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Imperial War on Libya

Imperial War on Libya - by Stephen Lendman

On March 19, ironically on the eighth anniversary of "Operation Iraqi Freedom," a White House Office of the Press Secretary quoted Obama saying:

"Today I authorized the Armed Forces of the United States to (attack) Libya in support of an international effort to protect Libyan civilians," he, in fact, doesn't give a damn about. "That action has now begun," he added, claiming military action was a last resort.

In fact, it was long-planned. All military interventions require months of preparation, including target selections, strategy, enlisting political and public support, troop deployments, and post-conflict plans.

Weeks, maybe months in advance, Special Forces, CIA agents, and UK SAS operatives were in Libya, enlisting, inciting, funding, and arming so-called anti-Gaddafi opposition forces, ahead of Western aggression for imperial control. More on it below.

We Are All Pebbles

We are all pebbles that form the rock - inspiration from a brave woman on the 8th anniversary of the Iraq invasion
by Deanna Dee Taylor on Sunday, March 20, 2011 at 7:42am

A timely item came across my desk yesterday from my great friend Jacqui of Maine (my "angel in disguise") who shared with me the story of a wonderful strong woman named Carole Whelan. Carole Whelan stood up yesterday at an event to Honor Senator Susan Collins (where she was inducted into the Maine Women's Hall of Fame) and spoke out to request that such an honor be declined until all of our troops are home.

Bad to Worse in Japan

Bad to Worse in Japan - by Stephen Lendman

It bears repeating. Government, industry, and major media reports downplay and deny Japan's unprecedented nuclear disaster, potentially able to kill millions now living and in future generations painfully.

Nuclear power is a real life Andromeda Strain. If uncontrollably unleashed, it's potentially able to destroy life worldwide under a worse case scenario.

In his latest article, nuclear expert Harvey Wasserman said "the most devastating thing about (Fukushima) is not what's happening there now. It's that until all the world's reactors are shut, even worse is virtually certain to happen again. All too soon." Fukushima, in fact, may be the nuclear nightmare he suggests.

Globally, 450 reactors operate, including 104 aging American ones, many with bad safety records caused by cost-cutting and shoddy maintenance. Poorly regulated, they're ticking time bombs, accidents waiting to happen, many plagued by near-meltdown misses.

Jones & Kucinich push for Afghanistan exit

Posted on Friday, March 18, 2011
Rep. Walter Jones pushes for Afghanistan exit
By Barbara Barrett | McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — Again last Saturday, U.S. Rep. Walter Jones slipped into his office for the penance he has served nearly each weekend since 2005.

Again on Thursday, the House of Representatives turned its attention to the conflict in Afghanistan, and whether it is the time for U.S. troops to leave.

On Saturday, Jones, a Republican representing one of the nation's most military-heavy congressional districts, signed two dozen letters of condolences. He has signed 9,505 in all, not only for the deceased Marines from Camp Lejeune in his district, but for the fallen throughout the country who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. He pledged to do this in 2005, after deciding that he had been wrong to support the war in Iraq.

For two hours Thursday, more than 30 members debated a resolution that would invoke the War Powers Resolution of 1973 and would require President Barack Obama to leave Afghanistan entirely by the end of this year.

The resolution was sponsored by U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, an Ohio Democrat. Jones was the lead co-sponsor.

Gadhafi's LatAm allies criticize military strikes

Gadhafi's LatAm allies criticize military strikes
By IAN JAMES, Associated Press Ian James, Associated Press

CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez condemned military strikes against Libya on Saturday, accusing the United States and its European allies of attacking the country to seize its oil.

Chavez's ally and mentor Fidel Castro raised similar concerns in a column written before the first strikes, while Bolivian President Evo Morales also accused world powers of intervening with an eye to the North African country's oil.

Chavez, who has long-standing ties to Moammar Gadhafi, has urged mediation and called it "disgusting" that the U.S., France and other countries are taking military action.

"More death, more war. They are the masters of war," Chavez said. "What irresponsibility. And behind that is the hand of the United States and its European allies."

"They want to seize Libya's oil. The lives of Libya's people don't matter to them at all," Chavez said. "It is deplorable that once again the warmongering policy of the Yankee empire and its allies is being imposed, and it is deplorable that the United Nations lends itself to supporting war, infringing on its fundamental principles instead of urgently forming a commission to go to Libya."

Seismology, Nukes and Bracketology

By Missy Comley Beattie

It’s blue here in Kentucky, true blue, a landscape of royal blue, this altar to basketball and home to the Kentucky Wildcats whose devotees are historically and hysterically frenzied for victory.

The same day I awakened to breaking news of breaking tectonic plates, breaking nuclear reactors, and breaking hearts, I left my sister Laura's house for exercise and heliotherapy. An elderly woman pushed her walker in the middle of a street, a man entered his house with a giant box of Pepsi Cola attached to his arm, and another person was at his mailbox. All were costumed in Big Blue fan-ery.

On Sunday, the Cats defeated the Florida Gators to win the SEC tournament. Often, during the action, we zipped to CNN’s coverage of Japan’s tsunami, earthquakes, and maybe-yes, maybe-no, Chernobyl-like meltdowns.

Anti-war protesters arrested near White House

Anti-war protesters arrested near White House
By ERIC TUCKER, Associated Press Eric Tucker, Associated Press – 59 mins ago

WASHINGTON – More than 100 anti-war protesters, including the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers, were arrested outside the White House on Saturday in demonstrations marking the eighth anniversary of the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

The protesters, some shouting anti-war slogans and singing "We Shall Not Be Moved," were arrested after ignoring orders to move away from the gates of the White House. The demonstrators cheered loudly as Daniel Ellsberg, the former military analyst who in 1971 leaked the Pentagon's secret history of the Vietnam War that was later published in major newspapers, was arrested and led away by police.

In New York City, about 80 protesters gathered near the U.S. military recruiting center in Times Square, chanting "No to war" and carrying banners that read, "I am not paying for war" and "Butter not guns."

Similar protests marking the start of the Iraq war were also planned Saturday in Chicago, San Francisco and other cities.

The demonstration in Washington on Saturday merged varied causes, including protesters demanding a U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan as well as those supporting Bradley Manning, the jailed Army private suspected of giving classified documents to the website Wikileaks.

One chant that was repeated was: "Stop the War! Expose the Lies! Free Bradley Manning!"

Postscript to An Open Letter to President Obama: Mr. President, Know Thyself

Mr. President, yesterday you proudly and vehemently “raised your voice against the violence of the oppressed” in Libya. You proclaimed:

All attacks against civilians must stop;

Gaddafi must stop his troops from advancing on Benghazi, pull them back… and establish water, electricity and gas supplies to all areas;

Humanitarian assistance must be allowed to reach the people of Libya or the "international community will make him suffer the consequences" with military action;

Peace is a Dirty Word

By Patrick Kennelly

Three years ago in Bamiyan, a western province of Afghanistan, a multiethnic group of university students gathered for a three month workshop on peacemaking. The group of young leaders met weekly ultimately concluding that peace is impossible in Afghanistan. Undeterred by their conclusion these young people asked: “What do we do to change this reality?”

In answering this question the students decided two critical issues needed to be addressed. First, how do you calm the enflamed ethnic tensions that plague the country? Second, how do you create a culture of peace in a society where the pursuit of peace is associated with wide scale violence and killing?

The university students realized that the decades of war and subsequent exodus of different ethnic groups fleeing conflict upset the power balance and ignited ethnic tensions. In order to tackle this issue the students brought together other students from the over twenty ethnic groups that comprise Afghanistan’s population. They divided into small groups to experiment with communal living. They hoped that by forming community they could restore some of the trust that has been destroyed by the conflict and help each other overcome their fear of others. This project lasted several weeks but then broke down into accusations and conflicts ending with death threats. The project was disbanded and some of the students left the region.

Review and Reflection: Thr Great Migration and the New Orleans Diaspora

By Fatima Shaik

Isabel Wilkerson’s first book, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, couldn’t have come out at a better time for black New Orleanians, who as 2010 statistics confirmed, but our own hearts knew, lost more than a third of our community in the last decade. As we reassess what we had – good and bad – what we miss and what matters, we may find instruction and solace in this book about a previous era of departures, comparing its lessons to our Diaspora.

The Warmth of Other Suns is a beautiful book. It opens with a quote from author Richard Wright: “I was leaving the South to fling myself into the unknown…respond to the warmth of other suns and, perhaps, to bloom.”

Hundreds protest in support of crusading Spanish judge

Hundreds protest in support of crusading Spanish judge
MADRID (AFP) – Spanish actors, writers and union leaders joined a protest in Madrid by hundreds of people on Saturday in support of embattled Judge Baltasar Garzon, who was suspended last year pending a trial for abuse of power.

Behind a placard reading "Truth, Justice and Redress" and a picture of Garzon, speakers called for an end to the "persecution" of the judge, best known for his attempt to extradite former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet from Britain for human rights abuses in 1998.

"The quality of Spanish democracy will not be complete until this situation is resolved," the head of the CCOO union, Ignacio Fernandez Toxo, told the crowd in the Plaza Mayor, in Madrid's historic centre. Others addressing the gathering included actress Pilar Bardem, the mother of Oscar-winning actor Javier Bardem, and the poet Marcos Ana, who was imprisoned under the Franco dictatorship.

A statement by the umbrella group "In Solidarity with Garzon" which organised the demonstration called for an end to "the attempt to criminalise the actions of the judge" and condemned the "unacceptable inaction" of the Spanish government and judiciary in the case.

Another on Wisconsin Famers Supporting Labor

March 15th, 2011 - "What is a union anyway but working people coming together, acting together to improve their lives," Tony Schultz, Farmer Director of Family Farm Defender said. "And that is what we're here to do - to act together, to speak together in solidarity, saying we reject this union busting bill and we reject this budget."

Rolling down the streets of Madison in their tractors, Wisconsin's farmers joined the protests that rose throughout Madison this weekend. While in Madison, Laura also spoke with Scott Schultz, executive director of Wisconsin Farmers Union, who spoke about the ripple effects of the anti-union bill that will be felt throughout their community.

March 19, 2003: Iraq “decapitation attack”

U.S. and coalition forces launched missiles and bombs at targets in Iraq including a “decapitation attack” aimed at Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and other top members of the country’s leadership.

There were nearly 300,000 American, British and other troops at the border.
President George W. Bush warned Americans that the conflict "could be longer and more difficult than some predict." He assured the nation that “this will not be a campaign of half-measures, and we will accept no outcome except victory.”

Read about the cost of this war

Timeline

This Week in Peace History

March 18, 1970: American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO

My father was a hard working postal worker, then called a postal clerk who sorted the mail. Up till this strike he was making less take home than I started making working construction till I went into the service. He did have some benefits and a pension plan, I didn't. After the strike they started making a more comfortable wage as well as the postal service started automating, as they advanced they gave schooling in the newer technologies. He retired some years later and they lived comfortably on a decent pension for his hard work of many years, a pension he contributed to. Also around this time companies, turning into corporations, were axing older workers as they were approaching retirement age, this continued as the safety nets for dedicated hard working folks were marginalized. leaving them out of any and all pensions they had already contributed into and living off lower waged jobs then Social Security.

War News Radio: Documenting War

March 18th, 2011 - This week on War News Radio, we hear about a new documentary, "Shepards of Helmand." Then, we talk to veterans coping with traumatic brain injury. This, and the week's news

 

Washington's UN War Resolution on Libya

Washington's UN War Resolution on Libya - by Stephen Lendman

On March 18, Washington bullied Security Council members to approve Resolution 1973, a measure authorizing war on Libya. The 10 - 0 vote included five abstentions from China, Russia, Germany, Brazil and India, objecting to sweeping terms, including wide latitude for belligerence on bogus "humanitarian" grounds.

In fact, it's to replace one despot with another, perhaps assassinate Gaddafi, colonize Libya, control its oil, gas and other resources, exploit its people, privatize its state industries under Western control, establish new US bases, use them for greater regional control, and perhaps balkanize the country like Yugoslavia and Iraq.

A same day White House press release headlined, "Readout of President Obama's Calls with (UK) Prime Minister Cameron and (French) President Sarkozy," saying:

Multiples Worse than Chernobyl

Multiples Worse than Chernobyl - by Stephen Lendman

In Japan, coverup and denial persist. In a March 18 press conference, Tokyo Electric's (TEPCO) spokesman claimed water-dousing lowered radiation levels from 312 microsieverts per hour to 289. However, 48 hours earlier, chief cabinet secretary Yukido Edano said radioactivity levels were misreported in microsieverts instead of millisieverts - 1,000 times stronger.

Contrary to other reports, TEPCO's spokesman also said water remains in Unit 4's cooling pool. In fact, there's none. Nothing the company says is credible.

Video: Why We Are Risking Arrest at the White House and Quantico This Weekend

Speaking and singing on March 18, 2011, on need to protest war at the White House at noon on March 19 and at Quantico Marine Base where Bradley Manning is tortured at 2 pm on March 20.
Washington, D.C., Busboys and Poets Restaurant.
Video by Kevin Zeese.

Daniel Ellsberg:

Margaret Flowers:

Watermelon Slim:

David Swanson:

Ralph Nader:

Medea Benjamin:

Raed Jarrar:

Note: Great speeches by Elaine Brower, Chris Hedges, Eduardo Vargas, Michael Otterman, Andy Shallal, et alia, not picked up by video camera.

Aristide Heading Home

Aristide Heading Home - by Stephen Lendman

On March 18, Reuters headlined, "Haiti's Aristide heads home before runoff vote," saying:

He "headed back to his country on Friday after ignoring US opposition to a homecoming some fear could disrupt Haiti's presidential election runoff on Sunday."

For months, State Department officials obstructed him, wanting him permanently excluded, especially during Sunday's illegitimate elections, featuring two unpopular presidential candidates most Haitians spurn. Most, in fact, won't participate, knowing either winner represents Washington, not them.

First round November 28 elections and Sunday's runoff were rigged to defraud. Haitians want democracy, what's absent in Sunday's vote.

Full Core Meltdown in Japan?

Full Core Meltdown in Japan? - by Stephen Lendman

Possibly it's ongoing and concealed. All along, Japanese and Tokyo Electric (TEPCO) officials downplayed or lied about the severity of the crisis. Virtually nothing they say can be believed.

Nor from the Obama administration, budgeting loan guarantees for new reactor construction instead of decommissioning all 104 nuclear plants because operating them risks full core meltdowns.

Partial or full ones gravely harm earth, air, water and food. Three hazardous Fukushima radioactive isotopes are especially problematic. University of Rochester Professor Jacqueline Williams, a radiation expert, says ingesting radioactive iodine-131 causes thyroid and other cancers. So does hazardous beta and gamma radiation from Cesium-137. Released Strontium 90 also causes leukemia and other cancers. Large amounts of all three are spewing daily.

Torturing Bradley Manning

Torturing Bradley Manning - by Stephen Lendman

A previous article discussed him in detail, accessed through the following link:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/08/bradley-manning-american-hero.html

Another discussed torture as official US policy, institutionalized under Bush II, continued under Obama, practiced despite official denials, accessed below:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2008/07/torture-as-official-us-policy.html

Manning, of course, is the courageous Army intelligence analyst turned whistleblower, who admitted leaking thousands of diplomatic cables, many others from Iraq and Afghan war databases, as well as two or more explosive videos, showing US air strikes murdering civilians. As a result, he felt obligated to reveal them. They're criminal acts, demanding prosecution of everyone up the chain of command ordering them.

Video: Dahlia Wasfi and Ross Caputi on Iraq War

Usually "power couple" describes two plutocrats, but here is a young engaged (to be married) (and in the struggle for justice) couple with the power to move people against war, that leaves the audience asking them to speak in their schools. Wasfi is an Iraqi American who speaks of war from the point of view of its victims. Caputi is a US veteran of the current war on Iraq who describes the crimes he engaged in and the thinking that allows such acts, including what he describes as "reconnaissance by fire" (shooting up houses as a means of determining whether anyone is in them) and the ability of the human mind to rationalize killing people on behalf of the people being killed.

Random Row Bookstore

Charlottesville VA

March 17, 2011

Video by David Swanson

War Through UN Still War, Still Hell, Still the Worst Option

The problem with bombing Libya is not hypocrisy. Better a good thing once than consistent bad performance, after all. The problem is that war is uncontrollable, usually spreads, always kills, rarely achieves its objective, creates blowback (al Qaeda wants the US in Libya for its recruitment purposes), costs a fortune, and maintains imperial interests.

While the US props up all the nearby dictators and arms them, including in Bahrain, and was doing the same for Gadaffi until about 5 mins ago, it's switched sides in Libya. This doesn't just look bad. It is bad: the US wants to control someone else's country.

When the Iraqi govt murders and tortures after years of US involvement, who cries out for the solution of US involvement? When the Afghan govt or Bahraini govt does so, what then? No fly zones were themselves genocidal in Iraq and Yugoslavia.

Saudi Arabia is helping out Bahrain, by the way. Nations joining in each other's violence or spreading around the weapons we've provided them is not good news.

There is not a well-intentioned world police force at work here, and the bad intentions will lead to very bad places and are not the only option. Other options include humanitarian aid, nonviolence training, and communicating to Libya the seriousness of US support for local rule and democracy by cutting off the dictators we're backing all over the region.

Video: Bruce Fein and David Swanson on Imperial Presidents

Bruce Fein and David Swanson spoke in Charlottesville VA on March 17, 2011, as part of the Virginia Festival of the Book in an event sponsored by the Rutherford Institute and hosted/moderated by John Whitehead. The event was also filmed by C-Span Book TV. This video was shot by Josh Whitehead.

Part 1: John Whitehead

Part 2: Bruce Fein

Part 3: David Swanson

Part 4: Questions and Answers

"You can't drop bombs and not kill people"

"In a war that's being fought for the benefit of the Iraqi (read Libyan) people, you can't afford to kill any of them. But you can't drop bombs and not kill people. There's a real dichotomy in all of this."
- Rob Hewson, Editor of Jane's Air Launched Weapons, April 1st 2003.

Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense Larry Korb told the BBC today that Libya has about 50 air defense sites and that most of them are located in populated areas. If U.S. planes dropped only two "precision-guided" bombs on each of them, the chances are that at least 20 of those bombs would miss their targets and hit something or somebody else.

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