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LEFT FORUM: 3 War Criminals Watch/World Can't Wait Panels

 

Targeted Killing, Drone Warfare, Surveillance & Grassroots Resistance: the Obama Doctrine

Saturday, 8th of June  03:40 pm-05:20 pm, Room W622

Iran War Weekly - May 26, 2013

Iran War Weekly

May 26, 2013

 

Hello All – While huge majorities of the US public oppose war with Iran or US intervention in Syria, Congress and the mainstream US media have stepped up the pressure for a more aggressive stance on both fronts.  With these factors in mind, we might ask whether President Obama’s speech this week at the National Defense University – in which he tried to dispose of liberal pressures on his policies re: drones, Guantanamo, and “the war on terror” – should be read as a move away from a confrontation in the Middle East, or as an attempt to secure his liberal base before more intense confrontations with Iran and Syria.

 

Nathaniel Rich in the NYT on scanners, TSA’s coercive tactics

Novelist Nathaniel Rich has written an op-ed for the New York Times on his refusal to go through the strip-search scanners (although it strikes me as inappropriate that the op-ed appears as part of the “Anxiety” series, as if it’s about some quaint neurosis instead of an important civil liberties concern).

Read the rest at TSA News.

Monsanto: Profits Above Human Health

 

Monsanto: Profits Above Human Health

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

On May 25, tens of thousands of people marched against Monsanto. They did so in dozens of countries worldwide. They had good reason. 

 

They want consumer protections enacted. They want safe food to eat. They want governments assuring it. They want GMO foods and ingredients labeled. 

 

Lebanon's Victory Day of National Liberation

 

Lebanon's Victory Day of National Resistance

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Mexico's President Porfirio Diaz (1830 - 1915) reportedly once said "Poor Mexico, so far from God, so close to the United States."

 

Poor Lebanon. It borders Israel. It does so with Syria at the wrong time. It's affected by ongoing conflict. Its southern neighbor matters most.

 

Memorial Day THIS

Imagine if at some point during the 1990s or 1980s the President of the United States had given a speech.  And this was his speech:

My fellow Americans, I've been regularly shooting missiles into people's houses in several countries.  I've wiped out families.  I've killed thousands of people.  Hundreds of them have been little children. 

I've killed grandparents, wives, daughters, neighbors.  I've targeted people without knowing their names but because they appeared to be resisting an occupation of their country.  I've killed whoever was too near them.  Then I've shot another missile a few minutes later to kill whoever was trying to help the victims. 

I don't charge these people with crimes.  I don't seek their extradition.  I don't even try to kidnap them.  And I don't do this to defend against any imminent threat.  I don't make you safer by doing this.  It goes without saying (although the people in the countries I target keep saying it) that I'm generating more new enemies than I'm killing.  But I urge you to remember this: All but four of the people I've killed have been non-U.S. citizens.

So here's what I'm going to do for you: I'm going to start applying the same standards I use for killing U.S. citizens to my killing of non-U.S. citizens, at least in certain countries, at least after another 18 months or so goes by.  Sound good?  I know, I know: what do you care? These are not even U.S. citizens we're talking about. 

So, let me tell you about the four U.S. citizens. 

One of them we didn't actually know who we were shooting at, and he turned out to be a U.S. citizen.  Hell, for all I know a few other bodies could belong to U.S. citizens too -- It's not as if we know all the names and backgrounds. 

A second one of the four we got because he was with the one and only U.S. citizen we targeted.  So, that was a two-fer.  We saved enough on missiles on that one to pay for a school or whatever it is people keep whining about wanting money for.

A third one was a 16-year-old American kid.  He was the son of the one and only U.S. citizen I targeted.  I hit him two weeks after killing his father.  Sheer coincidence.  I don't have any good explanation for it, but you'll just have to trust that I meant to take out a bunch of innocent non-American teenagers, and there happened tragically to be an American among them.

Fourth is the one U.S. citizen I meant to kill.  I'd like to ask you to ignore certain facts about this one for the moment.  Actually forever.  Let's ignore the fact that we tried to kill him before any of the incidents that I now claim justified his killing.  Let's ignore that my attorney general said back then that we were killing him for things he'd said, not for anything he'd done.  Let's forget that we never charged him with any crime, never indicted him, never tried him, never sought his extradition, never appealed to U.S. or foreign or international courts.  Let's forget that we've never made any evidence against him public, nor explained why we can't.  Let's forget that nobody else has produced any evidence against him. 

Now, let me tell you this: I only killed him because he was responsible for planning and executing violent attacks on the United States, was an imminent threat to the United States, and could not possibly have been captured.  Got that?  Write that down.

Now, it's true that courts and the legislature and the public are left out of this.  But you're going to have to trust me.

There is not a single domestic or international law that permits the killing of human beings by someone who invents criteria for himself to meet and then claims on the basis of secret evidence to have met those criteria. 

But, what do you care?  You've already forgotten that for all but one of the people I've killed I don't claim to have met any criteria at all. 

Now clap, you morons!
...

Some speech.

What would the response have been to this some decades back, as compared to last Thursday? 

I think there might have been some outrage. 

Instead of outrage, we're going to have more wars.

This memorial day, see if you can remember what it was like to object to giving presidents the power to murder us.

Syria News May 26

 

 

Hezbollah chief commits to victory in Syria, warning that the fall of the Damascus regime would give rise to Islamic extremists who pose a grave danger to Lebanon - AP

VIDEO: Hezbollah Leader: Islamist Takfiri Groups in Syria Pose a Grave Danger to Lebanon and to All Lebanese - YouTube

Hezbollah, Syrian government forces advance in border town - GlobalPost

Syria regime takes key Qusayr objective, army claims - AFP

At least 28 dead, 250 wounded in Sunni-Alawite clashes in Tripoli (PHOTOS, VIDEO) - RT News

Iraq forces strike Sunni militants near Syria - AFP

Between 180-200 French militants have fought in Syria: Le Monde - GlobalPost

Syrian Businessmen Help Assad Regime Survive - WSJ.com

VIDEO: Rebel Abu Hafs "the Libyan" lays down the law in Aleppo: theft, any breach of contracts or any form of cheating will punishable by decapitation - LiveLeak.com

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Syrian opposition delays a crucial vote to expand the coalition, Islamists think the secularists have been very soft on Assad - aljazeera.com

Syrian opposition in knots over Muslim Brotherhood - AFP

Syria opposition says kidnapped bishops 'in good health' - Yahoo! News UK

RADIO: Bishop of Aleppo gives an inside view of life in Syria's wartorn city - .radiovaticana.va

Kidnapped Syrian Armenian Hagop Mikaelyan released - Public Radio of Armenia

Saudi Arabia says Assad should not have role in Syria talks - AFP

Daughter of Qatari ruler Khalifa Al Thani says Doha’s support for Syria militants ‘scandalous’ - Friends of Syria

Syria: Britain in last ditch bid to persuade EU to relax arms embargo to rebels - Telegraph

Russia: No Evidence on Chemical Weapons' Use by the Government Forces in Syria- SANA, Syria

US does not know who used chemical weapons in Syria - The Voice of Russia

PLO delegation in Syria to discuss refugees - Maan News Agency

French soldier stabbed in neck by robed Muslim attacker - The Washington Post

Anti-Muslim actions rise in UK over slain soldier - Yahoo! News

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Israel: Victim or Aggressor?

            It isn’t unusual to hear Israeli spokespeople talk about the various threats to Israel’s survival. The current bugaboo is Syria, which has displaced Iran only due to the current violent turmoil in Syria. But it is only a matter of time until Israel turns its attention to Iran, depicting that nation as the big bad wolf, just waiting for the right opportunity to chomp down and destroy poor, vulnerable Israel.

Obama: Defending the Indefensible

 

Obama: Defending the Indefensible

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

His doublespeak duplicity reflects the last refuge of a scoundrel. He's the worst in recent memory. Perhaps the worst ever. Forked tongue rhetoric can't disguise it.

 

Throughout his tenure, he governed lawlessly. He's done so at home and abroad. He spurns rule of law principles and other democratic values. 

 

Media Responses to Obama's Speech

 

Media Responses to Obama's Speech

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

They didn't surprise. Media scoundrels support his worst policies. His neoliberal harshness is endorsed. His alliance with monied interests gets no coverage. 

 

His crimes of war, against humanity and genocide go unmentioned.

 

Syria News May 25

 

 

Russia Says Syria Will Attend Geneva Peace Talks - NYTimes.com

Is Bashar al-Assad winning the civil war in Syria? - Telegraph

Bashar al-Assad makes small but strategic gains in Syrian civil war - National Post

Israel, in reassessment, thinks Syria’s Bashar Assad will last awhile - MiamiHerald.com

Syria army can conduct successful operations at will: Germany’s BND - PressTV

Rebel Leaders Ask for Weapons from the West, The FSA could lose its fight against the regime of Assad within a few months, warns Idriss - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Saudi officials meets the Free Syrian Army’s Higher Military Command - TIME.com

Details on Syrian opposition's talks in Turkey - Hassan Hassan

Syria army says rebels trapped in Al-Qusayr's north - AFP

Al-Akhbar takes a close look at the Syrian army’s movements on the ground in Qusayr - Al Akhbar English

VIDEO: Russian state TV with Syrian troops in Qusayr - LiveLeak.com

Clashes in Lebanon’s Tripoli kills 23, says security source - Alarabiya.net 

VIDEO: FireFight During Night In Tripoli Lebanon - LiveLeak.com

Syrian state media: Rebels attack prison in northern city, leaving casualties among inmates - Fox News

Syria says Israeli vehicle entered its territory and was targeted heading to a rebel village - The Washington Post

Russian journalists have proof Syrian terrorists used chemical weapons - SyriaNews

ITV News Twitter account hacked by Syrian Electronic Army - Yahoo! News

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Obama to narrow focus of the "global" war on terrorism - The Boston Globe

VIDEO: Obama: The global war on terror, "like all wars, must end" - CBS News Video

Obama’s six-point plan to wind down the ‘war on terror' - washingtonpost

Biden, Maliki discuss importance of negotiated end to Syria conflict - KUNA

Discord Over Iran Role Shows Hurdles to Peace Talks on Syria - Businessweek

Iran dismisses claims about military presence in Syria - PressTV

Austria Wants EU Arms Embargo to Syria Extended - ABC News

EU must extend Syria arms embargo, Oxfam says - Alarabiya.net

Syria: Arab League Must 'Apologize' before Peace Role - Naharnet

Tensions Rise Between Iraqi, Syrian-Kurdish Parties - Al-Monitor

Syria Kurdish parties trade blames - Kurdpress News Aganecy

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Abolish the CIA

 

A message to RootsAction members from Douglas Valentine, author of
The Phoenix Program:
Lies about Iraq. Cash to corrupt Afghanistan.  Drone wars
waged in secret.  Blowback endangering us all. The CIA does not exist to defend our
freedoms. Wrapped in government secrecy, it exists to assure the political security of
rich political elites. CIA operations -- engaging in secret, legally protected wars, sabotage,
subversion, murders and tortures -- create enemies that Americans fear. And the agency
is an instrument of psychological warfare aimed at you and me. 

Background:
Douglas Valentine: The Phoenix Program
CNN: Karzai: CIA Promises to Continue Cash Payments
The Atlantic: Drone War Has More Victims Than Bush-Era CIA Scandals
Washington Post: An Alternative Explanation for Benghazi


It's time we stop funding this out-of-control agency.

CLICK HERE.

 

Woolrich London Killing: Terrorism or False Flag?

 

Woolrich London Killing: Terrorism or False Flag?

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Reports said two assailants hacked a British soldier to death. He's been identified as Lee Rigby. He was killed in broad daylight. It was several hundred meters from southeast London's Woolwich Royal Artillery barracks.

 

Weapons included a machete type knife. Alleged attackers remained on the scene. They did so until police arrived 20 minutes later.

 

Wall Street Journal Urges War on Syria

 

Wall Street Journal Urges War on Syria

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Perhaps publishing it was strategically timed. It comes with John Kerry in the Middle East. He'll be there through Sunday.

 

He met with foreign ministers of 11 so-called Friends of Syria countries and opposition group representatives. In Jerusalem, he discussed Syria with Netanyahu. 

HOLDING OUR GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABLE: FILING A CRIMINAL COMPLAINT FOR WAR CRIMES

 

It could have been any kind of gathering between friends as I sat with six others in Malachy Kilbride’s living room in Arlington, VA on the morning of May 21, 2013, drinking coffee and munching on pastries.  Besides Malachy and me, we were joined by David Barrows, Max Obuszewski, Manijeh Saba, Ray McGovern, and Ted Majdosz.  But there was a sense of excitement and anticipation in the air that morning.  We have risked arrest together many times before acting in resistance to the illegal and immoral actions of our government, but today we were going to try something different. 

Syria News May 24

 

 

Syrian opposition announces the creation of a military council of all the commanders of the groups fighting in Qusayr including Al Nusra -  Al Akhbar

The Battle for Qusayr: What Victory in Syria’s Latest Front Means for the War, Al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra has more than 2000 fighters there - TIME.com

VIDEO: Big groups of Syrian rebels heading to Qusayr for support - YouTube

Syrian army starts 2nd phase of Qusayr operation - alalam.ir

Battle for Qusayr: Syria Says Rebels’ Supply Routes Totally Cut - almanar.com

Lebanon Clashes Between Syria-Linked Alawites And Sunnis Kill At Least 6 - AFP

Young Lebanese rebel fighters leaving Syria for battle closer to home - The Washington Post

Lebanese Politics Affected By Syrian Battle for Qusair - Al-Monitor

Fighters primarily from Lebanon, Iran and Iraq, Enter Syria to Defend Shiites - Wall Street Journal 

Golan Heats Up as Front Line Between Syria and Israel - Al-Monitor

General says Israel poised for war on Syria if Assad falls, to prevent advanced weapons reaching jihadi rebels or Hezbollah guerrillas - Chicago Tribune

SNC asks for UN humanitarian aid corridor in Syria - World Bulletin

Arab League seeks Syria ceasefire - Oman Observer

Assad Meets Tunisian Delegation, Stresses Role of Arab Powers to Face Extremists, Takfiris - almanar.com

Syrian churches 'desperate', 'exhausted" - christiantoday.com

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Turkish officer in custody over leaks on Reyhanlı attack, Gendarmarie documents claimed that Al Nusra was planning a car bomb attack in Turkey - hurriyetdaily

Peace and Democracy Party Kürkçü Submits Official Inquiry to Turkey Interior Minister on RedHack Cables - Bianet / English

Redhack blog: Turkish Government tries to hide their responsibility for the bombings in Reyhanli by arresting innocent soldiers - redhack.tumblr.com

Redhack blog: Turkish Intelligence Services was aware of the bombs exploded in Reyhanli - redhack.tumblr.com

Turkey's MİT called off police prior to Hatay blasts - todayszaman

Turkey to build wall on border with Syria - APA

Syria's Civil War Fuels Violence in Iraq, Analysts say al-Qaida-linked militants are flowing back and forth from both countries (VIDEO) - VOA

Iraq launches counter-terrorism campaign along Syria border - Mawtani

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Obama meets Russian top security official who delivered Putin' letter, reaffirms his intent to strengthen US-Russia partnership - Voice of Russia

Erdogan deeply disappointed by the meeting with Obama - middleeastmonitor.com

Kerry pushes Europe to amend arms embargo on Syrian rebels- guardian.co.uk

Exclusive: U.S. State Dep To Bring Chemical Weapons Witnesses Out Of Syria - The Daily Beast

On Syria Chemical Weapons, UN's Angela Kane Has Russian Reporter Popova's Information, Prober Ake Sellstrom Next - Inner City Press

Scowcroft Argues for Diplomacy, Not Arming Rebels in Syria or Establishing a No-fly Zone - Washington Wire - WSJ

Syria opposition's Khatib proposes Assad "safe exit" AFP

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

 

Israeli Pillar of Cloud War Crimes

 

Israeli Pillar of Cloud War Crimes

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

On May 8, B'Tselem published a report titled "Human Rights Violations During Operation Pillar of Defense: 14 - 21 November 2012."

 

Israel's Operation Pillar of Cloud (aka Cloud Column/Pillar of Defense) was naked, premeditated aggression. Previous articles discussed it.

Congress Today: Who Does it Really Represent?

With U.S. approval of Congress holding steady at a whopping 15%, one wonders just who it is the elected representatives are representing. Perhaps we can answer that question, by looking at some of their recent activities, and considering some of the things currently left undone.

Protesting War Criminal Rice's (Hypocritical) Speech "Why Democracy Matters" to Minnesota "Law Day" Participants

Women Against Military Madness’ “Tackling Torture at the Top” Committee will lead a demonstration outside the Minneapolis Hilton, 1001 Marquette Avenue South, beginning at 4:00 p.m.  (Thursday, May 23).  

A number of peace activists will be wearing orange jumpsuits, to keep reminding the world of the innocent Gitmo detainees who are on hunger strike because they are so hopeless at being held indefinitely without the right to even know of the charges against them.  

It should be recalled that Guantanamo was initially created by the Bush Administration (also under the tutelage of Condi Rice) by deliberate design, to illegally serve as a location where international and US Constitutional rule of law would not interfere with the indefinite holding and abuse of US prisoners.  Our efforts will hopefully bolster Obama to announce this afternoon in his scheduled “national security speech” (being reported by NY Times “Obama, in a Shift, to Limit Targets of Drone Strikes”) that he will reduce drone assassinations and apparently finally start releasing some of the Gitmo detainees.  

Why would the Minnesota legal community choose to invite, of all people, Condi Rice to speak here when she has repeatedly demonstrated little or no regard for U.S. law?  It should be recalled that Condi is the former official who made up “mushroom cloud” stories to help George Bush lie the U.S. into war on Iraq, killing over a million people, and who also gave the order to the CIA to torture.  Conspiracy to torture is a felony under U.S. Code in both Title 18, Section 2340 and 2441.  The Convention Against Torture requires the criminal prosecution of complicity in torture.   So, not only is the hypocrisy breathtaking but it’s doubtful the Minnesota legal audience will get an honest answer out of her ostensibly hypocritical speech entitled: “Why Democracy Matters.”  If theMinnesota “Law Day” participants actually cared about upholding the law, they would have their keynote speaker arrested for war crimes.  

Afghanistan Drawdown, 20 More Years Of War

 

Source: Afghan Women's Writing Project "A Mother Expecting Still"
In order to reduce the number of boots on the ground in Afghanistan, the Pentagon asked Congress for $9.6 billion of its allowance to be moved from one budget line to another. They asked permission to shift funds away from research and weapons purchases to instead “support funding shortfalls” in transportation, due to the high cost of removing from landlocked, mountainous Afghanistan. The Pentagon is reluctant to run short on funds for fuel, engaged as it is in the business of maintaining the largest carbon footprint on the planet.
 
But lest you make the mistake of thinking that withdrawal of many troops from Afghanistan means the war is over, a Pentagon official testifying to the Senate Armed Services committee said that the current war on terrorism could continue for ten, or maybe even twenty, more years. Also, now battlefields are chosen by "the enemy" and thus can and do keep cropping up in all sorts of unlikely places -- even Boston.
 
Downsizing the occupation consists of relying more and more on drones, or flying killer robots, and less and less on soldiers. Our mammoth fortified “embassy” in Kabul isnearly complete, Pepsi is building a new bottling plant there, and our imperial ambitions are leaning toward Africa while simultaneously pivoting to the Pacific. Look for more request for advances on the Pentagon's allowance.
 
What chaos do we leave in our wake as we "exit" Afghanistan? Every major news outlet (all owned by a few corporations, all headed by wealthy white men) participates in churning out the falsehoods that conceal the weeping of the bereaved in Kabul and Kandahar -- so that people in North America cannot hear them. 

Here, for example, is the New York Times reporting on negotiation of the devilish details of the "strategic partnership agreement" for post-2014:

Iraq Today: America's Imperial Legacy

 

Iraq Today: America's Imperial Legacy

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

US imperial wars reflect mass slaughter, widespread destruction, ecocide, resource theft, exploitation, unspeakable human pain, suffering and misery, as well as permanent occupation.

 

Washington came to Iraq to stay. US military and other security elements infest the region. It's the oil and unchallenged Middle East dominance, stupid.

 

Mission Creep Toward Full-Scale War on Syria

 

Mission Creep Toward Full-Scale War on Syria

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

On May 20, Secretary of State John Kerry headed back to the Middle East. It's his fourth regional visit since January. 

 

On May 21, he met Oman's Sultan Qaboos. An air defense system/weapons sale, Syria, and related issues were discussed.

 

Protest at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at 10 a.m. This Friday

You know how the government is owned by the lobbyists? Well, on Friday, we're marching on the lobbyists.

A group of unemployed workers and their families have spent the last week marching all the way from Philadelphia to DC, with the intent of marching on the US Chamber of Commerce's headquarters this Friday, May 24th. Their march is called "Operation Green Jobs," and they'll be holding the US Chamber accountable for buying off congress and using their millions to stop action on jobs, climate change, and a more equitable tax code.

WHO: Operation Green Jobs
WHAT: March on the US Chamber of Commerce
WHEN: Friday, May 24 at 10 AM
WHERE: 1615 H St NW, Washington DC 20062
If you can't make it in person, you can still join the virtual march at http://shutthechamber.org/virtualmarch. All you need to do is click the link, tell your story of how corporate greed has affected you, and your story will be seen by the world with your permission.

Whether it's any of the imperial wars for resources, catastrophic climate change, crippling poverty and unemployment or austerity, all roads lead to the US Chamber of Commerce and their lobbying efforts. Join the march in DC on Friday, or join the virtual march at http://shutthechamber.org/virtualmarch.

In solidarity,
Carl Gibson

Lead Organizer, Shut The Chamber

Obama Promises His Speech Will End Some Day

President Obama is expected to announce that the eternal war on the world will have an end.

When?

He won't say.

I too have an announcement.  I promise my drinking problem will end some day.

When?

I'm not saying.  But the celebrations of the armistice in 1918 began when plans for it were announced, and the partying continued until it actually happened.  Perhaps that is the best approach here.  As an aid to your festivities, let me present the . . .

Afternoon Obama Murder Rap Drinking Game
(which I promise to stop playing soon)

1. The President is going to admit that he has a murder problem and propose to correct it by murdering less in certain countries.  If examples occur to you of crimes you might commit that you could not continue committing by promising to limit your criminal activities in some countries but not in others, DRINK!

2. The President is going to claim to have targeted, or to have allowed an unnamed John Brennan to have targeted, only one U.S. citizen for murder but to have killed three by mistake, on top of three killed by President Bush by mistake.  If you can think of outrages you might commit that you could not go on committing by claiming that 86% of them were accidental side effects, DRINK!

3. The President is going to claim that the one U.S. citizen he or his subordinate chose to murder was an imminent (meaning eventual theoretical) threat to violently attack the United States, that capture was infeasible (meaning the target was hiding following lots of death threats, but his location was known anyway), and that said citizen was a senior operational leader of al Qaeda (or an associated group or was an adherent or a backstage groupie who had once met a guy whose cousin knew where an al Qaeda meeting was held one time).  If you understand what that means, DRINK!

4. The President is going to hope that nobody notices that laws against war and murder don't include exceptions for people who invent lists of arcane criteria that they require themselves to meet before murdering.  If you think you could invent and meet at least three qualifications before engaging in some immoral behavior, DRINK!

5. The President is going to hope nobody notices that he did not actually meet his own criteria before murdering Awlaki.  Attorney General Eric Holder now says Awlaki was killed for actions, not words.  Prior to the deed, Holder said it was the "hatred spewed" on Awlaki's blog that put him "on the same list with bin Laden."  Asked if he wanted Awlaki captured or killed, Holder did not say "captured if feasible," but evaded the question.  Awlaki, as far as we know, was never a member of al Qaeda.  Obama's and Holder's claims about Awlaki's role in terrorist attacks are undocumented claims.  No evidence has been presented and no charges were ever brought in court.  If you think shouting "Whoever he is, and whatever he's charged with, he did it!" would be a nifty way to get out of jury duty, DRINK!

6. The President is going to speed past the fact that over 99% of the people he's murdered have not been U.S. citizens, and that the pretense of justification so lazily applied to U.S. citizens has not been bothered with at all in these cases.  He's not going to discuss "signature strikes" targeting unknown people and whoever's near them, or the targeting of the rescuers of victims.  He's not going to discuss children, women, seniors.  He's not going to discuss the posthumous identification of males as "enemy combatants" -- a non-legal term that adds insult to murder.  He's not going to discuss the many known cases in which the victims could quite feasibly have been captured, were clearly not involved with al Qaeda in any way, and lacked any capacity whatsoever to threaten the United States.  He's going to propose applying the fraudulent, meaningless, and illegal standards he applies to murdering U.S. citizens to murdering non-U.S. citizens in the future ... in some countries.  If you can think of some people who might not be satisfied with this reform, DRINK!

7. The President is going to claim to be moving some but not all drone kill operations from a secret agency technically lacking in Congressional oversight to a department Congress simply chooses not to oversee.  If this falls short of what you can imagine when you hear "most transparent administration ever," DRINK!

8. The President will not be speaking about how some 75 other nations with drones should begin applying his standards to their own behavior.  If you think such matters are worth discussing, DRINK!

9. The President is going to brush over the question of where and how he will be ordering the murder of people by means other than missiles.  If you can think of ways this might become seen as a problem down the road, DRINK!

10. The President is going to speed past the existence of a massive ongoing U.S. war on Afghanistan, larger now than when Obama moved into the White House, and expected to continue for many years after it "ends" in another year and a half.  If his ability to get away with this strikes you as perhaps what he must love most about drones and how they change the conversation, DRINK!

11. If you have concerns that go unanswered about the global expansion of U.S. bases, threats to Syria, weapons provided to Israel, threats to Iran, or the gargantuan military budget, DRINK!

12. The President will leak a great deal of information about his kill list program in this speech, as he has done on some previous "I killed bin Laden!" occasions, and yet will fail to prosecute himself for espionage at the end of the speech.  If you believe laws should be applied equally to all, DRINK!

Syria News May 23

 

 

Syria opposition calls for for rebels across the country to send reinforcements in embattled Qusair - reuters.com

FSA Tawhid Brigade in Aleppo sends 300 support units to al-Qusayr - Anadolu Agency

Idriss to Washington Post: Free Syria Army has just received a new shipment of 35 tons of weapons from Saudi Arabia - moqawama.org

Syria Gov on the Battle for Qusayr: First Stage Ended Successfully, Second Stage Launched - almanar.com

Hizbullah-Backed Syrian Troops Advance in Northern Qusayr Town - Naharnet

Syrian Army detains Saudi, Qatari officers caught aiding rebel forces in Qusair - World Tribune

Qusayr Battle Far From Over - Al Akhbar English

Friends of Syria demands Hezbollah, Iran fighters withdraw - Yahoo! News

German Intelligence Believes Assad Regime Regaining Lost Power - SPIEGEL ONLINE

This Russian Mobile SAM Site Could Be a Serious Ace Up Syria's Sleeve - gizmodo.com

VIDEO: Intercepted Radio Conversations Gives An Insight Into The Fighting In Qusayr - Brown Moses Blog

Sectarian violence over Syria war rages in Lebanon's Tripoli - Yahoo! News

Attacks against Lebanese Alawites deepen fears - wwlp.com

The Jihadist Threat to Lebanon - Al-Monitor

UN: Fighting displaces 70-80% of Palestinians in Syria - AFP

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Sec’y of State Kerry says US, allies ready to step up aid to Syrian opposition in the event that the Assad regime is unwilling to negotiate - The Washington Post

Syria's Reaction to Proposed Peace Talks 'Constructive', Says Lavrov — Naharnet

Syrian Opposition’s Stance On Peace Talks ‘Not Reassuring’ - Lavrov - RIA Novosti

FSA chief Idriss says he would not attend the Geneva peace conference: "It's not valuable to go to negotiations when we are weak on the ground" - Washington Post

Kerry Mideast Talks on Syria to Include Russian Call for Involving Iran - VOA

UK sees no Syria peace deal with Assad in place - AFP

UK: EU Should Be Ready To Change Syria Arms Embargo To Pressure Assad - WSJ.com

Austria Ordered the Peacekeepers to Withdraw from Golan if EU Arms Initiated Syrian Revolts - Austrian Tribune

France says Syria's Assad must give up power to end war - Reuters

Qatar PM says Assad departure a must for Syria peace - AFP

US Syria Arms Bill Real Bad For Russia - Business Insider

British politician compares London machete attack to U.K. policy in Syria, Killer: “The only reasons we have done this is because Muslims are dying every day" - washingtonpost.com

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Hacker Group Redhack Releases Alleged Turkey's Gendarmerie Intelligence Unit Cables on Reyhanlı, Al Nusra Suspected to be Related to the Blasts - Bianet

PHOTOS: Photos of the gendarmerie’s Reyhanlı attack document - CyberGuerrilla soApboX

Turkey shuts Syria border crossing after deadly bombs - Yahoo! News

Syria: 10,000 people at the gates of Turkey - Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) International

Turkey and Saudi Arabia reiterated their common understanding on the civil war in Syria - hurriyetdailynews.com

Iraqi forces dismantle cell linked to Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria - Mawtani

Al Nusra leader in hiding after disputed merger - Worldnews.com

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

The Government's List of "Anti-Government" People

Should the U.S. government be building a list of people whom a stranger has concluded based on as little as a moment's interaction are "anti-government"?  Look at this photo of a U.S. Census laptop.  There's a box to check if a respondent is reluctant to participate in the census.

The next screen wants the census interviewer to explain the potential interviewee's reluctance:

Notice that there is a box for hostile or threatening.  That seems important.  There are boxes for just not interested or too busy.  There is a box for those who object that too many personal questions are asked.  The basics all seem to be covered.  But the Census employee is to check multiple boxes, "all that apply," and one is  "Anti-government concerns."  What does that mean?  What do Census workers think it means?  It clearly means something other than reluctant to give the government this information.  To be "anti-" the government sounds like someone is in favor of overthrowing the government.  And a government that thinks purely in terms of violence would inevitably interpret such a desire as one in favor of violently overthrowing the government.  But surely nobody tells a representative of the government that they favor its violent overthrow unless they don't really take themselves seriously and are not actually a threat.  So maybe this "Anti-government concerns" box is equivalent to "Seems nuts," but what sort of training does the survey taker have in mental health?  The serious question is what lists your name goes on if somebody marks you down as Anti-government.

Talk Nation Radio: Carl Gibson on Shutting Down the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-carl-gibson

Carl Gibson is currently engaged in a Green Jobs March from Philadelphia to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., as part of a campaign called ShutTheChamber.org.  You can join the march virtually by uploading a photo on their website, or you can join in reality at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce across from the White House at 10 a.m. Friday, May 24th.  Gibson is lead organizer of ShutTheChamber and cofounder of USUncut.  He discusses the damage the U.S. Chamber does to our political system pushing environmental destruction, wars, and the plutocratic concentration of wealth.  Gibson says that small businesses paying dues to local chambers that themselves have little in common with the U.S. Chamber end up funding assaults on small businesses, as the local chambers fund the state chambers which fund the U.S. Chamber -- an institution that also serves to funnel vast quantities of unaccountable corporate money into politics.

Total run time: 29:00

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

Download or get embed code from Archive or  AudioPort or LetsTryDemocracy.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

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

Connecticut Advances Conversion from War to Peace Economy

The Connecticut legislature has sent to the governor to sign a bill that would create a commission to develop a plan for, among other things:

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

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

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