41 Hearts Beating in Guantanamo

Photo: Witness Against Torture protestors march to the White House (Justin Norman)

by Kathy Kelly – January 13, 2018

January 11, 2018 marked the 16th year that Guantanamo prison has exclusively imprisoned Muslim men, subjecting many of them to torture and arbitrary detention.

About thirty people gathered in Washington D.C., convened by Witness Against Torture, (WAT), for a weeklong fast intended to close Guantanamo and abolish torture forever. read more

Bury the Monroe Doctrine

Remarks at No Foreign Bases Conference, Baltimore, MD, January 13, 2018

I get to introduce three terrific speakers to you on the topic of Latin America and the Caribbean, but first I’m allowed to say what I’m thinking for five minutes, so I’ll do that. I’m thinking that the first European bases on this coast were foreign bases, that they moved west, and that the practice has never paused. I live almost next door to the former home of James Monroe whose Monroe Doctrine, as evolved and abused read more

The shit’s everywhere: Yesterday’s ‘Shithole Countries’ Can Become Classy Places Donald, and Vice Versa

            When Donald Trump referred to countries like Nigeria and really, all of Africa, and the long-suffering island of Haiti in the Caribbean as “shitholes” to a bunch of stunned members of Congress yesterday, he was not just showing his deeply-rooted ugly racist self, but also his profound ignorance about the world — and his own country.

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            The truth is that yesterday’s read more

Tomgram: William D. Hartung, 2018 Looks Like an Arms Bonanza

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

Here’s a cheery note for you: the last mass killing of 2017 took place moments before midnight on New Year’s Eve.  A 16-year-old New Jersey boy picked up a semi-automatic rifle, “lawfully acquired” by a member of his family, and killed his father, mother, sister, and a family friend.  read more

Billboards, Bases, and Baltimore

The nonprofit organization World Beyond War has put up a billboard in Baltimore stating that “3% of U.S. military spending could end starvation on earth.” Of course, a much smaller percentage could heat Baltimore schools, where students are attending classes in unheated rooms.

World Beyond War and several other organizations are planning a rally on January 12 and a conference January 12 to 14 in Baltimore on the subject of closing U.S. foreign military bases, a move that would save enough money read more

Tomgram: Nick Turse, The Coming Year in Special Ops

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

If you want to know something about life in America these days, consider how New York Times columnist David Leonhardt began his first piece of the year, “7 Wishes for 2018”: “Well, at least it’s not 2017 anymore. I expect that future historians will look back on it as one of the darker non-war years in the country’s history…”

Think about that for a moment: read more

Wanna place bets?: With @TheRichKidsOfIran Instagrams, Somebody is Stirring Up a Hornet’s Nest

By Dave Lindorff

Scroll through the Instagram account ‘@RichKidsofTehran’ or RKOT and ask yourself: Knowing how aggressively the Iranian regime has gone after those — particularly women — who flaunt their sexuality and expose themselves with hair uncovered and with parts of their body exposed that are supposed to be kept covered except at home, who would be putting these clearly inflammatory images of both semi-nudity and ostentatious financial excess online?

If anything read more

Death at the Gate – Ken Hannaford-Ricardi in Kabul

January 2018

The number of visitors passing through the Afghan Peace Volunteers’ (APVs’) Borderfree Nonviolence Community Center in Kabul is incredible. Each afternoon, nearly sixty high-school-age students attend free classes to prepare them for the rigorous KanKor test, required of every Afghan desiring to attend public university. By 8:00 this morning, women from neighboring districts had begun arriving on foot, by taxi, or on bicycle, bringing hand-sewn duvets which the young APV’s read more

Tomgram: Frida Berrigan, A Mother Confronts a World on Fire

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

Let me mention a small joy of my life. One afternoon and evening a week I take care of my 5½-year-old grandson, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that we take care of each other.  We always stop for cookies — grandparents being allowed, according to The Official Rulebook of Child-Rearing (see p. 349), to shamelessly feed sweets to their grandchildren.  read more