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Audio: I Talked War Abolition on a Right Wing Show

Listen to the second of the two hours here.

4-10-14 Public Hearing on Petraeus at CUNY

On April 3, 2014 CUNY students, faculty and staff, together with concerned individual and organizations (such as War Criminals Watch), came together to hold a public hearing to investigate charges that former General David Petraeus was responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity as Iraq/Afghanistan war commander and former CIA chief. The hearing discussed definitions of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and considered evidence regarding Petraeus’ actions.

Rumsfeld Personifies Our Society

When Donald Rumsfeld used to hold press conferences about the Iraq war, the press corps would giggle at the clever ways in which he refused to actually say anything or answer any questions. 

In a new film about Rumsfeld called The Unknown Knowns, the aging criminal is occasionally confronted with evidence that what he's just said is false. He maintains a frozen grin and acts as if nothing has happened.  The film's director, interviewing Rumsfeld, never presses the truly uncomfortable points.

The closest the film comes to asking Rumsfeld about the wrongness of launching a war on Iraq is with the question "Wouldn't it have been better not to go there at all?"  Not "Wasn't it illegal?" Not "Do you believe 1.4 million Iraqis were killed or only 0.5 million?" Not "When you sleep at your home at the Mt. Misery plantation where they used to beat and whip slaves like Frederick Douglass how do you rank the mass slaughter you engaged in against the crimes of past eras?" Not "Was it at least inappropriate to smirk and claim that 'freedom is untidy' while people were destroying a society?"  And to the only question that was asked, Rumsfeld is allowed to get away with replying "I guess time will tell." 

Then Rumsfeld effectively suggests that time has already told.  He says that candidate Barack Obama opposed Bush-era tactics and yet has kept them in place, including the PATRIOT Act, lawless imprisonment, etc.  He might have added that President Obama has maintained the right to torture and rendition even while largely replacing torture with murder via drone.  Most crucially for himself, he might have noted that Obama has violated the Convention Against Torture by barring the prosecution of those responsible for recent violations.  But Rumsfeld's point is clear when he notes that Obama's conduct "has to validate" everything the previous gang did wrong.

I've long included Rumsfeld on a list of the top 50 Bush-era war criminals, with this description:

"Donald Rumsfeld lives in Washington, D.C., and at former slave-beating plantation "Mount Misery" on Maryland's Eastern Shore near St. Michael's and a home belonging to Dick Cheney, as well as at an estate outside Taos, New Mexico. He took part in White House meetings personally overseeing and approving torture by authorizing the use of specific torture techniques including waterboarding on specific people, and was in fact a leading liar in making the false case for an illegal war of aggression, and pushed for wars of aggression for years as a participant in the Project for the New American Century."

The National Lawyers Guild noted years ago:

"It was recently revealed that Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, George Tenet, and John Ashcroft met in the White House and personally oversaw and approved the torture by authorizing specific torture techniques including waterboarding. President Bush admitted he knew and approved of their actions. 'They are all liable under the War Crimes Act and the Torture Statute,' Professor [Marjorie] Cohn testified. 'Under the doctrine of command responsibility, commanders, all the way up the chain of command to the commander-in-chief, are liable for war crimes if they knew or should have known their subordinates would commit them, and they did nothing to stop or prevent it. The Bush officials ordered the torture after seeking legal cover from their lawyers.'"

This doesn't come up in the movie.  Rumsfeld does shamelessly defend abusing and torturing prisoners, and maintains that torturing people protects "the American people," but he passes the buck to the Department of Justice and the CIA and is never asked about the White House meetings described above.  When it comes to Abu Ghraib he says he thought "something terrible happened on my watch" as if he'd had nothing to do with it, as if his casual approval of torture and scrawled notes about how he stands up all day and so can prisoners played no part.  (He also claims nobody was killed and there was just a bit of nudity and sadism, despite the fact that photos of guards smiling with corpses have been made public -- the movie doesn't mention them.)  Asked about abuses migrating from Guantanamo to Iraq, Rumsfeld cites a report to claim they didn't.  The director then shows Rumsfeld that the report he cited says that in fact torture techniques migrated from Guantanamo to Iraq.  Rumsfeld says he thinks that's accurate, as if he'd never said anything else.  Rumsfeld also says that in the future he believes public officials won't write so many memos.

The central lie in Rumsfeld's mind and our society and The Unknown Knowns is probably that irrational foreigners are out to get us.  Rumsfeld recounts being asked at his confirmation hearing to become Secretary of So-Called Defense "What do you go to sleep worried about?"  The answer was not disease or climate change or car accidents or environmental pollution or starvation any actually significant danger.  The answer was not that the United States continues antagonizing the world and creating enemies.  There was no sense of urgency to halt injustices or stop arming dictators or pull back from bases that outrage local populations.  Instead, Rumsfeld feared another Pearl Harbor -- the same thing his Project for the New American Century had said would be needed in order to justify overthrowing governments in the Middle East.

Rumsfeld describes Pearl Harbor in the movie, lying that no one had imagined the possibility of a Japanese attack there.  The facts refute that endlessly repeated lie.  Then Rumsfeld tells the same lie about 9-11, calling it "a failure of imagination."  What we're going through is a failure of memory.  These words "FBI information ... indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York" appeared in an August 6, 2001, briefing of President George W. Bush titled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S."

The movie does a decent job on Rumsfeld's pre-war lies.  Rumsfeld tells the camera that nobody in the Bush administration ever tied Saddam Hussein to 9-11.  Then the film shows old footage of Rumsfeld himself doing just that.  Similar footage could have been shown of numerous officials on numerous occasions.  Rumsfeld has clearly been allowed such levels of impunity that delusions have taken over.  He rewrites the past in his head and expects everyone else to obediently follow along.  As of course Eric Holder's Justice Department has done. 

Rumsfeld, in the film, dates the certainty of the decision to invade Iraq to January 11, 2003.  This of course predates months of himself and Bush and Cheney pretending no decision had been made, including the January 31, 2003, White House press conference with Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair at which they said they were working to avoid war, after Bush had just privately proposed to Blair a string of cockamamie ideas that might get a war started.

Bizarrely, the film's director Errol Morris asks Rumsfeld why they didn't just assassinate Saddam Hussein instead of attacking the nation of Iraq.  He does not ask why the U.S. didn't obey the law.  He does not ask about Hussein's willingness to just leave if he could keep $1 billion, as Bush told Spanish president Jose Maria Aznar that Hussein had offered.  And even the question asked, Rumsfeld refuses to answer until he makes Morris complicit.  Morris had used the word "they," as in "why didn't they just assassinate him?" whereas he clearly should have used the word "you," but Rumsfeld makes him repeat the question using the word "we" before providing an answer.  We?  We were lied to by a criminal government.  We don't take the blame as servants to a flag.  Are you kidding?  But Morris dutifully asks "Why didn't we just assassinate ... ?"

Rumsfeld replies that "We don't assassinate" and tries hard not to grin.  Morris says "but you tried" referring to an attempt to bomb Hussein's location.  Rumsfeld excuses that by saying it was "an act of war."  This is the same line that human rights groups take on drone murders.  (We can't be sure if they're illegal, because President Obama may have written a note and hid it in his shoe that says it's all a part of a war, and war makes murder OK.)

Rumsfeld blames Iraq for not avoiding being attacked.  He pretends Iraq pretended to have weapons, even while blaming Iraq for not turning over the weapons that it claimed not to have (and didn't have).  The veteran liar lies that he thought he was using the best "intelligence" when he lied about Iraqi weapons, and then passes the buck to Colin Powell. 

Rumsfeld and the nation that produced him didn't turn wrong only in the year 2001.  Rumsfeld avoided Watergate by being off to Brussels as ambassador to NATO, a worse crime one might argue than Watergate, or at least than Nixon's recording of conversations -- which is all that this movie discusses, and which Rumsfeld describes as "a mistake."  Asked if he learned anything from the U.S. war that killed 4 million Vietnamese, Rumsfeld says "Some things work out, some things don't."  I think he expected applause for that line.  On the topic of meeting with Saddam Hussein in the 1980s, Rumsfeld is allowed to describe his mistake as having been filmed shaking hands with the man he calls a dictator.  But he's never asked about having supported Hussein and armed and assisted him, including with weapons that would later (despite having been destroyed) form the basis of the pretended cause of war.

After giving the fun-loving sociopaths of fictional dramas a bad name for two hours, this real person, Donald Rumsfeld, blames war on "human nature" and expresses pretended sadness at future U.S. war deaths, as if 95% of the victims of U.S. wars (the people who live where the wars are fought) never cross his mind at all.  And why should they?

Ukraine News - Apr 11, 2014

 

Pro-Russia Separatists Reject Amnesty Offer in Ukraine Standoff, “We demand a referendum on federalization so that the will of the people is heard” - Reuters


VIDEO: Pro-Russian separatists reject Kiev's amnesty - Al Jazeera


Standoff between gvt, protesters intensifies, 24 hours before Kiev ultimatum ends (VIDEOS) - RT News


VIDEO: People trying to stop the Ukrainian armored vehicles close to Donetsk, protesters dig into the occupied building - YouTube


Demonstrators in Donetsk plan to create ‘people’s army’ - ITAR-TASS


'Nothing to lose' say armed pro-Russians in Ukraine's Lugansk - Yahoo News


1,500 residents in Luhansk gather to defend Security Service building - ITAR-TASS


VIDEO: Dawn breaks on Donetsk's barricades, men and women reading newspapers, having breakfast, etc - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Many Riot Police now side with anti-Kiev protestors in Donesk - YouTube

 

VIDEO: People watching the 25th Airborne Brigade (Armed Forces of Ukraine) moving to Donetsk - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Barricades in Luhansk in front of the Security Service building - YouTube

 

VIDEO (Russian): Formation and Statement of armed protesters in Luhansk - YouTube

 

VIDEO (Russian): Interview with armed protesters in Luhansk - YouTube

 

Thousands to rally Sunday for federalism in Kharkiv - The Voice of Russia

 

Detainees involved in Kharkiv regional administration occupation arrested for 60 days - ITAR-TASS

 

In Ukraine’s city of Donetsk, Russia and the Great Patriotic War exert their influence - The Washington Post

 

NATO: Satellite images reveal Russian military buildup on Ukraine's border (PHOTOS) - The Guardian

 

NATO Allied Command Operations: Imagery Reveals Destabilizing Russian Forces Near Ukraine Border (PHOTOS) - ACO

 

NATO builds its naval presence in the Black Sea: Russian Defense Ministry - ITAR-TASS

 

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Putin Says Further Violations by Ukraine to Pay Its Debt Will Compel Russia to Cut Off Gas - RIA Novosti


TEXT: Putin’s letter to European leaders on Ukraine's gas debt - Reuters


Russia Won’t Cut Gas-Oil Flow to Europe, German Economists Say - Bloomberg


Slovakia seeks gas talks with Ukraine, Russia, EU; Hungary set to supply Kiev - Reuters

 

Slovakia Wants EU to Guarantee Payments for Reverse Gas Flows to Ukraine - WSJ.com

 

Security in threat if decision on US nuclear fuel for Ukraine NPPs political - ITAR-TASS

 

Hryvnia Falls to Record as Ukraine Bonds Extend Slump - Businessweek

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

ThisCantBeHappening! interviews Prof. Harold Wanless on PRN.fm: Climate Change is Much Worse than Even the IPCC Predictions

By Dave Lindorff


Dave Lindorff, host of the Progressive Radio Network program "ThisCantBeHappening!", interviews Professor Harold Wanless, chair of the Geology Department at the University of Miami and a leading climate change expert. Wanless talks about the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, explaining that as scary as that organization's latest predictions are concerning accelerating global warming, it is far too conservative.

War For Dummies

Sorry for the headline if it got you hoping for a quick 1-step guide on how to bomb a country without breaking a sweat. I didn't actually mean that I could teach a dummy to wage a war. I meant that only dummies want to wage wars.

Need proof?

Check out a recent Washington Post report

Now there I go misleading you again.  While it's true that the editors of the Washington Post are often dummies and often want wars to be waged, that's not what I mean right now.  I think members of the U.S. government and its obedient media constitute an important but tiny exception to the rule this report points to.

The facts as reported on April 7th are these:

  • 13% of us in the United States want our government to use force in Ukraine;
  • 16% of us can accurately identify Ukraine's location on a map;
  • the median error by Americans placing Ukraine on a map is 1,800 miles;
  • some Americans, based on where they identified Ukraine on a map, believe that Ukraine is in the United States, some say it's in Canada, some Africa, some Australia, some Greenland, some Argentina, Brazil, China, or India;
  • only a small number believe Ukraine is in an ocean.

And here's the interesting bit:

"[T]he further our respondents thought that Ukraine was from its actual location, the more they wanted the U.S. to intervene militarily. Even controlling for a series of demographic characteristics and participants' general foreign policy attitudes, we found that the less accurate our participants were, the more they wanted the U.S. to use force, the greater the threat they saw Russia as posing to U.S. interests, and the more they thought that using force would advance U.S. national security interests."

I take this to mean that some people believe that attacking Alaska or the continental United States (where they believe Ukraine to be located) will advance "U.S. national security interests."  This suggests one of two things: either they believe the United States would be better off bombed (and perhaps suicidal tendencies account for some of the staggering stupidity reported by the Washington Post) or they believe the United States is located in Asia or Africa or somewhere other than where they've indicated that Ukraine is on the map.

I also take this report to mean the following: ignorant jackasses are the only statistically significant group that wants more wars.  Virtually nobody in the United States wants a U.S. war in Iran or Syria or Ukraine.  Nobody.  Except for serious hardcore idiots.  We're talking about people who can't place Ukraine in the correct landmass, but who believe the United States should go to war there. 

People informed enough to find Ukraine on a map are also informed enough to oppose wars.  People who can't find Ukraine on a map but possess an ounce of humility or a drop of decency also oppose war.  You don't have to be smart to oppose wars.  But you have to be an unfathomably ignorant jackass to favor them.  Or -- back to that exception -- you could work for the government.

Why, I wonder, don't pollsters always poll and report sufficiently to tell us whether an opinion correlates with being informed on an issue?  I recall a poll (by Rasmussen), tragic or humorous depending on your mood, that found 25% of Americans wanting their government to always spend at least three times as much on its military as any other nation spends, while 64% said their government spends the right amount on the military now or should spend more.  This only gets tragic or humorous if you are aware that the United States already spends much more than three times what any other nation spends on its military.  In other words, large numbers of people want military spending increased only because they don't know how high it is already.

But what I want to know is: Do the individuals who have the facts most wrong want the biggest spending increases?

And I wonder: do pollsters want us to know how much opinions follow facts? If opinions follow factual beliefs, after all, it might make sense to replace some of the bickering of pundits on our televisions with educational information, and to stop thinking of ourselves as divided by ideology or temperament when what we're divided by is largely the possession of facts and the lack thereof. 

Ukraine News - Apr 10, 2014

 

Kiev gives pro-Russian protesters 48 hours to end their occupation, telling them to leave the public buildings or face “forceful” action - Telegraph


Separatists in east Ukraine call on Putin for help after Kiev warns of force - Reuters


Ukraine's defiant armed separatists prepare for long siege - Reuters


Ukraine separatists free hostages from seized building - usatoday.com


Protesters and representatives of the Ukrainian authorities meet for negotiations - ITAR-TASS


VIDEO: Donetsk separatists remain defiant - CNN

 

VIDEO: Tires, sacks & razor wire: Donetsk protesters barricade for independence - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Heavy Artillery outside Donetsk - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Donetsk governor says won't use force vs. occupiers - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Separatists in Ukraine: Luhansk standoff continues as Kiev blames Kremlin agents - YouTube

 

VIDEO: In Lugansk masked members of the group Southeast Command express firm readiness to protect their interests with arms - YouTube

 

Ukraine's Richest Man Akhmetov Gambles on Peacemaker Role - VOA

 

Akhmetov says Donbas is part of Ukraine, is against use of force to quell the protest in Donetsk - kyivpost.com

 

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U.S., Russia, Ukraine and EU to meet on Ukraine crisis - Reuters


Lavrov says four-way talks on Ukraine must foster internal dialogue - Reuters


Kerry: US uses influence with Kiev to prod it into starting national dialogue to normalise the situation in the southeast of the country - ITAR-TASS


Ukraine: Lavrov and Kerry urge all sides to refrain from violence - euronews


Vladimir Putin has high hopes of positive outcome for Ukraine summit - theguardian.com


Putin asks government, Gazprom to refrain from asking advance payment for gas with Ukraine until after consultations between both sides - The Voice of Russia

 

Putin: Russia doesn't recognize Ukrainian authorities, but will help with its economy - The Voice of Russia

 

Ukraine’s overall debt to Russia stands at $16 billion: Dmitry Medvedev - ITAR-TASS

 

Analysts Say Russia Plotting for Ukrainian Influence not Invasion, It wants Kiev to adopt a federal system of government - NYTimes.com

 

Exclusive: U.S. Won’t Share Russia Troops Intel With Ukraine - The Daily Beast

 

US diplomat tweets photo of Russian army build-up near Ukraine - smh.com.au

 

Second US Navy destroyer heads to Black Sea - RT News

 

NATO general: U.S. troops may be sent to E. Europe over Ukraine - KOMO News

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

New TCBH! Poem by Gary Lindorff: 'Shanghai Smog'

There is a man reporting on how bad the smog is in China.
He is saying,
“See, right there,
at the end of this street that you don’t see
is the second tallest building in China.”
I squint. . . I don’t see anything!
“In fact”, he’s saying,
“the smog is so bad,
I’m actually standing right here in front of this camera,
so you wouldn’t have seen the building anyway,
but you can’t even see me!”
This guy is good!

Then he says, “Watch this.”
He says,
“Now, I’m taking off my pants.”...

 

Very Distinguished

It's important to distinguish terrorism from war. Because otherwise war would look bad.

It's important to distinguish genocide from war. Because otherwise war would be indefensible.

It's important to distinguish civil war from war. Because civil war seems so gruesome and irrational.

It's important to distinguish the horrors of war from war's higher purposes. Because otherwise who would let war continue?

It's important to distinguish wars people have seen from possible future wars. Because otherwise someone might ask what the higher purposes had been and whether they were achieved.

It's important to distinguish war from inaction as if those were the only options. Because otherwise people might wake up before they die.

 

 

Talk Nation Radio: Betsy Leondar-Wright on Cross-Class Activism

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-betsy

Betsy Leondar-Wright is the Project Director and Senior Trainer at Class Action, a non-profit that raises consciousness about class and money.  Her new book is called Missing Class: How Seeing Class Cultures Can Strengthen Social Movement Groups. She describes how people's speech patterns and approaches to activism tend to vary with class background, how unawareness of this can result in misunderstandings, and how awareness of it can build stronger movements that draw on the strengths of all.

Total run time: 29:00

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

Download from Archive or LetsTryDemocracy.

Pacifica stations can also download from AudioPort.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

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

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

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

Ukraine News - Apr 9, 2014

 

Ukraine tries to quell pro-Moscow uprisings, retaking occupied headquarters in Kharkiv but watching protesters consolidate their hold in Donetsk - AP


Donetsk activists fortify barricades after police clear Kharkiv protest site - theguardian.com


Ukraine Stiffens Penalties for Separatism - RIA Novosti


Ukraine Parliament Devolves Into Brawl Amid Russia Crisis (VIDEO) - huffingtonpost.com


VIDEO: Ukraine raids pro-Russian separatists in the Eastern region - Al Jazeera


VIDEO: Ukraine Authorities: Kharkiv Protesters Out - AP


Clashes in Ukraine's Kharkiv after protesters proclaim region's independence (VIDEOS) - RT News

 

Ukrainian interior minister threatens to sack 30% of Kharkiv police staff - ITAR-TASS

 

Police Has No Plans to Storm Donetsk Regional Administration Building: Official - RIA Novosti

 

VIDEO: Ukraine crisis: Inside protesters' Donetsk 'republic' - BBC News 

 

Kiev pursues wrong policy - Donetsk mayor - The Voice of Russia

 

Tanks heading for Ukraine’s Lugansk on Kiev order - The Voice of Russia

 

VIDEO: Ukraine: Tanks heading for Ukraine’s Lugansk on Kiev order - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Ukraine: Lugansk protesters bed in outside SBU office - YouTube

 

Ukrainian movie releasers say will not run number of Russian movies - ITAR-TASS

 

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Russia warns of civil war if Ukraine uses force over eastern revolts - CNN.com


Russian FM calls on Kiev, Washington to recognize interests of all Ukraine regions - RT News


Russia wants Ukraine's east and south represented in international talks to resolve crisis: Lavrov - The Voice of Russia


Russia expects new Ukraine constitution draft to be presented ahead of Russia-US-EU-Ukraine talks: Lavrov - The Voice of Russia


VIDEO: Interview with Ukraine's acting foreign minister Andriy Deshchytsia - Bloomberg Television

 

Kerry Accuses Moscow of 'Unmistakable' Covert Ops in Eastern Ukraine, says Russian special forces of orchestrating "chaos" in eastern Ukraine this week to set the stage for a possible invasion - foreignpolicy.com

 

VIDEO: John Kerry: Russian Agents Trying to Destabilize Ukraine - ABC News

 

Russia Claims American Mercenaries Are in Eastern Ukraine, Employees of the security contracting company Greystone - NBCNews.com

 

US Contractor Greystone Denies Its 'Mercenaries' in Ukraine - ABC News

 

VIDEO: Are Mystery Soldiers in Ukraine US Mercenaries? - YouTube

 

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Russia's Gazprom says Ukraine has failed to pay for its March gas supplies, but does not say whether the company would take any action against Kiev - Reuters


Ukraine plans to pay Russia for gas after price reduction - ITAR-TASS


Ukraine Says Russian Gas Transit to Europe Under Threat - RIA Novosti

 

Russia's import from Ukraine decreases by 30.5% in January-February - ITAR-TASS: Economy

 

IMF Downgrades Russia’s Economic Prospects Amid Ukraine Tensions - RIA Novosti

 

Ukrainian Crisis Could Cause Russian Economy To Fall 1.8% in 2014: World Bank - RIA Novosti

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

America's Peace Ship

Is there an emotional connection between the oceans and the pursuit of peace?  In the latter part of the twentieth century, the oceans were used for nuclear weapons tests and for the transport of nuclear weapons, and this might explain the advent of maritime protests against war, especially nuclear war.  But, for whatever reason, peace ships have been increasing in number over the past century.

*     *     *

Probably the first of these ocean-going vessels was the notorious Ford Peace Ship of 1915, which stirred up more ridicule than peace during World War I.

One Nation the U.S. Actually Should Liberate


"Secretary Kerry? It's Ukraine on the phone asking about liberation again. Have you been able to get them a reference letter yet from Libya or Iraq or Afghanistan? How about Vietnam? Panama? Grenada? Kosovo maybe? Ukraine says Syria says you have a reference letter in the works from Kosovo. No? Huh. They said they'd accept one from Korea or the Dominican Republic or Iran. No? Guatemala? The Philippines? Cuba? Congo? How about Haiti? They say you promised them a glowing reference from Haiti. Oh. They did? No, I am not laughing, Sir. What about East Timor? Oh? Oh! Sir, you're going to liberate the what out of them? Yes sir, I think you'd better tell them yourself."

Some nations the United States should probably not liberate -- except perhaps the 175 nations which could be liberated from the presence of U.S. soldiers.  But one nation I would make an exception for, and that is the nation of Hawai'i.

Jon Olsen's new book, Liberate Hawai'i: Renouncing and Defying the Continuing Fraudulent U.S. Claim to the sovereignty of Hawai'i, makes a compelling case -- a legal case as well as a moral one. 

Olsen's case, in very condensed summary, looks like this: Hawai'i was an independent nation, recognized as such by the United States and numerous other nations, with treaties in effect between Hawai'i and other nations, including the United States, that have never been terminated.  In 1893 U.S. profiteers and U.S. Marines, in a criminal act, overthrew Hawai'i's government and queen, setting up a new government that lacked any legal standing.  President Grover Cleveland investigated what had been done, admitted to the facts, and declared the new government illegitimate, insisting that the Queen retain the rule she had never abdicated.  But the fraudulent foreign government remained, and in 1898 once William McKinley was U.S. president, handed over Hawaii (thought it had no legal power to do so) to the United States, as the United States also picked up the Philippines, Guam, Puerto Rico, and Cuba in a bit of a global shopping spree.  By 1959, these events were growing lost in the mists of time, and the demographics of Hawai'i were radically altered, as Hawai'i was offered a vote between two bad choices: statehood or continued status as a colony or "territory" (liberation wasn't on the ballot). Thus did Hawai'i seem to become a state without legally becoming any such thing.  In 1993, the U.S. Congress passed and President Clinton signed U.S. Public Law 103-150, admitted to and apologizing for this history, without of course doing the one thing legally and morally required -- liberating Hawai'i.

The primary purpose of the U.S. grab for Hawai'i, even more than economic exploitation, was military expansion, as Olsen shows.  The U.S. military wanted, and took, Pearl Harbor.  Then it took a lot more land, occupied it, bombed it, poisoned it.  Now the U.S. military holds 22% of O'ahu, 68% of Kaula, and chunks of all the major islands, with more planned, archaeological sites threatened, species threatened, air quality for telescopes threatened, and heightened tensions around the Pacific not just threatened but those heightened tensions being the actual purpose of this massive and disastrous investment by the foreign occupying nation claiming Hawai'i by force and fraud.

What can be done? And of, by, and for whom exactly?  Who is a Hawaiian and who is not?  Olsen does not advocate a Hawaii for the ethnically native Hawaiians alone.  He recognizes that the term "Hawaiian" is used to refer to an ethnic group, and proposes the invention of the term "Hawaiian national" to refer to anyone who considers Hawaii home and supports its liberation.  I think Olsen is on the right path but slipping slightly off it.  Nationalism has not proved a wholly beneficial concept.  Hawaii needs to be liberated from U.S. nationalism, but Hawaiians and the rest of us need to begin thinking of ourselves as citizens of the world, not of one nation over others.  Nor do two wrongs, of whatever disparity, make a right (just ask Palestine).  I'd like to see "Hawaiian" evolve to encompass all who consider Hawaii their home, without the addition of "national."  Of course this unsolicited advice from me to Hawaiians may be unappreciated.  But then, they are free to ignore it; I'm not using the Marine Corps as a delivery service, and my advice to the Marine Corps (unsolicited as well) is to disband and liberate the world from its existence.

There's an important point that I think Olsen's argument supports, although he does not develop it in his book, and it is this: If in 1941 Hawaii was not yet even purporting to be a U.S. state, but was rather an illegally and illegitimately seized territory, Pearl Harbor having been stolen from the Hawaiian people, then whatever else you might think of the second major crime committed at Pearl Harbor, the Japanese did not attack the United States.  The Japanese attacked an imperial outpost in the middle of the Pacific that they viewed as a threat -- and what else was it if not that?

Were Hawaii to liberate itself from the United States (for the United States is not actually going to liberate it voluntarily), would the point be moot as the practices of the United States and China and other nations drive the world's islands underwater?  Actually, projections show Hawaii surviving the flood.  The question for Hawaiians may be this: Who do you want managing the influx of millions of Floridians looking for a new paradise to pave, your own manageable self-governed society or the tender mercies of the United States Congress?

TSA again denies ID, denies disabled woman

Yet another person, a disabled person in this case, has been abused by the TSA. In Los Angeles last week, Sherry Wright was traveling with her disabled, wheelchair-bound sister Heidi when they approached the checkpoint at LAX. Heidi had a stroke 10 years ago and can no longer speak. When Sherry presented their ID documentation — perfectly valid IDs, as indicated on the TSA's own website — the nitwit in blue balked. First he demanded that the mute Heidi speak, even after being told she couldn’t; then he denied passage to the women, claiming that Heidi’s expired driver’s license wasn’t valid ID.

Ukraine/Syria News - Apr 8, 2014

 

Pro-Russians call east Ukraine region independent republic - The Washington Post


East Ukraine Protesters Request Russian 'Peacekeepers' - The Moscow Times


VIDEO (English subtitles): Donetsk protesters claim independence from Ukraine and ask Russia for military help - theguardian.com


Russian agitators infiltrate eastern Ukraine though the "volunteers" may not all be acting on orders from Moscow - usatoday.com


VIDEO: Acting Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov Blames Moscow For Unrest In Eastern Cities - rferl.org

 

Turchynov Sets Up Crisis-Response Headquarters, Orders SBU Take Antiterrorist Measures Towards Armed Separatists - Ukranian News

 

Address of Acting President of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov in connection with developments in the eastern oblasts of Ukraine -Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine

 

Tymoshenko says crisis in Donetsk can be resolved peacefully, believes it necessary to carry out administrative reform, elect the regional authorities and preserve the law on regional languages - ITAR-TASS

 

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White House Warns Russia Against Further Moves in Ukraine - VOA


Kerry warns Lavrov Russia faces 'costs' if it further destabilizes Ukraine - THE DAILY STAR


VIDEO: Kerry warns Russia faces 'costs' if destabilizes Ukraine - YouTube


US says will not recognize referendum in East Ukraine - ITAR-TASS


Lavrov tells Kerry Russia insists on constitutional reforms in Ukraine, its non-allied status - The Voice of Russia


In a phone conversation with Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Andrei Deshchitsa, Lavrov urges Kiev to build national dialogue with all regions - ITAR-TASS


Russia tells Ukraine to stop blaming it for problems - Reuters

 

Sergei Lavrov Op-Ed: It’s not Russia that is destabilising Ukraine - The Guardian

 

Russia tells Kiev not to use force in southeast Ukraine - Reuters

 

Russian Foreign Ministry is concerned about additional army forces arriving to east of Ukraine - The Voice of Russia

 

Russian Lawmakers Mull Trip to Ukraine’s Donetsk Basin - RIA Novosti

 

Eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk is Different From Crimea – Russian Lawmaker - RIA Novosti

 

Russian peacekeepers can't be sent to eastern Ukraine without UN approval: Russian senator - Interfax

 

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Seymour Hersh on Obama, Erdogan, the Syrian rebels and the Syria chemical attack · LRB


VIDEO (and Transcript): Interview with Seymour Hersh on the Potential Turkish Role in Syria Chemical Strike - Democracy Now


Turkey, US dismiss Seymour Hersh report on Syria chemical attack - hurriyetdailynews.com


Statement: White House Refutes Seymour Hersh on the Syria chemical attack - WashingtonPoint


VIDEO: UN on Chemical Attack in Syria and Seymour Hersh - YouTube

 

Who Attacked Ghouta with Chemical Weapons?: Ridiculed Jobar Lab actually was Sarin Related - whoghouta.blogspot.com

 

UN Report Discusses Alleged Chemical IED Attack Against Syrian Solders In Jobar - aug21st.com

 

Seymour Hersh's Volcano Problem - Brown Moses Blog

 

What Does Seymour Hersh Knows About Volcano Rockets? - Brown Moses Blog

 

Analysis Of Recovered Chemical Weapons Found In Syria - aug21st.com

 

Why Nigel Farage Has It All Wrong: Smoking Guns, Hexamine, And Syrian Sarin - Brown Moses Blog

 

Who Attacked Ghouta with Chemical Weapons?: Hexamine Again - whoghouta.blogspot.com

 

ARCHIVE: Who Attacked Ghouta with Chemical Weapons?: The Conclusion - whoghouta.blogspot.com

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

ANR Pipeline: Introducing TransCanada's Keystone XL for Fracking

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

When most environmentalists and folks who follow pipeline markets think of TransCanada, they think of the proposed northern half of its Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. 

Flying beneath the public radar, though, is another TransCanada-proposed pipeline with a similar function as Keystone XL. But rather than for carrying tar sands bitumen to the Gulf Coast, this pipeline would bring to market shale gas obtained via hydraulic fracturing ("fracking").

Meet TransCanada's ANR Pipeline System.

Ukraine News - Apr 7, 2014

 

Ukraine: Pro-Russians storm offices in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv - BBC News


Ukraine President Turchynov cancels visit to Lithuania over unrest, convenes a meeting of the law enforcement ministries and services - The Voice of Russia


Ukraine Interior Minister Arsen Avakov vows to restore order in eastern Ukraine without using violence - Al Jazeera English


Ukraine agency: Authorities dismantle group plotting anti-government attack - AP


Kidnapped Ukrainian journalist found dead, Friends of the right-wing Svoboda member Sergiyenko say he was tortured before being killed - The Guardian


VIDEO: Ukraine: Pro-Russia activists seize Donetsk government building - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Participants from a large pro-Russian rally in Donetsk demanding a referendum on the region, similar to the one that led to the annexation of Crimea by Russia - euronews

 

VIDEO: Ukraine: Protesters storm Kharkov government building - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Protesters raise Russian flag in Ukrainian city Kharkov - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Ukraine: Kharkov protest rails against Kiev govt, demands own referendum - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Ukraine: Pro-Russia protesters storm Lugansk State Security building - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Ukraine’s Odessa joins massive pro-Russian rallies across Southeast - YouTube

 

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Kiev sees Russian federalization plans as attempt to destroy Ukraine - The Washington Post


VIDEO: Ukraine President Turchynov rejects Russian call for Ukraine to become federal state - YouTube


Tymoshenko: For Putin, a federal system is a means to ultimately incorporate Ukraine’s eastern and southern regions into the Russian Federation - inquirer.net


Ridding Ukraine of corruption is vital, says leading presidential candidate Poroshenko - Yahoo News

 

IRI poll of Ukraine citizens: 52% want EU membership (up from 42% in Sept 2013), 27% want Russian Customs Union (down from 37%) - Twitter / danielrhamilton

 

POLL (FULL REPORT): IRI Public Opinion Survey: Residents of Ukraine, March 14 – 26 - iri.org

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Fury punches out early: Striking a Blow for Disarmament in Maine Shipyard

By Dave Lindorff

 

Let us pause to honor Charles Fury.

Ukraine News - Apr 6, 2014

 

Ukraine PM eyes arbitration if Russia doesn't cut gas price, "We are not trying to break our contract but to set up a fair price like in Europe" - Reuters


Ukraine looks to EU for gas imports as Russian prices leap, PM Yatseniuk says “reverse flows” could save Ukraine $150 per 1,000 cubic meters - Reuters


It could take until next winter to make the adjustments needed for large EU reverse gas flows to Ukraine - Reuters


Reverse gas flow from Europe to Ukraine technically and legally disputable: Gazprom CEO - The Voice of Russia


Ukraine stores natural gas enough for one month: Minister - The Voice of Russia

 

Third of Ukrainians will not feel rise in gas prices - PM Yatseniuk - Ukrinform

 

Ukraine moves to crack Russia's hold on its nuclear power - CSMonitor.com

 

Ukraine eyes coal after Russian gas price hike, a polluting resource whose consumption has imperilled the air quality - Business Recorder

 

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Moody’s downgrades Ukraine to ‘default imminent’ - RT Business


Ukraine Targets $13.5 Billion Aid in 2014 as EU Warns Russia - Businessweek


Russia seeks over $11 bn in 'debt' from Ukraine - GlobalPost


Biden says aid from the US and other countries would help Ukraine meet its most pressing needs - AFP


Interview with the Ambassador of the United States to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt - Embassy of the United States Kyiv, Ukraine

 

White House hopes for European shale gas face headwinds, it will evolve over time but certainly more slowly than it has in the U.S. - WashingtonExaminer.com

 

VIDEO: How Ukraine's high energy costs and U.S. shale gas are shaping energy geopolitics - WSJ Live

 

Gas prices in Europe to rise 50%, if it abandons Russia’s supplies: Russia Energy Minister - jhaines6.wordpress.com

 

Russian energy minister confirms plans to build Russia-Crimea pipeline - Oil and Gas Technology

 

If Ukraine quits CIS or signs an agreement on association with the European Union, Russia to take measures to protect agro market: Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev - ITAR-TASS

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

DC Has Two Team Names to Change

Two professional sports teams in Washington, D.C., have intolerable names: the Redskins and the Nationals. 

The Redskins name is disgusting racism that recalls the nation's original genocidal sin, a crime that carries over to today's naming of weapons and operations after various Native Americans and treating other groups of people as valueless.

But I for one find it easier to imagine a crowd of Redskins fans as ignorant and oblivious -- which is really the best you can hope to imagine a crowd to be.  They aren't consciously advocating genocide.  Most of them have never stopped to think how they would respond as a white minority to a team called The Fighting Whities, but they also aren't thinking about racial superiority. They're thinking "I want OUR team to beat the other team," and having identified themselves with the team, they just accept its name like they accept their own names regardless of how evil King David or whomever they're named for was.

The Nationals, on the other hand, are part of the promotion of the worst crimes our society is currently engaged in.  A National's game is packed, inning after inning, with songs and cheers and announcements promoting war.  Fans are told that the U.S. Navy is "keeping the world's oceans safe and free" -- and they stand and cheer for that, even as the U.S. Navy and Army and Air Force and Marines and assorted special forces and mercenaries and CIA kill, and kill, and kill, building hostility around the world.

"I'm proud to be an American because at least I know I'm free," they hear and sing.  How do they know they're free? How does an ocean know it's free? What in the world are they talking about? This nation lacks civil liberties and human rights found elsewhere, and we lose more rights with every war.  Where's our Fourth Amendment? Our First Amendment? Where are Roosevelt's freedoms from fear and want? Polluting the world's oceans with death machines that launch missiles into people's houses doesn't make us or the fish or the people murdered "free."

Can we imagine Nationals' fans as oblivious? Do they not know that the world doesn't appreciate being kept "free"?  Do they suppose that wars really benefit people?  Do they not know what was done to Iraq?  Maybe, but I for one find it a greater strain to imagine.  The uniformed killers are right there, being honored, singing songs.  And the team is named for the concept that 5% of humanity should be identified with over the other 95%.  There's not an enlightened way to do that, and as long as we imagine there to be we'll remain as ignorant and destructive as jackasses who paint their faces red and stick feathers on their heads to go to football games.  In fact, we might be worse.

Egypt News - Apr 5, 2014

 

Egypt pro-democracy supporters stage anti-Sisi demos in several provinces - turkishpress.com


Security clash with protesters in Cairo's Alf Maskan - Ahram Online


VIDEO: Egypt: Cairo clashes brought to the doorstep of Interior Ministers - YouTube


'Freedom for the brave' holds protest, calls for release of detainees (PHOTOS) - Ahram Online


Amnesty International: Egypt must release three activists jailed under repressive new protest law - Amnesty International


POLL: What is the Egyptian anti-coup movement protesting for? - washingtonpost.com


Al Qaida’s Ajnad Misr (Soldiers of Egypt) claims responsibility for Cairo University bombing - World Tribune

 

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood condemns Cairo University bombing, calls for probe - middleeastmonitor.com

 

Forces react to Cairo Univ blasts, pro-Morsi students brush off allegations - Ahram Online

 

Muslims Drag Christian Woman From Car in Egypt, Stab and Brutally Beat Her for Having Cross on Display - christianpost.com

 

VIDEO (Arabic): Eyewitness: Muslims Drag Christian Woman From Car in Egypt, Stab and Brutally Beat Her for Having Cross on Display - YouTube

 

Egyptian journalists strike, demanding protection, a week after a young journalist was killed - AP

 

Egypt cabinet approves new terror law in the wake of a terrorist attack outside Cairo University on Wednesday - AFP

 

Police to enter universities during exam time, if necessary: Minister - Ahram Online

 

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Human Rights Watch calls on U.S. to delay military aid to Egypt - Reuters


Statement: Egypt: Failure to Meet US Aid Conditions - Human Rights Watch


Egypt deports man lobbying against mass death sentences - Reuters

 

Suez Canal: Egyptian Military Takes Charge Of Economic Development - ibtimes.com

 

Mubarak supports Sisi, slams Sabbahi in phone interview - Cairo Post

 

Mubarak’s lawyer says that the recording in which his client is heard supporting Sisi was fabricated - Israel National News

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Humanity Versus a Corrupt State: Coups and Cash Machines in Rio de Janeiro

Humanity Versus a Corrupt State: 

Coups and Cash Machines in Rio de Janeiro


By John Grant

 

John Brennan ordered to pay $500 for TSA protest

We have an update on the case of John Brennan, the man who stripped naked at a TSA checkpoint in April of 2012.

Ukraine News - Apr 4, 2014

 

Russia raises gas prices for Ukraine by 80 percent - Reuters


Russia to Charge Ukraine More Than Germany as Gas Discounts End - Bloomberg


Moscow Calls on Ukraine to Pay Down Its $2.2 Billion Gas Debt - ABC News


Russia Foreign Ministry: Ukraine’s overall debt to Russia after the termination of the Black Sea Fleet agreements stands at $10-11 billions - ITAR-TASS


Ukraine says $485 per cubic meter too high price for gas, it would be less costly for Ukraine to import gas from Europe - ITAR-TASS


VIDEO: Ukraine PM: Russian gas price hike "absolutely unacceptable" - CCTV.com English


Europeans plan to create consortium and buy Ukrainian gas transit system - ITAR-TASS

 

US, EU hail Ukraine’s drive to diversify natural gas supplies - ITAR-TASS

 

The Curse of Russian Energy: Despite U.S. and EU sanctions against Russia, it is business as usual between European companies and Russia’s energy sector - Carnegie Europe

 

US-based Financial Research Company: Europe Risks Losses of $215 Billion by Stopping Russian Gas Imports - CI˙HAN

 

What future for EU's energy supply? The Ukraine crisis has prompted the EU to speed up its energy strategy rethink. But the bloc is divided - DW.DE

 

Europe energy: Russian addiction, American seduction (VIDEO) - euronews

 

INTERACTIVE CHART: How Europe can replace Russian gas - Bruegel.org

 

Ukraine ‘spillover’ could wreck world economy: IMF chief Lagarde - RT Business

 

Russia Helped Ukraine, But Now Ukraine Needs More, IMF's Lagarde Says - forbes.com

 

VIDEO (Transcript): Interview with IMF chief Lagarde on the hurdles blocking global economic growth - pbs.org

 

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Ukraine Implicates Ex-President and Russia in Protesters’ Deaths - NYTimes.com


Ukraine detains 12 riot police on suspicion of 'mass murder’ of protesters - Reuters


Ukraine security chief: Alfa special force suppressed Kiev riots - ITAR-TASS

 

No Berkut troops among ‘Maidan snipers’: Ukrainian special forces veteran - RT News

 

Pro-Russian protests diminish in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region - The Washington Post

 

Donetsk Billboard Bids 'Goodbye' to Russia Ahead of Unity Rally - The Moscow Times

 

Will Ukraine become a neutral, federal state? - Georgia Straight

 

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VIDEO: 'We’ll retaliate if Russia attacks' Ukraine PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk - BBC News


Ukraine steps up security measures to guard border with Russia - ITAR-TASS


Yatsenyuk: Kiev hopes for NATO assistance in upgrading Ukrainian army - ITAR-TASS


Russia says wants answers on NATO troops in eastern Europe - Reuters

 

Russia recalls chief military representative to NATO - RT News

 

Pentagon Suspends Missile Shield Talks with Russia over Ukraine | World | RIA Novosti

 

Russia says troops to pull back from Ukraine border - CBS News

 

Russia arrests 25 Ukrainians for sabotage - The Washington Post

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

The Struggle for Humanity

Sociologists, political scientists, activists of various persuasions and many others often describe social stratification in terms of such measures as class, race and gender. There is much talk in the academic and other literature about the working class, the middle class and the ruling class, for example. And about relationships defined by such factors as religion, employment, income and other measures.

USAID used fake Twitter to try and oust a government!: The Hummingbird Tweet: An Espionage Tale

By Alfredo Lopez

For two years, starting in 2010, the United States Agency for International Development ran a social networking service -- similar to Twitter -- for the Cuban people. Its long-term objective was to forment popular revolt against the government and de-stabilize the country.

Irish launch of the Stop Killer Robots Campaign

The mechanisation of killing is marching on. The dream of the controllers is to replace "human" riot police or soldiers with "Robo Cops". No need to take into account any "sentient" uncertainties. The activist organisation AFRI (Action from Ireland) is starting an awareness campaign. Here is their announcement.

 

 

 

 

 

Irish launch of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots

 

Irish School of Ecumenics -Loyola Institute building (facing rubgy pitch)

A 15-Year Murder Spree

"The notion of a 'humanitarian war' would have rang in the ears of the drafters of the UN Charter as nothing short of Hitlerian, because it was precisely the justification used by Hitler himself for the invasion of Poland just six years earlier." —Michael Mandel

Fifteen years ago, NATO was bombing Yugoslavia.  This may be difficult for people to grasp who believe the Noah movie is historical fiction, but: What your government told you about the bombing of Kosovo was false. And it matters.

While Rwanda is the war that many misinformed people wish they could have had (or rather, wish others could have had for them), Yugoslavia is the war they're glad happened -- at least whenever World War II really fails as a model for the new war they're after -- in Syria for instance, or in Ukraine -- the latter being, like Yugoslavia, another borderland between east and west that is being taken to pieces.

The peace movement is gathering in Sarajevo this summer. The moment seems fitting to recall how NATO's breakout war of aggression, its first post-Cold-War war to assert its power, threaten Russia, impose a corporate economy, and demonstrate that a major war can keep all the casualties on one side (apart from self-inflicted helicopter crashes) -- how this was put over on us as an act of philanthropy.

The killing hasn't stopped. NATO keeps expanding its membership and its mission, notably into places like Afghanistan and Libya.  It matters how this got started, because it's going to be up to us to stop it.

Some of us had not yet been born or were too young or too busy or too Democratic partisan or too caught up still in the notion that mainstream opinion isn't radically insane.  We didn't pay attention or we fell for the lies.  Or we didn't fall for the lies, but we haven't yet figured out a way to get most people to look at them. 

Here's my recommendation.  There are two books that everyone should read.  They are about the lies we were told about Yugoslavia in the 1990s but are also two of the best books about war, period, regardless of the subtopic.  They are: How America Gets Away With Murder: Illegal Wars, Collateral Damage, and Crimes Against Humanity by Michael Mandel, and Fools' Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO and Western Delusions by Diana Johnstone. 

Johnstone's book provides the historical background, the context, and analysis of the role of the United States, of Germany, of the mass media, and of various players in Yugoslavia.  Mandel's book provides the immediate events and a lawyer's analysis of the crimes committed.  While many ordinary people in the United States and Europe supported or tolerated the war out of good intentions -- that is, because they believed the propaganda -- the motivations and actions of the U.S. government and NATO turn out to have been as cynical and immoral as usual.

The United States worked for the breakup of Yugoslavia, intentionally prevented negotiated agreements among the parties, and engaged in a massive bombing campaign that killed large numbers of people, injured many more, destroyed civilian infrastructure and hospitals and media outlets, and created a refugee crisis that did not exist until after the bombing had begun.  This was accomplished through lies, fabrications, and exaggerations about atrocities, and then justified anachronistically as a response to violence that it generated. 

After the bombing, the U.S. allowed the Bosnian Muslims to agree to a peace plan very similar to the plan that the U.S. had been blocking prior to the bombing spree.  Here's U.N. Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali:

"In its first weeks in office, the Clinton administration has administered a death blow to the Vance-Owen plan that would have given the Serbs 43 percent of the territory of a unified state. In 1995 at Dayton, the administration took pride in an agreement that, after nearly three more years of horror and slaughter, gave the Serbs 49 percent in a state partitioned into two entities."

These many years later it should matter to us that we were told about fake atrocities that researchers were unable to ever find, any more than anyone could ever find the weapons in Iraq, or the evidence of plans to slaughter civilians in Benghazi, or the evidence of Syrian chemical weapons use.  We're being told that Russian troops are massing on the border of Ukraine with genocidal intentions. But when people look for those troops they can't find them. We should be prepared to consider what that might mean.

NATO had to bomb Kosovo 15 years ago to prevent a genocide? Really? Why sabotage negotiations? Why pull out all observers?  Why give five days' warning? Why then bomb away from the area of the supposed genocide?  Wouldn't a real rescue operation have sent in ground forces without any warning, while continuing diplomatic efforts?  Wouldn't a humanitarian effort have avoided killing so many men, women, and children with bombs, while threatening to starve whole populations through sanctions?

Mandel looks very carefully at the legality of this war, considering every defense ever offered for it, and concludes that it violated the U.N. Charter and consisted of murder on a large scale.  Mandel, or perhaps his publisher, chose to begin his book with an analysis of the illegality of the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, and to leave Yugoslavia out of the book's title.  But it is Yugoslavia, not Iraq or Afghanistan, that war proponents will continue pointing to for years to come as a model for future wars -- unless we stop them.  This was a war that broke new ground, but did it with far more effective PR than the Bush administration ever bothered with.  This war violated the UN Charter, but also -- though Mandel doesn't mention it -- Article I of the U.S. Constitution requiring Congressional approval.

Every war also violates the Kellogg-Briand Pact.  Mandel, all too typically, erases the Pact from consideration even while noting its existence and significance.  "The first count against the Nazis at Nuremberg," he writes, "was the 'crime against peace . . . violation of international treaties' -- international treaties just like the Charter of the United Nations."  That can't be right.  The U.N. Charter did not yet exist.  Other treaties were not just like it.  Much later in the book, Mandel cites the Kellogg-Briand Pact as the basis for the prosecutions, but he treats the Pact as if it existed then and exists no longer.  He also treats it as if it banned aggressive war, rather than all war.  I hate to quibble, as Mandel's book is so excellent, including his criticism of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch for refusing to recognize the U.N. Charter.  But what they're doing to make the U.N. Charter a treaty of the past, Mandel himself (and virtually everyone else) does to the Kellogg-Briand Pact, awareness of which would devastate all arguments for "humanitarian wars."

Of course, proving that every war thus far marketed as humanitarian has actually harmed humanity doesn't eliminate the theoretical possibility of a humanitarian war.  What erases that is the damage that keeping the institution of war around does to human society and the natural environment.  Even if, in theory, 1 war in 1,000 could be a good one (which I don't believe for a minute), preparing for wars is going to bring those other 999 along with it.  That is why the time has come to abolish the institution.

Ukraine News - Apr 3, 2014

 

Russia could achieve Ukraine incursion in 3-5 days: NATO general Breedlove - GlobalPost


VIDEO: Interview with Gen. Breedlove on Ukraine crisis - YouTube


Breedlove: Ukraine situation shows need for US forces in Europe - Stripes


NATO to Firm Up Its Presence in Eastern Europe as It Halts Cooperation With Russia - NYTimes.com


VIDEO: NATO Suspends Cooperation with Russia Over Ukraine Crisis - Boston.com


Ukraine to Hold Military Exercises with European, NATO Allies - VOA


Defense Officials in Ukraine for Consultations - Defense.gov

 

Department of Defense Press Briefing by Secretary Hagel (Russia and Ukraine Excerpts) - Embassy of the United States Kyiv, Ukraine

 

U.S. Looking to Reassure NATO Allies About Ukraine - Defense.gov

 

U.S. Sends More Marines to Romania, Navy Vessel to Black Sea -  Defense.gov

 

U.S. sends 10 F-15 jets to Baltic states [VIDEO] - UPI.com

 

NASA suspends contact with Russia over Ukraine crisis - The Verge

 

Bulgaria Wary as Russia Steps Up Military Flights Over Black Sea - VOA

 

VIDEO: Russia pulls out battalion from near Ukraine, sends military hardware into Crimea - Yahoo News

 

Putin Signs Law Terminating Black Sea Fleet Agreements with Ukraine - RIA Novosti

 

Analysis: Crimea intervention - The increasing sophistication of Russia's military resurgence - IHS Jane's 360

 

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Putin tells Merkel interests of Ukraine regions must be protected, wants Western states to press the Kiev government to grant broad autonomy - Yahoo News


Russia's Foreign Ministry urges the Ukrainian government to adopt a more balanced constitution to protect minority populations - RIA Novosti


Russia Duma formulates measures to preserve Ukrainian integrity: every region to elect its own authorities and Russian as a state language - ITAR-TASS


Ukraine Says It Will Hand More Power to Regions, Government Approves Plan Allowing Election of Regional Governors - WSJ.com

 

Donetsk regional council demands official status for Russian language - ITAR-TASS

 

Language conflict: Different tongues, common homes in Ukraine - The Economist

 

Former U.S. State Department official Josh Cohen: A Federal Model for Ukraine - The Moscow Times

 

Ukraine Moves to Disarm Paramilitary Groups - NYTimes.com

 

Moscow Insists Ukraine Government Take Decisive Steps to Disarm Radicals - RIA Novosti

 

According to the interior ministry Ukraine far-right leader Sashko Bily 'shot himself’ while police were wrestling him to the ground - BBC News

 

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POLL: 80 percent of American voters are "concerned" that the Ukraine crisis could lead to a larger regional conflict, with U.S. military involvement - silive.com


POLL: Americans Are Deeply Conflicted Over The Crisis In Ukraine (VIDEO) - huffingtonpost.com


POLL: Most Russians Would Back Kremlin In Case of War With Ukraine, Poll Says - The Moscow Times


POLL: Russians Unconcerned About Western Sanctions Over Crimea – Poll - RIA Novosti


US, EU discuss energy options amid push to rely less on Russia - EUROPE ONLINE

 

Joint Press Statement EU-U.S. Energy Council - state.gov

 

Russia Tightens Pressure on Ukraine With Rise in Natural Gas Price - NYTimes.com

 

Kerry to Russia: Don't use energy as a weapon in Ukraine crisis - CSMonitor.com

 

Ukraine to discuss import prices with Russia’s largest gas producer - ITAR-TASS

 

Gazprom says CEO, EU favour mutually beneficial relations - Reuters

 

U.S. to wean Europe, Ukraine off Russian gas - THE DAILY STAR

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

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