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We Are Not Your Soldiers Ready for New School Year

As the 2014-2015 high school and college year starts, we send you our  greetings and best wishes for a rewarding year. The We Are Not Your Soldiers project is ready to visit your school or  classroom with Iraq/Afghanistan-era veterans to talk about their on-the-ground experience in occupying countries, where civilians pay the price.

Gather - Alice Walker Poem on NYPD Murder of Eric Garner

Over a month ago, Michael Brown was shot six times by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.  More witnesses have come forward to corroborate eye-witness testimony that Brown's hands were up, and he was not aggressive. But, still Officer Darren Wilson is on paid vacation.  No indictment, no justice.

Beheading, Bombing & Western Values

by Debra Sweet    If “brutal” enemies do the beheading, start bombing whole regions, asHenry Kissinger said on Sunday, and respond disproportionately, in a way that “you would not analyze in terms of a normal response.”If authoritarian “friendly” governments do the beheading, as Saudi Arabia has done 26 times since August 4, 2014 (mostly to non-Saudis and political dissidents) say and do nothing. Human Rights Watch says the U.S. maintains a “deafening silence” on human rights violations by Saudi Arabia, its key ally in the region.

Ukraine News - Sep 17, 2014


Ukraine ratifies EU association agreement - DW.DE


VIDEO (Live): Ukraine ratifies EU deal - Yahoo News


In a concession to Russia key element of EU-Ukraine trade deal is delayed until 2016 - DW.DE


Poroshenko is facing a backlash for bowing to Russian pressure and postponing the implementation of an EU trade deal - Yahoo News


VIDEO: Ukraine critics denounce Russian influence over EU trade deal - YouTube


Is Postponing the EU Trade Agreement Harmful to Ukraine? - EconoMonitor


Ruble plunges to new lows, authorities tell Russians not to panic - smh.com


White House says rouble plunge linked to sanctions on Russian economy - Reuters


Russia central bank starts overnight forex swap operations with banks to increase short-term banking sector liquidity - brecorder.com


Russian Central Bank Fears Weak Oil Price Could Threaten Economy - WSJ


Gazprom's Profits Down 41% In First Quarter - Business Insider


EU delays decision on Russia’s access to OPAL gas pipe - ITAR-TASS


Ukraine Battles to Eject Russian Telecoms Giants - The Moscow Times


Russia needs government investment to avoid recession, says former finance minister - Reuters


C.Bank chief says Ukraine 2014 GDP may shrink by up to 10 pct - agency - Reuters


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Ukraine parliament grants self-rule, amnesty to eastern regions - Telegraph


Ukraine presidential bill proposes local elections in Donbass on December 7 - ITAR-TASS


Splits in Ukraine's pro-EU camp emerge over Poroshenko autonomy plan for East Ukraine - Business New Europe


VIDEO (Ukrainian): Tymoshenko: Self-rule status for Donetsk and Lugansk is a “humiliating and disgraceful surrender” for Ukraine - YouTube


VIDEO: "Peace can only be reached by winning" says Svoboda leader about self-rule for Donetsk and Lugansk - YouTube


Donetsk Oblast Governor Taruta says Donetsk will feel 'raped' because of new law on self-rule of Donbass - kyivpost.com


Leaders talk peace, some Ukrainian nationalists contemplate guerrilla war - The Washington Post


Q&A: Ukraine’s Donbas Battalion Commander Seeks US Support - VOA


VIDEO: Nazis symbols in the helmets of Azov Battalion members in Ukraine - LiveLeak.com


Tires on fire: Right Sector rallying in Kiev as govt votes for political purging (VIDEO) - RT News


Ukrainian Parliament Member Tossed In Trash Bin By Angry Protesters (VIDEO) - ibtimes.com


VIDEO: Clashes break out in Kiev between Right Sector and police - YouTube


Ukraine s self-rule offer slows rebel independence drive - Yahoo!7


Donetsk, Luhansk armies to form armed forces - ITAR-TASS


Separatist leader: Luhansk Wants to Introduce Ruble as National Currency - RIA Novosti


Donetsk council says 3 killed, 5 wounded in eastern Ukraine city despite cease-fire - Fox News


Another exchange of prisoners of war between Donetsk and Kiev to take place in 2 days - ITAR-TASS


Top Ukrainian And Russian Business Leaders Propose 10-Point Peace Initiative - huffingtonpost


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NATO, Russia to Hold Countervailing Military Exercises in and Around Ukraine - The Jamestown Foundation


Russia to send troops to Crimea as NATO holds exercises in Ukraine - Yahoo News


VIDEO: Ukraine And NATO Allies Commence Rapid Trident Military Exercise - YouTube


NATO countries have begun arms deliveries to Ukraine: defense minister - Reuters


Russia still has around 1,000 troops in Ukraine: NATO - Mail Online


Showing Off A 'Captured' T-72B3 Tank, Separatists Provide Further Evidence Of Russian Support - Interpreter_Mag


Israeli diplomats nix drone sale to Ukraine mid fears Russia would disapprove: report - The Times of Israel


Russia raids Crimea Tatar assembly after polls - GlobalPost


Updated Evidence Review: Who Shot Down Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17? - The Interpreter

 

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

Talk Nation Radio: Kevin Zeese on Activist Media, TPP, Climate, Wars

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-kevin-zeese-on-activist-media-tpp-climate-wars

Kevin Zeese (at right in image) is an organizer at http://PopularResistance.org We discuss activist journalism, stopping the Trans-Pacific Partnership, saving the climate, and ending the wars.

Total run time: 29:00

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

Download from Archive or LetsTryDemocracy.

Pacifica stations can also download from AudioPort.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

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

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

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

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

 

Another Drone Protester Found Not-Guilty

From upstatedroneaction.org

Eve Tetaz, 83, found NOT GUILTY last night in De Witt town court for opposing Reaper Drone War Crime at 174th Attack Wing at Hancock Air Base near Syracuse, NY

Immediately after Onondaga County prosecutor Jordan McNamara rested his case against DC peace and justice activist Eve Tetaz, DeWitt town judge David Gideon granted Ms Tetaz’ motion to dismiss. Ms Tetaz represented herself pro se with the support of DC attorney Mark Goldstone.

Ms. Tetaz had been arrested on April 28, 2013, along with 30 others as she stood reading aloud Preamble to the UN Charter and the First Amendment of the Constitution on the edge of the driveway leading into the Hancock Reaper drone base on East Molloy Rd., Town of De Witt. The prosecution’s video of Ms Tetaz’ arrest showed the arresting officer grabbing those documents from her hands and tossing them aside.

When police ordered her to stop, Ms Tetaz continued her reading aloud, facing the base, thereby expressing her First Amendment right to peacefully “petition my government for redress of grievances” – i.e. the war crimes being committed by the weaponized Reaper drone robots piloted over Afghanistan by the Hancock Attack Wing.

Ms. Tetaz’ trial is one of the ongoing series of trials of those arrested on April 28, 2013 scheduled through spring of 2015. Many will be jury trials due to the misdemeanor charge of obstruction of government administration. The next jury trial -- that of Bronx Catholic Worker Mark Colville -- will begin at 8:30 a.m. this Thursday, Sept 18.

43 Million People Kicked Out of Their Homes

By David Swanson

War, our leaders tell us, is needed to make the world a better place.

Well, maybe not so much for the 43 million people who've been driven out of their homes and remain in a precarious state as internally displaced persons (24 million), refugees (12 million), and those struggling to return to their homes.

The U.N.'s figures for the end of 2013 (found here) list Syria as the origin of 9 million such exiles. The cost of escalating the war in Syria is often treated as a financial cost or -- in rare cases -- as a human cost in injury and death. There is also the human cost of ruining homes, neighborhoods, villages, and cities as places in which to live.

Just ask Colombia which comes in second place following years of war -- a place where peace talks are underway and desperately needed with -- among other catastrophes -- nearly 6 million people deprived of their homes.

The war on drugs is rivaled by the war on Africa, with the Democratic Republic of the Congo coming in third after years of the U.S.-backed deadliest war since World War II, but only because the war on "terror" has slipped. Afghanistan is in fourth place with 3.6 million desperate, suffering, dying, and in many cases understandably angry and resentful at losing a place to live.  (Remember that over 90% of Afghans not only didn't participate in the events of 9-11 involving Saudis flying planes into buildings, but have never even heard of those events.) Post-liberation Iraq is at 1.5 million displaced and refugees. Other nations graced by regular U.S. missile strikes that make the top of the list include Somalia, Pakistan, Yemen -- and, of course, with Israeli help: Palestine.

Humanitarian wars have a homelessness problem.

Part of that problem finds its way to Western borders where the people involved should be greeted with restitution rather than resentment. Honduran children aren't bringing Ebola-infected Korans. They're fleeing a U.S.-backed coup and Fort Benning-trained torturers.  The "immigration problem" and "immigrants rights" debate should be replaced with a serious discussion of refugee rights, human rights, and the-right-to-peace.

Start here.

refugees

Responding to Ebola: Cuba Sees a Crisis, and Sends Docs; The US Sees an Opportunity and Sends Troops

By Dave Lindorff

 

How’s this for a juxtaposition on how nations respond to a global health catastrophe. Check out these two headlines from yesterday’s news:

 

Cuba Sends Doctors to Ebola Areas

 

US to Deploy 3000 Troops as Ebola Crisis Worsens

 

Laughing Our Way to Destruction

If members of the U.S. public were ever to wonder what the other 95% of humanity thinks about them, would it be better to break that harsh truth to them gently or just to blurt it out?

I'm going to go with the latter.

Here's Frankie Boyle explaining the advantages of Scottish independence: "Scotland would no longer have to invade places like Afghanistan for American interests. . . . I don't support America's wars. I don't even think they are wars. They're one-way traffic, mass-murder. There's never been a time when a shepherd has beaten a helicopter. You never switch on the news to see 'A shock result in Afghanistan today when a missile was destroyed by a wedding.' Because not only will America go into your country and kill all your people. But what's worse I think is they'll come back twenty years later and make a movie about how killing your people made their soldiers feel sad. Oh boo hoo hoo. Americans making a movie about what Vietnam did to the soldiers is like a serial killer telling you what stopping suddenly for hitchhikers did to his clutch."

If you don't think people find such remarks acceptable, listen to this laughter:

Living in the United States we've been trained to appreciate the fact that the wars do in fact make the soldiers feel sad. In fact they significantly increase rates of depression and violence and suicide. We tell each other not to blame the soldiers, rather to blame the top politicians. But then we don't really do that, do we? Bush is off painting himself in the bathtub and otherwise doing his imitation of the original King George III during his blue urine period. Obama is cheered by his fans because his wars make him sad and he declares them with such heartfelt reluctance. But from the point of view of people who are told about non-American deaths in their newspapers and on their televisions and radios (that is, from the point of view of 95% of humanity) U.S. wars are mass-slaughter of innocents. Ninety percent of the deaths are on one side. Ninety percent of those deaths are civilians by every definition. When the U.S. says it's going to launch another war because it opposes genocide, the rest of the world responds "We what the f%^$^! do you call your wars?"

Think the rest of the world is crazy? Think it's just bad jokes that miss the serious complicated facts of the matter. Watch how an intelligent Englishman watches an Obama speech:

Or you can watch how an American views Lindsey Graham's speeches:

Or how an American comedian views U.S. foreign policy:

When an American gets honest about U.S. warmongering it has to be a joke. It has to sneak in. We don't want to hear it. But we shouldn't keep imagining the rest of the world doesn't know what's going on.

Iraq/Syria News - Sep 16, 2014

 

Iraq wins pledge of global military support against Islamic State at the international meeting in Paris - THE DAILY STAR


Iraqi Leader Asks World Powers to Pursue Islamic State in Syria - Alaska Dispatch


VIDEO: World’s Top Diplomats Pledge Iraq Support - VOA


White House claims Arab nations offer to join airstrikes against IS in Iraq, Syria - Fox News


French Rafale Fighter Jets Fly over Iraq as Anti-Islamic State Paris Summit Begins - Yahoo News UK


First U.S. airstrikes near Baghdad in expanded Iraq fight - US News


Airstrikes Have Halted Islamic State in Iraq, U.S. Says - WSJ


POLLS: Obama’s Iraq policy gains bipartisan support, polls show - LA Times


Rights group calls for probe into Iraqi airstrike that killed 31 civilians, including 24 children - US News


Iraq: Survivors Describe Government Airstrike - Human Rights Watch


Iraq′s prime minister halts airstrikes in civilian areas - DW.DE


Kerry: Airstrikes against Islamic State would be ‘deconflicted’ with Syria, but there would be no formal cooperation or coordination - The Washington Post


AP Sources: US would hit back against Assad if he were to go after American planes launching airstrikes in his country - ABC News


US covertly giving Assad intel on Islamic State, regime daily claims - The Times of Israel


Intelligence operation focuses on Syria's Raqqa in Jihadi John hunt (PHOTOS) - Mail Online


VIDEO: Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister 'Action against Islamic State should include Syria’ - BBC News


US rejects military cooperation with Iran in Iraq, open to talks - Yahoo News


Iran supreme leader spurns U.S. overture to fight Islamic State - Reuters


Iraq FM says 'regrets' Iran not invited to Paris conference - Yahoo News


Iran fills key role in battling Islamic State in Iraq - LA Times


Hezbollah vows to destroy Islamic State in Syria - The Times of Israel


Turkish military weighs 'buffer zone' against Iraq, Syria threats: media - Reuters


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House Republicans drafting resolution to authorize training and arming of Syrian rebels - WashingtonExaminer.com


Syria's 'moderate' rebels say they need weapons, not training - Reuters


Lobbyists For Syrian Rebels To Woo Congress For Funding In Closed-Door Meeting - huffingtonpost.com


IS Strikes Non-Aggression Deal With ‘Moderate' Syrian Rebels: Reports - huffingtonpost.com


White House Denies Truce Between Syrian Rebels And IS - huffingtonpost.com


A statement from Jamal Marouf, leader of Syrian Revolutionary Front, denying his group signed a truce with IS - Hassan Hassan on Twitter


‘Moderate’ Syrian Revolutionaries Front continues to support al Qaeda - Uprootedpalestinians's Blog


Wow. US-backed Syrian Revolutionary Front rebels killed & crucified 2 apparent IS suicide bombers - Charles Lister on Twitter


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Kurdish fighters capture several Syrian villages amid heavy fighting with Islamic State, “We are fighting, on behalf of the world, the terrorism” - AP


YPG statement on recent clashes with IS - LiveLeak.com


Kurdistan Prime Minister Barzani and PKK leaders Discusse Joint Force Against IS - Rudaw


Peshmerga and Syrian Kurdish Forces Agree to Fight Together in the push to retake Yezidi town from Islamic State - Rudaw


West Widens Contacts With Syria's Kurds But Suspicion Remains - Business Insider


Analysis: YPG - the Islamic State's worst enemy - IHS Jane's 360


Peshmerga Forces Recruit Christian Fighters, says Local Official - Rudaw


Peshmerga's Spokesman: US will build two military sites to attack the Islamic State, one in Erbil - National Iraqi News Agency


VIDEO: On the Peshmerga front line in the fight against IS - BBC News


VIDEO (English Sub): IS running away from Kurds - Rudaw


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Barbaric IS earning $3m a day: Experts - AP


U.S. Targets Islamic State’s Lucrative Oil Smuggling Operations - oilprice.com


Islamic State fighters drawing on oil assets for funding and fuel - The Washington Post


Complex Network Smuggles Oil for Islamic State - WSJ


Who All are Buying Oil from Islamic State? Possibly Everyone - ibtimes.co.in


Turkish minister denies buying smuggled oil from ISIL, slams Western reports - hurriyetdailynews


Islamic State sells ‘blood antiquities’ from Iraq and Syria to raise money - The Washington Post


How IS became the wealthiest terror group in history - The Independent


Funding ISIS Infographic - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

 

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

Lawless Law Enforcers: In America the 'Terrorists' All Too Often Are the Police

By Linn Washington

 

Two acts of ugly terrorism occurred in Birmingham, Alabama on September 15, 1963.

One act was widely abhorred. The other act ignored.

Many across America know about the 9/15/63 Birmingham murders of four little girls slain in the bombing of a black Baptist church 18-days after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his stirring “I Have A Dream” speech.

Nationalist Illusions

After thousands of years of bloody wars among contending tribes, regions, and nations, is it finally possible to dispense with the chauvinist ideas of the past? 

After New York: Rally for Peace and Climate in DC

An interactive townhall discussion of how we get to peace

Speakers: Andy Shallal, Barbara Wien, David Swanson, and YOU

When: Monday, September 22, 11:30-1:30

Where: SIS Founders Room, American University
4400 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016

Food and drink provided!



War, Whistleblowing, and Independent Journalism
 
Join us for the powerful documentary Body of War (co-produced and co-directed by Phil Donahue), followed by a discussion with whistleblowers and journalists.
 
When: Monday, September 22
 
6:30 pm: Body of War film screening

8 pm: Q&A with Phil Donahue

8:15 pm: Panel
*  William Binney, NSA whistleblower
*  Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, EPA whistleblower
*  Phil Donahue, journalist
*  Thomas Drake, NSA whistleblower
*  Peter Kuznick, professor of history
*  Jesselyn Radack, DOJ whistleblower
*  Kirk Wiebe, NSA whistleblower
Moderator: Norman Solomon
 
Where: American University -- Butler Board Room (located on the 6th floor above the Bender arena sports complex)

Optional: You can sign up on FaceBook here.

This event is sponsored by RootsAction.org and the Nuclear Studies Institute at American University, and co-sponsored by ExposeFacts.org.

For more information on the speakers, click here
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Nonviolent civil resistance for peace and climate at the White House

When: Tuesday, September 23, 10 a.m.

Where: Pennsylvania Ave. in front of White House.

More information.

Parenting Without God

Originally posted at AcronymTV

When asked if the world would be better off without God, Dan Arel, the author of Parenting Without God does not pull punches. “The world would be better off without the idea of God,’ Arel clarifies “the world is already without God.”

Defeating the Violence of Psychiatry

As the movement to abolish psychiatry continues to gather momentum – see ‘On Antipsychiatry’ – it is worth reviewing its delusional foundation, the history of its violence and its function as a weapon of elite social control.

September 2014 War Criminal Appearances & Protests

 September 2014 War Criminal Appearances & Protests

George Bush

9/9/14 - Park City UT

9/10/14 - Washington DC

9/11/14 - Cleveland OH

 

Dick Cheney

9/10/14 - Cheyenne WY

Dangerous Plans for More U.S. Bombing, Surveillance, and Troops in Iraq & Syria

The Senators leading the pack of war-dogs, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, opined in The New York Times this week on the need for the U.S. to go all-out in the Middle East:  We must face facts: A comprehensive strategy to defeat ISIS would require more troops, assets, resources and time. Such an undertaking should involve Congress. We have consistently advocated revising the Authorization for Use of Military Force that has provided congressional backing for counterterrorism operations since September 2001.These plans carry with them a repeat, or worse, of the mass death and destruction of society the U.S. carried out in an attempt to control Iraq.

The Nazis Had Their Law Professors Too, John Yoo

by Debra Sweet      Intense world events have again eclipsed news of the Guantanamo prisoners, meaning that their situation grows worse. No wave of releases has followed Obama's promise in May 2013 to once again close it. Andy Worthington reported Friday in Guantanamo Violence: Prisoners Report Shaker Aamer "Beaten," Another Man Assaulted "For Nearly Two Hours":

March with the Stop the Crimes Against Our Planet Contingent in New York City!

People's Climate March - SEPT. 21, 2014. NYC    Meet the Stop the Crimes Against Our Planet Contingent at 10:00 am at 77th St. & CPW    Humanity and the Planet Must Come First!    The World Can't Wait!

World leaders have called for yet another International Conference at the UN in September. Their meeting will, however, do nothing to stop the global environment's escalating destruction. Using the justifications of “national security” and "business necessities," the US government itself has consistently sabotaged climate talks, supported dangerous drilling, fracking, plunder and exploitation of non-renewable energy resources here and around the world. It has also ruthlessly prosecuted and jailed environmental and animal rights activists explicitly as “terrorists.”

Workshop: Climate Crisis - The Roots of the Problem

World Can't Wait cordially invites you to a discussion it is hosting at the New York City Climate Convergence., Sept. 20,2014. entitled Climate Crisis: The Roots of the Problem .The workshop will examine underlying economic, political and philosophical roots of the climate crisis. The science is clear: what are the obstacles preventing action commensurate with the crisis? Speakers will address the capitalist economic and political system, theological understanding of humanity's relation to the earth and the inheritance of colonial domination and the settler mindset.

Violence Against Women is a Necessary Outcome of the Athletic Industrial Complex | Dave Zirin Interview

Originally posted at AcronymTV

Dave Zirin, sports editor for The Nation, talks with Dennis Trainor, Jr. about the one reason Roger Goodell will be forced out as NFL Commissioner, Violence in the NFL, Domestic violence.

atv cheerleaders

James Foley Is Not a War Ad

To the extent that the U.S. public is newly, and probably momentarily, accepting of war -- an extent that is wildly exaggerated, but still real -- it is because of videos of beheadings of James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

When 9-11 victims were used as a justification to kill hundreds of times the number of people killed on 9-11, some of the victims' relatives pushed back.

Now James Foley is pushing back from the grave.

Here is video of Foley talking about the lies that are needed to launch wars, including the manipulation of people into thinking of foreigners as less than human. Foley's killers may have thought of him as less than human. He may not have viewed them the same way.

The video shows Foley in Chicago helping Haskell Wexler with his film Four Days in Chicago -- a film about the last NATO protest before the recent one in Wales.  I was there in Chicago for the march and rally against NATO and war. And I've met Wexler who has tried unsuccessfully to find funding for a film version of my book War Is A Lie

Watch Foley in the video discussing the limitations of embedded reporting, the power of veteran resistance, veterans he met at Occupy, the absence of a good justification for the wars, the dehumanization needed before people can be killed, the shallowness of media coverage -- watch all of that and then try to imagine James Foley cheering like a weapons-maker or a Congress member for President Obama's announcement of more war. Try to imagine Foley accepting the use of his killing as propaganda for more fighting.

You can't do it. He's not an ad for war any more than the WMDs were a justification for war. His absence as a war justification has been exposed even faster than the absence of the WMDs was.

While ISIS may have purchased Sotloff, if not Foley, from another group, when Foley's mother sought to ransom him, the U.S. government repeatedly threatened her with prosecution. So, instead of Foley's mother paying a relatively small amount and possibly saving her son, ISIS goes on getting its funding from oil sales and supporters in the Gulf and free weapons from, among elsewhere, the United States and its allies. And we're going to collectively spend millions, probably billions, and likely trillions of dollars furthering the cycle of violence that Foley risked his life to expose.

The Coalition of the Willing is already crumbling. What if people in the United States were to watch the video of Foley when he was alive and speaking and laughing, not the one when he was a prop in a piece of propaganda almost certainly aimed at provoking the violence that Obama has just obligingly announced?

Foley said he believed his responsibility was to the truth. It didn't set him free. Is it perhaps not too late for the rest of us?

A Paradigm for Peace

Raise your hand if you weren't surprised when fancy films of beheadings resulted in bombings?

Keep your hand up if you weren't shocked when bombings resulted in more brutality and beheadings?

Is it possible we need a radically different way of thinking about how to solve violence?

Listen to this quote:

"Neither governments nor terrorists analyze the Defensive and Aggressive Roots of Violence within their enemies and themselves. Consequently, their policy solutions are imbalanced, hostile, and impractical. The habit of antagonistic debate further impedes the development of solutions, while threat-oriented psychological patterns and assumptions buttress a belief in war."

Please don't scream "What are we suppose to do, have a friendly discussion with the man with a knife on our throat?"

I actually know someone who did that and lived to tell the tale. But that's not the idea. We don't actually have a collective throat, and we aren't actually engaged in debates or discussions of any sort with the people our government is bombing thousands of miles from home. The point, as I take it, is to alter how we are thinking about matters of war and peace. Kristin Christman, whose quote that is, has produced a remarkable project called Paradigm For Peace.

She takes on the policy of war and the propaganda of war. She rethinks it all in her own language, very much the autodidact but very much dedicated to seeing the perspectives of others. Her writing could help war supporters begin to question their beliefs, which she sees as often noble, if often also shameful, if always misguided, in motivation. Christman applies the same generosity and insight to an analysis of war supporters on both sides. That is, she asks both why someone would support bombing Iraq and why someone would support anti-U.S. terrorism.

Another excerpt:

"Since its first foreign policies towards Native Americans, the U.S. has perceived the opponent as two-dimensional and deficient in qualities worth respecting and perspectives worth understanding. It is similar to the faulty way in which some have perceived slaves, children, animals, trees, rocks, rivers, and land itself: to be much less than they really are. Yet trying to obliterate the enemy does not resolve the threat; it does not address why the enemy became a threat. And if motivations are not discussed, solutions to motivations will be omitted. Foreign policy must be based upon a Science of Peace."

And one more, just to get a proper taste:

"We wouldn’t kick a car to make it go. If something were wrong with it, we would figure out which system wasn’t working and why: How is it not working? Does it turn on a little? Are the wheels spinning in mud? Does the battery need recharging? Are gas and air getting through? Like kicking the car, an approach to conflict that relies on military solutions does not figure things out: It does not distinguish between the causes of violence and does not address aggressive and defensive motivations."

Christman has organized her ideas into a system of categories that can be a bit intimidating, but often extremely valuable. I've sometimes struggled with the concept of the "roots of war" because I recognize factors that facilitate war, while recognizing that they are neither necessary nor sufficient to actually cause war. Christman makes use of a very helpful category that she calls "The Escalators of Violence." These are broken up into mental, legal, and physical varieties -- that is to say, mental habits that make war a first resort, legal structures that permit war, and physical facts like the presence of weapons and troops that make war the easiest option.

The "Roots of Violence" is another piece of Christman's analysis, itself divided into defensive, aggressive, and accidental roots. Christman is not using "defensive" as a legal justification for war, but rather as a category to facilitate understanding of what is motivating the actions of one's government or its declared enemies.

Continuing her mission of categorization, Christman creates a "Taxonomny of Peace" including an in-depth and specific look at roots and escalators of violence, and at solutions -- with a focus in particular on the United States and Western Asia (the "Middle East"). In fact, Christman lists 650 Solutions for Peace.

That's quite a leap from the currently common U.S. wisdom that one must choose between bombing and nothing, to a menu of 651 choices (including bombing as 1).  But the 650 are not all concrete and discrete steps.  Many are guides to better thinking.  Many are rules for what not to do. For example: "Do Not Determine Solutions Based Merely upon Snapshots of a Conflict" is the heading of one of the 650 sections.

I spoke at an event along with Christman some weeks back (video), and recognized that she was a brilliant independent thinker. It then took me weeks to get around to reading her work, which I still haven't finished. Why? Because it's too big, too disorganized, needs an editor, needs a web designer, and ought to be published in a hardcopy book for us old-fashioned types who like those. I mean all of that as constructive criticism, and I really very much do hope those steps are taken.

In the meantime, take any amount of time you have (such as time you might have wasted watching TV news) and check this out.

A cultural essay: Going to War with a Vengeance

By John Grant


To do nothing is to send a message to the wrongdoer, and the general public, that the victim has no self-worth and will not marshal the internal resources necessary to reclaim his or her honor. Shattered dignity is not beyond repair, but no elevating and equalizing of dignity can occur without the personal satisfaction of revenge.
        -Thane Rosenbaum, Payback: The Case For Revenge

Doing it right: man refuses TSA screening after flight

 

I realize this might seem like small potatoes, what with our Hawk-in-Chief doing what he does best -- bomb people to smithereens -- but as activists should know, these issues are all related. Quoting Hanna Arendt, "Empire abroad entails tyranny at home."


The U.S. is eviscerating civil liberties left and right. And every time you go to the airport and acquiese to the abusive practices of the TSA, you're going along with the evisceration of these civil liberties. Anyway, here's how one man handled himself recently at an American airport.

 

Syria/Iraq News - Sep 12, 2014

 

Obama to expand offensive against Islamic State, vowing a relentless effort to wipe out the terrorists “wherever they exist” - VOA


VIDEO: President Obama Addresses the Nation on the IS Threat - YouTube


TRANSCRIPT: Obama’s Remarks on the Fight Against IS - NYTimes.com


FACT SHEET: White House Statement on the Strategy to Counter the Islamic State (IS) - The White House


POLL: Overall, Americans gave President Obama's speech high marks - WCTI News


Congress backing Obama’s plan for Islamic State - The Boston Globe


Pentagon advances plan to defeat jihadists, the mission is to use any future strikes in Syria to weaken the Islamic State's operation in Iraq - WSJ


Air Campaign Against ISIS to Target Leaders and Seized U.S. Weapons - NBC News.com


US war planes to fly from Erbil base in Iraqi Kurdistan - France 24


U.S. airstrikes in Iraq destroyed 162 Islamic State vehicles: Pentagon - Washington Times


So what exactly will the US troops be doing in Iraq? - ABC 31: News


Pentagon: US Troops to Advise Iraqi Units at Brigade Level - C4ISR & Networks


Instead of boots on the ground, US Seeks Iraq contractors to advise the Iraqi Defense Ministry in force development, logistics and planning and operations - Military.com


Retraining Iraq's fractured army: Will it work this time? - Stripes


Gen. Allen Will Coordinate the Fight Against the Islamic State - Defense One


Former Iraq/Afghanistan commander John Allen is very familiar with Middle East nations and leaders crucial to the fight against the Islamic State - navytimes.com


US Treasury’s Cohen: Combating IS’s Access to Financing - USPolicy


IS Is A Threat To America, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Says. Here's What's Being Done About It - huffingtonpost.com


IS has between 20,000 and 31,500 fighters, CIA says - CNN.com


Islamic State group not an unstoppable juggernaut - AP


Islamic State's Financial Independence Makes It All the More Dangerous - newsweek.com


Oil, Extortion and Crime: Where IS Gets Its Money - NBC News


Funding the Islamic State: The terrorist group is reaping millions a day selling oil, gasoline and diesel on the black market. - US News


Islamic State Smuggles Oil Into Turkey—With Hostages as Insurance - Businessweek


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

After talks in Saudi's Jeddah, Kerry wins Arab support for Syria/Iraq military campaign - Reuters


TEXT: Jeddah Communique from the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and the United States - state.gov


VIDEO: Secretary of State John Kerry makes a joint statement with Saudi foreign minister: Barbarity of IS 'Knows No Limits' - NBC News


Iraqi politicians welcome Obama’s expanded campaign against Islamic State - McClatchy DC News


Syria's Deputy FM: Syria has “no reservations” about U.S. airstrikes against IS and wants to team up with Washington to tackle the terrorists - NBC


VIDEO: Syrian Deputy FM: Syria Must Be Part of Coalition Against IS - NBC


Syrian opposition coalition says ready to partner against Islamic State - Reuters


Syria's Muslim Brotherhood rejects the international coalition against the Islamic State (Arabic) - CNNArabic.com


Syrian Refugees Express High Hopes for Obama’s IS Plan - VOA


Jordanian prince says US has strong ally in facing Islamic State militants in Middle East - Star Tribune


Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood decries Kerry visit, rejects the international coalition against IS - haberler.com


Turkey refuses to allow a U.S.-led coalition to attack IS in Iraq and Syria from its air bases, nor will it take part in combat operations, “Our hands and arms are tied because of the hostages” - Al Arabiya


Ankara lost contact with Mosul hostages kidnapped by the Islamic State, “There is strong evidence that some of these [hostages] are in Syrian territories” - todayszaman.com


Netanyahu says Israel playing part in fighting Islamic State - The Times of Israel


Iran Foreign Ministry spokeswoman: anti-Islamic State coalition 'shrouded in serious ambiguities' - Yahoo News


Russia says air strikes in Syria would be act of aggression without the consent of the legitimate Syrian government, U.N. vote - Reuters

 

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

How 94,000 U.S. Air-Strikes Created ISIS and a Global Crisis

Thirteen years ago, a draft dodger from Texas stood on a pile of rubble in New York City and promised: "the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon."  Of course, the people who flew the planes into the World Trade Center could not hear anybody, as their remains were buried in the rubble beneath Bush's feet.  And our government's extraordinary relationship with one of the world's last and most brutal absolute monarchies ensured that any accomplices still in the U.S. were quickly flown home to Saudi Arabia before the crime could be investigated.  In 2003, Bush meekly complied with Al-Qaeda's most concrete demand, that he withdraw U.S. forces from military bases in Saudi Arabia.

A month after September 11th, Donald Rumsfeld stood at a podium in front of a $2 billion B-2 bomber at Whiteman AFB in Missouri and addressed the aircrews of the 509th Bomber Wing, before they took off across the world to wreak misdirected vengeance on the people of Afghanistan.  Rumsfeld told them, "We have two choices.  Either we change the way we live, or we must change the way they live.  We choose the latter.  And you are the ones who will help achieve that goal."

Since then, the United States has launched more than 94,000 air strikes, mostly on Afghanistan and Iraq, but also on Libya, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.  Rumsfeld's plan has undoubtedly achieved his goal of changing the way people live in those countries, killing a million of them and reducing tens of millions more to lives of disability, disfigurement, dislocation, grief and poverty.

Pathetic - the President's Speech

obamaisil

ISIL replaces Russia as the top threat to the United States according to president

"There's a sucker born every minute." President Obama agrees based on his address to the nation. How else can you explain the pathetic national address just delivered?

Tonight's viewing event featured ISIL, the latest excuse for increased military spending. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is also called ISIS and IS. The name really doesn't matter. ISIL is code for angry Muslims who decapitate reporters. ISIL didn't quite pass public relations muster when it stood for angry Muslims who attack Iraqi towns and cities.

Early in the speech, the president said, "we have consistently taken the fight to terrorists who threaten our country." Therefore, we're taking "the fight" to ISIL, right? It's a little more complicated than that.

Russia/Ukraine News - Sep 11, 2014


Criticizing NATO, Putin Underlines Need for Nuclear Deterrence - VOA


Putin Tightens Grip on Russian Defense Industry - The Moscow Times


VIDEO: Putin takes control of Russia's defence industries and calls for new weapons - YouTube


Russia developing new nuclear and conventional weapons to counter US, NATO - New York Post


Russia Test-fires Intercontinental Nuclear Missile, Hits Target 3,500 Miles Away - ibtimes.com


VIDEO: Bulava ICBM test-fired from Russian nuclear sub Vladimir Monomakh - YouTube


Russia: Ukraine in NATO would be 'unprecedented challenge’ - AFP


Ukraine and NATO navies gather for Black Sea manouevres - ITAR-TASS


Canada says its frigate buzzed by Russian warplanes during NATO drill, Russia denies - AP


Russian coastal defenses in Crimea stage target practice amid NATO drills in Black Sea (VIDEO) - RT News


Russian strategic bombers reportedly practice nuclear missile strike against US - RT USA


The Ukrainian Crisis' Overlooked Nuclear Dimension - huffingtonpost.com


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

Ukraine's President Pledges To Give The Country's East More Autonomy - huffingtonpost.com


VIDEO: Ukrainian president agrees to give rebel-controlled areas more autonomy - LiveLeak.com


Luhansk and Donetsk republics may start negotiating their political status with Kiev soon - ITAR-TASS


Poroshenko: 70 Percent of Russian Troops Have Left Ukraine - VOA


Exclusive: Russian Soldiers Reveal the Truth Behind Putin's Secret War - newsweek.com


Ukrainian guards start building wall on the border with Russia - ITAR-TASS


OSCE says will use drones for ceasefire monitoring in Ukraine - Yahoo News


VIDEO: OSCE observers assess Ukraine ceasefire - YouTube


VIDEO: Ukraine War: The exchange of prisoners - YouTube


Ukraine's Security Chief Says Savchenko, Sentsov On Prisoner-Exchange List - rferl.org


Mother of Ukrainian rebel hostage 'received his head in the post' - Mail Online


Azov fighters are Ukraine's greatest weapon and may be its greatest threatn - theguardian.com


VIDEO: Battalion "Azov" soldiers in spare time - LiveLeak.com


Ukraine Opens Criminal Investigation Against Members of Volunteer Battalions - RIA Novosti


MH17 official report finds jet was shot down by multiple 'high energy impacts' over Ukraine - Mail Online


Main points of the MH17 Ukraine crash report - BusinessWorld


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

Gazprom limits Polish gas supplies preventing the EU member state from supplying Ukraine via so-called reverse flows - Bloomberg


U.S., EU ready new sanctions to stop oil exploration in Russia - Reuters


EU to hold off on new Russia sanctions - RTÉ News


VIDEO: Europe Delays Russia Sanctions: EU defence officials discuss Ukraine crisis - YouTube


VIDEO: EU delays sanctions on Russia amid economy concerns - CCTV News - CCTV.com English


OSCE chief says reasonable to give Ukraine ceasefire chance before sanctions - Reuters


Amid Intensifying Requests, American Military Aid to Ukraine Stalls - NYTimes.com

 

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

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