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Syria News - Feb 18

Economic Straight Talk

 

Economic Straight Talk

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Things aren't as good as they seem. Dire economic conditions masquerade as sound. Media scoundrels twist reality. 

 

Big Lies proliferate. Repetition convinces most people hard times are good or not as bad as their personal situations suggest.

 

Two Years of Bahraini State Terrorism

 

Two Years of Bahraini State Terrorism

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

February 14 marked the second anniversary of Bahrain's uprising. Earlier protests erupted sporadically.

 

In mid-February 2011, major ones did nonviolently. They continue virtually daily. At issue is King Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa's tyranny.

 

Protesting for the Planet - Sun. 2/17 Washington D.C.

by Debra Sweet                 Tuesday night we heard from Barack Obama that climate change demands immediate action, but the solution appears to also be the problem:

"The good news is, we can make meaningful progress on this issue while driving strong economic growth.  I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago."

Resisting the NDAA's Terrible Indefinite Detention Provisions

Videoby Debra Sweet               I really encourage you to view Raymond Lotta's presentation and the interesting discussion from this past Sunday's webcast. Lotta went into the history of political opponents of governments targeted in 1930's Germany, and in the U.S. in the 50's, 60's and 70's, as well as what he called the "disturbing turn" in the lawsuit against the NDAA, Hedges v.

Israeli Lawlessness in Issawiya

 

Israeli Lawlessness in Issawiya

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Issawiya is a Jerusalem area Arab village. It's located on Mount Scopus. It's 2.5 km east of the Green Line. It's three km northeast of Jerusalem's Old City.

 

It's close to Hebrew University. It straddles Jerusalem's border. It's surrounded by Israeli settlements and military outposts.

 

John Brennen, Drones & President Obama

by Debra Sweet                    With the kind of "kabuki theater" questioning the Senate gave John Brennan last week during a public hearing, it's certain they will confirm him as Director of the C.I.A. This should not be any surprise. Diane Feinstein, Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee hasn't met a national security "concern" yet that didn't trump the rights of the people; we know she was one of the select few briefed by the Bush regime when they began torture, or excuse me, "enhanced interrogations."

Escalating Tyranny in America

 

Escalating Tyranny in America

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

America's no democracy. It wasn't established to be one. It never was and isn't now. 

 

Latter day framers today would be called a Wall Street crowd. They included money-lenders, investors, speculators, merchants, politicians, planters, and lawyers. High-mindedness wasn't on their agenda.

 

Medals for Murder

 

Medals for Murder

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Extrajudicial killing is official US policy. Drone wars normalize it. Obama decides who lives or dies. He appointed himself judge, jury and executioner. 

 

He's got final kill list authority. His secret memo authorized Anwar al-Awlaki's assassination. Anyone anywhere in the world can be murdered on his say.

 

The Foodopoly: Too Big to Eat


We've come to understand that the banks are too big to fail, too big to take to trial, too big not to let them write our public policy, too big not to reward them for ruining our economy.

Why have we come to understand that? 

We've been told it by a mega media cartel that has itself been deemed too big to fail, too big not to subsidize with our airwaves, too big not to reward with political ads buying back our airwaves in little bits and pieces.

Speaking of which, the buying of elections is moving rapidly in the direction of monopoly ownership itself.

Kansas joins list of states trying to rein in the TSA

Kansas is joining a list of states that are trying to curb the abuses and crimes of the TSA, since it’s apparent that Congress isn’t going to do it.

Read the rest at TSA News.

Israeli Gaza Airstrikes Violated Laws of War

 

Israeli Gaza Airstrikes Violated Laws of War

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said so. Rarely does HRW do the right thing. Exceptions prove the rule. Most often it's a reliable imperial partner. 

 

LAPD High Crimes

 

LAPD High Crimes

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Michael Ruppert is a former LAPD cop. He knows its dark side well. He witnessed it firsthand.  

 

Disappearing Prisoners: Official Israeli Policy

 

Disappearing Prisoners: Official Israeli Policy

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Israel is a rogue terror state. It's a serial abuser. It spurns rule of law principles. It mocks democratic values. 

 

It tolerates no criticism. It targets anyone challenging its authority. It does so against anyone considered threatening. Jews are as vulnerable as Muslims. 

 

February 15 2003, largest mobilization for peace in the world

This beautiful video created by Jim T in San Diego.  We were both part of the protest in So Cal on this day 10 years ago.  Jim has supplied a sound track and included photos from every major city on the planet from that day.

Syria News - Feb 15

 

 

Syria Gunmen Kidnap 40 Shiite Civilians, Mostly Women and Children - Naharnet

Christians Squeezed Out by Rebels Fighters in North Syria - NYTimes.com

Armenia tries to help as Christian Armenians flee Syria - usatoday

Negotiation continuing between Syria Kurds and the opposition - Kurdpress News Aganecy

Can the Kurds protect their oil fields in Syrian Kurdistan? - Rudaw

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New Syria peace plan circulated in UN: Saudi daily - Yahoo! News Maktoob

US shifting stance on Syria: Russian official - RIA Novosti

Syrian Opposition Denies Leader's Plan to Visit Moscow - RIA Novosti

Syria National Coalition to visit regions under control of opposition, to discuss possibility of a political initiative -  Anadolu Agency

Syria may have moved chemical weapons - CNN.com Blogs

Russian Military Source: Syria Received Panzer-C1 Air Defense Systems- SANA

Syria: UN official concerned over news of journalist’s death in government detention - United Nations News Centre

VIDEO: Secretary of State Kerry with Jordan FM, comments on Syria, North Korea - YouTube

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Al Qaeda's Syrian affiliate seizes control of another town - The Long War Journal

Iranian Guards commander Shateri killed in Syria - Reuters

Shateri: Iran’s Regional Point Man, He controlled funds amounting to $200 million a year - Asharq Alawsat Newspaper (English)

FSA to seize Mikati’s assets in Syria for supporting Assad - Ya Libnan

Along Turkey's Border, Smugglers Supply Syrian Refugees And Rebels - worldcrunch.com

Syrian rebels loot artifacts to raise money for fight against Assad - The Washington Post

VIDEO: MIG Fighter Jet Downed in Idlib (As It Happened) - YouTube

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Northern Ireland nixes scanners because they don’t work

The millimeter wave scanners are no better at detecting contraband than their radiation-emitting counterparts, the backscatter scanners. But then, we’ve only been telling you that for years.

Read the rest at TSA News.

Obama's Failed State

 

Obama's Failed State

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Obama's State of the Union address didn't surprise. It reflected rogue leadership. It was beginning-to-end demagogic boilerplate. 

 

Defending the indefensible took center stage. Rhetoric substituted for progressive policies. Bombast assured business as usual. 

 

Beating Up on Iran Continues

 

Beating Up on Iran Continues

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

It's continued for decades. Iran's a prime target of choice. Washington deplores independent governments. 

 

It wants pro-Western ones replacing them. It doesn't care if they're democratic, despotic or anything in between. Subservience to Washington alone matters.

 

Syria News - Feb 14

 

 

Russian arms exporter says supplies to Syria will go on - Reuters

Syrian foreign minister, rebel chief to visit Moscow - NOW

In Speech, Obama Tempers Expectations of Syria’s Future - NYTimes.com

Kerry seeks to change Assad's thinking on remaining in power, says his priority is to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict - Houston Chronicle

Qatar to hand over Syrian Embassy to rebel Syrian National Coalition - Washington Times

Tehran mocks of rumors about sending its fighters to Syria - breakingnews.sy

Lebanese Energy Ministry denies providing fuel to Syria - NOW

Lebanese protesters block fuel shipments to Syria - Yahoo! News

Jordanian activists back Assad - Ynetnews

PLO seeks to neutralize Palestinian refugee camps from Syria's internal conflict - Bahrain News Agency

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Kidnappings, rapes, and trafficking of Syrian refugees, Minorities have become an easy target for criminals and terrorists - Fides

Syria official warns of trafficking in antiquities - Kentucky.com

Al Nusrah Front, FSA overrun another Syrian military base (VIDEO) - The Long War Journal

Syria's Al Qaeda-linked militants gain hearts by providing food to Syria's population - The National

Ahrar al-Sham jihadists emerge from shadows in north Syria - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Syrian Civil War Grounded To A Stalemate - IDN-InDepthNewss

Fragile cease-fire between rebels and government holds in besieged town (VIDEO) - CNN.com

Salafi Movement in Jordan Admits Six of its Members Killed in Syria- SANA

Maghreb jihadists flock to Syria - Magharebia.com

Egyptian activist killed in combat in Syria - Ahram Online

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Arabs, Turkey Want to Control Serekaniye for Strategic Advantage, Kurdish Leader Says - Rudaw.net - English 

Iraq’s Kurdistan launches donation campaign as Syrian refugees reach 90,000 (video) - PressTV

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Nine Brave People Arrested Blocking Gate to Hancock Drone Murder Base in Upstate NY

(UPDATED WITH THEIR STATEMENT BELOW)

Nine opponents of killing human beings with missiles shot from drones were arrested on Wednesday nonviolently interfering with the drone kill program (taken to include the routine use of drones in Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as the targeted kill list) at Hancock Air Base near Syracuse, NY.

The nine arrested for disturbing the war were: Matt Ryan, Carmen Trotta, Nancy Gowan, Bill Pickard, Bill Streit, Jim Clune, Ellen Grady, Linda Letender, and Mary Anne Grady Flores.

Below are signs they displayed while blocking the gate.

Report and photos courtesy of Ellen Grady.

Via Malachy Kilbride, here's a list of 35 names of people from across the country who will be going to court at some point for actions against the drones.  Others, of course, already have been to court and in some cases are behind bars: Dan Burgevin, Jim Clune, Jack Gilroy, Martha Hennessy, Bryan Hynes, Ed Kinane, Rae Kramer, Julienne Oldfield, Mary Snyder, Elliott Adams, Judy Bello, Mark Colville, Paul Frazier, Clare Grady, Mary Ann Grady-Flores, Andrea Levine, Bonny Mahoney, Mike Perry, James Ricks, Mark Scibilia-Carver, Paki Weiland, John Heid, David and Jan Hartsough, Sharon Delgado, Jane Kesselman, Shirley Osgood, Ann Wright, David Barrows, JoAnn Lingle, Toby Blome, Alli McCracken, Joan Nicholson, Eve Tetaz, and Jonathon Tucker.

 9  ARRESTED AT HANCOCK AIR BASE TODAY FOR OPPOSING REAPER DRONE WAR CRIMES

Around 3:30pm today, 9 individuals were arrested by DeWitt Police and Onondaga County Sheriffs for peaceably blocking the main entrance to

Hancock Air Base on East Molloy Rd in the town of DeWitt, a Syracuse, NY suburb.  Hancock is the regional hub for the hunter/killer Reaper drone deployed over Afghanistan, Pakistan and, increasingly, elsewhere.

This nonviolent civil resistance is the most recent in a series of actions at Hancock meant to expose and deter the Reaper war crimes originating there. Over the last two years dozens of Upstate Drone Action members have been arrested as we sought to communicate our concerns to the Base Command and personnel by delivering to them a Citizens’ War Crimes Indictment [see attached]. Ironically, at a base bristling with lethal weaponry, the bases Mission Support Group Commander, Col. Earl A. Evans, once again, requested and received from the Dewitt Town Court an order of protection against the nonviolent activists. The activists are bewildered by the request and the Courts acquiescence to it, not merely for its demeaning implications but for its as yet unknown legal ramifications. Currently, 20 non-violent citizens have received this order.  

According to Upstate Drone Action member,  Jim Clune, 

        “The Reaper strikes and the United States’ killer drone policies have taken the lives of thousands in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere. These strikes are illegal and immoral. Under international agreements, which the US has signed, the killing of civilians, extra-judicial murder, violation of national sovereignty, and violation of due process are all illegal acts.”

Father Bill Pickard , member of Pax Christi, further noted:

        “We came to Hancock Air Base this Ash Wednesday to repent for the actions of our government and to ask God’s forgiveness and the forgiveness of the people we daily terrorize with these weaponized drones.”

Those arrested today include:

   Bill Frankel-Streit, Trevilians, VA…. Nancy Gowen, Richmond, VA…. Ellen Grady, Ithaca, NY….

   Linda LeTendre, Saratoga Springs, NY….Rev. Bill Pickard, Scranton, PA…. Matt  Ryan, Ithaca...

   Mary Anne Grady, Ithaca, NY…. Carmen Trotta, New York, NY,  Jim Clune, Binghamton.###

 

Statement of the Defendants

We come to Hancock Airfield, home of the National Reaper  Drone Maintainence and Training center, this Ash Wednesday -- to remember the victims of our drone strikes and to ask God's forgiveness for the killing of other human beings, most especially children.
      The killer drone strikes and the US's killer drone policies have taken the lives of thousands in a number of countries, such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia.   These strikes are illegal and immoral.  Under international agreements, which the US has signed, the killing of civilians, extra-judicial murders, violations of national sovereignty, and violations of due process are ALL illegal acts.
      We come to Hancock Airfield this Ash Wednesday to repent for the actions of our government and to ask God's forgiveness and the forgiveness of the people we daily terrorize with these drones.
      We remind ourselves that our lives are brief and mysterious, and that "from dust we were created and to dust we shall return!"  The significance of our brief animation is the degree to which we love one another.
      Lent is a time to repent--literally, to change our minds.   It is a time to REMIND ourselves of Jesus' command to love our neighbors and our enemies.  It is a time to REMIND ourselves of Jesus' radical, non-violent message  love.
       Stop the Killing.  Ground the Drones. STOP the Wars.

 



WAR CRIMES INDICTMENT

To President Obama, to Secretary of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, to the full Military Chain of the Command, including Commander Colonel Greg Semmel, to all Service Members and civilian staff of Hancock Air Base, and to the local police and Sheriffs Department of the Town of De Witt, NY:

Each one of you, when you became a public servant, serving in a government position or when you joined the United States Armed Forces or police, you publicly promised to uphold the United States Constitution. We take this opportunity to call your attention to Article VI of the US Constitution, which states:

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary not with standing.

This clause is known as the Supremacy Clause because it provides that the Constitution and laws of the U.S., including treaties made under authority of the U.S. shall be supreme law of the land.

The Supremacy Clause provides part of the Supreme Law of the Land.

One Treaty duly ratified by the U.S. is the United Nations Charter. It was ratified by a vote of 89 to 2 in the U.S. Senate, and signed by the President in 1945. It remains in effect today. As such, it is part of supreme law of the land.

The Preamble of the U.N. Charter states that its purpose is to “save future generation from the scourge of war” and it further states, “all nations shall refrain from the use of force against another nation.”

This Treaty applies both collectively and individually to all three branches of government, on all levels, U.S. federal, state and local governments, starting with the executive branch: the U.S. President and the executive staff; the judicial branch: all judges and staff members of the judiciary; the legislative branch: all members of the U.S. Armed Forces and all departments of Law Enforcement and all civilian staff, who have sworn to uphold the Constitution, which includes Article VI.

Under the U.N. Charter and long established international laws, anyone--civilian, military, government officials, or judge- who knowingly participates in or supports illegal use of force against another nation or its people is committing a war crime.

Today you must recognize that when you promised to uphold the Constitution, you promised to obey Treaties and International Law – as part of the Supreme Law of the Land and furthermore, under the Uniform Code of Military Justice of the U.S., you are required to disobey any clearly unlawful order from a superior.

Based on all the above,
WE, THE PEOPLE, CHARGE THE UNITED STATES PRESIDENT, BARAK OBAMA AND THE FULL MILITARY CHAIN OF COMMAND TO COMMANDER COLONEL GREG SEMMEL,
EVERY DRONE CREW, AND SERVICE MEMBERS AT
HANCOCK AIR BASE, WITH
CRIMES AGAINST PEACE &
CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, WITH
VIOLATIONS OF PART OF THE SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND, EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS, VIOLATION OF DUE PROCESS,
WARS OF AGGRESSION, VIOLATION OF NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY, AND KILLING OF INNOCENT CIVILIANS.

We charge that the Air National Guard of the United States of America, headquartered at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, home of the 174th Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard, under the command of the 174th Fighter Wing Commander Colonel Greg Semmel, is maintaining and deploying the MQ-9 Reaper robotic aircraft, called drones.

These drones are being used not only in combat situations for the purpose of assassinations but also for killings far removed from combat zones without military defense, to assassinate individuals and groups far removed from military action.

Extra judicial killings, such as those the U.S. carries out by drones are intentional, premeditated, and deliberate use of lethal force to commit murder in violation of U.S. and International Law.

It is a matter of public record that the US has used drones in Afghanistan and in Iraq for targeted killings to target specific individuals which has nearly always resulted in the deaths of many others.

There is no legal basis for defining the scope of area where drones can or cannot be used, no legal criteria for deciding which people can be targeted for killing, no procedural safeguards to ensure the legality of the decision to kill and the accuracy of the assassinations.

In support of this indictment we cite the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, who has said that the use of drones creates “a highly problematic blurring and the law applicable to the use of inter-state force.... The result has been the displacement of clear legal standards with a vaguely defined license to kill, and the creation of a major accountability vacuum.... In terms of the legal framework, many of these practices violate straightforward applicable legal rules.” See United Nations General Assembly Human Rights Council Study on Targeted Killings, 28, May 2010.

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/docs/14session/A.HRC.14 .24.Add6.pdf

The drone attacks either originating at Hancock or supported here are a deliberate illegal use of force against another nation, and as such are a felonious violation of Article VI of the US Constitution.

By giving material support to the drone program, you as individuals are violating the Constitution, dishonoring your oath, and committing war crimes.

 

We demand that you stop participating in any part of the operations of MQ-9 drones immediately, being accountable to the people of United States and Afghanistan.

As citizens of this nation, which maintains over 700 military bases around the globe, and the largest, most deadly military arsenal in the world, we believe these words of Martin Luther King still hold true, ”the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today is my own government”.

There is hope for a better world when WE, THE PEOPLE, hold our government accountable to the laws and treaties that govern the use of lethal force and war. To the extent that we ignore our laws and constitution and allow for the unchecked use of lethal force by our government, allowing the government to kill who ever it wants, where ever it wants, how ever it wants with no accountability, we make the world less safe for children everywhere.

We appeal to all United States citizens, military and civilian, and to all public officials, to do as required by the Nuremburg Principles I-VII, and by Conscience, to refuse to participate in these crimes, to denounce them, and to resist them nonviolently.

Signed by:
THE UPSTATE COALITION TO
GROUND THE DRONES AND END THE WARS

 

TSA wrecks $20,000 cello bow

 

German cellist Alban Gerhardt says the TSA damaged his $20,000 bow (at Dulles International Airport or O’Hare International, depending on which press account you read).

Read the rest at TSA News.

SEARCHING FOR OCCUPY finds the Navajo Nation in St. Louis and Kentucky

 

It seems about a century ago that I was in St. Louis where Don Yellowman and Fern Benally of Black Mesa, Arizona tried to deliver a letter on behalf of elders of Black Mesa/Big Mountain to Peabody CEO, Greg H. Boyce. The letter spoke to the devastation caused by Peabody's 46 years of strip mining coal on the Navajo reservation.

Talk Nation Radio: "I Killed People in Afghanistan: Was I Right or Wrong?"

Tim Kudo is a U.S. Marine who has participated in the war on Afghanistan.

He's authored these columns:

Washington Post: I Killed People in Afghanistan. Was I Right or Wrong?

Washington Post: How the Marines Video Made the Afghan War Even Tougher

New York Times: On War and Redemption

Kudo discusses the morality of war with, and disagrees with, host David Swanson.

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

 

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The LAPD Got their Man How They Wanted Him: Dead

 

By Dave Lindorff


It was clear from the outset when fired LAPD cop Chris Dorner began his campaign of terror against his former employer that the California law enforcement establishment, led by the LAPD itself, had no interest in Dorner surviving to face trial where he could continue to rat out the racist and corrupt underbelly of the one of the country’s biggest police departments.

Escalating Pressure on Iran

 

Escalating Pressure on Iran

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Secretary of State John Kerry's clear where he stands. He laid down markers. He demands Iran comply with Washington's demands. Left unsaid is what follows otherwise.

 

On February 26, nuclear talks will resume. P5+1 countries (Washington, Britain, Germany, China and Russia) will meet Iranian negotiators. They'll do so in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

3 reasons you’ll shut up after you’ve been humiliated by the TSA, by Christopher Elliott

Like most infrequent air travelers, Vicki Burton just wants to get through security without causing a scene. So on a recent flight from Chattanooga, Tenn., to Miami, she obediently stepped into the airport’s full-body scanner, held her arms up, and waited for the agent to wave her through.

He didn't.

Read the rest at TSA News.

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