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Top 10 Genius Reasons to Keep Troops in Afghanistan

1. When you're setting a record for the longest modern war, cutting it short just increases the chances of somebody breaking your record some day.

2. When Newt Gingrich, Cal Thomas, and Lindsey Graham turn against a war, keeping it going will really confuse Republicans.

3. If we pull U.S. troops out after they have shot children from helicopters, kicked in doors at night, waved Nazi flags, urinated on corpses, and burned Korans it will look like we're sorry they did those things.

4. U.S. tax dollars have been funding our troops, and through payments for safe passage on roads have also been the top source of income for the Taliban.  Unilaterally withdrawing that funding from both sides of a war at the same time would be unprecedented and could devastate the booming Afghan economy.

5. The government we've installed in Afghanistan is making progress on its torture program and drug running and now supports wife beating.  But it has not yet mandated invasive ultrasounds.  We cannot leave with a job half-finished, not on International Women's Day.

6. We have an enormous prison full of prisoners in Afghanistan, and closing it down would distract us from our essential concentration on pretending to close Guantanamo.

7. Unless we keep "winning" in Afghanistan it will be very hard to generate enthusiasm for our wars in Syria and Iran.  And with suicide the top killer of our troops, we cannot allow our men and women to be killing themselves in vain.

8. If we ended the war that created the 2001 authorization to use military force, how would we justify our special forces operations in over 100 other countries, the elimination of habeas corpus, or the legalization of murdering U.S. citizens?  Besides, if we stay a few more years we might find an al Qaeda member.

9. A few hundred billion dollars a year is a small price to pay for weapons bases, a gas pipeline, huge profits for generous campaign funders, and a perfect testing ground for weapons that will be absolutely essential in our next pointless war.

10. Terror hasn't conceded defeat yet.

America: Land of the Poor

  America: Land of the Poor

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Years ago, who could have imagined the appalling growing poverty level in the world's richest country?

 

Bahraini Kangaroo Court Trials

  Bahraini Kangaroo Court Trials

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

A new Human Rights Watch (HRW) report discussed sham show trials in Bahrain titled, "No Justice in Bahrain."

 

NATO Intervening in Syria

  NATO Intervening in Syria

 

by

 

Stephen Lendman

 

The Peace Movement Needs Kucinich, With or Without Congress

If Congressman Dennis Kucinich becomes simply Dennis Kucinich sans the "Congressman" his value to the peace movement need not diminish. 

I admit it's been nice having someone in Congress who would say and do what he would.  There have been and remain other relatively strong voices for peace, but none as strong as Kucinich's.  His resolutions have forced the debates.  His bills have changed the conversation.  His questioning of witnesses has afflicted the comfortable while seeking to comfort the afflicted.  Perhaps Congressman Norman Solomon will pick up the baton.  Time will tell.

Talk Nation Radio: Students Hunger Strike for a Living Wage

Hunter Link of the University of Virginia's Living Wage Campaign explains why he and other students stopped eating and why workers at UVA can and should be paid a living wage.

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.

Producer: David Swanson.

Engineer: Christiane Brown.

Music by Duke Ellington.

Download or get embed code from Archive.org or AudioPort or Radio4All or LetsTryDemocracy.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

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

Imperial Rage for War

  Imperial Rage for War

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

America ravages the world one country at a time or in multiples. Post-9/11 alone, millions died. Vast destruction was caused. Human misery caused is incalculable.

 

EU Austerity Madness

  EU Austerity Madness

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

European/American austerity assures a 1% wealth grab at the expense of all others.

 

Prioritizing banker payments causes debt bondage, human misery, economic wreckage, and eventual collapse. What can't go on forever, won't. It's not rocket science. It's fact.

Goebbels Would Stand in Awe: The US Corporate News Media are Rank Propagandists on Iran

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

The sorry state of American journalism is on full display in the coverage by the corporate media of the ongoing crisis surrounding Iran’s nuclear fuel program.

 

The leaders of both Israel and the U.S. have publicly threatened to attack Iran -- Israel saying it could do so within weeks, President Obama warning that he would consider attacking Iran militarily if he were convinced that that nation was building an atomic bomb. 

 

Putin Wins

  Putin Wins

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Pre-election polls predicted around a 60% majority. Final results show Putin won 63.6% of the vote. He got a clear third term mandate. In 2004, he won 71%.

 

Five candidates contended:

 

Hana Shalabi: Day 19 and Counting

  Hana Shalabi: Day 19 and Counting

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Anyone who's fasted several days knows doing it isn't easy. Persisting for extended periods risks health, even death. 

 

Without food for 66 days, Khader Adnan nearly died. Again ingesting food, he's still very much at risk. Hana Shalabi reached day 19. It's taken a toll. Daily she grows weaker. 

Nothing “Purist”—Just Everything Hypocritical About Awarding Nobel “Peace” Prize to Promote Western Militarization

Background

During the last 4 years the dispute over the implementation of Nobel´s prize for the “champions of peace” has come to a head. The Norwegian awarders seem to reinterpret Nobel´s wishes and award the prize for whatever in their judgment is good and valuable, based on “a broad concept of peace.”  A Norwegian peace researcher and lawyer, Fredrik S. Heffermehl, in his book: The Nobel Peace Prize: What Nobel Really Wanted (Praeger 2010) claims to have proved that Nobel had specific recipients in mind, that Nobel wished to support what he called the “champions of peace,” meaning those who promote global law and demilitarization. His book led, in January 2012, the Swedish Foundations Authority to open an investigation into the mandate and whether Norwegian parliamentarians entrusted with the stewardship/management of the prize are misappropriating it for other purposes than Nobel had in mind.

Electoral Politics in America

  Electoral Politics in America 

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

He said, she said, who's ahead, who's behind discourse dominates political reporting. As a result, issues go unaddressed. People are left uninformed in the dark. Media scoundrels focus on popularity, not competence, and what readers and viewers most need to know.

 

Palestinian Oppression: Official Israeli Policy

  Palestinian Oppression: Official Israeli Policy

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Born in blood, Israel's been drenched in it since. Its agenda reflects racist state terror ruthlessness. 

 

Lies, Damn Lies and Major Media Scoundrel Journalism

  Lies, Damn Lies, and Major Media Scoundrel Journalism

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Merriam-Webster's defines journalism as involving "writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation."

 

In other words, the truth, the whole truth, and nothing else.

Prospects for May Palestinian Elections

  Prospects for May Palestinian Elections

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Last December, Fatah and Hamas agreed on forming a unity government and holding May presidential, parliamentary, and Palestinian National Council (PLC) elections. 

 

The Witch-Burners are Alive and Sick in Kansas: Stand Up for Dr. Kristin Neuhaus against the Kansas Theocracy's Anti-Abortion Ji

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

A few hundred years ago in colonial Massachusetts, the theocratic fascist men who ran that society had a way of dealing with free-thinking women in their midst: they burned them at the stake or drummed up hordes of frightened and unthinking neighbors to stone them to death.  

 

Most of us today imagine that if we had lived in those dark times, we would have stood up against such an outrage. Now is the time to find out.

 

Israel Lobby Beats the Drums For War

 

By John Grant

 

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (or AIPAC) is having its three-day annual meeting in Washington DC beginning Sunday March 4th. AIPAC is arriving in an atmosphere of beating war drums and rattling sabers against Iran.

Israel preemptively starting a war with Iran would be bad enough, but the assumption that the United States will be part of that war should be very disturbing to Americans -- who are just getting over one misguided, costly war in Iraq and are still involved in another in Afghanistan.

Targeting Free Expression

Targeting Free Expression

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Free expression in all forms is fundamental in democratic societies. Without it, all other freedoms are at risk. 

 

New York Times Promoting War on Iran

  New York Times Promoting War on Iran

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Longstanding Times policy supports imperial US wars against nonbelligerent countries posing no threats. 

 

It backed American-led NATO aggression against Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Using scandalous language like "Assad's butchery," it wants killer gangs armed and greater Western intervention.

What's the Matter With Norway?

The beautiful thing about the internet is that whenever you write an essay on a topic you imagine is new, some wonderful person contacts you within about an hour who's written a whole book about it.  This is different from writing a book about something new (or old) like the Kellogg-Briand Pact (everybody still thinks it must be a breakfast cereal).

Fredrik Heffermehl's book "The Nobel Peace Prize: What Nobel Really Wanted," is a wonderful thing to discover.  I understand if you just can't stomach discovering that Norway and the committee that hands out the peace prizes have become as corrupted as a Congressman.  But if awardees like George Marshall, Henry Kissinger, Yasser Arafat, and Barack Obama already had you scratching your head a little bit, you may appreciate learning the details of where the prize bestowers ran off the rails and how they might manage to climb back aboard the peace train.

Alfred Nobel left behind a legally binding will that required giving a prize to "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."  Like the Carnegie Endowment for Peace, the Nobel Committee has largely abandoned its original mission.  Carnegie and Nobel are dead and none the wiser, but those of us who like the idea of a well-funded peace movement are painfully aware.

The Nobel prize for peace was not designed as merely an honor, but as a significant source of funding for "work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."  Yet, with each annual prize, as with each year's operation of the Carnegie Endowment, the peace movement is none the better funded.  Warmongers take the funding, or admirable and heroic humanitarians take the funding, but these are not people working toward or even believing in the desirability of the aims for which the prize was created and legally established in Nobel's will.

Heffermehl examines the language of the will in the original Swedish, the thinking and influences that went into it, the reasons why Nobel chose the Norwegian parliament to appoint the committee for the administration of the prize, and the activities and the worldviews of what Nobel termed in the will "champions of peace."  Legally, Heffermehl argues, it is the will that counts, not each and every opinion Nobel might have held at some point in his life.  While peace congresses are still held, work is still done to abolish standing armies, and many working on these projects also work for what Heffermehl translates as confraternity among nations, much of this work is little known in the media and unknown to the prize committee, which has lost touch with its mission.

Heffermehl argues persuasively that no Nobel prize for peace has been awarded with appropriate justification since 2001.  In fact, in his analysis, 50 of the 120 prizes given between 1901 and 2009 were not justified.  Heffermehl bases that judgment primarily on the case made for each laureate by the committee awarding the prize.  Were he to examine the laureates and those passed over, the number of unjustified prizes might increase. 

Heffermehl also looks at the justification for the prizes awarded under each of the 12 committee chairs and six committee secretaries that have ever held those posts.  The two chairs who have served since 2003 receive far and away the worst scores, while the two who served up through 1941 score dramatically better than the others.  Similarly, the two secretaries who held that position up through 1945 receive high marks, while the one, Geir Lundestad, who has been Secretary since 1990 has, in Heffermehl's scoring, performed miserably. 

World War II shifted thinking in Norway and elsewhere toward militarism and the notion of the inevitability of war.  While France and Germany have ceased attacking each other, there hasn't been a war between wealthy powers in 70 years, and the only wars we have now are against poor countries, somehow common wisdom holds that the abolition of war is a silly idea.  But is legally complying with a dead man's will a silly idea too? 

After World War II it wasn't just thinking that changed, but procedure as well.  No longer does the Norwegian parliament choose the most qualified peace leaders to serve on the committee.  Instead, each political party picks committee members in proportion to the party's strength in the parliament, even if the party is pro-war.

Yet it was not until 1990 that the real corruption began to eat away at Nobel's legacy.  Lundestad has created more pompous ceremonies, an annual concert, and a permanent Nobel Peace Center in Oslo filled with cutting edge technology.  While the five-member committee in Norway used to have no need for funding, the prizes simply being awarded directly to the laureates, now funding became critical, and much of that funding became corporate.  Are images of the fancy new DC building belonging to the "United States Institute of Peace (unless there's a war)" flashing through your mind?  Lundestad is a professional fundraiser now who finds time for Bilderberg conferences but not peace congresses. 

Heffermehl made his case in Norwegian pre-Obama, and was oh-so-predictably-and-depressingly hopeful when the committee absurdly bestowed its prize on the new U.S. President in 2009.  It was Obama's pro-war acceptance speech that led Heffermehl to unhesitatingly add him to the list of undeserving laureates.  But there were other reasons.  Heffermehl claims to have a source who knows that promotion of Oslo as a tourist destination weighed in the selection of Obama.  Alfred Nobel had, of course, not mentioned that motivation in his will at all. 

Heffermehl proposes that Nobel's will be followed, that the commercial activities of the Nobel Foundation be dropped, and that the combination of the roles of committee secretary and commercial director be ended.  I think he has a point.

Here's a video of Lundestad disingenuously defending the selection of Barack Obama.

Lundestad is scheduled to speak on Saturday, March 3rd, in Minnesota, where Coleen Rowley will be asking him pertinent questions about faithfulness to Nobel's will.  If you can't make it to Minnesota, you can sign this petition Rowley has set up.

If this thing gets turned around and Nobel peace prizes are awarded for a number of years to real champions of peace, then it should almost go without saying that Fredrik Heffermehl, who has created a formal investigation of the matter in Sweden, will have earned himself the prize as well.

Petition Launched to Investigate Betrayal of Nobel Peace Prize as Sec. Lundestad Speaks in Minneapolis March 3

 -----------PRESS  RELEASE------------

Since awarding US President Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, an award that showed just how greatly the Norwegian parliamentarians’ selection process had degenerated and departed from Alfred Nobel’s will, Nobel Secretary Geir Lundestad has tried to minimize the serious nature of the charges against his selection committee by labeling Obama’s and Henry Kissinger's "peace" prizes as merely “controversial”.  Lundestad also recently claimed he is “eager for this debate to end", however he has consistently refused to answer the hard questions that lie at the root of the current investigation of the Nobel Foundation. 

According to peace researcher and author Fredrik Heffermehl:

Bradley Manning Formally Charged, Still No Trial

The Manning prosecution is a tragic miscarriage of justice.  US officials are highly embarrassed by what Manning exposed and are shooting the messenger.  As Glen Greenwald, the terrific Salon writer, has observed, President Obama has prosecuted more whistleblowers for espionage than all other presidents combined.

Drop All Charges Against Bradley Manning! from Veterans for Peace

“Where is the justice?” asks Gerry Condon, a Board member of Veterans For Peace. “The Army is shirking its duty to punish soldiers who have committed rape and murder. Yet they are trying to destroy the life of Bradley Manning, who has not harmed a hair on a person's head.”

Wikileaks Emails: The US Gov't Outsources Political Repression

With multiple media partners, including Rolling Stone, Wikileaks is releasing 5 million emails from the private security company Stratfor. Michael Hastings (whose article led to the firing of General McChrystal from commanding in Afghanistan), writes in Homeland Security Kept Tabs on Occupy Wall Street:

Voices of Conscience Against War on Iran

Aggressive war, against a country that has not attacked the aggressor country, is the supreme war crime.  We said it on February 4 across the nation.  I talked about it outside the US Mission to the UN (see video).

We won't stop saying it.  Here's another chance:

Sunday March 4 in Washington, D.C., when President Obama speaks at the 2012 Convention of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, we'll be there, with a visible anti-war protest, along with Code Pink, Veterans for Peace, and the Occupy movement.

Why I've Refused to Endorse the Protests of Either the RNC or the DNC

Don't get me wrong.  I want the Republican and Democratic National Conventions in Tampa and Charlotte protested, denounced, shamed, nonviolently occupied, and ideally prevented from occurring, at least until they credibly support peace, justice, and democracy -- or pigs fly, whichever comes first.  I've said so and encouraged such organizing for months.  I hope to be a part of it.

But when asked to endorse http://protestdnc.org and http://resistrnc.org I have said no twice, and for the very same reason.  The former lists this as among its principles:

Justice on Trial: Lynne Stewart's Appeal

  Justice on Trial: Lynne Stewart's Appeal

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Lynne's case highlights American judicial unfairness. Her wrongful indictment, prosecution, conviction, sentencing, and harsher re-sentencing sacrificed her on the alter of upholding wrong over right. 

 

Hana Shalabi: Hunger Striking for Justice

  Hana Shalabi: Hunger Striking for Justice

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Israel administratively detains hundreds of Palestinians indefinitely without charge lawlessly. 

 

Like thousands of others incarcerated, their "crime" is wanting to live free on their own land in their own country. Israel calls it terrorism.

America's Death Squads

When the Obama administration took office in 2009, it was confronted with an extraordinary problem: what to do about the crimes of the previous administration, in particular its illegal global campaign of kidnapping, torture, and indefinite detention without trial of mostly innocent terrorism suspects. On taking office, President Obama announced that he would close the U.S. concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay within a year and he formally recommitted the U.S. military to legal prohibitions against torture and abuse of prisoners. But he rejected any effort to investigate his predecessor’s crimes, claiming that he wanted to “look forward.” 

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