Student Privacy and the Military

By Pat Elder

Over the last two years, more than half of the states have enacted legislation aimed at protecting the privacy of high school students. A Student Privacy Pledge has attracted the support of 200 companies in the business of providing online services to students in America’s classrooms. The White House, too, has proposed a Student Digital Privacy Act, modeled after California’s stringent Student Online Personal Information Protection Act, (SOPIPA), that was passed in 2014 and went into effect in 2016.

Meanwhile, the military, the nation’s most egregious violator of student privacy rights, gets a pass.

Several elements are common to most of these laws, according to Jules Polonetsky and Brenda Leong of the Future of Privacy Forum. They summarize the new laws regulating school-based digital data collectors:

[Data collectors] are barred from selling student information, delivering targeted advertising to students, or changing privacy policies without notice and choice. They must use data for authorized educational uses only, support requirements for parental access to data, and delete data when required.

If a school promotes an online product and requires or encourages students to use it, then it has responsibility for making sure the tool complies with many of these new privacy laws. 

Like yearbook and ring companies that sell student information to the highest bidder, DOD recruiters and civilian employees routinely pass sensitive information about underage students to the Joint Advertising and Marketing Research Systems (JAMRS), a DOD program. JAMRS subcontracts the massive, Orwellian database of approximately 30 million youth, ages 16-25, to the data goliath Equifax.

On a scale that dwarfs corporate competitors, the DOD delivers targeted advertising to students. It changes privacy policies without notice or choice to consumers. (The recent changes to USMEPCOM Regulation 601-4 concerning the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, ASVAB, provide an example.) The military does not use the data it collects for educational purposes, and it works against providing for parental consent or access to data. Furthermore, the military retains data collected on students long after laws demand their destruction.

While proposing the Student Digital Privacy Act last year, President Obama forcefully declared, “data collected on students in the classroom should only be used for educational purposes — to teach our children, not to market to our children.” However, the president’s proposal leaves the DOD alone. 

The framework of the President’s proposal is taken from the California law:

Operators may not collect information that is descriptive of a student or otherwise identifies a student, including, but not limited to, information in the student’s educational record or email, first and last name, home address, telephone number, email address, or other information that allows physical or online contact. discipline records, test results, special education data, juvenile dependency records, grades, evaluations, criminal records, medical records, health records, social security number, biometric information, disabilities, socioeconomic information, food purchases, political affiliations, religious information, text messages, documents, student identifiers, search activity, photos, voice recordings, or geolocation information.

The DOD collects most of this through the ASVAB enlistment test alone. More than a thousand schools require students to take the test. Overall, 650,000 high school kids take the test in 12,000 schools.

MinnesotaNew Jersey, ColoradoNew Mexico,and  Mississippi, allow students to take the ASVAB as an alternative end-of-year assessment. Kentucky and Missouri encourage students to take the ASVAB to be considered “Career Ready.”  These policies provide a treasure trove of unregulated data for the Pentagon, all without parental consent. On the other end of the spectrum, Hawaii, Maryland, and New Hampshire do not allow results from the ASVAB to be used for recruiting purposes.

Federal law says military recruiters may request the names, addresses, and numbers of students for direct marketing purposes, an act prohibited in all the new privacy laws. The law, however, allows parents to request that their child’s name not be forwarded to the Pentagon. Maryland is the only state that has a law requiring an “opt-out” form to be placed on the mandatory emergency contact card, leading most parents to remove their child’s information from lists being sent to recruiters.  The new data privacy laws fail to address this obvious invasion of privacy in the 49 states that are reluctant to check this military overreach.

The military has multiple avenues of data flowing into its databases. High school guidance offices and career centers encourage students to visit the websites of each of the military branches, reserves, and Guard units. They all collect volumes of personally identifiable data. Schools also promote the following websites, and they often provide instruction in navigating a host of military or military-supported sites like: www.todaysmilitary.com, www.ecybermission.com,www.march2success.com, www.armystrongstories.com,www.military.com,www.asvabprogram.com,www.march2success.com, and www.myfuture.com.

Unwary students are prompted to click on military links to Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter where newly formed units of recruiters in recruiting companies across the country spend countless hours trolling these sources to assemble a virtual portrait of children before first contact.

The DOD also works in state houses to loosen privacy protections. Kentucky is the worst. Their law says, “All student academic records are made available upon request to any agency of the federal or state government for the purpose of determining a student's eligibility for military service.” 

When President Obama endorsed the Student Privacy Pledge, he called for companies to make a firm commitment to using student data only for educational purposes. The Student Privacy Pledge asks data collectors to abide voluntarily by the same standards taken from many the new state laws

“We pioneered the Internet,” Obama said at the Federal Trade Commission. “But we also pioneered the Bill of Rights and a sense each of us as individuals have a sphere of privacy around us that should not be breached by our government but also by commercial interests.” The DoD has not signed the pledge and is not likely to do so on anytime soon because so much of the Pentagon’s strategy for recruiting the nation’s youth depends on deception.

The Pledge applies to all personal student information whether or not it is part of an “educational record” as defined by federal law.  It is an important distinction because the DOD has claimed for years that the administration of the ASVAB in the schools is not subject to the Buckley Amendment, so results do not need parental consent to be released to recruiters. The Buckley Amendment says schools may not release educational records to third parties without seeking parental consent. The DOD claims ASVAB results are not educational records. Instead, they say test results are military records. The DOD has a long and despicable history of dodging privacy mandates.

Meanwhile, other giants in the student testing industry, like the College Board and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, have signed on.

When the ACLU settled their lawsuit with the DOD over the illegal JAMRS database in 2007, the DOD agreed to the following:

·        limit to three years the length of time that DoD retains student information;

·        stop collecting student Social Security Numbers; and,

·        establish and clarify procedures by which students can block the military from entering information about them in the database and have their information removed.

The DOD has fallen short on all three accounts. Student information is retained indefinitely, although JAMRS data is placed in a “suppression file” after three years. The Recruiting Command routinely collects social security numbers through the ASVAB program and the DOD has failed to make anything clear to students or their parents regarding the JAMRS database or ways to have information removed.

This is not what democracy looks like. The DOD defends its actions arguing that this heavy-handed arrangement is preferable to the return of the draft, although the problem is much deeper.

Relatively few want to enlist and those that do increasingly come from a shrinking number of deep red states in the south. The realities of a vicious and unresponsive command structure after 15 years of unnecessary warfare have filtered down to potential recruits and their families.  The Pentagon feels it must violate our 1st Amendment rights while operating a highly deceptive recruiting apparatus to achieve its yearly quotas. What’s needed is a sincere national discussion on the size, cost, and mission of the Department of Defense, particularly as it relates to the inability of this nation to address the overwhelming needs of its citizenry. We may discover we don’t need all of these troops and that reduced recruiting quotas will engender a more democratic and transparent defense establishment.

========

Pat Elder pelder@studentprivacy.org is the Director of the National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy.  The organization works to expose the military’s unconstitutional and deceptive recruiting practices in the nation’s high schools. www.studentprivacy.org

Fanning fears during London’s mayoral election: Islamophobia on the Rise in England

By Linn Washington, Jr.

 

During a casual conversation inside a store on a swanky shopping street located a short distance from London’s fabled Kensington Palace a twenty-something retail clerk said she feels a strange sense of discomfort that she’s never felt before in London, the city where this native of Algeria has lived most of her life.

Focus: NATO and Russia - May 13, 2016


New US missile defense system Aegis Ashore goes live in Russia's back yard - CBS News


NATO press release: Key missile defence site declared operational - NATO


VIDEO: NATO Secretary General at inaugural ceremony of Aegis Ashore, Romania - NATO


VIDEO: Joint press Conference following the Aegis Ashore ceremony - NATO


New NATO supreme commander vows tough line on Russia, says alliance should arm Ukraine - AFP


Commander: NATO needs to be ready to fight Russia ‘tonight' - The Daily Caller


Permanent US armored force in Europe would better deter Russia: NATO commander - Reuters


The U.S. Army’s war over Russia, group of dissenters say they’re overreacting to get a bigger share of the defense budget - POLITICO


Chuck Hagel to next US President: Talk to Putin, Former Defense Secretary warns against ‘cold war buildup’ as NATO deploys in Europe’s eastern flank - atlanticcouncil.org


Poll shows Americans say the U.S. 'should deal with its own problems and let other countries deal with their own', but Washington wants to intervene... everywhere - The Daily Caller


POLL: Key findings on how Americans view the U.S. role in the world - Pew Research Center

 

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

Russia calls new U.S. missile shield in Romania a ‘direct threat' - NBC News


Russia rejects US claims about ‘threat’ of Iran’s missiles - Tasnim News Agency


Russia is taking countermeasures against US missile defense in Europe: Kremlin - TASS

 

Russian media: 5 reasons why US antimissiles in Europe threaten Russia - RT News


Putin: Russia to encourage defense industry enterprises - TASS

 

Putin to hold third meeting on development of Russian defense sector - TASS

 

Putin ally accuses new NATO general of stoking ‘war hysteria' - newsweek.com


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

Tomgram: Engelhardt, They Just Can't Stop Themselves

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

Focus: Democratic National Convention - May 12, 2016

 

Democratic convention hosted by Republican donors, anti-Obamacare lobbyists and Net Neutrality opponents - theintercept.com


NY Democrats selling national convention access to big donors - New York Post


DNC joins arms with Comcast, America's most hated Internet provider, to host Democratic national convention - usuncut.com


After conventions a debt to donors, part and parcel of the creeping corporate buyout of America’s political system - The New York Times


DNC head denies Sanders’s claim of convention favoritism, 'I do not think that Sen. Sanders’s concerns are valid or warranted' - TheHill


Sanders accuses DNC of tipping convention toward Clinton - POLITICO


Sanders’ letter: DNC has forwarded only three of 40 names the Sanders campaign recommended for the key committees while installing Clinton loyalists in leading roles - berniesanders.com


Wall street money: Barney Frank to oversee Democratic platform while running big bank - ibtimes.com


Financial Sector Gives Hillary Clinton a Boost - WSJ


VIDEO: Wall Street donors give Clinton a boost - WSJ


Wall Street befuddled, alarmed by Donald Trump and may turn to Democratic ticket - The Boston Globe


Wealthy Cruz donor pours millions into Clinton campaign - Observer


Hillary forces target Bush donors, Their message to moderate Republicans: She represents your values better than Trump - POLITICO


VIDEO: Trump agrees with Sanders: Clinton 'is totally controlled by Wall Street' - Washington Post


Clinton and Goldman Sachs: Why it matters - The New York Review of Books


Clinton son-in-law’s firm is said to close Greece hedge fund tied to Goldman Sachs after losing nearly 90 percent of its value - NYTimes.com


Hillary Clinton has a lot of donors in the Justice Department, twelve of the 228 contributions were for $2,700 with some in high places - Hot Air


Offshore tax haven leak implicates seven-figure pro-Clinton donor - freebeacon.com


Whose ‘dark money’ flows from offshore accounts into Maine campaigns? - State & Capitol


Hillary Clinton's campaign taps aide tied to 2008 fundraising schemes: Report - Washington Times


Clinton fundraising leaves little for state parties, they've gotten to keep only 1 percent of the $60 million raised - POLITICO


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

How to Oppose the Draft for Women and Not Be Sexist

For the majority of people in the United States who have no idea, yes, draft registration still exists, but only for males. However, the U.S. House of Representatives is interested in adding young women to the rolls. In fact the House Armed "Services" Committee passed such a measure in April, and it is now part of the National "Defense" Authorization Act pending review, amendment, debate, and passage.

An amendment proposed by Congressman Pete Sessions would undo this "progressive" development. Some rightwing groups that consult the Bible for their standards of women's rights also want to stop the extension of "selective service" to all 18 year olds. Some peace activists believe that the key to ending warmaking is actually activating the draft in as big a way as possible. And liberal humanitarian warriors want equal war rights for women. Much of the rest of the world, meanwhile, believes the United States has overdosed on military madness.

Bush-Obama Powers Will Pass to Next President

Remember when coups and assassinations were secretive, when presidents were obliged to go to Congress and tell lies and ask permission for wars, when torture, spying, and lawless imprisonment were illicit, when re-writing laws with signing statements and shutting down legal cases by yelling "state secrets!" was abusive, and when the idea of a president going through a list of men, women, and children on Tuesdays to pick whom to have murdered would have been deemed an outrage?

All such resistance and outrage is in the past by mutual consent of those in power in Washington, D.C. Whoever becomes the next president of the United States could only unfairly and in violation of established bipartisan precedent be denied the powers of unlimited spying, imprisoning, and killing. That this is little known is largely a symptom of partisanship. Most Democrats still haven't allowed themselves to hear of the kill list. But the widespread ignorance is also a function of media, of what's reported, what's editorialized, what's asked about in campaign debates, and what isn't.

The new book, Assassination Complex: Inside the Government's Secret Drone Warfare Program, from Jeremy Scahill and the staff of The Intercept, is terrific to see even more for what it represents than for what it actually teaches us. We've already learned the details it includes from the website of the Intercept, and they fit with similar details that have trickled out through numerous sources for years. But the fact that a media outlet is reporting on this topic and framing its concerns in a serious way around the dangerous expansion of presidential and governmental power is encouraging.

The United States is now working on putting into action drone ships and ships of drone planes, but has never worked out how in the world it is legal or moral or helpful to blow people up with missiles all over the earth. Drone wars once declared successful and preferable alternatives to ground wars are predictably evolving into small-scale ground wars, with great potential for escalation, and nobody in any place of power has considered what candidate Obama might have called ending the mindset that starts wars, perhaps by using the rule of law, aid, disarmament, and diplomacy.

I recommend starting The Assassination Complex with the afterword by Glenn Greenwald, because he reminds us of some of Senator and candidate Obama's statements in favor of restoring the rule of law and rejecting President George W. Bush's abuses. What Obama called unacceptable at Guantanamo, he has continued at Guantanamo and elsewhere, but expanded into a program that focuses on murder without "due process" rather than imprisonment without "due process."

"Somehow," writes Greenwald, "it was hideously wrong for George W. Bush to eavesdrop on and imprison suspected terrorists without judicial approval, yet it was perfectly permissible for Obama to assassinate them without due process of any kind." That is in fact a very generous depiction of the drone murder program, as The Assassination Complex also documents that, at least during one time period examined, "nearly 90 percent of the people killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets." We should think of drones more as random killing machines than as machines killing particular people who are denied the right to a trail by jury but are suspected of something by somebody.

"It is hard," writes Greenwald, "to overstate the conflict between Obama's statements before he became president and his presidential actions." Yes, I suppose so, but it's also hard to overstate the conflict between some of his campaign statements and others of his campaign statements. If he was going to give people a fair hearing before abusing their rights, what are we to make of his campaign promises to start a drone war in Pakistan and escalate the war in Afghanistan? Greenwald is assuming that the right not to be murdered ranks somewhere fairly high alongside the right not to be spied on or imprisoned or tortured. But, in fact, a war-supporting society must understand all rights to have particular protection except the right to stay alive.

The advantage that comes from viewing small-scale drone murders as an escalation of small-scale imprisonment -- that is, as a violation of rights -- really comes when you carry logic one step further and view large-scale killing in war as also a violation of rights, as indeed murder on a larger scale. In fact, among the top areas in which I would add to Greenwald's summary of Obama's expansions of Bush powers are: torture, signing statements, and the creation of new wars of various types.

Obama has made torture a question of policy, not a crime to be prosecuted. Frowning on it and outsourcing it and hushing it up does not deny it to the next president in the way that prosecuting it in court would.

Obama campaigned against rewriting laws with signing statements. Then he proceeded to do just as Bush had done. That Obama has used fewer signing statements is largely due, I think, to the fact that fewer laws have been passed, combined with his creation of the silent signing statement. Remember that Obama announced that he would review Bush's signing statements and decide which to reject and which to keep. That is itself a remarkable power that now passes to the next president, who can keep or reject any of Bush's or Obama's signing statements. But as far as I know, Obama never did actually tell us which of Bush's he was keeping. In fact, Obama announced that he would silently assume any past signing statement to apply to a new and relevant law without restating the signing statement. Obama has also developed the practice of instructing the Office of Legal Counsel to write a memo in place of a law. And he's developed the additional technique of creating self-imposed restrictions, which have the benefit of not being laws at all when he violates them. A key example of this is his standards for whom to kill with drones.

On the question of starting wars, Obama has radically altered what is acceptable. He began a war on Libya without Congress. He told Congress in his last state of the union speech that he would wage a war in Syria with or without them (which statement they applauded). That power, further normalized by all the drone wars, will pass to the next president.

Lawyers have testified to Congress that drone killing is murder and illegal if not part of a war, but perfectly fine if part of a war, and that whether it's part of a war or not depends on secret presidential memos the public hasn't seen. The power to render murder possibly legal, and therefore effectively legal, by declaring the existence of a secret memo, is also a power that passes to the next president.

In reality, there is no way to even remotely begin to legalize drone murders, whether or not part of a war. The seven current U.S. wars that we know of are all illegal under the UN Charter and under the Kellogg-Briand Pact. So, any element of them is also illegal. This is a simple point but a very difficult one for U.S. liberals to grasp, in the context of human rights groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch taking a principled stand against recognizing the illegality of any war.

If, on the other hand, the drone murders are not part of an illegal war, they are still illegal, as murder is illegal everywhere under universal jurisdiction. The defense that a foreign dictator, exiled or otherwise, has granted permission to murder people in his country, so that sovereignty is not violated, misses the basic illegality of murder, not to mention the irony that helping dictators kill their people conflicts rather stunningly with the common U.S. excuse for launching wars of overthrow, namely punishment of a dictator for the ultimate sin of "killing his own people." Sovereignty is also an idea very selectively respected; just ask Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, or Syria.

Reporter Cora Currier, in The Assassination Complex, looks at Obama's self-imposed, but never met, restrictions on drone murders. Under these non-legal limitations it is required that drone missiles target only people who are "continuing, imminent threats to the American people," and who cannot be captured, and only when there is "near certainty" that no civilians will be killed or injured. Currier points out that Obama approves people for murder for months at a time, rendering dubious the already incoherent idea of a "continuing imminent threat." It's not clear that "capture" is ever a serious option, and it is clear that in many cases it is not. The "near certainty" about not killing civilians is thrown into doubt by the constant killing of civilians and, as Currier points out, by the White House claiming to have had that "near certainty" in a case in which it killed civilians who happened to be American and European, thus requiring some accountability.

Scahill and Greenwald also document in this book that sometimes what is targeting is a cell phone believed to belong to a particular person. That of course provides no "near certainty" that the targeted person is there or that anyone else isn't.

What might begin to restrain this madness? Will those who opposed Bush lawlessness but turned a blind eye to its expansion under Obama find themselves opposing it again? That seems highly unlikely under the best of the three remaining big-party presidential candidates, Bernie Sanders. I can't imagine ever getting a significant number of his supporters to even become aware of his foreign policy, so good is he on domestic issures. With Hillary Clinton the task would be extremely difficult as well, aided only by the likelihood that she would launch truly big-scale wars. With a President Trump, it does seem much more conceivable that millions of people would suddenly find themselves opposing what has been firmly put into place the past 16 years. Whether it would then be too late is a different question.

Hillary's Email Bombshell: Saudi's Financed the Benghazi Attack

By Gar Smith

Bernie Sanders may have been chivalrous when he told a beleaguered Hillary Clinton, “The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails.” But when it comes to actually reading some of Clinton’s confidential exchanges, that’s another matter.

In December 2014, Hillary Rodham Clinton began providing the State Department with personal emails sent or received during her tenure as Secretary of State. The final batch was released on February 29, 2016. The entire collection is now posted on the State Department’s Public Reading Room and is searchable via this link.

But the collection is not complete. Clinton admits to having deleted 32,000 emails “deemed private.” Among the missing are a number of politically charged emails sent to Secretary Clinton by a trusted colleague named Sidney Blumenthal. Blumenthal’s emails were allegedly captured and copied by Marcel Lazar Lehel, an unemployed Romanian taxi driver better known as “Guccifer” and “Small Fume.” In April of this year, Lehel became an instant celebrity after he was identified as the cyber-savvy interloper who had hacked into Clinton’s official email account during her time as Secretary of State. (Lehel was recently awarded an all-expenses-paid trip from a Romanian prison to the US where he will spend his days in an American jail cell under 18-month extradition order.)

Talk Nation Radio: Jean Trounstine and Karter Reed on Murder, Juvenile Injustice, and Redemption

  https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-jean-trounstine-and-karter-reed-on-murder-juvenile-injustice-and-redemption

Jean Trounstine is the author of Boy With a Knife: A Story of Murder, Remorse, and a Prisoner's Fight for Justice.

Karter Reed is the subject of and the author of the Epilogue to the book. He was convicted of murder as a child in an adult court, and was sent to adult prison.

Trounstine and Reed discuss Reed's story and U.S. policies on juvenile crime.

Total run time: 29:00

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

Download from LetsTryDemocracy or Archive.

Pacifica stations can also download from Audioport.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

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

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Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete at
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Tomgram: Noam Chomsky, What Principles Rule the World?

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

Seymour Hersh Erases Public's Role on Syria

By David Swanson, American Herald Tribune

Seymour Hersh 8891d

We once again owe the great reporter Seymour Hersh a serious debt for his reporting, in this case for his London Review of Books articles on President Barack Obama's war making, now published as a book called The Killing of Osama bin Laden. Despite the title, three of the four articles are about Syria.

But there is a shortcoming in how Hersh tells history, as in how many reporters do. I've watched Hersh do interviews about the topic on Democracy Now and never once heard him mention the U.S. public. In his book, the public gets one mention: "The proposed American missile attack on Syria never won public support, and Obama turned quickly to the UN and the Russian proposal for dismantling the Syrian chemical warfare complex." Taken in isolation, that sentence suggests what I think is an important causal relationship. Taken in the context of a book that spends many pages offering other explanations for Obama's decision, that one sentence seems to be simply stating two unrelated incidents in chronological order.

A few sentences later, Hersh writes that Obama had claimed to have evidence of Bashar al Assad's guilt in a chemical weapons attack, but then turned to Congress for a vote and accepted Assad's offer to give up chemical weapons. From this, Hersh concludes that Obama must have been made aware of evidence contradicting his claim. (In fact, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper supposedly rather pointedly told Obama that his claim was "not a slam dunk.") Elsewhere Hersh credits Obama's decision not to bomb Syria to "military leaders who thought that going to war was both unjustified and potentially dangerous." Hersh writes that a report contradicting Obama's chemical weapons claims led the joint chiefs of staff to warn Obama that attacking Syria could be "an unjustified act of aggression."

You may be wondering which of the seven wars Obama is now engaged in isn't an unjustified act of aggression, or how a chemical weapons attack would make a war into a justified act of aggression, but Hersh also cites a DIA assessment in 2013 that overthrowing Syria could create a Libya-like disaster -- something that a 2012 DIA assessment also warned was in the making. But, one might ask, where is the public uproar or any other sort of consequence for the White House from the fact that Obama blatantly lied about a Libyan threat to massacre civilians in Benghazi and used that lie to create the current disaster in Libya? What has been the downside to the president of having lied about a mountaintop rescue in order to get into more warmaking in Iraq and Syria? How have endless lies about Ukraine or drone strikes come back to bite the prevaricator in chief? What would have been different about getting caught lying about a chemical weapons attack in Syria? And with those lies having in fact been told and being now well-exposed by Hersh and others, is it possible to find a dozen Americans and a dog who give a damn?

The difference was this. Public pressure had made the 2003 U.S. attack on Iraq illegal and shameful, powerful enough to toss out Congressional majorities in 2006 and to deny Hillary Clinton a nomination in 2008. Syria 2013 resembled Iraq 2003 in too many ways. WMD lies were still unstable ground. Other types of lies were much preferred. Secretive wars and slow buildups would be better tolerated. A new shock and awe over WMD lies, entering a new war on the side of al Qaeda, with the strongest supporters of such madness actually opposed in this case because the president was a Democrat -- all of this was just too weak a proposal for the public. Once the question was made a public debate, with true war mongers screaming for Obama to uphold his "red line," the public made more phone calls, sent more emails, and challenged more Congress members at public meetings over this question than over any other question ever before in history. And Congress members were heard saying they didn't want to go on record as having voted for "another Iraq."

Now, that may explain why Congress made clear it would vote No if forced to vote. But what determined the emperor's decision to tell Congress to take a vote (a role not actually assigned to presidents in the U.S. Constitution)? Here's where it helps to read Chapter 1 of Hersh's bin Laden book, the chapter on the killing of bin Laden. This is a chapter largely dedicated to President Obama's mad and reckless rush to violate various policies, outrage various bureaucrats, burn Pakistani relations, endanger sources, and generate various falsehoods that would have to be corrected, in order to as quickly as possible announce to the public that he had slain the terrible dragon. Obama falsely claimed that bin Laden was engaged in running a major terrorist organization and had been armed and killed in a shoot out. In fact, bin Laden was an irrelevant old invalid, unarmed, unguarded, and murdered in cold blood. Obama also lied about how bin Laden had been found, which facilitated lies to the effect that torture had accomplished something, a lie put into the movie Zero Dark Thirty by the CIA. Never directly mentioned in this saga is the looming presence of the U.S. public, the entity to which Obama went running head over heels to blurt out his news and plead for a triumphal arch to be built in his honor.

U.S. politicians have a very odd and corrupt relationship with the public, as has that public with itself. Numerous actions are taken on behalf of donors in stark opposition to the public will. But public opinion remains a major focus for politicians. Perhaps Hersh considers the point too obvious to mention, or perhaps he considers it false. He doesn't say. But he should be aware that much of the public considers it false, that even peace activists who try to pressure politicians for peace often believe they have no impact. Hersh must also be aware that politicians go out of their way to pretend that the public has no impact.

Hersh is clear that the decision to proceed with eliminating Syria's chemical weapons came after the decision not to bomb. But he paints the decision not to bomb as an internal decision focused on picking the policy that would have the best results and be based on accurate information. He cannot be unaware that most U.S. government policies are not shaped around those criteria.

The general view of the U.S. public is that "democracy" should be spread around the globe and that any politician who changes their position in response to public demand is shameful and disreputable. Politicians in the United States are applauded for claiming to ignore opinion polls and to act on principle, which they universally claim. "There is probably a perverse pride in my administration," said President Obama, "and I take responsibility for this; this was blowing from the top — that we were going to do the right thing, even if short-term it was unpopular." The identical sentiment has been articulated by nearly every U.S. politician for many years.

In the late 1990s, Lawrence Wittner was researching the anti-nuclear movement of decades past. He interviewed Robert "Bud" McFarlane, President Ronald Reagan's former national security advisor: "Other administration officials had claimed that they had barely noticed the nuclear freeze movement. But when I asked McFarlane about it, he lit up and began outlining a massive administration campaign to counter and discredit the freeze -- one that he had directed. . . . A month later, I interviewed Edwin Meese, a top White House staffer and U.S. attorney general during the Reagan administration. When I asked him about the administration's response to the freeze campaign, he followed the usual line by saying that there was little official notice taken of it. In response, I recounted what McFarlane had revealed. A sheepish grin now spread across this former government official's face, and I knew that I had caught him. 'If Bud says that,' he remarked tactfully, 'it must be true.'"

Admitting to public influence is usually the last thing an elected official wants to do. It's viewed by them and by the public alike as the exact equivalent of admitting to the influence of campaign bribery, . . . er, I mean, contributions. Even well-meaning activists see elections as exactly as corrupting a factor of pure principled politics as lobbyist meetings, proposing as a result such "reforms" as longer terms in office and term limits. And yet, when it comes to the decision not to bomb Syria in 2013 (and instead merely to keep arming and training proxies and searching for other means of more slowly making a bad situation worse), the White House admits to public influence.

This was not merely reading polls, in which the U.S. public opposed arming proxies even more than dropping bombs. But neither was it "doing the right" wonky thing, and the public be damned. Remember, Obama asked the CIA for a report on whether arming proxies had ever "worked," and the report said no it hadn't -- except for that time in Afghanistan (blowback not included). Obama was intent on doing what both the public and the military warned against. But he wouldn't do it in too big and dramatic a manner under a public spotlight with the words "Iraq Part II" flashing on the marquee. Here's a bit of Obama's self-portrait as Saint Francis in The Atlantic:

"But the president had grown queasy. In the days after the gassing of Ghouta, Obama would later tell me, he found himself recoiling from the idea of an attack unsanctioned by international law or by Congress. The American people seemed unenthusiastic about a Syria intervention; so too did one of the few foreign leaders Obama respects, Angela Merkel, the German chancellor. She told him that her country would not participate in a Syria campaign. And in a stunning development, on Thursday, August 29, the British Parliament denied David Cameron its blessing for an attack. John Kerry later told me that when he heard that, 'internally, I went, Oops.'"

Obama is also quoted as listing the House of Commons vote as one of the major factors in his own decision. And then there's Joe blurt-it-out Biden, in the same article:

"When I spoke with Biden recently about the red-line decision, he made special note of this fact. 'It matters to have Congress with you, in terms of your ability to sustain what you set out to do,' he said. Obama 'didn't go to Congress to get himself off the hook. He had his doubts at that point, but he knew that if he was going to do anything, he better damn well have the public with him, or it would be a very short ride.' Congress's clear ambivalence convinced Biden that Obama was correct to fear the slippery slope. 'What happens when we get a plane shot down? Do we not go in and rescue?,' Biden asked. 'You need the support of the American people.'"

Do you? Do these characters care about or want that support on corporate trade agreements or healthcare or climate destruction, on banker bailouts or super delegates or military spending? No, they're happy to ignore minor levels of public activism disempowered by a belief in its own impotence, by the pretense of politicians that it is ignored, and by the partisanship that usually provides cover for roughly half of office holders on any given topic. But when the public is united and energized, when it feels empowered to hold somebody accountable, politicians do still sit up and pay attention.

The influence of the public on the 2013 Syria decision began with the 2003 public uprising that made the United Nations refuse legal cover to attacking Iraq. After Russia and China went along with the pretense of UN cover for attacking Libya in 2011, they refused to do the same on Syria in 2013. This was going to have to be an Iraq-like war without any UN fig leaf.

Public pressure came through the governments of the UK and Germany, and it came principally through Congress. It also poured into the White House directly. It also came through the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and others in the military machinery of Washington who knew what the public response to Iraq had been. None of these people operate in a vacuum. None of them even aspire to be good representatives of majority opinion, either. But it shapes their actions nonetheless, and we should be aware of how it does so. And good reporting, reporting so good that it can no longer even be published in the United States and must find an outlet in London, should not neglect to include mention of the U.S. public -- even if the public's actions are secrets that are by definition sitting right out in the open.

Tomgram: Noam Chomsky, The Challenges of 2016

 [Note to TomDispatch Readers: The remarkable Noam Chomsky has a new book out: Who Rules the World? It's almost too obvious to say, but it's a must-read!

Getting the Story Wrong: The Distortion of American Politics by the Press

Ever since the foundation of the American Republic, there has been both praise for and suspicion of the role the press plays in U.S. political life.  Thomas Jefferson famously remarked that, if it were left to him “to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I would not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”  And yet, Jefferson was also profoundly disturbed by the politically biased and inaccurate articles that he saw published in the press.  As he told James Monroe:  “My skepticism as to everything I see in a newspaper makes me indifferent whether I ever see one.” 

Jefferson’s ambivalence about the press becomes understandable when one considers the distorted reporting that has characterized the current campaign for the U.S. Presidency. 

Dan Berrigan Made Me Do It

 

 


Price for Witnessing Against War

 

 

 

Editor Note: The funeral for anti-war priest Daniel Berrigan was a reminder of humanity’s need to challenge immoral government actions and the price that one pays for doing so.

By Ray McGovern

Fr. Daniel Berrigan’s funeral was being live-streamed Friday, as I started to write this, which seems only fitting. Dan’s witness and writing have been a constantly re-chargeable battery for my moral compass.

Corruption in the Time of Cholera

In 2004, the United States, which had previously occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934, kidnapped the president of Haiti, overthrew his government, and sent in United Nations "peace keepers." In 2010, an outbreak of cholera hit Haiti for the first time ever. The disease had previously been unknown in the country.

The UN had sent in soldiers from Nepal where cholera had just broken out. It hadn't tested the soldiers for the disease. At the soldiers' camp in Haiti, a truck picked up their fecal waste on October 17, 2010, and drove it to a hilltop septic pit overlooking a river. The pit was already full and overflowing. The driver's boss told him to dump his load anywhere. So he dumped it into the river.

Downriver, people started dying of cholera. An outbreak would spread rapidly. Thousands (and still rising) would perish. The "international community," with its benevolent military takeovers, had literally shat on the health of the Haitian people.

Next it proceeded to make matters worse. The United Nations, international diplomats, hired scientists, the New York Times, National Public Radio, the Lancet, and the respectable humanitarian NGO complex in general spent years covering up and lying about what had happened.

Because the armed occupying army of "peace keepers" was widely resented as an armed occupying army, many were concerned, or professed to be concerned, that honestly stating what had begun the cholera outbreak would lead to an outbreak of violence. In fact, the refusal to state what had happened led to the lynching of dozens of practitioners of voodoo who were scapegoated. And false claims about what had caused the outbreak led to misdirected resources in the struggle to eliminate the disease -- and in fact to the false belief that the disease could not be eliminated as it supposedly lay lurking in the environment ready to emerge in any natural disaster.

Avoiding the blame it deserved, the United Nations was happy to blame Haiti and to suggest that poor countries lacking in modern services simply must deal with disease outbreaks eternally. Meanwhile, smaller, better targeted steps, at relatively limited cost, could have eliminated cholera from Haiti as this nasty, deadly disease has been eliminated from other places -- and those steps still could eliminate cholera from Haiti this year.

Ralph Frerichs' new book is called Deadly River: Cholera and Cover-Up in Post-Earthquake Haiti. The author cites a $2.2 billion ten-year plan that could eliminate cholera and improve water and sanitation. That's 0.00002% or so of U.S. military spending. Can it possibly be spared? Dare we cancel half a weapons system, tax a few corporations, or divert some of Hillary Clinton's speaking fees? Apparently not.

Frerichs' book is largely the story of French doctor Renaud Piarroux's efforts to uncover the truth of what happened in Haiti. It's a story of bureaucratic coverup and deception undone by science and journalism. It's a story of supposedly benevolent Western agencies and authorities declaring it unimportant how a disease outbreak began, in a manner that they never would have attempted in the United States or Europe. The New York Times actually denounced "the feverish urge to blame," even though finding the source of a disease is generally considered essential to halting its spread.  

Western NGOs proved better in this case and others at helping out during a crisis than at ending it. They began pushing the idea that Haiti would simply have to control cholera as well as it could from here to eternity, a claim that Piarroux had heard before in Comoros, Madagascar, Senegal, Ivory Coast, and Guinea. Even years later, NPR was airing a folksy liberal newsy-ish story on the views of a discredited scientist exonerating the UN of all blame for cholera in Haiti. And with years gone by, attention and available funding had moved on to other disasters around the globe.

Past cholera pandemics have often followed armies. The UN sends more armies to more places than anyone other than the United States. That has to stop. Not because the cholera contamination was intentional, not because a secret world government run by black helicopters is planning to destroy apple pie or Christianity, but because countries are better off without their governments overthrown, doctors are better assistance than soldiers, unaccountable bureaucracies often do more harm than good, and peace is not going to be found at the end of a thousand guns.

Here's Chelsea Clinton in early 2010 as Haiti dealt with an earthquake and had yet to be hit with cholera: "The incompetence is mind numbing. The UN people I encountered were frequently out of touch … anachronistic in their thinking at best and arrogant and incompetent at worst. There is NO accountability in the UN system or international humanitarian system.” But the focus of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to her emails, was on public relations, specifically on countering all negative accounts of U.S. involvement in Haiti. She had just supported another coup in Honduras, and later that year U.S. diplomats would clamp down on efforts to honestly report what had brought cholera to Haitian shores.

If Haiti had the same vote at the United Nations that the United States does, this would not have happened. If democracy were a serious worldview rather than a fund-generating slogan, this would not have happened. The Catholic Church of all ancient bloated bureaucracies is considering dropping "just war" sophistry after 1,700 years. How many years will it be before the United Nations tries nonviolence, democracy, independence from the five war powers, and respect for human life?

Focus: Hillary Clinton - May 6, 2016


FBI interviewing Clinton aides about private server and Hillary is next, CNN claims that as of now there is no prosecutable offense - Hot Air


Officials: Scant evidence that Clinton had malicious intent in handling of emails - The Washington Post


Judge orders top Hillary Clinton aides to answer questions about secret emails - Washington Times


Federal judge opens the door to Clinton deposition in email case - TheHill


Judicial Watch: Federal court allows discovery to begin in Clinton email case - Judicial Watch


VIDEO: Judicial Watch president on the latest in the Clinton email investigation - YouTube


New documents suggest Clinton withheld emails from State Department - Washington Examiner


State Dept: Clinton’s email security procedures won’t be released until after the election - Motherboard


The linchpin of the FBI's Hillary Clinton investigation - Washington Times


Hacker Guccifer claims he got into Hillary Clinton's server - NBC News


#DropOutHillary: Twitter just unleashed on Hillary Clinton and it is savage - usuncut.com


More than 500.000 #DropOutHillary tweets and now #1 trending topic on Facebook - Brendan4Bernie on Twitter

 

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

Trump calls Clinton Foundation ‘a scam’ - WSJ


Whistleblower Ortel turns scrutiny on the Clinton Foundation, says unclear what they got from the donors and what they did with it - freebeacon.com


It's time to press for an Investigation of the Clinton Foundation - Charles Ortel


Clinton Foundation: The in-depth process begins - Charles Ortel

 

Charity watchdog: Clinton Foundation a ‘slush fund’ - New York Post


Is the Clinton Foundation really a charity? How much of the money raised is actually spent on the causes they are supposed to be aiding? - commentarymagazine.com


Fact-checking Hillary: No, the Clinton Foundation hasn't operated with ‘complete transparency' - townhall.com


‘Clinton Cash’ has been made into a movie, will be screened in Cannes and have its U.S. premiere the week of the Democratic convention (TRAILER) - Bloomberg


Firms that paid for Clinton speeches have US gov't interests - AP


Why did Congo offer Bill Clinton $650,000 for two pics and a speech? - Forbes


Disgraced Clinton Foundation donor got $13M in State Dept grants under Hillary - The Daily Caller


Clinton Foundation received $40 million since 2001 from Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and the UAE, other charities collected no money from those same countries - InvestmentWatch


Environmental, health, and faith leaders call on Clinton Foundation to return ExxonMobil money - Common Dreams


The Clinton Foundation timeline (Part 1) - thompsontimeline.com


The Clinton Foundation timeline (Part 2) - thompsontimeline.com


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


"Unquestionable" Forerunner Hillary Must Be Questionable

 

 


A Need to Clear Up Clinton Questions

 

 

 

Exclusive: As the Democrats glumly line up for Hillary Clinton’s belated coronation, the risk remains of potential criminal charges over her Libyan testimony or her careless emails.

By Ray McGovern

“Some people think they can lie and get away with it,” said former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld with feigned outrage. And, of course, he has never been held accountable for his lies, proving his dictum true.

The question today is: Will former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Teflon coat be as impermeable to deep scratches as Rumsfeld’s has proven to be?

Obama Admits US Military Policy Responsible for Terrorist Attacks in Europe

By Gar Smith

On April 1, 2016 President Barack Obama addressed the closing session of the Nuclear Security Summit and praised "the collective efforts that we've made to reduce the amount of nuclear material that might be accessible to terrorists around the world."

"This is also an opportunity for our nations to remain united and focused on the most active terrorist network at the moment, and that is ISIL," Obama said. Some observers might argue that the US, itself, now represents the world's "most active terrorist network." In doing so, they would merely be echoing the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. who, on April 4, 1967, railed against "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today, my own government."

While Obama hyped the fact that "a majority of the nations here are part of the global coalition against ISIL," he also noted that this same coalition was a major recruiting conduit for ISIS militants. "Just about all of our nations have seen citizens join ISIL in Syria and Iraq," Obama admitted, without offering any thoughts as to why this situation exists.

But Obama's most remarkable comment came with his public admission that US foreign policy and military actions were directly linked to the spike in terror attacks against Western targets in Europe and the US. "As ISIL is squeezed in Syria and Iraq," the president explained, "we can anticipate it lashing out elsewhere, as we've seen most recently and tragically in countries from Turkey to Brussels."

Having established that US-led attacks against ISIS fighters were "squeezing" the jihadists to abandon the besieged cities in Syria and Iraq to wreak havoc inside the cities of NATO's member states, Obama seemed to directly contradict his assessment: "In Syria and Iraq," he declared, "ISIL continues to lose ground. That's the good news."

"Our coalition continues to take out its leaders, including those planning external terrorist attacks. They are losing their oil infrastructure. They are losing their revenues. Morale is suffering. We believe that the flow of foreign fighters into Syria and Iraq has slowed, even as the threat from foreign fighters returning to commit acts of horrific violence remains all too real." [Emphasis added.]

For most Americans, the Pentagon's military assaults on countries thousands of miles from the US border remain little more than a dim and distant distraction—more like a rumor than a reality. But the international monitoring organization, Airwars.org, provides some missing context.

According to Airwars estimates, as of May 1, 2016—over the course of an anti-ISIS campaign that has lasted more than 634 days—the coalition had mounted 12,039 air strikes (8,163 in Iraq; 3,851 in Syria), dropping a total of 41,607 bombs and missiles.



US military reveals 8 civilians died in airstrikes against ISIS between April and July 2015 (Daily Mail).

A Jihadist Links US Killings to Growing Resentment and Revenge Attacks
Obama's link between attacks on ISIS and the bloody blowback on Western streets recently was echoed by British-born Harry Sarfo, a one-time UK postal worker and former ISIS fighter who warned The Independent in an April 29 interview that the US-led bombing campaign against ISIS would only drive more jihadists to launch terror attacks directed at the West.

"The bombing campaign gives them more recruits, more men and children who will be willing to give their lives because they've lost their families in the bombing," Sarfo explained. "For every bomb, there will be someone to bring terror to the West…. They've got plenty of men waiting for Western troops to arrive. For them the promise of paradise is all they want." (The Pentagon has admitted responsibility for several civilian deaths during the period Sarfo says he was in Syria.)

ISIS, for its part, has frequently citied air strikes against its strongholds as the motivation for its attacks on Brussels and Paris—and for its downing of a Russian passenger plane flying out of Egypt.

In November 2015, a group of militants staged a series of attacks that killed 130 people in Paris followed by twin bombings on March 23, 2016 that claimed the lives of another 32 victims in Brussels. Understandably, these attacks received intense coverage in the Western media. Meanwhile, equally horrendous images of civilian victims of US attacks in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq (and US-backed Saudi airstrikes against civilians in Yemen) are seldom seen on front pages or evening news broadcasts in Europe or the US.

By comparison, Airwar.org reports that, in the eight-month period from August 8, 2014 to May 2, 2016, "an overall total of between 2,699 and 3,625 civilian non-combatant fatalities had been alleged from 414 separate reported incidents, in both Iraq and Syria."

"In addition to these confirmed events," Airwars added, "it is our provisional view at Airwars that between 1,113 and 1,691 civilian non-combatants appear likely to have been killed in 172 further incidents where there is fair reporting publicly available of an event—and where Coalition strikes were confirmed in the near vicinity on that date. At least 878 civilians were also reportedly injured in these events. Some 76 of these incidents were in Iraq (593 to 968 reported deaths) and 96 events in Syria (with a reported fatality range of 520 to 723.)"

'Nuclear Security' = Atomic Bombs for the West
Back in Washington, Obama was wrapping up his formal statement. "Looking around this room," he mused, "I see nations that represent the overwhelming majority of humanity -- from different regions, races, religions, cultures. But our people do share common aspirations to live in security and peace and to be free from fear."

While there are 193 member states in the United Nations, the Nuclear Security Summit was attended by representatives of 52 countries, seven of which possess nuclear weapons arsenals—despite the existence of long-standing international treaty agreements calling for nuclear disarmament and abolition. The attendees also included 16 of the 28 members of NATO—the nuclear-armed military juggernaut that was supposed to have been dismantled after the end of the Cold War.

The purpose of the Nuclear Security Summit was a narrow one, focused on how to prevent "terrorists" from acquiring the "nuclear option." There was no discussion of disarming the world's major existing nuclear arsenals.

Nor was there any discussion of the risk posed by civilian nuclear power reactors and radioactive waste storage sites, all of which pose tempting targets for anyone with a shoulder-mounted missile capable of turning these facilities into "home-grown dirty bombs." (This is not a hypothetical scenario. On January 18, 1982, five Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG-7s) were fired across France's Rhone River, striking the containment structure of the Superphenix nuclear reactor.)

"The fight against ISIL will continue to be difficult, but, together, we are making real progress," Obama continued. "I'm absolutely confident that we will prevail and destroy this vile organization. As compared to ISIL's vision of death and destruction, I believe our nations together offer a hopeful vision focused on what we can build for our people."

That "hopeful vision" is difficult to perceive for residents in the many foreign lands currently under attack by Hellfire missiles launched from US aircraft and drones. While video footage of the carnage in Paris, Brussels, Istanbul and San Bernardino is horrifying to behold, it is painful but necessary to acknowledge that the damage done by a single US missile fired into an urban setting can be even more devastating.

War Crime: The US Bombing of Mosul University
On March 19 and again on March 20, US planes attacked the University of Mosul in ISIS-occupied eastern Iraq. The airstrike came in the early afternoon, at a time when the campus was most crowded.

The US bombed the University headquarters, the women's education college, the science college, the publishing center, the girls' dormitories, and a nearby restaurant. The US also bombed the faculty members' residential building. Wives and children of faculty members were among the victims: only one child survived. Professor Dhafer al Badrani, former Dean of the university's Computer Sciences College, was killed in the March 20 attack, along with his wife.



According to Dr. Souad Al-Azzawi, who sent a video of the bombing (above), the initial casualty count was 92 killed and 135 injured. "Killing innocent civilians will not solve the problem of ISIL," Al-Azzawi wrote, instead "it will push more people to join them to be able to revenge for their losses and their beloved ones."

The Anger that Stokes ISIS
In addition to civilian-killing airstrikes, Harry Sarfo offered another explanation for why he was driven to join ISIS—police harassment. Sarfo bitterly recalled how he had been forced to surrender his British passport and report to a police station twice a week and how his home was repeatedly raided. "I wanted to start a new life for me and my wife," he told The Independent. "The police and the authorities destroyed it. They made me become the man they wanted."

Sarfo eventually abandoned ISIS because of the mounting burden of atrocities he was forced to experience. "I witnessed stonings, beheadings, shootings, hands chopped off and many other things," he told The Independent. "I've seen child soldiers—13-year-old boys with explosive belts and Kalashnikovs. Some boys even driving cars and involved in executions.

"My worst memory is of the execution of six men shot in the head by Kalashnikovs. The chopping off of a man's hand and making him hold it with the other hand. The Islamic State is not just un-Islamic, it is inhuman. A blood-related brother killed his own brother on suspicion of being a spy. They gave him the order to kill him. It is friends killing friends."

But as bad as ISIS may be, they do not, as yet, girdle the world with more than 1,000 of military garrisons and facilities nor do they threaten the planet with an arsenal of 2,000 nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles, half of which remain on "hair-trigger" alert.

Gar Smith is the co-founder of Environmentalists Against War and author of Nuclear Roulette.

Three Centuries of U.S. Writing Against War

Every student of peace, sanity, or survival, every person interested in the possibility of the United States making its current wars its last seven wars, every believer in the value of wisdom and the written word should pick up a copy of Lawrence Rosendwald's 768-page collection, War No More: Three Centuries of American Antiwar and Peace Writing.

Looking for ways to improve the Pentagon that $600 billion a year just can't buy? Did you know that Benjamin Rush not only signed the Declaration of Independence but also proposed that these words be hung over the door of the U.S. Department of War:

"1. An office for butchering the human species.
"2. A Widow and Orphan making office.
"3. A broken bone making office.
"4. A Wooden leg making office.
"5. An office for creating public and private vices.
"6. An office for creating a public debt.
"7. An office for creating speculators, stock Jobbers, and Bankrupts.
"8. An office for creating famine.
"9. An office for creating pestilential diseases.
"10. An office for creating poverty, and the destruction of liberty, and national happiness."

Did you know there was collective nonviolent resistance to war in the Book of Mormon? Or that Henry David Thoreau long ago offered a more accurate depiction of a U.S. marine than has yet appeared in any television ad or Hollywood/CIA movie?

"A common and natural result of an undue respect for law is, that you may see a file of soldiers, colonel, captain, corporal, privates, powder-monkeys, and all, marching in admirable order over hill and dale to the wars, against their wills, ay, against their common sense and consciences, which makes it very steep marching indeed, and produces a palpitation of the heart. They have no doubt that it is a damnable business in which they are concerned; they are all peaceably inclined. Now, what are they? Men at all? or small movable forts and magazines, at the service of some unscrupulous man in power? Visit the Navy-Yard, and behold a marine, such a man as an American government can make, or such as it can make a man with its black arts, -- a mere shadow and reminiscence of humanity, a man laid out alive and standing, and already, as one may say, buried under arms with funeral accompaniments. . . ."

Looking for inspiring poetry? Check out Obadiah Ethelbert Baker, Herman Melville, Edna St. Vincent Millay, June Jordan, and many others. Wrote Melville:

"Of dying foemen mingled there --
"Foemen at morn, but friends at eve --
"Fame or country least their care:
"(What like a bullet can undeceive!)"

Do you know the history of conscientious objection, from the earliest days to these? Here's the diary of Cyrus Pringle, refusing to kill for Union in the 1860s:

"Two sergeants soon called for me, and taking me a little aside, bid me lie down on my back, and stretching my limbs apart tied cords to my wrists and ankles and these to four stakes driven in the ground somewhat in the form of an X. I was very quiet in my mind as I lay there on the ground [soaked] with the rain of the previous day, exposed to the heat of the sun, and suffering keenly from the cords binding my wrists and straining my muscles."

Do you know the real story of Mother's Day?

"Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or of tears! Say firmly: We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy, and patience."

It is writings that made it into War No More, not words as representations for the lives of authors. Included are numerous authors who did far more warmongering than peace making in their lives. We should learn from their wiser words nonetheless.

Paul Goodman's speech to the National Security Industrial Association is a model for any global security advisor:

". . . the best service that you people could perform is rather rapidly to phase yourselves out. . . ."

Looking for ideas whose time had not yet come but perhaps now has? How about that for a treaty among all nations banning military drafts?

The worst war in history, commonly known as "the good war," receives a fair amount of attention in this collection, including Robert Lowell's refusal to be drafted into the middle of it, following the mining of dams, and the "razing of Hamburg, where 200,000 non-combatants are reported dead, after an almost apocalyptic series of all-out air raids." Also included is Jeanette Rankin's statement on why she voted against war on Japan, and Nicholson Baker's reflections on the wisdom of pacifists who tried to end World War II and rescue the victims of Nazi camps.

"Nobody in authority in Britain and the United States paid heed to these promptings. Anthony Eden, Britain's foreign secretary, who'd been tasked by Churchill with handling queries about refugees, dealt coldly with one of many important delegations, saying that any diplomatic effort to obtain the release of the Jews from Hitler was 'fantastically impossible.' On a trip to the United States, Eden candidly told Cordell Hull, the secretary of state, that the real difficulty with asking Hitler for the Jews was that 'Hitler might well take us up on any such offer, and there simply are not enough ships and means of transportation in the world to handle them.' Churchill agreed. 'Even were we to obtain permission to withdraw all the Jews,' he wrote in reply to one pleading letter, 'transport alone presents a problem which will be difficult of solution.' Not enough shipping and transport? Two years earlier, the British had evacuated nearly 340,000 men from the beaches of Dunkirk in just nine days. The U.S. Air Force had many thousands of new planes. During even a brief armistice, the Allies could have airlifted and transported refugees in very large numbers out of the German sphere."

Looking for the ideal hilarious response to pro-violence hypothetical questions re ticking time bombs, imminent and continuous threat drone victims, and what you would do if someone attacks your grandmother? Read "What Would You Do If?" by Joan Baez.

Wondering why the deep reaction to the death of Daniel Berrigan? Read his writings.

This collection includes very thoughtful writing on the powers and limitations of nonviolent activism. It includes a rich literature from and about prison -- too much in my opinion. It may also go too far in stretching to include commentary from pro-war writers who have quibbles with particular wars. It includes a rather lengthy dialogue debating the use of violence in which you'll find yourself waiting forever for the anti-violent debater to start making a case. It includes a speech by Barack Obama, for godsake, in which he argues, based on patent falsehoods, for war, for the U.S. civil war, for World War II, for war on Afghanistan, and for Iraqi WMDs, though opposing what would come to be the hallmark of his presidency: "dumb wars."

Recent wars don't come into the book. The book doesn't look into the matter of falsehoods we're told about wars, and the actual motivations and results of those wars. Focusing on going to prison, it offers much less on education and other forms of protest, and virtually nothing on envisioning a world beyond war, a world of diplomacy, aid, and the rule of law. Only a short excerpt from Barbara Ehrenreich touches on creating a new movement for the total abolition of war.

Still, it is because of the wealth that was included in this book that I wish a bit more had made it in. We need to create a broader movement, but we do not need to do it alone. We would be foolish not to draw on this collected wisdom.

North Korea’s New Weapons: Full Speed Ahead

By Mel Gurtov

North Korea is on a military tear.  In response to UN sanctions, it carried out its fourth nuclear test in January and a satellite launch that had missile implications in February. Then, when new UN sanctions were imposed and the annual month-long US-ROK military exercises began, the DPRK diverged from its usual practice by openly drawing attention to a number of new weapons it claims to have.  It paraded a road-mobile intercontinental-range missile (probably not yet produced), launched five short-range missiles into the East or Japan Sea, claimed to have an indigenously produced engine that would enable an ICBM to reach the US with a nuclear weapon, claimed to have tested a miniature nuclear weapon, test-fired an intermediate-range missile (which has failed twice), and tested a missile launched from a submarine.  A fifth nuclear test may well take place before a major party congress days from now.

How and when any of the weapons the North claims to have might actually be operational is open to speculation.  Some US military officers, as well as South Korean specialists, now accept that the North already has the capability to reach the US with a nuclear-tipped missile, while experts who dispute that view nevertheless believe the North will soon have that capability.

What does seem clear is that Kim Jong-un is pressing his weapons specialists to produce a reliable deterrent that will force the issue of direct talks with the US.  Meeting with nuclear specialists in early March, he praised their work and, according to the North Korean press, specifically cited “research conducted to tip various type tactical and strategic ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads,” meaning a miniaturized nuclear weapon.  Kim is quoted as saying that it “is very gratifying to see the nuclear warheads with the structure of mixed charge adequate for prompt thermo-nuclear reaction.  The nuclear warheads have been standardized to be fit for ballistic missiles by miniaturizing them . . . this can be called [a] true nuclear deterrent . . . Koreans can do anything if they have a will.”

South Korean sources are convinced the North can now put a nuclear warhead on a medium-range (800 miles) Rodong missile capable of reaching all of the ROK and Japan. The North launched these in a test in March.  Whether the North has actually fitted such a missile is unknown; nor is it known whether the North will be able to do the same once it possesses an ICBM.

Focus: Bernie Sanders and the Democratic Nomination - May 4, 2016


If the Democratic Party nominates Hillary Clinton as presidential candidate at the July convention, Bernie Sanders should run as an independent or third party candidate in the November presidential elections. The Democratic Party has fundamental reasons to deny the nomination to Clinton: her foreign policy blunders, misguided domestic policies, campaign finance dependent on rich donors, paid speeches of which she would not release the transcripts, Clinton Foundation shady fundraising, private email server and more. If the Democratic Party nominate her it means it is unwilling to reform itself and represent the massive progressive movement sparked by the Sanders campaign.


Even if the Democratic Party at the July convention adopts a progressive political platform including Sanders proposals, it should not be acceptable without rejecting Clinton nomination. Given her dismal track record and her reliance on powerful special interest groups, a Clinton administration would lack the conviction on those reform issues, let alone the capacity to implement them: a $15 an hour minimum wage, an end to past trade policies, a Medicare-for-all health care system, breaking up Wall Street institutions and financial transaction tax, making public colleges and universities tuition free, passing a carbon tax to address climate change, ending fracking, promoting a foreign policy aimed at peace not regime change by military force, establishing an open primary system, etc. 


It must be stressed that the Democratic primary process of selecting a party candidate is flawed and rigged against Sanders because it denies full participation to the independents which overwhelmingly support him. If the independents were allowed to vote freely in all the primaries, with no restrictions, Sanders would be in a much better position to challenge Clinton. The latest example is today's Indiana primary which is open to the independents: Sanders beat Clinton 53% to 47%. According to NBC exit pollsin the Indiana primary Sanders won 72% of the independents while Clinton got 28%. Independents were the turning point considering that 53% of Democrats voted for Clinton and 47% for Sanders. An April Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that Clinton’s favorability rating among independents dropped 15% nationally in the last four months. That poll found that 20% of independents viewed Mrs. Clinton positively, compared with 62% who viewed her negatively. 


The Democratic primary process is furtherly rigged by the injustice of unelected superdelegates, which are prominent Democratic Party leaders, account for 15% of the overall convention votes and have mostly pledged to support Clinton nomination. While the Democratic Party establishment has endorsed by and large Clinton, Sanders fares much better than Clinton against Trump in all national polls. In the latest Rasmussen poll, Trump leads Clinton 41% to 39%.


Notwithstanding setbacks in New York and other Eastern closed primary states, Sanders looks more and more ‘presidential’, not just a ‘candidate' for Democratic nomination. There are still six months left to the presidential election. Time is on Sanders’ side. During this period he can win more popular support, grow the grassroots movement, build a group of experts in each field and refine his programs. it is necessary to know more about Sanders' top advisers who are in charge of shaping the policies and would be officials in his administration. 


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

My Visit to a Las Vegas Jail by Brian Terrell


“What happened to us was a shakedown by gangsters wearing police uniforms and judges’ robes, not for the sake of justice, but to maintain the civic infrastructure behind the glittering façade of Las Vegas with dollars squeezed out of its poorest citizens.”

“The degree of civilization in a society,” wrote the Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky, “can be judged by entering its prisons.” As a frequent visitor to Nevada in recent years, I have often been surprised by the cultural diversity and spiritual richness that can be found in Las Vegas. Still, I think that Dostoyevsky was right. A more accurate assessment of the degree of civilization in Las Vegas and for the broader society that the city claims to be “The Entertainment Capital” of can be made by entering the cells of the Clark County Correctional Center than by going to the top of the Stratosphere, cruising the Strip or even by taking in a Cirque du Soleil show.

Brian and renee arrest

I was one of twenty five arrested by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police at Creech Air Force Base, the center of drone assassination by the US Air Force and the CIA some forty miles northwest of the city on March 31 and April 1. “Shut Down Creech” was a weeklong convergence of activists from around the country. Most of us staying in tents at a makeshift “Camp Justice” in the desert across the highway from the base, our days of discussion, study, song, reflection and strategizing built up to a dramatic series of coordinated actions, including street theater and blockades, that disrupted the lethal business as usual of Creech. While we expected to be arrested, this was not our desire or our goal. Once again, the police arrested the wrong people as they abetted the criminals and took those who acted to stop a crime in progress down town to be booked.

Since 2009, I have had at least two other trips on the police from Creech to the county jail at the prestigious address, 330 S Casino Center Blvd in Las Vegas, to undergo the tedious process of booking, the fingerprinting, mugshots and other indignities before getting kicked out onto the sidewalk a few long hours later. This time, however, after my friends and comrades were released one by one, I remained behind. I was kept in jail for the next four days, not for my part in the day’s protest, but on a bench warrant due to an unpaid traffic fine.

The Trump Doctrine

By David Swanson, American Herald Tribune

Donald Trump 5 ba566

Here's a condensed version of Donald Trump's recent speech that I'm considering offering on gold-ish plating for $19.98:

Nationalism, World War II mythology, and militarism must go unquestioned. But when they've been used in the past 25 years the results have been disastrous. We're all ready now to admit that Iraq was a horror, and we can do that more comfortably by lumping it with the horrors of Libya and Syria, and by pretending that people in our government meant well. But U.S. militarism created ISIS.

Here's how we fix this. First, pretend that the most expensive military in the history of the world has been skimping and struggling, and blame that on the economy, rather than recognizing that the economy is staggering under the weight of the military machine. I'll fix the economy using magic, and that will fix the military.

Second, while I haven't explained how more or different spending could have transformed disastrous wars into successes, let's have future wars more heavily paid for by others. But I'm not really threatening to close bases or end NATO, because I'm all talk. In fact, let's just fuel a global arms race by requiring other countries to buy more weapons. That U.S. weapons are already the top supplier to so-called friend and foe alike, including ISIS, shouldn't worry you, because at least you won't have to hear that phony humanitarian in the White House calling ISIS "ISIL" anymore, and because I'm planning to use magic.

Third, if you think Hillary can tell whoppers and demonize Iran at Israel's bidding, wait till you see how fast I can fall in line. I can get so scared of Iranians that my hair blows off. In fact, I'll start a war to out-do the last dozen disastrous wars, including the Iraq war that I pretend I opposed, and I'll do it at the slightest slight to my honor as a noble duelling jackass in deep romantic love with the holy state of Israel which I may have spoken about with a slight tinge of honesty a month ago, but that was then.

Fourth, the North Koreans are coming to get us! And the Chinese! Let's ignore the fact that Obama is to all appearances trying to start World War III in the South China Sea while I'm yammering on, he is in fact weak! Weak!

Lastly, we need a plan for something different from endless counterproductive war, and I have no idea what such a thing might look like, so here's what I propose: more endless counterproductive war, with possible lapses as I fail to get countries to pay for their own bombings, and combined with a major increase in hatred and persecution of immigrants and minorities within the United States. As a result of this new approach, and magic, ISIS will cease to exist. So, trust me when I lie to you that military spending has been shrinking and leaving the U.S. behind other militaries. Elect me and, exactly as if you elected Hillary Clinton, you can expect every dime possible and more to be dumped into militarism.

It comes back to this: we must be more selfish, more jingoist, more nationalist, and -- if that's even possible -- more militarist than ever. We must treat all of this shit as if it were a new idea that I just had. And yet I will hold out a tiny olive branch of hope that I might actually risk nuclear apocalypse a teensy bit less than Hillary, since I'm willing to talk about the slight possibility of peace with Russia. If Russia does what I want!

The key word is slight. I once talked about ending NATO, and now I've been so brought into line that I'm talking about inventing some new purpose for NATO to exist. Don't feel too sorry for whatever poor country becomes that purpose -- perhaps I'll just keep it as Afghanistan, a place I haven't even mentioned in this speech. Or perhaps I'll just keep it Russia.

But I'll drop all the Clintonian pretenses of humanitarian murder and respect for, while violating, the rule of law. So, at least with me, the summer peace activists and partisan sunshine war opponents will act as if they oppose wars again. How much of a difference will such a movement make in a nation with its leadership demanding fascistic hatred and greed? Probably not much. Perhaps a bit more if it were to get a head start by opposing Obama's seven existing wars now. Of course, Democrats won't do that. So, I'm not worried. Believe me.

Tomgram: Nick Turse, It Can't Happen Here, Can It?

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

Talk Nation Radio: Peter Enns on How Public Punitiveness Led to Mass Incarceration

  https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-peter-enns-on-how-public-punitiveness-led-to-mass-incarceration

Peter Enns is Associate Professor in the Department of Government and Executive Director of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at Cornell University. He is also team leader of the Institute for Social Science theme project on the Causes, Consequences, and Future of Mass Incarceration in the United States.

His research focuses on public opinion, representation, mass incarceration, and inequality. Peter also teaches courses on quantitative research methods. Peter’s new book, Incarceration Nation, (Cambridge University Press) explains why the public became more punitive in the 1960s, 70s, 80, and 90s, and how this increasing punitiveness led to the rise of mass incarceration in the United States.

Peter received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2007) and his undergraduate degree from Colorado College (1998). Prior to graduate school, he taught high school Spanish for three years in Baltimore, MD, through Teach For America. Additional information on his research and teaching is available on his personal website.

Total run time: 29:00

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The United States Just Bombed Germany

If the bombing occurs when the bombs that have been dropped from U.S. airplanes explode, then the United States just bombed Germany and has been bombing Germany every year for over 70 years.

There are still over 100,000 yet-to-explode U.S. and British bombs from World War II lying hidden in the ground in Germany. Notes the Smithsonian Magazine:

"Before any construction project begins in Germany, from the extension of a home to track-laying by the national railroad authority, the ground must be certified as cleared of unexploded ordnance. Still, last May, some 20,000 people were cleared from an area of Cologne while authorities removed a one-ton bomb that had been discovered during construction work. In November 2013, another 20,000 people in Dortmund were evacuated while experts defused a 4,000-pound 'Blockbuster' bomb that could destroy most of a city block. In 2011, 45,000 people—the largest evacuation in Germany since World War II—were forced to leave their homes when a drought revealed a similar device lying on the bed of the Rhine in the middle of Koblenz. Although the country has been at peace for three generations, German bomb-disposal squads are among the busiest in the world. Eleven bomb technicians have been killed in Germany since 2000, including three who died in a single explosion while trying to defuse a 1,000-pound bomb on the site of a popular flea market in Göttingen in 2010."

A new film called The Bomb Hunters focuses on the town of Oranienburg, where a huge concentration of bombs keeps up a constant menace. In particular the film focuses on one man whose house blew up in 2013. He lost everything. Oranienburg, now known as the city of bombs, was a center of nuclear research that the U.S. government did not want the advancing Soviets to acquire. At least that's one reason offered for the massive bombing of Oranienburg. Rather than possibly speed up the Soviet acquisition of nukes by a handful of years, Oranienburg had to be rained on with blankets of enormous bombs -- to explode for decades to come.

They weren't just bombs. They were delayed-fuse bombs, all of them. Delayed-fuse bombs were usually included along with non-delaying bombs in order to terrorize a population further and hinder humanitarian rescue operations after a bombing, similar to how cluster bombs have been used in recent U.S. wars to extend the terrorizing of a population by blowing up children for months to come, and similar to "double taps" in the business of drone murder -- the first missile or "tap" to kill, the second to kill any rescuer bringing aid. Delayed-fuse bombs go off some hours or days after landing, but only if they land the right way up. Otherwise they can go off some hours or days or weeks or months or years or decades or god-knows-when later. Presumably this was understood at the time and intended. So, that intention perhaps adds to the logic of my headline above. Perhaps the United States didn't just intend to bomb Germany, but it intended 70 years ago to bomb Germany this year.

A bomb or two goes off every year, but the greatest concentration is in Oranienburg where thousands and thousands of bombs were dropped. The town has been making a concerted effort to find and eliminate the bombs. Hundreds may remain. When bombs are found, neighborhoods are evacuated. The bomb is disabled, or it is detonated. Even during the search for bombs, the government must damage houses as it drills test holes into the ground at evenly spaced intervals. Sometimes the government even tears down a house in order to conduct the search for bombs beneath it.

A U.S. pilot involved in this madness way back when says in the film that he thought about those under the bombs, but believed the war to be for the salvation of humanity, thus justifying anything. Now, he says, he can see no justification for war.

Also in the film, a U.S. veteran writes to the Mayor of Oranienburg and sends $100 to apologize. But the Mayor says there's nothing to be sorry for, that the United States was only doing what it had to. Well, thanks for the codependency, Mr. Mayor. I'd love to get you on a talk show with Kurt Vonnegut's ghost. Seriously, Germany's guilt is immensely admirable and worthy of emulation in the guilt-free United States, which grotesquely imagines itself forever sinless. But these two extremes build on each other in a toxic relationship.

When imagining that you've justified a war involves imagining that you've thereby justified any and every atrocity in that war, the results are things like nuclear bombings and bombings so intense that a country remains covered with unexploded bombs at a time when almost nobody involved in the war is alive anymore. Germany should strengthen its peace-identity by shaking off its guilt-ridden subservience to the United States and putting an end to U.S. warmaking from bases on German soil. It should ask the U.S. military to get out and to take all of its bombs with it.

New TCBH! poem by resident poet Gary Lindorff: 'Riding the elephant'

There is an elephant lying

flat out on the ground,

depressed, wasted.

His life is giving rides.

What Is a Global Citizen, and Can it Save Us?

Headlines this past week claimed that for the first time ever more than half of poll respondents around the world said they saw themselves more as a global citizen than as a citizen of a country. What did they mean in saying that?

Well, first of all, to lower the heart-rate of U.S. readers, we should state that they clearly did not mean that they were aware of a secret global government to which they had sworn loyalty until the Dark Side crushes all light from the Force, or until Mom, apple pie, and sacred national sovereignty expire in the satanic flames of Internationalism. How do I know this? Well, for one thing, something that a majority of the planet is aware of is the opposite of a secret. But, more importantly, what's at issue here is the poll respondents' attitude, not their situation. In many nations, the responses were almost evenly split; half the people weren't wrong, they were just differently minded.

Still, what did they mean?

In the United States, rather stunningly, 22 percent of respondents supposedly said they strongly agreed that they saw themselves more as a global citizen, while another 21 percent somewhat agreed. How you can somewhat agree with a binary choice I haven't the foggiest idea, but supposedly they did. That's 43 percent total agreeing either strongly or somewhat in the land of flag-waving militarized exceptionalism, if you can believe it -- or if it doesn't actually mean much.

Canada is slightly higher at 53 percent. But what does it mean? Were respondents shocked into agreement with a sensible sounding idea they'd never heard mentioned before? Is a strong minority really enlightened beyond the common nationalism? Russia, Germany, Chile, and Mexico had the least identification as global citizens. Should we look down on that? Nigeria, China, Peru, and India had the highest. Should we emulate that? Are people identifying with humanity or against their country or in support of their own desire to emigrate, or against the desires of others to immigrate? Or are people employed by globalized capital actually turning against nationalism?

I've always thought that if people would stop speaking in the first person about the crimes of their country's military, and start identifying with all of humanity, we might achieve peace. So I compared the "global citizen" results with the results of a 2014 poll that asked if people would be willing to fight in a war for their country. The results of that poll were also stunningly encouraging, with strong majorities in many countries saying they would not fight in a war. But there does not appear to be a correlation between the two polls. Unless we can find a way to correct for other important factors, it does not seem that being a global citizen and refusing to fight have anything consistently in common. Nationalistic countries are and are not willing to fight in wars. "Global citizen" countries are and are not willing to fight in wars.

Of course, the willingness to fight responses are sheer nonsense. The United States has numerous wars up and running, recruitment offices in most towns, and 44% of the country saying it "would" fight if there were a war. (What's stopping them?) And, again, the global citizen responses may be largely nonsense too. Still, Canada does roughly as much better than the United States in each of the two polls. Perhaps they make the sort of sense I'm looking for but only in North America. Asian nations, however, are both biggest on global citizenship and most willing to participate in wars (or to make that claim to a pollster).

Whatever it may mean, I take it to be wonderful news that a majority of humanity identifies with the world. It's up to us to now make it mean what it should. We need to develop a belief in world citizenship that begins by recognizing every other human on earth, and other living things in their own way, as sharing in it. A citizen of the globe does not expect to necessarily have much in common with the inhabitants of some far-off corner of the earth, but does certainly understand that no war can be waged against fellow citizens.

We don't need clean elections or an end to war profits or the expansion of the ICC to impose the rule of law on countries outside of Africa in order to create world citizenship. We just need our own minds. And if we get it right in our own minds, all of those other things had better get ready to happen.

So how do we think like world citizens? Try this. Read an article about a distant place. Think: "That happened to some of us." By "us" mean humanity. Read an article about peace activists protesting war who say aloud "We are bombing innocent people," identifying themselves with the U.S. military. Work at it until you can find such statements incomprehensible. Search online for articles mentioning "enemy." Correct them to reflect the fact that everyone has the same enemies: war, environmental destruction, disease, starvation. Search for "them" and "those people" and change it to us and we humans.

This is in fact a massive project, but apparently there are millions of us already identifying with it, and many hands make light work.

Speaking Events

David Swanson at St. Michael’s College, Colchester, VT, October 5, 2016.

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

Find Events Here.

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