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In an about-face from what the TSA has been claiming since 2010 — and from what hundreds of thousands of travelers have experienced — a TSA supervisor claimed the other day that TSA agents are, in fact, not supposed to use the front of their hands to grope passengers in a search, only the back of their hands, “unless there is a good reason to believe the passenger is hiding something.”
Tree nursery worker, Surkhrud -- Source: AfghanistanSamsortya.o
by Dr. Mariam Raqib
CIA Arming Syrian Insurgents
by Stephen Lendman
On June 21, The New York Times headlined "CIA Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition," saying:
Western Hypocrisy on Iran's Nuclear Rights
by Stephen Lendman
According to senior Iranian legislator Esmayeel Kosari:
It's just possible that the space of 236 years and a truckload of fireworks are obscuring our vision.
It's hard for us to see what should be obvious.
Many nations -- including Canada as the nearest example -- have gained their independence without wars. We claim that a war was for independence, but if we could have had all the same advantages without the war, would that not have been better?
Back in 1986, a book was published by now Virginia State Delegate and Minority Leader David Toscano, the great nonviolent strategist Gene Sharp, and others, called "Resistance, Politics, and the American Struggle for Independence, 1765-1775."
An urgent plea to the nations that my nation likes to kick around.
The U.S. State Department has a list of the treaties it believes are in force and the United States a party to. On that list one finds this:
RENUNCIATION OF WAR
Treaty providing for the renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy.
Signed at Paris August 27, 1928.
Entered into force July 24, 1929.
46 Stat. 2343; TS 796; 2 Bevans 732; 94 LNTS 57.
Afghanistan, Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China 1, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic, Czechoslovakia 2, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia 3, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics 4, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela, Yugoslavia 5.
1 Pre-1949 convention, applicable only to Taiwan.
2 See note under CZECHOSLOVAKIA in Section 1.
3 See note under ETHIOPIA in Section 1.
4 See note under UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS in Section 1.
5 See note under YUGOSLAVIA in Section 1.
Treaties, under the U.S. Constitution, are the supreme law of the land. Other nations are equally bound to abide by their treaties. And this treaty bans war. It was put in place in 1928 by the wealthy armed nations of the world. They renounced war but not colonialism or racism. They ended and avoided wars in the years that followed. And only once more did they make war on each other -- that occasion being, of course, the catastrophe known as World War II. As the first war after the establishment of a treaty banning war, World War II was the first war that was followed by criminal prosecution of the crime of war. The prosecutors got it wrong, however. The Pact of 1928 banned all war, not aggressive war. The prosecutions were one-sided victors' justice. But they, and the horrors of the war, had their impact. The rich nations -- mine and the others -- never made war on each other again. Now they exclusively make war on you.
You are the future. Your populations are soaring while ours are not. You live under the threat of economic pressure backed up by the threat of war. I'm speaking to you small nations, but also some of the largest (China, this means you). Some of you are proposing that war be criminalized. Here's such a proposal from Malaysia. Why not take advantage of the fact that this has already been done? Some of you have signed onto the Peace Pact of Paris, the Kellogg-Briand Pact, and others could do so, including Malaysia. You could then insist that all parties to the treaty comply with it. You don't need anyone's permission to join this treaty. It has built into it the requirement to accept all comers. And it does not ban war of a particular description. It bans ground wars, drone strikes, assassinations, and all non-peaceful means of foreign relations. We couldn't dream up a better treaty. We couldn't get the rich warmongering nations to join it if we did. Thankfully, they've done it for us. Now we need the non-war-making nations of the world to sign on and build pressure -- in partnership with peace activists in the heart of the empire -- for universal compliance.
I wrote a book last year about how this treaty came to be. Here's what this treaty says:
The High Contracting Parties solemly declare in the names of their respective peoples that they condemn recourse to war for the solution of international controversies, and renounce it, as an instrument of national policy in their relations with one another.
The High Contracting Parties agree that the settlement or solution of all disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them, shall never be sought except by pacific means.
The present Treaty shall be ratified by the High Contracting Parties named in the Preamble in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements, and shall take effect as between them as soon as all their several instruments of ratification shall have been deposited at Washington.
This Treaty shall, when it has come into effect as prescribed in the preceding paragraph, remain open as long as may be necessary for adherence by all the other Powers of the world. Every instrument evidencing the adherence of a Power shall be deposited at Washington and the Treaty shall immediately upon such deposit become effective as; between the Power thus adhering and the other Powers parties hereto.
It shall be the duty of the Government of the United States to furnish each Government named in the Preamble and every Government subsequently adhering to this Treaty with a certified copy of the Treaty and of every instrument of ratification or adherence. It shall also be the duty of the Government of the United States telegraphically to notify such Governments immediately upon the deposit with it of each instrument of ratification or adherence.
IN FAITH WHEREOF the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed this Treaty in the French and English languages both texts having equal force, and hereunto affix their seals.
DONE at Paris, the twenty seventh day of August in the year one thousand nine hundred and twenty-eight.
On the phone TONIGHT 10pm Eastern / 7pm Pacific with Kevin Gosztola of The Dissenter blog at Firedoglake, co-author of Truth & Consequences: The U.S. v Bradley Manning and the subject of this interview. We invite all onto a conference call to discuss Bradley's case, as we prepare to march for him in Pride parades this Sunday (see below for details).
Struggling on Empty Stomachs for Justice
by Stephen Lendman
Rare Palestinian battles are won. Liberating struggles continue.
Hunger strikers Khader Adnan and Hana Shalabi were released. After 92 days without food, Israel agreed to free footballer Mahmoud Sarsak.
By Michael Collins
One goal of Egypt's 2010 union inspired Tahrir Square protests was fulfilled during the December, 2011 parliamentary elections. Nearly 65% of the nation's fifty million eligible voters turned out to vote. Turnout for the June 16 and 17, 2012 presidential election dropped to an estimated 15%* according to local and press observers. What happened?
Three factors contributed to the exponential decline in voting. Egypt's courts took leading candidates off of the final presidential ballot. The disappeared candidates had the support of 68% of the electorate according to a major preelection poll in early May. Egyptian courts also disqualified one third of the recently elected parliament. Just a day before the election, military commander Mohamed Hussein Tantawi announced that the constitution had been annexed. This was a nice way of saying that the military was assuming most of the powers of the presidency, leaving the newly elected chief executive with little to do.
UN Monitors Spy for Washington
by Stephen Lendman
On April 21, Security Council Resolution 2043 established UNSMIS.
It authorized 300 observers to monitor "a cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties and to monitor and support the full implementation of the (Annan plan) to end the conflict in Syria."
Israel Declared an Apartheid State
by Stephen Lendman
Colonialism and apartheid breach international law.
Among those who refused to comply with Congressional subpoenas, never mind requests, while George W. Bush was president were: the Department of Justice, the Secretary of State ("not inclined" was Condi's explanation), the Vice President (who preemptively announced he would probably not comply with such silliness and didn't), the White House Counsel, the White House Chief of Staff, the White House Political Director, the White House Deputy Chief of Staff, the White House Deputy Political Director, the White House Office of Management and Budget, and so on. There's a collection of these subpoenas (the targets being Republicans) over at http://democrats.com/subpoenas
When Jesus used a good Samaritan to explain the need to appreciate foreigners, he can be forgiven for not having known that so many Samaritans would later convert to Islam. It's not as if he was omniscient or something! And think of how much he's forgiven us. Nonetheless, since we can't reasonably be expected to appreciate Muslims -- at least not while we're teaching young people that Muslims deserve genocide -- that whole parable falls apart.
I doubt one film can solve this problem, but I did just get a chance to preview a beautiful documentary that will be airing on PBS on July 6th, called "Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World." Susan Sarandon narrates, and the voices are all in English -- no dubbing or subtitles. They're the voices of professors, art scholars, and artists. The subtitle could be a reference to cultures of the distant past, as an early comment in the film suggests, or perhaps it carries some sort of religious meaning.
The art in the film is largely but not exclusively religious. It's all art and architecture of "the Muslim world," taken to mean geographic areas dominated by Muslim culture now or in the past. We learn about the heavy use of Arabic writing in Islamic art, in calligraphy, and in architectural inscriptions. We tour great works of architecture in Palestine, Syria, Spain, Turkey, Mali, and India. In the secular world, apart from the mosques, we see plates, bowls, pitchers, sculptures, and paintings depicting animals and people.
In Isfahan, in the middle of Iran, so easily bombed, we find the origin of the blue and white ceramics we associate with a nation they spread to: China -- as well as stunning images of a beautiful blue mosque. During the course of the movie we are told how various Muslim art forms were influenced by Christian or Hindu art. And of course, the opposite has been just as common. The interlocking histories of these cultures make it very difficult to speak of one as if it were separate from the others.
I have to assume that someone who identified with a religion other than Islam could have as easy a time appreciating Islamic art as I do, being an atheist who would prefer to see the world leave religion behind. Some of the experts heard in the film instruct us that various art objects refer to prayer or heaven, or that the art provides the viewer with a religious experience. And yet if I ignore the commentary what I see are incredible designs and colors developed around natural and mathematical beauty.
God said: to know me, know my creations, we're told, and yet the flower designs woven into wonderful tapestries in Western Asia inspire even if I'm not trying to know something else that I can know by knowing them, if you know what I mean.
Bruce Gagnon describes U.S. and NATO plans in the works to militarily surround and threaten both Russia and China. Gagnon is co-founder and coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space at http://space4peace.org. He blogs at http://space4peace.blogspot.com He's the author of Come Together Right Now, and of a chapter in The Military Industrial Complex at 50.
Total run time: 29:00
Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Engineer: Christiane Brown.
Music by Duke Ellington.
Syndicated by Pacifica Network.
Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!
Embed on your own site with this code:
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Julian Assange’s Artful Dodge
Editor Note: Faced with extradition from London to Sweden to face sex-abuse allegations, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange fled to the Ecuadorian embassy and asked for asylum, what ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern considers an artful dodge to avoid possible U.S. persecution.
By Ray McGovern
Barring a CIA drone strike on the Ecuadorian embassy in London, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s sudden appeal for asylum there may spare him a prison stay in Sweden or possibly the United States. Assange’s freedom now depends largely on Ecuadorian President Rafael Vicente Correa Delgado, a new breed of independent-minded leader like Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.
by Stephen Lendman
Since reelected in March, Putin and Obama met for the first time on Monday at the Los Cabos, Mexico G20 meeting.
Discussions focused on major geopolitical and economic issues. Differences on Syria remain unresolved.
Palestinian Footballer Wins Release
by Stephen Lendman
On June 18, Maan News headlined "Al-Sarsak ends hunger strike in release deal," saying:
RT @davidcnswanson We in the United States beg you @MashiRafael to save #Assange from our government. RT if you oppose jailing/killing journalists.
We need your help to engage a very special intern this summer. For $1000, we will begin work on an online crowd-funding campaign to produce a two-minute pitch video to highlight the intent and goals of the e-book publishing of Redact This! a fantastic book of images by artists including Fernando Botero, Clinton Fein, Art Hazelwood, Daniel Heyman, Jenny Holzer, Frances Jetter, Ann Messner, Malaquias Montoya, Richard Serra (creator of the piece above) and David Zung. It includes text by Peter Selz and Debra Sweet and a timeline by designer and editor David Schwittek.
Please help give a boost to this campaign to raise the funds and get Redact This! published.
By Ann Wright and Coleen Rowley
The new Executive Director of Amnesty International USA – Suzanne Nossel – is a recent U.S. government insider. So it’s a safe bet that AI’s decision to seize upon a topic that dovetailed with American foreign policy interests, “women’s rights in Afghanistan,” at the NATO Conference last month in Chicago came directly from her.
Nossel was hired by AI in January 2012. In her early career, Nossel worked for Ambassador Richard Holbrooke under the Clinton Administration at the United Nations. Most recently, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Organizations at the U.S. Department of State, where she was responsible for multilateral human rights, humanitarian affairs, women’s issues, public diplomacy, press and congressional relations.
Fraud at the Polls
by Stephen Lendman
At age 25, Orson Welles co-wrote, produced, directed, and starred in Citizen Kane. It looks critically at the life and times of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst.
Israeli Turned Palestinian Activist
by Stephen Lendman
Popular 1965 Hal David/Burt Bacharach lyrics said "What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It's the only thing that there's just too little of."
It applies aptly to how Israel treats Palestinians.
Which came first, the oil business or the war machine that protects it? Who started this madness, the military that consumes so much of the oil or the corporations that distribute and profit from the filthy stuff?
An answer of sorts can be found in Timothy Mitchell's book, "Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil."
Western oil corporations were never strong enough, Mitchell finds, to monopolize the flow or stoppage of Middle Eastern oil without major military and financial assistance. So, they began talking about their control of Middle Eastern oil as being an imperial interest. When "imperial" went out of fashion, the phrase shifted to "strategic interest."