You are hereBlogs

Blogs


Tomgram: Nick Turse, Killing People, Breaking Things, and America's Winless Wars

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

John Kiriakou: The Good Go On To Do More Good

 

 


CIA Whistleblower Kiriakou Honored for Integrity

 

 

The U.S. government gives free passes to officials who commit war crimes but imprisons whistleblowers who tell the truth, a fate that befell CIA’s John Kiriakou for disclosing torture. But he was honored on September 25 at American University by some ex-intelligence officers.

By Ray McGovern

Former CIA official John Kiriakou, who spent two years in prison for revealing the truth about White House-sanctioned torture, became the 15th recipient of the Sam Adams Award for Integrity at a ceremony at America University.

Focus: Syria question at the presidential debate - Sept 26, 2016

 

At the presidential debate Trump and Clinton may be asked what is their position regarding the new Syrian and Russian offensive in Aleppo. My answer is that the US mission is to defeat and eradicate Islamic State, not to remove Assad from power. According to a poll, after 15 years of wars the majority of US active duty troops oppose the regime change and nation building policies advocated by Hillary Clinton in Iraq, Libya and Syria, which led to loss of life, destruction, migrations and the rise of 'radical Islamic terrorism.’ Only the Syrian people, including the opposition, must decide who will be their leaders in a free, fair and UN supervised presidential and parliamentary elections. To this end US must drop demanding the ouster of Assad, which must not be a precondition for negotiations leading to a new Syrian constitution and democratic elections. Unfortunately, it is a fact that while Assad is willing to negotiate with the opposition, at this time the opposition is not ready to negotiate with Assad a peaceful end of the conflict. 


To defeat Islamic State, US must cooperate with all State and non-State actors willing to fight that threat, including foremost Russia. Accidents such as the killing of Syrian troops and the bombing of the Aleppo aid convoy could have been prevented if a US-Russia cooperation were into effect. The US administration, who has been reticent, if not hostile, to establish such a cooperation, risks a confrontation with Russia on Syria (and also Ukraine), which will be a calamity for US and the world. Also China plans to boost counterterrorism efforts and cooperation with the Syrian government, including training for soldiers, military hardware deliveries and humanitarian aid. China has been an exporter of weapons systems to the Syrian government. Oilprice.com reports that "China will likely also play a key role in Syria’s post-conflict economic recovery….In December, China offered Syria 6 billion USD worth of investments in addition to 10 billion USD worth of existing contracts, as well as a significant deal signed between the Syrian government and Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei to rebuild Syria’s telecom infrastructure as part of China’s 900 billion USD ‘Silk Road’ infrastructure initiative."


Finally, a successful anti-Islamic State strategy must combine both military and political means, including aid, reforms, economic and job growth in Middle East and African countries where terrorism threatens State institutions. 


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

Where Is That Wasteful Government Spending?

In early September 2016, Donald Trump announced his plan for a vast expansion of the U.S. military, including 90,000 new soldiers for the Army, nearly 75 new ships for the Navy, and dozens of new fighter aircraft for the Air Force.  Although the cost of this increase would be substantial―about $90 billion per year―it would be covered, the GOP presidential candidate said, by cutting wasteful government spending.

Focus: The Hillary Clinton's FBI Investigation - Sept 25, 2016


Clinton campaign defends FBI immunity deal for Mills and other key aides, presses the point that it was limited - Fox News


VIDEO: Benenson: Limited immunity deals given to Clinton staffers are “fairly appropriate and routine" - RealClearPolitics


GOP: FBI mishandled the process by granting immunity unnecessarily for “cooperation” the agency would just compel - Liberty Unyielding


Jason Chaffetz on the FBI: "No wonder they couldn’t prosecute a case. They were handing out immunity deals like candy” - inquisitr.com


Republicans incensed that the FBI immunity deals did not require witnesses to cooperate with Congress - POLITICO


Legal analysis: Why did the Obama Justice Department grant Cheryl Mills immunity? There was no need to grant concessions - National Review


History of Cheryl Mills as Hillary’s aide obstructing investigations, Why did the feds give a key suspect who orchestrated the destruction of government records immunity as a witness? - New York Post


Cheryl Mills immunity bombshell: She avoided signing mandatory security forms - Breitbart


Insiders: FBI used agents as pawns to insulate Hillary, aides & Clinton Foundation from prosecutions - True Pundit


Former NSA analyst and counterintelligence officer Schindler op-ed: The FBI investigation of emailgate was a sham - Observer


VIDEO: Rudy Giuliani: It is disgraceful. To give immunity to so many people... The violations here were so many, so often, so gross - RealClearPolitics

 

Clinton campaign manager has no answer when asked about an email in which the Clinton IT contractor referred to the 60-day email retention policy as “Hillary cover-up" (VIDEO) - Daily Caller


Clinton aide told FBI there were internal concerns raised at State over private email server - The Washington Post


Obama used a pseudonym in emails with Clinton, FBI documents reveal - POLITICO


27 things we learned from Clinton's FBI files - Washington Examiner


Text of the FBI interview notes from Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation for mishandling of classified information - Public Intelligence


ARCHIVE: EmailGate and the mystery of the missing GAMMA, Clinton’s 'unclassified' email included highly classified NSA information—why didn’t the FBI mention this fact? - Observer


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

Ruling means most of Hillary Clinton’s newly uncovered 2,800 work-related emails will come out after election - The New York Times


The public deserves to know what is in those emails, well before November 8. It is outrageous the State Dept has had these emails since late July, but has only released 5 records - Judicial Watch


The State Department has said that Clinton did not include any of her emails with Petraeus when her lawyers screened and returned what they said were all her work emails in 2014 - Reuters


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

New TCBH! poem by resident poet Gary Lindorff: 'Viva fuerte'

I’m standing firm and
you’re a rock.
The plinth is fracturing.
Your filter isn’t filtering
but at least it caught this poem.
 
My tongue is angry!
I have a snake in my shoe.
I’m in a funk:
Why aren’t we rising up
Like a thunderhead
 
Like a new brain in a petri dish?
A heart-shaped leaf
is waving in the breeze.
A lavender-tinted cow
stands behind me.
 
She is my ally.
A bird caught in a spider’s web
who I free just in the nick of time
is announcing an event
to a girls’ soccer team.
 
And they are listening.
I’m re-schooling myself.
My teachers were all afraid of me.
They were afraid of their own subjects.
The tests were all slanted toward
 
Submission and prostitution.

Election or Revolution? An Open Letter to the People of the United States

As citizens of the USA with a presidential election approaching you have a wonderful opportunity to ponder whether to participate in this election or to participate in the ongoing American Revolution.

Turn the Pentagon into a Hospital

The United States government recently gave more than a million dollars to the family of one victim it had killed in one of its wars. The victim happened to be Italian. If you were to find all the Iraqi families with any surviving members who had loved ones killed by the United States it might be a million families. A million times a million dollars would be enough to treat those Iraqis in this respect as if they were Europeans. Who can tell me — raise your hand — how much is a million times a million?

That’s right, a trillion.

Now, can you count to a trillion starting from one. Go ahead. We’ll wait.

Actually we won’t wait, because if you counted one number per second you would get to a trillion in 31,709 years. And we have other speakers to get to here.

A trillion is a number we can’t comprehend. For most purposes it’s useless. The greediest oligarch doesn’t dream of ever seeing a fraction of that many dollars. Teeny fractions of that many dollars would transform the world. Three percent of it per year would end starvation on earth. One percent per year would end the lack of clean drinking water. Ten percent per year would transform green energy or agriculture or education. Three percent per year for four years, in current dollars, was the Marshall Plan.

Syria News - Sept 22, 2016

 

U.S., Russia fail to reach Syria deal at the meeting of the International Syria Support Group - rferl.org


John Kerry says negotiations for Syrian ceasefire at an impasse - AP


Kerry demands Russia, Syria ground warplanes to save truce - Reuters


VIDEO: At the UN Security Council Kerry calls for no-fly zone over parts of Syria - YouTube


Syria crisis: Read John Kerry's comments to the UN Security Council in full - The Independent


Russia rejects Kerry's idea of grounding Russian, Syrian planes as unworkable - Reuters


VIDEO: Lavrov: No more unilateral pauses in Syria used by militants, including Jabhat al-Nusra, to regroup and get reinforcements - YouTube


VIDEO: Full Lavrov speech at UN Security Council on situation in Middle East and North Africa - YouTube


Russia does not rule out strikes against Jaysh al-Islam and Ahrar Al-Sham - TASS

 

Russia to deploy its flagship aircraft carrier off the Syrian coast - russia-insider.com


Russian Election Commission inadvertently reveals Russian troop numbers in Syria, more than 4,000 soldiers are stationed in the country - themoscowtimes.com


China, Russia and Iran come together in a tripartite alliance supporting the Syrian government, fighting Islamic State and Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (former Nusra) - irishtimes.com


EXCLUSIVE: Text of Syria cease-fire deal reached by the United States and Russia on Sept. 9, 2016 - AP

 

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

Syrian army announces new Aleppo offensive as truce talks fail - Al Jazeera


VIDEO: Syria and Russia mount heavy air strikes against rebel-held districts of Aleppo, defying U.S. calls for a halt to flights - Reuters


Syria's Assad says US 'lacks will' to work with Russia to defeat terrorists (VIDEO) - euronews.com


Assad denies striking Aleppo aid convoy, says U.S. intentionally killed Syria's soldiers - Chicago Tribune


Full transcript of AP interview with Syrian President Assad - Fox News


Sec. Carter: Russians responsible for airstrikes on Aleppo aid convoy, 'whether they conducted it or not because they associated themselves with the Syrian regime' - NBC News


Top US general: ‘No doubt' Russia to blame in Syria convoy attack, Syrian planes were also in the area so he couldn't definitely say who dropped the bombs - AFP


Top U.S. general: Unwise to share intelligence with Russia on Syria - KFGO-790


VIDEO: Russia's Defence Ministry denies involvement in attack on aid convoy - YouTube


A wiki analysis of the attack on Red Crescent convoy in Urm al-Kubra (Aleppo) - A Closer Look On Syria


Pentagon: U.S., Russian defense officials continue dialogue on Syrian airspace ' to mitigate incidents' - U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE 


U.S. forces will be in the Middle East long after ISIS, Carter says - Military Times


POLL: After 15 years of war, America's active-duty troops has about had it with 'nation building' - Military Times


Clinton’s new hard line on Moscow: As president, she is prepared to take a much tougher stance on Russia than Trump — or even Obama. Syria’s civil war will be the first test. - Foreign Policy

 

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

Obama considers arming Syrian Kurds against ISIS, plans assault on Raqqa before he leaves office - The New York Times


Count us out if PKK’s Syrian wing joins Raqqa offensive, Turkey warns US - Daily Sabah


Turkey bombs Kurdish positions near Syria's Tel Abyad - ARA News


Turkey aims to establish safe zone in northern Syria - aa.com

 

Top whistleblower exposes how Turkey is arming and funding ISIS, 'I am the police chief who was asked to guard ISIS terrorists' - Medium


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

Tomgram: Engelhardt, War, Peace, and Absurdity

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

Acting on Bill Ayers' Radical Manifesto

Bill Ayers' short new book, Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto, is different from the typical liberal view of a better world in two ways. First, its goals are a bit grander, more inspiring. Second, it adds as the first and most important goal one that others don't include at all.

A typical proposal that a lesser evilist might give for "voting against Donald Trump" might include minor economic or police or prison reforms, a bit of environmentalism, healthcare, or education. Ayers wants to abolish prisons, end capitalism, disarm the police, redesign schools, create universal healthcare, and nationalize energy companies. And he's right. The radical vision is the better one, not just because it leads to a better place but also because the incrementalist approach will get us all killed -- only a bit more slowly than doing nothing.

The more important, because rarer, difference in Ayers' manifesto is the addition of the missing topic. Most U.S. "progressives" imagine a world of greater economic equality and opportunity, environmental sustainability, fewer police killings, shorter prison sentences, investment in human needs, and the withering away of all sorts of bigotries, prejudices, sexisms, racisms, and other sorts of unfairness and cruelty -- resulting in a multicultural community all united in our support for dumping a trillion dollars a year into preparing for battle with our collectively loathed foreign enemies, and supporting the weapons trade as a supposed economic program.

Ayers takes a different approach. "What," he asks, "if we broke from the dogma of militarism -- rejecting the anemic and seemingly endless debates about whether the United States should bomb this country or instead boycott some other country . . . -- and organized an irresistible social upheaval strong enough to stop U.S. invasions and conquest[?] What if we occupied bases, blocked munitions shipments and private militias, boycotted arms dealers, sabotaged surveillance operations and drone manufacturers -- and forced the U.S. government to disarm and close all foreign military bases within a year? . . . Or what if we built a colossal transnational movement that organized shadow elections (initially), inviting any resident of a country with a U.S. military presence within its borders to vote in U.S. national elections?"

Ayers proposes that we take on the culture of militarism, not just the industrial structure of it. "[I]magine," he writes, "any bit of the war culture transformed into a peace-and-love culture: the Super Bowl opening with thousands of local school kids rushing through the stands distributing their poetry, and then everyone singing 'This Land Is Your Land,' or 'Give Peace a Chance,' or 'We Shall Overcome'; an airlines or bus terminal clerk saying, 'We want to invite any teachers or nurses in the gate area to board first, and we thank you for your service'; urban high schools eliminating ROTC and banning military recruiters in favor of school-wide assemblies for peace recruiters featuring Code Pink, and after-school programs led by Black Youth Project 100 and the American Friends Service Committee."

Some of us like this idea so much we've organized an event this weekend to try to advance it. The event is called #NoWar2016. This Friday and Saturday, you can watch the live stream at TheRealNews.com. Videos of Friday through Sunday will be quickly posted online. Sunday will include activism workshops and a planning session for a protest at the Pentagon at 9 a.m. Monday morning. The details are all at http://worldbeyondwar.org/nowar2016.

Focus: The Clinton Foundation - Sept 20, 2016


Report: Clinton Foundation gave ‘watered-down' AIDS drugs to Third World countries - The Daily Caller


Press release: Congressman Marsha Blackburn releases Clinton Foundation report - blackburn.house.gov


REPORT: The Clinton Foundation and the ‘India success story': Self-serving philanthropy, watered-down drugs, and money in sub-Saharan Africa - blackburn.house.gov


ARCHIVE: Although The FDA sent a public “warning letter” to Ranbaxy in 2006, Bill Clinton praised the company for fight against AIDS - The Economic Times


ARCHIVE: Ranbaxy pleads guilty and agrees to pay $500 Million to resolve false claims allegations, violations and false statements to the FDA - Department of Justice


New documents that reveal Bill Clinton's backdated contracts and multimillion $$$$ frauds in the name of HIV/Aids - Michael Smith News


Clinton's "bottom of the harbour" AIDS business - Michael Smith News


Bill Clinton's early days in tax-exempt business - and his original sin in The Bahamas tax haven - Michael Smith News


The CHAI Lie and the HIV/AIDS treatment: What connects Haiti with Papua New Guinea – Medium

 

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

POLL (Gallup): Hillary is 'email,' 'lie,' 'foundation,' 'scandal,' 'pneumonia' - Washington Examiner


Networks ignore Clinton Foundation conflict of interest in 95% of stories - newsbusters.org


Clinton gave State Department appointments to 194 donors, nearly 40 percent of the 511 advisory appointments - Washington Examiner


Bill Clinton’s speaking fee overlaps with Foundation business, paid by industry that later benefited from family charity’s Haitian project - WSJ


Exclusive: Clinton charities ignore law requiring them to disclose millions from foreign donors - ABC  Newsnet5


Bill Clinton falsely claims Foundation discloses all info on donors, activities - freebeacon.com


Clinton Foundation deceived IRS on tax exemption - The Daily Caller


The problem with the Clinton Foundation's tax status - The Daily Caller


The 21 pages deleted from The Clinton Foundation's 2005 IRS tax-exempt annual return - Michael Smith News


Opinions: Clinton Foundation taxes deserve close scrutiny - Belleville News-Democrat

 

"Clinton Foundation is charity fraud of epic proportions", analyst Charles Ortel charges in stunning takedown - Zero Hedge


The Clinton Foundation's problems are deeper than you think - Current Affairs


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

Wells Fargo’s Stumpf leads the way: We Should All Start ‘Taking Responsibility’ for Our Transgressions

By Dave Lindorff

 

Hey Americans! Let's all start taking responsibility for what we do wrong. Let's all start being accountable for our actions or our lack of action.

John Stumpf, the CEO of Wells Fargo Bank, one of the nation's biggest "too-big-to-fail" banks, is showing us the way in to this bright new stand-up world.

Talk Nation Radio: Reese Erlich and Coleen Rowley on Syria, War, and Peace

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-reese-erlich-and-coleen-rowley-on-syria-war-and-peace

Reese Erlich is a foreign correspondent and book author. The paperback edition of Erlich's book Inside Syria: The Backstory of Their Civil War and What the World Can Expect, has just been published this week. See https://reeseerlich.com

Coleen Rowley is an FBI whistleblower, peace activist, retired FBI agent, former legal counsel who taught law enforcement ethics, and member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity and of Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence. See http://coleenrowley.com

Coleen Rowley will be participating in No War 2016. See http://worldbeyondwar.org/nowar2016

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!

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete at
http://TalkNationRadio.org

and at
https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/tracks

Tomgram: Chip Ward, Peace Pipes, Not Oil Pipes

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

World War Two Was Not a Just War

By David Swanson

Excerpted from the just released book War Is Never Just.

World War II is often called “the good war,” and has been since the U.S. war on Vietnam to which it was then contrasted. World War II so dominates U.S. and therefore Western entertainment and education, that “good” often comes to mean something more than “just.” The winner of the “Miss Italy” beauty pageant earlier this year got herself into a bit of a scandal by declaring that she would have liked to live through World War II. While she was mocked, she was clearly not alone. Many would like to be part of something widely depicted as noble, heroic, and exciting. Should they actually find a time machine, I recommend they read the statements of some actual WWII veterans and survivors before they head back to join the fun.[i] For purposes of this book, however, I am going to look only at the claim that WWII was morally just.

No matter how many years one writes books, does interviews, publishes columns, and speaks at events, it remains virtually impossible to make it out the door of an event in the United States at which you’ve advocated abolishing war without somebody hitting you with the what-about-the-good-war question. This belief that there was a good war 75 years ago is a large part of what moves the U.S. public to tolerate dumping a trillion dollars a year into preparing in case there’s a good war next year,[ii] even in the face of so many dozens of wars during the past 70 years on which there’s general consensus that they were not good. Without rich, well-established myths about World War II, current propaganda about Russia or Syria or Iraq or China would sound as crazy to most people as it sounds to me. And of course the funding generated by the Good War legend leads to more bad wars, rather than preventing them. I’ve written on this topic at great length in many articles and books, especially War Is A Lie.[iii] But I’ll offer here a few key points that ought to at least place a few seeds of doubt in the minds of most U.S. supporters of WWII as a Just War.

Mark Allman and Tobias Winright, the “Just War” authors discussed in previous chapters, are not very forthcoming with their list of Just Wars, but they do mention in passing numerous unjust elements of the U.S. role in WWII, including U.S. and U.K. efforts to wipe out the populations of German cities[iv] and the insistence on unconditional surrenders.[v] However, they also suggest that they may believe this war was justly engaged in, unjustly conducted, and justly followed through on via the Marshall Plan, etc.[vi] I’m not sure Germany’s role as host of U.S. troops, weapons, and communications stations, and as collaborator in unjust U.S. wars over the years is included in the calculation.

Here are what I think of as the top 12 reasons the Good War wasn’t good/just.

  1. World War II could not have happened without World War I, without the stupid manner of starting World War I and the even stupider manner of ending World War I which led numerous wise people to predict World War II on the spot, or without Wall Street’s funding of Nazi Germany for decades (as preferable to communists), or without the arms race and numerous bad decisions that do not need to be repeated in the future.
  1. The U.S. government was not hit with a surprise attack. President Franklin Roosevelt had quietly promised Churchill that the United States would work hard to provoke Japan into staging an attack. FDR knew the attack was coming, and initially drafted a declaration of war against both Germany and Japan on the evening of Pearl Harbor. Prior to Pearl Harbor, FDR had built up bases in the U.S. and multiple oceans, traded weapons to the Brits for bases, started the draft, created a list of every Japanese American person in the country, provided planes, trainers, and pilots to China, imposed harsh sanctions on Japan, and advised the U.S. military that a war with Japan was beginning. He told his top advisers he expected an attack on December 1st, which was six days off. Here’s an entry in Secretary of War Henry Stimson’s diary following a November 25, 1941, White House meeting: “The President said the Japanese were notorious for making an attack without warning and stated that we might be attacked, say next Monday, for example.”
  1. The war was not humanitarian and was not even marketed as such until after it was over. There was no poster asking you to help Uncle Sam save the Jews. A ship of Jewish refugees from Germany was chased away from Miami by the Coast Guard. The U.S. and other nations refused to accept Jewish refugees, and the majority of the U.S. public supported that position. Peace groups that questioned Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his foreign secretary about shipping Jews out of Germany to save them were told that, while Hitler might very well agree to the plan, it would be too much trouble and require too many ships. The U.S. engaged in no diplomatic or military effort to save the victims in the Nazi concentration camps. Anne Frank was denied a U.S. visa. Although this point has nothing to do with a serious historian’s case for WWII as a Just War, it is so central to U.S. mythology that I’ll include here a key passage from Nicholson Baker:

“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.”[vii]

Perhaps it does go to the question of “Right Intention” that the “good” side of the war simply did not give a damn about what would become the central example of the badness of the “bad” side of the war.

  1. The war was not defensive. FDR lied that he had a map of Nazi plans to carve up South America, that he had a Nazi plan to eliminate religion, that U.S. ships (covertly assisting British war planes) were innocently attacked by Nazis, that Germany was a threat to the United States.[viii] A case can be made that the U.S. needed to enter the war in Europe to defend other nations, which had entered to defend yet other nations, but a case could also be made that the U.S. escalated the targeting of civilians, extended the war, and inflicted more damage than might have occurred, had the U.S. done nothing, attempted diplomacy, or invested in nonviolence. To claim that a Nazi empire could have grown to someday include an occupation of the United States is wildly far fetched and not borne out by any earlier or later examples from other wars.
  1. We now know much more widely and with much more data that nonviolent resistance to occupation and injustice is more likely to succeed—and that success more likely to last—than violent resistance. With this knowledge, we can look back at the stunning successes of nonviolent actions against the Nazis that were not well organized or built on beyond their initial successes.[ix]
  1. The Good War was not good for the troops. Lacking intense modern training and psychological conditioning to prepare soldiers to engage in the unnatural act of murder, some 80 percent of U.S. and other troops in World War II did not fire their weapons at “the enemy.”[x] The fact that veterans of WWII were treated better after the war than other soldiers before or since, was the result of the pressure created by the Bonus Army after the previous war. That veterans were given free college, healthcare, and pensions was not due to the merits of the war or in some way a result of the war. Without the war, everyone could have been given free college for many years. If we provided free college to everyone today, it would then require much more than Hollywoodized World War II stories to get many people into military recruiting stations.
  1. Several times the number of people killed in German camps were killed outside of them in the war. The majority of those people were civilians. The scale of the killing, wounding, and destroying made WWII the single worst thing humanity has ever done to itself in a short space of time. We imagine the allies were somehow “opposed” to the far lesser killing in the camps. But that can’t justify the cure that was worse than the disease.
  1. Escalating the war to include the all-out destruction of civilians and cities, culminating in the completely indefensible nuking of cities took WWII out of the realm of defensible projects for many who had defended its initiation—and rightly so. Demanding unconditional surrender and seeking to maximize death and suffering did immense damage and left a grim and foreboding legacy.
  1. Killing huge numbers of people is supposedly defensible for the “good” side in a war, but not for the “bad” side. The distinction between the two is never as stark as fantasized. The United States had a long history as an apartheid state. U.S. traditions of oppressing African Americans, practicing genocide against Native Americans, and now interning Japanese Americans also gave rise to specific programs that inspired Germany’s Nazis—these included camps for Native Americans, and programs of eugenics and human experimentation that existed before, during, and after the war. One of these programs included giving syphilis to people in Guatemala at the same time the Nuremberg trials were taking place.[xi] The U.S. military hired hundreds of top Nazis at the end of the war; they fit right in.[xii] The U.S. aimed for a wider world empire, before the war, during it, and ever since. German neo-Nazis today, forbidden to wave the Nazi flag, sometimes wave the flag of the Confederate States of America instead.
  1. The “good” side of the “good war,” the party that did most of the killing and dying for the winning side, was the communist Soviet Union. That doesn’t make the war a triumph for communism, but it does tarnish Washington’s and Hollywood’s tales of triumph for “democracy.”[xiii]
  1. World War II still hasn’t ended. Ordinary people in the United States didn’t have their incomes taxed until World War II and that’s never stopped. It was supposed to be temporary.[xiv] WWII-era bases built around the world have never closed. U.S. troops have never left Germany or Japan.[xv] There are more than 100,000 U.S. and British bombs still in the ground in Germany, still killing.[xvi]
  1. Going back 75 years to a nuclear-free, colonial world of completely different structures, laws, and habits to justify what has been the greatest expense of the United States in each of the years since is a bizarre feat of self-deception that isn’t attempted in the justification of any lesser enterprise. Assume I’ve got numbers 1 through 11 totally wrong, and you’ve still got to explain how an event from the early 1940s justifies dumping a trillion 2017 dollars into war funding that could have been spent to feed, clothe, cure, and shelter millions of people, and to environmentally protect the earth.

NOTES

[i] Studs Terkel, The Good War: An Oral History of World War II (The New Press: 1997).

[ii] Chris Hellman, TomDispatch, “$1.2 Trillion for National Security,” March 1, 2011, http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175361

[iii] David Swanson, War Is A Lie, Second Edition (Charlottesville: Just World Books, 2016).

[iv] Mark J. Allman & Tobias L. Winright, After the Smoke Clears: The Just War Tradition and Post War Justice (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 2010) p. 46.

[v] Mark J. Allman & Tobias L. Winright, After the Smoke Clears: The Just War Tradition and Post War Justice (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 2010) p. 14.

[vi] Mark J. Allman & Tobias L. Winright, After the Smoke Clears: The Just War Tradition and Post War Justice (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 2010) p. 97.

[vii] War No More: Three Centuries of American Antiwar and Peace Writing, edited by Lawrence Rosendwald.

[viii] David Swanson, War Is A Lie, Second Edition (Charlottesville: Just World Books, 2016).

[ix] Book and Film: A Force More Powerful, http://aforcemorepowerful.org

[x] Dave Grossman, On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society (Back Bay Books: 1996).

[xi] Donald G. McNeil Jr., The New York Times, “U.S. Apologizes for Syphilis Tests in Guatemala,” October 1, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/02/health/research/02infect.html

[xii] Annie Jacobsen, Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America (Little, Brown and Company, 2014).

[xiii] Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick, The Untold History of the United States (Gallery Books, 2013).

[xiv] Steven A. Bank, Kirk J. Stark, and Joseph J. Thorndike, War and Taxes (Urban Institute Press, 2008).

[xv] RootsAction.org, “Move Away from Nonstop War. Close the Ramstein Air Base,” http://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=12254

[xvi] David Swanson, “The United States Just Bombed Germany,” http://davidswanson.org/node/5134

As Dakota Access Protests Escalated, Obama Admin OK’d Same Company for Two Pipelines to Mexico

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

Photo Credit: C-SPAN

On September 9, the Obama administration revoked authorization for construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) on federally controlled lands and asked the pipeline's owners, led by Energy Transfer Partners, to voluntarily halt construction on adjacent areas at the center of protests by Native Americans and supporters.

Obama Will Take It As a Personal Insult If Blacks Don't Support Hillary

 

 

 


Obama’s Legacy But Clinton’s Judgment

 

 

 

Editor Note: President Obama calls on blacks to vote for Hillary Clinton to protect the first black president’s legacy, but there are questions about Clinton’s judgment and Obama’s legacy that deserve answers.

By Ray McGovern

Speaking at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation dinner on Saturday, President Barack Obama warned, in what has become for him a typically regal manner: “I will consider it a personal insult, an insult to my legacy, if this [African-American] community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election.”

Focus: Hillary Clinton - Sept 19, 2016


Paul Combetta, who deleted Hillary Clinton emails, may have asked Reddit for tips on how to remove a 'VERY VIP' email address - US News


House panel looking into Paul Combetta’s Reddit post about Clinton's email server - TheHill


Platte River executives fretted about being ordered to purge Clinton emails believing it was a cover up - New York Post


Text of the exchange on Reddit involving Paul Combetta: Remove or replace to/from address on archived emails? - exchangeserver


VIDEO: Hillary’s bleachbit specialist Paul Combetta deleting all of his reddit posts on video - Erik Jones on Twitter


ARCHIVE: Tech firm charged Clinton $250 an hour for Paul Combetta’s interviews with Feds - Fox Nation


Senator Grassley: FBI withholding key information about Clinton's deleted emails - PJ Media


Judge blasts State Dept. for slow-walking Hillary Clinton emails - Washington Times


State Department delays records request about Clinton-linked firm until after the 2016 election, the latest in a string of similar postponements - IBTimes


Judicial Watch: New State Department documents reveal top agency officials raised questions about Clinton emails in early August 2013 - Judicial Watch


Sen. seeks formal damage assessment of Clinton email secrets loss - freebeacon.com

 

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

Bill Clinton says it was only ‘natural’ for Clinton Foundation donors to ask State Department for favors - The Daily Caller


More Clinton Shenanigans in Haiti, Emails show the State Department and the Clinton Foundation collaborated on policy - WSJ


Ex-Haitian President of Senate says Clinton Foundation withheld billions of donations, calls to 'disclose the audit of all the money' - Daily Caller


VIDEO: Speech of the former Haitian President of Senate - YouTube


Millions from Clinton Foundation donors bought seats to WH dinners, those who authorized the special invitations were ensconced in the Department of State’s Office of Protocol - The Daily Caller


Emails detail State Dept. effort under Clinton to aid Foundation donor Walmart - Washington Examiner


Clinton charity partner slams ‘philanthropic abuse’ - freebeacon.com


Clinton Foundation donor kicked out of China’s National People’s Congress on accusations of bribing his way into office - The Daily Caller


Bill Clinton’s birthday bash proves the Clintons just can’t stop influence-peddling - New York Post


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

The African American History Missing from the Smithsonian

The new corporate-funded African-American History museum in Washington, D.C., built on the former site of Camp Democracy and all sorts of protests and festivals, is getting a great deal of purely positive press before its doors have opened.

This press and the museum's own website suggest that the museum covers slavery, Jim Crow, racism, sports, and entertainment, but doesn't step out of the mold set by the Smithsonian when it celebrated the Enola Gay or began letting war profiteers fund and shape the exhibits in the Air and Space Museum or in the American History Museum, which has gone out of its way to glorify war.

The New York Times informs us about the new museum: "Above ground, the museum departs from the chronological narrative to examine African-American achievements in fields like music, art, sports and the military. Visitors can tour these brighter third-floor and fourth-floor themed Culture and Community galleries without venturing into the harsher history sections below."

Get it? War is part of a well-rounded liberal life alongside music and sports, unlike those "harsh" bits of history. The new museum's website promotes "Military" as a category of exhibit item. Click it and you'll find 162 things including smiling portraits of soldiers in uniforms, medals, letters, hats, binoculars, propaganda posters, etc. If you search the site for "Peace" you find one photo of an unidentified man wearing a peace sign necklace and one photo of unidentified men holding up a giant peace sign.

We know that Marin Luther King Jr. is to be found in the new museum, but we don't know if he's the corporate-approved Martin Luther King Jr. who opposed racism but never noticed war. We know that Muhammad Ali shows up in the sports section along with his head-gear and gloves. We don't know if his reasons for refusing the Vietnam War draft are included.

African Americans have been a major part of resistance to war, especially from the Korean War through the nomination of Barack Obama for president. Some of this history is told by Kimberley Phillips who will be speaking in Washington, D.C., as the museum opens, but speaking at a conference at American University called No War 2016.

Does the Smithsonian touch on African-American resistance to wars on Africa or the growth of Africom? Also speaking at No War 2016 will be Maurice Carney of Friends of the Congo. Is the story his group tells in the film Crisis in the Congo told by the Smithsonian? Also speaking on a panel on racism and war at No War 2016 will be Bill Fletcher Jr. and Darakshan Raja. Where is their wisdom at the Smithsonian? Where is any history of the ties between a racist foreign policy and domestic racism? What is the relationship between racism and war propaganda? I wouldn't enter the new museum holding your breath until you find that exhibit.

What public service is being offered by a museum that celebrates the Tuskeegee Airmen but thus far has given no public indication that it will explore the significance of the Tuskeegee Syphilis Experiment? Bombing foreigners who engage in human experimentation makes a better story than just bombing foreigners while engaging in human experimentation. The story can be told with the flaws of segregation, later remedied or in the process of quickly being repaired. There is value in that story. It's not without its merits. But it is fundamentally false and may just get us all killed.

Syria News - Sept 17, 2016


US says it may have struck Syrian troops by mistake while targeting IS, at least 62 soldiers were killed and more than 100 wounded - AP


U.S. Central Command statement: Coalition halts airstrike in progress against possible Syrian military position - Laura Rozen on Twitter


US conveys 'regret' for anti-ISIS strike that by mistake killed Syrian troops, official says - Fox News


US official says condolence payments to Syrian families of troops killed in airstrike will be considered based on claims presented - Starr on Twitter


US Ambassador Samantha Power says UN meeting a ‘stunt,' accuses Russia of bombing civilians and blames Assad for the rise of ISIS - Sputnik


Russia: If the strikes were a targeting error, they are evidence of Washington's stubborn refusal to coordinate its military action in Syria with Russia - almasdarnews.com


Vladimir Putin questions US commitment to Syria ceasefire deal - The Guardian


Putin: Terrorists use Syria ceasefire to regroup - RT News


US & US-controlled forces haven't fulfilled any Syria ceasefire deal obligations: Russian Army - RT News


Aid Convoys for Syria's Aleppo delayed amid rising violence - ABC News


US to Russia: Assad must allow aid into Aleppo, No joint Syrian operations if aid can't get through - TheHill


Obama says concerned Syrian gov't blocking humanitarian aid: White House - Reuters


Clinton says cease fire in Syria is largely up to Russians - WTVA.com


Syria says it is doing all required to allow aid access - Reuters


Report: Cost of US post 9/11 wars approaching $5 Trillion - World Truth.TV


REPORT: US budgetary costs of wars through 2016: $4.79 trillion and counting - brown.edu


IMF: Mideast conflict has ‘massive' economic impact - VOA


REPORT: IMF Working Paper: Syria’s Conflict Economy - imf.org

 

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

Obama Is Against Torture, But Afraid of CIA Torturers

 

 


US Media Ignores CIA Cover-up on Torture

 

 

 
Editor Note: A group of U.S. intelligence veterans chastises the mainstream U.S. media for virtually ignoring a British newspaper’s account of the gripping inside story on how the CIA tried to block the U.S. Senate’s torture investigation.
 

MEMORANDUM FOR: Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Vice Chairman, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

War Is Never Just: The End of "Just War" Theory

Several weeks back I was invited to speak this coming October at a U.S. university on ending war and making peace. As I often do, I asked whether the organizers couldn't try to find a supporter of war with whom I could debate or discuss the topic, thus (I hoped) bringing in a larger audience of people not yet persuaded of the need to abolish the institution of warfare.

As had never happened before, the event organizers not only said yes but actually found a war supporter willing to take part in a public debate. Great! I thought, this will make for a more persuasive event. I read my future interlocutor's books and papers, and I drafted my position, arguing that his "Just War" theory could not hold up to scrutiny, that in fact no war could be "just."

Rather than planning to surprise my "just war" debate opponent with my arguments, I sent him what I had written so that he could plan his responses and perhaps contribute them to a published, written exchange. But, rather than respond on topic, he suddenly announced that he had "professional and personal obligations" that would prevent his taking part in the event in October. Sigh!

But the best event organizers ever have already found a replacement. So the debate will go forward at St. Michael's College, Colchester, VT, on October 5th. Meanwhile, I have just published as a book my argument that war is never just. You can be the first to buy it, read it, or review it here.

Part of the reason for advancing this debate now is that back on April 11-13th the Vatican held a meeting on whether the Catholic Church, the originator of Just War theory, should finally reject it. Here's a petition you can sign, whether or not you are Catholic, urging the church to do just that.

An outline of my argument can be found in my book's table of contents:

What Is A Just War?
Just War Theory Facilitates Unjust Wars
Preparing for a Just War Is a Greater Injustice Than Any War
Just War Culture Just Means More War
The Ad Bellum / In Bello Distinction Does Harm

Some Just War Criteria Are Not Measurable
            Right Intention
            Just Cause
            Proportionality

Some Just War Criteria Are Not Possible
            Last Resort
            Reasonable Prospect Of Success
            Noncombatants Immune From Attack
            Enemy Soldiers Respected As Human Beings
            Prisoners Of War Treated As Noncombatants

Some Just War Criteria Are Not Moral Factors At All
            Publicly Declared
            Waged By Legitimate And Competent Authority

The Criteria For Just Drone Murders Are
Immoral, Incoherent, And Ignored
Why Do Ethics Classes Fantasize About Murder
 So Much?
If All Just War Criteria Were Met War Still
 Wouldn't Be Just
Just War Theorists Do Not Spot New Unjust
 Wars Any Faster an Anyone Else
A Just-War Occupation Of A Conquered Country 
Is Not Just
Just War Theory Opens the Door To Pro-War Theory

We Can End War Without Waiting For Jesus
Who Would The Good Samaritan Carpet Bomb?

World War Two Was Not Just
The U.S. Revolution Was Not Just
The U.S. Civil War Was Not Just
War On Yugoslavia Was Not Just
War On Libya Is Not Just
War On Rwanda Would Not Have Been Just
War On Sudan Would Not Have Been Just
War On ISIS Is Not Just

Our Ancestors Lived In A Different Cultural World
We Can Agree On Just Peace Making

*****

Here's the first section:

WHAT IS A "JUST WAR"?

Just War theory holds that a war is morally justified under certain circumstances. Just War theorists lay out and elaborate upon their criteria for the just beginning of a war, the just conduct of a war, and—in some cases, including Mark Allman's—the just occupation of conquered territories after some official announcement that a war is "over." Some Just War theorists also write about just pre-war conduct, which is helpful if it promotes behaviors that make war less likely. But no just pre-war conduct, in the view I lay out below, can justify the decision to launch a war.

Examples of Just War criteria (to be discussed below) are: right intention, proportionality, a just cause, the last resort, a reasonable prospect of success, noncombatants' immunity from attack, enemy soldiers respected as human beings, prisoners of war treated as noncombatants, war publicly declared, and war waged by a legitimate and competent authority. There are others, and not all Just War theorists agree on all of them.

Just War theory or the "Just War tradition" has been around since the Catholic Church joined up with the Roman Empire in the time of Saints Ambrose and Augustine in the fourth century CE. Ambrose opposed intermarriage with pagans, heretics, or Jews, and defended the burning of synagogues. Augustine defended both war and slavery based on his ideas of "original sin," and the idea that "this" life is of little importance in comparison with the afterlife. He believed that killing people actually helped them get to a better place and that you should never be so foolish as to engage in self-defense against someone trying to kill you.

Just War theory was further developed by Saint Thomas Aquinas in the thirteenth century. Aquinas was a supporter of slavery and of monarchy as the ideal form of government. Aquinas believed the central motive of war makers should be peace, an idea very much alive to this day, and not just in the works of George Orwell. Aquinas also thought that heretics deserved to be killed, though he believed the church should be merciful, and so preferred that the state do the killing.

Of course there was also much highly admirable about these ancient and medieval figures. But their Just War ideas fit better with their worldviews than with ours. Out of an entire perspective (including their views of women, sex, animals, the environment, education, human rights, etc., etc.) that makes little sense to most of us today, this one piece called "Just War theory" has been kept alive well beyond its expiration date.

Many advocates of Just War theory no doubt believe that by promoting criteria for a "just war" they are taking the inevitable horror of war and mitigating the damage, that they are making unjust wars a little bit less unjust or maybe even a lot less unjust, while making sure that just wars are begun and are properly executed. "Necessary" is a word that Just War theorists should not object to. They cannot be accused of calling war good or pleasant or cheerful or desirable. Rather, they claim that some wars can be necessary—not physically necessary but morally justified although regrettable. If I shared that belief, I would find courageous risk-taking in such wars to be noble and heroic, yet still unpleasant and undesirable—and thus in only a very particular sense of the word: "good."

The majority of the supporters in the United States of particular wars are not strict Just War theorists. They may believe a war is in some manner defensive, but have typically not thought through whether it's a "necessary" step, a "last resort." Often they are very open about seeking revenge, and often about targeting for revenge ordinary non-combatants, all of which is rejected by Just War theory. In some wars, but not others, some fraction of supporters also believe the war is intended to rescue the innocent or bestow democracy and human rights on the afflicted. In 2003 there were Americans who wanted Iraq bombed in order to kill a lot of Iraqis, and Americans who wanted Iraq bombed in order to liberate Iraqis from a tyrannical government. In 2013 the U.S. public rejected its government's pitch to bomb Syria for the supposed benefit of Syrians. In 2014 the U.S. public supported bombing Iraq and Syria to supposedly protect themselves from ISIS. According to much of recent Just War theory it shouldn't matter who is being protected. To most of the U.S. public, it matters very much.

While there are not enough Just War theorists to launch a war without lots of help from unjust war advocates, elements of Just War theory are found in the thinking of just about every war supporter. Those thrilled by a new war will still call it "necessary." Those eager to abuse all standards and conventions in the conduct of the war will still condemn the same by the other side. Those cheering for attacks on non-threatening nations thousands of miles away will never call it aggression, always "defense" or "prevention" or "preemption" or punishment of misdeeds. Those explicitly denouncing or evading the United Nations will still claim that their government's wars uphold rather than drag down the rule of law. While Just War theorists are far from agreeing with each other on all points, there are some common themes, and they work to facilitate the waging of war in general—even though most or all of the wars are unjust by the standards of Just War theory.

Read the rest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HOST: Students for Peace and Justice in Palestine

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

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

Please sign up on Facebook if you want to come, and please share it to spread the word: https://www.facebook.com/events/1591911061110859

Please retweet this tweet: https://twitter.com/davidcnswanson/status/776406756939399168

 

 

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.

CHOOSE LANGUAGE

Support This Site

Donate.

Get free books and gear when you become a supporter.

 

Sponsors:

Speaking Truth to Empire

***

Families United

***

Ray McGovern

***

Financial supporters of this site can choose to be listed here.

Buy Books

Get Gear

The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.