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Lunacy trumps logic: Brash Trump Bashed for Bigotry in UK’s Parliament

By Linn Washington, Jr.

  

London -- In a rational world where the rules of arithmetic apply it just doesn’t add up to declare that 40,000 is mathematically more significant than 500,000.

Fenya -- Christmas Truce

An invisible US hand leading to war?: Turkey’s Downing of a Russian Jet at the Turkish/Syrian Border was an Act of Madness

By Dave Lindorff


In considering the terrifying but also sadly predictable news of a Russian fighter jet being downed by two Turkish fighters, let’s start with one almost certain assumption -- an assumption that no doubt is also being made by the Russian government: Turkey’s action, using US-supplied F-16 planes, was taken with the full knowledge and advance support of the US. In fact, given Turkey’s vassal status as a member of US-dominated NATO, it could well be that Ankara was put up to this act of brinksmanship by the US.

Tomgram: Engelhardt, The National Security State's Incestuous Relationship with the Islamic State

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Warmongers & Peacemongers: Learning How Not to Rule the World

By John Grant

 

[Al Qaeda’s] strategic objective has always been ... the overthrow of the House of Saud. In pursuing that regional goal, however, it has been drawn into a worldwide conflict with American power.

Non-French War Deaths Matter

We are all France. Apparently. Though we are never all Lebanon or Syria or Iraq for some reason. Or a long, long list of additional places.

We are led to believe that U.S. wars are not tolerated and cheered because of the color or culture of the people being bombed and occupied. But let a relatively tiny number of people be murdered in a white, Christian, Western-European land, with a pro-war government, and suddenly sympathy is the order of the day.

"This is not just an attack on the French people, it is an attack on human decency and all things that we hold dear," says U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham. I'm not sure I hold ALL the same things dear as the senator, but for the most part I think he's exactly right and that sympathy damn well ought to be the order of the day following a horrific mass killing in France.

I just think the same should apply to everywhere else on earth as well. The majority of deaths in all recent wars are civilian. The majority of civilians are not hard to sympathize with once superficial barriers are overcome. Yet, the U.S. media never seems to declare deaths in Yemen or Pakistan or Palestine to be attacks on our common humanity.

I included "pro-war government" as a qualification above, because I can recall a time, way back in 2003, when I was the one shouting "We are all France," and pro-war advocates in the United States were demonizing France for its refusal to support a looming and guaranteed to be catastrophic and counterproductive U.S. war. France sympathized with U.S. deaths on 911, but counseled sanity, decency, and honesty in response. The U.S. told France to go to hell and renamed french fries in Congressional office buildings.

Now, 14 years into a global war on terror that reliably produces more terror, France is an enthusiastic invader, plunderer, bomber, and propagator of hateful bigotry. France also sells billions of dollars of weaponry to lovely little bastions of equality and liberty like Saudi Arabia, carefully ignoring Saudis' funding of anti-Western terrorist groups.

When U.S. militarism failed to prevent 911, I actually thought that would mean reduced militarism. When a Russian plane was recently blown up, I think I imagined for a split second that Russia would learn its lesson and stop repeating U.S. mistakes. When people were just killed in France, I didn't have any time to fantasize about France coming to its senses, because a "socialist" president was already doing his Dubya-on-the-rubble imitation:

"To all those who have seen these awful things," said François Hollande, "I want to say we are going to lead a war which will be pitiless. Because when terrorists are capable of committing such atrocities they must be certain that they are facing a determined France, a united France, a France that is together and does not let itself be moved, even if today we express infinite sorrow."

The video doesn't look like Bush, and the French word combat does not necessarily mean war just because the Washington Post says it does. It can mean fight in some other sense. But what other sense exactly, I'm not sure. Prosecuting anyone responsible would of course make perfect sense, but a criminal justice system ought not to be pitiless. It's a war that ought to be pitiless. And it's a war that will guarantee more attacks. And it's a war that France has begun.

"It is the job of thinking people, not to be on the side of the executioners," said Albert Camus.

Please go back to thinking, France.

We do love you and wish you well and are deeply sorry for U.S. influence against your better tendencies.

Peace Advocate Climbs U.S. Navy Satellite Dish in Sicily

Credit to Fabio d'Alessandro for the photo and alerting me to the story, reported in Italian at Vice and Meridionews.

On the morning of Armistice Day, November 11, 2015, longtime peace activist Turi Vaccaro climbed to where you see him in the photo above. He brought a hammer and made this a Plowshares action by hammering on the enormous satellite dish, an instrument of U.S. warfare communications.

Here's a video:

There's a popular movement in Sicily called No MUOS. MUOS means Mobile User Objective System. It's a satellite communications system created by the U.S. Navy. It has equipment in Australia, Hawaii, Chesapeake Virginia, and Sicily.

The primary contractor and profiteer building the satellite equipment at the U.S. Navy base in the desert in Sicily is Lockheed Martin Space Systems. Each of the four MUOS ground stations is intended to include three swivelling very-high-frequency satellite dishes with a diameter of 18.4 meters and two Ultra High Frequency (UHF) helical antennas.

Protests have been growing in the nearby town of Niscemi since 2012. In October 2012, construction was suspended for a few weeks. In early 2013 the President of the Region of Sicily revoked the authorization for the MUOS construction. The Italian government conducted a dubious study of health impacts and concluded the project was safe. Work recommenced. The town of Niscemi appealed, and in April 2014 the Regional Administrative Tribunal requested a new study. Construction goes on, as does resistance.

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In April 2015 I spoke with Fabio D'Alessandro, a giornalist and law school graduate living in Niscemi. "I'm part of the No MUOS movement," he told me, "a movement that works to prevent the installation of the U.S. satellite system called MUOS. To be specific, I'm part of the No MUOS committee of Niscemi, which is part of the coalition of No MUOS committees, a network of committees spread around Sicily and in the major Italian cities."

"It is very sad," said D'Alessandro,"to realize that in the United States people know little about MUOS. MUOS is a system for high-frequency and narrowband satellite communications, composed of five satellites and four stations on earth, one of which is planned for Niscemi. MUOS was developed by the U.S. Department of Defense. The purpose of the program is the creation of a global communications network that allows communication in real time with any soldier in any part of the world. In addition it will be possible to send encrypted messages. One of the principal functions of MUOS, apart from the speed of communications, is the ability to remotely pilot drones. Recent tests have demonstrated how MUOS can be used at the North Pole. In short, MUOS will serve to support any U.S. conflict in the Mediterranean or the Middle East or Asia. It's all part of the effort to automate war, entrusting the choice of targets to machines."

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"There are many reasons to oppose MUOS," D'Alessandro told me, "first of all the local community has not been advised of the installation. The MUOS satellite dishes and antennas are built within a non-NATO U.S. military base that has existed in Niscemi since 1991. The base was constructed within a nature preserve, destroying thousands of cork oaks and devestating the landscape by means of bulldozers that leveled a hill. The base is larger than the town of Niscemi itself. The presence of the satellite dishes and antennas puts at serious risk a fragile habitat including flora and fauna that exist only in this place. And no study has been conducted of the dangers of the electromagnetic waves emitted, neither for the animal population nor for the human inhabitants and the civilian flights from the Comiso Airport approximately 20 kilometers away.

"Within the base there are already present 46 satellite dishes, surpassing the limit set by Italian law. Moreover, as determined anti-militarists, we oppose further militarizing this area, which already has the base at Sigonella and other U.S. bases in Sicily. We don't want to be complicit in the next wars. And we don't want to become a target for whoever attempts to attack the U.S. military."

What have you done thus far, I asked.

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"We've engaged in lots of different actions against the base: more than once we've cut through the fences; three times we've invaded the base en masse; twice we've entered the base with thousands demonstrating. We've blocked the roads to prevent access for the workers and the American military personnel. There has been sabotage of the optical communication wires, and many other actions."

The No Dal Molin movement against the new base at Vicenza, Italy, has not stopped that base. Have you learned anything from their efforts? Are you in touch with them?

"We are in constant contact with No Dal Molin, and we know their history well. The company that is building MUOS, Gemmo SPA, is the same that did the work on Dal Molin and is currently under investigation subsequent to the seizure of the MUOS building site by the courts in Caltagirone. Anyone attempting to bring into doubt the legitimacy of U.S. military bases in Italy is obliged to work with political groups on the right and left that have always been pro-NATO. And in this case the first supporters of MUOS were the politicians just as happened at Dal Molin. We often meet with delegations of activists from Vicenza and three times have been their guests."

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I went with representatives of No Dal Molin to meet with Congress Members and Senators and their staffs in Washington, and they simply asked us where the base should go if not Vicenza. We replied "Nowhere." Have you met with anyone in the U.S. government or communicated with them in any way?

"Many times the U.S. consuls have come to Niscemi but we have never been permitted to speak with them. We have never in any way communicated with U.S. senators/representatives, and none have ever asked to meet with us."

Where are the other three MOUS sites? Are you in touch with resisters there? Or with the resistance to bases on Jeju Island or Okinawa or the Philippines or elsewhere around the world? The Chagossians seeking to return might make good allies, right? What about the groups studying the military damage to Sardinia? Environmental groups are concerned about Jeju and about Pagan Island Are they helpful in Sicily?

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"We are in direct contact with the No Radar group in Sardinia. One of the planners of that struggle has worked (for free) for us. We know the other anti-U.S.-base movements around the world, and thanks to No Dal Molin and to David Vine, we have been able to hold some virtual meetings. Also thanks to the support of Bruce Gagnon of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space we are trying to get in touch with those in Hawaii and Okinawa."

What would you most like people in the United States to know?

"The imperialism that the United States is imposing on the countries that lost the Second World War is shameful. We are tired of having to be slaves to a foreign politics that to us is crazy and that obliges us to make enormous sacrifices and that makes Sicily and Italy no longer lands of welcome and peace, but lands of war, deserts in use by the U.S. Navy."

*****

Read also "The Tiny Italian Town Killing the U.S. Navy’s Surveillance Plans" by Daily Beast.

And watch this:

No to war – no to NATO: European network expands

CALL TO ACTION FROM THE ROME PEACE CONFERENCE,
OCTOBER 26th, 2015

We, the participants attending the International Conference Against War and For a Neutral Italy and an Independent Europe held in Rome on October 26, 2015, on the initiative of the No War No NATO Committee, with representatives from Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Greece, Cyprus, Sweden, Latvia and the United States join together in condemning the NATO monster drill Trident Juncture 2015, which is currently ongoing in the Mediterranean in preparation for new acts of aggression by the US-led Atlantic Alliance in Europe, Asia, and Africa. NATO is responsible for wars which have caused millions of deaths, millions of refugees, and colossal destruction. It is now dragging humanity into an endless war whose results, if we continue along this path, will be catastrophic for the entire world.

To escape from this death spiral of armed conflict, the participants in this Conference call for an alliance of all democratic forces for peace, for the sovereignty of peoples, and against the wars unleashed by a tiny minority of cynical profiteers.

For this purpose, we commit ourselves to set up a European Coordination devoted to helping the nations which are currently NATO member states to reclaim their sovereignty and independence, which are the indispensable pre-conditions for creating a new Europe capable of contributing to the establishment of international relations based on peace, mutual respect, and economic and social justice. At the same time, we pledge to cooperate with any democratic movement in the world which is pursuing similar goals.

As a first operational step in this formidable task, we intend to institute an international news and information network, which will become a key factor in countering the disinformation and mystification of the controlled media in order to develop mutual understanding and coordinate our forces in this decisive struggle. All those taking part in the Rome conference will receive a summary of all the proceedings and a database of the participants, with a view to promoting an initial coordination and exchange of information.

We are now moving toward a second European-wide event. All of those taking part today are committed to expand the list of organizations and individuals who want to contribute to building this movement.

Participants at the meeting who participated with an intervention:

Manlio Dinucci, journalist, writer, No War No Nato committee (Italy)
Giulietto Chiesa, journalist, writer,No War No Nato committee (Italy)
Alex Zanotelli. missionary, pacifist (Italy)
Fulvio Grimaldi, journalist, writer, No War No Nato committee (Italy)
Paola Depin, member of the Italian Senate (High Chamber), Green Party (Italy)
Tatiana Zdanoka, member of the European Parliament (Latvia)
Dimitros Kostantakopoulos, former member of Central Committee of Syriza (Greece)
Ingela Martensson, former member of the Swedish Parliament (Sweden)
Bartolomeo Pepe, member of the Italian Senate (High Chamber), Green Party (Italy)
Georges Loukaides, member of the Cyprus Parliament, AKEL Party (Cyprus)
Roberto Cotti, member of the Italian Senate (High Chamber), Defense Commission, Five Stars Movement (Italy)
Enza Blundo, member of the Italian Senate (High Chamber), Culture Commission, Five Stars Movement (Italy)
Reiner Braun, No-To-War/No-To-Nato organization, co-President of IPB (Germany)
Kristine Karch, No-To-War/No-To-Nato, (Germany)
Webster Tarpley, journalist, writer, “Tax Wall Street ” Party (USA)
Ferdinando Imposimato, judge, onorary President of the Supreme High Court of Cassazione (Italy)
Angeles Maestros, promoter of the Tribunal of Peoples against Imperialism, War and NATO (Spain)
Vincenzo Brandi, engineer, scientist, No War No Nato committee and No War Net Rome (Italy)
Pier Pagliani , philosopher, writer, No War No Nato Committee (Italy)
Pilar Quarzell, actress, poet, No War No Nato Committee (Italy)
Pino Cabras, journalist, editor of the site Megachip

These people sent written interventions, written messages, or messages by telephone:
Yanis Varoufakis, former Finance Minister of Greek Government, Syriza Party (Greece)
Renato Sacco, promoter of the pacifist association Pax Christi (Italy)
Marios Kritikos, vice-President of ADEDY (Confederation of Greek Public Servants)
Andros Kyprianou, General Secretary of AKEL (Cyprus)
Josephine Fraile Martin, TerraSOStenibile association (Spain)
Massimo Zucchetti, scientist, “Scientists against the War” group (Italy)
Giorgio Cremaschi, former syndicalist of CGIL (Italian Confederation of Labour), “Rossa” (Red) Party (Italy)
Fabio D’Alessandro, No Muos movement (Sicily, Italy)
Gojko Raicevic, chaiman of No War No Nato movement (Montenegro – Krsna Gora – Black Mountain)
Anemos, Third Republic movement (Spain)
Franco Cardini, professor, historician (Italy)
Paolo Becchi, professor of Genoa University (Italy)

 These Irish Antiwar Protesters Are Sick of Having the US Military in Their Country

The influx of Syrian refugees into Europe has reinvigorated Ireland’s debate on its involvement with the war on terror.

By Danielle Ryan, The Nation

On the second Sunday of every month, a group of Irish antiwar and human-rights activists hold monthly protest vigils at a small airport on Ireland’s West coast. The objective? To end the US military use of Shannon Airport and to force accountability from the Irish authorities and political leaders for allowing Ireland—a purportedly “neutral” state—to facilitate American war efforts in the Middle East.

A stone’s throw from the Atlantic ocean, Shannon Airport is a small but key transport hub into the west and south of Ireland. The fact that it is located just a kilometer away from residential homes means that its more controversial use is also clearly and loudly on display. Omni Air International troop carriers park at the designated Gate 42 at the end of the terminal building. Travelers mingle with American troops in uniform inside the airport as they wait to board flights. Military planes like the distinctive gray Hercules C-130 aircraft are also easy to spot, parked a short distance from the terminal building and often waiting with a detail from the Irish police and Irish Defence Forces.

Trans-Atlantic abuses and protests: Police Brutality Unites Demonstrations in Paris and D.C.

By Linn Washington, Jr.

 

Protests against rampant police brutality occurred recently in the respective capitals of France and the United States – two nations that proclaim strict fidelity to the rule of law yet two professed democracy-loving nations where officials routinely condone rampant lawlessness by law enforcers.

Europe’s privacy rules conflict with NSA spying: EU Court Declares NSA Surveillance Illegal

By Alfredo Lopez

 

As expected, the European Union court has thrown out an agreement, forged in 2000, that allows virtually uninhibited data sharing and transfer between the United States and EU countries and is the legal basis for National Security Agency's on-line surveillance and data capture programs.

What Became of the Vikings?

When the United States is identified as an empire, albeit of a different sort than some others, it's common to point to the fate of ancient Rome or the empires of Britain, Spain, Holland, etc., as a warning to the Pentagon or even to CNN debate moderators.

But a closer analogy to the current United States than ancient Rome, in a certain regard, might be the Vikings. The United States doesn't create colonies in the places it wages war or wields influence. It raids. It pillages. It plunders resources. It manufactures smart phones. It fracks. It sets up isolated settlements, heavily fortified, also known as military bases, embassies, green zones, safe zones, and moderate rebel training camps. It sails for home.

What ever happened to the Vikings anyway?

I'd like to see a survey done on that question. I'm afraid many people would answer that the Vikings died out or got themselves slaughtered or slaughtered each other. That would certainly be an anti-imperial moral for the Viking story. It would also fit with the idea that violence controls people rather than the other way around.

Others might respond that the Vikings mysteriously disappeared, but they actually did nothing of the sort.

Much of what we know about the Vikings comes from literate people in other cultures attacked and raided by the Vikings. Just as people around the world told Gallup in a recent poll that the United States is the greatest threat to peace on earth, people impacted by Viking raids viewed Vikings as warrior beasts. No doubt this produced exaggerations, but there can be no question that the Vikings routinely practiced what we today would call aggressive war or targeted humanitarian regime change, depending on who was paying us to label the acts.

There can also be no question that the Vikings never died out. Current understanding of DNA suggests that a significant percentage of people in Norway, Denmark, and Sweden are descendants of Vikings, as are many people in other parts of Europe and Britain (including over half the older families in Liverpool, for example -- Viking Beatles?!).

Well, if they didn't die out, what happened? Surely, common U.S. wisdom holds that if an evil violent people like, say, the Iranians were to continue to exist, they would continue to launch all the wars they keep launching all over the world. Surely, somewhat better informed opinion holds that the United States wages all the wars it wages because of tragic but unavoidable tendencies buried in our genes. In fact, I'm pretty sure that "Our Genes May Be Violent, But We Can Make a Buck Off That" was once the slogan of Lockheed Martin, or it may have been Raytheon. Surely, if the Vikings were warriors, their descendants must still be warriors.

Annoyingly, the facts are otherwise. The Vikings kept right on living and radically reduced their killing. "The transformation of the Northmen, the 'scourge of Europe,' into the architects of the most peaceful region of Europe, Scandinavia, and the designers of strategies and institutions to replace war is an intriguing story," wrote Elise Boulding. As she tells that story, the Vikings gradually found consensus more useful than conquering, and negotiated trade more profitable than pillaging. They shifted from raiding to building settlements. They adopted some of the more peaceful ideas of Christianity. They began to farm more and sail less.

Other sources expand on this theme. The Vikings had profited by enslaving people where they raided. As the Christian church was established in Scandinavia, it insisted on enslaving only non-Christians, which badly damaged the profitability of European raiding. Viking (or former Viking) violence was redirected into the Crusades against Muslims and Jews. But, make no mistake, the quantity of violence was on a steep downward slope. The peaceful separation of Norway and Sweden in 1905 was a model for other nations that have a hard time accomplishing such feats without wars. The relative resistance of Scandinavia to militarism in recent times, including Sweden's choice not to fully join NATO -- as well as its choice to stay out of the two world wars -- is a model as well.

But the real lesson is that the Vikings stopped being Vikings. And so can we.

NEW CITIZEN CHALLENGE TO UK’S NUCLEAR WEAPONS

Campaigners aim to prosecute British state

On 1st October campaigners will begin a new and ambitious project to institute a citizen’s prosecution of the Government and specifically the Secretary of State for Defence for breaching international law by its active deployment of the Trident nuclear weapon system.

PICAT is co-ordinated by Trident Ploughshares and will involve groups across England and Wales in a series of steps which will hopefully lead to the Attorney General’s consent for the case to go before the courts.

Groups will begin by seeking an assurance from the Secretary of State for Defence that the UK’s nuclear weapons will not be used, or their use threatened, in such a way as to cause wholesale loss of civilian life and damage to the environment.

In the case of no response or an unsatisfactory one groups will then approach their local magistrates to lay a Criminal Information (1). If consent for the case is not forthcoming from the Attorney General the campaign will then consider approaching the International Criminal Court.

Veteran peace campaigner Angie Zelter (2), who has developed the project along with international lawyer Robbie Manson (3), said:

War Is a Force That Gives Us Idiocy

During this year's competition for Miss Italy, contestants were asked what historical epoch they might like to have lived in and why. The first young woman to answer said 1942. She had heard so much about World War II, she said, that she'd like to actually live it -- plus, she added, women didn't have to be in the military anyway.

A number of people over 18, including to all appearances the judges, deemed this idiotic. And yet that contestant won and is now Miss Italy, whose job seems to be giving sadly laughable interviews in which she says that her favorite Italian historical figure is Michael Jordan, and she can understand why refugees flee horrors but that they should really go somewhere else other than Italy. Maybe she would have fit into 1942 better than most people imagine.

There is a World War II problem in the United States and in more of Europe than one might expect, and -- in fact -- in a good bit of the Hollywood-viewing world. World War II is our origin myth, our hero myth, our tragedy, our locus of meaning and justification for how we live.

Reality still registers with many to a great extent. Some realize at times that World War II was the worst thing ever to happen on earth in a relatively brief space of time -- the greatest quantity of death, injury, suffering, and destruction, and also the most dramatic degeneration of morality. This was the war that moved the whole institution of war from something that killed primarily soldiers to something that has ever since killed primarily civilians. This was the acceptance and then the glorification of all-out war, tied to technological innovation, and transformed into a project of the entire community and an imagined economic good.

Without the World War II myth of "good war" one could not justify 70 years of militarism, materialism, and mad exploitation of planet and people ever since. Without the World War II myth, the Pope's request that the United States end the wars and the arms trade could actually be heard and comprehended. An enormous percentage of stories in film, tv, books, magazines, etc., are set in or somehow connected to World War II. An 18-year-old in Italy (or the United States, for that matter) attempting in a moment of panic to think of an historical era in which something exciting occurred, could hardly answer other than World War II.

That the excitement was no greater than excitement easily obtainable today is incomprehensible to people raised on the myth. That it was overwhelmed by horrific suffering gets lost in the mythologizing. That the region Miss Italy is from was bombed, and that the bombs didn't kill only males, has been buried in a mountain of cultural rubble. That moral clarity was most notable during World War II for its absence sounds like crazy talk to a young television viewer or reader of history text books.

World War II is glorified in Hollywood because the United States was on the Russian, and therefore winning, side, having entered the European war once the Germans and Russians had killed each other for years, as Harry Truman openly advocated allowing. World War II is held up as a justification for dozens of unrelated wars that lack their own justifications, because of the particular evil of the losing side -- the side that, perhaps unbeknownst to Miss Italy, Italy was on.

But of course the evil of the death camps had nothing to do with the U.S. refusal to aid Jewish refugees or stop the war short of absolute devastation. The evils of eugenics and human experimentation and biological weapons and so forth were on both sides and continued by the United States using former Nazi and Japanese scientists after the war. The creation of the war was foreseen in 1918 by many wise observers, and yet the policies that led to it were never halted. The German people were not assisted until after the second war. But the Nazis were assisted by Wall Street for years and years.

A war is a human-made disaster, just like climate chaos, just like the Miss Italy competition -- only just a little bit worse. A war is not an ennobling adventure. Watching lies about it on television is not the same as "living" it would be. War is, in fact, what those unwanted refugees are fleeing. They're fleeing the wreckage of completely unromantic war, created by governments in Washington, Rome, London, and Paris that pretty much view history the way Miss Italy views it.

A Peace Activist Leads the Labour Party

I wonder if people in the United States understand what it means that the Labour Party in London now has a peace activist in charge of it. Jeremy Corbyn does not resemble any U.S. politicians. He doesn't favor "only the smart wars" or prefer drone murders to massive invasions. Corbyn opposes wars, and he works to end militarism. He was over here in Washington recently trying to get a Brit freed from Guantanamo. He chairs the Stop the War Coalition, one of the biggest peace organizations in Britain. He meets with foreign peace activists, like me, who can't even enter the same worldview, much less the same room, with any U.S. leaders.

When Corbyn and I both spoke at a peace event in London four years ago, he was introduced by Andrew Murray as working in Parliament with "a pack of war lords." Corbyn agreed: Parliament is made up of war lords and war criminals, he remarked.

Corbyn at that point credited the Stop the War Coalition with having helped to prevent an attack on Iran in recent years, just as I believed the US peace movement deserved credit, and does so again this year.

Corbyn called the idea that more time was needed to finish a job in Afghanistan a "load of tosh." He also pointed out that the two sides fighting in Libya could exchange parts for their rifles, because they both had rifles provided by Britain.

Corbyn doesn't just call war criminals "war criminals." He intends to see them prosecuted, including Tony Blair, whom Corbyn wants to see face charges for the 2003 attack on Iraq, which Corbyn of course opposed.

Corbyn doesn't just oppose militarism rhetorically. He wants to shut it down. He opposes the Trident nuclear boondoggle and intends to withdraw the UK from NATO. What other NATO members might follow the UK's lead?

Corbyn doesn't just express nice sentiments about a distant future without nuclear weapons. He advocates unilateral disarmament by the UK, in compliance with the non-proliferation treaty.

Corbyn doesn't just muse about non-military solutions in Syria but seeks to find them and to prevent military action that makes crises worse. He plans to halt British airstrikes from planes or drones in Syria. He also mentions the uncomfortable topic of "some of our supposed allies in the region" providing weapons and funding to ISIS -- and proposes to cut that off rather than fueling the fire with more weapons and attacks.

Corbyn is even opposed to the steady buildup of hostility toward Russia, and faults NATO for expanding and the West for creating the crisis in Ukraine. He doesn't excuse actual misdeeds by Russia, but faults U.S. and European aggression and hypocrisy.

And, though this may be difficult for Americans to imagine, Corbyn opposes the mass slaughter of Palestinians by Israel.

Hours after being elected leader of the Labour Party, Corbyn spoke on Saturday at a huge pro-refugee rally in Parliament Square, and blamed the refugee crisis on its cause, declaring that he would not support the past policy of rushing about the world launching wars.

Americans have come to believe that politicians who support, promote, tolerate, or fund wars can be "war critics" by proposing various tweaks to the war machine.

Bernie Sanders focuses on money issues, taxing the rich, spending on the poor, but has thus far been permitted to engage in the general practice of speaking only about the 46% of federal discretionary spending that it not military. Nobody has asked him about the 54% that by the calculation of National Priorities Project is military. Nobody has asked him if Eisenhower was right that military spending produces wars. Here are 25,000 people who want to know whether and how much Sanders would want to cut military spending.

Sanders is silent on the public support for two, not one, great sources of revenue: taxing the rich (which he's all over) and cutting the military (which he avoids). When he is asked about wars and says Saudi Arabia should pay for and lead them, nobody has followed up by asking whether the wars are themselves good or not or how the theocratic murderous regime in Saudi Arabia which openly seeks to overthrow other governments and is dropping US cluster bombs on Yemen will transform the wars into forces for good. Since when is THAT "socialism"?

If you go to Bernie's website and click on ISSUES and search for foreign policy it's just not there. In the United States, candidates for high office are permitted to just be silent on how much they'd cut the military, even within a range of $100 billion. Does Sanders, or do any of the other candidates, favor $45 billion in more free weapons for Israel paid for by the U.S. public whom Sanders usually wants to spare lesser expenses than that? Who knows.

Jeremy Corbyn just won leadership of the Labour Party by promoting socialism at home and abroad. What are we yanks afraid of?

NATO: Never-ending Aggression Toward Others

Well, here's definitive proof that a large organization can have a mind: NATO has clearly lost one.

NATO was supposed to "defend" Europe against the Soviet Union.  A whole lot of people believed that, at least until the Soviet Union ended.

Then NATO was supposed to "defend" Europe against Iran. I think about 8 people believed that, not counting U.S. senators. But then Iran made a deal for the toughest inspections of its non-existent nuclear weapons program in the history of the world.

And NATO rushed to expand before anyone had the logical next thought, namely, Now what do we supposedly need NATO for?

NATO is now going to open headquarters in Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Estonia -- all nations between Western Europe and Russia, all nations where the United States promised Russia NATO would never go, and all moves seen as threats by the Russian government. In fact, Russia is now putting (possibly nuclear) missiles into Kaliningrad and talking frequently about the growing likelihood of war with the United States.

The United States, for its part, is putting more nuclear weapons into Europe, arming its coup government in Ukraine, posturing over claims to the arctic (where it hopes to dig out more of the filthy fuels with which it has melted the arctic), and churning out anti-Russian propaganda by the boatload.

Disarm! For a Climate of Peace – Creating an Action Agenda

World Congress on Military and Social Spending

30 Sept – 03 Oct 2016 Technische Universität Berlin, Germany

“Peace” by Bart is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License: http://bit.ly/1NCbPUH

The International Peace Bureau has worked for over 10 years to develop a program on Disarmament for Sustainable Development, with a primary topic being military and social spending. In 2011 we launched the Global Day of Action on Military Spending and in late 2014 a year-round Global Campaign on Military Spending.

The IPB World Congress 2016 will be the next highlight of this campaign, bringing together a wide variety of experts, advocates and speakers from around the globe, and including talks, presentations, roundtables, panel discussions, workshops, information booths, exhibitions, and cultural activities.

Go here: http://ipb2016.berlin

Greece News - July 23, 2015

 

Greece PM Tsipras Wins Parliamentary Backing For EU Bailout Reforms - ekathimerini.com


ECB provides $980 million cash Injection to Greek banks ahead of the key vote in parliament on judicial and banking reforms - VOA


Moscovici says Greece, creditors seek to finalise bailout deal by mid-August - AFP


Greek companies forced out of business because of restrictions on foreign transfers even after banks reopened: Chamber of Commerce - Independent


Thousands protest as Greece votes on bailout bill - Yahoo News


VIDEO: Greece: Protesters throw Molotov cocktails at riot police in front of parliament - YouTube


VIDEO: Athens anti bailout deal protesters set TV van on fire - YouTube


Standard & Poor's upgrades Greece's credit rating to 'CCC+' as fears of collapse dissipate - Associated Press


Eurostat: Greek govt debt decreased compared to the first quarter of 2014, dropping by 5.5% - GreekReporter.com


It's Not Just Greece: Total European Debt Hits New All Time High - Zero Hedge


Government debt rose to 92.9% of GDP in euro area, First quarter of 2015 compared with fourth quarter of 2014 - EUROSTAT


Can Greece Get A Handle On Its Notorious Tax System? - NPR


German media eyes Greek public assets sell-off in privatization push - protothemanews.com


Greece's EU Migrant Crisis: Thousands Of Refugees Flock To Islands As Greece Sinks Under Debt - ibtimes.com


Greek PM Tsipras Allegedly Asked Russia for $10 Bln to Print Drachmas - GreekReporter.com


Drachma? Never heard of that: Tsipras never addressed Russia with a request to provide Greece with financial assistance in order to print its own currency, Kremlin spokesman - Cihan Economy News


Greece is more useful to Russia inside the EU than out - blogs.ft.com

 

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German coalition in turmoil over Schäuble, Vice Chancellor Gabriel accuses the finance minister of being unreasonable over Greece - EurActiv


Awkward Alliance Running Germany Exposed by Greek Crisis - Bloomberg Business


The Man Behind the Iron Chancellor - Foreign Policy


Pierre Moscovici pushes Angela Merkel on debt relief for Greece - Irish Examiner


There is little legal basis for Wolfgang Schäuble’s claim that debt restructuring is incompatible with euro membership - EUROPP


Bernanke seeks long term Greek solutions, says Germany succeeding in a monetary union at the expense of others - valuewalk.com


Bernanke blog post: Greece and Europe, Is Europe holding up its end of the bargain? - Brookings Institution


New IMF chief economist Maurice Obstfeld is a euro visionary - Bloomberg


IMF Brings in New Enforcer Delia Velculescu to Deal With Greece - EconomicPolicyJournal.com


Sachs blog post: Germany, Greece, And The Future Of Europe - socialeurope.eu


Krugman blog post: Europe’s impossible dream: the euro has turned into a Roach Motel, a trap that’s hard to escape - The New York Times


This is what economists, like Krugman, don’t understand about the euro crisis – or the U.S. dollar - The Washington Post


EU launches € 315bn investment fund to boost Europe’s economy - RT Business


Press release: Investment Plan for Europe: European Fund for Strategic Investments ready for take-off in autumn - European Commission


VIDEO: 'Juncker’s plan' to boost EU investment - euronews


8 Projects of 6 EU Countries among First Batch to Get Funding under ‘Juncker Plan’ - Novinite.com


Europe’s Economy Could Grow 1.7% in 2016 - Barron’s


Why 2016 may be Europe's best year in decade - cnbc.com


French business confidence hits four-year high - The Guardian


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

Greece News - July 21, 2015


Greece Adjusts to New Normal as Banks Reopen - US News


3 week bank shutdown cost Greek economy €3 billion: report - The Property Gazette


New Data Show How Bad Things Were for Greek Banks the Week Capital Controls Were Introduced - Bloomberg Business


Greece repays crucial €4.2bn to ECB and €2bn to IMF - Reuters


Greece does about-face, pledges privatization push - AP


Greece becomes more expensive after VAT hikes, Low VAT rates remain in medicine, theater tickets and books - GreekReporter.com


Greek VAT rises: what they pay compared to other European countries - World First Blog


Greece’s Tsipras Shakes Up Cabinet in Bid to Rebuild Government - Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide


VIDEO: New Greek ministers sworn in after Tsipras reshuffle - YouTube


Merkel opens the door to cutting Greek debt burden by extending maturities and reducing interest rates, but not writedowns - Bloomberg


French President Francois Hollande calls for creation of eurozone government after Greece crisis - Reuters


IMF names advocate of eurozone integration as chief economist - FT.com


Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss Kahn addressing “German friends” on Greece - fr.slideshare.net

 

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Goldman Sachs Facing Heat As Greek Crisis Mounts - valuewalk.com


How Goldman Sachs profited from the Greek debt crisis - CSMonitor.com


Did Wall Street Enable Greek Debt Crisis? - Al Jazeera America


Goldman Sachs could be sued for helping hide debts when Greece joined euro - The Independent


Greek debt crisis: Meet the Goldman Sachs banker Antigone Loudiadis who got rich getting Greece into the euro - The Independent


Goldman Sachs' Lloyd Blankfein has become a billionaire - Crain's New York Business


UK Treasury minister was managing director at Goldman Sachs which ‘cooked the books’ for Greek government - Political Scrapbook


Plenty Deserve Blame for Greece’s Woes, but Maybe Not Goldman Sachs - The New York Times


ARCHIVE: Goldman Secret Greece Loan Shows Two Sinners as Client Unravels (2012) - Bloomberg Business


VIDEO ARCHIVE: Goldman Sachs, Eurostat, and cooked Greek books - BBC


EuroZone Profiteers: How German and French Banks Helped Bankrupt Greece - Common Dreams


A Greek default would have massive repercussions for Deutsche Bank and by implication the entire European banking system - Irish Examiner


Greece’s 2010 assistance program was largely a bailout of European banks, initiated to prevent a wider banking crisis - interfluidity


ARCHIVE: It is not the people of Greece who have benefitted from bailout loans, but the European and Greek banks which recklessly lent money to the Greek State (Jan, 2015) - jubileedebt.org.uk


ARCHIVE: Greek Bail-Out: 77% went into the Financial Sector (2013) - Attac Österreich

 

ARCHIVE: The Greek Debt Restructuring: An Autopsy (2013) - scholarship.law.duke.edu


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

Talk Nation Radio: Ukraine and the Checkmating of the West

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-ukraine-and-the-checkmating-of-the-west

Natylie Baldwin and Kermit Heartsong are the authors of Ukraine: Zbig's Grand Chessboard & How the West Was Checkmated. We speak with both of them about the book and the current crisis in Ukraine.

A review of Ukraine by David Swanson is here: http://davidswanson.org/node/4799

Total run time: 29:00

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

Download from Archive or  LetsTryDemocracy.

Pacifica stations can also download from AudioPort.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete at
http://TalkNationRadio.org

and at
https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/tracks

Greece News - July 17, 2015


Europe moves to restore funding to Greece after bailout vote - Reuters


ECB's Mario Draghi Confirms: Greece Is Saved, Debt Relief ‘Necessary' - thestreet.com


VIDEO: Press conference with Mario Draghi following the meeting of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (Full) - ECB


IMF's Lagarde sees hope for Greek debt restructure - AFP


VIDEO (and transcript): IMF chief Lagarde: Europe must do much more to help Greece, accept debt adjustments - PBS


Greece needs debt relief far beyond EU plans: Secret IMF report - Reuters


Text of the IMF’s four-page Greece debt sustainability analysis - IMF


Eurozone chief Dijsselbloem: EU loan to Greece allows the country to pay debts it owes to the International Monetary Fund so the IMF can rejoin negotiations on a third bailout - sigmalive.com


France's Sapin says on same line as IMF on Greek debt relief - Reuters


US Treasury's Lew Presses German And French Finance Ministers on Greek Debt Relief - WSJ


Readout from a Treasury Spokesperson on Secretary Lew’s Meetings in Europe on Greece - treasury.gov


German parliament seen clearly backing talks on Greece aid - Reuters


Germany's Schaeuble casts doubt on chance of Greek bailout success, still thinks temporary Grexit a good idea - Reuters


Greek parliament backs bailout deal amid protests - usatoday.com


After a night of rioting quiet acceptance in Athens, despite protests Greece is largely supportive of Tsipras and the bailout deal - ibtimes


VIDEO: Riots in Athens over Austerity Measures & Bailout Plan - YouTube


Tsipras says Greece needs debt restructuring to exit the crisis - Channel NewsAsia


VIDEO: Alexander Tsipras' speech to the Greek Parliament: 'We had a choice: A deal we disagreed with or a chaotic default’ - The Independent


Tsipras: Early Elections Unlikely Despite Weakening Syriza Support - Sputnik International


PM Tsipras hit out at lawmakers in his leftist Syriza party for breaking ranks over the terms of Greece's bailout - Reuters


Former Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis Calls Bailout Deal Reforms 'Fiscal Waterboarding' - huffingtonpost.com

 

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

Greece News - July 14, 2015

 

Greece strikes deal with eurozone, avoiding financial collapse and euro exit - AP


Text of Greece debt agreement: the eurozone summit statement in full - The Guardian


VIDEO: Press conference after European Council meeting on Greece - YouTube


Hollande’s victory: The French president never stopped hammering home the message that Greece must remain in the eurozone - POLITICO


Greek president thanks French counterpart for role in talks, Hollande hails PM Tsipras for making a 'courageous choice' - ekathimerini.com


White House says Greece deal 'credible step', cautions that there are 'still important decisions and important steps to be taken' - Business Standard News

 

US Treasury Secretary Lew says Greek deal important step forward, but substantial work remains to be done - TheHill

 

VIDEO: Lagarde: Greece Deal Good Step to Rebuild Confidence - usatoday.com

 

Greece misses new payment to IMF despite bailout deal - AFP

 

Greece’s Banks Are Next in Line for a European Bailout - The New York Times

 

ECB will wait on Greek vote before another aid move - Irish Examiner

 

Greek economy minister says bank recapitalisation will safeguard deposits - Reuters

 

Greek debt crisis: How is Greece going to spend its €86bn rescue package? - ibtimes.co.uk

 

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VIDEO: Tsipras: Grexit is a 'thing of the past' - YouTube


Greek PM says secured debt restructuring and medium-term financing in a growth package - Reuters


Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ statement following the conclusion of the Eurozone Summit - Prime Minister of Greece


Tsipras prepares to send bailout deal to parliament for approval facing a left-wing revolt – POLITICO


Greek bailout deal 'a new Versailles Treaty', says Yanis Varoufakis in first post-resignation interview - ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

 

Greek Defense Minister: This Bailout Deal Is a Coup - GreekReporter.com

 

Right-Wing Partner of Tsipras Criticizes Deal - The New York Times

 

Greek civil servants' union calls 24-hour strike for Wednesday - AFP

 

VIDEO: Greek protester burns Syriza flag after Tsipras accepts bailout programme - YouTube

 

POLL: Overwhelming majority of Greeks want to keep euro, poll shows - Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

 

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

 

Greece News - July 9, 2015

 

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew: Greece needs debt restructure, sustainable debt plan - Yahoo News


VIDEO: Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew: There is a Way Out of Greek Crisis (to see his remarks fast forward video to 31:00) - The Pappas Post


In Separate Phone Calls Obama Urges Merkel, Tsipras to Compromise on Emergency Financing - NASDAQ.com


U.S. At Odds With Germany Over Greek Debt Crisis (VIDEO) - huffingtonpost.com


IMF chief Lagarde says debt restructuring needed in Greece, further belt-tightening and structural reforms will not be enough - La Prensa


VIDEO: IMF chief Lagarde says debt restructuring needed in Greece, financing the post-2015 sustainable development agenda - YouTube


France says 'No' to Greek euro exit, talks on Greek debt should not be taboo.: PM Valls - Yahoo News


Greece faces 'chaos and riots' unless a deal is found soon: French bank chief - The Local


POLL: Why French are easier on Greece than Germans - The Local


Noonan says Ireland favours debt restructuring for Greece - irishtimes.com


Greek debt haircut not a taboo: Luxembourg FinMin - Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide


Greece, euro zone can still reach a deal: EU's Moscovici - Yahoo News


Pittella: S&D Group rejects any option of Grexit. There is no Europe without Greece - Socialists & Democrats


Where did the Greek bailout money go? Most went to the banks that lent Greece funds before the crash, less than 10% was used by the government for reforming its economy - The Guardian


This chart shows how Greece's last bailout money was spent - theweek.com


How Greece's Bank Bailout Benefited Greeks - Bloomberg View


How a Chaotic Greek Exit Could Wipe Out $1.4 Trillion in M&A - Bloomberg Business

 

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Berlin rules out any steps that cut value of loans to Greece - Reuters


Meet Germany’s hard-line finance minister who won’t budge on Greece - The Washington Post


VIDEO: Schäuble says Greek debt haircut 'not allowed' - EurActiv


In a letter Economists Piketty, Sachs urge Merkel to cut Greek debt - Yahoo Maktoob News


Austerity Has Failed: Text of the Open Letter From Thomas Piketty, Jeffrey Sachs and others to Angela Merkel - The Nation


Thomas Piketty accuses Germany of forgetting history as it lectures Greece - The Washington Post


Text of the Interview of Thomas Piketty: ‘Germany Has Never Repaid its Debts. It Has No Right to Lecture Greece’ - The Wire


Europe must back away from Greek austerity cliff: Joseph Stiglitz - usatoday.com


Greece debt crisis: Angela Merkel faces revolt from the right for wanting to keep Athens in euro - The Independent


Merkel to visit Balkans amid Greek crisis - NewsAdvance.com

 

Merkel Can’t Escape Greece’s Geopolitical Pull in Balkans - Bloomberg Business


Greece's Debt Crisis Is Hurting Its Even Poorer Neighbors - huffingtonpost.com

 

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Greece offers pension and tax reforms to gain new bailout - Yahoo Maktoob News


Text of Greece’s request for a 3-year loan facility to the ESM - The Financial Express


The Greek Prime Minister’s Speech in the European Parliament - GreekReporter.com


VIDEO: Boos & cheers for Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in the European Parliament - BBC News


European Central Bank keeps emergency funding for Greece frozen, banks will remain shuttered through the end of the week - The Washington Post


No deal, no liquidity, ECB's Noyer tells Greece - Yahoo News


CHARTS: Greece’s debt crisis explained in charts and maps - Vox


Greek Pensioners Are Surviving On Just 120 Euros. Here's What That Buys - huffingtonpost.com


Wealthy Greeks go on spending spree for Apple gadgets and jewellery as they fear they'll lose cash when banks collapse - DailyMail


The next Greek crisis: gas shortages - POLITICO


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

Speaking Events

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