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Essential Information

A compendium of articles, reports, essays and investigations into the effects of militarism on the environment and human society. Send additional documents to editor@envirosagainstwar.org.

 

FEATURED REPORTS

Trump's 'Plan B' Is a Distraction: The Real Goal a War with Iran (AntiWar.com & Haaretz & Al Jazeera)
When the Trump Administration withdrew from the P5+1 nuclear deal, they began talking about a "Plan B." Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has set out the US' post-deal strategy this week, threatening the "strongest sanctions in history" and setting out an incredibly broad set of 12 demands that leave no room for diplomacy. "Plan B" ultimately means setting the stage for a massive US war with Iran.

With Medal of Honor, SEAL Team 6 Rewards a Culture of War Crimes (Matthew Cole / The Intercept)
For 15 years, SEAL Team 6 senior officers hid reports of skinning, scalping, "canoeing," and mutilating enemy corpses with custom-made hatchets. "By giving Slabinski the award, you close the door on our criminal history," said the former SEAL Team 6 leader. "The cover-up wins. You've closed this ugly part of our command's history, and everyone gets away with it. What everyone learns from this is that cover-ups work -- don't say anything bad about your teammates, keep quiet and we'll get through it. It's disgraceful."

"Turning Corners" in America's Wars and Going in Circles (Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & Todd Miller / TomDispatch)
Despite repeated claims that the Pentagon is "turning the corner" in Washington's many illegal, ongoing, foreign wars, al-Qaeda and the Taliban, have somehow morphed into "more than 20 terrorist and insurgent groups" on either side of the Afghani-Pakistani border. The original al-Qaeda morphed into a range of groups (al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and so on). The same thing is now happening to ISIS. No corners have been turned and there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

New War Opponents: The ACLU, Oxfam, Amnesty International (David Swanson.org & World BEYOND War)
There is now a multi-issue campaign that -- unlike the women's march or the climate march or so many other marches, and perhaps because it draws its platform in part from one written 50 years ago -- opposes war and militarism. It's called the Poor People's Campaign. Meanwhile, large, well-funded organizations that -- as far as I know, didn't oppose any wars when George Bush II or Barack Obama was president -- are now edging toward opposition at least to certain wars. One of these is the ACLU.

ACTION: An Open Letter to US Leaders Who Met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman (Columbia Law School Human Rights Clinic & the Mwatana Organization for Human Rights)
"Saudi Arabia has bombed, killed, and injured numerous civilians, and has been credibly implicated in "widespread violations" of international law, including war crimes . . . . We, the undersigned professors and civil liberties, human rights, and peace organizations, are writing to express our concern that you did not publicly speak out about Saudi Arabia's grave human rights violations in Yemen when you met with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman on his recent trip to the US."

Nuclear Weapon States' Plot to Scuttle the Landmark UN Conference (Alyn Ware / InDepthNews)
Commentary: May 14, 2018 was supposed to see the opening at the United Nations of a three-day High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament, scheduled to discuss "effective nuclear disarmament measures to achieve the total elimination of nuclear weapons, including, in particular, on a comprehensive convention on nuclear weapons." But right at the moment when such a conference is needed the most, it has surprisingly been postponed to an uncertain future date.

Pentagon Running Out of Bombs to Drop on Other Countries (Aaron Mehta / Defense News)
The Pentagon plans to invest more than $20 billion in munitions in its next budget. But whether the industrial base will be there to support such massive buys in the future is up in the air -- at a time when America is expending munitions at increasingly intense rates. Adding to the challenge, many key US weapons suppliers are foreign-owned -- the US no longer has the domestic capability to produce certain vital parts and materials -- setting up the risk that a conflict with China could rely on Chinese-made parts.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Israel's Deadly Attacks on Gaza's Protesters (Rabbi Michael Lerner / MoveOn.org & Mark LeVine / Tikkun & Rabbi Michael Lerner / Tikkun & the Network for Spiritual Progressives)
Commentary: B'tselem, the Israeli Human Rights organization, has called on young Israeli soldiers to recognize that they have an obligation in International Law to reject the orders to shoot into crowds of unarmed civilians -- even if some of those civilians attempt to cut down the border fence, burn tires or throw Molotov cocktails. A new petition calls on the US Congress to condemn Israel's armed violence against unarmed Palestinians and encourage both sides to recommit to finding a nonviolent solution.

Instead of Diplomacy, Trump Resorts to Threats against Iran (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Ellen Mitchell / The Hill)
Following up on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's bellicose threats toward Iran, Pentagon officials suggested that moving against Iran would require a "whole government solution." They pointed toward the Pentagon being more aggressive toward Iran. Demonstrating why "sanctions" are generally recognized as "declarations of war," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has openly threatened to "crush" Iran with economic sanctions.

Skip the Fire and Fury: Avoiding a Cataclysmic War With North Korea (Maj. Danny Sjursen / AntiWar.com & TruthDig.com)
Commentary: One minute he's threatening nuclear war via tweet; the next his adoring followers are chanting "Nobel, Nobel!" It's hard to keep up with President Trump's North Korea policy, such as it is. But what happens if the talks fall apart, or don't happen at all? How will President Trump respond to such a staggering blow to his ego -- should the deal-maker fail to close this big time deal?

Israeli Snipers Kill Unarmed, Defenseless People: Isn't That Murder? (William Boardman / Reader Supported News)
Commentary: From an Israeli perspective, Palestinians committed original sin by merely existing. From a Palestinian perspective, Israelis committed original sin by merely existing. They are both right, in a narrow sense that is useless for moving forward. Neither has any moral authority in a wider perspective. But where does one go to find any wider perspective?

The Global Pact for the Environment: Protecting Nature from the Devastation of Armed Conflicts (Doug Weir / Conflict and Environment Observatory)
How would a new legally binding international instrument that seeks to define the principles of environmental law influence ongoing efforts to strengthen the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts?

Doctors and Scientists Issue Global Warning: Increased Radiation from the "Internet of Things" and the 5G Revolution Risks Widespread Illness and Death (Mark Hertsgaard and Mark Dowie / The Nation & EHTrust.org)
More than 180 scientists and doctors from 35 countries have sent an urgent appeal to officials of the European Commission demanding a moratorium on the increase of cell antennas for planned 5G expansion citing extreme concerns over health effects from higher radiation exposure including the potential for major increases in neurological impacts, infertility, and cancer. They call for a moratorium on the roll-out of 5G until potential risks to human health have been fully investigated by independent scientists.

ACTION ALERT: Support for Nuclear Ban Treaty Growing in the US and Around the World (NuclearBan.US & The International Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons (ICAN))
This Treaty, which prohibits the development, testing, production, deployment, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons, was adopted by 122 countries at the UN on 7 July 2017. The US and other nuclear weapon possessor states boycotted the negotiations and have been pressuring other countries not to sign the Treaty. Activists in the US want cities, states, businesses, universities, faith communities, and individuals to defy the US and join the rest of the world to ban nuclear weapons of mass destruction.

155 Nations Call for Global Denuclearization: US and 34 Other Nations Refuse (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)
155 states -- four-fifths of all UN member and observers states -- have rejected any role for nuclear weapons in their military postures. Nuclear-free security strategies are the norm, not the exception. The five nuclear-weapons states parties to the NPT (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States) are sabotaging the Treaty. They are not taking action to move towards nuclear disarmament, as agreed to under their Treaty obligations.

Unless Strict Laws Are Passed, "Killer Drones" Will Eventually Appear in US Skies (Ted Rall / Ted Rall.com & The Progressive Populist)
We have succumbed, in recent years, to technological passivity, the assumption that there's nothing we can (or should) do about what an older generation used to call "progress." But that's not true. War goes on, yet most of the world's nations came together to ban landmines and chemical weapons. Drones should be banned too: military drones as well as recreational ones. In 2013, Attorney General Eric Holder said that the feds have the right to launch military drone strikes against American citizens on US soil.

ACTION ALERT: A Voice from Gaza and a Petition for Justice (Intimaa Alsdudi / ThinkProgress & Care2 Petitions)
Commentary: "Tear gas cans began rolling between us and the crowds. Everyone ran from the area, while Israeli snipers on top of the hills and watchtowers started shooting randomly at the people protesting. At one point, I lost sight of my mom. I could not see her, because there was dark smoke everywhere. Do you know what that feels like? To not know if your mother is okay as snipers are shooting at you and everyone around you?"

As Civilians Die in Gaza, US Slams the Door on the Peace Process (Mustafa Barghouti / The Nation & Ian S. Lustick / The Nation)
Together, Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have bulldozed what remains of the US-sponsored negotiation process that began more than a quarter of a century ago with the signing of the Oslo Accords. It is time for the world to recognize that Israel's more than 50-year military rule over Palestinians in the occupied territories is not temporary. It is an apartheid regime in which there are two separate and unequal systems of law and governance based on religion.

Big Stake in Syria War -- For the 1% and the 99% (Bruce Lesnick / Socialist Action & United National Antiwar Coalition)
The US and its Gulf and NATO allies have been fighting a war of aggression against Syria for over five years. Plans to replace the Syrian government with one more subservient to the needs of US corporate interests began well before that. The Pentagon has spent $41.1 billion in Syria since 2001, according to a study by Brown University. US allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar have funneled huge additional sums to ISIS and Al-Qaeda affiliated "rebels" in Syria since at least 2011.

Oil Tankers Threaten an Environmental Disaster off the Coast of Yemen (The Conflict and Environment Observatory)
Oil infrastructure often poses environmental risks during conflicts and Yemen is no exception. On March 7, the Yemeni government called for international assistance in dealing with a potentially serious oil pollution threat in the Red Sea. The case has served to highlight the wider threat from terrestrial and marine oil pollution in Yemen's civil war and the risks it poses to the Red Sea's ecology. But dealing with the threat will be impossible without cooperation between the warring parties and the international community.

ACTION ALERT: In 2018 the Number of US School Children Gunned Down Has Been Twice as High as Number of US Soldiers Killed in Combat (The Washington Post & Vox News & Vox News & Credo Action)
The school shooting near Houston on Friday bolstered a stunning statistic: More people have been killed at schools this year than have been killed while serving in the military. America's firearm deaths total more than 32,000 each year. The number of American soldiers killed in all of 2017: 34. A new petition The petition -- directed to Republicans in Congress -- reads: "Put your constituents before the National Rifle Association. Take immediate action to pass gun control legislation."

US Special Forces Accused in Botched Terror Raid That Killed Somali Civilians (David Brennan / Newsweek)
American Special Forces in Somalia have been accused of involvement in a bungled terror raid that left five civilians dead. Locals in the Lower Shabelle region south of the capital Mogadishu say US special forces and Somali commandos were targeting leaders of the militant Islamist al-Shabab group, but instead killed several farmers on the night of May 9.

Planetary Emergency: The Invisible Rainbow of Electromagnetic Radiation (Arthur Firstenberg / Global Union Against Radiation Deployment from Space & Book Review by Jennifer Wood)
Many are the assaults on our planet. The oceans are dying. The majestic wilderness is no more. The very oxygen we breathe is being converted to carbon dioxide. But there is a new threat: we must leave space alone. On March 29, 2018, the FCC gave its approval to SpaceX's plan to launch the first of 12,000 satellites into low Earth orbit to provide "ultrafast, lag-free Internet" to every square inch of Earth -- 5G from space. The global electrical circuit, which sustains all life, is about to be seriously disturbed.

Can Palestinians Be Killed? Can Israelis Kill Them? Or Do They Only "Die"? (Juan Cole / Informed Comment )
Social media is being scathing about the diction chosen by the New York Times, CNN and even the London Guardian to speak of the some 55 peacefully protesting Palestinians whom Israeli snipers cold-bloodedly shot dead on Monday and the some 2700 whom they wounded, half of those with live fire. The headlines or lead paragraphs spoke of Palestinians "dying" -- as though they had mysteriously and unexpectedly contracted the unusual disease of bullet penetration.

[view all featured report items] 

GENERAL IMPACTS

The Global Pact for the Environment: Protecting Nature from the Devastation of Armed Conflicts
(Doug Weir / Conflict and Environment Observatory)

How would a new legally binding international instrument that seeks to define the principles of environmental law influence ongoing efforts to strengthen the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts?
/know/read.php?itemid=20805

Doctors and Scientists Issue Global Warning: Increased Radiation from the "Internet of Things" and the 5G Revolution Risks Widespread Illness and Death
(Mark Hertsgaard and Mark Dowie / The Nation & EHTrust.org)

More than 180 scientists and doctors from 35 countries have sent an urgent appeal to officials of the European Commission demanding a moratorium on the increase of cell antennas for planned 5G expansion citing extreme concerns over health effects from higher radiation exposure including the potential for major increases in neurological impacts, infertility, and cancer. They call for a moratorium on the roll-out of 5G until potential risks to human health have been fully investigated by independent scientists.
/know/read.php?itemid=20798

ACTION ALERT: Support for Nuclear Ban Treaty Growing in the US and Around the World
(NuclearBan.US & The International Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons (ICAN))

This Treaty, which prohibits the development, testing, production, deployment, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons, was adopted by 122 countries at the UN on 7 July 2017. The US and other nuclear weapon possessor states boycotted the negotiations and have been pressuring other countries not to sign the Treaty. Activists in the US want cities, states, businesses, universities, faith communities, and individuals to defy the US and join the rest of the world to ban nuclear weapons of mass destruction.
/know/read.php?itemid=20799

Planetary Emergency: The Invisible Rainbow of Electromagnetic Radiation
(Arthur Firstenberg / Global Union Against Radiation Deployment from Space & Book Review by Jennifer Wood)

Many are the assaults on our planet. The oceans are dying. The majestic wilderness is no more. The very oxygen we breathe is being converted to carbon dioxide. But there is a new threat: we must leave space alone. On March 29, 2018, the FCC gave its approval to SpaceX's plan to launch the first of 12,000 satellites into low Earth orbit to provide "ultrafast, lag-free Internet" to every square inch of Earth -- 5G from space. The global electrical circuit, which sustains all life, is about to be seriously disturbed.
/know/read.php?itemid=20792

Move Over Chernobyl, Fukushima is Now the World's Worst Nuclear Disaster
(John LaForge / CounterPunch & ZeroHedge)

The radiation dispersed into the environment by the three reactor meltdowns at Fukushima-Daiichi in Japan has exceeded that of the April 26, 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe, so we may stop calling it the "second worst" nuclear power disaster in history. Total atmospheric releases from Fukushima are estimated to be between 5.6 and 8.1 times that of Chernobyl. Chernobyl's reactor No. 4 blew apart and burned for 40 days, spreading fallout across the Northern Hemisphere. Fukushima was much worse.
/know/read.php?itemid=20738

Combating Militarism on Earth Day
(Steve Fake / Just World Educational)

On April 19, as a prelude to Earth Day, Just World Educational hosted a live Facebook discussion on its Earth Day Appeal, "To Save the Earth, Curb Militarism!" The Live discussion featured Jackie Cabasso, Executive Director of Western States Legal Foundation and National Co-convener of United for Peace and Justice, and Gar Smith, the director of Environmentalists Against War, a member of the coordinating council at World Beyond War, and editor of The War and Environment Reader.
/know/read.php?itemid=20679

On Earth Day: "Why We Oppose War and Militarism"
(Environmentalists Against War)

On February 20, 2003, Environmentalists Against War (a global coalition of antiwar organizations) held a press conference at the San Francisco office of the Sierra Club to announce its opposition to the George W. Bush administration’s imminent attack on Iraq. A joint statement -- signed by more than 100 environmental, antiwar, and social-justice organizations from around the world -- enumerated 11 reasons to reject war and militarism.
/know/read.php?itemid=20681

For Earth Day: Protecting Nature from War
(The United Nations Environment Programme)

"The environment continues to be the silent victim of armed conflicts worldwide. The toll of warfare today reaches far beyond human suffering, displacement, and damage to homes and infrastructure. Modern conflicts also cause extensive destruction and degradation of the environment. Environmental damage, which often extends beyond the borders of conflict-affected countries, can threaten the lives and livelihoods of people well after peace agreements are signed."
/know/read.php?itemid=20682

[view all general impact items] 

HUMAN IMPACTS

With Medal of Honor, SEAL Team 6 Rewards a Culture of War Crimes
(Matthew Cole / The Intercept)

For 15 years, SEAL Team 6 senior officers hid reports of skinning, scalping, "canoeing," and mutilating enemy corpses with custom-made hatchets. "By giving Slabinski the award, you close the door on our criminal history," said the former SEAL Team 6 leader. "The cover-up wins. You've closed this ugly part of our command's history, and everyone gets away with it. What everyone learns from this is that cover-ups work -- don't say anything bad about your teammates, keep quiet and we'll get through it. It's disgraceful."
/know/read.php?itemid=20811

ACTION: An Open Letter to US Leaders Who Met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman
(Columbia Law School Human Rights Clinic & the Mwatana Organization for Human Rights)

"Saudi Arabia has bombed, killed, and injured numerous civilians, and has been credibly implicated in "widespread violations" of international law, including war crimes . . . . We, the undersigned professors and civil liberties, human rights, and peace organizations, are writing to express our concern that you did not publicly speak out about Saudi Arabia's grave human rights violations in Yemen when you met with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman on his recent trip to the US."
/know/read.php?itemid=20806

ACTION ALERT: Stop Israel's Deadly Attacks on Gaza's Protesters
(Rabbi Michael Lerner / MoveOn.org & Mark LeVine / Tikkun & Rabbi Michael Lerner / Tikkun & the Network for Spiritual Progressives)

Commentary: B'tselem, the Israeli Human Rights organization, has called on young Israeli soldiers to recognize that they have an obligation in International Law to reject the orders to shoot into crowds of unarmed civilians -- even if some of those civilians attempt to cut down the border fence, burn tires or throw Molotov cocktails. A new petition calls on the US Congress to condemn Israel's armed violence against unarmed Palestinians and encourage both sides to recommit to finding a nonviolent solution.
/know/read.php?itemid=20809

Israeli Snipers Kill Unarmed, Defenseless People: Isn't That Murder?
(William Boardman / Reader Supported News)

Commentary: From an Israeli perspective, Palestinians committed original sin by merely existing. From a Palestinian perspective, Israelis committed original sin by merely existing. They are both right, in a narrow sense that is useless for moving forward. Neither has any moral authority in a wider perspective. But where does one go to find any wider perspective?
/know/read.php?itemid=20804

Doctors and Scientists Issue Global Warning: Increased Radiation from the "Internet of Things" and the 5G Revolution Risks Widespread Illness and Death
(Mark Hertsgaard and Mark Dowie / The Nation & EHTrust.org)

More than 180 scientists and doctors from 35 countries have sent an urgent appeal to officials of the European Commission demanding a moratorium on the increase of cell antennas for planned 5G expansion citing extreme concerns over health effects from higher radiation exposure including the potential for major increases in neurological impacts, infertility, and cancer. They call for a moratorium on the roll-out of 5G until potential risks to human health have been fully investigated by independent scientists.
/know/read.php?itemid=20798

ACTION ALERT: Support for Nuclear Ban Treaty Growing in the US and Around the World
(NuclearBan.US & The International Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons (ICAN))

This Treaty, which prohibits the development, testing, production, deployment, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons, was adopted by 122 countries at the UN on 7 July 2017. The US and other nuclear weapon possessor states boycotted the negotiations and have been pressuring other countries not to sign the Treaty. Activists in the US want cities, states, businesses, universities, faith communities, and individuals to defy the US and join the rest of the world to ban nuclear weapons of mass destruction.
/know/read.php?itemid=20799

155 Nations Call for Global Denuclearization: US and 34 Other Nations Refuse
(International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)

155 states -- four-fifths of all UN member and observers states -- have rejected any role for nuclear weapons in their military postures. Nuclear-free security strategies are the norm, not the exception. The five nuclear-weapons states parties to the NPT (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States) are sabotaging the Treaty. They are not taking action to move towards nuclear disarmament, as agreed to under their Treaty obligations.
/know/read.php?itemid=20800

Unless Strict Laws Are Passed, "Killer Drones" Will Eventually Appear in US Skies
(Ted Rall / Ted Rall.com & The Progressive Populist)

We have succumbed, in recent years, to technological passivity, the assumption that there's nothing we can (or should) do about what an older generation used to call "progress." But that's not true. War goes on, yet most of the world's nations came together to ban landmines and chemical weapons. Drones should be banned too: military drones as well as recreational ones. In 2013, Attorney General Eric Holder said that the feds have the right to launch military drone strikes against American citizens on US soil.
/know/read.php?itemid=20801

[view all human impact items] 

LAND IMPACTS

ACTION ALERT: Stop Israel's Deadly Attacks on Gaza's Protesters
(Rabbi Michael Lerner / MoveOn.org & Mark LeVine / Tikkun & Rabbi Michael Lerner / Tikkun & the Network for Spiritual Progressives)

Commentary: B'tselem, the Israeli Human Rights organization, has called on young Israeli soldiers to recognize that they have an obligation in International Law to reject the orders to shoot into crowds of unarmed civilians -- even if some of those civilians attempt to cut down the border fence, burn tires or throw Molotov cocktails. A new petition calls on the US Congress to condemn Israel's armed violence against unarmed Palestinians and encourage both sides to recommit to finding a nonviolent solution.
/know/read.php?itemid=20809

The Global Pact for the Environment: Protecting Nature from the Devastation of Armed Conflicts
(Doug Weir / Conflict and Environment Observatory)

How would a new legally binding international instrument that seeks to define the principles of environmental law influence ongoing efforts to strengthen the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts?
/know/read.php?itemid=20805

ACTION ALERT: Support for Nuclear Ban Treaty Growing in the US and Around the World
(NuclearBan.US & The International Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons (ICAN))

This Treaty, which prohibits the development, testing, production, deployment, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons, was adopted by 122 countries at the UN on 7 July 2017. The US and other nuclear weapon possessor states boycotted the negotiations and have been pressuring other countries not to sign the Treaty. Activists in the US want cities, states, businesses, universities, faith communities, and individuals to defy the US and join the rest of the world to ban nuclear weapons of mass destruction.
/know/read.php?itemid=20799

Big Stake in Syria War -- For the 1% and the 99%
(Bruce Lesnick / Socialist Action & United National Antiwar Coalition)

The US and its Gulf and NATO allies have been fighting a war of aggression against Syria for over five years. Plans to replace the Syrian government with one more subservient to the needs of US corporate interests began well before that. The Pentagon has spent $41.1 billion in Syria since 2001, according to a study by Brown University. US allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar have funneled huge additional sums to ISIS and Al-Qaeda affiliated "rebels" in Syria since at least 2011.
/know/read.php?itemid=20796

Oil Tankers Threaten an Environmental Disaster off the Coast of Yemen
(The Conflict and Environment Observatory)

Oil infrastructure often poses environmental risks during conflicts and Yemen is no exception. On March 7, the Yemeni government called for international assistance in dealing with a potentially serious oil pollution threat in the Red Sea. The case has served to highlight the wider threat from terrestrial and marine oil pollution in Yemen's civil war and the risks it poses to the Red Sea's ecology. But dealing with the threat will be impossible without cooperation between the warring parties and the international community.
/know/read.php?itemid=20797

Can Palestinians Be Killed? Can Israelis Kill Them? Or Do They Only "Die"?
(Juan Cole / Informed Comment )

Social media is being scathing about the diction chosen by the New York Times, CNN and even the London Guardian to speak of the some 55 peacefully protesting Palestinians whom Israeli snipers cold-bloodedly shot dead on Monday and the some 2700 whom they wounded, half of those with live fire. The headlines or lead paragraphs spoke of Palestinians "dying" -- as though they had mysteriously and unexpectedly contracted the unusual disease of bullet penetration.
/know/read.php?itemid=20793

Gaza Violence Troubles the Region and Alarms the World
(BBC World News)

There have been angry exchanges between Israeli and Palestinian envoys at the UN, as the diplomatic fallout over deadly violence in Gaza gathered pace. Some 58 Palestinians were killed when Israeli troops fired on protesters on Monday. The Palestinian envoy spoke of a "crime against humanity," while Israel accused Hamas of placing their own people in the line of fire.
/know/read.php?itemid=20777

Jerusalem Embassy: Why Trump's Move Was Not about Peace
(BBC World News)

Analysis: Trump's move to relocate the US Embassy to Jerusalem was a gift to conservative orthodox Jews dominating Mr. Trump's inner circle and Christian evangelicals like Vice-President Mike Pence. Trump also sided with Israel in its response to the deadly violence on the Gaza border, accusing Gaza's Hamas leaders of "intentionally and cynically" provoking Israel in an attempt at "gruesome propaganda." But, unlike European countries, Trump did not call on the Israeli army to exercise restraint.
/know/read.php?itemid=20778

[view all land impact items] 

MARINE AND WATER IMPACTS

The Global Pact for the Environment: Protecting Nature from the Devastation of Armed Conflicts
(Doug Weir / Conflict and Environment Observatory)

How would a new legally binding international instrument that seeks to define the principles of environmental law influence ongoing efforts to strengthen the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts?
/know/read.php?itemid=20805

ACTION ALERT: Support for Nuclear Ban Treaty Growing in the US and Around the World
(NuclearBan.US & The International Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons (ICAN))

This Treaty, which prohibits the development, testing, production, deployment, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons, was adopted by 122 countries at the UN on 7 July 2017. The US and other nuclear weapon possessor states boycotted the negotiations and have been pressuring other countries not to sign the Treaty. Activists in the US want cities, states, businesses, universities, faith communities, and individuals to defy the US and join the rest of the world to ban nuclear weapons of mass destruction.
/know/read.php?itemid=20799

Oil Tankers Threaten an Environmental Disaster off the Coast of Yemen
(The Conflict and Environment Observatory)

Oil infrastructure often poses environmental risks during conflicts and Yemen is no exception. On March 7, the Yemeni government called for international assistance in dealing with a potentially serious oil pollution threat in the Red Sea. The case has served to highlight the wider threat from terrestrial and marine oil pollution in Yemen's civil war and the risks it poses to the Red Sea's ecology. But dealing with the threat will be impossible without cooperation between the warring parties and the international community.
/know/read.php?itemid=20797

ACTION ALERT: Stop Trump from Drilling in Alaska National Wildlife Refuge
(CREDO Action & Pamela King / E&E News & Ben Stewart / Greenpeace)

When Big Oil is giving the orders, the Trump administration can move frighteningly fast. Immediately after a sneaky provision in the Trump Tax Scam opened the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, the Trump team has rushed to seal the deal. Drilling threatens caribou and the cultural future of the Alaska Native Gwich'in people whose way of life depends on this sacred place. Sign the petition to stop this catastrophe before it's too late.
/know/read.php?itemid=20785

ACTION ALERT: Proposed GOP Farm Bill Is a War on Nature
(Peter Stocker / Friends of the Earth & Derrick Z. Jackson / Environmental Health News )

The GOP's Farm Bill doubles down on a failing food system that harms our health, decimates soil and pollinators, pollutes our air and water, and accelerates climate chaos. Big Ag and the Republicans are fighting hard to pass this disastrous bill. For both humans and wildlife, the Republican reauthorization of the Farm Bill would usher in the weakest federal protections against pesticide abuse since Silent Spring.
/know/read.php?itemid=20779

Billions in Extreme Weather Damage and FEMA Plan "Forgets" to Mention Climate Change
(Kate Yoder / Grist & Ryan Grenoble / Huffington Post)

In 2017, an unprecedented string of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and wildfires cost the US a record-shattering $306 billion -- four times more than average over the past decade, adjusted for inflation. In March, after a year of record-shattering natural disasters, the Federal Emergency Management Agency released its long-term strategic plan. And that 37-page document somehow neglected to mention climate change. The official explanation: We forgot to mention it.
/know/read.php?itemid=20747

Move Over Chernobyl, Fukushima is Now the World's Worst Nuclear Disaster
(John LaForge / CounterPunch & ZeroHedge)

The radiation dispersed into the environment by the three reactor meltdowns at Fukushima-Daiichi in Japan has exceeded that of the April 26, 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe, so we may stop calling it the "second worst" nuclear power disaster in history. Total atmospheric releases from Fukushima are estimated to be between 5.6 and 8.1 times that of Chernobyl. Chernobyl's reactor No. 4 blew apart and burned for 40 days, spreading fallout across the Northern Hemisphere. Fukushima was much worse.
/know/read.php?itemid=20738

The Other War Against Whales
(The Conflict and Environment Observatory)

There is a war being waged against whales, and it is being fought with noise. Originally exposed after unusual mass strandings of whales, this new war has left scientists and conservationists concerned about the potential impact of military noise on the wider marine ecosystem as a whole. And it has prompted the question of whether naval activities are bound by environmental norms, or whether this form of warfare is set to continue in the name of national security.
/know/read.php?itemid=20739

[view all marine and water impact items] 

OIL AND ITS ALTERNATIVES

Oil Tankers Threaten an Environmental Disaster off the Coast of Yemen
(The Conflict and Environment Observatory)

Oil infrastructure often poses environmental risks during conflicts and Yemen is no exception. On March 7, the Yemeni government called for international assistance in dealing with a potentially serious oil pollution threat in the Red Sea. The case has served to highlight the wider threat from terrestrial and marine oil pollution in Yemen's civil war and the risks it poses to the Red Sea's ecology. But dealing with the threat will be impossible without cooperation between the warring parties and the international community.
/know/read.php?itemid=20797

ACTION ALERT: Stop Trump from Drilling in Alaska National Wildlife Refuge
(CREDO Action & Pamela King / E&E News & Ben Stewart / Greenpeace)

When Big Oil is giving the orders, the Trump administration can move frighteningly fast. Immediately after a sneaky provision in the Trump Tax Scam opened the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, the Trump team has rushed to seal the deal. Drilling threatens caribou and the cultural future of the Alaska Native Gwich'in people whose way of life depends on this sacred place. Sign the petition to stop this catastrophe before it's too late.
/know/read.php?itemid=20785

Billions in Extreme Weather Damage and FEMA Plan "Forgets" to Mention Climate Change
(Kate Yoder / Grist & Ryan Grenoble / Huffington Post)

In 2017, an unprecedented string of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and wildfires cost the US a record-shattering $306 billion -- four times more than average over the past decade, adjusted for inflation. In March, after a year of record-shattering natural disasters, the Federal Emergency Management Agency released its long-term strategic plan. And that 37-page document somehow neglected to mention climate change. The official explanation: We forgot to mention it.
/know/read.php?itemid=20747

Move Over Chernobyl, Fukushima is Now the World's Worst Nuclear Disaster
(John LaForge / CounterPunch & ZeroHedge)

The radiation dispersed into the environment by the three reactor meltdowns at Fukushima-Daiichi in Japan has exceeded that of the April 26, 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe, so we may stop calling it the "second worst" nuclear power disaster in history. Total atmospheric releases from Fukushima are estimated to be between 5.6 and 8.1 times that of Chernobyl. Chernobyl's reactor No. 4 blew apart and burned for 40 days, spreading fallout across the Northern Hemisphere. Fukushima was much worse.
/know/read.php?itemid=20738

Top 100 Reasons Not to Bomb Iran
(David Swanson / David Swanson.org & World BEYOND War & RootsAction)

Commentary: (1.) There are over 80 million men, women, and children in Iran. Bombing them would be mass-murder. (2.) If the US government and its allies bomb Libya and Iran when their governments choose not to have nuclear weapons, you can forget about North Korea and the rest of the world choosing not to have nuclear weapons. (3.) The longer the world has nuclear weapons, and the more countries that have them, the greater the likelihood of nuclear war. And 97 more reasons.
/know/read.php?itemid=20724

ACTION ALERT: Tell EPA's Scott Pruitt: "Stop Your War on Science"
(CREDO Action & Madison Dapcevich / Forbes & ILF Science)

EPA chief Scott Pruitt's escalating war on science has a clear goal: ending the regulations that protect us from smog, pesticides, climate change and other dangerous threats to our health and the environment. Pruitt and the rest of the Trump regime are willing to risk human lives to make their friends a little richer. Pruitt must go. Instead of throwing out hallmark research, much of it funded by taxpayers through the EPA, Pruitt should be following the guidance of real scientific experts.
/know/read.php?itemid=20711

Combating Militarism on Earth Day
(Steve Fake / Just World Educational)

On April 19, as a prelude to Earth Day, Just World Educational hosted a live Facebook discussion on its Earth Day Appeal, "To Save the Earth, Curb Militarism!" The Live discussion featured Jackie Cabasso, Executive Director of Western States Legal Foundation and National Co-convener of United for Peace and Justice, and Gar Smith, the director of Environmentalists Against War, a member of the coordinating council at World Beyond War, and editor of The War and Environment Reader.
/know/read.php?itemid=20679

On Earth Day: "Why We Oppose War and Militarism"
(Environmentalists Against War)

On February 20, 2003, Environmentalists Against War (a global coalition of antiwar organizations) held a press conference at the San Francisco office of the Sierra Club to announce its opposition to the George W. Bush administration’s imminent attack on Iraq. A joint statement -- signed by more than 100 environmental, antiwar, and social-justice organizations from around the world -- enumerated 11 reasons to reject war and militarism.
/know/read.php?itemid=20681

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MILITARISM AND CIVIL LIBERTIES

Trump's 'Plan B' Is a Distraction: The Real Goal a War with Iran
(AntiWar.com & Haaretz & Al Jazeera)

When the Trump Administration withdrew from the P5+1 nuclear deal, they began talking about a "Plan B." Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has set out the US' post-deal strategy this week, threatening the "strongest sanctions in history" and setting out an incredibly broad set of 12 demands that leave no room for diplomacy. "Plan B" ultimately means setting the stage for a massive US war with Iran.
/know/read.php?itemid=20810

With Medal of Honor, SEAL Team 6 Rewards a Culture of War Crimes
(Matthew Cole / The Intercept)

For 15 years, SEAL Team 6 senior officers hid reports of skinning, scalping, "canoeing," and mutilating enemy corpses with custom-made hatchets. "By giving Slabinski the award, you close the door on our criminal history," said the former SEAL Team 6 leader. "The cover-up wins. You've closed this ugly part of our command's history, and everyone gets away with it. What everyone learns from this is that cover-ups work -- don't say anything bad about your teammates, keep quiet and we'll get through it. It's disgraceful."
/know/read.php?itemid=20811

"Turning Corners" in America's Wars and Going in Circles
(Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & Todd Miller / TomDispatch)

Despite repeated claims that the Pentagon is "turning the corner" in Washington's many illegal, ongoing, foreign wars, al-Qaeda and the Taliban, have somehow morphed into "more than 20 terrorist and insurgent groups" on either side of the Afghani-Pakistani border. The original al-Qaeda morphed into a range of groups (al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and so on). The same thing is now happening to ISIS. No corners have been turned and there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
/know/read.php?itemid=20812

New War Opponents: The ACLU, Oxfam, Amnesty International
(David Swanson.org & World BEYOND War)

There is now a multi-issue campaign that -- unlike the women's march or the climate march or so many other marches, and perhaps because it draws its platform in part from one written 50 years ago -- opposes war and militarism. It's called the Poor People's Campaign. Meanwhile, large, well-funded organizations that -- as far as I know, didn't oppose any wars when George Bush II or Barack Obama was president -- are now edging toward opposition at least to certain wars. One of these is the ACLU.
/know/read.php?itemid=20813

ACTION: An Open Letter to US Leaders Who Met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman
(Columbia Law School Human Rights Clinic & the Mwatana Organization for Human Rights)

"Saudi Arabia has bombed, killed, and injured numerous civilians, and has been credibly implicated in "widespread violations" of international law, including war crimes . . . . We, the undersigned professors and civil liberties, human rights, and peace organizations, are writing to express our concern that you did not publicly speak out about Saudi Arabia's grave human rights violations in Yemen when you met with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman on his recent trip to the US."
/know/read.php?itemid=20806

Nuclear Weapon States' Plot to Scuttle the Landmark UN Conference
(Alyn Ware / InDepthNews)

Commentary: May 14, 2018 was supposed to see the opening at the United Nations of a three-day High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament, scheduled to discuss "effective nuclear disarmament measures to achieve the total elimination of nuclear weapons, including, in particular, on a comprehensive convention on nuclear weapons." But right at the moment when such a conference is needed the most, it has surprisingly been postponed to an uncertain future date.
/know/read.php?itemid=20807

ACTION ALERT: Stop Israel's Deadly Attacks on Gaza's Protesters
(Rabbi Michael Lerner / MoveOn.org & Mark LeVine / Tikkun & Rabbi Michael Lerner / Tikkun & the Network for Spiritual Progressives)

Commentary: B'tselem, the Israeli Human Rights organization, has called on young Israeli soldiers to recognize that they have an obligation in International Law to reject the orders to shoot into crowds of unarmed civilians -- even if some of those civilians attempt to cut down the border fence, burn tires or throw Molotov cocktails. A new petition calls on the US Congress to condemn Israel's armed violence against unarmed Palestinians and encourage both sides to recommit to finding a nonviolent solution.
/know/read.php?itemid=20809

Instead of Diplomacy, Trump Resorts to Threats against Iran
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Ellen Mitchell / The Hill)

Following up on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's bellicose threats toward Iran, Pentagon officials suggested that moving against Iran would require a "whole government solution." They pointed toward the Pentagon being more aggressive toward Iran. Demonstrating why "sanctions" are generally recognized as "declarations of war," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has openly threatened to "crush" Iran with economic sanctions.
/know/read.php?itemid=20802

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WEAPONS OF WAR

Nuclear Weapon States' Plot to Scuttle the Landmark UN Conference
(Alyn Ware / InDepthNews)

Commentary: May 14, 2018 was supposed to see the opening at the United Nations of a three-day High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament, scheduled to discuss "effective nuclear disarmament measures to achieve the total elimination of nuclear weapons, including, in particular, on a comprehensive convention on nuclear weapons." But right at the moment when such a conference is needed the most, it has surprisingly been postponed to an uncertain future date.
/know/read.php?itemid=20807

Pentagon Running Out of Bombs to Drop on Other Countries
(Aaron Mehta / Defense News)

The Pentagon plans to invest more than $20 billion in munitions in its next budget. But whether the industrial base will be there to support such massive buys in the future is up in the air -- at a time when America is expending munitions at increasingly intense rates. Adding to the challenge, many key US weapons suppliers are foreign-owned -- the US no longer has the domestic capability to produce certain vital parts and materials -- setting up the risk that a conflict with China could rely on Chinese-made parts.
/know/read.php?itemid=20808

Israeli Snipers Kill Unarmed, Defenseless People: Isn't That Murder?
(William Boardman / Reader Supported News)

Commentary: From an Israeli perspective, Palestinians committed original sin by merely existing. From a Palestinian perspective, Israelis committed original sin by merely existing. They are both right, in a narrow sense that is useless for moving forward. Neither has any moral authority in a wider perspective. But where does one go to find any wider perspective?
/know/read.php?itemid=20804

ACTION ALERT: Support for Nuclear Ban Treaty Growing in the US and Around the World
(NuclearBan.US & The International Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons (ICAN))

This Treaty, which prohibits the development, testing, production, deployment, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons, was adopted by 122 countries at the UN on 7 July 2017. The US and other nuclear weapon possessor states boycotted the negotiations and have been pressuring other countries not to sign the Treaty. Activists in the US want cities, states, businesses, universities, faith communities, and individuals to defy the US and join the rest of the world to ban nuclear weapons of mass destruction.
/know/read.php?itemid=20799

155 Nations Call for Global Denuclearization: US and 34 Other Nations Refuse
(International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)

155 states -- four-fifths of all UN member and observers states -- have rejected any role for nuclear weapons in their military postures. Nuclear-free security strategies are the norm, not the exception. The five nuclear-weapons states parties to the NPT (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States) are sabotaging the Treaty. They are not taking action to move towards nuclear disarmament, as agreed to under their Treaty obligations.
/know/read.php?itemid=20800

Unless Strict Laws Are Passed, "Killer Drones" Will Eventually Appear in US Skies
(Ted Rall / Ted Rall.com & The Progressive Populist)

We have succumbed, in recent years, to technological passivity, the assumption that there's nothing we can (or should) do about what an older generation used to call "progress." But that's not true. War goes on, yet most of the world's nations came together to ban landmines and chemical weapons. Drones should be banned too: military drones as well as recreational ones. In 2013, Attorney General Eric Holder said that the feds have the right to launch military drone strikes against American citizens on US soil.
/know/read.php?itemid=20801

ACTION ALERT: In 2018 the Number of US School Children Gunned Down Has Been Twice as High as Number of US Soldiers Killed in Combat
(The Washington Post & Vox News & Vox News & Credo Action)

The school shooting near Houston on Friday bolstered a stunning statistic: More people have been killed at schools this year than have been killed while serving in the military. America's firearm deaths total more than 32,000 each year. The number of American soldiers killed in all of 2017: 34. A new petition The petition -- directed to Republicans in Congress -- reads: "Put your constituents before the National Rifle Association. Take immediate action to pass gun control legislation."
/know/read.php?itemid=20790

Israel's Attacks on Protesters Leave Gaza's Hospitals on Brink of Collapse
(Halla al-Safadi / Middle East Eye)

The scenes at the emergency entrances at Gaza's hospitals are not for the faint-hearted. Wailing ambulances rush into hospital emergency gates and bloody casualties who were given quick first aid treatment are pulled out of the vehicles, each person hoping to be saved and not fall victim to Gaza's poorly equipped hospitals. Many of the surviving protestors will end up suffering infections and losing limbs.
/know/read.php?itemid=20788

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