Hell No! We can’t go!: Why on Earth Would the US Go to War with Iran over an Attack on Saudi Oil Refineries?

 By Dave Lindorff

President Bone Spur, backed by his war-mongering Secretary of State Mike “Armageddon” Pompeo, tweeted yesterday that the US military is “locked and loaded,” ready to attack (bomb) Iran if it can be proven that Iran was behind a drone bomb attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil refineries.

There are plenty of news media in the US that are seconding that notion of reflexively starting a hot war with Iran if it can be shown that Iran and not Houti forces in Yemen attacked Saudi oil read more

Tomgram: Engelhardt, Pyromaniacs, Inc.

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

On the Precipice
The Collective Asteroid of Human History
By Tom Engelhardt

Worlds end. Every day. We all die sooner or later. When you get to my age, it’s a subject that can’t help but be on your mind.

What’s unusual is this: it’s not just increasingly ancient folks like me who should be thinking such thoughts anymore. After all, worlds of a far larger sort end, too. read more

Every Peace Group and Activist Should Join Strike DC for the Earth’s Climate

Peace activists and organizations have worked for years to bring environmental and peace activism together. When an environmental campaign includes the peace movement, it’s time to join in and show up and take part.

Listen to how Russell Gray of Extinction Rebellion talks about peace and the climate. If we want to build the coalition of peace and environmental movements that we’ve dreamed of, this is how we do it.

World read more

A Morning in Afghanistan

Amidst political posturing, aerial terrorism and street bombings, Afghan citizens pursue their daily work toward peace.

Sept 11, 2019

On a very warm September morning in Kabul, several dozen men, women, and children sit on the carpeted floor of a room at the Afghan Peace Volunteers’ Borderfree Center. The women cluster together. All wear burqas, but because of the heat they push the steel blue veils back, revealing their faces. Most of the men wear traditional tunics and pakol hats.

Parents and read more

Really remembering 9-11: Recalling the Hundreds of Thousands of Civilian Victims of America’s Endless ‘War on Terror’

By Dave Lindorff

Now that the flags are back waving from the tops of flagpoles across the country, and the maudlin paeans to the close to 3000 lives lost in the airplane attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, it’s time we gave a thought to the dead who were ignored.

According to very conservative estimates, as reported by the “Costs of War” project of Brown University’s Watson Institute on International and Public Affairs, nearly 250,000 civilians have been killed during the a8 years since September 2001 in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan in wars or attacks that were instigated by the United States.

Those are very conservative figures carefully compiled by organizations like Iraq Body Count, the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies. These numbers are people known to have died in the violence of war, mostly as so-called “collateral damage,” but often deliberately, as when the US bombs a hospital, a wedding or a private housing compound in order to kill some targeted individual considered an “enemy combatant,” unconcerned about the others in the area, often women and children, who are almost certain to die or suffer serious injury as the result of a strike.

The numbers do not include the deaths that also stem from America’s post 9-11 wars — things like starvation, deaths from lack of medical care, and especially deaths from diseases like typhus or dysentery caused by lack of access to clean water or adequate sanitation facilities.

It is scandalous that the US government does not publish accurate information about the mayhem and slaughter that its wars have caused, especially because it is precisely because of the US extensive use of airpower, including remotely piloted drones as a means of keeping politically dangerous US military casualties in the so-called “War on Terror” at a minimum that produce so many civilian casualties.

Reporters who want to learn about civilian casualties from these US wars must either take the dangerous step of going to the battle zones without US official backing (what is called embedding with American forces — a set-up that keeps the military in control of access and message), or rely on reports from NGOs that monitor such things.

According to some accounts, civilian deaths caused by America’s permanent war in the Middle East since 2001 could exceed one million.


For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening, the uncompromised, collectively run, seven-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative news site, please go to: https://thiscantbehappening.net/recalling-the-hundreds-of-thousands-of-civilian-victims-of-americas-endless-war-on-terror/



Smedley Butler’s Speech Against War in Charlottesville in 1937

I didn’t know until recently that Smedley Butler had ever been to my town. Then I heard that he’d spoken at the University of Virginia here in Charlottesville in 1937. The University of Virginia had the speech tucked away in its stacks and was kind enough to dig it out. It’s pasted below.

If you haven’t heard of Smedley Butler and don’t know why he’s a major hero to Veterans for Peace and peace advocates in general (as well as having been a Major General), I can try to summarize his incredible life in a few sentences. The man ought to be a hero to opponents of fascist marches, which, by the way, have also come to Charlottesville.

Smedley Butler was a true believer in all patriotic and militaristic hogwash. He lied about his age to join the Marines early. He distinguished himself with insane courage and leadership skills in wars in China and Latin America. He ruled over Haiti. He was a World War I hero. He was put in charge of prohibition in Philadelphia until he enforced the law against the wealthy. He was the most decorated Marine there had been and remains one of the most decorated members of the U.S. military ever. He ran the base at Quantico and was himself imprisoned in it as a penalty for having made public that close-U.S.-ally Benito Mussolini had casually run over a little girl with his car.

Butler was a beloved hero of veterans and leader of their struggles to be paid their bonuses among other demands. A group of some of the wealthiest individuals in the nation made a study of fascist movements in Europe and attempted to hire Butler to lead a coup against President Franklin Roosevelt. Butler exposed the plot, and Congressional hearings confirmed his revelations. Historians believe that without Butler’s refusal, the plot might very well have been carried through.

Butler denounced war in countless public speeches and rejected his past career as a racket dealing death in the service of Wall Street. He was as passionate and dedicated and fearless in his opposition to organized mass murder as he had previously been in his support of it. As evidence of that claim, I offer the following speech, on Butler’s letterhead with his typed and hand-written edits:

At this time, the U.S. military was rapidly preparing for war with Japan, and peace groups were holding demonstrations against war with Japan — a war that didn’t come until 1941.

Read that last question again. In 1937, that was a rhetorical question. The answer was obvious. In the post-World War II world of permanent war, the answer is far less obvious and far more perverse. Politicians have been made as wary of “appeasement” as of aggression, if not much more so.

Propaganda has of course long since established that attending to one’s own business is sinful “isolationism,” even though Butler, like most “isolationists” makes very clear in the next breath that he’s not talking about isolating anyone.

At the time of this speech, the Ludlow Amendment was gaining strength in Congress. It would have required a public vote before any war. President Roosevelt successfully blocked its passage.

One reason Smedley Butler is lost to history is that the corporate media and historians have made great efforts to erase and obscure the story of the Wall Street Plot. I suspect that another reason is that Butler opposed war prior to the holiest of holy wars in U.S. culture, World War II. For that reason, I offer here an introduction to re-appraisal of the mythology:

12 Reasons Why the Good War Wasn’t.