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By Dave Lindorff
I ran the Boston Marathon back in 1968, and, my feet covered with blisters inside my Keds sneakers, dragged across the finish line to meet my waiting uncle at a time of about 3 hours and 40 minutes. It was close enough to the time that the current bombing happened in this year’s race -- about four hours from the starting gun -- that had I been running it this year, I might still been near enough to the finish line to have heard the blasts.
By Dan DeWalt
‘If the President Does It, It Isn’t Illegal’
-- Richard M. Nixon
Ana Edwards is the host of Defenders Live on WRIR in Richmond, Va. Edwards tells us what we should know about Mali, the crisis there, the causes of it, what the Pentagon should stop doing, and what the people of Richmond are doing to help.
Total run time: 29:00
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Producer: David Swanson.
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By Dave Lindorff
I personally found the president’s inaugural speech not just insipid, but disgusting. It reached its gut-churning nadir near the end where he said:
www.stopwar.org.uk | firstname.lastname@example.org | 020 7561 9311
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1) Intervention and growing instability in Mali
2) Confronting War Ten Years On - an international conference
1) Intervention in Mali
Once again western powers are using anti-Islamist rhetoric to justify colonial interventions. Two days of French air strikes have already killed many civilians and is only likely to inflame instability across the region already in chaos after the West's attack on Libya.
France's intervention in Mali is part of a growing scramble for Africa. France occupied Mali until 1960. It was at the centre of its historic colonial empire and now at the heart of its effort to control a mineral rich area including Senegal, Burkino Faso, the Ivory Coast - all former colonies in which the French once again have troops.
That Britain was the first to support the French adventure with two RAF planes only shows how keen the government is to participate in a new rush for influence on the African continent. The danger is too, as fighting intensifies, that Britain will get further drawn in to an intervention that has already been backed by the US government. Stop the War condemns this intervention that will only intensify the crisis in the region.
Speakers include Sessions include Book now to avoid disappointment Tickets cost £15 or £8 for concessions. Telephone 020 7561 9311 to pay by card or pay online at the conference web site www.tenyearson.org.uk Cheques made payable to Stop the War Coalition should be posted to Stop the War Coalition 1b Waterlow Road, London N19 5NJ
2) Confronting War Ten Years On - an international conference
International Conference: Confronting War Ten Years On
Book now to avoid disappointment
Tickets cost £15 or £8 for concessions.
Telephone 020 7561 9311 to pay by card or pay online at the conference web site www.tenyearson.org.uk Cheques made payable to Stop the War Coalition should be posted to Stop the War Coalition 1b Waterlow Road, London N19 5NJ
US sending 3500 troops to Africa
On Christmas Day, 2012 – a time when few people were paying attention to the news – the Associated Press reported that the Obama administration had decided to send some 3,500 U.S. troops early in 2013 into as many as 35 of Africa's 54 countries, claiming it is part of an intensifying Pentagon effort to train countries to battle “extremists” and to “give the United States a ready and trained force to dispatch to Africa if crises requiring the U.S. military emerge.”
History of U.S. forces in Africa
It was a significant escalation of what has been a steadily increasing introduction of U.S. forces into the formerly colonized continent. Over the past few decades, the U.S. has devoted more and more attention to Africa, both because of its vast natural resources, consumer and government markets and historically cheap labor, and because of the U.S.' increasingly fierce competition with China both for these resources and for political influence with African countries.
Newly publicized U.S. plans to send troops into 35 African nationsshould result in red flags being raised from the U.S. public, the Congress, and active-duty members of the U.S. military. Though these plans call for small, short-term deployments to serve in an advisory and training capacity, Veterans For Peace is concerned that the creation of AFRICOM in general, and these deployments in particular, represent the proverbial nose of the camel under the tent.
Policy experts and scholars familiar with Africa have a single cautionary word for the planned military expansion that would see deployment of US soldiers and drones in as many as 35 nations dotted across the continent in the coming year: Don't.
The sharper focus on Africa by the U.S. comes against a backdrop of widespread insurgent violence across North Africa, and as the African Union and other nations discuss military intervention in northern Mali.
U.S. military planners have begun to help organize a multinational proxy force to intervene next year in Mali, the famine-stricken, coup-wracked African country that has become a magnet for Islamist extremists, U.S. officials said Wednesday.
The international force would be led on the ground by several thousand Malian and West African troops but would receive extensive support from the Pentagon and the State Department, which would help train, equip and transport the troops, Obama administration officials said.
New Book for Ages 6 to 10: Tube World
Parents: Have your kids been tired in the morning? Have you found wet bathing suits in their beds? Do they know things about far-away places that you didn’t teach them and they didn’t learn in school? Do children visiting your town from halfway around the world always seem to be friends with your kids, and to only be around during certain hours of the day? You won’t believe the explanation, but your kids might grin and wink at each other if you read it to them.
Kids: Did you know the center of the Earth was hollow? Do you know the words that can take you there, if you’re under the covers in your swimming suit and prepared for the trip? Can you imagine traveling anywhere in the world where there’s a swimming pool — and being home again in time for breakfast? If you haven’t been to Tube World yet, this book will tell you the secrets you need to know. And it will tell you about some children who discovered Tube World and used it to make the whole world a better place.
The paperback has been published in two versions, one with slightly better color, slightly better paper, and a dramatically higher price.
Buy the standard paperback from Amazon,
(If you order from Amazon it will ship right away even if Amazon says it won't ship for weeks; it is print-on-demand.)
Buy the premium paperback from Amazon,
Your local independent bookstore can order the book through Ingram.
Anyone can order the book in bulk at the lowest possible price right here.
Buy PDF, Audio, EPUB, or Kindle for $8 right here:
Advance Praise for Tube World:
“This book will make you laugh till water comes out your ears!”--Wesley
“This story is super flibba garibbidy schmibbadie libbidie awesome, mostly!”--Travis
“The best part is we saved 2,000 islands and pretty much the whole world in our swimming suits!”--Hallie
About Shane Burke:
Shane Burke lives in Denver Colorado and has been drawing and painting since he could hold a pencil. He took private art lessons when he was young and began winning awards and contests by the age of seven. His first big commission came at age nine when he created artwork for a billboard near his home town of Tracy California. His greatest influences came from his grandfather and elementary school teachers. He loved watching his grandfather paint landscapes and wanted to be just like him. Shane is a creative day dreamer and at complete peace when putting ink to paper. You can see more of Shane's work at www.beezink.com
By Dave Lindorff
There is a massive deception campaign in the US, and in its global propaganda, which seeks to portray the United States as a poor set-upon nation that would like world peace but just has to keep a military stationed around the globe to “police” all the world’s “trouble spots.”
By Rick Rozoff, Stop NATO
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has begun a five-day, four-nation tour of North Africa and the Middle East to consolidate military ties with traditional allies against the backdrop of mounting Western pressure aimed at the governments of Syria and Iran.
His first two stops are to Tunisia and Egypt, long-standing American military client states and members of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue partnership program. The next two are to Israel and Jordan, also Mediterranean Dialogue members, the first the main and the second one of the largest recipients of American military aid.
Africom Confirms Major U.S. Military Expansion into Another Continent Where It Will Cause Massive Suffering
Omar Suleiman has died, apparently in Cleveland, Ohio, while undergoing medical tests, with no cause of death reported.
Suleiman personally oversaw the torture of al Libi that successfully elicited the false claim that Iraq was tied to al Qaeda. Al Libi himself died under suspicious circumstances.
Is Suleiman on any of Obama's kill lists?
Do not let the body leave.
Get an autopsy at once.
No "Muslim sea burial."
By Dave Lindorff
Are weaponized drone aircraft more moral than the more traditional killing machines used in warfare? In an opinion published in Sunday’s New York Times, the paper’s national security reporter, Scott Shane, argues that they are.
By Dave Lindorff
There are two US presidents who have won the Nobel Peace Prize. Now one of those Nobel laureate leaders is accusing the other, though without naming him, of actions that qualify as war crimes and impeachable crimes against the US Constitution.
By Gary Lindorff
Let us bomb your neighborhood,
Let us target your neighbor
Out of our love and concern –
Not you, not your children.
Drones of love!
Won’t you love us
After the dust settles?
After the evil has been exploded?
After the crater in the market-place
Has been filled in and paved
We will explode our way into your hearts!
We might miss our intended target;
Hosni Mubarak's henchmen, including those in Washington and Arlington should be properly sentenced too, but Mubarak was given exactly the right sentence, one that demonstrates the power of nonviolence, the possibility of what could be imposed on tyrants like Bush and Obama if we were to all do our duty. This sentence will strengthen the peace and justice movement worldwide.
An Analysis of the Recent Events in the Republic of Mali
By the Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality – Richmond, Virginia, USA
Recent developments in the West African Republic of Mali are raising serious concerns about the possibility of yet another U.S. intervention. On March 22, one month before a scheduled presidential election, a military coup toppled the government of President Amadou Toumani Toure. Quickly taking sides, the regional 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) demanded the coup leaders restore civilian rule. On March 26, the U.S. cut off all military aid to the impoverished country.
On April 1, coup leader Capt. Amadou Haya Sanogo, who has received military training in the U.S. (1) anad who is charging massive corruption by civilian political leaders, said he had reinstated the country's constitution and government institutions and would begin consultations to form a transitional government, which would be “responsible for organizing peaceful, free, open and democratic elections in which we will not participate.” Those national consultations were to begin April 5 in the capital city of Bamako.
That was not enough for ECOWAS, an economic and military bloc with ties to the U.S. Meeting April 2 in Dakar, Senegal, the alliance's members closed their countries' borders with land-locked Mali and imposed severe sanctions, including cutting off access to the regional bank, raising the possibility that Mali will soon be unable to pay for essential supplies, including gasoline. Meeting the following day in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the 54-member African Union imposed a travel ban and asset freeze on Capt. Sanogo and his associates. Also on April 3, the United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting on the Mali crisis and declared its support for ECOWAS' efforts “to restore order in Mali. U.N. political affairs chief Lynn Pascoe told the council on Tuesday that ECOWAS had placed some 3,000 troops on standby to deal with the coup and rebellion in Mali.” (2)
By John Grant
The United States is finding the occupation of other nations more and more challenging. Consider the burning of Korans in Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, the bombing deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers and a host of other recent disasters. Economic challenges at home only add to the difficulty.
In such a frustrating quandary, Washington and Pentagon leaders are falling back on what they feel the US does best: Secret killing.
By John Grant
I could have been a vicious raving monster who killed and killed and left towers of rotting flesh in my wake. Instead, here I was on the side of truth, justice and the American way. Still a monster, of course, but I cleaned up nicely afterward, and I was OUR monster, dressed in red, white and blue 100 percent synthetic virtue.
Dearly Devoted Dexter
I teach creative writing in a maximum security prison in Philadelphia. During the week I scour two thrift shops for 35-cent paperbacks that I haul in to stock a small lending library I created for inmates. Amazingly, the prison had no library.
By Dave Lindorff
The attacks and attempted attacks this week on Israeli embassy personnel in Georgia, India and Thailand should serve as a serious warning to the people of both Israel and the US that there will be an increasingly heavy price to pay for the kind of government-sponsored terror that both countries have long practiced, and that too many Americans and Israelis have mindlessly cheered on.
The technology of terror has become so wide-spread, and the materials needed to construct magnetically-attached car bombs, cell-phone detonators, armor-piercing IEDs, diesel/fertilizer bombs and the like, so accessable at consumer shops, hardware stores and local junkyards, that any government, and even any relatively savvy non-government group, can assemble and employ them.
Selective Sympathy: War’s Mayhem and Murder is Somehow Less Hard to Bear than the Humane Termination of an Injured Animal
By Dave Lindorff
The officer rested his arm holding the stock of the assault rifle on the top of a log pile, and aimed directly between the target’s eyes. She was looking directly at him, unblinking, from 30 feet away, and exhibited no fear. “I hate doing this,” he muttered, before finally pulling the trigger.
A sharp “bang!” rang out, her head jerked up and then her whole body sagged to the ground, followed by some muscle jerks, and it was over.
The officer went over and checked the body, decided no second shot was needed to finish the job, and then walked back to his squad car, took out his phone, and called in the serial number of his rifle, reporting his firing of one round, as required by regulations.
The United States needs to get serious about its new threat to stop providing over a billion dollars in weapons per year to Egypt. This so called aid is clearly not sufficient to protect civil and human rights, if that's even a concern in Washington, and not even sufficient to protect the influence of disreputable U.S. Governmental Non-Governmental Organizations.
It's also not necessary, as the people of Egypt will produce their own civil society. We can help, but not with organizations tied to the CIA and with records of having sought to influence electoral outcomes around the world.
It's also damaging, as US weapons are used against Egyptian people. They could also conceivably be used in war, as the United States arms Libya, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Israel, etc., and threatens Iran. Why not take this opportunity to end the madness of arming Israel and Egypt to the teeth on condition that they not destroy each other?
Why not look to our own house to begin protecting civil liberties and establishing credible elections?
We ask Occupy and all U.S. social justice activists to join us in mobilizing to defend our Egyptian brothers and sisters by immediately organizing mass convergences on Egyptian embassies, missions, consulates, and at U.S. government offices, to demand:
'Cancel all US aid and shipment of military and police materiel to Egypt!
'Stop the murders, tortures and detentions!
'Release all detainees and political prisoners!
'Immediate end to military rule in Egypt!
'Issued by (list in formation) (Individual endorsers below):
Ad Hoc Coalition to Defend the Egyptian Revolution
Al-Awda NY: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
Al-Nakba Awareness Project
Bay Area United Against War Newsletter
Bay Area Labor Committee for Peace & Justice
Alliance of Concerned Jewish Canadians
Campaign for Peace and Democracy
Canadian Peace Alliance
Chicago Movement for Palestinian Rights (CMPR)
Circle of the Living Earth – AIWP
Sandy Davies tells me, regarding the WWI Christmas truce on Christmas Day:
"When I was growing up, my godmother had a German helmet that was given to her father by a German officer after a soccer match in no-man's land that day. I also knew a South African former soldier who was on the front line in the desert near Cairo in 1942. He and his buddies became good friends with the Germans in the line across from them and used to pick up booze, hashish and other goodies for them whenever they went into Cairo. There was a sort of truce for a few months at that point, so they weren't shooting at each other. When a British Spitfire flew over and did start shooting at the Germans, Tony claimed it was the South Africans who shot it down!"
Does anybody know about this or have similar stories?
Imprisoned pacifist blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad, who was sentenced to two years' imprisonment by a military court on 14 December 2011 following a re-trial, escalated his hunger strike on 18 December after more than 115 days. Previously, he had been drinking fruit juice with dairy, but since 18 December, he is only drinking water. With his hunger strike, he is demanding his release from prison.