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Syria News - Dec 10



UN envoy: U.S. and Russia still back Syria political settlement, Talks aimed to find a solution based on last June's Geneva Declaration - Reuters

Lavrov: “We’ll not allow the Libyan experience to be reproduced in Syria -

France funding Syrian rebels in new push to oust Assad, Money has been used to buy weapons and ammunition -

Secret US ops to arm Syrian rebels? —

Saudi sending criminals & drug dealers to fight in Syria? - David Icke's Official Forums

Qatar Sends Pakistani Terrorists to Fight Alongside Armed Terrorist Groups in Syria, Iranian News Agency Says - Syrian Free Press

Report: Israel Special Forces Tracking Chemical Weapons in Syria - Israel National News

Israel sees no immediate threat from Syrian chemical weapons - todayszaman


Jihadist-backed rebels take Syrian army command post - Reuters

Syria crisis: a beseiged Damascus remains loyal to Assad - Telegraph

VIDEO: FSA gets its hands on SAM-8 (9K33 OSA-AKM SA-8 Gecko) – Surface to Air Missile system - SyriaUpdate

VIDEO: FSA commander near air-force intel QH in Aleppo says they don’t need RPGs now as they have armor-piercing rockets - SyriaUpdate

VIDEO:  Battle For Syria: View from the Frontline! (English subtitles) - YouTube


More Syria-Linked Gun Battles Reported in Lebanon's Tripoli - VOA

Lebanese pilgrims held in Syria to be freed in prisoner swap - THE DAILY STAR

Lebanese Politician: We Don't Wish to See Syria Dominated by Takfirist Groups — Naharnet

Six jihadists arrested near Syrian-Jordan border - The Jordan Times

VIDEO: Lebanese Salafi militants who have been killed in Syria in Talkalakh - YouTube


To contact Bartolo email

Are airlines responsible for America’s TSA disaster? by Christopher Elliott

One of the more interesting reactions to last week’s post arguing that the TSA as we know it is dead came from a publicist for one of the airline trade associations.

Read the rest at TSA News.

NATO Intervention in Syria Imminent


NATO Intervention in Syria Imminent


by Stephen Lendman


On December 7, Voice of Russia (VoR) headlined: "Iraq 2.0, another false-flag invasion rated XXX," saying:


Hamas Commemorates 25th Anniversary


Hamas Commemorates 25th Anniversary


by Stephen Lendman


On Friday, Hamas Political Bureau Chairman Khaled Meshal arrived in Gaza. It was his first time in Palestine in decades. 


At age 11, his family fled after Israel's Six Day War. In 1975, he returned briefly. 


Syria News - Dec 9


Syrian opposition chief calls for talks to form transitional government -

Syria National Coalition to form unified military council - Middle East Online

Rebels in Syria elect new military chief to head a new Islamist-dominated command - Reuters

Syrian opposition groups are trying to organize civilian local administration councils - hurriyetdailynews

Patchwork of foreign fighters in rebel-held Syria - Yahoo! News

Syrian Authorities Arrest 40 North African Al Qaeda Jihadists Coming Through Lebanon - Friends of Syria

Al Nusrah Front launches complex suicide attack in Syria - Threat Matrix

Islamism and the Syrian revolution - Syria Comment

VIDEO: Corruption in Free Syria Army fueling support for Al-Nusra - Al Jazeera

VIDEO: Sky News Interview with Syrian and Foreign Wahhabi Radical Jihadis Captured in Syria - YouTube

VIDEO: Report: Foreign Jihadis Infiltrate Syria and Fight in an Islamist-Infested Syrian "Revolution" - YouTube

VIDEO: Libyan Terrorists came from Turkey, arrived in Syria - YouTube

 VIDEO: Libyan mercenaries go to Idlib - YouTube


William Hague saw 'evidence' that Assad's forces are preparing to launch chemical attack against rebels -

Experts skeptical Syria is preparing to use its chemical arsenal - McClatchy

VIDEO: How credible are reports of Syrian WMDs? - Al JAZEERA

U.S. military updates options for potential Syria strike, source says – Blogs

VIDEO: Pentagon Delivers Syria Strike Options To Obama - CNN

Rebels could resort to chemical weapons, Syria warns - FRANCE 24

Six Patriot batteries, 600 foreign troops to be deployed in Turkey - todayszaman

Russia warns Nato of border crisis after Patriot missiles go into Turkey - The Times

Russia arms Syria with powerful ballistic missiles - WND


To contact Bartolo email

Obama Plans African Wars


Obama Plans African Wars


by Stephen Lendman


Obama's warmaking appetite exceeds all his predecessors and then some. He's already waging multiple direct and proxy wars. 


His rhetoric about winding them down rings hollow. He wants to make the most of the next four years. 


Raising Money for Killers


Raising Money for Killers


by Stephen Lendman


Imagine holding a fundraiser for murder, destruction, and occupation viciousness. 


On December 6, Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces (FIDF) held their annual gala in Los Angeles. Guests annually include high-ranking Israeli military and government officials. Well-known Americans attend.

About People Who Are Wrong

Don't people who are wrong annoy you?  I just read a very interesting book called "Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error," by Kathryn Schulz.  Of course I read it with an eye toward figuring out how better to correct those other people who are so dangerously and aggravatingly wrong.  And of course the book ended up telling me that I myself am essentially a creature of wrongness.

But if we're all wrong, I can live with that.  It's being more wrong than other people that's intolerable.  However, statistics show that most of us believe we're more right than average, suggesting a significant if not downright dominant wrongness in our very idea of wrongness.

Even worse, we're clearly not wrong by accident or despite the best of intentions.  We go wrong for the most embarrassing of reasons -- albeit reasons that might serve unrelated purposes, or which perhaps did so for distant ancestors of ours.  For example, when asked to solve simple and obvious problems that a control group of similar people has no trouble solving, a disturbing number of humans will give the wrong answer if stooges planted in the room confidently give that wrong answer first. 

Even more disturbingly, measurements of brain activity during this process suggest that those giving such wrong answers actually perceive them as correct following careful consideration of the question with no particular energy expended on consideration of peer relationships.  In other words, people believe their own obvious B.S., even though its been blatantly placed in their minds by a bunch of fraudsters.  (I am aware of the redundancy in making this observation during what has been an election year in the United States.)

A lone dissenter in the room can change the dynamic (which perhaps explains why Fox News quickly cuts off the microphone of any guest straying from the script, why a sports announcer who denounces our gun culture must be punished, why a commentator who questions Israel's crimes must be silenced, etc.), but why should we need someone else to dissent before we can? 

Well we don't all or always.  But a disturbing amount of the time a lot of us do.

Even more disturbingly, few of us are often inclined to say we are undecided between possibilities.  We are inclined toward certainty, even if we have just switched from being certain of an opposing proposition.  As we are confronted with reasons to doubt, it is not uncommon for our certainty to grow more adamant.  And we are inclined to greater certainty if others share it.  Many of us often admire, and all too often obey, those who are certain -- even about things they could not possibly be certain about, even about things there is no great value in being certain about, and even about things these "leaders" have been wrong about before. 

Now, I think Schulz is wrong in her book on wrongness not to place greater emphasis on the issue of why politicians change their positions.  If they do so for corrupt reasons, to please their funders, we have corruption as well as indecisiveness to dislike.  But if they do so in response to public pressure and we still condemn them for indecisiveness, we are condemning representative government along with it.  But there is no doubt that many people -- sometimes disastrously -- can be inclined to prefer the certain and wrong to the hesitant and ultimately right.  A baseball umpire who's wrong but adamant is the norm, because one who corrects himself is soon out of a job. 

We begin our careers of wrongness early.  If you show a toddler a candy box and ask what's in it, they'll say candy, completely free of doubt.  If you then show them that it's actually full of pencils, and ask them what they had thought -- five seconds earlier -- would be in the box, they will tell you they thought it was full of pencils.  They will tell you that they said it was full of pencils.  Schulz says this is because young children believe that all beliefs are true.  It could also be a result of the same desire to be right and not wrong that we find prevalent in adults, minus adults' ability to recognize when the evidence of their wrongness is overwhelming.  A psychologist in 1973 asked 3,000 people to rank their stances on a scale from "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree" with positions on a range of social issues like affirmative action, marijuana legalization, etc.  Ten years later he asked them to do so again and to recall how they thought they had answered 10 years prior.  The what-I-used-to-think answers were far closer to the people's current positions than to their actual positions of a decade back.

A decade back I would have told you that it might be valuable to work for progressive change within the Democratic Party.  Now I'd tell you that's counterproductive.  Never mind if I was wrong then or am wrong now, or perhaps there's not enough information in such brief statements to know whether I'm not perhaps wrong in both positions.  The point is that I only know how misguided I used to be because my blog doesn't edit itself, and I go back and read it.  Not so with my brain.  It edits itself quite efficiently.  We have no idea how wrong we are, and much less idea how wrong we used to be.  And we absolutely do not want to know.

"It isn't that we care so fiercely about the substance of our claims," writes Schulz.  "It is that we care about feeling affirmed, respected, and loved."  This helps explain why a common response to being wrong is to make the situation significantly worse and facilitate new cases of being wrong in the future.  Medical mistakes in our hospitals kill a great many more Americans than any of the commonly thought of but statistically trivial causes of death (like terrorism) or even the truly major causes of death (like automobiles).  And hospitals typically respond with evasion, defensiveness, and denial.

We see this across the field of public policy. Alan Greenspan may admit the error of his ways on the way out the door.  So may President Eisenhower, albeit without calling it a confession.  Even Secretary McNamara may recant his love for warfare before he dies.  But those vigorously pursuing careers usually avoid admitting wrongness.  And those proven wrong are typically replaced with new people willing to push the identical mistaken policies. 

Members of the public who support wrongheaded policies (the markets will take care of themselves; weapons spending makes us safer; global warming doesn't hurt; the wealth will trickle down; etc.) often manage to continue with those policies despite their glaring debunking in particular instances or their recantation by particular officials.  This is what I hoped to get some insight on in reading this book (as in reading a lot of books), and I don't think I failed.  (I wouldn't, would I?)

Believers in Iraqi WMDs, when confronted with the facts, have in many cases nonsensically doubled down on their beliefs or, at the very least, continued to imagine the best intentions on the part of those who pushed the propaganda.  Of course, a proper understanding of wrongness must lead us to accept the possibility that many who appear to be lying actually believe what they say.  And the well-documented dishonesty, intentional fraud, and pressure on others to lie in the case of the Iraq War marketing campaign doesn't change the fact that many who helped spread the lies believed them to one degree or another.

Dropping the WMD belief would mean accepting that respected leaders were either mistaken or lying.  It would also mean admitting that hostile opponents in a very public and long-lasting debate were right.  Hence the tenaciousness of those still believing that Saddam Hussein hid his massive stockpiles in a magical land somewhere.

A few lessons can be gathered, I think.  One is that when we're speaking with those who disagree, we should not refer to magical lands as I've just done, not mock, not gloat, not set up a hostile competition over who was right and who was wrong.  Recounting previous instances of war supporters being wrong to illustrate the universality of the phenomenon could help or backfire depending on how it's done.  Ultimately it must be done if the same mistakes are not to be repeated forever.  It's certainly appropriate to demand that television networks stop limiting their crews of experts to those who have always been wrong before.  Ultimately there must be accountability for the leaders of wrongness (regardless of the degree of honesty or good-intention involved).  But there are those who will simply believe that Spain blew up the Maine even if they had never heard of that incident before in their lives, if you -- their opponent -- bring it up, even if you intend it as a comforting example of how others have screwed up too.

Clearly, focusing on the numerous times someone has themself been wrong is unlikely to help, but conveying the fact that we have been wrong too might.  People should feel that they can remain or become secure, safe, respected, and loved while dropping their misguided belief, and without substituting a new zealotry in favor of another belief (even ours!) -- that they can become more cautious, more willing to remain in doubt, and more willing to continue that way in the face of the certainty of others.  Ideally, people should be urged toward better beliefs by a friendly and welcoming and large group of others.  There's no reason peer pressure can't be put to good use, even while seeking to reduce its power.

More importantly perhaps, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  If we can prevent people developing attachments to lies about Syria or Iran, we will save ourselves endless headaches trying to rid them of those lies later.  If we can establish not just that Iraq was unarmed but also that Iraq's being armed would have been no justification for bombing its people, we will shift the conversation onto favorable ground.  If Syria killing Syrians with the wrong kind of weapons is understood not to justify the United States killing more Syrians with the right kind of weapons, we won't have to engage in a fast-break competition to determine and then prove whether Syria is using weapons that the United States claims it is using. 

The preceding paragraph is the theme of a book I wrote called "War Is A Lie," which I intended for war preparedness in the sense of preparation to resist common types of lies about wars.  In that book, I did not follow all of the advice above.  People in fact have complained to me (a small minority of readers I should say) that the book is at times sarcastic or mocking or contemptuous.  In my defense, I see a value in entertaining as well as educating those already in large agreement, as well as in reaching through as powerful a manner as possible those without ossified views on the subject.  But then again, there is always and forever the possibility that I'm horrendously wrong.

Bradley Manning, Shakar Aamer, Andy Worthington & Guantanamo, Drones

by Debra Sweet,Director, The World Can't Wait
Tuesday, we gave you a sense of how much World Can't Wait is appreciated for our role in sticking to principle, and supporting others who do. Today, I want to shout-out to some of the many who show courage and fortitude in the effort to show the rest of the world that there are people living in this country who don't go along with the program of war and repression. I'm concentrating today on people who expose and resist U.S. wars, drone strikes, and indefinite detention.

Bradley ManningFirst, and in a class by himself, is Bradley Manning:

Déjà vu: crimes, thefts, and TSA “standards” - by Bill Fisher

Yesterday we reported on the latest TSA theft. If it sounded familiar, in more ways than one, it isn’t just a case of déjà vu. The only thing more consistent than TSA thefts in recent years is the agency’s hollow statements about TSA worker integrity and agency standards.

Read the rest at TSA News.

Middle East on the Boil


Middle East on the Boil


by Stephen Lendman


Call it the curse of oil and gas. Countries with large and smaller reserves are affected. So are some with few or perhaps none. Living in a targeted neighborhood is challenging. Independent governments are most vulnerable.


Netanyahu's Israel


Netanyahu's Israel


by Stephen Lendman


He's made Israel more unfit to live in than any of his predecessors. Palestinians have no rights whatever. Israeli Arabs have few. Most Jews are losing theirs incrementally.


Neoliberal harshness plans destroying Israel's safety net entirely. Budget cuts target housing, healthcare, education, employment and welfare. 

Syria News - Dec 7


Syria says scare of chemical weapons is a cloak for intervention,  "Syria stresses again, for the tenth, the hundredth time.... they would not be used against its people - Reuters

U.S., Israel worry Syria rebels could get chemical weapons -

Warning to Syria on Chemical Weapons Stemmed From Airfield Intel - ABC News

Red Cross in touch with Syrian government on biological, chemical arms -

NATO moves toward Patriot missiles and troop deployment on Syria border -

FSA dispute U.S. chemical weapons claims, It says U.S. aims to "create a door to enter Syria to stop the violence"  -

Syrian opposition calls for protests against any UN peacekeepers - NOW Lebanon

Syria rebels threaten Golan peacekeepers: UN official - Voice of Russia

Exclusive: Iran shipping signals conceal Syria ship movements - Reuters

VIDEO: Syria Rebels testing Tekkim chemicals to use as chem weapons, 'Enemies of Allah will die like rabbits' - YouTube

VIDEO: Video purports to show use of white phosphorus by Syrian military - WP


Arms shipments traveled from Libya to anti-Assad fighters on a  weekly basis, sources say - Fox News

U.S.-Approved Weapons Transfer Ended Up With Libyan Jihadis -

Britain to press EU partners to amend Syria arms embargo - AFP

Car Bomb Rocks Damascus as Fighting Rages -

VIDEO: Thousands gather at mass funeral for Syria car bombing victims in Homs - YouTube

VIDEOS: Compilation of several videos on Syrian rebels calling for an Islamic State - SyriaUpdate


Wider Chaos Feared as Syrian Rebels and Kurds Clash -

Syrian Kurds Suspicious Of Islamic Militants, Turkey -


Five killed in sectarian clashes in Lebanon's Tripoli - Reuters

Lebanese killed in Syria not fighters, families say - The Salt Lake Tribune

The Rise of the Salafis in Lebanon: A New Sunni-Shiite Battlefield - The Cutting Edge News


To contact Bartolo email

Pearl Harbor Day Is a Day to Cherish the $1.3 Trillion We Blow on War Preparation Every Year

It warms one's heart to recall in the depths of winter that over half the taxes we labor to submit to our government each year go into war preparations.  Such bountiful spending is required, because one never knows when the Japs or the Serbians or the Iranians may attack.  To appreciate the need for creating so many weapons-producing billionaires and millionaires, we must recall with fondness the glory days of the war that three-quarters of a century back gave us the military industrial complex, the Air Force, the CIA, nuclear weapons, witch hunts, intense environmental destruction, and some 70 million dead bodies.

Ah, who can forget . . .

Nazi Germany, we actually tend to overlook sometimes, could not have existed or waged war without the support for decades past and ongoing through the war of U.S. corporations like GM, Ford, IBM, and ITT.  U.S. corporate interests prefered Nazi Germany to the communist Soviet Union, were happy to see those two nations' peoples slaughter each other, and favored the United States entering the oh-so-good-and-necessary World War II on the side of England only once the U.S. government had made that very profitable.

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's fervent hope for years was that Japan would attack the United States. This would permit the United States (not legally, but politically) to fully enter World War II in Europe, as its president wanted to do, as opposed to merely providing weaponry and assisting in the targeting of submarines as it had been doing. Of course, Germany's declaration of war, which followed Pearl Harbor and the immediate U.S. declaration of war on Japan, helped as well, but it was Pearl Harbor that radically converted the American people from opposition to support for war.

On December 7, 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt drew up a declaration of war on both Japan and Germany, but decided it wouldn't work and went with Japan alone.  Germany quickly declared war on the United States, possibly in hopes that Japan would declare war on the Soviet Union.

Getting into the war was not a new idea in the Rosevelt White House.  FDR had tried lying to the American people about U.S. ships including the Greer and the Kerny, which had been helping British planes track German submarines, but which Roosevelt pretended had been innocently attacked. Roosevelt also lied that he had in his possession a secret Nazi map planning the conquest of South America, as well as a secret Nazi plan for replacing all religions with Nazism. This map was of the quality of the Associated Press's recent "Iranian bomb graph," or Karl Rove's "proof" that Iraq was buying uranium in Niger.

And yet, the people of the United States didn't buy the idea of going into another war until Pearl Harbor, by which point Roosevelt had already instituted the draft, activated the National Guard, created a huge Navy in two oceans, traded old destroyers to England in exchange for the lease of its bases in the Caribbean and Bermuda, and — just 11 days before the "unexpected" attack — he had secretly ordered the creation of a list of every Japanese and Japanese-American person in the United States.

On April 28, 1941, Churchill wrote a secret directive to his war cabinet:

Israel’s Lesson to Palestinians: Build More Rockets?


Eman El-Hawi, a smart and perky 24-year-old business student from Gaza got teary when she told our delegation about what she witnessed during the eight days that Israel pounded Gaza. “I saw the babies being brought into the hospital, some dead, some wounded. I couldn’t believe Israel was doing this again, just like four years ago. But at least this time,” she said with pride, “we struck back.”

December2012, January 2013 Appearances/Protests of U.S. War Criminals

Dick Cheney
12/6/12 - New York NY
1/26/13 - Reno NV

Colin Powell
1/19/13 - Alexandria VA

Condoleezza Rice
12/7/12 - Henderson TN
12/19/12 - Birmingham AL

More TSA theft: old news

Once again, a TSA screener has been caught stealing from passengers’ luggage.

As we’ve written now more times than I can count, this isn't the first time. And it won't be the last.

Read the rest at TSA News.

Corruption in Israel


Corruption in Israel


by Stephen Lendman


Israel ranks among the world's most ruthless states. It qualifies for rogue state status. 


It spurns the UN Charter, major treaties, and other international law. It violates its own. It gets away with murder because world leaders mattering most do nothing.


Israel: Heading for a Political Cliff?


Israel: Heading for a Political Cliff?


by Stephen Lendman


Middle East expert Patrick Seale knows the region well. He's covered it for over four decades. On December 4, he said:


Syria News - Dec 6


No evidence Syria mixing chemical agents, Pentagon official says - MSNBC

VIDEO (Russian): Syria Has No Plans to Use Chemical Weapons Lavrov - Video Dailymotion

Assad kept chemical weapons out of hands of extremists: Israel — 

Thousands of US troops arrive near Syrian shore on USS Eisenhower — RT

92 Senators vote to require Pentagon to report on Syria military options - The Cable

Russia Docks Warships in Syria as NATO Arms Turkey - US News and World Report

NATO commander: Patriots can stop Syrian chemical missiles - todayszaman

Davutoğlu says Assad has 700 missiles, Ankara knows location - todayszaman

Iraq Blocks Syria’s Request to Fetch Combat Helicopters from Russia - ProPublica

Four killed in Syria-linked Lebanon clashes — RT


U.S. might name Syrian rebel Nusra Front a foreign terrorist group - McClatchy

Jihadists eclipsing other rebels in Syria's Aleppo - AFP

Special Report: Aleppo jihadists - The Globe and Mail

Extremist groups among the Syrian opposition are responsible for some of the recent gains - Washington Post

Syria: Rebel Sniper Talks About Revolution and His Disillusionment |

Syrian rebel group vow to conquer Israel, Iran and Iraq - Jihad Watch

Turkish officers fighting alongside insurgents in Syria: Voice of Russia


'Kurdish rights must be secured within a united Syria': New chief of Syrian National Coalition - Rudaw

VIDEO: Christian Armenians Flee Syria - YouTube


To contact Bartolo email

Backward Ho!

A few thoughts in praise of backwardness.

"We don't look backward," says President Obama in reference to imposing justice on powerful large-scale criminal suspects.  Of course, as we don't prosecute future crimes but only crimes of the past, "not looking backward" is a euphemism for immunity -- an immunity not granted to those accused of small-scale crimes or crimes with no victims at all.

"Forward!" says President Obama, making that seemingly vacuous word his slogan.  But the word has meaning; it means continuing thoughtlessly in the current direction, without seeking guidance from the mistakes or accomplishments or untested inspirations of the past.

The secrecy of the Obama White House, including record levels of classification, ground-breaking legal claims to secrecy, and record-level prosecutions of whistleblowers, moves us in practice to the position of rolling "forward" without a clear idea where we are or where we've just been.  This is nearly as fatal to good public policy as "looking forward" is to law enforcement.

We need to know our immediate history, but equally we need to know the history of distant times and places, for otherwise we can be greatly deceived by those in power -- including with that greatest deception of all: the idea that we are powerless.  Only history shows us what works and what doesn't in attempting to improve the world.

Only history reveals, as well, how dramatically different patterns of life and thought and notions of "human nature" can be in cultures separated by time and/or space.  It is always easier to imagine radical changes for the better after examining how radically different people have already been.

In 1888 Edward Bellamy wrote a book called "Looking Backward," which told the story of a man put into a trance in 1887 and awakened in the year 2000.  In 1888 people bought as many copies of this book as could be printed, created clubs and organizations inspired by it, and developed a political movement the lasting (though indirect) benefits of which are no doubt tremendous. 

Bellamy was, of course, looking forward, but we must look backward to recall an age in which anyone looked forward in a terribly useful or inspiring way.  In 1888, people imagined the world could be made a much more pleasant place to live.  In 2012 we are lucky if we can muster any confidence that the world will not collapse into an environmental or military or plutocratic hell on earth.

Bellamy got his prediction of the year 2000 largely wrong, but of course he was prescribing more than predicting.  He got his prescription wrong as well.  That is to say, what he prescribed was probably to some extent unworkable and undesirable.  But it is tempting for us to confuse these questions, to imagine that whatever hasn't happened couldn't have or shouldn't have.

Bellamy had no accurate notion of what technology would look like in the year 2000.  He idealized large and centralized bureaucracy.  He valued military-like discipline rather than cooperation in the workplace.  He imagined, absurdly I think, that a perfect society need not contain a mechanism for additional major changes.  He believed -- and I have doubts on the point -- that religion and superstition could persist harmoniously with extreme ethical enlightenment. 

In questionable moves, Bellamy bestowed greater power on the old than the young, built elitism into systems of governance and justice, and condoned the use of solitary imprisonment.  In notable silences, Bellamy's vision did not address the question of environmental sustainability or the problem of outsourcing -- which is not to say that his utopia could not have incorporated solutions to such concerns.

But Bellamy advocated nonviolent change over violent in a manner suggesting an understanding of history he had not lived through.  He argued plausibly for the elimination of debt, interest, and -- in fact -- money (which is not to say all forms of compensation).  He laid out plans for peace, relative equality of wealth, security for all, an elimination of (most) prisons and virtually all crime, and the serious and nonviolent elimination of something all men and women have longed for since at least the age of Shakespeare: lawyers and law schools. 

Bellamy's world would be prosperous and wealthy despite a retirement age of 45, in part through the elimination of debt, of militaries, of prisons, of tax assessors, of crime, of advertisements, of wasted or duplicated efforts (think of how much our "health insurance" system costs us compared to those of other nations), and -- here's the bit our current president would like, at least for the rich and powerful -- of a criminal justice system.  (I'm afraid the steps that could conceivably bring us closer to Bellamy's world would need to come in a proper order, with the elimination of accountability for those in power evolving late in the process). 

Bellamy may have been deluding himself if he imagined a world free of dangerous levels of selfishness.  But he was certainly on the right track in envisioning a world that did not promote selfishness as a virtue, that valued instead one's responsibility to society, to children, and to future generations.  Bellamy imagined huge advances for women's rights, many of which have in fact materialized.  But other dreams of "Looking Backward" remain dreams.

Can we have competition, checks, and balances, but no advertising or systemic motivations to deceive?  Can we have media outlets democratically managed by their consumers?  Can we put one umbrella over a sidewalk when it rains instead of each carrying our own?

Dare I say it?  Yes, we can.

But not until we abandon our affection for cries of "Forward!"

Israel Gives Chutzpah New Meaning


Israel Gives Chutzpah New Meaning


by Stephen Lendman


The Yiddish word derives from the Hebrew hutspa. It means insolence or audacity. The Urban Dictionary adds "unmitigated effrontery or impudence."


Venezuelans Vote Again


Venezuelans Vote Again


by Stephen Lendman


In America, money power controls elections. People have no say. Each party replicates the other. Venezuela is different. 


Voters take full advantage. They choose real democrats over fake ones. It shows in how Venezuelans are governed.


Talk Nation Radio: Michael McPhearson and Michael Eisenscher on Jobs Not Wars

A coalition of groups has launched a new campaign at

Talk Nation Radio speaks with national coordinator of U.S. Labor Against the War Michael Eisenscher and national coordinator of United for Peace and Justice Michael McPhearson, who is also a board member of Veterans For Peace.

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 or  AudioPort or LetsTryDemocracy.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

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

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Iran War Weekly - December 4, 2012

Iran War Weekly

December 4, 2012


Hello All – With negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program scheduled to resume in 10 days, the role of “Iran” in US Middle East policy is now sandwiched between the politico-military meltdown in Israel and an out-of-control war in Syria.  To those who remember how the US war against Iraq was orchestrated in 2002-2003, claims this week that Syria may be preparing to use its chemical weapons are especially alarming.  I have linked some good/useful readings about Syria below; for keeping up-to-date, I recommend the websites Syria Comment, War in Context, and Aljazeera (“Inside Syria”).


Syria News - Dec 5



Syrian rebel attack on school kills 9 students: State TV - AFP

Armed Group Assassinates Syrian Pro- Government Journalist -

Syria: Fine line between jihadists and rebels, Secular FSA units work hand-in-hand with the Islamists - News24

Al Nusrah Front claims yet another suicide attack in Syria - The Long War Journal

VIDEO: Rebel Demonstration Chanting: Our Revolution is Islamic in Spite of You, Obama -

VIDEO: Syrian rebels trying to shoot down a cargo plane? -

VIDEO: Libyan mercenaries in Syria -

VIDEO: Swedish' Terrorists Fighting For Al Qaeda in Syria - YouTube

VIDEO: Syrian Rebels With A Multiple Rocket Launcher - YouTube


Obama warns Syria's Assad against use of chemical weapons — 

Russia dismisses “rumors” of Syria chemical arms - NOW Lebanon

NATO votes to deploy Patriot missiles on Turkey-Syria border — RT

Report: Assad’s chemical weapons units head out of Damascus toward Aleppo - DEBKAfile

VIDEO: Obama warns Syria against use of chemical weapons


Sunni-Alawite clashes break out in Lebanon's Tripoli — 

Lebanese judge orders investigations into Sakr tapes - NOW Lebanon


UN: Syria conflict upsurge hampering food aid - NOW Lebanon

VIDEO: Cold killing young Syrian refugees - YouTube


To contact Bartolo email

Speaking Events


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

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