at "helping" Iraq:  Larry Everest writes in Revolution, More U.S. Killings and War Crimes in Iraq? HELL NO! today:

When you hear the commander-in-chief of the U.S. empire talk about freedom and giving people "the opportunity to forge their own future," here's what that has meant for the people of Iraq:

Exclusive: North Dakota Oil-By-Rail Routes Published for First Time

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

For the first time, DeSmogBlog has published dozens of documents obtained from the North Dakota government revealing routes and chemical composition data for oil-by-rail trains in the state carrying oil obtained via hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") in the Bakken Shale.

Hint of things to come in the US?: Profiles in Courage and Repression in Egypt and Pakistan

By Alfredo Lopez


As bad as things get for our movement in this country, we are not yet feeling the full throttle of repression and, if one needs a reminder of that and perhaps a profile of what's in store for us if we don't organize now, the situation facing Internet activists in the Middle East provides it.

The Syrian Election and ISIS in Iraq

By Judy Bello

Earlier this month, I traveled with seven other westerners to Syria where we joined with thirty plus activists, journalists and politicians from Asia, Africa and South America to observe the Syria Presidential election.       Bashar. Assad won 88% of the vote.    Though some people in opposition areas boycotted the election, and others could not get to a polling station, 73% of the entire population of Syria eligible to vote did vote.  The 73% turnout was more significant than the votes for Assad.   I had heard a detailed report back from the electoral commission, and spent voting day touring voting sites, so I wasn’t entirely surprised by this outcome.

Looking at the election as a referendum on the current government, the result was an expression of unity across Syrian society, the unity of a people who came forward to support the sovereignty and independence of their country.    When Bashar Assad was declared the winner of the Syrian election, people celebrated in the streets late into the night. in central Damascus, and other cities around Syria.   Even in Homs, people danced all night in celebration.  The slogan of the President was 'Unity' and that is what the people wanted to hear.

There were those who gushed in their affection and support of the President.  And I have at least one recorded on video.  However there were many more people who are tired of war and suffering and hoping to begin rebuilding under a government that could support their basic needs.  And there were those who were ready to cut their losses and return to a life that wasn’t so bad.  Whatever softness there was in the connection between the very well thought out process and the villagers who loosely followed it, there is no doubt that the majority of Syrians want Assad to continue to govern. 

U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry dismissed the Syrian election as a fraud several days before it took place, and many Western countries, including the US, Canada and members of  the EU joined Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Monarchies in denying Syrian expat voters the opportunity to participate in the election at a local Embassy.      The Western press largely dismissed the election, though a massive outpouring of Syrian voters in Lebanon surprised everyone including, we later learned, the Syrian Election Board.  

However, it seems clear, as the current events in Iraq unfold, that somebody took the results of the Syrian election along with the successes of the Syrian Arab Army in liberating the towns along the Lebanese border, and throughout most of the populated areas of the country (except for Aleppo) quite seriously.   Suddenly, a week after the election, the most militant, brutal fighting force in Syria moved much of its forces to Iraq where, with the support of a well organize Sunni defection, they brazenly swarmed across the north west area of the country taking over one city after another.   Iraq is seriously shaken.   It has already been through a terrible bloodbath within this decade and the healing has not seriously begun.  Now a new sectarian war has appeared to be on the horizon.

ISIS (The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), a violent, fanatical organization of religious extremists,  supposedly a breakaway from al-Qaeda, is not new to Iraq.  It was born there during the US occupation.  The man who currently leads ISIS spent several years in the US prison camp at Bucca.  After spending another year in an Iraqi prison, he was released, and shortly after that he took charge of ISIS.   Wealthy Saudis have consistently  funded ISIS, while Turkey has facilitated delivery of arms and other supplies to ISIS across their border.    ISIS has been dismantling the factories in Aleppo, transporting them across the Turkish border and then setting them up for business there.   This could not be done without the tolerance of the Turkish government.  Members of ISIS were trained by US Special Ops forces in Jordan last year.   When ISIS took over the oil well at Raqqa in Syria, the EU dropped its sanctions against Syrian oil production so that they could provide parts to repair the old broken down wells so ISIS could start pumping the oil, which I assume European countries are now buying.

During the last year Syria had, with the help of Iran and Hebollah, begun to beat back the insurgency and recover the territories lost to war.   It is true that thousands of Syrian refugees are in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, but many times more are in refugee camps in the government held areas of Syria where they are supplied with food and shelter, and basic medical care,  and schools for the children.   The Syrian Arab Army is mostly Sunni.  It reflects the population demographics of the country as does the government bureaucracy.    Iraq does not have the resources, the political integrity or the stable social structures to fight a war like this.   It is already fractured in all directions.   There are no resources left for refugees in Iraq.    A sectarian war is a real possibility.

Iraqi President al Maliki has requested the United States to provide assistance.  US President Obama has sent a few Special Ops forces and promised more.   There is a lot of talk about  whether the US should put ‘boots on the ground’; whether the US should use air strikes against ISIS in Iraq.   While the American people stood fast against bombing or sending troops to Syria, they are wavering on Iraq.   Once there are boots on the ground in Iraq, there will be boots crossing the border into Syria.   If drones strike Iraq, they will soon be striking Syria.   It will be open season on Iraq and Syria.  

There is talk of dividing the country.  I’m hearing the “We broke it - now we own it” line again.   This is a serious distortion of reality.  We aren’t talking about accidentally knocking a pot off the shelf in a department store.  We didn’t ‘break Iraq’.  We deliberately invaded the country and smashed it.    We had another 7 or 8 years after that to try to ‘fix it’, but instead we presided over the destruction of what remained of the society.  We should not be given control over any process that might affect the integrity of Iraq or Syria.   Who  governs these countries is not our business and we have no right to choose for them.    Creating mayhem with fanatical militias capable of obscene acts of violence is not the way to ‘free’ people.   Dividing people and power according to ethnic and religious affiliations destroys the fabric of ancient societies and benefits only foreign overlords who find it easier to control a weak and unempowered society.

No matter how bad it looks for Iraq, we must not forget that it is most likely that US officals at some level, at least the CIA, had something to do with the redeployment of ISIS to Iraq.   Therefore the last thing they need is ‘help’ from us.   Let us send them our prayers.  Let us send food and medical aid for refugees.  Let us respect their elections be they ever so fragile and flawed.   Let us respect their sovereignty and their right ot solve their own problems.  AND, let us pressure our government to stay out of the fray and to demand that our allies cease to support and facilitate blood thirsty fanatical militant forces in this region.  

Let the Iraqis and the Syrians have a chance to restore their countries and their lives.     We don’t own them.  We haven’t earned even the privilege to call ourselves their friends.   Let us give them the freedom to make their own choices and solve their own problems. Cede to them their right to self determination.   That is what we really owe them.

The Great Human Delusion: All Parents Love their Children

Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, there is a widespread belief that all parents love their children. This is not so. Many parents are so badly emotionally damaged as a result of their own childhood experience that they are not capable of loving their children. Moreover, the fear, self-hatred and powerlessness that characterise most humans means that parental violence against children is chronic even if one or both parents are capable of love.

Mapping Militarism

World Beyond War has created a set of online interactive maps to help us all see where and how war and preparations for war exist in the world today.  You can find the maps we’ve created thus far at http://bit.ly/mappingmilitarism and send us your ideas for more maps here.  We’ll be updating some of these maps with new data every year and displaying animation of the progress away from war or the regress toward more war as the case may be.

The following are still screen-shots of some of the maps available in interactive form at the link above.

spending

This map displays annual spending on war and war preparations. When you view the interactive version, the key at the bottom left is adjustable. Here the darkest color is set to $200 billion. You can raise or lower it. Or you can click on one of the colored squares and change the colors if you don’t like blue.  When you run the cursor over one of the countries on the interactive version it will give you details. You can also choose to see the same data as a graph without the map by clicking the full-screen symbol on the graph at the top of the page. Then you’ll see this:

spendinggraph

At the moment, the nation “United States” has been clicked on. The bar for the United States is noticably larger than for the other nations. It would be about twice as high if all U.S. military spending were included. But then at least some of the other nations’ would be higher as well. The data used here for the comparison across nations comes from a report called “The Military Balance” by IISS. By comparing, as well as possible, absolute spending dollars, it becomes clear that the U.S. military dwarfs all others. Maps and charts that show military spending as a percentage of GDP (of a nation’s economy) have their own use, but they seem to imply that if a government has more money if can buy more weapons without becoming more militaristic, that in fact it will become less militaristic if it does not buy more weapons.

Another way to look at spending on war and war preparations by national governments is as a per-capita figure. Perhaps nations with more people can make an argument in defense of more spending. Here’s a screenshot of that map:

percapita

The above map of military spending per capita has something in common with the basic spending map: The United States is still the darkest color. But China’s not a (very) distant second-place anymore. And the U.S. isn’t in first place anymore. It’s been edged out by Israel and Oman. And trailing right behind it are Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Kuwait, and the land of the Nobel Peace Prize: Norway, followed by Australia and the United (for the moment anyway) Kingdom.

Countries don’t just spend money on their own militaries. They also sell and give weapons to other countries. We’ve included a couple of maps displaying those nations that make the most weapons transfers to others. Here’s one, using data from the Congressional Research Service:

transfers

This just seems to be the United States’ night at the Oscars. But here the distant runners up are Russia, France, Germany, Italy, China, and the U.K. This gives us a different view of the weapons industries in these countries. They aren’t just arming their own governments. And they aren’t just arming wealthy allies either. Here’s a look at who’s arming poor nations:

poor

We decided it was worth a particular look at where all the U.S.-made weapons are being shipped to. Here’s that map (all nations colored the same if they received any major weapons systems from the United States in 2012). Click it to go to the interactive versions:

received

We’ve also included at http://bit.ly/mappingmilitarism maps showing who has how many nuclear weapons and who has biological and chemical weapons. They might surprise you.

There are also maps of which nations have troops right now in Afghanistan, which nations are experiencing wars at the moment, and which nations have recently been hit with missiles (most of them from drones).

Because the United States does things that other nations do not, there are a number of U.S.-specific maps. For example: Here are nations with U.S. troops permanently stationed in them. The interactive version will give you the details. The data is from the U.S. military:

ustroops

The above does not include special forces or the CIA or drone strikes. The few gray nations without U.S. troops permanently in them stand out, including Iran and Syria. Should Greenland be worried?

We’ve also included a map of U.S. military actions since 1945. It has quite a bit of color on it.

And we’ve included a series of maps indicating some level of national interest in replacing war with the rule of law. While the International Criminal Court is seriously flawed, it might be improved by greater membership, particularly by major war makers. Here is which countries are now members:

iccAlso available is a map of which nations are party to the long-forgotten treaty that bans war, known as the Kellogg-Briand Pact. That membership ought to be very surprising. There’s also a map of which nations have ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions banning the horrendously awful and murderous cluster bombs, a.k.a. flying landmines.

See if you find these maps useful, and let us know what you think is missing.

If you find projects like this one useful, please support them here.

Iraq News - June 26, 2014


Syrian warplane airstrikes targeting ISIS kill at least 50 in Iraq, authorities say - Fox News


Iran Secretly Sending Drones and Supplies Into Iraq, U.S. Officials Say - NYTimes.com


More Details on Advanced Warnings Kurdish Intelligence Gave U.S. About ISIS Upcoming Attack in Iraq - NBC News


US planning to split Iraq into three states according to a report obtained by Time magazine - Gulf Daily News


POLL: Not Worth It: Huge American Majority Regret Iraq War, Exclusive Poll Shows - NBC News


Lebanon’s Hezbollah ready to fight ISIS in Iraq - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT


ISIS Suicide Bomber Blows Up Part of Beirut Hotel: Official - NBC News


Detained French national recruited by ISIS militants for suicide attack in Lebanon - AhlulBayt News Agency


Saudi Funding of ISIS - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy


'Thank God for the Saudis': ISIS, Iraq, and the Lessons of Blowback - The Atlantic


VIDEO: Who’s funding ISIS? - Al Jazeera America


Russian diplomat urges UN to probe into oil exports by terrorists in Syria, Iraq - ITAR-TASS


After Opening Way to Islamist Rebel Groups of Any Stripes, Turkey Is Paying Heavy Price - NYTimes.com


Abbas says he backs Syria's "war against terrorism", Assad election as Syrian president will help to end the country's three-year war - Al Akhbar English


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US officials say Maliki still committed to form a new government, shrug off Maliki blast on 'national salvation' govt - Yahoo News


VIDEO: Iraq Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki says he's committed to forming a new government, rejects 'national salvation' government - YouTube


Iraq's Powerful Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr Sadr warns will 'shake the ground' against militants - Yahoo News


VIDEO: Iraqi Shiite fighters parade in show of force in Baghdad - YouTube


In Iraq, former militia program eyed for new fight against ISIS, They were known as the Awakening Councils - Yahoo News


Iraq: Tribal forces pledge to confront ISIS advance on Haditha Dam - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT


Sunni tribes register in Basra to help Iraqi army against ISIS radicals - AhlulBayt News Agency


ISIS not impacting Iraqi oil sector much, Push to Shiite south would be difficult for Sunni insurgents: Analyst - UPI.com


Shiite villagers describe ISIS ‘massacre’ in northern Iraq - The Washington Post


Iraq: Suicide bomber kills 13 south of Baghdad - AP


Report: Christian Father Allegdely Commits Suicide After ISIS Members Rape Wife and Daughter in Front of Him Because He Couldn't Pay Poll Tax - christianpost.com


ISIS strengthened on Syria border after Nusra Front unit joins it - THE DAILY STAR


Syria jihadists now using Humvees seized in Iraq: NGO - THE DAILY STAR


REPORT (English): New issue of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shām’s magazine: “Islamic State Report 4″ - JIHADOLOGY

 

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

Does the U.S. have a moral obligation to Iraqis? With regard to ISIS, what to do?

 Originally Posted at PopularResistance.orgLila Garrett with Dennis Trainor, Jr in part one of Acronym TV this week. ~Topics Discussed ~ ISIS in Iraq, Barack Obama as a War President, The U.S.

Recent Federal Court Decision Could Muddy Waters for Keystone XL South, Flanagan South

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

On June 6, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit handed down a ruling that will serve as important precedent for the ongoing federal legal battles over the Keystone XL and Flanagan South tar sands pipelines.

War Stories: Bad Wars and the Voice of Disillusion

By John Grant

 

      When lo! An angel called him out of heaven,

      Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad, . . .

U.S. Conference of Mayors Adopts Bold New Resolution

U.S. Conference of Mayors Adopts Bold New Resolution Calling for Constructive Good Faith
U.S. Participation in International Nuclear Disarmament Forums; Commends Marshall Islands for
bringing lawsuits against U.S. and 8 other Nuclear-Armed States

The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM), the non-partisan association of America’s big cities, on June 23, 2014 unanimously adopted a sweeping new resolution Calling for Constructive Good Faith U.S. Participation in International Nuclear Disarmament Forums at its 82nd annual meeting in Dallas, Texas. According to USCM President Kevin Johnson, Mayor of Sacramento, California, “These resolutions, once adopted, become official USCM policy.”

Recalling that “August 6and 9, 2015 will mark the 70th anniversaries of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which killed more that 210,000 people by the end of 1945,” the resolution notes that “the people of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) continue to suffer from the health and environmental impacts of 67 above-ground nuclear weapons test explosions conducted by the U.S. in their islands between 1946 and 1958, the equivalent of 1.6 Hiroshima-sized bombs detonated daily for 12 years.”

On April 24, 2014, the RMI filed “landmark” cases in the International Court of Justice against the U.S. and the eight other nuclear-armed nations, claiming that they have failed to comply with their obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and customary international law to pursue negotiations for the global elimination of nuclear weapons, and filed a companion case in U.S. Federal District Court. In its resolution, the USCM “commends the Republic of the Marshall Islands for calling to the world’s attention the failure of the nine nuclear-armed states to comply with their international obligations to pursue negotiations for the worldwide elimination of nuclear weapons, and calls on the U.S. to respond constructively and in good faith to the lawsuits brought by the RMI.”

Over the past three years there has been a new round of nuclear disarmament initiatives by governments not possessing nuclear weapons, both within and outside the United Nations. Yet the U.S. has been notably “missing in action” at best, and dismissive or obstructive at worst. The USCM resolution documents the dismal U.S. record and calls on the administration to participate constructively in deliberations and negotiations regarding the creation of a multilateral process to achieve a nuclear weapons free world in forums including the Third Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons to be held in Vienna, Austria in December 2014, the UN Conference on Disarmament, and the May 2015 NPT Review Conference.

The USCM also “calls on the President and Congress to reduce nuclear weapons spending to the minimum necessary to assure the safety and security of the existing weapons as they await disablement and dismantlement, and to redirect those funds to meet the urgent needs of cities.”

Recalling the U.S. commitment under the 1970 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) to pursue negotiations in good faith on the elimination of nuclear weapons, the resolution notes that “forty-four years after the NPT entered into force, an estimated 16,400 nuclear weapons, most held by the U.S. and Russia, pose an intolerable threat to humanity, and there are no disarmament negotiations on the horizon” and that “the U.S. and the eight other nuclear weapon possessing states are investing an estimated $100 billion annually to maintain and modernize their nuclear arsenals while actively planning to deploy nuclear weapons for the foreseeable future.”

The resolution states that “according to the General Accounting Office, the U.S. will spend more than $700 billion over the next 30 years to maintain and modernize nuclear weapons systems,” and that “this money is desperately needed to address basic human needs such as housing, food security, education, healthcare, public safety, education and environmental protection.”

Reflecting current international tensions, the resolution warns that “the U.S.- Russian conflict over the Ukraine may lead to a new era of confrontation between nuclear-armed powers, and nuclear tensions in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and on the Korean peninsula remind us that the potential for nuclear war is ever present.” The resolution “urges President Obama to engage in intensive diplomatic efforts to reverse the deteriorating U.S. relationship with Russia.”

Expressing its “deep concern” about the U.S. failure to engage in recent intergovernmental and United Nations nuclear disarmament initiatives, the USCM “calls on the U.S. to participate constructively and in good faith in the Third Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons to be hosted by Austria in Vienna, December 8 – 9, 2014” and “in urgent commencement of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament for the early conclusion of a comprehensive convention on nuclear weapons,” and “to press the other nuclear weapon states to do likewise.”

The USCM “calls on the U.S. to demonstrate a good faith commitment to its disarmament obligation under Article VI of the NPT by commencing a process to negotiate the global elimination of nuclear weapons within a timebound framework, under strict and effective international control, at the May 2015 NPT Review Conference, and to press the other nuclear weapon states to do likewise.”

The USCM also “calls on its membership to Proclaim September 26 in their cities as the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons and to support activities to enhance public awareness and education about the threat posed to humanity by nuclear weapons and the necessity for their total elimination.”

The resolution notes that Mayors for Peace, with over 6,000 members in 158 countries, representing one seventh of the world’s population, continues to advocate for the immediate commencement of negotiations to eliminate nuclear weapons by 2020, and that “Mayors for Peace, with members in the U.S. and Russia; India and Pakistan, and Israel, Palestine and Iran can be a real force for peace.” The USCM “expresses its continuing support for and cooperation with Mayors for Peace,” and “encourages all U.S. mayors for join Mayors for Peace.”

The resolution was sponsored by Mayor Donald Plusquellic of Akron, Ohio, past President of the USCM and a Vice-President of Mayors for Peace, and 26 co-sponsoring mayors from cities in Virginia, North Carolina, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Florida, Massachusetts, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Maine, California, Minnesota, and New Mexico.

Mayors for Peace is an international association, founded in 1982 by the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The United States Conference of Mayors is the national non-partisan association of cities with populations over 30,000.

Full text of the resolution, with the complete list of co-sponsors: http://wslfweb.org/docs/MSPUSCMsponsorsfinal.pdf

More information about Mayors for Peace: www.mayorsforpeace.org and www.2020visioncampaign.org

More information about the U.S. Conference of Mayors: www.usmayors.org

# # #

Ukraine News - June 25, 2014


Putin asks parliament to cancel Russian authorization to use force, wants to extend cease-fire in Ukraine - AP


Ukraine's Poroshenko welcomes Putin's step towards military de-escalation - Yahoo News


US welcomes Putin call to revoke authorization to use force in Ukraine - AFP


EU hopes for implementation of Putin’s offer to revoke right to use army in Ukraine - ITAR-TASS


VIDEO: Ukraine crisis: Putin & Fischer press conference in Austria (recorded live feed) - YouTube


OSCE chair says some solutions to Ukrainian crisis must be found in next few days - ITAR-TASS


Contacts on resolving conflict in Ukraine should continue until certain results reached: Russian Deputy FM - The Voice of Russia


Ukraine rebels down helicopter, killing nine despite truce - GlobalPost


Ukraine president says may revoke ceasefire after helicopter downing - Khaleej Times


Donetsk separatist leader: Kiev sabotages ceasefire agreements - ITAR-TASS


Miners call on all sides to the military conflict in Donbas to lay down their weapons, cease fire, and stop killing people and destroying enterprises - Interfax


Coal mines in Ukraine could close amid conflict - worldcoal.com


VIDEO: Ceasefire holds in Ukraine's flashpoint city of Slavyansk - YouTube


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

UN Estimates 423 Killed in Ukraine's East - ABC News


UN: Numbers of Displaced Ukrainians Rising - VOA


Despite recent positive steps, Ukraine situation remains deeply worrying, Security Council told - United Nations News Centre


VIDEO: Ukraine situation remains deeply worrying, Security Council told - unmultimedia.org


VIDEO: Remarks by Ambassador Samantha Power at UN Security Council Meeting on Ukraine Situation - dvidshub.net


TRANSCRIPT: Remarks by Ambassador Samantha Power at a Security Council Meeting on the Situation in Ukraine - usun.state.gov


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

Austria defies US, EU over South Stream during Putin visit (VIDEO) - DW.DE


VIDEO: Austria and Russia sign South Stream gas pipeline treaty - RT Business


Putin: US unhappy with South Stream because it wants to deliver gas to Europe - RT Business


U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers to Break With Obama Over Russia Sanctions - moneynews.com


Russia to set own barriers in response to Ukraine's EU trade pact - Reuters


Russia to Substitute 95% of Ukrainian Defense Imports - RIA Novosti


Putin's Renunciation of Force in Ukraine Sends Ruble and Stocks Skyrocketing - The Moscow Times


Ukraine Supreme Court Clears Tymoshenko Of All Charges In Gas Case - Eurasia Review


Shale gas won't be extracted in Donetsk, says separatist leader - Ukrainian Journal

 

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

Face-off at the DMV

  I took Kevin to the DMV yesterday to get his learners permit.  I’d planned on sleeping in, but Patty roused us at 7.  “It could take most of the morning,” she said, “and you’ll never get the grass cut if you sleep in.”  She seemed to believe that was a negative.

 

We got there early, before the doors opened, but two dozen people were already ahead of us.  We slowly worked our way toward the front of the line, and were almost there by 10 am.  I’d read the sports section of the paper twice, and Kevin stayed busy texting on his phone.  But then things took an odd turn.  

Talk Nation Radio: Nell Bernstein: Close All Juvenile Prisons

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-nell-bernstein-close-all-juvenile-prisons

Most kids commit crimes. Those locked up in juvenile prisons are more likely to commit crimes as adults than are those left alone.  So, why do we lock them up? What drives such counterproductive programs that create such misery despite demonstratd failure to achieve their purported ends? And how can we alter our approach?  We speak with Nell Bernstein.

Nell Bernstein is the author of Burning Down the House (forthcoming from The New Press) and All Alone in the World (The New Press), a Newsweek "Book of the Week." She is a former Soros Justice Media Fellow and a winner of a White House Champion of Change award. Her articles have appeared in Newsday, Salon, Mother Jones, and the Washington Post, among other publications. She lives in Albany, California.

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://davidswanson.org/talknationradio

Audio: Connect the Dots on Iraq

Listen to Lila Garrett's Connect the Dots on KPFK: AUDIO.

Guests include:

David Swanson organizer of WORLD BEYOND WAR does an in depth analysis of our intervention in this civil war in Iraq including its connection to those interests in the US determined to feed and maintain our permanent war economy.

Former Congressman Bob Filner served as Chair of the Congressional Com. On Veteran Affairs from 2006-2010.   As chairman, Filner increased spending on veterans healthcare, and a new GI bill for veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq.  Filner describes the serious cut backs by this Congress on those benefits. This includes the 50,000 vets on medical lists waiting to see a doctor for months…even years.

Senate Candidate  Shenna Bellows, Democrat from Maine, whom journalist John Nichols has called “possibly the future of progressive politics in America”, describes Maine’s extreme rightwing leadership.  About Bellows' opposition, Republican Susan Collins,  author Stephen King writes: “Senator Susan Collins is considered a moderate who compromises a lot. Sounds good, but when it comes down to casting votes that serve Mainers, she always seems to end up with her Republican colleagues, led by Mitch McConnell.”

Lila Garrett (Host of CONNECT THE DOTS)

KPFK 90.7 FM in LA; 98.7 Santa Barbara; 93.7 San Diego;

99.5 China Lake

Airs Mondays from 7AM to 8AM.

So That's Why They Kept the Drone Kill Memo Secret

Now that the U.S. government has released parts of its We-Can-Kill-People-With-Drones memo, it's hard to miss why it was kept secret until now.

Liberal professors and human rights groups and the United Nations were claiming an inability to know whether drone murders were legal or not because they hadn't seen the memo that the White House said legalized them. Some may continue to claim that the redactions in the memo make judgment impossible.

I expect most, however, will now be willing to drop the pretense that ANY memo could possibly legalize murder. 

Oh, and yall can stop telling me not to use the impolite term "murder" to describe the, you know, murders -- since "murder" is precisely the term used by the no-longer secret memo.

The memo considers a section of the U.S. code dealing with the murder of a U.S. citizen by another U.S. citizen abroad, drawing on another section that defines murder as "the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought."

David Barron, the memo's author, needed a loophole to make murder-by-missile a lawful killing rather than an unlawful killing, so he pulls out the "public authority justification" under which the government gets to use force to enforce a law.  It's a novel twist, though, for the government to get to use force to violate the law, claiming the violation is legal on the Nixonian basis that it is the government doing it.

Alternatively, Barron suggests, a government gets to use force if doing so is part of a war. This, of course, ignores the U.N. Charter and the Kellogg Briand Pact and the illegality of wars, as well as the novelty of claiming that a war exists everywhere on earth forever and ever. (None of Barron's arguments justify governmental murder on U.S. soil any less than off U.S. soil.)

In essence, Barron seems to argue, the people who wrote the laws were thinking about private citizens and terrorists, not the government (which, somehow, cannot be a terrorist), and therefore it's OK for the government to violate the laws.

Then there's the problem of Congressional authorization of war, or lack thereof, which Barron gets around by pretending that the Authorization for the Use of Military Force was as broad as the White House pretends rather than worded to allow targeting only those responsible for the 911 attacks. 

Then there are the facts of the matter in the case of Anwar al Awlaki, who was targeted for murder prior in time to the actions that President Obama has claimed justified that targeting.

Then there are the facts in the other cases of U.S. killings of U.S. citizens, which aren't even redacted, as they're never considered.

Then there are the vastly more numerous killings of non-U.S. citizens, which the memo does not even attempt to excuse.

In the end, the memo admits that calling something a war isn't good enough; the targeted victim has to have been an imminent threat to the United States.  But who gets to decide whether he or she was that?  Why, whoever does the killing of course.  And what happens if nobody ever even makes an unsupported assertion to that effect? Nothing, of course.

This is not the rule of law.  This is savage brute force in minimal disguise.  I don't want to see any more of these memos.  I want to see the video footage of the drone murders on a television.  I want to see law professors and revolving-door State Department / human rights group hacks argue that dead children fall under the public authority justification.

Ukraine News - June 24, 2014


Ukraine separatists vow to honor the govt cease-fire as peace talks get under way in the east - Fox News


Separatists set conditions for negotiations with Kiev - RT News


Three-party talks on resolving Ukraine's crisis begin in Donetsk - The Voice of Russia


Poroshenko invites Russia to send inspectors to Ukraine to monitor ceasefire - ITAR-TASS


Obama and Putin talk on the phone on Ukraine - chicagotribune.com


Oligarch Medvedchuk may have convinced Putin that Poroshenko's peace plan is a step towards reaching a final settlement - CSMonitor


"Ukrainian choice" Medvedchuk could start a political settlement - Russian news and facts


VIDEO (Russian): Peace Talks Underway in Donbass As Viktor Medvedchuk Arrives With Federalisation Proposal - LiveLeak.com


Ukraine looks to Polish federalism as a model for political reform - GlobalPost


Current requirements and recommendations on constitutional reform in Ukraine of the Parliamentary Assembly and Venice Commission - pravo.org.ua


EU prepares civilian mission to assist security sector reform in Ukraine - European Union, EEAS


U.S Department of State: Background Briefing on Ukraine - Scoop News


VIDEO: Ukraine crisis: 'We recruit volunteer fighters from Russia’ - BBC News


Ukraine railroad blown up, Russian train derailed (PHOTOS, VIDEO) - RT News


VIDEO: Police Clash With Maidan Supporters In Kharkiv


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

Europe to Sign Free Trade Agreement with Ukraine on June 27 - naturalgaseurope.com


Guide to the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement - eeas.europa.eu


Ukraine to dominate EU foreign ministers’ summit - France 24


Kiev Willing to Consult Moscow on Implementation of EU-Ukraine Association Agreement - RIA Novosti


New Ukraine FM Seen Bringing Sober Style to Kyiv Diplomacy, Regarded as  a consummate diplomat capable of deftly navigating the integration with Europe  - VOA


Russia to protect its market if Ukraine signs free trade agreement with EU: Russian deputy PM - The Voice of Russia


Russia may impose temporary ban on farming products' imports from Ukraine, They may contain the dangerous pest corn rootworm - The Voice of Russia


Gazprom's Gas Flow to Europe via Ukraine Remains Stable as Debt Feud Continues - ibtimes.co.uk


Naftogaz May Review Transit Contract with Russia in Court - RIA Novosti


Ukraine hopes for out-of-court deal with Gazprom: Naftogaz CEO - ITAR-TASS

 

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

Fund billboards and ads to organize for abolition of war, an idea whose time has come

We need funds for billboards and ads around the world to bring together those ready to work for an end to war. Please contribute at http://igg.me/at/worldbeyondwar

Ukraine News - June 23, 2014


Putin backs Poroshenko's peace plan, calls on both sides in Ukraine conflict to lay down arms and compromise - The Guardian


VIDEO: Putin calls for “genuine dialogue” between Kyiv and eastern rebels - euronews


Putin Orders Forces in the Urals on Combat Alert - ABC News


VIDEO: Combat Ready Alert: Putin orders surprise drills in Central Military District - YouTube


Ukraine president Poroshenko offers talks with pro-Russian separatists - Yahoo News


Poroshenko warns of ‘detailed Plan B’ if Ukraine ceasefire fails - RT News


New Ukrainian constitution may be passed in September: Poroshenko - The Voice of Russia


TRANSCRIPT: Televised Address of President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko - Official web-site of President of Ukraine


Fighting strains Ukraine ceasefire - Reuters


VIDEO: Ukrainian peace broken amidst cross-border shelling - euronews


Ukraine Blames Separatist Militias for 'Violating Truce', Says Gunmen Carried Out 11 Armed Attacks on Army Positions During the Last 24 hours - mashable.com


Rebels Shell Border Guard Convoy In Luhansk Region - Ukranian News


Ukraine’s National Guard shelling Lugansk village Ananyevka despite ceasefire: LPR militia - ITAR-TASS


Ukraine's military resumes bombardment of the town of Shchastye near Lugansk: media - ITAR-TASS


VIDEO: Russian TV shows footage exposing Ukraine’s artillery strikes in the Lugansk region - ITAR-TASS


Latest statements from separatist military commander Igor Strelkov (June 22) - The Vineyard of the Saker


Why Ukraine's Separatist Movement Failed in Kharkiv: Mayor Kernes Returns To Different City After Being Shot - New Republic


Russia indicts Ukraine’s Kolomoisky, Avakov for using prohibited means of warfare - ITAR-TASS


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

Kiev nationalists clash with police outside Orthodox monastery, as churchgoers were holding a peace service to end war (VIDEOS) - RT


VIDEO: Nationalists clash with anti-war march in Kiev - YouTube


VIDEO: Kiev peace demonstration demands end to warfare - YouTube


VIDEO: Kiev nationalists vandalize SberBank of Russia - YouTube


VIDEO: More footage of protesters attacking Russian bank in Kiev - LiveLeak.com

 

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

'Just a war on teachers and students': NY Principal Attacks Rush to Push a Flawed New Common Core' Math Curriculum

By Dave Lindorff


Host Dave Lindorff talks on this week's broadcast of Radio "ThisCantBeHappening!" with guest Dr. Carol Burris, principal of South Side High School in Rockville Center, NY, about the new “Common Core” math curriculum being pushed on about 70 percent of the public schools in New York, to the consternation of most children, parents and teachers.

Moral Injury: WashPost Neocons and Iraq

 

 


Iraqis Are Not ‘Abstractions’

 

 

Editor Note:  U.S. policymakers have long behaved like spoiled, destructive children treating Iraq as if it were some meaningless plaything. The game has been about who “wins” or “loses” in Washington, not who lives or dies in Iraq, a moral failure that ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern addresses.

By Ray McGovern

Strongest Antiwar Statement Yet from a Congressional Candidate

In this local TV news interview (video), we see Virginia Fifth District Democratic nominee for Congress Lawrence Gaughan say, "We need to get back to the Constitution on the issue of war, and I will never authorize the executive to use force when there is no direct or imminent threat to our national security here on our soil."

I'm not aware of a stronger statement from any candidate for Congress. 

Virginia's Fifth District is currently misrepresented by Republican Robert Hurt who on Thursday voted against blocking funds for a new war on Iraq:

Lee (D-CA)- Amendment No. 31 - Prohibits funds from being used to conduct combat operations in Iraq. – REJECTED 165 – 250

Twice:

Lee (D-CA)- Amendment No. 33 - Prohibits funds from being used pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force against Iraq Resolution of 2002. – REJECTED 182 – 231

Prior to Hurt, VA-05 was misrepresented by Democrat Tom Perriello, an enthusiastic warmonger who recently moved to the State Department from the Center for American Progress, which is advocating for missile strikes on Iraq.

Prior to Perriello, this district was embarrassed and disgraced by Democrat turned Republican Virgil Goode.

When people voted for Perriello (and Obama) in 2008, many blindly followed a party line, and many fantasized that they were electing an anti-war representative. 

Many imagined Hurt was hopeless in this regard, although he did prove willing in the end to oppose missile strikes into Syria.

Now, as it happens, there appears to be an opportunity to vote for someone who is actually running on an antiwar platform, not just a platform of being from a different party than Bush and Cheney.  And what a platform!

It's quite common to say you'll only back wars when "U.S. national interests are at stake" or when the U.S. is threatened, but those phrases can usually be defined to mean anything at all, including U.S. troops halfway around the globe getting into a shoot out.  That's not what Gaughan has said.  He has said there must be a threat to the United States in the United States.  That's a rejection of at least the past 70 years of U.S. war making.

It's also common to claim that one will take a decent position against wars if asked by the President.  That's not what Gaughan has said.  He has said that he will abide by the Constitution, which does not allow presidents to make wars, and that he will not permit the executive to wage wars except under the narrow circumstances described.

We're not going to find better than this around here for a long, long time to come, and I doubt anybody can find better elsewhere in the country. 

I therefore suggest that wherever you live, you consider supporting putting this man in Congress.

Ukraine News - June 21, 2014


Ukraine leader declares week-long ceasefire in east - THE DAILY STAR


Ukrainian president rules out talks with separatists of self-proclaimed republics - ITAR-TASS


Ukraine peace plan to call for 10-km buffer zone on Russia border - GlobalPost


Rebels in eastern Ukraine reject peace plan and ceasefire offer by Poroshenko - The Irish Times


Militia of Donetsk People's Republic distrusts Poroshenko's security guarantees - The Voice of Russia


Militants of Lugansk won't lay down arms while Ukraine won't take away army from LNR - ITAR-TASS


Poroshenko, local authorities of Ukraine’s eastern regions fail to find negotiating position - ITAR-TASS


New battles as Ukraine says 300 separatists and 7 Ukrainian troops killed in fighting, rebels drive tanks - Yahoo News


VIDEO: Fighting continues in eastern Ukraine despite cease-fire - AFP


Kiev’s army shelling kills 5yo boy & his mom in Slavyansk (VIDEO) - RT News


VIDEO: Huge build up of troops near Lugansk - LiveLeak.com


Donetsk Republic forms division of miners - ITAR-TASS


Good morning, Donetsk -- Ukraine rebels spread the word on radio - Yahoo!7


US hits 7 Ukraine rebels with sanctions - Mail Online


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

Russia: Poroshenko’s ceasefire looks more like ultimatum, “Key element is yet lacking - a proposal to start talks with the separatists" - ITAR-TASS


Russia re-deploying near Ukraine border, stockpiling additional tanks and artillery - skynews.com


President Putin calls emergency meeting with security council to discuss southeast Ukraine events - The Voice of Russia


Ukrainian Rebel Commander Identified As Russian GRU Military Intelligence Colonel - Washington Free Beacon


Kiev seizes 'Russian armoured vehicle', says fighters and military equipment have been coming into the country from the Russian border - ibtimes


Ukrainian military refute reports on full control over eastern border with Russia - ITAR-TASS


Russian checkpoint on Ukraine border comes under fire, Moscow expects explanations from Kiev (VIDEO) - RT News


Putin plotting to halt UK fracking, warns Nato chief - AP


‘What are they smoking?’ Greenpeace ridicules NATO claims of Russian fracking plot (VIDEO) - RT News

 

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

Global Days of Listening

GDoL Photo 6.21.14 2
SEE THE SCHEDULE HERE

Summer Solstice Global Days of Listening

The Afghan Peace Volunteers have been rethinking . . . recommitting.

Talk & listen with them on Saturday June 21 - Request a time, here.
Kabul: 5:30 - 10 pm / England: 2:00 - 6:30 pm
US - Eastern 9 am - 1:30 pm, Pacific 6 - 10:30 am


They hope borders are not seen as a line to separate people,
but a place where we find our neighbors, our friends. 

LISTEN TO THE LIVE CONVERSATION

Follow the Afghan Peace Volunteers at their website:

Our Journey to Smile


See and promote the Blue Scarf Campaign

love is how we will ask for peace,
 
the Afghan Peace Volunteers                                         

for more information: globaldaysoflistening@gmail.com                           
 

Heather Zichal, Former Obama Energy Aide, Named to Board of Fracked Gas Exports Giant Cheniere

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

Heather Zichal, former Obama White House Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, may soon walk out of the government-industry revolving door to become a member of the board of directors for fracked gas exports giant Cheniere, who nominated her to serve on the board. 

Helping the People of Iraq

by Debra Sweet  N THE EVENT of U.S. bombing of Iraq, choose the best protest location in your city/town, and call on people to go there at 5:00 pm the day of the attack, or, in the case of an evening attack, the next day at 5:00 pm

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