You are hereBlogs

Blogs


What laws of war? We do what we want!: Obama Admits US Bombing Attacks in Syria Pay Little Heed to Protecting Civilians

By Dave Lindorff

 

In a perverse way, maybe it's progress that the US is now admitting that it doesn't really care about how many civilians it kills in its efforts to "decapitate" a few suspected terrorist leaders.

Turkey/Syria News - Oct 2, 2014


Erdoğan hints at Syria intervention, emphasizing that the Syrian regime must also be toppled as part of the solution -  todayszaman.com


Erdogan: Dropping tonnes of bombs is only a temporary solution...Turkey will not allow itself to be used in the search for a palliative’ - AFP


Turkey Parliament to approve a bigger military role in Iraq and Syria — but not on American terms - The Washington Post


Turkey plans safe haven in areas controlled by Free Syrian Army and Islamic Front - hurriyetdailynews


Proposed Syria buffer zone to extend 30 Km, says AK deputy chair Atalay, it could become reality in “coming days” - Joshua Landis on Twitter


CHP, HDP to vote against motion on military action in Iraq, Syria - todayszaman.com


VIDEO (Turkish): Erdogan Opening Speech at the Parliament of New Legislative Year - YouTube


Turkish president Erdogan calls for new constitution, signalling no let-up in his drive to create an executive presidency -  Worldbulletin News


US still cool to idea of buffer zone, no-fly zone in Syria - todayszaman.com


Turkey prepares to make a military move into Syria, but NATO support is not assured - Public Radio International


New hostage crisis for Turkey: Islamic State surrounds troops at Suleiman Shah shrine - McClatchy DC


The Islamic State avoided a confrontation with Turkey by reportedly releasing 36 Turkish soldiers guarding the tomb of Suleiman Shah - Syria Direct


Are Turkish troops trapped at Syrian tomb? - Al-Monitor


President Erdoğan denies claims IS encircled Suleiman Shah Tomb - Daily Sabah


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

Kurds Don't Believe Turkey Wants To Fight The Islamic State - VICE News


Kurds Outraged as Turkey Closes Border to Volunteers for Kobane - Rudaw


PYD's Muslim appeals to West for weapons, criticizes Turkey - todayszaman.com


Demirtaş visits Kobani, urges Turkey to join Kurds' fight against IS - todayszaman.com


Turkish government plays with Kurdish fire - Al-Monitor


VIDEO: Compilation of videos shows 6 IS militants crossing into Kobani using a tunnel and railroad on Turkey's side, and Turkish Armed Forces stands nearby - imctv.com.tr


VIDEO: One more video shows Turkish Armed Forces standing nearby while 6 IS militants cross the Turkey border into Kobani - imctv.com.tr


PACE: Turkey negligent towards IS recruitment in its borders - todayszaman.com


Inspectors' report on MİT trucks reveals gov't cover-up attempts, a case involving what appear to be illegal arms shipments to opposition groups in Syria - todayszaman.com


IS to open its first ‘consulate' in Istanbul? - AWDNews


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

Airstrikes target IS militant advance on key Kurdish town Kobane - France 24


Airstrikes putting "a lot of pressure" on IS around Kobani: Pentagon - KUNA


US Marines crisis unit to deploy to Mideast, 2,300 troops ready to quickly respond to crises - Yahoo News


White House exempts Syria airstrikes from tight standards on civilian deaths - Yahoo News


POLL: Obama is polling a 50 percent approval rating on his handling of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, 44 percent disapprove - Washington Post


Here's How Much The War On IS Is Costing The US - Business Insider


VIDEO: US Air Strikes Over IS: NEW RAW FOOTAGE - YouTube


VIDEO: YPG shows off equipment captured from IS, who captured them from the Iraqi Army, who got them from the US - Brown Moses on Twitter


IS beheads 9 Kurdish fighters, including three women, captured in Syria - Fox News


Airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria stir anger among rebels - LA Times


FSA: No terror is comparable to Assad’s terror - Al-Monitor


Syria Blasts at School Kill 32 Including 10 Kids, The attack occurred in a government-controlled Shiite area - ABC News


VIDEO: Akrama, Homs: video of car bomb & its bloody aftermath. Exploded outside a school in largely Alawi neighborhood - Joshua Landis on Twitter


36 activists executed in Raqqa by IS - الرقة تذبح بصمت on Twitter


IS warns of expansion into southern Syria ‘within days’ - The National


The Case Against Qatar - foreignpolicy.com

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

Confronting White Privilege in the Climate Justice Movement 

Originally posted at AcronymTV

Speaking at the opening plenary of the New York City Global Climate Convergence in the days before the People’s Climate March, Nastaran Mohit told the assembled crowd that the revolution “and this (Climate Convergence) movement is not going to be spawned from the activist white community. It is going to be led front and center by marginalized and the most directly affected communities.”

Mohit, a New York City based labor organizer who was instrumental in the success of Occupy Sandy, went on:

“For these communities, Climate Change is not a far off thing, it is right at their backyard. For these communities it is an issue of survival. Climate organizing is not a privilege for them, it is a life and death matter.”

Who's On First?: The War of the Heads

By John Grant

 

Ain’t no time to wonder why.
Whoopee, we’re all gonna die.

                  - Country Joe MacDonald

 

“Unreasonable” Women for The Planet, Peace, and Justice | Medea Benjamin Interview

Originally posted at AcronymTV

Medea Benjamin, the co-founder of Code Pink, sits down with Dennis Trainor, Jr. of Acronym TV on the eve of the largest Climate march in history to discuss the climate justice. “”If you care about the planet, you care about people, workers, immigrants, and you care about whether we are destroying the planet whether by polluting or by polluting through war, says Benjamin, who went on to describe the founding of Code Pink as a climate Justice group. “We started as a group of women who came together around the environment.  We were called Unreasonable Women for the planet.”

Talk Nation Radio: Brad Friedman on the State of War, Earth, and Democracy

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-brad-friedman-on-the-state-of-war-earth-and-democracy

Brad Friedman is the investigative blogger, journalist, broadcaster, trouble-maker and muckraker from BradBlog.com. He is a regular contributor to Salon.com and elsewhere; host of KPFK/Pacifica Radio's BradCast and the nationally-syndicated Green News Report with co-host Desi Doyen. We discuss war and peace, the environment and its destruction, and voting and everything done to prevent it. As Michael Moore says: It's a comedy!

Total run time: 29:00

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

Download from Archive or LetsTryDemocracy.

Pacifica stations can also download from AudioPort.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

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

and at
https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/tracks

 

Corporations Causing Climate Change Should Be Taken Over By The Public | Howie Hawkins Interview

Originally posted at AcronymTV.com

Howie Hawkins, Green Party Candidate for N.Y. Governor, sits down with Dennis Trainor, Jr. of Acronym TV on the eve of the largest Climate march in history to discuss his campaign.

From HowieHawkins.org:

The richest 1% own the two major parties. It's time working people had one of our own.

That's why I'm running for Governor. My name is Howie Hawkins. I'm a working Teamster and my running mate, Brian Jones, is a teacher and union member.

Imagine There're No Countries

oneworld

A serious case has been made repeatedly by unknown scholars and globally celebrated geniuses for well over a century that a likely step toward abolishing war would be instituting some form of global government. Yet the peace movement barely mentions the idea, and its advocates as often as not appear rather naive about Western imperialism; certainly they are not central to or well integrated into the peace movement or even, as far as I can tell, into peace studies academia. (Here's a link to one of the main advocacy groups for world government promoting a U.S. war on ISIS.)

All too often the case for world government is even made in this way: Global government would guarantee peace, while its absence guarantees war. The silliness of such assertions, I suspect, damages what may be an absolutely critical cause. Nobody knows what global government guarantees, because it's never been tried. And if national and local governments and every other large human institution are any guide, global government could bring a million different things depending on how it's done. The serious question should be whether there's a way to do it that would make peace more likely, without serious risk of backfiring, and whether pursuing such a course is a more likely path to peace than others.

Does the absence of world government guarantee war? I haven't seen any proof. Of 200 nations, 199 invest far less in war than the United States. Some have eliminated their militaries entirely. Costa Rica is not attacked because it lacks a military. The United States is attacked because of what its military does. Some nations go centuries without war, while others seemingly can't go more than half an election cycle.  In their book One World Democracy, Jerry Tetalman and Byron Belitsos write that nations do not go to war because they are armed or inclined toward violence but because "they are hopelessly frustrated by the fact that they have no legislative or judicial forum in which their grievances can be heard and adjudicated."

Can you, dear reader, recall a time when the U.S. public had a grievance with a foreign country, lamented the absence of a global court to adjudicate it, and demanded that Congress declare and the Pentagon wage a war?  How many pro-war marches have you been on, you lover of justice? When the Taliban offered to let a third country put Bin Laden on trial, was it the U.S. public that replied, "No way, we want a war," or was it the President? When the U.S. Vice President met with oil company executives to plan the occupation of Iraq, do you think any of them mentioned their frustration at the weakness of international law and arbitration? When the U.S. President in 2013 could not get Congress or the public to accept a new war on Syria and finally agreed to negotiate the removal of chemical weapons without war, why was war the first choice rather than the second? When advocates of world government claim that democracies don't wage war, or heavily armed nations are not more likely to wage war, or nations with cultures that celebrate war are not more likely to wage war, I think they hurt their cause.

When you start up a campaign to abolish the institution of war, you hear from all kinds of people who have the solution for you. And almost all of them have great ideas, but almost all of them think every other idea but their own is useless. So the solution is world government and nothing else, or a culture of peace and nothing else, or disarmament and nothing else, or ending racism and nothing else, or destroying capitalism and nothing else, or counter-recruitment and nothing else, or media reform and nothing else, or election campaign funding reform and nothing else, or creating peace in our hearts and radiating it outward and nothing else, etc. So those of us who find value in all of the above, have to encourage people to pick their favorite and get busy on it. But we also have to try to prioritize. So, again, the serious question is whether world government should be pursued and whether it should be a top priority or something that waits at the bottom of the list.

There are, of course, serious arguments that world government would make everything worse, that large government is inevitably dysfunctional and an absolutely large government would be dysfunctional absolutely.  Serious, if vague, arguments have been made in favor of making our goal "anarcracy" rather than world democracy. These arguments are overwhelmed in volume by paranoid pronouncements like the ones in this typical email I received:

"War is a crime, yes agreed totally, but Man-made Global Warming is a complete scam.  I know this to be a fact.  Aurelio Peccei, co-founder of the Club of Rome, offered me a job as one of his PAs (my uncle, Sir Harry, later Lord Pilkington went to the first ever Bilderberg Conference in 1954, a year before he came a Director of the Bank of England and was a loyal member of the global corporate elite) and he told me that this was all a scheme to help frighten the world into accepting global governance on their terms. Be very careful, you are unwittingly playing their game.
Best wishes
Justin"

One of the huge advantages of global government would seem to be that it might globally address global warming. Yet the horror of global government is so great that people believe the droughts and tornados destroying the earth all around them are somehow a secret plot to trick us into setting up a world government. 

A half-century ago the idea of world government was acceptable and popular.  Now, when we hear about those days it's often in sinister tones focused on the worst motivations of the worst players at the time. Less common are accounts reminding us of a hopeful, well-meant, but unfinished project.

I think advocates for a world federation and global rule of law are onto an important idea that ought to be pursued immediately. Global warming leaves us little time for taking on other projects, but this is a project critical to addressing that crisis. And it's a project that I think can coexist with moving more power to provinces, localities, and individuals.

The bigger the Leviathan, claims Ian Morris, the less war there will be, as long as the Leviathan is the United States and it never stops waging wars. Advocates of world government tend to agree with the first part of that, and I think they're partially right.  The rule of law helps to regulate behavior.  But so do other factors. I think Scotland could leave the UK or Catalonia leave Spain, Quebec leave Canada, Vermont leave the United States without the chance of war increasing. On the contrary, I think some of these new countries would be advocates for peace. Were Texas to secede, that might be a different story. That is to say, habits of peace and cultures of peace necessary to allow a world federation might render such a federation less necessary -- still perhaps necessary, but less so. If the U.S. public demanded peace and cooperation and participation in the International Criminal Court, it would be ready to demand participation in a world federation, but peace might already have -- at least in great measure -- arrived.

Extreme national exceptionalism, which is not required by nationalism, is clearly a driver of war, hostility, and exploitation. President Obama recently said that he only wakes up in the morning because the United States is the one indispensible nation (don't ask what that makes the others). The theme of his speech was the need to start another war. Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul was once booed at a primary debate, not for opposing war, but for suggesting that the golden rule be applied to relations with foreign countries. Clearly we need to become world citizens in our minds as well as in written law.

Rudolf Gelsey recently sent me his book, Mending Our Broken World: A Path to Perpetual Peace, which led me on to Tetalman and Belitsos's book. I think these authors would benefit from the wisdom of the 1920s Outlawry movement, but I think they do an excellent job of recognizing the successes and failures of the United Nations, and proposing reforms or replacement.  Should we be scared of an international rule of law? Tetalman and Belitsos reply:  

"In truth, living under a system of war and anarchy with WMDs readily available for use on the field of battle -- that is the really frightening choice when it is compared with tyranny."

This is the key, I think. Continuing with the war system and with environmental destruction threaten the world. Far better to try a world with a government than to lose the world. Far better a system that tries to punish individual war makers than one that bombs entire nations.

How do we get there? Tetalman and Belitsos recommend abolishing the veto at the United Nations, expanding Security Council membership, creating a tax base for a U.N. that currently receives about 0.5 percent what the world invests in war, and giving up war powers in favor of U.N. policing. They also propose kicking out of the United Nations any nations not holding free elections, or violating international laws. Clearly that would have to be a requirement going forward and not enforced retroactively or you'd lose too many big members and spoil the whole plan.

The authors envision some transition period in which the U.N. uses war to prevent war, before arriving at the golden age of using only police. I'm inclined to believe that imagined step would have to be leapt over for this to work. The U.S./NATO/U.N. have been using war to rid the world of war for three-quarters of a century with a dismal record of failure. I suspect the authors are also wrong to propose expansion of the European Union as one way to get to a global federation. The European Union is the second greatest purveyor of violence on earth right now. Perhaps the BRICS or other non-aligned nations could begin this process better, which after all is going to require the United States either rising or sinking to humility unimaginable today.

Perhaps a federation can be established only on the question of war, or only on the question of nuclear disarmament, or climate preservation. The trouble, of course, is that the willingness of the dominant bullies to engage in one is as unlikely as, and intimately connected to, each of the others. What would make all of this more likely would be if we began talking about it, thinking about it, planning for it, dreaming it, or even just hearing the words when we sing John Lennon songs. The U.S. peace movement is currently drenched in nationalism, uses "we" to mean the U.S. military, and thinks of "global citizen" as a bit of silly childishness. That needs to change. And fast.

Syria/Turkey News - Sep 30, 2014

 

IS fighters continue to shell Kobane, There is no targeting, no military objective here, just raining fire on civilians - ABC News


Two civilians killed in missile strike on Kobanê - ANF


VIDEO: IS Shells Kobane with Katyusha Rockets - YouTube


Kurdish YPG Militia and Free Syrian Army Unit Announce Agreement to Fight Islamic State in Syrian Kurdistan - ARA News


VIDEO: Kurdish fighters and Free Syrian Army clash with IS at strategic Syrian border town - YouTube


Syrian Observatory: 1,500 Kurdish fighters join forces from Turkey against IS in Kobane - Mathrubhumi


Kurdish Kobanê commander: We have the initiative - ANF


Vigil for Kobane in the villages of Siwêdê and Boydê on the Turkey border - ANF


Protests against IS's Kobane siege continue across Turkey - todayszaman.com


Demonstrations in Europe and US for Kobane - Rudaw


US says will discuss help to Syrian Kurds - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Syrian Minister: We Could Not Defend Kobane Because Turkey Anti-Aircraft Guns Would Target Our Planes - Rudaw


Syria backs global fight against Islamic State, minister tells U.N. in a tacit approval of U.S. and Arab air strikes -THE DAILY STAR


Nusra units in northern Syria appear to have reconciled with IS, holding war planning meetings - The Guardian


IS Moves Forces to Syria from Northern Iraq - Rudaw


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

Villagers on both sides of the border say Turkey government mainly focused on keeping people from aiding fellow Kurds in Syria - USA Today


VIDEO: Turkey stops Kurds from entering Syria to fight IS - BBC News


Turkish tanks take up position on a hill overlooking the besieged Syrian border town of Kobani - huffingtonpost.com


Turkish police and troops attack people keeping vigils for Kobane all along the border - ANF


VIDEO: Turkey security forces intervene in protest held by Kurds in Suruç on the border with Syrian city of Kobane - CİHAN


3 protesters taken into custody by Turkey police in Ergani - ANF


IS Fighters Smuggled From Turkey Into Syria For Just £15 - sky.com


CHP deputy says can't find decree declaring IS a terrorist group - todayszaman.com


Turkey's already fragile peace process with its own Kurds has been seriously endangered by the Kobane plight - todayszaman.com


Turkey: Authoritarian Drift Threatens Rights - Human Rights Watch


REPORT (Full): Turkey’s Human Rights Rollback - Human Rights Watch


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

Obama says that U.S. intelligence underestimated the threat by the Islamic State, overestimated the Iraqi army’s capacity (VIDEO) - Fox News


VIDEO (Full): Obama CBS 60 Minutes interview - YouTube


U.S. Leads More Airstrikes Against IS In Iraq And Syria, Some Hit Around Kobane - WBUR & NPR


Activists cite civilian casualties as airstrikes heat up - usatoday.com


US/Syria: Investigate Possible Unlawful US Strikes - Human Rights Watch


VIDEO: First CIVILIAN casualty in Raqqa due to International Coalition attacks, 28 sep 2014 - YouTube

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

The U.N. is an Apologist for False Climate Solutions| Jill Stein Interview

Originally posted at AcronymTV

A day before the People’s Climate March drove 400,000 people into the streets of New York City, Jill Stein sat down with Dennis Trainor, Jr of Acronym TV and outlined what she sees as the coming green revolution.

“The U.N. has sold us out,” says Stein “The UN has become the apologists for false solutions (like) nuclear power, fracking, and so-called clean coal,” says Stein. “The U.N. has sold us out, and it is really important that we take a new direction, with a very clear goal (…) one which puts people, planet and peace over profit.”

A Good End Date for the New War Is Today

What I've seen of public events, demonstrations, and protests of the latest U.S. war -- just like the larger and more immediately effective public resistance 12 months ago -- has been aimed, remarkably enough, at ending the war and opposing the policies of those engaging in it, and first among them the U.S. President.

What I've seen of inside-the-Beltway-style peace lobby groups' strategy has been aimed, predictably enough, at setting a good end date for the new war and barring the use of U.S. ground troops.

Both approaches are represented by voluminous discussions on listserves, so I feel like I know a good sample of each far more intimately than I might ideally wish. They parallel rejection and support of lesser-evil voting, and are largely made by those who reject and accept the importance of lesser-evil voting. However, many who accept lesser-evilism in the polling booth do not accept it here. And I think they have a point.

If you vote for a decent candidate and he or she loses, an argument can be made that you've "wasted" your vote. But if you advocate for an immediate end to a war, and a Congress that is hearing from the President that the war should last three years, bans continuation of the war beyond a year-and-a-half, then an argument can be made that you helped frame the compromise. In any case, it would be difficult to make a persuasive case that your activism was wasted. If, on the other hand, you found out that some Congress members were interested in a 1-year limit, and you lobbied for just that, and then Congress enacted a 2-year limit, what could you be said to have accomplished?

Here's my basic contention: Congress knows how to compromise. We don't have to pre-compromise for them. (How'd that work out on healthcare?) (How'd that ever work out?) And when we do pre-compromise for them (such as the time AFSCME banned "single-payer" signs from "public option" rallies, so as to simulate public demand for what "progressive" Congress members were pretending to already want) we give significant support and respectability to some serious outrages (such as privatized for-profit health insurance, but also such as bombing Iraq yet again and bombing the opposite side in Syria that was to be bombed a year ago and while arming that same side, which -- if we're honest about it -- is madness.

How many years of madness will be best, is an insane question. It's not a question around which to organize protests, demonstrations, nonviolent actions, lobbying, education, communication, or any other sort of movement building.

But isn't 2 years of war better than 3? And how are you going to get Congress members to limit it to 2 years if you've called them lunatics?

Of course 2 years is better than 3. But less than 2 is even better, and Congress is going to compromise as far as it dares, and knows perfectly well how to do so without help from us.  Is there really evidence to imagine that Senators and Congress members shape their policies around who's most polite to them? Certainly they determine who's invited to meetings on Capitol Hill on that basis, but is being in those meetings our top priority? Does it do the most for us? And can't we still get some people into those meetings by calling mass murder "mass murder" while keeping open every opportunity for the funders and sanctioners of mass murder to oppose and stop it?

We need sit-ins in Congressional offices and protests on Capitol Hill. To a much lesser extent, we need discussions with Congress members and staffers. To the extent that different people must pursue those two tactics, the question will always remain whether mass public organizing should be guided by people who think like the former group or like the latter.

My position comes from the expectation that "support the troops" propaganda and the inevitably worsened situation after a year or two will make the struggle to then end a previously time-limited war harder, rather than easier -- easier only if the public has come to its sense in the meantime.  My position comes from the fact that there are already U.S. troops in Iraq and the belief that we're going to get them home sooner if we don't play along with the pretense that they aren't there or aren't there for combat. My concern is for human life, and when you prioritize an air war over a ground war -- and when the "anti-war" movement does that -- you risk creating a great, rather than a smaller, number of deaths, albeit non-U.S. deaths.

Now, the lobbyists' need to be polite to Congress can be a helpful guide to all protesters. While moral condemnation and humorous mockery can be useful tools, so can Gandhian respect for those who must be won over. But the demand of a peace movement must be for peace and alternatives to war.  When the missile strikes were stopped a year ago, the arming of ISIS-and-friends proceeded anyway, and no useful policy was pursued instead of the missiles. The U.S. had decided to do nothing, as if that were the only other option. Effectively we'd put an end date on the U.S. staying out, as doing nothing was guaranteed not to resolve the problem.

A good end-date for this war is today. A good date to begin useful aid and diplomacy and arms embargoes and reparations is tomorrow. We have to change the conversation to those topics, instead of focusing on the question of how much mass-murdering madness is the appropriate amount. Not because we want it to continue for eternity if it can't be ended now, but because it will end sooner and be less likely to be repeated if we confront it for what it is.

We've been so strategic over the past decade that everybody in the United States knows the war on Iraq cost U.S. lives and money, but most have only the vaguest idea of how it destroyed Iraq and how many people it killed. As a direct result, nobody knows where ISIS came from, and not enough people are fully aware of the high probability that the bombing will strengthen ISIS -- which may be why ISIS openly asks for it in its 1-hour film.

How much insanity should we demand on our posters and signs and online petitions and letters to editors: not another drop.

Freedom’s just another word: US Launches Wars and Backs Coups in the Name of Democracy, but Won’t Back Real Democracy Activists

By Dave Lindorff


The US claims to be supporting democracy from Ukraine to Cuba, and from Somalia to Iraq, often by bombing the alleged opposition, or by supporting proxy wars and subversion. But one place where real democracy activists are battling against the forces of repression they are curiously getting no backing from the United States: Hong Kong.

When We're All Musteites

We won't necessarily know what a Musteite is, but I'm inclined to think it would help if we did. I'm using the word to mean "having a certain affinity for the politics of A.J. Muste."

I had people tell me I was a Musteite when I had at best the vaguest notion of who A.J. Muste had been. I could tell it was a compliment, and from the context I took it to mean that I was someone who wanted to end war. I guess I sort of brushed that off as not much of a compliment. Why should it be considered either particularly praiseworthy or outlandishly radical to want to end war? When someone wants to utterly and completely end rape or child abuse or slavery or some other evil, we don't call them extremist radicals or praise them as saints. Why is war different?

The possibility that war might not be different, that it might be wholly abolished, could very well be a thought that I picked up third-hand from A.J. Muste, as so many of us have picked up so much from him, whether we know it or not. His influence is all over our notions of labor and organizing and civil rights and peace activism. His new biography, American Gandhi: A.J. Muste and the History of Radicalism in the Twentieth Century by Leilah Danielson is well worth reading, and has given me a new affection for Muste despite the book's own rather affection-free approach.

Martin Luther King Jr. told an earlier Muste biographer, Nat Hentoff, "The current emphasis on nonviolent direct action in the race relations field is due more to A.J. than to anyone else in the country." It is also widely acknowledged that without Muste there would not have been formed such a broad coalition against the war on Vietnam. Activists in India have called him "the American Gandhi."

The American Gandhi was born in 1885 and immigrated with his family at age 6 from Holland to Michigan. He studied in Holland, Michigan, the same town that we read about in the first few pages of Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, and at a college later heavily funded by the Prince Family, from which Blackwater sprang. The stories of both Muste and Prince begin with Dutch Calvinism and end up as wildly apart as imaginable. At the risk of offending Christian admirers of either man, I think neither story -- and neither life -- would have suffered had the religion been left out.

Muste would have disagreed with me, of course, as some form of religion was central to his thinking during much of his life. By the time of World War I he was a preacher and a member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR). He opposed war in 1916 when opposing war was acceptable.  And when most of the rest of the country fell in line behind Woodrow Wilson and obediently loved war in 1917, Muste didn't change. He opposed war and conscription. He supported the struggle for civil liberties, always under attack during wars. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was formed by Muste's FOR colleagues in 1917 to treat symptoms of war, just as it does today. Muste refused to preach in support of war and was obliged to resigned from his church, stating in his resignation letter that the church should be focused on creating "the spiritual conditions that should stop the war and render all wars unthinkable." Muste became a volunteer with the ACLU advocating for conscientious objectors and others persecuted for war opposition in New England. He also became a Quaker.

In 1919 Muste found himself the leader of a strike of 30,000 textile workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts, learning on the job -- and on the picket line, where he was arrested and assaulted by police, but returned immediately to the line. By the time the struggle was won, Muste was general secretary of the newly formed Amalgamated Textile Workers of America. Two years later, he was directing Brookwood Labor College outside of Katonah, New York. By the mid-1920s, as Brookwood succeeded, Muste had become a leader of the progressive labor movement nationwide. At the same time, he served on the executive committee of the national FOR from 1926-1929 as well as on the national committee of the ACLU. Brookwood struggled to bridge many divides until the American Federation of Labor destroyed it with attacks from the right, aided a bit with attacks from the left by the Communists. Muste labored on for labor, forming the Conference for Progressive Labor Action, and organizing in the South, but "if we are to have morale in the labor movement," he said, "we must have a degree of unity, and, if we are to have that, it follows, for one thing, that we cannot spend all our time in controversy and fighting with each other -- maybe 99 per cent of the time, but not quite 100 per cent."

Muste's biographer follows that same 99 percent formula for a number of chapters, covering the infighting of the activists, the organizing of the unemployed, the forming of the American Workers Party in 1933, and in 1934 the Auto-Lite strike in Toledo, Ohio, that led to the formation of the United Auto Workers. The unemployed, joining in the strike on behalf of the workers, were critical to success, and their commitment to do so may have helped the workers decide to strike in the first place.  Muste was central to all of this and to progressive opposition to fascism during these years. The sit-down strike at Goodyear in Akron was led by former students of Muste.

Muste sought to prioritize the struggle for racial justice and to apply Gandhian techniques, insisting on changes in culture, not just government. "If we are to have a new world," he said, "we must have new men; if you want a revolution, you must be revolutionized." In 1940, Muste became national secretary of FOR and launched a Gandhian campaign against segregation, bringing on new staff including James Farmer and Bayard Rustin, and helping to found the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). The nonviolent actions that many associate with the 1950s and 1960s began in the 1940s. A Journey of Reconciliation predated the Freedom Rides by 14 years.

Muste predicted the rise of the Military Industrial Complex and the militarized adventurism of the post-World War II United States in 1941. Somewhere beyond the comprehension of most Americans, and even his biographer, Muste found the wisdom to continue opposing war during a second world war, advocating instead for nonviolent defense and a peaceful, cooperative, and generous foreign policy, defending the rights of Japanese Americans, and once again opposing a widespread assault on civil liberties.  "If I can't love Hitler, I can't love at all," said Muste, articulating the widespread commonsense that one should love one's enemies, but doing so in the primary case in which virtually everyone else, to this day, advocates for the goodness of all-out vicious violence and hatred.

Of course, those who had opposed World War I and the horrible settlement that concluded it, and the fueling of fascism for years -- and who could see what the end of World War II would bring, and who saw the potential in Gandhian techniques -- must have had a harder time than most in accepting that war was inevitable and World War II justified.

Muste, I am sure, took no satisfaction in watching the U.S. government create a cold war and a global empire in line with his own prediction. Muste continued to push back against the entire institution of war, remarking that, "the very means nations use to provide themselves with apparent or temporary 'defense' and 'security' constitute the greatest obstacle to the attainment of genuine or permanent collective security. They want international machinery so that the atomic armaments race may cease; but the atomic armaments race has to stop or the goal of the world order recedes beyond human reach."

It was in this period, 1948-1951 that MLK Jr. was attending Crozer Theological Seminary, attending speeches by, and reading books by, Muste, who would later advise him in his own work, and who would play a key role in urging civil rights leaders to oppose the war on Vietnam. Muste worked with the American Friends Service Committee, and many other organizations, including the Committee to Stop the H-Bomb Tests, which would become the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE); and the World Peace Brigade.

Muste warned against a U.S. war on Vietnam in 1954. He led opposition to it in 1964. He struggled with great success to broaden the anti-war coalition in 1965. At the same time, he struggled against the strategy of watering down war opposition in an attempt to find broader appeal. He believed that "polarization" brought "contradictions and differences" to the surface and allowed for the possibility of greater success. Muste chaired the November 8 Mobilization Committee (MOBE) in 1966, planning a massive action in April 1967. But upon returning from a trip to Vietnam in February, giving talks about the trip, and staying up all night drafting the announcement of the April demonstration, he began to complain of back pain and did not live much longer.

He did not see King's speech at Riverside Church on April 4. He did not see the mass mobilization or the numerous funerals and memorials to himself. He did not see the war ended. He did not see the war machine and war planning continue as if little had been learned. He did not see the retreat from economic fairness and progressive activism during the decades to come. But A.J. Muste had been there before. He'd seen the upsurges of the 1920s and 1930s and lived to help bring about the peace movement of the 1960s. When, in 2013, public pressure helped stop a missile attack on Syria, but nothing positive took its place, and a missile attack was launched a year later against the opposite side in the Syrian war, Muste would not have been shocked. His cause was not the prevention of a particular war but the elimination of the institution of war, the cause also of the new campaign in 2014 World Beyond War.

What can we learn from someone like Muste who persevered long enough to see some, but not all, of his radical ideas go mainstream? He didn't bother with elections or even voting. He prioritized nonviolent direct action. He sought to form the broadest possible coalition, including with people who disagreed with him and with each other on fundamental questions but who agreed on the important matter at hand. Yet he sought to keep those coalitions uncompromising on matters of the greatest importance. He sought to advance their goals as a moral cause and to win over opponents by intellect and emotion, not force. He worked to change world views. He worked to build global movements, not just local or national. And, of course, he sought to end war, not just to replace one war with a different one. That meant struggling against a particular war, but doing so in the manner best aimed at reducing or abolishing the machinery behind it.

I'm not, after all, a very good Musteite. I agree with much, but not all. I reject his religious motivations. And of course I'm not much like A.J. Muste, lacking his skills, interests, abilities, and accomplishments. But I do feel close to him and appreciate more than ever being called a Musteite.  And I appreciate that A.J. Muste and millions of people who appreciated his work in one way or another passed it on to me. Muste's influence on people everyone knows, like Martin Luther King, Jr., and people who influenced people everyone knows, like Bayard Rustin, was significant. He worked with people still active in the peace movement like David McReynolds and Tom Hayden. He worked with James Rorty, father of one of my college professors, Richard Rorty. He spent time at Union Theological Seminary, where my parents studied. He lived on the same block, if not building, where I lived for a while at 103rd Street and West End Avenue in New York, and Muste was apparently married to a wonderful woman named Anne who went by Anna, as am I. So, I like the guy. But what gives me hope is the extent to which Musteism exists in our culture as a whole, and the possibility that someday we will all be Musteites.

TSA and DHS, making a list, checking it twice

We've only been saying it for years. 
 
In the United States of Homeland, the government keeps lists.

Syria News - Sep 28, 2014


In Syria, airstrikes carried out against Islamic State in battle for Kobane - The Washington Post


VIDEO: F 15E Strike on IS Compound near Kobane, Syria - YouTube


VIDEO: Hagel Answers CNN Jim Sciutto Question on Kobane - YouTube


MAP: Evolution of front-line since the beginning of IS offensive on Sept 15, Closest front is now about 5 km from Kobane city - LiveLeak


Cheering Kurdish forces engage IS militants in dramatic firefight in Kobane on the Syrian-Turkish border (VIDEO, PHOTOS) - Daily Mail


Islamic State deployed all its Syrian forces around Kurdish Kobani town: YPG - ekurd


Interview with Syrian Kurdish YPG spokesperson - ekurd.net


200 Turkish intellectuals call for help to Kobane - hurriyetdailynews.com


The Defense of Kobani - Middle East Forum


Syria air strikes: US-led coalition attacks IS positions in Homs and Raqqa - The Independent


Syrian civilians in Raqqa cheer U.S. bombing - usatoday.com


VIDEO (Full): Hagel and Dempsey Brief Nation On IS Strikes - Neon Tommy


Iraq, Syria Conflicts to Require More Money, Hagel Says - Bloomberg


US Training Teams Arrive in Saudi Arabia - VOA


US launching complex operation to train, arm Syrian rebels amid airstrikes - Fox News


Rice meets Syrian opposition at White House - Yahoo News UK


VIDEO: Islamic State Member Warns of NYC Attack In Exclusive Interview - VICE News


How to Cut Off ISIS Terror Tycoons - The Daily Beast


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

No-fly and safe zone, Turkey's priorities in Syria: Erdogan - turkishweekly.net


US denies Ankara’s demand to establish fly-zone over Syria - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Erdogan says Turkish troops could be used in Syria - Reuters


CHP leader: We don’t want Turkish soldiers in foreign lands - hurriyetdailynews


Hundreds of Kurds break through Turkey border to join anti-IS fight - AFP


VIDEO: Kurds clash with Turkish security forces at the border - euronews


PHOTOS: Hundreds of Kurds break through Turkey border to join anti-IS fight - Daily Mail


People turning back from Kobanê were attacked by Turkish soldiers while crossing a mined area at the border - ANF


Turkish troops open fire on Kobanê border, allegedly 1 dead and 2 wounded - ANF


Turkish soldiers open fire on YPG vehicle - ANF


Turkish soldiers deny entrance from Kobanê to a group of people including journalists and representatives of political parties - ANF


Wounded IS members taken to Kilis for treatment, in addition to Urfa and Antep - ANF


Allegation of a new shipment of weapons to IS on the Turkish border - ANF


Deputy prime minister denies claim Turkish aid agency backs IS - todayszaman.com


UN Security Council issues subtle warning to Turkey - Al-Monitor


This Site Tracks the Guns Going Into Syria - Defense One

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

Tackling the Climate Catastrophe Strategically

If you like to ask or beg your oppressor to go easy on you, then you do not need to read this article. And if you like to do what makes you feel good at the time, irrespective of its strategic impact, then this article is not for you either. My interest in tackling violence, in whatever form it takes, has always been to take action myself that leaves the perpetrator powerless (but, hopefully, a convert too). I also like to be strategic so that the impact of my action is long-lasting (in fact, preferably permanent) and structurally reduces the violence in our world. Here’s how I work.

Parliament and Congress Have No Power to Legalize War

Congress has fled town to avoid voting for or against a new war. Many of the big donors to Congressional campaigns would want Yes votes. Many voters would want No votes, if not immediately, then as soon as the panic induced by the beheading videos wears off, which could be within the next month. Better to just avoid displeasing anyone -- other than people who notice you running away.

The standard for legal-ish cosmopolitan respectability in the U.S. now has become getting five kings and dictators to say their on your side as you start bombing a new country.

But the British Parliament is still at the level of believing an actual vote by a legislature is appropriate.  Do Americans remember that their beloved founding fathers put war powers in the hands of the legislature because of the ugly history of royal wars in Britain? Times have changed.

But if we want to actually comply with the law, we have to admit that neither Parliament nor Congress has the power to legalize attacking Syria. This is because both the U.S. and the U.K. are parties to the United Nations Charter, which bans war with very narrow exceptions -- exceptions that have not been in any way met.

And if you want to get really serious about laws, the Kellogg-Briand Pact has never been repealed, the U.S. and U.K. are parties to it, and it bans all war without exception.

Now, you can interpret the Kellogg-Briand Pact to allow self-defense because the right to military self-defense, even when it's unlikely to actually work, is just so obvious to your way of thinking. And the U.N. Charter explicitly allows military self-defense. But here's the problem: There's nothing defensive about attacking Syria, and President Obama himself described it as "offense" in an interview with Chuck Todd on NBC.

Another word for "offense" is aggression, which the Nuremberg tribunal called "essentially an evil thing . . .  the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."

Asked about Congress's responsibilities on Tuesday, Senator Tim Kaine (D., Va.) claimed that presidents could fight defensive wars without Congress but needed Congressional authorizations for offensive ones.  In fact, offensive wars are not legal by any common understanding. Asked, then, about international law, at an event at the Center for American Progress, Kaine reportedly said that bombing Syria, as distinct from Iraq, was "complicated" and that he was not sure "how they would do that, perhaps using principles of self-defense or defending Iraq against other threats. I think we'll find out more about what the administration says about that after the UN General Assembly," he said.

Only in America. Only the White House gets to invent legal rationale for blatant crimes, with the law makers and enforcers prepared to accept the rationale before they hear it.

Prior to the U.N. meeting, U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power wrote to the U.N. arguing that it is legal for the United States to attack Syria because it is legal for Iraq to defend itself. By this logic, if Canada experienced a violent rebellion, it would be legal for China to attack the United States.

It's fun to pretend that the rule of law doesn't matter to you because you have all the weapons. It's fun to take two-month vacations from Washington. Just don't count on everyone voting you back next year.

Syria News - Sep 26, 2014


PYD leader warns about Kobani genocide, asks the international community to arm YPG fighters or at least sell them weapons - BAS NEWS


YPG calls for airstrikes to protect Kobani, “Although IS heavy weapons are visible to everyone, they have not yet been targeted” - BAS NEWS


Text of the YPG press statement: if US coalition helps Kurds in Kobani they will provide intel on IS positions - Pieter Van Ostaeyen on Twitter


Besieged Kurds in Syria and Iraq see the United States' bombing campaign against the Islamic State as a good start, but not enough - foreignpolicy


Kurds say they pushed back Islamic State in northern Syria - Reuters


Islamic State Would Tighten Its Rule in Eastern Syria by Capturing Kobane - Businessweek


VIDEO: The Islamic State use heavy weapons to kill Kurdish fighters in Syria - YouTube


VIDEO: Kurd refugees in Turkey return to Syria to fight IS group - usatoday.com


President Barzani: Peshmerga didn’t have a Way to Enter Kobani - BAS NEWS


Turkey party leaders going to Kobani border to support the Kurds - ANF


Who’s Fighting IS? Kurdish Forces in the Regional Conflict - Bipartisan Policy Center


Woman uses hidden camera to expose life in Raqqa under Islamic State (VIDEO) - CSMonitor.com


Militant in Syria beheading videos identified: FBI - Reuters


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

Kurds see Turkey impeding Islamic State fight - AP


Turkey's Kurds Warn Ankara's Syria Policy Threatens Peace Process - VOA


Exclusive: PKK military commander threatens to resume war with Turkey - Al-Monitor


VIDEO: PYD Claims Erdogan Regime in Ankara is in Bed with Terrorist Groups in Syria - YouTube


Turkey deploys tanks on its borders to control refugees from Syria, hold back Kurds trying to go in the opposite direction to fight IS - Daily Mail


VIDEO: Turkish tanks cross the border under IS flag, into areas held by the terrorist group - ANF


Turkey mulls security zone along Syria border - Al-Monitor


Turkey Prevents Humanitarian Aid From Iraqi Kurds Reaching Kobani - freerepublic.com


VIDEO: Kurdistan Regional Government sends 12 aid trucks to Kobani - CİHAN


Thousands of IS members allegedly crossed border from Turkey a day before the attack on Kobani began - ANF


Erdoğan to discuss Turkish involvement in IS strikes with cabinet, official says it is “unlikely that Turkey, its airspace, or the Incirlik Air Base would be used by coalition forces” - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT


VIDEO: Turkey’s President Erdogan statement at the U.N. - NYTimes.com


Obama calls President Erdoğan to discuss IS, Syria - Yahoo News


Turkey's possible role in anti-IS coalition dominates Erdoğan-Biden meeting - CİHAN


US embassy issues security warning for personnel in Turkey, warns Americans of risk of attacks in Turkey Eastern and Southeastern provinces near the borders with Syria and Iraq - Stripes


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

U.S. says airstrikes have crippled most oil refineries seized by Islamic State in Syria - The Washington Post


VIDEO: In press briefing Pentagon says Syrian refinery airstrikes believed to be successful - Yahoo News


VIDEO: Airstrikes Target IS Oil Refineries - DoDNEWS


MAP: Location of the IS controlled oil refineries in eastern Syria hit by the US and its Arab allies - theguardian.com


Pentagon puts ISIS costs at $7M to $10M per day - TheHill


Pentagon: No evidence that airstrikes killed civilians despite reports - LA Times


U.S. Reassured Syria’s Assad in Back-Channel Message - Bloomberg


Assad exploits airstrikes to sweep through 40 villages - The Times


Syrian government says it's retaken key city Adra near Damascus - LA Times


Syrian rebel groups unite to fight IS, say the strikes must also hit Assad's forces - CNN.com


[The now sidelined] Supreme Military Council (SMC) condemns US-led strikes in Syria as only benefiting the regime - Charles Lister on Twitter


Syria: Suqur al-Sham of the Islamic Front condemns U.S. airstrikes - Aymenn J Al-Tamimi on Twitter


IF's Ahrar al-Sham, Liwa al-Tawheed , Liwa al-Haq , Islamic Union (Non-IF) release statement against strikes in Syria - SyriaConflictMonitor on Twitter


US-backed Forqat 13 issues statement condemning US-led airstrikes as “aimed at weakening the revolution” in Syria - Charles Lister on Twitter


Key Aleppo FSA faction Jaish al-Mujahideen say strikes are “a conspiracy vs. the Syria revolution - Charles Lister on Twitter

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

Going, going, gone, but let’s not forget him: Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder Leaves Office

By Dave Lindorff


Good riddance!


Eric Holder has announced that he is leaving his post of Attorney General, which he has sullied and degraded for six years.


A National Call: Save Civilian Education

SaveCivilianEducation.org

Signers listed at bottom

The militarization of our schoolsOver the last several decades, the Pentagon,conservative forces, and corporations have been systematically working to expand their presence in the K-12 learning environment and in public universities. The combined impact of the military, conservative think tanks and foundations,  and of corporatization of our public educational systems has eroded the basic democratic concept of civilian public education.   It is a trend that, if allowed to continue, will weaken the primacy of civilian rule and, ultimately, our country’s commitment to democratic ideals.

The signers of this statement believe it is urgent for all advocates of social justice, peace and the environment to recognize the dangerous nature of this problem and confront it with deliberate action.

THE THREAT TO CIVILIAN EDUCATION

The most aggressive outside effort to use the school system to teach an ideology with ominous long-term implications for society comes from the military establishment. Over the last two decades, with relatively little media coverage or public outcry, the Pentagon’s involvement in schools and students’ lives has grown exponentially. Now, for example:

  • Every school day, at least half a million high school students attend Junior ROTC classes to receive instruction from retired officers who are handpicked by the Pentagon to teach its own version of history and civics. These students are assigned “ranks” and conditioned to believe that military and civilian values are similar, with the implication that unquestioning obedience to authority is therefore a feature of good citizenship.
  • Armed forces academies are being established in some public schools (Chicago now has eight), where all students are given a heavy dose of military culture and values.
  • A network of military-related programs is spreading in hundreds of elementary and middle schools. Examples are the Young Marines and Starbase programs, and military programs that sneak into schools under the cloak of Science / Technology / Engineering / Math (STEM) education.
  • Military recruiters are trained to pursue “school ownership” as their goal (see: Army School Recruiting Program Handbook). Their frequent presence in classrooms, lunch areas and at assemblies has the effect of popularizing military values, soldiering and, ultimately, war.
  • Since 2001, federal law has overridden civilian school autonomy and family privacy when it comes to releasing student contact information to the military. Additionally, each year thousands of schools allow the military to administer its entrance exam — the ASVAB — to 10th-12th graders, allowing recruiters to bypass laws protecting parental rights and the privacy of minors and gain access to personal information on hundreds of thousands of students.

THE THREAT TO PUBLIC EDUCATION

Efforts by groups outside the school system to inject conservatism and corporate values into the learning process have been going on for a number of years. In a recent example of right-wing educational intervention, The New York Times reported that tea party groups, using lesson plans and coloring books, have been pushing schools to “teach a conservative interpretation of the Constitution, where the federal government is a creeping and unwelcome presence in the lives of freedom-loving Americans.” (See:http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/17/us/constitution-has-its-day-amid-a-struggle-for-its-spirit.html )

Corporations have been projecting their influence in schools with devices like Channel One, a closed-circuit TV program that broadcasts commercial content daily to captive student audiences in 8,000 schools. Some companies have succeeded in convincing schools to sign exclusive contracts for pizza, soft drinks and other products, with the goal of teaching early brand loyalty to children. A National Education Policy Center report issued in November 2011 documents the various ways in which business/school partnerships are harming children educationally by channeling student thinking “into a corporate-friendly track” and stunting their ability to think critically. (See: http://nepc.colorado.edu/publication/schoolhouse-commercialism-2011 )

The development of this corporate-friendly track dovetails with a radical corporate agenda to dismantle America’s public education system. States across the country are slashing educational spending, outsourcing public teacher jobs, curbing collective-bargaining rights, and marginalizing teachers’ unions. There is a proliferation of charter and “cyber” schools that promote private sector involvement and a push toward for-profit schools where the compensation paid to private management companies is tied directly to student performance on standardized assessments.  The cumulative effect is the creation of institutions that cultivate a simplistic ideology that merges consumerism with subservience. (See: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/12/michigan-privatize-public-education )

The corporatization of education via charter schools and the administration sector growth at universities is another troubling trend for public education.  Diane Ravitch’s book Reign of Error ( http://www.npr.org/2013/09/27/225748846/diane-ravitch-rebukes-education-activists-reign-of-error ) and Henry A. Giroux’s newest book, Neoliberalism’s War on Higher Education,  http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/22548-henry-giroux-beyond-neoliberal-miseducation ) give pointers to the doubtful role of corporate values in public education. 

Why is this happening?  Giroux notes that “Chris Hedges, the former New York Times correspondent, appeared on Democracy Now! in 2012 and told host Amy Goodman the federal government spends some $600 billion a year on education—“and the corporations want it.”

There are also some organizations supporting efforts to introduce history and civics lessons from a progressive perspective, such as the Howard Zinn Education Project (https://zinnedproject.org ) and Rethinking Schools ( http://www.rethinkingschools.org ). And a small movement is working against Channel One and the commercialization of the school environment (e.g., http://www.commercialalert.org/issues/education and ( http://www.obligation.org ).

STOPPING THESE THREATS

There is reason to be hopeful about reversing this trend if we look, for example, at some of the successes in grassroots efforts to curb militarism in schools. In 2009, a coalition of high school students, parents and teachers in the very conservative, military-dominated city of San Diego succeeded in getting their elected school board to shut down JROTC firing ranges at eleven high schools. Two years later, the same coalition got the school board to pass a policy significantly limiting military recruiting in all of its schools. Though such initiatives are relatively few in number, similar victories have been won in other school districts and on the state level in Hawaii and Maryland.

There are also some organizations supporting efforts to introduce history and civics lessons from a progressive perspective, such as the Zinn Education Project (www.zinnedproject.org) and Rethinking Schools (www.rethinkingschools.org). And a small movement is working against Channel One and the commercialization of the school environment (e.g., http://www.commercialalert.org/issues/education/ and http://www.obligation.org/ ).

As promising and effective as these efforts are, they pale in comparison to the massive scale of what groups on the other side of the political spectrum are proactively doing in the educational environment to preserve the influence of conservatism, militarism and corporate power.

It is time for progressive organizations, foundations and media to confront this and become equally involved in the educational system. It is especially important that more organizations unite to oppose the growing intrusion of the Pentagon in K-12 schools and universities. Restoring the primacy of critical thinking and democratic values in our culture cannot be done without stopping the militarization and corporate takeover of public education.

Michael Albert
Z Magazine

Pat Alviso
Southern California
Military Families Speak Out (MFSO)

Marc Becker
Co-chair,
Historians Against the War

Bill Bigelow
Curriculum Editor,
Rethinking Schools

Peter Bohmer
Faculty in political economy,
Evergreen State College

Bill Branson
VVAW National Office

Noam Chomsky
Professor, Retired, MIT

Michelle Cohen
Project Great Futures,
Los Angeles, CA

Tom Cordaro
Pax Christi USA Ambassador
of Peace, Naperville, IL

Pat Elder
National Coalition to
Protect Student Privacy

Margaret Flowers
Co-director,
It’s Our Economy 

Libby Frank
Northwest Suburban Peace
& Education Project,
Arlington Hts., IL

Hannah Frisch
Civilian Soldier
Alliance

Kathy Gilberd
National Lawyers Guild
Military Law Task Force

Henry Armand Giroux
Professor, McMaster
University

Frank Goetz
Director, West Surburban
Faith Based Peace Coalition,
Wheaton, Il

Tom Hayden
Activist, Author,
Teacher

Arlene Inouye
Treasurer, United Teachers
of Los Angeles

Iraq Veterans Against
the War (IVAW)
National Office,
New York City

Rick Jahnkow
Project on Youth and
Non-Military Opportunities,
Encinitas, CA

Jerry Lembcke
Emeritus Professor,
Holy Cross College

Jorge Mariscal
Professor, Univ. of
California San Diego

Patrick McCann
National VFP President,
Montgomery County (MD)
Education Association
Board Member

Stephen McNeil
American Friends
Service Committee
San Francisco

Carlos Muñoz
Professor Emeritus
UC Berkeley Ethnic
Studies Dept.

Michael Nagler
President, Metta Center
for Nonviolence

Jim O’Brien
Co-chair, Historians
Against the War

Isidro Ortiz
Professor, San Diego
State University

Jesus Palafox
American Friends Service
Committee, Chicago

Pablo Paredes
AFSC 67 Sueños

Michael Parenti, Ph.D.
Author & lecturer

Bill Scheurer
Executive Director
of On Earth Peace,
Stop Recruiting Kids
Campaign

Cindy Sheehan
Peace and Social
Justice Activist

Joanne Sheehan
New England Regional
War Resisters League

Mary Shesgreen
Chair, Fox Valley Citizens
for Peace & Justice,
Elgin, IL

Sam Smith
Fellowship of
Reconciliation,
Chicago

Kristin Stoneking
Executive Director
Fellowship of
Reconciliation USA

David Swanson
World Beyond War

Chris Venn
San Pedro Neighbors for
Peace & Justice,
San Pedro, CA

Veterans for Peace
National Office,
St. Louis, MO

Veterans for Peace
Chicago Chapter

Vietnam Veterans
Against the War
National Office,
Champaign, IL

Amy Wagner
YA-YA Network
(Youth Activists-Youth
Allies), New York City

Harvey Wasserman
Activist

West Suburban
Faith-based
PEACE Coalition
Wheaton, IL

Colonel Ann Wright,
Retired U.S. Army/
Army Reserves

Mickey Z.
Author of Occupy
this Book: Mickey Z.
on Activism

Kevin Zeese
Co-director,
It’s Our Economy

Open invitation to
additional
Endorsements

Save the Climate or Save Capitalism? | #FloodWallStreet Dispatch

Originally posted at AcronymTV

An exclusive Acronym TV dispatch from the Flood Wall Street day of action, featuring exclusive footage, analysis, and interviews with Adam Clayton Muller (Idle No More), Tim DeChristopher (Peaceful Uprising), Andy Bichlbaum (The Yes Men), Arun Gupta (Counterpunch), and Flood Wall Street organizer Goldi Guerra.

***
The positive momentum generated by the People’s Climate Parade spilled over into a massive direct action on Monday.

Talk Nation Radio: Dave Lindorff on Ukraine and Why This Can't Be Happening

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-dave-lindorff-on-ukraine-and-why-this-cant-be-happening

Award-winning investigative reporter Dave Lindorff has been raking the journalistic muck now for 40 years. A regular columnist for Counterpunch, he has also written for BusinessWeek, the Nation, Extra!, Treasury & Risk, and Rolling Stone. Lindorff is the founder of ThisCantBeHappening.net

Total run time: 29:00

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

Download from Archive or LetsTryDemocracy.

Pacifica stations can also download from AudioPort.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

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

and at
https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/tracks

 

Is Ireland Backing the Bombing of Syria?

by Shannonwatch

 

On Sept 1st 2014 the Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said “the invasion of Ukraine is against international law & must stop” (RTE News). He made no reference to role of NATO as one of the root causes of the Ukraine conflict.

 

oiljets-260x260On 22nd September 2014, the United States and its allies launched air strikes in Syria using warplanes, armed drones, and Tomahawk Cruise Missiles.

 

Syria News - Sep 24, 2014


Exclusive: United States defends the legality of Syria airstrikes in letter to U.N. chief - Reuters


Text of Samantha Power' letter to UN chief saying strikes in Syria are legal - NYTimes.com


UN chief welcomes airstrikes in Syria - Yahoo News


VIDEO: President Obama Delivers a Statement on Airstrikes in Syria - YouTube


Obama thanks Arab nations for joining Syria strikes - Yahoo News


Arab coalition behind Syria strikes is diplomatic coup - usatoday


Syrian rebels angry that strikes hit al Qaida ally but not Assad - McClatchy DC


Kurds welcome air strikes on Islamic State, curse Turkey's absence accusing it of supporting the Sunni Muslim terrorists - Reuters


U.S. Informed Syria Of Impending Airstrikes Against Islamic State Militants, Assad Backs All International Efforts To Fight Terrorism - Yahoo News


Exclusive: U.S. told Iran of intent to strike Islamic State in Syria - Reuters


Iran's President Rouhani: US-Led Coalition's Airstrikes Illegal, Should've Been OK'd by Syria - ABC News


Hezbollah leader opposes U.S.-led action in Syria - Yahoo News


Russia: airstrikes must be agreed with Syria or will fuel tension - Yahoo News


Turkey mulls military role against IS, but has so far not committed to the U.S.-led coalition - huffingtonpost.com


Again Erdogan asks UN for no-fly zone over Syria - yenisafak.com


PM Davutoğlu slams Kerry's remarks expressing concern over Turkey's willingness to help to the US-led coalition against the Islamic State - todayszaman.com


Turkey government to submit motions to Parliament seeking authorization to send troops to Iraq and Syria against possible security threats - todayszaman.com


Britain close to joining U.S.-led air strikes against Islamic State - Reuters


France not to join U.S.-led air strikes against Islamic State in Syria - Reuters


China says it supports international efforts to crack down on terrorism, sees parallels at home - VOA


Japan sides with U.S. over airstrikes in Syria, Kishida tells Kerry - The Japan Times


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

U.S. hit 8 bases tied to al Qaida affiliate in Syria, 14 belonging to Islamic State - McClatchy DC


U.S. Reports Significant Damage in Syria Strikes Against Buildings and Infrastructure Used for Command and Control by Jihadists - WSJ


VIDEO: Pentagon Briefing on Airstrikes in Syria - Bloomberg


MAP: Map of Airstrikes in Syria - Juliane Meyer on Twitter


These Are the Weapons the U.S. Is Using to Attack IS - TIME


Arab role in US coalition: Jordan: 4 F15s, Saudi/UAE: 4 F16s, Bahrain: 2 F16s, Qatar: 2 Mirage 2000s that did not drop ordinance - Jenan Moussa on Twitter


CENTCOM releases videos showing airstrikes on Islamic State facilities in Syria (VIDEOS) - Threat Matrix


VIDEO: Analyzing CENTCOM Gunsight Videos of the Precision Targeted Airstrikes in Syria - ABC News


VIDEO: US Navy launches Tomahawk missile strikes on IS targets - U.S. Navy on Twitter


Videos and Photographs Claim to Show Civilians Killed by US Led Air Strikes in Syria (VIDEOS) - bellingcat


The Kurdistan Regional Government calls on the US to expand its airstrikes to protect Kurds in the town of Kobani - BAS NEWS


US should bomb IS positions on the Kobani front: YPG - The Kurdistan Tribune


Kurdish PYD leader Salih Muslim holds Turkey responsible for fate of Kobani, says Turkey is not allowing reinforcements from the PKK across its borders - Al-Monitor


Kurdish PYD leader Salih Muslim informed me YPG were facing at least 50 IS tanks in the current offensive around Kobani - Michael Stephens on Twitter


Revealed: the Islamic State 'cabinet', from finance minister to suicide bomb deployer - Telegraph


Leadership of Free Syrian Army Dismissed by the Syrian National Coalition - Latin American Herald Tribune

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

ISIS, Weapons Makers, Thugs Benefit from This Crime

President Obama is bombing the opposite side in Syria from the side he swore we needed to attack one year ago, and those pleased by this declare that he is "doing something."

U.S. polls suggest that the same people recognize that this something will make the U.S. more likely to be attacked and nonetheless favor this action. This is unthinking fear produced by slick beheading videos for audiences too distracted to notice that the Iraqi government, Saudi government and numerous other U.S. friends and allies behead. And are we to imagine that when Obama kills a 16 year old American and the 6 kids near him his head remains intact? Should we pretend that the people being killed by U.S. missiles right now aren't losing their heads?

This action is illegal under the UN Charter, Kellogg-Briand Pact, and U.S. Constitution. This action is immoral as it fuels violence that needs to be reduced. This action is knowingly, maddeningly counterproductive, guaranteed to build hostility to the United States, which is already so hated that ISIS openly advocates for a U.S. attack on it. This action by this White House is what ISIS wants and what weapons makers want. It is not what the people of Syria or Iraq or the world want. It further shreds the rule of law while dumping gasoline on a fire of U.S. creation.

What's needed is, contrary to what your television suggests, not to "do nothing" or love beheadings. What's needed is an arms embargo. The U.S. ships 79% of the weapons shipped to the Middle East, not counting the weapons of the U.S. military. An arms embargo could be 79% successful with just one country participating, and others could certainly be brought to do so.

What's needed is actual aid on a massive scale, restitution to the people of the region for the crimes of the U.S. government. An aid program sufficient to make the United States beloved rather than hated would cost a lot less money than the missiles and bombs for which price seems to be no concern at all.

What's needed is diplomacy. The U.S. government is happy to talk with Syria or Iran or Russia when the object is war. Why can it not talk to them when the object is peace?

Our Constitutional scholar Nobel peace laureate no-dumb-wars end-the-mindset president will be protested today at the White House and at his appearance in New York, and should be protested everywhere he goes.

Congress members should not know a moment's peace, but should be taught that cowardice is not a campaign strategy. None who voted for weapons to Syria should be returned to Washington next year.

War as a first resort, as our biggest public program, as the be all and end all of U.S. foreign policy is a form of insanity that has no redeeming feature. War is our top destroyer of the natural environment, of the economy, of civil liberties, of self-governance, and of morality. This is a case of a doctor trying to cure the world while suffering from a deadly and highly infectious disease that in his own mind is the epitome of health.

You can't cure war fever with more war. You can only get to peace through peace.

Stop the bombing.

Support WarIsACrime



Donate.








Tweet your Congress critters here.


Advertise on this site!




Facebook      Twitter





Our Stores:























Movie Memorabilia.



The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.