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Hey Ireland, Your Ambassador Just Told Me You’ll Do Anything Trump Wants

Dear brothers and sisters of Ireland, your ambassador to the United States Anne Anderson spoke at the University of Virginia Tuesday afternoon.

After consulting one of your fine citizens named Barry Sweeney, I asked her this: “Since the U.S. government assures the Irish government that all U.S. military aircraft being refueled at Shannon are not on military operations and are not carrying weapons or munitions, and since the Irish government insists on this in order to comply with Ireland’s traditional policy of neutrality, why does the Irish department of transportation almost daily approve civilian aircraft on contract to the U.S. military to carry armed U.S. troops on military operations, weapons, and munitions through Shannon Airport in clear breach of international laws on neutrality?”

Ambassador Anderson replied that the U.S. government at the “highest levels” had informed Ireland that it was in compliance with the law, and Ireland accepted that.

Truth defenders: Two Men Who Made Their Mark on History

By Linn Washington, Jr.

 

One man enhanced the legacy of a legend revered around the world.

Accomplishments of the other man include his involvement in a seminal court battle where the trial judge issued a pivotal ruling about racism that sparked enraged denials among authorities in that nation.

Stop Government Repression Against Anti-Fascists in Odessa!

ACTION ALERT from the ODESSA SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGN:

Stop Government Repression Against Anti-Fascists in Odessa!

Free Alexander Kushnarev!

It’s been nearly three years since the brutal massacre of 46 mostly young progressives by a neo-Nazi-led mob in the Ukrainian city of Odessa. Government repression and right-wing attacks against Odessans demanding justice for that atrocity have been constant, but now have entered a new and much more dangerous stage.

On Feb. 23, Alexander Kushnarev, the father of one of the young people murdered on May 2, 2014, was arrested by agents of the federal Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). Oleg Zhuchenko, chief prosecutor for the Odessan region, claims Kushnarev had been planning to kidnap and torture a member of the country’s Rada, or parliament.

The Yanks Are Coming -- Unwanted

By Victor Grossman
 
Hit that old song again, loud and clear! “Over there, over there, Send the word, send the word, That the Yanks are coming, the Yanks are coming…”
 
Yes, sirree! Shades of 1918 and the Battle of the Marne! Shades of 1944 and the beaches of Normandy! But no, not just shades and not just words have already been sent.
 
2017 had hardly begun in Germany’s port of  Bremerhaven when 4000 lads and lasses in Yankee uniform disembarked and unloaded three shiploads, over 2,500 tanks, trucks and other combat vehicles, and sent them on by rail, on ferries through the Baltic or clanking along those Autobahn highways through North Germany. So many memories!

Focus: The European Union - Dec 15, 2016

 

Note: I am a believer in the European Union. I think that it is an historical development, a political experiment to be replicated regionally in other parts of the world. Nowadays it is suffering difficulties like any emerging reality but it will ultimately succeed. As the 2016 has been a crisis year for the EU, the 2017 may set a relaunch of the initiative with new elections and changes looming.


EU agrees to extend Russia sanctions until mid-2017 over the turmoil in Ukraine - Reuters


EU fatigue over Russia sanctions shows as Putin reset looms - Bloomberg


Why the EU sanctions against Russia won’t last - Sputnik


Medvedev says EU food embargo remains in response to anti-Russian sanctions - RT Business

 

Federica Mogherini, top EU diplomat, says bloc is prepared for Trump - WSJ


EU foreign policy chief Mogherini speaks on Trump, Russia, Iran deal, Syria - WSJ


Kremlin: Russia not interested in ‘friendship’ with EU against U.S., In WSJ interview foreign policy chief Mogherini said the EU could 'line up with Russia’ to counter some policies of Trump - TASS


Ukraine will not join EU, Dutch are promised: Association deal not conferring to Ukraine candidate status, guarantees for military or financial assistance, or a right for its citizens work within EU - The Guardian


European Council conclusions on Ukraine, 15 December 2016 - EU Consilium


European Parliament votes for mechanism suspending visa-free travels for third countries, brings Georgia and Ukraine closer to visa-free EU travel - rferl.org


Visa-free regime for Ukraine? 'Another kind of danger Europe will have to face': The inflow of Ukrainian migrants to Europe will be a serious challenge to the European labor market - Sputnik


Kiev continues policy of economic and cultural detachment of Donbass from Ukraine: Russian envoy - TASS


Turkey will have backup plans if EU visa deal falls through, Erdogan says - Reuters


Turkey’s relationship with the EU is worse than ever - VICE News

 

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EU leaders plan military overhaul after pressure from Trump - WSJ


Europe’s defense spending and cooperation between their armed forces to rise as global threats proliferate - Bloomberg


EU investment bank to fund defense research: EU summit draft - Business Insider


EU Council draft summit conclusions - EurActiv.com


Website of the European Council, 15/12/2016 - EU Consilium

 

NATO to hold talks with Russia Monday: Stoltenberg - AFP

 

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Brexit: EU leaders to discuss UK's exit without Theresa May - BBC News


European Union's Brexit plans LEAKED: Shock report shows Brussels bigwigs will play hardball - Daily Express


UK confident of negotiating Brexit within two years: May's spokesman - Reuters


UK faces Brexit settlement bill of up to £50bn, Sky sources say - Sky News


Brexit trade deal could take 10 years, says UK's ambassador - BBC News


VIDEO: 'Lonely Theresa May' video at EU summit is Brexit in a nutshell, Footage of PM looking forlorn as EU leaders chat - The Guardian


Lloyd's of London plots EU shift to ward off Brexit threat - Telegraph


Greece snubs lenders approving Christmas bonus to pensioners as Europe divided, lenders suspend a deal to offer Greece short-term debt relief - Yahoo Finance


IMF and EU policymakers take Greece bailout spat online - ft.com


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Trans-Atlantic Bigotry: Brexit-Trump Comparisons Miss Some Key Points

By Linn Washington, Jr.

 

"Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful."

Focus: US, EU and Russia - Nov 14, 2016


Putin, Trump speak by phone, agree to work to improve ties - Fox News


Statement by Trump’s transition team: ‘He is very much looking forward to having strong and enduring relationship with Russia’ - Ace News


Statement by Russia: We agreed to ‘normalise relations and pursue constructive cooperation on the broadest possible range of issues' - President of Russia


High hopes in Russia that Trump will ease trade sanctions - CBS News


Treasury sanctions individuals for activities related to Russia's occupation of Crimea, underscores the U.S.-EU commitment to counter Russia in Ukraine - treasury.gov


US expert says Trump may take ‘softer position’ on Crimea and Ukraine - TASS


Diplomat says impossible to restore full contacts of Russian, US military under Obama - TASS


Mogherini: EU policy toward Russia will not change regardless of U.S. - rferl.org


Trump ignorant of Europe, poses risk to relations: EU's Juncker - Reuters


German defense minister says Trump should be firm with Russia as NATO stood by US after 9/11 - RT News


Trump-Putin alliance sparks diplomatic crisis as British ministers demand assurances from US over Russia - Telegraph


As Trump warms to Putin, Trudeau vows ‘we will not back off’ over Ukraine - VICE News


Moscow clout rises as Bulgaria, Moldova elect pro-Russia leaders - VOA


Estonian PM loses no confidence vote after coalition crumbles, possibly opening up the path for a traditionally pro-Russian party to gain power - Reuters


Russia may sell Iran $10 billion worth of tanks and jets in new arms deal - Telegraph


Russian Air Force hammers west Aleppo ahead of planned Syrian Army offensive - almasdarnews.com


Recession-hit Russia hoping for growth by end-2016 - Business Standard News


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Europeans agree defense plan after campaign swipes by Trump - Reuters


European Council conclusions on implementing the EU global strategy in the area of security and defence (links to full documents) - EU Consilium


EU ministers met informally to talk strategy after Trump′s electoral victory - DW.COM


Remarks by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini at the end of the informal dinner of the EU Foreign Ministers - EEAS


NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg op-ed: US mustn’t abandon NATO now – nor should its allies go it alone - The Guardian


Europe must spend on defence or face Russian advance, warns ex-Nato chief - The Independent


Jeremy Corbyn says NATO should ‘demilitarise' its border with Putin's Russia - The Huffington Post


Putin aide: Trump could build confidence with NATO slowdown or pullback - AP


Pentagon to NATO: talk to Team Trump - Business Standard News


Obama Says Trump told him he supports U.S. commitment to NATO - Bloomberg Politics


NATO to postpone next Summit until summer over Trump's US election victory - Sputnik


Nearly 300,000 NATO troops put on a higher alert last week over Russian tensions - The Mercury


Britain to deploy batteries of high precision long range missiles on Russian’s border - Daily Mail Online


Russia's new electronic warfare system capable of disrupting NATO communications - Sputnik


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

 

Irish Peace Groups Question Peace Award to John Kerry

Five peace group have come together to oppose the awarding of the Tipperary International Peace Prize to US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday next (October 30th). Galway Alliance Against War, the Irish Anti-War Movement, the Peace and Neutrality Alliance, Shannonwatch and Veterans for Peace also intend to hold protests at Shannon Airport and at Aherlow House Hotel in Tipperary where the award ceremony will take place.

Speaking on behalf of the five organisations, Edward Horgan of Veterans for Peace posed the question: “What peace has John Kerry achieved and where?”

“The award of peace prizes should be based on truth, integrity and justification” continued Dr Horgan. “Unfortunately, this is not always the case. The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded in the past to several people who were guilty of starting or being complicit in wars of aggression and human rights abuses. Henry Kissinger is a case in point.  Another example is Barack Obama who was awarded his Nobel Peace Prize just before he began authorising targeted assassinations and bombings that killed thousands of innocent civilians.”

“John Kerry and the United States of America claim to be defending the civilised world against Islamic terrorists and dictators” said Jim Roche of the Irish Anti War Movement. ”Yet the reality is that the United States has killed many multiples of the numbers killed by Islamic terrorists in its so-called War on Terror. US led wars in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria were all initiated without UN approval and with appalling consequences.”

“Terrorist acts by individuals, rebel group and militaries cannot be condoned, and neither can acts of aggression by states” said Roger Cole of the Peace and Neutrality Alliance. “The government that John Kerry represents is guilty of state terrorism. Since 1945 the US has overthrown fifty governments, including democracies, crushed some 30 liberation movements, supported tyrannies, and set up torture chambers from Egypt to Guatemala – a fact pointed out by journalist John Pilger. As a result of their actions countless men, women and children have been bombed to death.”

“This is not the type of government that the Tipperary Peace Convention should be bestowing a peace prize upon” added Mr Cole.

“While state terrorism, and state human rights abuses are not confined to the US, they are the ones using Shannon Airport to wage wars of aggression in the Middle East” said John Lannon of Shannonwatch “We oppose the US military use of Shannon and we oppose the US policies that lead to conflict rather than resolving it, it is important therefore that we show our opposition to all forms of misguided support for these policies here in Ireland.”

We got 8 years of change, but not much hope: President Barack Obama’s Crappy Legacy

By Dave Lindorff

 

Barack Obama came into the White House on a wave of passionate new voters, many of them black or young and white, becoming the nation's first black president and promising a new era of "hope and change."

UK Supreme Court Rules UK Government Engaged in Terrorism

By Chris Coverdale

An event occurred recently which may herald the end of Britain’s involvement in war. In a remarkable legal judgement the Supreme Court acknowledged that Parliament’s definition of terrorism appears to extend to the military activities of the UK Government[1].

“ action outside the United Kingdom which involves the use of firearms or explosives, resulting in danger to life … is terrorism… the definition would … appear to extend to military or quasi-military activity aimed at bringing down a foreign government, even where that activity is approved … by the UK Government.”

How to stop weapons of mass destruction aimed at Africa

By Carrie Giunta

In Africa, as in the Middle East, the US is creating a vicious circle of war and destabilization. Libya like Iraq became a failed state after US-led regime change in 2011. Trouble and a deepening refugee crisis followed regime change. This contributed to the destabilization of North African countries and effected sub-Saharan countries. Fallout from the 2011 intervention led inexorably to the worsening situation in Libya today.

Now the vicious circle of killing and instability will run at a furious pace as the US Department of Defense (DOD) shifts the speed of war in the Middle East and Africa. A strategically important navy base located opposite Libya on the Mediterranean houses the global military telecommunications system known as MUOS.

US Propaganda Campaign to Demonize Russia in Full Gear over One-Sided Dutch/Aussie Report on Flight 17 Downing

By Dave Lindorff

 

If the danger of the anti-Putin, anti-Russian disinformation propaganda campaign out of the Pentagon and promoted by the US corporate media weren't so serious, the effort itself might be laughable. I did laugh,

Message to Germans Marching With Russian Orchestra

From David Swanson, Director of World Beyond War

I was very pleased to learn from Wolfgang Lieberknecht that the people of your two towns in central Germany, Treffurt and Wanfried, will be marching together this week with an orchestra from Russia and a message of friendship in opposition to the new Cold War.

I learned that your towns are seven kilometers apart but that until 1989 you were divided, one in East Germany, one in the West. It is wonderful to what an extent you have put that division behind you and made it part of known and regretted history. There is a piece of the Berlin wall displayed here in my town in Virginia, which otherwise displays primarily statues celebrating one side of a U.S. Civil War that ended over 150 years ago. The European Union, whose members assist in aggressive U.S. wars, has been given a Nobel Peace Prize for not going to war with itself.

But, as you know, the line of hostile division has simply been pushed east to the border of Russia. No longer is it the NATO vs. Warsaw Pact division that split your towns apart. Now it is the NATO vs. Russia division that divides people in Ukraine and other border states and threatens to bring down the world in a nuclear catastrophe.

And yet a Russian orchestra from Istra continues to travel to Germany every two years to build better relations. And you are hoping that your peace march will become a model for others. I hope so too.

There are still 100,000 U.S. and UK bombs in the ground in Germany, still killing.

U.S. bases violate the German Constitution by waging war from German soil, and by controlling U.S. drone murders around the globe from Ramstein Air Base.

The United States promised Russia when your two countries and towns reunited that NATO would not move an inch eastward. It has now moved relentlessly to the border of Russia, including by pushing for a relationship with Ukraine after the U.S. helped facilitate a military coup in that country.

I recently watched video of a panel on which the former U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union at the time of your reunification told Vladimir Putin that all the new U.S. troops and equipment and exercises and missile bases are not meant to threaten Russia, rather they are just meant to create jobs in the United States. While I apologize to the world for such madness, and recognize that other and better and more U.S. jobs could have been created with peaceful spending, it’s worth pointing out that people in Washington, D.C., actually think this way.

This Wednesday night, two candidates for U.S. president will discuss war, war, and more war on television. These are people who are never in the same room with anyone who imagines abolishing war to be possible or desirable. These are people whose every bellicose utterance is cheered by their sycophants and funders. They truly have no idea what they are doing, and they need people like you to wake them up with a bit of beautiful musical noise on behalf of peace and sanity.

At World Beyond War we are working to increase understanding of the desirability and feasibility of phasing out and replacing the entire institution of war preparations. We’ll have a big event in Berlin on September 24th and hope you can come. Those of us in the United States look to those of you in Germany for leadership, support, and solidarity. We need you to take Germany out of NATO and kick the U.S. military out of Germany.

That’s a pro-U.S. request, in so far as the people of the United States will be better off not paying, financially and morally, and in terms of hostile blowback, for the pieces of the U.S. war machine that are based on German soil, including Africa Command — the U.S. military’s headquarters for dominating Africa, which has yet to find a home on the continent it seeks to control.

The United States and Germany must both face down the rightwing tendencies to blame the victims of Western wars who try to flee to the West.

And we must, together, make peace with Russia — a project for which Germany may be perfectly placed, and on which we thank you for taking the lead.

U.S. Denies Entry to former British Ambassador Craig Murray

The U.S. government, for no stated reason, and after having approved his entry in the past, has denied Craig Murray the usual approval to enter the United States without a visa that is given to UK citizens. Craig Murray was British Ambassador to Uzbekistan from 2002 to 2004.

Murray was forced out of the British public service after he exposed the use of torture by Britain's Uzbek allies. Murray is scheduled to chair the presentation of this year's Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence to CIA torture whistleblower John Kiriakou, and to speak about diplomacy as an alternative to war at a World Beyond War conference planned for September 23-25 in Washington, D.C.

In 2006 Murray was himself awarded the Sam Adams Award, and the citation included the following: "Mr. Murray learned that the intelligence authorities of the UK and the US were receiving and using information extracted by the most sadistic methods of torture by Uzbek authorities. He protested strongly to London, to no avail. He was forced out of the British Foreign Office, but has no regrets. There are more important things than career…Mr. Murray's light has pierced a thick cloud of denial and deception. He has set a courageous example for those officials of the 'Coalition of the Willing' who have first-hand knowledge of the inhuman practices involved in the so-called 'war on terror' but who have not yet been able to find their voice."

Shocked by the denial of approval to enter the United States without a visa, Murray stated: "I shall apply for a visa via the State Department as suggested but I must be on a list to be refused under the ESTA system, and in any event it is most unlikely to be completed before the conference."

"It is worth noting," Murray added," that despite the highly critical things I have published about Putin, about civil liberties in Russia and the annexation of the Crimea, I have never been refused entry to Russia. The only two countries that have ever refused me entry clearance are Uzbekistan and the USA. What does that tell you?

"I have no criminal record, no connection to drugs or terrorism, have a return ticket, hotel booking and sufficient funds. I have a passport from a visa waiver country and have visited the USA frequently before during 38 years and never overstayed. The only possible grounds for this refusal of entry clearance are things I have written against neo-liberalism, attacks on civil liberties and neo-conservative foreign policy. People at the conference in Washington will now not be able to hear me speak. Plainly ideas can be dangerous. So much for the land of the free!"

The following joint statement has been signed by members of the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence listed below:

News that former British Ambassador Craig Murray has been denied entry to the United States under the regular visa waiver program is both shocking and appalling. We Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII) had invited Craig to be Master of Ceremonies at our award ceremony honoring John Kiriakou, the CIA torture whistleblower (more details at samadamsaward.ch ), this September as part of the 'No War 2016' conference.

Now we're wondering which agency's long arms have reached out to disrupt our ceremony and to try to silence Craig.

Whatever they intend, it will be bound to backfire, since it only makes the US government look like some sort of monolithic repressive apparatus out to mimic the world's worst despotic regimes. Ambassador Murray notes in his blog that Uzbekistan -- whose government apparatchiks are notorious for torturing its citizens -- is the only other country to have barred his entry. Even Russia - which Ambassador Murray criticizes freely - allows him to travel there trouble-free. What are the implications for US democratic values?

We strongly urge the State Department to reverse its decision and allow Ambassador Murray freedom of travel and freedom of expression without hindrance in the United States of America.

William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA
Thomas Drake, former Senior Executive, NSA
Philip Giraldi, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.)
Matthew Hoh,
former Capt., USMC, Iraq & Foreign Service Officer, Afghanistan
Larry Johnson, CIA and State Dept. (ret.)
John Brady Kiesling, former US diplomat
John Kiriakou, Former CIA Counterterrorism Officer
Karen Kwiatkowski, Lt. Col., US Air Force (ret.)
David MacMichael Ph.D., CIA, US Marine Corps captain (ret.)
Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East, CIA (ret.)
Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, JA, USA (ret.)
Diane Roark, former staff, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (ret.)
Coleen Rowley, retired FBI agent and former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel
Peter Van Buren, U.S. Department of State, Foreign Service Officer (ret.)
J. Kirk Wiebe, Senior Analyst, NSA (ret.)

World Beyond War has created a petition appealing to the State Department

World Beyond War, the organization behind the No War 2016 conference at which Murray is scheduled to speak, has created an online petition to the State Department.

David Swanson, Director of World Beyond War, said "This attempt to prevent a truth-teller from speaking in support of nonviolence is absolutely shameful. This is not a policy created to represent any view of the U.S. public, and we are not going to stand for it."

Worst Human Being Alive: Tony Blair?

I realize that, living here in the United States, the nation doing the most in the world to create wars, proliferate nukes, and destroy the habitability of the earth's climate, I really have a duty to pick someone in the United States as the worst individual human being alive.

But the United States operates by incestuous swarm. We have another Cheney running for Congress and another Clinton running for president. We have Trump's campaign manager in trouble for taking money from Russians, much of which he funneled to Hillary Clinton's campaign chair's brother. Meanwhile, Trump's daughter has been hauled before a virtual Un-American Activities Committee for vacationing with the supposed girlfriend of Vladimir Putin who may or may not have cheated on Rupert Murdoch with Tony Blair -- Yes, the same Rupert Murdoch who raises funds for Hillary Clinton, and yes, that Tony Blair -- the one whose corrupt deal with Murdoch put him in power in the first place.

These characters, including Blair, are at least honorary Americans. But Blair is something even worse than the worst of the worst of them. Blair did to the Labour Party what Bill Clinton did to the Democratic Party -- what Jeremy Corbin is trying to undo and Hillary Clinton trying to permanently entomb. Blair did to Kosovo and Afghanistan and Iraq what Clinton, Bush, and Obama did to those places. But while Bush went home to paint pictures of himself in the bathtub, Blair went on a Clintonite mission to get rich and evangelize for war and corruption.

I don't know if it's fair to hold this against him, but Blair took into wars on Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq, a nation with far greater resistance to such lawless mass killing than the United States had. That is, he had people telling him openly that his actions would be criminal and reprehensible. He may now be the least popular person in Britain. He can't go outside without being protested. George W. Bush, like his daddy, in contrast, is just another respectable old retired emperor.

I do think, however, that it is perfectly fair to hold against Blair the fact that he shifted from mass killing straight into mass money making while promoting more death and destruction. Money grubbing British prime ministers from now on will know that they can become stinking rich upon retirement if they do the bidding of their corporate and foreign overlords while in office.

If you think I'm exaggerating, go watch George Galloway's new film, The Killing$ Of Tony Blair. This film tells the story of Blair's whole career, and it's ugly. He cuts a deal with Murdoch to allow media monopolies in exchange for press support. He takes money from a car racing plutocrat in exchange for allowing tobacco ads at car races. He sells out to corporations left and right. He peddles BAE jets to Indonesia for killing people in East Timor. He sells BAE air traffic control systems to Tanzania which has no air force. He simply shuts down a prosecutorial investigation of BAE's Saudi corruption in the deal that saw Bandar Bush pocket $2 billion. He privatizes schools and hospitals, anything that can make a buck for anybody who knows how to kick some back.

Blair joins with Clinton the First and then Obama in the killing in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and then shifts into former-prime-minister-now-"consultant" mode, taking millions from JP Morgan Chase, Petro Saudi, and other companies for providing his connections to other corrupt people around the world. He takes obscene speaking fees. He hires himself out to dictators in Kazakhstan, Egypt, Kuwait, and Libya. The film juxtaposes their atrocities with Blair's purchased praise of their many merits. Blair persuaded Bush to protect Gadaffi from lawsuits by alleged victims, but apparently forgot to tell Hillary not to bomb Gadaffi or get him killed.

What really wins Blair the prize of worst person on earth, though, is his acceptance of an appointment as Middle East Peace Envoy to Israel and Palestine, a job he apparently held right up until enough people realized it wasn't a fake report meant to be funny but an actual no-kidding job that he was actually engaged in.

Talk Nation Radio: Phil Wilayto on Ukraine, Poland, and the Dangers of the New Cold War

  https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-phil-wilayto-on-ukraine-poland-and-the-dangers-of-the-new-cold-war

While the U.S. public is distracted by endless election circuses and the hunt for more bread, the U.S. military and NATO are stirring up WWIII in Eastern Europe. This week we speak with Phil Wilayto. He is editor of The Virginia Defender newspaper and a member of the Administrative Committee of the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC). Phil has been spending time in Ukraine and Poland working with antiwar and anti-fascist groups. For more on UNAC see https://unacpeace.org

Total run time: 29:00

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

Download from LetsTryDemocracy or Archive.

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Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

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Scandinavia on the skids and the failure of social democracy: Denmark: SOS Save Our Sovereignty

By Ron Ridenour

(This is the first of seven articles on the reality of Scandinavia’s “socialism”)

I first met Denmark’s last truly Social Democratic Prime Minister, Anker Joergensen, in his state office, unannounced, in late 1980.

Grethe and I had just been married. We had met the year before in Los Angeles where I had been a “participatory journalist”, and activist for social/racial/gender equality and against the Vietnam War. I wanted to start a new life with Grethe in her peaceful, social democratic land.

The World Must Support Ireland Against U.S. Wars

A Letter to Ireland from World Beyond War

Add your name here.

Those of us outside Ireland, and in particular those of us in the United States, have a pressing and urgent responsibility to lend all the support we can to our brothers and sisters in Ireland who are resisting U.S. wars.

Despite Ireland’s officially neutral status and its claim to have not gone to war since its founding in 1922, Ireland allowed the United States to use Shannon Airport during the Gulf War and, as part of the so-called coalition of the willing, during the wars that began in 2001. Between 2002 and the present date, over 2.5 million U.S. troops have passed through Shannon Airport, along with many weapons, and CIA airplanes used to transfer prisoners to places of torture. Casement Aerodrome has also been used. And, despite not being a member of NATO, Ireland has sent troops to participate in the illegal war on Afghanistan.

irelandFB

Under Hague Convention V in force since 1910, and to which the United States has been a party from the start, and which under Article VI of the U.S. Constitution is part of the supreme law of the United States, “Belligerents are forbidden to move troops or convoys of either munitions of war or supplies across the territory of a neutral Power.” Under the United Nations Convention Against Torture, to which both the United States and Ireland are parties, and which has been incorporated into very selectively enforced felonies in the U.S. Code since before George W. Bush left Texas for Washington, D.C., any complicity in torture must be investigated and prosecuted. Under both the U.N. Charter and the Kellogg-Briand Pact, to both of which the United States and Ireland have been parties since their creation, the war in Afghanistan and all the other U.S. wars since 2001 have been illegal.

The people of Ireland have a strong tradition of resisting imperialism, dating back even before the 1916 revolution of which this year is the centenary, and they aspire to representative or democratic government. In a 2007 poll, by 58% to 19% they opposed allowing the U.S. military to use Shannon Airport. In a 2013 poll, over 75% supported neutrality. In 2011, a new government of Ireland announced that it would support neutrality, but it did not. Instead it has continued to allow the U.S. military to keep planes and personnel at Shannon Airport, and to bring troops and weapons through on a regular basis, including over 20,000 troops already this year.

The United States military has no need for Shannon Airport. Its planes could reach other destinations without running out of fuel. One of the purposes of regularly using Shannon Airport, perhaps the main purpose, is very likely simply to keep Ireland within the coalition of the killing. On U.S. television, announcers thank “the troops” for watching this or that major sporting event from 175 countries. The U.S. military and its profiteers would hardly notice if that number dropped to 174, but their goal, perhaps their main purpose and driving objective, is to increase that number to 200. Total global dominance is the explicitly stated objective of the U.S. military. Once a nation is added to the list, all steps will be taken, by the State Department, by the military, by the CIA, and by any possible collaborators, to keep that nation on the list. The United States government fears an Ireland free of U.S. militarism more than we probably can imagine. The global peace movement should desire it more than we probably do, including for the example it would set to Scotland, Wales, England, and the rest of the world.

How do we, outside of Ireland, know anything at all about what the U.S. military does in Ireland? We certainly don’t learn it from the U.S. government or U.S. journalism. And the Irish government takes no active steps to reveal what it knows, which is likely not everything. We know what we know because of brave and dedicated peace activists in Ireland, representing majority opinion, upholding the rule of law, exercising creative nonviolence, and working through numerous organizations, most prominently Shannonwatch.org. These heroes have pried loose information, elected and lobbied members of the Irish legislature, entered the grounds of Shannon Airport to ask question and draw attention and face criminal prosecution for the cause of peace. If not for them, citizens of the United States — a nation that literally bombs other countries in the name of democracy — would have no idea what was happening whatsoever. Even now, most people in the United States have no idea. We have to help tell them. Even U.S. supporters of war don’t support a mandatory draft, at least not until they themselves are too old to qualify. Many should be willing to oppose forcing Ireland to take part in wars it wants no part in.

If U.S. military transport continues to make use of Shannon Airport, a disaster will inevitably occur there. Of course the moral disaster of participating in the mass killing of people in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, etc., is ongoing. The cultural disaster of insidiously creating the impression that war is normal is underway. The financial cost to Ireland, the environmental and noise pollution, the heightened “security” that erodes civil liberties: all of those things are part of the package, along with the racism that finds a target in the refugees fleeing the wars. But if Shannon Airport survives routine U.S. military use without a major accident, spill, explosion, crash, or mass-killing, it will be the first. The U.S. military has poisoned and polluted some of the most beautiful spots in the United States and around the world. The unsurpassed beauty of Ireland is not immune.

And then there is the blowback. By participating in counterproductive wars that generate international terrorism, Ireland makes itself a target. When Spain became a target it pulled out of the war on Iraq, making itself safer. When Britain and France became targets, they doubled down on their own participation in terrorism-too-large-to-carry-that-name, generating more blowback and deepening the vicious cycle of violence. Which path would Ireland choose? We cannot know. But we do know that it would be wisest for Ireland to pull out of its criminal participation in the barbaric institution of war before the war comes home.

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Iranians Ask France Not to Support Terrorism

Dear President Hollande,

On behalf of the people of Iran, we are writing to express our deepest sorrow in response to tragic events that in recent months have been unfolded in your country.  

Please accept our condolences, for we share your pain and sorrow for the loss of innocent lives due to the heartless actions of terrorist groups. We convey our sympathy to the people of France and stand in solidarity with families of victims of such barbaric acts.
 
We, in Iran, understand the horror of terrorism as we have experienced it in first hand and for a long time. In our country thousands of civilians have been targeted by terrorist groups, such as Mujahidin- e- Khalq (MEK). Similar to ISIS, MEK also stands for violence and destruction of precious lives in order to achieve its “goal” and “win.”
 
In fact, we are saddened and hurt to witness Turki bin Faisale Al Iskander, the Saudi official, entered Paris last week only to openly support Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK), a terrorist organization. This group led by Mariam Rajavi, is responsible for the lives of 17000 Iranians alone, as well as numerous non-Iranians throughout years of terrorist activities.
 
Sadly, in the eyes of many observers, friendships and collaborations of Saudi officials with terrorist groups and organizations is not anything new. For decades, directly or indirectly, Saudis have supported groups such as Taliban, Al-Qaeda, ISIS and now is openly supporting the MEK. While we deeply sympathize with the people of France and share their pain, we also believe this is the time for the international community to revisit consequences of wrong policies toward states and non-state actors who overtly or covertly have supported terrorism.

In solidarity, 
A group of Iranian Artists.

Trashing Clinton in the Times: Is Sanders’ End Game to Sell Out His ‘Political Revolution’ or to Take It to November?

By Dave Lindorff

 

            What is Bernie Sanders up to?

 

            I sure don’t know, and I’m sure that Hillary Clinton and her campaign managers are wondering too.

Have a Chilcot Fourth of July

This Fourth of July, U.S. war makers will be drinking fermented grain, grilling dead flesh, traumatizing veterans with colorful explosions, and thanking their lucky stars and campaign contributors that they don't live in rotten old England. And I don't mean because of King George III. I'm talking about the Chilcot Inquiry.

According to a British newspaper: "The long-awaited Chilcot report into the Iraq war is reportedly set to savage Tony Blair and other former government officials in an 'absolutely brutal' verdict on the failings of the occupation."

Let's be clear, the "brutal" "savaging" is metaphorical, not of the sort actually done to Iraq. By the most scientifically respected measures available, the war killed 1.4 million Iraqis, saw 4.2 million injured, and 4.5 million people become refugees. The 1.4 million dead was 5% of the population. The invasion included 29,200 air strikes, followed by 3,900 over the next eight years. The U.S. military targeted civilians, journalists, hospitals, and ambulances. It used cluster bombs, white phosphorous, depleted uranium, and a new kind of napalm in urban areas. Birth defects, cancer rates, and infant mortality have soared. Water supplies, sewage treatment plants, hospitals, bridges, and electricity supplies were devastated, and not repaired.

For years, the occupying forces encouraged ethnic and sectarian division and violence, resulting in a segregated country and the repression of rights that Iraqis had enjoyed even under Saddam Hussein's brutal police state. Terrorist groups, including one that took the name ISIS, arose and flourished.

This enormous crime was not a well-intended project that experienced a few "failings of the occupation." It was not something that could have been done properly, or legally, or morally. The only decent thing that could have been done with this war, as with any war, was not to start it.

There was no need for yet another investigation. The crime has been out in the open from the start. All the obvious lies about weapons and ties to terrorists could have been true and still wouldn't have justified or legalized the war. What's needed is accountability, which is why Tony Blair may now find himself impeached.

Holding UK accomplices to the crime accountable is not a step toward getting them to squeal on their U.S. bosses, because the secrets are all in the open. But perhaps it can set an example. Perhaps even a UK-free European Union will someday take steps to hold U.S. criminals to account.

It's too late, of course, to dissuade President Obama from expanding on Bush's abuses by holding Bush accountable. But there is the problem of the next president (with both major parties nominating people who supported the 2003 invasion), and the problem of a subservient Congress. There is also the screaming need, ever more urgent, for massive reparations to the people of Iraq. That step, required by justice and humanity, would of course cost less financially than continuing the never-ending wars in Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia. It would also make the United States safer.

These articles of impeachment were introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Dennis Kucinich on June 9, 2008, as H. Res. 1258

Article I
Creating a Secret Propaganda Campaign to Manufacture a False Case for War Against Iraq.

Article II
Falsely, Systematically, and with Criminal Intent Conflating the Attacks of September 11, 2001, With Misrepresentation of Iraq as a Security Threat as Part of Fraudulent Justification for a War of Aggression.

Article III
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction, to Manufacture a False Case for War.

Article IV
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Posed an Imminent Threat to the United States.

Article V
Illegally Misspending Funds to Secretly Begin a War of Aggression.

Article VI
Invading Iraq in Violation of the Requirements of HJRes114.

Article VII
Invading Iraq Absent a Declaration of War.

Article VIII
Invading Iraq, A Sovereign Nation, in Violation of the UN Charter.

Article IX
Failing to Provide Troops With Body Armor and Vehicle Armor.

Article X
Falsifying Accounts of US Troop Deaths and Injuries for Political Purposes.

Article XI
Establishment of Permanent U.S. Military Bases in Iraq.

Article XII
Initiating a War Against Iraq for Control of That Nation's Natural Resources.

Article XIIII
Creating a Secret Task Force to Develop Energy and Military Policies With Respect to Iraq and Other Countries.

Article XIV
Misprision of a Felony, Misuse and Exposure of Classified Information And Obstruction of Justice in the Matter of Valerie Plame Wilson, Clandestine Agent of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Article XV
Providing Immunity from Prosecution for Criminal Contractors in Iraq.

Article XVI
Reckless Misspending and Waste of U.S. Tax Dollars in Connection With Iraq and US Contractors.

Article XVII
Illegal Detention: Detaining Indefinitely And Without Charge Persons Both U.S. Citizens and Foreign Captives.

Article XVIII
Torture: Secretly Authorizing, and Encouraging the Use of Torture Against Captives in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Other Places, as a Matter of Official Policy.

Article XIX
Rendition: Kidnapping People and Taking Them Against Their Will to "Black Sites" Located in Other Nations, Including Nations Known to Practice Torture.

Article XX
Imprisoning Children.

Article XXI
Misleading Congress and the American People About Threats from Iran, and Supporting Terrorist Organizations Within Iran, With the Goal of Overthrowing the Iranian Government.

Article XXII
Creating Secret Laws.

Article XXIII
Violation of the Posse Comitatus Act.

Article XXIV
Spying on American Citizens, Without a Court-Ordered Warrant, in Violation of the Law and the Fourth Amendment.

Article XXV
Directing Telecommunications Companies to Create an Illegal and Unconstitutional Database of the Private Telephone Numbers and Emails of American Citizens.

Article XXVI
Announcing the Intent to Violate Laws with Signing Statements.

Article XXVII
Failing to Comply with Congressional Subpoenas and Instructing Former Employees Not to Comply.

Article XXVIII
Tampering with Free and Fair Elections, Corruption of the Administration of Justice.

Article XXIX
Conspiracy to Violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Article XXX
Misleading Congress and the American People in an Attempt to Destroy Medicare.

Article XXXI
Katrina: Failure to Plan for the Predicted Disaster of Hurricane Katrina, Failure to Respond to a Civil Emergency.

Article XXXII
Misleading Congress and the American People, Systematically Undermining Efforts to Address Global Climate Change.

Article XXXIII
Repeatedly Ignored and Failed to Respond to High Level Intelligence Warnings of Planned Terrorist Attacks in the US, Prior to 911.

Article XXXIV
Obstruction of the Investigation into the Attacks of September 11, 2001.

Article XXXV
Endangering the Health of 911 First Responders.

Focus: Brexit - June 25, 2016


Brexit: Worries about excessive migration to the U.K.overshadowed fears of the economic fallout of leaving the European bloc - Bloomberg


This is how immigration fueled the Brexit result - The National Interest Blog


Fear of immigration drove the Brexit victory – not immigration itself - The Guardian


POLL: Just ahead of the EU referendum, concern about immigration rose by 10 percentage points - Ipsos MORI


Brexit, explained in one chart: British voters push back against a huge surge in immigration that’s taken place over the past decade - Vox


Brexit: UK Immigration by the numbers - The Post Newspaper


Immigration pushes UK population to 65 million - The Times & The Sunday Times


EU referendum: How the results compare to the UK's educated, old and immigrant populations - telegraph.co.uk


Brexit: What next for immigration after the EU referendum? - newsweek.com


David Cameron, Britain's Prime Minister, to step down after Brexit vote - NBC News


Jeremy Corbyn faces calls to resign from Labour MPs over disastrous referendum campaign - The Independent


VIDEO: Jeremy Corbyn says he wont resign despite Brexit result - ibtimes.co.in


Brexit: New Labour should have listened to 'racist' immigration concerns years ago, As years passed and migration soared those who spoke up were dismissed - ibtimes.co.u

 

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

Trump cites immigration anger as driving factor in 'Brexit' vote – and beyond - Fox News


VIDEO: Trump: Brits have voted to take their country back - Fox News


TRANSCRIPT: Donald Trump’s Brexit press conference - The Washington Post


Donald J. Trump Statement Regarding British Referendum on E.U. Membership - Donald J Trump for President


How Trump benefits from Brexit - Yahoo Finance


Hillary Clinton camp says Trump’s ‘Brexit’ remarks show he’s unfit for White House - WSJ


Hillary Clinton statement on Brexit vote - hillaryclinton.com


Bernie Sanders on Brexit: ‘The global economy is not working for everybody’ - huffingtonpost.com


VIDEO: Sanders on Brexit: The ‘global economy is not working for everybody' - YouTube


Joe Biden, in a speech in Ireland, warns against blaming immigrants for unrest - LA Times


Joint statement by Schulz, Tusk, Rutte and Juncker on UK referendum outcome - uroparl.europa.eu


From trade to migration - how Brexit may hit the EU economy - Reuters


Brexit to hit German economy hard: business groups - MarketWatch


Brexit sparks calls for more EU exits, world leaders react to EU referendum result - btimes.com


Voters in Sweden, Denmark and Greece demand their say on 'broken' Europe - Daily Mail Online


Swiss say Brexit vote complicates its EU immigration talks - Yahoo Finance UK


Putin on Brexit: UK citizens' choice resulted from the British authorities' 'arrogance and a shallow approach to solving pivotal issues’ - RT News


The British Brexit vote is awful news for China - Quartz


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

What about cops?: Ban Assault Weapons, But for Police Too, Not Just Civilians

By Dave Lindorff

 

A few years ago, I contacted my local police department asking them to send an officer over to put down a doe that had been hit by a car on the street in front of my house. She had suffered a left front and right rear leg break but had somehow flopped herself well into the yard and was on the ground suffering. When a cop arrived, and began to approach her with his pistol I warned him off, saying the deer would hurt herself more trying to get away.

Brexit Violence Deeply Rooted, With Lessons for U.S.

On Thursday, in a political move more typical of the United States than Europe, a member of the British Parliament was murdered. She was an opponent of Brexit (Britain exiting the European Union), and her murderer reportedly shouted "Britain First!"

There is a case to be made, on the one hand, that exiting the EU is actually the move away from violence. There are many areas, from banking to farming to militarism, that motivate Norway and Iceland to stay out, for all the right reasons, including resistance to war making -- as with Sweden's and Switzerland's staying out of NATO. I was rooting for Scotland's departure from the UK in the name of peace and disarmament, and looked forward to U.S. nukes and NATO being kicked out of that beautiful country.

The European Union has become the civilian arm of NATO, expanding ever nearer Russia at the insistence of the United States, which -- believe it or not -- is not actually a European nation at all. Were Norway to join the EU, that could mean trouble for Norway's fair and humane economy. But Britain? Britain is a drag on the EU, there at the insistence of the United States which needs puppet-veto power over any European moves toward independence, peace, environmental sustainability, or economic fairness. The EU's influence on Britain is largely to the benefit of the Brits.

There is perhaps a stronger case to be made that exiting the EU would be a move toward violence. This is the case for the EU as a model of peacemaking. For this argument I refer you to a new book by Vijay Mehta called Peace Beyond Borders: How the EU Brought Peace to Europe and How Exporting It Would End Conflicts Around the World. Let me make very clear that I think Mehta wildly exaggerates his case. Far more important to ending war in the world, I believe, are a number of other factors, the top two being: (1) Get the rich countries, led by the U.S. and Europe, to stop selling weapons to the world, and (2) Get the rich countries, led by the U.S. and Europe, to stop bombing, invading, and occupying poor countries.

The EU's supposed 70 years of peace leaves out massive warmaking abroad, as well as wars in Yugoslavia. The case for the EU's bringing of peace and prosperity has to explain Norwegian and Icelandic peace and prosperity as tangential effects of the EU's orbit. Bestowing a Nobel Prize on a leading warmaking region of the world, a prize meant to fund disarmament activists given to the EU which could fund itself by buying a bit less weaponry -- that was an insult to the world and to Alfred Nobel's will.

But, within its proper scope, there is nonetheless a major point to be made. Europe was for centuries the leading hotspot for war as well as its leading exporter. For an unprecedented 71 years Europe has been almost exclusively an exporter of war. The idea of a war within Europe is now almost unthinkable. Mehta argues that we ought to try thinking it, because a few slips could quickly bring it back again. Mehta credits the EU with having made peace normal through 10 mechanisms. I would add to these, of course, fear of nuclear holocaust, and cultural trends away from war acceptance. But here are the mechanisms:

A lesson here for Sanders?: 72-Year-Old Fringe Left Candidate Wins Presidency in Austrian Run-Off Election

By Dave Lindorff

 

A 72-year-old college professor named Alexander van der Bellen, running for president as the candidate of the leftist Austrian Green Party, a fringe party that had never been considered a serious contender in post-war Austrian politics, just won a narrow victory over Norbert Hofer, a right-wing candidate of the neo-fascist Freedom Party who had been favored to win.

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