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Audio: The Iraq Debate -- David Swanson and Brad Friedman

Isn't this a good war, Brad Friedman asks David Swanson.

Listen to this clip:

http://archive.kpfk.org/mp3/kpfk_140813_150002friedman.MP3

Starts around 7:30

 

UPDATE: Also here on Brad's site where he'd like you to comment:
http://www.bradblog.com/?p=10759

 

In many US communities, cops are the ‘terrorists’: Police Need to Be Demilitarized and Remade as ‘Peace Officers’

By Dave Lindorff


The apparent murder by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, of Mike Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black youth who was shot a number of times while he was allegedly on his knees with his hands up in the air, pleading “Don’t shoot, I’m not armed,” is exposing everything that is wrong with policing in the US today.


The Genocide of Palestinians is Israel’s Long Term Goal | Mnar Muhawesh (1 of 2)

Originally posted at AcronymTV

In launching Operation Protective Edge, Israel has stated it has a goal of achieving “sustained calm in the region.” To achieve this, they maintained, they needed to destroy the tunnels and do anything required to protect Israeli citizens.

Kiev, US and EU Stall Humanitarian Aid - Why?

The United States and European Union created a horror show for millions by enabling acts in support of the extremist government of Ukraine.  The horror comes in the form of Ukraine government attacks on towns and cities in the southeastern regions, attacks initiated by the central government in Kiev. After months of these war crimes, the Kiev government now threatens to stall a massive shipment of urgent humanitarian aid for devastated metropolitan areas of nearly two million people including the large cities of Donetsk (1.0 million) and Lugansk (.5 million). (Image:  Russian aid convoy, RT)

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) identified the emerging humanitarian crisis in mid July and called for immediate aid.  ICRC executive Laurent Corbaz said:

Rise and Fall of Berlin Wall & Ukraine

The Berlin Wall and Missed Opportunities

Editor Note: The U.S. State Department’s obsession with “information warfare” as a strategic weapon has made U.S. credibility one more casualty of the Ukraine crisis, along with any remaining trust in the mainstream U.S. media. It was not always thus.

By Ray McGovern

Top 9 Reasons to Stop Bombing Iraq

1. It's not a rescue mission.  The U.S. personnel could be evacuated without the 500-pound bombs.  The persecuted minorities could be supplied, moved, or their enemy dissuaded, or all three, without the 500-pound bombs or the hundreds of "advisors" (trained and armed to kill, and never instructed in how to give advice -- Have you ever tried taking urgent advice from 430 people?).  The boy who cried rescue mission should not be allowed to get away with it after the documented deception in Libya where a fictional threat to civilians was used to launch an all-out aggressive attack that has left that nation in ruins.  Not to mention the false claims about Syrian chemical weapons and the false claim that missiles were the only option left for Syria -- the latter claims being exposed when the former weren't believed, the missiles didn't launch, and less violent but perfectly obvious alternative courses of action were recognized.  If the U.S. government were driven by a desire to rescue the innocent, why would it be arming Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain?  The U.S. government destroyed the nation of Iraq between 2003 and 2011, with results including the near elimination of various minority groups.  If preventing genocide were a dominant U.S. interest, it could have halted its participation in and aggravation of that war at any time, a war in which 97% of the dead were on one side, just as in Gaza this month -- the distinction between war and genocide being one of perspective, not proportions.  Or, of course, the U.S. could have left well alone.  Ever since President Carter declared that the U.S. would kill for Iraqi oil, each of his successors has believed that course of action justified, and each has made matters significantly worse.

2. It's going to make things worse, again.  This bombing will aggravate the Sunni-Shia divide, increase support for ISIS, and create a lasting legacy of hostility and violence.  President Obama says there is no military solution, only reconciliation.  But bombs don't reconcile.  They harden hearts and breed murderers.  Numerous top U.S. officials admit that much of what the U.S. military does generates more enemies than it kills.  When you continue down a path that is counterproductive on its own terms, the honesty of those terms has to be doubted.  If this war is not for peace, is it perhaps -- like every other war we've seen the U.S. wage in the area -- for resources, profits, domination, and sadism?  The leader of ISIS learned his hatred in a U.S. prison in Iraq.  U.S. media report that fact as if it is just part of the standard portrait of a new Enemy #1, but the irony is not mere coincidence.  Violence is created. It doesn't arise out of irrational and inscrutable foreignness.  It is planted by those great gardeners in the sky: planes, drones, and helicopters.  A bombing campaign justified as protecting people actually endangers them, and those around them, and many others, including those of us living in the imperial Homeland.

3. Bombs kill.  Big bombs kill a lot of people.  Massive bombing campaigns slaughter huge numbers of people, including those fighting in the hell the U.S. helped to create, and including those not fighting -- men, women, children, grandparents, infants.  Defenders of the bombing know this, but ignore it, and make no effort to calculate whether more people are supposedly being saved than are being killed.  This indifference exposes the humanitarian pretensions of the operation.  If some humans are of no value to you, humanitarianism is not what's driving your decisions.  The U.S. war on Iraq '03-'11 killed a half million to a million-and-a-half Iraqis and 4,000 Americans.  A war that puts fewer Americans on the ground and uses more planes and drones is thought of as involving less death only if our concern is narrowly limited to U.S. deaths.  From the vantage point of the ground, an air war is the deadliest form of war there is. 

4. There are other options.  The choice between bombing and doing nothing is as false now as it was in September.  If you can drop food on some people, why can't you drop food on everyone?  It would cost a tiny fraction of dropping bombs on them.  It would confuse the hell out of them, too -- like Robin Williams' version of God high on pot and inventing the platypus.  Of course, I now sound crazy because I'm talking about people who've been demonized (and personified in a killer straight out of a U.S. prison).  It's not as if these are human beings with whom you can lament the death of Robin Williams.  They're not like you and me.  Etc.  Yadda.  Yadda.  But in fact ISIS fighters were sharing their appreciation of Williams on Twitter on Tuesday.  The United States could talk about other matters with ISIS as well, including a ceasefire, including a unilateral commitment to cease arming the Iraqi government even while trying to organize its ouster, including an offer to provide real humanitarian aid with no nasty strings attached, but with encouragement of civil liberties and democratic decision making. It's amazing how long minority ethnic groups in Iraq survived and thrived prior to the U.S. bringing democracy, and prior to the U.S. existing.  The U.S. could do some good but must first do no harm.

5. There are now enough weapons already there to practically justify one of Colin Powell's slides retroactively.  The U.S. accounts for 79% of foreign weapons transfers to Western Asia (the Middle East).  The war on Libya had identical U.S. weapons on both sides.  ISIS almost certainly has weapons supplied by the U.S. in Syria, and certainly has weapons taken from Iraq.  So, what is the U.S. doing?  It's rushing more weapons to Iraq as fast as possible.  Americans like to think of the Middle East as backward and violent, but the tools of the violence trade are manufactured in the United States.  Yes, the United States does still manufacture something, it's just not something that serves any useful purpose or about which most of us can manage to feel very proud.  Weapons making also wastes money rather than creating it, because unaccountable profits are the single biggest product manufactured. 

6. This is going to cost a fortune.  Bombing Iraq is depicted as a measure of great restraint and forbearance.  Meanwhile building schools and hospitals and green energy infrastructure in Iraq would be viewed as madness if anyone dared propose it.  But the latter would cost a lot less money -- a consideration that is usually a top priority in U.S. politics whenever killing large numbers of people is not involved.  The world spend $2 trillion and the U.S. $1 trillion (half the total) on war and war preparations every year.  Three percent of U.S. military spending could end starvation on earth.  The wonders that could be done with a fraction of military money are almost unimaginable and include actual defense against the actual danger of climate change.

7. Bombs are environmental disasters.  If someone photographs a big oil fire, some will give a thought to the environmental damage.  But a bombing campaign is, rather than an environmental accident, an intentional environmental catastrophe.  The poisoned ground and water, and the disease epidemics, will reach the United States primarily through moral regret, depression, and suicide.

8. There go our civil liberties.  Discussions of torture, imprisonment, assassination, surveillance, and denial of fair trials are severely damaged by wartime postures.  After all, war is for "freedom," and who wouldn't be willing to surrender all of their freedoms for that?

9. War is illegal.  It doesn't matter if the illegitimate government that you're trying to dump invited you to bomb its country.  How can anyone take that seriously, while the U.S. installed that government and has armed it for years, as it has attacked its people?  War is illegal under the Kellogg Briand Pact and the United Nations Charter, and pretending otherwise endangers the world.  Domestically, under U.S. law, the president cannot launch a war.  While the Senate has been silent, the U.S. House voted two weeks ago to ban any new presidential war on Iraq.  Offering Congress a slap in the face, Obama waited for it to go on break, and then attacked Iraq.

Iraq News - Aug 13, 2014


Desperate Yazidis fleeing Islamic State throw themselves at relief helicopters in Iraq (VIDEOS, PHOTOS) - Mail Online


VIDEO: Desperate Yazidis mob helicopter in dramatic rescue mission - YouTube


VIDEO: Heroic mission rescues desperate Yazidis from Islamic State on Mount Sinjar - CNN


Helicopter crashes during aid mission to Yazidis killing the pilot, report says too many civilians attempted to board it - huffingtonpost


Islamic State seize 63 members of a Yazidi family, allegedly have been collectively sentenced to death for refusing to convert to Islam - NBC


US fighters hit Islamic State checkpoints near where thousands of minority Yazidi refugees have been trapped on a mountain - Yahoo News


U.S. to send 130 military advisers to help Iraq's Yezidis - ABC News


Yazidis at risk: UN urges rescue from Islamic State jihadists, says international action needed "within days or hours" - DW.DE


Syrian Kurdish fighters rescuing stranded Yazidis - Fox News


VIDEO: Yazidi refugees continue to flee Iraq over Syria border - BBC News


Pentagon Says Airstrikes Have Slowed but Not Stopped Islamic State Militants - NYTimes.com


VIDEO: US Air Strikes Pound Islamic State in Iraq - Arutz Sheva


Militants have not yet displayed surface-to-air capability, Pentagon says - Air Force Times


Iraq militants changing tactics, complicating US airstrike mission - Fox News


POLL: Air Strikes Against Islamic State Radicals In Iraq Has Strong Public Support In UK And US - huffingtonpost


Islamic State militants behead, crucify and execute 23 in crushing of tribal rebellion in Syria - Mail Online


Who are the tribesmen standing up to the Islamic State in Syria? - GlobalPost


VIDEO: The Islamic State (Part 3) - VICE News


VIDEO: The Islamic State (Part 4) - VICE News


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U.S., allies rush heavy weapons to Kurds to fight Islamic State militants in Iraq - LA Times


Britain to transport weapons to Kurds battling Islamic State in Iraq - Washington Times


France Urges Europe to Arm Kurds to Battle Islamic State - Bloomberg


Germany struggles to find consensus on arming Iraq’s Kurds - The Washington Post


Kurdish fighters hold off Islamic State, await more help from US, Baghdad - Fox News


Islamic State has exposed peshmerga's military vulnerability - The Guardian


Why the Kurdish Peshmerga Have Many Troubles in Stopping the Islamic State - VICE News


Islamic State captures Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Makhmor area, Mosul - Iraqi News


Kurds from Syria and Turkey helped to turn the tide against Islamic State in Iraq - McClatchy DC


Iranian Kurdish Parties Support Peshmerga With Fighters - Rudaw


How Mosul Dam Allows the Islamic State to Inflict Water Torture on Iraq - ibtimes.co.uk


Islamic State funds caliphate with Mosul Dam as terror spreads - The Boston Globe


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

Maliki’s Bid to Keep Power in Iraq Seems to Collapse - NYTimes.com


VIDEO: Obama throws support behind Maliki successor in Iraq - YouTube


Biden urges Kurdish leader, new Iraqi PM to work together - KUNA 


Iraqi Kurdistan's leader says supports Iraq's new leader Abadi - Yahoo News


Iran puts support behind Maliki's successor as Iraqi prime minister - The Guardian


Saudi king praises nomination of al-Abadi as Iraq’s new PM - Al Arabiya News


Profile: New Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi - Al Akhbar English

 

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

"The Lawyer" Made Me Do It

 

 


The Rear-Guard Defense of Torture

 

 

Editor Note:  Official U.S. policy is to decry torture – at least when done by adversaries – but ambiguities abound when U.S. operatives do the torturing. Then, torture becomes debatable and its defenders go on TV talk shows and even get honors from universities, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern notes.

By Ray McGovern

Talk Nation Radio: Bad Honeywell, Really Bad Honeywell

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-bad-honeywell-really-bad-honeywell

Mathias Paul Quackenbush is an organizer of http://BadHoneywell.org

What's so bad about Honeywell? Let us count the ways!

Quackenbush lives in San Francisco, where he works as a dual diagnosis Residential Counselor and spends most of his remaining time engaging in activism for peace, human rights, and campaign finance reform.

Total run time: 29:00

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

Download from Archive or LetsTryDemocracy.

Pacifica stations can also download from AudioPort.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

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

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

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

Ukraine News - Aug 12, 2014


World leaders OK plan for Russia humanitarian aid delivery to eastern Ukraine - LA Times


Relief Aid Convoy Leaves Russia for East Ukraine - RIA Novosti


Statement of the Rec Cross regarding aid delivery to Eastern Ukraine - ICRC


Readout of the President Obama's Call with President Poroshenko Regarding Humanitarian Aid Delivery to Eastern Ukraine - The White House


VIDEO: Raw Vid of approximately 70 Russian trucks assembled before they set out for Eastern Ukraine with supplies - LiveLeak.com


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Ukraine close to cutting off separatists in their stronghold of Donetsk: military spokesman Lysenko - Business Spectator


Kiev mayor's ally killed by separatist sniper, his death brings to 568 the number of Ukrainian soldiers and volunteer militiamen killed - Fox News


NSDC: Ukrainian military losses in the last 24 hours: 6 servicemen killed and 24 wounded - Info Resist


MAP: Military situation in Easter Ukraine: military and rebel controlled areas, 11 August - Info Resist


VIDEO (English) - Press Conference of Ukraine Military Spokesman Lysenko, August 11 - Ukraine Crisis Media Center


VIDEO (English): Press Conference of Minister of Justice Petrenko, Minister of Internal Affairs Avakov, August 11 - Ukraine Crisis Media Center


VIDEO: Ukraine Says Its Forces Close to Taking Rebel-Held Donetsk - Reuters


Ukraine's most dangerous prisoners escape as shell hits Donetsk jail (PHOTOS) - Mail Online


VIDEO: Prisoners escape jail, some plea to fight for Donetsk - YouTube


Avakov: Air Drone Squadron Established As Part Of National Guard - Ukranian News


Ukrainian Paramilitaries Battle Separatists Near Donetsk - rferl.org


Ukraine crisis: the neo-Nazi brigade fighting pro-Russian separatists - Telegraph


VIDEO: Ukrainian Paramilitaries Battle Separatists Near Donetsk - LiveLeak.com


Impunity reigns for abductions and ill-treatment by pro-Kyiv vigilantes in eastern Ukraine - Amnesty International


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New Ukrainian rebel leader Zakharchenko asks for aid, seeks cease-fire - AP


Ukraine rebel leader Zakharchenko says mulls counter attack - GlobalPost


VIDEO (English): Donetsk separatist Prime-Minister Alexandr Zakharchenko briefing, 11/08/14 - YouTube


Ukraine military: No Cease-Fire With Pro-Russia Rebels Until 'White Flags' Fly - NBC News


Poroshenko declares readiness for international discussion on Donbas peace settlement - ITAR-TASS


Russian-Backed Rebels Put a Local Man Out Front, But Still Look Divided - atlanticcouncil.org


VIDEO: Soldiers belonging to the Vostok Battalion took part in a mass prayer in Donetsk on Sunday for a peaceful resolution in the ongoing conflict with Kiev forces - Zie.nl


In Ukraine Separatist Commander 'Strelkov' Seems To Be Getting Frustrated, Says Donetsk is “Fully Surrounded” - rferl.org


Donetsk Artist who Mocked Ukraine Separatist Leader Igor Strelkov Kidnapped (ART PHOTOS) - ibtimes.co.uk


Prisoners of separatist Bezler aka 'Demon' in war-torn Ukraine - BBC News


Russia Must Recognize Ukraine Rebels' Human Rights Abuses - Human Rights Watch

 

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

Israel’s Operation Protective Edge Spurs Growth in BDS Movement

Originally posted at AcronymTV

Awareness of, and commitment to the movement of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) is growing both here in the United States and around the world.

Describing BDS in an early 2014 piece, Beth Perry wrote:

“It’s a broad tactic aimed to pressure the state itself to change. But it also reserves a special focus for companies that are actually involved in — and make hefty profits from — occupation policies. These organizations may be forced to pay attention to the boycott very soon — and they may not be the ones you’d expect.”

A Meditation on Peacemaking: Americans Need to Break the Cycle of War

By John Grant


All we are saying is give peace a chance
             -John Lennon


Iraq News - Aug 11, 2014


20,000 Iraqi Yazidis besieged by IS escape from mountain after US air strikes - The Guardian


Kurdish rebels help rescue besieged Yazidi refugees from Iraq mountain - The Guardian


Iraqi Yazidis describe flight from Islamic State militants - LA Times


U.K., France Join U.S. Aid Efforts For Displaced Iraqis - rferl.org


VIDEO: US Cargo Planes C 17 Drop Humanitarian Aid over Northern Iraq - YouTube


VIDEO: Bleeding Yazidi children trapped on Sinjar Mountain - YouTube


PHOTOS: Yazidis rescued by Kurdish peshmerga after escaping Jihadist horde - Mail Online


Iraq Claims IS Militants Executed Hundreds Of Minority Yazidis - NPR


Claims IS buried women and children alive should be treated carefully - i100.independent.co.uk


Pope Francis: IS violence against minorities in Iraq must be stopped - The Guardian


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

Targeted US airstrikes hamper Islamic State's advances in Kurdish territory - ibtimes.co.in


American intervention against IS boosts Kurdish morale as President Obama launches more air strikes - The Independent


Iraqi Kurds say U.S. attacks helping push back Islamic State militants - LA Times


After resisting for years, U.S. increases military aid to Kurds in Iraq - WJLA.com


Obama Says Iraq Airstrike Effort Could Be Long-Term - NYTimes.com


TRANSCRIPT: President Obama's remarks on airstrikes and humanitarian efforts in Iraq - LA Times


VIDEO: US Military Releases Video Showing Air Strike in Iraq - YouTube


Kurdish Peshmerga Retake Gwer; IS in Retreat in Nineveh - Rudaw


Suicide bomber kills 10 Kurdish fighters in Iraq - THE DAILY STAR


VIDEO: Kurdish Special Forces raid on ISIS compound! (raw) - LiveLeak.com


VIDEO: Kurdish Peshmerga reclaim Gwer from IS militants - YouTube


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Maliki defiant as his special forces deploy in Baghdad, says he will not cave in to pressure to drop a bid for a third term -  Reuters


VIDEO: Maliki forces deployed around Baghdad - CNN


U.S. says backs Iraqi president after Maliki forces deploy in Baghdad - Yahoo News


ISIS recruiting on the rise in Iraq, officials say - CNN.com


Tens of Arab Tribes help IS in Northern Iraq - BAS NEWS


Fighters abandoning al-Qaida affiliates to join Islamic State, US officials say - The Washington Post


VIDEO: Grooming Children for Jihad: The Islamic State (Part 2) - VICE

 

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

Obama Does Pete Seeger

If I had a Hellfire
Missile in the morning,
And another in the evening,
Oh that'd be grand!
I'd take out Iraqis,
I'd take out Ukrainians,
I'd take out folks between,
The Atlantic and Pacific,
Oh that'd be grand!

If I had a drone
I'd buzz it in the morning,
I'd buzz it in the evening,
All over your sand,
I'd take out Yemenis,
I'd take out some Syrians
I'd take out folksy folks between,
Argentina and the Arctic
Oh oh oh that'd be grand

If I had a bomb
I'd drop it in the morning
I'd drop it in the evening
Wouldya lend me a hand
We'd destroy Libya
We'd demolish Palestine
We'd take out all male folks between
age eighteen and a hundred
Oh let me be clear that'd be grand

Well, I've got a Hellfire
and I've got a drone
I've got a 500-pound bomb to drop
Come lend me a hand
It's the Hellfire of justice
It's the drone of freedom
It's a Nobel Peace Prize bomb
from a Constitutional scholar
Oh isn't it grand!

It's the Hellfire of justice
It's the drone of freedom
It's a Nobel Peace Prize bomb
from a Constitutional scholar
Oh isn't it grand!

U.S. Bombs Won't Save Iraqi Lives

Daddy George H.W. Bush; Bill Clinton; W. Bush and now Barack Obama have an unbroken streak of bombing Iraq.Let us say as strongly as we can, that the bombing begun overnight in Kurdish areas — no matter who “asked” for it to be done — is outrageously dangerous, will not “save civilians,” but instead will endanger them further. Rather than protecting people in harm's way, US bombs and secret operations are a message to other powers that no one else will be allowed to run Iraq.

 

Avoid bullies and thugs: Beware the World’s Leading War-Monger and Terrorist Organization

By Dave Lindorff



There’s an old adage that goes: “You can judge a man by the company he keeps.”


If that’s the case, then applying it to nations, the world has to judge the US to be a truly wretched and repugnant country, and should be steering clear of it.

EMERGENCY EVENT ON GAZA -8/14 - 7PM - COOPER UNION, NYC - PLEASE COME

Stop Israel’s Ongoing War Crimes & Crimes Against Humanity of Gaza's People

Terrible crimes against humanity are being committed in front of our eyes. Nobody of conscience can remain silent.

Thursday August 14: An Evening of Information & Inspiration   Cooper Union, NYC & Live on the internet 7 pm EDT

Stop the Smart Wars

Remarks at event for WorldBeyondWar.org in Washington, D.C., on August 9, 2014.

Welcome.  I'm going to say a few words and then introduce each of our other speakers, who will each speak for 10 minutes or less, and then we'll open it up for discussion with all of us.

World Beyond War is a brand new organization, just beginning to organize volunteers, raise funds, hire staff, and post advertisements online and around the world. I'm the only paid staff thus far, and that's part-time.  But thousands of people and organizations of all kinds from 70 nations thus far have signed the pledge at WorldBeyondWar.org. It reads -- in English; we have it posted in many languages, and can use more translations from any of you who are able:

"I understand that wars and militarism make us less safe rather than protect us, that they kill, injure and traumatize adults, children and infants, severely damage the natural environment, erode civil liberties, and drain our economies, siphoning resources from life-affirming activities. I commit to engage in and support nonviolent efforts to end all war and preparations for war and to create a sustainable and just peace."

We're passing around sign-up sheets on which you can sign your name if you agree with that.  You can also indicate how you'd like to be involved, if you would.  I hope you will.  This is a global effort, but just as the movement to abolish slavery needed to begin in London, this new birth for the movement to abolish war can only get so far without strong participation in Washington, D.C., participation that works together with our allies around the world, many of whom are pushing back against militarism that is funded and directed here, as well as weapons produced in this country and marketed abroad from here.

Why now? Here we are at 100 years since World War One was launched, and people have been trying -- and pretending to be trying -- to use war to end war ever since, and -- like using capital punishment to end murder or using beer to end alcoholism -- it's been a doomed pursuit. 

Here we are at 69 years since Truman dropped the bombs on Japan, lied about the nature of the target, and justified it as revenge, not as a means of ending a war, which he knew it was not, and not as a means of threatening the Soviet Union, which he knew that it was.  And we've been stockpiling these apocalyptic weapons ever since, knowing that complete destruction due to intentional or accidental use is more likely the more time passes.  But people in power in this city believe they are better off the more Russia is antagonized.

Here we are at 50 years since the Gulf of Tonkin incident did not actually happen, the Pentagon is investing millions in commemoration and beautification of the slaughter of 4 million Vietnamese, and President Obama has taken the occasion to start bombing Iraq again, apparently believing that for the first time in history the bombs will generate friendship rather than blowback.  It's amazing how long each threatened minority group in Iraq survived before the U.S. brought democracy, and before the U.S. existed.  And now dropping food is accompanied by 500 pound bombs.  There is no military solution, says President Obama, only reconciliation can help.  Well, then why not drop food on the entire region?  It would cost a small fraction of what the missiles and bombs cost.  Would that be rewarding terrorists?  No, it would be recognizing humanity by ceasing to be terrorists.  Dropping bombs on people enrages them and binds their loyalty to those fighting back.  If the institution of war were continuing for rational reasons, that lesson would have sunk in by now and stopped it.

Meanwhile in Gaza, genocide has gone mainstream, with discussion of the complete elimination of the people of Gaza openly advocated by top Israeli officials in Israeli media, and by more than a few U.S. columnists, comedians, and crackpots as well.  And people protest the slaughter by contrasting it to war.  But 97% of the deaths in Gaza are the people of Gaza, and 97% of the deaths in the 2003-2011 war on Iraq were the people of Iraq.  One outside observer's genocide is another patriot's war.  Neither is a tool to end the other, and both are often words for the same thing.

Why choose this moment, when one speech cannot even mention all the wars, to begin an effort to fully eliminate the whole institution from our culture?  A decade back, there were marches in the streets and outrage over war lies that had proved false.  Nowadays lies about impending danger in Libya, the use of particular weapons in Syria, the construction of particular weapons in Iran, the origins of hostility in Ukraine, the expansion of the U.S. military into Africa and Asia, and the results of the doings of the deadly drones pass by so unnoticed that when Obama starts bombing Iraq, the one place everyone was supposed to know shouldn't be bombed, at least some people conclude that war is made acceptable by Obama, rather than Obama being made unacceptable by war.

But, you know what, for millions all over the world, Obama and other war makers' actions are unacceptable when they include war.  Even in the United States, opinion has swung against war quite dramatically.  Polls in recent months have found under 10 or 20 percent favoring a new U.S. war in any place that can be named: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Ukraine.  Two weeks ago the U.S. House voted to forbid any new presidential war in Iraq.  There's no spine there to enforce that measure, and it wasn't passed by the Senate, but it comes on the heels of dramatic reductions in drone strikes, the blocking of a bill in February what would have committed the United States to joining any Israeli-Iranian war, and the stopping of a proposal in September to send missiles screaming into Syria.  The point is not that we're winning or losing.  The point is that we have examples to hold up to those who claim no war can be stopped, and we have opinion dramatically moving our way, even on Israel, whenever specific real wars are named.

The trouble lies in how many people believe an unspecified good war might come along someday, because that myth keeps the military fueled and funded in a manner that makes actual very bad wars likely.  The trouble is in "looking forward" because the past has such an extreme antiwar bias.  That, and how many people protest less against smaller, less expensive, more aerial, or robotized wars, even as those wars proliferate, concentrate power, and generate new enemies.  The problem is the widespread belief that some wars or some parts of some wars can be legal, moral, and useful -- a sort of fine-toothed distinction-drawing that we just don't engage in with other evils like slavery or child abuse or rape.                                                                

So there is, in fact, anti-war momentum to be harnessed and encouraged and directed toward the entire institution rather than only each of its separate pieces.  But why a new organization?  Aren't there organizations existing that already oppose war? Of course there are.  They are not enough.  The need is not to divide our resources but to enlarge them by bringing in new people and groups, and to better use our energies by choosing the best strategies we can.  There is a job out there that isn't being done.  Much of it is an educational job.  Many people do not believe that war can be ended.  It's a ridiculous hurdle but one that has to be taken on.  Many believe that war can protect us or protect others.  The facts say otherwise, but facts require a lot of support when they're going up against emotions like fear or the desire to believe that public officials are not sociopathic.  A campaign to spread the word that war can and must be eliminated worldwide needs to be created and is something that WorldBeyondWar has just begun.

I spoke at the Veterans For Peace Convention recently, and they are completely on board with helping to advance this effort, as are many other peace organizations.  The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom supports this.  I attended the national committee meeting of the War Resisters League, of which I'm a member, recently, and they share the vision of World Beyond War but have put their resources into particular efforts, all good ones, including opposing teargas, doing counter-recruitment, etc.  WorldBeyondWar has begun supporting and will continue working on all sorts of partway steps that move us in the direction of a world beyond war.  But we will advance an understanding of war as a cultural preference, not something made inevitable by any of the factors that interact with and facilitate it.  And we will seek to reframe antiwar activism as part of the struggle toward the ultimate goal of abolition, rather than as part of a struggle to reform war or civilize war or only lessen war's damage and stop there.

We're going to try to stop using the term "we" when referring to public crimes we've opposed, stop opposing Pentagon waste more than Pentagon efficiency, stop calling an aggressive institution the defense industry, stop denouncing particular war crimes in a way that suggests a war itself is not a crime, stop opposing dumb wars as if some are smart, stop opposing wars because they leave the military ill-prepared as if we don't want the military ill-prepared, stop focusing on financial costs and costs to the aggressor in a way that blocks out the nature of a war as a one-sided slaughter, stop celebrating veterans and begin celebrating resisters, and develop a culture of peace that marks peace holidays and thanks peace activists for their service, while making visible the nonviolent alternatives to war.

World Beyond War is also developing a website that makes the strongest case we know how against every argument for war. The case against war that is laid out at WorldBeyondWar.org includes these topics:

War is immoral.

War endangers us.

War threatens our environment.

War erodes our liberties.

War impoverishes us.

We need $2 trillion/year for other things.

That last one is important, and a bit different from how many schools we could have built for the price of one war -- which is always a useful point too.  The larger point is that ordinary military spending, apart from particular wars, is easily ten times the price of a particular war.  And a small fraction of that spending could end starvation, provide clean water, and bring medicine and agriculture and green energy to the world.  We could take on real dangers, including environmental ones, rather than generating dangers through war.

We can talk about each argument, but now I want to introduce our next speaker.

 

Maria Santelli was the founder of the New Mexico GI Rights Hotline and is the Executive Director of a terrific organization here in D.C. called the Center on Conscience and War.

Jeff Bachman is a professorial lecturer in human rights and the Co-Director of the Ethics, Peace, and Global Affairs program at the School of International Service at American University.

Vincent Intondi is Associate Professor of History at Montgomery College and Director of Research at the Nuclear Studies Institute of the American University here in D.C. He is also author of African Americans Against the Bomb.

Nadia Kamoona is an Iraqi-American student at the University of Virginia, a future international human rights lawyer, and this summer has been an intern for World Beyond War.

Andy Shallal is an Iraqi-American artist, activist, and entrepreneur, and a recent candidate for mayor of Washington, D.C., and the proprietor of Busboys and Poets, which makes him our host this evening.

Poem: Close the Gate

Close the gate


I’m tired.

Don’t visit,

I’m not home.

Israel News - Aug 9, 2014


Israel strikes Gaza after Palestinian militants resume rocket fire, five dead including a 10-year-old boy - Reuters


A Boy at Play in Gaza, an Israeli Missile, a Mourning Family - NYTimes.com


U.N. Reports Dire Impact on Children in Gaza Strip - NYTimes.com


Scale of Gaza civilian deaths 'mustn't happen again': Red Cross - Yahoo News


VIDEO: Red Cross President: Disregard for humanitarian law led to unacceptable toll on civilians in the Gaza-Israel conflict - ICRC


One Palestinian dead, dozens wounded in West Bank clashes - The Times of Israel


Iron Dome intercepts two rockets over Beersheba; Three Israelis hurt in south - JPost


Israeli procedure reignites old debate in one of the bloodiest episodes in the Gaza conflict - NYTimes.com


Palestinian shift may bring war crimes case closer to Israel - Reuters


In Gaza, dispute over civilian vs combatant deaths - The Washington Post


Caution needed with Gaza casualty figures - BBC News


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

Exclusive: Europe proposes U.N. mission for Gaza to lift blockade and disarm Palestinians militants - foreignpolicy.com


Full text of the European plan backing U.N. monitoring mission in Gaza - scribd.com


UN: Arab states call for reconstruction in Gaza - Worldbulletin News


Egypt officials say Israel demands Gaza demilitarization - altahrir


Hamas threatens attacks if blockade is not lifted - The Portland Press Herald


What does Hamas want, and what may it get? - Ynetnews


Is it time for a Marshall Plan for Gaza? - The Washington Post


Gaza Symposium: Is reconstruction for demilitarisation the way forward? (AUDIO) - fathomjournal.org


Ruined Gaza Will Not Be Rebuilt By Hamas, But International Aid - ibtimes.com


Hamas backers spend fortunes on rockets and tunnels while Gazans live in misery - Fox News


POLL: Huge majority in Gaza want lasting ceasefire, IDC survey finds that 72% hope for peace deal with Israel and 68% prefer reconstruction over rearmament - The Times of Israel


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

Gaza official confirms that "resistance groups" in Gaza executed tens of Palestinians deemed as alleged "informants" to Israel - Arutz Sheva


Hamas Executes One of Its Leaders, Then Blames Israel - gatestoneinstitute.org


Archbishop: Hamas Fired Out of Our Church in Gaza (VIDEO) - Algemeiner.com


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

Is your data and privacy really safe?: Of Russian Hackers and Google Cops

By  Alfredo Lopez



The recent news that Russian hackers have the usernames and passwords for over a billion users as well as a half billion email accounts wraps up a week of Internet craziness.

We Are Gaza. Look Into Our Eyes.

Originally posted at AcronymTV

White
by Khashayar Nikazmrad

White phosphorus burning meat off the civilian bones, burning the single moms hopes of peace, chemical gas greeting the dusty morning sunshine, shelling orchestrating a symphony of death, breath by breath, the long forgotten dream of survival awakens the nightmare of Israel’s arrival, Airstrikes, ground invasion, the rape and theft of an entire nation,

Media, money, and mendacity corroding the remains of a heart sold to the musings of Zionist colonial congregation, the truth locked behind the delusion of defense, the a victimizing story lying about Zionist glory….

How Can We Destroy Love?

Love is a serious problem in our world. There is too much of it. So I want to explain how we can destroy it systematically. If we can destroy love completely, we can destroy life on Earth.

But first, what is love?

Back in Iraq, Jack!

President Obama may want us to sympathize with patriotic torturers, he may turn on whistleblowers like a flesh-eating zombie, he may have lost all ability to think an authentic thought, but I will say this for him: He knows how to mark the 50th anniversary of the Gulf of Tonkin fraud like a champion.

It's back in Iraq, Jack! Yackety yack! Obama says the United States has fired missiles and dropped food in Iraq -- enough food to feed 8,000, enough missiles to kill an unknown number (presumably 7,500 or fewer keeps this a "humanitarian" effort).  The White House told reporters on a phone call following the President's Thursday night speech that it is expediting weapons to Iraq, producing Hellfire missiles and ammunition around the clock, and shipping those off to a nation where Obama swears there is no military solution and only reconciliation can help.  Hellfire missiles are famous for helping people reconcile.

Obama went straight into laying out his excuses for this latest war, before speaking against war and in favor of everything he invests no energy in.  First, the illegitimate government of Iraq asked him to do it.  Second, ISIS is to blame for the hell that the United States created in Iraq.  Third, there are still lots of places in the world that Obama has not yet bombed.  Oh, and this is not really a war but just protection of U.S. personnel, combined with a rescue mission for victims of a possible massacre on a scale we all need to try to understand. 

Wow! We need to understand the scale of killing in Iraq?  This is the United States you're talking to, the people who paid for the slaughter of 0.5 to 1.5 million Iraqis this decade.  Either we're experts on the scale of mass killings or we're hopelessly incapable of understanding such matters. 

Completing the deja vu all over again Thursday evening, the substitute host of the Rachel Maddow Show seemed eager for a new war on Iraq, all of his colleagues approved of anything Obama said, and I heard "Will troops be sent?" asked by several "journalists," but never heard a single one ask "Will families be killed?"

Pro-war veteran Democratic congressman elected by war opponents Patrick Murphy cheered for Obama supposedly drawing a red line for war.  Murphy spoke of Congress without seeming aware that less than two weeks ago the House voted to deny the President any new war on Iraq.  There are some 199 members of the House who may be having a hard time remembering that right now. 

Pro-war veteran Paul Rieckhoff added that any new veterans created would be heroes, and -- given what a "mess" Iraq is now -- Rieckhoff advocated "looking forward." The past has such an extreme antiwar bias. 

Rounding out the reunion of predictable pro-war platitudes and prevarications, Nancy Pelosi immediately quoted the bits of Obama's speech that suggested he was against the war he was starting. Can Friedman Units and benchmarks be far behind?

Obama promises no combat troops will be sent back to Iraq.  No doubt.  Instead it'll be planes, drones, helicopters, and "non-combat" troops.  "America is coming to help" finally just sounded as evil as Reagan meant it to, but it was in Obama's voice.  The ironies exploded like Iraqi houses on Thursday.  While the United States locks Honduran refugee children in cages, it proposes to bomb Iraq for refugees.  While Gaza starves and Detroit lacks water, Obama bombs Iraq to stop people from starving.  While the U.S. ships weapons to Israel to commit genocide, and to Syria for allies of ISIS, it is rushing more weapons into Iraq to supposedly prevent genocide on a mountaintop -- also to add to the weapons supplies already looted by ISIS.

Of course, it's also for "U.S. interests," but if that means U.S. people, why not pull them out?  If it means something else, why not admit as much in the light of day and let the argument die of shame?

Let me add a word to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs spokesman David Swanson, who is not me and whom I do not know: Please do keep pushing for actual humanitarian aid.  But if you spoke against the missiles that are coming with the food, the reporters left that bit out.  You have to fit it into the same sentence with the food and water if you want it quoted.  I hope there is an internal U.N. lobby for adoption by the U.N. of the U.N. Charter, and if there is I wish it all the luck in the world.

Iraq News - Aug 8, 2014

 

Obama authorizes limited airstrikes against IS in Iraq, humanitarian air drops - NYTimes.com


VIDEO: President Obama Delivers a Statement on Iraq: authorizes airstrikes against IS, humanitarian aid - YouTube


Iraq's largest Christian town falls to Islamic State - The Long War Journal


Islamic State pulls down church crosses in northern Iraq as 200,000 flee - Telegraph


VIDEO: Christian leader: ISIS beheading children - CNN


Rebels Capture Iraq’s Largest Dam - NYTimes.com


UN Council urges world to help Iraq after jihadist onslaught - Yahoo News


Pope asks for international action to help Iraq's persecuted Christians - National Catholic Reporter


Kurds use lobbying to plead for help in Washington - THE DAILY STAR


US adds Nusrah, Islamic State financiers to list of global terrorists - Threat Matrix


Ex-MI6 chief cites ISIS’s Saudi, Qatari donors - Money Jihad


Kuwait vows to fight terror after US sanctions over funding - The National


How Vice News Got Unprecedented Access To The Islamic State - huffingtonpost.com


VIDEO: The first of five-part Vice News documentary on The Islamic State (Part 1) - VICE News


The ISIS Online Campaign Luring Western Girls to Jihad - The Daily Beast


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

VIDEO: Iraq’s Yazidis under Islamic State fire, Thousands of people from this minority fled into the mountains - BBC News


VIDEO: The plight of Iraq's Yazidi Minority after the Islamic State launched an offensive on the town of Sinjar - BBC World News


VIDEO: Yazidi lawmaker cries: We're being slaughtered - YouTube


VIDEO: Iraq’s Yazidis At White House Plead For Weapons and Aid - The Daily Caller


VIDEO: Unicef on Iraq’s Crisis in Sinjar - NYTimes.com


Yazidis Starving in Sinjar: Iraqi Helicopters Airdrop Aid Supplies From Turkey - ibtimes.co.uk


U.N. says some rescued from Iraqi mountain siege, 200,000 flee - Reuters


VIDEO: UN spokesman: Some trapped Yazidi 'extracted' - BBC News


Kurdish fighters rescue some Yazidis stranded on Iraq mountain - THE DAILY STAR


Turkey gives sanctuary to hundreds of Yazidis fleeing Iraq - Yahoo News


Turkey airdrops aid to internally displaced persons in Iraq - hurriyetdailynews


Who are the Secretive Yazidi Kurds and Why do Islamic Militants Want to Kill Them? - ibtimes.co.uk

 

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

Has The Pro-Choice strategy of Last 40 years Failed Women?

Originally posted at AcronymTV
http://youtu.be/lnERVrMHVRc

“What once was maybe a Christian-Fascist movement against women’s right to abortion really got elevated and brought into the halls of power,” says Sunsara Taylor of Stop Patriarchy. “Starting with Ronald Reagan, continuing under Bush, escalating Bill Clinton (quiet as it is kept: Bill Clinton who signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which became the foundation for the recent Hobby Lobby decision).”

The Pope and The Pornographer – What is the Difference? 

Originally posted at AcronymTV.com

“There is a big difference between being anti-pornography and anti sex worker,” says Taylor. “Stop Patriarchy does stand firmly against pornography, against the sex industry, against the commodification of women’s bodies, against the sexualized degradation of women, and just to be real: what is going on in pornography today is exactly part of this whole revenge against women. I don’t understand how anyone could claim to be for women’s rights and find (pornography) empowering or something we should celebrate.”

Taylor sums up her argument by saying: “There is no difference between the Pope and the pornographer. Both reduce women to objects. You could be a breeder or you could be a sex object.”

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