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Worst Human Being Alive: Tony Blair?

I realize that, living here in the United States, the nation doing the most in the world to create wars, proliferate nukes, and destroy the habitability of the earth's climate, I really have a duty to pick someone in the United States as the worst individual human being alive.

But the United States operates by incestuous swarm. We have another Cheney running for Congress and another Clinton running for president. We have Trump's campaign manager in trouble for taking money from Russians, much of which he funneled to Hillary Clinton's campaign chair's brother. Meanwhile, Trump's daughter has been hauled before a virtual Un-American Activities Committee for vacationing with the supposed girlfriend of Vladimir Putin who may or may not have cheated on Rupert Murdoch with Tony Blair -- Yes, the same Rupert Murdoch who raises funds for Hillary Clinton, and yes, that Tony Blair -- the one whose corrupt deal with Murdoch put him in power in the first place.

These characters, including Blair, are at least honorary Americans. But Blair is something even worse than the worst of the worst of them. Blair did to the Labour Party what Bill Clinton did to the Democratic Party -- what Jeremy Corbin is trying to undo and Hillary Clinton trying to permanently entomb. Blair did to Kosovo and Afghanistan and Iraq what Clinton, Bush, and Obama did to those places. But while Bush went home to paint pictures of himself in the bathtub, Blair went on a Clintonite mission to get rich and evangelize for war and corruption.

I don't know if it's fair to hold this against him, but Blair took into wars on Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq, a nation with far greater resistance to such lawless mass killing than the United States had. That is, he had people telling him openly that his actions would be criminal and reprehensible. He may now be the least popular person in Britain. He can't go outside without being protested. George W. Bush, like his daddy, in contrast, is just another respectable old retired emperor.

I do think, however, that it is perfectly fair to hold against Blair the fact that he shifted from mass killing straight into mass money making while promoting more death and destruction. Money grubbing British prime ministers from now on will know that they can become stinking rich upon retirement if they do the bidding of their corporate and foreign overlords while in office.

If you think I'm exaggerating, go watch George Galloway's new film, The Killing$ Of Tony Blair. This film tells the story of Blair's whole career, and it's ugly. He cuts a deal with Murdoch to allow media monopolies in exchange for press support. He takes money from a car racing plutocrat in exchange for allowing tobacco ads at car races. He sells out to corporations left and right. He peddles BAE jets to Indonesia for killing people in East Timor. He sells BAE air traffic control systems to Tanzania which has no air force. He simply shuts down a prosecutorial investigation of BAE's Saudi corruption in the deal that saw Bandar Bush pocket $2 billion. He privatizes schools and hospitals, anything that can make a buck for anybody who knows how to kick some back.

Blair joins with Clinton the First and then Obama in the killing in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and then shifts into former-prime-minister-now-"consultant" mode, taking millions from JP Morgan Chase, Petro Saudi, and other companies for providing his connections to other corrupt people around the world. He takes obscene speaking fees. He hires himself out to dictators in Kazakhstan, Egypt, Kuwait, and Libya. The film juxtaposes their atrocities with Blair's purchased praise of their many merits. Blair persuaded Bush to protect Gadaffi from lawsuits by alleged victims, but apparently forgot to tell Hillary not to bomb Gadaffi or get him killed.

What really wins Blair the prize of worst person on earth, though, is his acceptance of an appointment as Middle East Peace Envoy to Israel and Palestine, a job he apparently held right up until enough people realized it wasn't a fake report meant to be funny but an actual no-kidding job that he was actually engaged in.

The Saudi 203 Pages

For years and years, activists demanded that the U.S. government make public 28 (turned out to be 29) pages it had censored from a report, because it was suspected they would show a Saudi Arabian role in funding and facilitating the crimes of September 11, 2001. When the pages were finally made public, they showed a great deal of evidence of exactly that. But the U.S. government and its pet media outlets buried the story on a Friday evening, declared that verily this is that, and moved on.

If you happen to have caught wind of this and smelled a rat, you'll be interested in another 203 pages, those making up Medea Benjamin's new book, Kingdom of the Unjust. If you live in the United States, you should be aware of how much effort your government puts into facilitating and defending the crimes of Saudi Arabia in the United States, in Saudi Arabia, and in places like Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, Nigeria, etc. If you pay U.S. taxes, you should know what you're buying. If you work for a U.S. weapons maker, you should know who's buying what you make, and what they're using it for. If you drive a car, you may be helping to destroy the earth's climate while funding the Saudi royalty.

The Saudi royals keep millions poor while blowing fortunes. They send religion police around to beat the hell out of people, while they themselves party with alcohol, cocaine, prostitutes, and gambling. Like many a televangelist closer to home, they don't believe their own bull, but they use it to abuse the people of Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. The religious police don't just want you to be religious. In fact most religions are banned and you can be imprisoned, tortured, mutilated, or beheaded for being a follower of them. And they don't just want you to be a fundamentalist Muslim of the proper variety. They want puritanical misogynist conformity -- or death. They beat a man to death for possessing alcohol, locked up a woman for riding alone in a taxi, and killed 15 girls by refusing to allow them to flee a burning building because they were not wearing their abayas, garments to completely hide their bodies.

With U.S. support, Saudi Arabia manages to be both the only nation that bans all churches and any non-Muslim religious building, and the leading proponent of global terrorism. Saudi Arabia actually bans Jews from entering the country, perhaps inspiring Donald Trump's plan to ban Muslims from entering the United States, while still creating at least an inconvenience for U.S. humanitarian warriors who are constantly wanting to bomb new countries in order to supposedly avoid a repeat of the holocaust -- even while urging Saudi Arabia to spend more on wars (as Trump and Bernie Sanders and President Barack Obama have done most prominently). In fact, Saudi Arabia spends three times as much per person as the U.S. does on its military, and it spends the biggest chunk of it buying weapons from U.S. profiteers.

An "indefinite waiver" upheld by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama lets Saudi Arabia off the hook in the U.S. State Department for its religious cruelty. Waivers by Bush and Obama also allow the U.S. military to go on training the Saudi military. A waiver created by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton allows U.S. weapons sales. Clinton made that her personal mission after Saudi Arabia put at least $10 million into the Clinton Foundation. As the U.S. State Department was and is well aware, there are no civil liberties in Saudi Arabia. People are jailed, whipped, and killed for speech, and speech is tightly censored. Saudi Arabia didn't even ban slavery until 1962 and maintains a labor system referred to as "a culture of slavery." The "sharia law" that U.S. bigots are constantly fearing will appear in their town actually takes a truly nasty form in Saudi Arabia under a brutal government propped up by U.S. funds and arms.


Saudi Arabia doesn't put its own atrocities on Youtube the way ISIS does, and doing so is a tremendous risk for ordinary people in Saudi Arabia. Nonetheless it is starting, and there are outrages you can watch if you are so inclined.

Saudi Arabia has yet to become a target of the Clintonite cabal of philanthropic warriors claiming to overthrow governments for women's rights, yet Saudi Arabia practices gender apartheid, with women forbidden most of the rights of men, women controlled by men utterly, women's testimony in court sometimes valued at half the worth of men's, and a woman's reporting of an attack by a man is considered to be a crime by the woman. You don't see Saudi women at the Olympics because they are forbidden to wear the attire required for the competitions. Saudi restaurants have front and back sections, with the front for men only.  Saudi Arabia lives off fueling cars, yet is the only country in the world where women are forbidden to drive.

Are Saudi's made happy by their sadistic society? There are many indications otherwise, including emigration, travel, courageous protest, and including this: men who practice polygamy in Saudi Arabia are four times more likely to have heart disease.

Happy or not, Saudis have been proficient at exporting their madness. Hollywood could take lessons (and has helped out). Saudi schools have helped to create branches of Al Qaeda and other extremist groups across Western Asia and Northern Africa at least since the joint U.S.-Saudi operation in Afghanistan that created the Taliban, not to mention the Saudi role in Iran-Contra, but also including Boko Haram in Nigeria, and including in Europe. The terrorists who attacked in Paris last year and in Belgium this year came from an area in Belgium with strong Saudi influence. In 2014 the Saudi Interior Ministry conservatively estimated 1,200 Saudis had gone to Syria to join ISIS. A 2014 study by the Washington Institute found that private Saudi donations were critical to the growth of ISIS.

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a 2009 cable (thank you, WikiLeaks), "Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide. . . . More needs to be done. . . ." So, what did Clinton do? Sold Saudi Arabia more weapons, of course! Saudi Arabia is now the biggest weapons customer for the United States, and therefore for anyone. That includes about $100 billion in U.S. weapons sales under the Obama regime, with more pending. Benjamin quotes Obama officials who have praised these sales as a means of creating jobs. This is of course despite the fact that peaceful spending creates more jobs, and the fact that the weapons create something else as well: death.

The United States keeps rushing more weapons to Saudi Arabia as it uses them -- with help from the U.S. military -- to bomb houses, hospitals, and schools in Yemen, killing civilians by the thousands and non-civilians by the thousands, including with the use of cluster bombs.

When Tunisia overthrew a dictatorship without a war in 2011, Saudi's royal thugs got excited. They offered refuge to the Tunisian ruler. They sent funds to Jordan and Morocco to prop up their brutal governments. They backed a military coup in Egypt. They smashed a nonviolent popular uprising in Bahrain with murder, torture, and imprisonment -- still underway. And, of course, they started bombing Yemen, once U.S. drone killings had done their damage and helped to distabilize that country. In fact, U.S. drones flying over Yemen take off from a U.S. base in Saudi Arabia, something Obama created after Bush pulled U.S. troops out of Saudi Arabia and closed the bases -- a move motivated by the crimes of 9/11 and the explicit and widely available answer to the stupid lament "Why do they hate us?" They said what they hated: the U.S. bases that Bush The First had put in Saudi Arabia. And Saudi Arabia had refused to kick them out when bin Laden demanded it because the Saudi government depends on the United States to maintain its unjust existence.

Obama, who recreated this fuel for violence, and who claims to be outraged by Saudi Arabia's atrocities, claims to back Saudi Arabia for the cause of "stability." "Sometimes," says Obama, "we have to balance our need to speak to them about human rights issues with immediate concerns that we have in terms of countering terrorism or dealing with regional stability." Yet Saudi Arabia is possibly the biggest cause (outside of the United States itself) of instability in its region, al Qaeda and ISIS are wreaking havoc within Saudi Arabia, and the Saudi government itself is about as stable as a cork in a volcano. To Obama's credit, he hardly ever means anything he says, and in fact he has backed down on holding Saudi Arabia to account when the Saudis have threatened to pull investments out of the United States, not when they have somehow appeared to be a source of stability and safety.

Still, some would take offense when a foreign government and its elites backed terrorism in your country (on 9/11) and then threatened to hurt you financially if you even said anything about it. But why doesn't anyone say anything about it? In 2015, according to The Hill, the Saudis employed eight DC lobbying firms including the Podesta Group, run by top Hillary Clinton fundraiser Tony Podesta, and cofounded by Clinton campaign chair John Podesta. Saudi Arabia dumps money into U.S. "think tanks" that would be forbidden to exist in Saudi Arabia, and other institutions including the Middle East Institute, Harvard, Yale, the Clinton Foundation, the Carter Center, etc.

For a further 275 Saudi Pages try Robert Vitalis's America's Kingdom: Mythmaking on the Saudi Oil Frontier. But start with Medea Benjamin's 203, which even includes some thoughts on what can be done moving forward. Saudi Arabia's oil, plus all the fossil fuels from everywhere else, is going to make Saudi Arabia uninhabitable long before much of the United States becomes so. Really looking forward, I think, means looking at the future of over 30 million refugees and our capacity to understand the society they are fleeing, our own role in creating it, and our responsibility to welcome them.

Photo by Thomas Good.

Tomgram: Judith Coburn, On the Mean Streets of America

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

How to Get Yourself Named "Pro-Assad"

It's not hard to do. You can probably accomplish it at home quite easily. In These Times just published an article, for example, that calls Veterans For Peace, United National Antiwar Coalition, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, Seymour Hersh, Gareth Porter, Kathy Kelly, Counterpunch, Consortiumnews,, and many more, including me supporters of Bashar al Assad.

How did I win this honor? I spent years denouncing war making by all parties in Syria. I wrote article and books questioning the hypocrisy that held Assad to have been a good torturer when he was working for the United States but a bad torturer now. I severely criticized my fellow peace activists when some of them cheered for Russian bombings in Syria. I even went after Russia for its warmaking in Syria repeatedly on Russian television. I wrote not one article or blog post and gave not one speech defending Assad's atrocities in any way, shape, or form. That record ought to have been enough, I suppose, to get me accused of supporting Assad and Putin. No good deed goes unpunished and all that.

But I also made the truly fateful mistake of trying to accommodate the "You're an Assad lover" crowd. Someone named Andy Berman sent me nasty messages with that false accusation. I proposed that he write down exactly what he thought I had been so nefariously censoring. He did. And I published it with my own response afterwards but with not a word or a comma edited. Here was an attempt at civil discourse over an issue that has divided peace activists, and what did it get me?

Andy Berman's wife, Terry Burke, is listed as the author of the attack piece for In These Times accusing me of all the same tired old lies. She didn't contact me. No editor, if In These Times has those, contacted me. There's no quote or paraphrase of anything I supposedly said. Instead, there's a denunciation of having been a speaker at a rally. But, as I would have pointed out if asked, I wasn't at the rally at all or within 500 miles of it. It was, however, a rally that I had helped promote before it happened. Burke might have looked at those promotions, rather than at what someone showed up at the rally waving, in order to figure out what I was for or against.

Clearly that would have been too much to ask. Others became Assad lovers on even less basis. Some were denounced for having gone to Syria and met with Assad. I interviewed someone who went on that trip and asked her whether they had confronted Assad with his crimes. You can listen to the response on my website. Clearly Burke didn't bother to even contact the people she libeled. But most of those condemned as Assadites by In These Times are so condemned on no stated basis whatsoever.

Now this is getting very tiresome after all of these years of it, and a couple of dangers loom ahead for activists who can't seem to graduate from preschool mentalities. The fact is, of course, as many of us are sick to death of having to explain, that denouncing the war making by all parties in Syria does not put you in the camp of cheering for whichever party somebody else has chosen as the Bad Guy.

If the United States and Russia escalate a joint bombing campaign in Syria, things will go from very bad to even worse for those not killed in the process. Will those who have thus far believed that bombing by only one of those parties or the other is evil come to grips with the evil in bombing conducted by the pair of them?

And if Hillary Clinton launches a greatly escalated effort to overthrow the Syrian government by bombing campaign, will those who oppose that criminal catastrophe have to listen to more chants of "Assad lover!" "Assad lover!" Does criticizing Hillary Clinton about anything win one the accusation of "privilege" anyway? As if living in one of the countries she doesn't want to bomb isn't a huge privilege for all of us!

This was my response to Berman's article:

Thank you to Andy Berman for giving me and Code Pink a bit of credit in this article. I think more credit is do more groups and individuals. In particular, I think the public pressure in the U.S., UK, and elsewhere that stopped a massive U.S. bombing campaign of Syria in 2013 deserves a great deal of credit and far from being an example of a peace movement that has completely failed constitutes the most noteworthy success for peace of recent years. Of course it was incomplete. Of course the U.S. went ahead with arming and training and bombing on a much smaller scale. Of course Russia joined in, killing even more Syrians with its bombs than the United States was doing, and it was indeed deeply disturbing to see U.S. peace activists cheer for that. Of course the Syrian government went on with its bombings and other crimes, and of course it’s disturbing that some refuse to criticize those horrors, just as it’s disturbing that others refuse to criticize the U.S. or Russian horrors or both, or refuse to criticize Saudi Arabia or Turkey or Iran or Israel.

All of this selectivity in moral outrage breeds suspicion and cynicism, so that when I criticize U.S. bombing I’m immediately accused of cheering for Syrian bombing. And when I read an article like this one that makes no mention of the 2013 bombing plan, no mention of Hillary Clinton’s desired “no fly zone,” no mention of her position that failure to massively bomb in 2013 was a mistake, etc., I have to struggle not to wonder why. Then when it comes to what we ought to do about this war, I’d love to have seen some acknowledgment that the party that has repeatedly blocked exactly what is proposed in point #5 (a negotiated settlement) has been the United States, including rejecting a Russian proposal in 2012 that included Assad stepping down — rejected because the U.S. preferred a violent overthrow and believed it was imminent.

I would also like to have seen greater recognition that people usually have the most influence over their own governments, as opposed to over the governments of others. I think one also has to have a view of U.S. imperialism to explain U.S. actions in Syria, including its failure to condemn Russian cluster bombs and incendiary bombs while U.S. cluster bombs are falling in Yemen, and while Fallujah is newly under siege. One has to have an understanding of Iraq and Libya to know where ISIS and its weapons and much of the weaponry of other fighters in Syria come from, as well as to understand the conflicted U.S. policy that can’t choose between attacking the Syrian government or its enemies and that has resulted in CIA and DOD trained troops fighting each other. I also think a negotiated settlement has to include an arms embargo and that the greatest resistance to that comes from the greatest arms dealer. But I think the broader point here, that we should oppose and be aware of and work to end war, regardless of who is doing it, is the right one. And I think part of making that work will be both including a comprehensive list of criticisms of all parties in any mention we make of a conflict, and giving each other the benefit of the doubt rather than making accusing each other our top priority.

Coleen Rowley added this comment to my response:

"A good place for Berman to look to regain some of his own dignity would be to stop pushing for U.S. “regime change” in Syria and elsewhere. When he parroted the official pre-condition for any peace negotiations that “Assad must go,” and when he constantly promoted speakers and writers, even neocon groups, engaged in the bloody effort to topple the Syrian government, they essentially doomed Syria to continuing and worsening war and the destabilizing vacuum that allowed ISIS to grow. From the start, Berman sided with speakers who advised not to worry about the al Qaeda presence among the “rebels” but to focus only on toppling the Syrian government. In any event, here is an article that Margaret Safrajoy and I co-wrote in December 2014 when this sick hypocrisy had become so painfully clear:

"Another sign of Berman’s constant pushing for more US military intervention on the side of the “rebels” (which includes jihadists aligned with Al Qaeda) can be seen in his social media posts encouraging people to contact members of Congress to support HR 5732, the “Caesar Syrian Civilian Protection Act.” The bill would be great if it actually would serve to protect civilians but in actuality, it increases sanctions against Syria and requires the U.S. President to present proposals regarding the establishment of safe zones and a no-fly zone as U.S. policy options in Syria. (“No fly zone” being a code used by “humanitarian war hawks” for bombing a country to smithereens if you recall what happened to Libya.)

"(Naturally) MN Rep Ellison who supported the previously announced plan to bomb Syria in 2013 (and I think even supported the earlier US-NATO bombing of Libya) is one of 17 co-sponsors of H.R 5237, which bill was introduced by Israel’s best friend, Eliot Engel, with uber-hawk Ros-Lehtinen another co-sponsor."

Talk Nation Radio: Judy Bello on Syria, Gar Alperovitz on Ending War

Judy Bello (pictured) is on the Administrative Committee of the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) and is a founding member of the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars.   In the previous decade she has traveled with Peace Delegations to Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Syria. She has just returned from a fact finding mission in Syria with a delegation from the U.S. Peace Council.

Gar Alperovitz has had a distinguished career as a historian, political economist, activist, writer, and government official. He's been a Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland, and is a former Fellow of Kings College, Cambridge University and Harvard’s Institute of Politics. He is the author of critically acclaimed books on the atomic bomb and atomic diplomacy. Alperovitz has served as a legislative director in both houses of Congress and as a special assistant in the State Department. He is also the president of the National Center for Economic and Security Alternatives and is a co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative and co-chair of the Next System Project. And he will be speaking at No War 2016, a conference we are organizing in September in Washington DC through World Beyond War. See

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Focus: Hillary Clinton - Aug 15, 2016


Here is a concise summary of the major weak points of Hillary Clinton which can cause a drop in her poll numbers:

Hillary Clinton is the candidate of Wall Streets banks, characterized by financial mismanagement, theft and fraud. She is the candidate of companies ready to outsource more jobs abroad in low-wage countries. She is the candidate of overpaid corporate CEOs and managers who enrich themselves at the expense of company employees and shareholders. In general she is the candidate of powerful special interest groups who influence legislative and government policy to seek benefits and privileges often contrary to the national interest. Bill and Hillary speaking and consulting fees are a testament of the deep-rooted, enduring relationship between the Clintons and the corporate world. In a short period of time the Clintons have become multimilionaires.

Hillary Clinton advocated war, regime change and toppling governments in Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc. causing death, destruction, migration and the rise of the Islamic State. If elected President, Hillary Clinton will raise tensions with Russia to a dangerous level. She will establish no-fly zones and arm Syrian rebels who aim to overthrow Assad, thus creating the risk of a US military confrontation with Russia. She will assist, finance and maybe arm the Ukrainian government in its struggle against its Eastern Russian speaking population which is supported by Putin. She will promote the NATO troop and missile deployment in Eastern Europe near the Russia border. Conflicts with Russia would be a calamity for the US military which is strained, if not demoralized, after so many years of wars and sacrifices. On top of this, her policies will divert resources that are instead needed to defeat Islamic State.

It looks like Hillary Clinton was able to weather the Benghazi and private emails scandals with an helping hand by her friends, unless there are new revelations and the disclosing of the 30,000 deleted emails. But the Clinton Foundation remains an open issue that deserve an intense public scrutiny. Calls must be renewed of an official investigation of the foundation including a speeding resolution of the IRS inquiry. According to a recent Bloomberg poll 'more than half said that the Clinton Foundation’s acceptance of foreign contributions while she was secretary of state bothers them a lot.’ In addition to the shady, unethical and maybe illegal fundraising activities, the Clinton Foundation must be held accountable for how the donated money was spent. How much of that money was allocated to the needy and how much was pocketed by Bill, Hillary and their cronies to pay for high salaries, pricey meetings, luxury travel expenses, etc? The  majority of voters regard Hillary as dishonest and untrustworthy.


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

The Pro-Nuclear War Party

According to a Wall Street Journal report, the following people and entities would like the United States to begin a nuclear war: Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, the U.K., France, Japan, South Korea, and Germany. If any of those people or entities believe they can prove a case of libel, it might be a huge one. (Are you listening, Rupert?)

According to Mr. Murdoch's newspaper, the White House has been discussing the possibility of declaring that the United States no longer has a policy of engaging in the first use of nuclear bombs. The trouble is that those individuals and nations named above object. They insist, we are told, that the United States should have the policy of beginning a nuclear war.

Have the people of the UK, France, Japan, South Korea, Germany, or the United States itself been polled on this? Has any legislature pretending to represent any of those populations voted on this? Of course not. But what we could do, perhaps, is amend the policy to read: "When the United States begins the nuclear war, it shall announce that it is doing so in the name of democracy." That should be good.

Has Mr. Kerry, Mr. Carter, or Mr. Moniz been evaluated by a psychiatrist? Was Mr. Kerry against this before he was for it? The important question, I believe, is whether they want to start the nuclear war with any hatred or bigotry in mind. If what they intend is a loving, tolerant, and multicultural nuclear war, then really what we ought to be worrying about is the unfathomable evil of Donald Trump who has said that he'd like to kill families -- and particular types of families.

Now, I am not claiming to have fathomed the evil of Mr. Trump, but it has been U.S. policy since before there was a United States to kill families. And it is my strong suspicion that a nuclear war and the nuclear winter and nuclear famine it would bring to the earth would harm at least some families of every existing type.

The non-nuclear nations of this off-its-axis planet have been moving forward on a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. That sort of strong and sane proposal could have something to do with the White House interest in advancing something as weak as a statement of no longer planning to be the first to start the apocalypse. But you can see the logic of the profiteers quite clearly. The same White House has laid out a plan to dump a trillion dollars in the coming years into building smaller, more "usable," nukes. If the United States commits to not using them first, as other nuclear nations have already done, and if that commitment becomes universal, well, then nobody will ever use them, and at some point in the 23rd century it might occur to some bureaucrat that if nobody's ever going to use them, it might not be the best use of unfathomable levels of spending to keep building them, and then where would we be?

But, not to worry, the Wall Street Journal and a pair of aspiring politicians have got you covered, because "a decision by Mr. Obama to press ahead with the declaration appears unlikely in his remaining months, given the controversy it would stir in the midst of a presidential election." If you believe Mr. Obama is against controversy in the election, I've got an argument for the deterrent value of nuclear weapons to sell you. If Hillary Clinton were against first-use, so would Obama be. But she isn't. Neither is His Huckstership, the Republican nominee.

Opening presidential election debates to include Jill Stein would create the controversy on this and other issues that Mr. Murdoch and his fellow media overlords would prefer to avoid. And Obama would find himself on the same side of that controversy as anyone else who has completely and utterly lost all sense of human decency.

A Nonviolent Strategy to End War

There is a long history of anti-war and peace activism. Much of this activism has focused on ending a particular war. Some of this activism has been directed at ending a particular aspect of war, such as the use of a type of weapon. Some of it has aimed to prevent a type of war, such as 'aggressive war' or nuclear war. For those activists who regard war as the scourge of human existence, however, 'the holy grail' has always been much deeper: to end war.

Libya News - Aug 12, 2016

Libya’s oil production drops to 207k barrels a day, National Oil Company chairman says lost revenues now amount to $100bn - Libya Business Info

VIDEO: Political infighting and ISIS attacks have dented Libya’s oil industry, Interview with Libyan oil chief on $100bn loss - FT Markets

Libya needs big spend to boost vital oil revenue, $1 bln needed to repair energy infrastructure: NOC boss - CNBC

GNA unity government’s refusal to transfer funds pledged to state firm is stalling oil-output recovery, says NOC chief - Petroleum Economist

Libya National Oil Company’s chairman fears rival factions are poised for a major new war for control of central oilfields - Petroleum Economist

UN has set dangerous precedent by seeking a deal with one of the militias blocking Libya’s oil ports, says Libya's oil boss - The Guardian

Libya’s National Oil Corporation pleads with pro-Tobruk Haftar’s forces to refrain from attacking oil port - Libya Business Info

Libya Pro-Tobruk army says will stay outside disputed Zueitina port, currently held by pro-Tripoli guards - Chris Stephen on Twitter


Benghazi Saraya attacks Libyan National Army at Naga oilfield - Libya Business Info

VIDEO: Libya's biggest oil port could reopen within a month - Bloomberg

'Fair’ and agreed revenue sharing formula of the Libyan oil wealth, since oil money lies at the heart of the crisis - Natural Resource Governance Institute



Support for Libyan unity government (GNA) 'crumbling': U.N. envoy - Reuters

Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) is missing its last initial - The Media Line

Mahmoud Jibril: Unity Govt (GNA) is weak & doomed to fail, militia leaders looking for a way out - Alwasat on Twitter

US Libya envoy says US supports only UN-backed (GNA) govt. forces - Chris Stephen on Twitter

Italy FM Gentiloni: 'We will soon reopen our embassy in Tripoli. And we will help [GNA] Serraj... Egypt make it harder to achieve reconciliation among local factions’ - Corriere della Sera

Egypt hosts UAE-sponsored meetings with general Haftar, GNA’s Sirraj and and HoR’s Saleh - The Libya Observer

Libyan Special Forces free Egyptians from an armed group who had kidnapped them -

One of two rival chairmen of Libya sovereign fund quits - Reuters

Fannush: House of Representatives Cyrenaica members are advocating separation - The Libya Observer

Mayor and council of Benghazi replaced by Libyan military colonel -

Hafter appoints southern security committee -

Tawerghans demonstrate in Tripoli and Benghazi on 5th anniversary of exile -


Libyan GNA forces in fresh clashes with Islamic State in Sirte - Daily Mail Online

Libyan official: ‘70 percent’ of last IS bastion liberated - The Washington Post

DoD Officials: GNA forces have reduced territory under ISIL control by about a third over the last week - U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

MAP: ISIS-held areas in Sirte - The Libya Observer on Twitter

Total number of airstrikes in support of Operation Odyssey Lightning since Aug 1: 41 - United States Africa Command

Italy reportedly sends special forces to Libya under secret services rather than under military control -

Number of migrants arriving in Italy rises 12 pct in July -

ISIS wrote Sirte was 'gate to Rome' on walls -

Bodies of two Libyan pilots recovered in Sirte, Fighter jet was downed while striking positions in ISIS-held coastal city - Worldbulletin News

Piling in: Divisions within divisions in Libya complicate the West’s intervention - The Economist

In Libya, growing foreign interventions pose long-term risks - IPI Global Observatory


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

Mike Morell: Travels With Charlie (Rose)



Mike Morell’s Kill-Russians Advice




Editor's Note: Washington’s foreign policy hot shots are flexing their rhetorical, warmongering muscles to impress Hillary Clinton, including ex-CIA acting director Morell who calls for killing Russians and Iranians.

By Ray McGovern

Perhaps former CIA acting director Michael Morell’s shamefully provocative rhetoric toward Russia and Iran will prove too unhinged even for Hillary Clinton. It appears equally likely that it will succeed in earning him a senior job in a possible Clinton administration, so it behooves us to have a closer look at Morell’s record.

One City Is Following Through on Protests of Confederate Monuments

Charlottesville is a diverse, enlightened, and progressive college town in Virginia with its public spaces dominated by war memorials, in particular memorials to Confederate soldiers not from Charlottesville who represent a five-year moment in the centuries of this place's history, as viewed by one wealthy white male racist donor at another moment in the 1920s. As the Black Lives Matter movement took off nationally this year, many Charlottesville residents demanded that imposing monuments to Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson be removed from their places of prominence.

The city of Charlottesville has set up a commission on race, memorials, and public spaces. I've attended portions of two meetings and am genuinely impressed by the open, civil, and democratic process underway to find solutions and possibly consensus. The process has already been educational for me and for other members of the public and of the commission. Some white residents have mentioned realizing for the first time that African Americans do not see their history in Charlottesville's public memorials.

I am not African American, but I certainly feel the same way. I'm disgusted by the monuments to those who participated in land theft and genocide against Native Americans, by the monument to the war on Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia that killed some six million people who go unmentioned on the monument, and by the Lee, Jackson, and generic Confederate soldier statues. The possibility of seeing people and movements and causes I actually care about memorialized in public space is exhilarating and not previously hoped for.

Missing from Charlottesville's public spaces now is pretty much the entire rest of its history. Needed are educational signs, memorials, and art works that tell a million missing stories. I don't think a year should go by in which the city does not introduce a new public creation downtown as well as one in a particular neighborhood. Great public art would improve the community and even perhaps its tourism. The ideas percolating in the commission's meetings are numerous and wonderful. Participants have produced lists of hundreds of ideas.

I'd love to see the story of Native American life here pre-Charlottesville recognized, and some mention somewhere perhaps of who Charlottesville's namesake Queen Charlotte was and what role her African ancestry may have played in her absence heretofore. I think there is a place for the stories of injustice: slavery, segregation, eugenics, war, and the misguided destruction of neighborhoods. But I think we also need the stories of struggle, the civil rights work, the women's rights movement, environmentalism, worker's rights, integration, education, arts, sports, and peace as a counterpoint to all the glorifying of war.

There are countless individuals to be remembered and taught about. A memorial to Julian Bond who taught for years at the University of Virginia is a popular idea that I support -- his work for both civil rights and peace should be recognized. And as long as we're going to have a tree named for Banastre Tarleton who led efforts in Parliament to keep the slave trade going, we should have Virginia's first monument to Olaudah Equiano who was probably once a slave in Virginia and whose work in England was critical to ending the slave trade and slavery in the British empire. I also think many public markings of past events need not focus on a single individual.

There is a contingent in Charlottesville for removing Confederate war monuments, and a contingent for keeping them. There appears to be consensus around adding at least a few of the many things that are missing. Personally I've been proposing and organizing support for a peace memorial and a memorial to Charlottesville's sister cities. The two could be combined in a peace pole bearing the words "May peace prevail on earth" on each side in the languages of each sister city, as well as English and other languages most spoken in Charlottesville. Charlottesville's city council has repeatedly taken stands for peace, but nothing in public space makes note of that.

I also think Charlottesville's public space could be improved if instead of its next purchase of dozens of U.S. flags it invests in a Charlottesville flag of a design that the public supports.

The public meetings of the commission thus far have taught me things about segregation in Charlottesville that I did not know. I hope this process can somehow be continued indefinitely. But a crucial question is what the commission will end up proposing to the city council next month, and what the city council will do with that proposal.

My recommendation is that the public nature of the brainstorming process be continued and expanded in the decision-making process, that the commission create a proposal with the idea that it will receive strong support in a public referendum, and that it in fact go to a public referendum.

Whether the city council or the public decides, however, a major question will be funding. If the question goes to the public, I think the public ought to be given the option of, say, creating 50 new memorials and opting out of one new highway interchange in order to cover the cost. The public ought not to be presented with a costly proposal and no say over the rest of a budget that I suspect in great measure lacks public support.

Of course if unwanted monuments are removed, one option would be to sell them to the highest bidder willing to remove them from public space and to display them in a private space accessible in some manner to the public. A museum of Confederate statues to which one can buy a ticket would be a far different public statement from Confederate statues dominating downtown parks.

It's tempting to look for private funding for new public creations, rather than foregoing an intersection or taxing the wealthiest residents, but such funding will inevitably corrupt the decision making process, and that's where the giant old racist soldiers on horses came from in the first place.

Focus: Clinton Foundation - Aug 11, 2016

Emails do not show improper influence from Clinton Foundation, State Department says - ABC News

VIDEO: Aug 11 briefing: Reporter skeptical when State Dept claims wasn’t influenced by Clinton Foundation -

VIDEO: Aug 10 briefing: State Department dodges questions about Clinton Foundation's emails - YouTube

Judicial Watch: State Dept. colluded to thwart FOIA request for Hillary emails, 'This is evidence that Cheryl Mills covered up' - Breibart

Top Clinton State Department aide Cheryl Mills helped Clinton Foundation -

CNN's Griffin: Cheryl Mills did work on behalf of Clinton Foundation while she was gov't employee, may have violated ethics rules (VIDEO) - Breitbart

Hillary aide Mills OK'd deal that put $500K in Bill's pocket - The Daily Caller

Email batch provides additional evidence that Clinton Foundation donors got access at State Department - The Washington Post

Hillary played favorites with huge number of Clinton Foundation donors - New York Post

Another day, another Hillary/Clinton Foundation scandal - Power Line

Five Clinton friends who got special State Department access - Washington Examiner

Five devastating facts about Hillary Clinton's foreign funder, Gilbert Chagoury - Breibart

Donald Trump on Clinton Foundation, State Dept. relationship: 'It's illegal' - Breitbart

Cotton: Clinton used private server to hide her foundation work - Washington Examiner

VIDEO: 'Classic pay-to-play': Giuliani blasts ‘corrupt' Clinton Foundation - Fox News Insider

NY Times' Haberman: Hillary campaign ‘extremely unprepared' for accusations of Clinton Fdn-State Dept ‘overlap' - Breitbart

Pro-Clinton center: Running with Judicial Watch’s storyline, media manufacture another false Clinton email scandal -

Pro-Clinton center: News outlets hyping new Clinton Judicial Watch email story ignore new development undermining it -


Inside the debate over probing the Clinton Foundation, Officials from the FBI and DOJ met to discuss opening a public corruption case - CNN

VIDEO: FBI field offices wanted investigation into Clinton Foundation, DOJ was against opening a case - CNN

Trump starts petition urging DOJ to probe Clinton Foundation - New York Post

Trump on Hillary's missing 33,000 ‘personal’ emails: 'That's a lot of yoga' - Breitbart

Ethicists: Clinton team violated ‘spirit’ of pledge, Emails suggest aides were catering to Clinton Foundation donors - POLITICO

Clinton Foundation IRS inquiry involves charity's legal status - Washington Examiner

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

Tomgram: William Astore, Why It's So Hard for Members of the Military to Speak Out

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

[Note for TomDispatch Readers: TD is taking this weekend off. Next post: Tuesday, August 16th. Tom]

Libya News - Aug 10, 2016

Libyan forces capture Sirte convention center as well hospital and university complex from Islamic State - Reuters

MAP: Remnants of ISIS militants are now hiding in [Sirte] residential areas 1 and 3 and some parts in area 2 - Libya Observer on Twitter

ISIS shoots down Libyan aircraft in Sirte, pilot killed -

16 Misrata-led fighters were killed and 35 others wounded in Wednesday fighting in Sirte, field hospital has reported - Libya Observer on Twitter

Libya's Misrata pays price in fight against IS - AFP

VIDEO: Libya’s Misrata pays price in fight against IS - YouTube

U.S. Special Operations troops aiding Libyan forces in major battle against Islamic State - The Washington Post

Pentagon denies U.S. troops in direct combat role in Libya - Washington Examiner

Pentagon: Islamic State down to 350 fighters in Sirte, Libya - Stripes

We don't need foreign troops: head of Libya's Government of National Accord - Africa Review

ISIS jihadis flushed out of Sirte with help from British troops - Daily Express

Italian special forces in Libya: sources -

Key dates of the IS group in Libya - AFP

House panel finds ISIS intel was cooked, general pressured his intelligence analysts into playing down the ISIS and al Qaeda threats - The Daily Beast

2 Benghazi victims' parents sue Hillary Clinton for wrongful death - NPR

VIDEO: Mom of Benghazi victim sues Hillary: 'I am still here and I want answers!' - Fox News Insider

VIDEO: Interview with Larry Klayman, attorney on Benghazi lawsuit against Hillary - Fox News Insider



Western nations concerned by mounting conflict around Libyan oil port - Reuters

Joint statement on Libya by the Governments of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States - GOV.UK

Libya’s oil production drops to 207k barrels a day -

Libya: Tobruk govt wants UN envoy replaced, 'not neutral' -

Libyan parliament delegation in Cairo seeking more support from Egypt to strengthen its position against the Libyan Government of National Accord - Al Bawaba

Libyan parliament rejects UN envoy's proposal to hold intra-tribal dialogue - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

France withdraws its Haftar-supporting troops from Benghazi - The Libya Observer


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

Not just toilet lids Pentagon Money Pit: Unaccountable Army Spending of $6.5 Trillion and No DOD Audit for the Past Two Decades

By Dave Lindorff


What if the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services were to report that $6.5 billion in spending by that federal agency was unaccounted for and untraceable? You can imagine the headlines, right? What if it was $65 billion? The headlines would be as big as for the first moon landing or for troops landing on Omaha Beach in World War II.

Tomgram: Engelhardt, The Election From Hell

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

The Greatest Show on Earth 
How Billions of Words, Tweets, Insults, and Polls Blot Out Reality in Campaign 2016 
By Tom Engelhardt

Talk Nation Radio: John Pilger Describes World Perspective on U.S. Politics

John Pilger provides an outside perspective on U.S. politics. Pilger is a journalist, film-maker, and author who lives in Lambeth, south London. He is only one of two to win British journalism’s highest award twice. For his documentary films, he has won an Emmy and a British Academy Award. His epic 1979 Cambodia Year Zero is ranked by the British Film Institute as one of the ten most important documentaries of the 20th century. His Death of a Nation, filmed secretly in East Timor, had a worldwide impact in 1994. His books include Heroes, Distant Voices, Hidden Agendas, The New Rulers of the World and  Freedom Next Time. He is a recipient of Australia’s international human rights award, the Sydney Peace Prize, “for “enabling the voices of the powerless to be heard” and “for fearless challenges to censorship in any form”.

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

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Focus: Aleppo - Aug 8, 2016

Government forces and rebel factions send hundreds of reinforcements to Aleppo as both sides brace for a crucial battle - AFP

SouthFront: Syrian Army deploys 100 tanks, 400 BMP's to Aleppo -

Rebels face onslaught by regime forces after breaking siege of Aleppo, intense air strikes continue unabated - Irish Times

Aleppo: Narrow corridor bombed heavily by Russian jets, blocking rebels from opening a path to go through and bring supplies - Farsnews

VIDEO: Russian airstrikes on rebel positions in southern Aleppo - YouTube

VIDEO: Syrian Army’s warplanes conduct a series of sorties targeting jihadi fighters inside the Artillery School in south Aleppo -

Syrian Arab Air Force destroys a rebel convoy heading from Idlib province to southwestern Aleppo -

Media: dismissed the commander of the Syrian troops in Aleppo - News Israel today

Syrian government delivers supplies to Aleppo via alternative route: monitors - Reuters

Syrian Army makes advances in Latakia, Jaish Al-Fateh jihadist conglomeration on southwest Aleppo has weakened the rebel defense lines on other fronts (VIDEO, MAP) -

Iraqi, Lebanese militias deploy to Syria's Aleppo to shore up Syrian President Assad's forces - The New York Times

Eight Hezbollah fighters killed in Syria's Aleppo - THE DAILY STAR

Iran says ready to assist Russian humanitarian operation in Syria's Aleppo - Sputnik



Russia, US tensions grow over Aleppo -

UN envoy Samantha Power says no swift victory in Aleppo, despite overwhelming force of Assad, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah - Daily Mail

Foreign help behind rebel advances in Aleppo, opposition replenished with new weapons and cash across Turkey’s border -

Aleppo offensive is being heavily backed by Turkey whose role seemingly minimally affected by failed coup - Charles Lister on Twitter

Russia (in Aleppo) believes (I quote) "Jihadists received MANPADs with the knowledge of the USA, through countries of the region” - Elijah J. Magnier on Twitter

Iranian source: US warships in Mediterranean sending intelligence to terrorists in Aleppo - Farsnews

Heroes? Jihadists with Al Qaeda links break Assad siege of Aleppo, seize the initiative in northern Syria - The Daily Beast

English translation of the Army of Conquest's (Jaysh al-Fateh's) announcement on plans to take control of the whole of Aleppo City -

Hard 2 believe Jaish alFateh [Army of Conquest] wont commit crimes when operation named after officer who killed Alawis based on sect - Jenan Moussa on Twitter

VIDEO (Arabic): New statement by Jabhat Fatah al-Sham [former Nusra] declaring intent to separate Sunnis fr Nusairis (Alawis) & kill them - YouTube

VIDEO: US-backed rebels who beheaded a Palestinian child show up in Aleppo battlefield - YouTube

There are no good terrorists in Syria, Iraq: Russia’s Putin - en.alalam

Russia: US-backed Syrian rebels used poison gas on civilians - Veterans Today

Obama questions Russian commitment to peace in Syria -

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

Yes, There Is an Antiwar Movement

By David Swanson

The demise of the antiwar movement has been greatly exaggerated. Working on planning a series of events in Washington, D.C., next month, and related events around the world, I'm finding tons of enthusiasm for organizing and mobilizing to end war. In fact all kinds of events are being organized all the time, from conferences to marches to protests, a peace fleet taking on a military fleet in Seattle, a crowd demanding the closure of a U.S. base in Germany or Korea, counter recruiters keeping military tests out of schools, solidarity actions and support actions with victims and refugees around the world, and many other stories that flood in under the corporate radar.

Libya News: Aug 4, 2016

US bombing missions in Libya now total nine over three days -

Libya, U.S. face entrenched Islamic State: Airstrikes aim to help retake Sirte but the extremists are dug in around the country - WSJ

US-backed Libyan govt forces ‘resting’ after U.S. airstrikes with no timetable to try to take more of the Sirte city -

Libyan forces welcome Washington's involvement but remain wary of advancing for fear of ISIS mines and snipers - defenceWeb

Italy's foreign affairs undersecretary: Sirte anti-ISIS op 'still difficult on the ground' -

U.S. says Libyan forces 'spectacularly successful' fighting ISIS - Washington Examiner

In Libya, defeating ISIS one recoilless rifle at a time, a blow-by-blow accounting of airstrikes released by the U.S. Africa Command reveals the modest scope of the effort - Washington Examiner

VIDEO: U.S. releases video of precision strike against ISIS tank in Sirte, Libya -

Beyond Sirte: US mulling expanding Libya intervention against IS -

Defense industry bonanza: U.S. spends nearly $12 million daily to combat Islamic State - Breibart

Dueling Libyan governments at odds over US airstrikes, Tobruk authorities say they are illegal and conducted without any coordination with them - CNS

Statement Issued by the House of Representatives in Tobruk on US bombing in Libya (English translation at the bottom) -

Spokesman of Haftar’s forces says US airstrikes on Sirte elections’ propaganda - The Libya Observer


Will US strikes on IS deepen Libya divisions among governments and militias? - AFP

Competing militias and centres of power hinder Libya’s fight against Islamic State -

As Obama bombs ISIS in Libya, are we backing the right government? - The Fiscal Times

Expert on US airstrikes in Libya: Will the US be drawn into another quagmire? - Sputnik

Libya's bungled oil deal: The eastern Tobruk government and the western Tripoli-based GNA are pursuing separate and conflicting oil policies -

Libya’s dangerous oil deal: The UN-brokered ports deal cannot on its own increase the country’s oil output. But it may worsen the conflict - Petroleum Economist

Citi on Libyan oil deal: It’s a “headfake” -



Trump calls Clinton 'a founder of ISIS' for creating the conditions that have allowed the terrorist group to thrive - LA Times

Hillary’s with us…if you want a destabilized world (Libya edition) - Donald J Trump for President

Hillary Clinton's Benghazi scandal: Arming jihadists in Libya…and Syria - National Review

WikiLeaks' Julian Assange: Clinton lied under oath about her knowledge of Libyan arms exports to Syria - Breitbart

Leaked email shows Hillary bragged about her role in Libya -

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

Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, Pseudo-Election 2016

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

[Note for TomDispatch Readers: TD is taking this weekend off. Next post: Tuesday, August 9th.  Tom]


Why would it be that 8 years ago you couldn't win a Democratic presidential primary if you'd voted for a war on Iraq after pushing all the Bush White House lies about it, and yet now you can? Back then the war looked closer to ending, the death count was lower, and ISIS was only in the planning stages. Reports on the fraud, criminality, and knowingly self-destructive nature of the war launch -- reports like the Chilcot report -- hadn't yet been produced. How can you drag this albatross across the finish line at this late date in 2016?

Well, you can't, in fact. Claiming that Hillary Clinton won the 2016 primary is like claiming Bush won the 2000 election. It's one of those things that everyone will say, using it as shorthand, and repeating it until everyone forgets that the thing was stolen. So, let me rephrase: How can you get people to pretend en masse that you won the 2016 Democratic presidential primary despite lugging around the same baggage as 8 years before only now stuffed with putrid rotting flesh?

And not only that, but how can you pull loved ones of people you sent to kill and kill and kill and die in that criminal calamity onto the stage of your coronation convention and get people to cheer for it?

How can you get your supporters to scream "U - S - A! U - S - A!" at anyone who shouts "No more war"?

How can you get people to the point of believing that, should the ongoing war on Iraq make big news in October, that will actually benefit, rather than hurt, you?

How can you, in fact, get liberals to start saying that ending the overthrow of governments would be irresponsible? After Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Honduras, Ukraine, and Brazil, how can you get all the bleeding hearts to rally behind your intention to overthrow the Syrian and possibly the Iranian governments?

How can you get them to go even further and support world-risking hostility and threats toward Russia?

How can you get popular support for maintaining and expanding NATO and for committing to being dragged into any new wars that any of NATO's mushrooming list of members might get themselves into or claim to have gotten themselves into?

There is only one answer to all of these questions: partisan perversion in the form of Trump. If Trump occasionally and inconsistently says he might abolish NATO, then abolishing NATO must be bad. If Trump says the war on Iraq was a horrible idea (even though he supported it at the time) it must have been a wonderful idea. If Trump suggests that demonizing Russia is stupid, then it must be genius, and Trump must be a commie-loving pinko. If Trump badmouths loved ones of someone who died making war on Iraq, then making war on Iraq must be heroic and noble.

Of course this way of thinking is on Trump's intellectual level, which means that with a slight twist or two here and there, Trump propaganda could replace Hillary propaganda in the hearts of some of Trump's most passionate opponents. And the two camps' lesser-evilist doctrines are identical, only with the greater and lesser evil figures reversed.

All of which is not an argument for only letting the smart people vote. On the contrary, this is all good material for building a case for direct democracy. People are entirely capable of voting No on banning all Muslims while voting Yes on abolishing NATO. When it comes to policies, the majority of the U.S. public will get many more right than wrong. It's when policies are associated with personalities that people choose to reverse their positions for no good reason.

For decades we've heard the tired old refrain "We need leaders." I'm afraid we won't survive many more leaders. I think what we actually need is democracy. Single payer healthcare should get an up or down vote regardless of whether single-payer healthcare once insulted someone or has been married three times or giggled when it killed Gadaffi. Policies don't have those problems.

Get rid of the super-delegates, the delegates, the representatives, the senators, and the president, and let people set the policies. Any bureaucrats needed could be randomly appointed with darts and a phone book, guaranteeing better results than the present system.

Focus: Hillary Clinton Campaign Finance - Aug 2, 2016

Hillary Clinton has biggest fundraising month yet in July, raising $90 million - Chicago Tribune

Obama holding first fundraiser for Clinton, $33,400 for a seat at the Atlanta home of former CEO Andy Prozes -

Clinton heads back to Hamptons for $33K-a-ticket fundraiser, Loews Hotels CEO and New York Giants co-owner will host the event - Page Six

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook hosts $50,000-per-ticket Hillary fundraiser -

Susie Buffett's private event raises more than $1.5 million for Clinton, 15 supporters paid $100,000 to attend the two-hour dinner -

Leonardo DiCaprio to host $33,400-a-ticket Hillary Clinton fundraiser - The Guardian

Billionaires for Hillary: Clinton campaign lining up moguls to say 'I'm with her' but appearing too buddy-buddy with them holds risks - POLITICO

VIDEO: Here are some of the billionaires who support Hillary Clinton, They’ve also made it a point to attack Donald Trump - Fortune

Lobbyists have raised $7 million for Hillary Clinton. For Trump? Zero - The Washington Post

Lobbysts contributions to the 2016 presidential race - OpenSecrets

Hedge-fund money: $48.5 million for Hillary Clinton, $19,000 for Donald Trump - WSJ

Contrary to a story published by the Wall Street Journal, Clinton is not completely annihilating Trump among hedge fund donors - Fortune

Hedge fund managers purchase Hillary Clinton - Donald J Trump for President

Guy Cecil of Pro-Clinton PAC Priorities USA will not be outspent, A Q&A about how he intends to spend his $200 million - Bloomberg Politics

Democrats say want reform — but court big money in the meantime - Center for Public Integrity

Leaks show DNC asked White House to reward donors with slots on boards and commissions - OpenSecrets Blog

After lying low, deep-pocketed Clinton donors return to the fore - The New York Times

DNC sought to hide details of Clinton funding deal - POLITICO

Julian Assange says he has 'quite a lot of material' from Hillary Clinton's campaign - Daily Mail Online



Donald Trump: ‘I’m afraid the election is going to be rigged’ - WSJ

Donald Trump says Bernie Sanders 'made a deal with the devil' meaning Hillary Clinton - ABC News

Donald Trump: Hillary will never reform financial markets, she ‘is owned by Wall Street' -

VIDEO: Trump releases powerful new ad: Hillary’s Wall Street donations - Tea Party News

Selected Industry Totals: Contribution of the security and investment sector to the 2016 presidential race - OpenSecrets

The billionaire Koch brothers are rejecting calls from big donors to back Donald Trump - Business Insider

The Kochs freeze Donald Trump out denying him access to their state-of-the-art data and refusing to let him speak to their gatherings - POLITICO

"I turned down a meeting with Charles and David Koch. Much better for them to meet with the puppets of politics, they will do much better!” - Donald J. Trump on Twitter

Trump promises more federal infrastructure spending than Clinton, skeptical of full employment figures says ‘people have given up looking for jobs' - WSJ

In dueling campaign swings, Clinton, Trump make very different plays for Pa. voters: Analysis -

In Youngstown, Ohio pro-Trump protesters recall another candidate Clinton's unfulfilled promises -

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

Talk Nation Radio: Phil Wilayto on Ukraine, Poland, and the Dangers of the New Cold War

While the U.S. public is distracted by endless election circuses and the hunt for more bread, the U.S. military and NATO are stirring up WWIII in Eastern Europe. This week we speak with Phil Wilayto. He is editor of The Virginia Defender newspaper and a member of the Administrative Committee of the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC). Phil has been spending time in Ukraine and Poland working with antiwar and anti-fascist groups. For more on UNAC see

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

and at

Tomgram: Nick Turse, The U.S. Military Pivots to Africa and That Continent Goes Down the Drain

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

Scandinavia on the skids and the failure of social democracy: Denmark: SOS Save Our Sovereignty

By Ron Ridenour

(This is the first of seven articles on the reality of Scandinavia’s “socialism”)

I first met Denmark’s last truly Social Democratic Prime Minister, Anker Joergensen, in his state office, unannounced, in late 1980.

Grethe and I had just been married. We had met the year before in Los Angeles where I had been a “participatory journalist”, and activist for social/racial/gender equality and against the Vietnam War. I wanted to start a new life with Grethe in her peaceful, social democratic land.

Speaking Events

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