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Listen to Marcy Winograd, Guest-Hosting for Lila Garrett on KPFK's CONNECT THE DOTS!

Which Aired Today, Monday, September 23rd, 7:00 AM at KPFK Archives:
http://archive.kpfk.org/mp3/kpfk_130923_070004ctd.MP3
It might take a few minutes to download. - KPFK 90.7 FM Radio - www.kpfk.org

Don't miss Marcy's incredibly right-on opening about the use of chemical
weapons by the United States over the decades.

Then hear Marcy interviewing David Swanson, author of "WAR IS A LIE" and
other books, talking about U.S. wars.
www.davidswanson.org/warisalie

Marcy then talks with Dr. Michael Powelson, who is running for Congress
against Brad Sherman in the Valley as a member of the Green Party.
www.powelsonforcongress.wordpress.com



And finally Marcy talks with Jose Lara: www.votejoselara.com & Dr. Suzie
Abajian: www.suzieabajian.com  - who are both running for local School
Boards.

Marcy is so good she should have her own program on KPFK.


In Peace,

Frank Dorrel
Publisher
Addicted To War

A Tale of Two Congress Members

In 2010 in Virginia's Fifth Congressional District, many people who prioritize peace over war probably voted for Democrat Tom Perriello over Republican Robert Hurt.  I know many who did just that.

Here's what Congressman Hurt said on Tuesday about Syria:

"I have repeatedly stated ... that before the United States should commit any of its precious American lives or military resources to an attack on the Syrian regime, the President must articulate a compelling American national security interest that requires military action. I have attended classified briefings, and I have concluded that, at this time, the President has not demonstrated that a compelling national security interest is at stake. Because of this, I will not be able to support the Authorization for Use of Military Force resolution should it come to a vote under current circumstances."

Meanwhile, former Congressman Perriello has advocated, with his colleagues at the Center for American Progress for the United States to "increase its assistance to the Syrian opposition with the goal of supporting an alternative opposition government that is better organized than at present."  According to Perriello the U.S. has a "national security interest" in "preparing the groundwork for a political and economic transition to a new regime in Syria in the foreseeable future." 

Perriello told The Atlantic: "Within that context, you have to look at a set of tactics. A lot of people seem to be dismissing the idea that there's any role for a surgical, strategic strike short of regime change. While I have advocated for a more aggressive posture that would potentially include regime transition, there is absolutely an argument for inflicting some cost to the regime for the use of chemical weapons against the civilian population. ... And that I think you can do largely from the air without a lot of involvement on the ground. ... He knows if we intervene, his days are over, so part of what he’s doing, like a petulant child, is seeing how far he can push before we come in. Traditionally, the use of chemical and biological weapons, with very few exceptions, has been something you cannot do without invoking dramatic action. ... One of the reasons I came to the conclusion a year and a half ago that we needed to intervene is that both sides appear just strong enough not to lose."  In the same interview Perriello refused to support the Constitutional requirement to take the question of war to Congress for its authorization.

Would Perriello resist a war if the president were a Republican?  Would Hurt then support war?  We can't know.  But both have expressed their ideologies on war clearly and quite consistently thus far.  Perriello voted for every war dollar that came before him while he was in Congress, including a 2009 "emergency" supplemental that included a bailout for bankers and barely passed.  Perriello has written and spoken publicly hundreds of times of his support for war.  Hurt has spoken and written a number of times now of his opposition.

I was part of groups of residents that met with Perriello to discuss his funding of war in Afghanistan.  It was like talking to a brick wall.  I was part of a group of residents who met with Hurt to discuss authorization for missile strikes or wider war in Syria.  It was like talking to a human being.

Whoever the Democrats put up against Hurt in the next election might possibly be his superior on any number of issues.  But check his or her position on war with a magnifying glass.  Militarism swallows roughly half of federal discretionary spending every year, dwarfing any other expense.  You can't be in favor of a trillion dollar military and in favor of schools or housing or anything else.  The military is the main thing our government does.  It matters whether we get it right, or whether we thoughtlessly get it backwards.

After decades US still has huge poison gas stash: Washington Demands Syria Destroy Chemical Weapons Lickety-Split

By Dave Lindorff

 
The US is demanding, in negotiations at the UN, that all Syrian chemical weapons, stocks and production facilities be eliminated by June 30 of next year. This has an element of hypocrisy, because the US itself has been incredibly slow about eliminating its own stocks of chemical weapons.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has referred to Syria as having one of the largest chemical stockpiles in the world. But the US and Russia both still have stocks of chemicals many times as large. Syria’s neighbor Israel, which refuses to admit it has the weapons and has yet to ratify the treaty banning them, is suspected of also having a large arsenal.

The Crisis In and About Syria is Not Over

 

by Debra Sweet          The report from the United Nations seems to indicate a large amount of deadly gas was aimed at Syrian civilians on August 21.  The U.S. has already concluded the gas came from the Assad government, and not the rebels.  If that is true, by what authority does the U.S. claim the right to bomb Syrian civilians in the name of stopping chemical weapons? Or keep arming rebels in Syria or the military in Egypt?

 

Ending One War, Ending All Wars

Remarks on September 21, 2013, at the Nashville Festival for Peace, Prosperity, and Planet.

Thank you to Elizabeth Barger and the Nashville Peace and Justice Center and to all of you, and happy International Day of Peace!

From a certain angle it doesn't look like a happy day of peace.  The U.S. government is engaged in a major war in Afghanistan, dramatically escalated by the current U.S. president, who has been bizarrely given credit for ending it for so long now that a lot of people imagine it is ended.  The same president goes through a list of men, women, and children on Tuesdays, picks which ones to have murdered, and has them murdered, often with missiles shot out of unmanned drones, drones that circle people's villages endlessly threatening immediate annihilation moment after moment for weeks on end, missiles that often miss their targets and often kill random people too close to their targets.  The CIA with war powers.  Secret military operations in dozens of nations.  Expansion of U.S. troop presence in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific.  Some 90 percent of the world's nations with U.S. troops in them.  Prisoners force-fed in Guantanamo.  Black sites.  Iraq ruined without reparations.  Libya thrown into anarchy without apology.  Activists treated as enemies.  Journalists treated as spies.  Whistleblowers locked up in cages.  Our Constitutional rights treated as dispensable.  The United Nations used, abused, and circumvented.  U.S. weapons provided to dictatorships and democracies around the globe.  Tennessee's U.S. Senator Bob Corker going on television repeatedly for weeks to tell us that the United States is covertly aiding one side of a war in Syria.  Does he not know what "covertly" means, or does he not know how television works?

But I believe that, despite all of that and much more, there is huge reason to celebrate a happy international day of peace.  At most events where I speak there is a time for questions, and almost always there is someone whose question is really more of a speech to the effect that war opposition is delusional and hopeless; if the government wants a war, it gets a war -- so this person always tell us.  Well, no more.  From this day forward, that person's comments should be no match for the laughter that greets them, because we just prevented a war. 

Congress members heard from many thousands of us, and what they heard was over 100-to-1 against attacking Syria.  When it became clear that not even the Senate would authorize such an attack, talk shifted immediately from the inevitability of war to the desirability of avoiding war.

Secretary of State John Kerry said that President Bashar al-Assad could avoid a war by handing over all the chemical weapons his government possessed.  Russia quickly called that bluff and Syria agreed to it.  Syria had tried in the past to negotiate a Middle East free of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, but the United States had been opposed, not wanting to stop arming Egypt and Israel.

Secretary Kerry, apparently panicked by the possible delay or prevention of missile strikes, put out a statement that he had only been making a "rhetorical argument," not a real proposal.  But when the White House saw the writing on the wall in Congress, Kerry claimed to have meant his comment seriously after all.  He was for his own idea after he'd been against it.

Of all the many ways in which John Kerry has tied himself in knots before, this is the first time he's had to do so because the people of this country and the world rejected a war.  Remember when Kerry asked how you could ask someone to be the last man to die in the war on Vietnam?  We have it in our power to reject the next war and the next war and the next war and make John Kerry the last man to have tried to sell us a dead idea.

War is a dead idea, an idea whose time has gone.  The abolition of war is an idea whose time has come.  But the government isn't ready to announce that for us.  That's why we need to celebrate this victory.  And not just us at this festival.  This was everybody.  This was the people of Syria who spoke against an attack on their nation.  This was the people of Iraq and Afghanistan who said don't do to others what you've already done to us.  This was the people of the world and of Russia and of China who said you won't paint this crime as legal with our help.  This was the people of Britain who moved their House of Commons to reject a prime minister's request for war for the first time since the surrender to the French and Americans at Yorktown.  This was low and high ranking members of the U.S. military saying "We didn't sign up to fight for al Qaeda."  This was government experts risking their careers and their freedom to say "If President Obama's excuse for a war happened, he's guessed it right, because the evidence doesn't establish it."  This was the majority of the U.S. public telling pollsters, yes, we care about suffering children; send them food and medicine, don't make it worse by sending in missiles."  This was the victory not of a moment but of a decade of cultural enlightenment.  When you've got the Pope and Rush Limbaugh on your side you've built something very broad.  Remember when they called resistance to war "The Vietnam Syndrome" as if it were a disease?  What we've got now is the War on Terror Inoculation.  This is health, not sickness.  War is the health of the state, said a World War I resister.  But war resistance is the health of the people.  The people are the world's other super power.

So, yes, I say celebrate!  Start seeing successes.  Drone attacks are down dramatically.  Environmental groups are beginning to oppose military base constructions.  States are beginning to work on conversion of war industries to peaceful industries.  Larry Summers has been denied a chance to do more economic damage. 

Imagine the euphoria -- or don't imagine it, just remember it -- when this country elects a new president whose main redeeming feature is that he isn't the previous president.  For personality fanatics that's big stuff.  And there are big parties.  For policy fanatics -- for those of us interested in seeing policies change rather than personalities -- that kind of moment is right now.  The first step in overcoming an addiction, whether to war or alcohol, is recognizing that you have a problem.  The second step is believing that you can shake it if you try.  We've just taken the first two steps!  The war addicts said Syria needed an intervention.  We gave the war junkies an intervention instead.  We pointed them toward the path of recovery and showed them a preview of what it will look like.

Now, if you don't want to celebrate because there's too much work to do, because Syria is in greater danger without its weapons (look what happened to Iraq and Libya), and because the pressure for war is still on, I can respect that.  I'll be with you starting tomorrow.  But it's hard to imagine we'll find the most effective strategy, much less motivate all the doom and gloomers to work their hardest, if we refuse to recognize when we've actually made progress, no matter how limited. 

If you don't want to celebrate because you don't think public pressure made any impact and don't think it ever can, I've looked at enough of the recent history and distant history to say, with all due respect: I don't believe you.  And if you believed yourself you wouldn't be here today.

Now, there is endless work to be done when we get back to it in the morning.  Congressman Cooper was pretty noncommittal, I understand, as quite a few Congress members were.  He kept an open mind.  Maybe, just maybe, he must have thought, it makes sense to deescalate a war by escalating it, maybe these magic missiles with Raytheon pixie dust on them will kill only the people who really need killing while empowering fanatic heart-and-liver eaters who execute their prisoners to establish a secular democracy, and perhaps we really can uphold the norm against chemical weapons that our own nation violates with some regularity by blatantly violating the norm against attacking other countries with missiles, and maybe we'll enforce the Chemical Weapons Convention against a nation that never signed it by shredding the UN Charter and the Kellogg-Briand Pact as long as we call ourselves "The International Community" and if we can't get France to help maybe Puerto Rico would count as a Coalition of the Willing, and perhaps, perhaps just maybe Assad really is out to get us and just might be a threat to Nashville, Tennessee, and if not isn't the only thing that really matters President Obama's manhood and the respect he can only maintain if he behaves like a sociopath?  Some part of this must be roughly how undecided members of Congress looked at this thing.  Senator Harry Reid said Syria was the return of the Nazis, and he himself looked just like Elmer Fudd warning of a dangerous wabbit, but maybe he was right, think our elected representatives.  There is work to be done.

Republicans in Congress turned against war more than they might have with a Republican president.  And some Democrats, including a co-chair of the Progressive Caucus, cheered for war.  The Black Caucus told its members to shut their mouths and not speak about Syria.  But they didn't all listen.  The leadership of the two parties pushed for war, and most members of both parties said No Way.  That's something to build on.  Anything that has happened is automatically acceptable and respectable, and in that category now is war rejection, regardless of who is president in the future.

Senator Corker thinks the United States has lost credibility.  I think it's gained it.  The United States claims to use war as a last resort.  When an occasion finally arrives in which it doesn't use war as a first resort, that boosts the credibility of its claim.  The U.S. justifies its wars with the word "democracy."  When it listens to its people for once, it demonstrates democracy by example rather than by dropping cluster bombs or napalm or using those depleted uranium weapons giving the workers who make them cancer over in eastern Tennessee.  The world was skeptical of the U.S. case for war because of past U.S. lies, not because of past U.S. failures to bomb people.

The threat to attack Syria is still on the table.  If you listen to these people enough you really come to hate tables, by the way.  The White House claims Syria has signed the Chemical Weapons Convention under threat of attack, even though any signing of any treaty under threat of attack is illegal and invalid.  Meanwhile, if we wanted to find a stockpile of chemical weapons, there's 524 tons of poison gas at the Blue Grass Army Depot, just up the road toward Lexington, Kentucky, from here.  The United States wants 10 more years to destroy that, although maybe it can go a little faster since John Kerry seems to think a week is more than enough time for Syria to destroy its stockpile.  The Army spokesman in Kentucky says the delays there are a sign of democracy and public input.  Our leading spreaders of democracy to the rest of the world, on the other hand, believe the most important consideration is that nothing ever be credited to diplomacy if it can be credited to violence.  The U.S. has a stash five times the size of Kentucky's out in Colorado, where climate-induced floods and fires pose a danger of combining with the madness of militarism if we don't switch soon from preparing for wars to preparing for a sustainable existence -- If we don't start paying attention to Fukushima and global warming and keep laughing, as we have been, at the idea that Assad is going to kill us.

But, our government also has peculiar views about different types of weapons that I don't claim to understand.  Chemical weapons are good, apparently, when the U.S. uses them on Iraqis, or Iraq uses them on Iranians, or Israel uses them on Palestinians, but they're bad if Iraq uses them on Iraqis or the Syrian government uses them on anyone -- although they aren't so bad if it is Syrian rebels using them.  In cases of bad chemical weapons use, missiles could fix the problem.  But with missiles you have to ask Congress.  So, instead, you can fix the problem of people getting killed with chemicals by making sure that more of them get killed with guns.  With guns, for some reason, you don't have to ask Congress.  Senators can even chat on TV about what they're doing "covertly," and we're supposed to say "Oh, well that's OK then, as long as it's covertly."

Only . . . when people bleed and scream in agony and turn cold do they do it covertly?  Because I think the entire operation needs to be done covertly, not just parts of it.

Maybe the problem is that we just don't think guns are weapons of mass destruction.  Guns must be weapons of minimal destruction, I guess. Guns only kill 30,000 people in the United States each year, ten times the number of people killed on September 11, 2001.  Imagine the size of the war we'd have started if someone had killed 30,000 people with airplanes.  Would we have had to kill 10 million Iraqis instead of 1 million?  But with guns, deaths are OK, and 60% of them don't really count because they're suicides. 

Only . . . why are people desperate enough to kill themselves in the wealthiest nation on earth when we have a bigger military and more billionaires than any other society in the history of the world?  Shouldn't that satisfy us?  Anyone too dense to appreciate that great good fortune, well, at least we've made sure there's always a gun or two within easy reach.

I'm being sarcastic, but I'm not joking.  We have a serious problem with acceptance of violence.  This past Sunday night on "60 Minutes" John Miller of CBS News said, "I've spoken with intelligence analysts who have said an uncomfortable thing that has a ring of truth, which is: the longer this war in Syria goes on, in some sense the better off we are."

Now, why would that be uncomfortable, do you suppose?  Could it be because encouraging huge numbers of violent deaths of human beings seems sociopathic?

The discomfort that Miller at least claims to feel is the gauge of our moral progress, I suppose, since June 23, 1941, when Harry Truman said, "If we see that Germany is winning, we ought to help Russia, and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany, and that way let them kill as many as possible."

On Monday, Time magazine's Aryn Baker published an articleunder the headline "Syria's Rebels Turn on One Another, and That's Not a Bad Thing."  Baker's point wasn't that more would die this way, but that this would allow the U.S. to escalate the war (which of course would mean more dying).

Remember that President Obama's reasonfor wanting to attack Syria is to "confront actions that are violating our common humanity."  How is it that support for mass killing rarely seems to violate our common humanity if it's that other 96 percent of humanity getting killed, and especially if it's this 4 percent doing it?  Why is the excuse to kill more people always that people are being killed, while we never starve people to prevent them from starving or rape people to protect them from rape?

The uncomfortable "60 Minutes" interviewer addressed his remarks to a former CIA officer who replied by disagreeing.  He claimed to want the war to end.  But how would he end it?  By arming and aiding one side, just enough and not too much -- which would supposedly result in peace negotiations, albeit with a risk of major escalation.  While nobody ever extends peace in order to generate war, people are constantly investing in war in the name of peace.

As this man may be very well aware, arming one side in this war will encourage that side's viciousness and encourage the other side to arm itself further as well.  But suppose it were actually true that you could deescalate a war by escalating a war.  Why are the large number of people who would be killed in the process unworthy of consideration?

We've seen lawyers tell Congressional committees that killing people with drones is either murder or perfectly fine, depending on whether Obama's secret memos say the killings are part of a war.  But why is killing people acceptable in a war?  We've just watched public pressure deny Obama missile strikes on Syria.  Those strikes were optional.  Had they happened that would have been a choice, not an inevitability.  What of the immorality involved?

The best news is that we're beginning to feel uncomfortable.  We're even feeling uncomfortable enough to doubt the tales we're told about justifications for wars.  The fact is that, were the White House telling the truth about the need for an attack on Syria, it would be a first in history.  Every other case for war has always been dishonest.

The United States sought out war with Mexico, not the reverse.  There was never any evidence that Spain sank the Maine.  The Philippines didn't benefit from U.S. occupation.  The Lusitania was known to be carrying troops and arms.  The Gulf of Tonkin incident never happened.  Iraq didn't take any babies out of incubators.  The Taliban was willing to turn bin Laden over to be tried in a neutral court.  Libya wasn't about to kill everyone in Benghazi.  And so on. 

Even wars that people like to imagine as justified, such as World War II, were nonetheless packaged in lies; FDR's tales about the Greer and the Kearney and supposed secret Nazi maps and plans were a step on the steady trajectory from Woodrow Wilson to Karl Rove.

The idea that Syria used chemical weapons is more plausible than the idea that Iraq had vast stockpiles of chemical, biological, and (in some versions) nuclear weapons and was working with al Qaeda.  But the evidence offered in the case of Syria was no stronger than that for Iraq.  It was harder to disprove merely because there was nothing to it: no documentation, no sources, and until the UN report came out, no science.  Congress members who have seen the classified version of the White House case say it's no better than the declassified.  Experts within the government and reporters in Syria who have seen more than that say they don't believe the White House's claims. 

The assertions masquerading as a case come packaged in dishonest claims about the make-up of the rebels, and how quickly Syria gave access to inspectors.  And the claims are written in a manner to suggest far greater knowledge and certainty than they actually assert on careful examination.  The latest claims follow a series of failed claims over a period of months and stand to benefit a Syrian opposition that has been found repeatedly to be manufacturing false propaganda aimed at bringing the United States into the war.  It seems, at this point, unlikely that the Assad government used chemical weapons (as opposed to the rebels or someone in the Syrian military defying Assad by using them), but it seems certain that if Assad did it, Obama and Kerry don't know that -- they've only guessed it at best.  It also seems certain that escalating the war makes everyone worse off regardless of who used chemical weapons.  Attacking Iraq would have been immoral, illegal, and catastrophic (and probably more so) if all the weapons stories had been true.

Then there are the depictions of Assad as a threat to the United States, at which moments President Obama has almost begun to sound like his predecessor.  But, as he came on stage second, nobody believed him.  Assad is guilty of horrible crimes, but he's not yet-another new Hitler.  There's a cute story about Assad from 11 years ago this week that some of us may have forgotten.  A Canadian man named Maher Arar had been born in Syria.  U.S. officials nabbed him for the crime of switching planes in New York City.  They interrogated him for weeks, denying him access to a lawyer or to the Canadian government.  They asked Arar to go to Syria, and he refused.  So they stuck him on a CIA plane, flew him to Jordan, beat him for 8 hours, and then delivered him to the Syrian government of Bashar al Assad.  President Assad's government beat and whipped Arar for 18 hours a day for weeks, asking him similar questions to those the Americans had asked.  For 10 months he was kept in a 3 by 6 by 7 foot underground cell, then released with no charges.  Four years later, the Canadian government, which had done nothing, apologized to and compensated Arar.  Former CIA case officer Bob Baer said, "If you want a serious interrogation, you send a prisoner to Jordan. If you want them to be tortured, you send them to Syria. If you want someone to disappear—never to see them again—you send them to Egypt."

The Syrian government is, like any government the United States wants to attack, a brutal government that the United States worked with until recently, situated in a region full of brutal governments the United States still supports.  In this case, the brutal governments still armed and supported by the U.S. government include Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, and Yemen.  If the US. government wanted to reduce violence, it could end its 2001-begun war on Afghanistan, it could end its drone strikes, and it could stop supplying Saudi Arabia with cluster bombs and Egypt with tear gas and Bahrain with ex-police chiefs.  Wars are not driven by generosity, despite what you'll often -- and increasingly -- hear.

Syria needs humanitarian aid, not weapons that threaten the good aid work being done by Americans among others.  The Iraqi Student Project was bringing Iraqis to study in U.S. colleges.  Its office was in Syria, where many Iraqi refugees had fled from the U.S. liberation.  Now that office is closed, and Syria has its own refugee crisis to rival Iraq's.  Our government should be urging both sides to stop providing arms, to agree to a ceasefire, and to open negotiations without preconditions.  Syria has needed help for years, but our government tends to wait until missiles look like a proper solution to get serious about solving a problem. 

Syria's crisis was brought on in part by climate induced drought and water shortage.  The solution of sending in missiles (blocked for now) or of sending in guns (underway as we speak) misses that source of the problem and in fact exacerbates it.  The U.S. military is our greatest consumer of petroleum, which it consumes in the course of fighting wars and occupying countries to control petroleum.  The roughly $1 trillion spent by the United States and roughly $1 trillion spent by the rest of the world on militarism every year could coat the planet with sustainable green energy sources beyond the wildest imaginings of those sources' proponents.

As long as we continue to view war as an acceptable institution, serious reductions in the military will be impeded by the desire to win wars when they happen.  Instead of reduced war making, we need war abolition.  180 million people died in wars in the 20th century.  Enough is enough.  War has not brought security.  War endangers us rather than protecting us.  War has failed as a tool for ending war.  War is draining our economies, eroding our civil liberties, devastating our natural environment, and stealing resources away from critical human and environmental needs. Nonviolent tools have proven themselves more effective and less costly than war.  War's unpredictability and existing weaponry including nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction threaten our very existence, while the reallocation of resources away from war promises a world whose advantages are beyond easy imagination.  We could even stop paying farmers not to farm and start paying weapons makers not to make weapons while they convert their factories to begin making something useful. Cutting $40 billion from food stamps will kill more people than spending it for a few months of occupying Afghanistan will kill.

Anti-war sentiment, at least in some key parts of the world, is at a high point now, relative to other moments in recent decades.  We need to direct that sentiment into a movement for abolition.  Resisting each new war is not enough.  We must be for peace and by peace we must mean, first and foremost, the elimination of the institution of war.  We're all fond of saying that peace is more than just the absence of war.  True enough.  And freedom is more than just the absence of chains.  But first you had to abolish slavery.  Then new possibilities opened up.  So, today I'm not going to say, "No Justice, No Peace."  Today I say, "With No Peace, There Is No Justice."  Stop the wars.  End the slaughter.  Dismantle the weapons.  Abolish the military.  Build a sustainable peaceful prosperous world.  Make this point in time a turning point.  Thank you for being here.  Happy International Day of Peace!

Syria News - Sep 22

 

Syria meets deadline for chemical weapons disclosure - Reuters


U.S. official: Syrian CW list more complete than anticipated - CNN.com


Syrian Facilities Monitored By Satellite (PHOTOS) - Business Insider


Defiant Assad claims government did not use chem weapons, vows to abide by agreement (VIDEO) - Fox News


VIDEO: Interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of FOX - 2 hours - LiveLeak.com


TRANSCRIPT: President al-Assad's interview with Fox News- SANA


Grounds to believe Syria chemical attack was smart provocation – Putin - RT News


Kerry belittles Russian suggestion that Syrian rebels used sarin - chicagotribune.com

 

Liwa al-Islam Brigade Issues a Statement in Response to Fabricated Videos - etilaf.org

 

Al-Qaeda may have supplied chemicals to Syrian militants: CBS - Big News Network

 

Court document references al Qaeda-linked chemical weapons program in Somalia (VIDEO) - CBS News

 

The "330mm missile" from Ghouta is a "do-it-yourself" rocket based on an old U.S. military design! - Syrian Perspective 1

 

Syrian "gas rockets" appear homemade and incapable of flying 5-10 miles to target - Democratic Underground

 

I might have found the "non-existent" rebels' BM-14 rocket launcher in action from rebels' unit that calls itself the "Missile Brigade" in the Damascus area - Syrian Perspective 1

 

Syria: Chemical Attack or “Provocation” by Opposition Rebel Forces - The Rebel

 

A Nun Lends a Voice of Deniability to Syria on the Use of Poison Gas - NYTimes.com

 

Look With Your Own Eyes: The Videos of the Chemical Attacks in Syria Show Tampered Scenes (PHOTOS) - Global Research

 

VIDEO: Mother Agnes Mariam : Facts about the chemical attack in Damascus - YouTube

 

The Ghouta chemical attack: Kidnapped by Al Nusrah, Enclosed is the List of Missing Children - The Rebel

 

Story behind the story about Saudi Arabia supposedly providing Syrian rebels with chemical weapons gets weirder and weirder, correspondent Gavlak denies writing article - al-bab.com

 

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Hundreds of fighters under Free Syrian Army's command have pledged allegiance to Al Nusrah Front in Raqqa, Reports say - The Long War Journal


VIDEO: Two brigades of the Free Syrian army that operate in Raqqah province have joined the Al Nusrah Front - YouTube  


FSA agrees truce with jihadists in border town Azaz - AFP


Free Syrian Army: We're fighting al Qaeda (VIDEO) - CNN.com Blogs


VIDEO: FSA Liwa Tawhid reinforcements arriving in Azaz - YouTube


Residents of Syria's Azaz enraged over Al-Qaeda takeover - AFP


U.S.-backed Syrian rebels being shoved aside by radical Islamists - MiamiHerald.com

 

The Most Accurate Breakdown Of The Syrian Rebels (GRAPHIC) - Business Insider

 

White House waives arms export rules for Syrian rebels - The Hill's DEFCON Hill

 

Pentagon proposes training moderate Syrian rebels - CNN.com

 

Report: American-supplied arms fell into al Qaeda's hands - Threat Matrix

 

Private donations give edge to Islamists in Syria, officials say - The Washington Post

 

Delegation from Syria’s Maaloula thanks Aoun for support - THE DAILY STAR

 

VIDEO: Maaloula, testimonies of the residents - YouTube

 

VIDEO: The al-Nusra suicide bomber against Maaloula checkpoint - LiveLeak.com

 

VIDEO: al Nusra executing another Syrian citizen - LiveLeak.com

 

Syrian government says war has reached stalemate, It would call for ceasefire at Geneva talks: deputy PM - The Guardian

 

Syria: Opposition interim premier to present government within one month - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

 

Divisions Emerge Among Syrian Kurdish Groups - Al-Monitor

 

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'Sexual Jihad' In Syria Leading To Pregnant Tunisians, Lawmaker Says (VIDEO) - huffingtonpost.com


Tunisia to prevent sex slaves’ trips to Syria - PressTV


VIDEO: Tunisian girls return home pregnant after 'sexual jihad' in Syria - LiveLeak.com


Russian rebels in Syria 'pose threat to Olympics' - Yahoo News

 

Salafi jihadist from Gaza reportedly killed fighting for ISIL in Syria - The Long War Journal

 

Jordan jails 6 for trying to join Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria - Al-Shorfa

 

Lebanon charges 5 Syrians in spread of war across border - MiamiHerald.com

 

Two more arrested in Britain over Syria terror links - AFP

 

France fears backlash from militants fighting in Syria - AFP

 

Freed hostage in Syria: 'I wanted to kill myself' (VIDEO) - BBC News

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

We don’t gas children, we shred them: Obama’s Grotesque Hypocrisy over Cluster Munitions

By Dave Lindorff


Syrian civilians and children should count themselves lucky that mass opposition in the US, the UK and much of the rest of the world to the idea of a US bombing blitz aimed at punishing the Syrian government for allegedly using Sarin gas in an attack on a Damascus neighborhood forced the US to back off and accept a Russian deal to get rid of Syria’s chemical weapons.


Kucinich - Assad Video

Digital Dialogue: No U.S. War on Syria


You're Invited to the Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net)'s September Digital Dialogue Edition

In May, as the civil war began to escalate, the Syrian government blocked Internet and online communication between Syria and the rest of the world.  More recently, the NSA has dominated the news as we learn about the massive spying program that’s collecting phone, email, banking and medical data domestically.  In each instance, the Open Internet is at stake, as Governments and Corporations work (often together) to control or eliminate our online rights.  Whether abroad or at home, these infringements on our first amendment rights are part of a long history of government surveillance and suppression of social justice movements.   

Join us for a digital dialogue that explores the intersections of technology, media justice and democracy. How has the government justified their surveillance of our communications post 9/11?  What is the relationship between the Internet and dissent? What has been the role of the corporate media in times of conflict?  Why and how is the government and corporations collaborating to stifle oppositional voices at home and abroad?

This call will feature organizers, activists and media experts who will tackle these questions, and highlight grassroots organizing efforts, the use of social media/alternative media, cultural responses and ways people can get involved. 

Featured Speakers:

Moderated by Elandria Williams, Highlander Research & Education Center and Betty Yu, Center for Media Justice

Register for the September 25th Digital Dialogue Now!

Anti-Assad Death Squads Responsible for Gas Attack

 

Anti-Assad Death Squads Responsible for Gas Attack

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Assad's wrongfully blamed for Ghouta's gas attack. Evidence shows insurgents bear full responsibility. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was clear and unequivocal, saying:

 

"We have the most serious grounds to believe (Ghouta's attack) was a provocation." Assad had nothing to do with it.

 

Syria News - Sep 19

 

NYT: U.N. Data on Gas Attack Points to Assad’s Top Forces - NYTimes.com


Damascus provides Russia with new info on Syrian opposition's use of chemical weapons: Foreign Ministry - The Voice of Russia


UN had evidence of chem attack from Damascus, but did not pay ‘due attention’ to it : Deputy Foreign Minister - RT News


U.N. says chemical arms report on Syria attack 'indisputable' - Reuters


Russian expert on chemical weapon propulsion units: Syria would not have used this 'ancient junk' when they have far more modern missiles - .dailymail.co.uk

 

Global Security Does Not List Obsolete BM-14 in Syria Army - ninjapundit

 

The Al Islam brigade Behind the Alleged CW Attack Damascus East Ghouta, video of the Al Islam brigade capturing an SA-8, Iranian Falaq-2 type launcher (VIDEO) - ronpaulforums.com

 

Statement On Russia Today's Use Of My Blog's Credibility To Give Credence To Dubious Videos - Brown Moses Blog

 

VIDEO: Unverified videos allegedly show Syria rebels using chemical weapons Aug 21 - Russia Today

 

Russia's Foreign Minister Cites Questions Raised by Nun in Syria on Chemical Attacks - NYTimes.com

 

Nun: Children in Syria chemical attack video 'moved between locations' before 'staged' filming - RT Op-Edge

 

Mother Agnes Study Of The Videos That Speaks About Chemicals (Full Text) - scribd.com

 

Syria: Full Text Of French Declassified Intelligence Report Into Assad's Chemical Weapons Capability - EA WorldView

 

UN Experts to Return to Syria 'Within Weeks' - VOA

 

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Syria border town 'overrun by al-Qaeda group', Islamic State of Iraq and Levant fighters kill FSA members - Al Jazeera English


Rebel snipers haunt Syrian Christian town of Maalula - AFP

 

Al Qaeda displays spoils of raid on Syrian Army air defense base (PHOTOS) - The Long War Journal

 

Kurds Push Jihadists from Northeastern Syria Village - Naharnet

 

Are the Islamic Courts of Aleppo run by al-Nusra? - Syria Comment

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

The Dead Rhetoric of War

By Chris Hedges, TruthDig

A French-language version of this article was published Monday in the newspaper Le Monde.

The intoxication of war, fueled by the euphoric nationalism that swept through the country like a plague following the attacks of 9/11, is a spent force in the United States. The high-blown rhetoric of patriotism and national destiny, of the sacred duty to reshape the world through violence, to liberate the enslaved and implant democracy in the Middle East, has finally been exposed as empty and meaningless. The war machine has tried all the old tricks. It trotted out the requisite footage of atrocities. It issued the histrionic warnings that the evil dictator will turn his weapons of mass destruction against us if we do not bomb and “degrade” his military. It appealed to the nation’s noble sacrifice in World War II, with the Secretary of State John Kerry calling the present situation a “Munich moment.” But none of it worked. It was only an offhand remark by Kerry that opened the door to a Russian initiative, providing the Obama administration a swift exit from its mindless bellicosity and what would have been a humiliating domestic defeat. Twelve long years of fruitless war in Afghanistan and another 10 in Iraq have left the public wary of the lies of politicians, sick of the endless violence of empire and unwilling to continue to pump trillions of dollars into a war machine that has made a small cabal of defense contractors and arms manufacturers such as Raytheon and Halliburton huge profits while we are economically and politically hollowed out from the inside. The party is over.

The myth of war, as each generation discovers over the corpses of its young and the looting of its national treasury by war profiteers, is a lie. War is no longer able to divert Americans from the economic and political decay that is rapidly turning the nation into a corporate oligarchy, a nation where “the consent of the governed” is a cruel joke. War cannot hide what we have become. War has made us a nation that openly tortures and holds people indefinitely in our archipelago of offshore penal colonies. War has unleashed death squads—known as special operations forces—to assassinate our enemies around the globe, even American citizens. War has seen us terrorize whole populations, including populations with which we are not officially at war, with armed drones that circle night and day above mud-walled villages in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia as well as Iraq and Afghanistan. War has shredded, in the name of national security, our most basic civil liberties. War has turned us into the most spied-upon, monitored, eavesdropped and photographed population in human history. War has seen our most courageous dissidents and whistle-blowers—those who warned us of the crimes of war and empire, from Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning to Edward Snowden—become persecuted political prisoners or the hunted. War has made a few very rich, as it always does, as our schools, libraries and firehouses are closed in the name of fiscal austerity, basic social service programs for children and the elderly are shut down, cities such as Detroit declare bankruptcy, and chronic underemployment and unemployment hover at 15 percent, perhaps 20. No one knows the truth anymore about America. The vast Potemkin village we have become, the monstrous lie that is America, includes the willful manipulation of financial and official statistics from Wall Street and Washington.

We are slowly awakening, after years on a drunken bender, to the awful pain of sobriety and the unpleasant glare of daylight. We are being forced to face grim truths about ourselves and the war machine. We have understood that we cannot impart our “virtues” through violence, that all talk of human rights, once you employ the industrial weapons of the modern battlefield, is absurd. We see through the Orwellian assertions made by Barack Obama and John Kerry, who have assured the world that the United States is considering only an “unbelievably small, limited” strike on Syria that is not a war. We know that the Pentagon’s plan to obliterate the command bunkers, airfields or the artillery batteries and rocket launchers used to fire chemical projectiles is indeed what the politicians insist it is not—a war. We know that the launching of several hundred Tomahawk missiles from destroyers and submarines in the Mediterranean Sea on Syrian military and command installations would be perceived by the Syrians—as we would should such missiles be launched against us—as an act of war. A Tomahawk carries a 1,000-pound bomb or 166 cluster bombs. One Tomahawk has appalling destructive power. Hundreds mean indiscriminate death from the sky. We have heard the careful parsing that does not preclude, should the Pandora’s box of war be opened and chaos envelope Syria, the possible deployment of troops on the ground. We have listened to Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, concede that “there is a probability for collateral damage.” We know this means civilians will be killed to prevent the regime of Bashar Assad from killing civilians. Only the circular logic of war makes such a proposition rational. And this circular logic, no longer obscured by the waving of flags, the bombast of “glory and honor,” the cant of politicians, the self-exaltation that comes with the disease of nationalism, means that Barack Obama and the war machine he serves are going to face a wave of popular revulsion if he starts another war.

Chris Hedges is a former Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times. He is the author, with Joe Sacco, of “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt.”

Syria Gas Attack: Assad Wrongfully Blamed

 

Syria Gas Attack: Assad Wrongfully Blamed

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

On Monday, UN inspectors released their eagerly awaited report. Security Council members were briefed in closed session.

 

Media Scoundrels Wrongfully Blame Assad for Gas Attack

 

Media Scoundrels Wrongfully Blame Assad for Gas Attack

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

The blame game repeats with disturbing regularity. Media scoundrels bear full responsibility. They lie for power. They do it repeatedly. They do it disgracefully. They ignore hard facts.

 

Throughout months of conflict, Assad's been wrongfully blamed for insurgent massacres, atrocities, chemical weapons use and other high crimes.

 

Syria News - Sep 18

 

Lavrov says no proof Assad was behind chemical attack, Fabius takes the opposite view - Yahoo News


Russia 'swimming against tide' when it doubts that the government rather than rebels was behind a chemical weapons attack in Syria: US - FRANCE 24


Obama OKs anti-chemical weapons gear for Syrian rebels - Yahoo News


Syria security official says rebels have missiles, sarin gas - AFP


Syria's Sarin More Potent Than What Saddam Had, UN Says - ABC News

 

The U.N. chemical weapons report is pretty damning for Assad, 5 points as to why the UN report points to the Syrian government - washingtonpost.com

 

5 Lies Invented by the Washington Post to Spin UN Report on Syrian Chemical Weapons Attack  - Alex Jones' Infowars

 

Chemical weapons launched from regime-held military base, HRW say - Telegraph

 

VIDEO (English Subtitles): Alleged Footage of Islam Battalion Launching Ghouta Chemical Attack on Aug 21, Rebels wearing gas masks and firing an artillery shell at night while shouting Allahu Akbar - LiveLeak.com

 

VIDEO: Kurdish Peshmerga allegedly found a cell phone in a pocket of a Syrian rebel with night bombing video shot August 21, Rebels on video wear gas masks (Part 1) - LiveLeak.com

 

VIDEO: Kurdish Peshmerga allegedly found a cell phone in a pocket of a Syrian rebel with night bombing video shot August 21, Rebels on video wear gas masks (Part 2) - LiveLeak.com

 

VIDEO: Kurdish Peshmerga allegedly found a cell phone in a pocket of a Syrian rebel with night bombing video shot August 21, Rebels on video wear gas masks (Part 3) - LiveLeak.com

 

An Examination Of Videos Claiming Liwa Al-Islam Were Responsible For the August 21st Sarin Attack - (VIDEO) - Brown Moses Blog

 

Do Syrian Rebels Have Sarin? - Middle East Online

 

'Al-Qaeda and Al-Nusra in Syria may have significant amounts of sarin': Former Pentagon official Michael Maloof - RT Op-Edge

 

UN: Libyan Weapons Being Smuggled Into Syria - ABC News

 

Embattled Syria 'Expert' Was Never in Ph.D. Program - The Daily Beast

 

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Obama: World would be better off if Bashar Assad left power but priority now is to get chemical weapons out of Syria - NBC Politics


Security Council Diplomats Negotiating on Syria - NYTimes.com


UNSC resolution on Syria won’t be under Chapter 7 allowing use of force - Lavrov - RT News


Syria chemical weapons plan to begin 'in days': monitoring body - GlobalPost

 

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Prepares for Historic Challenge - OPCW

 

Russian site eyed for Syrian chemical weapons destruction - Center for Public Integrity

 

Syria: Britain willing to send experts to rid Assad regime of chemical weapons, says William Hague - Telegraph

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

UN Inspectors Gas Attack Report: A Manipulated Fraud

 

UN Inspectors Gas Attack Report: A Manipulated Fraud

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

A separate article explained. Crime scene evidence was manipulated. Doing so made it worthless.

 

UN inspectors mentioned problems. They didn't highlight them. Their summary fact sheet ignored them. So did major media reports.

 

THE SYRIA DEAL: DANGERS AND OPPORTUNITIES

By Chandra Muzaffar

Commentators tell us that there is a palpable sense of relief in Damascus and in other parts of Syria in the wake of the Russia-US deal over Syria’s chemical weapons. The citizens of Damascus ―the world’s oldest, continuously inhabited city ―know that they will not be bombed for the time being.

The deal in brief will lead to the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons by mid-2014 to be supervised by the UN. Syria will become a party to the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons which outlaws their production and use. If the deal is breached, the violation would be brought to the notice of the UN Security Council for action.

Next Step for Peace in Syria -- Stop the “Lethal Aid”

By Norman Solomon

Now that public pressure has foiled U.S. plans to bomb Syria, the next urgent step is to build public pressure for stopping the deluge of weapons into that country.

Top officials in Washington are happy that American “lethal aid” has begun to flow into Syria, and they act as though such arms shipments are unstoppable. In a similar way, just a few short weeks ago, they -- and the conventional wisdom -- insisted that U.S. missile strikes on Syria were imminent and inevitable.

But public opinion, when activated, can screw up the best-laid plans of war-makers. And political conditions are now ripe for cutting off the flow of weaponry to Syria -- again giving new meaning to the adage that “when the people lead, the leaders will follow.”

Contrary to what many assume, the latest polls show that a large majority of Americans are opposed to the U.S. government sending weapons to Syria. For instance, in a CNN/ORC survey taken September 6-8, a whopping 85 percent of people nationwide answered “not either side” when asked whether the United States “should take the side of the Syrian government, or take the side of the Syrian rebels, or not take either side.”

A recent ABC News/Washington Post Poll -- asking “Do you support or oppose the United States and its allies supplying weapons to the Syrian rebels?” -- found that 70 percent “oppose.”

The results of the new polling could hardly be clearer. The vast majority of Americans are opposed to the U.S. government doing what it’s doing -- sending weapons into Syria to fuel the flames of a horrific war.

Collectively -- in much the same way people upended the conventional wisdom that President Obama was sure to fulfill his announced desire to launch missiles at Syria -- we have a real chance to put a stopper in the pipelines bringing weapons and other military supplies to Syria. We must, again, challenge the calculus in Congress and disempower the war-crazed leaderships of both parties.

This is no longer just an idea -- it’s now a nationwide campaign. The launch came on Monday (September 16). That day, more than 15,000 people sent emails to their senators and representative in Congress urging them to stop the shipments of weapons to Syria.

Those emails told lawmakers: “As a constituent, I urge you to halt all ‘lethal aid’ in the Syrian conflict. The last thing Syria needs is more weapons, ammunition and other military supplies. The U.S. government and allies should stop sending lethal aid to rebels in Syria, while working for a reciprocal cutoff of all military assistance to the Syrian government by Russia and Iran.”

(If you’d like to send that message to your senators and representative, as well as to President Obama, click here.)

This RootsAction.org campaign has begun in hopes that many other groups and individuals will take it up -- demanding an end to supplying weapons for the Syria conflagration. As nationwide polling numbers show, most of the public already agrees with us. What remains is for a wide array of political activists to galvanize that agreement into a powerful political force, so we can overwhelm Congress on the weapons-to-Syria issue as just occurred on the bomb-Syria issue.

The United States has now joined with Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other allies -- directly supplying weaponry to an array of fighters against the Syrian government. That aid supplements the longtime U.S. role in helping several countries to airlift weapons and other military equipment to rebel forces.

“The CIA has begun delivering weapons to rebels in Syria,” the Washington Post reported last week. Those shipments have combined with “separate deliveries by the State Department of vehicles and other gear -- a flow of material that marks a major escalation of the U.S. role in Syria’s civil war.”

But as the RootsAction appeal points out, “Recent days have shown that diplomacy is possible to avert even more catastrophic events in Syria. Contrary to scoffers, Russia and the United States could help to quash the war flames instead of fueling them with more gasoline. By halting its own shipments of weapons into Syria and exerting pressure on its allies to do the same, the United States could induce Russia and its ally Iran to stop supplying the Syrian government with weapons -- and to work for a ceasefire.”

Now, with a big opening in U.S. politics, this is crucial work toward peace in Syria. Let’s get it done.

_______________________________________

 

Norman Solomon is co-founder of RootsAction.org and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. His books include “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.” Information about the documentary based on the book is at www.WarMadeEasyTheMovie.org.

Humanitarian Murder

This past Sunday night on "60 Minutes" John Miller of CBS News said, "I've spoken with intelligence analysts who have said an uncomfortable thing that has a ring of truth, which is: the longer this war in Syria goes on, in some sense the better off we are."

Now, why would that be uncomfortable, do you suppose?  Could it be because encouraging huge numbers of violent deaths of human beings seems sociopathic?

The discomfort that Miller at least claims to feel is the gauge of our moral progress, I suppose, since June 23, 1941, when Harry Truman said, "If we see that Germany is winning, we ought to help Russia, and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany, and that way let them kill as many as possible." 

On Monday, Time magazine's Aryn Baker published an article under the headline "Syria's Rebels Turn on One Another, and That's Not a Bad Thing."  Baker's point wasn't that more would die this way, but that this would allow the U.S. to escalate the war (which of course would mean more dying).

Remember that President Obama's reason for wanting to attack Syria is to "confront actions that are violating our common humanity."  How is it that support for mass killing rarely seems to violate our common humanity if it's that other 96 percent of humanity getting killed, and especially if it's this 4 percent doing it?  Why is the excuse to kill more people always that people are being killed, while we never starve people to prevent them from starving or rape people to protect them from rape? 

The uncomfortable "60 Minutes" interviewer addressed his remarks to a former CIA officer who replied by disagreeing.  He claimed to want the war to end.  But how would he end it?  By arming and aiding one side, just enough and not too much -- which would supposedly result in peace negotiations, albeit with a risk of major escalation.  While nobody ever works to extend peace in order to generate war, people are constantly investing in war in the name of peace. 

As this man may be very well aware, arming one side in this war will encourage that side's viciousness and encourage the other side to arm itself further as well.  But suppose it were actually true that you could deescalate a war by escalating a war.  Why are the large number of people who would be killed in the process unworthy of consideration?

We've seen lawyers tell Congressional committees that killing people with drones is either murder or perfectly fine, depending on whether Obama's secret memos say the killings are part of a war.  But why is killing people acceptable in a war?  We've just watched public pressure deny Obama missile strikes on Syria.  Those strikes were optional.  Had they happened that would have been a choice, not an inevitability.  What of the immorality involved? 

The best news is that we're beginning to feel uncomfortable.

Syria News - Sep 17

 

Chemical weapons used in Syria on 'large scale' - UN report - RT News


Full Text of U.N. Report on Chemical Attack in Syria - NYTimes.com


US: UN report makes clear Assad regime behind chemical attack - AFP


Russia: UN report on chemical weapons in Syria needs further review, contains no clear indications as to who was responsible - itar-tass.com

 

How the United States, Russia arrived at deal on Syria’s chemical weapons - The Washington Post

 

Obama welcomes Syria deal, expects Assad compliance - AFP

 

US-Russia Agreement on the Framework for Elimination of Syria's Chemical Weapons (Full Text) - documentcloud.org

 

Syrian Rebels Express Disdain For Obama And Other World Leaders - huffingtonpost.com

 

Syrian Rebels Slam U.S.-Russia Deal, Say Assad Is Moving Chemical Weapons To Lebanon And Iraq - huffingtonpost.com

 

Iraqi government denies allegations on transporting chemical weapons from Syria to Iraq- SANA

 

Syria deal shines light on suspected Israeli chemical weapons program - Fox News

 

Who Was Responsible For The August 21st Chemical Attack? - Brown Moses Blog

 

Detailed Diagrams Of The Unidentified Munitions Linked To Alleged Chemical Attacks in Damascus - Brown Moses Blog

 

Collected Media And Links Of Munitions Linked To Alleged Chemical Attacks In Syria - Brown Moses Blog

 

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Syria: nearly half rebel fighters are jihadists or hardline Islamists, says IHS Jane's report - Telegraph


Syria jihadists claim they killed Homs Alawites - Yahoo News


Islamist rebels execute Alawite men in Raqqa - THE DAILY STAR


VIDEO: Public execution of citizen in Raqqa - LiveLeak.com


Domenico Quirico: My 150-day ordeal as a hostage of Syria's rebels - The Observer

 

Terrorists confess to committing acts of murder, abduction, vandalism and destruction - SANA

 

Maaloula's cathedral and churches empty of Christians as Syria's latest front-line fight takes its toll - Telegraph

 

Syrian opposition warcrimes record deepens peace plan faultline - Reuters

 

Syria's new opposition PM faces daunting al Qaeda challenge - Reuters

 

Qaeda leader tells Syria fighters to shun secularists in sign of deeper rebel rift - Reuters

 

The end of the rebel alliance? - Al Jazeera English

 

Syria crisis: Rebel infighting kills at least 5 in town near Iraq border - Toronto Star

 

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant overruns air defense base in Hama - The Long War Journal

 

The Abu Ghraib Prison Break Seriously Empowered Jihadists in Syria - Medium

 

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Rights Group Details Syrian Massacre carried out by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad - VOA


Syria: Mass Executions by Government Forces - Human Rights Watch


“No One’s Left” Summary Executions by Syrian Forces in al-Bayda and Baniyas (Full Report) - Human Rights Watch


VIDEO: Al-Bayda: anatomy of a war crime - YouTube


VIDEO: Escape from Hell ( English Subs ): Extrajudicial Killings of Detainees in Air Force Intelligence Branch - YouTube

 

Doctors to warn that Syria's healthcare system is at 'breaking point' - theguardian.com

 

Turkey says it shot down Syrian helicopter in Turkish airspace - Fox News

 

VIDEO: This video contains the decapitated body of the helicopter pilot - LiveLeak.com

 

VIDEO: Footage of Helicopter Crashing at Syrian Border - LiveLeak.com

 

VIDEO: Video Offers Glimpse of Syria's War Through the Eyes of Iranian Military Advisers - NYTimes.com

 

Syria Video: More on Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, A Shia Militia, & The Veteran Who Died Making a Film - EA WorldView

 

Iran Looks to Iraq for Syria Support - Al-Monitor

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Hundreds of Organizations from 13 Arab Countries Sign Statement Against Any Attack on Syria

Statement

Civil society organizations from 13 Arab countries call upon the U.S. Congress and the French Parliament not to approve the aggression against Syria that violates international law, and invite all to listen to the call of His Holiness Pope Francis II and statement of Sheikh of Al-Azhar

East/West Cracks on Syria

 

East/West Cracks on Syria

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Weekend Geneva smiles appear headed for frowns. A fundamental East/West disagreement exists.

 

John Kerry, Britain's William Hague and France's Laurent Fabius met in Paris.

 

Is Dithering Always Bad?: Trust and Verify and Vomit

By John Grant


The media didn’t waste time lining up US leaders to trash Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent op-ed in The New York Times. There was the expected outrage that such a “dictator” and “tyrant” had the gall to lecture the United States of America. Bill O’Reilly referred to Putin as “a criminal monster.” Charles Krauthammer kept it real and called Putin "a KGB thug.”

Chemical Weapons, Syria, the UN - and the Real Story

When diplomacy failsThe real story concerns the risks of calamitous military conflict erupting in the Middle East through accident or miscalculation.  More on that shortly but first, here is a quick summary of the credibility of the UN.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon leaks results of report on September 13

Actually, Ki-moon couldn't leak the results of the report at a widely reported private speech on September 13 because, as he said at the time, he hadn't seen it.    But the message was clear.  Syria was the culprit. 

Within the space of two minutes, Ki-moon said that the Syrian regime had committed "many crimes against humanity," that there would ben an accounting "when everything was over," and the inspector's document would be "an overwhelming report."  USA Today and the Washington Post took the words to mean that the UN Secretary General had signaled a negative finding against Syria. (See video of Ki-moon 34:00-37:00)

Obama's War Plans on Syria Unchanged

 

Obama's War Plans on Syria Unchanged

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Longstanding US regime change plans remain firm. Previous articles explained. 

 

Washington targets all independent governments. Replacing them with subservient pro-Western puppet ones is policy. 

 

Anti-Assad Media War Continues

 

Anti-Assad Media War Continues

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Throughout months of conflict, media scoundrels mocked Assad's good faith efforts to end it.

 

He wants peace. He deplores war. He agreed to whatever measures may end what everyone should oppose. 

 

Admit It: Things Are Going Well

When something goes right
Oh, it's likely to lose me
It's apt to confuse me
It's such an unusual sight
—Paul Simon

Larry Summers has proven unacceptable to oversee the continued destruction of the U.S. economy.  The U.S. public has successfully rejected proposed missile strikes on Syria.  My Congressman was among the majority who listened.  Today was beautiful.  The Orioles won.  The Cowboys lost.  The University of Virginia avoided losing by not playing.  My family is expecting a new baby.  I've finished a new book, which Kathy Kelly has written a beautiful foreword for.  I have a sense that if the universe were right now campaigning on "hope and change" I might seriously consider voting for it.

I'm also pretty sure that if everything in my personal life were going slightly to hell and Larry Summers were crowned king of Wall Street, and the Dallas Cowboys were to win (darn them!), my sense of this moment in the movement against U.S. militarism would remain essentially the same.  A major victory has been won, and we need to claim it and celebrate it.

Imagine the euphoria -- or don't imagine it, just remember it -- when this country elects a new president whose main redeeming feature is that he isn't the previous president.  For personality fanatics that's big stuff.  And there are big parties.  For policy fanatics -- for those of us interested in seeing policies change rather than personalities -- that kind of moment is right now.  We need some parties, and if spontaneity is beyond us, perhaps we can use the International Day of Peace on September 21st for a combination celebration / discussion during which we explain to ourselves that it really is OK to celebrate.

Yes, many people in this country and around the world are suffering horrible tragedies in their personal lives and as a result of public events.  Yes, the horrors in Syria, as in many other places, continue.  Yes, the CIA is arming terrorists in Syria.  Yes, the president whose missile strikes we prevented is taking credit for that restraint, just as he would have taken credit for the carnage had we not stopped him -- and he's threatening to bring the missile strikes back.  Yes, if we let down our guard for a moment, the president and Congress and the CIA will do their worst.  Yes, the danger for Iraq and Libya really loomed large after they had given up nuclear and chemical weapons, not before.  Yes, lots of people opposed bombing Syria because they didn't think Syrians deserved such favors.  (No, I'm not making that up.)  Yes, the corporate media is pretending that the threat of war brought peace, ignoring the successful insistence on peace by the people of the world.

But that's why we have to celebrate what really happened.  We have to announce it.  The point is not to take credit.  No one person or group did this.  People espousing a variety of ideologies did it.  And they did it over many years.  Millions contributed.  The point is that war was popularly rejected.

Why does this matter?  It's not a case for optimism, or for pessimism.  I continue to have very little use for either bit of self-indulgence.  The forces that press for more wars have not gone away.  Neither have they been empowered.  The point is that those who nonsensically proclaim that stopping wars is impossible cannot get away with saying that anymore. 

You know the types.  They show up at meetings, wait for the question-and-answer period, and then give a speech on how everything is utterly hopeless.  Those speeches should be laughed away within the first five seconds now.  And the many, many people who had begun ever so slightly to take that defeatist nonsense seriously can now be relieved of that weight.  The danger now is not of being a sucker who proclaimed good news just before a genocide.  The danger is of joining in the foolish campaign of the war propagandists by pushing the lie of powerlessness on people just after they prevented a war.

Do we still have to prevent a war again this week?  Of course, we do.  Do we have to take on the larger task of organizing peace and preventing crises?  We do.  Do we need to build a movement for the abolition of war that reaches beyond opposition to each immediate war proposal?  You'd better believe it.  But this is what we wanted in 2001 and 2003.  Well, some of us did -- that's the point.  We're larger now, even if it's not made visible.  As long as we went on failing to prevent wars, people could say we'd never prevent them.  There's no science or logic behind such an assertion, but it still has power in it.  Or it did, until now.  Now we can claim with equal validity that we'll stop every single war proposed from here on out.  Of course we might or we might not, but we know that it's up to us, that it depends on what we do, that little steps that appear useless at the time can help, and that changes to our culture can outweigh changes to the Pentagon budget, the global climate, crises in capitalism, or any other supposedly unstoppable force.

After World War I, people in the United States understood the need to eliminate war.  Again, after Vietnam, many understood it almost that much.  They developed the Vietnam Syndrome, a level of healthy resistance to more wars lamented as a disease by Washington.  Now we're moving back in that direction.  War resistance is the health of the people.  We're not developing a syndrome.  We're developing an immunity.  We've been vaccinated against war.  We're not as allergic to the propaganda as we once were.  We're war resistant, and our task is to compel those in power not to lament our syndrome this time, but to share in our contagious good health.

Syria is an epic victory for the SuperPower of Peace

By Harvey Wasserman

The United States is not now bombing Syria. 

Let’s savor that again: for the moment at least, the United States is not now bombing Syria. 

That alone qualifies as an epic, unprecedented victory for the SuperPower of Peace, the global movement to end war, win social justice and somehow salvage our ecological survival. 

Will it mark a permanent turning point? 

That a treaty has been signed to rid the Assad regime of its chemical weapons is icing on the cake, however thin it proves to be. We don’t know if it will work. We don’t know if the restraint from bombing will hold. 

But in a world that bristles with atomic weapons, where the rich get ever richer at the expense of the rest of us, and where stricken Japanese reactors along with 400 more worldwide threaten the survival of our global ecology, we must count any victory for peace---even if potentially fleeting---as a huge one. Let’s do some history. 

Ten years ago, George W. Bush took the United States into senseless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Millions of citizens marched in the United States and worldwide to prevent the coming debacle. But Bush and his cronies made a point of ignoring us all, as if the public demand for peace was somehow a sign of weakness. 

Since then, utterly pointless slaughter has claimed countless thousands of lives, including those of at least 7,000 Americans. That number does not include the thousands more who have returned poisoned physically and mentally, with ailments that have driven so many to suicide, hopelessness and debilitating disabilities. 

The war was sold as a campaign to rid Saddam Hussein of his alleged Weapons of Mass Destruction. Vice President Dick Cheney assured the American public that as our troops attacked, the Iraqi people would spread rose petals of gratitude at their feet. 

But Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction. And the Iraqi people had run out of rose petals. Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) remain in abundant supply. 

None of which deterred Team Bush-Cheney-Rove or the corporatist military machine that continues to reap millions in profits from a decade of disaster. 

They did rid the world of Saddam Hussein. But in his wake came...what? A lesson learned in Iraq---for those paying attention--is the “you break it, you’ve bought it” syndrome. If you remove a dictator, however nasty, you still must have something better to put in his place. 

That was clearly beyond the caring or grasp of the Bush Administration. Lethal discord has defined Iraq since the demise of Saddam, with no end in sight. 

There’s been more of the same in Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt and much of the rest of the middle east. What once seemed an “Arab Spring” of popular liberation may be tragically degenerating to a regional slaughterhouse of counter-revolution and chaos. 

The stakes could not be higher. As Fukushima boils at the brink of catastrophe, the global environmental movement---the SuperPower of Solartopia---strives to convert humankind’s energy supply from fossil fuels and nuclear power to renewables and efficiency. Green energy---primarily wind and solar---is by far the fastest-growing new source of supply. Increased efficiency has saved billions of dollars and oceans of oil and gas that will not feed the demon of climate chaos. 

But the corporate addiction to middle eastern oil remains a defining force. And the presence of a reactor near Damascus and of nuclear weapons in the hands of the US, Russia, Israel and god-knows-what random terror groups, make our every move in Syria a matter of life-and-death on a global scale. 

With that backdrop, the Obama Administration’s decision to back off air strikes takes on an epic dimension. There are all sorts of modifiers that can and should be used. 

But contrasted with what George W. Bush told the world ten years ago, Obama’s speech to the nation last week was a pillar of sanity. 

He referenced our ten years of disaster in Iraq and Afghanistan. He acknowledged that while Assad is a terrible dictator, there’s no guarantee what follows would be any better. And he conceded that the attempt to use force could lead to costs we cannot predict. 

He also made it clear that he was facing down the firewall of an overwhelming public and Congressional demand for peace that would not be denied. 

A decade ago, George W. Bush deceived just enough of the American public to go to war. 

This time, no deal. Whatever it proves to be worth, a treaty has been signed. We have a precious moment where bombs aren’t flying. We’re a few steps back from the nuclear brink. And our economy is not spiraling down into another senseless military firestorm. 

It may prove a small respite...but it’s a victory by any reckoning. 

Now the SuperPower of Peace---all of us----must make it stick. 

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

Harvey Wasserman is senior editor of the Columbus Free Press and , where this was first published. He edits www.nukefree.org and is co-author, with Bob Fitrakis, of THE SUPERPOWER OF PEACE. Special thanks to David Swanson.

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