You are hereBlogs

Blogs


Tomgram: Rory Fanning, Talking to the Young in a World That Will Never Truly Be "Postwar"

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

New TCBH! poem: 'Fishing the Red Herring'

We were at Shelby’s at the bar and Jeff,

Who was watching Fox News,

Slams down his empty bottle

And says,

I’m so sick of hearing about damn red herrings

Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, Presidential Wars

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

Focus: Syria News - Apr 5, 2016


Syrian opposition says no place for Assad in Syria, ahead of a meeting in Saudi Arabia before the third round of Geneva negotiations - alaraby.co.uk


Hijab: Syrian opposition will not go further in the negotiations unless a transitional governing body formed without Assad and his clique - etilaf


Syrian opposition's High Negotiations Committee warns truce on verge of total collapse - etilaf


Syria opposition says US 'ambiguity' on Assad future is very damaging - AFP


Obama vetoed 50 plans by the CIA to engineer the downfall of the Assad regime in Syria: former agent - The Telegraph


No compromise with US over fate of Syria President Assad: senior Russian diplomat - RT


Russia ships more equipment to Syria than it removes - Business Insider


Video of military convoy new evidence Russia not pulling out of Syria (VIDEOS) - Fox News


Russian aircraft carrier to go to Mediterranean Sea carrying new fighters: source - TASS

 

Missile corvette joins Russian naval group in Mediterranean - TASS

 

Russia's Mi-28N helicopter's combat debut is Syria - TASS


Russia’s secret weapon of the Islamic State war: Mi-28 attack helicopter - The Daily Beast


Russian nuclear ballistic missile "Iskander" spotted in Syria - Zero Hedge


Moscow's campaign in Syria leads to arms sale windfall, Russian weapons exports expected to receive $6bn boost as result of ‘marketing effect’ of bombing - The Guardian

 

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

Ceasefire broken: Over the weekend Nusra Front with other Islamist groups and US-armed FSA rebels attack Syrian army in Aleppo - LA Times


Nusra Front and other armed groups attacks positions of Syrian army, Kurds on Monday: Russian Defense Ministry - TASS


Groups breaking ceasefire in Aleppo included Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham, FSA Division 13, Turkestani Islamic Party, Levant Brigade - Juan Cole


Eight Hezbollah fighters killed in Aleppo clashes over weekend - THE DAILY STAR


Three senior Iranian officers killed in confrontations with Syrian rebels in Aleppo - ARA News


VIDEO: Syrian rebels mount offensive against government forces in Aleppo - Al Jazeera


VIDEO (Arabic) - Syrian rebels’ footage of the operations in Aleppo - YouTube


VIDEO (Arabic): Free Syrian Army units moving into Khalidyah village - YouTube

 

VIDEO: State Department: U.S. unsure of ceasefire violations but Assad is the biggest violator - YouTube


Two senior intelligence analysts at U.S. Central Command say the military has forced them out of their jobs because of their skeptical reporting on U.S.-backed rebel groups in Syria - The Daily Beast

 

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

U.S. behind strike that killed Nusra Front's prominent leader Abu Firas: officials - Reuters


U.S weighs more special ops for Syria - CNNPolitics.com


Russia, U.S. discussing coordination to liberate Syria's Raqqa: Interfax - Reuters


Putin's Russian air force bombing Islamic State effectively, Pentagon concedes - Washington Times


DoD Report: Operations against Islamic State costing average of $11.4M per day - cnsnews.com


After Palmyra Syrian troops take another Islamic State-controlled town, Qaryatain is crucial for securing oil and gas pipelines and for blocking militant supply routes - AP


Destruction, razed monastery left behind by Islamic State in Syria town Qaryatain (PHOTOS) - AP


Syria: About 40 bodies reportedly found in mass grave in Palmyra, 23 of them women and children - FOX 11 Los Angeles


Islamic State fights back in Deir Zor, advances on Syrian airbase - ARA News


Islamic state militants use mustard gas in attack on Deir Zor airport: Syrian state TV - Reuters


Islamic State executes and crucify eight people in Syria's Raqqa for deserting its ranks or violating regulations - ARA News


Russian UN envoy says Turkey is key supplier of weapons to Islamic State - TASS


Turkish officers recruiting fighters for Nusra Front in Syria: Russian Defense Ministry - sputniknews.com


Erdogan uses closed-door meeting to blast Obama administration, the Turkish president says that the White House is wrong to back the Kurds in the fight against the Islamic State - Foreign Policy


Syrian Kurds proceed with federal structures despite Turkish threats - Al-Monitor


Turkish court releases all 96 Islamic State suspects who are now on trial - clarionproject.org

 

US orders diplomatic, military families out of south Turkey due to 'increased threats from terrorist groups' - AP


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

 

Tomgram: Dilip Hiro, Flashpoint for the Planet

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

CIA ‘K-9 test’ gone wrong or something else?: Plastic Explosives Found in School Bus Engine Compartment by school's mechanic

By Dave Lindorff

 

            What on earth was the CIA doing putting plastic high explosive charges on school buses and in hidden places in a Virginia public school in a “test” of K-9 dogs reportedly belonging to the Agency itself?

 

Focus: Pew Poll on Campaign Issues, Values and How Life Has Changed in the U.S. - Apr 2, 2016

 

Note: Only 30 percent of Democratic or Democratic-leaning voters say that the primary process has been a good way of determining "the best-qualified nominees.” Among Clinton voters 37 percent have a positive opinion of the primary and among Sanders voters 25 percent. The Independents, which account for the majority of the voters, were not polled as a separate group; I guess that, given the limited role assigned to them by the primary system, their percentage would be even lower than the Democrats.


POLL (Pew Research Full results): Campaign exposes fissures over issues, values and how life has changed in the U.S. - Pew Research Center


POLL (Pew Research): A poll that asks about 'people like you' shows why Americans are voting the way they are - Quartz


STATS (Pew Research): 10 demographic trends that are shaping the U.S. and the world - Pew Research Center


POLL (Pew Research): Democratic voters more dissatisfied with primary than Republicans - The Weekly Standard


POLL (Pew Research): Republicans, especially Trump supporters, see free trade deals as bad for U.S. - Pew Research Center


POLL (Pew Research): Most U.S. voters view immigrants positively. Most Trump voters don’t. - The Washington Post


POLL (Pew Research): Support for border wall with Mexico drops to … 38/58 - Hot Air


POLL (Pew Research): Poll shows most Americans oppose bans on Muslims - The Arab Daily News


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

Focus: NATO, Russia and Donald Trump - Apr 1, 2016


US sending thousands more armed troops and heavy weaponry to Eastern Europe in response to 'aggressive Russia’ - VICE


Official news release: Eucom announces European Reassurance Initiative implementation plan - U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE


NATO to switch defense doctrine from 'assurance to deterrence' in E. Europe: Eucom chief Breedlove - GlobalPost


Remarks from the Eucom chief General Breedlove in Riga, Latvia - United States European Command


NATO commander Breedlove calls for return to service of U-2 spy plane to help conduct surveillance on a resurgent Russia - The Independent


First Look at $3.4 billion in weapons the US is sending to NATO - The Fiscal Times


NATO reaches agreement With Kiev on military reforms - sputniknews.com


NATO says Russian forces in Syria complicate crisis - sputniknews.com


Russia envoy: Moscow won't passively watch US military build-up in Europe - TASS


Get ready, NATO: Russia's cold war T-72 tank is set for a big upgrade - The National Interest Blog


ARCHIVE: Pentagon chief Carter: Russia top global threat to U.S. - News.Az


ARCHIVE: The Pentagon's secret foreign aid budget, U.S. sends billions to foreign militaries each year - Politico

 

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

Terrorism and North Korea dominate Nuclear Security Summit in Washington - NBC News


Kremlin: Russia skips Nuclear Security Summit over lack of cooperation with partners - TASS


Russia’s absence from the Nuclear Security Summit raises questions about the international community’s ability to keep nuclear materials out of the hands of terrorists, say analysts - VOA


Will the Nuclear Security Summit help stop terrorists from getting the bomb? - The National Interest Blog


America's nuclear weapons in Europe are the nuclear elephant in the room - VICE News

 

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

Pentagon: Donald Trump is wrong, NATO is not 'very obsolete’ - TheHill


VIDEO (and transcript): Trump: NATO is obsolete and expensive, doesn't have the right countries in it to fight terrorism - RealClearPolitics


Trump adviser Page has deep ties to Kremlin’s Gazprom, says his close relations with Russian business are a strength - Bloomberg Politics


Trump adviser Page criticized what he considers American aggression toward Russia, compared U.S.-Russia policy to slavery - freebeacon.com


Clinton blasts Trump over NATO comments - Business Insider


VIDEO: Hillary Clinton on NATO: "If Mr. Trump gets his way, it will be like Christmas in the Kremlin" - YouTube

 

Patrick Buchanan op-ed: Trump is right about NATO - WND


Is it time for America to quit NATO? - The National Interest Blog


Donald Trump highlights debate over NATO's relevancy, interview with two experts - NPR


How did NATO survive the Cold War? NATO's transformation after the Cold War from 1989 to the present, lecture by acting NATO spokesman Jamie Shea -  NATO


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

Focus: Donald Trump and the Polls - Mar 30, 2016


POLL (NBC News/SurveyMonkey): Trump nearly at 50 percent support among Republicans nationally, holds 21-point lead - NBC News


POLL: NBC News/SurveyMonkey weekly election tracking full results - scribd.com


POLL (Public Policy Polling): Trump Most Acceptable Candidate to GOP - Public Policy Polling


POLL (Rasmussen Reports): 84% of likely Republican voters think Trump is likely to win their party’s nomination - Rasmussen Reports


POLL (Monmouth University): Most Republicans want the GOP to unite behind Trump - Washington Examiner


POLL (Quinnipiac and YouGov/Huffington Post): New polls cast doubts on anti-Trump movement - PJ Media


POLL (Morning Consult): Voters, especially women, push Donald Trump to 49% on national security after Brussels terror attacks - People's Pundit


POLL: In New York poll Trump leads Cruz by 33 points - Examiner.com


POLL: New poll shows Trump leading Cruz in California by 7 points - KCRA Home


POLL: Kasich trails Trump by 3 points in latest Pennsylvania poll - Examiner.com


POLL: Trump and Cruz in tight race in Wisconsin - Realclear Politics


Donald Trump berates Scott Walker for not raising taxes in Wisconsin, 'he cut back on schools, he cut back on highways, he cut back on a lot of things' - The Guardian


Donald Trump Is bringing message of jobs and trade to Paul Ryan's hometown in Wisconsin - The New York Times


Portraits beyond the polls: who’s really voting for Trump, two reports from RAND Presidential Election Panel and the Institute for the Study of Citizens and Politics - Yahoo News


Trump signals he’s ready to fight for every delegate, his legal team would soon file its formal complaint over 10 Louisiana delegates - Bloomberg Politics


The vast majority of Republican politicians aren't even trying to stop Donald Trump - Vox


Trump, Cruz and Kasich back away from their pledge to support GOP nominee (VIDEOS) - CNNPolitics.com


VIDEO (Full): CNN Republican Town Hall: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, John Kasich - YouTube


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

Israeli War Lies Fall As Corporate Media Falls

A new film narrated by Roger Waters, The Occupation of the American Mind, traces the rise of Israeli war propaganda in the United States. This propaganda, which has skillfully swayed U.S. public opinion in support of Israeli wars and occupations, has in fact been not so much a matter of skill as a matter of control.

The U.S. corporate media has obeyed the Israeli propaganda office, because the U.S. government has done so, and the U.S. corporate media generally obeys the U.S. government. How much the U.S. government's stance is shaped by its own independent, albeit perverse, interests, and how much by Israeli propagandizing and corruption is one question. But the U.S. corporate media's lockdown on criticism of Israeli wars is only a slight variation on its coverage of U.S. wars.

What happens when you take the control away? When young people in the United States get their news from the internet and foreign media, their support for Israeli wars and occupations plummets. Backers of Israeli wars find it necessary to start trying to ban criticism on U.S. college campuses. Just as young people have overwhelmingly backed Bernie Sanders despite corporate media opposition, those who avoid the corporate media are able to back justice for Palestinians (and often to a much greater extent than Sanders does).

When informed people in the United States hear about international opposition to Israeli crimes, they are hardly shocked, and might just yawn. But Fox News reports shock, outrage, and disbelief in its staff:

"You can't make it up. UN names democratic Israel as world's top human rights violator"!

Fox wants enemies, and thus reports in this way on a story that much of the U.S. media will likely ignore or downplay. If most corporate media consumers in the United States learned that Israel was viewed by the world as a top abuser of human rights, they would react approximately like Fox News.

One of the great services that The Occupation of the American Mind provides is that it shows us footage of news coverage of Israeli wars in the United States and, in great contrast, in Europe. In Europe we see Palestinian voices included, and we see false claims questioned by tough grilling of Israeli officials. In the United States we see top U.S. officials of both political parties, and top media figures parroting over and over again the same exact words dictated by Israeli propagandists or their U.S. advisers.

This film is good for beginners who've never escaped their televisions before, in that it provides a basic history of Zionism and the Nakba. But it quickly turns to a particular subject that should intrigue the better informed as well, namely the rise of Israeli propaganda since 1982. We see footage of U.S. network TV news readers reporting honestly and straightforwardly on Israeli bombing of Lebanon, and on Israeli facilitated massacres in refugee camps -- and showing footage of the carnage.

In 1984 the American Jewish Congress held a meeting in Jerusalem on "hasbara" (propaganda, war lies) chaired by a U.S. advertiser who had made "tastes great / less filling" ads for Miller Light beer. In 2009 Frank Luntz produced the Israel Project's 2009 Global Language Dictionary. These efforts are not kept secret. In fact, a television show in Israel similar to Donald Trump's "The Apprentice" is called "The Ambassador," and it challenges contestants to do the best job of selling Israeli war crimes as being justified or admirable. The acceptance of such a show is itself terrific hasbara, of course, as it suggests that concocting excuses for killing people is justifiable and admirable.

The central lie of Israeli war propaganda is also the most effective lie in the United States and the focus of the first chapter of my book War Is A Lie, namely the lie that wars are defensive. Just as the U.S. corporate media engages in blowback denial with September 11 or Brussels, it tells us that Palestinian resistance is spontaneous irrational aggression, unprovoked and inexplicable except by understanding Palestinians as less than human. In the U.S. corporate media, the Palestinians always started it, and Israel is always acting in defense, even when it's aggressively bombing civilians as it was doing in 1982 when U.S. media voices had not yet been properly trained.

The undercurrent to the "defense" lies is the justification of revenge, which threads through all war propaganda, even that for U.S. wars, which has often tended in recent years to emphasize a lie of "humanitarianism" in which a war that is also supposedly defensive and a last resort is somehow also a benefit to people it is rescuing. Israel has not used that line, and it's worth noting that the U.S. government has found it ineffective in reaching more than a sliver of the U.S. population.

It would be humorous if it weren't so blood-soaked to watch U.S. politicians and pundits parrot specific Israeli military talking points over and over. The 1988 Hamas Charter, long since disavowed by the Hamas leadership, is quoted over and over again, like the mistranslation of then-Iranian President Ahmadinejad, and with identical words in both cases, while the actual platform of the Likud Party is never mentioned. The lie that Israel freed Gaza in 2005 is repeated so many times a Gazan might start to believe it.

When Israel broke a ceasefire on the day of the 2008 U.S. elections and then claimed the Palestinians had done so, the facts were available, but the lie was endlessly repeated on U.S. television. We see footage in The Occupation of the American Mind of a European journalist confronting an Israeli official with an Israeli report acknowledging the truth, but nothing like that on U.S. corporate newsertainment networks.

Phrases like "rockets raining down" and "what would you do?" and "what would the U.S. do?" are chanted like mantras. Sadly, we know what the U.S. would do in response to blowback. We know what it has been doing for the past 15 years.

The chief difference in U.S. discourse between propaganda for Israeli wars and for U.S. wars (other than awareness of where the weapons came from -- the United States in both cases) is the difference between "anti-American" and "anti-Semitic." In the film we see Ted Cruz object to criticizing Israel because of the holocaust. Any criticism of Israel is defined as anti-Semitic.

There have been times in U.S. history when any war criticism earned one the title "anti-American." Currently it is far more likely to earn you the title of "peacenik who would have opposed World War II" -- with World War II falsely understood as having been fought for the Jews who in fact the U.S. government refused to allow in and certainly didn't give a damn about. Thus, advocating civilized conflict resolution in the United States circles back to a charge of "anti-Semitism" as well.

As the corporate media's dominance crumbles, so potentially does all of this nonsense. And the first to fall may be U.S. support for Israeli wars. That opposition to U.S. wars lags behind among U.S. youth may suggest a certain power to the label of "anti-American" after all, or rather an internalized nationalism that hardly needs name-calling to prop it up. But any failure of war propaganda advances the total failure of war propaganda, if we can keep organizing, keep educating, keep BDSing, keep the internet open, and go watch The Occupation of the American Mind.

David Swanson's book War Is A Lie: Second Edition will be published April 5, 2016.

U.S. State Department: Don't Hurt ISIS

So Many Enemies, So Little Logic
By David Swanson, teleSUR

Islamic State Group fighters

The U.S. State Department does not want the government of Syria to defeat or weaken ISIS, at least not if doing so means any sort of gain for the Syrian government. Watching a recent video of a State Department spokesperson speaking on that subject might confuse some U.S. war supporters. I doubt many residents of Palmyra, Virginia, or Palmyra, Pennsylvania, or Palmyra, New York could give a coherent account of the U.S. government's position on which enemy should control the ancient Palmyra in Syria.

The U.S. government has been arming Al Qaeda in Syria. I doubt many people in the United States, of whatever political extraction, could explain why. In my experience, having just begun a tour of speaking events, very few in the United States can even name the seven nations that President Barack Obama has bragged about bombing, much less explain which parties he is or is not bombing in those countries. No nation in the history of the world has had so many enemies to keep track of as the United States has now, and bothered so little about doing so.

The particular problem with Syria is that the U.S. government has prioritized one enemy, whom it has utterly failed to scare the U.S. public with, while the U.S. government has made a distant second priority of attacking another enemy that most people in the United States are so terrified of they can hardly think straight. Consider what changed between 2013 and 2014. In 2013, President Obama was prepared to heavily bomb the Syrian government. But he did not claim that the Syrian government wanted to attack the United States, or even to attack a handful of white people from the United States. Instead he argued, unpersuasively, that he knew who was responsible for killing Syrians with chemical weapons. This was in the midst of a war in which thousands were dying on all sides from all kinds of weapons. The outrage over a particular type of weapon, the dubious claims, and the eagerness to overthrow a government, were all too close to U.S. memories of the 2003 attack on Iraq.

Congress Members in 2013 found themselves at public events confronted with the question of why the U.S. would overthrow a government in a war on the same side as al Qaeda. Were they going to start another Iraq War? U.S. and British public pressure reversed Obama's decision. But U.S. opinion was even more against arming proxies, and a new CIA report said that doing so had never worked, yet that was the approach Obama went with. The overthrow, which Hillary Clinton still says should have happened, would have quickly created the chaos and terror that Obama set about developing slowly.

In 2014, Obama was able to step up direct U.S. military action in Syria and Iraq with virtually no resistance from the public. What had changed? People had heard about videos of ISIS killing white people with knives. It didn't seem to matter that jumping into the war against ISIS was the opposite side from what Obama had said in 2013 the U.S. needed to join. It didn't even seem to matter that the U.S. clearly intended to join in both sides. Nothing related to logic or sense mattered in the least. ISIS had done a little bit of what U.S. allies in Saudi Arabia and Iraq and elsewhere did routinely, and had done it to Americans. And a fictional group, even scarier, the Khorasan Group, was coming to get us, ISIS was slipping across the border from Mexico and Canada, if we didn't do something really big and brutal we were all going to die.

That being why the U.S. public finally said yes to open-ended war again -- after really not falling for the lies about a humanitarian rescue in Libya, or not caring -- the U.S. public naturally assumes that the U.S. government has prioritized destroying the evil dark force of Islamic Terror. It hasn't. The U.S. government says to itself, in its little-noticed reports, that ISIS is no threat to the United States. It knows perfectly well, and its top commanders blurt it out upon retirement, that attacking terrorists only strengthens their forces. The U.S. priority remains overthrowing the Syrian government, ruining that country, and creating chaos. Here's part of that project: U.S.-backed troops in Syria fighting other U.S. backed troops in Syria. That's not incompetence if the goal is to destroy a nation, as it seems to be in Hillary Clinton's emails - (the following is a draft of this article):

"The best way to help Israel deal with Iran's growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad. ... Iran's nuclear program and Syria's civil war may seem unconnected, but they are. For Israeli leaders, the real threat from a nuclear-armed Iran is not the prospect of an insane Iranian leader launching an unprovoked Iranian nuclear attack on Israel that would lead to the annihilation of both countries. What Israeli military leaders really worry about -- but cannot talk about -- is losing their nuclear monopoly. ... It is the strategic relationship between Iran and the regime of Bashar Assad in Syria that makes it possible for Iran to undermine Israel's security."

ISIS, Al Qaeda, and terrorism are far better tools for marketing wars than communism ever was, because they can be imagined using knives rather than nukes, and because terrorism can never collapse and vanish. If (counterproductively) attacking groups like al Qaeda were what motivated the wars, the United States would not be aiding Saudi Arabia in slaughtering the people of Yemen and increasing the power of Al Qaeda there. If peace were the goal, the U.S. would not be sending troops back into Iraq to use the same actions that destroyed that country to supposedly fix it. If winning particular sides of wars were the main objective, the United States would not have served as the primary funding for both sides in Afghanistan for all these years, with decades more planned.

Why did Senator Harry Truman say the United States should help either the Germans or the Russians, whichever side was losing? Why did President Ronald Reagan back Iraq against Iran and also Iran against Iraq? Why could fighters on both sides in Libya exchange parts for their weapons? Because two goals that outweigh all others for the U.S. government often align in the cause of sheer destruction and death. One is U.S. domination of the globe, and all other peoples be damned. The second is arms sales. No matter who's winning and who's dying, the weapons makers profit, and the majority of weapons in the Middle East have been shipped there from the United States. Peace would cut into those profits horribly.

Blowback Denial, Climate Denial, and Apocalypse

By David Swanson, American Herald Tribune

Sanders Trump 6f237

Last week Donald Trump suggested something Bernie Sanders would never dare: getting rid of NATO. I took some time to read people's comments and tweets online about it, and a huge number seemed to believe that NATO and the U.S. military have been performing a service for Europe, and that it's time for Europe to pay its own bills. But will someone explain to me what the service is?

The United States dragged NATO into a -- thus far -- over-14-year-long war on the people of Afghanistan that has turned a country in poor shape into hell on earth, compounding the damage inflicted by U.S. (and Soviet) policies since the 1970s.

The United States dragged European nations into a disastrous war in Iraq in 2003, without NATO. But when Belgium allowed a prosecution of U.S. commander in Iraq Tommy Franks to move forward, Donald Rumsfeld threatened to move NATO headquarters out of Brussels. Franks' apparent crimes suddenly became part of a noble and legal humanitarian effort.

The United States and France used NATO to destroy Libya in 2011 and proliferate weapons across the region. The United States and Turkey have been compounding the chaos by generating reasons for NATO to exist in Syria. And perhaps NATO headquarters views the wars that created ISIS, and the U.S. support for Al Qaeda in Syria in just those terms. But to an ordinary observer, a war on terrorism that continues to increase terrorism has a fundamental flaw.

Former CIA Bin Laden Unit Chief Michael Scheuer says the more the U.S. fights terrorism the more it creates terrorism. U.S. Lt. General Michael Flynn, who quit as head of the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014, says blowing people up with missiles is generating more blowback, not less. The CIA's own report says drone killing is counterproductive. Admiral Dennis Blair, the former director of National Intelligence, says the same. Gen. James E. Cartwright, the former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says drone strikes could be undermining long-term efforts: "We're seeing that blowback. If you're trying to kill your way to a solution, no matter how precise you are, you're going to upset people even if they're not targeted." Dozens of just retired top officials agree.

So, it seems, does much of the public in Europe, which turns out protests of NATO meetings, as well as wars, of a size rarely seen in the United States. When the U.S. military builds new bases in Italy, the protests are so huge they've toppled local and national governments. It was a vote of the House of Commons in London not to bomb Syria in 2013 that helped reverse President Obama's decision to do so. To tell the people of Europe that they must start taking responsibility to pay a greater share of the bill for killing Afghans, Iraqis, Libyans, and Syrians, and for generating the blowback that sets off bombs in their train stations and airports, and for creating the refugee crises they face might prove just a step too far into the realm of delusion.

Thinking this way requires blowback denial, the Trumpian belief that Muslims do evil things because they are Muslims. The U.S. government knows better. George W. Bush's own Pentagon concluded that nobody hated us "for our freedoms" but rather they hated bombs and occupying armies, and free weapons and support for Israel's wars. One wishes it were needless to say that such motivations don't excuse acts of murder, but knowledge of such motivations puts additional blood on the hands of those continuing to generate them while engaging in blowback denial.

Climate denial is not so very different. Just as every anti-western terrorist says they're outraged by the bombs and bases and armies and buzzing drones, every scientific study says unnecessary and wasteful human activities (first among them: war making) are pushing the earth's ecosystem toward collapse. Yet billions of people fail to shut every thing down until basic policies are altered. And many fail to do anything at all to resist environmental devastation, by means of denying to themselves that it is real.

Clearly, the human species evolved to favor relatively short-term localized thinking. While more Americans are killed by dumb accidents, pollution, or toddlers with guns than by foreign terrorists with knives, the latter danger dominates all public policy thinking. While the earth is at severe risk of environmental or nuclear holocaust, the weather looks nice outside today and all the bears and leopards seem to have long since been killed off, so what's your worry?

When humans killed off those animals millennia ago, they replaced them with gods. Now humans pray to those gods rather than thinking. Now they wish for what they'd like and call it a prediction. Now they vote for hope and change and call it progress. And this habit of wishful thinking may be at the root of the greatest threats to end us all.

Talk Nation Radio: Erin Aubry Kaplan on Loving Obama No Matter What

  https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-erin-aubry-kaplan-on-loving-obama-no-matter-what

Erin Aubry Kaplan is a Los Angeles journalist and columnist. She discusses her book I Heart Obama.

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

New poem by TCBH! resident poet Gary Lindorff: 'One day, in the asylum'

We were having a bad day in the asylum,

A bad 8 years, a bad sixteen years,

Oh, heck, a bad era,

Well, let’s face it, a bad history.

But we had a good leader for a change,

Syria/Iraq News - Mar 28, 2016


Syrian army retakes ancient Palmyra in major victory over Islamic State, the town is known as the 'Pearl of the Desert' - Yahoo News


Encircled: Syrian army poised to storm key Christian town Qariatein near Palmyra - Sputnik International


Russian air force made 40 flights over Palmyra in last 24 hours, destroyed 8 terrorist command centers - Sputnik International


Palmyra Liberation: Syrian army officer reveals details of operation - Sputnik International


Retaking of Palmyra a huge morale boost for Syrian army - irishtimes.com


VIDEO: Liberation of Palmyra: Awesome footage from drone - liveleak.com


List of Syrian army advances since Russian intervention - AFP


President al-Assad: Palmyra achievement proves army strategy more effective than US-led coalition efforts – Syrian Arab News Agency


Putin congratulates Assad on Palmyra liberation - Sputnik International


UN chief Ban hails removal of Islamic State from Syria's Palmyra - AFP


Why is David Cameron so silent on the recapture of Palmyra from the clutches of Islamic State? - The Independent


Syria antiquities chief: Palmyra ruins generally 'in good shape', Islamic State destroyed the grand Temple of Bel, the shrine of Baal Shamin and several funerary towers - AFP


Palmyra National Museum completely plundered, artifacts partly destroyed - Sputnik International


Preserving Syria's threatened treasures in digital - France 24


In Syria, militias armed by the Pentagon fight those armed by the CIA - LA Times


Book review: ‘Syria Burning’ suggests U.S. stoked the flames - freep.com

 

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

Thousands of Iraqis flee fighting south of Mosul in new front by the Iraqi army against Islamic State - AFP


VIDEO(English Subtitles): People leave homes in Mosul by car - YouTube


VIDEO (English Subtitles): Men, women and children fleeing the Islamic State-controlled areas to the Kurdistan Region's capital Erbil - Liveleak


Iraqi forces make slow progress south of Mosul - Reuters


Tentative push for Mosul reveal's Iraq army's failings - The National


VIDEO (English Subtitles): Makhmour clashes fail to achieve Iraqi army objectives to capture key villages before any thrust into Mosul - Rudaw


The Pentagon is planning to send more combat troops into Iraq to enable operations in Mosul - militarytimes.com


Air force moves to replenish bomb stockpile drained by Islamic State fight - defensetech.org


Iraq: Islamic State imposes curfew on residents of Mosul - AhlulBayt News Agency


Islamic State executes 12 of its members’ relatives in Mosul over intel links: report - Al Arabiya English


Islamic State executioner killed by assassins in occupied Iraqi city of Mosul - ibtimes.co.uk


The Battle for Mosul and the Future of Islamic State - huffingtonpost.com


Trump would consider halting U.S. oil purchases from Saudi Arabia unless it provides troops to fight Islamic State - yahoo.com


VIDEO: Obama weekly address: Defeating Islamic State - YouTube


Islamic State chief executioner says Brussels was ‘just a taste' of what terrorists are planning in horrifying new video - Mirror Online


VIDEO: Official Islamic State threat video says Brussels is 'just a taste' - YouTube


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

Syria News - Mar 26 , 2016


Palmyra: Syrian government forces 'retake citadel’ from Islamic State, a strategic medieval castle on the hill overlooking the city - BBC


VIDEO: Footage shows Syrian Army entering Palmyra - LiveLeak.com


VIDEO: Syrian Army retaking the citadel castle - LiveLeak.com


VIDEO: Drone footage of Palmyra castle earlier today - YouTube


Islamic State launches counteroffensive against Syrian army in Palmyra: commander - sputniknews.com


IS video claims to show group still in control of Palmyra (VIDEO) - Middle East Eye


Russian warplanes flew 41 sorties to support Syrian offensive against Islamic State near Palmyra, destroyed 146 targets - Reuters


Russia warplanes in Syria attack IS militants carrying weapons to Palmyra from Raqqah and Deir ez-Zor: source - TASS

 

Russian general says military special forces active in Syria - ABC News


Spotted and surrounded by IS, Russian special forces officer called for fire on himself - RT News


U.S. State Department: Replacing Islamic State with Syrian troops in the city of Palmyra is not a 'great trade-off', The Syrian people should not have to decide between IS and Assad - Fulton News


VIDEO: U.S. State Department: Replacing Islamic State with Syrian troops in the city of Palmyra is not a 'great trade-off' - YouTube


UNESCO Director-General welcomes the liberation of Palmyra - UNESCO World Heritage Centre


VIDEO (starts at 2:25 min): Interview with UNESCO official: ’Palmyra is not just an archaeological site, it is a symbol of Syria’ - YouTube


VIDEO: Drone footage captures ancient Palmyra after Syrian army enters the city, what is left of the archelogical sites destroyed by Islamic State - YouTube

 

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

US, Russia push for new Syrian Constitution by August - VOA


Russia says U.S. agrees not to discuss Assad's future for now: Ifax - Reuters


US says it hasn't changed position on Syria's Assad - AP


TRANSCRIPT: Press conference of Kerry and Lavrov on Syria - state.gov


UN envoy De Mistura: Syria peace talks to resume April 9 - AP


VIDEO: De Mistura touts 'essential principles' as latest Syria talks conclude - YouTube


TRANSCRIPT: Press conference by UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura - ReliefWeb


Moscow insists Kurds participation in Syria peace talks - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Russia admits to training Syria Kurds - Kurdpress News Aganecy


U.S. emphasizes 'YPG and PKK are separate entities' - Kurdpress News Aganecy


IS ‘second in command’ killed by US raid in Syria, Sec. Carter says - Yahoo News


Profile of senior Islamic State leader killed by US - The Long War Journal


Jordan begins covert operations against IS in Syria - Middle East Eye


Jordan's king accuses Turkey of sending terrorists to Europe - Middle East Eye


Turkish journalists face secret trial for revealing Ankara arms deliveries to Syria Islamist rebels - The Guardian


IS, oil & Turkey: What RT found in Syrian town liberated from jihadists by Kurds - RT News


Iran deploys Army Special Forces to Syria and Iraq - The Long War Journal


Iraqi army says border area with Syria taken from IS - Al Arabiya English


Iraqi Shiite fighters in Syria boon to Assad, bane to Abadi’s authority - Al Arabiya English


Are North Koreans fighting in Syria? It’s not as far-fetched as it sounds. - The Washington Post


Syrians describe horrific torture in jails run by militants of Army of Islam - huffingtonpost.com


Why many jihadi terrorists are criminals before they turn to extremism - huffingtonpost.com

 

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

Focus: Clinton, Sanders and the Polls - Mar 25, 2016

 

The Independents are the largest segment of the American voters. According to the Gallup Historical Trends of Party Affiliation, 38% consider themselves independents while 32% are Democrats and 26% Republicans. Also Democrats and Republicans are not solidly behind their own parties: the Fox News poll shows that 38% of the Democrats and astonishingly 68% of Republicans 'feel betrayed by politicians from their political party'.

 

Unlike the November elections, primaries privilege the Democrats and Republicans compared to the self-identified Independents and are skewed toward the two established parties. Many states require voters to affiliate with a party in order to take part in presidential primaries and caucuses. The Fox News poll find that only 21% of the Independents vote for the Democratic party and 33% of Independents vote for the Republican party during the primaries. Moreover the presence of the superdelegates at the Democratic Convention strengthen the party establishment offsetting the influence of the grassroot movement. While the Independents play a limited role in the primaries, they will be a key factor in electing the President in November because Democrats and Republicans do not have enough votes. 

 

Independents are a major political force behind the popularity and success of the Bernie Sanders candidacy. While Clinton so far has the backing of the majority of the Democrats, according to the Quinnipiac poll 46% of Independents and 80% of Republicans say they would never vote for her in the presidential election. In contrast Sanders is opposed by only 19% of Independents and 58% of Republicans. With his campaign Sanders is potentially in a position to build a large coalition of a majority of Independents, Democrats and Republican swing voters. That is the reason why Sanders has a much better chance than Clinton to beat Trump. The Quinnipiac poll shows that in a November matchup Sanders beat Trump 52% to 38% while Clinton beat Trump 46% to 40%.

 

Below are the latest polls:

 

POLL: Sanders pulls even with Clinton in a new national poll. Because it’s the economy, stupid. Clinton came out on top on issues of foreign policy while Sanders on domestic issues - The Washington Post

 

POLL: Words used to describe Clinton and Trump presidencies aren't that great, for Hillary most frequently used word was ‘disaster’ and ‘scared' 'disappointed' rounded out the top five - UPI.com

 

POLL: Clinton leads Sanders by 6 in Wisconsin - TheHill

 

POLL: New Pennsylvania poll: Clinton up 25 points over Sanders, Kasich three points behind Trump - PhillyVoice

 

POLL: Polls give Trump and Clinton huge leads in NY Primary ⋆ Hudson Valley News Network

 

POLL: California poll: Trump leads GOP; Clinton, Sanders close - POLITICO

 

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

Stolen primary in Arizona?: Questioning Hillary’s Tuesday Primary Win Amid Widespread Evidence of Voter Suppression in Phoenix

By Dave Lindorff

 

         It sure looks like there was some voter fraud committed in the Democratic primary in Arizona on Tuesday.

 

So Torture 'Works?'

 

 

 

 


US Intel Vets Warn Against Torture

 

 

 

Editor Note: Experienced intelligence professionals reaffirm that torture – while popular with “tough” politicians – doesn’t work in getting accurate and actionable information.

By Ray McGovern

To those living “outside the Beltway” it may seem counterintuitive that those of us whose analysis has been correct on key issues that the U.S. government got criminally wrong – like the invasion of Iraq in 2003 – would be blacklisted from “mainstream” media and ostracized by the Smart People of the Establishment. But, alas, that’s the way it is.

Focus: Hillary Clinton - Mar 23 , 2016


New emails highlight interaction between State, Clinton Foundation - TheHill


Judicial Watch: New internal State Department documents raise questions on Benghazi, Clinton Foundation - Judicial Watch


Judicial Watch submits proposed witness list, discovery plan to Federal Court in Clinton email matter - Breitbart


As Hillary bolstered Boeing, company returned the favor giving millions to Clinton Foundation and six-figure speeches to Bill - Seattle Times


Ex-Im Bank beneficiaries are heavy Clinton Foundation donors - The Daily Caller


ARCHIVE: Boeing Refuses to Disclose Any Boeing-State Department-Clinton Foundation Email Correspondence - nationalcenter.org


Clinton Foundation discloses $40 Million in Wall Street donations - Breitbart


ARCHIVE: Clinton Foundation donors got weapons deals from Hillary Clinton's State Department - ibtimes.com


Congresswoman Blackburn to ask FTC to investigate the Clinton Foundation’s charitable status - Breitbart


Hillary’s other email server scandal: Clinton Foundation and the unethical mixing of Mrs. Clinton’s public work and her personal fundraising/speech-giving/favor-doing - WSJ


ARCHIVE: Clinton Foundation received subpoena from State Department investigators - The Washington Post


HRC's final paid speech: $260K from the ACA, Why would a non-profit promoting summer camps spend 10 per cent of its annual budget on a Hillary Clinton speech? - dailykos.com


Clinton Foundation hires H-1B guest workers in place of American graduates - Breitbart


REPORT: Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation - discoverthenetworks.org


REPORT: Special report concerning latest amended disclosures of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation (attached) - Charles Ortel


Hillary Clinton campaign's foreign fundraisers under scrutiny - Examiner.com


WikiLeaks publishes searchable archive of Clinton emails - Washington Examiner


POLL: Trump, Clinton score historic unfavorable ratings - CNNPolitics.com

 

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

Uproar over Hillary's role in Honduran coup grows as her campaign denies connection - Alternet


The Clinton-backed Honduran regime is picking off indigenous leaders - The Nation


Hillary Clinton needs to answer for her actions in Honduras and Haiti - The Washington Post


Hillary Clinton's response to Honduran coup was scrubbed from her paperback memoirs - huffingtonpost.com


High hopes for Hillary Clinton, then disappointment in Haiti - The New York Times


Haitians protest Hillary Clinton’s ‘destruction’ of country - freebeacon.com


7 articles to read uncovering Hillary Clinton’s Haiti record - The Haitian Times


The mysterious gap in Hillary Clinton’s Haiti emails - haiti-liberte.com


Clinton aide demanded to clear Department’s travel warnings and human rights report on Haiti, releases interfered with fundraiser benefitting the country - freebeacon.com


ARCHIVE: Gov’t memo said Clinton would steer State Department resources to donor’s Haiti Project, instead of building houses Claudio Osorio went to prison - freebeacon.com


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

Talk Nation Radio: Paul Engler on THIS IS AN UPRISING

  https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-paul-engler-on-this-is-an-uprising

Paul Engler is founding director of the Center for the Working Poor and one of the founders of Momentum Training. He is co-author of the new book: This Is An Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt Is Shaping the Twenty-First Century.

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

Tomgram: William Astore, America's Post-Democratic Military

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

Belgium attacks: more proof that the TSA is useless

The bomb attacks in Belgium today -- three of them, two at different locations in the airport and one in the subway -- present in high relief yet more proof  of what some us have been pointing out for years: the TSA is a charade. The TSA does not and cannot and will never prevent terror attacks. All the pre-boarding bullying, harassing, scanning, and groping doesn't make a damn bit of difference, because -- duh -- people can set off bombs anywhere, not just on a plane.  

Speaking Events

CHOOSE LANGUAGE

Support This Site

Donate.

Get free books and gear when you become a supporter.

 

Sponsors:

Speaking Truth to Empire

***

Families United

***

Ray McGovern

***

Financial supporters of this site can choose to be listed here.

Buy Books

Get Gear

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