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50 Congressional Candidates Oppose War Spending

Forty-six Fifty congressional candidates and 17 activist organizations released a statement on Monday opposing any more funding for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and inviting more candidates, incumbents, and organizations to sign on.  The 46 candidates include 16 Libertarians, 15 Democrats, 14 Greens, 1 Independent, and thus far 0 Republicans (and more may be added to the website by the time you read this).  Forty-two are candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives, and four for the Senate.   They do not all agree with each other on many topics, including their reasons for opposing war spending.  But they all back this short statement:

Obama Lies to West Point Graduates

Obama today:

For many years, our focus was on Iraq. And year after year, our troops faced a set of challenges there that were as daunting as they were complex. A lesser Army might have seen its spirit broken. But the American military is more resilient than that. Our troops adapted, they persisted, they partnered with coalition and Iraqi counterparts, and through their competence and creativity and courage, we are poised to end our combat mission in Iraq this summer.

The Bush-Maliki agreement required being out of all localities by LAST summer. The Obama campaign promised to be out of the country by NOW. Removing all but 50,000 troops by this summer, if he does it, will be progress, but it will not be an end to combat. That will depend on what those remaining 50,000 troops DO.

Lipstick Excuse Already in Play for War Escalation Funding

By David Swanson

Even congress members who voted against the war supplemental in June 2009 are refusing to say they'll vote against an escalation supplemental in the coming days. Some of them, in fact, such as Jerrold Nadler and Chellie Pingree have told me that they will vote No if it's a stand-alone vote, but might very well vote yes if lots of other stuff is packed into the same bill.

Morally, this is like a cop telling you that murder will be allowed if you also do some good community service.

Strategically, this is like playing poker with your hand turned around to display all your cards.

Pingree says the war makes us all less safe, but she won't commit to not voting to fund it.

Here's what Pingree's office just sent me: "Congresswoman Pingree has urged leadership to give Members a clean vote on a supplemental---and in that situation she would definitely vote against additional funding for the war in Afghanistan."

$5 Friday: No More Victims

For today's $5 Friday, I've given $5 to

No More Victims works to obtain medical sponsorships for war-injured Iraqi children and to forge ties between the children, their families and communities in the United States. We believe one of the most effective means of combating militarism is to focus on direct relief to its victims.

If you want to learn more about how your community can become involved, send an email to No More Victims.


Baby You Can Drive My Oil Spill

Asked the earth what it wanted to be
It said baby, can't you see
I wanna be dirty, with oceans of oil
Stick in your toes and feel them boil

Drill Baby Drill my gas
Yes the fish are dying fast
Drill Baby Drill my gas
And BP will love you

BP 'm BP yeah

I told the earth that her prospects weren't good
she said baby, it's understood
I may be reaching the end of the line
But the BP executives are living fine

Drill Baby Drill my gas
Yes the fish are dying fast
Drill Baby Drill my gas
And BP will love you

BP 'm BP yeah

Drill Baby Drill my gas
Yes the fish are dying fast
Drill Baby Drill my gas
And BP will love you

I told the earth I can start here today
Clean up this mess and lock those bastards away
There're no more fish and it's breaking my heart
But BP's in trouble now and that's a start

Drill Baby Drill my gas
Yes the fish are dying fast
Drill Baby Drill my gas
And BP will love you

BP 'm BP yeah
BP 'm BP yeah
BP 'm BP yeah
BP 'm BP yeah

Machobama Man


Bombing...wanna feel my bombing?
Bombing...such a thrill my bombing
Bombing...wanna touch my bombing?'s too much my bombing
Check it out my bombing, bombing.
Don't you doubt my bombing, bombing.
talkin' bout my bombing, bombing,
check it out my bombing

Every man wants to be a machobama man
to have the kind of bombing, always in demand
Missiles in the mornings, go drones go
blasting people with a joystick, muscles glow
You can best believe that, he's machobama man
ready to get down with, any neocon he can

Kill! Kill! Kill, kill, kill!
Machobama man
I've got to be machobama man
Machobama man
I've got to be machobama man! Ow....

Machobama man
I've got to be machobama man
Machobama man (yeah, yeah)
I've got to be machobama!

Bombing, its so hot, my bombing,
Bombing, laws can't stop my bombing,
Bombing, made to please my bombing,
Bombing, don't you tease my bombing,

US military admits it now kills people because capturing and torturing them is too much trouble

Can't get much worse than a society that lies back and takes this.

Will Dems Use Republicans to Help Pass War Escalation, and Still Pass Everything Else on Their Own?

"Our Hill sources are saying that the leadership is weighing splitting the bill into two parts, one with the war funding and another with the other stuff. The war funding would pass, with the entire Republicans caucus and some Democrats voting for it. The add-ons would pass with almost all Democrats voting yes and no GOP support whatsoever."

That's the word from Foreign Policy which may, however, have simply pulled that out of its assigment desk, given that those sentences were preceded by this delusion: "100 or so anti-war Democrats will always vote against war spending." Like last June, right?

Here's where the money for this "temporary" war will go.

Here's why it's pissing us off.

Pakistanis and Americans Protest U.S. Drones

Pakistanis march against US attacks
Scores of Pakistanis in the volatile city of Peshawar have flooded the streets to protest against the recent wave of US drone attacks.
Protestors reportedly torched an effigy of US President Barack Obama during the Sunday demonstrations to condemn stepped-up attacks by unmanned US drones in tribal areas of Pakistan.
More from Press TV

NO Drones Vigil at CEO’s home in La Jolla
CODEPINK held a somber vigil outside of the home of General Atomics CEO James Neal Blue this morning in La Jolla, California. Members of the women’s peace group arrived at 10AM to find several news vans and police cars waiting for them. Unfurling banners that read, “Drone Attacks = Terror,” the three protesters set up a small altar with roses and candles to commemorate the children killed in drone attacks.
General Atomics manufactures the Predator and Reaper Drones, the only armed UAV’s made in the US. Though touted as high-tech and life-saving precision weapons, at least 30% of the deaths caused by drone strikes are civilians, with some human rights groups estimating even higher numbers. All the while costing US taxpayers $4 million to $12 million for each plane during a time when domestic needs are desperately under-funded.
More from Code Pink

UK Iraq inquiry to question officials in US

(AP) LONDON — Britain's Iraq war inquiry panel says it is holding meetings in the United States this week as it continues to investigate the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

The panel is examining the case made for the war and errors in planning for post-conflict reconstruction — but it won't apportion blame or establish criminal or civil liability.

Britain's Cabinet Office said Tuesday the panel has arrived for five days of talks in Washington and Boston, but would not disclose in advance the identity of individuals meeting with the team.

It said that the panel visited France on May 4 to question ex-French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin and others.

Hearings in London began in November and have seen ex-prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown testify.

Video: $33 Billion to Sink Deeper into Vietghanistan

33 billion for Afghan war

Swanson: Congress set to pass emergency funding for war  May 18, 2010

We Can Stop the War Funding in the House or the Senate, And We Only Need One or the Other

It looks like the Republicans will vote against the war supplemental, and filibuster it.

Last June in the House, in this situation, we needed 39 Democrats to vote No and got 32. Now this is no longer war funding but escalation funding, and of a less popular war, and with a president who's lost that new car smell, and with the economy in the toilet, and importantly with the experience of last june under our belts. Plus we can get Blue Dogs to vote No too, because of all the spending included. We can stop this bill if we all work together.

Senator Coburn Will Filibuster War Bill Unless Paid For

By David Swanson

Senator Tom Coburn, a Republican from Oklahoma, is committed to opposing a supplemental spending bill that includes $33.5 billion to escalate war in Afghanistan, unless the funds to pay for it are found.

On May 10th Senator Coburn wrote to his colleagues asking for their support for an amendment that would offset the new spending in this bill with cuts elsewhere. I spoke on Monday with Senator Coburn's communications director John Hart who assured me that Coburn intends to oppose the supplemental spending bill unless such an amendment is passed.

Liveblog: New America Foundation Forum With Matthew Hoh, Paul Pillar, et al

8:30 starts at 9, people filling into the Pavilion Room in the Ronald R----n building (family friendly blog, no bad words)

On the Agenda:
9:00 a.m. James K. Galbraith, Economists for Peace and Security (which is cosponsor of this event)

9:15-10:45 a.m. (but I have to leave by 10:15) "Unnecessary and Counterproductive" (about covers it, just leaves out murderous and immoral and illegal and costly)
Michael Lind
Paul Pillar
Matthew Hoh
Hillary Mann Leverett
Steve Clemons (thanks to whom for putting this together)
Tom Andrews (who will likely push Rep. McGovern's nonbinding unspecified timetable bill even as they vote on another $33 billion in that domed building down the street)

Getting Smart About Stupid Communication

By David Swanson

Reducing political discourse to advertising slogans loses almost everything of value. Without lengthy books that develop complex ideas, we'd be so lost we'd never produce a worthwhile bumper sticker. The notion that facts don't matter because only emotional appeals to "values" sway anyone is an absurd and arrogant over-simplification. And, yet, something is gained, as well, in producing powerful and catchy imagery and slogans that at least disrupt the way people think about things. Rewriting "Columbus discovered America" as "Columbus invaded America" does alter the entire story. The image of tiny activist boats going up against enormous whaling ships does reverse the imagery of heroic sailors battling a leviathan. "Support the troops, bring them home," is a useful slogan.

If Republicans Oppose War Escalation Because Funding for Teachers Included, Only 40 Democrats Will Be Needed to Kill It

Remember that in June we only needed 40 Democrats to block the war funding in the House, because all the Republicans voted no, due to the inclusion of bailouts for European bankers (which the Republicans mistook for something offensively useful). Now it looks like the same drama could play out, with funds for teachers in U.S. schools playing the role of banker bailouts. Here's what Boehner has to say. Read that whole thing, and you'll see that there's even the possibility that the Republicans could try to block the funding of any federal worker who watches pornography, which I think would be a lovely way to end the war. The right wingers will notice the financial cost right on queue if there's a danger that someone might get a better education than they did. They will NOT stand for funding teachers, which just might help us refrain from funding the escalation of a war.

Blood on Our Hands

If the Iraq occupation lasts another 50 years, it's doubtful a better account of it will be produced than this one. Davies puts the invasion and occupation of Iraq into a framework not only of history but also of law. 'Blood on Our Hands' is packed with critical information that never made into the so-called first draft of history, the U.S. media. This is a thoroughly documented account of the motivations, launching, and the conduct through several stages of the Iraq War, a war that any one of these periods shows to have been, above all else, a massive crime.

McChrystal: Beheadings of Our Allies Simply to Be Expected

By David Swanson

How can we stand to live in a country where this exchange is shown live on tv and nobody comments?

REPORTER: [I]n Marja there are reports -- credible reports -- of intimidation and even beheading of local people who work with your forces. Is that your intelligence? And if so, does it worry you?

GEN. MCCHRYSTAL: Yeah. It absolutely is things that we see. But it's absolutely predictable.

I'm sorry. If it is predictable that people who work with you are going to have their heads sliced off, STOP FUCKING DOING THAT KIND OF WORK. After all, the work you are doing consists primarily of BLOWING other people's heads off.



It's not your country. You're not welcome there. People who try to help you are seen as enemies of their country. They get their fucking heads cut off. And your puppet president thanks you on their behalf.



If Afghanistan had an Arizona-style law, guess who would fit the profile? Guess who's illegal? Guess who is there in violation of the UN Charter, the will of 94% of Kandaharis and a majority of Americans, your own perverse counterinsurgency manual, and any code of human decency whatsoever?



And don't even think about asking for another $33 billion of our children's money to make it worse, which we all know you want purely because you think we're stupid enough to believe you're being tough, even though it will do no good whatsoever, your new assault is already failing before being funded, and a majority of us want the whole crime brought to a close.

You don't want to give in to terrorists? OK, then give in to those legally resisting your illegal occupation. Or give in to those nonviolently protesting it. Or give in to the wisdom of your own experts, envoy, ambassador, national security advisor, Army and GAO reports. Or give in to the staggering list of names on the Vietnam Memorial and the fact that there would be fewer if you'd just gotten the hell out sooner.

Or do this: get out and stop bombing Pakistan, which no one gave you any legal right to do, before a succesful bomber hits a US city. We all know you'll kill five million innocent human beings the moment such a bomber succeeds. We all know you don't really want to do that. So STOP FUCKING MAKING IT INEVITABLE that you will be in that situation.

Stop giving our kids illegal orders.


Bring them home.

Bring them home.

Bring them home.

NYT, Afghans and 'Corrosive Distrust'

Peter Hart calls out the New York Times for blaming the Afghan people for not trusting their lying sack of an excuse for a government, not to mention distrusting the benevolent Americans.

Despite violence rising, civilian deaths rising, the Taliban growing stronger, and the Afghan government growing weaker, the New York Times apparently considers it news that progress is being made, purely because Obama and Karzai said so.

Oh, and McChrystal said so too and even went to the trouble to ban the term "operation".

The End of War

By David Swanson

Last year I published a review of a book called "Will War Ever End: A Soldier's Vision of Peace for the 21st Century" by Captain Paul K. Chappell, U.S. Army. Chappell left active duty last November and is now the Peace Leadership Director for the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. His new book is called "The End of War: How Waging Peace Can Save Humanity, Our Planet, and Our Future."

We Want NO Votes on Escalation Bill, and YES Votes on Separating Escalation Funding from All the Lipstick

We want our representatives in the House to vote NO on war escalation funding, no matter what righteous stuff is packaged in with it.

But if there is a floor vote to separate the escalation funding from all the humanitarian measures, then we want Yes votes on that.

Audio: David Swanson on Iraq and Afghanistan with Keith Murphy on the Urban Journal
Listen today!
Segment 1 David Swanson, author Daybreak
Segment 2 Pastor Susan Smith, author Crazy Faith
Segments 3 and 4 Joe Madison, XM

What I learned in Afghanistan – About the United States

By Dana Visalli

I was surprised on my recent trip to Afghanistan that I learned so much…about the United States. I was in Afghanistan for two weeks in March of this year, meeting with a large number of Afghans working in humanitarian endeavors – the principal of a girls' school, the director of a school for street children, the Afghan Human Rights Commission, a group working on environmental issues. The one thing that all of these groups that we met with had in common was, they were penniless. They all survived on rather tenuous donations made by philanthropic foundations in Europe.

Juan Cole Is Confident of Troop Withdrawal

His math to get it down to 50,000 by the end of August doesn't quite work, especially if the withdrawal is delayed in June but even if it isn't, but Juan Cole is confident that the withdrawal will hit that target, as well as the December 2011 deadline, and that while the withdrawal will not be complete, it'll be complete enough for him. He also sees massive and expensive bases (and presumably the so-called embassy) as no deterrent to or indication of unlikelihood of complete departure. I hope he's right.


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