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Focus: Hillary Clinton - Aug 26, 2016


Ethicists scoff at Clinton Foundation transition plan, question Chelsea's continued involvement and the group's slow wind down - POLITICO


Watchdogs warn of 'serious' conflicts of interest for Clinton Foundation with Hillary in the White House - TheHill


Chaffetz probes link between Clinton Foundation and State Department - Washington Examiner


Oversight Committee letter to Kerry: Explain why the State Department was used to find Clinton Foundation employees - townhall.com


The U.S. Department of Clinton, The latest emails show that State and the foundation were one seamless entity - WSJ


Watchdog: Clinton finance director was 'middle' man between foundation, State - Fox News


11 calls to shut down Clinton Foundation from left-wing media - Breitbart


It’s time to take the ‘Clinton’ out of the Clinton Foundation - LA Times


Hillary Clinton's Clinton Foundation scandal can't be defended - NY Daily News


Hillary Clinton’s reaction to her Foundation scandal is disastrous - TIME


Trump demands special prosecutor to investigate Clinton's State Department tenure - NBC News


Giuliani: Clinton Foundation scandal ‘bigger than Watergate’ - WND


Feingold concerned about Clinton charity - WSAU


Obama to skip Clinton Global Initiative - POLITICO


Clinton camp dismisses questions over Bill's $17M 'honorary chancellor’ job with firm invited to State Dept. dinner - Fox News


Hillary State Dept. helped jailed Clinton Foundation donor get $10 Mil from U.S. for failed Haiti project - Judicial Watch


Recently leaked documents confirm Clinton Haitian gold scheme - OpEdNews


The Clinton Foundation's private equity puzzle - fortune.com


Warning signs for Australia that Bill Clinton was way off the straight and narrow in Papua New Guinea - Michael Smith News


Flemish PM Flanders donated hundreds of thousands to Clinton Foundation: report - POLITICO


Company that price gouged EpiPen is Clinton Foundation donor - New York Post


Clinton criminals: Bill and Hillary’s friends keep being investigated, convicted, jailed - Heat Street


Top Clinton campaign donors frequently backed foundation, undermining the argument that the work of her family's charity is wholly unrelated to her political ambitions  - Washington Examiner

 

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Clinton defends foundation, calls for Trump to release tax returns - Business Insider


VIDEO: Clinton: 'You know more about the Foundation than you know about anything concerning Donald Trump's wealth' - YouTube


Statement: Trump should stop hiding behind fake excuses and release his tax returns disclosing the full extent of his business interests - HFA


GOP committee chairman Chaffetz calls on Donald Trump to release tax returns - CBS News


GOP Rep. Mark Sanford: I support you, Donald Trump. Now release your tax returns - The New York Times


Former IRS commissioner Goldberg op-ed: Trump has no excuse to not release his tax returns - CNBC


Roger Stone: Trump should release tax returns 'immediately’ - TheHill


VIDEO: Watch Trump's campaign manager dodge questions about his tax returns - mediamatters.org


POLL: 74 percent of likely voters say Donald Trump should release his tax returns, among them 62 percent of Republicans - POLITICO

 

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Judge orders State Dept. to begin releasing additional Clinton emails by Sept. 13 - Fox News


Clinton team used special program BleachBit to delete her emails and prevent their recovery, Gowdy says 'even God can't read them' - Fox News


Tech firm BleachBit brags about blocking FBI from recovering Clinton emails - Washington Examiner


1/3 of Abedin emails 100% redacted because of highly sensitive material - WND


Assange vows Clinton email release, as storm clouds gather for candidate - Fox News


Newly released emails reveal then Secretary of State Clinton tried to avoid the commercial shuttle by taking an Air Force plane - freebeacon.com


Clinton’s State Department blew $6 Billion in contracts, and we’re about to learn why - Tea Party News


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

ABC Shifts Blame from US Wars to Doctors Without Borders

ABC Television's 20/20 will air a program on Friday called "The Girl Left Behind," the main thrust of which is already apparent on ABC's website.

The horribly tragic story is that of Kayla Mueller, an American held hostage and reportedly raped and tortured by ISIS before dying -- it's unclear how, possibly at the hands of ISIS, possibly killed by bombs dropped by U.S. ally Jordan.

Another hostage who was freed reported that ISIS blamed Kayla Mueller for U.S. actions in the Middle East. Among those actions, we learned this week, was imprisoning future ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi at Abu Ghraib, not just at Camp Bucca as previously reported.

Mueller, like fellow ISIS victim James Foley, meant well and was in Syria to try to help people nonviolently. But U.S. policy has made it unsafe for Americans to travel to many places.

ABC will seek to pin blame for what happened to Mueller on Doctors Without Borders. She was kidnapped out of a Doctors Without Borders car, and that organization negotiated the freedom of its employees while refusing to help Mueller or even to trust her family enough to share with them information intended for them from ISIS.

But Doctors Without Borders was in Syria to help people and appears to have meant well. Blaming the doctors is easy to overdo here, and not just because the United States has been bombing its hospitals -- acts that may not involve rape or torture, but do involve murder and maiming. The U.S. government could have helped Mueller by never having destroyed Iraq in the first place, never having sought to overthrow Syria, never having overthrown Libya, or never having flooded the region with weapons. Or the U.S. government could have negotiated with ISIS or allowed victims' families to do so -- something it now allows, too late for Kayla Mueller. Or the U.S. government could have announced new policies that ISIS would likely have accepted as ransom.

ISIS asked, in exchange for Mueller's freedom, for the freedom of Aafia Siddiqui or $5 million Euros. If the U.S. government had, instead, offered an apology to the victims of its wars and prison camps, and massive reparations to the region, ISIS might very well have responded in kind. Instead, the U.S. government proceeded to bomb people, including many civilians, for a cost many times greater than $5 million Euros.

The telling of Mueller's story is, in itself, worthwhile. But the focus on an American victim of a war that is victimizing all kinds of people fuels dangerous attitudes. Focusing on the crimes of ISIS, but not of Saudi Arabia or Bahrain or, for that matter, the United States, looks like propaganda for more war. When a New Yorker like Jeffrey Epstein rapes, nobody proposes to bomb New York, but when Baghdadi allegedly rapes, the appropriate response is widely understood to be bombing people.

I don't think the suffering of Kayla Mueller or James Foley should be used to justify the infliction of more suffering. As 9/11 victims have been used as a justification to kill hundreds of times the number of people killed on 9/11, some of the victims' relatives have pushed back. James Foley is pushing back from the grave. Posted online is a video of Foley talking about the lies that are needed to launch wars, including the manipulation of people into thinking of foreigners as less than human. Foley's killers may have thought of him as less than human. He may not have viewed them the same way.

The video shows Foley in Chicago helping the late Haskell Wexler with his film Four Days in Chicago -- a film about a protest of NATO. I was there in Chicago for the march and rally against NATO. And I met Wexler who tried unsuccessfully to find funding for a film version of my book War Is A Lie.

In the video you can watch Foley discussing the limitations of embedded reporting, the power of veteran resistance, veterans he met at Occupy, the absence of a good justification for the wars, the dehumanization needed before people can be killed, the shallowness of media coverage -- watch all of that and then try to imagine James Foley accepting the use of his killing as propaganda for more fighting.

When Foley's mother sought to ransom him, the U.S. government repeatedly threatened her with prosecution. So, instead of Foley's mother paying a relatively small amount and possibly saving her son, ISIS goes on getting its funding from oil sales and supporters in the Gulf and free weapons from, among elsewhere, the United States and its allies. And we're going to collectively spend millions, probably billions, and likely trillions of dollars furthering the cycle of violence that Foley risked his life to expose.

Tomgram: Ann Jones, "I Didn't Serve, I Was Used"

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

Focus: Turkey Military Intervention in Syria - Aug 24, 2016


Turkish forces cross into Syria to wrestle control of Jarablus from Islamic State and thereby prevent Kurdish forces from taking the city - DW.COM


With U.S. backing, Turkey pushes into Syria to hold the line against Kurds - FT.com


PM says Turkish operation in Syria to go on until YPG moves east of Euphrates - Reuters


Turkey will not accept new Kurdish entity in Syria: Prime Minister - Reuters


YPG: We will not withdraw from west of the Euphrates - Rudaw


Syrian Kurds accuse Turkey of 'blatant aggression' in Syria and and warn that Ankara is entering a 'quagmire' - Reuters


'Or we'll force them out': Kurdish PYD demands Turkey's withdrawal from Syria - Sputnik


Jarablus Military Council is claiming that Turkey is "deliberately" targeting Kurdish neighbourhoods in Jarablus - liveuamap.com


Clashes between Turkey-FSA and SDF Manbij Military Council in the south of Jarablus - KurdishQuestion.com


Kurds accuse Turkish intelligence of assassinating military leader in Syria's Jarabulus, say two MIT agents captured and interrogated - ARA News


Turkey-FSA take Jarablus from IS without fight - KurdishQuestion.com


Surprise! Washington Post: "rebels had reached the center of Jarabulus after encountering almost no resistance from IS fighters” - Peto Lucem on Twitter


Int community, Peshmerga &Iraqi army near Mosul should ask Turkish army/FSA 2hand over manual "how-to-defeat-IS-in-hours-without-casualties" - Harald Doornbos on Twitter

 

IS members online say the quick loss of Jarablus was because IS had pulled out its fighters from the city a week ago & regrouped elsewhere - Hassan Hassan on Twitter

 

Jihadists left Azaz and Aleppo province to assist Turkish Army in capture of Jarabulus - Joshua Landis on Twitter


Zenki brigades, which have been so active in Aleppo, spearhead push with Turks to take Jarablus - Joshua Landis on Twitter 


ARCHIVE: Zenki Brigades, Syria Islamist group accused of war crimes - Wikipedia


Ahrar al-Sham is also involved (confirmed by source) in the Jarablus offensive, though more quietly than other FSA/vetted groups - Charles Lister on Twitter


Key Syria [rebel] units involved [in Jarablus]: Faylaq al-Sham Jabhat al-Shamiya Nour al-Din al-Zinki Sultan Murad 13th Division Suqor al-Jebel (1/2) - Charles Lister on Twitter

 

Key Syria [rebel] units involved [in Jarablus]: Jaish al-Tahrir Hamza Division Jaish al-Nasr Mutassim Brigade Ahrar Tel Rifaat Liwa al-Fateh (2/2) - Charles Lister on Twitter

 

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U.S. backs Turkey call for Kurds to retreat East of Euphrates, says aid for the YPG would be stopped if it doesn’t comply - Bloomberg Politics


Turkish op in Syria indicate progress in closing border to Daesh: White House - Sputnik


Russia says 'deeply concerned' at Turkish operation in Syria, warning of rising tension over Ankara's targeting of Kurdish militia fighters - AFP

 

‘Blatant violation of sovereignty’: Damascus condemns Turkish operation in Jarablus - RT News


Syrian opposition group welcomes Turkish military operation near Jarablus - Sputnik


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


Tomgram: Todd Miller, The Great Mexican Wall Deception

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

Focus: Hillary Clinton - Aug 22, 2016


Newly released emails from Hillary Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin show favors for Clinton Foundation donors - New York Post


Judicial Watch: Abedin was a conduit between Clinton Foundation donors and Hillary while she served as Secretary of State - Judicial Watch


State Dept: New emails not evidence of Clinton Foundation pay-to-play - Breibart


Clinton Foundation executive left 148 phone messages for Hillary Clinton's top aide Cheryl Mills - Fox News


State Department defends call logs showing close contact between Clinton aides, foundation - Washington Examiner


Pro-Clinton center: Media continue to fall for Clinton Foundation pseudo-scandals promoted by Judicial Watch - mediamatters.org


Huma Abedin worked at a radical Muslim journal for a dozen years - New York Post


Huma Abedin denies active role at radical Muslim journal, Clinton spokesman says ‘she did not play a role in editing at the publication' - New York Post


Spokesman: Huma Abedin was ‘fully vetted’ for State Dept job (VIDEO) - freebeacon.com


ARCHIVE: Roger Stone: It's time America got some answers about Huma Abedin - Breitbart


ARCHIVE: The Truth about Huma Abedin that Media Matters doesn't want America to see - Breitbart


ARCHIVE: The Atlantic whitewashes Islamist groups in Abedin controversy - Breitbart

 

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Donald J. Trump statement on Clinton Foundation: Shut it down - Donald J Trump for President


Tim Kaine: Trump tax returns more important than Clinton Foundation donations - Washington Times


Some of Trump’s toughest media critics agree: The Clinton Foundation should close - The Washington Post


Peter Schweizer: Media went from ‘defending the Clinton Foundation’ to ‘pretending it wasn’t there’ to ‘saying shut it down’ - Breitbart


Clinton Foundation charity grade: D-, Close all branches now - Medium


Giuliani: I would indict Clinton Foundation as 'racketeering enterprise' - Fox News


Bill Clinton: Foundation will continue work, change plans - WPMT FOX43


Clinton Foundation prepares to hand off programs, scale back operations - BuzzFeed News


Clinton Foundation ban would not apply to some related charities - The Boston Globe


More than half of Clinton Foundation’s major donors would be barred under new rule - The Washington Post


Clinton Foundation on backfoot after intense scrutiny; India operations may be affected - Times of India


The illegal incorporation of the Clinton HIV/Aids Initiative in Papua New Guinea - Michael Smith News


AUDIO: Twisted philanthropy: How the Clintons and the Clinton Foundation made billions mining the world’s misery index - Leid Stories

 

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Judge orders expedited release of new 15,000 Hillary Clinton documents found by FBI - CBS News


GOP demands all Hillary Clinton emails before election day - Washington Times


Judicial Watch: State Department stonewalling release of 15K newly discovered Hillary Clinton emails (VIDEO) - Breitbart


Clinton campaign 'not sure' what emails FBI found on server - Washington Examiner

 

Chaffetz claims FBI gave Congress conflicting documents on Clinton email probe - POLITICO


GOP subpoenas firms that ran Clinton's private email server - AP


Now will Hillary hold a press conference on the newly found emails? (Spoiler: Probably not) - National Republican Congressional Committee


Apparent Army Opsec Brief lists Hillary Clinton, David Petraeus as examples of insider security threats - The Daily Caller


Navy sailor argued his crime was same as Hillary’s. Here’s how long he’ll be spending in jail - ijr.com


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

Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, Making Sense of Trump and His National Security State Critics

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

Belted by Trump: Gotcha!

By Ed Adelman

 

A Lawless Plan for More Carnage and Wider War in Syria

 

 


A Lawless Plan to Widen War in Syria

 

 

 

Editor's Note: Official Washington’s disdain for international law – when its doing the lawbreaking – was underscored by ex-CIA acting director Morell reiterating plans for murdering Iranians and Syrians in Syria, ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern says.

By Ray McGovern

On Aug. 17, TV interviewer Charlie Rose gave former acting CIA Director Michael Morell a “mulligan” for an earlier wayward drive on Aug. 8 that sliced deep into the rough and even stirred up some nonviolent animals by advocating the murder of Russians and Iranians. But, alas, Morell duffed the second drive, too.

The Unbearable Awesomeness of the U.S. Military

Unrepentant, always wrong, U.S. warmongers Michael O'Hanlon and David Petraeus have authored "America’s Awesome Military: And How to Make It Even Better," to explain to the rest of us that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the greatest American frack-yeah military ever AND that it is in such a pitiably weak state that if trillions more aren't wasted on it we're all going to die.

Remember, this is the same military of which a single branch has just recently misplaced $6.5 trillion. And it needs more money. Why? Because it's soooooooooo damn awesome!

In fact it's about to win the wars it's embroiled in in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, and Libya, but if you don't fork over trillions more it will lose badly and it'll be all your fault and the ghosts of the betrayed and sacred troops will haunt you instead of haunting the admissions offices of broken down VA hospitals.

Meanwhile Bill McKibben wants, as we've all long wanted, a "war" against the danger of climate destruction, only without taking the money out of the only place it can come from, the preparations for actual wars, and while hyping the awesomeness of the military to make sure the money stays there.

But, back to our favorite war mongers. Petraeus and O'Hanlon fill us in on the following secrets (and we didn't even have to have sex with them!):

"The United States has the best military in the world today, by far. U.S. forces have few, if any, weaknesses, and in many areas—from naval warfare to precision-strike capabilities, to airpower, to intelligence and reconnaissance, to special operations—they play in a totally different league from the militaries of other countries. Nor is this situation likely to change anytime soon, as U.S. defense spending is almost three times as large as that of the United States’ closest competitor, China, and accounts for about one-third of all global military expenditures—with another third coming from U.S. allies and partners."

This understates U.S. spending while overstating the idea that it serves some purpose other than ginning up terrorism and suffering, but you get the idea. Here comes the "nevertheless":

"Nevertheless, 15 years of war and five years of budget cuts and Washington dysfunction have taken their toll. The military is certainly neither broken nor unready for combat, but its size and resource levels are less than is advisable given the range of contemporary threats and the missions for which it has to prepare. No radical changes or major buildups are needed. But the trend of budget cuts should stop and indeed be modestly reversed, and defense appropriations should be handled more rationally and professionally than has been the case in recent years."

This is based on the lie that U.S. military spending has been decreasing. It has not. It's also based on denial of the existence of arms races and reverse arms races. Global spending follows U.S. spending up and could as easily follow it down. This is also based on denial of the U.S. role as not just far and away top spending on weaponry but also far and away top dealer of weaponry to the rest of the world, arming the hatred its own wars fuel, generating opportunities for more wars.

"Most major elements of U.S. defense policy are on reasonably solid ground, despite innumerable squabbles among experts over many of the details. Through­out the post–Cold War era, some variant of a two-war planning framework (with caveats) has enjoyed bipartisan support and should continue to do so for many years to come."

Good thing the U.S. is only in seven wars!

"Those who worry about an American military supposedly in decline should relax. The current U.S. defense budget of just over $600 billion a year exceeds the Cold War average of about $525 billion (in 2016 dollars) and greatly exceeds the pre-9/11 defense budget of some $400 billion. It is true that defense spending from 2011 through 2020 has been cut by a cumulative total of about $1 trillion (not counting reductions in war-related costs). But there were legitimate reasons for most of those reductions, and the cuts were made to a budget at a historically very high level."

Note that $1 trillion over 10 years is, in plain English, $100 billion, and in plainer English, false. Note also that the $600 billion leaves out the Department of so-called Homeland so-called Security, the Department of Energy, the State Department, the Veterans Administration, etc., etc. But why are we back to not worrying again? Can we just stop with that half of the propaganda and not switch back to fear mongering?

How Presidential “Non-Opinion” Polls Drive Down Third Party Numbers and Facilitate Debate Exclusion

This week, the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates announced what polls it will utilize in excluding candidates from its debates.

The CPD says candidates like the Libertarian Party’s Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein must get 15 percent in polls conducted by “five national public opinion polling organizations” — ABC/Washington Post, CBS/New York Times, CNN/Opinion Research Corporation, Fox News, and NBC/Wall Street Journal.

Not only — as several have correctly argued — is the 15 percent threshold arbitrary and exclusionary, but these polls don’t actually ask voter preferences at all.

They all ask “If the presidential election were being held today for whom would you vote?” or some minor variation of that.

Focus: Hillary Clinton - Aug 18, 2016


FBI 'improperly' restricting access to Clinton probe files, senator Grassley says - Fox News


Text of Sen. Grassley's letter on access to Clinton probe docs - Washington Post


FBI's Clinton documents viewed in secure areas of the U.S. Capitol, they are collected in large binders labeled 'secret'- Reuters


Chaffetz: Clinton material is so highly classified that even I, as Oversight Committee Chair, don't have security clearance - Washington Examiner


VIDEO: Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Chaffetz talks heavily redacted Clinton documents from FBI - YouTube


Clinton campaign: FBI document release a partisan witch-hunt - Washington Examiner


Clinton aides perk up with prospect of ‘classified’ FBI leak - New York Post


Unclassified documents from the FBI’s Hillary Clinton email investigation might be made public - The Washington Post


House panel to probe FBI about whether Clinton perjured herself to Congress - usatoday.com


State Department to turn over all Clinton emails uncovered by FBI which were not provided to State by Clinton in December 2014, including deleted ones - Judicial Watch


Judicial Watch: Court hearing Monday, August 22, in FBI Clinton email records case - Judicial Watch


State Dept won’t say when new Clinton emails will be released - freebeacon.com


VIDEO: State Department can't say if Clinton emails provided to Judicial Watch will be made public - YouTube


Priebus to State: Release Clinton emails before election - TheHill


Six batches of Clinton-related documents we're still waiting to see - Washington Examiner


After Hillary walks, Navy sailor wants same leniency over his ‘classified’ incident - ijr.com

 

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Clinton Foundation will stop accepting foreign and corporate donations if Clinton is elected - CBS News


State Department records fail to show if Hillary Clinton, aides took mandatory ethics training - McClatchy DC


Trump campaign blasts Clinton over ethics training report - POLITICO


POLL: Majority thinks Clinton Foundation donors influenced Clinton when she was secretary of state - newsmax.com


Citizens United fights for records on major Clinton Foundation donor who served on intel panel - freebeacon.com


Clinton Foundation advised World Bank on contracts that netted donors millions - freebeacon.com


Clinton Foundation pushed State Dept. on Bill Clinton speech in North Korea - Washington Examiner


Bill Clinton’s pay at for-profit education company topped $17.5 million for his five-year role as an 'honorary chancellor' - POLITICO


The sordid history of Australia's deals to 'facilitate' the Clinton Foundation's access to Asia - Michael Smith News


Former Australia PM Julia Gillard lavished an unprecedented $292 million in taxpayer dollars on the Clinton-dominated Global Partnership for Education, where she was later appointed chair - Quadrant


Abu Dhabi offered to contribute to the Clinton Foundation while lobbying State Department over airline deal - Daily Mail Online


Did the Clinton Foundation received a $175,000 donation from the mining conglomerate BHP Billiton in return for State Department ensuring the firm’s mining contracts in Gabon and Guinea? - Infowars


State Department sought land deal with Nigerian firm tied to Clinton Foundation - Fox News


The Clinton-Kremlin Connection - The Weekly Standard


Peter Schweizer op-ed: The Clinton Foundation, State and Kremlin connections - WSJ


Clinton Foundation profited from Clintons' personal charity, returns show - Washington Times


Clinton Foundation gave $5,000 to veterans charities last year - Breibart


A massive hack of Clinton donor George Soros' Open Society Foundations suggests that his various nonprofit organizations are little more than fronts for his many political activities - IBD


Manafort Accuses Never Trumpers of being tied to Clinton Foundation - Cortney O’Brien


The crusading prosecutor who is on Clinton Foundation case - newsmax.com


Modest to Majestic: A look at Hillary and Bill Clinton’s homes over the years - The New York Times

 

'Clinton Cash: A Graphic Novel' to debut #1 on the New York Times graphic novel bestsellers list - Breibart


Review: 'Clinton Cash: A Graphic Novel' - Military Press


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

New York Times shames itself: Attacking Wikileaks’ Assange for Doing What Journalists are Supposed to Do

By Dave Lindorff

 

While I periodically have written commentaries dissecting and pillorying news articles in the New York Times to expose their bias, hypocrisy half-truths and lies, I generally ignore their editorials since these are overtly opinions of the management, and one expects them to display the elitist and neo-liberal perspective of the paper’s publisher and senior editors.

Best of TomDispatch: Andrew Bacevich, Pentagon, Inc.

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

Worst Human Being Alive: Tony Blair?

I realize that, living here in the United States, the nation doing the most in the world to create wars, proliferate nukes, and destroy the habitability of the earth's climate, I really have a duty to pick someone in the United States as the worst individual human being alive.

But the United States operates by incestuous swarm. We have another Cheney running for Congress and another Clinton running for president. We have Trump's campaign manager in trouble for taking money from Russians, much of which he funneled to Hillary Clinton's campaign chair's brother. Meanwhile, Trump's daughter has been hauled before a virtual Un-American Activities Committee for vacationing with the supposed girlfriend of Vladimir Putin who may or may not have cheated on Rupert Murdoch with Tony Blair -- Yes, the same Rupert Murdoch who raises funds for Hillary Clinton, and yes, that Tony Blair -- the one whose corrupt deal with Murdoch put him in power in the first place.

These characters, including Blair, are at least honorary Americans. But Blair is something even worse than the worst of the worst of them. Blair did to the Labour Party what Bill Clinton did to the Democratic Party -- what Jeremy Corbin is trying to undo and Hillary Clinton trying to permanently entomb. Blair did to Kosovo and Afghanistan and Iraq what Clinton, Bush, and Obama did to those places. But while Bush went home to paint pictures of himself in the bathtub, Blair went on a Clintonite mission to get rich and evangelize for war and corruption.

I don't know if it's fair to hold this against him, but Blair took into wars on Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq, a nation with far greater resistance to such lawless mass killing than the United States had. That is, he had people telling him openly that his actions would be criminal and reprehensible. He may now be the least popular person in Britain. He can't go outside without being protested. George W. Bush, like his daddy, in contrast, is just another respectable old retired emperor.

I do think, however, that it is perfectly fair to hold against Blair the fact that he shifted from mass killing straight into mass money making while promoting more death and destruction. Money grubbing British prime ministers from now on will know that they can become stinking rich upon retirement if they do the bidding of their corporate and foreign overlords while in office.

If you think I'm exaggerating, go watch George Galloway's new film, The Killing$ Of Tony Blair. This film tells the story of Blair's whole career, and it's ugly. He cuts a deal with Murdoch to allow media monopolies in exchange for press support. He takes money from a car racing plutocrat in exchange for allowing tobacco ads at car races. He sells out to corporations left and right. He peddles BAE jets to Indonesia for killing people in East Timor. He sells BAE air traffic control systems to Tanzania which has no air force. He simply shuts down a prosecutorial investigation of BAE's Saudi corruption in the deal that saw Bandar Bush pocket $2 billion. He privatizes schools and hospitals, anything that can make a buck for anybody who knows how to kick some back.

Blair joins with Clinton the First and then Obama in the killing in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and then shifts into former-prime-minister-now-"consultant" mode, taking millions from JP Morgan Chase, Petro Saudi, and other companies for providing his connections to other corrupt people around the world. He takes obscene speaking fees. He hires himself out to dictators in Kazakhstan, Egypt, Kuwait, and Libya. The film juxtaposes their atrocities with Blair's purchased praise of their many merits. Blair persuaded Bush to protect Gadaffi from lawsuits by alleged victims, but apparently forgot to tell Hillary not to bomb Gadaffi or get him killed.

What really wins Blair the prize of worst person on earth, though, is his acceptance of an appointment as Middle East Peace Envoy to Israel and Palestine, a job he apparently held right up until enough people realized it wasn't a fake report meant to be funny but an actual no-kidding job that he was actually engaged in.

The Saudi 203 Pages

For years and years, activists demanded that the U.S. government make public 28 (turned out to be 29) pages it had censored from a report, because it was suspected they would show a Saudi Arabian role in funding and facilitating the crimes of September 11, 2001. When the pages were finally made public, they showed a great deal of evidence of exactly that. But the U.S. government and its pet media outlets buried the story on a Friday evening, declared that verily this is that, and moved on.

If you happen to have caught wind of this and smelled a rat, you'll be interested in another 203 pages, those making up Medea Benjamin's new book, Kingdom of the Unjust. If you live in the United States, you should be aware of how much effort your government puts into facilitating and defending the crimes of Saudi Arabia in the United States, in Saudi Arabia, and in places like Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, Nigeria, etc. If you pay U.S. taxes, you should know what you're buying. If you work for a U.S. weapons maker, you should know who's buying what you make, and what they're using it for. If you drive a car, you may be helping to destroy the earth's climate while funding the Saudi royalty.

The Saudi royals keep millions poor while blowing fortunes. They send religion police around to beat the hell out of people, while they themselves party with alcohol, cocaine, prostitutes, and gambling. Like many a televangelist closer to home, they don't believe their own bull, but they use it to abuse the people of Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. The religious police don't just want you to be religious. In fact most religions are banned and you can be imprisoned, tortured, mutilated, or beheaded for being a follower of them. And they don't just want you to be a fundamentalist Muslim of the proper variety. They want puritanical misogynist conformity -- or death. They beat a man to death for possessing alcohol, locked up a woman for riding alone in a taxi, and killed 15 girls by refusing to allow them to flee a burning building because they were not wearing their abayas, garments to completely hide their bodies.

With U.S. support, Saudi Arabia manages to be both the only nation that bans all churches and any non-Muslim religious building, and the leading proponent of global terrorism. Saudi Arabia actually bans Jews from entering the country, perhaps inspiring Donald Trump's plan to ban Muslims from entering the United States, while still creating at least an inconvenience for U.S. humanitarian warriors who are constantly wanting to bomb new countries in order to supposedly avoid a repeat of the holocaust -- even while urging Saudi Arabia to spend more on wars (as Trump and Bernie Sanders and President Barack Obama have done most prominently). In fact, Saudi Arabia spends three times as much per person as the U.S. does on its military, and it spends the biggest chunk of it buying weapons from U.S. profiteers.

An "indefinite waiver" upheld by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama lets Saudi Arabia off the hook in the U.S. State Department for its religious cruelty. Waivers by Bush and Obama also allow the U.S. military to go on training the Saudi military. A waiver created by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton allows U.S. weapons sales. Clinton made that her personal mission after Saudi Arabia put at least $10 million into the Clinton Foundation. As the U.S. State Department was and is well aware, there are no civil liberties in Saudi Arabia. People are jailed, whipped, and killed for speech, and speech is tightly censored. Saudi Arabia didn't even ban slavery until 1962 and maintains a labor system referred to as "a culture of slavery." The "sharia law" that U.S. bigots are constantly fearing will appear in their town actually takes a truly nasty form in Saudi Arabia under a brutal government propped up by U.S. funds and arms.


MEDEA BENJAMIN AT A RALLY

Saudi Arabia doesn't put its own atrocities on Youtube the way ISIS does, and doing so is a tremendous risk for ordinary people in Saudi Arabia. Nonetheless it is starting, and there are outrages you can watch if you are so inclined.

Saudi Arabia has yet to become a target of the Clintonite cabal of philanthropic warriors claiming to overthrow governments for women's rights, yet Saudi Arabia practices gender apartheid, with women forbidden most of the rights of men, women controlled by men utterly, women's testimony in court sometimes valued at half the worth of men's, and a woman's reporting of an attack by a man is considered to be a crime by the woman. You don't see Saudi women at the Olympics because they are forbidden to wear the attire required for the competitions. Saudi restaurants have front and back sections, with the front for men only.  Saudi Arabia lives off fueling cars, yet is the only country in the world where women are forbidden to drive.

Are Saudi's made happy by their sadistic society? There are many indications otherwise, including emigration, travel, courageous protest, and including this: men who practice polygamy in Saudi Arabia are four times more likely to have heart disease.

Happy or not, Saudis have been proficient at exporting their madness. Hollywood could take lessons (and has helped out). Saudi schools have helped to create branches of Al Qaeda and other extremist groups across Western Asia and Northern Africa at least since the joint U.S.-Saudi operation in Afghanistan that created the Taliban, not to mention the Saudi role in Iran-Contra, but also including Boko Haram in Nigeria, and including in Europe. The terrorists who attacked in Paris last year and in Belgium this year came from an area in Belgium with strong Saudi influence. In 2014 the Saudi Interior Ministry conservatively estimated 1,200 Saudis had gone to Syria to join ISIS. A 2014 study by the Washington Institute found that private Saudi donations were critical to the growth of ISIS.

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a 2009 cable (thank you, WikiLeaks), "Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide. . . . More needs to be done. . . ." So, what did Clinton do? Sold Saudi Arabia more weapons, of course! Saudi Arabia is now the biggest weapons customer for the United States, and therefore for anyone. That includes about $100 billion in U.S. weapons sales under the Obama regime, with more pending. Benjamin quotes Obama officials who have praised these sales as a means of creating jobs. This is of course despite the fact that peaceful spending creates more jobs, and the fact that the weapons create something else as well: death.

The United States keeps rushing more weapons to Saudi Arabia as it uses them -- with help from the U.S. military -- to bomb houses, hospitals, and schools in Yemen, killing civilians by the thousands and non-civilians by the thousands, including with the use of cluster bombs.

When Tunisia overthrew a dictatorship without a war in 2011, Saudi's royal thugs got excited. They offered refuge to the Tunisian ruler. They sent funds to Jordan and Morocco to prop up their brutal governments. They backed a military coup in Egypt. They smashed a nonviolent popular uprising in Bahrain with murder, torture, and imprisonment -- still underway. And, of course, they started bombing Yemen, once U.S. drone killings had done their damage and helped to distabilize that country. In fact, U.S. drones flying over Yemen take off from a U.S. base in Saudi Arabia, something Obama created after Bush pulled U.S. troops out of Saudi Arabia and closed the bases -- a move motivated by the crimes of 9/11 and the explicit and widely available answer to the stupid lament "Why do they hate us?" They said what they hated: the U.S. bases that Bush The First had put in Saudi Arabia. And Saudi Arabia had refused to kick them out when bin Laden demanded it because the Saudi government depends on the United States to maintain its unjust existence.

Obama, who recreated this fuel for violence, and who claims to be outraged by Saudi Arabia's atrocities, claims to back Saudi Arabia for the cause of "stability." "Sometimes," says Obama, "we have to balance our need to speak to them about human rights issues with immediate concerns that we have in terms of countering terrorism or dealing with regional stability." Yet Saudi Arabia is possibly the biggest cause (outside of the United States itself) of instability in its region, al Qaeda and ISIS are wreaking havoc within Saudi Arabia, and the Saudi government itself is about as stable as a cork in a volcano. To Obama's credit, he hardly ever means anything he says, and in fact he has backed down on holding Saudi Arabia to account when the Saudis have threatened to pull investments out of the United States, not when they have somehow appeared to be a source of stability and safety.

Still, some would take offense when a foreign government and its elites backed terrorism in your country (on 9/11) and then threatened to hurt you financially if you even said anything about it. But why doesn't anyone say anything about it? In 2015, according to The Hill, the Saudis employed eight DC lobbying firms including the Podesta Group, run by top Hillary Clinton fundraiser Tony Podesta, and cofounded by Clinton campaign chair John Podesta. Saudi Arabia dumps money into U.S. "think tanks" that would be forbidden to exist in Saudi Arabia, and other institutions including the Middle East Institute, Harvard, Yale, the Clinton Foundation, the Carter Center, etc.

For a further 275 Saudi Pages try Robert Vitalis's America's Kingdom: Mythmaking on the Saudi Oil Frontier. But start with Medea Benjamin's 203, which even includes some thoughts on what can be done moving forward. Saudi Arabia's oil, plus all the fossil fuels from everywhere else, is going to make Saudi Arabia uninhabitable long before much of the United States becomes so. Really looking forward, I think, means looking at the future of over 30 million refugees and our capacity to understand the society they are fleeing, our own role in creating it, and our responsibility to welcome them.

Photo by Thomas Good.

Tomgram: Judith Coburn, On the Mean Streets of America

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

How to Get Yourself Named "Pro-Assad"

It's not hard to do. You can probably accomplish it at home quite easily. In These Times just published an article, for example, that calls Veterans For Peace, United National Antiwar Coalition, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, Seymour Hersh, Gareth Porter, Kathy Kelly, Counterpunch, Consortiumnews, Antiwar.com, and many more, including me supporters of Bashar al Assad.

How did I win this honor? I spent years denouncing war making by all parties in Syria. I wrote article and books questioning the hypocrisy that held Assad to have been a good torturer when he was working for the United States but a bad torturer now. I severely criticized my fellow peace activists when some of them cheered for Russian bombings in Syria. I even went after Russia for its warmaking in Syria repeatedly on Russian television. I wrote not one article or blog post and gave not one speech defending Assad's atrocities in any way, shape, or form. That record ought to have been enough, I suppose, to get me accused of supporting Assad and Putin. No good deed goes unpunished and all that.

But I also made the truly fateful mistake of trying to accommodate the "You're an Assad lover" crowd. Someone named Andy Berman sent me nasty messages with that false accusation. I proposed that he write down exactly what he thought I had been so nefariously censoring. He did. And I published it with my own response afterwards but with not a word or a comma edited. Here was an attempt at civil discourse over an issue that has divided peace activists, and what did it get me?

Andy Berman's wife, Terry Burke, is listed as the author of the attack piece for In These Times accusing me of all the same tired old lies. She didn't contact me. No editor, if In These Times has those, contacted me. There's no quote or paraphrase of anything I supposedly said. Instead, there's a denunciation of having been a speaker at a rally. But, as I would have pointed out if asked, I wasn't at the rally at all or within 500 miles of it. It was, however, a rally that I had helped promote before it happened. Burke might have looked at those promotions, rather than at what someone showed up at the rally waving, in order to figure out what I was for or against.

Clearly that would have been too much to ask. Others became Assad lovers on even less basis. Some were denounced for having gone to Syria and met with Assad. I interviewed someone who went on that trip and asked her whether they had confronted Assad with his crimes. You can listen to the response on my website. Clearly Burke didn't bother to even contact the people she libeled. But most of those condemned as Assadites by In These Times are so condemned on no stated basis whatsoever.

Now this is getting very tiresome after all of these years of it, and a couple of dangers loom ahead for activists who can't seem to graduate from preschool mentalities. The fact is, of course, as many of us are sick to death of having to explain, that denouncing the war making by all parties in Syria does not put you in the camp of cheering for whichever party somebody else has chosen as the Bad Guy.

If the United States and Russia escalate a joint bombing campaign in Syria, things will go from very bad to even worse for those not killed in the process. Will those who have thus far believed that bombing by only one of those parties or the other is evil come to grips with the evil in bombing conducted by the pair of them?

And if Hillary Clinton launches a greatly escalated effort to overthrow the Syrian government by bombing campaign, will those who oppose that criminal catastrophe have to listen to more chants of "Assad lover!" "Assad lover!" Does criticizing Hillary Clinton about anything win one the accusation of "privilege" anyway? As if living in one of the countries she doesn't want to bomb isn't a huge privilege for all of us!

This was my response to Berman's article:

Thank you to Andy Berman for giving me and Code Pink a bit of credit in this article. I think more credit is do more groups and individuals. In particular, I think the public pressure in the U.S., UK, and elsewhere that stopped a massive U.S. bombing campaign of Syria in 2013 deserves a great deal of credit and far from being an example of a peace movement that has completely failed constitutes the most noteworthy success for peace of recent years. Of course it was incomplete. Of course the U.S. went ahead with arming and training and bombing on a much smaller scale. Of course Russia joined in, killing even more Syrians with its bombs than the United States was doing, and it was indeed deeply disturbing to see U.S. peace activists cheer for that. Of course the Syrian government went on with its bombings and other crimes, and of course it’s disturbing that some refuse to criticize those horrors, just as it’s disturbing that others refuse to criticize the U.S. or Russian horrors or both, or refuse to criticize Saudi Arabia or Turkey or Iran or Israel.

All of this selectivity in moral outrage breeds suspicion and cynicism, so that when I criticize U.S. bombing I’m immediately accused of cheering for Syrian bombing. And when I read an article like this one that makes no mention of the 2013 bombing plan, no mention of Hillary Clinton’s desired “no fly zone,” no mention of her position that failure to massively bomb in 2013 was a mistake, etc., I have to struggle not to wonder why. Then when it comes to what we ought to do about this war, I’d love to have seen some acknowledgment that the party that has repeatedly blocked exactly what is proposed in point #5 (a negotiated settlement) has been the United States, including rejecting a Russian proposal in 2012 that included Assad stepping down — rejected because the U.S. preferred a violent overthrow and believed it was imminent.

I would also like to have seen greater recognition that people usually have the most influence over their own governments, as opposed to over the governments of others. I think one also has to have a view of U.S. imperialism to explain U.S. actions in Syria, including its failure to condemn Russian cluster bombs and incendiary bombs while U.S. cluster bombs are falling in Yemen, and while Fallujah is newly under siege. One has to have an understanding of Iraq and Libya to know where ISIS and its weapons and much of the weaponry of other fighters in Syria come from, as well as to understand the conflicted U.S. policy that can’t choose between attacking the Syrian government or its enemies and that has resulted in CIA and DOD trained troops fighting each other. I also think a negotiated settlement has to include an arms embargo and that the greatest resistance to that comes from the greatest arms dealer. But I think the broader point here, that we should oppose and be aware of and work to end war, regardless of who is doing it, is the right one. And I think part of making that work will be both including a comprehensive list of criticisms of all parties in any mention we make of a conflict, and giving each other the benefit of the doubt rather than making accusing each other our top priority.

Coleen Rowley added this comment to my response:

"A good place for Berman to look to regain some of his own dignity would be to stop pushing for U.S. “regime change” in Syria and elsewhere. When he parroted the official pre-condition for any peace negotiations that “Assad must go,” and when he constantly promoted speakers and writers, even neocon groups, engaged in the bloody effort to topple the Syrian government, they essentially doomed Syria to continuing and worsening war and the destabilizing vacuum that allowed ISIS to grow. From the start, Berman sided with speakers who advised not to worry about the al Qaeda presence among the “rebels” but to focus only on toppling the Syrian government. In any event, here is an article that Margaret Safrajoy and I co-wrote in December 2014 when this sick hypocrisy had become so painfully clear: https://consortiumnews.com/2014/12/25/selling-peace-groups-on-us-led-wars/

"Another sign of Berman’s constant pushing for more US military intervention on the side of the “rebels” (which includes jihadists aligned with Al Qaeda) can be seen in his social media posts encouraging people to contact members of Congress to support HR 5732, the “Caesar Syrian Civilian Protection Act.” The bill would be great if it actually would serve to protect civilians but in actuality, it increases sanctions against Syria and requires the U.S. President to present proposals regarding the establishment of safe zones and a no-fly zone as U.S. policy options in Syria. (“No fly zone” being a code used by “humanitarian war hawks” for bombing a country to smithereens if you recall what happened to Libya.)

"(Naturally) MN Rep Ellison who supported the previously announced plan to bomb Syria in 2013 (and I think even supported the earlier US-NATO bombing of Libya) is one of 17 co-sponsors of H.R 5237, which bill was introduced by Israel’s best friend, Eliot Engel, with uber-hawk Ros-Lehtinen another co-sponsor."

Talk Nation Radio: Judy Bello on Syria, Gar Alperovitz on Ending War

  https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-judy-bello-on-syria-gar-alperovitz-on-ending-war

Judy Bello (pictured) is on the Administrative Committee of the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) and is a founding member of the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars.   In the previous decade she has traveled with Peace Delegations to Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Syria. She has just returned from a fact finding mission in Syria with a delegation from the U.S. Peace Council.

Gar Alperovitz has had a distinguished career as a historian, political economist, activist, writer, and government official. He's been a Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland, and is a former Fellow of Kings College, Cambridge University and Harvard’s Institute of Politics. He is the author of critically acclaimed books on the atomic bomb and atomic diplomacy. Alperovitz has served as a legislative director in both houses of Congress and as a special assistant in the State Department. He is also the president of the National Center for Economic and Security Alternatives and is a co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative and co-chair of the Next System Project. And he will be speaking at No War 2016, a conference we are organizing in September in Washington DC through World Beyond War. See worldbeyondwar.org.

Total run time: 29:00

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

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Focus: Hillary Clinton - Aug 15, 2016

 

Here is a concise summary of the major weak points of Hillary Clinton which can cause a drop in her poll numbers:


Hillary Clinton is the candidate of Wall Streets banks, characterized by financial mismanagement, theft and fraud. She is the candidate of companies ready to outsource more jobs abroad in low-wage countries. She is the candidate of overpaid corporate CEOs and managers who enrich themselves at the expense of company employees and shareholders. In general she is the candidate of powerful special interest groups who influence legislative and government policy to seek benefits and privileges often contrary to the national interest. Bill and Hillary speaking and consulting fees are a testament of the deep-rooted, enduring relationship between the Clintons and the corporate world. In a short period of time the Clintons have become multimilionaires.


Hillary Clinton advocated war, regime change and toppling governments in Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc. causing death, destruction, migration and the rise of the Islamic State. If elected President, Hillary Clinton will raise tensions with Russia to a dangerous level. She will establish no-fly zones and arm Syrian rebels who aim to overthrow Assad, thus creating the risk of a US military confrontation with Russia. She will assist, finance and maybe arm the Ukrainian government in its struggle against its Eastern Russian speaking population which is supported by Putin. She will promote the NATO troop and missile deployment in Eastern Europe near the Russia border. Conflicts with Russia would be a calamity for the US military which is strained, if not demoralized, after so many years of wars and sacrifices. On top of this, her policies will divert resources that are instead needed to defeat Islamic State.


It looks like Hillary Clinton was able to weather the Benghazi and private emails scandals with an helping hand by her friends, unless there are new revelations and the disclosing of the 30,000 deleted emails. But the Clinton Foundation remains an open issue that deserve an intense public scrutiny. Calls must be renewed of an official investigation of the foundation including a speeding resolution of the IRS inquiry. According to a recent Bloomberg poll 'more than half said that the Clinton Foundation’s acceptance of foreign contributions while she was secretary of state bothers them a lot.’ In addition to the shady, unethical and maybe illegal fundraising activities, the Clinton Foundation must be held accountable for how the donated money was spent. How much of that money was allocated to the needy and how much was pocketed by Bill, Hillary and their cronies to pay for high salaries, pricey meetings, luxury travel expenses, etc? The  majority of voters regard Hillary as dishonest and untrustworthy.

 

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

The Pro-Nuclear War Party

According to a Wall Street Journal report, the following people and entities would like the United States to begin a nuclear war: Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, the U.K., France, Japan, South Korea, and Germany. If any of those people or entities believe they can prove a case of libel, it might be a huge one. (Are you listening, Rupert?)

According to Mr. Murdoch's newspaper, the White House has been discussing the possibility of declaring that the United States no longer has a policy of engaging in the first use of nuclear bombs. The trouble is that those individuals and nations named above object. They insist, we are told, that the United States should have the policy of beginning a nuclear war.

Have the people of the UK, France, Japan, South Korea, Germany, or the United States itself been polled on this? Has any legislature pretending to represent any of those populations voted on this? Of course not. But what we could do, perhaps, is amend the policy to read: "When the United States begins the nuclear war, it shall announce that it is doing so in the name of democracy." That should be good.

Has Mr. Kerry, Mr. Carter, or Mr. Moniz been evaluated by a psychiatrist? Was Mr. Kerry against this before he was for it? The important question, I believe, is whether they want to start the nuclear war with any hatred or bigotry in mind. If what they intend is a loving, tolerant, and multicultural nuclear war, then really what we ought to be worrying about is the unfathomable evil of Donald Trump who has said that he'd like to kill families -- and particular types of families.

Now, I am not claiming to have fathomed the evil of Mr. Trump, but it has been U.S. policy since before there was a United States to kill families. And it is my strong suspicion that a nuclear war and the nuclear winter and nuclear famine it would bring to the earth would harm at least some families of every existing type.

The non-nuclear nations of this off-its-axis planet have been moving forward on a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. That sort of strong and sane proposal could have something to do with the White House interest in advancing something as weak as a statement of no longer planning to be the first to start the apocalypse. But you can see the logic of the profiteers quite clearly. The same White House has laid out a plan to dump a trillion dollars in the coming years into building smaller, more "usable," nukes. If the United States commits to not using them first, as other nuclear nations have already done, and if that commitment becomes universal, well, then nobody will ever use them, and at some point in the 23rd century it might occur to some bureaucrat that if nobody's ever going to use them, it might not be the best use of unfathomable levels of spending to keep building them, and then where would we be?

But, not to worry, the Wall Street Journal and a pair of aspiring politicians have got you covered, because "a decision by Mr. Obama to press ahead with the declaration appears unlikely in his remaining months, given the controversy it would stir in the midst of a presidential election." If you believe Mr. Obama is against controversy in the election, I've got an argument for the deterrent value of nuclear weapons to sell you. If Hillary Clinton were against first-use, so would Obama be. But she isn't. Neither is His Huckstership, the Republican nominee.

Opening presidential election debates to include Jill Stein would create the controversy on this and other issues that Mr. Murdoch and his fellow media overlords would prefer to avoid. And Obama would find himself on the same side of that controversy as anyone else who has completely and utterly lost all sense of human decency.

A Nonviolent Strategy to End War

There is a long history of anti-war and peace activism. Much of this activism has focused on ending a particular war. Some of this activism has been directed at ending a particular aspect of war, such as the use of a type of weapon. Some of it has aimed to prevent a type of war, such as 'aggressive war' or nuclear war. For those activists who regard war as the scourge of human existence, however, 'the holy grail' has always been much deeper: to end war.

Libya News - Aug 12, 2016


Libya’s oil production drops to 207k barrels a day, National Oil Company chairman says lost revenues now amount to $100bn - Libya Business Info


VIDEO: Political infighting and ISIS attacks have dented Libya’s oil industry, Interview with Libyan oil chief on $100bn loss - FT Markets


Libya needs big spend to boost vital oil revenue, $1 bln needed to repair energy infrastructure: NOC boss - CNBC


GNA unity government’s refusal to transfer funds pledged to state firm is stalling oil-output recovery, says NOC chief - Petroleum Economist


Libya National Oil Company’s chairman fears rival factions are poised for a major new war for control of central oilfields - Petroleum Economist


UN has set dangerous precedent by seeking a deal with one of the militias blocking Libya’s oil ports, says Libya's oil boss - The Guardian


Libya’s National Oil Corporation pleads with pro-Tobruk Haftar’s forces to refrain from attacking oil port - Libya Business Info


Libya Pro-Tobruk army says will stay outside disputed Zueitina port, currently held by pro-Tripoli guards - Chris Stephen on Twitter

 

Benghazi Saraya attacks Libyan National Army at Naga oilfield - Libya Business Info


VIDEO: Libya's biggest oil port could reopen within a month - Bloomberg


'Fair’ and agreed revenue sharing formula of the Libyan oil wealth, since oil money lies at the heart of the crisis - Natural Resource Governance Institute

 

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

Support for Libyan unity government (GNA) 'crumbling': U.N. envoy - Reuters


Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) is missing its last initial - The Media Line


Mahmoud Jibril: Unity Govt (GNA) is weak & doomed to fail, militia leaders looking for a way out - Alwasat on Twitter


US Libya envoy says US supports only UN-backed (GNA) govt. forces - Chris Stephen on Twitter


Italy FM Gentiloni: 'We will soon reopen our embassy in Tripoli. And we will help [GNA] Serraj... Egypt make it harder to achieve reconciliation among local factions’ - Corriere della Sera


Egypt hosts UAE-sponsored meetings with general Haftar, GNA’s Sirraj and and HoR’s Saleh - The Libya Observer


Libyan Special Forces free Egyptians from an armed group who had kidnapped them - ahram.org


One of two rival chairmen of Libya sovereign fund quits - Reuters


Fannush: House of Representatives Cyrenaica members are advocating separation - The Libya Observer


Mayor and council of Benghazi replaced by Libyan military colonel - digitaljournal.com


Hafter appoints southern security committee - libyaherald.com


Tawerghans demonstrate in Tripoli and Benghazi on 5th anniversary of exile - libyaherald.com


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

Libyan GNA forces in fresh clashes with Islamic State in Sirte - Daily Mail Online


Libyan official: ‘70 percent’ of last IS bastion liberated - The Washington Post


DoD Officials: GNA forces have reduced territory under ISIL control by about a third over the last week - U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE


MAP: ISIS-held areas in Sirte - The Libya Observer on Twitter


Total number of airstrikes in support of Operation Odyssey Lightning since Aug 1: 41 - United States Africa Command


Italy reportedly sends special forces to Libya under secret services rather than under military control - defensenews.com


Number of migrants arriving in Italy rises 12 pct in July - trust.org


ISIS wrote Sirte was 'gate to Rome' on walls - ANSA.it


Bodies of two Libyan pilots recovered in Sirte, Fighter jet was downed while striking positions in ISIS-held coastal city - Worldbulletin News


Piling in: Divisions within divisions in Libya complicate the West’s intervention - The Economist


In Libya, growing foreign interventions pose long-term risks - IPI Global Observatory

 

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

Mike Morell: Travels With Charlie (Rose)

 

 


Mike Morell’s Kill-Russians Advice

 

 

 

Editor's Note: Washington’s foreign policy hot shots are flexing their rhetorical, warmongering muscles to impress Hillary Clinton, including ex-CIA acting director Morell who calls for killing Russians and Iranians.

By Ray McGovern

Perhaps former CIA acting director Michael Morell’s shamefully provocative rhetoric toward Russia and Iran will prove too unhinged even for Hillary Clinton. It appears equally likely that it will succeed in earning him a senior job in a possible Clinton administration, so it behooves us to have a closer look at Morell’s record.

One City Is Following Through on Protests of Confederate Monuments

Charlottesville is a diverse, enlightened, and progressive college town in Virginia with its public spaces dominated by war memorials, in particular memorials to Confederate soldiers not from Charlottesville who represent a five-year moment in the centuries of this place's history, as viewed by one wealthy white male racist donor at another moment in the 1920s. As the Black Lives Matter movement took off nationally this year, many Charlottesville residents demanded that imposing monuments to Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson be removed from their places of prominence.

The city of Charlottesville has set up a commission on race, memorials, and public spaces. I've attended portions of two meetings and am genuinely impressed by the open, civil, and democratic process underway to find solutions and possibly consensus. The process has already been educational for me and for other members of the public and of the commission. Some white residents have mentioned realizing for the first time that African Americans do not see their history in Charlottesville's public memorials.

I am not African American, but I certainly feel the same way. I'm disgusted by the monuments to those who participated in land theft and genocide against Native Americans, by the monument to the war on Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia that killed some six million people who go unmentioned on the monument, and by the Lee, Jackson, and generic Confederate soldier statues. The possibility of seeing people and movements and causes I actually care about memorialized in public space is exhilarating and not previously hoped for.

Missing from Charlottesville's public spaces now is pretty much the entire rest of its history. Needed are educational signs, memorials, and art works that tell a million missing stories. I don't think a year should go by in which the city does not introduce a new public creation downtown as well as one in a particular neighborhood. Great public art would improve the community and even perhaps its tourism. The ideas percolating in the commission's meetings are numerous and wonderful. Participants have produced lists of hundreds of ideas.

I'd love to see the story of Native American life here pre-Charlottesville recognized, and some mention somewhere perhaps of who Charlottesville's namesake Queen Charlotte was and what role her African ancestry may have played in her absence heretofore. I think there is a place for the stories of injustice: slavery, segregation, eugenics, war, and the misguided destruction of neighborhoods. But I think we also need the stories of struggle, the civil rights work, the women's rights movement, environmentalism, worker's rights, integration, education, arts, sports, and peace as a counterpoint to all the glorifying of war.

There are countless individuals to be remembered and taught about. A memorial to Julian Bond who taught for years at the University of Virginia is a popular idea that I support -- his work for both civil rights and peace should be recognized. And as long as we're going to have a tree named for Banastre Tarleton who led efforts in Parliament to keep the slave trade going, we should have Virginia's first monument to Olaudah Equiano who was probably once a slave in Virginia and whose work in England was critical to ending the slave trade and slavery in the British empire. I also think many public markings of past events need not focus on a single individual.

There is a contingent in Charlottesville for removing Confederate war monuments, and a contingent for keeping them. There appears to be consensus around adding at least a few of the many things that are missing. Personally I've been proposing and organizing support for a peace memorial and a memorial to Charlottesville's sister cities. The two could be combined in a peace pole bearing the words "May peace prevail on earth" on each side in the languages of each sister city, as well as English and other languages most spoken in Charlottesville. Charlottesville's city council has repeatedly taken stands for peace, but nothing in public space makes note of that.

I also think Charlottesville's public space could be improved if instead of its next purchase of dozens of U.S. flags it invests in a Charlottesville flag of a design that the public supports.

The public meetings of the commission thus far have taught me things about segregation in Charlottesville that I did not know. I hope this process can somehow be continued indefinitely. But a crucial question is what the commission will end up proposing to the city council next month, and what the city council will do with that proposal.

My recommendation is that the public nature of the brainstorming process be continued and expanded in the decision-making process, that the commission create a proposal with the idea that it will receive strong support in a public referendum, and that it in fact go to a public referendum.

Whether the city council or the public decides, however, a major question will be funding. If the question goes to the public, I think the public ought to be given the option of, say, creating 50 new memorials and opting out of one new highway interchange in order to cover the cost. The public ought not to be presented with a costly proposal and no say over the rest of a budget that I suspect in great measure lacks public support.

Of course if unwanted monuments are removed, one option would be to sell them to the highest bidder willing to remove them from public space and to display them in a private space accessible in some manner to the public. A museum of Confederate statues to which one can buy a ticket would be a far different public statement from Confederate statues dominating downtown parks.

It's tempting to look for private funding for new public creations, rather than foregoing an intersection or taxing the wealthiest residents, but such funding will inevitably corrupt the decision making process, and that's where the giant old racist soldiers on horses came from in the first place.

Focus: Clinton Foundation - Aug 11, 2016


Emails do not show improper influence from Clinton Foundation, State Department says - ABC News


VIDEO: Aug 11 briefing: Reporter skeptical when State Dept claims wasn’t influenced by Clinton Foundation - freebeacon.com


VIDEO: Aug 10 briefing: State Department dodges questions about Clinton Foundation's emails - YouTube


Judicial Watch: State Dept. colluded to thwart FOIA request for Hillary emails, 'This is evidence that Cheryl Mills covered up' - Breibart


Top Clinton State Department aide Cheryl Mills helped Clinton Foundation - CNNPolitics.com


CNN's Griffin: Cheryl Mills did work on behalf of Clinton Foundation while she was gov't employee, may have violated ethics rules (VIDEO) - Breitbart


Hillary aide Mills OK'd deal that put $500K in Bill's pocket - The Daily Caller


Email batch provides additional evidence that Clinton Foundation donors got access at State Department - The Washington Post


Hillary played favorites with huge number of Clinton Foundation donors - New York Post


Another day, another Hillary/Clinton Foundation scandal - Power Line


Five Clinton friends who got special State Department access - Washington Examiner


Five devastating facts about Hillary Clinton's foreign funder, Gilbert Chagoury - Breibart


Donald Trump on Clinton Foundation, State Dept. relationship: 'It's illegal' - Breitbart


Cotton: Clinton used private server to hide her foundation work - Washington Examiner


VIDEO: 'Classic pay-to-play': Giuliani blasts ‘corrupt' Clinton Foundation - Fox News Insider


NY Times' Haberman: Hillary campaign ‘extremely unprepared' for accusations of Clinton Fdn-State Dept ‘overlap' - Breitbart


Pro-Clinton center: Running with Judicial Watch’s storyline, media manufacture another false Clinton email scandal - mediamatters.org


Pro-Clinton center: News outlets hyping new Clinton Judicial Watch email story ignore new development undermining it - mediamatters.org


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

Inside the debate over probing the Clinton Foundation, Officials from the FBI and DOJ met to discuss opening a public corruption case - CNN


VIDEO: FBI field offices wanted investigation into Clinton Foundation, DOJ was against opening a case - CNN


Trump starts petition urging DOJ to probe Clinton Foundation - New York Post


Trump on Hillary's missing 33,000 ‘personal’ emails: 'That's a lot of yoga' - Breitbart


Ethicists: Clinton team violated ‘spirit’ of pledge, Emails suggest aides were catering to Clinton Foundation donors - POLITICO


Clinton Foundation IRS inquiry involves charity's legal status - Washington Examiner


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


Tomgram: William Astore, Why It's So Hard for Members of the Military to Speak Out

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

[Note for TomDispatch Readers: TD is taking this weekend off. Next post: Tuesday, August 16th. Tom]

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