Articles about Military Mania. Click the title of each article to read the full article.
Media for the people! Bringing you the best of the alternative media and original articles and videos. Click here to help by learning more about Rise Up Times, spreading the word, and making a donation.
No Peace! No Justice! Please share this post.
American taxpayers have spent $1.46 trillion on wars abroad since September 11, 2001. The Department of Defense periodically releases a “cost of war” report. The newly released version, obtained by the Federation of American Scientists Secrecy News blog, covers the time from the September 11th terrorist attacks through mid-2017. The Afghanistan War from 2001 to 2014 and Iraq War from 2003 to 2011 account for the bulk of expenses: more than $1.3 trillion. The continuing presence in Afghanistan and aerial anti-ISIS operations in Iraq and Syria since 2014 have cost a combined $120 billion. The report’s costs include only direct war-related expenses such as operating and maintaining bases, procuring equipment, and paying for and feeding troops. It most notably does not include the expense of veteran’s benefits for troops who serve in these wars or the intelligence community’s expenses related to Global War on Terror. A 2011 paper from Harvard Kennedy School professor Linda Bilmes estimated the cost of veterans’ benefits as $600 billion to $1 trillion over the next 40 years. -more-
By Jay Cassano for International Business Times Popular Resistance
November 8, 2017
Maine Peace Walk: Convert Bath Iron Works
Published on Oct 15, 2017
Today, the Situation in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has been assigned to a Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court (‘ICC’ or the ‘Court’), following my decision to request authorisation to open an investigation into crimes alleged to have been committed in connection with the armed conflict in that State. For decades, the people of Afghanistan have endured the scourge of armed conflict. Following a meticulous preliminary examination of the situation, I have come to the conclusion that all legal criteria required under the Rome Statute to commence an investigation have been met.
In due course, I will file my request for judicial authorisation to open an investigation, submitting that there is a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in connection with the armed conflict in Afghanistan. It will be for the Judges of the Court’s Pre-Trial Chamber, constituted by the Presidency, to decide whether I have satisfied them that the Statute’s legal criteria to authorise opening an investigation are fulfilled.
Given the limited temporal scope of the Court’s jurisdiction, my request for judicial authorisation will focus solely upon war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed since 1 May 2003 on the territory of Afghanistan as well as war crimes closely linked to the situation in Afghanistan allegedly committed since 1 July 2002 on the territory of other States Parties to the Rome Statute. -more-
By Staff of ICC – Popular Resistance November 5, 2017
Travel on Uncle Sam’s dime and have taxpayers pay for your education—these are some of the perks offered by the U.S. military, and it appears its recruiting strategy is effective. The U.S. Department of Defense has been named the largest employer in the world with 3.2 million employees on its payroll, according to the World Economic Forum. The second largest is China’s People’s Liberation Army with 2.3 million on its staff roster and third biggest is Wal-Mart Stores Inc. WMT, +0.99% with 2.1 million employees. McDonald’s Corp. MCD, +0.33% came in fourth with 1.9 million workers but the World Economic Forum noted the fast-food chain would be eliminated from the list if employees at its franchise restaurants weren’t counted. “As the majority of its restaurants are franchises, this figure falls to 420,000 when they are excluded,” said the WEF. -more-
By Sue Chang for Market Watch – Popular Resistance November 5, 2017
Congress’s Romance with Cowardice: War Without War Powers
(the Not-So-New American Way)
Leaving aside the rest of this country’s sad chapter in Indochina, let’s just focus for a moment on the role of Congress in that era’s war making. In retrospect, Vietnam emerges as just one more chapter in 70 years of ineptitude and apathy on the part of the Senate and House of Representatives when it comes to their constitutionally granted war powers. Time and again in those years, the legislative branch shirked its historic — and legal — responsibility under the Constitution to declare (or refuse to declare) war.
And yet, never in those seven decades has the duty of Congress to assert itself in matters of war and peace been quite so vital as it is today, with American troops engaged — and still dying, even if now in small numbers — in one undeclared war after another in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, and now Niger… and who even knows where else.
By Danny Sjursen Tom Dispatch November 5, 2017
Trump touched down in Hawaii on his way to Asia. He was met with protests there and huge marches are happening across South Korea in anticipation of his meeting with the newly elected President Moon in Seoul.
Moon is turning out to be a disappointment to peaceniks across Korea as he carries water for the US imperial project. It’s a clear sign that those supposedly in charge in South Korea are not. They are at the mercy of Washington and the military industrial complex.
China during the last couple of days sent nuclear bombers bumping up near the coast of Guam in a certain statement before Trump visits Beijing. Just weeks ago, while speaking at the UN, Trump blasted socialism as a failed system – many taking it as a shot across China’s bow before his visit there. China has fired back showing the Donald that two can play the nuclear ‘fire and fury’ ball game.
Beijing has repeatedly warned the US that if Washington decides to ‘decapitate’ North Korea then China will be forced to come into the war to stop the US invasion of the north.
North Korea borders both China and Russia and neither of those nations can afford to allow an aggressive US military outpost in the northern region of the Korean peninsula. It’s a deal breaker to use Trumpian lingo.
Trumps Asia-Pacific sales trip will take him to Japan (to meet with the fascist Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, grandson of an imperial Japanese war criminal), South Korea, China, Vietnam (where the US is trying to cut a deal get to permission to use the Cam Ranh Bay Navy base), and the Philippines (where the US is once again porting its warships at Subic Bay after being kicked out in 1992).
Trump’s primary job is to hold the line as anti-American fervor sweeps the Asia-Pacific.
By Bruce Gagnon Space for Peace November 5, 2017
The root causes of the conflicts are the same as elsewhere: environmental destruction, joblessness, war and the commodities (such as Cocaine and Uranium) that are essential to the West. None of this will be addressed. More troops will arrive in Niger. More destruction will follow. More sorrow. More anger. More war.
Tongo Tongo is in the middle of a belt that is ground zero for the illicit trade that defines the Sahara. West of Tongo Tongo is Gao (Mali) and to its east is Agadez (Niger). These are the main ports for South American cocaine, flown in on various kinds of aircraft (Air Cocaine, as they are called) and then driven across the Sahara Desert in trucks to be taken by small boats across the Mediterranean Sea into Europe. Evidence of the cocaine trade is everywhere — whether in Gao’s neighborhood known as Cocaine Bougou or in the nickname of one of the leading chiefs in Agadez — Cherif Ould Abidine — known as Cherif or Mr. Cocaine.
Cocaine is one dramatic commodity. There are others: refugees and guns. This belt of towns just below the Sahara played a historic role as caravanserais for the old trades in gold, salt and weaponry. The creation of nation-states closed off some of these routes. In particular, Libya — under the previous regime of Moammar Gadhafi — largely shut down the illicit commerce from Mali and Niger. NATO’s war against Libya, which created chaos in that country, opened these routes up. Fleets of white Toyota trucks arrived in the desert to carry refugees and drugs to Europe and to bring weapons into central and western Africa. …The United Nations has rescued over 1,000 abandoned refugees and many hundreds are said to have died along this route.
BY VIJAY PRASHAD Moyers & Co October 31, 2017
This post originally appeared at AlterNet.
Seeks Sanctions on All Foreign Supporters of Iran
In a 423-2 vote, the US House of Representatives has passed the Iran Ballistic Missiles and International Sanctions Enforcement Act,” which intends to impose sanctions of the Iranian government as well as international entities that are determined by the president to “support” Iran.
The resolution isn’t specifically related to Iran’s nuclear deal, though Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), the bill’s sponsor, presented it and several other anti-Iran resolutions making their way through the House as proof Congress is responding to “the full range of threats” from Iran.
It is unclear when this resolution will be taken up by the Senate, but historically, anti-Iran sanctions have been a relatively easy pass in Congress, with most eager to get their vote down in favor on nearly any pretext.
The sole no votes were from Reps. John Duncan (R-TN) and Thomas Massie(R-KY). Massie in particular has a long history of opposing sanctions bills as raising the risk of war, and he voted against North Korea’s sanctions bill only yesterday.
From America With Love
U.S. Commandos Are a “Persistent Presence” on Russia’s Doorstep
“They are very concerned about their adversary next door,” said General Raymond Thomas, the head of U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), at a national security conference in Aspen, Colorado, in July. “They make no bones about it.”
The “they” in question were various Eastern European and Baltic nations. “Their adversary”? Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
Thomas, the commander of America’s most elite troops — Navy SEALs and Army Green Berets among them — went on to raise fears about an upcoming Russian military training event, a wargame, known as “Zapad” or “West,” involving 10 Russian Navy ships, 70 jets and helicopters, and 250 tanks. “The point of concern for most of these eastern Europeans right now is they’re about to do an exercise in Belarus… that’s going to entail up to 100,000 Russian troops moving into that country.” And he added, “The great concern is they’re not going to leave, and… that’s not paranoia…” Read more »
By Nick Turse Tom Dispatch October 29, 2017
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump advocated killing innocent families of suspected terrorists. “When you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families,” he declared. Besides the immorality of killing innocents, the targeting of civilians violates the Geneva Conventions.
The George W. Bush administration unlawfully detained and tortured suspected terrorists. Determined not to send more suspects to Guantánamo, Barack Obama’s administration illegally assassinated them with drones and other methods, killing many civilians in the process.
Now the Trump administration is killing record numbers of civilians and weakening the already-flimsy targeted killing rules Obama put in place.
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis October 31, 2017
Photo: Spc. Zayid Ballesteros/U.S. Africa Command
THE MISSION NEVER made the front page of the New York Times or the Washington Post. It wasn’t covered on CNN or Fox News. Neither the White House chief of staff, the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, nor the president ever addressed it in a press briefing. But from mid-January to late March 2013, Green Berets from the 10th Special Forces Group deployed to the impoverished West African nation of Niger. Working alongside local forces, they trained in desert mobility, the use of heavy weapons, and methods of deliberate attack.
Nick Turse The Intercept October 26, 2017
Eight years ago, when I wrote a book on the first days of Guantanamo, The Least Worst Place: Guantánamo’s First 100 Days, I assumed that Gitmo would prove a grim anomaly in our history. Today, it seems as if that “detention facility” will have a far longer life than I ever imagined and that it, and everything it represents, will become a true, if grim, legacy of twenty-first-century America.
By Karen J. Greenberg Tom Dispatch October 15, 2017
By Staff of No To War – The Afghan war, which has been a thoroughly bipartisan effort, was originally railed against by Donald Trump when he was running for president. He claimed to be against U.S. troop involvement in Afghanistan. Now he is moving forward with a “secret” plan of escalation that will also include Pakistan. He says the secrecy is to keep the “enemy” from knowing his plans, but it also keeps the U.S. people from knowing what he is doing in our name and from judging the human costs for the people of Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States. What we do know is that military escalation has repeatedly failed to bring peace in Afghanistan. It has caused more destruction and more deaths of civilians and soldiers alike and has cost trillions of dollars that could be spent on meeting basic needs here at home while repairing the destruction we have carried out abroad. Trump also emboldens the war machine here in the US against Black and Brown people and immigrants by fanning white supremacy and xenophobia and continuing the militarization of the police and ICE to incite racially-motivated violence and justify repression, including mass incarceration and mass deportations. -more-
Popular Resistance September 10, 2017
By Staff of Zoom In Korea – The residents expressed feeling betrayed by the Moon Jae-in administration and said little has changed since he replaced former President Park Geun-hye. The Seongju Stop THAAD Struggle Committee released the following statement on September 7: Today the Moon Jae-in administration went above the law to illegally execute an “emergency action” by exercising dictatorial power. Currently, the Blue House’s national security team is made up of personnel who are pro-U.S. and supporters of global capitalism. As long as these people continue to make up the government, the Moon administration will continue to betray [South Korean] citizens. The unilateral decision to move forward with the THAAD deployment directly contradicts Moon Jae-in’s promise to ensure a decision based on a democratic process in the National Assembly based and a full-scale environmental impact assessment. In the weeks leading up to September 7, the Moon administration had ordered a small -scale environmental impact assessment in place of a more thorough process. -more-
Popular Resistance September 10, 2017
Congress held up a similar sale last year over Bahrain’s myriad of human rights abuses.
The post Despite Record Of Human Rights Abuse, US Approves Billions In Arms Sales To Bahrain appeared first on MintPress News. September 9, 2017
The Hidden Costs of “National Security”
Ten Ways Your Tax Dollars Pay for War — Past, Present, and Future
You wouldn’t know it, based on the endless cries for more money coming from the military, politicians, and the president, but these are the best of times for the Pentagon. Spending on the Department of Defense alone is already well in excess of half a trillion dollars a year and counting. Adjusted for inflation, that means it’s higher than at the height of President Ronald Reagan’s massive buildup of the 1980s and is now nearing the post-World War II funding peak. And yet that’s barely half the story. There are hundreds of billions of dollars in “defense” spending that aren’t even counted in the Pentagon budget.
Under the circumstances, laying all this out in grisly detail — and believe me, when you dive into the figures, they couldn’t be grislier — is the only way to offer a better sense of the true costs of our wars past, present, and future, and of the funding that is the lifeblood of the national security state. When you do that, you end up with no less than 10 categories of national security spending (only one of which is the Pentagon budget). So steel yourself for a tour of our nation’s trillion-dollar-plus “national security” budget. Given the Pentagon’s penchant for wasting money and our government’s record of engaging in dangerously misguided wars without end, it’s clear that a large portion of this massive investment of taxpayer dollars isn’t making anyone any safer.
The Pentagon Budget: The Pentagon’s “base” or regular budget contains the costs of the peacetime training, arming, and operation of the U.S. military and of the massive civilian workforce that supports it — and if waste is your Eden, then you’re in paradise.
The department’s budget is awash in waste, as you might expect from the only major federal agency that has never passed an audit.
By William D. Hartung, www.tomdispatch.com Popular Resistance July 27th, 2017
Ominous developments in three states this summer – Oregon, Texas, New Jersey, and one city – Chicago, provide a glimpse into the Pentagon’s new playbook to recruit soldiers from high schools across the country. In brief, the military has been engaged in a robust lobbying campaign to lower academic standards to make it easier to recruit youth. New recruits have long been required to hold a high school diploma or a GED certificate. This requirement is a major impediment to finding enough soldiers to meet annual targets, but even when struggling students barely manage to graduate, the Pentagon has developed a plan to marshal more of them into the military. The Oregon Department of Education recently endorsed the Oregon National Guard’s Credit Proficiency Program for use in high schools across the state. The program gives juniors and seniors the chance to earn academic credits while training for military service at Oregon National Guard facilitie s. The program is expected to cut the state’s drop-out rate while increasing the on-time graduation rate. In 2015 Oregon’s 74.8% graduation rate was the third lowest in the country. Under the program, if a senior in high school realizes a few weeks before graduation that he doesn’t have enough credits to graduate… -more-
By Pat Elder for War is a Crime Popular Resistance July 18, 2017
Saudi Arabia, backed by the US and Britain, began bombing Yemen, the poorest country in the region, on 23 March 2015—without a Security Council resolution, as has been the tradition for launching western wars since Bill Clinton’s 1999 Kosovo War (the bombing of Serbia). The stated objective of the Anglo-American backing of the Saudi attack was the restoration of Yemen’s US-supported government of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi’s, which fled to Saudi Arabia under the mounting pressure of the Houthi Shia rebels, accused by the United States of being pawns of Iran, or, dismissively, plain Iran-supported. Boggles the mind to think of the blithe moral logic that justifies the support of the United States for a (largely faked) uprising in Syria when Iran is not allowed to assist Houthis in Yemen, fighting an authentic civil war, unlike the so-called Free Syrian Army and their hordes of 80% foreign al-Qaeda and Isis allied invaders of Syria’s sovereign state in 2011. The hypocrisy of empire, one supposes: supporting rebels in one case and the legitimate government in another. For this reason—Iran’s backing—the Saudis blockade the air and the ports of Yemen to check the flow of Iranian arms shipments to the rebels, adding to the infamy of the war the infamy of an economic siege—infamy because the largest number of victims in this tactic to encircle Iran are civilians, which is another tradition respected by the sorry, deceptive War on Terror. -more-
By Luciana Bohne for Counter Punch Popular Resistance July 18, 2017
© REUTERS/ Francois Lenoir
© SPUTNIK/ STRINGER
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – NATO’s four battlegroups in the Baltics and Poland are now fully operational, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday.
“NATO’s four multinational battlegroups in the Baltic countries and Poland are now fully operational, a clear demonstration that our alliance stands united in the face of any possible aggression,” Stoltenberg told a press conference.
European NATO members and Canada are set to increase their annual defense spending by 4.3 percent this year, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday.
“This year, in 2017 we foresee an even greater annual real increase of 4.3 percent. That is three consecutive years of accelerating defense spending. This means over the last three years European allies and Canada spent almost $46 billion more on defense,” Stoltenberg told a press conference.
In January, almost 1,000 US soldiers and the first shipment of the equipment for the US tank brigade arrived in Poland as part of the Atlantic Resolve mission of NATO. Early in May, three UH-60L Black Hawk US helicopters and 50 staff arrived at an air base in central-west Poland.
Note, this article received one thumb up and ten thumbs down in Sputnik.
EUROPE Sputnik June 28, 2017
President Trump leaves for the Middle East today on the first overseas trip of his presidency. Trump’s first stop will be Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, where he’s expected to announce a $110 billion arms deal. The agreement was brokered by Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, and Reuters reports it could see as much as $300 billion in weapons sold to the Saudi monarchy over the next decade. The deal comes as the Pentagon continues to support a Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen, where years of fighting have decimated the country’s health, water, sewage and sanitation systems. The U.N. says around 19 million of Yemen’s 28 million people need some form of aid, with many of them at risk of famine.
Democracy Now! May 19, 2017
If asked, most Americans will say they want peace. But they consistently vote for the two parties of war. “Imperial privilege” allows “the U.S. public to ‘shrug off’ the consequences of U.S. wars. They will destroy whole societies while ostensibly rescuing a few “beautiful babies” — preferably white ones. We must build a new politics around the provable principle that killing other people is dangerous to one’s own moral and physical health.
“It is our bodies that are in the crosshairs of an F-16 in Libya and a Glock 9mm in the hands of a racist cop in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.”
By BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka Black Agenda Report
May 9, 2017
Something is dangerously loose at the American core: a need for endless war combined with a nuclear recklessness uncontained by public scrutiny. The American will to wage war — endless war, pointless war, total war — is, I fear, impervious to public opinion and even political action.
May 18, 2017 · Posted by
U.S. military bases, both domestic and foreign, consistently rank among some of the most polluted places in the world…
May 18, 2017 · Posted by
This pattern of daily support for dictatorship and repression around the world should be a national scandal in a country supposedly committed to democracy.
May 18, 2017 · Posted by
When a prominent Washington peace activist was asked recently to name the leading anti-interventionists in the Senate, he responded, “Rand Paul and Mike Lee,” both Republicans. Democrats are in the midst of a furious struggle over what they stand for and who is included in their coalition, yet on foreign policy questions, their silence is deafening. When President Trump decided to drop 59 cruise missiles on Syria in response to purported use of chemical weapons, there was more debate about the attack among Republicans than among Democrats.
The Democratic establishment’s record on foreign policy has been disastrous. Most Democratic leaders supported the war of choice in Iraq, the largest foreign policy debacle since Vietnam. They cheered the “humanitarian intervention” in Libya that has ended in the humanitarian horror of a ruined country, racked by violent conflicts, where the Islamic State is consolidating a backup caliphate. They applauded President Barack Obama’s surge in Afghanistan even as that war dragged on year after year. They touted the United States as the “indispensable nation,” demonstrating a predilection for military intervention and regime change that rivals that of Republican neoconservatives. Many considered Obama too weak and too wary of intervention, despite the fact that he left office bombing seven nations, dispatching Special Operations forces to more than 120 countries and calling for increased spending on a military that already consumes nearly 40 percent of the world’s military budget.
Katrina vanden Heuvel The Washington Post April 25, 2017
Memory Loss in the Garden of Violence
How Americans Remember (and Forget) Their Wars
Some years ago, a newspaper article credited a European visitor with the wry observation that Americans are charming because they have such short memories. When it comes to the nation’s wars, however, he was not entirely on target. Americans embrace military histories of the heroic “band of [American] brothers” sort, especially involving World War II. They possess a seemingly boundless appetite for retellings of the Civil War, far and away the country’s most devastating conflict where American war deaths are concerned.
Certain traumatic historical moments such as “the Alamo” and “Pearl Harbor” have become code words — almost mnemonic devices — for reinforcing the remembrance of American victimization at the hands of nefarious antagonists. Thomas Jefferson and his peers actually established the baseline for this in the nation’s founding document, the Declaration of Independence, which enshrines recollection of “the merciless Indian Savages” — a self-righteous demonization that turned out to be boilerplate for a succession of later perceived enemies. “September 11th” has taken its place in this deep-seated invocation of violated innocence, with an intensity bordering on hysteria.
By John Dower Tom Dispatch May 4, 2017
America’s War-Fighting Footprint in Africa
Secret U.S. Military Documents Reveal a Constellation of American Military Bases Across That Continent
General Thomas Waldhauser sounded a little uneasy. “I would just say, they are on the ground. They are trying to influence the action,” commented the chief of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) at a Pentagon press briefing in March, when asked about Russian military personnel operating in North Africa. “We watch what they do with great concern.”
By Nick Turse Tom Dispatch April 27, 2017
These days, from Syria to Afghanistan, the Koreas to Somalia, Yemen to Iraq, it’s easy enough to see Commander-in-Chief Donald Trump as something new under the sun. (It has a different ring to it when the commander in chief says, “You’re fired!”) That missile strike in Syria was a first (Obama didn’t dare); the MOAB in Afghanistan was a breakthrough; the drone strikes in Yemen soon after he took office were an absolute record! As for those regular Army troops heading for Somalia, that hasn’t happened in 24 years! Civilian casualties in the region: rising impressively!
Call it mission creep on steroids. At the very least, it seems like evidence that the man who, as a presidential candidate, swore he’d “bomb the shit” out of ISIS and let the U.S. military win again is doing just that. (As he also said on the campaign trail with appropriately placed air punches, “You gotta knock the hell out of them! Boom! Boom! Boom!”)
By Tom Engelhardt Tom Dispatch April 23, 2017
At a time of growing tensions between nuclear powers—Russia and NATO in Europe, and the U.S., North Korea and China in Asia—Washington has quietly upgraded its nuclear weapons arsenal to create, according to three leading American scientists, “exactly what one would expect to see, if a nuclear-armed state were planning to have the capacity to fight and win a nuclear war by disarming enemies with a surprise first strike.”
Following bombings in Afghanistan and Syria, the media has become rather fluent in the “language of war.” Turn on your TV and you’ll be witness to government and mainstream media outlets trying to soften and normalize barbaric bombing by using manipulative words to describe it all. The mainstream media’s use of words like “cruising” and “loitering” to describe weapons that maim and destroy innocent people only diminishes the gravity of warfare. And at its core, the media’s propping up the technology of weapons, such as the Tomahawk missile, are essentially a massive, glorified advertisement for waging more war. What’s more, networks like MSNBC and Fox News both gush over the missile strikes and even suggest that these actions make Trump look more presidential. Redacted Tonight host Lee Camp shows how it should be hardly a surprise that in a time of war, corporate-funded media outlets are lacking in the humanity department.
By Lee Camp for Redacted Tonight Popular Resistance April 25, 2017
By Lee Camp, www.rt.com April 25th, 2017
We are fighting in Korea so we won’t have to fight in Wichita, or in Chicago, or in New Orleans, or in San Francisco Bay.
— President Harry S Truman, 1952
Why has this tiny nation of 24 million people invested so much of its limited resources in acquiring nuclear weapons? North Korea is universally condemned as a bizarre and failed state, its nuclear posture denounced as irrational.
In 1993 the Clinton Administration discovered that North Korea was constructing a nuclear processing plant and also developing medium range missiles. The Pentagon desired to destroy these facilities but that would mean wholesale war so the administration fostered an agreement whereby North Korea would stand down in return for the provision of oil and other economic aid. When in 2001, after the events of 9-11, the Bush II neo-conservatives militarized policy and declared North Korea to be an element of the “axis of evil.” All bets were now off. In that context North Korea withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, reasoning that nuclear weapons were the only way possible to prevent a full scale attack by the US in the future. Given a stark choice between another war with the US and all that would entail this decision seems hardly surprising. Under no circumstances could any westerner reasonably expect, after all the history I’ve described, that the North Korean regime would simply submit to any ultimatums by the US, by far the worst enemy Korea ever had measured by the damage inflicted on the entirety of the Korean peninsula.
The media is awash with enthusiastic reports that the US military has employed the largest conventional bomb ever designed, the Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb or “MOAB” (18,000 lbs. of explosive, 22,000 lbs. total weight) on a cave-bunker complex in near Tora Bora in Afghanistan – the same place Osama bin Laden was supposedly hiding not long after 9-11.
The US says the complex was being used by ISIS.
US President Trump is receiving credit for the bombing, both from supporters and opponents (including former supporters), though he told the press he did not personally give the order.
Nevertheless, the bombing seems to fit into Trump’s declared strategy for fighting terrorism, described below (from 0:36 seconds).
Only one thing is being left out of the media reports. How did ISIS (or al Qaeda, or the Mujahadeen, or whichever Islamic terrorists the US is secretly backing this week) get such a wonderful bunker complex to begin with? Ed Snowden reminds us of the answer:
The bomb dropped today in the middle of nowhere, Afghanistan, cost $314,000,000. http://articles.latimes.com/2011/nov/16/business/la-fi-bunker-buster-bomb-20111117 … (credit @thenib) pic.twitter.com/aj0Om5RhAV
Are we seeing how the military-industrial complex works yet?
RICKY TWISDALE The Duran
In truth, one of the only redeeming qualities of a Trump presidency that I saw was the possibility that his administration would repair ties with Russia and work with that country in trying to solve issues of mutual concern, particularly in the Middle East. Yet, that is one goal of the new White House which the establishment, both in Washington and in the media, seem hell-bent on preventing. Indeed, I agree with the assessment of a number of commentators, including Dennis Kucinich who is breaking ranks with fellow liberals over this issue, that the U.S. intelligence community’s successful attempt to remove Mike Flynn as National Security Adviser was motivated by the desire to keep the new Cold War going.
By Dan Kovalik Huffington Post February 15, 2017
More Guns, Less Medicine: Trump’s Military Spending Binge Would Swamp Savings From Health Care Repeal
The reason the AHCA doesn’t save more is because it also includes a $600 billion tax cut, most of it aimed at benefiting wealthier taxpayers.
Zaid Jilani The Intercept March 13, 2017
Why are discussions for a peace treaty with North Korea not an option to resolve the extraordinarily dangerous tensions on the Korean peninsula? At long last, experts with long experience negotiations with the North Koreans are publicly calling for negotiations. Many in the Washington beltway think-tanks have finally acknowledged that the Obama policy of “strategic patience” did not result in a slowdown in the North Korean nuclear weapon and missile programs, but in fact provided room for the North Koreans to expand their research and testing of both nuclear weapon and missile technology. They acknowledge that the U.S. government must deal with the reality that sanctions -more-
By Ann Wright for NK News Popular Resistance March 19, 2017
This question is always hard to answer because they don’t call it the Hermit Kingdom for nothing. Very little comes out of the notoriously reclusive – and repressive – Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, and not that much gets in. But occasionally there is a burst of activity that, like the eruption of a volcano, is hard to miss – the recent launching of four ballistic missiles being one of them. The missiles landed in the Sea of Japan, about 190 miles off the Japanese coast, sending shockwaves throughout the region. Both Tokyo and Seoul protested, while the North Koreans characterized the action as a logical reaction to the perceived threat of imminent military action by the US and South Korea. -more-
By Justin Raimondo for Anti-War Popular Assistance March 19, 2017
People on the scene say the building targeted by U.S. drones was a part of the mosque complex — and that the charred rubble shown in the photo was where 300 people were praying
Alex Emmons The Intercept March 17, 2017
THE PENTAGON’S TOP Middle East commander told Congress on Thursday that he found no signs of “poor decision-making or bad judgment” in a January raid in Yemen that killed 10 children and at least six women, as well as Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens. “I made the determination that there was no need for an additional investigation into this particular operation,” said Gen. Joseph Votel. Earlier on Thursday, The Intercept published its own investigation of the raid based on eyewitnesses, including a 5-year-old who described how his mother was gunned down while trying to flee what other family members said was indiscriminate gunfire from a helicopter. The White House has tried to shame the raid’s critics into silence. -more-
By Alex Emmons for The Intercept Popular Resistance March 13, 2017
Instead of directly deploying thousands of additional ground troops into Iraq or Syria, the sort of precipitous escalation that might get Congress voting on the war, the Trump Administration appears to have decided that the solution is to send thousands of US ground troops to Kuwait, and let the commanders in Iraq and Syria just take what they want. Early reports of this strategy emerged Wednesday, when officials said there were considerations of sending around 1,000 troops into Kuwait for this operation. Just two days later, the figure was up to at least 2,500, with signs that it is continuing to grow all the time. While President Obama was micromanaging the escalations, particularly in Iraq, where every couple of weeks another hundred or two troops would be sent, the Trump Administration appears to be throwing the troops into a big pile and leaving the deployments up to the commanders. -more-
By Jason Ditz for AntiWar.com Popular Resistance March 13, 2017
Sent from International Peace Team in Gangjeong village on Jeju Island, South Korea:
According to Korean media, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) recently published a report which pointed out the necessity of deployment of three Zumwalt destroyers in Korea : DDG-1000, DDG-1001 (Michael Monsur), Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002). [All of these ships are being built at Bath Iron Works in Maine.]
Korean media cites Bryan Clark’s words in the report who said that the forward deployment of Zumwalt in Korea would secure US military ability for command & control on the South China Sea as well as ability to target North Korea coast.
The Korean media also reports that both ROK-US authorities are abstaining their talk on the deployment of Zumwalt for now because of its expected effect especially amid current hot situation on THAAD. [THAAD is a very controversial US ‘missile defense’ system currently being deployed in South Korea.] They expect the actual talk on the deployment of Zumwalt would be in ROK-US defense secretary/minister meeting.
The Korean media also cites the words by a Chinese government official who clearly states Chinese government opposition to Zumwalt deployment in Korea.
For the Jeju Islanders, the deployment of Zumwalt at the Jeju navy base would confirm their concern whether the base becomes the US military base.
“The Jeju Island would be in crisis again amid domination race between China and US,” Kang Kyung-sik, an Island Council member, stated in February.
No ZUMWALT! Jeju is NOT the TOY of US military!
Bruce Gagnon Organizing Notes March 10, 2017
By David Swanson for World Beyond War – Trump proposes to increase U.S. military spending by $54 billion, and to take that $54 billion out of the other portions of the above budget, including in particular, he says, foreign aid. If you can’t find foreign aid on the chart above, that’s because it is a portion of that little dark green slice called International Affairs. To take $54 billion out of foreign aid, you would have to cut foreign aid by approximately 200 percent. Alternative math! But let’s not focus on the $54 billion. The blue section above (in the 2015 budget) is already 54% of discretionary spending (that is, 54% of all the money that the U.S. government chooses what to do with every year). It’s already 60% if you add in Veterans’ Benefits. (We should take care of everyone, of course, but we wouldn’t have to take care of amputations and brain injuries from wars if we stopped having the wars.) Trump wants to shift another 5% to the military, boosting that total to 65%… -more-
Popular Resistance March 1, 2017
Trump’s Proposed Increase in U.S. Defense Spending Would Be 80 Percent of Russia’s Entire Military Budget
The proposed $54 billion increase is roughly the size of the entire annual military budget of the United Kingdom, the fifth-largest spending country.
Alex Emmons The Intercept February 27, 2017
This April 4th will be 100 years since the U.S. Senate voted to declare war on Germany and 50 since Martin Luther King Jr. spoke out against the war on Vietnam (49 since he was killed on that speech’s first anniversary). Events are being planned to help us try to finally learn some lessons, to move beyond, not just Vietnam, but war.
By David Swanson World Beyyond War February 27, 2017
(RPI) Despite vowing not to use depleted uranium (DU) weapons in its military action in Syria, the U.S. government has now admitted that it has fired thousands of the deadly rounds into Syrian territory. As Foreign Policy Magazine reports:
“U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) spokesman Maj. Josh Jacques told Airwars and Foreign Policy that 5,265 armor-piercing 30 mm rounds containing depleted uranium (DU) were shot from Air Force A-10 fixed-wing aircraft on Nov. 16 and Nov. 22, 2015, destroying about 350 vehicles in the country’s eastern desert.”
Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman John Moore said in 2015 that:
“U.S. and coalition aircraft have not been and will not be using depleted uranium munitions in Iraq or Syria during Operation Inherent Resolve.”
Now we know that is not true.
Written by Anti-Media News Desk February 18, 2017
NATO ‘aggravating tensions’ with new deployment of thousands to Russian border
The United States and the 27 other NATO-member nations on Wednesday agreed to a new multinational force that will patrol the eastern European border setting up what many believe is “a dangerous dynamic…that has every possibility of spiraling out of control.”
During a press conference on Wednesday, alliance ministers, who are meeting this week for a two-day conference in Brussels, Belgium, cast themselves as defenders against Russian aggression—a charge that Russian officials have repeatedly denied.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg told reporters that the force will rotate in and out of eastern European member states. The new strategy includes “a network of new alliance outposts, forces on rotation, warehoused equipment and regular war games, all backed by a rapid-reaction force,” which includes “air, naval and special operations units of up to 40,000 personnel,” Reuters reports.
Stoltenberg said the deployment “will be multinational to make clear that an attack against one ally is any attack against all allies and that the alliance as a whole will respond.”
Robert Bridge, an American journalist based in Moscow, said Wednesday that the new fighting force is clearly a provocation.
“The result of this massive increase of spending will be more military hardware, more troops, more provocative exercises on Russia’s western flank and much more tension between Moscow and NATO—which once upon a time promised Russia it would not expand ‘one inch east’ following the collapse of the Soviet Union,” Bridge wrote.
By Staff of Popular Resistance – If Donald Trump’s recent threat of military action against Iran sounds familiar to you, then It should. Democrats in Congress already beat him to it before Trump’s tiny hands could even grace the bible at his swearing-in ceremony. How did they do this? By creating a resolution in January to threaten military action against Iran if they tried to obtain nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, what’s being touted as a move for U.S. safety and security is starting to sound eerily similar to the threat to invade a country to find deadly weapons that turned out to never exist (think Iraq). So what’s the REAL reason behind this threat of military action? All signs seem to point both underground and in America’s wallets. -more-
Posted by Popular Resistance February 15, 2017
Despite the growing reports of failure – and despite the death of a Navy SEAL, and the destruction of a $70 million Osprey aircraft – Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer has continued to insist that the mission was a “successful operation by all standards.” Continue reading
The post Nine Young Children Killed: The Full Details Of The Botched US Raid In Yemen appeared first on MintPress News. Read on »
The raid, conducted on January 29th, killed numerous civilians including the eight-year-old daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki. Continue reading
The post Botched Raid Frays US-Yemen Relations As Slaughter Continues appeared first on MintPress News.
A hideous symbol of the bipartisan continuity of U.S. barbarism…
The Intercept Rise Up Times January 31, 2017
A longish video that is well worth listening to/watching.
Corbett Report Rise Up Times January 30, 2017
Questions are mounting about the first covert counterterrorism operation approved by President Donald Trump. Authorities say it was a success. The Pentagon now acknowledges that civilians were killed Sunday when members of the Navy’s SEAL Team 6 joined with commandos from the United Arab Emirates to raid a Yemeni village where members of al-Qaeda were said to live. But human rights groups say up to 24 civilians were killed, including a newborn baby and an American 8-year-old girl, Nawar al-Awlaki, the daughter of the U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in Yemen by a U.S. drone strike in 2011. The U.S. suffered one fatality: William “Ryan” Owens, a veteran member of SEAL Team 6. We get response from Jeremy Scahill, co-founder of The Intercept, who has extensively covered Yemen; Pardiss Kebriaei, staff attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights; and Baraa Shiban, the Yemen project coordinator and caseworker with Reprieve.
GUESTS ON DEMOCRACY NOW! February 3, 2017
To read the full transcript click on the article title above.
Pardiss Kebriaei senior staff attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights. She represents current and former Guantánamo detainees.
Baraa Shiban Yemen project coordinator and caseworker with Reprieve.
Jeremy Scahill co-founder of The Intercept and host of the new weekly podcast, Intercepted.
A reporter interviews Senator John McCain, a vocal opponent of the use of torture in interrogations. Photo via Matthew C. Wright.
In an interview this week, President Trump stated that high level intelligence officers told him that torture absolutely works. This directly contradicts expert opinion. The 2014 Senate Torture Report shows that torture did not elicit actionable intelligence. Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, opposes torture in favor of rapport-building interrogation practices. Trump’s statement also contradicts a body of academic research. Despite widespread evidence against torture, why do people still support it?
Guest post by Erin M. Kearns. politicalviolenceataglance February 2, 2017
At least 1,219 children have died as a result of the fighting in Yemen, but a chronic lack of health care will cause an additional 10,000 preventable deaths per year, according to a briefing from the NGO Save the Children International.
A boy with fake blood on his face and clothes to represent a victim participates in a protest against Saudi-led airstrikes in Sanaa, Yemen, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016. (photo: Hani Mohammed/AP)
The U.S.-backed, Saudi-led war on Yemen has devastated the civilian population, and poverty, disease, and starvation are taking a heavy toll on the country’s children.
By Mint Press News RSN January 1, 2017
Trump, it seems, will not ban all Muslims. He’ll only ban Muslims whose countries and homes we are bombing.
In the coming days, President Donald Trump is set to place his signature on Executive Orders (EOs) temporarily suspending immigration, refugees, and visas from and for Iran, Iraq, Sudan, and Syria. Somalia, Libya, and Yemen could be added as “countries or areas of concern.” The list of countries may be familiar. They certainly ought to be. It is those which the United States has repeatedly sanctioned, droned, invaded, demonized, and attempted to dissolve as sovereign entities.
By Max Ajl telesurtv.net January 26, 2017
Former U.S. President Barack Obama spent the last months of his term leading a coalition in Syria and Iraq that killed hundreds of civilians.
As liberals mourn the end of the Barack Obama administration, a monitoring group reported that the U.S.-led coalition killed 450 or more civilians in Syria and Iraq since October.
Telesur January 21, 2017
In order to justify the paramilitary tactics used by law enforcement at protests, the manual describes protesters and their methods as equally intimidating and violent. While a tiny paragraph buried on page 106 informs course participants that protester violence is actually an extremely rare occurrence, the rest of the manual is full of references to the potential dangers law enforcement will likely face at demonstrations.
When independent media collective Unicorn Riot filed a records request to the North Dakota Department of Corrections related to the indigenous movement against the Dakota Access Pipeline, they received the updated Field Force Operations Manual produced by the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA’s Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP). The 135-page federal training manual is designed to provide local law enforcement with “the knowledge and skills required to manage and control crowds and demonstrations.” References in the manual to the Occupy and Black Lives Matter Movements indicate that it has been updated recently, although the policing tactics will be familiar to those who have taken part in social movements for the last several decades.
By Traci Yoder NLG NLG Director of Research and Education
Rise Up Times January 10, 2017
Here is a rundown of U.S. foreign policy in 2016.
The intensification of Cold War dynamics became particularly apparent in March, when the U.S. government announced it would significantly increase the number of troops stationed in Eastern Europe, a direct provocation of Russia. Reuters called the expanded positioning of NATO troops and military equipment in that region the “biggest military build-up on Russia’s borders since the Cold War.”
Marjorie Cohn: Professor Emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Her most recent book is Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues.
At this naked moment in the American experiment, when many people perceive civilization on the verge of blowing up in some metaphorical sense, there is an elderly man in California hoping to seize your attention about another possibility.
It is that civilization is on the verge of blowing up in a non-metaphorical sense.
The mainstream U.S. media’s relentless Russia-bashing has obscured Moscow’s legitimate fears about Washington’s provocative nuclear-missile strategies, which could lead to Armageddon
The conflicts between Washington and Moscow keep on growing: Ukraine and Syria, rival war games, “hybrid” wars and “cyber-wars.” Talk of a new Cold War doesn’t do justice to the stakes.
“My bottom line is that the likelihood of a nuclear catastrophe today is greater than it was during the Cold War,” declares former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry.
By Jonathan Marshall, www.consortiumnews.com Popular Resistance January 1, 2017
War has been redefined in the age of global capitalism: it has expanded its boundaries and now shapes all aspects of society.
Truthout December 14, 2016
“It was understood that if you fell out of grace [with the Education Department], your business might go away…”
Washingtons Blog December 3, 2016
RT December 24, 2016
The war culture that saturates American society provides the breeding ground for a new mode of authoritarianism that threatens to engulf the whole of American society. War is no longer simply an instrument to be used by political powers, but a form of rule, a general condition of the social order itself– a permanent social relation and coordinating principle that affects all aspects of society.
—Henry A. Giroux, “Politics as Pathology in the Warfare State”
How did psychological warfare evolve after World War II and why the ‘science’ of coercion?
Christopher Simpson‘s book, Science of Coercion: Communication Research and Psychological Warfare 1945-1960  explores the interconnected development of mass communication research in the field of social science and its relationship to U.S. military programs and agencies. This liaison between the social sciences in academic institutions and U.S. foreign relations policy produced what Simpson calls the “science of coercion,” a massive psychological warfare program of domination-through-communication. As we have moved into the 21st century these technologies have become predominant, their use exacerbated within the United States, threatening and sometimes decimating democratic institutions and values.
The “Elites” and “white” and “black” propaganda…
By Sue Ann Martinson Rise Up Times December 5, 2016
…even today known establishment and CIA operatives such as Anderson Cooper (CNN-CBS) and Robert Baer (CNN) regularly “report the facts” to millions of Americans…
By Jay Dyer Global Research November 26, 2016
21st Century Wire 24 November 2016
At least one child dies every 10 minutes in Yemen. That’s the conclusion of a report just published by the U.N. children’s agency, UNICEF.
Democracy Now! December 15, 2016
It’s 2016. Do You Know Where Your Bombs Are Falling?
The Forgotten War in Yemen and the Unchecked War Powers of the Presidency in the Age of Trump
The long national nightmare that was the 2016 presidential election is finally over. Now, we’re facing a worse terror: the reality of a Trump presidency. Donald Trump has already promised to nominate a segregationist attorney general, a national security adviser who is a raging Islamophobe, a secretary of education who doesn’t believe in public schools, and a secretary of defense whose sobriquet is “Mad Dog.” How worried should we be that General James “Mad Dog” Mattis may well be the soberest among them?
By Rebecca Gordon Tom Dispatch December 11, 2016
The US strategy to force regime change in Russia is becoming more obvious. Taking a look at the map one can see the strategic position of Poland – essentially a bridge between Europe and Russia.
Residents of a coastal village on the Red Sea in western Yemen recovered evidence of cluster weapons after an attack that killed a local fisherman. In a country dependent on imports, Saudi coalition strikes against the fishing industry have taken a devastating toll.
On that fall day, Jubahi’s trip to the market was successful. He returned in the early afternoon to share a meal with his family, before wandering down to the beach by himself. According to his father, Jubahi slipped underneath an overturned boat to escape the afternoon sun, and — exhausted — closed his eyes to sleep.
He never woke up.
Alex Emmons, Mohammed Ali Kalfood The Intercept December 14, 2016
Targeted Killing, Secrecy, and the Law
“A careful study of a secretive counterterrorism infrastructure capable of sustaining endless, orderless war, this book is profoundly necessary.”
—Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher, The Nation
The Drone Memos collects for the first time the legal and policy documents underlying the U.S. government’s deeply controversial practice of “targeted killing”—the extrajudicial killing of suspected terrorists and militants, typically using remotely piloted aircraft or “drones.” The documents—including the Presidential Policy Guidance that provides the framework for drone strikes today, Justice Department white papers addressing the assassination of an American citizen, and a highly classified legal memo that was published only after a landmark legal battle involving the ACLU, the New York Times, and the CIA—together constitute a remarkable effort to legitimize a practice that most human rights experts consider to be unlawful and that the United States has historically condemned.
In a lucid and provocative introduction, Jameel Jaffer, who led the ACLU legal team that secured the release of many of the documents, evaluates the “drone memos” in light of domestic and international law. He connects the documents’ legal abstractions to the real-world violence they allow, and makes the case that we are trading core principles of democracy and human rights for the illusion of security.
Upcoming Events Jameel Jaffer at the Stimson Center
December 1, 2016, Washington D.C.
discussion on the U.S. drone program featuring authors Jameel Jaffer and Charlie Savage
Also available as an e-book
#1 U.S. empire and military madness
Rise Up Times Project Censored October 2016
According to Project Censored, this story is the number 1 censored story of 2016. For numbers 2 through 25, go to Project Censored or the Rise Up Times post.
If you throw a dart at a world map and do not hit water, Nick Turse reported for TomDispatch, the odds are that US Special Operations Forces “have been there sometime in 2015.” According to a spokesperson for Special Operations Command (SOCOM), in 2015 Special Operations Forces (SOF) deployed in 147 of the world’s 195 […] Continue Reading…
For decades, the US Navy, by its own admission, has been conducting war game exercises in US waters using bombs, missiles, sonobuoys (sonar buoys), high explosives, bullets and other materials that contain toxic chemicals — including lead and mercury — that are harmful to both humans and wildlife.
The Navy’s 2015 Northwest Training and Testing environmental impact statement(EIS) states that in the thousands of warfare “testing and training events” it conducts each year, 200,000 “stressors” from the use of missiles, torpedoes, guns and other explosive firings in US waters happen biennially.
By Dahr Jamail Truthout | Report October 17, 2016
The U.S. Has Only Been At Peace For 21 Years Total Since Its Birth
In 2011, Danios wrote:
Below, I have reproduced a year-by-year timeline of America’s wars, which reveals something quite interesting: since the United States was founded in 1776, she has been at war during 214 out of her 235 calendar years of existence. In other words, there were only 21 calendar years in which the U.S. did not wage any wars.
To put this in perspective:
* Pick any year since 1776 and there is about a 91% chance that America was involved in some war during that calendar year.
* No U.S. president truly qualifies as a peacetime president. Instead, all U.S. presidents can technically be considered “war presidents.”
* The U.S. has never gone a decade without war.
* The only time the U.S. went five years without war (1935-40) was during the isolationist period of the Great Depression.
* * *
Here is a graphic depiction of U.S. wars:
An air strike on a funeral gathering, widely blamed on Saudi-led warplanes, poses more trouble for a Western-backed Arab campaign against Yemen’s Houthis that has long been criticized for civilian losses.
The White House announced an immediate review of Washington’s support for the 18-month-old military push after planes hit mourners at a community hall in the capital, Sanaa, on Saturday, killing 140 people, according to one U.N. estimate and 82 according to the Houthis.
The struggle for liberation of both Palestinian and Kashmiri people began in the late 1940s during the waning days of British colonialism.
A US warplane takes off from a US aircraft carrier to bomb targets in Syria. (cc photo: Alex King/US Navy)
“President Obama has long refused to approve direct military intervention in Syria,” theNew York Times asserted in an editorial (9/29/16) about “Vladimir Putin’s Outlaw State.”
That’s a peculiar thing to say, given that the Times regularly covers the United States’ ongoing direct military intervention in Syria
Jim Naureckas FAIR September 29, 2016
President Rodrigo Duterte ratchets up his feud with the United States, ordering all American special forces out of the southern Philippines where they have been advising local troops battling Muslim extremists. Video provided by AFP Newslook
U.S. forces advising the Philippine military against an Islamic insurgency are doing more harm than good and must leave, Philippine President Rodrigo Dutertesaid Monday.
Duterte, who made international headlines last week by crudely insulting President Obama, said white Westerners are an inviting target for kidnap-for-ransom groups such as the militant Abu Sayyaf in the southern Philippines. Duterte blamed his government’s ties to the West — and a grisly U.S. military operation that targeted Muslims more than 100 years ago — for fueling much of the unrest centered in the Mindanao island group.
John Bacon, USA TODAY September 12, 2016
ASIA & PACIFIC 03:35 05.09.2016(updated 07:18 05.09.2016) Get short URL 2784031268 The notorious RAND Corporation known as the Defense Department’s go to echo chamber in the lead up to war has set its sights on China – a nuclear power with an over 2 million man army.
Read more: https://sputniknews.com/asia/20160905/1044964279/rand-corporation-preemptive-war-china.html May 9, 2016
US ‘at a Stalemate’ in its War on Terror On Wednesday, nearly 15 years after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, Thomas Kean, once co-chairman of the 9/11 Commission, admitted during a conference call that the US has not reached any significant advance in its fight against terror.
Read more: https://sputniknews.com/archive/ August 9, 2016
Ever since the 1990s, and especially since the Kosovo War in 1999, anyone who opposes armed interventions by Western powers and NATO has to confront what may be called an anti-anti-war left (including its far left segment). In Europe, and notably in France, this anti-anti-war left is made up of the mainstream of social democracy, the Green parties, and most of the radical left.
The anti-anti-war left does not come out openly in favor of Western military interventions and even criticizes them at times (but usually only for their tactics or alleged motivations – the West is supporting a just cause, but clumsily and for oil or for geo-strategic reasons). But most of its energy is spent issuing “warnings” against the supposed dangerous drift of that part of the left that remains firmly opposed to such interventions.
It calls upon us to show solidarity with the “victims” against “dictators who kill their own people”, and not to give in to knee-jerk anti-imperialism, anti-Americanism, or anti-Zionism, and above all not to end up on the same side as the far right. After the Kosovo Albanians in 1999, we have been told that “we” must protect Afghan women, Iraqi Kurds and more recently the people of Libya and of Syria.
It cannot be denied that the anti-anti-war left has been extremely effective. The Iraq War, which was sold to the public as a fight against an imaginary threat, did indeed arouse a fleeting opposition, but there has been very little opposition on the left to interventions presented as “humanitarian”, such as the bombing of Yugoslavia to detach the province of Kosovo, the bombing of Libya to get rid of Gaddafi, or the current intervention in Syria.
Any objections to the revival of imperialism or in favor of peaceful means of dealing with such conflicts have simply been brushed aside by invocations of “R2P”, the right or responsibility to protect, or the duty to come to the aid of a people in danger.
The fundamental ambiguity of the anti-anti-war left lies in the question as to who are the “we” who are supposed to intervene and protect.
Posted by 5, 2016
21st Century Wire September
Jean Bricmont CP December 4, 2012
An audit revealed that the Army made $6.5 trillion worth of wrongful adjustments to accounting entries in 2015, either because it “lacked receipts and invoices to support those numbers or simply made them up,” Reuters reports. READ MORE
Ear to the Ground Truthdig September 2, 2016
How Veterans Are Losing the War at Home
Making America Pain-Free for Plutocrats and Big Pharma, But Not Vets
A friend of mine, a Vietnam vet, told me about a veteran of the Iraq War who, when some civilian said, “Thank you for your service,” replied: “I didn’t serve, I was used.” That got me thinking about the many ways today’s veterans are used, conned, and exploited by big gamers right here at home.
Near the end of his invaluable book cataloguing the long, slow disaster of America’s War for the Greater Middle East, historian Andrew Bacevich writes:
“Some individuals and institutions actually benefit from an armed conflict that drags on and on. Those benefits are immediate and tangible. They come in the form of profits, jobs, and campaign contributions. For the military-industrial complex and its beneficiaries, perpetual war is not necessarily bad news.”
By Ann Jones Tom Dispatch August 25, 2016
While it’s all over the mainstream media that Russia is using Iranian bases to stage attacks against ISIS for the first time — GASP! — even though A) Russia notified the U.S.-led coalition it would be doing so and B) we all know who created ISIS in the first place, establishment propaganda peddler TIME put a spin on it that will send chills down the spines of anyone paying attention to how much we’re currently being groomed towards war with Iran.
Today, TIME declared:
Looks like the U.S. and its allies have a new “axis of evil” in the Middle East: Syria, Iran and Russia. The growing pro-Moscow alliance got a big boost Tuesday after Iran allowed Russia to fly its bombers from one of its bases to attack rebels in Syria.
So Russia, Syria, and Iran are officially the new “axis of evil.”
By Melissa Dykes Activist Post August 17, 2016
Saudi Arabia is using billions in U.S. aid to fund their onslaught of innocent civilians in Yemen, but it’s not too late for Congress to stop this madness.
When Pope Francis visited the U.S. Congress in September 2015, he boldly posed a moral challenge to his American hosts, asking: “Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society?”
“Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money,” he solemnly concluded. “Money that is drenched in blood.”
In this case, it’s innocent Yemeni blood.
The U.S. foreign policy establishment and its mainstream media operate with a pervasive set of hypocritical standards that justify war crimes — or what might be called a “normalization of deviance,” writes Nicolas J S Davies.
Sociologist Diane Vaughan coined the term “normalization of deviance” as she was investigating the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle in 1986. She used it to describe how the social culture at NASA fostered a disregard for rigorous, physics-based safety standards, effectively creating new, lower de facto standards that came to govern actual NASA operations and led to catastrophic and deadly failures.
By Nicolas J S Davies Consortium News August 15, 2016
AFTER THE U.S.-BACKED, Saudi-led coalition bombed a hospital in Yemen supported by Doctors Without Borders on Monday, the U.S. State Department offered a rare condemnation of the coalition’s violence.
“Of course we condemn the attack,” said Elizabeth Trudeau, a spokesman for the State Department.
The State Department has previously deflected questions about coalition attacks by referring reporters to the Saudi government — even though the U.S. has supplied the coalition with billions of dollars of weapons, and hasrefueled Saudi planes.
August 15, 2016
The Pentagon is the only federal department to blatantly defy audit laws — claiming its operations are too vast, complex and secret. If only our tax returns could be tweaked to show just how much goes toward bloat and endless wars to seize global resources.
Barbara G. Ellis Truthout August 13, 2016
British voters’ decision to leave the European Union last week caused panic in world financial markets, with stocks dropping like a stone around the world. The British pound and the euro sank, and many “experts” lamented the beginning of the end of the EU. Maybe it’s true thatBrexit will lead to a period of instability in stock markets, currencies and European politics. But there’s a bigger issue at play—European foreign policy in support of U.S. interventions around the world.
As Chris Hedges eloquently noted in a recent Truthdig column, the U.K. is generally viewed as the closest ally of the United States. Washington uses that relationship to push its foreign policy under the guise of European and Western unity.
Is Libya falling apart? The U.S. and EU intervene, and it’s all a show of unity.
The U.S. identifies a ragtag handful of Syrian “moderates,” and the next thing you know, the entire alliance is wasting its resources arming them.
The U.S. wants to put a yes-man in power in Ukraine, and the EU nods silently in assent.
But that’s not a working alliance. That’s neoliberalism run amok. That’s Washington using its big stick on its friends.
The mainstream media has made a great deal of Brexit being the result of British reaction against immigration. That’s a shallow and not terribly analytic assessment. The truth is that Washington selfishly needs a unified EU to help fight its wars around the world. It needs the British to lean on other European countries to do its bidding.
By John Kiriakou Truthdig July 5, 2016
Military Dissent Is Not an Oxymoron: Freeing Democracy from Perpetual War
The United States is now engaged in perpetual war with victory nowhere in sight. Iraq is chaotic and scarred. So, too, is Libya. Syria barely exists. After 15 years, “progress” in Afghanistan has proven eminently reversible as efforts to rollback recent Taliban gains continue to falter. The Islamic State may be fracturing, but its various franchises are finding new and horrifying ways to replicate themselves and lash out. Having spent trillions of dollars on war with such sorry results, it’s a wonder that key figures in the U.S. military or officials in any other part of America’s colossal national security state and the military-industrial complex (“the Complex” for short) haven’t spoken out forcefully and critically about the disasters on their watch.
Yet they have remained remarkably mum when it comes to the obvious. Such a blanket silence can’t simply be attributed to the war-loving nature of the U.S. military. Sure, its warriors and warfighters always define themselves as battle-ready, but the troops themselves don’t pick the fights. Nor is it simply attributable to the Complex’s love of power and profit, though its members are hardly eager to push back against government decisions that feed the bottom line. To understand the silence of the military in particular in the face of a visible crisis of war-making, you shouldn’t assume that, from private to general, its members don’t have complicated, often highly critical feelings about what’s going on. The real question is: Why they don’t ever express them publicly?
This video was recorded between July 17 and August 4 in several Rio neighborhoods where the Olympic Games are taking place.
Footage by Barney Flow, Rodrigo Maia & Thiago Dezan
US-Led Airstrikes Kill as Many Civilians as Nice Attack–but Get No Front-Page Headlines in Major US Papers
A coalition airstrike reported on Tuesday that killed at least 85 Syrian civilians—one more than died in the Nice attack in France last week—wasn’t featured at all on the front pages of two of the top US national newspapers, the New York Times and LA Times, and only merited brief blurbs on the front pages of the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post, with the actual stories buried on pages A-16 and A-15, respectively.
By Adam Johnson FAIR July 20, 2016
By Kasia Anderson Truthdig July 8, 2016
Chris Hedges and Paul Jay discuss the history of Saudi promoted Jihadism and blowback as ISIS attacks their former allies.
In addition to standard TV advertising and flyovers at the Super Bowl, the U.S. military spends tens of millions of dollars each year on live events that function half as recruitment pitches and half as visceral plugs for its spectacular high-tech weaponry.
The Intercept July 3, 2016
President Obama surprised observers Wednesday when he announced the delay of a planned troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, saying a “precarious” security situation could benefit terrorists 15 years after the 9/11 attacks.
There will now be 8,400 U.S. troops in the country when Obama leaves office in January.
The Guardian reports:
The US president’s most recent estimate for that figure was 5,500. In 2012, he promised that the war would be over by 2014. …
The much slower-than-expected retreat from the current total of 9,800 US forces in Afghanistan comes amid a deteriorating security situation that the president warned could overwhelm Afghan government partners without further assistance.
“It’s in our national interest – after all the blood and treasure we have invested – that we give our Afghan partners the support to succeed,” said Obama.
“This is where al-Qaida is trying to regroup, where Isil is trying to expand its presence,” he added. “If they succeed, they will attempt more attacks against us.”
The decision appears to reflect successful lobbying by US military commanders to maintain forces as close to the current level as possible.
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly. Truthdig July 6, 2016
A test of America’s homeland missile defense system found a problem. Why did the Pentagon call it a success?
If North Korea ever unleashed nuclear-armed missiles against America, the defense of U.S. …
By David Willman Los Angeles Times July 6, 2016
By Sarah Lazare AlterNet | Truthdig July 6, 2016
This piece originally ran on AlterNet.
For U.S. political and pundit classes, “radical Islamic extremism” has become a catch-all term to describe acts of mass violence committed by individuals and groups believed to be Muslim. This label has fueled the incitement against Muslims mounting during the US presidential election, which has been highlighted by Donald Trump calling for a Muslim registry and a ban on Muslims from entering the country.
By Jacob G. Hornberger for FFF – In its reporting on Brexit, the New York Times asks an interesting question: “Is the post-1945 order imposed on the world by the United States and its allies unraveling, too?” Hopefully, it will mean the unraveling of two of the most powerful and destructive governmental apparatuses that came out of the postwar era: NATO and the U.S. national-security state. In fact, although the mainstream media and the political establishment elites will never acknowledge it, the irony is that it is these two apparatuses that ultimately led to the Brexit vote: -more-
Popular Resistance July 2, 2016
Last week marked the official launch of NATO’s Anakonda-16 war games, calling for the largest assembly of foreign forces in Poland since World War II.
The exercise consisted of 30,000 troops supported by several arsenals of vehicles, aircraft and ships will be deployed in one of the biggest exercises on NATO’s eastern flank since the end of the Cold War.
While NATO is touting this move as training, the Russians are calling it the “summer of provocation,” and a move to reignite the Cold War intended to force Moscow to starve its domestic economy to ramp up its military to meet a growing external threat.
Russia is not alone in their assertion either. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told Bild am Sonntag newspaper this week that these ostensible ‘war games’ are little more than warmongering.
By Matt Agorist www.thefreethoughtproject.com Popular Resistance June 22, 2016
Exclusive: Secretary of State Kerry met with dissident State Department “diplomats” to hear their call for U.S. airstrikes on Syrian government troops, but the plan is both dangerous and illegal, writes Marjorie Cohn.
In an internal “dissent channel cable,” 51 State Department officers called for “targeted military strikes” against the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, a proposal that President Barack Obama has thus far resisted. However, were he to accept the cable’s advice, he would risk a dangerous – possibly catastrophic – confrontation with Russia. And, such a use of military force in Syria would violate U.S. and international law.
While the cable decries “the Russian and Iranian governments’ cynical and destabilizing deployment of significant military power to bolster the Assad regime,” the cable calls for the United States to protect and empower “the moderate Syrian opposition,” seeking to overthrow the Syrian government.
However, Assad’s government is the only legitimate government in Syria and, as the sovereign, has the legal right to seek international support as it has from Russia and Iran. There is no such legal right for the United States and other countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey, to arm Syrian rebels to attack Assad’s government.
Marjorie Cohn Consortium News June 22, 2016
William Hartung, a Fellow at the Center for International Policy, reports that major weapons contractors like Bechtel and Boeing reap huge profits from weapons upgrades. Lockheed Martin “gets two bites at the apple”…
As I was getting my breakfast this morning we had National Public Radio (NPR) – what we often call National Petroleum Radio – turned on. As usual they were doing their daily succession of Russia bashing. One story jumped out at me as an example of the ridiculous and idiotic ‘journalism’ we now get in this country.
It was a story about how the Russian people never smiled – that is until McDonald’s opened up in Moscow.
They had on a Russian man who told the story that under the old Soviet Union people were ugly, snarly and unhappy. Then after the fall of the Soviet Union McDonald’s came to Russia. Workers were taught to say Thank you, Have a nice day, Come back again – and suddenly the culture of Russia began to change and now people smile!
This corporate propaganda story is one more glaring example of how U.S. ‘exceptionalism’ works. Those poor Russians were saved by capitalism – our consumer culture brings politeness and satisfaction. McDonald’s taught the Russian people what real happiness means.
Fill the American people’s thick skulls with this kind of crap and you can sell them anything. Tell Americans that Putin is the new Hitler and wants to take over the world. Tell them Putin wants to invade Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia as an excuse to put US-NATO troops on the Russian border.
Fly US warplanes along the border – only 85 miles from St. Petersburg – don’t worry it’s not a provocation – we are just liberating those unhappy Russians!
This is how wars start – when one side convinces themselves that they are god’s gift to humanity and that people all over the world are eager to bite into a Big Mac. Yes we must spend our national treasury to make it possible for those poor Russian people to be happy. They need us and our McDonald’s and Burger King and Pizza Hut!
The NPR story though didn’t mention that in 2014 Russia ordered the closure of four McDonald’s restaurants in Moscow after government health inspectors declared the U.S.-based fast food chain was serving contaminated products. That same year Wendy’s, the third-largest American hamburger chain, abandoned its Russian operations. Also in 2014 the iconic golden arches were replaced in Crimea by the bright red insignia of RusBurger. NPR didn’t bother to mention these facts but of course that was not the purpose of their story.
Have a nice day – on the way to World War III…..
By Bruce Gagnon Organizing Notes June 17, 2016
Absent much stronger U.S. and European pressure on their Saudi allies, Yemen’s latest ceasefire threatens to collapse – which could mean a return to a war that is characterized by massive war crimes conducted by the Saudis.
On the night of January 5, a squadron of F-15 fighter jets from the Royal Saudi Air Force carpet-bombed a neighborhood in the densely populated Yemeni capital of Sana’a. Following the assault, the Al-Noor Center for the Blind lay in ruins.
JAKOB REIMANN Justice Now! May 28, 2016
Nuclear weapon test Romeo on Bikini atoll, March 27, 1954. People who support the use of nuclear weapons do not understand the bloody reality of bombing campaigns. (Photo: US Department of Energy)
Declassified Documents Confirm That Edward Snowden Tried to Tell the NSA About Surveillance Concerns
Hundreds of internal NSA documents obtained by Vice News under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit “show that the agency did not tell the public the whole story about Snowden’s contacts with oversight authorities before he became the most celebrated and vilified whistleblower in US history.”
Truthdig June 6, 2016
‘There are laws—even in the heat of warfare—which must be followed. And no one is above them,’ says Physicians for Human Rights
In this week’s edition of “Scheer Intelligence,” the Truthdig editor in chief sits down with Codepink activist Jodie Evans to discuss her organization’s efforts to move the United States away from military conflict, as well as the origins of her activism.
By Robert Scheer TruthDig May 14, 2016
The Militarization Of America’s Police: Despite Obama Promises, War-Weapon Spending Soared In 2014/15
Submitted by Tyler Durden zerohedge.com 05/11/2016
By Ron Jacobs Counterpunch May 13, 2016
An eye-opening investigation of the all-pervasive, presence of the Pentagon in daily life — a real-world Matrix come alive.
Here is the new, hip, high-tech military-industrial complex — an omnipresent, hidden-in-plain-sight system of systems that penetrates all our lives. Mapping out what should more properly be called the Military-Industrial-Technological-Entertainment-Scientific-Media-Intelligence-Corporate Complex, historian Nick Turse demonstrates just how extensively the Pentagon, through its little-noticed contacts (and contracts) with America’s major corporations, has taken hold of the nation.
From iPods to Starbucks coffee to Oakley sunglasses, Turse investigates the remarkable range of military incursions into the civilian world: the Pentagon’s collaborations with Hollywood filmmakers, its outlandish schemes to weaponize the wild kingdom, its joint ventures with the World Wrestling Federation and NASCAR. He shows the inventive ways the military, desperate for new recruits, now targets children and young adults, tapping into the “culture of cool” by making ‘friends’ on MySpace.
A striking vision of a brave new world of remote-controlled rats and super-soldiers who need no sleep, The Complex will change our understanding of the militarization of America. We are a long way from Eisenhower’s military-industrial complex: this is the essential book for understanding its twenty-first-century progeny.
Can we face it in this election season? America is a weapons factory, the White House a war room, and the president the manager of the neoliberal conspiracy to recolonize the planet. It exports war and mass poverty. On the economic front, usurious neoliberalism; on the military front, illegal wars. These are the trenches of America’s battle for world domination in the 21st century.
If not stopped, it will be a short century.
With North and South Korea technically still at war and tensions mounting, the United States, which is both an ally and a foe, should reflect on historical realities and consider a new path, beyond military posturing, if it wants to avoid a disastrous war.
According to the 2014 US-NATO declaration of confrontation with Russia, all member countries are supposed to commit 2 percent of their GDP to military expenditure. But as with most NATO plans and endeavours, this one has failed to meet expectations.
The State Department is supposed to make sure U.S. weapons don’t go to regimes that use them to abuse human rights.
Organizing Notes (Bruce Gagnon) May 7, 2016
The finalization of Israel’s foreign military funding package could mean a surge in new spending on US aircraft, including more purchases of Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets. Continue reading →
The post US Defense Giants Expect $50Bln Aircraft Sales to Israel, Arab States appeared first on MintPress News. May 7, 2016
The neocon-engineered disaster in Iraq continues to unfold with protests now penetrating the super-secure Green Zone, but Official Washington resists obvious lessons, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Ben-Gurion’s mumbling to Kennedy helped delay the Americans’ assessment that Jerusalem was on the verge of building a bomb.
By Ofer Aderet Haaretz.com
MORE THAN 90 PERCENT of young people in Iraq consider the United States to be an enemy of their country, according to a new poll.
After years spent justifying the war as a “liberation” of the Iraqi people, the survey casts further doubt on the success of that endeavor.
Democracy Now! April 13, 2016 (Video)
Democracy Now! April 13, 2016 (Video)
Maidhc Ó Cathail: In your latest book, you dub Hillary Clinton the “Queen of Chaos”. Can you explain why you chose this derogatory sobriquet to describe Hillary?
Diana Johnstone: Libya, in a word. Hillary Clinton was so proud of her major role in instigating the war against Libya that she and her advisors initially planned to use it as basis of a “Clinton doctrine”, meaning a “smart power” regime change strategy, as a presidential campaign slogan.
BY ED FELIEN
The recent attacks by radical Islamic terrorists in Brussels were horrifying. Thirty-five innocent civilians were murdered.
The response by Ted Cruz on Easter Sunday, after coming from church and hearing the story of gentle Jesus’ Resurrection, was to carpet bomb ISIS.
Sorry, Ted, but we’re going to have trouble doing that. According to the Air Force we’re running out of bombs. We’re already bombing the urban centers that ISIS controls faster than we can replenish the arsenal. We’ve dropped more than 20,000 bombs and missiles on ISIS cities and civilians in the past 15 months.
Do you really believe dropping more bombs on them will stop a suicide bomber from detonating
Popular Resistance April 3, 2016
Its impacts are all around us, but it is rarely mentioned. What is it? Empire, and it’s time to bring it out of the shadows. We take a peek at the history of US Empire and how it continues to grow and be all-consuming today.
With plans for military spending on a new Cold War — as well as on old fears about terrorism — spinning out of control, the next U.S. president will face a budgetary time bomb, explains Chuck Spinney.
Exclusive: The E.U.’s crisis – with the post-World War II project to unify Europe spinning apart amid economic stress, refugees and terrorism – can be traced back to E.U./U.S. neo-imperial wars in the Arab world, says Jonathan Marshall.
Johan Galtung is the founder of the discipline of peace studies. He founded the International Peace Research Institute in Oslo in 1959 and the Journal of Peace Research in 1964, and has helped found dozens of peace centers. He has taught peace studies at universities all over the world, and mediated hundreds of conflicts. He is author or coauthor of over 160 books, and is cited and discussed in many thousands. He is the founder of Transcend Peace University and Transcend International. Seehttp://transcend.org
Total run time: 29:00
Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.
Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.
Robert Reich’s website is full of proposals for how to oppose plutocracy, raise the minimum wage, reverse the trend toward greater inequality of wealth, etc. His focus on domestic economic policy is done in the traditional bizarre manner of U.S. liberals in which virtually no mention is ever made of the 54% of the federal discretionary budget that gets dumped into militarism.
When such a commentator notices the problem of war, it’s worth paying attention to exactly how far they’re willing to go. Of course, they’ll object to the financial cost of a potential war, while continuing to ignore the ten-times-greater cost of routine military spending. But where else does their rare war opposition fall short?
Well, here, to begin with: Reich’s new post begins thus: “We appear to be moving ever closer toward a world war against the Islamic State.” That helpless fatalism doesn’t show up in his other commentary. We’re not doomed to plutocracy, poverty, or corporate trade. But we’re doomed to war. It’s coming upon us like the weather, and we’ll need to handle it as well as we can. And it will be a “world” affair even if it’s principally the 4% of humanity in the United States with a military engaged in it.
Watching the terrible events unfolding in Paris, I have a helpless sense of deja vu. It reminds me of the movie, Groundhog Day, only much more deadly and depressing. It feels like we have been here so many times before: the same anguished images, the same suffering, the same questions and sense of disbelief. Most depressingly, listening to the rhetoric coming from Western leaders, I can’t see any way we can avoid experiencing the same day again – whether in a few months or years time.
As I explained in my book Writing the War on Terrorism about the language of counterterrorism, when the 11 September 2001 attacks occurred, President Bush said that they were “an act of war”. This was a key rhetorical move and it led the US to launch the global war on terrorism which has caused so much suffering, violence and counter-violence. Today in Paris, exactly like all those years ago, French President Hollande said, the attack was “an act of war committed by a terrorist army”, and “faced with war, the country must take appropriate action”. Just like President Bush fourteen years ago, he similarly signalled his resolve: “we are going to fight and our fight will be merciless.” Former president Nicolas Sarkozy added to the war rhetoric: “The war we must wage should be total.”
After 9/11, presidential rhetoric about the terrorist attacks laid the foundation for a massive military-based “war on terrorism” which involved two major wars costing three trillion dollars and over a million lives
Click on the title above to read more of this article.
A Post-Paris “Clash of Civilizations”?
It’s the Islamic State’s Dream and Marco Rubio Agrees
By Tom Engelhardt
Wiping Out the Gray Zones
Think of the Islamic State and various al-Qaeda crews as having developed (to steal a term from commentator John Feffer) “splinterlands” strategies. To continue to grow, they need the U.S. and its allies to lend them an eternally destructive hand to further smash the worlds around them. So in response to the Paris attacks, French President Francois Hollande’s statement that “we will lead a war which will be pitiless” was just what the terror doctor ordered, as was the growing pressure in Washington for a “big military response” to Paris. The first French reprisal air strikes against IS’s Syrian “capital,” Raqqa, were indeed launchedwithin two days.
All of this is like manna from heaven for the Islamic State, the more “pitiless” the better. After all, that group’s goal, as theywrite in their magazine and online, is “the extinction of the gray zone” in our world. In other words, they seek the sharpening of distinctions everywhere, which means the opening of abysses where complexity and interaction once existed. Their dream is to live in a black-and-white world of utter religious and political clarity (and calamity), while engaging in what American pundits like to term a “clash of civilizations.” And — what a joy for the Islamic State! — Republican presidential candidates are already responding to the Paris attacks, as Marco Rubio did, by calling forjust such “a civilizational conflict with radical Islam.” As he put it, “This is not a grievance-based conflict. This is a clash of civilizations… And either they win, or we win.” Jeb Bush similarly responded: “This is an organized effort to destroy Western civilization and we need to lead in this regard.” The answer, of course, is “war.” Various Republican candidates are also now calling for only accepting Syrian Christians as refugees here. You can’t be more black and white than that.
[Note for TomDispatch Readers: Last week, Nick Turse appeared on Democracy Now! to discuss his superbTomDispatch work on Special Operations forces and his new Dispatch book, Tomorrow’s Battlefield: U.S. Proxy Wars and Secret Ops in Africa. Click here to check him out at DN! (or herefor the online extended interview). Then, if you’d like a personalized, signed copy of his new book, just go to the TDdonation page. For $100 — and the knowledge that you’ve helped this website roll into 2016 — it’s yours! Tom]
As I’ve written elsewhere, what Chalmers Johnson called America’s “empire of bases” was “not so much our little secret as a secret we kept even from ourselves” — at least until Johnson broke the silence and his book Blowback became a bestseller in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. In those years, however, if (like Johnson) you actually wanted to know about the way the U.S. garrisoned the world, you could profitably start simply by reading the Pentagon’s tabulations of its global garrisons, ranging from military bases the size of small American towns to what were then starting to be called “lily pads,” which were small sites in potential global hot spots stocked with pre-positioned materiel and ready for instant occupation. It was all there on the record for those who cared to know. Well, perhaps not quite all there, but enough of it certainly to get a sense of what the “American Raj” (as Johnson called it) looked like from Europe to Asia, Latin America to the Persian Gulf.
And it was impressive, that empire of bases, once you took it in. It represented a garrisoning of the globe unprecedented in the history of empires. That we Americans didn’t generally know much about it was, in a sense, a matter of choice, a matter, you might say, of self-blinding behavior. To hazard a guess: as a people, we were uncomfortable enough with the idea of ourselves as a global imperial power that we preferred not to know what “we” were doing, or at least not to acknowledge what we had become, even though every year hundreds of thousands of Americans, military personnel and civilians alike, lived on, worked on, or cycled through those bases. In this context, it was startling how seldom they were part of our everyday news cycle. For those in other countries, they often loomed large indeed as the local face of the United States, but you’d never know that if your source of news was the mainstream media here.
Does Eleven Plus One Equal Sixty?
AFRICOM’s New Math, the U.S. Base Bonanza, and “Scarier” Times Ahead in Africa
By Nick Turse
In the shadows of what was once called the “dark continent,” a scramble has come and gone. If you heard nothing about it, that was by design. But look hard enough and — north to south, east to west — you’ll find the fruits of that effort: a network of bases, compounds, and other sites whose sum total exceeds the number of nations on the continent. For a military that has stumbled from Iraq to Afghanistan and suffered setbacks from Libya to Syria, it’s a rare can-do triumph. In remote locales, behind fences and beyond the gaze of prying eyes, the U.S. military has built an extensive archipelago of African outposts, transforming the continent, experts say, into a laboratory for a new kind of war.
Few remember that a high level delegation from India, Brazil and South Africa visited Damascus in August 2011 with a plea for peace.
Several respected diplomats made the trip. Dilip Sinha (recently retired as India’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva), Paulo Cordeiro de Andrade Pinto (Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs, Brazil), and Ebrahim Ebrahim (Deputy Minister of International Relations, South Africa) met Bashar al-Assad and foreign minister Walid al-Moualem to plead for peace. It was not a fool’s errand.
Why did these countries send their delegates to Damascus to ask for a hasty peaceful solution?
The recent surge in U.S. arms transfers to the Middle East is part of an unprecedented boom in major U.S. arms sales that has been presided over by the Obama administration.
The majority of the Obama administration’s major arms sales have gone to the Middle East and Persian Gulf, with Saudi Arabia topping the list with over $49 billion in new agreements. This is particularly troubling given the complex array of conflicts raging throughout the region, and given the Saudi regime’s use of U.S.-supplied weaponry in its military intervention in Yemen.
If you’re one of the millions of Americans who think Hillary Clinton would make a lousy president, then pat yourself on the back because she pretty much proved it yesterday. In a presentation to the Council on Foreign Relations, Clinton made it clear that if she’s elected in 2016, she’s going to drag the country straight to war. Invoking the same imagery as her ideological twin, George W. Bush, Clinton fulminated for more than an hour and a half on Syria, war, terrorism, war, no-fly zones, war, radical jihadism, war, and “metastasizing threats”, whatever the heck those are. Oh, and did I mention war?
U.S. Hops among Helipads yet Kabul Deemed Safe for Afghan Refugees: Life Goes On Under the Helicopters and the Terrible Cost of Avoiding the Dangers of Kabul
by Brian Terrell Voices for Creative Nonviolence November 17, 2015
When I arrived at the Kabul International Airport on November 4, I was unaware that the same day the New York Times published an article, “Life Pulls Back in Afghan Capital, as Danger Rises and Troops Recede.” My friends Abdulhai and Ali, 17 years old, young men I have known since my first visit five years ago, greeted me with smiles and hugs and took my bags. Disregarded by soldiers and police armed with automatic weapons, we caught up on old times as we walked past concrete blast walls, sand bag fortifications, check points and razor wire to the public road and hailed a cab.
Edited time: 8 Nov, 2015 22:49
The drone went down in Bir Mutla west of Kuwait City, near the Ali Al Salem air base located in central Kuwait. The base houses several US air force planes and staff.
According to the ministry’s statement, no one was injured in the crash. No information was immediately available on the causes of the crash.
November 08, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo – Okinawa, Japanese newspaper, local news
October 30, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo
On October 29, the Defense Ministry’s Okinawa Bureau officers entered U.S. Marine Camp Schwab with construction vehicles for land reclamation and building the new base in Henoko, Nago. Eighty-six-year-old Fumiko Shimabukuro, continuing protest activities against the relocation facility with other Henoko residents, ran to the gate of Camp Schwab and threw herself into the front row of the protest. Despite police officers seizing and forcibly removing her from the front of the gate, she repeatedly rejoined to prevent entrance of the next vehicles. Furthermore, even when there were short breaks in attempts to remove protesters, residents did not move from in front of the gate and continued to express their indignation.
(more of the same endless war!)
Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment (Red Currahee), 101st Airborne Division, lay down suppressive fire Oct. 5, 2015, during a ground assault training exercise in New Mexico. (Defense Department photo/Corey Baltos)
The U.S. Army is sending 500 soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) to Iraq and Kuwait in early 2016 to advise and assist Iraqi Security Forces. The 101st headquarters element will assume the role of Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command-Iraq, replacing the 82nd Airborne Division headquarters, according to a Nov. 6 Army press release. During the nine-month deployment, the division headquarters will provide command and control of coalition troops that are training, advising, and assisting Iraqi forces as part of Operation Inherent Resolve to combat militants affiliated with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS. About 1,300 paratroopers from 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division recently returned from a nine-month mission of training Iraqi army units as part of the advise-and-assist mission. During that deployment, the 3rd BCT formed in teams and helped to train about 12,400 new Iraqi army soldiers. The teams also worked every day with Iraqi Ground Forces Command.
Leaked Emails From Pro-Clinton Group Reveal Censorship of Staff on Israel, AIPAC Pandering, Warped Militarism
The Intercept November 5, 2015
At the conference, entitled “Peace for the Sea Camp” it was noted that one of the most destructive developments has been Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s 2015 campaign to forge a new network of aggressive bilateral agreements with militaries from other countries such as South Korea, the Philippines, Australia — and most insidiously, Japan — to augment American dominance. These alliances are reinforced economically by the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an essential component of the fool’s endeavor to contain China within its own hemisphere.
Why the Paris Climate Summit Will Be a Peace Conference
Averting a World of Failed States and Resource Wars
By Michael T. Klare
At the end of November, delegations from nearly 200 countries will convene in Paris for what is billed as the most important climate meeting ever held. Officially known as the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP-21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (the1992 treaty that designated that phenomenon a threat to planetary health and human survival), the Paris summit will be focused on the adoption of measures that would limit global warming to less than catastrophic levels. If it fails, world temperatures in the coming decades are likely to exceed 2 degrees Celsius (3.5 degrees Fahrenheit), the maximum amount most scientists believe the Earth can endure without experiencing irreversible climate shocks, including soaring temperatures and a substantial rise in global sea levels.
TomDispatch.com November 3, 2015
“The Army general in charge of the Pentagon’s failed $500 million program to train and equip Syrian rebels is leaving his job in the next few weeks, but is likely to be promoted and assigned a senior counterterrorism position here, American officials said on Monday.”
TomDispatch.com October 25, 2015