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Spring Days of Action to End Drone Killing, Drone Surveillance, Global Militarization

Today we issue an international call for Spring Days of Action – 2014, a coordinated campaign in April and May to:

          End Drone Killing, Drone Surveillance and Global Militarization

The campaign will focus on drone bases, drone research facilities and test sites and drone manufacturers.

The campaign will provide information on:

1. The suffering of tens of thousands of people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Gaza who are under drone attack, documenting the killing, the wounding and the devastating impact of constant drone surveillance on community life.

2. How attack and surveillance drones have become a key element in a massive wave of surveillance, clandestine military attacks and militarization generated by the United States to protect a global system of manufacture and oil and mineral exploitation that is creating unemployment and poverty, accelerating the waste of nonrenewable resources and contributing to environmental destruction and global warming.

In addition to cases in the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia, we will examine President Obama's "pivot" into the Asia-Pacific, where the United States has already sold and deployed drones in the vanguard of a shift of 60% of its military forces to try to control China and to enforce the planned Trans-Pacific Partnership.  We will show, among other things, how this surge of "pivot" forces, greatly enabled by drones, and supported by the US military-industrial complex, will hit every American community with even deeper cuts in the already fragile social programs on which people rely for survival.  In short, we will connect drones and militarization with "austerity" in America.

3. How drone attacks have effectively destroyed international and domestic legal protection of the rights to life, privacy, freedom of assembly and free speech and have opened the way for new levels of surveillance and repression around the world, and how, in the United States, increasing drone surveillance, added to surveillance by the National Security Agency and police, provides a new weapon to repress black, Hispanic, immigrant and low-income communities and to intimidate Americans who are increasingly unsettled by lack of jobs, economic inequality, corporate control of politics and the prospect of endless war.

We will discuss how the United States government and corporations conspire secretly to monitor US citizens and particularly how the Administration is accelerating drone surveillance operations and surveillance inside the United States with the same disregard for transparency and law that it applies to other countries, all with the cooperation of the Congress.

The campaign will encourage activists around the world to win passage of local laws that prohibit weaponized drones and drone surveillance from being used in their communities as well as seeking national laws to bar the use of weaponized drones and drone surveillance.

The campaign will draw attention to the call for a ban on weaponized drones by RootsAction.org that has generated a petition with over 80,000 signers

http://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=6180

and to efforts by the Granny Peace Brigade (New York City), KnowDrones.org and others to achieve an international ban on both weaponized drones and drone surveillance.

The campaign will also urge participation in the World Beyond War movement.

The following individuals and organizations endorse this Call:

Lyn Adamson – Co-chair, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace

Dennis Apel – Guadalupe Catholic Worker, California

Judy Bello – Upstate NY Coalition to Ground the Drones & End the Wars

Medea Benjamin – Code Pink

Leah Bolger – Former National President, Veterans for Peace

Canadian Voice of Women for Peace

Sung-Hee Choi – Gangjeong Village International Team, Jeju, Korea

Chelsea C. Faria – Graduate student, Yale  Divinity School; Promoting Enduring Peace

Sandy Fessler – Rochester (NY) Against War

Joy First

Bruce K. Gagnon - Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space

Holly Gwinn Graham – Singer/songwriter, Olympia, WA.

Regina Hagen - Darmstaedter Friedensforum, Germany

Kathy Kelly – Voices for Creative Nonviolence

Malachy Kilbride

Marilyn Levin and Joe Lombardo – Co-Coordinators, United National Antiwar Coalition

Tamara Lorincz – Halifax Peace Coalition, Canada

Nick Mottern – KnowDrones.org

Agneta Norberg – Swedish Peace Council

Pepperwolf – Director, Women Against Military Madness

Lindis Percy, Coordinator, Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases  CAAB UK

Mathias Quackenbush – San Francisco, CA

Lisa Savage – Code Pink, State of Maine

Janice Sevre-Duszynska

Wolfgang Schlupp-Hauck- Friedenswerkstatt Mutlangen, Germany

Cindy Sheehan

Lucia Wilkes Smith – Convener, Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) – Ground Military Drones Committee

David Soumis – Veterans for Peace; No Drones Wisconsin

Debra Sweet – World Can’t Wait

David Swanson - WarisACrime.org

Brian Terrell – Voices for Creative Nonviolence

United National Antiwar Coalition

Veterans for Peace 

Dave Webb – Chair, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (UK)

Curt Wechsler – Fire John Yoo! (a project of World Can’t Wait) – San Francisco, CA

Paki Wieland, Northampton (MA) Committee to Stop War(s)

Loring Wirbel – Citizens for Peace in Space (Colorado Springs, CO)

Women Against Military Madness

Ann Wright – Retired US Army colonel and former diplomat

Leila Zand - Fellowship of Reconciliation

 

Add your name by emailing it to: nickmottern@earthlink.net and watch for updates at http://KnowDrones.org

Insulting Workers, Coddling the Rich: Obama’s ‘Raise’ for Federal Workers is a Bad Joke

By Dave Lindorff


President Obama, five years late, decried the terrible income gap in the US, which has worsened during his years in the White House, and offered the puny “fix” of raising the minimum wage paid to employees working on federal projects from its current $7.25 to $10.10 per hour. This executive order, which could have been done when he took office in the depths of the Great Recession back in 2009 would be not immediate but would be phased in over the next three years.


Snowden nominated – Can the Nobel Peace Prize committee reverse its course?

by R. Teichmann

The Nobel Peace Prize. The politicians argue that  “Snowden had contributed to global security by revealing “the nature and technological prowess of modern surveillance.” 

I wonder if they have not read what Alfred Nobel’s intent was. According to his will the price should be awarded 

to those who have “done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.

I am not going to judge the actions of Edward Snowden here, I am just asking if his disclosures have anything to do with the above criteria. In my opinion nothing.

Over time we have witnessed ”strange” decisions by the politicians that determine who will be honoured with this prestigeous award. They have gone so far as to award this prize to

Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. A man who was deeply intertwined with the military. He effectively was running the US Department of the Navy, then resigned and formed the Rough Riders, a volunteer cavalry regiment that fought in Cuba. He later sent the Great White Fleet on a world tour to demonstrate American power. His motto was “Speak softly and carry a big stick“. Though he is credited with negotiating an end to the Russo-Japanese War he was hardly a person who opposed war and violence in all its forms and worked for peace and non-violence. His actions and life spoke a different language.

*****

Woodrow Wilson in 1919. A man, who in April 1917, asked Congress to declare war in order to make “the world safe for democracy.” He entered the US into the war and set up the War Industries Board, effectively laying the groundwork of what later became known as the “Military Industrial Complex”. Wilson also suppressed anti-war movements with the Espionage Act of 1917  (the same act that is now used by the Obama administration on its crackdown on dissenters) and the Sedition Act of 1918.  Wilson was awarded the 1919 Nobel Peace Prize for his sponsorship of the League of Nations. Certainly he was not a man who was in favour of peaceful solutions.

 *****

Henry Kissinger in 1973. Not a man of non-violence at all. In an article published in Sept. 2013 in the Independent it is summed up as follows:

“Christopher Hitchens, in 2001, claimed to have amassed sufficient evidence to secure prosecutions for “war crimes, for crimes against humanity, and for offences against common or customary or international law, including conspiracy to commit murder, kidnap, and torture” and “The charge sheet is extremely long, even considering the eight eventful years Kissinger was running US foreign policy: he and the CIA helped orchestrate the coup against the elected president of Chile, Salvador Allende, and his murder in 1973; he and Nixon invaded neutral Cambodia in 1970; they indiscriminately bombed civilians in that long war; connived in the Indonesians’ brutal repression in East Timor; left the Kurds to their fate at the hands of Saddam as early as 1972; the list goes on. “War criminal” and Nobel Peace Prize holder; the unique genius of Henry Kissinger.”

He signed a peace treaty when the war in Vietnam was lost and won the prize for it. His counterpart Le Duc Tho declined the prize saying: “Peace has not yet really been established in South Vietnam. In these circumstances it is impossible for me to accept the 1973 Nobel Prize for Peace which the committee has bestowed on me.”

*****

- Barack Obama in 2009. “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”  The results of his “extrordinary efforts were”:
- Intensification of the war in Afghanistan
- The destruction of Lybia through an unprovoked attack
- Use of drones that kill innocent men, women and children in many countries
- Waging a war against Syria by proxy
- Engaging in new wars in Africa
- Threatening Iran with “all Options on the table” , ie. nuclear included
and so on.

*****

The European Union in 2012 “for [having] over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.” The committee obviously did not know that the EU carried out an unprovoked attack on a sovereign state (Jugoslovia). Peace Activist David Swanson writes:

“Europe is not a person.  It has not during the past year — which is the requirement — or even during the past several decades done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations.  Ask Libya.  Ask Syria.  Check with Afghanistan.  See what Iraq thinks.  Far from doing the best work to abolish or reduce standing armies, Europe has joined with the United States in developing an armed global force aggressively imposing its will on the world.”

And obviously the committee was also not aware that the EU has 1,5 Million soldiers under arms and spends €192.5 billion (2011) on the Miltary.

Hardly an organisation in favour of peace and non-violence.

*****

 Conclusion

These are just a few examples of , to put it mildly, “questionable” decisions by the Norwegian committee. If Edward Snowden becomes the next laureate he will add to a list of persons and organisations that have nothing to do with what Alfred Nobel envisaged. By no means do I want to take away from what Edward Snowden did but the question here is if this fits Alfred Nobel’s will. The fitting acknowledgement of what Edward Snowden has done for (not only) the American public would be to award him the Congressional Medal of Honour. There are always nominations for persons who would really deserve this prize like  Chelsea (ex Bradley) Manning, who is now serving a 35 year sentence for her courage to expose the horrors of war to the world and to highlight the effects it has on victims as well as perpetrators of violence. For this year’s prize  Mother Agnes Mariam has also been nominated. She has tiredlessly worked for peace amidst the chaos in Syria, for which some of the recent recipients have to share responsibility. If the prize would be awarded to Snowden that would certainly be an improvement but it would still not be in line with Nobel’s vision to abolish war. Let us see if the politicians forming the committee can rescue the peace prize from itself by selecting a deserving human being as per Nobel’s will.

About the author:
R. Teichmann is an activist living in West Cork / Ireland and an editor with news-beacon-ireland . He also blogs on War is a Crime.

Obama out Orwelled Orwell | Lee Camp Interview

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org

Barack Obama may as well have delivered his 5th State of the Union address to and for the Superstate Oceania, the fictional empire mired in perpetual war from George Orwell’s 1984.

No, Obama did not come directly out and tell us that war is peace, freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength so much as he embodied those ideas in a nuanced, measured performance that inspired the political pundits like Chris Matthews to wax poetic like a Theatre critic praising an aging stage actor who was able to find the old magic one last time.

Syria News - Jan 30

 

US intelligence chief Clapper Says Syrian Al-Qaida Wants to Attack US - ABC News


VIDEO: Senate Hearings on Syrian Al-Qaida - YouTube


VIDEO: James Clapper: 7,000 foreign jihadists from 50 countries now fighting in Syria - YouTube


TRANSCRIPT: Senate Intelligence hearing on national security threats - The Washington Post


VIDEO: Syria Al Qaeda Training Western Citizens for Terror Abroad - CNN


Israeli general says al Qaeda's Syria fighters set up in Turkey can easily access Europe from the NATO member state - Yahoo News


Turkish military strikes ISIS convoy in Syria - Today's Zaman


Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki says that providing rebels in Syria with arms would only mean sending weapons to terrorists in Iraq -  Globaltimes.cn

 

Iraq’s violence originates from Saudi Arabia: Maliki - alalam.ir

 

Iraq says Syria war spillover hinders oilfields, pipelines - Yahoo News UK

 

Israel's Growing Role in Southern Syria to confront Qaeda - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

 

Syria Jihadists Say Liberation of 'Palestine,' Golan Will Follow Fall of Assad (VIDEO) - Algemeiner.com

 

Nusra, ISIS moves raise worries in Lebanon of spreading violence - McClatchy DC

 

How the War in Syria Empowers Lebanese Jihadism - Syria in Crisis - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

 

Syria sends letters to the United Nations and the UNSC about Saudi Arabia’s Terrorist Operations - Global Research

 

Brahimi says no substantive progress on Syria but hopeful - Reuters

 

VIDEO: Lakhdar Brahimi Press Conference on Geneva, 29 January 2014 - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Syrian Coalition spokesperson- press conference - Syrian National Coalition

 

Lavrov: Geneva II key task is to stop terrorism in Syria, not to have Assad step down - APA

 

Syria army edges forward in Aleppo - Al Arabiya News

 

Syria Report -  War Dead (GRAPHS) - ncfsyria.blogspot.com

 

Azerbaijani Foreign Fighters in Syria - JIHADOLOGY

 

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Syria: Popular media activist Raed Fares shot allegedly by ISIS, but stable - GlobalPost


ISIS Hunts Down Kfar Nabel Activists as Agents of the West - damascusbureau.org


Syria's Islamic Front clashes with ISIS - Worldbulletin News


Aleppo Rebels Kill Second In Command ISIS Fighter - The Syrian Observer


Mujahedeedn Army Arrests ISIS Emir - The Syrian Observer


ISIL evacuates Al-Raqqa town in order to "liberate 17th Division" - Syria Newsdesk


Thousands of Turkmen flee to Turkey amid ISIS-rebel clashes - CİHAN

 

Eye On the Battle Between ISIS and Other Rebel Groups: International Crisis Group researcher explains the current situation on the ground - Syria Deeply

 

Ahrar al Sham leader Hassan Abboud criticizes head of Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham - The Long War Journal

 

On Ahrar al Sham leader Hassan Abboud’s Latest Speech - danielabdullah

 

ISIS says never rejected reconciliation with rebels but asked questions prior to any agreement - ZAMAN ALWSL

 

PHOTO: Iraq releases rare 'ISIS chief' photo - THE DAILY STAR

 

The Dawn of the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham - Current Trends in Islamist Ideology

 

How Carl Campeau, abducted in Syria, escaped al-Qaeda's clutches - CBC News

 

As Free Syrian Army Use of Child Soldiers Detailed in New UN Report, How Can US Aid FSA? - Inner City Press

 

Syria: Rampant Looting by Both Sides in Damascus Countryside - Al Akhbar English

 

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Efrin Becomes Last of Three Rojava Cantons To Officially Declare Autonomy - The Rojava Report


VIDEO: Efrin celebrates autonomy - YouTube


Syrian Kurds: ‘We don't want to draw new borders’, PYD leader Salih Muslim says - ekurd


Syria Kurds autonomy prohibits party nepotism: Cezire Canton Prime Minister Akram Hasu - Kurdpress News Aganecy

 

Syrian Kurds Regain Control of Strategic Town in Syria from ISIS - aina.org

 

Layla Zana to make accord between Barzani and Ocalan - Kurdpress News Aganecy

 

Reports: Ocalan Letter for Kurdish President Barzani Could Be About Syria Kurdistan - Rudaw

 

Who Ordered the Killing of PKK founder Sakine Cansiz? Rudaw

 

Jean-Louis Malterre: Paris murder investigation of PKK founder Sakine Cansiz should not stop at national borders - ekurd

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Talk Nation Radio: Portland Oregon Supports Its Teachers and Students

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-portland

Portland Oregon is sitting on a budget surplus while overworking and undersupporting its teachers. And it's not just the teachers who aren't going to take it anymore.

Eric MacCartney is a member of the Portland Association of Teachers (PAT). He has been teaching for over six years, and now teaches fifth grade at Kelly Elementary, a Title I school in Portland's Lents neighborhood. Before that he taught as a substitute all over the district. MacCartney is also a parent of an eighth grader who is attending da Vinci Arts Middle School.

Meredith Reese is a long-time community activist and a member of the Portland Teacher Solidarity Campaign, which is a grassroots group of students, parents, teachers, and community members who have come together to stand in solidarity with the teachers in their struggle for a fair contract and for the schools Portland students deserve.

See also:
http://pdxteachers.org
http://teachersandparentstogether.com

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

Turkey News - Jan 29

 

According to wiretapped phone conversations Erdogan accepted two villas from a businessman in return for easing zoning restrictions in Urla - Today's Zaman


AUDIO (Turkish): Urla Villas -1: Wiretapped phone conversations between Erdogan's daugther and businessman Topbaş - YouTube


AUDIO (Turkish): Urla Villas -2: Erdogan’s wiretapped phone conversation - YouTube


AUDIO (Turkish): Urla Villas -3: Erdogan’s wiretapped phone conversation - YouTube


AUDIO (Turkish): Urla Villas -4: Erdogan’s wiretapped phone conversation - YouTube


AUDIO (Turkish): Urla Villas -5: Wiretapped phone conversations between Erdogan and businessman Topbaş - YouTube


AUDIO (Turkish): Urla Villas -6: Erdogan’s wiretapped phone conversation- YouTube


AUDIO (Turkish): Urla Villas -7 Erdogan’s wiretapped phone conversation - YouTube


Report: Municipality illegally donated public buildings to TÜRGEV, Erdogan's son Bilal is a member of TÜRGEV's executive board - Today's Zaman


Turkish opposition voices new graft claims, $100 million transaction to TÜRGEV which counts the Erdogan's son Bilal as a board member - hurriyetdailynews


Police chief suspended after revealing order to halt corruption operation - CİHAN

 

Massive purge in police creates security weakness, say analysts - Today's Zaman

 

Autonomy of Turkish Justice Academy to end - CİHAN

 

Internet censorship growing more reckless in Turkey - Today's Zaman

 

Turkey Internet activists warn the government 'cannot stop us' - DW.DE

 

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POLL: Survey reveals broad public support for corruption investigations - Today's Zaman


Erdoğan widens hostile stance to include diverse groups amid corruption woes - CİHAN


Erdoğan calls critics, civil movements ‘traitor’, threatens investors - CİHAN


Erdoğan vows to continue sending ‘aid' to Syria - CİHAN


Turkey may face trouble in future due to trucks allegedly carrying weapons to Syria - Today's Zaman

 

Political Divisions in Turkey Widen Over Syria Policy - VOA

 

Zarrab suspected of sending $1.5 million for assassination of Saudi envoy - Today's Zaman

 

Exiled Turkish cleric Gulen says he is a "scapegoat" in Erdogan corruption scandal - BBC News

 

VIDEO: Interview with Turkey’s Fethullah Gulen - BBC News

 

Minister's remarks on Gülen cause AK Party members to resign - Today's Zaman

 

Turkish central bank makes massive rate hikes to stem lira fall - Reuters

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

VIDEO: 2014 State of The Union (minus the Corporate Influence)

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org

Note: In some alternative universe, not only am I the speechwriter for President Obama, but I’ve actually convinced him to deliver the following as the 2014 State of the Union. – Dennis Trainor, Jr.

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, fellow citizens- 60 years ago, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his annual State of the Union Address to the Nation as a Fireside Chat from the White House in which he outlined a proposed second bill of rights that would to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known.

Peacemakers like Margaretta D’Arcy uphold the greater moral law

This is a repost of an article in www.news-beacon-ireland.info


 


Margaretta, in her peaceful act of civil disobedience, was seeking to highlight our own government’s failure to uphold both Irish and international law. We should applaud her courage, writes Joe Murray.


 


by Joe Murray


 


copyright © Journal Media Ltd. 2014
published on the journal 28 Jan 2014
republished here under the term of Fair Use

 


Signs of hope and causes for optimism are still to be found amid the bleak picture often presented on the daily news. Despite the realities of war, climate change and hunger, we can find hope and inspiration in those who continue to resist, to struggle, to challenge, and even to celebrate.

Bobby Gates According to Bobby Gates

 

 


No Tears for the Real Robert Gates

 

 

Editor Comment: In Official Washington, the gap between image and reality can be wide, but there is a virtual canyon separating the mainstream’s awestruck regard for Robert Gates as a “wise man” and his record as a deceitful opportunist known to his former colleagues.

By Ray McGovern

In the early 1970s, I was chief of the CIA’s Soviet Foreign Policy Branch in which Robert M. Gates worked as a young CIA analyst. While it may be true that I was too inexperienced at the time to handle all the management challenges of such a high-powered office, one of the things I did get right was my assessment of Gates in his Efficiency Report.

Syria News - Jan 28

 

Syrian talks break down over future role of Assad - AP


'No concrete step' yet for Homs evacuation, aid - Yahoo News


US resumes nonlethal aid to Syrian opposition - The Washington Post


Congress secretly approves U.S. weapons flow to 'moderate' Syrian rebels - Reuters


Damascus-based FSA rebel faction backs Coalition delegation to Geneva 2 - Syria Newsdesk

 

Evidence points to secret Israeli strike on Syrian missile launchers - Fox News

 

Inside the Syrian Electronic Army Hack on CNN - mashable.com

 

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30% of Al-Raqqa's residents flee to Turkey - Syria Newsdesk


Mounting Abuses by Al-Qaeda’s ISIS Against Civilians in Raqqa - The Syrian Observer


VIDEO (Arabic): An ex-prisoner by ISIS confirms that Father Paolo Dall’Oglio is in ISIS Akirshe prison of Raqqa - YouTube


Key Al-Qaida Militant Reportedly Killed in Syria - ABC News


Opposition factions launch new battle against ISIS in Aleppo - Syria Newsdesk

 

Jaish Al Mujahideen arrests ISIS Emir and other fighters West Aleppo - ZAMAN ALWSL

 

Saudi cleric's reconciliation initiative for jihadists draws wide support, then ISIS rejection - The Long War Journal

 

Translation of ISIS's rejection of the Moheisini peace plan - Twitter / aron_ld

 

ISIS in Lebanon: Lebanese Army a Target - Al Akhbar English

 

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PYD Names Second Local Kurdish Government in Kobani - welat-kurdistan.org


President of Kobani Governing Council: Geneva 2 Is Not Binding For Us - The Rojava Report


Third Kurdish autonomy to be announced in northern Syria - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Qamishli to be capital city of Jazeera Canton in Syrian Kurdistan - ekurd


US State Dep calls for unified Syria following PYD declaration - Worldbulletin News Portal

 

Syrian Kurds not united behind opposition delegation to Geneva talks - Al-Monitor

 

Clashes break out between Syria Kurds and Qaeda near Sere Kaniye (Ras Al Ain) - aranews.org

 

YPG sucesfully defends Manajir from ISIS - Transnational Middle-East Observer

 

VIDEO: Kurdish YPG Fighters Fighting With Al Nusra In North Syria 26 01 2014 - YouTube

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Legalize Democracy | full documentary

Legalize Democracy | full documentary 

Originally posted at PopularResistance.org

Legalize Democracy is a documentary film by Dennis Trainor, Jr. (American Autumn: an Occudoc) about the movement to amend -- why it is needed, and how you can get involved, placing the response to corporate coup of our government in the context of the growing Democracy movement emerging right here and right now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFsq2WMxhzE

http://youtu.be/QFsq2WMxhzE

From Egypt to Afghanistan : Free woman, free world

Sherif Samir, writing from Egypt

 In the past year, during the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood, when the darkness of fanatical Muslims beset Egypt, and when it seemed that the spirit of resistance was fading, and people were giving up, I was observing women, wondering how the new situation was affecting their looks, their clothes, and their make-up, and I kept hope as long as women kept wearing tight pants, and lipstick, as long as I saw girls and boys walking together and laughing out loud. “Fanatical groups will never own the heart of Egypt,” I thought to myself, “as long as women in tights are guarding the spirit of life.” And I was right. 

You know that women are half of the human race, and they can change the future by raising a free new generation. Now you might be saying "Nonsense" - women in the west wear hot shorts but people there are still suffering under capitalism. Right, but remember, I'm Egyptian. The majority of women here are told to cover all their bodies all the time. Many are treated as though they are nothing but a piece of meat, and taught that they hold the honour of men between their legs. Religion sees women as a threat, dictatorship sees women as a threat, and parents see their daughters as a threat. Husbands see their wives as threat, and treat them as property with support from religion, law, and masculine society. They see in women a dangerous revolutionary potential. Sadly, almost 99%of Egyptian women face this oppression.

You see the point here? Women have got to realise how important and effective a free woman is. The reality now is, however, a sad one: many women ironically defend the misogynous values of masculine society.  Even educated women still expect to be owned by men and to cultivate in their children the same beliefs that oppress women today. That's how women are supposed to be in a devout Islamic country. So, I’m looking up to Egyptian women, wanting them to revolt, to change their destiny and thereby help change the world.

Dr Hakim, writing from Afghanistan

She stammers.

Once, her eyeliners darker than usual, she complained indignantly about a girl who had misquoted her,” Ei…ei…either she..she goes, or I go!”

She works hard, weighing out the synthetic wool which 60 Afghan ladies use to make winter duvets. Her movements are more determined than that of most men. She is as ready to agree as she is to disagree.

One afternoon in Afghanistan, where music was once banned, she attended a music program. Two professional Afghan singers were invited, a Hazara and a Pashtun, both male. There were about 20 girls and just as many boys in the medium-sized, L-shaped room, the singers at the corner, and the girls on rows of duvets placed on the short arm of the L.

“Would anyone in the audience like to sing?”

Heads turned away. Eyes gazed down. Then…”Me!” she gestured. Her mouth wasn’t smiling. Her face was looking quite serious.

She took the microphone. A Pashtun music enthusiast, a drummer boy, sat down near her with the Afghan drum, the ‘dol’.

From outside, like a cloak, conservative public opinion seemed to weigh down on the roof, and to push against the windows : Patriarchs ask, “ A girl singing?”. The religious council delivers an edict stating that women are second to men. Over the airwaves, a conservative American militarist proclaims, as if in jest, that the most powerful army in the world is here to protect the rights of Afghan women like her, while more than 2500 women had committed suicide in a year.

She took the microphone, which was larger than her hand. Her eyelids were half-drawn, in momentary meditation, with a slight rhythm swaying in her neck.

She took the microphone…

The room paid attention. The audience hesitated. The‘dol’ and the ‘dambura’ ( an Afghan two-stringed, banjo-like instrument ) were played by two men, as accompaniment.

With a scattering of tone-deaf notes, but with no stammers, she sang!

It appeared to me that the whole world broke out clapping.                                 

 

 

Sherif Samir is an Egyptian writer and an Arabic teacher. He was the 2012 winner of the International Contest of Microfiction, awarded by Museo de la Palabra in Spain

Hakim, ( Dr. Teck Young, Wee ) is a medical doctor from Singapore who has done humanitarian and social enterprise work in Afghanistan for the past 9 years, including being a mentor to the Afghan Peace Volunteers, an inter-ethnic group of young Afghans dedicated to building non-violent alternatives to war. He is the 2012 recipient of the International Pfeffer Peace Prize.

Misplaced Lessons of Tahrir

I still want Dirty Wars to win the Oscar, but The Square is a documentary worth serious discussion as we hit the three-year point since the famous occupation of Tahrir Square in Cairo that overthrew Mubarak -- in particular because a lot of people seem to get a lot of the lessons wrong.

I suppose some people will leave Dirty Wars imagining that we need clean wars, whatever those would be.  But too many people seem to be drawing from The Square lessons they brought with them to it, including these: Thou shalt have a leader; thou shalt work within a major political party; thou shalt have an identifiable group of individuals ready to take power.  I don't think following these commandments would have easily changed the past three years in Egypt; I don't think they're where Egyptians should be heading; and I'm even more confident they're blind alleys in the United States -- where they serve as supposed remedies for the supposed failings of Occupy.

Many lessons that might be drawn from The Square seem right to me.  Did the people leave the square too early? Hell yes.  Was the movement divided when the Muslim Brotherhood sought to claim victory exclusively for itself and not for all of the people of Egypt? Of course it was.  Let that be a lesson to us indeed.  We agree, virtually all of us in the U.S., on a lot of needed reforms.  We're all getting collectively screwed.  But we divide ourselves over stupid petty stuff, irrelevant stuff, secondary stuff -- cultural issues, ideologies, superficial identities, and -- yes -- big-name leaders (think how many opponents of militarism and Big Brother you could agree with if they weren't "Ron Paulers").  Preferring one tyrant to another because of their religion or race is not a flaw the Egyptians have a monopoly on (think of all the Christian support for Bush and African-American support for Obama). 

Was trusting the military a horrible idea? No. It wasn't a horrible idea.  It was the most catastrophically stupendously stupid notion ever to enter a human skull.  Militaries don't support people.  People support militaries through their useful and exploited labor.  Costa Rica had to disband its military to stop having coups.  When a military exists, appealing to the humanity of its individual members is wise indeed.  But expecting the military as a whole to be democratic to the point of handing over power before it's compelled to do so is decidedly foolish.  None of which is to say the Egyptians have had much choice or that their project is yet completed.  Between them and us the question of which group is learning faster is no contest at all.

Do the people of Egypt need a Constitution rather than a pharaoh? Yes, absolutely. Does the Occupy movement need demands? Yes, of course it does.  Must we all create an ongoing culture of nonviolent action? Yes, sir-ee.  While The Square doesn't explicitly make the point, would better nonviolent discipline help? Undoubtedly.  Is the key lesson to never give up? Indeed.  All of these lessons should soak in deep.

But other points are less clear, in both The Square and common discussions of Egyptian revolution.  Tahrir Square didn't begin in 2011, and neither did the Muslim Brotherhood.  The foundations for the popular movement and for the religious party were laid over a period of years.  Foundations are being laid for nonviolent revolution in other places now. 

Did the Egyptians fail? And did they fail because they are great protesters but bad democrats who should be condescended to by enlightened Americans?  No.  First, it isn't over.  Second, the United States has a failed system of government itself, as 80-90 percent of the people here have been telling pollsters for years.  Third, although I caught only one very quick little hint at it in The Square, the major financial and military backer of the brutal, corrupt regimes in Egypt -- before Tahrir and since -- is the United States government.  To the extent that Egyptians have failed they've failed with our help.  And whether we're unaware of the billions of dollars of our grandchildren's unearned wages that we give to Egyptian thugs to assault the Egyptian people every year, or aware and unable to do anything about it -- either way, our democracy hardly shines out as a model for the world.

A leader would have divided the Tahrir movement or the Occupy movement.  That we don't think of ourselves as having leaders is a function of the corporate media giving no microphones to people who favor major improvements to the world.  Ironically, just like coverage of New York Police Department brutality, this helps us to build a stronger movement.  That is to say, it helps us in so far as it allows a movement not focused on a leader.  Yes, we'd be much stronger with major media coverage, but the possible development of leaders recognized and named as such would be a downside.  And a successful movement behind a leader would only be able to put that leader into power if it succeeded far beyond where Egypt arrived in 2011 -- and it would only be able to get that leader back out of power again if it succeeded even further.

Is the lesson of Tahrir that Occupiers should back candidates in the Democratic Party?  Is an organized party that can challenge the Muslim Brotherhood or the Democrats the answer?  Not within a corrupt system it isn't.  When our goal is not a better regime but something approaching democracy, then what's needed is the nonviolent imposition of democracy on whatever individuals are in power, and the development of a culture of eternal vigilance to maintain it.  You can't elect your way out of a system of corrupt elections.  You can't impose a group of populist leaders on a government by coup d'etat and then write a democratic constitution afterwards. 

No, that is not what happened in the United States, and not just because the old government got on ships and sailed away, but because the Constitution was fundamentally anti-democratic.  The United States has gained democracy through nonviolent movements of public pressure, imposed reforms, amendments, court rulings, and the changing of the culture.  Reforms are needed more badly than ever now, and whether they're imposed at the federal level or through the states or through secession, they must come through popular nonviolent pressure, as bullets and ballots are virtually helpless here.

The lesson I take away from The Square is that we must prevent the operation of business as usual until the institution itself, not its face, is fixed.  We can put up giant posters of a black man followed by a white woman followed by some other demographic symbol, but the posters will still be on the walls of prisons, barracks, and homeless shelters, unless we fix the structure of things.  That means:

  • Rights for people, and for the natural environment, not for corporations.
  • Spending money on elections is not a human right of free speech.
  • Elections entirely publicly financed.
  • The right to vote, to have time off work to vote, and to vote on a paper ballot publicly counted at the polling place.
  • Free air time, ballot access, and debate participation to all candidates who have collected sufficient signatures of potential constituents.
  • A citizens branch and public initiative power by signature collection.
  • The application of criminal laws to authorities who commit crimes or abuse their office.
  • Mandatory impeachment and recall votes for officials facing prosecution.
  • The right to a decent income, housing, healthcare, education, peace, a healthy environment, and freedom from debt.
  • The rights of the natural environment to continue and thrive.
  • The institution of minimum and maximum wages and a ban on extreme wealth.
  • Demilitarization.
  • Dismantling of the prison industry.

Give me all of that or give me death.  Take your bullshit rhetoric about "liberty" and name a square after it.

Hear David Swanson Speak in Maine

Visit PeaceWorks of Greater Brunswick.

David Swanson in Brunswick, Maine
Feb. 15, 2014 Saturday
3 - 5 p.m. Curtis Memorial Library
Sign up on Facebook.
Flyer: PDF.

David Swanson in Portland, Maine
Feb. 15, 2014 Saturday
6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Lee Hall, Wishcamper Center, USM, 34 Bedford Street
Parking in garage next to Wishcamper
Flyer: PDF.

Talks & Book signings.

Free and open to the public.

David Swanson will discuss and sign copies of his new book, War No More: The Case for Abolition.

Swanson's books include When the World Outlawed War, named by Ralph Nader as one of the six books everyone should read; the best-selling classic War Is A Lie, and Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union, of which Glenn Greenwald said, "There have now been many books written which chronicle the imperial, lawless presidency of the Bush era, but Swanson’s superb new book is one of the very few to examine how we can recover from it and reverse its pernicious trends."

Swanson is the host of Talk Nation Radio. He helped plan the nonviolent occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington DC in 2011. Swanson holds a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a
communications director, with jobs including press secretary for Dennis Kucinich's 2004 presidential campaign.

He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org and works for RootsAction.org. Swanson is Secretary of Peace in the Green Shadow Cabinet.

These events are co-sponsored by: PeaceWorks, PeaceActionMaine, GlobalNetWork, CodePink Maine, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Maine Veterans for Peace, Brunswick Friends Meeing, PAM Action Committee.

For more information contact mSpiess@myfairpoint.net 207-865-3802.

Syria News - Jan 26

 

Syria Geneva II talks: Breakthrough in sight with humanitarian corridor that could see aid convoy heading to Homs within 48 hours - The Independent


Homs aid a 'trial balloon' for peace talks: Syria opposition - GlobalPost


VIDEO: Lakhdar Brahimi, full press conference on direct talks between Syria government and opposition - YouTube


VIDEO: Horrific footage of starvation in Palestinian Yarmook camp in Syria - YouTube


Syrian Coalition Calls for Setting a Specific Timeframe for Geneva II Negotiations - Syrian National Coalition

 

Weak Rebel Support for the Syrian Peace Talks - Syria in Crisis - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

 

American Official Reveals Secret Communications with Regime - The Syrian Observer

 

Chaos in Syria could avalanche if regime changes abruptly: Lavrov - Interfax

 

Russian-Chinese Naval Training Exercise Begins in Mediterranean - RIA Novosti

 

CNN gets hacked: ‘Syrian Electronic Army Was Here…’ - Poynter

 

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Jihadist announces creation of ISIS branch in Lebanon - Naharnet


VIDEO: Jihadist announces creation of ISIS branch in Lebanon - YOUTUBE


Nusra Front claims responsibility for several attacks in Lebanon, urges Sunnis to avoid Hezbollah areas - THE DAILY STAR


Israel foils Al Qaeda plot to attack American Embassy in Tel Aviv - Fox News


Israel fears it is next target of al-Qaeda-linked jihadis in Syria, to re-evaluate its policy of neutrality in the conflict - The Times of Israel


Israeli officer: With 30,000 Al Qaeda fighters in Syria, ready to embark on cross-border military action to stem this direct threat - DEBKAfile


Al Qaeda group claims responsibility for Cairo bombings - The National


Al Qaeda offshoot ISIS imposes strict Islamic rules in north Syria, beheaded on Friday two men by sword over charges of insulting The Holy Prophet -  ZAMAN ALWSL

 

VIDEO: ISIS Beheader - LiveLeak.com

 

VIDEO: New ISIS mass grave near Atareb, 2 women pulled from it - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Ex-ISIS man reveals torture in name of 'prison jihad’ in Syria - LiveLeak.com

 

Child exploitation by ISIS terror group in Syria war - alalam.ir

 

VIDEO: Syrian kid about 3-4 years old shooting with AK 47 - LiveLeak.com

 

Belgium’s Syria Jihadist Fighters ~ An Overview of 2012 and 2013 - JIHADOLOGY

 

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Kobanê To Declare Kurdish Autonomy on January 27th - The Rojava Report


Kurdish members of Syria opposition coalition lashed out al-Jarba after he did not mention the rights of the Kurds in his speech - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Lavrov: Kurds and NCB should be included - Transnational Middle-East Observer

 

Jabhat al-Nusra, ISIS and Ahrar ash-Sham form joint front to seize western Ras al-Ayn from PYD control - YALLA SOURIYA

 

VIDEO: Rebels get ready to storm Ras al-Ayn to free it from YPG - LiveLeak.com

 

VIDEO: Fighters from ISIS, Ahrar and Nusra sing for unity & the end of fighting that diverts them from jihad - YouTube

 

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Report on Martyrs Who Died in Regime's Detention Center Branch 215 of the Military Intelligence Division, Damascus - Violations Documentation Center


Ten Inconsistencies in the Carter-Ruck Torture Report - SibiaLiria


Carter Ruck clients: Yasin Qadı, Yusuf al-Qaradawi and other people allegedly connected with al-Qaeda, Erdogan and Islamic Relief Organization (IHH) - nsnbc international

 

Does a Qatar-Sponsored ‘Smoking Gun’ Torture Report Reveal An Ulterior Motive? - mintpressnews.com

 

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Citing DeSmogBlog Series, "FrackNation" Screening Cancelled by MN Film Festival

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

"FrackNation," the documentary film about hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") with close conservative movement ties, recently had its showing cancelled at Winona, Minnesota's annual Frozen River Film Festival (FRFF).

Turkey News - Jan 25

 

Former US envoys to Ankara say Erdoğan doing great harm to democracy - Today's Zaman


Op-Ed by former U.S. ambassadors to Turkey: The United States needs to tell Turkey to change course - The Washington Post


US State Department on Turkey graft probe claims: No comment - CİHAN


Turkey's Government Sees US Hand in Anti-Corruption Probes - VOA


EU president urges Turkey to respect rule of law - Today's Zaman


EU to wait before taking action, Erdogan failed to convince the European Union leadership of the existence of a parallel state - CI˙HAN


‘Parallel structure’ case to bring gov’t closer to authoritarianism - Today's Zaman

 

PM Erdoğan confirms partial suspension of HSYK bill - Today's Zaman

 

Turkey's main opposition: Draft military law bill jeopardizes promotions, amendments will require prime minister’s approval before trying senior members of the military by the judicial authorities - hurriyetdailynews

 

Legal proceedings underway for Turkish Justice Minister Bozdag - hurriyetdailynews

 

Truck-intercepting prosecutor stripped of some powers - Today's Zaman

 

Turkish PM Erdoğan's son ready to testify over graft probe: Lawyer - hurriyetdailynews

 

Turkish PM Erdoğan slams top business group head for probe warning - hurriyetdailynews

 

Int'l press institutions: PM identifying journalist as target worrisome, hampers press freedom - Today's Zaman

 

Intellectuals call on gov't not to ‘acquit' corruption, coup plotters - Today's Zaman

 

Online Petition Drive in Turkey Attempts to Force Anti-Corruption Reforms - VOA

 

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Erdogan threatens to unveil graft accusations against main opposition candidate for Istanbul mayor - Reuters


CHP Istanbul candidate Sarıgül replies to TMSF: ‘You cannot scare me’ - hurriyetdailynews


Turkish government accused of trying to sabotage poll - FT.com

 

A Race for More Than the Mayor of Istanbul – NYTimes.com

 

Turkish Opposition Eyes Its Opportunity In March local elections - KNAU Arizona Public Radio

 

Lira slide becomes headache for Turkey's embattled Erdogan - Reuters

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Open Letter to The 85 Richest People on The Planet (cc: Kevin O’Leary) VIDEO

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org Responding to the Oxfam report that concluded that the world's 85 richest people own the same amount as the bottom half of the entire global population, self appointed spokesperson for the global elite, and celebrity Judge on the reality show The Shark Tank Kevin O’Leary,applauded the news, stating that is  “fantastic news (…) the motivation everybody needs (…) it inspires everyone to want to be like the 1%” and scoffing at the idea of “re-distribution of wealth” stated, “ I celebrate Capitalism.” His remarks inspire this open

What we learned touring Close Guantanamo NOW

by Debra Sweet         5 years ago yesterday Obama signed an executive order to close Guantanamo. But the Obama administration is still making arguments in US federal court, and to the public that indefinite detention is necessary in Bagram, Afghanistan, as well as other places. From Guantanamo and beyond: indefinite detention and other forms of torture are wrong and must be stopped!

They Never Announce When You Prevent a War

There exists, I suppose, some slight chance of this one making it into the State of the Union address, no doubt in a distorted, bellicose, and xenophobic disguise.  Typically, there's no chance of any announcement at all. 

We're stopping another war.

There are a million qualifications that need to be put on that statement.  None of them render it false.  A bill looked likely to move through Congress that would have imposed new sanctions on Iran, shredded the negotiated agreement with Iran, and committed the United States to join in any Israeli war on Iran.  This would be a step toward war and has become understood as such by large numbers of people.  Efforts to sell sanctions as an alternative to war failed. Tons of pushback has come, and is still coming, from the public, including from numerous organizations not always known for their opposition to war.  And the bill, for the moment, seems much less likely to pass. 

This is no time to let up, but to recognize our power and press harder for peace.

Pushback against the sanctions bill has come from the White House, from within the military, and from elsewhere within the government. But this bill was something the warmongers wanted, AIPAC wanted, a majority of U.S. senators wanted, and corporate media outlets were happy to support.  The underlying pretense that Iran has a nuclear weapons program that endangers the world had the support of the White House and most other opponents of the March-to-War bill.  That pretense has been successfully sold to much of the public. The additional supporting pretense that sanctions have helped, rather than hindered, diplomacy has similar widespread backing. But when it comes to a measure understood as a step into war, the public is saying no, and that public response is a factor in the likely outcome.

In this instance, President Obama has been on the right side of the debate. I've never known that to actually be true before. But there's been a whole infrastructure of activism set up and fine-tuned for five years now, all based around the pretense that Obama was right on various points and Congress wrong.  So, when that actually happened to be true, numerous organizations knew exactly what to do with it. War opposition and Obama-following merged.  But let's remember back to August and September.  That was a different situation in which . . .

We stopped another war.

Raytheon's stock was soaring. The corporate media wanted those missiles to hit Syria. Obama and the leadership of both parties wanted those missiles to hit Syria.  The missiles didn't fly.

Public pressure led the British Parliament to refuse a prime minister's demand for war for the first time since the surrender at Yorktown, and the U.S. Congress followed suit by making clear to the U.S. president that his proposed authorization for war on Syria would not pass through either the Senate or the House.  Numerous Congress members, from both houses and both parties, said they heard more from the public against this war than ever before on any issue. It helped that Congress was on break and holding town hall meetings.  It helped that it was Jewish holidays and AIPAC wasn't around. 

And there were other factors.  After the public pushed Congress to demand a say, Obama agreed to that.  Perhaps he wanted something so controversial -- something being talked about as "the next Iraq" -- to go to Congress.  Perhaps he expected Congress would probably say No.  In such a scenario, the decisive factor would remain the past decade of growing public sentiment against wars.  But I don't think that's what happened.  Obama and Kerry were pushing hard and publicly for those missiles to fly.  When they couldn't get the "intelligence" agencies to back their fraudulent case, they announced it anyway.  Those lies are just being exposed now, in a very different context from that in which the Iraq war lies or the Afghanistan or Libya war lies have been exposed.  Obama told us to watch videos of children suffering and dying in Syria and to choose between war and inaction.  We rejected that choice, opposed war, and supported humanitarian aid (which hasn't happened on remotely the necessary scale).

In the space of a day, discussions in Washington, D.C., shifted from the supposed necessity of war to the clear desirability of avoiding war. The Russians' proposal to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons had already been known to the White House but was being rejected. When Kerry publicly suggested that Syria could avoid a war by handing over its chemical weapons, everyone knew he didn't mean it.  In fact, when Russia called his bluff and Syria immediately agreed, Kerry's staff put out this statement: "Secretary Kerry was making a rhetorical argument about the impossibility and unlikelihood of Assad turning over chemical weapons he has denied he used. His point was that this brutal dictator with a history of playing fast and loose with the facts cannot be trusted to turn over chemical weapons, otherwise he would have done so long ago. That's why the world faces this moment." In other words: stop getting in the way of our war! By the next day, however, with Congress rejecting war, Kerry was claiming to have meant his remark quite seriously and to believe the process had a good chance of succeeding, as of course it did.  Diplomatic solutions are always available.  What compelled Obama to accept diplomacy as the last resort was the public's and Congress's refusal to allow war.

These victories are limited and tentative.  The machinery that pushes for war hasn't gone away.  The arms are still flowing into Syria.  Efforts to negotiate peace there seem less than wholehearted.  The U.S. puppeteer has stuck its arm up the rear end of the United Nations and uninvited Iran from the talks.  The people of Syria and Iran are no better off.

But they're also no worse off. No U.S. bombs are falling from their skies.

There could be other proposals for wars that we'll find much harder to prevent.  That's precisely why we must recognize the possibility of stopping those proposals too, a possibility established by the examples above, from which we should stop fleeing in panic as if the possibility that everything we do might have some point to it horrifies us.

Any war can be stopped.  Any pretended necessity to hurry up and kill large numbers of people can be transformed into a negotiation at a table using words rather than missiles.  And if we come to understand that, we'll be able to start dismantling the weaponry, which in turn will make the tendency to think of war as the first option less likely.  By steps we can move to a world in which our government doesn't propose bombing someone new every few months but instead proposes helping someone new. 

If we can stop one war, if we can stop two wars, why can't we stop them all and put our resources into protection rather than destruction?  Why can't we move to a world beyond war?

Syria/Turkey News - Jan 24

 

Syrian opposition chief Jarba says Russia not sticking to Assad - THE DAILY STAR


VIDEO (and transcript): Russian FM Lavrov: Geneva II talks must not include any discussion of Syria regime change - EA WorldView


Kerry: Some nations ready to deploy Syria peacekeepers - AFP


Iran president Hassan Rouhani calls for “free and fair elections in Syria,” says Tehran “ready to engage” neighbors - CBS News

 

Syrian opposition refuses to meet govt face-to-face at Geneva 2 talks - RT News

 

FSA seeks new US arms supplies as Geneva talks resume - Telegraph

 

A Revolution in Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood? - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

 

VIDEO: Syrian President’s Media Advisor Bouthaina Shaaban goes on fiery rant - CNN

 

Many Syrians still see Assad as indispensable in saving their country - McClatchy DC

 

Hope Springs in Syria? How Local Cease-fires Have Brought Some Respite to Damascus - Foreign Affairs

 

VIDEO: Footage shows Syria 'FSA' militants defecting to the Syrian army - YouTube

 

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Nearly 1,400 dead since Syria rebel infightiing began, The Observatory says the figure included 760 moderate and Islamist rebels, 426 ISIS fighters - Al Arabiya


VIDEO: Northern Syria: Al-Qaeda's New Home, VICE filmmaker unprecedented access to both al Qaeda factions ISIS and Al Nusra  - YouTube


Al Qaeda ISIS militants seize Manbij east Aleppo: activists - ZAMAN ALWSL


VIDEO: FSA fleeing, Manbij retaken by ISIS - LiveLeak.com


MAP: Seems that Islamic Front lost Manbej to ISIS - Transnational Middle-East Observer

 

VIDEO: In New Video Campaign Islamic Front Appeals To Foreign Fighters, apparently offering them an alternative to the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham - EA WorldView

 

Qaeda chief Zawahri urges end to deadly clashes between rebels - THE DAILY STAR

 

AUDIO (and English transcript): Syria: Statement of Al Qa’eda Leader al-Zawahiri - EA WorldView

 

More on Al Qaeda head addressing rebel infighting in Syria - The Long War Journal

 

European Jihadists in Syria: More and Younger - Gatestone Institute

 

Interview: How Kuwait Emerged as a Rebel Finance Hub - Syria Deeply

 

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Syrian Kurds protest "exclusion" from Geneva II talks - AFP


Salih Muslim: The Solution is Democratic Autonomy - The Rojava Report


Christians and Kurds Form Coalition in Syria - Assyrian International News Agency


VIDEO: Press Conference: Christians and Kurds Form Coalition in Syria - YouTuber

 

PYD to open representative office in Baghdad - Kurdpress News Aganecy

 

Barzani offers to help in fight against terrorism - Al-Monitor

 

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New photos thought to show more Syrian torture - Anadolu Agency


PHOTOS: New photo gallery thought to show more Syrian torture - Anadolu Agency


State Dept. Learned in November of Photos Said to Show Torture in Syria - NYTimes.com


Report on Assad's tortures in Syria 'full of inconstistencies' - expert - The Voice of Russia

 

IIT Exclusive- 10 Reasons to Reject Syria Torture Report as Untrue - LiveLeak.com

 

Torture Report: Malicious Syria Bashing - rense.com

 

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Brawl occurs in Turkish parliament arliament during a debate over the corruption scandal - The Washington Post


VIDEO: Turkish lawmakers brawl over judicial reforms - Reuters.com


Draft to mandate Turkish PM’s consent for prosecution of top commanders - hurriyetdailynews.com


Inspection of trucks carrying weapons to Syrian rebels reignites debates on MİT Law - Today's Zaman


Weapons being shipped to Syrian rebels in accordance with MGK decision: Report - Today's Zaman

 

Intel not tasked with carrying weapons, Turkish main opposition leader says - hurriyetdailynews.com

 

Syria-bound trucks put spotlight on Turkey - Al-Monitor

 

French prosecutors ask Turkey for details about Paris murder suspect connections - Today's Zaman

 

New developments in Paris killings threaten to derail PKK peace talks - Al-Monitor

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

An Open Letter to Soldiers with 'Mental Health' Issues

Are you a soldier or veteran who is supposed to have a ‘mental health’ issue such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia or PTSD? If you are, then I have some suggestions for you to consider.

Reproductive Rights in a State of Emergency

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org

http://youtu.be/uo0_e5aVYA8

This Wednesday marked the 41st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, which protected a women’s decision to have an abortion was marked by thousands of anti-abortion activists taking part in a march for life in Washington, D.C. Carrying signs saying “I AM the pro-life generation”, and “conceived from rape, I love my life” marches converged on the National Mall Wednesday and marched to the Supreme Court.

While public opinion on abortion has not shifted much since the 1970s, the war on female reproductive rights, which was raging at a fever pitch in 2013, continues to escalate.

“Take me out to the ball game” — so I can be groped?

Ah, well, it was only a matter of time. Anybody with a brain knew it was only a matter of time.

The Thugs of Halftime

Three remarkable items in Thursday's Charlottesville Daily Progress.  First, a football player explaining that when he proclaimed his superiority to his opponent after a game he was caught up in the game's passion, and that the overblown reaction to his obnoxious comments seems racist. Indeed it does, but it seems to reflect another type of willful ignorance as well.

Spectators at gladiator matches don't want to see too deeply into the minds of the gladiators.  We want to watch violent sports without peering inside the helmets. Do they have to tell themselves the other team is dirt? Are they scared? Are they vicious? We don't want to know that stuff.  We want them to give the other guy brain damage and then jump up and talk to the microphone like a coach: "They played a great game today, and in my analysis we won by outplaying them at the game of football. That's what it really comes down to."

Football players are the least of it. Their thoughts would be far more acceptable in prime time than the thoughts of some other people on that field.  In many ways, football games have become advertisements for wars and militarism.  Jets fly over. Soldiers hold flags. Guns are fired. War-based national anthems are sung. Troops are honored. But do those troops chant what they chant in basic training? Do they scream about how blood makes the grass grow? Do they shout their racism and bigotry and insatiable desire to kill? Of course not.  Barbara Bush didn't want her beautiful mind disturbed with body counts and why should we?

If Richard Sherman is a thug for saying he's better than an opposing player, what are soldiers, sailors, Marines, and drone "pilots" who have been conditioned to kill on command because they are so far better than the men, women, children, infants, and grandparents they kill, as to consider those lives expendable?  Football fans don't want to know.  Who wants to see what went into a hotdog? Who wants to know what it means to have panem with your circenses? Who wants to experience what it takes to make the United States -- in a recent poll of 65 nations -- the overwhelming leader as the greatest threat to peace in the world? Who wants to hear that Pat Tillman came to oppose the war he was engaged in and was killed by "friendly fire" with no "enemies" for miles around?  It's a good thing the uniformed thugs of halftime don't speak unrehearsed into microphones.

I recall in a recent Super Bowl hearing the announcer thank U.S. troops for watching from 177 countries. That number could go up a little this year. To put it in context, there are 196 countries on earth.  What are armed Americans doing in 177 countries? They're making their fellow Americans hated.  Look at this week's election in Okinawa, where the victorious mayoral candidate ran on a platform of opposing the U.S. bases.  Look at Italy, where the entire nation turned against the massive U.S. base construction at Vicenza.  Look at South Korea, where the people of Jeju Island are willing to give their lives to stop the construction of a huge base for U.S. ships.  Look at Bahrain, where the people are courageously resisted a vicious monarch, a thug if ever there was a thug, and the United States that stands behind him for the sake of docking its deadly ships in his little boat-dock nation. Look at Yemen, whose corrupt government was forced to admit last week to a major humanitarian crisis of traumatized children -- traumatized by the constant buzzing of U.S. drones. Who wants to know that? I want to see cheerleaders and funny commercials!

Item number two: "Kaine Talks War Powers Bill." This article suggests that Senator Tim Kaine wants to restore warmaking powers to Congress.  But read Kaine's press release.  This bill would violate the Constitution which gave war powers to Congress, and the War Powers Resolution which retained partial war powers for Congress.  Rather than a Congressional authorization, under Kaine's bill, presidents would just have to talk to Congress, after which they could tell Congress to go to hell and proceed with their desired wars (except for endless drone wars, for which Kaine says the requirement to talk to Congress is waived).  And why undo the War Powers Resolution? The thinking, as recounted in the article, is that, since presidents keep violating it, repealing it is the way to uphold "the rule of law."  So, what will uphold the new law?  If presidents don't even talk to Congress -- as Obama went out of his way to avoid doing before bombing Libya -- will the new law have to be repealed to uphold "the rule of law"?

One would think presidents couldn't be impeached and prosecuted.

If only there were someone to ask about that!

Item number three: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to speak at UVA's Miller Center at 3 p.m. Thursday. Public not welcome. 

I don't recall the exercise of one's rights under the First Amendment requiring an invitation. Do you?

Syria/Turkey News - Jan 23

 

Syrian Geneva II peace talks witness bitter exchanges between opposing parties - Chicago Sun-Times


TRANSCRIPTS: Statements at the Geneva Conference on Syria - unog.ch


VIDEO: Syria rivals exchange blame in Geneva talks - YouTube


Russia's Lavrov says Syrian rivals vowed to hold direct talks - Yahoo News


Syrian enemies may discuss prisoner swaps, local ceasefires and humanitarian aid despite talks acrimony - Reuters


VIDEO: Clashes between pro-Assad men & his oppositionists in Montreux - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Verbal spat between pro-government and opposition individuals at Montreux - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Switzerland: Protesters show support for Assad as Geneva II begins - YouTube

 

Islamist militias full statement: Regime ‘has left no room for dialogue’ - Syria Direct

 

NCB statement on Geneva II - Transnational Middle-East Observer

 

Syria hails Aleppo airport reopening as a victory over rebels - Yahoo News

 

Loyalty to Assad runs deep on Syrian coast - CSMonitor.com

 

Due to a Shortage of Troops, Assad Issues Decree to Call Back Former Soldiers - The Syrian Observer

 

Minutes of US envoy Robert Ford past meeting with Syrian opposition: Report - .alalam.ir

 

Fierce clashes between Al Qaeda's ISIL and rebel groups near Azaz, north Aleppo - ZAMAN ALWSL

 

Where Is Al Qaeda Holding Its Western Hostages In Syria? - The Daily Beast

 

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Syria’s Kurds will declare self-rule in the whole Kurdish regions within a week - hurriyetdailynews.com


Syrian Kurds Announce Local Government in Cizire Canton with Qamishli as Capital - CİHAN


VIDEO: Kurds celebrating their self-declared autonomy in Qamishli - Syria


Residents throughout the Cizîre Region Celebrate After Declaration Of Autonomy (VIDEO) - The Rojava Report


The Kurds claim an autonomous government in north-east Syria. Three Christians among the 20 ministers - Fides News Agency

 

Special Report: Amid Syria's violence, Kurds carve out autonomy - Reuters

 

Kurdish women fight for equality in Syria - ekurd

 

KNC Foreign Delegations Head on Geneva II (VIDEO, Kurdish) - Transnational Middle-East Observer

 

Iraq Kurdish leader sees little gains at Syria conference - Yahoo News

 

Turkey fighting PYD, PKK, al-Nusra, says Erdoğan - Today's Zaman

 

The Kurds and Geneva II - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

 

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Turkey launches new mass purge of police and judiciary, Up to hundreds of police and 96 judges and prosecutors reassigned - GlobalPost


Turkish judicial purge brings corruption investigation to halt - Reuters


Turkey's Main Opposition CHP Exposes Document of Threat Against Prosecutor by Undersecretary - Good Morning Turkey


3 former ministers to be named members of criminal organization in graft indictment, web portal claims - Today's Zaman


Erdoğan gov't abusing regulatory agencies to punish opponents - Today's Zaman

 

700 party members resign from ruling AK Party in Diyarbakır - Today's Zaman

 

AK Party's Adana administration board resigns in protest - Today's Zaman

 

Report: Bill to authorize MİT to transport arms to Syria - Today's Zaman

 

Turkish intelligence service trucks reveal secrets - Al-Monitor

 

Turkish Government Would Show off if Trucks were Loaded With Humanitarian Aid to Syria: BDP Leader - Good Morning Turkey

 

‘MİT profiling directive a crime, contradicts universal law' - Today's Zaman

 

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Syria government says torture report 'politicized,' photos ‘fake’ - AFP


AUDIO: Syrian government advisor pours scorn on torture report - BBC News


Ministry of Justice dismisses as baseless Carter-Ruck’s torture report- SANA

 

Who Attacked Ghouta with Chemical Weapons?: Analysis of the Second UN Report shows the opposition has used sarin on at least three occasions - whoghouta.blogspot.com

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Students Rally To Topple The TPP

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.orgClick here to stop Fast Track of the TPP: http://www.stopfasttrack.com Former US Trade Representative Ron Kirk said that if the people knew what was in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, it would be impossible to get it signed. The Obama administration is going to great lengths to make sure that people do not know what is in the TPP before it gets signed into law, and have made “fast tracking” the TPP bill a top priority.

To See Climate Change in Florida, Check Out Miami Beach’s Storm Sewers

By Dave Lindorff


Miami Beach – Len Berry was relaxing with colleagues on a hotel patio here one evening last October when one of them shouted, “Look! It’s happening!”  Peering over the railing, the group could see water pushing up onto the street below from storm sewer drains – something that thanks to sea level rise has been happening with increasing frequency in this low-lying resort city. Berry, director of Florida Atlantic University’s Center for Environmental Studies, says he and the others were in town to attend a conference on climate change when they got this first-hand view of the crisis.

State Dept's Keystone XL Contractor, ERM Group, Also OK'd Controversial Pebble Mine in Alaska

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

A DeSmogBlog investigation has revealed Environmental Resources Management Inc. (ERM Group) — the contractor performing the U.S. State Department's environmental review for the northern half of TransCanada's Keystone XL tar sands pipeline — gave the greenlight to Alaska's controversial Pebble Mine proposal in June 2013.

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