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Elephant In The Room: The Pentagon's Massive Carbon Footprint

(Image: Anthony Freda. Used with permission)

It’s not news that climate change threatens the security of every person on planet Earth. The Union of Concerned Scientists predicts 6-16 inches of sea level rise by the year 2050. The threat is apparent in the Marshall Islands, which just set its own ambitious goal for reducing carbon emissions in the wake of catastrophic storms and coastal flooding in the South Pacific. The threat is apparent in California, where prolonged drought has led to wildfires like the one that crossed a busy highway and caused several vehicles to explode in flames.  The threat of weather extremes is apparent in Sydney, Australia, which saw snowfall this winter for the first time since 1836.

George Clooney Opposes War Profiteering While African

George Clooney is being paid by the world’s top two war profiteers, Lockheed-Martin and Boeing, to oppose war profiteering by Africans disloyal to the U.S. government’s agenda.

Way back yonder before World War II, war profiteering was widely frowned on in the United States. Those of us trying to bring back that attitude, and working for barely-funded peace organizations, ought to be thrilled when a wealthy celebrity like George Clooney decides to take on war profiteering, and the corporate media laps it up.

“Real leverage for peace and human rights will come when the people who benefit from war will pay a price for the damage they cause,” said Clooney — without encountering anything like the blowback Donald Trump received when he criticized John McCain.

Really, is that all it takes to give peace a chance, a celebrity? Will the media now cover the matter of who funds opponents of the Iran deal, and who funds supporters of the wars in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, etc.?

Well, no, not really.

Tomgram: Pepe Escobar, The Pivot to Eurasia

 This article originally appeared at

Greece News - July 23, 2015


Greece PM Tsipras Wins Parliamentary Backing For EU Bailout Reforms -

ECB provides $980 million cash Injection to Greek banks ahead of the key vote in parliament on judicial and banking reforms - VOA

Moscovici says Greece, creditors seek to finalise bailout deal by mid-August - AFP

Greek companies forced out of business because of restrictions on foreign transfers even after banks reopened: Chamber of Commerce - Independent

Thousands protest as Greece votes on bailout bill - Yahoo News

VIDEO: Greece: Protesters throw Molotov cocktails at riot police in front of parliament - YouTube

VIDEO: Athens anti bailout deal protesters set TV van on fire - YouTube

Standard & Poor's upgrades Greece's credit rating to 'CCC+' as fears of collapse dissipate - Associated Press

Eurostat: Greek govt debt decreased compared to the first quarter of 2014, dropping by 5.5% -

It's Not Just Greece: Total European Debt Hits New All Time High - Zero Hedge

Government debt rose to 92.9% of GDP in euro area, First quarter of 2015 compared with fourth quarter of 2014 - EUROSTAT

Can Greece Get A Handle On Its Notorious Tax System? - NPR

German media eyes Greek public assets sell-off in privatization push -

Greece's EU Migrant Crisis: Thousands Of Refugees Flock To Islands As Greece Sinks Under Debt -

Greek PM Tsipras Allegedly Asked Russia for $10 Bln to Print Drachmas -

Drachma? Never heard of that: Tsipras never addressed Russia with a request to provide Greece with financial assistance in order to print its own currency, Kremlin spokesman - Cihan Economy News

Greece is more useful to Russia inside the EU than out -



German coalition in turmoil over Schäuble, Vice Chancellor Gabriel accuses the finance minister of being unreasonable over Greece - EurActiv

Awkward Alliance Running Germany Exposed by Greek Crisis - Bloomberg Business

The Man Behind the Iron Chancellor - Foreign Policy

Pierre Moscovici pushes Angela Merkel on debt relief for Greece - Irish Examiner

There is little legal basis for Wolfgang Schäuble’s claim that debt restructuring is incompatible with euro membership - EUROPP

Bernanke seeks long term Greek solutions, says Germany succeeding in a monetary union at the expense of others -

Bernanke blog post: Greece and Europe, Is Europe holding up its end of the bargain? - Brookings Institution

New IMF chief economist Maurice Obstfeld is a euro visionary - Bloomberg

IMF Brings in New Enforcer Delia Velculescu to Deal With Greece -

Sachs blog post: Germany, Greece, And The Future Of Europe -

Krugman blog post: Europe’s impossible dream: the euro has turned into a Roach Motel, a trap that’s hard to escape - The New York Times

This is what economists, like Krugman, don’t understand about the euro crisis – or the U.S. dollar - The Washington Post

EU launches € 315bn investment fund to boost Europe’s economy - RT Business

Press release: Investment Plan for Europe: European Fund for Strategic Investments ready for take-off in autumn - European Commission

VIDEO: 'Juncker’s plan' to boost EU investment - euronews

8 Projects of 6 EU Countries among First Batch to Get Funding under ‘Juncker Plan’ -

Europe’s Economy Could Grow 1.7% in 2016 - Barron’s

Why 2016 may be Europe's best year in decade -

French business confidence hits four-year high - The Guardian

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

Jon Stewart Blew Last Chance to Ask Obama a Question

Jon Stewart interviewed President Obama for the last time and told jokes instead of asking questions.

If Stewart retires, where will we find someone willing to let Obama spew nonsense at such length unchallenged?

I discussed Obama's interview on RT on Wednesday, and someone asked me to post the Youtube, but RT has to do that, not me. So here's the gist of what I think.

Stewart said to Obama: you've tried bombing and overthrowing leaders and arming rebels and ... what's that new thing ... oh yeah, diplomacy.

Everybody laughed.

Obama talked up the Iran deal.

Stewart should have asked Obama a question, such as, "If you prefer diplomacy in this case, why not in many other cases where you seem to prefer war?" He could have followed up by asking about each war.

Panem et Presidential Elections

I know you like the elephants and the acrobats, but we really do not have time for this.

The U.S. presidential election is very far away. There's a measurable rise in the ocean, the construction of numerous new military bases, a decision on peace or war with Iran, a push for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, intense antagonization of Russia, and more than likely another month-long bombing of Gaza between now and then.

We should be engaged in intense, all-out, creative, nonviolent resistance. We should be reforming or revolutionizing the election process, among much else. Even when elections have not been financed and reported on primarily by a wealthy elite with debates run by two parties, they haven't tended to be the means by which important social change has come.

We need radical change, and the election process isn't even advertising it. One of the chief sources of U.S. election funding, Sheldon Adelson, dismisses the idea of democracy because it's not in the Bible. And of course Adelson is up-to-date compared with some of the people he funds. At least 32 Republicans are running, apparently with a collective IQ that hardly reaches three figures. For them I'd be willing to revive the Confederacy, give it lots of flags, and locate it in the portions of the Southeast expected to fall below the rising ocean (as long as Donald Trump is charged extra for beach properties!).

Of course Jill Stein has great positions, but let's face it, the Democrats are not up to the task. Hillary Clinton has replaced FDR's four freedoms with "the four fights." It turns out she's in favor of families, America, democracy, and economics (who knew?), or at least she wants to fight with them. Oh, and she also wants to fight with Iran, ISIS, China, and Russia -- each of which is apparently somehow harming our "values." Then there's Bernie Sanders who pretends that the 54% of federal discretionary spending that goes to militarism just doesn't exist. Military? What military? Martin O'Malley has the same approach. Lincoln Chafee claims very briefly and vaguely to oppose wars. Jim Webb adds a bit more to his claim to oppose wars, but makes clear that he wants to fund militarism while expecting doing so not to produce more wars. Chafee and Webb are the worst on non-war issues, unless you compare Clinton's and O'Malley's actual records to their stated desires. Sanders is the best on non-war issues but might do little to slow the rush toward bigger and more frequent wars.

A decent candidate with a basic grasp of the problem of war addiction would say something like this, and no Democrat or Republican is anywhere close to saying it:

Tomgram: Engelhardt, A Message in a Bottle from My Mother

Requiem for the Home Front
A Cheer for Irma the Caricaturist
By Tom Engelhardt

Greece News - July 21, 2015

Greece Adjusts to New Normal as Banks Reopen - US News

3 week bank shutdown cost Greek economy €3 billion: report - The Property Gazette

New Data Show How Bad Things Were for Greek Banks the Week Capital Controls Were Introduced - Bloomberg Business

Greece repays crucial €4.2bn to ECB and €2bn to IMF - Reuters

Greece does about-face, pledges privatization push - AP

Greece becomes more expensive after VAT hikes, Low VAT rates remain in medicine, theater tickets and books -

Greek VAT rises: what they pay compared to other European countries - World First Blog

Greece’s Tsipras Shakes Up Cabinet in Bid to Rebuild Government - Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

VIDEO: New Greek ministers sworn in after Tsipras reshuffle - YouTube

Merkel opens the door to cutting Greek debt burden by extending maturities and reducing interest rates, but not writedowns - Bloomberg

French President Francois Hollande calls for creation of eurozone government after Greece crisis - Reuters

IMF names advocate of eurozone integration as chief economist -

Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss Kahn addressing “German friends” on Greece -



Goldman Sachs Facing Heat As Greek Crisis Mounts -

How Goldman Sachs profited from the Greek debt crisis -

Did Wall Street Enable Greek Debt Crisis? - Al Jazeera America

Goldman Sachs could be sued for helping hide debts when Greece joined euro - The Independent

Greek debt crisis: Meet the Goldman Sachs banker Antigone Loudiadis who got rich getting Greece into the euro - The Independent

Goldman Sachs' Lloyd Blankfein has become a billionaire - Crain's New York Business

UK Treasury minister was managing director at Goldman Sachs which ‘cooked the books’ for Greek government - Political Scrapbook

Plenty Deserve Blame for Greece’s Woes, but Maybe Not Goldman Sachs - The New York Times

ARCHIVE: Goldman Secret Greece Loan Shows Two Sinners as Client Unravels (2012) - Bloomberg Business

VIDEO ARCHIVE: Goldman Sachs, Eurostat, and cooked Greek books - BBC

EuroZone Profiteers: How German and French Banks Helped Bankrupt Greece - Common Dreams

A Greek default would have massive repercussions for Deutsche Bank and by implication the entire European banking system - Irish Examiner

Greece’s 2010 assistance program was largely a bailout of European banks, initiated to prevent a wider banking crisis - interfluidity

ARCHIVE: It is not the people of Greece who have benefitted from bailout loans, but the European and Greek banks which recklessly lent money to the Greek State (Jan, 2015) -

ARCHIVE: Greek Bail-Out: 77% went into the Financial Sector (2013) - Attac Österreich


ARCHIVE: The Greek Debt Restructuring: An Autopsy (2013) -

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

Talk Nation Radio: Ukraine and the Checkmating of the West

Natylie Baldwin and Kermit Heartsong are the authors of Ukraine: Zbig's Grand Chessboard & How the West Was Checkmated. We speak with both of them about the book and the current crisis in Ukraine.

A review of Ukraine by David Swanson is here:

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

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Actually There Is One Problem That's Solved by Starting Wars

Walter Kloefkorn tells me a story from 24 years ago: 
"Near the end of my Silicon Valley career in manufacturing I was Materials Director for Biomation Corp, which made logic analyzers. (We may still have been a subsidiary of Gould Inc - some other subsidiary of which was the originator of the infamously expensive coffee pots, hammers, and toilet seats, I don't recall.) We got a contract with the military, somewhat to our amazement because we could figure no good reason for them to buy 100 of our $30,000 logic analyzers. They were mostly used to design integrated circuits, not something the military did. They could be used to repair electronic equipment, but it would have been a lot cheaper and easier for their techs to just use digital oscilloscopes. Our honest assessment was that we'd just sold some to the FAA (we couldn't figure out what they were going to do with them either), and the Air Force wanted to have some too.  

"In any event, I had to get involved with the shipment as I was the only person who had any experience with the military's arcane procedures for packaging and shipment. We were approaching the first shipment date, so I called the supply sergeant, who I had carefully cultivated with lunches and beers so there wouldn't be any problems on that end. We'd had a problem, however, with a mandatory engineering change making the cost of getting new PCBs made and replaced in time to meet the schedule hugely expensive. And then Saddam invaded Kuwait. So I called the sergeant up and asked him (without too much desperation in my voice, I hoped) whether the outbreak of hostilities would impact our schedule. To my relief he replied that he did want to delay our shipments, that he'd been trying to get a chance to call me, he was insanely busy at the moment. I replied that yes, it must be quite a job to get ready for the invasion and keep our brave troops supplied after. (I was bicycling the 18 miles to work with a sign on the back of my bike that said, "Runs on US beer, not Middle East Oil, No War for Oil.") He said, 'Hell, no, that's not it. We've got warehouses full of stuff stored that we don't need or want. Now that hostilities have broken out, I've got to get it all shipped to the war zone so we can declare it destroyed in action and get it off our books.' I was pretty much speechless, muttered something about I wish he hadn't told me that."

New TCBH! poem: 'Holding the door'

I watched a man whipping an apple tree.
I held the door open to him.
I knew that when he got tired
he would turn around and see me
holding the door for him.
And maybe he would come inside and we could talk.
I could see that many of the trees in his orchard
bore the scars of the whippings
they had received over the years.
Some of the older trees were bent over and knotted
as if riddled with pain.
Finally he turned around.
Who are you? he asked.
I am your door-man, I said.
I never saw you before, or that door.
Has that ever helped, I asked?
Whipping your trees?
It helps quiet my demons, said he.
And then I saw that the grass was crawling
with a nasty host of creeping and flying
and buzzing creatures of hideous appearance.
Anyone might have thought they were insects.
Nothing will make them go away, he said,

Clinton Days Are Here Again!

See if you can spot the mistake in this activist email I received recently:

"In 2001, the Clinton Administration handed George Bush peace, prosperity, and record budget surpluses. Eight years later, Bush handed Barack Obama two disastrous wars and a global economic crash that destroyed over 8 million American jobs. Now that President Obama has finally brought those jobs back - in the face of vicious GOP opposition - Bush's brother Jeb is now blaming American workers for not working hard enough. If you're as outraged as we are, please click here to sign Hillary Clinton's petition telling Jeb Bush that Americans need a raise, not a lecture."

OK, it was a trick; there's more than one mistake. Let's list a few:

Here are things Bill Clinton is now apologizing for: mass incarceration, Wall Street deregulation, the drug war, and corporate trade agreements. Here are a few of the things he should also be apologizing for: destroying welfare, creating media monopolies, expanding NATO toward Russia, creating a precedent for illegal NATO wars without Congressional or UN authorizations, and 500,000 children killed by sanctions in Iraq.

Here are a few little-known facts about President Barack Obama: the war on Afghanistan is more his than Bush's by any measure, he had regularly voted to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as a senator, he broke his promised schedule for ending the war on Iraq and never fully ended it and soon revived it, he's supported coups in Honduras and Egypt and Ukraine, he's claimed the power to murder anyone anywhere by drone, he's expanded the military into numerous nations laying the groundwork for future hostilities, and his war on Libya followed the Clinton model of blatant illegality rather than the Bush Jr. approach of at least bothering to lie to Congress and the United Nations.

Another activist group sent me an email this week reading, in part: "The truth is, Republicans don't want diplomacy to work. They want another costly war like the one they started in Iraq in 2003." In reality, a Republican House and a Democratic Senate voted for the war on Iraq in 2002. The same parties hold the same branches now. There's a wise saying that goes something like this: those who convince themselves of a bullshit version of history may be condemned to repeat what actually happened.

Those who study what actually happened may be less shocked to discover how grotesquely corrupt Hillary Clinton is, how murderous, how fervently she promoted that war on Iraq, how very long she has been so disastrous, how she out-hawks almost any hawk, how awful she is for feminism, how brutal she can be, how close she is to Wall Street Republicans and oil barons and Henry Kissinger, how hard it would be to actually elect her, how she used the State Department to market weapons and fracking and pushed weapons on governments she called soft on terrorism while waiving restrictions on sales to brutal governments that donated to her foundation, how she backs mass surveillance, how she believes in representing banks, and how greedy she is.

So long sad times, go long bad times
We are rid of you at last
Howdy gay times, cloudy gray times
You are now a thing of the past
Clinton days are here again
The skies above are clear again
So lets sing a song of cheer again
Clinton days are here again

Yall Are Talking About War Wrong

Former head of the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Lt. General Michael Flynn has joined the ranks of the many recently retired officials openly admitting that what the U.S. military does generates dangers rather than reducing them. (Flynn didn't explicitly apply this to every recent war and tactic, but did apply it to drone wars, proxy wars, the invasion of Iraq, the occupation of Iraq, and the new war on ISIS, which seems to cover most of the actions the Pentagon engages in. Other recently retired officials have said the same of every other recent U.S. war.)

Once you've admitted that the means of mass killing is not justified by some higher end, once you've called the wars "strategic mistakes," once you've accepted that the wars don't work on their own terms, well then there's no way left to claim that they are excusable in moral terms. Mass killing for some greater good is a tough argument to make, but possible. Mass killing for no damn good reason is totally indefensible and the equivalent of what we call it when it's done by a non-government: mass murder.

But if war is mass murder, then virtually everything that people from Donald Trump to Glenn Greenwald say about war is not quite right.

Here's Trump regarding John McCain: "He's not a war hero. He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured." This is not just wrong because of your view of the good, bad, or indifference of being captured (or what you think McCain did while captured), but because there is no such thing as a war hero. That is the unavoidable consequence of recognizing war as mass murder. You cannot participate in mass murder and be a hero. You can be incredibly brave, loyal, self-sacrificing, and all kinds of other things, but not a hero, which requires that you be brave for a noble cause, that you serve as a model for others.

Not only did John McCain participate in a war that killed some 4 million Vietnamese men, women, and children for no damn good reason, but he has been among the leading advocates for numerous additional wars ever since, resulting in the additional deaths of millions of men, women, and children for, yet again, no damn good reason -- as part of wars that have mostly been defeats and always been failures even on their own terms. This senator, who sings "bomb, bomb Iran!" accuses Trump of firing up "the crazies." Kettle, meet pot.

Let's turn to what a couple of our best commentators are saying about the recent shooting in Chattanooga, Tenn.: Dave Lindorff and Glenn Greenwald. First Lindorff:

"If it turns out that Abdulazeez was in any way linked to ISIS, then his action in attacking U.S. military personnel in the U.S. and killing them has to be seen not as terrorism but as a legitimate retributive act of war. . . . Abdulazeez, if he was a combatant, deserves credit really, at least for following the rules of war. He appears to have focused his killing remarkably well on actual military personnel. There were no civilian casualties in his attacks, no children killed or even wounded. Compare that to the U.S. record."

Now Greenwald:

"Under the law of war, one cannot, for instance, legally hunt down soldiers while they're sleeping in their homes, or playing with their children, or buying groceries at a supermarket. Their mere status as 'soldiers' does not mean it is legally permissible to target and kill them wherever they are found. It is only permissible to do so on the battlefield, when they are engaged in combat. That argument has a solid footing in both law and morality. But it is extremely difficult to understand how anyone who supports the military actions of the U.S. and their allies under the 'War on Terror' rubric can possibly advance that view with a straight face."

These comments are off because there is no such thing as a "legitimate retributive act of war," or an act of mass murder for which someone "deserves credit," or a "solid" legal or moral "footing" for the permissibility of killing "on the battlefield." Lindorff thinks a high standard is to target only soldiers. Greenwald thinks targeting only soldiers while they are engaged in war is a higher standard. (One could make an argument that the soldiers in Chattanooga were in fact engaged in war.) Both are right to point out U.S. hypocrisy regardless. But mass murder is neither moral nor legal.

The Kellogg-Briand Pact bans all war. The U.N. Charter bans war with narrow exceptions, none of which is retribution, and none of which is any war that takes place on a "battlefield" or in which only those engaged in fighting are fought. A legal war or component of a war, under the U.N. Charter, must be either defensive or U.N.-authorized. One could fantasize a United Nations without its Western bias accepting an ISIS attack in the United States as somehow defensive against a U.S. attack in what used to be Iraq or Syria, but it wouldn't get you around the Kellogg-Briand Pact or the basic moral problem of mass murder and of the ineffectiveness of war as a defense.

Lindorff might also consider what "in any way linked to ISIS" means for the U.S. side of the war, in terms of whom the United States claims the right to target, from those guilty of "material support" for trying to promote nonviolence in Iraq, to those guilty of assisting FBI agents pretending to be part of ISIS, to members of groups with ties to ISIS -- which includes groups that the U.S. government itself arms and trains.

Lindorff ends his article discussing actions like the Chattanooga shooting in these terms: "As long as we diminish them by calling them acts of terrorism, nobody's going to demand a halt to the War on Terror. And that 'war' is the real act of terrorism, when you come right down to it." One might exactly as well say: that "act of terrorism" is the real war, when you come right down to it, or: that governmental mass-murder is the real non-governmental mass-murder.

When you come right down to it, we have too much vocabulary for our own good: war, terrorism, collateral damage, hate crime, surgical strike, shooting spree, capital punishment, mass murder, kinetic overseas contingency operation, targeted assassination -- these are all ways of distinguishing types of unjustifiable killing that aren't actually morally distinguishable from each other.

Ukraine News - July 19, 2015

'Normandy Four' leaders agree to implement Minsk accords on Ukraine by end of 2015 - UNIAN news

Russia calls Ukrainian constitutional changes inadequate, decentralization does not include defense, foreign policy, national security -

Putin stresses the establishment of direct dialogue between Kiev authorities and representatives of Donetsk and Luhansk - Sputnik 

Moscow: West should persuade Ukrainian authorities to start real national dialogue instead of encouraging Kiev’s irresponsible policy - TASS

Poroshenko: Constitutional changes stipulate no special status for Donbass, “There isn’t a single hint on federalization" - Sputnik 

Ukraine calls local elections but not in rebel-held east - US News

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Nuland sees no ground to talk about Ukraine's way to federalization, only decentralization -

Russia says US Nuland ‘jumping to conclusions’ backing Ukraine constitutional law - TASS

Nuland: In case of escalation in Donbas costs for Russia will go up -

Victoria Nuland Press Conference in Ukraine - Embassy of the United States Kyiv, Ukraine

US to punish Putin by stepping up financial sanctions if Russia does not fulfil commitment to Minsk agreement - The Independent

Separatist: Kiev didn't submit new draft law on constitution to Contact Group for discussion - TASS

Statement Of The LNR Chairman of the Government Plotnitsky On The Draft Amendments To The Ukrainian Constitution - Voices from Russia


Ukrainian law on local elections has nothing to do with the DPR: Pushilin - Novorossia Today

Lavrov and Steinmeier call for soonest Ukrainian troops’ withdrawal from Shyrokino - TASS

Ukraine Rebels Claim Readiness To Pull Back Tanks, Smaller Arms -

Strelkov Reportedly Says that Motorola, Givi Out; Zakharchenko Stripped of Guard; DNR Defense Ministry Dismantled after Moscow VIP Visit - Interpreter_Mag

Savchenko moved to Russia's Rostov region: lawyer (VIDEO) -

Right Sector to hold popular assembly in Kyiv on Tuesday -

Right Sector doesn't believe in unbiased inquiry into Mukacheve events, ready to defend its fighters -



MH17 investigators to analyse footage of Russian-backed rebels at crash site in Ukraine -

The moment Russian-backed rebels realise their momentous mistake after shooting down flight MH17 -

VIDEO: Footage reveals Russian-backed rebels arriving at the wreckage of MH17 -

TRANSCRIPT: Russian-backed rebels ransack the wreckage of MH17 in shocking 17-minute video -

MH17 Victims' Families Suing Igor Girkin, AKA Strelkov, For $900 Million - Interpreter_Mag

VIDEO: MH17 investigator: ‘Buk Missile strike most credible scenario' - BBC News

Chemical examination found submunitions from Boeing corresponding to Russian Buk missiles: Butusov -

Unraveling the mystery of MH17: A full recount of the event (PHOTOS, VIDEOS) -

MH17 In Their Own Words: Witness Testimonies on Social Media from July 17th, 2014 - bellingcat

A local resident describes seeing a rocket flew from south of Snizhne towards MH17 - MH17 Live on Twitter

SBU intercepted conversation between separatists discussing the downing of Flight MH17 - MH17 Live on Twitter

Separatist communications discussing the Buk intercepted by the SBU - MH17 Live on Twitter


Russia’s Colin Powell Moment – How the Russian Government’s MH17 Lies Were Exposed - bellingcat

Zaroshchens’ke Launch Site: Claims and Reality: A Bellingcat Investigation - bellingcat

Evidence the Russian Military Supplied the Type of Missile Used to Shoot Down MH17 - bellingcat

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

Lila Garrett’s CONNECT THE DOTS. Guests include:

Monday morning  at 7-8AM  tune in (KPFK 90.7 fm)  or log on:

Nobel Peace Prize nominee David Swanson on the virtues of the American-Iranian diplomatic deal.  Will it pass this hawkish Congress or will they reject diplomacy for another war. 

Ben Beachy Research Dir of Global Trade Watch for Public Citizen on the future of the TPP, the trade agreement that gives corporations final say over government rule.  Can this assault on democracy be defeated in this right wing Congress?

Dr. Paul Song, Chair of the Courage Campaign joins us with facts & myths about Obamacare.  Is it another gift to the insurance companies and big pharma or can it actually lead to Medicare for All.

Lila Garrett (Host of CONNECT THE DOTS)

KPFK 90.7 FM in LA; 98.7 Santa Barbara; 93.7 San Diego;
99.5 China Lake
Airs Mondays from 7AM to 8AM.

Link to my program page

Link to my podcasts

Each show is online for three months.

It's not terrorism if it's retaliation: Chattanooga Shooting, If Linked to ISIS, is a Legitimate Act of War

By Dave Lindorff


I'm not a fan of war or of killing of any kind, but the labeling of the deadly attack by Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez on two US military sites in Chattanooga, Tennessee as an act of terror is absurd.

Are Nuclear Arms Control and Disarmament Agreements of Any Value?

The recent announcement of a nuclear deal between the governments of Iran and other major nations, including the United States, naturally draws our attention to the history of international nuclear arms control and disarmament agreements.  What accounts for their advent on the world scene and what have they accomplished?

Ever since 1945, when the atomic bomb was built and used by the U.S. government in a devastating attack upon Japanese cities, the world has lived on the brink of catastrophe, for nuclear weapons, if integrated into war, could cause the total destruction of civilization.

Join Me and Kathy Kelly in Chicago on the 87th Anniversary of Kellogg-Briand Pact

From David Swanson:

Please indicate you're coming here and share it widely:

Here's a webpage. Here's a flyer.
Here's the book I wrote that alerted people to the Kellogg-Briand Pact and the Chicago activist who made it happen and put forward, with others, a vision that could help us actually eliminate war:
In that book I advocated celebrating August 27. St Paul, Minn., has taken that up. There's an event this year in Albuquerque. But I'll be at the third-annual award ceremony for a related essay contest created by Frank Goetz and others in Chicago.
And if you can't be there, you can organize your own event to mark the day evoked in "Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream" when nations said they'd never fight again (ask me to help!).
The Kellogg-Briand Pact bans all war, is acknowledged as in force by the U.S. State Dept on its website -- and by the Pentagon just last month in its new publication.

We have a long way to go to end war, and one way is to learn from the model of Kathy Kelly's work. Join me and her in Chicago where Outlawry of War was born.

And make sure you're part of World Beyond War.

Greece News - July 17, 2015

Europe moves to restore funding to Greece after bailout vote - Reuters

ECB's Mario Draghi Confirms: Greece Is Saved, Debt Relief ‘Necessary' -

VIDEO: Press conference with Mario Draghi following the meeting of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (Full) - ECB

IMF's Lagarde sees hope for Greek debt restructure - AFP

VIDEO (and transcript): IMF chief Lagarde: Europe must do much more to help Greece, accept debt adjustments - PBS

Greece needs debt relief far beyond EU plans: Secret IMF report - Reuters

Text of the IMF’s four-page Greece debt sustainability analysis - IMF

Eurozone chief Dijsselbloem: EU loan to Greece allows the country to pay debts it owes to the International Monetary Fund so the IMF can rejoin negotiations on a third bailout -

France's Sapin says on same line as IMF on Greek debt relief - Reuters

US Treasury's Lew Presses German And French Finance Ministers on Greek Debt Relief - WSJ

Readout from a Treasury Spokesperson on Secretary Lew’s Meetings in Europe on Greece -

German parliament seen clearly backing talks on Greece aid - Reuters

Germany's Schaeuble casts doubt on chance of Greek bailout success, still thinks temporary Grexit a good idea - Reuters

Greek parliament backs bailout deal amid protests -

After a night of rioting quiet acceptance in Athens, despite protests Greece is largely supportive of Tsipras and the bailout deal - ibtimes

VIDEO: Riots in Athens over Austerity Measures & Bailout Plan - YouTube

Tsipras says Greece needs debt restructuring to exit the crisis - Channel NewsAsia

VIDEO: Alexander Tsipras' speech to the Greek Parliament: 'We had a choice: A deal we disagreed with or a chaotic default’ - The Independent

Tsipras: Early Elections Unlikely Despite Weakening Syriza Support - Sputnik International

PM Tsipras hit out at lawmakers in his leftist Syriza party for breaking ranks over the terms of Greece's bailout - Reuters

Former Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis Calls Bailout Deal Reforms 'Fiscal Waterboarding' -


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

Tomgram: Max Blumenthal, The Next Gaza War

This article originally appeared at

NBC Dares Mention Climate in Spread of Lyme Disease, But Not Who Created Lyme Disease

Climate change is apparently encouraging the spread of Lyme disease, and a report by NBC News dares to say so. This may seem like a fresh breath of honest sanity in a media context in which even the weather reports usually avoid the topic of human global destruction.

However, another topic is clearly still off limits: the topic of who created Lyme disease.

Who created it is not in any real doubt. The facts have been well reported and never refuted.

The relevance of the disease's creators to this and numerous other news reports about Lyme disease is indisputable. If you're going to report on what's facilitating the disease's spread, you should report on what started it, and how it was intentionally created to spread and why.

That NBC News knows the information is easily shown. In 2004 Michael Christopher Carroll published a book called Lab 257: The Disturbing Story of the Government's Secret Germ Laboratory. He appeared on several television shows to discuss the book, including on MSNBC and on NBC's Today Show (where the book was made a Today Show Book Club selection). Lab 257 hit the New York Times non-fiction bestseller list soon after its publication.

And what did that book say? Well, the wonderful thing about books is that you can still go and read them. But I'll give you a brief summary of the part about Lyme disease. For a wide array of other diseases, some far worse, you'll have to read the book.

Less than 2 miles off the east end of Long Island sits Plum Island, where the U.S. government makes biological weapons, including weapons consisting of diseased insects that can be dropped from airplanes on a (presumably foreign) population. One such insect is the deer tick, pursued as a germ weapon by the Nazis, the Japanese, the Soviets, and the Americans.

Deer swim to Plum Island.

I wasn't aware that deer swam at all, but apparently they are ocean swimmers. A quick internet search finds plenty of reports and photos and videos of deer swimming, miles from shore, including in Long Island Sound. And people are often so surprised (and kind hearted) that they rescue the deer -- which may in some cases not actually be needed. Deer frequently swim between Long Island and Plum Island; there's not any dispute about that fact.

Birds fly to Plum Island. The island lies in the middle of the Atlantic migration route for numerous species. "Ticks," Carroll writes, "find baby chicks irresistible."

In July of 1975 a brand new disease appeared in Old Lyme, Connecticut, just north of Plum Island. It wasn't a disease that gradually grew and finally attracted attention. It was 12 cases of a disease that, as far as anyone knows, had never been seen before. Scientists' efforts to find it in the past haven't gotten any further than the 1940s in the areas right around Plum Island.

And what was on Plum Island? A germ warfare lab to which the U.S. government had brought former Nazi germ warfare scientists in the 1940s to work on the same evil work for a different employer. These included the head of the Nazi germ warfare program who had worked directly for Heinrich Himmler. On Plum Island was a germ warfare lab that frequently conducted its experiments out of doors. After all, it was on an island. What could go wrong? Documents record outdoor experiments with diseased ticks in the 1950s. Even the indoors, where participants admit to experiments with ticks, was not sealed tight. And test animals mingled with wild deer, test birds with wild birds.

By the 1990s, the eastern end of Long Island had by far the greatest concentration of Lyme disease. If you drew a circle around the area of the world heavily impacted by Lyme disease, which happened to be in the Northeast United States, the center of that circle was Plum Island.

Plum Island experimented with the Lone Star tick, whose habitat at the time was confined to Texas. Yet it showed up in New York and Connecticut, infecting people with Lyme disease -- and killing them. The Lone Star tick is now endemic in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey.

So, by all means blame ExxonMobil and all the other climate liars, and their servants in government, for the spread of Lyme disease, among other horrors. But save a little blame for the military industrial complex. Either it murdered the victims of Lyme disease, or -- if you believe in the nobility of its mission -- then perhaps we'd better say they are collateral damage.

Iran News - July 16, 2015

Obama: Iran nuclear deal debate is a choice between diplomacy and war - The Guardian

Obama asks Iran deal skeptics: What's your alternative? -

VIDEO: President Obama News Conference Iran Nuclear Deal (Full) -

Obama called Putin thanking him for his role in reaching a deal on Iran's nuclear program: White House - The Economic Times

Obama: US needs Iran's help in Syria - TheHill

VIDEO: Obama Unloads On Major Garrett For Rude Question on Iran hostages: 'That’s nonsense, you should know better' - YouTube

Nuclear Pact Raises Kin’s Hopes of Freedom for 3 Held in Iran - The New York Times

White House works to convince Democrats to back Iran deal - Reuters

Iran deal putting Schumer in a vise - TheHill

GOP crafts Iran deal attack plan - TheHill

2016 Republican Candidates Slam Iran Nuke Deal - NBC News

VIDEO: Dick Cheney torches Iran deal - Business Insider

AIPAC tells Congress to reject Iran deal; J Street to support it - The Times of Israel

VIDEO: Benjamin Netanyahu: Iran Nuclear Deal Poses Threat to U.S., Israel - NBC News

U.S. circulates United Nations resolution on Iran nuclear deal - CBS News

VIDEO: Iran nuclear deal: IAEA chief 'confident' over early detection - BBC News

How the nuclear deal can keep Iran from ‘cheating,’ according to a former U.N. inspector - The Washington Post

Why Is Iran's Refusal to Allow No-Notice Inspections Legit? U.S. History With Iraq - The Intercept

Iran and UN Watchdog Agree on Roadmap - The Iran Primer

Iran May Sell to Buffett-Backed Uranium Bank Under Nuclear Pact - Bloomberg Business

Here's the full text of the Iran nuclear deal - Vox



Rouhani: With nuclear deal Iran will no longer be called a world threat - Reuters

Iran's Khamenei Lends Cautious Support To Nuclear Deal, Says It Should Be Scrutinized Carefully -

Iranians dance in streets and thank Rouhani for nuclear deal, hoping it will end years of economic sanctions and international isolation - Reuters

VIDEO: Iranians celebrate a future with no sanctions after nuclear deal - YouTube

Iran Nuclear Deal: High Hopes for Economy Amid 'New Beginning’ (VIDEO) - NBC News

After Iran Nuclear Deal, Iran Poised For Large Economic Influx -

Iran nuclear deal: Which companies will benefit the most? - Fortune

Iran Nuclear Deal: Lifting Sanctions Could Transform Business For Pharmaceutical Companies, Ease Financial Roadblocks -

Looking for Lucrative Contracts Russia Quickly Maneuvers to Capitalize on Iran Nuclear Deal - The New York Times

French, German ministers plan Iran visits after nuclear deal - DW.COM

Exclusive: US defense chief Carter to travel to Saudi Arabia to discuss Iran, says Rice - Reuters

How the Pentagon got its way in Iran deal, Restrictions on advanced military weapons sales to Iran will remain in place for five to eight years - POLITICO

Syria’s Assad praises Iran deal as ‘Great victory’ - Al Arabiya News

Syrian rebels fighting Assad express concern that the nuclear deal would expand Iranian influence in the region at their expense -

Palestinians welcome Iran deal, expect similar international pressure on Israel - Haaretz Daily Newspaper

NSA documents: In 2008 Israeli special forces assassinated senior Syrian official suspected of facilitating Iran’s provision of arms and military training to Hezbollah - The Intercept

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

AIPAC: Anti-Iranian Propaganda at Congress

AIPAC's statement on Iran inspires me to make a graphic:

Here's AIPAC's statement:

"AIPAC Statement on Proposed Iran Nuclear Agreement

"AIPAC has consistently supported diplomatic efforts to end Iran’s nuclear weapons program,"

Except when lobbying for ever greater sanctions that would have blocked the negotiations, and even for a US commitment to jump into any Israeli-Iranian war. Here's a brief history in the form of activist opposition to AIPAC.

"and we appreciate the commitment and dedication of President Obama and his administration throughout these negotiations. Unfortunately, this proposed agreement fails to halt Iran’s nuclear quest."

There is no evidence of Iran pursuing a nuclear weapon. Gareth Porter makes this clear in his book Manufactured Crisis.

My Congressman Is Wrong On Iran and Yours Might Be Too

For the United States to sit and talk and come to an agreement with a nation it has been antagonizing and demonizing since the dictator it installed in 1953 was overthrown in 1979 is historic and, I hope, precedent setting. Let's seal this deal!

Four months ago the Washington Post published an op-ed headlined 'War With Iran Is Probably Our Best Option.' It wasn't. Defenders of war present war as a last resort, but when other options are tried the result is never war. We should carry this lesson over to several other parts of the world.

The time has come to remove the "missile defense" weaponry from Europe that was put there under the false pretense of protecting Europe from Iran. With that justification gone, U.S. aggression toward Russia will become damagingly apparent if this step is not taken. And the time has come for the nations that actually have nuclear weapons to join and/or comply with the nonproliferation treaty, which Iran was never actually in violation of.

Tomgram: Tim Weiner, The Nixon Legacy

 This article originally appeared at

ISIS Crisis Exegesis

Talking with Iran has made the war profiteers and their servants sad and the rest of the world happy. Perhaps the novel idea of negotiating rather than killing will be carried over to several other parts of the world. Mainstream corporate voices are even raising the idea of talking with ISIS, or at least talking with the nations of the region ISIS is in about ISIS, or at least ceasing to make the ISIS Crisis worse by ignorantly doing everything wrong -- which just might include making friends with Iran in order to fight ISIS together.

"But what about ISIS?" That has been the endless zombie question encountered by all peace activists ever since the propaganda coup of the videos of two U.S. journalist beheadings. And part of the answer has always been: learn where it came from. Phyllis Bennis's new book can help with that job wonderfully. The book is called Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror: A Primer. Whether you think you understand ISIS or not, I urge you to pick up a copy, or better a box of copies. This is a small book that should be passed out like a vaccine to residents of the enormous camp of refugees from sanity and historicity that we call the United States of America.

Bennis's book is excellent on what to do, although that topic is found in a handful of pages near the end. The focus, however, is on understanding origins and context. If anything, this is overdone, though it's hard to see what the harm could be in people learning a little too much. The book covers Syria, the Arab Spring, Libya, Iran, the United Nations, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and many other tangentially related topics (I wish she's added a section on the phony reports of ISIS actions in the United States). The book is excellent on the 2013 Syria Missile Crisis and the role that popular resistance played in preventing a massive U.S. bombing campaign in Syria. That, even more so than the successful negotiation with Iran this week, should be our model for future activism.

Bennis relates an excellent history of the Mountain Rescue Excuse and places it in the context of the Imminent-Genocide-in-Benghazi Scam and other past justifications to launch wars that have predictably and immediately veered off into unrelated murderous operations.

But I think the most interesting point in this wide-ranging book may be one that Bennis makes about the Sunni Awakening. You might recall that when the United States began the 2003-2011 destruction of Iraq it quickly dissolved the Iraqi military, dismantled the civil service, and got rid of the Baath Party. Angry, trained, and armed fighters joined the popular resistance to the U.S. occupation. Among the new fighting groups that formed was Al Qaeda in Iraq. In 2006, the Bush administration gave up on the hopeless mission-never-to-be-accomplished of trying to fight these groups, and started buying them off. This was a key part of the success of the "surge" that was itself no success at all. But some of the groups, including AQI refused to be bought off or to cease fighting.

In 2008, the United States turned over to the Iraqi government the job of buying off Sunni groups. The Iraqi government ceased making the payments. And the growth of ISIS, the renamed AQI, was underway. And it was exacerbated by an Iraqi government that shut out Sunnis and attacked Sunnis, while being funded and armed by the U.S. government. People think ISIS came out of nowhere, but many of us were, in the years before ISIS hit the news, struggling to oppose the U.S. provision of weapons to the Iraqi government for use in attacking Iraqis. This is where ISIS and broad support for ISIS among Sunnis came from.

Prince Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia had told Sir Richard Dearlove of MI6, "The time is not far off in the Middle East, Richard, when it will be literally 'God help the Shi'a.' More than a billion Sunnis have simply had enough of them." ISIS funding flows from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, and Qatar, as well as from oil sales and artifact sales and kidnappings and thefts.

When 1,300 ISIS fighters overwhelmed 350,000 Iraqi soldiers and helped themselves to loads of U.S. weaponry, ISIS had the support of Sunni leaders angered by the Iraqi government, and of former Iraqi military leaders thrown out of work by Paul Bremmer -- not to mention benefitting from the chaos and flood of weaponry into Syria, and critically from the lack of enthusiasm for their cause among members of the Iraqi military.

So why do I say the Sunni Awakening is the most interesting point? Because something was working. Making small payments of cash to Sunnis -- sums far smaller than those spent on the weapons and the training (at $4 million per trainee now) to fight them -- was working. What if, instead of ending those payments, they had been continued, or been transformed into a program of nonviolent aid to everyone in the region, accompanied perhaps by a note of apology for having destroyed the place?

Bennis' first recommendation for what to do is an arms embargo. I think if Americans realized that their country was arming the region that their country constantly laments the violence in, the idea of an arms embargo would have overwhelming appeal. Beyond that, Bennis recommends: an inclusive Iraqi government, an end to airstrikes, a withdrawal of U.S. troops, and the use of diplomacy, including possibly talks with ISIS.

Bennis also suggests reversing the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project which can make teaching non-violent activism to groups abroad into the crime of "material support for terrorism." And she proposes a massive increase in U.S. aid through U.N. agencies.

Of course, aid has a tendency to make things better and a proven record of working in Iraq. So I assume every other possible approach will be tried first.

Come to the book launch party for this book, with its author, on July 27 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at Busboys & Poets 5th and K, 1025 5th St NW, Washington, DC.

A tale of sexism, racism and corporate pressure”: Ellen Pao’s Resignation from Reddit

By Alfredo Lopez

The Internet -- always ablaze with controversy -- is a wildfire these days with revelations about more pernicious government spying, deals between governments and corporate "hacker companies", and Ellen Pao's resignation as head of Reddit.

Greece News - July 14, 2015


Greece strikes deal with eurozone, avoiding financial collapse and euro exit - AP

Text of Greece debt agreement: the eurozone summit statement in full - The Guardian

VIDEO: Press conference after European Council meeting on Greece - YouTube

Hollande’s victory: The French president never stopped hammering home the message that Greece must remain in the eurozone - POLITICO

Greek president thanks French counterpart for role in talks, Hollande hails PM Tsipras for making a 'courageous choice' -

White House says Greece deal 'credible step', cautions that there are 'still important decisions and important steps to be taken' - Business Standard News


US Treasury Secretary Lew says Greek deal important step forward, but substantial work remains to be done - TheHill


VIDEO: Lagarde: Greece Deal Good Step to Rebuild Confidence -


Greece misses new payment to IMF despite bailout deal - AFP


Greece’s Banks Are Next in Line for a European Bailout - The New York Times


ECB will wait on Greek vote before another aid move - Irish Examiner


Greek economy minister says bank recapitalisation will safeguard deposits - Reuters


Greek debt crisis: How is Greece going to spend its €86bn rescue package? -



VIDEO: Tsipras: Grexit is a 'thing of the past' - YouTube

Greek PM says secured debt restructuring and medium-term financing in a growth package - Reuters

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ statement following the conclusion of the Eurozone Summit - Prime Minister of Greece

Tsipras prepares to send bailout deal to parliament for approval facing a left-wing revolt – POLITICO

Greek bailout deal 'a new Versailles Treaty', says Yanis Varoufakis in first post-resignation interview - ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)


Greek Defense Minister: This Bailout Deal Is a Coup -


Right-Wing Partner of Tsipras Criticizes Deal - The New York Times


Greek civil servants' union calls 24-hour strike for Wednesday - AFP


VIDEO: Greek protester burns Syriza flag after Tsipras accepts bailout programme - YouTube


POLL: Overwhelming majority of Greeks want to keep euro, poll shows - Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide


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


Speaking Events


War Is A Lie: Second Edition
Published April 5, 2016
Tour begins here:

(Invite David Swanson to your town!)


April 11, Washington, DC, 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Busboys and Poets at 5th and K Streets.
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April 12, Baltimore, MD, 7:30 p.m. at Red Emma's.
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April 14, Bellingham, WA, Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, evening

April 15, Seattle, WA

April 16 Portland, OR




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