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This Memorial Day Let’s Start Caring for Our Nation’s Veterans: No More Ducking the Real Cost of US Wars!

 

By Dave Lindorff


Whether he ever said it or not, I’m going to borrow from a quote often attributed to Abraham Lincoln and alter it a bit to say: “American politicians must love war veterans -- they keep making so many more of them.”


MEMORIAL DAY 2012: A Lesson Not Yet Learned

 


by WALTER BRASCH


 


Today is Memorial Day, the last day of the three-day weekend. Veterans and community groups will remember those who died in battle and, as they have done for more than a century, will place small flags on graves.


But, for most of America, Memorial Day is a three-day picnic-filled weekend that heralds the start of Summer, just as Labor Day has become a three-day picnic-filled weekend that laments the end of Summer. 


 There will be memorial concerts and parades. The media, shoving aside political and celebrity news, will all have stories. Among those who will be the first to patriotically salute those who died in battle are those who enthusiastically pushed for them to go to war.

Daily Kristallnacht in Palestine

  Daily Kristallinacht in Palestine

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Imagine daily life under these conditions. Occupation harshness enforces institutionalized terror. Fear is constant. Collective punishment is policy.

 

Peaceful public demonstrations are assaulted. Free expression and movement are prohibited. Population centers are isolated. Borders are closed. 

Israel's Enforcer

  Israel's Enforcer

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Israel enforces rogue state harshness. Rule of law principles are spurned. Even Jewish rights are marginalized. Palestinians have none. 

 

Occupation ruthlessness terrorizes them. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad serve illegitimately.

Iran War Weekly - May 27, 2012

Iran War Weekly

May 27, 2012

Hello All – Last week’s meeting in Baghdad – the second round in renewed negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany) – had few silver linings.  The only clearly positive outcome was that the parties agreed to meet again in Moscow on June 18; in terms of substance, the meeting was a failure, as the US-led coalition offered Iran little, while demanding that Iran essentially agree to end its nuclear program. The front-burner question is, why did the United States choose to put forward demands certain to end in no agreement?  I’ve listed some more questions below, as well as insightful essays and reviews of the conference and its outcome.

Anti-Iranian Propaganda

  Anti-Iranian Propaganda

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

When America goes to war or plans one, media scoundrels march in lockstep. 

 

Articles, commentaries, editorials, and broadcasts feature Washington handout-style journalism. 

 

Police Brutality During Chicago NATO Summit

  Police Brutality During Chicago NATO Summit

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

NATO arrives everywhere violently. Chicago was no exception. Residents were terrorized for days. 

 

Hunanity Confronts the "Blue Bloc" in Chicago

What did thousands of people accomplish by protesting in Chicago this week during the NATO Summit? If you have thoughts on that, please write me.   Mine:   "NATO = Peace & Security," as banners across the Loop said?  No, NATO = Protest, in Chicago, from here on out. The words "NATO Summit" were always accompanied by the word "protest" in Chicago media. This began to get people asking what we were protesting.  When World Can't Wait went out to neighborhoods with our multi-language "Humanity & the Planet Come First," people asked, "are you the protesters? You're here!" Some of the most economically crushed, riding the bus from work, gave us small donations to support the protests. People opened their homes and hearts.    

Social Justice on Trial in Canada

  Social Justice on Trial in Canada

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Destructive neoliberal mandates harm US and European societies. Canada's conservative government force-feeds similar policies.

 

Continuing Palestinian Hunger Strikes

  Continuing Palestinian Hunger Strikes

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Israel mocks democratic freedoms. Force-fed occupation injustice reveals its true face. It rivals the world's worst tyrannies. Scoundrel media cover-ups can't change facts.

 

Lies and Consequences in Our Past 15 Wars

"Kings had always been involving and impoverishing their peoples in wars, pretending generally, if not always, that the good of the people was their object.  This, our Convention understood to be the most oppressive of all Kingly oppressions; and they resolved to so frame the Constitution that no one man should hold the power of bringing this oppression upon us."--Abraham Lincoln

AFGHANISTAN

Prior to 2001, the Taliban was willing to turn Osama bin Laden over to a third country if he was promised a fair trial and no death penalty, and if some evidence of his guilt of crimes were offered.  In 2001, the Taliban warned the United States that bin Laden was planning an attack on American soil.  In July 2001 the United States was known to have plans to take military action against the Taliban by mid-October. 

When the United States attacked Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, the Taliban again offered to negotiate for the handing over of bin Laden. When President George W. Bush refused, the Taliban dropped its demand for evidence of guilt and offered simply to turn bin Laden over to a third country.  Bush rejected this offer and continued bombing.  At a March 13, 2002, press conference, Bush said of bin Laden "I truly am not that concerned about him."[i] When President Barack Obama announced, in May 2011, that he had killed bin Laden, the war didn't even slow down.

The Special Loophole in Hell for War Lawyers

The strict rule of law is an ideal and a fantasy.  Conflicting and archaic words must be interpreted, and doing so is an art, not a science.

But there is an enormous chasm between honest attempts to approach the ideal of compliance with written law, and open disregard for it.

It is becoming standard practice for our government to enforce laws selectively or not at all, to openly defy laws, to enact laws in violation of the higher law called the Constitution or in violation of the treaties which that Constitution defines as the Supreme Law of the Land. 

At the same time, charades of legality degrade it as an ideal: the International Criminal Court is not international, military justice makes a mockery of justice, etc.  And anti-legal measures, like secret sections of the PATRIOT act that can be enforced against us but which we cannot be permitted to read in order to comply with, muddle for many people the very idea of lawfulness.

Personal Observations from the Chicago March Against the NATO/G8 War & Poverty Agenda

Thank you to all; CANG8 (Coalition Against NATO/G8), UNAC (United National Antiwar Coalition), Occupy Chicago, and all others that made this all rally and march against NATO/G8 possible.  There are so many other groups, but I can't list them all here.  And thank you to all who participated from seasoned veteran activists to the youth who were exercising their right to direct or participatory democracy for the first time.  While so many others labored so long and so hard, my own part was almost infinitesimal.  Andy, Joe and Pat of CANG8 were everywhere during the long months of organizing and this great march would have been much the lesser without them.   

Video: Peace Perspectives on Iran with Majid Amini, Michael Fischbach, and David Swanson

Dr. Majid Amini is Professor of Philosophy at Virginia State University. He was born in Iran and comes from a family that has had extensive public and political participation in Iranian affairs since the turn of the 19th century. Currently he is working on two projects: one on the limits of religion in the public square and another on divine regret.

Dr. Michael Fischbach is Professor of History at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia. He received his doctorate in modern Middle Eastern history from Georgetown University. He researches issues relating to land and property ownership in the modern Middle East. Fischbach frequently addresses international conferences and the media, and has been a consultant for Middle Eastern negotiators as well as the Library of Congress, the United Nations Development Programme, and the International Development Research Center.

David Swanson is a nationally recognized author and peace activist. He currently works with Veterans for Peace and hosts Talk Nation Radio. His most recent books include The Military Industrial Complex at 50 and When the World Outlawed War. Swanson helped to plan the nonviolent occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C., in 2011, and blogs at http://davidswanson.org.

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videos by David Martin

Priest booted for sex abuse finds job at TSA

A Catholic priest kicked out of the church over sex abuse allegations has found refuge with the TSA in Philadelphia.

. . . I have asked this question before, and I’ll ask it again: how are parents dealing with the possibility that their children may be molested as a condition of flying? And why are they willing to risk it?

Turnabout is Fair Play: Proud to Be an Extortionist!

 

By Yasmeen Ali

Lahore -- US Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and John McCain (R-AZ), the chair and ranking minority member respectively of the Senate Armed Services Committee, say the US must not pay $5000 per truck as demanded by Pakistan, for supplies being shipped through this country to American troops in Afghanistan. McCain went further, calling the Pakistni demand “extortion.”

Iran Nuclear Talks in Baghdad

  Iran Nuclear Talks in Baghdad

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Previous nuclear talks failed. On April 14 and 15, another round convened. 

 

Istanbul hosted so-called P5+1 countries. They include the five permanent Security Council members - America, Russia, China, Britain, and France - plus Germany.

Separate and Unequal in Israel

  Separate and Unequal in Israel

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

On May 23, Yousef Munayyer headlined his New York Times op-ed "Not All Israeli Citizens are Equal," saying:

 

Residing in Lod, Israel, he's an Arab citizen. His Palestinian wife lives in Nablus in the West Bank. 

Iran: War Is Not Even the Question

(Remarks prepared for Richmond Peace Education Center Event in Richmond, Va., May 24, 2012)

I have a friend who's a compulsive liar.

OK it's not a friend. It's my television. And my newspaper.

According to them, the United States, as one among equals, in coalition with most of the world's good countries, is asking the evil nation of Iran for some very reasonable requests, Iran is refusing, and the result, very regrettably and reluctantly -- as an absolute last resort, albeit one we will celebrate with flags and music -- will be war.

An op-ed in the Washington Post last Friday (and you know you can trust the Washington Post, because its fervent push for war on Iraq worked out so well) said:

Afghanistan Good Enough: When All Else Fails, Lower Your Standards

 

By John Grant

 

If all else fails, lower your standards.

 

This has been my philosophy for years. My wife likes to joke it’s how she picked me; instead of prince charming, I’m “prince somewhat-charming.” So you can imagine how delighted I am that the United States of America and its NATO military allies have decided to apply that philosophy to US foreign policy in Afghanistan.

They're calling their version “Afghanistan Good Enough.”

Protesting NATO War Crimes in Chicago

Yesterday was pretty intense. We arrived at Grant Park to a heavy police presence.  Some of us had not slept well the night before after hearing the news of that the police had raided the homes of NATO protesters and then falsely charged them of “plotting terrorism". The police had also driven a car into a crowd of non-violent NATO protesters that same night.

Heightening Tensions for War on Iran

  Heightening Tensions for War on Iran

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

A previous article discussed two House bills. On May 18, HR 4310 passed. It includes two hawkish anti-Iranian provisions: Sections 1221 and 1222. 

 

So does HR 568. It expressed the importance of preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons "capability." 

Time Profiles a World Class Thug

  Time Profiles a World Class Thug

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Time magazine's May 28 cover features "King Bibi: He's conquered Israel. But will Netanyahu make peace - or war?"

 

NATO 3 Being Tortured with "Sensory Deprivation," Posted Police Harassment Video, Now Charged

National Lawyers Guild releases photo of alleged police infiltrator

The National Lawyer's Guild attorney for the three men charged with a major terrorist plot at the NATO summit in Chicago says they are being subjected to severe sensory deprivation.  On the same day, the prosecution requested, and was granted, a delay of a preliminary hearing until June 12, in order, the Chicago Tribune reports, "to give prosecutors more time to assemble the case against them."

The Chicago Tribune writes:

On Military Spending and Spiritual Death

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nicolas-j-s-davies/military-spending_b_1540376.html   

As Martin Luther King told us 45 years ago, "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."

The record military budget that was rubber-stamped by the U.S. House of Representatives last week surely proves Dr. King's point. In inflation-adjusted dollars, this budget is at least 25% higher than the one he assailed at the height of the Vietnam War. At about 60% of discretionary spending, our military budget outstrips not just programs of social uplift, but the entire non-military federal budget.

"Spiritual death" implies a failure of the human spirit: a death of both humanity and imagination. When President Bush launched a "global war on terror" and a massive military build-up following the crimes of September 11th, few Americans questioned his response. Congressperson Barbara Lee was a lonely voice and the sole vote against the Authorization for the Use of Military Force. Last Thursday, Barbara Lee no longer stood alone, as 112 of her colleagues voted for her amendment to immediately and safely withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

Planting Evidence to Sow Fear: Chicago Cops are the Terrorists

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

It seems pretty clear by now that the three young “domestic terrorists” arrested by Chicago police in a warrantless house invasion reminiscent of what US military forces are doing on a daily basis in Afghanistan, are the victims of planted evidence -- part of the police-state-style crackdown on anti-NATO protesters in Chicago last week. 

 

Senate committee votes to help TSA spend more money to abuse you

Apparently, $8 billion a year isn’t enough for the TSA. They’ve run into a budget shortfall.

Hey, have some sympathy — the skills required to bully, harass, rob, strip, and grope people don’t come cheap. 

Chicago: America's Police Repression Capital

  Chicago: America's Police Repression Capital

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

A personal note. Chicago's my home. I live north of the Chicago River. It's the traditional North/South dividing line. I'm close to where protests occurred on the Michigan Ave Bridge and nearby.

 

Killing with Impunity

  Killing with Impunity

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

A new initiative called "Killing Without Consequence" wants justice for Ziad Jilani. Border guard Maxim Vinogradov murdered him with impunity. More on that below.

 

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