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Talk Nation Radio: Randall Amster on Peace Ecology

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-randall-amster-on-peace-ecology

Randall Amster discusses his book Peace Ecology. Amster is Director of the Program on Justice and Peace at Georgetown University, and Executive Director of the Peace and Justice Studies Association.

Total run time: 29:00

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

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Israeli Chooses "Honorable Life" Over Joining Military

Danielle Yaor is 19, Israeli, and refusing to take part in the Israeli military. She is one of 150 who have committed themselves, thus far, to this position:

danielleWe, citizens of the state of Israel, are designated for army service. We appeal to the readers of this letter to set aside what has always been taken for granted and to reconsider the implications of military service.

We, the undersigned, intend to refuse to serve in the army and the main reason for this refusal is our opposition to the military occupation of Palestinian territories. Palestinians in the occupied territories live under Israeli rule though they did not choose to do so, and have no legal recourse to influence this regime or its decision-making processes. This is neither egalitarian nor just. In these territories, human rights are violated, and acts defined under international law as war-crimes are perpetuated on a daily basis. These include assassinations (extrajudicial killings), the construction of settlements on occupied lands, administrative detentions, torture, collective punishment and the unequal allocation of resources such as electricity and water. Any form of military service reinforces this status quo, and, therefore, in accordance with our conscience, we cannot take part in a system that perpetrates the above-mentioned acts.

The problem with the army does not begin or end with the damage it inflicts on Palestinian society. It infiltrates everyday life in Israeli society too: it shapes the educational system, our workforce opportunities, while fostering racism, violence and ethnic, national and gender-based discrimination.

We refuse to aid the military system in promoting and perpetuating male dominance. In our opinion, the army encourages a violent and militaristic masculine ideal whereby ‘might is right’. This ideal is detrimental to everyone, especially those who do not fit it. Furthermore, we oppose the oppressive, discriminatory, and heavily gendered power structures within the army itself.

We refuse to forsake our principles as a condition to being accepted in our society. We have thought about our refusal deeply and we stand by our decisions.

We appeal to our peers, to those currently serving in the army and/or reserve duty, and to the Israeli public at large, to reconsider their stance on the occupation, the army, and the role of the military in civil society. We believe in the power and ability of civilians to change reality for the better by creating a more fair and just society. Our refusal expresses this belief.

Only a few of the 150 or so resisters are in prison. Danielle says that going to prison helps to make a statement. In fact, here’s one of her fellow refuseniks on CNN because he went to prison. But going to prison is essentially optional, Danielle says, because the military (IDF) has to pay 250 Shekels a day ($66, cheap by U.S. standards) to keep someone in prison and has little interest in doing so. Instead, many claim mental illness, says Yaor, with the military well-aware that what they’re really claiming is an unwillingness to be part of the military. The IDF gives men more trouble than women, she says, and mostly uses men in the occupation of Gaza. To go to prison, you need a supportive family, and Danielle says her own family does not support her decision to refuse.

Why refuse something your family and society expect of you? Danielle Yaor says that most Israelis do not know about the suffering of Palestinians. She knows and chooses not to be a part of it. “I have to refuse to take part in the war crimes that my country does,” she says. “Israel has become a very fascist country that doesn’t accept others. Since I was young we’ve been trained to be these masculine soldiers who solve problems by violence. I want to use peace to make the world better.”

Yaor is touring the United States, speaking at events together with a Palestinian. She describes the events thus far as “amazing” and says that people “are very supportive.” Stopping the hatred and violence is “everyone’s responsibility,” she says — “all the people of the world.”

In November she’ll be back in Israel, speaking and demonstrating. With what goal?

One state, not two. “There’s not enough space anymore for two states. There can be one state of Israel-Palestine, based on peace and love and people living together.” How can we get there?

As people become aware of Palestinians’ suffering, says Danielle, they should support BDS (boycotts, divestments, and sanctions). The U.S. government should end its financial support for Israel and its occupation.

Since the latest attacks on Gaza, Israel has moved further to the right, she says, and it has become harder to “encourage youth not to be part of the brainwashing that is part of the education system.” The letter above was published “everywhere possible” and was the first many had ever heard that there was a choice available other than the military.

“We want the occupation to end,” says Danielle Yaor, “so that we can all live an honorable life in which all of our rights will be respected.”

Learn more.

The Conscience of a Moderate

Angels by the River: A Memoir by James Gustave Speth is pleasantly written but painful to read. Speth knew about the dangers of global warming before the majority of today's climate change deniers were born. He was an advisor to President Jimmy Carter and advised him and the public to address the matter before it became a crisis.

Carter and the U.S. capital of his day weren't about to take the sort of action needed. Remember, Carter was despised for a speech promoting green energy and celebrated for a speech declaring that the United States would always go to war over Middle Eastern oil. Ronald Reagan and his followers (in every sense) Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama wouldn't come within 10 miles of a reasonable approach to climate.  But Speth has spent the decades since the Carter administration trying to maintain a career within the system, a choice that he acknowledges has required compromises. Now he's pushing for radical change and takes himself to be a radical because he was arrested at the White House opposing a tar sands pipeline.

Here's a photo of Speth at the White House wearing the campaign symbol of the man at whose house he was protesting (Speth doesn't discuss the uniqueness of this form of opposition).

Speth writes as if President Obama were trying to protect the planet from Republicans, in contrast to the real-life Obama who has sabotaged climate talks in Copenhagen and at other summits over the years. Speth gives Democrats a pass, promotes electoral work, pushes nationalism, and believes the world needs U.S. leadership to address climate change. I think the evidence is clear that the world would be fairly well along if the United States would just stay out of the way and stop leading the destruction.

This image is from a recent report by the Institute for Policy Studies.

Speth's book tells a story of racist and sexist Agrarians who wanted to resist corporatism but didn't really do so; of "moderates" who blandly hinted at opposing segregation but didn't; of a Carter White House that didn't act; of a Clinton Administration that decided against even pretending to act; of a statement Speth wrote immediately after September 11, 2001, in which he took a both-and position, supporting both insane war and sane peaceful policies; and of the age of Obama in which one admits that the facts demand swift radical change while embracing lesser-evilism, not in voting but in activism and speech (that inevitable tendency being the main reason some of us oppose it in voting).

Of course I'm being unfair and Speth won't necessarily have any idea what I'm talking about. He doesn't have a chapter dedicated to nationalism, he just frames all of his proposals in terms of being a good patriot and fixing one's country -- even though the problem facing us is global. And when he worked in the Carter Administration he actually did good work and got things done. We celebrate -- hell, we practically worship -- whistleblowers who spent decades doing bad work, murderous work, before speaking out. Here's a man who did good work, who nudged things in a better direction for decades, before speaking out in the way he does now. With most people contributing little or nothing to the sustainability of the planet, and with radicals living through decades of failure just the same as moderates, Speth is not someone to criticize. And his book is quite valuable. I just want to nudge him a bit further.

Speth's account of his childhood in South Carolina is charming and wise. His account of unfulfilled dreams for the South and of undesirable Southern influence on the rest of the country is powerful. Instead of losing its bigotry, the South took on the North's consumerism. Instead of losing its consumerism, the North took on the South's reactionary politics, including what Speth calls "antipathy toward the federal government" -- I would add: except for that 53% of it that's dedicated to killing foreigners. Speth's account of the Nashville Agrarians' opposition to corporate consumerism is valuable. It's not that nobody knew; it's that not enough people acted. Of course, with my focus on the problem of war (which somehow, at best, squeezes into the last item on each of Speth's lists of issues) I'm brought back to wondering where we would be if slavery had been ended differently. I know that we're supposed to cheer for the Civil War even though other nations (and Washington D.C.) used compensated emancipation and skipped war. I know we're supposed to repeat to ourselves over and over "It's not Lincoln's fault, the slave owners wanted war." Well, indeed they did, but what if they hadn't? Or what if the recruits had refused to fight it for them? Or what if the North had let the South leave? It's difficult to bring up such questions while simultaneously convincing the reader that you know none of this actually happened. So, for what it's worth: I'm aware that's not how it happened; hence the need to bring it up. As it is, Vietnam has gotten over the war of the 1960s, and the U.S. South can, at long last, get over the war of the 1860s if it chooses to.

Speth was a founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council which helped win important struggles to halt a major expansion of nuclear power, to implement the Clean Water Act, and to protect wetlands. He also did great work at the World Resources Institute. Yet, he writes, there have been countless victories during an ongoing major defeat. "Our environmental organizations have grown in strength and sophistication, but the environment has continued to go downhill. The prospect of a ruined planet is now very real. We have won many victories, but we are losing the planet." Speth recounts the perils of working as a D.C. insider: "Once there, inside the system, we were compelled to a certain tameness by the need to succeed there. We opted to work within the system of political economy that we found, and we neglected to seek transformation of the system itself." And of being a global insider: "Thus far, the climate convention is not protecting climate, the biodiversity convention is not protecting biodiversity, the desertification convention is not preventing desertification, and even the older and stronger Convention on the Law of the Sea is not protecting fisheries."

Speth's conclusion is not entirely unlike Naomi Klein's. Speth writes in this book: "In short, most environmental deterioration is a result of systemic failures of the capitalism that we have today, and long-term solutions must seek transformative change in the key features of this contemporary capitalism." Klein quotes Speth in her book: "We didn't adjust with Reagan. We kept working within a system but we should have tried to change the system and root causes."

The Richest 400 Americans -- And What They Do With Their Money

In the supposedly classless society of the United States, the wealthiest Americans are doing remarkably well.

According to Forbes, a leading business magazine, the combined wealth of the 400 richest Americans has now reached the staggering total of $2.3 trillion.  This gives them an average net worth of $5.7 billion―an increase of 14 percent over the previous year.

Ukraine Restarts War on Eastern Regions Sources Say

nosurrender

The Kiev government of U.S. puppet Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is about to restart the failed attempt to subdue the southeastern region of the country known as Novorussia according to highly credible sources. (Image)

Colonel Igor Strelkov, a native Russian, helped create and led the Novorussian forces during the critical phases of resistance to the Kiev regime. At the height of his success, he left active command and was replaced by local leaders. As Strelkov sees it:

[An] "Endless flow of [Ukraine government] military columns moves towards Donetsk and Makeevka areas and towards Gorlovka area. Troops are being moved at ever increasing pace.

"At the same time they engage in massive use of heavy MLRS fire, heavy artillery and tactical missiles “Tochka-U” (SS-21 Scarab B) [a tactical ballistic missile - see Ukraine Firing Ballistic Missiles - Obama-Kerry Say Nothing].

"The number of victims among the population during this so-called truce is higher than it was in the period of active hostilities one month ago. Igor Strelkov, Important Statement, 20.10.2014 (click "Show More" for full text)

Syria/Turkey News - Oct 25, 2014


Pentagon: “The coalition continues to gain both momentum and strength and we know we’re having a direct effect on Islamic State - Defense.gov


VIDEO: Hagel: Islamic State Strategy Working - DoD Videos


VIDEO: Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby Briefing - DoDNEWS Videos


VIDEO: Pentagon says 1,700 bombs dropped in Iraq and Syria - YouTube


At least 500 Islamic State militants killed in US-led strikes in Syria, observer group says - The Boston Globe


US airstrike obliterate Islamic State' banner and Kurdish fighters raise their own (PHOTOS, VIDEO) - Daily Mail Online


VIDEO: Air strike targets Islamic State militants on a hill in Kobane obliterating their flag - YouTube


Islamic State said to be using chlorine bombs in Syria and Iraq - AP


FBI warns news outlets that group affiliated with Islamic State is targeting journalists - The Washington Post


POLL: 2 of 3 Americans say Islamic State threat is important - AP


Airstrikes against Islamic State diminish oil financing but more is needed to end the group's reign of terror - UPI.com


Cutting off Islamic State' cash flow, the U.S. government’s assessment of the terror group' finance and a strategy to counter it - Brookings Institution


U.S. warns of sanctions on buyers of Islamic State oil, threatens Kurdish and Turkish middlemen - ekurd


How Long Will Islamic State Last Economically? - Oye Times


Jihadist training camps proliferate in Iraq and Syria - The Long War Journal


The White Shroud: A Syrian Resistance Movement to the Islamic State - Syria Comment


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Syrian Kurdish factions unite over Islamic State threat, reach an agreement to share power after years of disputes - Middle East Eye


VIDEO (Kurdish): Barzani’s statement after the signed agreement of the Kurdish parties - YouTube


Interview of PYD leader Salih Muslim after the signed agreement of the Kurdish parties - diclehaber.com


PYD leader's assessment of the fight agaist Islamic State in Kobani - Yahoo News


"We do not have organic links with the PKK...The PYD doesn't take orders from anyone", PYD leader says - Daily Sabah


150 Peshmerga will go to Kobani: Erdogan - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Peshmerga forces won’t receive order from YPG: minister - Kurdpress News Aganecy


The White House online Petition to officially arm YPG may have a Tallying Glitch - ekurd


Kurds reject Erdogan report of deal with Free Syrian Army rebels to aid besieged Kobani, "no such agreement has been reached yet" - Reuters


Syria Kurds say Free Syrian Army rebels should focus on fighting Islamic State elsewhere, not Kobani - ekurd


Rebels plead for U.S. military help against Assad forces closing on Aleppo, deny that they are sending 1,300 troops to Kobani - FresnoBee.com


Here is the Aleppo FSA military council denying sending troops to Kobane, this follows lots of criticism from locals - lou zay on Twitter: “


Zahran Aloush (Jaysh al-Islam/Islamic Front leader) rejects all media reports that he's sending troops to Kobane - Ibn Nabih on Twitter


Syrian Rebels Oppose New U.S. War Strategy - foreignpolicy.com


U.S.: Rebel force in Syria to be built from scratch, building an opposition capable of mounting offensive operations against Islamic State militants will take at least a year - usatoday.com


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Erdoğan: US carried out airdrops to Kobani despite Turkish objection - todayszaman.com


Airdrops to Kobani not wrong at all, US says after Erdoğan's criticism - todayszaman.com


US reiterates PYD is not terrorist after Erdoğan's critical remarks - todayszaman.com


Turkey's U.S. relations show strain as Washington's patience wears thin - Reuters


PYD leader accuses Turkey of allowing ISIS militants into Kobane - Al Akhbar English


Turkish PM reiterates: CHP, HDP collaborators of Assad’s cruelty - hurriyetdailynews


Report: Suspect in assasination attempt on Danish writer released in Turkey - todayszaman.com


Danish PM: Turkey must face repercussions over suspect's release - todayszaman.com

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Understanding and Defeating Resurgent Fascism

As fascism is being intruded more widely and deeply into key areas of world politics, it is important to identify this trend, to explain the psychology of fascism and to nominate key elements of any strategy to defeat it.

The Inextricable Link Between Social and Environmental Justice

Erica Violet Lee of Idle No More in conversation with Dennis Trainor, Jr. of Acronym TV on the eve of the largest Climate Justice march in history.

“It is important to acknowledge the Indigenous people who have been fighting this battle on the front lines for centuries,” says Lee. “The big marches and massive actions (like the People’s Climate March) serve as motivation. I take it back to my community (because) ultimately I think it is acts of everyday resistance that will change they way things are done.”

Erica speaks about the violence that goes hand in hand with Canada pushing through Keystone XL Pipeline, “pushing first nations people off their lands to get to resources on the lands. There is a lot of violence – especially towards Indigenous Women who are going missing and getting murdered in record numbers.”

Dropping in on Assange, Harrison, and "Citizenfour"

 


Citizenfour’s Escape to Freedom in Russia

 

Editor Note: An international community of resistance has formed against pervasive spying by the U.S. National Security Agency with key enclaves in Moscow (with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden) and in London (with WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange), way stations visited last month by ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern

In early September in Russia, National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden told me about a documentary entitled “Citizenfour,” named after the alias he used when he asked filmmaker Laura Poitras to help him warn Americans about how deeply the NSA had carved away their freedoms.

When we spoke, Snowden seemed more accustomed to his current reality, i.e., still being alive albeit far from home, than he did in October 2013 when I met with him along with fellow whistleblowers Tom Drake, Coleen Rowley and Jesselyn Radack, as we presented him with the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence.

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden speaking in Moscow on Oct. 9, 2013. (From a video posted by WikiLeaks)

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden speaking in Moscow on Oct. 9, 2013. (From a video posted by WikiLeaks)

A year ago, the four of us spent a long, relaxing evening with Snowden – and sensed his lingering wonderment at the irony-suffused skein of events that landed him in Russia, out of reach from the U.S. government’s long arm of “justice.”

War Culture

According to a book by George Williston called This Tribe of Mine: A Story of Anglo Saxon Viking Culture in America, the United States wages eternal war because of its cultural roots in the Germanic tribes that invaded, conquered, ethnically cleansed, or -- if you prefer -- liberated England before moving on to the slaughter of the Native Americans and then the Filipinos and Vietnamese and on down to the Iraqis. War advocate, former senator, and current presidential hopeful Jim Webb himself blames Scots-Irish American culture.

But most of medieval and ancient Europe engaged in war. How did Europe end up less violent than a place made violent by Europe? Williston points out that England spends dramatically less per capita on war than the United States does, yet he blames U.S. warmaking on English roots. And, of course, Scotland and Ireland are even further from U.S. militarism despite being closer to England and presumably to Scots-Irishness.

"We view the world through Viking eyes," writes Williston, "viewing those cultures that do not hoard wealth in the same fashion or make fine iron weapons as child-like and ripe for exploitation." Williston describes the passage of this culture down to us through the pilgrims, who came to Massachusetts and began killing -- and, quite frequently, beheading -- those less violent, acquisitive, or competitive than they.

Germans and French demonstrated greater respect for native peoples, Williston claims. But is that true? Including in Africa? Including in Auschwitz? Williston goes on to describe the United States taking over Spanish colonialism in the Philippines and French colonialism in Vietnam, without worrying too much about how Spain and France got there.

I'm convinced that a culture that favors war is necessary but not sufficient to make a population as warlike as the United States is now. All sorts of circumstances and opportunities are also necessary. And the culture is constantly evolving. Perhaps Williston would agree with me. His book doesn't make a clear argument and could really have been reduced to an essay if he'd left out the religion, the biology metaphors, the experiments proving telepathy or prayer, the long quotes of others, etc. Regardless, I think it's important to be clear that we can't blame our culture in the way that some choose to blame our genes. We have to blame the U.S. government, identify ourselves with humanity rather than a tribe, and work to abolish warmaking.

In this regard, it can only help that people like Williston and Webb are asking what's wrong with U.S. culture. It can be shocking to an Israeli to learn that their day of independence is referred to by Palestinians as The Catastrophe (Nakba), and to learn why. Similarly, many U.S. school children might be startled to know that some native Americans referred to George Washington as The Destroyer of Villages (Caunotaucarius). It can be difficult to appreciate how peaceful native Americans were, how many tribes did not wage war, and how many waged war in a manner more properly thought of as "war games" considering the minimal level of killing. As Williston points out, there was nothing in the Americas to compare with the Hundred Years War or the Thirty Years War or any of the endless string of wars in Europe -- which of course are themselves significantly removed in level of killing from wars of more recent years.

Williston describes various cooperative and peaceful cultures: the Hopi, the Kogi, the Amish, the Ladakh. Indeed, we should be looking for inspiration wherever we can find it. But we shouldn't imagine that changing our cultural practices in our homes will stop the Pentagon being the Pentagon. Telepathy and prayer are as likely to work out as levitating the Pentagon in protest. What we need is a culture dedicated to the vigorous nonviolent pursuit of the abolition of war.

Syria/Turkey News - Oct 23, 2014

 

Pentagon: 1 airdrop of 28 bundles of weapons to Kurds intercepted by Islamic State in Kobani, not enough to advantage the enemy - Defense.gov


VIDEO: Islamic State Intercepted Supplies From U.S. Airdrop - YouTube


US working closely with Kurds to save Kobani, report says - Fox News


PYD not terrorist under US law: Washington - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Pentagon: Six more airstrikes near Kobani in support of Operation Inherent Resolve - Defense.gov


VIDEO: Huge Blasts Rock Kobani in Effort to Oust Islamic State - NBC News.com


The Administration Goes All In On Kobani - foreignpolicy.com


Pentagon: Kurds hold majority of Syria's Kobani town, Islamic State stalled - ekurd


VIDEO: John Kirby, Pentagon Full Press Briefing - DoDNEWS


TRANSCRIPT: Department of Defense Press Briefing by Admiral Kirby - Defense.gov


Islamic State video shows jihadis on patrol in Kobane as US warplanes circle overhead (VIDEO, PHOTOS) - Daily Mail Online


Possible Islamic State Chemical Attack On Kurdish Civilians In Kobani - ibtimes.com


PHOTOS: Doctors release these photos about symptoms of a possible chemical attacks in Kobani - Kobane News ! on Twitter


Islamic State used chemical weapons in Kobane, says American fighting with Kurds in Syria (VIDEO) - UPI.com


AUDIO (Arabic): Dr Dara Mahmud on Claims of Chemical Attacks in Kobane - Kobane News ! on Twitter


Interview with the President of Syrian Kurdistan's Kobani Canton Anwer Muslim - ekurd


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Kurdish parliament approves the proposal to send its Peshmerga to support under-armed Kurdish fighters in Kobane - Rudaw


Kurdish presidency: Peshmerga to fight in Kobane “within days”, will be operating heavy weapons - Rudaw


Report: KRG to initially send 200 peshmerga fighters to KobanI - todayszaman.com


Syrian Kurdish parties are close to make deal: Salih Muslim - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Syria says giving military and logistic support to Kurds in Kobani, supplying ammunition and arms to the town - AFP


Syria claims it destroyed jets seized by Islamic State as they were landing at Jarrah airbase in the eastern countryside of Aleppo - AP


Syria air force strikes 200 times in 36 hours: monitor - Reuters


No Mercy: Islamic State, Father Stone to Death Daughter for Alleged Adultery in Hama, Syria - International Business Times


VIDEO: Islamic State, Father Stone Daughter to Death for Adultery in Hama - liveleak.com


Dutch and German Biker Gangs Arrive in Kobani to Fight Islamic State - breitbart.com


Internet sensation Syrian girl who posts her views on IS, al-Assad, and the US (PHOTOS, VIDEO) - Daily Mail Online


Meet Syria's answer to Kim Kardashian - Metro News


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Erdoğan: I don’t understand why Kobani is so strategic for US, weapons airdrop is wrong because it was seized by Islamic State - todayszaman


Kurds Accuse Turkish Government of Supporting Islamic State - Reuters


Kurdish exiles of Kobani, Syria, doubt Turkey's promise of help - LA Times


VIDEO: Kurds' anger at Turkey as Kobane battle rages on - BBC News


PYD not on Turkey's terrorist list, report reveals - todayszaman.com


Turkey unveils stringent new anti-protest laws - Yahoo News


HRW says security bill would reverse reforms, should be rejected - todayszaman.com


TV reporter Serena Shim killed days after she claimed Turkish intelligence services had threatened her (PHOTOS, VIDEO) - Daily Mail Online


Iranian TV Says Death Of Journalist In Turkey Is 'Very Suspect' - huffingtonpost.com


To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

It Can Happen To Anyone: How I Became Radicalized

By John Grant


       saw the masked men
       Throwing truth into a well.
       When I began to weep for it
       I found it everywhere.

                  -Claudia Lars
 

Libya News - Oct 22, 2014


Three Years After Gadhafi's Death, Libya Slides Into Civil War - ibtimes.com


VIDEO: Libya On The Brink Of New Civil War - Fox News


Libya Tobruk-based parliament allies with renegade general Haftar, struggles to assert authority - Reuters


Libyan army advancing in Benghazi: spokesman - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT


Operation Dignity expects Benghazi battles to end in a week as further reinforcements arrive - libyaherald.com


Benghazi Medical Centre struggles to keep up as 75 bodies arrive in five days - libyaherald.com


VIDEO: Libya PM Thinni requesting foreign ‘logistical support’ to overcome conflict - MaltaToday.com.mt


Near Benghazi, Libya's army liberates a ghost town - THE DAILY STAR


VIDEO: Near Benghazi Libya's army liberates a ghost town - Frequency


Libya's persecuted Tawergha people displaced for the 2nd time amid Benghazi clashes - usnews.com


VIDEO ARCHIVE: Islamic militants resist general Haftar’s offensive in Benghazi - YouTube


VIDEO ARCHIVE: Ansar al Sharia Seize Libyan Special Forces Base In Benghazi - YouTube


Libya's Tobruk government calls on army to 'liberate' Tripoli - Middle East Eye


Libya Dawn are Muslim Brotherhood who receive orders from masters abroad: PM Thinni - libyaherald.com


Three Years After Gaddafi’s Death Government and Militias Compete for a Share of Oil Revenues - ibtimes.co.uk


ARCHIVE: Tripoli’s new rulers take over Libya government, oil company websites - Reuters


ARCHIVE: Two rival Libyan governments claim to control oil policy - Reuters


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UN: Islamic State already in Libya and expanding - pangeatoday.com


Islamic State, Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb enter Libya through neighbouring states: PM Thinni - libyaherald.com


VIDEO: Libya’s Islamist militants parade with Islamic State flags in Derna - YouTube


Analysis: Islamic State expands in Libya - Al-Monitor


The Islamic State's First Colony in Derna, Libya - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy


Public lashings follow Derna “Sharia Court” verdicts - libyaherald.com


Islamic State to launch Sat-TV station in Libya: Herald - MaltaToday.com.mt


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EU calls for a political solution in Lybia, urges all parties to observe an unconditional ceasefire. - Libya Business News


EU Council Conclusions on Libya - eu-un.europa.eu


VIDEO: US Ambassador to Libya Deborah Jones speaks to CNN about the current situation in the country - CNN


In surprise Libya trip, U.N. chief calls for halt to fighting - Al Arabiya News


VIDEO: UN and EU speak out on escalating conflict in Libya - YouTube


UN Special envoy to Libya Bernardino Leon interview with Alarabiya’s Panorama program - United Nations Support Mission in Libya


Rival Libyan PM meets Turkish envoy in first known meeting with foreign visitor - Reuters


Gaddafi cousin hopes to participate in Libyan peace talks - Yahoo News


Libyan tribal leaders gather in Cairo for unity talks - Daily News Egypt


Egypt, Sudan to coordinate on Libya unrest - Yahoo News


Foreign minister: Egypt will not deal with Libya’s Islamists, "We will only deal with the House of Representatives” - dpa news


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Libya-Goldman clash sheds light on formerly secretive fund - FT.com


How Goldman's Libya case could disrupt derivatives - cnbc.com


ARCHIVE: Libya’s Sovereign Fund and Goldman Sachs Clash in Court - NYTimes.com


ARCHIVE: Libyans ‘taken for a ride’ by Goldman Sachs, court hears - FT.com


ARCHIVE: Goldman Sachs 'charmed Gadaffi-era sovereign wealth fund employees with girls and alcohol' in trip to Morocco - The Independent


ARCHIVE: SEC Official Backs Libya Fund’s Claim Against Goldman, According to Court Documents - WSJ


ARCHIVE: Goldman Ordered to Pay Some Costs in Libya Case - NYTimes.com

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Talk Nation Radio: Gandhi's Grandson Warns of World War III

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-gandhis-grandson-warns-of-world-war-iii

Arun Gandhi discusses his new children's book about his grandfather, applies its lessons to the world, and warns that we are currently on a path toward a third world war.

Total run time: 29:00

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

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Public Says No to Silencing Prisoners' Speech

I would not have guessed that people cared so much and so well about U.S. prisoners. The Governor of Pennsylvania is expected to sign into law a dangerous precedent that we all need to speak out against and put a quick stop to. In the first day since posting the following petition, over 10,000 people have signed it and added quite eloquent reasons why. It can be signed here.

We stand against the passage, in Pennsylvania, of the so-called "Revictimization Relief Act," which affords virtually unlimited discretion to District Attorneys and the state Attorney General to silence prisoner speech, by claiming that such speech causes victims' families "mental anguish." Politicians are claiming a power that if granted to them will be difficult if not impossible for citizens to check.

In seeking to silence the legally protected speech of prisoners, the state also damages citizens' right and freedom to know -- in this case, to better understand an area of U.S. life physically removed from public scrutiny.

This legislation emerged following the failure of the Fraternal Order of Police and its allies to stop prisoner and radio journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal from delivering an October 5, 2014, commencement address. This bill sacrifices the rights of all prisoners in Pennsylvania in order to silence Abu-Jamal -- an unethical deployment of collective punishment by those in power.

Victim relief is not served by denying fundamental rights to those convicted, especially because prisoner freedom of speech is crucial for redressing wrongful convictions and the current crisis of harsh sentencing that is often disproportionate to alleged crimes. Our society is currently engaged in a full-scale debate on the problems of mass incarceration that could not have developed without prisoners' voices.

Here's a PDF of the names and comments of the first 10,000 plus people to sign this. Flipping through the first few pages, these comments jump out at me:

Lawrence       Fine     NY       This is an ill-conceived bill.

Christopher   Scerbo            ME      Democracy is never served by silence.

Robert            Post     NJ        The only proper answer to bad speech is good speech!

Ellen   Kirshbaum     NY       Why does speech frighten these corrupt politicians?  Let all prisoners SPEAK!

Jenefer           Ellingston       DC       Why is our local or national gov't afraid of Free Speech?

Allan   Carlson           NJ        This is a FASCIST law. It represents that antithesis of the intent of the Founding Fathers who penned the U.S. Constitution.

Jesse   Reyes  NJ        This bill only makes sense if it is known, beyond all shadow of doubt, that the incarcerated person is actually "guilty."  The Innocence Project and several other high profile cases ("The Central Park Jogger" case) has proven that far too many incarcerated people are not guilty of the crimes they were sent to prison for.  I would not want to deny anyone their rights on that basis alone.  This bill is wrong and should not be signed by anyone who actually cares about our Constitution and our Bill of Rights.

Jan      Clausen          NY       This bill threatens to make Pennsylvania a poster child for the unconstitutional curtailment of the free speech rights that are known around the world as one of the great strengths of U.S. system. Pennsylvanians and all U.S. citizens need to wake up and soundly reject this ill-conceived measure that threatens the freedoms of all.

Dallas C.          GalvinNY       Censorship for the state that promotes itself as the site of the U.S. Constitution and home of Benjamin Franklin and William Penn? Deeply troubling behavior.  Rethink, then reject.  Mr. Jamal (let's be clear about motivation here) has been able to show the corruption and disingenuousness of the D.A., the state senate, and police.  Clean up your own acts, then you need no longer fear free and unfettered speech.

David  Drukaroff       NJ        I have tried to win exoneration for a wrongfully convicted inmate for the last 25 years. People have a right to know how this inmate feels.

Chad   Sell      PA       Does anyone care about the constitution anymore?

Katharine       Rylaarsdam    MD      Public officials are servants of the law, not demigods who should be granted unlimited arbitrary power.

Edward          Costello           CA       This is outrageous.

Julimar           CastroMN      Wrongful and disproportionate convictions exist. To prevent these people from speaking is outrageous. I suspect those proposing this law care more about silencing convicts and preventing them from telling the truth regarding the system, than about the families themselves.

Robert            Belknap          NC       This is theft of rights, pure and simple.

Paul    Palla    PA       Have you heard of the Constitution?  You know, that thing that guarantees everybody FREEDOM OF SPEECH??!?

NancyNorton            NY       I used to visit prisoners in our local jail.  It is too easy to forget these people, members of our community and citizens of our county.  The right of free speech should not be abridged because a person is serving a sentence in prison or jail.  We need to remember these people and not dismiss them as a group we can ignore.

J. R.      Jarvis  WA      I believe in justice, human rights and the constitution - this ain't it!

ralph   Calabrese       NY       Too many of our freedoms are being taken from us.

Sean    Murphy          FL        These abuses of power must be stopped and we must resist the 1% from using criminals and other hot topics to pass laws that ultimately will affect us all.

Sharyn            Diaz     OR       prisons have replaced the poorhouses in America and now you want to silence the common folk...shame on you...all of you who support just another try at control. 

r.          tippens           MA      This is a law straight from Stalin's text book.  Please...do not embarrass this democracy.

BetseyPiette  PA       Once again Corbett & Co. will waste millions of tax dollars to defend their criminal violation of citizens' Constitutional Rights but can't find money for public education?

Dave   JeckerTX       Being a prisoner is bad enough and their punishment is that given to them for their actions.  Words should never be silenced and that is a human right.  We have seen how governments silent individuals and groups and it leads to nothing except rebellion.  Right to speech is everyone's human right, it is not something you can take away.

Samuel           Perry  NJ        Prisoners are on the front line of our civil liberties battles. The rights that oppressive governments first strip from prisoners are the rights the same regimes will later strip from "non-citizens" and finally "citizens" themselves. Free speech doesn't come from Government and cannot be taken away by government. Philadelphia should know that.

DonnaFriedman       FL        So many in prison for drug use, mental illness and even falsely accused.  They should have the right to say what goes on there.

Joanne            Snyder            CA       No lessons learned about corrupt Pennsylvania judges who sentence juvenile offenders in exchange for money?  Who is paying for this?

Rev. Jake         Harrison         TX       Freedom of speechdoes not exclude inmates - and some of the most poignant voices in history were those of inmates.

Casey  Lyon    VT       Let us not forget the insightful words of Dostoyevsky: "The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons."

JG        Tentler           NY       This dangerous precedent must not be allowed to be established.It's implications are chilling and are clearly designed to muzzle the free speech of one Political Prisoner,at the expense of every wrongly incarcerated petitioner who is stifled by it.

Carol   Stanton           NC       We must not become a gulag state.

Add your signature.

For more information:
Bring Mumia Home
Free Mumia
Text of the bill

Stop Bombing Iraq and Syria!

by Debra Sweet        ISIS = Bad     U.S. War for Empire = Even Worse!     Friday October 10, World Can't Wait brought the message of NO War on Iraq & Syria when Barack Obama spoke in San Francisco.  Press Coverage of Protests in San Francisco Outside of Obama Fundraiser  

Epidemic of Birth Defects in Iraq

by Carol  Dudek          On Tuesday, Oct. 14, Columbia University's School of Public Health hosted a presentation by two prominent researchers who have been documenting the shocking increase of birth defects and cancers in newborns in Iraq after bombardments by the US and its coalition.  Dr Mozhgan Savabieasfahani of the University of Michigan's School of Public Health is an environmental toxicologist. She has written two dozen articles and a book, Pollution and Reproductive Damage. Dr Muhsin Al-Sabbak is the Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Basra Maternity Hospital.

National Day of Protest Against Police Brutality

Wednesday October 22nd is the National Day of Protest Against Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. Take 3 minutes to hear from “Uncle Bobby,” uncle of Oscar Grant, killed by Oakland, CA police, and youth from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network & Revolution Club of the Bay Area. Then, share it!

Protest Petraeus & War Expansion at 92nd St. Y!

Doing  a second grand NYC appearance just before Halloween, Gen. David Petraeus will be speaking at the 92nd Street Y.  Quite scary!  Given Petraeus' criminal responsibility for much of the war on Iraq and Afghanistan and given the current relentless US bombing of Iraq and Syria, this is an important time to be visibly protesting – drawing connections between what he advocates, his history and current and future US policy - to make a statement about Petraeus and about the continuing and expanding US wars. We also want to point out that the General continues to teach at CUNY's Macaulay Honors College, every Monday from 3:00-6:00.

On Killing Trayvons

This Wednesday is a day of action that some are calling a national day of action against police brutality, with others adding "and mass incarceration," and I'd like to add "and war" and make it global rather than national. This Tuesday, the Governor of Pennsylvania is expected to sign a bill that will silence prisoners' speech, and people are pushing back. A movement is coalescing around reforming police procedures and taking away their military weapons. And a powerful book has just been published called Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence.

Saving Trayvon Martin would have required systemic reforms or cultural reforms beyond putting cameras on police officers. This young man walking back from a store with candy was spotted by an armed man in an SUV who got out of his vehicle to pursue Trayvon despite having been told not to when he called the police. George Zimmerman was not a police officer, though he wanted to be one. He'd lost a job as a security guard for being too aggressive. He'd been arrested for battery on a police officer. He had left Manassas, Va., and its climate of hatred for Latinos in which he participated, for Florida, where he was a one-man volunteer neighborhood watch group in a gated neighborhood. He'd phoned the police on 46 previous occasions. He apparently expressed his contempt for Trayvon Martin in racist terms. When the police arrived, they let Zimmerman ride in the front seat (no handcuffs, of course) and never tested him for drugs, testing instead the dead black boy he'd murdered. When public outrage finally put Zimmerman on trial, his defense displayed a photo of a white woman living in the neighborhood who had nothing to do with the incident but who was used to represent what Zimmerman had been "defending." He was found innocent.

Killing Trayvons is a rich anthology, including police records, trial transcripts, statements by President Obama, accounts of numerous similar cases, essays, poetry, and history and analysis of how we got here . . .  and how we might get the hell out of here.

Recently I was playing a game with my little boy that must have looked to any observer like I was secretly spying on people. I found myself thinking that it was a good thing I wasn't black or I'd risk someone reporting me to the police, and I'd find myself struggling to explain the situation to them rather than yelling at them, and they wouldn't listen. "What do I tell my son," wrote Talib Kweli, "He's 5 years old and he's still thinking cops are cool / How do I break the news that when he gets some size / He'll be perceived as a threat and see the fear in their eyes." I remember a character of James Baldwin's explaining to a younger brother on the streets of New York that when walking in the rich part of town you must always keep your hands in your pockets so as not to be accused of touching a white woman. But a set of rules devised by Etan Thomas in Killing Trayvons includes: "Keep your hands visible. Avoid putting them in your pockets." Opposite advice, same injustice. I can recall how offended I was when, as a young white man, I became old enough for a strange woman in a deserted place to hurry away from me in panic. Maybe if I'd been black someone would have prepared me for that. Maybe I'd have experienced it a lot earlier. Maybe I'd have experienced it as racist. Maybe it would have been. But would I have come around to the conclusion, as I have, that there's nothing I have a right to be indignant about, that people's fear -- wherever it comes from -- is more important to reduce than other people's annoyance?

But what about fear that leads to murder? What about white fear of black violence that leads to the killing of so many African Americans -- and many of them women, suggesting that fear isn't all there is to it? Police and security guards kill hundreds of African Americans each year, most of them unarmed. In most cases, the killers claim to have felt threatened. In most cases they escape any accountability. Clearly this is a case of fear to be doubted and treated with appropriate skepticism, fear to be understood and sympathized with where real, but fear never to be respected as reasonable or justified.

We need a combination of addressing the fear through enlightenment and impeding the violence with application of the rule of law in a manner that does not treat murdering black kids as what any reasonable person would do. We need to rein in and hold accountable individuals and institutions -- groups like the NRA and ALEC that push racist policies on us. Police and neighbors should not see a black boy as an intruder in his own house when his foster parents are white. They also shouldn't spray chemical weapons in someone's face before asking him questions.

The editors of Killing Trayvons, Kevin Alexander Gray, Jeffrey St. Clair, and JoAnn Wypijewski put killing in context. What if Trayvon actually got into a fight with his stalker superhero? Would that have been a good reason to kill him? "It takes a jacked-up disdain for proportionality to conclude the execution is a reasonable response to a fistfight. And yet . . . high or low, power teaches such disdain every day. Lose two towers; destroy two countries. Lose three Israelis; kill a couple thousand Palestinians. Sell some dope; three strikes, you're out. Sell a loosey; choke, you're dead. Reach for your wallet; bang, you're dead. Got a beef; bang, you're dead."

This is exactly the problem. High and low includes supreme courts that kill black men like Troy Davis, and presidents who kill dark-skinned Muslim foreigners (some of them U.S. citizens) with drones, leading Vijay Prashad to call Zimmerman a domestic drone and Cornel West to call President Obama a global Zimmerman. Two bizarre varieties of murder have been legalized at the same time in the United States. One is Stand-Your-Ground killing justified by fear and applied on a consistently racist basis. The other is drone missile killing justified by fear and applied on a consistently racist basis. Both types of murder are much more obviously murder than other instances that have not been given blanket legalization.

Stand-your-ground murders are facilitated by racism; and racist propaganda that blames the victims protects the killers after the fact. Drone murders are driven by profit, politics, power lust, and racism; and the guilt of President Obama is sheltered by the prevalence of racist hatred for him -- which comes from generally the same group of people who support stand-your-ground laws. (How can Obama be guilty of any wrong in overseeing a global kill list, when racists hate him?) Millions of Americans think of themselves as above the ignorant whites who fear every black person they see, and yet have swallowed such a fear of ISIS that even giving ISIS a war it wants and benefits from seems justified. After all, ISIS is barbaric. If it were civilized, ISIS wouldn't behead people; it would have its hostages commit suicide while handcuffed in the backseat of police cars.

Pennsylvania’s for lovers...of convictions: The Scandal Hidden Inside a State’s Porn Emails Scandal

By Linn Washington Jr.

 

(Part I of II)
 

Obscured by a current scandal involving pornographic emails currently rocking the top reaches of Pennsylvania’s state government, a scandal that has cast a shadow over embattled Pennsylvania Governor and former state's attorney general Tom Corbett and the state’s judiciary, including a state Supreme Court member, is another explosive scandal.

Syria/Turkey News - Oct 20, 2014


US Airdrops Arms to Kurds in Syrian Town of Kobani - Foreign Policy


PYD Syrian Kurds say US discussed arms supplies in direct talks - Rudaw


US confirms sharing intelligence with Syrian Kurds against Islamic State - Kurdpress News Aganecy


US officials in contact with Syrian Kurds “for more than two years”: PYD spokesman - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT


Kobane's YPG Kurds confirm coordination between them and factions of the Free Syrian Army - Rudaw


Statement of YPG General Command on Kobani and fight against IS, affirming its coordination with factions of the Free Syrian Army - Mutlu Civiroglu


More on the FSA factions helping Kurds in fight against IS militants - Middle East Eye


We won't stop any one from defending Kobani: Salih Muslim - Kurdpress News Aganecy


FSA 1st Dawn Brigade says controls parts of Kobane in video (VIDEO) - Al Arabiya News


Fifteen-year-old boy taken captive with suspected jihadist 'shot in the head by FSA Revolutionaries of Raqqa Brigade fighting against Islamic State - The Independent


VIDEO: Here’s what's likely the child Islamic State fighter reportedly executed after being captured by the FSA faction in Kobane - Brown Moses on Twitter


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

Islamic State incurs heavy losses in battle for Syrian border town Kobane - The National


Kurds: Four areas liberated from Islamic State gangs in Kobanê - ANF


VIDEO: Kurdish fighters 'recapture' parts of Kobani - YouTube


Dozens of Islamic State mortars, two car bombs pound Kobane - Al Jazeera America


There are still IS forces in Kobani: journalist tells Kurdpress - Kurdpress News Aganecy


VIDEO: This is allegedly a video that shows one of IS car bombs in security zone of Kobane today. Huge explosion - Jenan Moussa on Twitter


IS commits ‘fatal’ blunders in Kobane battle: Analyst - Al Arabiya News


My sources inside Kobane confirms: 5000 civilians are cut from food and water as we speak, caught in the middle between fighting factions - Mudar Zahran on Twitter


YPJ fighter: Aid corridor for Kobane civilians is essential - ANF


Islamic State Group Destroys Three Kobani’s Hospitals and All Ambulances - teleSUR


‘Even animals don’t do it’: Kobani siege survivors on Islamic State brutality (VIDEO) - RT News


Syrian Kurds found vile image of baby girl being 'beheaded' on phone taken from dead IS militants - ekurd


Syrian Kurdish female 'Lions' warriors terrorising Islamic State: The real story of Narin Afrini - ekurd


IS Attacks Kurdish Town of Serêkanîye - BAS NEWS


IS chief Baghdadi's video 'being reviewed' by U.S. intelligence (VIDEO, English Subtitles) - Al Arabiya News


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

Erdogan opposes transfer of US arms to Kurds fighting Islamic State, "PYD is for us equal to PKK. It is a terror organization" - CSMonitor.com


No way for change to Öcalan’s prison conditions: President Erdoğan - hurriyetdailynews


Islamic State foiled in attempt to kidnap FSA leader in Turkey, raising questions on Ankara’s readiness to stop jihadists in its soil - Telegraph


200,000 Syrian Kurds find a cold reception as they flee Kobani across border into Turkey - The Independent


Camp on the Turkish-Syrian Border Funded by Kurdistan for Kobane Refugees - Rudaw


VIDEO: Kurds say Turkey stops people returning to Kobane - CNN


YPG member Dilek remanded in Turkey before treatment completed - ANF


Second Democracy and Peace Conference begins in Turkey under the slogan “We salute the Kobanê resistance” - ANF


Senior AKP deputy slams Erdoğan, his party over Kurdish policies: BBC - hurriyetdailynews


Dropping of Dec. 17 probe draws widespread criticism - todayszaman.com


New government-drafted bill to further suppress dissidents - todayszaman.com


UK finally sanctions Qatari terror funder, 10 months after US - RT UK


Lebanon pulled into war with Islamic State - Al Arabiya News

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Shadow Facts About Shadow Government

Tom Engelhardt keeps churning out great books by collecting his posts from TomDispatch.com. His latest book, Shadow Government, is essential reading. Of the ten essays included, eight are on basically the same topic, resulting in some repetition and even some contradiction. But when things that need repeating are repeated this well, one mostly wants other people to read them -- or perhaps to have them involuntarily spoken aloud by everybody's iPhones.

We live in an age in which the most important facts are not seriously disputed and also not seriously known or responded to.

The United States' biggest public program of the past 75 years, now outstripping the rest of the world combined, is war preparations. The routine "base" military spending, not counting spending on particular wars, is at least 10 times the war spending, or enough to totally transform the world for the better. Instead it's used to kill huge numbers of people, to make the United States less safe, and to prepare for wars that are -- without exception -- lost disastrously. Since the justification of the Soviet Union vanished, U.S. militarism has only increased. Its enemies are small, yet it does its best to enlarge them. U.S. Special Operations forces are actively, if "secretly," engaged in war or war preparations in over two-thirds of the nations on earth. U.S. troops are openly stationed in 90 percent of the nations on earth, and 100 percent of the oceans. A majority of the people in most nations on earth consider the United States the greatest threat to world peace.

The U.S. military has brought death, terror, destruction, and lasting damage to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya -- and spilling out of Libya into Mali, sparked a Sunni-Shiite civil war in Iraq that has spread to Syria, rendered Pakistan and Yemen more violent and insecure with drone strikes, and fueled violence in Somalia that has spilled across borders.

These facts are well-established, yet virtually incomprehensible to a typical U.S. news consumer. So, if they can be repeated brilliantly and convincingly, I say: the more times the better.

We're rendering the earth uninhabitable, and the October 27, 2014, issue of Time magazine includes a section headlined "Why the Price of Oil Is Falling -- And What It Means for the World." In reality, of course, it means devastation for the world. In Time it means a happy American oil boom, more sales for Saudi Arabia, and a good reason for Russia to rein in its military. Yes, the same Russia that spends 7% of what the United States does on its military. To get a sense of how Russia could rein in that military, here is a video of a Pentagon official claiming that Russia has physically moved closer to NATO (and put little green men into Ukraine).

Years ago I wrote an article for TomDispatch called "Bush's Third Term." Now of course we're into Bush's fourth term, or Clinton's sixth. The point is that presidential power abuses and war-making expand when a president gets away with them, not when a particular party or individual wins an election. Engelhardt explains how Dick Cheney's 1 percent doctrine (justifying war when anything that has a 1% chance of being a danger) has now become a zero percent doctrine (no justification is needed). Along with war today comes secrecy, which encompasses complete removal of your privacy, but also -- Engelhardt notes -- the abandonment of actual secrecy for "covert" operations that the government wants to have known but not to have held to any legal standard.

The White House went to the New York Times prior to President Obama's reelection and promoted the story that Obama personally goes through a list of men, women, and children on Tuesdays and carefully picks which ones to have murdered. There's no evidence that this hurt Obama's reelection.

The Bush White House went to the New York Times and censored until after Bush's reelection, the story that the government was massively and illegally spying on Americans.  The Obama White House has pursued a vendetta against whistleblower Edward Snowden for making public the global extent of the spying. While Engelhardt tells this story with the usual suggestion that Snowden let us in on a big secret, I always assumed the U.S. government was doing what people now know it is. Engelhardt points out that these revelations have moved European and Latin American governments against the U.S. and put the fear of major financial losses into Silicon Valley companies known to be involved in the spying.

Engelhardt writes that with the NSA and gang having eliminated our privacy, we can now eliminate theirs by publicizing leaked information. At the same time, Engelhardt writes that dozens of Snowdens would be needed for us to begin to find out what the U.S. war machine is doing. Perhaps the point is that the dozens of Snowdens are inevitable. I hope so, although Engelhardt explicitly says that the shadow government is an "irreversible way of life." I certainly hope not, or what's the point of opposing it?  

Engelhardt notes that the U.S. government has turned against massive ground wars, but not against wars, so that we will be entering an era of "tiny wars." But the tiny wars may kill in significant numbers compared with wars of centuries gone by, and may spark wars by others that rage on indefinitely. Or, I would add, we might choose to stop every war as we stopped the Syrian missile crisis of 2013.

Engelhardt pinpoints a moment when a turning point almost came. On July 15, 1979, President Jimmy Carter proposed a massive investment in renewable energy. The media denounced his speech as "the malaise speech." "In the end, the president's energy proposals were essentially laughed out of the room and ignored for decades." Six months later, on January 23, 1980, Carter announced that "an attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force." The media took this speech quite seriously and respectfully, labeling it the Carter Doctrine. We've been having increasing trouble with people whose sand lies over our oil ever since.

Syria/Turkey News - Oct 18, 2014

 

Kurds are repelling Islamic State attack on Kobani with help of US air strikes - The Independent


Kurds: Islamic State 'being driven out of Syria's Kobane’ - BBC News


VIDEO: Islamic State pushed back with help of U.S. airstrikes in Kobani - CNN.com


Rights Group: More Than 600 Killed on Both Sides in Fight for Kobani - VOA


Kobani fight an opportunity to blunt Islamic State, general says - CNN.com


VIDEO: Pentagon: Expanded airstrikes show desired effects against Islamic State - YouTube


VIDEO: Full Pentagon Briefing On Operation Inherent Resolve Against Islamic State - DoD News


Kobani key to US strategy against Islamic State - Yahoo News


Why The Fight Against IS In Kobani Matters - huffingtonpost.com


Islamic State Militants Have Been Flying 3 Captured Warplanes Over Syrian Airport, Witnesses Say - Reuters


The Islamic State operating fighter aircraft, fact or fiction? - Oryx Blog


VIDEO: Expert: decades-old warplanes stand almost no chance against the modern ones of the US-led coalition - Fox News


VIDEO: This video shows the jets captured at Jarrah airbase last November by Jaish al Islam now used by the Islamic State - Brown Moses on Twitter


Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula portrays US-led bombing campaign as 'Crusade' against Islam - The Long War Journal


Al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula Statement: Solidarity with the Islamic State - Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi


Foreign Fighters Bring Their Kids To Join IS, But Moms Are Fighting Back - huffingtonpost.com


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

In policy shift, U.S. opens direct talks with Syrian Kurds - McClatchy DC


VIDEO: State Department: U.S. holds first direct talks with Syrian Kurdish PYD party - Ohaber


Syrian Kurds Gain Importance In Campaign Against Islamic State - huffingtonpost.com


Syrian Kurdish official calls for antitank weapons for Kobani - The Boston Globe


Syrian Kurdish parties to reach an Agreement on Rojava, which will be a principle for governing jointly in Syrian Kurdistan - BAS NEWS


Interview with Ibrahim Biro, secretary-general of the Union Kurdish Party in Syria: Syrian Kurds seeking unity in face of ISIS threat - Rudaw


Kurdistan Parliament Wants KRG to Recognize Kurdish Syrian Cantons - BAS NEWS


Peshmerga train Syrian Kurd fighters in northern Iraq - Worldbulletin News


Peshmerga head speaks of struggle against IS - Al-Monitor


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

Exclusive: Turkey OK’s American drones for reconnaissance to monitor Islamic State, but does not allows the use of manned aircraft - Daily Beast


Air strikes against Islamic State in Kobani are just a PR exercise, Turkey says - National Post


Turkey will not allow its citizens to fight in Kobane: PM Davutoğlu - hurriyetdailynews


Ankara outlines border of possible ‘safe zone’ inside Syria (MAP) - yenisafak.com


Islamist Terrorists Are Quiet Neighbor for Turkey 20 Miles From Kobani - Bloomberg


Kurdish militants warn of “violent conflict” if Turkish police given more powers - Rudaw


Turkey, Qatar Complicate Operation Against IS: Special Report - Fox News Channel


UNSC failure a strong message to Turkey on its faulty foreign policy - todayszaman.com


Turkey's massive corruption case dropped by prosecutor - hurriyetdailynews


HSYK inspector requests prosecutor Akkaş be barred from profession, He carried out an investigation into the corruption scandal - todayszaman

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Our Culture is a Crime | Acronym TV 019

Originally posted at AcroynmTV

Episode Breakdown |

Spoken word from Immortal Technique and Erica Violet Lee of Idle No More, plus:

3 interviews looking at the climate crisis from 3 angles:
Medea Benjamin of Code Pink talks about the links between the peace movement and the climate justice movement – and how Code Pink started as an Environmental group-

Then Howie Hawkins, as his momentum in the New York gubernatorial race is ramping up, talks about Green justice in the electoral arena.
Also, Occupy Sandy organizer Nastaran Mohit talks about our need to face down white privilege within the movement, and step out of our comfort zones.

Finally, Jill Stein points out that we have critical mass and critical momentum to win the day.

TAGS

A Different War-Is-Good-For-Us Argument

It seems like we just got through dealing with the argument that war is good for us because it brings peace. And along comes a very different twist, combined with some interesting insights. Here's a blog post by Joshua Holland on Bill Moyers' website.

"War has long been seen as an endeavor urged on by the elites who stood the most to gain from conflict – whether to protect overseas assets, create more favorable conditions for international trade or by selling materiel for the conflict – and paid for with the blood of the poor, the cannon fodder who serve their country but have little direct stake in the outcome.

". . . MIT political scientist Jonathan Caverley, author of Democratic Militarism Voting, Wealth, and War, and himself a US Navy veteran, argues that increasingly high-tech militaries, with all-volunteer armies that sustain fewer casualties in smaller conflicts, combine with rising economic inequality to create perverse incentives that turn the conventional view of war on its head. . . .

"Joshua Holland: Your research leads to a somewhat counterintuitive conclusion. Can you give me your thesis in a nutshell?

"Jonathan Caverley: My argument is that in a heavily industrialized democracy like the United States, we have developed a very capital intensive form of warfare. We no longer send millions of combat troops overseas – or see massive numbers of casualties coming home. Once you start going to war with lots of airplanes, satellites, communications – and a few very highly trained special operations forces — going to war becomes a check writing exercise rather than a social mobilization. And once you turn war into a check writing exercise, the incentives for and against going to war change.

"You can think of it as a redistribution exercise, where people who have less income generally pay a smaller share of the cost of war. This is especially important at the federal level. In the United States, the federal government tends to be funded largely from the top 20 percent. Most of the federal government, I’d say 60 percent, maybe even 65 percent, is financed by the wealthy.

"For most people, war now costs very little in terms of both blood and treasure. And it has a redistributive effect.

"So my methodology is pretty simple. If you think that your contribution to conflict will be minimal, and see potential benefits, then you should see an increased demand for defense spending and increased hawkishness in your foreign policy views, based on your income. And my study of Israeli public opinion found that the less wealthy a person was, the more aggressive they were in using the military."

Presumably Caverley would acknowledge that U.S. wars tend to be one-sided slaughters of people living in poor nations, and that some fraction of people in the United States are aware of that fact and oppose wars because of it. Presumably he is also aware that U.S. troops still die in U.S. wars and are still drawn disproportionately from the poor.  Presumably he is also aware (and presumably he makes all of this clear in his book, which I have not read) that war remains extremely profitable for an extremely elite group at the top of the U.S. economy. Weapons stocks are at record heights right now. A financial advisor on NPR yesterday was recommending investing in weapons. War spending, in fact, takes public money and spends it in a way that very disproportionately benefits the extremely wealthy. And while public dollars are progressively raised, they are far less progressively raised than in the past. War-preparations spending is in fact part of what drives the inequality that Caverley says drives low-income support for wars. What Caverley means by his claim that war is (downwardly) redistributive is made a bit clearer further on in the interview:

"Holland: In the study you point out that most social scientists don’t see military spending as having a redistributive effect. I didn’t understand that. What some call “military Keynesianism” is a concept that’s been around for a long time. We located a ton of military investments in the Southern states, not only for defense purposes, but also as a means of regional economic development. Why don’t people see this as a massive redistribution program?

"Caverley: Well, I agree with that construction. If you watch any congressional campaign or you look at any representative’s communication with his or her constituents, you will see that they talk about getting their fair share of defense spending.

"But the larger point is that even if you don’t think about defense spending as a redistributive process, it is a classic example of the kind of public goods that a state provides. Everyone benefits from defense of the state – it’s not just rich people. And so national defense is probably one of the places you’re most likely to see redistributive politics, because if you’re not paying too much for it, you’re going to ask for more of it."

So, at least part of the idea seems to be that wealth is being moved from wealthy geographical sections of the United States to poorer ones. There is some truth to that. But the economics is quite clear that, as a whole, military spending produces fewer jobs and worse paying jobs, and has less overall economic benefit, than education spending, infrastructure spending, or various other types of public spending, or even tax cuts for working people -- which are by definition downwardly redistributive as well. Now, military spending can drain an economy and be perceived as boosting an economy, and the perception is what determines support for militarism. Similarly, routine "normal" military spending can carry on at a pace of over 10-times specific war spending, and the general perception on all sides of U.S. politics can be that it is the wars that cost large amounts of money. But we should acknowledge the reality even when discussing the impacts of the perception.

And then there's the notion that militarism benefits everyone, which conflicts with the reality that war endangers the nations that wage it, that "defense" through wars is in fact counter-productive. This, too, should be acknowledged. And perhaps -- though I doubt it -- that acknowledgement is made in the book.

Polls show generally diminishing support for wars except in particular moments of intense propaganda. If in those moments it can be shown that low-income U.S.ians are carrying a larger load of war support, that should indeed be examined -- but without assuming that war supporters have good reason for giving their support. Indeed, Caverley offers some additional reasons why they might be misguided:

"Holland: Let me ask you about a rival explanation for why poor people might be more supportive of military action. In the paper, you mention the idea that less wealthy citizens may be more prone to buy into what you call the “myths of empire.” Can you unpack that?

"Caverley: In order for us to go to war, we have to demonize the other side. It’s not a trivial thing for one group of people to advocate killing another group of people, no matter how callous you think humanity might be. So there is typically a lot of threat inflation and threat construction, and that just goes with the territory of war.

"So in my business, some people think that the problem is that elites get together and, for selfish reasons, they want to go to war. That’s true whether it’s to preserve their banana plantations in Central America or sell weapons or what have you.

"And they create these myths of empire — these inflated threats, these paper tigers, whatever you want to call it — and try to mobilize the rest of the country to fight a conflict that may not necessarily be in their interest.

"If they were right, then you would actually see that people’s foreign policy views – their idea of how great a threat is — would correlate with income. But once you control for education, I didn’t find that these views differed according to what your wealth or income is."

This seems a little off to me. There is no question that Raytheon executives and the elected officials they fund will see more sense in arming both sides of a war than the average person of any income or education level will tend to see. But those executives and politicians are not a statistically significant group when talking broadly about the rich and poor in the United States. Most war profiteers, moreover, are likely to believe their own myths, at least when speaking with pollsters. That low-income Americans are misguided is no reason to imagine that upper-income Americans are not misguided too. Caverley also says:

"What was interesting to me is that one of the best predictors of your desire to spend money on defense was your desire to spend money on education, your desire to spend money on healthcare, your desire to spend money on roads. I was really shocked by the fact that there is not much of a ‘guns and butter’ tradeoff in the minds of most respondents in these public opinion polls."

This seems exactly right. No large number of Americans has managed in recent years to make the connection between Germany spending 4% of U.S. levels on its military and offering free college, between the U.S. spending as much as the rest of the world combined on war preparations and leading the wealthy world in homelessness, food-insecurity, unemployment, imprisonment, and so on. This is in part, I think, because the two big political parties favor massive military spending, while one opposes and the other supports various smaller spending projects; so a debate develops between those for and against spending in general, without anyone ever asking "Spending on what?"

Speaking of myths, here's another one that keeps the bipartisan support for militarism rolling:

"Holland: The bumper sticker finding here is that your model predicts that as inequality increases, average citizens will be more supportive of military adventurism, and ultimately in democracies, this may lead to more aggressive foreign policies. How does this jibe with what’s known as “democratic peace theory” — the idea that democracies have a lower tolerance for conflict and are less likely to go to war than more authoritarian systems?

"Caverley: Well, it depends on what you think is driving democratic peace. If you think it’s a cost-avoidance mechanism, then this doesn’t bode well for the democratic peace. I’d say most people I talk to in my business, we’re pretty sure democracies like to fight lots of wars. They just tend not to fight with each other. And probably the better explanations for that are more normative. The public is just not willing to support a war against another public, so to speak.

"To put it more simply, when a democracy has the choice between diplomacy and violence to solve its foreign policy problems, if the cost of one of these goes down, it’s going to put more of that thing in its portfolio."

This is truly a lovely myth, but it collapses when put into contact with reality, at least if one treats nations like the United States as being "democracies." The United States has a long history of overthrowing democracies and engineering military coups, from 1953 Iran up through present day Honduras, Venezuela, Ukraine, etc. The idea that so-called democracies don't attack other democracies is often expanded, even further from reality, by imagining that this is because other democracies can be dealt with rationally, whereas the nations that ours attacks only understand the so-called language of violence. The United States government has too many dictators and kings as close allies for that to hold up. In fact it is resource-rich but economically poor countries that tend to be attacked whether or not they are democratic and whether or not the people back home are in favor of it. If any wealthy Americans are turning against this type of foreign policy, I urge them to fund advocacy that will replace it with a more effective and less murderous set of tools.

Syria/Turkey News - Oct 16, 2014


Air raids slow Islamic State advance around Syria's Kobani: US military - AFP


Kurdish fighters take back swathes of Kobane as US step up airstrikes (PHOTOS, VIDEOS) - Daily Mail Online


Pentagon: Strikes near Kobani have killed hundreds of Islamic State fighters - The Washington Post


Syrian Kurds say giving targets for U.S. strikes near Kobani - Reuters


U.S. Airstrikes Cut Islamic State Oil Production by 70 Percent - Businessweek


VIDEO: Special presidential envoy General John Allen briefs reporters on U.S. efforts to combat IS militants in Iraq and Syria - C-SPAN.org


VIDEO: The U.S.-led coalition launches fresh air strikes on Islamic State in and around Kobani - Reuters


Obama 'Deeply Concerned' by IS Advances in Kobane - VICE


Remarks by the President After Meeting with Chiefs of Defense - The White House


C.I.A. Study of Covert Aid Fueled Skepticism About Helping Syrian Rebels - NYTimes.com


U.S. won’t work with current Syrian rebel groups to battle Islamic State - Columbus Ledger Enquirer


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

Kurdish leaders meet to end feud and save Kobane - Rudaw


Appeal on Kobane by the newly established Joint Diplomatic Committee of several Kurdish political parties - Peace in Kurdistan


US won’t support Syrian Kurds as long as they are divided: official - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Barzani: It is very important for us as Kurds to show the world a united front, No difference between Kobane and Erbil - Kurdish Question


Kurdistan Parliament Invites Kurdish Syrian Cantons to Erbil - BAS NEWS


Iraqi Kurds say sent arms to Kobani; Syrian Kurds say they didn't arrive because Turkey would not open the transit corridor - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Iraqi Kurds to sends weapon to Kurdish fighters in Kobani in the next 24 hours, “If Turkey doesn’t respond in positive, then the weapons will be sending by planes” - BAS NEWS


France will keep delivering arms to Kurdish Syrian rebels to fight Islamic State group - Fox News


Syrian Kurds Press Hundreds of Young Men Into Army - ABC News


Dutch biker gang grabs rifles, joins Kurds in fight against ISIS - Fox News


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

Syrian Kurds claim wounded fighters stranded at Turkish border, Three died while Turkish border guards refused to let them in - todayszaman


Turkey says only Syrian refugees can cross border to Kobane, but Turkish and other nationals would not be allowed - Yahoo News


Turkish opposition wants 'volunteers' in Kobani, slams President Erdogan for equating PKK with the Islamic State - Worldbulletin News


VIDEO: Turkey’s Border War (Dispatch 1) - VICE News


France calls on Turkey to open border with Kobani - Worldbulletin News


Syria harshly criticizes Turkey on buffer zones - hurriyetdailynews


160 Kobane Kurds detained in Turkey still on hunger strike - usatoday.com


İstanbul rattled by signs of IS support - todayszaman


Did Islamic State open ‘consulate’ in Turkey? - WND


Turkey eyes new police powers after pro-Kurdish protests - THE DAILY STAR


Families tell grim story of three Turkish youths killed and mutilated by Kurds - Worldbulletin News


PKK reports first Turkish air strikes against it in two years - Rudaw

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle[at]yahoo[dot]com, (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

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