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Millennials Organize Gun Violence Prevention Intersectionality Summit

Millennials Organize Gun Violence Prevention Intersectionality Summit to Bring People Together Post-Election to Combat Divisiveness and Hate for a Day of Education, Organizing, Solidarity, and Art

Strength in Synergy Summit to be help December 10th at American University, DC

WASHINGTON, DC – On Saturday, December 10 from 9:30am - 7:30pm, a gun violence prevention summit organized by millennials will hold workshops, panel discussions, breakout grassroots organizing sessions, and conclude with a concert featuring local DC artists such as: Shepard Kings, Terry Gibson, and WERK for Peace. Workshops will be led by April Goggans (Black Lives Matter), Rachel Graber (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence), Miriam Pembleton (Institute for Policy Studies), and other significant members of gun violence prevention actions. To find more information about workshops and presenters click here.

Leading a workshops on intersections between domestic and foreign violence and racism will be David Swanson (World Beyond War and RootsAction.org), Jamani Montague (RootsAction.org), and Leah Muskin-Pierret.

Sign up: http://strengthinsynergy.com

“My host sister was murdered in Portland in 2008 by a man who bought a gun from a gun show with no background check; she was one of the many victims that would be alive today if we had a comprehensive, inclusive response to gun violence. Preventing the type of horror that affected my family is one of the most important issues to me. I recognize that gun violence is a deeply intersectional issue with the many oppressions that people face. With Trump’s violent and hateful rhetoric being quickly normalized, now is the time to bring our communities together.”
- Martha Durkee-Neuman, 20, CODEPINK.

Co-sponsoring/co-organizing organizations include: the Brady Campaign, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Black Lives Matter DC, the Institute for Policy Studies, the Pride Fund to End Gun Violence, CODEPINK, WERK For Peace, Gays Against Guns, the Coalition of Concerned Mothers, the Timothy Dawkins El Project, Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action, the DC Anti-Violence Project, and MomsRising.

Visit http://strengthinsynergy.com for more information,

or on Facebook: https://facebook.com/events/157950498008430


David Swanson at screening of National Bird in Norfolk on Dec 7

Wednesday, Dec 7 at 7:15pm
'New Non-Fiction Film'

NATIONAL BIRD  This incendiary new film was produced by legendary filmmakers Wim Wenders and Errol Morris. Three U.S. military veterans have recently become whistleblowers by breaking the silence surrounding America’s secret drone war. Tortured by guilt for their participation in the killing of faceless people in foreign countries, and despite the threat of being prosecuted under the Espionage Act, these three veterans offer an unprecedented look inside this secret program. Filmmaker Sonia Kennebeck follows one of the protagonists to war torn Afghanistan where she sees firsthand the human cost of America’s global drone strikes. Her journey gives some hope for peace and redemption.  (92 mins)

http://nationalbirdfilm.com

Post-film discussion:

David Swanson is the author of War Is A Lie and War Is Never Just. He is an activist, journalist, and public speaker. His previous books include When the World Outlawed War, and War No More: The Case forAbolition. Swanson serves as director of World Beyond War, and host of Talk Nation Radio. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He is based in Charlottesville, Va.

Read David Swanson's review of National Bird.  

And listen to a podcast of David Swanson's interview with filmmaker Sonia Kennebeck. 

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Visit http://narocinema.com

Seeking the True Path

One of the more subtle manifestations of the intimate link between (unconscious) human emotions and behaviour is illustrated by the simple concept of choice and how this is so often reduced to a dichotomy between two bad options. In such circumstances, most people choose whatever they consider to be ‘the lesser evil’.

But how often are there only two options, even if they appear ‘good’ and ‘bad’? Frankly, I cannot think of one circumstance in which my choices are limited to two, however good or bad they appear to be.

Focus: Cuba - Nov 27, 2016

 

I hope that Trump will reject regime change policies advocated by Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio regarding Cuba. It seems that they have not learned the tragic lessons of history: Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc. Cubans are poor but at least they are alive. The country’s literacy rate is at 100% and life expectancy parallels first world nations. There may be some limited food shortages but not famine. The two senators oppose the thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations which is a most positive legacy of Obama. At stake it is not only the normalization of the relations between US and Cuba opening economic and diplomatic ties with Havana. More important at stake it is the relations between US and Latin America where the left is influential whether it governs in countries such as Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, El Salvador and Nicaragua or is the opposition such as in Argentina or Brazil.

 

Note on the Secretary of State candidates: I hope that Trump will launch a new era in US foreign policy by selecting a Secretary of State that will chart a real new course. In my opinion Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani are not a good fit. Least of all, war-hawks John Bolton and David Petraeus. 

 

Cruz, Rubio want Trump to dial back U.S.-Cuba relations, say Obama's recent ties with the island should be reevaluated - POLITICO


VIDEO: Ted Cruz: U.S. foreign policy -- not just to Cuba -- should no longer be a policy of weakness, but instead using U.S. strength to force and press for change - YouTube


Ted Cruz op-ed: Change can come to Cuba, but only if America prevents Fidel’s successor from playing the same old tricks - National Review


Marco Rubio: Donald Trump's Cuba policy should 'pave the way' for democracy - CNNPolitics.com


VIDEO: Sen. Rubio calls for "democratic opening" in Cuba - YouTube


Rubio Statement: History will remember Fidel Castro as an evil, murderous dictator - U.S. Senator for Florida, Marco Rubio


Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz slam politicians for praising Fidel Castro, go after Trudeau and Obama - inquisitr.com


Statement by President Obama on the passing of Fidel Castro - whitehouse.gov


U.S. State Dept reaffirms its support for deepening engagement with Cuba - Business Standard News


President-Elect Trump statement on the passing of Fidel Castro - Capitol Hill Cubans


Priebus: Trump will void Cuba deal unless Castro regime moves to concessions - Fox News


VIDEO: Priebus: Trump will void Cuba deal unless Castro regime moves to concessions - YouTube


VIDEO: Sanders on Cuba: "Of Course their economy is terrible," but they have health care and education - RealClearPolitics


Trudeau defends comments on death of Fidel Castro, He referred to him as a 'legendary revolutionary' who made significant improvements to the education and health-care systems - coastreporter.net


Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on the death of former Cuban President Fidel Castro - Prime Minister of Canada


Cuba embargo must be lifted immediately after death of 'great figure' Fidel Castro, says French president - The Independent


On Fidel's death, Cuba and Puerto Rico, two paths intertwined - NBC News


Cuba's most prominent dissident group called off its weekly protest march for the first time in 13 years to avoid creating tensions: 'We respect the mourning of others' - Reuters


Castro's legacy and the envy of many nations: social care in Cuba, The country's literacy rate is at 100% and life expectancy parallels first world nations - The Guardian


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


How I Produce Fake News for Russia

Apparently I've written "fake news" on behalf of Russia without ever receiving a dime from Russia or realizing what I was doing. It took the intrepid reporting of the Washington Post to alert me to what I have been engaged in. My "fake news" has been published in at least 18 Russian propaganda outlets included on the Washington Post-endorsed Enemies List.

They are ahtribune.com, off-guardian.org, opednews.com, antiwar.com, beforeitsnews.com, blackagendareport.com, ronpaulinstitute.org, rt.com (that one is actually Russian), consortiumnews.com, countercurrents.org, counterpunch.org, globalresearch.ca, truth-out.org, truthdig.com, informationclearinghouse.info, washingtonsblog.com, mintpressnews.com, and nakedcapitalism.com.

Since everything I write is also at davidswanson.org it's a safe bet that that's a Russian propaganda site as well, even though I hadn't realized it.

Top 10 Reasons This Year's Nobel Peace Prize Events Will Feature Henry Kissinger

Every time the Nobel Peace Prize goes to a war monger, I feel an almost irresistible urge to imagine the Nobel Committee has just experienced a momentary fit of insanity. But when they invite notorious war mongers back to speak as peace laureates at the events surrounding the awarding of another such prize, the insanity defense loses plausibility. So I wish it were not true that Henry Kissinger is scheduled to speak in Oslo, but he is. I think I can explain why.

1. Zbigniew Brzezinski needed someone to balance him from the left.

2. Having failed to predict Donald Trump's presidency, the Nobel Committee, not wanting to wait until next year to recognize him, has come up with the next best thing: Kissinger and Brzezinski chatting about peace prize imperialism.

3. Awarding a prize to only one of the two parties to a (failed) peace agreement always seems to leave a gap in the agenda. But who can notice a gap in anything, with good old Henry waddling around proposing to nuke people?

4. With Edward Snowden having just passed up a visit to Olso to pick up the Norwegian PEN's Ossietzky Prize for outstanding achievements as a whistleblower, because the Norwegian government would not agree to protect him from U.S. extradition, that government has had a change of heart and sought out a way to shelter someone from the long arm of justice. Thus Kissinger will be guarded and protected from extradition to any nations seeking to prosecute him.

5. Having responded with sanity and wisdom to a mass killing by a homegrown fascist, Norway is eager to demonstrate to the United States that it is happy to give Washington-based fascism a chance.

6. Of the limited roster of experts who were advising both Clinton and Trump, allowing the Nobel Committee to hedge its bets, some of the other ones were truly crazy.

7. The Nobel Committee surveyed media executives and found total support for including Kissinger, except from those outlets (like the ones publishing this article) that are secretly and unbeknownst to their owners engaged in Russian propaganda services.

8. Dick Cheney told them to go f--- themselves.

9. They couldn't afford Barack Obama.

10. This makes up for never giving Gandhi a peace prize.

I could be wrong, of course. Feel free to ask press@nobel.no for the real explanation.

Focus: Turkey, Egypt and Syria - Nov 25, 2016

 

Turkey's push for Syrian town al-Bab complicates anti-IS fight, causing frictions with other players in the country's war - AP


Turkish-Kurdish tensions threaten anti-IS campaign in Syria - alaraby.co.uk


Turkey-led forces advance against Kurdish YPG, seize 2 villages near al-Bab - southfront.org


Syrian army & Kurdish YPG launch joint advance to build a buffer zone west of al-Bab preventing the Turkish military's expansion - southfront.org


Turkey's military engages in armed clashes with the Syrian army in Lattakia province and near the strategic town of Al-Bab - theduran.com


Syrian army less than two miles away from al-Bab city seized by Daesh: Al-Mayadeen TV channel - Sputnik


Syria regime set “red line” around Al-Bab: pro-Assad daily - NOW


Turkey plans military base in Syria's north, Kurdish-led forces say - ekurd


US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces destroy three Turkish military vehicles in northern Syria - ARA News


Five Turkish soldiers killed in Syria in 24 hours, bringing to 17 the total number - hurriyetdailynews.com


Turkey blames Syrian government for deadly attack which killed three Turkish soldiers - Middle East Eye


Turkish top general visits troops injured in northern Syria - alaraby.co.uk


Turkey will not march to Aleppo: Turkish PM - hurriyetdailynews.com

 

Erdogan, Putin discuss Syria as Turkish-backed rebels push to al-Bab - Reuters

 

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Egypt President Sisi turns its back on Saudi: 'There should be international support for the Libyan, Iraqi and Syrian national armies to ensure security in their countries’ - Morning Star


VIDEO (English Subs): President Sisi says Egypt’s priority is to support Syrian Army against terrorists - YouTube


Al-Sisi sent Egyptian troops, including 18 pilots, to fight in Syria in support of Assad regime: Al-Safir newspaper - Middle East Observer


Egypt, Jordan conclude Aqaba 2016 anti-terrorism military exercises which began early this month in southern Jordan - Ahram Online


Egypt's support to Haftar's army in Libya is a national priority: President al-Sisi - The North Africa Post


Egypt to expand Russian industrial zone in Suez - RT Business


Sisi expresses support for Trump's proposed Muslim registry - alaraby.co.uk


Washington Post editorial: A bad bet on Egypt’s strongman Sisi - The Washington Post


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


Focus: Secretary of State Candidate Dana Rohrabacher - Nov 24, 2016


Note: Dana Rohrabacher is my pick among the current Secretary of State Candidates.


Dana Rohrabacher op-ed: Why is America restarting the cold war with Russia? This is belligerent nonsense, a stunning and total failure of vision - National Interest


VIDEO: Rep. Rohrabacher opposes the new cold war on Russia and the 'Ukraine Support Bill', Mar 2014 - YouTube


VIDEO: Congressman Dana Rohrabacher: Russia and the US need to work together to defeat the radical Islamic terrorism, Apr 2015 - YouTube


VIDEO: Congressman Dana Rohrabacher grills U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power on Ukraine, Jun 2015 - YouTube


VIDEO: Rep. Rohrabacher questions administration on TPP trade deal, Jun 2015 - YouTube


VIDEO: Senator Rohrabacher: Assad was never a threat to United States, Feb 2016 - YouTube


VIDEO: Dana Rohrabacher questions Secretary of State John Kerry regarding the genocide of Christians in the Middle East, Feb 2016 - YouTube


VIDEO: Subcommittee Chairman Rohrabacher's opening statements on Turkey’s democratic decline, Jul 2016 - YouTube


VIDEO: Rohrabacher at House Foreign Relations Committee on the Gulen movement and the July coup attempt in Turkey, Oct 2016 - YouTube


VIDEO: Congressman Rohrabacher on basic human rights violations in Turkey, Nov 2016 - YouTube


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

 

 

Solving Abusive International Relationships

There’s a chapter in a new book by Dorothie and Martin Hellman called A New Map for Relationships that outlines seven international relationships between the United States and others in which many people in the United States have not understood their government’s abusive behavior. This chapter alone is worth the price of the book.

What would people in the United States make of the information, if they had it, that Russians are infuriated when the West doesn’t recognize their suffering in the course of their defeat of Nazi Germany? The single city where Vladimir Putin’s parents lived lost more civilian lives to Germany in WWII than all U.S. military losses in the war. Yet the U.S. boycotts Russia’s 70th anniversary victory celebration in order to protest the choice of the people of Crimea to rejoin Russia following a violent right-wing coup in Ukraine facilitated by the United States. And Russians remember Harry Truman saying that the United States should help Germany if Russia was winning and Russia if Germany was winning, so that more people would die. They remember the U.S. delay for years in launching D-Day until Russia had been bled dry. The remember Winston Churchill’s proposal to launch a war on Russia using Nazi troops within hours of the Nazi defeat. They remember the U.S.-British-French invasion of 1917. They remember the U.S. promise not to expand NATO eastward when Germany reunited. They watch every military expansion on their border. They listen to every lie and provocation. And people in the United States remain oblivious, aloof, arrogant, and abusive. If this were a marriage, one partner would be told to do a little bit better listening.

How many people in the United States know that Jimmy Carter met with North Korea’s government in 1994 and made an agreement between the United States and North Korea that North Korea upheld for years? How many know that the United States chose not to uphold its side of the agreement while at the same time labeling North Korea part of an “axis of evil,” invading Iraq, and declaring in a “National Security Strategy” the U.S. right to attack such other countries? And that only after that, North Korea pulled out of the Nonproliferation Treaty and kicked out inspectors, and four years later conducted its first nuclear test? How many have considered the North Korean perspective on Libya’s agreement to give up nuclear weapons, followed by the violent overthrow of the Libyan government and the savage torture and murder of Libya’s president? Is there any awareness in the United States that North Korea views U.S./South Korean simulations of bombing North Korea (again) as threatening? Without, needless to say, declaring any partner in any relationship to be a saint (except my wife who actually is), isn’t it possible that a good counselor for this relationship would gently invite the United States to remove its head from its posterior?

A New Map for Relationships looks at these two and five other relationships from the perspective of personal, specifically marriage, relations. While I found other sections of the book analyzing the authors’ own marriage far less valuable, that could be in part because I already largely agreed with them. I appreciate their particular insights and facts once they turn to foreign policy, but someone inclined to believe hostility and arrogance to be entirely appropriate in foreign policy might be shaken in that perspective if they read the book in its entirety. (And if you think such people don’t exist, go back and watch Senator Ron Paul booed in a presidential primary debate in South Carolina for suggesting that foreign policy utilize the Golden Rule.)

That being said, I think there are a couple of dangers that must be carefully avoided every time we do the personal-to-international analogy. One is that propagandists and propagandizees are not identical. Those concocting fraudulent justifications for war are often completely aware of what they are doing. We have Pentagon officials now openly talking about hyping the Russian threat for bureaucratic and profit motives. Those are very different problems than lack of information or empathy. And empathy and understanding may not be the tools we principally need to apply in order to alter the actions of the propagandists; sometimes massive nonviolent disruption may be more useful. The distinction between those in power and those out is muddied by the use (by these authors and virtually every human being in the United States) of the term “we” to refer to the United States military or government.

A second problem is false equivalence. In a marriage, two partners should be, and in many ways usually are, relatively equal. In a relationship between the United States and Iran, for example, one of them spends hundreds of times what the other does on militarism, has bases on the other’s borders, threatens the other with war, has invaded the other’s neighbors, possesses nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, routinely engages in wars and drone murders, spies on and assassinates members of and sabotages the other, and has attempted to frame the other and falsely accuse the other of crimes. This same “equal partner” once overthrew the other’s democracy and installed and for years propped up a brutal dictator, and then assisted the other’s neighbor in a war against it that included massive killing with chemical weapons, to which the other chose not to respond in kind. In this sort of situation, asking each equal partner to admit equal blame is not a path to resolution. Asking each partner to admit some blame may make sense, but there’s an obvious reason why one of them should go first.

With those caveats, there is much to be gained by examining the sometimes-overlapping attitudes toward international relations of the public and those in power. Doing so allows the Hellmans to reach key insights about Los Alamos scientists, presidents, and dictators. And, I think, as presidents more and more closely resemble dictators, their nations’ foreign policy more and more resembles their personal relationships. When Donald Trump is handed the power, not to execute the laws of Congress, but to make laws and launch wars and spy and kidnap and imprison and torture and murder at will, it becomes very relevant how he relates to people or nations. It begins to matter that he has personal property all over the globe, some of which will almost certainly be attacked by terrorists. It begins to matter more that he may be more insecure and paranoid than Richard Nixon. But if he swears off hostility toward other nations and tries to work with them as partners, that may be an enormous silver lining to his cloudy rise to power. If on the other hand he wants war, there may be a silver lining for our resistance: if he is more naively open about his motivations — if he blurts out “steal their oil!” and “kill their families!” — then the rest of us may have an easier time avoiding the trap of imagining that the people he wants to slaughter have deeply offended us.

Trans-Atlantic Bigotry: Brexit-Trump Comparisons Miss Some Key Points

By Linn Washington, Jr.

 

"Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful."

Focus: Turkey - Nov 22, 2016


15,000 more public workers are fired in Turkey crackdown - The New York Times


Turkish court starts umbrella trial of U.S.-based cleric Gulen, followers - Reuters


Followers of cleric Gulen still active in Turkish police, armed forces, Erdogan says - Reuters


Turkey seeks detention of 103 university academics in Gulen-related probe - Reuters


Controversy on campus as Erdogan handpicks Turkey rectors - Yahoo7


Turkish students in Britain have scholarships revoked in post-coup crackdown - RT UK


Turkey detains another 2 pro-Kurdish mayors - Fox News


Turkey: Erdoğan rule could extend until 2029 under proposal - The Guardian


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Loud calls in European Parliament for ending membership talks with Turkey - POLITICO


Remarks by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini on EU-Turkey relations at the plenary session of the European Parliament - EEAS


Turkey blocks European lawmakers from visiting imprisoned MP Kurdish leader Demirtas - EurActiv.com


Erdogan suggests to join Russian/China-led bloc SCO if the EU continues to drag its feet regarding Turkey's membership negotiations - CSMonitor.com


'Russia, China would Like to see Turkey in SCO if it freezes links with NATO' - Sputnik


NATO chief recalls Turkey’s commitment to Article 5 amid calls to join SCO - hurriyetdailynews.com


Erdogan seeks NATO’s support against ‘terrorist' organizations such as the Gulen movement, the PKK and PYD - hurriyetdailynews.com


Erdogan warns NATO against giving asylum to ‘terrorist soldiers’ after dozens of Turkish NATO officers sought asylum in Europe - Mo4ch News

 

NATO silent on Turkey arrests of journalists and parliament members - Al Bawaba


Turkish President Erdogan: 'I can't say if Israel or Hitler is more barbarous' - The Independent


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Turkey issues arrest warrant for Kurdish leader of key US-backed force fighting ISIL in northern Syria - Al Jazeera


US, Turkey at cross-purposes in Syria as fighting between Turkish-backed rebels and the US-backed Kurdish-dominated SDF is escalating dramatically - VOA


Turkish-backed rebels and Kurds battle over Syria’s Al-Bab – Middle East Monitor

 

Coalition not backing Turkish move on al-Bab, says US - hurriyetdailynews.com


Turkey, FSA rebels to launch op to retake Syria's Manbij from Kurds: Erdogan - Sputnik


N. Syria: YPG-led forces clash with Turkey-backed rebels around Manbij - kurdistan24.net


YPG threatens Turkey after Turkish jets hit targets in Manbij - Daily Sabah

 

Syrian Kurdish-led forces receive modern U.S. arms: official - ekurd


Turkey calls on US, allies to reconsider Syria no-fly zone - Fox News


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

Torture Charges against the US Considered by International Criminal Court

By John LaForge

US armed forces and the CIA may have committed war crimes by torturing detainees in Afghanistan and elsewhere, the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor says in a recent report, raising the possibility that US citizens could be indicted.

“Members of US armed forces appear to have subjected at least 61 detained persons to torture, cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity on the territory of Afghanistan between 1 May 2003 and 31 December 2014,” according to the Nov. 14 ICC report issued by Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s office in The Hague.

The report says that CIA operatives may have subjected at least 27 detainees at its secret prisons in Afghanistan, Poland, Romania and Lithuania -- to “torture, cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity” including rape, between December 2002 and March 2008. Individuals captured by US forces in Afghanistan were transferred to the secret CIA prisons, sometimes referred to as “black sites” where prisoners were chained to ceilings, “chained to walls and forgotten [one for 17 days] froze to death on concrete floors, and were waterboarded until they lost consciousness” according to the 2014 Senate Intelligence Committee Report on the torture program.

On Dec. 9, 2005, the State Department’s deputy spokesman Adam Ereli said the United States would continue to deny the Red Cross access to prisoners it was holding secretly around the world, claiming they were terrorists who were not guaranteed any rights under the Geneva Conventions. The Red Cross complained that its central purpose is to protect the human rights of prisoners, all of whom deserve protection under international humanitarian law -- binding treaty laws that include the absolute, unambiguous prohibition against torture.

More than 120 countries are members of the ICC, but the US is not. Although the US refused to join the 2002 Rome Statute that created the ICC and established its authority, US military personnel and CIA agents could still face prosecution because their crimes were allegedly committed within Afghanistan, Poland, Romania and Lithuania -- all members of the ICC.

The ICC’s jurisdiction can be invoked when allegations of war crimes are not investigated and prosecuted by the home governments of the accused. The Guardian reported that the “ICC is a court of last resort that takes on cases only when other countries are unable or unwilling to prosecute.” Writing in Foreign Policy magazine last October, David Bosco noted, “The prosecutor’s office has repeatedly called attention to alleged abuses of detainees by US personnel between 2003 and 2005 that it believes have not been adequately addressed by the United States.”

“Committed with particular cruelty”

Bensouda’s report says about alleged US war crimes, they “were not the abuses of a few isolated individuals. Rather, they appear to have been committed as part of approved interrogation techniques in an attempt to extract ‘actionable intelligence’ from detainees. The information available suggests that victims were deliberately subjected to physical and psychological violence, and that crimes were allegedly committed with particular cruelty and in a manner that debased the basic human dignity of the victims,” the ICC report says.

Reuters noted that the Senate committee released 500 pages of excerpts from its report and found that torture was committed. Official photographs of the abuse are evidently so incriminating that the military, as recently as February 9th this year, refused to release 1,800 pictures that the public has never seen.

The George W. Bush administration, which authorized and implemented torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and the offshore penal colony at Guantanamo Bay, was fiercely opposed to the ICC, but Afghanistan, Lithuania, Poland and Romania are all members, which gives the court jurisdiction over crimes committed within those territories. This could lead to prosecution of US citizens.

Both President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have boasted in public about waterboarding which was sanctioned, “legalized,” and practiced widely under their command authority. Asked during a televised interview about what he called this “enhanced interrogation technique,” Mr. Cheney said, “I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”

During a Republican primary debate Donald Trump said, “I would bring back waterboarding and I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding,” a statement he repeated many times. Gen. Michael Hayden, a former director of both the CIA the NSA, reacted in a televised interview: “If he [Trump] were to order that, once in government, the American armed forces would refuse to act. You are required to not follow an unlawful order. That would be in violation of all the international laws of armed conflict.” President-elect Trump also repeatedly called for targeted assassinations of family members of suspected terrorists. Both actions are prohibited by US military service manuals and by international treaty law, crimes ultimately prosecuted by the ICC.

__________

John LaForge, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is Co-director of Nukewatch, a peace and environmental justice group in Wisconsin, and is co-editor with Arianne Peterson of Nuclear Heartland, Revised: A Guide to the 450 Land-Based Missiles of the United States.

Tomgram: William Hartung, Trump for the Defense

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

Talk Nation Radio: Greg Palast on Stripping 7 Million Voters from Rolls, Swinging Election

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-greg-palast-on-stripping-7-million-voters-from-rolls-swinging-election

Greg Palast is an investigative reporter, whose news-breaking stories appear on BBC Television and in The Guardian and Rolling Stone Magazine. Palast has released a new movie: The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: A Tale of Billionaires and Ballot Bandits, based on his books. Palast says that the recent U.S. election was in fact rigged. We discuss how.

See http://GregPalast.com

Total run time: 29:00

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

Download from LetsTryDemocracy or Archive.

Pacifica stations can also download from Audioport.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

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

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

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

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

Note on Tulsi Gabbard's Meeting with Donald Trump


I am delighted that Tulsi Gabbard met with Donald Trump. This is Tulsi Gabbard's statement on Trump meeting. She may be considered for top jobs at the Defense Department, State Department and the United Nations, according to media reports. The U.S. foreign policy needs to be managed by people who is not prone to ill-fated military adventures, do not use U.S. military superpower to satisfy their political ambitions, seek wholeheartedly peaceful solutions of the world conflicts, understand that we live more and more in a multipolar world where U.S. influence may be limited like in Syria, work to build the broadest possible alliances to defeat today’s existential threat: Islamic State, Qaeda and other terrorist groups. I add that people at the Defense Department must be fully independent from defense contractors whose special interests are to sell whatever arms to the nation and the world, meticulously check profiteering and cost overruns on major weapons systems and cut wasteful spending. The defense industry, in any country, is a factor in promoting and fueling military conflicts because it economically thrives in a perpetual state of war. President Dwight Eisenhower famously warned the U.S. about the dangers of the "military–industrial complex" in his 1961 farewell address.


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

Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, No "New Normal"

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

James Mattis Is a Secretary of Offense

Donald Trump says he wants to stop overthrowing governments and turn toward peace. But not only does he also say he wants to increase the military spending that produces more wars, but he’s considering for Secretary of so-called Defense someone whose entire outlook is offensive in every sense of the word.

Here’s James Mattis in his own words:

“So it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them. Actually it’s quite fun to fight them, you know. It’s a hell of a hoot. It’s fun to shoot some people. I’ll be right up there with you. I like brawling.”

Of course any wars continued or launched will be packaged as “last resorts” and “necessary evils” and so forth. But this guy will be drooling for blood with the glee of a sadist. War is his drug, or what Donald Trump would call his “sneaking into women’s dressing rooms.” Here’s Mattis:

“There is nothing better than getting shot at and missed. It’s really great.”

Not only is war the force that gives Mattis’s life meaning, but it’s his ideology, his worldview, his delusion in which the counterproductive can be seen as effective. Here’s Mattis:

“I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I’ll kill you all.”

Surely peace is at hand!

“Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.” That’s how Mattis states what Theodore Roosevelt and every president since have acted on.

Only, one gets the impression that Mattis added the part about politeness because he isn’t. What he is, is a true believer in the irredeemability of designated enemies. There shall be no destroying an enemy by making him your friend for Mattis. He maintains:

“It is mostly a matter of wills. Whose will is going to break first? Ours or the enemy’s?”

And that enemy is by necessity, then, not human but subhuman prey:

“Be the hunter, not the hunted: Never allow your unit to be caught with its guard down.”

Mattis explains this as a matter of simple observation:

“There are some assholes in the world that just need to be shot.”

That’s a belief of U.S. culture, of U.S. movies, of U.S. books, of U.S. games. But when you make it the belief of the Secretary of War after giving presidents the power to kill anybody they like, you’re going to see a lot of people getting shot. And no, none of them need to be.

Dear Mr. Trump, About Your 29 Ideas

Regarding your 29 proposals, here's a bit more than just the ranking you asked for. I'll start with the best:

7. Announce our official withdrawal from the TPP.

That's my favorite. Wonderful! We don't need any more trade agreements that empower corporations over governments and impose unpopular laws on people. Good riddance! Don't replace it with something worse, please!

8. Renegotiate NAFTA into terms that protect the American worker.

This could be a great one. I'm not clear why you wouldn't just tear up the treaty you've repeatedly called one of the worst treaties in history. You could negotiate bilateral agreements with other nations. There's no actual need for NAFTA. But if you're going to first try to renegotiate it, the U.S. worker needs the right to organize, among other rights. The workers of Canada and Mexico need to be considered. As does the natural environment that we and our kids all have to live in.

5. Introduce an infrastructure package to modernize our country.

This, too, could be terrific. Or it could be disastrous. Modernized countries have fast electric trains, solar and wind energy, pedestrian and bicycle paths, electric car chargers, sustainable agriculture, free hospitals for all human beings, and architecture that leans more toward the beautiful than the monumental. We could use more schools and parks, more farmers' markets, more urban gardens, and more places to vote. All of these dreams and much more could be easily achieved, even while radically boosting foreign aid, if the U.S. were to either cut military spending or tax billionaires or both. But you want to increase military spending and cut taxes on billionaires. Even if your idea of modernized infrastructure is coal mines and oil wells and highways, you have no way to pay for it -- thank goodness. And don't forget: the people who voted for you are obsessed with the debt, so don't even try that route.

20. Enact a five-year ban on White House and congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service.

This is good, as far as it goes. Why not 10 years both before and after? And why just lobbyists? Why not anyone profiting financially from a sector governed by the relevant government position? And why just the White House and Congress? Why not all government departments and agencies? Putting an oil profiteer in charge of the EPA is not solved by the fact that the EPA isn't in the White House.

25. Reform the Department of Veterans Affairs in order to provide proper treatment to America’s forgotten heroes.

This sounds good, if you actually mean it. But let's not call them heroes. Let's call them brave people who were abused by some of those recent wars you properly denounced during the campaign -- though you supported them when it mattered most.

Registering Japanese Americans Is Precedent Only for Crime

Since World War I and the initiative of J. Edgar Hoover, and right up through all the no-fly and terrorist-watch lists of today, the U.S. government has kept unconstitutional lists of people, largely or in part on the basis of their national or ethnic heritage or their political activism. These lists were part of the process of interning in camps Germans and German-Americans during World Wars I and II, and Japanese-Americans and Japanese during World War II.

In 1936 President Franklin Roosevelt ordered the creation by the Office of Naval Intelligence of a list of Japanese-Americans who would be the "first to be placed in a concentration camp" once a war could be started. In 1939 FDR ordered the ONI and the FBI to create a larger "custodial detention index" of primarily Japanese-, German-, and Italian-Americans, renamed and continued as the "security index" by Hoover after Attorney General Francis Biddle ordered it shut down.

The Alien Registration Act of 1940 required all non-citizen adults to register with the government. In early 1941 FDR commissioned a study of West coast Japanese-Americans, which concluded that they were no threat at all. He commissioned another study that reached the same conclusion. Yet, on December 7, 1941, FDR issued a proclamation stripping Japanese in the United States of rights (and the very next day for Germans and Italians). On January 14, 1942, FDR proclaimed in another proclamation that enemy aliens could be put in internment camps. On February 19, 1942, he ordered the internment of citizens and non-citizens alike.

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld this action, but those rulings were vacated in the 1980s when it was learned that the government had withheld relevant information from the court, and -- perhaps more importantly -- when World War II and its accompanying hysteria were long over. A 1943 government report had been altered; the original version had admitted that there had not been a lack of time to provide Japanese Americans due process; rather, it asserted, there is simply no way to determine the loyalty of such people, who must be kept away from the coats of the United States for the duration of the war.

From 1980 to 1983 a Congressional commission studied the history and concluded that Japanese-Americans and Japanese had been locked up in camps, not due to any evidence of a threat, but on the basis of racism and bigotry. The commission recommended $20,000 in reparations to each victim. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed legislation authorizing those reparations payments, and apologizing to the victims. This law acknowledged "race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership" as the factors that motivated the crime.

In 1992, President George H.W. Bush signed a law appropriating more finds for reparations payments. On the anniversary of Pearl Harbor he issued another formal apology, which included this claim: "The internment of Americans of Japanese ancestry was a great injustice, and it will never be repeated."

In 2000, a memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C., that includes, carved in stone, these words:

The lessons learned must remain as a grave reminder of what we must not allow to happen again to any group.

--attributed to Daniel K. Inouye, U.S. Congressman and Senator

In 2001, Congress passed a law making 10 of the camps historical landmarks and stating that "places like Manzanar, Tule Lake, Heart Mountain, Topaz, Amache, Jerome, and Rohwer will forever stand as reminders that this nation failed in its most sacred duty to protect its citizens against prejudice, greed, and political expediency."

A Nonviolent Strategy to Liberate Syria

In early 2011, as the Arab Spring was moving across North Africa and the Middle East, small groups of nonviolent activists in Syria, which has been under martial law since 1963, started protesting against the brutal dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad and demanding democratic reforms, the release of political prisoners, an increase in freedoms, abolition of the emergency law and an end to corruption.

Michael Flynn Should Remember Truths He Blurted Out Last Year

Michael Flynn, expected to advise Donald Trump on counterproductive killing operations misleading labeled "national security," is generally depicted as a lawless torturer and assassin. But, whether for partisan reasons or otherwise, he's a lawless torturer and assassin who has blurted out some truths he shouldn't be allowed to forget.

For example:

"Lt. Gen. Flynn, who since leaving the DIA has become an outspoken critic of the Obama administration, charges that the White House relies heavily on drone strikes for reasons of expediency, rather than effectiveness. 'We’ve tended to say, drop another bomb via a drone and put out a headline that "we killed Abu Bag of Doughnuts" and it makes us all feel good for 24 hours,' Flynn said. 'And you know what? It doesn't matter. It just made them a martyr, it just created a new reason to fight us even harder.'"

Or even more clearly:

"When you drop a bomb from a drone… you are going to cause more damage than you are going to cause good. The more weapons we give, the more bombs we drop, that just… fuels the conflict."

Obama: I Hope Trump Can Stand up to Russia - Nov 17, 2016

 

Obama: I hope Trump can stand up to Russia 'where they are deviating from our values and international norms’ - CNBC


VIDEO: Obama urges Trump to ‘stand up' to Russia - YouTube


TRANSCRIPT: Read President Obama’s comments urging Donald Trump to stand up to Russia - TIME


VIDEO: Full press conference by Barack Obama and Angela Merkel following meeting - YouTube


Obama, Angela Merkel issue joint op-ed responding to Donald Trump - CBS News


Op-ed by President Obama and Chancellor Merkel: The future of transatlantic relations - whitehouse.gov


In private meeting, Euro diplomats beseech Trump team to uphold transatlantic pacts - Foreign Policy


NATO general says Trump not serious about abandoning treaty - The Washington Post


Democratic Senator Cardin’s op-ed: The United States needs to hold Russia accountable for its aggression - The Washington Post


Kremlin: Obama team trying to damage ties with Russia - ABC News


Philippines’ Duterte: 'If China and Russia would decide to create a new order, I will be the first to join’ - FT.com

 

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

 

US condemns Russia and Syria as Aleppo offensive escalates, Moscow claims not bombing Aleppo but al Qaeda in Idlib - CBS News


Russia launches multiple air attacks on militant targets in Syria: defence ministry - Reuters


Long-range bombers from an air base in southern Russia strike Syria for 1st time in a year, US officials say - Fox News


State Dept spokesman dismisses question from Russia Today on Syria, says won’t treat it like other media, later a State Dept official apologized - RT News


VIDEO: State Department spokesman gets into heated exchange over Syria with Russia Today reporter - YouTube


VIDEO: Anti-Russian hysteria pervading political circles: British Conservative Party MP Kawczynski - YouTube


Donald Trump striking a Syria deal with Russia would be ‘most disastrous step possible’, Saudi Arabian prince warns - The Independent


Former head of the Turkish military see Syria hopeful opening in Trump’s outreach to Moscow - Washington Times


Turkey′s NATO officials seek asylum in Germany amid Erdogan crackdown - DW.COM


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


Another $11.6 Billion for Obama/Trump Wars? Hell No!

President Obama waited until after the election last week to propose an unpopular idea. He asked Congress for $11.6 billion extra — outside the huge existing military budget — for wars. Here’s his letter including all the gory details. Please read it yourself when you begin to hope that I’m making up some of what follows.

warsuppweb

This massive pile of money, equivalent to the annual spending that the United Nations says could end the lack of clean drinking water globally, adds between 1% and 2% to U.S. military spending — but is by itself more than the entire military budget of all but 14 other nations on earth, 12 of which top-spending nations are U.S. allies.

Tomgram: Mattea Kramer, You Don't Leave Home Without It

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

Focus: Congress, Trump and Russia - Nov 16, 2016


Lawmakers move to restrain President-elect Trump on Russia - The Washington Post


GOP foreign-policy power brokers in Congress could foil Trump on Russia, Syria, and other top security issues - Foreign Policy


Statement by McCain on U.S.-Russia relations: Another ‘reset’ would be complicity in Putin and Assad’s butchery of the Syrian people - mccain.senate.gov


Top Republicans don't know where Trump will be on Ukraine - The Weekly Standard


Top Senate Democrat Cardin challenges Trump on Russia: In interview he lays out a foreign policy platform for the incoming Congress - al-monitor.com


House passes sanctions on anyone who provides the Syrian government with financial, material or technological support - The Washington Post


NSA head: Dem hacks were a conscious effort by Russia - TheHill


Washington Post editorial: The United States is giving Putin the green light for atrocities - The Washington Post


Influential conservative think tank Heritage Foundation says Russia — not ISIS — is greatest threat - Washington Examiner


Heritage Foundation 2017 Index of U.S. Military Strength: scores security threats worldwide, the global operating environment, and U.S. military power - heritage.org


Transatlantic Forum on Russia: Event will be webcast live from this page on Nov 17 - Center for Strategic and International Studies


European leaders, NATO caution Trump on warming relations with Russia - The Washington Post


NATO says Crimea still a concern, day after Trump-Putin call - nation.com.pk


Ex-Nato leaders call for extraordinary meeting with Trump, warn US president-elect against deal with Putin that would cede Crimea - The Guardian


Ukraine President asks Trump to help counter ‘Russian aggression’ - WSJ


Putin pulls Russia out of International Criminal Court day after report on Crimea annexation - Fox News


Two-thirds of Russians want Putin to remain president after 2018: study - RT Russian politics


Le Pen says 'world peace' would gain from a Trump-Putin-Le Pen trio - Reuters

 

Russian sanctions cost Italy €7bn and up to 200,000 jobs: Italian MP - RT Business


Italian M5S movement ‘against NATO's creeping policy' of nearing Russian border - Sputnik


Philippine President wants to be friends with Trump, Putin - ABC News


Trump-led US could become Syria’s ‘natural ally’ if it fights terrorism: Assad - RT News


Full text of President Bashar al-Assad interview given to RTP TV - Syrian TV

 

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

John Heuer Was a Tremendous Advocate of Peace

I knew John Heuer was elderly from the day I met him, years ago, and came to know him as one of the most dedicated advocates of peace on earth. Losing him is a blow. He was youthful, vibrant, recently married, and intent on ridding the world of pointless mass slaughter. John was active in every organization and independently. He advanced nonviolent action, lobbying, education, and inspiration.

John wrote this four years ago:

Dear young citizens,

First, I want to congratulate you on your many accomplishments.  Second, I want to counsel you on your roles as citizens.

When I graduated 8th grade in 1960, citizens could not vote until they were 21.  Boys could be drafted into the army and sent to war at age 18, but they could not fully participate as citizens, including engagement in public, democratic decisions about whether or not the nation should send our boys to war.  This travesty was somewhat remedied by passage of the 26th amendment to the US Constitution in 1971, granting the right to vote to 18 year-olds.

I say “somewhat” a remedy, because the issue of the rights, responsibilities, privileges and duties of citizens under the age of 18 have not been addressed.  It is these rights, responsibilities, privileges and duties about which I write today:  Your citizenship.

As rising 9th graders, you are well aware that your education is, as yet, incomplete.  But it will come as a surprise to many and a shock to some to learn that your education has contained deep strains of fraud, about who actually runs our government and how.  Here are three examples:

OLF – The US Navy proposed construction of “Outlying Landing Fields” (OLF) in wildlife sanctuaries near North Carolina’s east coast, in order to practice landings and take-offs for military aircraft.  Public outcry caused the Navy to scuttle these plans.

Sonar Training Field off the Florida—Georgia coast.  The Navy has proposed designating hundreds of square miles of Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the southern US for submarine sonar training, despite opposition of environmental groups which point out that these areas are breeding grounds for whales, and that high frequency sonar is known to drive marine mammals insane.  The US Supreme Court overruled the environmentalists with the judgment that, while there could be incidental injury, there was also a lack of proof that the sonar testing area would threaten any species’ extinction.

$185 Billion Dollars is what our government proposes to spend in the next 10 years to modernize our nuclear weapons arsenal.  It is difficult to measure (or imagine) $185 Billion, but it would pay for a lot of school lunches, teachers’ salaries and school nurses.  Besides, what business do we have maintaining a military arsenal designed to incinerate cities?

When you consider these government programs, you have to wonder if our government has gone mad, and what we, as citizens, of all ages, can do about it.

Why don’t we hear more about these grave assaults on planet earth and this terrible squander of our wealth?  The fact is that the agents that propose these travesties are the same ones that often own our newspapers and write your textbooks.

So, what are we to do?  One of the 1st steps, I think, is for you to understand that the wealth being squandered and the planet being desecrated belongs to you, your generation, your children, grand children and posterity.

The 2nd step is to realize, however painfully, that your parents and grandparents have failed to establish your legacy of peaceful nations living together on an abundant earth.

The 3rd is to exercise your rights, responsibilities, privileges and duties of your citizenship to carefully study your local resources in order to propose a reconfiguration of those resources to meet the needs of your community, and to engage your peers in an earnest identification of those needs.  Start with identifying the military footprint in your district and discuss how much, if any, that investment enhances the security of your community, and how redirecting that investment could improve the security of your community.  Use your networking capabilities not just for socializing, but for building solidarity among your peers.  Use that solidarity to demand a school curriculum that addresses the needs of your community or create your own curriculum.

Finally, a word about citizenship.  Many of you go to school with non-citizens of the USA.  Please recognize them as guests, and afford them as much hospitality as you can.  Remember, your US citizenship may be established by the Constitution and subsequent laws, but we are all world citizens by virtue of our birth.

Speaking Events

January 10 and 11:
Events in Washington DC to present a petition telling president elect to end wars:
https://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=12501

January 20-21 Occupy the Inauguration
 
January 29 David Swanson speaking in Arlington, Va.
 
February David Swanson debating a war supporter in Boston, Mass.
 
April 21-23 UNAC's annual conference in Richmond, Va.

April 29 possible multi-issue protest in DC.

Find Events Here.

 

 

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