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Netanyahu's Science-Project Poster Disguises Backdown on Iran

 

Netanyahu Backs Off on Iran

September 28, 2012

Editor Note: While Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu was belligerent in tone at the UN, he signaled a retreat on substance, postponing his threatened attack on Iran’s nuclear sites. That suggests he is reading the U.S. polls and thinks he may have to deal with President Obama in a second term, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern

The main takeaway from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s U.N. speech was the inference that he has been forced to relent on the possibility of military action against Iran, with his threats deferred past the U.S. election on Nov. 6 and off into next spring and beyond.

U.S. and U.K. War Veterans Against Drones

"What, quite unmanned in folly?" --Lady MacBeth

This past Thursday was a beautiful day for a protest, both in London, England, and in San Diego, California.  Fortunately for those of us who still care about peace and justice in the world -- even to the point of opposing cold-blooded murder no matter who does the murdering or how far away the victim is -- Veterans For Peace has become an international organization.

General Atomics is the manufacturer of the Predator and Reaper UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) in service with the U.S. and U.K. militaries. These drones have  been used in numerous attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and other countries. People targeted by these weapons are killed from above without warning and without due legal process. Numerous entirely innocent people including women and children have been killed by these weapon systems.  Here's a former British drone pilot who just admitted that he was minutes away from murdering "an insurgent" when he realized it was a little kid playing in the dirt.

Many of us remember taking over General Atomics' offices in Washington, D.C., last October (video).  That's me and Tighe Barry, with filmmaker Dennis Trainor Jr., going in the side door and opening the front door for the crowd.

As it happens, General Atomics does its evil work in San Diego and London.  Veterans for Peace has no tolerance for murderous robot planes, wherever they're made.  Mike Reid, executive director of Veterans For Peace, said on Thursday, "If we oppose murder at close range, we should oppose it at long distance.  If we oppose it when it's risky and difficult, we should be horrified of a practice that makes it trivial and easy.  Imagining that drone wars don't damage the very culture of the people engaged in them is naive.  Those manufacturing these instruments of death, in particular, should think long and hard about the road they are on."

They had a chance to do just that on Thursday.  "On a bright autumn afternoon," reports Ben Griffin, "VFP UK headed to Tower 42, which contains the offices of General Atomics in London. We took our placards bearing the slogans 'GROUND THE DRONES' and 'GENERAL ATOMICS, DEATH FROM ABOVE.'  We unfurled our VFP flag donated by Gerry Condon and set about handing out our flyers."

"Within minutes we were joined by over 20 nuns from the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. They had heard about our protest and wanted to join in. They were soon into full song and dealt with an inquiring policeman effectively. Folks from Occupy, Friends of Bradley Manning, London Catholic Worker and supporters of Julian Assange also turned up."

Griffin's remarks to that crowd included this:

"People are targeted with these weapons without being identified and are killed from above without warning. Numerous innocent civilians including women and children have been killed as a result of these attacks. Mosques, schools, funerals and meetings of elders have all been attacked by drones. People responding to drone strikes by pulling the wounded out of buildings have also been attacked with these weapons. We must spread the word about these weapons, and the hidden wars they are used in."

And the word was spread to passing cars honking their support, passersby stopping to inquire, and many people who worked in the building, some of them surprised to learn that General Atomics was there as well. 

A bit later on Thursday, the afternoon sun reached General Atomics in Poway, California, where, Dave Patterson reports, "Veterans For Peace, Chapter 91, had terrific posters and banners.  I think I can say that our momentum is picking up for this cause now in week 6 of sequential demonstrations."

Here's a terrific video.

If you're in Southern California on a Thursday, join the protest from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the corner of Scripps Poway Parkway and General Atomics Way in Poway, CA.

Veterans For Peace is calling for the grounding of Predator and Reaper Drones and for General Atomics to stop manufacturing them.  Other members of VFP are currently traveling from the United States to Pakistan as part of a delegation organized by Code Pink to visit one area where U.S. drone strikes have become frequent.  VFP is part of a coalition organizing an online petition in support of banning weaponized drones.

Veterans For Peace was founded in 1985 and has approximately 5,000 members in 150 chapters located in every U.S. state and several countries.  It is a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization recognized as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) by the United Nations, and is the only national veterans' organization calling for the abolishment of war.

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David Swanson is an associate (meaning non-veteran) member of and a paid contractor for Veterans For Peace.

TSA: Freeze, or else

We have another not-a-new-story but one that many people still haven’t heard yet and for which there’s a new video that’s making the rounds. And lucky us, we can see the TSA’s foray into Saturday morning cartoon territory.

Read the rest at TSA News.

New York Times Promotes War on Syria

 

New York Times Promotes War on Syria

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

The Times isn't alone, but its view matters. It has global reach. It's true in articles, editorials, and op-eds.

 

The Times is out in front supporting US wars and others planned. Concerns aren't raised about constitutional or international law violations. Crimes of war, against humanity, mass slaughter and destruction are non-issues.

Terry Williams: A Life in the Balance

 

Terry Williams: A Life in the Balance

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Human life is sacred. Throughout its history, US policy scored it. It shows horrifically in one war after another. It's no different at home at the federal, state, or local levels.

 

Syria News - Sep 28

 

 

Syria rebels say launch decisive battle in Aleppo - Reuters

Syrian military's text to rebels: 'Game over' - Times Union

Commerce in war torn Aleppo grinds to a halt - CNN.com Blogs

UN: Syrian Refugee Exodus to Reach 700,000 - VOA

Syrian rebels get new ammunitions in Aleppo,“Everyone is willing to pay you just a little bit to buy you – the Muslim brotherhood, Riad al-Assad - CounterPsyOps

Armed group blow up oil pipeline in NE Syria - Xinhua | English.news.cn

VIDEO: Syria rebels announce decisive Aleppo attack - Video Dailymotion

VIDEO: Rebel chiefs meet in their Aleppo headquarters - MSN Video

VIDEO: Free Syrian Army Rebels Take Refuge in Turkey, Funnel Weapons Across Border - PBS NewsHour

VIDEO: The DIY Weapons Of The Syrian Opposition - Brown Moses Blogn

VIDEO: Islamists Attack Christians In Syria - Walid Shoebat

Scholar Warns Syria Rebels Could Turn Into Warlords - VOA

Syria Islamists: 'next stop Israel' - The Jewish Chronicle

Britons Among Foreign Jihadists Fighting in Syria

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Hezbollah increases support for Syrian regime, U.S. and Lebanese officials say - The Washington Post

Turkey’s Erdoğan slams Russia, says it stands by massacre in Syria - TODAYSZAMAN

Iraq's Maliki turns down Turkey's invitation to AK Party congress - TODAYSZAMAN

Syrian Muslim Brotherhood says Russia “an excuse” for inaction - NOW LEBANON

Clearing Syrian WMDs Means 75K Troops and Massive Air Strikes - U.S. Naval Institute

Russia helped US to interact with Syria on WMDs – Lavrov : Voice of Russia

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Building Bridges Instead of Imperial Wars

 

John Grant

 

“Blows that don’t break your back make it stronger.”
- Anthony Quinn in Omar Mukhtar, Lion of the Desert
 

 

For years, I’ve been working either in the journalism realm or as an antiwar veteran activist expressing the core idea that the United States of America is an “empire,” that its militarist foreign policy is “imperialistic” and that many of our perennial and current problems are rooted in the reality that, as an imperial nation, like many empires in history, we’re overextending ourselves and destroying something that is dear to all American citizens who love this country.

'Our (New) Terrorists' the MEK: Have We Seen This Movie Before?

And what kind of mind-boggling corruption -- of the worst kind -- influence peddling by a "foreign power" (as defined by the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to include foreign terrorist groups) -- lies hidden behind the curtain? Could some members of the MEK "foreign terrorist organization," their murderous history magically erased, be sent to a nice suburb somewhere to live as your next door neighbor as happens with the organized crime "witness protection program?" Or will the soon-to-be-legalized "terrorism" of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (or mojahedin-e khalq, usually referred to as MEK) find more utilitarian function in the mode of how U.S. neoconservative officials plotted with and used convicted con artist Ahmad Chalabi and his Iraqi expatriate group to gin up the false "intelligence" that served to launch the unjustified and counter-productive war on Iraq?

Obama in New York

 

Obama in New York

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

On September 25, Obama addressed the UN General Assembly. Duplicity, imperial arrogance, and belligerent were conspicuous.

 

Syria News - Sep 27

 

Suicide bombers strike outside Syrian military headquarters in Damascus, FSA claims responsibility in cooperation with an Islamist group, VIDEO - The Washington Post

Syrian Rebels : Damascus Attack a Preview of More Bombings to Come - The Daily Beast

Iranian reporter killed by sniper at scene of blasts targeting Syria military HQ in Damascus - CBS News

VIDEO: Syrian rebels bomb Damascus military building - euronews

VIDEO: Damascus car bomb aftermath aired on Syrian state TV - Telegraph

VIDEO: Last moments of Iranian reporter killed by rebel sniper - YouTube

Report: FSA Gunmen Kill Lebanese Man — Naharnet

West complicit in Syria “massacres,” rebel leader says - Now  Lebanon

Syrian rebel chief and other defectors abandon FSA and return to the Assad army - Now Lebanon

VIDEO: High figure of FSA defects to engage in dialogue with government - CounterPsyOps

----------------------------------------------------------------------

240 Christian hostages released by Syrian rebels in the village of Rableh - Vatican

Syria’s Suffering Christians Flood Neighboring Countries as Civil War Continues - NCRegister.com

Are the Syrian Christians vanishing? - National Post

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Putin: Use of Force without UN Approval is Road to Chaos, Unilateral actions or block agreements are unacceptable - RIA Novosti

VIDEO: Russian Foreign Minister defends support of Syria - CBS News

At U.N., Qatar emir calls on Arab nations to intervene in Syria - The Washington Post

Tunisia says would support Arab peacekeepers in Syria - Now Lebanon

India against unauthorised internal intervention - The New Indian Express

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Syria not to blame for surge in Turkey violence, analysts say - Now Lebanon

Turkish Opposition Party : Erdogan's Support to Terrorists a Constitutional Crime - SANA

Turks prefer Gul over Erdogan for president: poll - Yahoo! News

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Teaching Torture

Michael Collins
Texas School District(s) Allow Male Administrators to Paddle Female Students

Sometimes keeping up with our societal decline becomes a bit too much. For example:

SPRINGTOWN, Texas — Like many schools in Texas, “spare the rod and spoil the child” might be considered the motto at Springtown High School.

But when two teenage girls there reportedly suffered bruises after being paddled by male assistant principals, some parents complained. They weren’t upset about the punishment itself, but instead that the school violated the policy requiring an educator of the same sex as the student to dole out the paddling. Associated Press, September 24 2012

The school board for Sprigtown, Texas responded by expanding official policy to allow male administrators to paddle female students. There were no restrictions on prurient motives or sexual arousal by male administrators while administering the structured beatings. AP failed to report any serious questioning of the process save those by People Opposed to Paddling Students, a Texas-wide organization opposed to corporal punishment. Seventy-five percent of Texas school districts allow paddling as punishment, some for minor offenses up the line of disciplinary. (Image:  The Faculty)

Talk Nation Radio: Comedy as Political Force

Lee Camp is a comedian / political commentator / online video ranter extraordinaire.   In the edition of Talk Nation Radio, we sample his rants and discuss with him the development and political value of his medium.  For more see http://leecamp.net

Lee Camp's new book is called Moment of Clarity: The Rantings of a Stark Raving Sane Man

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!

Embed on your own site with this code:

<object autostart="false" data="http://davidswanson.org/sites/davidswanson.org/files/talknationradio/talknationradio_20120926.mp3" height="100px" width="400px"></object>

Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete at http://davidswanson.org/talknationradio

TSA thumbs its nose at the law, courts say OK

Over a year ago, the TSA was ordered to hold a public comment period on the use of the strip-search scanners. The agency ignored that order.

Read the rest at TSA News.

Iran, Israel, and Existential Threats

I had dinner with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday night in New York, along with dozens of other peace activists.  This is an annual event, and I've taken part in it more than once. 

There's some divergence of opinion on Ahmadinejad.  The New York Daily News on Tuesday called Ahmadinejad "a pure evil crackpot Holocaust denier who wants to see Israel obliterated from planet Earth." 

In contrast, a Jewish lawyer addressing the dinner gathering said that a friend had told him not to come on Yom Kippur when he should be home atoning for his sins.  "I'm going to go," he said he told his friend, "and atone for the sins of Israel."

The media tells us that Ahmadinejad is "an existential threat to Israel."  Let's consider that.

I start from the assumption that an existential threat to a human being is a greater concern than an existential threat to a government.  Denying a past existential threat to millions of human beings is offensive and dangerous.  Creating a new existential threat to millions of human beings is worse -- is, in fact, the danger we try to avoid by properly remembering the past.

President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that no speech, not even a video attacking Islam, should be censored, and no speech can justify violence.  But the absence of speech, in Obama's view, can justify war.  The Democratic Party Platform calls for war on Iran if Iran does not cease violating the nonproliferation treaty.  Obama declared on Tuesday that if Iran were to develop nuclear weapons it would destroy the nonproliferation treaty.  It would start a nuclear arms race.  Iran would be, or rather it already is, a threat to Israel's existence.

But how exactly can Iran stop violating a treaty that it is not violating?  What can it say to prove it does not have what even the U.S. National Intelligence Estimates say it does not have and is not working to produce?  How can Iran prove a negative?  Many of us still recall that impossible task being assigned to Iraq in 2003.

As Ramsey Clark, the U.S. attorney general at the time the nonproliferation treaty was created, argued at the meeting with Ahmadinejad, the United States is itself violating the treaty -- a treaty that would be better called the nonproliferation and elimination treaty, as it requires the elimination of nuclear weapons.  Iran is a party to the treaty and in compliance with it.  Israel has refused to sign the treaty or to allow inspections.  Iran received its nuclear power technology from the United States, which also gave it the plans to build a bomb -- this through a CIA project that might fairly be characterized as pure evil crackpotism.  The United States has also spread that technology to India and Pakistan.  The nukes in Western Asia are in Israel and on U.S. ships off the coast of Iran. 

U.S. and Israeli forces have Iran surrounded, and are threatening war in violation of the U.N. Charter.  Israel and the United States have attacked Iranian computers, assassinated Iranian scientists, flown drones over Iran, imposed sanctions on the Iranian people (including cutting off oil supplies and clean energy technologies).  The United States has organized a massive military exercise off the coast of Iran, and has just taken the terrorist label off an Iranian terrorist group, opening the door to funding its operations.  The very real threat of war on Iran is an existential threat to millions of human beings, a threat -- in other words -- of mass murder.

What kind of threat is Iran to Israel?  According to Ahmadinejad, his religious and political leaders have made the possession or use of nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons a terrible sin.  When attacked by Iraq with chemical weapons -- some of them supplied by the United States -- Iran refused to use such weapons in response.  Iran, which remembers chemical weapons as an argument for peace in the way that Japan remembers nuclear weapons, makes a distinction between defensive weapons and weapons that indiscriminately kill the innocent.  The latter are forbidden.  Iran this month persuaded 120 nations of the world to back a plan to do exactly what the nonproliferation and elimination treaty requires: eliminating nuclear weapons. 

Talking about the nuclear question, Ahmadinejad told us, has grown tiresome and repetitive.  Iran is in compliance with the law and has put the IAEA in charge of inspections.  The root cause of U.S. aggression toward Iran, he said, has nothing to do with nuclear weapons.  Why did the United States back Saddam Hussein in a war against Iran?  Because the Iranian people had overthrown a U.S.-backed dictatorship.  Why has the U.S. imposed sanctions on Iran in the past, he asked, when nuclear enrichment was not an issue?  In the past year, he noted, the United States has sold over $70 billion in weapons to nations in the Persian Gulf, while Iran spends less one-fifth that amount.  How, he asked, is Iran the aggressor?

When U.S. headlines tell us that Ahmadinejad will destroy Israel, we picture Hiroshima, or Dresden, or Fallujah.  That's how we think of a nation ceasing to exist.  We think of its people destroyed from above.  But Ahmadinejad says he wants to end killing and injustice.  He speaks of peace and love, fairness and kindness.  How does this make sense?  Well, look at what he says on Israel:

"During a historical phase, they [the Israelis] represent minimal disturbances that come into the picture and are then eliminated."

The Wall Street Journal follows that paragraph with this: "Note that word -- 'eliminated.' When Iranians talk about Israel, this intention of a final solution keeps coming up. In October 2005, Mr. Ahmadinejad, quoting the Ayatollah Khomeini, said Israel 'must be wiped off the map.' Lest anyone miss the point, the Iranian President said in June 2008 that Israel 'has reached the end of its function and will soon disappear off the geographical domain.'"

But in fact, when pressed on this, what Ahmadinejad has said is: "Our proposal is for everyone to allow people to freely hold elections and choose their governors. It's been 6 ½ to 7 decades during which the people of Palestine have been dislodged from their homes. And their territories are under occupation, and an occupying regime has been bullying them and forcing them into the current conditions. If such a fate would have come into the lives of ordinary Americans, what proposal would you have had for them? I am sure you would propose for their elimination of international bullying and occupation. Imagine in your mind that the occupation of Palestine has come to an end. What would there remain? So this is the essence of what we are saying."

In other words, were Palestine freed of apartheid and occupation, were all of its people permitted to freely determine their future, that future would not include a government that gives superior status to Jews.  Such a future could be horrible, or it could be more democratic and respectful of individual rights than Israel is, or than Iran is, or than the United States is.

"If there are other inhabitants there," Menachem Usshiskin said of Jewish plans for Palestine in 1930, "they must be transferred to some other place.  We must take over the land."  The occupation of Palestine is not so much an existential threat as an existential fait accompli.  The state of Israel was created through ethnic cleansing.  It was created as a state to privilege one religious group, something that states should not be. 

But two wrongs cannot make a right.  Evicting Israelis from their homes, inside or outside the Green Line, is not a solution.  Much less is killing them a solution or anything that Ahmadinejad is proposing.

Yehouda Shenhav's new book, "Beyond the Two State Solution: A Jewish Political Essay" tells the story of Israel's creation.  The language of the Green Line, Shenhav writes, is "a language through which Israel is described as a liberal democracy, while the Arabs (and Mizrahi and religious Jews to boot) are described as inferior and undemocratic.  This is the language of someone who came to the Middle East for a short while, not to integrate but to exist here as a guest.  The position it expresses is not only immoral with regard to the Palestinians, but also potentially disastrous for the Jews.  It commits them to life in a ghetto with a limited idea of democracy based on racial laws and a perpetual state of emergency."

This is an Israeli suggesting that the worldview of Israel agrees with Ahmadinejad's prediction for Israel.  Israel is not behaving as if it means to settle down and become part of the region it inhabits.  Shenhav wants to restore awareness of 1948, but not to try to reconstruct the world of 1948.  He does not propose eliminating Israel.  He does not propose uniting the people of Israel and Palestine into a single nation.  He does propose allowing Palestinians to return to their homes in a manner least disturbing to Israelis already living in those villages or buildings, including with compensation paid to residents evicted by an agreement with returning refugees.  He proposes a bilingual society, with a fragmented political federation.  He expects this to be very difficult, while preferable to any other approach.  And he rightly sees the first step as recovering honesty with regards to not-so-distant history.

Another book just released by Brant Rosen, a Rabbi in the United States, is called "Wrestling in Daylight: A Rabbi's Path to Palestinian Solidarity."  Here we have a brand new genre: the transformation of a website, including blog posts and the comments under them, into a work of literature on the printed page.  Here we have an example of civil discourse, of diplomacy, of people with the views of the New York Daily News and the views of the Iranian government ceasing to speak past each other, coming to understand each other, realizing that neither wants to destroy the other.  I highly recommend reading it and emulating it.

A Mennonite speaking at Tuesday's meeting with Ahmadinejad said he wished others could travel to Iran, and that more Iranians could visit the United States.  He said that after decades of visiting Iran frequently, he not only viewed Iranians as friends but understood the source of tension to be the Iranian government's insistence on remaining independent of U.S. control.  As if to prove the value of his recommendation for personal interaction, the next person to speak, an evangelical pastor from Texas named Bob Roberts said that he used to be afraid of Muslims.  Then he met some in Afghanistan, and they became his friends.

Exiled critic of the Iranian government Shirin Ebadi released a message on Tuesday worth reading and signing on in support of.

I discussed these matters on New York's WBAI on Tuesday.  Here's that audio.

Agitate for Change

 

Agitate for Change

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Sitting on the sidelines accomplishes nothing. Indifference isn't an option. Nothing important changes without public involvement and activism. "We the people" must show we mean it.

 

Fatah Israeli Collaborators

 

Fatah Israeli Collaborators 

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Call it an open secret. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, unelected Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, and like-minded Fatah officials collaborate with Israel's occupation harshness.

 

You’re in Good Hands with Happy Hands Homeland Security

Political movements never succeed by one method or strategy alone. It takes many tactics, many plans, many approaches, many disparate–even at times conflicting–actions to get things done. And artists are always an important part of the effort.

Read the rest at TSA News.

Education and Democracy

 

Education and Democracy

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Democracy and an educated citizenry go hand in hand. Public education is the great equalizer. America's founders believed it was insurance against loss of liberty.

 

Jefferson said:

 

Occupation Hell in Palestine

 

Occupation Hell in Palestine

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Forty-five years and counting. In 1977, John Pilger titled his documentary film "Palestine Is Still The Issue." It's no different today than then. In many respects, it's worse.

 

Iran War Weekly - September 24, 2012

Iran War Weekly

September 24, 2012

 

Hello All – The Iran/US/Israel conflict will take center stage this week, as the United Nations opens its new session.  While Presidents Ahmadinejad, Netanyahu, and Obama will be in the spotlight, much of the actual business among the contending players and their allies will take place off-stage, in the wings. For the Obama administration, the dramatic tension will be focused on keeping their re-election script undisturbed.  Presidents Ahmadinejad and Netanyahu, of course, have different roles.

 

The US is still Executing Teens and Locking Kids Up for Life

 

By Dave Lindorff


The United States never misses an opportunity to castigate other countries for “uncivilized” behavior, and certainly there is enough of that to go around almost anywhere you look in the world. But there’s plenty of it here in the U.S. too.


How close are we getting to a “papers, please” society? by Christopher Elliott

America is edging closer to becoming a “papers, please” society, at least when it comes to travel.

Read the rest at TSA News.

Stealing Palestinian Resources

 

Stealing Palestinian Resources

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Israel wants it all. For decades, it's been systematically stealing Palestinian land and resources. 

 

Privatizing Israel's Legal System

 

Privatizing Israel's Legal System

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Israel's Mandatory Arbitration Bill (MA) is troubling. Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman proposed it. It mandates compulsory arbitration for civil suits filed in Magistrate Courts.

 

Syria News - Sep 24

The US is the World's Biggest War-Monger

 

By Dave Lindorff


There is a massive deception campaign in the US, and in its global propaganda, which seeks to portray the United States as a poor set-upon nation that would like world peace but just has to keep a military stationed around the globe to “police” all the world’s “trouble spots.”


Speaking Events

2015

August 27, Chicago

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