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Focus: Russia - Dec 23, 2016


Putin says he wants no nuclear arms race, seeks to improve armaments piercing NATO missile defenses deployed near Russia borders - New York Times


Putin: Systems overcoming anti-missile defense more effective than missile shield itself - TASS


VIDEO: Putin says Russia's nukes can pierce any defense system - YouTube


Putin ‘gives signal' to Trump about consequences of US exit from ABM Treaty that barred the parties from deploying anti-ballistic missile systems - Sputnik


Defense Ministry reveals Russian army's plans for upcoming year - TASS


Russia Defense Minister: Instead of uniting against terrorism, NATO declares Russia main threat and increases its military potential near our borders’ - TASS


TRANSCRIPT: Expanded meeting of the Defence Ministry Board • President of Russia


Russian forces receive 139 new aircraft, 4 missile regiments reequipped: Shoigu - Sputnik


Two Russian army formations rearmed with Iskander tactical missiles in 2016 - TASS


Four new Russian missile forces with Yars intercontinental ballistic missile systems on combat duty: Minister - Sputnik


Russia to float out 2 nuclear submarines in 2017 - TASS


Russian Black Sea fleet to receive 3 Submarines, 2 Frigates in 2017: Commander - Sputnik


Russian Navy to receive 2 new Arctic bases: Northern Fleet Commander - Sputnik


Russian MoD to receive advanced electronic warfare system in 2017: UIMC - Sputnik


Russian scientists working on new hypersonic aircraft to break through missile defense systems: RIA Nostosti - Sputnik


Production of the hypersonic missile is expected to be launched in 2017 - Sputnik


US Air Force report: Hypersonic missiles From China, Russia pose growing danger - freebeacon.com


Russian Army to get weapons to fight mini-drone swarms in two years - TASS


Russian defense contractor to start working on 3rd generation doomsday planes, expected to be used in case of a nuclear war if ground command centers were destroyed - TASS


Russia tested over 160 new weapons in Syrian operation: defense minister - RT News


Snap combat drills demonstrate rapid development capabilities of Russian Army: Putin - Sputnik

 

Serbia to receive 6 fighter jets, 30 tanks, 30 combat vehicles From Russia - Sputnik


Russian defense minister proposes holding joint drills with Serbia annually - TASS

 

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Putin says will gladly visit US if Trump invites him, agrees with Trump Russia-US relations ‘worse than ever' - TASS


Putin sees no big news in Trump’s statements on bolstering US nuclear potential - TASS


Trump: I got a 'very nice letter' from Putin about improving relations - CNBC


Putin’s letter to Trump - Google Drive


Putin says Western sanctions hampering cooperation on counter-terrorism - Reuters


US Commerce Dept adds 23 Russian entities to sanctions list - Sputnik


Putin sees hope for economy in wage growth, easing recession - Bloomberg


Labor productivity in Russia’s defense industry ‘rockets’: Putin - Sputnik


POLL: Over 60% of Russians trust President Putin - Sputnik


VIDEO: Putin holds annual Q&A marathon, (Starts at 11:20 min) - YouTube


TRANSCRIPT: Vladimir Putin’s annual news conference • President of Russia


Did Putin get Botox plastic surgery? He looks younger - Mediaite


Cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike finds evidence that Russian military unit was behind DNC hack, links DNC malware to one in an app used by the Ukrainian army - Washington Post


Interview with CrowdStrike chief on the new evidence of Russian role in DNC hack - PBS NewsHour


Report: Use of Fancy Bear Android Malware in Tracking of Ukrainian Field Artillery Units - Crowdstrike


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

The Scandal of Vast Inequality in Retirement Pay

Cato the Elder, a Roman senator and historian, once remarked:  “Cessation of work is not accompanied by cessation of expenses.”  For centuries, retirees have been aware of this unfortunate fact, which led them to demand and, in many cases, secure old age pensions to help provide financial security during their “golden years.”  But as indicated in a recently-released report by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), the financial security of retiring corporate CEOs is far, far greater than the financial security of average Americans.

Book review/essay: Morally Surviving America’s War on Vietnam

By Johhn Grant

 

The War I Survived Was Vietnam: Collected Writings of a Veteran and Antiwar Activist

Yes, Dubya, Now I Miss You

When George W. Bush made the case for attacking and destroying the nation of Iraq, he made claims that, if true, would have justified nothing. And he proposed as evidence for those claims fraudulent, implausible, and even ridiculous pieces of information. But he was expected to produce evidence. There was no assumption that he should simply be taken on faith.

Those standards are gone.

The common wisdom that Vladimir Putin hacked into Democratic and Republican emails and fed the Democratic ones to WikiLeaks which delegitimized an otherwise legitimate election, is not based on any public evidence, and none is asked for by most believers.

The premise that possessing weapons justifies being attacked was patently absurd in 2003. The U.S. openly possessed all the weapons it claimed Iraq had. The premise that (further) exposing a rigged primary harms, rather than facilitating, election integrity, is strictly nuts in 2016. WikiLeaks and any source(s) deserve our thanks.

But the standard of evidence has been altered. It's certainly possible the Russian government hacked the emails. It's even possible that Russia was the source for WikiLeaks, and that Julian Assange and Craig Murray are deluded or lying, that Bill Binney is mistaken, and that all the anomalies in the claims of Russian hacking can be explained away. But the expectation that some sort of evidence should be produced no longer exists.

One reason for this is that during the Obama years wars were launched without public debates and marketing campaigns. Continuing and escalating the war on Afghanistan was simply done, without discussion. Continuing war on Iraq -- which still continues -- was done without requiring any of the pretenses used to escalate it in 2003. Launching hundreds of mini-wars in the form of drone murders took public debate out of the picture by definition, just as the presidential possession of a nuclear button has aided the decades-long re-imagining of Congress as a group of court jesters.

When Obama has made unproven and implausible claims about looming massacres in Libya or Iraq, or chemical weapons use in Syria, or airplanes shot down in Ukraine, or coups in Ukraine, or "moderate" terrorists, or Iranian nukes, or drone war success in Yemen, or the nature or legality of drone murders, there has been no general request for evidence. Even with the claims about Syrian chemical weapons in 2013, the public and Congress said no to escalating the war in a visible manner, but did not focus on demanding evidence for claims.

Enter Trump, professing a desire to (continue to) "kill their families" and to "steal their oil," and gone is any rationale for making any dubious claims in need of any evidence. If the Trumpists will believe in millions of repeat voters just because he says so, the anti-Trumpists will believe any anti-Trump-and-Russia story just because the CIA says so.

This thinking is not necessarily conscious and explicit. Those intent on taking the CIA on faith remain proud of considering the evidence of climate change. But when you combine anti-Trump with pro-Hillary plus xenophobia plus the demonization of Putin, some people lose all perspective. And when the past 13 years have been spent eroding the idea that a public case against a foreign target should include evidence, the sale is made quite easily.

So, yes, I miss the days of Dubya. I miss the days when the U.S. government pretended not to torture. The President "Elect" now promises to torture. Why? Because President Obama forbade prosecution of the crime of torture, allowed torture to continue, outsourced much of it, and replaced a lot of the torture program with a new murder program (using drones). And because the U.S. media pretended that torture had been legal under Bush and was somehow made illegal by an Obama "executive order," which is not a law.

I miss the days when lawless prisons like Guantanamo that kept people imprisoned without charge or conviction were deemed shameful and worthy of abolition. These Obama supposedly legalized with another "executive order." Now Trump says he'll pack the prisons.

I miss the days when unconstitutional mass surveillance, or mass deportations, or the rewriting of laws by presidents was illicit and scandalous. Now these things are generally accepted. So here's my question to good liberal Americans:

How is not impeaching Bush working out for you?

Letting Bush's impeachable offenses slide almost required letting Obama's slide, as there was such overlap. But now you've created a presidency of truly imperial power.

The point of impeaching and removing Bush would not have been to make Dick Cheney president, any more than the point of studying history is that your school has assigned that class to the football coach.

The point of impeaching Bush would have been to create a President Cheney in fear of being impeached, followed by other presidents in fear of being impeached.

Why can basketball announcers grasp that Duke's Allen Grayson might not be tripping opponents this year if he'd been suspended for a game or two when he did it last year, but political analysts can't grasp that if Bush had been impeached, or even an effort made to impeach him, we might not now -- like India -- have a twitter-loving right-wing nationalist preparing to create Muslim registries and enforced flag worship?

So, here's an idea. We can't go back in time. But we can start now. Trump is going to violate the Constitutional bans on domestic and foreign presents and "emoluments" on day one, and likely begin piling up original as well as familiar impeachable offenses during his first week.

But just as the only conceivable way to get Trump into office was to nominate Hillary Clinton, the surest way to derail an impeachment campaign against Trump will be to load it down with dubious claims about Russia.

See if you can predict what the Democrats will do.

Focus: Russia - Dec 21, 2016


Russia, Iran, Turkey say ready to broker Syria deal, adopt the ‘Moscow Declaration' which set out the principles - Reuters


Moscow Declaration: Joint statement by Iran, Russia and Turkey on agreed steps to revitalize the political process to end the Syrian conflict - Russian Foreign Ministry


Russian, Iranian and Turkish FMs hold joint press conference on Syria - Sputnik


VIDEO (English): Russian, Iranian and Turkish FM's full joint press conference after meeting on Syria - YouTube


Telephone conversation between Putin and Egypt President el-Sisi, The two discussed the situation in the Middle East, including settlement of the crises in Syria and Libya - President of Russia


U.S. plays down absence from Moscow talks on Syria, says not 'sidelined' - Reuters


Russia-Iran-Turkey statement useful for resumption of Syria talks in Geneva: UN - Sputnik


Syrian opposition delegation’s chief negotiator Alloush: ‘Moscow Declaration’ is a crime; must get ready for post-Aleppo battles - Al Arabiya 


John Bolton on the US exclusion from the Russia-Turkey-Iran talks on Syria: 'We’ve got to strengthen ties, if we can, with all of the Gulf nations, the six oil producing monarchies' - Hugh Hewitt Show


Iranian security chief says Iran, Russia share military base In Syria – World Tribune


Hezbollah fighting in Syria with U.S. weapons supplied to Lebanese army, IDF says - Haaretz.com


Former Nusra Front claims responsibility for Russian Ambassador's assassination - Sputnik


Ambassador shooting: Russia pushes back on Turkey's Gulenist claim - CNN.com

 

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U.S. sanctions more companies, people over Russia actions in Ukraine - Reuters


Statement: Treasury sanctions individuals and entities in connection with Russia's occupation of Crimea and the conflict in Ukraine - treasury.gov


US State Department hopes Trump would see wisdom in keeping sanctions on Russia - Sputnik


VIDEO: State Dept says new sanctions were prompted by the Russian annexation of Crimea and support for militias in eastern Ukraine - NYTimes.com


EU decision on extending anti-Russia sanctions takes effect - Sputnik


Moscow to take adequate measures over US expansion of anti-Russian sanctions - TASS

 

Kremlin calls US-Russian ties 'frozen on practically all levels', unsure about Trump - AP


State Department rejects Russia's claim that dialogue has ended - Washington Examiner


POLL: Most economists say U.S. to ease sanctions over next 12 months - Bloomberg


Report: Russians regularly shelled Eastern Ukraine in 2014 - ABC News


U.S.-supplied drones disappoint Ukraine at the front lines, proven ineffective against jamming and hacking by Russia and the separatists - Reuters


Sources: Russia tests anti-satellite weapon - CNNPolitics.com


Russia missing from Trump’s top defense priorities, according to DoD memo - Foreign Policy


Text of DoD memo on Trump’s top defense priorities - Foreign Policy

 

Senate Dems plan proxy war against Trump with Tillerson confirmation - newsmax.com


POLL: Only one-third of Americans say Russia influenced 2016 election - POLITICO


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

Focus: The Pentagon - Dec 20, 2016


McCain slams $13B in Pentagon spending in latest waste report - TheHill


REPORT: America’s Most Wasted - mccain.senate.gov


General fires back at Trump: F-35 ‘not out of control’ (just needs another half billion to finish flight testing) - Defense One


F-35 chief: Loose bracket sparked fire on Marine Corps plane - defensenews.com


F-35's $400K helmet still blinds pilots on night flights - DoD Buzz


The F-35: What’s left to fix? - Aviation Week


Expert: Military becomes overly dependent on expensive weapons systems at the expense of lower-cost, perhaps more effective alternative, F-35 costs $40,000 per hour to fly - Bloomberg


F-16 designer: Applauds Trump, says each F-35 ‘harms American air power’ - Sputnik


VIDEO: F-35 pilot interview; Why did F35 lost to F16 - YouTube


Despite problems, F-35’s first test pilot still believes in the stealth fighter - Fresno Bee


Northrop's new combat drone could outclass Boeing F/A-18, Lockheed F-35 -- The Motley Fool


Unilateral negotiations still in play for F-35 contract with Lockheed Martin  - flightglobal.com


Lockheed Martin wins contract for F-35 logistics - Pacific Coast Business Times


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Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James: F-35s likely heading to Europe in Summer 2017 to help NATO deter Russian aggression - Breaking Defense


The F-35 gets a big win as Israel scores $38 Billion in US military aid - The Fiscal Times


Is the F-35 deal a dud for Israel? - israelrising.com


New photos of Russian T-50 stealth fighter: Sputnik says 'the T-50 have superior maneuverability compared to the F-35, travels at a 30% higher speed with a range over 2,000 miles farther’ - CNN


US senior defense analyst says the Russia new stealth fighter T-50 'will lose every engagement' against U.S. F-35 and F-22 stealth fighters - daytondailynews.com


F-35 meet Russia’s stealth fighter T-50 - JewishPress.com


America’s F-35 fighter jet vs China’s J-20: A comparison - Business Insider


China’s J-20 ‘stealth’ fighter is inferior to the US F-35, lets slip Chinese expert - Chinatopix


Special battle of stealth fighters: F-35 vs China J-31 & Russia T-50 - Scout


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


Tomgram: William Astore, All the President's Generals

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

Talk Nation Radio: Vincent Emanuele on Wars for Oil Companies; Robert Alvarez on Department of Energy for Nuclear Weapons

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-vincent-emanuele-on-wars-for-oil-robert-alvarez-on-dept-of-energy-for-nukes

Vincent Emanuele joined the United States Marine Corps as a squad automatic machine gunner in 2002. After two combat-deployments in Iraq, he refused orders for a third and immediately began organizing with Veterans for Peace and Iraq Veterans Against the War.

In 2008, Vince testified to Congress at the Winter Soldier Hearings on Capitol Hill, where he provided detailed accounts of war crimes, atrocities, drug abuse and sexual assault within the military.

See https://www.facebook.com/vincentjr.emanuele

Emanuele is just back from Standing Rock and discusses environmental and antiwar strategy. This show contains the second half of a discussion begun last week.

Robert Alvarez is a Senior Scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington D.C. and an Adjunct Professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced Strategic International Studies. He is considered one of the nation’s preeminent experts on civilian and military nuclear programs.

Between 1993 and 1999, Mr. Alvarez served as Senior Policy Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Energy.

Between 1988 and 1993, Mr. Alvarez served on the Majority Staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, chaired by Senator John Glenn (D-OH).

His work has appeared in Ambio, Science and Global Security, Science, the Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, Issues in Science and Technology (the magazine of the National Academy of Sciences), the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Technology Review, the Washington Post, the Nation, the Los Angeles Times, the Huffington Post and other publications. Mr. Alvarez won the John Barlow Martin Award for Public Interest Journalism and has been featured on CBS
“60 minutes,” the PBS NOVA show, NPR’s All Things Considered, the New York Times, and several documentary films.

Total run time: 29:00

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

Download from LetsTryDemocracy or Archive.

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

Focus: Russia and NATO - Dec 19, 2016


NATO and Russia talk at the Council meeting, but remain divided on Ukraine - Reuters


Statement by the NATO Secretary General following a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council - NATO


VIDEO: NATO Secretary General statement following NATO-Russia Council - YouTube


Ahead of talks US ambassador to NATO Lute accuses Russia of being 'a source of instability and uncertainty’ - RT


VIDEO: US ambassador to NATO Lute accuses Russia of becoming 'a source of instability and uncertainty' - YouTube


4000 American elite troops arrive to Eastern Europe in January, the biggest deployment in the past 20 years and will cost some USD 3.4 billion - Romania Insider


U.S. army returns 1,600 tanks to Europe as NATO eyes assertive Russia, a Dutch installation to house this 'strategically prepositioned critical war stock’ (VIDEO) - NBC


British Government extends military training for Ukrainian troops 'in face of a more belligerent Russia' - The Independent


European defense budgets climb as NATO countries step up spending - NBC


Stoltenberg: NATO is considering strengthening its presence in the Black Sea - UAWire


Romania boosts NATO role as Black Sea tension rises - irishtimes.com


Lavrov: Kyiv's initiative of patrolling Black Sea jointly with NATO provocative - KyivPost


Russia will respond if NATO establishes military group in Black Sea: Foreign Ministry - Sputnik


Russia to 'expand mobile nuclear missile patrols' near European borders to respond to Nato 'threats' in 2017 - The Independent


Serbia to get Russian fighter jets to counter NATO threat - ABC News


Kremlin hails Kissinger for Putin comments stating the Russian President was an effective advocate for his nation's interest - US News


VIDEO: Henry Kissinger on Russia hacking & Putin - CBS News

 

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UN approves sending monitors to Aleppo as evacuations resume - ABC News


Security Council Resolution 2328: Demanding immediate, unhindered access for observation of monitoring civilian evacuations from Aleppo - ReliefWeb


Russia, Iran and Turkey to hold Syria talks in Moscow on Tuesday - Reuters


Putin tells Rouhani he wants Syria conflict resolved soon: Kremlin - Reuters


Gunman kills Russian ambassador to Turkey, shouts 'God is great' - usatoday.com


VIDEO: Footage of Russian ambassador assassinated in Turkey - YouTube


Putin calls ambassador murder provocation aimed at derailing Syria negotiations - Sputnik


VIDEO: Putin comments on ambassador assassination in Ankara - YouTube

 

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

 

Tomgram: Nick Turse, Washington's America-First Commandos in Africa

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

When Donald Trump enters the Oval Office, awaiting him will not only be his own private air assassination corps (those CIA drones that take out terror suspects globally from a White House “kill list”), but his own private and remarkably secret military.  Ever since John F. Kennedy first made the Green Berets into figures of military glamour, there’s always been something alluring to presidents about the U.S. military’s elite special ops forces.

What Racist Registries Look Like

A new large photo book has just been published called Un-American: The Incarceration of Japanese Americans During World War II.

People who support creating a Muslim registry should take a look. Here are the victims before, in their small farms and their LA mansions. Here they are being forcibly removed. Here they are incarcerated. Here is what was done to their homes in their absence. Here they are in the camps, prisoners for nothing, and after their release.

To this day, no proof has ever been produced that any Japanese American planned to assist Japan in war against the United States in any way. Nor was there reason to think so at the time. Instead there was open admission of racist and greedy motivations on the part of government officials and white farmers respectively.

These photographs were the U.S. government's own documentation of its crime, and the hired photographers included Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange and others with the talent to capture stories in stills. The accompanying text by Richard Cahan and Michael Williams expands one's understanding.

In 1936 President Franklin Roosevelt ordered the creation by the Office of Naval Intelligence of a list of Japanese-Americans who would be the "first to be placed in a concentration camp" once a war could be started.

In 1939 FDR ordered the ONI and the FBI to create a larger "custodial detention index" of primarily Japanese-, German-, and Italian-Americans, renamed and continued as the "security index" by J. Edgar Hoover after Attorney General Francis Biddle ordered it shut down.

The Alien Registration Act of 1940 required all non-citizen adults to register with the government. In early 1941 FDR commissioned a study of West coast Japanese-Americans, which concluded that they were no threat at all. He commissioned another study that reached the same conclusion.

Monday Morning Bernie Backing

The growing push to defeat Trump by any of the following means:

Poet’s notebook: ' Where the pipe ends'

The pipe ends at Standing Rock.

That is also where

We Dream the end to oil.

Focus: The European Union - Dec 15, 2016

 

Note: I am a believer in the European Union. I think that it is an historical development, a political experiment to be replicated regionally in other parts of the world. Nowadays it is suffering difficulties like any emerging reality but it will ultimately succeed. As the 2016 has been a crisis year for the EU, the 2017 may set a relaunch of the initiative with new elections and changes looming.


EU agrees to extend Russia sanctions until mid-2017 over the turmoil in Ukraine - Reuters


EU fatigue over Russia sanctions shows as Putin reset looms - Bloomberg


Why the EU sanctions against Russia won’t last - Sputnik


Medvedev says EU food embargo remains in response to anti-Russian sanctions - RT Business

 

Federica Mogherini, top EU diplomat, says bloc is prepared for Trump - WSJ


EU foreign policy chief Mogherini speaks on Trump, Russia, Iran deal, Syria - WSJ


Kremlin: Russia not interested in ‘friendship’ with EU against U.S., In WSJ interview foreign policy chief Mogherini said the EU could 'line up with Russia’ to counter some policies of Trump - TASS


Ukraine will not join EU, Dutch are promised: Association deal not conferring to Ukraine candidate status, guarantees for military or financial assistance, or a right for its citizens work within EU - The Guardian


European Council conclusions on Ukraine, 15 December 2016 - EU Consilium


European Parliament votes for mechanism suspending visa-free travels for third countries, brings Georgia and Ukraine closer to visa-free EU travel - rferl.org


Visa-free regime for Ukraine? 'Another kind of danger Europe will have to face': The inflow of Ukrainian migrants to Europe will be a serious challenge to the European labor market - Sputnik


Kiev continues policy of economic and cultural detachment of Donbass from Ukraine: Russian envoy - TASS


Turkey will have backup plans if EU visa deal falls through, Erdogan says - Reuters


Turkey’s relationship with the EU is worse than ever - VICE News

 

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EU leaders plan military overhaul after pressure from Trump - WSJ


Europe’s defense spending and cooperation between their armed forces to rise as global threats proliferate - Bloomberg


EU investment bank to fund defense research: EU summit draft - Business Insider


EU Council draft summit conclusions - EurActiv.com


Website of the European Council, 15/12/2016 - EU Consilium

 

NATO to hold talks with Russia Monday: Stoltenberg - AFP

 

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Brexit: EU leaders to discuss UK's exit without Theresa May - BBC News


European Union's Brexit plans LEAKED: Shock report shows Brussels bigwigs will play hardball - Daily Express


UK confident of negotiating Brexit within two years: May's spokesman - Reuters


UK faces Brexit settlement bill of up to £50bn, Sky sources say - Sky News


Brexit trade deal could take 10 years, says UK's ambassador - BBC News


VIDEO: 'Lonely Theresa May' video at EU summit is Brexit in a nutshell, Footage of PM looking forlorn as EU leaders chat - The Guardian


Lloyd's of London plots EU shift to ward off Brexit threat - Telegraph


Greece snubs lenders approving Christmas bonus to pensioners as Europe divided, lenders suspend a deal to offer Greece short-term debt relief - Yahoo Finance


IMF and EU policymakers take Greece bailout spat online - ft.com


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

Focus: Aleppo - Dec 14, 2016


Confusion over Aleppo evacuation as rebels say deal back on, however Syria's government source says ‘there is no agreement, the negotiations are ongoing' - France 24


Syrian rebels shell besieged villages in Idlib province which Damascus ally Iran is demanding to be evacuated before a ceasefire deal - Reuters


UN body says Aleppo rebels may be blocking civilians from fleeing Aleppo and using them as human shields - AFP


Russian Defense Ministry reports more than 360 gunmen lay down arms in Aleppo - TASS


Russian FM minister calls on the US to influence the units of the militant opposition backed by Washington - TASS


Damascus in close contact on military planning with Moscow and Tehran - TASS


Syrian leader Assad's Shi'ite allies helped him win in Aleppo - Reuters


Western media disinformation: Unverified Aleppo “on the spot” executions - Centre for Research on Globalization


U.S. may target heavy weapons seized by Islamic State in Palmyra, US general warns - Reuters

 

ISIS video claims to show abandoned Russian base in Palmyra with significant weaponry left behind - The Guardian


VIDEO: Abandoned Russian military base in Palmyra - YouTube


Obama waives restrictions on military support to foreign forces 'to combat terrorism in Syria' - ibtimes.com

 

Weapons can end up with terrorists now US military aid restrictions to Syria lifted: Kremlin - RT News


No complete confidence US arm supplies to Syria ‘can’t change hands’: State Dept - RT America


Interview with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on the bill to halt U.S. arms supplies to 'individuals and groups who are working directly with al-Qaida, ISIS ...and other terrorist groups' - NPR


Press Release: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard introduces legislation to stop arming terrorists - Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard


VIDEO: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard introduces bill to stop arming terrorists - YouTube

 

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Aleppo: US ambassador Samantha Power blasts Assad, Russia, Iran over Syria atrocities at UN Security Council meeting - Haaretz


Russia ambassador Churkin to Samantha Power: You are not Mother Theresa, remember the role of US and allies in the creation of ISIS as a result of intervention in Iraq and Syria - RT


VIDEO: Ambassador Samantha Power's attack on Syria, Russia and Iran over deaths in Aleppo - YouTube


VIDEO: Russia’s UN Ambassador Churkin responds to Samantha Power on Syria - YouTube


VIDEO (Full statements): US Ambassador Power and Russia Ambassador Churkin at UN Security Council meeting on Aleppo - YouTube


Syria Ambassador Bashar al-Jaafari: The Syrian government is innocent of the U.S. and western accusations that it has committed crimes in Aleppo - SANA


VIDEO: Syria Ambassador Bashar al-Jaafari statement at the UN Security Council on Aleppo - YouTube


Senators McCain and Graham: Aleppo a ‘testament to our moral failure, everlasting shame' - Newsmax


New York Times editorial: Aleppo’s destroyers: Assad, Putin, Iran - The New York Times


Germany blames Russia over Syria, says sanctions still on table - sg.news


Russian Defense Ministry calls criticism over Aleppo ‘Russophobic hot air’ - themoscowtimes.com


Syria's Assad: Trump can be our natural ally to fight terrorism - Reuters


Assad: All Western aid for Syria sent to terrorist groups, not civilians - Sputnik


VIDEO (Full interview): Assad: West is telling Russia that Syrian Army went too far in defeating terrorists  - YouTube


TRANSCRIPT: Assad full interview - Syrian Arab News Agency


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

VIDEO: Militarizing Police and a Policelike Military

C-Span Video is here.

Speakers:

Jamani Montague

ProfPhoto (1).jpg

Jamani Montague is a student activist at Emory University, studying International Studies and Environmental Science. Her research interests include race theory, prison ecology, comparative politics and eco-colonialism. Jamani is the Prison Advocacy Coordinator for RootsAction.org, where she works closely with prisoners, the media, and legal activists to bring civil and environmental justice to those behind bars. She plans to pursue a PhD in Environmental Health Studies and eventually teach in universities and prisons.

 

David Swanson

David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson's books include War Is A Lie and When the World Outlawed War. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015 and 2016 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.

 

Leah Muskin-Pierret

Leah is an activist working on challenging U.S. militarism in the Middle East. She focuses on ending U.S. complicity in Israeli apartheid to make way for Palestinian liberation. She hopes to chip away steadily at the military industrial complex until that day when activists have all the resources they need and the military needs to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber.

Miriam Pemberton
Miriam Pemberton

Miriam Pemberton is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. She directs its Peace Economy Transitions Project which focuses on helping to build the foundations of a postwar economy at the federal, state and local levels. She co-chairs the Budget Priorities Working Group, the principal information-sharing collaboration of U.S. NGOs working on reducing Pentagon spending.

In addition to articles and opeds, her publications include two report series. “Military vs. Climate Security” compares federal spending on the two security domains, and argues for a shift of security resources toward mitigating climate change. “A Unified Security Budget for the United States” examined the balance of spending on military forces, homeland security and non-military foreign engagement and argues for a rebalanced security budget.

With William Hartung of the New America Foundation, she is co-editor of the book Lessons from Iraq: Avoiding the Next War (Paradigm Publishers, 2008). Formerly she was editor, researcher and finally director of the National Commission for Economic Conversion and Disarmament. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

Focus: Russia - Dec 13, 2016

 

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Corker to launch new Russia hacking inquiry, It will be the third Senate committee to dig into the issue - CNN


House Intelligence Committee Chair Nunes won't start new probe into Russian hacking - TPM


House Intel Committee Chairman Nunes: CIA report on Russia meddling conflicts with DNI testimony - Fox News


Devin Nunes’ letter to DNI James Clapper on the CIA's assessment that Russia sought to tilt the presidential election toward Trump - POLITICO


Congress can’t decide how to probe charges Russia aimed to help Trump - The Washington Post


Obama doubles down on Trump, blames Russia for hacking - New York Post


Top intel office not on same page as CIA regarding Russia hack assessment - Fox News


40 Electoral College members demand briefing on Russian interference, all are Democrats except one Republican - TheHill


Kremlin calls talk of Russian interference in U.S. elections ‘absolute nonsense’  - The Washington Post

 

CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity firm that first publicly linked the hacking to Russian intelligence, says cyberattack waged on Clinton campaign just days before vote - Yahoo News


Did the Russians “hack” the election? A look at the established facts - Ars Technica


Vladimir Putin "ready" to meet Donald Trump "any moment" but likely after innauguration - CBS News


‘West has been blaming Russia for everything, now there’s backlash’: Gorbachev - RT News


VIDEO: Gorbachev: "World needs Russia & the U.S. to cooperate" - CBS News


Excerpts from AP interview with Mikhail Gorbachev - US News


Syria rebels reach evacuation deal with government in Aleppo, fighters would be evacuated on buses - Al Jazeera


State Dept. unaware of Russia, Turkey deal on Syria cease-fire and a safe passage for rebel fighters looking to leave Aleppo - Washington Examiner


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

 

Moscow sees Rex Tillerson as chance to end sanctions, reboot U.S. ties - WSJ


Priebus: Trump won't rule out lifting Russia sanctions - POLITICO


Tillerson visited White House often over Russia sanctions, advocated against them - Bloomberg


Exxon would win if Tillerson works to lift Russia sanctions - CNN


McCain again voices concerns about Tillerson's ties to Putin - TheHill


EU leaders to discuss extending sanctions on Russia over Ukraine, Merkel and Hollande back extending them - Reuters


Kremlin comments on Merkel, Hollande offer to extend sanctions against Russia: they lead to a deadlock, cannot facilitate solutions to any problems - TASS


Austrian Vice Chancellor repeats call for phasing out of anti-Russia sanctions - Sputnik


EU officials look into Rosneft sale for possible sanctions breach - Reuters


Japan says 'no deal' with Russia that undermines G7 sanctions - SMC


Russia's Putin says Western sanctions an obstacle to talks with Japan: media - Reuters


Putin: Disruptions of EU gas supplies via Ukraine possible - The New York Times


Sweden won't block Nord Stream harbor deals, but raises defense concerns - Reuters


Iran, Russia sign major deal on development of oil, gas fields - Tasnim News Agency


Russia's Rosneft takes part of Egyptian gas field for $1.6B - ABC News


Russia's biggest oil producer rises from slump, looks to 2017 - TheStreet


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

Tomgram: Tim Shorrock, American Military Power in Asia and the Trump Factor

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

Talk Nation Radio: Craig Murray: Russia Didn't Do It; Vincent Emanuele on Stopping Pipelines and Wars

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-craig-murray-russia-didnt-do-it-vincent-emanuele-on-stopping-pipelines

Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British Ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and Rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010. See https://www.craigmurray.org.uk

Murray explains that he has met the leaker of either the DNC or Podesta emails and that both sets of emails were leaked by one or more people at either the NSA or the Democratic Party, that Russia played no role at all.

Vincent Emanuele (pictured at right) joined the United States Marine Corps as a squad automatic machine gunner in 2002. After two combat-deployments in Iraq, he refused orders for a third and immediately began organizing with Veterans for Peace and Iraq Veterans Against the War. In 2008, Vince testified to Congress at the Winter Soldier Hearings on Capitol Hill, where he provided detailed accounts of war crimes, atrocities, drug abuse and sexual assault within the military. See https://www.facebook.com/vincentjr.emanuele

Emanuele is just back from Standing Rock and discusses environmental and antiwar strategy. This show contains half our discussion. The second half will appear next week.

Total run time: 29:00

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

Download from LetsTryDemocracy or Archive.

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

It Was LEAK, not hack

 

 


US Intel Vets Dispute Russia Hacking Claims

 

 

 

As the hysteria about Russia’s alleged interference in the U.S. election grows, a key mystery is why U.S. intelligence would rely on “circumstantial evidence” when it has the capability for hard evidence, say U.S. intelligence veterans.

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

MEMORANDUM

Allegations of Hacking Election Are Baseless

Focus: The Pentagon - Dec 12, 2016


Trump targets F-35 program in latest dig on defense spending, The pilot's helmet alone could cost around $400,000 - WSJ


Government-spending watchdogs praise Trump for taking aim at F-35, the ‘plane that ate the Pentagon’ - newsweek.com


Trump floats lifetime ban on defense firms hiring military procurement officials, Met with deep skepticism within the U.S. defense establishment - Reuters


Trump attack on Lockheed Martin foreshadows war on defense industry, transition spokesman says 'we look to come up with better deals' - Reuters


Lockheed Martin says company already cut F-35 costs - Reuters


Lockheed shares fall after Trump tweets about F-35 jet costs - CBS News


Defense ETFs are under fire from Trump - ETF Trends


Defense experts warn of 'disaster' for Britain after Donald Trump suggests undoing 'out of control' F-35 fighter jet project - Telegraph


F-35 jets bound for Israel grounded due to their inability to take off in bad weather - CNNPolitics.com


'F-35s will help U.S. and Israel air forces operate more jointly and more effectively. Together, we will dominate the skies' - U.S. Dept of Defense on Twitter


Misleading F-35 answers drafted by Pentagon, testing chief says - Bloomberg


Oversight panel demands answers on Pentagon waste report - TheHill


Letter of House Oversight Committee members to Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Pentagon waste report - oversight.house.gov


U.S. GAO Report: Defense Business Transformation: DOD Should Improve Its Planning with and Performance Monitoring of the Military Departments - U.S. GAO


Congress creates new DoD Chief Management Officer, whose primary job will be overseeing and reforming DoD headquarters functions - FederalNewsRadio.com


Final NDAA trims civilian and military jobs in DoD - FederalNewsRadio.com


DoD stuck with too many acquisition reforms and not enough staff - FederalNewsRadio.com


Pentagon taking a more serious look at off-the-shelf technology, Buy technology that is already available rather than spend money a new one - nationaldefensemagazine.org


Washington Post editorial: The Pentagon can’t afford to sweep spending under the rug - The Washington Post


Senate passes annual defense policy bill, sending it to Obama for his signature - The Boston Globe


Ashton Carter essay: The Pentagon must think outside of its five-sided box - The National Interest


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

Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, Yet Another Undeclared U.S. War

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

Today, Pope Francis Issued the Catholic Church’s First Statement on Nonviolence—Ever

By Rev. John Dear

            Today, Pope Francis released the annual World Day of Peace Message for January 1, 2017, called “Nonviolence—A Style of Politics for Peace.” This is the Vatican’s fiftieth World Day of Peace message, but it’s the first statement on nonviolence, in the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.—in history.

            We need to make “active nonviolence our way of life,” Francis writes at the start, and suggests nonviolence become our new style of politics. “I ask God to help all of us to cultivate nonviolence in our most personal thoughts and values,” Francis writes. “May charity and nonviolence govern how we treat each other as individuals, within society and in international life.  When victims of violence are able to resist the temptation to retaliate, they become the most credible promotors of nonviolent peacemaking.  In the most local and ordinary situations and in the international order, may nonviolence become the hallmark of our decisions, our relationships and our actions, and indeed of political life in all its forms.”

            In his historic statement, Pope Francis discusses the violence of the world, Jesus’ way of nonviolence, and the viable alternative of nonviolence for today. His message is a breath of fresh air for all of us, and offers a framework for all of us to envision our lives and our world.

False Flag; Shock and Awe: Who Cares

 

 


The Syrian-Sarin ‘False Flag’ Lesson

 

 

 

Editor Comment: Amid Official Washington’s desire to censor non-official news on the Internet, it’s worth remembering how the lack of mainstream skepticism almost led the U.S. into a war on Syria.

By Ray McGovern

A review of events leading to the very edge of full-blown U.S. shock-and-awe on Syria three years ago provides a case study with important lessons for new policymakers as they begin to arrive in Washington.

Life on Earth is Dying

On the day that you read this article, 200 species of life on Earth (plants, birds, animals, fish, amphibians, insects, reptiles) will cease to exist. Tomorrow, another 200 species will vanish forever.

Speaking Events

March 27-April 6 Events Everywhere

 

April 4: Remembering Past Wars . . . and Preventing the Next: An event to mark 100 years since the United States entered World War I, and 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr. made his famous speech against war. A new movement to end all war is growing. 6-8 p.m. at 5th and K Busboys and Poets, Washington, D.C.
 

 

April 7-9: Huntsville, Alabama: 25th Annual Space Organizing Conference & Protest

 

April 22: David Swanson speaking in Burlington, Vermont

 

June 16-18: David Swanson and many others speaking at United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) annual conference in Richmond, Va.



August 2-6: Peace and Democracy Conference at Democracy Convention in Minneapolis, Minn.



Find more events here.

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