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Syria: Where the Obama Doctrine of Covert War Spectacularly Backfired

 http://www.alternet.org/world/obama-doctrine-covert-war-spectacularly-backfired-syria

Barack Obama's rise to power in 2008 raised fundamental questions about the duty of a newly-elected government in a country that has been engaged in war crimes, from aggression against other countries to systematic violations of the Geneva Conventions and human rights laws.

A Whole Different Class of People Here

   This one looks at yet another revelation that the military-industrial-spying 50+% of the federal government doesn't operate with the kind of oversight and accountability rules everyone else has to play by.

 

I was flabbergasted when the the Congressional Research Service reported on May 17 that the Pentagon didn’t have a clue what the 108,000 contractors the Department of Defense (DOD) has in Afghanistan were actually doing--let alone how well they were doing it.

Snowden on the Move

 

Snowden on the Move

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Where is Edward Snowden? Unanswered questions remain. Supposedly he traveled from Hong Kong to Moscow en route to Havana and Quito, Ecuador. Or did he? More on that below.

 

State Department Debunks Iranian Latin American Terrorism Links

 

State Department Debunks Iranian Latin American Terrorism Links

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

False anti-Iranian accusations persist. They're longstanding. Claims about alleged nuclear bomb development don't wash. Nor do well publicized terror attack charges.

 

The Islamic Republic's maliciously vilified. False accusations follow earlier ones. A disturbing pattern repeats. Iran's sovereignty is challenged. Its independence is threatened. 

Manifest and Step Up Support for Bradley Manning

Pack the Courtroom: Free Bradley Manning!   Inside Ft. Meade , a U.S. military base near Baltimore, which houses the headquarters of the NSA, Bradley Manning, is undergoing a court martial in front of a military judge. Manning is the Army private who made available a huge trove of classified information about U.S. war crimes and torture to Wikileaks in 2010.

Bradley Manning has supporters around the U.S. and the world who recognize him as a hero. But in the fourth week of his trial, those attending it, joined by some press, are being taunted by the prosecutor because the public seats in the courtroom are not filled every day.

Richard Falk: Speaking Truth to Power

 

Richard Falk: Speaking Truth to Power

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Falk is Princeton University Professor Emeritus. For 40 years, he taught international law and relations. In 2008, he was appointed UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights.

 

He's outspoken about longstanding Israeli human rights abuses. They're too horrendous to ignore. On June 6, he addressed them. More on that below.

 

Washington has no sense of shame: Empty Lectures about the Sanctity of the ‘Rule of Law’

By Dave Lindorff


The spectacle of the US threatening Hong Kong, China, Russia and now little Ecuador with all manner of reprisals if they don’t respect the “rule of law” and hand over whistleblower Edward Snowden to the US, is delicious to watch.


America: Police State Ruthlessness Writ Large

 

America: Police State Ruthlessness Writ Large

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Cold-blooded barbarity reflects US policy. Democracy's more illusion than reality. Rule of law principles don't matter. They're systematically spurned. 

 

Dissent's increasingly targeted. Freedom's imperiled. Obama's ruthless. He exceeds the worst of George Bush. He's waging war on truth-tellers. He targeted more whistleblowers than all his predecessors combined. 

Brazilians Demand Social Justice

 

Brazilians Demand Social Justice

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Justifiable public anger holds back only so long. On June 11, protests began. On June 17, they erupted across Brazil. Hundreds of thousands turned out. Estimates ranged up to 1.5 million. 

 

At issue is scandalous misspending on sports. It's at a time of stalling economic growth, layoffs, rising inflation, and few opportunities for youths. 

 

The U.S. Has a Representative Government: The Conference of Mayors

Congress can't break 10 percent approval.  Obama's arms shipments to Syria just crack 10 percent, with 11 percent approval.  Over 80 percent of Americans in more polls than I can count say over and over again that the government is broken and does not represent us.  But when the mayors of the cities of the United States get together nationally one begins to see positions taken, at least rhetorically, that resemble government of, by, or for the people.

On Monday the U.S. Conference of Mayors unanimously adopted a resolution "CALLING FOR U.S. LEADERSHIP IN GLOBAL ELIMINATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND REDIRECTION OF MILITARY SPENDING TO DOMESTIC NEEDS."

Cities can follow the leads of their mayors and pass similar resolutions.  A bill in Congress (HR 1650) at least partially meets the proposals in the resolution, and cities could ask their representatives in the U.S. House to sign onto it.  The state of Connecticut this month created a commission to work for the conversion of Connecticut's economy away from militarism and toward peaceful manufacturing jobs.  Cities could create such commissions or urge their states to do so.  It would be good to see such steps follow from Monday's admirable rhetoric.  The resolution, as passed, included this:

"BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on the President and Congress to reduce funding for modernization of nuclear weapons systems, to reduce nuclear weapons spending to the minimum necessary to assure the safety and security of the existing weapons as they await disablement and dismantlement, and redirect those funds to meet the urgent needs of cities; and

"BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on the President and Congress to reduce military spending and to reinvest those funds in programs to address the dramatic increase in poverty and inequality in our country; take emergency measures to repair the social safety net and protect Social Security and Medicare; create jobs, retrain displaced workers, including military contractors, rebuild deteriorating physical infrastructure, invest in new technologies for a sustainable energy future, and aid local government to restore and maintain vital public services, reemploying teachers, police, firefighters and other workers."

The bill passed this month by the Connecticut legislature and signed by the Governor creates a commission to develop a plan for, among other things:

"the diversification or conversion of defense-related industries with an emphasis on encouraging environmentally-sustainable and civilian product manufacturing. On or before December 1, 2014, the commission shall submit such report to the Governor and, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a, to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to commerce."

The commission "shall Advise the General Assembly and the Department of Economic and Community Development on issues relating to the diversification or conversion of defense-related industries" among other things.

Read the full text, inlcuding the make-up of the commission, which is to include labor union and peace movement representatives.  Imagine Congress creating something like that!

But Congress has, at least created this: a bill with a non-voting sponsor and no cosponsors, H.R.1650, the Nuclear Weapons Abolition and Economic and Energy Conversion Act of 2013, a bill introduced over and over again by Washington D.C.'s representative in Congress, following action by the city council of D.C.  The key part of the bill reads:

 

(a) In General- The United States Government shall--

(1) provide leadership to negotiate and enter into a multilateral treaty or other international agreement by the date that is three years after the date of the enactment of this Act that provides for--

(A) the dismantlement and elimination of all nuclear weapons in every country by not later than 2020; and

(B) strict and effective international control of such dismantlement and elimination;

(2) redirect resources that are being used for nuclear weapons programs to use--

(A) in converting all nuclear weapons industry employees, processes, plants, and programs smoothly to constructive, ecologically beneficial peacetime activities, including strict control of all fissile material and radioactive waste, during the period in which nuclear weapons must be dismantled and eliminated pursuant to the treaty or other international agreement described in paragraph (1); and

(B) in addressing human and infrastructure needs, including development and deployment of sustainable carbon-free and nuclear-free energy sources, health care, housing, education, agriculture, and environmental restoration, including long-term radioactive waste monitoring;

(3) undertake vigorous, good-faith efforts to eliminate war, armed conflict, and all military operations; and

(4) actively promote policies to induce all other countries to join in the commitments described in this subsection to create a more peaceful and secure world.

(b) Effective Date- Subsection (a)(2) shall take effect on the date on which the President certifies to Congress that all countries possessing nuclear weapons have--

(1) eliminated such weapons; or

(2) begun such elimination under established legal requirements comparable to those described in subsection (a).

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Not a bad bill to pass, if we had anyone representing us.

Syria News June 25

 




 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Phil Mickelson's Choice, Support Corporate Criminals or Social Justice?

                              Phil Mickelson's Choice, Support Corporate Criminals or Social Justice?

Forbes Magazine lists Phil Mickelson as the world's 7th highest paid athlete, with prize money earnings of $4.8 million and endorsements of $43 million for a very comfortable $47.8 million a year.[i]  With his beaming smile, swashbuckling style of play, beautiful wife and children, $47.8 million a year; one could call them the All American Family. 

20 pages of objections to the TSA's body scanners submitted, by Sommer Gentry

Apologies for the length of this post, but there are so many good reasons to oppose the TSA’s nude body scanner program, and we here at TSA News would not want to neglect outlining any of them! Here’s a preview:

Read the rest at TSA News -- and today is the last day to submit your comments about the TSA to the Public Docket. Just do it!

Trafficking in Lies about Syria

 

Trafficking in Lies about Syria

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Media scoundrels substitute lies for truth and full disclosure. They violate core journalistic ethics doing so. They threaten world peace. 

 

They're waging war on freedom. They do it shameless, recklessly and unapologetically. They continue ad nauseam.

 

Washington v. Edward Snowden Update

 

Washington v. Edward Snowden Update

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Events are fast-moving. On June 23, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region's (HKSAR) press release said:

 

"Mr Edward Snowden left Hong Kong today (June 23) on his own accord for a third country through a lawful and normal channel."

 

Enemies of Syria Plan Escalated Aggression

 

Enemies of Syria Plan Escalated Aggression

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

So-called "Friends of Syria" are their worst enemies. They're a rogue's gallery of scoundrels. They're complicit with Washington's imperium. They violate core international law principles. 

 

They're no friends of peace, stability and freedom. Umbrella group members America, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE, and Qatar met in Doha. 

Snowden’s escape: China, Hong Kong and Russia Foil US Attempt to Silence NSA Whistleblower

By Dave Lindorff


Now that Edward Snowden is safely away out of the clutches of the US police state, at least for now, let’s take a moment to contemplate how this one brave man’s principled confrontation with the Orwellian US government has damaged our national security state.


Edward Snowden Charged Under the Espionage Act

 

Edward Snowden Charged Under the Espionage Act

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

On June 21, Obama's Justice Department charged Snowden with espionage. It did so ruthlessly, irresponsibly and unconstitutionally. It wrongfully accused him of violating 1917 Espionage Act provisions.

 

It was enacted during WW I. It's long ago outdated. It has no current relevance. It belongs in history's dustbin.

 

Obama: The Worst of Nixon/Bush II Writ Large

 

Obama: The Worst of Nixon/Bush II Writ Large

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Obama's a war criminal multiple times over. He bears full responsibility for genocidal crimes.

 

In a May London Guardian interview, Cornel West said:

 

Global Rescue Plan

When the wealthy nations of the world meet as the G8 or in any other gathering, it's interesting to imagine what they would do if they followed the golden rule, valued grandchildren, disliked unnecessary suffering, or wished to outgrow ancient forms of barbarism, or any combination of those.

The United States alone is perfectly capable, if it chooses, of enacting a global marshall plan, or -- better -- a global rescue plan.  Every year the United States spends, through various governmental departments, roughly $1.2 trillion on war and war preparations.  Every year the United States foregoes well over $1 trillion in taxes that billionaires and centimillionaires and corporations should be paying. 

If we understand that out-of-control military spending is making us less safe, rather than more -- just as Eisenhower warned and so many current experts agree -- it is clear that reducing military spending is a critical end in itself.  If we add to that the understanding that military spending hurts, rather than helping, economic well-being, the imperative to reduce it is that much clearer.

If we understand that wealth in the United States is concentrated at medieval levels and that this concentration is destroying representative government, social cohesion, morality in our culture, and the pursuit of happiness for millions of people, it is clear that taxing extreme wealth and income are critical ends in themselves.

Still missing from our calculation is the unimaginably huge consideration of what we are not now doing but easily could do.  It would cost us $30 billion per year to end hunger around the world.  We just spent nearly $90 billion for another year of the "winding down" war on Afghanistan.  Which would you rather have: three years of children not dying of hunger all over the earth, or year #13 of killing people in the mountains of central Asia?  Which do you think would make the United States better liked around the world?

It would cost us $11 billion per year to provide the world with clean water.  We're spending $20 billion per year on just one of the well-known useless weapons systems that the military doesn't really want but which serves to make someone rich who controls Congress members and the White House with legalized campaign bribery and the threat of job elimination in key districts.  Of course, such weapons begin to look justified once their manufacturers begin selling them to other countries too.  Raise your hand if you think giving the world clean water would make us better liked abroad and safer at home.

For similar affordable amounts, the United States, with or without its wealthy allies, could provide the earth with education, programs of environmental sustainability, encouragement to empower women with rights and responsibilities, the elimination of major diseases, etc.  For those who recognize the environmental crisis as another critical demand as urgent in its own right as the war-making crisis, the plutocracy crisis, or the unmet human needs crisis, a global rescue plan that invests in green energy and sustainable practices appears even more powerfully to be the moral demand of our time.

War-ending, earth-saving projects could be made profitable, just as prisons and coal mines and predatory lending are made profitable now by public policy.  War-profiteering could be banned or rendered impractical.  We have the resources, knowledge, and ability.  We don't have the political will.  The chicken-and-egg problem traps us.  We can't take steps to advance democracy in the absence of democracy.  A female face on an elite ruling class won't solve this.  We can't compel our nation's government to treat other nations with respect when it has no respect even for us.  A program of foreign aid imposed by imperial-minded arrogance won't work.  Spreading subservience under the banner of "democracy" won't save us.  Imposing peace through armed "peace-keepers" prepared to kill won't work.  Disarming only so-much, while continuing to suppose that a "good war" might be needed, won't get us far.  We need a better view of the world and a way to impose it on officials who can be made to actually represent us.

Such a project is possible, and understanding how easy it would be for powerful officials to enact a global rescue plan is part of how we can motivate ourselves to demand it.  The money is available several times over.  The globe we have to rescue will include our own country as well.  We don't have to suffer more than we are suffering now in order to greatly benefit others.  We can invest in health and education and green infrastructure in our own towns as well as others' for less than we now dump into bombs and billionaires.

Such a project would do well to consider programs of public service that involve us directly in the work to be done, and in the decisions to be made.  Priority could be given to worker-owned and worker-run businesses.  Such projects could avoid an unnecessary nationalistic focus.  Public service, whether mandatory or voluntary, could include options to work for foreign and internationally run programs as well as those based in the United States.  The service, after all, is to the world, not just one corner of it.  Such service could include peace work, human shield work, and citizen diplomacy.  Student exchange and public-servant exchange programs could add travel, adventure, and cross-cultural understanding.  Nationalism, a phenomenon younger than and just as eliminable as war, would not be missed.

You may say I'm a dreamer.  We number in the hundreds of millions.

Syria News June 23

 

 

Friends of Syria pledge to arm rebels -  Al Jazeera English

Qatar: Friends of Syria agree on ‘secret’ measures to arm rebels - Alarabiya.net

Syrian rebels say they received heavy weapons that could ‘change the course of the battle’, CIA secretly providing training - Washington Post

FSA leader urges extremist fighters to unify in return for weapons - The National

In Turnabout, Syria Rebels Get Libyan Weapons - NYTimes.com

First European & NATO heavy arms for Syrian rebels. Russian reprisal expected - DEBKAfile

900 U.S. Troops In Jordan To Boost Security In Wake Of Syria Conflict - Reuters

US troop buildup in Jordan after Turkey shuts US-NATO arms corridor to Syrian rebels - DEBKAfile

VIDEO: Friends of Syria approve 'urgent' support for rebels - YouTube

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UN expert says still no proof who used Syria chemical arms - AFP

In Syrian chemical weapons claim criticism about lack of transparency, experts say there is no reliable way to assess its authenticity - The Washington Post

Putin: Chemical weapons produced for Syrian rebels in Iraq - Fars News Agency

Al-Akhbar: Two Qatari officers transferred chemical materials used by terrorists in Khan al-Assal - Friends of Syria

Syrian Troops Launch Offensive On Rebel Strongholds Outside Damascus - AP

Damascus raises army, civil service pay - AFP

Damascus rebels reject SNC in favour of Islamic committees - The National

Suspected Syrian rebels fire over 12 rockets at Lebanon - Al Akhbar English

New wave of foreigners in Syrian fight - The Washington Post

Spain: Arrest of 8 suspected jihadists busts terror recruitment network that attacked in Syria - The Washington Post

Military Source: Most Salafis Fighting in Syria Come from Afghanistan - abna.ir

Iraqi military: Security efforts thwarted plans to set up direct contact between Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria and al-Qaeda in Iraq - Central Asia Online

Iraq Minister warns thousands of Shiites ready to join fight in Syria - Middle East Online

'Rebels murdered my 14-year-old for a joke': Anguish of Syrian mother who saw her son being shot dead - Mail Online

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Turkey protests put strain on Syria planning - The Washington Post

Police clash anew with Istanbul protesters - AFP

31 protesters arrested over Gezi Park protests in Ankara and Istanbul - hurriyetdailynews

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Stopping Indefinite Detention by the US: Guantánamo & Bagram: Left Forum Panel

World Can't Wait Left Forum Panel - 6/16/2013

Eleven years since the building of the US prison at Guantánamo, and nine years after disclosures of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, US policy has settled into de facto indefinite detention of thousands.  Included in the Democratic Party talking points of 2008 was a call to close Guantánamo; in 2012 they did not discuss it.  Meanwhile, the largest body of prisoners held without the right to habeas corpus is in the US prison at Bagram, Afghanistan.   The majority of prisoners at Guantánamo began a hunger strike in Feburary 2013 as a desperate call for public attention, as conditions for them have worsened under Obama.

June 24th is D-Day: last day to submit public comments about TSA

Monday, June 24, 2013, is the final day to submit your public comments about the TSA. Links all over this blog . . . 

If you don’t exercise your rights and speak up when they’re violated, don’t be surprised when they’re taken away. As of this writing, only 4,000 people have submitted comments about the TSA to the public docket. That’s out of a country of 300 million (yes, I know not everyone flies). What does that tell you about whether people give a toss about their rights?

General Wesley Clark: Whistleblower, Warrior

 

General Wesley Clark: Whistleblower, Warrior

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

One a warrior, always one. Clark hasn't forgotten. His credentials are notorious. He's a war criminal. He's also a whistleblower. More on that below. 

 

He formerly commanded NATO. From March 24 - June 19, 1999, he led naked aggression against Yugoslavia. For 78 days, hundreds of warplanes attacked mercilessly. About 3,000 sorties were flown. 

 

Another Israeli War Criminal of the Year Award

 

Another Israeli War Criminal of the Year Award

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

America represents the worst of rogue governance. So does Israel. They menace humanity. They persecute their best. They honor their worst. 

 

Peacemakers are scorned. Waging war on humanity's rewarded. On March 21, Obama received Israel's Medal of Distinction. It's also called the President's Medal. 

 

Tropical Spring! A million people protest across Brazil

brazil3Sparked by a public transportation fare increase in Sao Paolo a week ago, an estimated one million people showed up in cities across Brazil expressing  discontent with the limited opportunities they face and an indifferent government.

"It's not really about the price anymore," said Camila Sena, an 18-year-old university student at a Wednesday protest in Rio de Janeiro's sister city of Niteroi. "People are so disgusted with the system, so fed up that now we're demanding change."  USA Today, June 20, 2013

Like the protests in Turkey over the past weeks, this is an urban phenomenon dominated by the young.  Many are college educated and under or unemployed.  For most, these are their first political protests.  They chafe at wasted public expenditures.  In Rio, for example, the government spend millions for an international soccer tournament while the people idle away with few if any prospects for meaningful employment or a future.  (Image: Brasilia June 20 Semilla Luz)

Emergency Forum 6/19/2013 Cooper Union Great Hall, NYC

Through an act of tremendous courage and self-sacrifice, Edward Snowden has revealed the most massive government spying in history into the communications and activities of billions of people on the planet.

If you are outraged by these revelations, by the trampling on fundamental rights, and by the war crimes being carried out in our name--you needed to be at NYC Cooper Union Great Hall this past Wednesday night June 19th.

Washington Funds Secret Israeli Ballistic Missile Base

 

Washington Funds Secret Israeli Ballistic Missile Base

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

On June 3, McClatchy's foreign staff headlined "US publishes details of missile base Israel wanted kept secret." More on that below.

 

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