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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.


North Korea Conducts Artillery Drills As US Submarine Arrives (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Julian Borger / The Guardian)
In response to US provocations ranging from economic sanctions to massive military exercises on its borders, nuclear-capable bombers flying nearby and a US naval armada steaming towards its shores, North Korean has opted to ready 300 to 400 long-range artillery pieces as a clear reminder that North Korea remains capable of destroying large swaths of the South Korean capital. And, of course, both Pongyang and Washington possess nuclear weapons.

Trump's Aggressions in Syria Will Have Long-Term Consequences (Scott Lazarowitz / ActivistPost.com)
Donald Trump's short-sighted military actions in Syria are not based on rational thought but on emotionalism, his feeling terrible about the children and other innocent victims of the chemical attack in Syria this week. But this is purely selective emotionalism, given that he doesn't seem so concerned about all the innocent victims of his own drone bombings that he has been authorizing since he was sworn in as President.

ACTION ALERT: Trump Issues Ominous Order for Senate to Attend White House Meeting on North Korea (Julian Borger / The Guardian)
The entire US Senate has been ordered to the White House on Wednesday to be briefed by administration officials about the brewing confrontation with North Korea. Preemptive military action, not sanctioned by the UN Security Council, would be illegal, immoral and unwise. It could lead to a prolonged war in the Korean peninsula, and could lead to the use of nuclear weapons. Contact your senators to urge diplomacy to reduce tensions. Additional provocations only increase the risk of war.

Children of War: American Weapons Have Poisoned a Generation. (Kelley Beaucar Vlahos / The American Conservative )
In 2010, seven years after the brutal US attack on Fallujah, "congenital malformations" were observed in 15 percent of all births. Heart defects were the most common, followed by neural tube defects, which cause irreversible and often fatal deformities such as anencephaly, in which the infant is born with parts of the brain and skull missing.

Trump Hides Benefits of Renewables as CO2 Levels Reach Highest Mark in Human History (Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch & Lauren McCauley / Common Dreams)
By now it shouldn't be a surprise that the Trump administration is wiping Obama-era climate initiatives off the Internet. This time, the Department of Energy has altered its websites on renewable energy, removing references on how clean energy technologies can reduce the nation's reliance on fossil fuels and help lower climate-changing emissions. At the same time, the amount of carbon in the Earth's atmosphere last week breached the 410 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in human history

Murder as Messaging: Under Trump, US Foreign Policy Hits Violent New Lows (Derek Royden / Nation of Change)
In a 14-page response to the White House's assessment of the gas attack in Syria, Prof. Theodore A. Postol takes apart the government's case piece by piece. The main evidence offered involve commercial satellite images of a crater on a road north of the town that Postol was able to locate, "using Google Earth." In the process he discovered, "there is absolutely no evidence that the crater was created by a munition designed to disperse sarin after it is dropped from an aircraft."

Trump v. Kim and the Growing Threat of Nuclear War (Lawrence Wittner / AntiWar.com & The Guardian)
In recent weeks, the world have been treated to yet another display of the kind of nuclear insanity that has broken out periodically ever since 1945 and the dawn of the nuclear era. On April 11, Donald Trump, irked by North Korea's continued nuclear weapons and missile tests, tweeted that "North Korea is looking for trouble." North Korea's Kim Jong Un responded by announcing that, in the event of a US attack, his country would respond by launching a nuclear strike at US forces massed on his country's borders.

US Airstrike Kills 8 Members of Fleeing Family in Syria; US Drone Kills 3 Civilians in Yemen (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Philip Issa / Associated Press & Mohammed Mukhashaf / Reuters)
Reports from multiple local groups in Syria say that the family of eight, including five children aged 15 or under, were in a vehicle fleeing the town, and that the US attacked and destroyed the vehicle, killing all within. The Pentagon has yet to comment on the killings. Meanwhile, three Yemeni civilians were killed when a US drone attacked four suspected al Qaeda militants traveling in a vehicle. The attack was part of the Trump administration's escalating war against an al Qaeda branch in Yemen.

Donald Trump's War on the Environment (Carolyn Lochhead / The San Francisco Chronicle)
Analysis: Nearly 100 days into a presidency remarkably thin on legislative success, one area where the Trump administration and Republican-led Congress have notched indisputable gains is on the environment. Overshadowed by the implosion on health care and standstill on tax reform, the GOP drive to dismantle, defang and defund environmental laws, rules and science is yielding many of President Trump's most significant victories to date.

ACTION ALERT: Waterfalls in Antarctica; Trump Fiddles While World Melts (Tim Radford / Nation of Change & Marlee Kokotovic / Nation of Change)
Scientists poring over military and satellite imagery have mapped the unimaginable: a network of rivers, streams, ponds, lakes and even a waterfall, flowing over the ice shelf of a polar continent with an annual mean temperature of -50C. In a world rapidly warming from the burning of fossil fuels -- that are adding ever more greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere -- researchers expect to observe an increase in meltwater on the south polar surface. Researchers have predicted the melt rates could double by 2050.

The Narcissist-in-Chief: Experts Debates Trump's Mental State: the Narcissist (Alex Morris / Rolling Stone)
It's now abundantly clear that Trump's behavior on the campaign trail was not just a "persona" he used to get elected -- that he would not, in fact, turn out to be, as he put it, "the most presidential person ever, other than possibly the great Abe Lincoln, all right?" It took all of 24 hours to show us that the Trump we elected was the Trump we would get. If one hadn't been asking the question before, it was hard not to wonder: Is the president mentally ill?

Author and Conservationist Kuki Gallmann Shot in Kenya (Tom Odula / Associated Press)
The Italian-born author and conservationist Kuki Gallmann was shot at her Kenyan ranch and airlifted for treatment after herders invaded in search of pasture to save their animals from drought, officials said Sunday. The 73-year-old Gallmann had been with rangers from the Kenya Wildlife Service, assessing damage done to her property Saturday by arsonists who burned down buildings at one of Laikipia Nature Conservancy's tourism lodges.

On Earth Day, Stand Up to Trump's War on the Environment (Jeff Tittel / Star-Ledger & Former Gov. James J. Florio / Star-Ledger )
This year's Earth Day is the most critical since the first one in 1970. Donald Trump is trying to roll back 47 years of protections. Before the first Earth Day, rivers caught fire, smog and air pollution clogged major cities and people wore masks. Some of our rivers were nothing better than open sewers. After 20 million people across the country came together and marched for the Earth, a law was passed to create the Environmental Protection Agency and people began to talk about the dangers of climate change.

ACTION ALERT: What an Earth Day! Now Let's Get Ready for the Climate March on April 29! (League of Conservation Voters & The Democratic Legislative Campaign )
What an Earth Day! To change everything, we need everyone, and today was a true show of force! But now, we have less than a week to make the Peoples Climate March on 4/29 the biggest environmental protest in history. Here's what you can do to participate and help out.

The National Security State Was One Big Mistake (Jacob G. Hornberger / The Future of Freedom Foundation)
America's federal governmental structure was converted from a limited-government republic to a national-security state after World War II. US officials said that the conversion was necessary in order to protect America from the Soviet Union, Red China, and communism. As soon as the Cold War was over and communism was defeated, US officials said, the American people could have their limited-government republic back. There never was a "Peace Dividend." Instead, we were given the unending "War on Terror."

The F-35 and the Incinerating Ski Slope (David Swanson's Earth Day Address / World Beyond War)
Commentary: A cost estimate for F-35 program (a plane that incinerates human beings when it works and itself when it doesn't) is $1.4 trillion.I have yet to hear anyone suggest that Trump is bombing various countries because he has some sort of intelligent plan to solve some problem. The closest I've heard to that has been the Nixonian theory that it's good to make the world's governments believe you are a nuclear-armed lunatic. But exactly how that is good has not been explained to my satisfaction.

US Killing More Civilians Under Trump: 200 Killed in a Single US Attack on Mosul (Molly Hennessy-Fiske, W.J. Hennigan / The Los Angeles Times)
The number of civilian casualties has risen in recent months as the US-lead coalition has undertaken the heaviest bombing since the war began, targeting densely populated west Mosul. On March 17, a US-led coalition was responsible for an airstrike in the west Mosul neighborhood of Aghawat Jadidah that local civil defense officials said killed more than 270 -- the highest civilian death toll from an airstrike, among the deadliest incidents in modern warfare. Most civilian deaths are never investigated by the US military.

America's Misadventures in the Middle East (Chas Freeman / The American Conservative)
About 4 million Muslims have perished since 1990 as a direct or indirect result of US policies and interventions. Since the turn of the century, the death toll among the Muslims of the Middle East from the US "Global War on Terror" is at least 1.3 million and perhaps as many as 2 million people, the vast majority of them civilians. Terrorists, whether home-grown or imported, are "over here" because Americans are "over there" killing, wounding, and humiliating their kin, their loved ones, and others of their faith.

Pentagon Releases Video of ISIS Moving Civilians as Human Shields (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Luis Martinez / ABC News)
Continuing to try to shift the narrative on some US airstrikes that led to particularly large civilian death tolls, the Pentagon today released a video captured by a drone which they say shows ISIS was moving civilians around within the densely populated western half of Mosul to use as "human shields."

New Discoveries Show Protecting Forests Slows Climate Protection (Mike Gaworecki / Nation of Change)
According to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change, sequestering carbon dioxide is only one of the crucial climate-regulating attributes inherent to the world's forests. Trees are a crucial regulating factor in the cycle of water and heat exchange between Earth's surface and atmosphere -- and thus forests play a key role in regulating local climates and surface temperatures.

New Revelations Challenge Trump's Claims on Chemical Attack in Syria (Gareth Porter / AntiWar.com)
The Trump administration is pushing the accusation that the Assad regime was the force that carried out the highly lethal chemical attack on April 4 but a leading analyst on military technology has concluded that the alleged device for a sarin attack could not have been delivered from the air but only from the ground, meaning that the chemical attack may not have been the result of the Syrian airstrike. A military intelligence officer has stated that the Pentagon allegedly knew in advance that the strike was coming.

Pro-Bomb Propaganda: Why Do So Many Americans Support Deadly Aerial Warfare? (Robert Bateman / Esquire Magazine)
Some 90 years of domestic propaganda has changed the way Americans think about war. In most countries, war means armed people involved in up-close-and-personal violence, usually somewhere close to (or within) specific borders. The "military-industrial complex" has used its large public-relations budgets to promote the idea of the antiseptic use of weapons striking from the sky against distant enemies. The American public gobbles it up--just like other Madison Avenue and Hollywood products.

ACTION ALERT: Ground the Drones: Close Creech AFB April 23-29 (Codepink, Veterans For Peace, Nevada Desert Experience, et al.)
Now more than ever, we must resist US assassinations by drones! Within the very first days in the White House, Donald Trump signed off on several drone attacks in Yemen. Last weekend, more than 40 US airstrikes rained down on Yemen, many fired from drones. Trump has clearly embraced Obama's racist policies of extra-judicial killing on suspicion alone with innocent lives lost in the crossfire. Trump's Navy Seals Debacle in January killed 10 children, 6 women and others. Another reason WE MUST RESIST!

Street Turned to Rubble Shows Cost of Fight for Iraq's Mosul (Mstyslav Chernov and Felipe Dana / Associated Press)
Two houses are all that remain standing on the street with no name in western Mosul, just blocks from the front lines of the battle to retake Iraq's second-largest city from the Islamic State group. The once-bustling neighborhood has been reduced to rubble, its sidewalks piled high with a jumble of concrete, bricks and metal.

Trump, Helpless as Commander-in-Chief, Hands Over War Powers to the Military (William Boardman / Reader Supported News)
The US war in Afghanistan, by proxy and/or direct intervention, is approaching the end of its fourth decade. And now the US is running short on big bombs to use there. For the first time in combat, the US used its 21,000-pound Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) explosive against cave and tunnel complexes in Nangarhar Province. But here's the irony: the US helped create those very caves back when the Afghans were fighting to expel the Russians. Conventional wisdom at the moment has it that the Taliban is winning.

ACTION ALERT: Save the EPA; UnTrump the Budget -- EPA Chiefs Speak Out Against Trump (The Climate Reality Project / EcoWatch & RootsAction.org)
Four former Environmental Protection Agency administrators -- two Democrats and two Republicans -- have in common. All of them have spoken out against the current administration's environmental policies. With military and climate wars destroying lives and environments, threatening the planet and creating enormous flows of desperate refugees, Donald Trump plans to strip $54 billion from human and environmental spending so as to increase already massive spending on the military.

Russia Boasts It Can Wipe Out Entire US Navy With 'Electronic Bomb' as War Fears Grow (Tom Michael / The Sun & The Daily News)
Russia has claimed it can disable the entire US Navy in one fell swoop using powerful electronic signal jamming. A news report from the country -- where the media is essentially controlled by the state -- said the technology could render planes, ships and missiles useless. On April 17, 2014, two Russian bombers armed with nothing more than s small-but-powerful electronic device knocked out all power and controls on the USS Donald Cook, leaving it dead in the Black Sea.

Australia's Great Barrier Reef Nearing Extinction (Christopher Knaus and Nick Evershed /The Guardian)
Mass coral bleaching -- a phenomenon caused by global warming-induced rises to sea surface temperatures -- has occurred on the Great Barrier Reef four times in recorded history. Back-to-back severe bleaching events have affected two-thirds of Australia's Great Barrier Reef, new aerial surveys have found. The findings have caused alarm among scientists, who say the proximity of the 2016 and 2017 bleaching events is unprecedented for the reef, and will give damaged coral little chance to recover.

Investigation: US Guilty of Civilian Deaths in Air Strike on Syrian Mosque (Al Jazeera)
Investigators have determined that US forces failed to take necessary precautions before launching a lethal drone strike in northern Syria that hit a mosque full of worshipers in western Aleppo. The series of US attacks on March 16, killed at least 38 people and injured dozens of others. In July 2016, a US coalition air strike on the Syrian city of Manjib killed more than 140 civilians, mostly women and children. In February 2017, US strikes in neighboring Iraq killed as many as 200 civilians in one day.

UN Reports Mosul Operation Has Displaced Nearly Half a Million (Agence France-Presse)
Nearly half a million people have fled their homes since Iraqi forces launched an operation to wrest Mosul back from jihadists exactly six months ago, the United Nations reports. Iraqi forces began the country's biggest military operation in years on October 17 last year and recaptured the east side of the city in January. But an assault launched the following month on the part of Mosul that lies west of the Tigris River has seen a sharp rise in displacement. "The sheer volume of civilians still fleeing Mosul city is staggering."

Trump Authorizes Chemical War on California Children
The administration's rejection of the science on chlorpyrifos, widely used in California's Central Valley, means its use will continue -- and Latino residents are worried their children's health issues will worsen along with it.

In Africa, 20 Million People Face Starvation because of War (Max Bearak and Laris Karklis / The Washington Post<)
This year, as South Sudan slipped into famine, desperate populations in Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen were each on the verge of their own famine. Starvation now threatens 20 million people -- more than at any time since World War II. As defined by the United Nations, famine occurs when a region's daily hunger-related death rate exceeds 2 per 10,000 people. The persistence of such severe hunger, even in inhospitable climates, would be almost unthinkable without war.

Doubts over Syria Gas Attack; Press Cheers While Trump Kills 'Beautiful Babies' in Four Countries (Chris Ernesto / AntiWar.com & Jon Soltz / VoteVets)
Donald Trump sounded sincere when he lamented the deaths of "beautiful little babies" allegedly killed by a Syrian government chemical weapons attack. But what about the beautiful little babies killed by Trump's bombs in Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq? Military and intelligence personnel familiar with the Syrian chemical weapons intelligence believe Trump's claims are a "sham" and are considering going public due to their concerns over escalating violence in Syria. Protest US media for cheerleading war.

Stop Trump's Dangerous, Unconstitutional Acts of War (Hon. Barbara Lee / US House of Representatives & Solartopia & Rolling Stone)
Commentary: In the past 15 years,the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force has become a catch-all justification for military action in the Middle East and around the globe. We have seen this blank check used over and over by now three presidents. The AUMF has been used 37 times to authorize: warrantless wiretapping, detentions in Guantanamo Bay, and drone strikes in Somalia and Libya. The AUMF also was used to justify the president's order to deploy troops in Syria.

Karzai Calls Trump's Bomb a Human and Environmental "Atrocity" (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Ellen Mitchell / The Hill)
While the current Afghan government tries to defend the US use of the MOAB "Mother of All Bombs" last week against the Nangarhar Province, former President Hamid Karzai was extremely critical of the action, calling it an "immense atrocity" against fellow human beings. Karzai called the bomb "a violation" of Afghanistan's "sovereignty," and "a disrespect to our soil and environment." Trump, meanwhile, called the operation "another successful event.

Why The Donald Should Cool It On North Korea (David Stockman / AntiWar.com)
Commentary: The realized truth of modern history is crystal clear. Washington had no business intervening in a quarrel between two no-count wanna be dictators (Syngman Rhee and Kim il Sung) on the Korean peninsula in 1950, and surely has no business still stationing 29,000 US soldiers there 67 years latter. Yet the world is now much closer to the brink of nuclear war than at any time since the dark days of the early Cold War as Donald Trump succumbs to the Deep State's false narrative about the US and North Korea.

Trump Declares a War on Science (Jonathan Foley / San Francisco Chronicle)
Commentary: The acceleration of the War on Science began with bizarre claims by the White House -- clearly contradicting empirical facts -- regarding the size of crowds, electoral victories, and voter fraud. Then Kellyanne Conway, a Trump adviser, suggested "alternative facts," rather than actual truth, were in play. I don't know what "alternative facts" are, but my parents called them falsehoods and lies. A disturbing pattern has emerged in Washington: Facts and the pursuit of facts don't matter.

The Trump Doctrine (Robert Reich / Robert Reich's Blog)
Commentary: What's the "Trump Doctrine" of foreign policy? At first glance, foreign policy under Trump seems inconsistent, arbitrary, and devoid of principle. A few weeks ago, Trump communications director Mike Dubke told Trump's assembled aides that international affairs presented a messaging challenge because the Trump administration lacks a coherent foreign policy. "There is no Trump doctrine," Dubke declared. Of course there's a Trump Doctrine. You just have to know where to look for it.

Has Donald Trump Ceded Foreign Policy to a Cabal of Generals? (Juan Cole / Informed Comment & Bryan Bender / Politico)
In his less than three months in office, Donald Trump has escalated four wars, and all of his escalations have been failures. To be fair, Trump inherited all four wars from Barack Obama. Trump recently cited the use of a massive bomb in Afghanistan as an example of the "total authorization" he has given his military commanders. But this only deepens fears that Trump is allowing the military to dictate US military action abroad.

Commander-in-Absentia?: Pentagon Dropped Largest Non-Nuclear Bomb without President's Authorization (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Charles P. Pierce / Esquire Magazine)
Commentary: The "Mother of All Bombs" was dropped without White House approval. It's becoming clear that Trump has farmed out his responsibilities as commander-in-chief -- and most of his foreign policy -- to the generals and ex-generals with whom he has surrounded himself. Around the world, several crisis points are hanging by a thread. At the same time, civilian control of the military also is hanging by a thread, because nobody's sure whether the commander-in-chief can keep himself together.

There Is No Military Solution To The North Korea Conundrum (Justin Raimondo / Antiwar.com)
With North Korea launching ballistic missile tests with disturbing regularity, and US officials openly talking about the possibility of a preemptive strike against the Hermit Kingdom's nuclear facilities, the question of war on the Korean peninsula is now "on the table," as the national security wonks like to say. It should be taken off the table, pronto.

Trump, Russia, and NATO: Why Tiny Montenegro's Not Tiny Now (Ted Snider / AntiWar.com)
Donald Trump has just approved Montenegro's accession into NATO. Montenegro is a tiny nation, and its inclusion doesn't significantly change the abilities of NATO, but it's inclusion is huge, and its meaning is significant and clear to Russia.

Australia Beckons a War with China (John Pilger / JohnPilger.com & the Sydney Morning-Herald)
Australia is sleep-walking into a confrontation with China. Wars can happen suddenly in an atmosphere of mistrust and provocation, especially if a minor power, like Australia, abandons its independence for an "alliance" with an unstable superpower. As Australian political, military and intelligence establishments are integrated into the war plans of a growing American obsession -- the shift of trading, banking and development power to the east -- Australia is making an enemy it never bargained for.

Iraq's Al-Sadr Says: Everyone Out of Syria! (Juan Cole / Informed Comment)
Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr on Saturday issued a broadside demanding that Russia and the United States withdraw from Syria and that strongman Bashar al-Assad resign as president. Al-Sadr's stand against al-Assad is unusual among Shiite movements. Al-Sadr, who has long been considered quirky by other Iraqi leaders, began by calling on US President Donald J. Trump to stop going to excess in taking frivolous and thoughtless positions and decisions.

Trump Declares a War on Science (Jonathan Foley / San Francisco Chronicle)
Commentary: The acceleration of the War on Science began with bizarre claims by the White House -- clearly contradicting empirical facts -- regarding the size of crowds, electoral victories, and voter fraud. Then Kellyanne Conway, a Trump adviser, suggested "alternative facts," rather than actual truth, were in play. I don't know what "alternative facts" are, but my parents called them falsehoods and lies. A disturbing pattern has emerged in Washington: Facts and the pursuit of facts don't matter.

The World Is Getting a Taste of the Trump Doctrine (Robert Dreyfuss / The Rolling Stone & The Center for Civilians in Conflict)
Trump's promise to "bomb the sh-t out of ISIS" is starting to become reality -- with little regard for innocents caught in the blasts. There has been a sudden jump in "collateral damage" from US airstrikes -- in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Afghanistan. Since taking office, it appears that Trump's fallen under the spell of Secretary of Defense Jim "Mad Dog" Mattis and General H.R. McMaster, giving them unprecedented power to utilize US armed might with little or no White House oversight.

As Trump Strikes Syria, We Should Revisit the History Lessons of US Intervention in Central America (Daniel Alvarenga / Remezcla)
Dismissing the perils of Trump's election by suggesting that "We survived Reagan" overlooks the fact that hundreds of thousands of people didn't survive Reagan's interventions and proxy wars. If we want more people to survive this new administration, we need to study the ramifications and unintended consequences that our military interventions of the US's involvement in Central America that are still relevant in our current political context -- invasions, coups, drones, the arms trade and death squads.

Stand Up for Tulsi Gabbard: Attacked by Democrats for Opposing War (Robert L. Borosage / The Nation)
Democratic Representative Tulsi Gabbard has come under attack from some fellow Democrats for expressing skepticism about the Syrian government's responsibility for the chemical attack that provoked the US military strikes. Gabbard had good reason to ask for proof. No time was allowed for an independent investigation into the source of the chemical-weapons attack. No presentation was made to the United Nations or the Congress asking for permission to use force.

Fracking Comes to the Alaskan Arctic (Scott L. Montgomery / EcoWatch & The Conversation)
Arctic lands and waters hold irresistible allure for global oil companies. Despite opposition from environmental groups and President Obama's 2016 ban on drilling in federal Arctic waters, exploration in Alaska has revealed massive new volumes of oil. This comes at a time of low oil prices, when many observers felt the Arctic would remain off limits.

How Trump's WMD Bomb Would Impact New York City (Natasha Bertrand / Business Insider & CNN & Daniel Brown / Business Insider)
The US has deployed the largest nonnuclear bomb in its inventory on an ISIS target in a remote part of far northeast Afghanistan. The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast -- whose acronym has inspired the nickname "Mother of All Bombs" or "MOAB" -- weighs over 21,000 pounds. It had not been used in combat until now. The Pentagon said the strike "was designed to minimize the risk to Afghan and US forces conducting clearing operations in the area."

Survivors Describe US Terror Attack on Mosul's Civilians: Russia Condemns US (Jane Arraf / National Public Radio & Matt Rehbein and Julia Jones / CNN)
The Pentagon claims it did not know that thousands of civilians were taking shelter in their homes and apartments in Mosul the day US planes unleashed a deadly rain of bombs and rockets. It is believed that nearly 300 Iraqi civilians were killed in the March 17 attack -- many of them were children. Some of the survivors describe the terror of the horrific attack and the human consequences. Meanwhile, Russia has called the Pentagon's excuses for the civilian casualties in Mosul "absurd."

Escalation Nation: Trump Orders Military Advisers to Prepare Plans to Hit North Korea (Chris Hughes / MSN.com & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)
Donald Trump has ordered his military advisers to be ready with a list of options to smash North Korea's nuclear threat. One of the advisers, Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster, confirmed his Commander-in-Chief has made the order as a US carrier strike group heads for the region. It is believed that among the options are combined special forces raids and pre-emptive missile strikes.

Bombing the Seas with Plastic: Ocean Pollution Is the Last Straw (Laura Parker / National Geographic)
Of the eight million tons of plastic trash that flow every year into the world's oceans, the plastic drinking straw is surely not a top contributor to all that tonnage. Yet this small, slender tube, utterly unnecessary for most beverage consumption, is at the center of a growing environmental campaign aimed at convincing people to stop using straws to help save the oceans.

US Attack on Syria an "International Crime" but Trump Suggests More Attacks to Come (Deutsche Welle & Jeff Mason / Reuters)
The US has called its attack on an airbase in Syria "a strong signal" for the Assad regime. Legal experts, however, criticized the action. In a recent interview, international law expert Stefan Talmon explains why. Undeterred by critics or international law, Donald Trump insists he is open to authorizing additional strikes on Syria if its government uses chemical weapons or barrel bombs.

Why Russia Vetoed UN Resolution on Syria 'Gas Attack' (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & The Associated Press)
US and Western efforts to push through a new UN Security Council resolution condemning the Assad government over last week's alleged chemical weapons attack were, unsurprisingly, vetoed by the Russian government, who insist any such resolution must hold off until an international investigation is conducted. Deputy Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov insisted that issuing a statement condemning someone as guilty before the investigation is "incompatible with legal norms."

Trump Profits from Attack on Syria: He Owns Shares in Company that Built the 59 Tomahawk Missiles (Tom Boggioni / Raw Story & Bill Palmer / The Palmer Report & Hunter Walker and Myles Udland / Business Insider)
While the world is dealing with both the implications and the fall-out from President Donald Trump's missile attack on a Syrian airfield on Thursday, the manufacturer of the Tomahawk missile used in the attack is seeing their stock surge which is good news for their investors -- including the Donald Trump. While the attack did little damage, investors -- sensing an increasing escalation in tensions and the possibility of a widening war -- pushed Raytheon stock up and, thereby, increasing Trump's wealth.

It's Not Just Syria. Trump Is Ratcheting Up Wars across the World (Trevor Timm / The Guardian & Jason Le Miere / Newsweek)
Donald Trump's missile strikes on Syria have attracted worldwide attention (and disgraceful plaudits) in recent days. But much less airtime is being given to his administration's risky and increasingly barbaric military escalations on several other fronts across the world. In March, Trump ordered a drone strike every 1.8 days, compared to every 5.4 days under Obama. US-led coalition airstrikes in Iraq and Syria may have already killed 1,484 civilians in just Iraq and Syria this month alone.

Trump v. Kim: Two Unhinged World Leaders Exchange Threats (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)
With US warships heading to the Korean Peninsula, Russia has proclaimed it is "extremely worried" that the United States might follow through on recent talk of imposing a unilateral military solution on the Korean Peninsula. In a flurry of Twitter statements this morning, President Trump once again appeared to be threatening unilateral US action, accusing North Korea of "looking for trouble." As the US Armada approaches, North Korea has threatened nuclear retaliation in the event of a US attack.

Trump's Unwinnable War in Syria (John Kiriakou / Reader Supported News)
Donald Trump, just like Barack Obama before him, seems intent on getting the US involved in an unwinnable civil war in Syria. Launching cruise missiles against rundown Syrian air bases in the middle of the night is easy enough. But there are consequences: Trump has put Syria's Christians in jeopardy. And, as usual, there never seems to be any discussion about whether military intervention is legal, let alone moral or ethical. There is certainly no talk about asking Congress for authorization.

The Spoils of War: Trump Lavished With Media and Bipartisan Praise For Bombing Syria (Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept)
All wars -- even the most malicious and aggressive -- are wrapped in humanitarian packaging. If humanitarianism really were the motive, there are many things the US could do besides bombing Syria and killing civilians, such as giving refuge and humanitarian aid. But the idea that a war can be justified by appealing to the vague imperative that we must "do something" is incredibly irrational and immoral.

Resistance: New York Says 'No' to US-Canadian Fracked-Gas Pipeline (Kimberly Ong / Natural Resources Defense Council)
New York State has blocked the Northern Access Project on April 7, a pipeline that would have carried fracked gas from Pennsylvania to Canada via New York. This is a huge victory not just for New Yorkers but for the entire planet. After a careful and exhaustive study, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation exercised its right under Section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act to deny certification to the proposed 24-inch diameter, 99-mile pipeline.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress You're Opposed to Trump's War Crimes (Marjorie Cohn / Truthout & Roots Action)
Just two and a half months into his presidency, Donald Trump has already distinguished himself as a war criminal. His administration is killing unusually large numbers of civilians, in violation of US and international law. It's urgent that your senators and representative in Congress hear directly from you about the US missile attack on Syria. The missile attack puts the United States and Russia -- the world's two nuclear superpowers -- on a collision course while threatening to make the Syrian conflict even more deadly.

General Proclaims: Trump Is An International Outlaw http (Colonel W. Patrick Lang / Information Clearing House)
Donald Trump's decision to launch cruise missile strikes on a Syrian Air Force Base was based on a lie. In the coming days the American people will learn that the Intelligence Community knew that Syria did not drop a military chemical weapon on innocent civilians in Idlib. Here is what happened.

Trump's Illegal Act of War Against Syria (Ronnie Dugger / Reader Supported News)
Commentary: "Thursday, in our names, President Trump committed an act of war firing 59 Tomahawk missiles into Syria without authority from Congress and therefore without authority from us, the American people. Under the Constitution, only Congress can declare war. Trump did not ask Congress for war or for authority to use our military forces against Syria."

Mr. Trump Goes to War (Stephen Eric Bronner / Reader Supported News)
Commentary: "America first!" was the slogan that helped elect Donald Trump president of the United States in 2016. He was insistent that engagement in conflicts abroad should occur only when the American "national interest" was explicitly being served. After waffling on the invasion of Iraq, Trump spent the Obama years warning against heightened involvement in the Middle East and, as late as March 30, 2017, Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley could state that deposing Assad was "no longer a priority."

Washington Leaks "Decapitation" Option: "Kill Kim Jong-Un" (Gar Smith / Environmentalists Against War & Ryan Pickrell / The Daily Caller)
Washington wants the world to know it is considering military action against North Korea. But Washignton's "wide array of options" appears to be dangerously narrow. Instead of considering diplomatic options (which could involve accepting China's "double-halt" proposal (the North would halt its missile and nuclear tests in exchange for an end to South Korea/US military exercises), the only three options placed on the President's table were: Nuclear Weapons, "Decapitation": Target and Kill, and Covert Action.

ACTION ALERT: Protest Trump's Illegal, Reckless Escalations (Sen. Bernie Sanders / US Sentate & Rep. Tulsi Gabbard / US House of Representatives & The Campaign for Peace and Democracy)
As the most powerful nation on earth, the United States must work with the international community to bring peace and stability to Syria, where over 400,000 people have been killed and over 6 million displaced. The horror of Syria’s civil war is almost unimaginable. If there's anything we should've learned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it's that it's easier to get into a war than get out of one.

ACTION ALERT: End Washington's Perpetual Wars; Stop Trump's Anti-Immigrant Agenda (Nation of Change & Amnesty International)
For the last 15 years the US has been engaged in perpetual war. Washington tells us to be afraid of terrorist groups but America has played the largest role in the growth of terrorist groups with our constant aggressive military policies. It is time to end this state of perpetual war and bring our troops home. This week, Donald Trump launched missile strikes on Syria, saying he was "concerned" for the lives of Syrians. If Trump really wants to help the victims of war, he needs to stop turning his back on refugees.

The Debacle of Mosul and Beyond (Robert Logan / AntiWar.com & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)
What can we learn from the battle of Mosul, now projected at over seven months? That the USA (other than endless war) has no idea what it is doing, what it is up against, and what victory would even look like against ISIS. ISIS took the Mosul region in six days with a force of 1500 lightly armed men. The region was defended by 30,000 Iraqi troops and another 30,000 police, not to mention the 2 million inhabitants themselves, many of them armed. That alone should have given analysts a clue.

Trump's US Missile Attack on Syria Killed Nine Civilians, Including Four Children (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Reuters & Jerusalem Post)
On April 6, the United States launched some 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airbase in the Homs Province, doing considerable damage and leading Syrian officials, and their allies, to condemn the action as aggression against a sovereign country. The missiles badly damaged several homes in the villages surrounding the airbase, and that at least nine civilians had been killed in the course of the US attacks -- including four children.

US Airstrikes Kill 21 Civilians in Syria -- Including Children (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & The Associated Press)
While US "outrage" at civilian casualties from Syrian airstrikes is being used as a pretext for military intervention against the Syrian government, US forces own airstrikes near Raqqa, in northeastern Syria, are killing an increasing number of civilians. Activist groups report that a US-led coalition airstrike hit a boat carrying civilians fleeing across the Euphrates River, killing a woman and her six children. Another US airstrike on an Internet cafe in the village of Hanida killed 14 people inside, including four children.

Lawmakers Say Proof Lacking Before Trump Bombed Syria (Steven Nelson / US News and World Report)
Donald Trump ordered the bombing of a Syrian military base less than three days after civilians died nearby from apparent exposure to chemical gas. But some congressional lawmakers have expressed concern about the factual basis for the attack. Syrian officials said the poison gas actually was disseminated after military planes dropped conventional bombs on the arms depot of a group formerly considered al-Qaida's affiliate in the country. US claims about a 2013 gas attack in Syria turned out to be false.

Research Concludes US Probably Blamed Wrong Side for 2013 Syria Chemical Attack (Steven Nelson / US News and World Report)
A new website, called Rootclaim uses math to replace human biases in news analysis. It's a pioneering effort likely to attract controversy and close scrutiny amid sustained focus from mainstream media outlets on "fake news" and biased or shoddy reporting. In 2013, the US claimed Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was responsible for a deadly 2013 chemical attack targeting civilians but a UN investigation failed to reach this conclusion.

Unanswered Questions about the Syrian Gas Attack (Thomas Knapp / AntiWar.com & Elijah J. Magnier / Wordpress.com)
Commentary: Two key questions remain unanswered, and a third mostly unasked, about a deadly daybreak attack on the Syrian city of Khan Sheikhoun. The two most obvious questions are who did this, and why? But who and why are the wrong questions. The third question -- the right question -- is: Why is the US involved in this war? The Assad regime has not attacked the US, nor has Congress declared war on Syria. There's simply no rationale for a US military presence in Syria.

US Bombings May Have Derailed Any Investigation into Who Was Behind the Syrian Gas Attack (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & The Times of Israel & Sebastian Murdock / The Huffington Post)
Two days after alleged chemical bombing that killed scores of Syrian, including 27 children, Western diplomats demanded full investigation. The United Nations Security Council went to work on a compromise resolution to begin an investigation of the suspected gas attack. An impartial investigation looks increasingly unlikely, however, because the US has attacked Syria while British and French officials were talking up war before any investigation could take place.

This Is How the Next World War Starts (David Wood / The Huffington Post)
World War III could start with one miscalculation, by one startled pilot, at 400 miles an hour. And now that Russia is determined to destabilize the West, this scenario is keeping the military establishment up at night.

ACTION ALERT: Trump Unilaterally Attacks Syria in America's Latest Illegal War (MoveOn.org & Hon. Barbara Lee / US Congress & CREDO Action & VoteVets & The New York Times)
Donald Trump's decision to launch dozens of Tomahawk missiles in a military assault on Syria is an illegal and unauthorized escalation that could have devastating consequences, killing innocent Syrians and potentially costing the lives of US service members. Dmitri S. Peskov, a spokesman for President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia "deals a significant blow to relations between Russia and America" and poses" a serious obstacle for building of an international coalition to fight" global terrorism.

Don't Jump to Conclusions about the Gas Attack in Syria (Vijay Prashad / AlterNet)
The US, Britain and France placed a resolution before the Security Council condemning the Syrian gas attack and asking for an investigation. There is no call for armed action because the Council was divided on who perpetuated the act. Meanwhile, the Americans recently admitted to a major atrocity in Mosul, where 200 civilians were killed. That attack did not seize the Security Council or bring forth fulminations from the Western press. Hypocrisy is central to the morals at the UN Security Council.

2013 Story, "Assad Gassed HIs Own People," Was Fake News: Anti-Assad Forces Were Found Responsible (Robert Parry / Consortium News)
Commentary: Even as The New York Times leads the charge against the Syrian government for this week's alleged chemical attack, it is quietly retreating on its earlier certainty about the 2013 Syria-sarin case. The story of Obama's supposed "red line" retreat in 2013 has become a treasured groupthink of all the "important people" in D.C. But it is nothing more than "fake news" used to bolster calls for flexing military muscles.

ACTION ALERT: Protest Trump's Illegal, Unilateral Attack on Syria (MoveOn.org & The New York Times)
Without waiting for an investigation to clearly determine the parties responsible for the horrific use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians, Donald Trump has ordered the launch of dozens of Tomahawk missiles to strike Syria. This act was an illegal and unauthorized escalation -- attacking a foreign country that has not attacked, or even threatened, the US. This act of aggression could have devastating consequences, killing innocent Syrians and risking the escalation of violence across the region. Things could spiral quickly

Trump's "America First" Backers Appalled by Syria Attack (Michael Calderone / The Huffington Post)
Conservative commentator Ann Coulter -- who last month described President Donald Trump as "emperor god" during an appearance on Fox News -- expressed alarm on Friday about the president's decision to respond to a chemical attack in Syria by launching a missile strike against the country.

Trump Condemns Syria Chemical Attack: McCain Blames Trump (BBC World News & Barbara Plett Usher / BBC World News)
Donald Trump has condemned the killing of dozens of civilians in northern Syria in an apparent chemical weapons attack by Syria's air force, calling it an "affront to humanity." Meanwhile, hawkish Republican Senator John McCain argues that the Trump administration's "hands-off" approach to Bashar al-Assad emboldened the Syrian President to carry out atrocities like the chemical attack for which he's being blamed.

How Trump Killed 9 Babies and Children in Yemen (Al Jazeera & Mohammed Ghobari / Reuters)
Residents of Yakla, an impoverished Yemeni town that was targeted last month in the first US military raid in the country authorized by President Donald Trump, have said more than a dozen civilians were killed in the botched operation -- including women and nine children under the age of 12. One of those killed was Nora al-Awlaki, an eight-year-old American girl. Two weeks later, US-backed Saudi planes attacked a funeral near Yemen's capital, killing nine women and one child and injuring dozens.

What Life Is Like for ISIS's 400,000 'Human Shields' in West Mosul (Patrick Cockburn / The Independent & The Unz Review<)
Isolated in their houses and short of food and water, people besieged in the ISIS-held Old City of Mosul say it is like being held in an underground prison with little idea of the ebb and flow of the battle being fought around them. Nobody knows how long the battle for Mosul will go on for now, with many Iraqi soldiers saying that it will be at least a month and possibly much longer. With each passing week, more and more of west Mosul is being destroyed

Another Dangerous Rush to Judgment in Syria (Robert Perry / Consortium News)
Commentary: The US government and the mainstream media rushed to judgment again, blaming the Syrian government for a new poison-gas attack and ignoring other possibilities. The mainstream US news media once more reveals itself to be a threat to responsible journalism and to the future of humanity. Again, we see the troubling pattern of verdict first, investigation later, even when that behavior can lead to a dangerous war escalation and many more deaths.

Does It Matter Who Pulls the Trigger in the Drone Wars? (Peter Van Buren / WeMeantWell & AntiWar.com)
Commentary: "We're allowing a mindset of "anything Trump does is wrong" coupled with lightening-speed historical revisionism for the Obama era to sustain the same mistakes in the war on terror that have fueled Islamic terrorism for the past 15 years. However, there may be a window of opportunity to turn the anti-Trump rhetoric into a review of the failed policies of the last decade and a half."

What Happens if the EPA Is Stripped of Its Power to Fight Climate Change? (Natasha Geiling / ThinkProgress)
Every year since 2009, a member of Congress has introduced a bill aimed at revoking or delaying the EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gases. And every year, those bills have died. But the specter of an EPA rendered toothless on climate change by the will of Congress is certainly more likely than perhaps at any other point in the agency's history. Which raises the question, what happens if the EPA legally can't regulate greenhouse gas emissions?

Native American and Environmental Groups Sue Over Trump's Keystone XL Pipeline Permit (Dan Bacher / Daily Kos)
The Indigenous Environmental Network and North Coast Rivers Alliance filed suit on March 27, challenging the Presidential Permit issued by President Trump allowing construction and operation of the Keystone XL Pipeline. "For too long, the US Government has pushed around Indigenous peoples and undervalued our inherent rights, sovereignty, culture, and our responsibilities as guardians of Mother Earth and all life while fueling catastrophic extreme weather and climate change with an addiction to fossil fuels."

ACTION ALERT: Seeking Justice for Darren Rainey: Scalded to Death in Florida Prison (Roots Action)
On June 23, 2012, Darren Rainey, a mentally ill black man serving a two-year prison sentence for drug possession, was killed by four prison guards at Dade Correctional Institution in Florida. The Florida guards kept Darren Rainey locked in a shower for two hours with the water turned up to a scalding 160 degrees or higher. Prosecutors concluded that Rainey's death was an "accident." After a five-year legal dispute, no charges will be filed against the four prison guards who allegedly tortured and killed Darren Rainey.

Trump Meets with Egyptian Dictator, Offers US Weapons -- Just Like Barack Obama (Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept)
Commentary: The Trump administration has been criticized for hosting Egypt's hideous tyrant, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi -- previously shunned by the Obama White House. What many critics are ignoring is that is that the US supported, funded, and armed the Sisi tyranny for years under the Obama administration. In 2015, as Sisi's human rights abuses intensified, Obama personally phoned el-Sisi with the news that he was lifting a ban "on the delivery of F-16 aircraft, Harpoon missiles, and M1A1 tank kits."

Global Trade Is a Major Cause of Death; City Living Promotes Early Dying (Nikhil Swaminathan / Grist & Seth Borenstein / Associated Press & Qiang Zhang, et al. / Nature & Florence Williams / The Guardian)
Air quality and mortality are affected by local air pollution that can be fed by atmospheric transport of pollutants from distant sources. Some of the pollution in one region is due to the production of consumer goods in another. Nearly 500,000 people succumb to smog-related illness each year on the Asian continent. Meanwhile, more people than ever live in urban environments, where dirty air, noise and stress pose a deadly risk. Heart disease, lung cancer, and strokes are caused by breathing filthy air.

Israel's Next War Is Always 'Inevitable' (Larry Derfner / Opinion: The New York Times)
Commentary: Israelis have learned to accept that one war follows another, every two or three years. "An Inevitable Conflict in Gaza," ran a newspaper headline earlier this month. What hardly any Israelis will consider (and virtually no influential voices in the West will publicly suggest) is that Israel -- not Hezbollah in Lebanon, nor Hamas in Gaza, nor the government of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria -- is provoking the next war. Israel, not its militant Islamist or brutal Syrian enemies, is the aggressor in these border wars.

Noam Chomsky Fears Trump Could Stage a Terror Attack and 'Change the Country Instantly' (Jan Frel / AlterNet)
It's March 2017, and the political process and the media in the US are a depressing mess. Donald Trump presents a new problem on top of the old familiar ones; a toxic multifront political disaster whose presence in the White House is doing damage to the national psyche. Chomsky warns of scapegoating vulnerable people: "That can turn out to be very ugly." With his initiative failing, Chomsky warns of the potential for Trump to capitalize on a "staged or alleged" terrorist attack.

NATO Makes Massive Move on Russia's Borders as US and Russia Threaten Nuclear War ( The Daily Star & Global Response & The Express)
NATO forces have been dispatched to Estonia, on the Russian border, in what the British Ministry of Defense is calling "the largest NATO deployment to Eastern Europe since the Cold War." Russia, in turn, has called NATO encroachments and deployment of US missiles on its borders a provocation that could be answered by a nuclear response. The Union of Concerned Scientists has warned US missile developments could trigger nuclear war with Russia.

Trump Expands Pentagon's War Powers, Rejects Diplomacy, Threatens Unilateral Attack on North Korea (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Eli Watkins / CNN)
On one hand, North Korea has violated UN Security Council resolutions banning its ballistic missile launches; on the other hand, South Korea, the US -- and now Japan -- insist on conducting super-large-scale military drills. It's a vicious cycle that could spiral out of control. Beijing has proposed a "double halt" approach that would see North Korea suspend its nuclear program, while the US and South Korea would call off joint military drills. The US has already dismissed the plan.

Resist Brother Trump Like It's 1984: Nationwide Film Screenings in 200 Theaters on April 4 (United State of Cinema & Ali Ebrahimzadeh / The San Francisco Chronicle)
April 4, 1984, is the day that Winston Smith, the protagonist of George Orwell's classic tale "1984," began his revolt against Big Brother and the Party. In solidarity with this dystopian antihero and to punctuate a resistance to President Trump, more than 200 movie theaters nationwide will screen "1984" on Tuesday, April 4.

The 'Nature Fix' in a 'Post-Nature' Society (Brian Calvert / High Country News & Peter Friederici / High Country News)
Immersion in nature has the power to heal, even the ability to affect mental health. As proof, the author of "The Nature Fix" cites the experience of group of combat veterans during an Idaho river trip. But what are we supposed to do with our knowledge that we live at "the end of nature" -- that a major driver of the Earth's powerful cycles has become the human species itslef?

ACTION ALERT: The Commander-in-Chief Is Now A War Criminal: Stop Donald Trump's March to War (MoveOn.org & Win Without War)
Ever since Donald Trump took office, America's war machine has kicked into overdrive. The President, who ran claiming to be against America's wars in the Middle East, is now overseeing a massive increase in America's wars in the Middle East. That's why it's time to demand that the President's chief defense advisor come clean to the American public about Donald Trump's plans for war.

How the US Media Covers Up for the Pentagon's Terrorist Acts (Ben Norton / Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting)
If you read the headlines of major corporate media outlets, you'd think hundreds of Iraqi civilians coincidentally died when they just happened to be hit by a US airstrike. A March 17 US attack in the city of Mosul resulted in a massacre of civilians. It is estimated that between 130 and 230 Iraqis were killed in the incident. The attack was "potentially one of the worst US-led civilian bombings in 25 years" but, in the US, leading news networks went out of their way to craft some of the most euphemistic headlines imaginable.

The Standoff Between Trump and Green Groups Just Boiled Into War (Darryl Fears and Juliet Eilperin / The Washington Post)
The first shots have been fired in what's likely to be a long, bitter war over the environment between conservationists and President Trump. It started Wednesday when a broad coalition of groups sued the Trump administration in federal court, barely 24 hours after the president signed an executive order that lifted a moratorium on new coal leases on federal land. Earthjustice, the Sierra Club, WildEarth Guardians, Defenders of Wildlife, Montana's Northern Cheyenne Tribe and others call the directive illegal.

Drought and War Heighten Threat of Not Just One Famine, but Four (Jeffrey Gettleman / The New York Times)
Another famine is about to tighten its grip on Somalia. And it's not the only crisis that aid agencies are scrambling to address. For the first time, there is a very real possibility of four famines -- in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen -- breaking out at once, endangering more than 20 million lives. It's the biggest humanitarian disaster since World War II. One powerful lesson from the last famine in Somalia was that famines were not simply about food. They are about something even more elemental: water.

Resist Brother Trump like it's 1984: Nationwide Film Screening in 200 Theaters on April 4 (United State of Cinema & Ali Ebrahimzadeh / The San Francisco Chronicle)
April 4, 1984, is the day that Winston Smith, the protagonist of George Orwell's classic tale "1984," began his revolt against Big Brother and the Party. In solidarity with this dystopian antihero and to punctuate a resistance to President Trump, more than 200 movie theaters nationwide will screen "1984" on Tuesday, April 4.

Mosul Battle Shows Attacking Militants in Urban Area Puts Civilians at Risk (Dan Perry and Susannah George / Associated Press)
As the fight for the Iraqi city of Mosul drags on, many might ask: Why has it taken the combined militaries of the United States and Iraq backed by an international coalition more than two years to dislodge a relatively small force of militants lacking heavy weaponry? Now the growing controversy over the high number of civilian casualties believed caused by recent US airstrikes has touched on a major part of the answer: The militants are mingled among tens of thousands of civilians in Mosul.

Civilian Casualties in Iraq, Syria, Undercut US Victories (Susannah Geoerge and Zena Karam / Associated Press)
Islamic State group and al-Qaida-linked militants are quickly moving to drum up outrage over a sharp spike in civilian casualties said to have been caused by US airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, posting photos online of a destroyed medical center and homes reduced to rubble. "This is how Trump liberates Mosul, by killing its inhabitants," the caption reads.

Trump Makes It Easier for the Pentagon to Kill Civilians in Somalia (Charlie Savage and Eric Schmitt / The New York Times)
President Trump has relaxed some of the rules for preventing civilian casualties when the American military carries out counterterrorism strikes in Somalia, laying the groundwork for an escalating campaign against Islamist militants in the Horn of Africa. That sets the stage for an intensified pace of combat there, while increasing the risk that American forces could kill even more innocent civilians.

A US-born American Jihadist Explains What Drove Him to Extremism (Murtaza Hussain / The Intercept)
"I remember in my youth watching a documentary about the civil war in Lebanon, and the topic that day was the massacre at Sabra and Shatila. I was traumatized that day." "These young people are not all loners who felt like they didn't belong in their communities. If you want to fight jihadism, it is necessary to see these people as human beings who are driven by normal human motivations. . . . The way terrorism has been approached by the government and society has also helped the jihadists in their strategy."

Republicans Unite to Wage War on Internet Privacy -- And How to Fight Back (Jacob Kastrenakes / The Verge & T.C. Sottek / The Verge & The Raw Story & The Common Call )
The House of Representatives passed a resolution today overturning an Obama-era FCC rule that required Internet providers to get customers' permission before sharing their browsing history with other companies. The rules also required Internet providers to protect that data from hackers and inform customers of any breaches. Internet providers now just need a signature from President Trump before they're free to take, share, and even sell your web browsing history without your permission.

Russia Warns US Military Threats Risk Provoking Nuclear War (Reveal News & The Daily Star & TASS & The Wall Street Journal)
Pentagon missiles in Europe and warships patrolling Russia's borders could lead to nuclear war, Vladimir Putin's military bosses have warned. America's anti-ballistic missile system (ABM) is provoking a "new arms race" that threatens to challenge Russia's ability to defend itself from a nuclear strike. Russia's military leaders warn the introduction of American ABMs along its border "lowers the threshold for use of nuclear weapons" and increases the risk of "sudden nuclear attack."

The US and Russia Are Actively Preparing for War in the Arctic (NBC Nightly News & CNN & Pravda)
Some 300 US Marines are due to be based in Norway on a rotational basis for a year as part of a package of measures intended to reassure one of NATO's most easterly members. Although they'll be about 621 miles from the Russian border, they plan to bolster the readiness of tanks and weaponry "pre-positioned" in underground caves for use against Russia. It's a "war without Article 5," referring to the central tenet of NATO, which is premised on the concept of a "collective defense."

ACTION ALERT: How the Arms Industry Profits off the War on Terror (Paul Holden / The Guardian & Petition / Nation of Change)
Analysis: "It is crucial to consider that the "war on terror" might have been a horrendous error: the attempt to impose a military solution on complicated political problems was simplified thinking with a false promise of total national safety . . . the militarisation of the response -- as seen in the massive expansion of military deployments, arms spending, and the license to do anything in pursuit of national security -- has worsened the problem of armed violence in the world." Meanwhile, the arms industry has prospered.

World Leaders Decry Trump's Attack on Clean Energy and Climate (Alissa Scheller, Alexander C. Kaufman / The Huffington Post & Mollie Reilly / The Huffington Post)
Donald Trump has signed a sweeping executive order aimed at reversing former President Barack Obama's efforts to shrink the US' carbon footprint. By undoing the Clean Power Plan, the Trump administration is putting carbon emissions back on an upward trajectory, thereby abandoning any hope of meeting the US emissions reduction targets set out in 2015 in the 195-country Paris Agreement -- the first global climate pact to include China and the US, the world's top polluters.

Nuclear Plant Failure in Japan Leads Westinghouse to Declare Bankruptcy: Future Safety of US Nuclear Navy in Doubt (The New York Times & OilPrice.com & The Real News)
After years of delays and billions in losses, the Toshiba-owned atomic energy firm Westinghouse has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. The collapse of Westinghouse Electric Company, which helped drive the development of nuclear energy and the electric grid itself, casts a long shadow over the global nuclear industry and, in particular, Westinghouse's troubled nuclear projects in the US. Now, those projects -- once hailed as the leading edge of a renaissance for nuclear energy -- are in doubt.

Trump's Troops Accused of Mass Civilian Slaughters in Iraq, Syria (Loveday Morris and Liz Sly / The Washington Post)
A sharp rise in the number of civilians reported killed in US-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria is spreading panic, deepening mistrust and triggering accusations that the United States and its partners may be acting without sufficient regard for lives of noncombatants. The increase comes as local ground forces backed by air support from a US-led coalition close in on the Islamic State's two main urban bastions -- Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq.

Eco-Democracy Victory in Peru: Villagers Vote to Reject Gold Mine (teleSUR & Reader Supported News)
With a majority voting "No" in a popular referendum Sunday, local communities in Peru's northern province of Cajamarca scored a landslide victory against transnational mining giant Anglo Gold Ashanti, likely putting a definitive end to the La Colosa project and setting a precedent for the whole country.

Trump's War on the Environment: Moves to Destroy Obama's Climate-change Record (Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis / The Washington Post)
Donald Trump's sweeping executive order -- signed with great fanfare in the Environmental Protection Agency's Map Room -- would obliterate Barack Obama's environmental record: instructing regulators to rewrite rules curbing US carbon emissions; lifting a moratorium on coal leasing; removing the requirement that federal officials consider the impacts and costs of climate change when making decisions. Instead, Trump has chosen to back coal -- the dirtiest and most dangerous energy option.

Trump Declares War on Clean Energy and the Climate (The League of Conservation Voters & Jennifer A Dlouhy / Bloomberg)
Donald Trump has just signed an executive order tearing up the Clean Power Plan and allowing power plants to emit unlimited levels of carbon pollution. This had been the single most important piece of President Obama's environmental legacy. "He's trying to undo more than a decade of progress in fighting climate change and protecting public health," says the Natural Resources Defense Council's David Doniger. Americans did not vote for this, he added, predicting Trump's action "will meet a great wall of opposition."

'Human Shield' Excuse Does Not Apply in Mosul Massacre: US-backed Coalition Told Civilians Not to Flee (Guardian Staff and Agencies)
The Pentagon has opened investigations into reports that more than 150 civilians died in US-led bombings to retake Iraqi city from ISIS. The Pentagon was reviewing more than 700 video feeds of coalition airstrikes amid rising concern over a jump in civilian casualties. In previous battles, the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi were emptied of their civilian populations before Iraqi forces battled ISIS. In Mosul, the Iraqi government asked civilians to remain in their homes before the air assault began.

Which Is Worse? Either Trump Is a 'Serial Liar' or He's Delusional (Nancy Gibbs / TIME Magazine)
Commentary: "For Donald Trump, shamelessness is not just a strength, it's a strategy. Whether it's the size of his inaugural crowds or voter fraud or NATO funding or the claim that he was wiretapped, Trump says a great many things that are demonstrably false. But indicting Trump as a serial liar risks missing a more disturbing question: What does he actually believe? Does it count as lying if he believes what he says? "

ACTION ALERT: Revoke President's Unilateral "Right" to Launch a Nuclear War (NBC News & Robert Weissman / Public Citizen)
Only one person on Earth can unilaterally launch America's nuclear arsenal. He doesn't need anyone's approval to trigger a global thermonuclear cataclysm; he doesn't even need a congressional declaration of war. He is the president of the United States. When it comes to nuclear war, there are no "checks and balances." This must change.

Trump to Repeal Obama's Environmental Legacy: "Nightmare Budget" Would Destroy America As We Know It (The League of Conservation Voters & Alexander C. Kaufman / The Huffington Post & Michael Roberts / OpEd News)
The White House plans to scrap rules on power plant emissions, eviscerate the Clean Power Plan and kneecap US participation in the historic Paris Climate Accord. Trump's OMB Director dismisses funding to address climate change "a waste of money." A review of the programs targeted under Trump's "Nightmare Budget" is both astonishing and appalling.

The Rise of Trump and Warring Kleptocrats Are Destroying America (Chris Hedges / TruthDig & Earthbound)
Commentary: "The Trump kleptocrats are political arsonists. They are carting cans of gasoline into government agencies and Congress to burn down any structure or program that promotes the common good and impedes corporate profit. They ineptly have set themselves on fire over Obamacare, but this misstep will do little to halt the drive to, as Stephen Bannon promises, carry out the deconstruction of the administrative state'."

The Horrors of the Sudan War Haunt Ugandan Refugee Camps (Peter Lykke Lind / Al Jazeera)
In the Bidibidi settlement in northern Uganda -- one of the largest refugee settlements in the world -- the adult victims of Sudan's ongoing war are surrounded by clay huts, filled latrines and naked children. The settlement is home to 272,000 South Sudanese; some of the 800,000 who, according to the United Nations, have escaped to Uganda. Here are some of their stories, as told to Al Jazeera.

FBI Says US 'Military Presence' Responsible for Rise in Terror Attacks; War on Terror Is 'Biggest Motivation' for Homegrown Terrorists (Waqas Mirza / MuckRock.com & Murtaza Hussain and Cora Currier / The Intercept)
The White House and Pentagon claim that America's military is "keeping the US safe from terrorism" when, according to the FBI, the opposite is true. An Intelligence Assessment of terrorist plots against the US and US interests between 2001 and 2010 concluded: "a broadening US military presence overseas" was behind an 11 percent increase in plotted attacks since 2006. The role of US foreign policy in fomenting anti-US "blowback" remains largely unaddressed in the nation's counterterrorism programs.

Iraq Suspends Mosul Offensive after US Airstrike Atrocity (Martin Chulov and Emma Graham-Harrison / The Guardian)
The Iraqi government has ordered the US to halt air operations over Mosul. The move comes as international outrage continues to grow over US airstrikes that killed at least 150 people in Mosul's Jadida neighborhood -- one of the deadliest bombing raids for civilians since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. Bombs released by US-led coalition forces buried more than a hundred people in the ruins of three houses and raised fresh questions about US rules of engagement.

Airstrike Monitors Overwhelmed by US-Caused Civilian Casualties (Thomas Gibbons-Neff / The Washington Post)
In the last week, three mass casualty incidents attributed to US-led forces in Iraq and Syria have killed hundreds of civilians, prompting the watchdog group Airways to issue a statement that read: "Almost 1,000 civilian non-combatant deaths have already been alleged from coalition actions across Iraq and Syria in March -- a record claim. These reported casualty levels are comparable with some of the worst periods of Russian activity in Syria."

White House War on Industrial Safety: Why Did Trump Target the CSB? (George Zornick / The Nation)
It's a safe assumption that most Americans have not heard of the US Chemical Safety Board. Donald Trump is certainly banking on that, since he proposed scrapping it in his recent budget proposal. But if the small agency is indeed defunded, the results could be catastrophic -- and we might be left wondering, as the bodies are counted after some large chemical disaster, why nobody was angry when the CSB went away.

Climate and Washington Are Both Taking a Turn for the Worse (Bill McKibben / The Boston Globe & Vinnie Wishrad / League of Conservation Voters)
Arctic ice has set a new record winter low and a record Midwest drought has triggered the worst wildfires in US history -- two million acres burned. Climate change demands action but, instead, Donald Trump's appointees spent the last week dismantling 40 years' worth of hard-fought environmental laws and regulations. Meanwhile US governors and big city mayors are demanding Washington address climate change and on April 29, a People's Climate March will challenge America's Polluter-in-Chief.

Sick Vets Blame Exposure to Agent Orange, But VA Won't Pay (Anna Douglas / McClatchy News)
In 2011, the National Academy of Medicine concluded that US sailors were likely exposed to Agent Orange in their ships' drinking water or from winds blowing the chemical out to sea. The so-called "blue water" controversy is hampered because the military didn't track Agent Orange's drift and presence during the war. The Department of Veterans Affairs wants more evidence before it will award the sailors benefits. Under pressure from vets, the VA has made some exceptions for sailors with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

ACTION ALERT: Racial Violence Under Trump Prompts Sites to Report Hate Crimes (The Color of Change & The Huffington Post and ProPublica)
Racist attacks carried out by white supremacists happen often and have been occurring at a much higher rate since Trump, and his team of white supremacists, have taken over the White House. Because the Federal government has failed to act decisively in response to this growing threat, several civil organizations have joined forces to create an online resource that allows anyone to immediately report incidents of hate that they experience or witness in their communities.

Children of Unending War, the Rise of Trump and the Explosion of Hate Groups (Greg Grandin / The Nation & Michelle Chen / The Nation)
To be "twenty-something" in the US today, means being part of a generation whose county has always been at war. America is becoming a more hateful place and there is growing evidence that our current administration might have something to do with it. The number of anti-Muslim groups has nearly tripled since 2015 and there has also been a spike in reported incidents of "hate" violence. The president's rhetoric is familiar to anyone who lived through the 1990s paramilitary-style "Patriot" movements.

UN Warns: The 'Worst Is Yet to Come' in Mosul (AntiWar.com & Stephanie Nebehay and Patrick Markey / Reuters & Angus MacSwan and Patrick Markey / Reuters)
Early in the Iraqi government's invasion of Mosul, a decision was made to tell the civilian population not to flee. At the time, this was meant to allow them to target those fleeing as ISIS fighters, and to make up for the lack of preparation to absorb civilians for the long period of time such a fight was going to take. Iraq is rethinking that decision now, after five months of fighting and a growing humanitarian crisis. UN officials are now warning, with some 400,000 trapped in western Mosul, the worst is yet to come.

Child Victims of Mosul Overwhelm Emergency Hospital (FRANCE 24 English & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Angus MacSwan / Reuters)
There have been thousands of civilian casualties in Mosul during a campaign to drive Islamic State fighters from what was once their main stronghold. The large numbers of the civilian casualties in the battle for Mosul are the result of US and coalition airstrikes, with locals claiming some 3,500 killed in airstrikes over the five-month-long battle. A US attack just last night killed around 230 civilians in just three buildings. As these strikes continue to escalate, so too are the number of victims flocking to the field hospitals.

The Latest Round in the GOP's War on Wildlife (Colin Dwyer / National Public Radio)
By a largely party-line vote Tuesday, the Senate approved a bill that repeals Obama-era hunting restrictions on national wildlife refuges in Alaska. The House already voted last month to abolish those restrictions -- which were instituted by the Fish and Wildlife Service in 2016 to protect predator species from hunters -- and so the bill now heads to the desk of President Trump, who is widely expected to sign it.

Keystone Pipeline Approved for Construction -- with Russian Steel? (The Huffington Post & Snopes.com)
Donald Trump's administration has greenlighted the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Trump previously promised the pipeline would be constructed with domestic steel but abandoned that pledge and granted TransCanada an exemption to use foreign steel during construction. The DeSmogBlog reports that 40 percent of the steel was manufactured by a Canadian subsidiary of Evraz, a company 31-percent owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, who is a close ally of Putin and a Trump family friend.

War Crime: Trump's Airstrikes Kill 230 Civilians in a Single Night -- Mostly Women and Children (AntiWar.com & The Independent )
As the US airstrikes in the Iraqi city of Mosul are increasingly concentrated around densely populated neighborhoods in the city's west, the death toll from those airstrikes in spiraling rapidly out of control, with the most recent figures out of the area suggesting around 230 civilians were killed overnight in US and coalition strikes in just a single neighborhood. The US Central Command says it is researching reports of extensive loss of civilian life in the third such alleged incident in recent weeks.

NATO Sends Unprecedented Weaponry to Estonia to Threaten Russia (AlWaght News & Analysis & Defense News & RT News)
In an act unprecedented since the end of the Cold War, the US-led NATO military alliance has been deploying a massive array of weaponry along the Russian border. Scores of tanks, self-propelled artillery guns and other military hardware have been moved to Estonia from the Britain and Germany. NATO has justified the aggressive show-of-force as a response to hypothetical "Russian aggression."

Team Trump Welcomes Six New Far-Right Figures -- One with Pro-Nazi Links (Sam Kestenbaum / The Forward & Lili Bayer and Larry Cohler-Esses / The Forward)
The far right is getting closer to the Trump White House. While Stephen Bannon, former editor of the "alt-right" Breitbart News, is a top Trump adviser, a new flock of far-right figures is making inroads in the White House. According to The Forward, a historic New-York-based Jewish daily, Trump's top counter-terrorism adviser, Sebastian Gorka, is a member of a far-right Hungarian group listed by the State Department as having been "under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany" during WWII.

Trump Has No Idea How to Tend His Garden: We Are All in Danger (Garrison Keillor / The Washington Post)
Commentary: "Is this president able to put a pencil to paper and write a succession of thoughts? It would seem not. He has impressions but there is not much thinking going on. He hears things that please him and repeats them, like a magpie making a nest. He has no idea how to grow vegetables. We are all in danger."

Trump Team Wanted to Militarize the Inaugural Parade: Pentagon Balked (Jessica Schulberg / The Huffington Post)
The Presidential Inaugural Committee was "seriously considering adding military vehicles to the Inaugural Parade," a Pentagon official wrote in an email dated Dec. 13, 2016. "Such support would be out of guidelines," another Pentagon official wrote. Critics noted the idea of sending tanks and missile launchers down Pennsylvania Avenue would evoke comparisons with the massive military parades in China and North Korea. They were also concerned that the heavy tanks could damage D.C. roads.

Two US Bombings in Syria Kill 'At Least 116 Civilians, Including 18 Children and 23 Women' (CBS News & BBC World News)
An activist monitoring group has reported a US airstrike on school sheltering as many as 50 displaced families has killed at least 33 civilians. A previous US attack on the village of al-Jineh destroyed a mosque and killed between 49 and 75 civilians. In the past two weeks, suspected coalition air strikes have killed at least 116 Syrian civilians, including 18 children and 23 women.

800 US Families Sue Saudi Arabia Over 9/11 Attacks (Carey Wedler / AntiMedia )
Eight-hundred families of 9/11 victims and 1,500 first responders, along with others who suffered as a result of the attacks, reportedly have filed a lawsuit against Saudi Arabia over its alleged complicity in the 2001 terror attacks. Until late last year, families of 9/11 victims were unable to sue foreign countries over their potential involvement in the attacks. The lawsuit charges that officials from Saudi embassies supported two of the hijackers -- Salem al-Hazmi and Khalid Al-Mihdhar -- 18 months before the 9/11 attacks.

US Navy Admits to Having Released Chemicals Known to Injure Infants' Brains (Dahr Jamail / Truthout)
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.

Radioactive Theft in Iraq Raises 'Dirty Bomb' Concerns in Crimea (TASS & Sputnik News & Reuters & The Independent )
"For the first time in the Russian army's history" the Airborne Forces' three large units have been simultaneously alerted in the Crimea due to an "increased terrorist threat." The alert followed warnings that radioactive materials were detected aboard an Armenian aircraft en route to Bulgaria. The radioactive signature suggested the presence of Ir-192. In 2016, a case containing deadly Ir-192 was stolen from a base in Iraq, stoking fears that it could be used to make a dirty bomb.

New Zealand River Wins Historic "Human Right" to Exist and Thrive (Eleanor Ainge Roy / The Guardian)
After 140 years of negotiation, New Zealand's Maori tribe has won legal protection and recognition for Whanganui river, the country's third-largest river. Under the new ruling, the Whanganui must be treated as a living entity.

Audit the Pentagon: Revive the Defense Board Plan to Cut Pentagon Waste and Save $125 Billion (Thomas Hedges / The Guardian & Craig Whitlock and Bob Woodward / The Washington Post)
Donald Trump has proposed a $52 billion hike in military spending -- while reports of waste and abuse pile up. America's new commander-in-chief won't release his taxes and the Pentagon -- the most expensive part of Donald Trump's reimagined war-and-surveillance society -- has never been subjected to an audit. No wonder the Pentagon's budget -- and its legendary wastefulness -- continues to rise. Meanwhile, the Defense Business Board has published a detailed plan to save $125 billion in DoD costs.

War on Health; How Trumpcare Benefits Corporations and the Rich
t may become more expensive for people with lower incomes to buy health insurance, but a House Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act would make going to a tanning salon cheaper and cut taxes for insurance companies and wealthy investors. In all, the bill unveiled Monday night would cut taxes by nearly $600 billion over the coming decade, according to estimates by the Joint Committee on Taxation.

US Furious over Another Scathing UN Report on Israeli Abuses (TeleSURtv )
Just days after a UN report accusing Israel of apartheid was pulled because of US pressure, another UN agency issued a new criticism charging Israel with "the subjugation of humanity" in Palestine and intensifying a crackdown on human rights campaigners. The report also pointed to how the illegal settlement building is accompanied by "high rates of demolition of Palestinian homes in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem." In response, the Trump White House has threatened to cut funding to the UN.

Budget Experts Wary of Trump Military Buildup Long-term Impact (Joe Gould and Aaron Mehta / Defense News)
Donald Trump's proposed 2018 budget is billed as the initial investment on his planned military buildup, but Pentagon officials are worried about the long-term costs -- and whether Congress can be counted on to keep paying. John Roth, the acting comptroller for the Pentagon, acknowledged the budget office is keeping a nervous eye on the costs for increasing the force. Official estimates suggest it will cost about $80 billion more than Obama's last budget plan to fully realize Trump's planned buildup.

How Much Is an Afghan Life Worth? That Depends (Idrees Ali / Reuters )
In March 2014, the US military paid an Afghan man just over $1,000 to compensate for killing his civilian son in an operation near the border with Iran. Six months later, another Afghan father was given $10,000 by the US military after his child, also a civilian, was killed in a US-led military operation in the same province. And Haji Allah Dad lost 20 relatives, including his brother and sister-in-law, in a US-Afghan special forces operation. He received no money from the US no standardized process for paying restitution.

Trump May Already Own A First: Most Corrupt POTUS. Ever. (S.V. Date / The Huffington Post)
As President Donald Trump enters his third month in office, he has already established at least one record, however dubious: the president most open and willing to use the prestige of the White House to enrich himself and his family. "He should not use his official position to promote his businesses. That doesn't make him a good businessman. That makes him a bad president," said Richard Painter, the former top ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush's White House.

George W. Bush Gave Us Donald Trump. Now He Wants To Be Forgiven. (Ryan Grim and Alexander Zaitchik / The Huffngton Post)
Commentary: The media is promoting a general public softening toward George W. Bush, once widely scorned as a historic failure; a blood-spattered buffoon and war criminal who belonged in a cell. Normalizing Bush weakens our already weak grip on history, making it harder to see how today's political harvest was cultivated by Bill Clinton (who created NAFTA and unleashed Wall Street) and Barack Obama, who continued the Wall Street bailouts and allowed 90 percent of wealth creation to accrue to the top 1 percent.

Presence of US Military Base in Okinawa Means Jail Without Trial for Protestors (Anna Field / The Washington Post)
After five months in detention without trial, one of the leaders of Okinawa's movement against the expansion of US military bases in the southern Japanese island prefecture has been released. Hiroji Yamashiro, a 64-year-old who leads the Okinawa Peace Action Center, is one of the most vocal opponents of the construction of new Marine Corps facilities in Okinawa. The overwhelming majority of Okinawans oppose the base.

Trump Expands Special Forces Deployments to Africa, Mideast (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Eric Schmitt / The New York Times & MintPress News Desk)
Reports from that Pentagon has been increasing deployments of Special Forces around the Middle East and Africa appears to be continuing apace, with the most recent reports suggesting that Donald Trump has expanded these deployments into Central Africa. The US military already already has been expanding its massive military footprint in Africa and elsewhere to the tune of "several million dollars" a year and thousands of troops.

Trump's Syria Plan Looks a Lot Like 'Mission Creep' (Military Times Editorial & Al Jazeera)
The US military has sent nearly 100 Army Rangers into the Syrian city of Manbij. But there is something highly unusual about this particular deployment. The elite soldiers, who typically operate in the shadows, arrived in armored vehicles festooned in brightly colored American flags, a gesture designed to make their presence abundantly obvious. And unlike the other 15,000 US troops on the ground in active war zones, the Americans in Manbij are not conducting "counter terror" or "advise and assist" operations.

Trump Budget Would Make America Dirty and Sick Again (David Lewis / Save the Bay & The San Francisco Chronicle)
Trump's budget proposal is a direct assault on our health and safety. The enormous cuts he is proposing to the US Environmental Protection Agency and other departments will hurt people and the planet by gutting enforcement of laws that protect the water we drink, the air we breathe and the environment that sustains us.

Trump Wages a Strategic War on Truth (While He Continues to Spread 'Fake News') (Robert Reich / The San Francisco Chronicle)
Commentary: Donald Trump and his White House don't engage in dialogue. Instead, they attack the institutions that uncomfortable cite facts the Trump Team doesn't like. Trump's big lies subvert truth and sow confusion. These attacks on the institutions we rely on as sources of the truth are even more dangerous, because they make it harder for the public to believe anything. In a democracy, the truth is a common good but Trump is actively destroying the truth-telling institutions on which our democracy depends.

Rare Atomic Bomb Test Footage Reveals Weapons Are Deadlier than Believed (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory & Peter Fimrite / The San Francisco Chronicle)
The US conducted 210 atmospheric nuclear tests between 1945 and 1962, with multiple cameras capturing each event at around 2,400 frames per second. Over the decades, around 10,000 of these films remained scattered across the country in high-security vaults, gathering dust and slowly decomposing. Greg Spriggs, a weapons physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is hoping to preserve and share as many as 10,000 deteriorating films known to have been taken of the atmospheric blasts.

Trump's Budget: America First; Americans and the Environment Last (Harvey Wasserman / Reader Supported News)
Donald Trump's first budget makes his antipathy to the environment -- and his love for fossil fuels and nuclear power -- clear. In addition to slashing funds to the EPA, he wants massive rollbacks in auto fuel efficiency standards and billions in new investments in nuclear weapons. These cuts hand $54 billion to the Pentagon while crippling air and water protections by ending restrictions on industrial emissions. Adding insult to injury, Trump would add $120 million to the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump.

ACTION ALERT: As US Invades Syria, Tell Congress: No Endless War in Syria (CREDO Action & PressTV)
Donald Trump recently escalated US involvement in Syria by sending in hundreds of Marines to risk their lives in combat. Rep. Barbara Lee's House bill would prohibit the Department of Defense from deploying soldiers or hiring private contractors to engage in ground combat in Syria. Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has correctly called the US troops in Syria "invaders." Under international law, foreign governments cannot deploy troops to fight inside sovereign countries without that nation's consent.

Somalia Blames Saudi Coalition for Mass Murder of Refugees (Abdi Guled / Associated Press)
A helicopter gunship attacked a boat packed with Somali migrants off the coast of Yemen overnight Thursday, killing at least 31 people, according to a UN agency, Yemeni officials and a survivor who witnessed the attack. The "horrific" nighttime gunship attack killed at least 42 Somali refugees -- including many women and children -- off the coast of war-torn Yemen. Somalia Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire called the attack "atrocious" and "appalling."

Rex Tillerson's Threatened 'Preemptive' US Attack on North Korea Would Be an International War Crime (Mark Sumner / The Daily Kos & Tim Hume / Vice News)
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson cut short his visit to South Korea because of "fatigue," according to Korean officials. Tillers declared "the policy of strategic patience has ended," and revealed that a pre-emptive military attack was "on the table." So far, history has shown that issuing threats to North Korea (or any other country) only provokes increased belligerence from the threatened nation. Sounding more like a general than a Secretary of State, Tillerson declared: "Talk is not going to change the situation."

China Suggests a Sensible Plan to Head off US-Korea Clash: Washington Refuses (Ben Blanchard / Reuters & Chris Buckley and Somini Sengupta / The New York Times)
China, fearing an escalation of tension on the Korean Peninsula, called on North Korea to stop its nuclear and missile tests and for South Korea and the US to stop their provocative military drills on the North's border and seek talks instead. Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi warned that the priority in the dispute over North Korea’s nuclear program was "to flash the red light and apply brakes." In response, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is loudly gunning his engine and threatening to put his foot on the gas pedal.

ACTION ALERT: Resist Trump's Budget Handout to War Profiteers (CREDO Action & Alex Morash and Craig Harrington / MediaMatters.org)
Half of the federal budget already goes to weapons of war and the military-industrial complex -- and now, Trump wants to increase spending on war profiteers by a full 10 percent. Trump's plan to beef up the defense budget by an additional $54 billion at the expense of civilian domestic spending has been derided by economists and experts for being "wholly unrealistic."

How To End the Korean War (Justin Raimondo / AntiWar.com)
North Koreans insist their test missile launches are a logical reaction to the fear of imminent military action by the US and South Korea. Pyongyang's fear is not unfounded. The joint US-South Korean "Foal Eagle" military exercises are a dress rehearsal for all-out war with the North. In addition to the USS Carl Vinson and a strike-force of two guided missile destroyers and a cruiser, the US sent in a squadron of stealth fighter jets as well as B-52s and B-1Bs -- these latter capable of carrying nuclear payloads.

Bill Gates Warns Terrorists Could Kill 30 Million within a Year using Bioweapons (Harry Walker / The Express & James Rush / The Daily Mail)
Bill Gates has warned the Munich Security Conference that: "The next epidemic could originate on the computer screen of a terrorist intent on using genetic engineering to create a synthetic version of the smallpox virus, or a super contagious and deadly strain of the flu." Meanwhile, China accuses US of a secret biological attack using a new strain of bird flu. The US has dismissed claims, saying there is 'absolutely no truth' to them.

Fierce, Critical Reactions to Trump's 'Cruel, Stupid Budget' (Public Citizen & The Democratic National Committee & Seth Moulton for Congress & Kamala Harris / US Senate & The Washington Post)
Trump's appalling budget would destroy America to empower military, surveillance, incarceration, and pollution interests. It slashes $4.7 billion from the Agriculture Department -- hurting rural communities; cuts job-creating funding for infrastructure repair; guts spending to protect clean air and drinking water; defunds the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; and suspends the Manufacturing Extension Partnership -- a program that helped create and retain more than 86,602 jobs last year.

Naval Exercises Add Trillions of Bits of Plastic to the World's Oceans (Dahr Jamail / Truthout)
For the next two decades, the US Navy will inject hundreds of thousands of pounds of flares and billions of metal-coated glass fibers into ocean waters off Washington and Oregon. By 2037, the Navy will have left behind more than half a million pounds of flares and trillions of microfibers of chaff (a radar countermeasure dropped by aircraft) in the world's oceans. And a single, upcoming naval exercises will inject 20,000 tons of heavy metals and explosives into the seas.

Six Years On, the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Is Far From Ove (Yuko Yoneda / Greenpeace Japan & EcoWatch)
Six years ago, more than 15,000 people perished and tens of thousands of people's lives changed forever. Northeastern Japan was hit by a massive earthquake, followed by an enormous tsunami that wiped out coastal towns one after another. In the days that followed came the horrifying news: the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors went into meltdown. The disaster is still with us.

Trump Cuts Domestic Spending to Fund Pentagon's Bombing of Civilians in Syrian Mosque (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Alex Johnson and Courtney Kube / NBC News)
Donald Trump is set to formally deliver a budget for fiscal year 2018 that includes massive cuts across several departments, centering on domestic spending, as a way to pay for his planned military spending increases. New evidence is emerging on yesterday's bombing of a mosque in the Northwest Syrian village of al-Jineh, in the Aleppo Province, with reports of rising death tolls and recovered pieces of the bomb showing that it was -- despite the Pentagon's official denials -- a US airstrike.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand Calls Marine Leaders on the Carpet for Sexual Abuses (Gellibrand for Senate)
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has been a champion in the fight against military sexual assault -- but the recent Marines United scandal is a stark reminder of why this work to bring reform and accountability to the military justice system is so important. In response to Gellibrand's stinging criticisms, General Robert Neller replied, "I'm not going to duck this" as he avoided citing any specific mistakes or actions that were or would be made. "I know that's lame answer," the Marine commander stated.

Veterans Administration Paying Victims of Contaminated Lejeune Water (Military.com)
On March 4, the Veterans Administration began providing disability benefits to Veterans, Reservists, and National Guard members affected by the toxic chemical contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, NC. The offer only applies to victims who were residents from August 1, 1953 through December 31, 1987 and who are now sick and dying from a short list of eight diseases, including leukemia, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, liver cancer, and Parkinson's disease.

Noam Chomsky on Trump's Muslim Ban and the Use of Nuclear Weapons (David Gibbs and Noam Chomsky / Sri Lanka Guardian)
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has emphasized the extreme danger that Trump poses, due to the augmented risk of nuclear war and uncontrolled climate change. After inauguration, the Bulletin's metaphoric clock has been repositioned at two and a half minutes to midnight, with "midnight" signifying catastrophe. Regarding the threat of nuclear war, Prof. Noam Chomsky is concerned that Donald Trump's "personality is frightening, he's a complete megalomaniac. You never know how he's going to react.?

UNICEF: Nearly 50 Million Children Are Refugees or Migrants (Euan McKirdy / CNN)
Nearly 50 million children worldwide have been uprooted from their homes due to violence, poverty and other factors out of their control, according to a new report released by the UN children's agency. Of that total, 28 million are child refugees who fled conflict, states the UNICEF report, "Uprooted: The growing crisis for refugee and migrant children." Nearly half of child refugees are from Syria and Afghanistan. An additional 20 million are child migrants who left their homes in search of better lives.

17 House Republicans Try To Make Donald Trump Care About Climate Change (Marina Fang / The Huffington Post & Alexander C. Kaufman / The Huffington Post)
The White House wants to cut one-quarter of the Environmental Protection Agency's funding and eliminate 1 in 5 EPA employees but 17 House Republicans have done something Donald Trump and most members of their party have refused to do: acknowledge that climate change is real and commit to finding solutions to combat it.

Trump Lunches With Saudi War Criminal: Tillerson Threatens to Ditch 'Human Rights' (Medea Benjamin / AntiWar.com & Michael Wilner / The Jerusalem Post)
While President Trump sat down for a sumptuous meal at the White House on Tuesday, March 14 with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, millions of Yemenis are going hungry thanks to Trump's lunch guest. Meanwhile, the Trump administration's new Secretary of State is reviewing continued US membership in the UN Human Rights Council and may demand "considerable reform" within the organization before the US would agree to remaining in the long-established organization.

Navy Admits to Having Released Chemicals Known to Injure Infants' Brains (Dahr Jamail / Truthout)
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. Navy "testing and training events" fire missiles, torpedoes, guns and other explosive firings into US waters biennially. Explosive "sonobuoys" are dropped from planes and never recovered.

US Military Aid and the Death of Honduran Environmental Activits Berta Caceres (Janine Jackson and Beverly Bell / CounterSpin)
March 2 marked a year since the killing of Honduran indigenous rights and environmental activist Berta Caceres. The private and state actors believed responsible for her murder saw Caceres and her group, the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras -- as a threat to the ability of extractive industries to steal land and water from indigenous lands with state sanction. Such thefts and the resulting violence have been exacerbated by the 2009 coup in Honduras -- a coup the US openly supported.

Trump's Secret Team to Take Down Latin America's Left (teleSURtv )
Trump has filled about 520 positions through a process that avoids Senate confirmation. Most picks have no prior experience -- some just graduated from high school or college -- but were picked for working on the Trump campaign. Of the 400 hires secretly made by Trump, several have a record of messing with Latin American affairs -- these include a Hugo Chavez alarmist and two ambassadors to El Salvador who have conspired to topple elected progressive governments in Latin America.

Trump's Generals Want to Escalate the Afghanistan War (Mehdi Hasan / The Intercept)
You remember Afghanistan, right? The longest war in US history and the most unpopular one, too? The ongoing conflict that's been ignored by politicians and pundits alike, despite 2,400 US dead and a whopping $1 trillion price tag? Afghanistan hardly got a look in during the election campaign. The decade-and-a-half-long war was mentioned only once in the three presidential debates. Now Trump's generals, backed by GOP hawks in Congress, want to drag it out for a few more years. "When in doubt, double down."

Winning WW II in the Twenty-First Century (Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & Michael Klare / TomDispatch)
If you are an American male of a certain age -- Donald Trump's age, to be exact -- you are likely to have vivid memories of Victory at Sea, an award-winning NBC series about the US Navy in World War II. It aired from October 1952 to May 1953. Why do I mention this? Because I'm convinced that Trump's talk of rebuilding the US military and "winning wars again" has been deeply influenced by the conography that was commonplace in Victory at Sea and the war movies of his youth.

US Warned of Mounting Civilian Casualties in Mosul (Suleiman Al-Khalidi / Reuters)
A prominent Iraqi Sunni politician on Monday warned Washington the acceleration in a military campaign in western Mosul to drive out Islamic State jihadists was causing a sudden surge in civilian casualties that threatened to undermine the effort to crush the militants. Khamis Khanjar said at least 3,500 civilians have been killed since the push into the western side of the side last month.

GOP Cheers Destruction of EPA (Oliver Milman / The Guardian)
The Trump administration's zeal for deregulation is seen by environmentalists as a recipe for fossil fuel cronyism, runaway climate change, and a toxic water crises. In 2009 the EPA determined that CO2 emissions "endanger both the public health and the public welfare of current and future generations." Now Trump's EPA pick -- ignoring a preponderance of scientific evidence -- is claiming that carbon dioxide isn't the primary catalyst of global warming.

Meteorologists Debunk EPA Chief's Climate Change Denial (Mark Moore / The New York Post)
The nation's top meteorological organization debunked Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt's claim that carbon dioxide is not a main factor in climate change, saying it's a fact based on "indisputable findings." In an interview last week, Pruitt said carbon dioxide is not the pollutant it's made out to be. The meteorologists said he's flat-out wrong.

The Trump Administration's Human-Rights Dilemma (Doug Bandow / The National Interest)
Donald Trump has demonstrated little interest in promoting human rights abroad. He was a dealmaker, focused on achieving concrete economic and security ends. Worrying about whether other peoples can, say, protest against their government doesn't seem to concern him. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reinforced this point by skipping the release of the annual human-rights report. Past secretaries typically have appeared to claim support for the universal values that Washington claims to hold dear. Not this time. Presumably, Secretary Tillerson was "busy."

The Surge Delusion: An Iraq War Anniversary to Forget (Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & Danny Sjursen / TomDispatch)
On the 10th anniversary of the original "surge" in Iraq, Major Danny Sjursen, TomDispatch regular, former history instructor at West Point, and the author of Ghost Riders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge, offers a personal look at the building of a legend, which helped make careers, including those of Trump's top generals, and kept a disastrous war going.

UN: World Facing 'Greatest Humanitarian Crisis Since 1945' (BBC World News & Alastair Leithead / BBC News)
The world is facing its largest humanitarian crisis since 1945, according to Stephen O'Brien, the United Nation's humanitarian chief. More than 20 million people face the threat of starvation and famine in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria. Without coordinated global efforts, more than 20 million people face starvation and famine. UNICEF has warned 1.4 million children could starve to death this year. $4.4 billion is needed by July to avert disaster.

Stop Targeting Humanitarian Workers (Dominik Stillhart / Al Jazeera)
Names you've never heard. Places you've never been. Murders that probably passed you by. Six bodies, riddled with bullets, stuffed in a Land Cruiser, abandoned in a barren valley in northern Afghanistan. They were staff members of the International Committee of the Red Cross delivering winter food for the goats and sheep owned by local people. We don't know who did it, nor why. Humanitarian workers have to balance the risks they are facing with the life-saving impact of their humanitarian work.

Trump Escalates War in Syria Kuwait: US 'Advisors' Armed with Howitzers (Alex Emmons / The Intercept & The Ron Paul Liberty Report & Fox News)
The Pentagon has deployed several hundred marines to Northern Syria equipped with M777 howitzers, which can fire GPS-guided explosives up to 25 miles. That's a big change from the "train, advise and assist" role US forces have been playing so far -- although as with many previous troop deployments to Iraq and Syria, it was not debated, let alone authorized, by Congress.

Starving Mosul Civilians Tell of Battle's Horrors; Reporter Shifa Gardi Killed (Josie Ensor / The Independent & Rudaw)
The battle for Mosul's Old City is expected to be the toughest yet. , Troops will have to abandon their Humvees for house-to-house fighting along Its narrow, densely populated streets. Some 50,000 civilians have fled since the offensive on western Mosul began but more than half a million are thought to still be trapped in the 25 percent of the city still in ISIL hands. Meanwhile, Shifa Gardi a reporter with the Kurdish TV channel Rudaw was killed Saturday afternoon in a bomb attack while covering clashes in Mosul.

US Drone Strikes Have Gone Up 432% Under Trump (Carey Wedler / Activist Post & Daniel McAdams / AntiWar.com)
Former President Barack Obama earned the ire of anti-war activists for his expansion of George W. Bush's drone wars. The Nobel Peace Prize-winner ordered ten times more drone strikes than Bush. Estimates indicate that 49 out of 50 victims were civilians. In 2015, up to 90% of drone casualties were not the intended targets. Donald Trump, who campaigned on a pledge of "nonintervention," has approved at least 36 drone strikes or raids in 45 days -- one every 1.25 days. An increase of 432 percent.

Escalation Nation: Trump Puts US Boots on Ground in Syria (Joe Macaron / Al Jazeera)
Opinion: Interventionism is addictive, it starts with a simple task and one thing can lead to another. Eradicating ISIL without a political horizon or expanding intervention without a clear endgame merely postpone the looming confrontations across Syria.

Trump Targets DoE's Successful Energy Star Conservation Program (Alexander C. Kaufman / The Huffington Post)
Over the past 25 years, the federal government's Energy Star program has become a valuable marker for all kinds of industries. Real estate agents upsell buildings that have been Energy Star-certified as energy efficient. Homeowners seek out its blue logo on electricity-guzzling appliances and devices. But the White House has proposed eliminating funding for Energy Star and privatizing the $57 million program, which could upend entire industries and kneecap cities' efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The Head of the EPA's Environmental Justice Program Has Just Resigned (Grist & Inside Climate News & Mustafa Santiago Ali)
After 24 years, Mustafa Ali has resigned from his work as the EPA's chief environmental justice enforcer to protest the new administrator's plans to impose deep and damaging cuts for programs designed to protect the poor and minority communities. As a senior adviser and assistant associate administrator, Ali has served under both Democratic and Republican presidents -- but not under Donald Trump.

US Army Seeking New Bases for Deployments in Europe (AntiWar.com & Army Times & The Local / Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.)
While US Army officials insist no specific decision has been made on any new deployments, officials familiar with the situation say that the Army has begun seeking sites for new bases in Europe, with a pair of locations in Northern Germany having already been scouted.

US-backed Saudi Air Strike on Market Kills 26 in Yemen
An air strike by a Saudi-led Arab coalition on a market in Yemen killed 20 civilians and six rebels on Friday, medical and military sources said. The aircraft tried to target rebels at a roadblock on the southern outskirts of the Red Sea port of Khokha, but the fighters fled to a market where they were attacked, the sources said.

Israeli Education Minister Says Next Lebanon War 'Must Target Civilians' (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Amos Harel / Haaretz)
The 2006 Israeli invasion of Lebanon was popular with the far-right, but Israel was roundly criticized for the civilian toll of the invasion. Today, many are warning that the next war will involve even more deliberate targeting of Lebanese civilians. Israel's Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Lebanese president agree: There's no line between Hezbollah and Lebanese state. Another war with Israel means Lebanon will be sent back to Middle Ages.

ACTION ALERT: Trump's War Has Just Started (Stephen Miles and Richard Allen Smith / MoveOn.org & Hon. Barbara Lee / House of Representatives)
On March 8, Donald Trump sent hundreds of Marines to risk their lives in combat in Syria. Please see the urgent message below from Afghanistan War Veteran Richard Allen Smith and take action by joining him -- along with US Representative Barbara Lee -- in taking action to oppose this dangerous escalation of war. Rep Lee has introduced a bill that would prevent Trump from sending more troops into Syria.

House Passes $578 Billion Military Spending Bill (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Richard Lardner / Associated Press)
With massive majorities in both parties, Congress has voted in favor of a massive $578 billion military spending bill to cover the remainder of fiscal year 2017. The bill now moves on to the Senate, where it is expected to pass. The exact meaning of the figures is a little difficult to understand because Congress had already passed a FY2017 military spending bill for $611 billion back in December. Adding to the war-pork: Donald Trump hopes to add another $30 billion and has promised an overall 9% spending hike in FY2018.

US Rejects China's Call to Halt Provocative War Exercise if N. Korea Halts Provocative Missile Tests (AntiWar.com & Al-Jazeera & The Associated Press)
The US on Wednesday rejected China's proposal for a halt to joint US-South Korean military exercises if North Korea suspends its nuclear and missile activities. It called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un irrational and demanded "positive action" before the US can take his regime seriously. Meanwhile, the US military added to regional tensions by beginning to deploy its THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea. China opposes the THAAD system, which it sees as a provocative military threat to its security.

Daring Nighttime Raid Turns to Deadly Trap in Mosul (Associated Press & Clark Judge / The New York Times & Mona Eltahawy / The New York Times)
There is nothing "daring" about a nighttime raid. A raid in the middle of the day might qualify as "daring." In any case, the planned assault on entrenched forces inside the city of Mosul went disastrously wrong. Apparently the US-trained Iraqi troops were allowed to penetrate the city without resistance, only to walk into a trap when ISIS suddenly appeared and opened fire on the surrounded soldiers. "The plan was stupid," one survivor said. "I don't know why we did that."

The CIA's Bloody Legacy in South America: Plots, Coups and Civil Wars (teleSURtv )
TeleSUR's exclusive investigation shows how the CIA has tried to topple Ecuador's government by infiltrating the state, civil society, and the media. According to declassified documents and testimonies of previous agency officials, the CIA had a permanent operation to intervene in political and social decisions of Ecuador. Starting from the 60s, the CIA infiltrated governments, police, civilian groups, and NGOs to advance US interests in the country, and continues to fight for its power and influence in the region.

War Without End: How Endless War Means Endless Profits for Boeing and Lockheed Martin (Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & Rebecca Gordon / TomDispatch)
Donald Trump, now preparing to lead the US into the latest series of endless wars, recently reflected on America's military prowess: "We have to start winning wars again." But the only winners are a few large corporations. Military aid to other countries is a windfall for US arms manufacturers. Countries receiving US "foreign aid" are often obligated to spend it on American products. In other words, much of the Pentagon's military "aid" is actually a back-door subsidy to companies like Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

US Marines Shame Women Soldiers While Marxist Rebel Army Treats Women Fighters with Respect (Barbara Starr / CNN & Anastasia Moloney / Thomson Reuters Foundation & Associated Press)
While a US Marine Corp sex scandal involving nude photos of female Marines has put the Pentagon into a defensive posture of "damage-control," female soldiers in Colombia's Marxist rebel force insist they are treated equally and with dignity by their male compatriots. But with a peace agreement now in place, the demobilised women guerrillas may face a new struggle as they return to the cities and encounter a society known for its patriarchal and macho culture.

ACTION ALERT: Stand Up to Trump's $58 Billion Military Buildup (David Swanson / World Beyond War)
World Beyond War writes: "President Trump has proposed to move another $54 billion from 'everything else' to 'military spending,' pushing the military budget up to above 60% of discretionary spending for the first time since the (previous) Cold War. The money would be taken from human and environmental spending at home and abroad. We've drafted a sample resolution that you can ask your city, town, county, or state to pass, calling for the US to support human rights at home instead of endless wars abroad."

Trump's "Racist" Environmental Protection Cuts
Donald Trump's proposal to destroy the Environmental Protection Agency has been criticized as an attack on the environment that will have a racist impact among the poor and communities of color. The proposal would remove EPA's environmental justice office, a division tasked with bridging gap in pollution that afflicts black, Hispanic and low-income areas much more than areas occupied by wealthier and white residents.

ACTION ALERT: Investigate Trump's Botched Yemen Raid (Daily Kos Petition & Mark Sumner / The Daily Kos)
On January 29, 2017, newly inaugurated Donald Trump signed off on a raid into Yemen. The raid ended with the deaths of a US Navy SEAL and an unknown number of civilians, including an 8-year-old American girl. Trump was reportedly not even in the situation room during the raid. Evidence of the raid's "success" turned out to be 10 years old. Sen. Al Franken is leading a movement to investigate the raid but House, Oversight Committee chair Jason Chaffetz (who led 7 investigations into Benghazi) has refused to investigate.

Public Citizen Is Suing Donald Trump for Endangering the Environment (Robert Weissman / Public Citizen)
A new lawsuit, Public Citizen v. Donald J. Trump, takes direct aim at Trump's most brazen gift to Big Business yet. Via a unilateral directive issued on his second week in office, Trump decreed that for any new regulation enacted, two or more existing public protections would have to be eliminated. Trump's executive order mandated the elimination of existing rules for the purpose of offsetting the costs of new rules -- while ignoring the benefits -- even if the existing rules are entirely unrelated.

Stealing Yemen's Oil as Millions Starve (Matthew Allen / Russia Insider & Sputnik News)
Why does Saudi Arabia continue to bomb Yemen back into the Stone Age? The crux of the matter is that Yemen has oil reserves, while Riyadh is steadily running out of the commodity. The Saudis and French are illegally siphoning 63% of Yemen's oil as millions of Yemenis suffer from food shortages as Washington wages yet another US-backed "war for democracy and Western values."

In Response to Trump, EU Considers Alliance-Wide Nuclear Weapons Program (AntiWar.com & The New York Times )
Initially pushed by Eastern European members, particularly Poland, as another way to challenge Russia, the European Union is now seen warming to the idea of establishing its own alliance-wide nuclear weapons program placed under common European command. The plan is being sold as a response to the risk of Donald Trump dialing back Washington's military support for the EU.

After Trump's Deadly and Disastrous January Attack, More Airstrikes in Yemen (The Associated Press & AntiWar.com & Reuters & The Daily Times)
In the first direct US military action in Yemen since the disastrous January SEAL Team 6 raid, US warplanes and drones have launched a flurry of attacks against targets across southern and central Yemen. More than 20 distinct airstrikes were reported. The timing of such a large number of strikes has not been officially explained, but raises speculation that Trump hope to make it appear that the January raid produced "actionable" intelligence, and the new action is a result of this unproven allegation.

ACTION ALERT: Trump's Budget Would Leave Millions to Face Starvation (MoveOn.org & The Washington Post & Win Without War & Sen. Chris Murphy / The Huffington Post & The Hill)
Donald Trump has proposed large cuts in foreign aid to offset a $54 billion increase for the Pentagon. Cutting funds for diplomacy, crisis prevention, and humanitarian relief by nearly a third would leave the US less secure. Yemen, Nigeria, South Sudan and Somalia are approaching historic famines that will leave 20 million facing death from starvation. As our current Secretary of Defense said in 2013: if you cut funds for the State Department, you're just going to need to buy more bullets for the Defense Department.

The Art of the Trumpaclysm: America Reimagined (Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch)
Commentary: The Trumpacalypse has been a smash in both the Hollywood and car accident sense of the term -- a phenomenon the likes of which we've simply never experienced. Think of Nero fiddling while Rome burned while the cameras rolled. It's proved, in every way, to be a giant leak. A faucet. A spigot. An absolute flood of non-news, quarter-news, half-news, crazed news, fake news, and over-the-top actual news.

Contamination at Largest US Air Force Base in Asia: Kadena, Okinawa (Jon Mitchell / The Asia-Pacific Journal (Vol. 14, Issue 9, Number 1))
Located in the center of Okinawa Island, Kadena Air Base is the largest United States Air Force installation in Asia. Equipped with two 3.7-kilometer runways and thousands of hangars, homes and workshops, the base sprawls across 46 square kilometers of Okinawa's main island. Now, newly revealed documents have exposed a massive cover-up of accidents and neglect that have polluted local land and water with hazardous legacies of arsenic, lead, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), asbestos and dioxin.

ACTION ALERT: On Centennial of WWI, a Series of Conferences to End All War World Beyond War (World Beyond War)
This April 4th will mark 100 years since the US 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 -- in Washington, DC, New York and San Francisco -- to help us try to finally learn some lessons -- to move beyond, not just Vietnam, but all war.

Must It Always Be War? Tales from the Pentagon (Rosa Brooks / The New York Review of Books)
Societies often go to great lengths to separate war from peace. Wars are declared, sometimes with elaborate ritual. Soldiers wear uniforms and are part of specialized hierarchical organizations. Battlefields are often delineated. Maintaining this distinction is important because what is permissible in wartime is often prohibited in peacetime. Preventing the rules of war from infecting views of moral conduct in times of peace is essential for preserving civilization. But, since 9/11, that line has been blurred.

Trump State Dept Walks Away from Human Rights (Yeganeh Torbati / Reuters)
The State Department released its annual report on human rights around the world on Friday but the release was overshadowed by criticism that the Secretary of State gave the report little of the traditional attention or fanfare. Rex Tillerson declined to unveil the report in person, breaking with stablished Democratic and Republican precedent. A senior US official would only answer reporters' questions by phone on condition of anonymity rather than appearing on camera -- also a break with precedent.

The Path to Stability: Offer Jobs and Wages Not Bombs and Drones (Caleb T. Maupin / Mint Press)
The US wars in Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Afghanistan have failed to stabilize any of these countries. The reach of terrorist groups seems to have expanded since the dawn of the War on Terror. China, on the other hand, is using a different strategy to reduce terrorism. By providing new jobs and better housing in Tibet and Xinjiang, these two unstable and previously terror-ridden regions are now more stable than ever before -- all without the high costs and massive destruction of war.

Trump's "Moderate" Defense Secretary Has Already Brought Us to the Brink of War (Mehdi Hasan /The Intercept)
Defense Secretary James Mattis has been touted as a "restraint" against his Commander-in-chief. But Mattis has been tied to some of the worst war crimes of the Iraq invasion. In April 2004, he ordered an attack on village that killed 42 civilians -- including 13 children. In November 2004, he lead an assault on Fallujah that reduced the city to rubble, forced 200,000 residents from their homes and resulted in at least 800 civilian deaths. And, we now know, in February of this year, he nearly triggered a war with Iran.

North Korea's Paranoia Justified: Trump Considering US Attack (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Carol E. Lee and Alastair Gale / The Wall Street Journal)
The Trump Administration, and Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland in particular, are seeking "outside the mainstream" options for dealing with North Korea, according to reports, and that among these options would be attacking North Korea outright. An internal White House review of strategy on North Korea includes the possibility of military force or regime change to blunt the country's nuclear-weapons threat -- a prospect that has US allies in the region on edge.

Trump Plots to Destroy the Environmental Protection Agency (John Flesher, Matthew Daly and Catherine Lucey / Associated Press & Democracy Now!)
The Trump administration plans to slash programs aimed at slowing climate change and improving water safety and air quality, while eliminating thousands of jobs, according to a draft of the Environmental Protection Agency budget proposal obtained by The Associated Press. Under the tentative plan from the Office of Management and Budget, the agency's funding would be reduced by roughly 25 percent and about 3,000 jobs would be cut -- about 19 percent of the agency's staff.

Dealing with North Korea: Isolation Has Failed; Let's Try Talking (Doug Bandow / The American Conservative)
The Trump administration has yet to fill out its foreign policy team -- but the international challenges won't stop. There is broad agreement that North Korea is one of the central problems, if not the biggest challenge, facing the new president. The government of Kim Jong-un won't give Washington a break. The latest mid-range missile test was routine, if unwelcome. Yet the Democratic People's Republic of Korea poses little direct threat to America. The country's leaders may be ruthless, but they are not suicidal.

Annual Massive US-South Korea War Exercise Risks Provoking Response from North Korea (Al Jazeera)
North Korea has warned of a "merciless" response if its territorial boundaries are violated during large-scale military drills involving US and South Korean forces. Pyongyang on Thursday reacted to the start of the annual war games with its typical fiery rhetoric, but recent missile and nuclear tests by the North give the usual threats an added weight.

ACTION ALERT: Stop the Senate's Methane Pollution Bill (Kristin Brown / League of Conservation Voters)
This usurpation of public trust is breathtaking. Literally. To imagine that elected leaders would abandon our communities and side with polluters is not a new story. But the fact that they are willing to sacrifice the health of our children to a legacy of polluted water and particulate-filled air is a scandal beyond measure. It is the equivalent of a "war crime" in peacetime. Sign the petition: Tell the Senate to vote NO on H.J. Res 36 and protect our climate and health.

Cover-up: Rogue British Missile 'Veered' Off-course, Threatened US Homeland
British Prime Minister Theresa May was revealed to have lied when she claimed to have known nothing about a June 2016 nuclear-capable Trident test that sent a British missile heading for the US. The British government described the operation as 'successful' -- because the submarine and crew returned to service -- but refused to say what happened to the missile. Ms. May refused -- four times -- to say if she had been aware of the event.

2013 Cover-up Report: A Million Vets Were Injured In Iraq and Afghanistan Wars (Rebecca Ruiz / Forbes & Jamie Reno / International Business Times)
According to a 2013 investigation by the International Business Times, the Department of Veterans Affairs had stopped releasing the number of non-fatal casualties of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, thus concealing what the paper called a "grim milestone" -- the unreported fact that these two wars had left 1 million soldiers suffering from serious combat-related injuries. The DVA claimed it stopped releasing the horrific figures because of unspecified "security" reasons.

North Korea's Paranoia Justified: Trump Considering US Attack (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Carol E. Lee and Alastair Gale / The Wall Street Journal)
The Trump Administration, and Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland in particular, are seeking "outside the mainstream" options for dealing with North Korea, according to reports, and that among these options would be attacking North Korea outright. An internal White House review of strategy on North Korea includes the possibility of military force or regime change to blunt the country's nuclear-weapons threat -- a prospect that has US allies in the region on edge.

Trump Exploits Widow's Anguish to Mask His Disastrous Yemen Raid (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Cynthia McFadden, William M. Arkin and Ken Dilanian / NBC News)
The Trump Administration's decision to continue hyping a failed Yemeni raid, despite all evidence to the contrary, as having netted a trove of intelligence continues to blow up in their face tonight, as Pentagon officials once again affirmed that the information gathered was minimal, and things they already knew about. Questions continue to swirl around an operation in which the Navy SEALs lost the element of surprise and quickly found themselves in a major firefight and wound up killing women and 9 children.

The Landmine Ban Treaty Turns 18 (The International Campaign to Ban Landmines)
Eighteen years ago today, the Mine Ban Treaty, also known as the Ottawa Treaty, entered into force, establishing a global norm against the use of anti-personnel landmines. Previously used far and wide as a weapon of choice in the 1980s and 1990s, the global community had come to realize the pernicious impact of landmines on civilians and their communities, long after the end of conflict.

ACTION ALERT: Investigate the Failed Yemen Raid: "Trump's Benghazi' (Will Fischer / VoteVets.org & Linda Sarsour / MoveOn.org)
The most solemn obligation for any president is when to send the men and women who wear our uniform into harm's way. President Trump did that when he sent Navy SEALs into Yemen for a raid that left Chief Petty Officer Ryan Owens and as many as dozens of civilians dead, including an eight-year-old American girl. Last night, President Trump used Ryan Owens' death as a shameful piece of propaganda. He called Owens a "hero" and even suggested he was smiling down from above.

Major Rise in Genital Wounds in War (Bill Berkowitz / The Smirking Chimp)
American veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq are facing struggles that will never be depicted in any military-themed video game, or military recruiting advertisement. Between 2001 and 2013, more than 1,300 men serving in the United States military in Iraq and Afghanistan suffered injuries to the penis, testicles or urinary system, according to a new report published in The Journal or Urology.

Trump Blames Obama and the Pentagon for His Botched Yemen Raid (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Phillip Carter / Vox.com )
Commentary: After authorizing a nighttime raid in Yemen that killed a Navy SEAL, left a village in ruins and numerous civilians dead (including a young American girl), Donald Trump lied about the mission's "success." It was, in fact, a disaster. Now Trump has blamed others for the debacle. The military, in Trump's mind, is to blame for the tragic loss of one of their own. Trump is blameless. His denials of responsibility and evasion fit a broader pattern of weakness for the man who inhabits the world's most powerful office.

Trump's Military Spending Plan Would Put Americans Last (Ron Paul / The Ron Paul Institute )
Commentary: "President Trump correctly pointed out that the last 15 years of US military action in the Middle East has been an almost incomprehensible waste of money -- six trillion dollars, he said -- and that after all that US war and meddling the region was actually in worse shape than before we started. But then minutes later in the same speech he seemed to forget what he just said about wasting money on militarism." He announced plans to cut social programs to pay for a $54 billion Pentagon build-up.

Study Finds Populist Leaders -- Like Donald Trump -- Tend To Be More Corrupt (Ruby Mellen / Foreign Policy Magazine & Damien Stroka / Agence France-Presse & Nathan Giannini / Yahoo Finance)
Transparency International's 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index pays special attention to the global rise of populism in the West. It argues that populism is caused by social inequality, which is then exploited by politicians. Taking aim at US President Donald Trump by name, Transparency International notes that, while populist leaders and movements are on the rise in part in response to corruption, they will likely only exacerbate widespread corruption as it continues to seep into democratic institutions.

Government Snipers: Useless, at Best; Dangerous, at Worst? (BBC World News & The Straight Dope & Team Fortress.com)
Do Secret Service snipers really offer protection for public officials? With scores of snipers on every rooftop, how does a "good" sniper identify a "bad" sniper? A well-trained sniper would take care not to be seen. The sniper's presence would not be known until after the first shots were fired. It would be hard to detect the source of fire in an urban setting. It would be hard for a "good" sniper to be able to detect a "bad" sniper once the target has fled, let alone catch an escaping shooter in his crosshairs.

Great World War for Water' Looming, Pope Francis Warns (RT News & The National Geographic & The Huffington Post & Bread for the World)
Water scarcity may cause conflict and the whole globe may be on its way to a great world war over water. Underground water is being pumped so aggressively around the globe that land is sinking, civil wars are being waged, and agriculture is being transformed. About two-thirds of the world's population faces water scarcity for at least one month during the year. The United Nations predicts a global shortfall in water by 2030.

Radiation Levels at Fukushima Is So High It Killed Two Robots (Whitney Webb / EcoWatch & EcoWatch)
Radiation inside one of the three damaged Fukushima reactors has reached 530 sieverts per hour, a drastic increase from the previously recorded 73 sieverts per hour recorded in the aftermath of the meltdown. The National Institute of Radiological Sciences admits that medical professionals have never considered dealing with such a high level of radiation. Every day, the damaged reactors are releasing 300 tons of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean.

Trump Seeks Massive 9% Military Spending Hike: GOP Hawks Slam Plan as Insufficient (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Alex Emmons / The Intercept)
President Trump today unveiled some new details on his budget priorities, seeking a 9% increase, or about $54 billion, in increased military spending for next year, with a series of plans to reduce domestic spending to try to cover the different. The State Department and the EPA are both said to also be marked for substantial cuts in the range of tens of billions of dollars.

A New Film Celebrates Costa Rica's "Right Idea": No Military (Robert C. Koehler / Buzzflash @ TruthOut)
Costa Rica is now nearly seven decades into what may be the most extraordinary experiment a sovereign nation has ever undertaken -- living without a military and transcending war. Costa Rica provides a living example of a demilitarized future that is possible for the whole planet. Contrary to what too many people continue to believe, aggressive dominance is not the key to survival, for nations or for individuals. Indeed, it's just the opposite.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Trump from Launching a Nuclear First-stirke (Petition from Credo Action & Will Worley / The Independent)
As Britain's Independent notes: 'It is a frightening reality that the US now has a Commander-in-Chief who was making sweeping statements about US nuclear policy over Twitter.' Donald Trump currently has unrestricted power to launch thousands of nuclear weapons at will. The passage of H.R. 669, the Restricting the First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act, would prevent him from starting a nuclear war.

ACTION ALERT: Stand against Trump's Anti-environment Agenda (The Natural Resources Defense Council & Kristen Brown / League of Conservation Voters)
Donald Trump has promised to expand oil and gas drilling, kill the Clean Power Plan and roll back some of our most fundamental environmental protections. It's up to us to show President Trump that we are ready to act -- in and out of court -- against any attempts to derail the progress we've made and force us down a path toward climate chaos. Urge Trump not to threaten our wildlife and wild places or reverse our progress in fighting climate change.

Standing Rock Is Burning -- but Our Resistance Isn't Over (Julian Brave NoiseCat / The Guardian & Michael Sainato / The Observer)
Just north of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, water protectors set their makeshift and traditional structures ablaze in a final act of prayer and defiance against Energy Transfer Partner's Dakota Access Pipeline, sending columns of black smoke billowing into the winter sky above the Oceti Sakowin protest camp. The majority of the few hundred remaining protesters marched out, arm in arm.

Plastic Trash Threatens our Oceans: Microplastics in Oceans Outnumber Stars in Our Galaxy by 500 Times (Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch)
An estimated 8 million tons of plastic ends up in our oceans every year, damaging aquatic life and costing at least $8 billion in damage to marine ecosystems. If plastic continues to be dumped at this rate, the oceans will carry more plastic than fish by 2050. On February 23, the UN "declared war" on the main threat of planetary pollution -- ocean plastic. Governments are being urged to eliminate microplastics from cosmetics and personal care items, ban plastic bags and reduce other disposable plastic items.

EPA Head Scott Pruitt Says Destruction of the EPA Is "Justified" (Ryan J. Reilly / The Huffington Post & Rebecca Leber / Mother Jones)
Donald Trump's new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, climate-change-denier Scott Pruitt, recently told a gathering of conservatives that those who want to eliminate the EPA are "justified" in their beliefs, adding: "I think people across this county look at the EPA much as they look at the IRS." Pruitt's statement was seen as a signal of the White House's intent to roll out a series of executive actions gutting the EPA, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and a host of Clean Energy programs.

Trump's Terrorism Fearmongering vs. The Facts (A. Trevor Thrall and Erik Goepner / The New York Daily News & the Cato Institute)
When it comes to "fake news," what's disturbing is how loose with the facts Donald Trump has been when it comes to talking about terrorism. Speaking at a law enforcement conference, he stated that terrorism is "a far greater threat than people in our country understand. Believe me." Trump's claims, however, are unsubstantiated, strongly refuted by the data, and even contradicted by his own administration.

Donald Trump's Big League Gun Hypocrisy (The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence)
The election of Donald Trump has emboldened the corporate gun lobby, a multibillion-dollar gun industry, and lapdog politicians who do their bidding. A politician's 10-second "thoughts and prayers" tweet . . . is not an adequate response to a mass shooting. In a recent legal victory, a federal appeals court struck down an NRA-backed Florida law that attempted to restrict doctors from talking to their patients about the dangers of guns.

Former CIA Analyst and NCS Director Lambasts Trump (Leslie Salzillo / The Daily Kos & Edward Price / The Washington Post)
After working with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and also serving as the Senior Director of the National Security Counsel, Edward Price resigned last month. On Monday, Price released a bold and unabashed op-ed letter/video in the Washington Post giving reasons for his departure. Those reasons predominantly condemned the actions of Donald Trump and his Trump "team."

Trump White House Bars News Organizations From Press Briefing (Michael Calderone / The Huffington Post)
The White House blocked several news outlets from attending a closed-door briefing Friday afternoon with press secretary Sean Spicer, a decision that drew strong rebukes from news organizations and may only heighten tensions between the press corps and the administration. The Alt-right Brietbart News was admitted but the New York Times was banned.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Bannon's Plan to Destroy Cabinet Agencies and Wage War on the Press (The Daily Kos & Hon. Nancy Pelosi / US House of Representatives & Lynn Elber / Associated Press & Leslie Salzillo / The Daily Kos)
At the CPAC convention, Stephen Bannon, the Chief Advisor and intellectual heft behind the Twittering infant that sits in the Oval Office admitted that Trump's cabinet appointees were selected, not to lead the agencies, but to destroy them. Bannon also escalated his rhetorical war on the free press, warning that, under the Trump administration, "It's going to get worse every day for the media."

ACTION ALERT: Sign the Petition: Get Bannon off the National Security Council (The Daily Kos & Courage Campaign)
Stephen Bannon, the white nationalist who has become one of Donald Trump's top advisors, has effectively appointed himself to the National Security Council (NSC), the country's highest national security body. Even military and national security experts find this alarming. (2) Bannon has no national security experience, but he does have an extreme ideological agenda. Donald Trump may be the President, but Bannon is really running the show. Bannon's power grab is unprecedented, dangerous, and must be stopped.

Trump Targets the Endangered Species Act (Christina Nunez / The National Geographic)
A 43-year-old law protecting wildlife is in danger from opponents in the new administration. The 1973 law protects more than 1,600 plant and animal species species by designating them as threatened or endangered, preserving habitat and outlawing hunts. Foes of the Endangered Species Act now see an opportunity to weaken it. Donald Trump has called the nation's environmental rules "out of control" and placed .a freeze on pending regulations including protections for a rare, endangered species of bumblebee

Emails Reveal Pruitt's Behind-the-scenes Collaboration with Oil and Natural Gas Interests (Jeremy Diamond and Rene Marsh / CNN)
In June 2013, a top lobbyist at Devon Energy, an Oklahoma-based oil and natural gas giant, sent one of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt's top officials a draft letter objecting to proposed federal regulations on fracking. Two months later, Pruitt (now head of the Environmental Protection Agency), signed a nearly identical version of that letter and sent it to Interior Secretary. More than 7,500 pages of recently revealed emails from Pruitt's office reveal frequents exchanges with polluting energy firms over many years.

Pollution in the Pacific: Contamination at Okinawa's Marine Bases (Jon Mitchell / The Asia-Pacific Journal)
Since 2002, at least 270 environmental accidents on US Marine Corps bases on Okinawa have contaminated land and local waterways but, until now, almost none of these incidents has been made public. US Marine internal reports highlight serious flaws in training and suggest that the lessons of past accidents have not been effectively implemented.

Scott Pruitt and the the 4 Pols Behind Koch Plan to Kill the EPA (Alex Kotch / DeSmogBlog & Ken Kimmell / Union of Concerned Scientists)
Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz turned heads when he introduced a bill on Feb. 3 to "completely abolish" the US Environmental Protection Agency. Rep. Gaetz's bill (H.R. 861) came the day after a Senate committee voted to confirm Scott Pruitt -- a fossil fuel-friendly climate-change denier who has sued the EPA 14 times -- to head the agency. Gaetz and his three fellow sponsors have all benefited from campaign donations from the Koch brothers, oil, gas and coal companies and large electric utilities.

Private Prisons-for-Profit Need Prisoners: Trump Considers Nationwide Pot Arrests (Marisa Schultz / The New York Post & Marisa Schultz / The New York Post)
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has signaled his strong support for the federal government's continued use of private prisons -- despite the finding that private facilities have more safety and security problems than government-run prisons. Another problem: private prisons are not needed owing to declines in the overall federal prison population. Team Trump may have come up with a solution to that last problem. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has warned states and localities to expect “greater enforcement” of anti-pot laws under the Trump administration.

Russia's New ICBMs Can 'Rip Apart' US Anti-missile Systems (RT News )
Russia has unveiled the very first image of a new super-heavy thermonuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile, the RS-28 Sarmat. The Sarmat, designed to be fitted with a hypersonic glider warhead, is expected to go into production as early as 2018.

Trump to Roll Back Obama's Climate, Water Rules (Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson / The Washington Post)
Trump is preparing executive orders aimed at curtailing Obama-era policies on climate and water pollution, according to individuals briefed on the measures. While both directives will take time to implement, they will send an unmistakable signal that the new administration is determined to promote fossil-fuel production and economic activity even when those activities collide with some environmental safeguards.

Thousands of Emails Detail EPA Head's Close Ties to Fossil Fuel Industry (Brady Dennis and Steven Mufson / The Washington Post & Steve Horn, Sharon Kelly and Graham Readfearn / DeSmogBlog)
The Center for Media and Democracy has obtained previously unreleased emails from the office of former Oklahoma Attorney General, Scott Pruitt, who was recently sworn in as the head of the US Environmental Protection Agency. According to the email record, Pruitt regularly huddled with fossil fuel firms and electric utilities to discuss how to combat federal environmental regulations and spoke to conservative political groups about what they call government"overreach."

ACTION ALERT: Assault on the EPA Begins: Trump to Sign Two Executive Orders (EcoWatch & Gene Karpinski / League of Conservation Voters & Marjorie Mulhall / Earthjustice)
This is not a drill: Donald Trump is expected to announce TWO new executive orders targeting critical climate and water protections. We have a long fight ahead of us. Multiple outlets have reported that Donald Trump may be planning a visit to EPA headquarters as early as this week, where he could sign executive orders targeting Obama administration climate policies and the agency's structure. And now, under the new administration, even the Endangered Species Act is endangered.

The Nazi-era Predecessor to Trump's 'Fake News' (Alexander Griffing / Haaretz)
Used in World War I to attack enemy propaganda, the phrase 'lying press' resurfaced under the Nazis and during the 2014 anti-immigrant movement in Germany is now staple of Trump's rhetoric. Hitler and the Nazis appropriated the term to weaken opposition to the regime, primarily "accusing" Jewish, communist, and later the foreign press of disseminating fake news. Today, Donald Trump has revived this troubling tradition.

Report: US Secretly Used Nuclear Weapons in Syria (Daniel McAdams / AntiWar.com & Foreign Policy Magazine & Doug Weir / The Ecologist)
The recent confirmation that the US used radioactive ammunition in two attacks in Syria in 2015 raises a number of troubling questions: Why was DU used; will it be used again; what will be done to address the health and environmental risks posed by radioactive contamination? DU is known to cause cancers and birth defects. Despite vowing not to use DU weapons in Syria, the US has now admitted that it has fired thousands of deadly rounds during airstrikes on oil trucks in Islamic State-controlled areas.

Troubling Questions Posed by US Use of Depleted Uranium in Syria (Doug Weir / The Ecologist & the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons)
News that the US had used radioactive depleted uranium weapons to attack targets inside Syria first broke last October. But it was not clear at the time where the weapons had been used or what the US was shooting at. The news emerged shortly before the UN voted on a sixth DU resolution to control the use of these deadly weapons. The US was one of only four countries to vote against the text. On November 16 and 22, 1,490 DU rounds and 3,775 rounds, respectively, were used to destroy 399 fuel tankers

Trump Attacks Those He Can't Yet Control (Robert Reich / San Francisco Chronicle & Charles P. Pierce / Esquire Magazine)
Commentary: With Republicans in the majority in Congress unwilling to cross Donald Trump, the job of containing Trump's incipient tyranny falls to three crucial centers of independent power: the courts, the press, and a few state governments. Which is why Trump is escalating attacks on all three, seeking to erode public confidence in them. The "fake news" charge is really perilous, a tactic designed to subvert the idea of an informed citizenry -- the basis of American self-government and freedom.

Lowest Rainfall in Over 50 Years Is Latest Threat to Children in Syria and Region (The United Nations International Children's Fund)
Parts of Syria are suffering their lowest levels of rainfall in more than half a century, placing more than 4 million children in the war-torn country at even greater risk. In 2014, a UNICEF report warned that "water scarcity in Syria is now so acute that it may soon drive more civilians to leave their homes, adding to the 6.5 million people already displaced by the conflict."

Trump's Shift On Yemen Risks Plunging The Country Into Famine (Jessica Schulberg and Ryan Grim / The Huffington Post)
Donald Trump may be on the brink of sparking a full-blown famine in Yemen -- all because of a subtle shift in messaging that risks effectively cutting off humanitarian relief to the war-torn nation. Former President Barack Obama's administration urged a coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates not to attack the critical port of Hodeida which receives the bulk of humanitarian supplies entering Yemen. Critics warn that any disruptions to the port would be "sufficient to tip the country into famine."

Trump Prepares to Destroy the EPA (Rebecca Leber / Grist & Amy Davidson / The New Yorker)
Scott Pruitt, Trump's choice to run the Environmental Protection Agency, was expected to sail through Senate -- possibly as soon as Friday -- despite Democrats' protests that he is unfit to lead an agency that he has repeatedly sued. Meanwhile a cache of documents that might show whether Pruitt was too compromised to deserve the job was due to be released in a few days. So why did Senate Republicans insist on rushing the confirmation vote before the requested document could be released to the public?

Five Things Scott Pruitt Can Do to Cripple the EPA (Annie Snider / Politico & Wenonah Hauter / EcoWatch)
Donald Trump vowed to gut the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Senate has just confirmed his man to do it -- climate denier Scott Pruitt. The new administrator and President Donald Trump are expected to move quickly to begin unraveling the agency's rules on water and climate change. Meanwhile, the White House completed its pipeline trifecta Thursday by rubber-stamping the Enbridge-Spectra merger after approving the Dakota Access Pipeline and reversing the blocked Keystone XL pipeline.

The 4 Koch-funded Pols Behind the Plan to Kill the EPA -- and What to Expect from Scott Pruitt (lex Kotch / DeSmogBlog and EcoWatch & Ken Kimmell / Union of Concerned Scientists)
Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz turned heads when he introduced a bill on February 3, 2017 to "completely abolish" the US Environmental Protection Agency. Gaetz's bill came the day after a Senate committee voted to confirm Scott Pruitt (a fossil fuel-friendly attorney general who has sued the EPA 14 times) to head the agency. Meet the four GOP reps who have raked in cash from some of the biggest corporations peddling fossil fuels, including Koch Industries, Duke Energy, Chevron and ExxonMobil.

Another Indigenous Environmental Activist Assassinated in Honduras (teleSUR English & Nina Lakhani / The Guardian)
Indigenous environmental leader and teacher, Jose de Los Santos Sevilla, was attacked and killed in his home early Friday morning by five heavily armed men according to Honduran media. According to an ex-soldier who now fears for his life, it was a unit trained by US Special Forces that was ordered to kill environmental activist and Goldman Environmental Prizewinner Berta Caceras who was slain in March 2016. Honduran soldier claims US Special Ops have circulated a hit-list targeting local activists.

News Vet Dan Rather Calls Trump's Press Conference "Unsettling"; Sen. McCain Warns Press Attacks Are "How Dictators Get Started" (Dan Rather / Facebook & Jonathan Landay and Andrea Shalal / Reuters)
Dan Rather writes: "Donald Trump's press conference yesterday is one of the most unusual and unsettling from a president perhaps in our nation's history. It reminds me a bit of the final days of President Nixon's tenure." Meanwhile, Senator John McCain has defended the media against the latest attack by Trump, warning that suppressing the free press is "how dictators get started."

Mussolini's War on the Press: A Proven Tool of Fascism (David S. D'Amato / Libertarianism.org)
Italian dictator Mussolini insisted that "Fascism requires militant journalism" working "as a solid bloc" to advance "the Cause" -- by hiding conflicting evidence and marginalizing critics. Mussolini favored the proactive steering of the press, hardly subtle and clearly defining his expectations as supreme leader. In Fascist Italy, the resultant self-policing by the media was at least as important as actual legal prohibitions against openly criticizing Il Duce.

Hitler's War on the Press: Control and Cooptation (The US Holocaust Memorial Museum)
The elimination of Germany's multi-party political system brought about the demise of hundreds of newspapers produced by opposition political parties and allowed the state to seize the printing plants and equipment that were often turned over directly to the Nazi Party. The Nazi regime deployed the radio, press, and newsreels to stoke fears of a pending "Communist uprising," then channeled popular anxieties into political measures that eradicated civil liberties and democracy.

Why Does Congress Accept Perpetual Wars? (Andrew J. Bacevich / The American Conservative)
Commentary: Nominally, the Senate Armed Services Committee and its counterpart in the House of Representatives provide oversight of US military activities. In practice, however, Congress' unacknowledged goal seems to be avoiding any meaningful oversight, especially in regards to nation's endless armed conflicts like the Afghanistan War. Oversight implies ownership and the US Congress has no desire to own a war that is the longest in US history and shows no sign of ending anytime soon.

Former US Ambassadors and Reform Jewish Movement Deplore Trump's Pick for Israel Envoy (Amir Tibon / Haaretz & Judy Maltz / Haaretz)
David Friedman's 'extreme positions' make him 'unqualified for the position of US ambassador to Israel, according to former American envoys to Israel -- Thomas Pickering, Dan Kurtzer, Edward Walker, James Cunningham and William Harrop -- who cite Friedman's financial support of a radical West Bank settlement and his questionable condemnations of prominent US Jewish groups. Israel's Haaretz newspaper proposes 10 questions that Friedman needs to address.

Hurdles Ahead for Trump's Massive Proposed Pentagon Increase (Richard Lardner / Associated Press)
Analysis: Republicans control Congress so President Donald Trump's pledge to boost the Pentagon budget by tens of billions of dollars should be a sure bet. It's not. Trump faces skeptical Democrats whose support he'll need and resistance from fiscal conservatives opposed to repealing a 2011 law that set firm limits on military and domestic spending. Unless the president figures out a way to mollify the disparate camps, he'll have a tough time delivering on a signature campaign promise

Greenwashing Wars and the US Military (Ann Wright / Consortium News)
In September 2016, a congress of major conservation groups soft-pedaled criticism of the US military and other war-makers despite the massive damage they inflict on humans, animals, plants, cultural sites and the environment. Retired Col. Ann Wright asks: "How can you conserve nature when you are bombing nature in wars of choice around the world, practicing military operations in areas that have endangered species . . . and bombing islands into wastelands?"

Trump Nominates Key War Contractors to Top Pentagon Positions (Mandy Smithberger / The Project on Government Oversight)
Lockheed Martin is the top recipient of Pentagon contracting dollars, receiving $29.4 billion of taxpayer dollars in 2015 alone. Now, the company will have a lock on top Pentagon posts as well. Donald Trump has named a former consultant for a Lockheed subsidiary to be Air Force Secretary and a current Lockheed Vice President has been tapped as Trump's top contender to be the Deputy Secretary of Defense. Of course, filling top posts with former war contractors is not unique to the Trump administration.

The Top 20 Companies Profiting the Most From War (Samuel Stebbins and Thomas C. Frohlich / 247 Wall Street.com)
National security and warfare are big business. The US spent $598.5 billion, over half of its discretionary budget, on military and weapons technology in 2015. The 100 largest arms-producing and military services companies across the globe sold an estimated $370.7 billion worth of arms that year. Lockheed Martin's arms sales totaled $36.44 billion in 2015, by far the most of any company. US- and Western Europe-based firms account for 82.4% of arms sales by the 100 top military procurement companies.

Idaho Schools Ban Climate Science (Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch)
Idaho lawmakers have approved new K-12 science standards that do not reference the established science of climate change and the impact of human activity on the environment. The Feb. 9 vote from the House Education Committee followed party lines. The 11 Republicans on the panel approved the proposed science standards -- but only after five paragraphs mentioning the climate change were removed from the initial draft. The committee's three Democrats voted against removing the climate change language.

Green Groups File Sweeping Lawsuit AccusingTrump of Usurping Congress's Powers on Regulations (Chris Mooney / The Washington Post & Donald J. Trump / The White House & William Boardman / Reader Supported News)
Three advocacy groups -- Public Citizen, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Communications Workers of America -- have filed a sweeping federal lawsuit challenging Donald Trump's executive order requiring two federal regulations to be "identified for elimination" for every new one added -- arguing that the order fundamentally takes over Congress's powers to enact laws to protect public health, safety, and the environment.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Trump and Putin to "Drop Your Nukes" (Nuclear Are Peace Foundation & WagingPeace.org)
Commentary: At a press conference today, President Donald Trump said, "I want to do the right thing for the American people, and to be honest, secondarily, I want to do the right thing for the world." Nuclear weapons put civilization and the human species at risk of annihilation, which is why we published an open letter to Presidents Trump and Putin calling on the two leaders to negotiate the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

Donald Trump, the Bomb, and the Human Future (David Krieger / Nuclear Age Peace Foundation)
Donald Trump and the Bomb are nearly the same age. Which of them will prove to be more destructive remains to be seen, but in combination they are terrifying. The most positive policy proposal Trump will bring to the table as president is his desire to improve relations between the US and Russia, which have deteriorated badly in recent years. This is one hopeful sign that could lead to renewed efforts by the two countries to reduce their nuclear arsenals and reverse current plans to modernize these arsenals.

Trump's First News Conference: In Unprecedented Fashion for a President, Trump Rips Press (Jonathan Lemire / Associated Press)
Never before has a president stood in the White House and so publicly maligned the press or attacked reporters by name, according to presidential historians. Not even Richard Nixon in the days of Watergate. Trump put claims of press prejudice at the center of his campaign in an unprecedented way and earlier this month falsely accused the media of refusing to cover terrorist attacks. Though Thursday's news conference was a messy, fact-challenged affair, it may well have cheered Trump supporters.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Steve Bannon -- No White Supremacist on the National Security Council (CREDO Action)
Right-wing puppet master Steve Bannon has gotten himself appointed to the inner circle of Trump's National Security Council, an appointment generally reserved for senior military and intelligence officers. Bannon, Trump's anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, white supremacist, domestic abuser top adviser should not be in the White House at all. His seat on the NSC is unheard of and the consequences for our nation could be horrific.

US Troops, Tanks, Arrive in Romania to 'Defend' Nation (Jason Ditz /AntiWar.com & Mihail Kogalniceanu / The Associated Press & Anna Nemtsova / The Daily Beast)
In a show of force criticized by Russia, 500 US ground troops, with tanks and other vehicles, arrived in Romania as part of a new infantry deployment to "bolster defense" in the southeastern European nation. Meanwhile, Romanian citizens are in open revolt against government corruption -- a spark that has ignited the demonstrations that now aim to bring down the government. But there's more to it than that.

War on the Media: Trump Ignores Critical Questions at Staged Press Conf (Igor Bobic / The Huffington Post )
On February 15, Donald Trump ignored shouted questions about his administration's reported ties to Russia. The president walked away in response to a question from CNN's Jim Acosta. Trump has maintained his practice of only answering questions from friendly reporters from the conservative press: The New York Post, Fox News, Christian Broadcasting Network and Townhall.com.

Why Won't American Media Fully Investigate What Could Be The Biggest Story In US Political History? (Leslie Salzillo / The Daily Kos & Seth Abramson / Huffington Post )
In an article from January 12, 2017, before Donald Trump was even inaugurated, Seth Abramson discussed a terrifying fear many of us have -- the suppression of the media by the new administration. Instead of covering the leaked 35-page British intelligence briefing on Donald Trump, US media downplayed or dismissed the document in its entirety. Abrasion asks: "What market forces in American media might be preventing our cable and network news, and many of our newspapers, from doing their jobs."

Is Trump Leading the US on a Path to War with Iran? (Ted Regencia / Al Jazeera)
In 2016, James Norman Mattis told a crowd of foreign policy experts: "The future is going to be ghastly . . . the next president is going to inherit a mess." "Mad Dog" Mattis now oversees the 1.3 million US troops, manages Pentagon's $582.7 billion budget, and directs military policy, and has Donald Trump's ear. But critics warn Mattis' fixation with Iran -- combined with Trump's hostility towards the oil-rich Gulf state -- could lead the United States into a disastrous replay of George W. Bush's Iraq invasion.

US Complicit in Saudi Arabia's Killing of Civilians in Yemen (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Oriana Pawlyk / Military.com & Stephanie Nebehay / Reuters)
The US doesn't necessarily like to brag about their involvement in the Saudi invasion of Yemen, given the massive civilian death toll of the Saudi airstrikes and the growing international disquiet about the humanitarian crisis the war has led to. Still, US involvement is increasing, not decreasing.

Trump Treatens Courts, the Separation of Powers, and Democracy Itself (William Boardman / Reader Supported News )
Donald Trump's screaming tweet, complete with all caps in the original, captures the essence of this president's bald move to take total power over the United States. When he says "the security of our nation is at stake," he refers demagogically to the imaginary threat of terrorists from seven countries.

Is a Military Coup OK if the President Is Abusive? (John Kiriakou / Reader Supported News)
There's practically no precedent for a presidential coup in the US (with the exception of a 1933 plot that involved a group of wealthy businessmen that conspired to form a right-wing veterans' organization and overthrow President Franklin Roosevelt "socialistic" New Deal). Today, many world leaders are "extremely anxious about the events unfolding after the election of Donald Trump" and some believe that "a coup is in the making to overthrow Trump."

Trump's Foreign Policy: "China First," "Russia Second," "America Third" (Tom Englehardt / Tom Dispatch & Michael T. Klare / Tom Dispatch)
Commentary: If there's a single consistent aspect to Donald Trump's strategic vision, it's this: US foreign policy should always be governed by the simple principle of "America First," with this country's vital interests placed above those of all others. Since then, however, everything he's done in the international arena has, intentionally or not, placed America's interests behind those of its archrivals, China and Russia. So to be accurate, his guiding policy formula should really be relabeled America Third.

UN Confirms: US Terror Strike Kills 'At Least 18' Afghan Civilians (Sune Engel Rasmussen / The Guardian & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Philip Walter Wellman / Stars and Stripes)
Following in Barack Obama's footsteps, Donald Trump has ordered a cowardly 2am terrorist attack on a home in Afghanistan that resulted in the deaths of "at least 18" civilians, nearly all women and children. "What the Americans are doing in Helmand is not right," one survivor said. "They target the locals instead of [the] Taliban. We would prefer if the Americans would just leave us alone." The US insistence that there was "no evidence" of any civilians killed in Friday's attacks was disproven by the facts.

US Bomb from WWII Triggers Mass Evacuation of 72,000 in Greece (Niki Kitsantonis / The New York Times)
In Greece's biggest peacetime evacuation ever, about 72,000 people left their homes in the city of Thessaloniki on Sunday as experts defused and removed a World War II bomb from below a gas station. Hundreds of police officers in Thessaloniki, the country's second-largest city, began knocking on doors early in the morning to remind residents within a radius of two kilometers, about 1.2 miles, to leave their homes.

Trump Is Our Imperial Vulture Come Home to Roost -- We Must Repent (Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman / Reader Supported News)
Commentary: The US has removed, disappeared and/or killed any number of duly elected leaders to make way for authoritarian pro-corporate regimes that unleashed more deaths, the denial of democratic rights, and massive suffering to innocent people who stood in the way of America's imperial agenda. . . . The horrors these coups have imposed on innocent people throughout the planet comprise a terrible karmic debt our nation owes the rest of humankind. And now, it seems, Donald Trump is our "payback."

Paul Krugman Issues A Warning About What We All Know Is Coming (Dartagnan / The Daily Kos & Paul Krugman / New York Times Op-Ed)
Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman believes the situation we now find ourselves in, with Donald Trump holding the levers of power, is worse than anything the US faced with Bush or Cheney: "Every day brings further evidence that this is a man who completely conflates the national interest with his personal self-interest. . . . The really striking thing about Mr. Trump's Twitter tirade, however, was his palpable eagerness to see an attack on America, which would show everyone the folly of constraining his power."

The Yemen Raid and the Ghost of Anwar al-Awlaki (Haroro J. Ingram and Craig Whiteside / The Atlantic)
Donald Trump has begun forging his own legacy in the ongoing wars on terror. On the same weekend that he signed his executive order temporarily banning travel to the US from seven Muslim-majority countries, US Navy SEALs, alongside UAE special forces, were preparing to raid Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula targets in Yemen, the first US-led ground action in the country since 2014. While over a dozen al-Qaeda fighters were reportedly killed, so too was a Navy SEAL and an unverified number of civilians.

Radiation at Fukushima Getting Worse Six Years after Meltdowns (William Boardman / Reader Supported News & The Asahi Shimbun & Nuclear News)
Radiation levels inside the collapsed remains of Fukushima Unit 2 reactor are significantly higher than "unimaginable." Whatever is going on at Fukushima has horrifying possibilities. The triple-meltdown disaster is still out of control. Meanwhile, TEPCO, the firm responsible for the catastrophe, is in charge of the clean-up and the Japanese government is more an enabler of cover-up than a protector. It took five years to discover that Cesium-137 fallout on Tokyo wasn't properly cleaned up.

ACTION ALERT: Trump Wages War on Bumblebees; Protect the EPA (Oliver Milman / The Guardian)
Donald Trump has been accused of targeting Muslims, media outlets and even department stores in his first month in the White House. Now, the US president may have doomed a threatened bumblebee. According to environmental groups, an executive order freezing new regulations for 60 days could push the rusty-patched bumblebee towards extinction. Pollinators are small but mighty parts of the natural mechanism that sustains us and our world.

Ten Points for Democracy Activists (George Lakoff / GeorgeLakoff.com)
Know the Difference between Framing and Propaganda: Frames, in themselves, are unavoidable and neutral. Propaganda expresses lies that propagandists know are lies for the sake of political or social advantage. Trump is dominating the media, partly to establish his authority, but mainly to divert attention and provide cover to Republican leaders. Keep focused on Republican actions. Minimize publicizing Trump -- his image, his name, his tweets

Trump's Disastrous Yemen Raid Killed Nine Children: What Went Wrong (Jack Moore / Newsweek & Reuters)
A new investigation into the Trump administration's Special Forces raid targeting Al-Qaeda militants in Yemen has found the operation went "dreadfully wrong," killing nine children under the age of 13, with the youngest victim a three-month-old baby. Our allies in Yemen and the Middle East warn that such attacks only create new enemies for the US. Meanwhile, Donald Trump insists that criticizing his raid "only emboldens the enemy."

Trump's Chief Strategist Believes The Apocalypse Is Coming And War Is Inevitable (Paul Blumentrhal and JM Rieger / The Huffington Post)
Commentary: Steve Bannon, who's now ensconced in the West Wing as President Donald Trump's closest adviser, has been portrayed as Trump's main ideas guy. But in interviews, speeches and writing, he has made clear that he is, first and foremost, an apocalypticist. In Bannon's view, we are in the midst of an existential war, and everything is a part of that conflict. Treaties must be torn up, enemies named, culture changed. Global conflagration, should it occur, would only prove the theory correct.

Will Steve Bannon's Holy War Become Real War? (Bill Berkowitz / for Buzzflash at TruthOut & Micah L. Sifry / The Nation)
In his documentary, Generation Zero, Steve Bannon reveals the theory that guides his thinking: a notion of generational disruptions popularized by Neil Howe and William Strauss in "The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy." According to Strauss and Howe, roughly every 80 years -- a saeculum, or the average life-span of a person -- America goes through a cataclysmic crisis. The Revolution of 1776, the Civil War, the Great Depression and World War II. Then comes the "unraveling," as the old order falls apart

Yellowstone National Park Sends Hundreds of America's Last Wild Buffalo to Slaughter (Buffalo Field Campaign & EcoWatch)
Under continued pressure from Montana livestock interests, Yellowstone National Park is sending hundreds of America's last wild buffalo -- the National Mammal of the US -- to slaughter. Upwards of 400 more wild bison have also been killed by hunters along Yellowstone National Park's boundary.

Trump Nixes Elliott Abrams for State Department Job (Jamie Gangel and Elise Labott /CNN & Justin Raimondo / AntiWar.com & Sen. Rand Paul / Ron Paul Liberty Report)
Elliott Abrams, who served Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, will not get the No. 2 job at the State Department, three Republican sources told CNN. But Abrams was nixed from the list of contenders after. Donald Trump learned of Abrams' biting criticism last May of his fitness to become president. Abrams had called Trump "thin-skinned." Trump's rejection of the Abrams' appointment would seem to confirm this diagnosis.

Trump Names Another Climate Denier to Key Energy Post (Steve Horn / DeSmog Blog)
GreenWire has reported that climate change denier Mike Catanzaro -- a lobbyist for oil and gas companies Noble Energy, Devon Energy, Encana Oil and Gas, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), and Hess Corporation -- will soon become a top energy policy aide for Presidential Runner-up Donald Trump.

Report: First Atom Bomb Test Caused Generations of Cancer (Russell Contreras / The Associated Press)
The world's first atomic bomb test caused generations of southern New Mexico families to suffer from cancer and economic hardship, according to surveys gathered by an advocacy group seeking compensation for descendants from the Tularosa area. The surveys released Friday detailed residents' stories from areas around the 1945 Trinity Test and argue that many Hispanic families later struggled to keep up with cancer-related illnesses.

ACTION ALERT: Stop US from Arming Terrorists (Tima Kurdi and Sen. Tulsi Gabbard / US House of Representatives)
"I am the aunt of Alan Kurdi, the Syrian boy who tragically drowned September 2, 2015. The devastating image of my 2-year old nephew's lifeless body, lying face-down on the beach in Turkey, was all over the news across the world. . . . Regime change policy has destroyed my country and forced my people to flee. Tulsi's message was exactly what I have been trying to say for years, but no one wants to listen."

Trump's Pipeline and America's Shame (Bill McKibben / The New Yorker)
Commentary: The Trump Administration is breaking with tradition on so many fronts that it seems noteworthy when it exhibits some continuity with American custom. And so let us focus for a moment on the news that construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline will resume -- a development that fits in perfectly with a national cultural tradition going back to the days of Plymouth Rock: repressing Native Americans.

Leaked Memo: Trump Plans to Free US Firms to Trade with Warlords (Lee Fang / The Intercept)
The leaked draft of a presidential memorandum Donald Trump is expected to sign within days suspends a 2010 rule that discouraged American companies from funding conflict and human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo through their purchase of rare "conflict minerals" -- tantalum, gold, tin, and tungsten. Critics claim suspending the rule would be "a gift to predatory armed groups seeking to profit from Congo's minerals."

Pentagon Spending: Up, Up, and Away! (William J. Astore / AntiWar.com & Greg Corombos / WND Radio)
Show me your budget and I'll tell you what you value. The Trump administration clearly values military weapons and wars. The Pentagon is due to get a major boost under Trump who has ordered the Pentagon to draft a "supplemental" budget for 2017 that would $40 billions more on top of the $600 billion the Obama administration budgeted. In 2001, it was estimated that the Pentagon, which has never been audited, had wasted more than $2 trillion dollars over the years. And that was 16 years ago.

Elliott Abrams Doesn't Belong At The State Department (Doug Bandow /Forbes)
Commentary: With Defense Secretary Mattis busy reassuring Asian and European allies that Washington will always pamper them, and Secretary of State Tillerson breathing fire and brimstone against China, it looks like Donald Trump has come out of the Neocon closet. Now Elliott Abrams is rumored to be in line for Deputy Secretary of State. Caught up in the Iran-Contra scandal and convicted for withholding evidence from Congress, Abrams is the wrong person at the wrong time for such an important post.

Trump's Botched Yemen Raid a Disaster: Civilians Killed; Terror Target Taunts Trump (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Cynthia McFadden, William M. Arkin and Tracy Connor / NBC Nightly News)
The embarrassing aftermath of the January 29 US raid in Yemen continues, with details on a raid which was initially presented as targeting "al-Qaeda headquarters" in Yemen. The US has claimed 14 AQAP fighters were killed, many of them "female combatants." Among the 40-plus civilians slain was an eight-year-old American girl. Qassim al-Rimi, the alleged target of the attack, was not killed, as the White House boasted. He survived and issued an audio recording that taunted Trump as the "fool in the White House."

The Media Is Ignoring Leaked US-government Documents on Syria (Ian Sinclair / The New Arab)
Disclosures reported by the media about US policy in Syria were quickly forgotten, and have been written out of the West's dominant narrative of the conflict. In summary, the leaked information wholly contradicts the popular picture of western benevolent intentions let down by President Obama's ineffective leadership. In fact, critics charge, "the war in Syria has involved similar, if not greater, levels of manipulation and propaganda than that which occurred in the case of the 2003 Iraq War."

Steering Trump Back to Endless War (Daniel Lazare / Consortium News & Christopher Miller / Radio Free Europe)
Analysis: The Trump administration hadn't even reached its two-week mark when it surrendered a major portion of its independence and fell in behind the reigning Washington orthodoxy. Donald Trump is a bully, a racist, a xenophobe, and more than bit crazy to boot. But despite all that -- or perhaps because of it -- he has shown an ornery streak in some of his thinking about foreign policy that placed him sharply at odds with Washington's vast pro-war establishment.

America Has Too Many Military Bases (Christopher A. Preble and William D. Hartung / The National Interest)
Donald Trump and Secretary of Defense James Mattis have pledged to cut waste. And key leaders in Congress have renewed their calls for rationalizing the Pentagon's base structure. Now is the time for Congress to come together, put the national interest over parochial interests and finally support a new round of base closings. Pentagon brass have been asking Congress for permission to eliminate unneeded facilities for years. If properly structured, any new set of base closings could save billions.

Colombia Accuses US Companies of Committing Crimes Against Humanity (teleSURtv )
For the first time, private companies have been charged with committing crimes against humanity. Colombia courts have charged Del Monte, Dole Food Company and Chiquita with financing right-wing paramilitary groups in the northern banana-producing region of Uraba. Other high profile companies, including Coca-Cola, Colombia's largest beverage company Postobon, cement company Cementos Argos, and state oil company Ecopetrol, have been accused of financing death squads.

Defending the Earth from Donald Trump (David Helvarg / The Progressive)
Commentary: "In his election campaign, Trump called the EPA, created by President Richard Nixon in 1970, a "disgrace" . . . And by nominating ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as his Secretary of State, along with the other billionaires and generals in his cabinet, Trump is effectively establishing the United States as a petro-oligarchy."

Huge Victory in War Against Wind Power; GOP Moves to Stop EPA from Reducing Greenhouse Gasses (Stefanie Spear / EcoWatch & Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch)
Republican Gov. Larry Hogan's veto of a bill to increase the use of wind and solar power to 25 percent by 2020, has been overridden by Maryland state lawmakers. Meanwhile, in DC, 114 GOP lawmakers have endorsed a bill that declares carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride are no longer "air pollutants."

Elliott Abrams a Trump Pick? Rumors Alarm Washington (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Senator Rand Paul / Rare Politics)
As Assistant Secretary of State during the Iran-Contra scandal, Elliott Abrams was convicted of two counts of withholding information from Congress. As a Special Assistant to President George W. Bush, he supported the invasion of Iraq and played a key role in the failed military coup in Venezuela. Many Washington insiders are alarmed at rumors that Abrams is under consideration to become Donald Trump's Deputy Secretary of State -- the second most powerful position in the State Department

More than 900 Afghan Children Killed in 2016 (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & The Associated Press & Alastair Jamieson / NBC News)
More than 900 children were killed in Afghanistan In 2016, according to United Nations. The nearly 25 percent increase in child deaths from the previous year was largely caused by mines and munitions left over from decades of conflict. "Conflict-related violence exacted a heavy toll on Afghanistan in 2016, with an overall deterioration in civilian protection and the highest-total civilian casualties recorded since 2009," the UN reported.

Left-Behind Explosives Taking Deadlier Toll on Afghan Children, UN Says (Mujib Mashal / The New York Times)
On Monday, the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan reported that 2016 had been another year of record civilian casualties in the country, and it expressed particular concern about a 65 percent jump in the number of children killed or wounded by explosive remnants as fighting has spread to heavily populated civilian areas. In 2016, 3,498 civilians were killed and 7,920 others wounded -- a rise of 3 percent over the previous year, the UN report said.

Green Movement 'Greatest Threat to Freedom', Says Trump Adviser (Damian Carrington / The Guardian)
Climate-change denier Myron Ebell -- nominated to head the Environmental Protection Agency 00 says he expects Donald Trump to withdraw the US from the global Paris Climate Change agreement. Ebell said he rejects the 'expertariat' who 'have been wrong about one thing after another, including climate policy.' Bell has also declared the the environmental movement is "the greatest threat to freedom and prosperity in the modern world."

Report: Pentagon's Figures on Airstrikes Badly Flawed (Andrew deGrandpre and Shawn Snow / Military Times)
The American military has failed to publicly disclose potentially thousands of lethal airstrikes conducted over several years in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, a Military Times investigation has revealed. The enormous data gap raises serious doubts about transparency in reported progress against the Islamic State, al-Qaida and the Taliban, and calls into question the accuracy of other Defense Department disclosures documenting everything from costs to casualty counts.

Huge Victory in War Against Wind Power; GOP Moves to Stop EPA from Reducing Greenhouse Gasses (Stefanie Spear / EcoWatch & Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch)
Republican Gov. Larry Hogan's veto of a bill to increase the use of wind and solar power to 25 percent by 2020, has been overridden by Maryland state lawmakers. Meanwhile, in DC, 114 GOP lawmakers have endorsed a bill that declares carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride are no longer "air pollutants."

More US Bombs On Yemen? (Daniel McAdams / AntiWar.com & The Ron Paul Liberty Report)
Why is President Trump continuing the failed Middle East policy of President Obama? Last weekend's drone strike on Yemen was supposedly aimed at al-Qaeda operatives, but it also killed a significant number of innocent women and children.

The Terror Inside Trump's White House (Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & Ira Chernus / TomDispatch)
What kind of national security policy will the Trump administration pursue globally? On this issue, as on so many others, the incoming president has offered enough contradictory clues, tweets, and comments that the only definitive answer right now is: Who knows?

Trump's Surrogates Ratched Up Their War on Free Press (The Daily Kos )
Commentary: Donald Trump is upset with things that the journalists of CNN have reported about him. He will therefore punish the network by denying them access -- until the network shapes up and reports only the news Donald Trump wants them to report. Trump advisor Steve Bannon has warned the news media to "keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while." Kellyanne Conway has stated that reporters who criticize Trump should be "let go."

A Two-Step Strategy to Destroy Freedom of the Press (Robert Reich / San Francisco Chronicle)
Commentary: In coming months and years our democracy will depend more than ever on the independent press -- finding the truth, reporting it and holding Trump accountable for his lies. But Trump's strategy is to denigrate and disparage the press in the public's mind, persuading the public that it shouldn't believe the press because it's engaged in a conspiracy against him. It is the two-step strategy of despots. And it's already started.

About That Intel 'Treasure Trove' From Trump's Botched Yemen Raid (Daniel McAdams / AntiWar.com & Idrees Ali / Reuters)
The initial triumphalist reporting Donald Trump's Yemen raid gave way to a darker reality: US military cover had been blown before the attack, the mission was poorly planned, an American was killed, at least a dozen innocent women and children were killed, millions of dollars in US military equipment destroyed, and the great "treasure trove" of intelligence seized at the compound turn out to be "old news.

NATO Is Obsolete (Ivan Eland|/ US News and World Report)
Commentary: In his campaign and transition to power, President Donald Trump has repeatedly sent tremors through the commanding heights of the US national security establishment. Recently, he again attacked the NATO alliance, calling it "obsolete," because NATO was not set up to respond to terrorist threats, and the allies are not bearing their fair share of the financial burden. Embarrassingly, Trump is right on both counts.

Torture Is a Monster and a Terrorist Lover (John Kiriakou / Reader Supported News)
Commentary: "Do torture techniques like waterboarding work? Raping prisoners' wives works. We don't do that. Beating and torturing their children in front of them works. We don't do that either. Raping and sodomizing prisoners "works." We don't do that. (At least we're not supposed to. This and other horrors were carried out by military officers and enlisted personnel at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq in the last decade.)"

Drought Threatens Wildlife in Kenya's Maasai Mara National Reserve (Nation)
Crocodiles and hippos are dying as the Mara and Talek rivers, which traverse the game reserve, are drying up. Wildebeests and zebras are crossing the dry riverbeds, heading to Tanzania to seek greener pastures. Conservationists have raised the alarm, saying that the drying-up of the rivers, whose source is in the depleted Mau Forest, is one of a series of ominous signs that could lead up to an ecological disaster.

Obama Killed a 16-Year-Old American in Yemen; Trump Just Killed His 8-Year-Old Sister (Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept)
In 2010, President Obama directed the CIA to assassinate a US citizen in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki, despite the fact that he had never been charged with any crime. The CIA carried out that order a year later with a September 2011 drone strike. Two weeks later, a separate CIA drone strike in Yemen killed al-Awlaki 16-year-old American-born son, Abdulrahman. Now Donald Trump's actions have killed Abdulrahman's eight-year-old sister, Nawar, who bled to death over a two-hour period after being shot in the neck.

SEAL Team 6 Outgunned and Pinned Down by 'Female Combatants' During US Terrorist Strike in Yemen
The Pentagon is hard at work shifting their narrative after media reports of that US soldiers were responsible for a large massacre of women and children in a botched hour-long raid in Yemen. In an attempt to justify the deadly raid, Pentagon officials claimed they netted a "treasure trove of valuable intelligence" including an incriminating video. The Pentagon quickly withdrew the video when reporters pointed out that it was originally released in 2007.

Anti-Corruption Populists Tend To Be More Corrupt (Ruby Mellen / Foreign Policy Magazine)
Is your country experiencing overwhelming social inequality? Do you and your fellow citizens think it's because of government corruption? Congratulations! You're likely to elect a populist leader. Taking aim at US President Donald Trump by name, Transparency International notes that, while populist leaders are on the rise -- in part in response to corruption -- will likely only exacerbate widespread corruption as it continues to seep into democratic institutions.

War on Nature: 97% of Endangered Species Threatened by Pesticides (Center for Biological Diversity )
The Environmental Protection Agency has acknowledged for the first time that three of the nation's most-used neonicotinoid pesticides pose significant risks to commercial honeybees. But in a second decision -- which represents capitulation to the pesticide industry -- the EPA refused to restrict the use of any leading bee-killing pesticides. A nationwide EPA analysis has found that 97% of the 1,800 animals and plants on the Endangered Species list are likely to be harmed by two commonly used pesticides.

Yemen Accuses US of "Extrajudicial Killings" as Trump's Botched Attack Destroys Village and Kills Civilians, Including an American Child (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)
The weekend raid by SEAL Team 6 against the home of a suspected al-Qaeda collaborator in Yemen is facing mounting criticism both domestically and internationally, as even the Pentagon concedes that there were civilians deaths in the attack, which ended up destroying nearly an entire village. Meanwhile, the White House shrugged off questions, insisting that the raid was a "success by all standards."

Pentagon Officials: Trump's Disastrous Yemen Raid OKed 'Without Sufficient Intelligence' (Eric Schmitt and David E. Sanger / The New York Times & Ayesha Rascoe / Reuters)
Almost everything that could go wrong did. The death of Chief Petty Officer William Owens came after a chain of mishaps and misjudgments that plunged the elite commandos into a ferocious 50-minute firefight that also left three others wounded and a $75 million aircraft deliberately destroyed. The Pentagon has acknowledged that the mission also killed several civilians, including some children.

In Deadly Yemen Raid, A Lesson for Trump's National Security Team (Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Missy Ryan / The Washington Post)
The mission facing the Navy SEALs as they approached a remote desert compound was a formidable one: detain Yemeni tribal leaders collaborating with al-Qaeda and gather intelligence that could plug a critical gap in US understanding of one of the world's most dangerous militant groups. Instead, a massive firefight ensued.

Deadly US Raid May Bolster Yemen's al Qaeda - Crisis Group (Reuters & Agence France-Press & Al-Monitor & International Crisis Center)
A commando raid approved by new US President Donald Trump this week may have given al Qaeda in Yemen a propaganda boost in killing civilians, the International Crisis Group (ICG) said in a report on Thursday. Local medics said 30 people including 10 women and children were killed in the helicopter-born Navy SEAL attack on a cluster of houses in Yemen's southern al-Bayda province. Apache helicopters also reportedly hit a school, a mosque and a medical facility.

Eight-year-old American Girl 'Killed in Yemen Raid Approved by Trump' (Spencer Ackerman, Jason Burke and Julian Borger / The Guardian)
An American girl, Nawar al-Awlaki, was fatally shot in a US intelligence operation on al-Qaida in Yemen that left at least 14 people, including a US commando, dead. An initial inquiry into the raid by the elite Joint Special Operations Command confirmed that civilians were "likely killed" in the raid and that "casualties may include children." The Pentagon is continuing to look into whether there "were any still-undetected civilian casualties."

Honduras Elites Blamed for Violence against Environmental Activists (Nina Lakhani / The Guardian)
An investigation by the anti-corruption group Global Witness accuses high-ranking Honduran politicians and business tycoons of orchestrating a wave of violence targeting environmental activists. Since the 2009 coup, at least 123 environmental activists -- including Goldman Prizewinner Berta Cameras -- have been murdered on orders from the country's elites who have terrorized communities with impunity. Most victims are members of indigenous communities opposing mega-projects on their land.

Solomon Islanders Struggle with Lethal Legacy of World War II (Julian Ryall / Deutsche Welle)
Seven decades after Japan and the United States fought over these South Pacific islands, local residents are unearthing bullets and bombs that still have the capacity to kill and maim. The haul to date, on one small patch of the island, includes a number of 155 mm artillery rounds that would have been fired from US howitzers. This August marks the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal, one of the bloodiest battles of the entire Pacific campaign.

How Corporate Media Threatens Our Democracy (Bernie Sanders / In These Times)
For years, major crises like climate change, the impact of trade agreements, the role of big money in politics and youth unemployment have received scant media coverage. Trade union leaders, environmentalists, low-income activists, corporate critics, rarely appear on our TV screens. Media is not just about what is covered and how. It is about what is not covered. And those decisions are not made in the heavens. They are made by human beings who often have major conflicts of interest.

Mind of a Leader: The Psychiatric Community Tried to Warn Us About Trump's 'Malignant Narcissism' (Olive Murphy / The Bipartisan Report & Gersh Kuntzman / New York Daily News & Olive Murphy / The Bipartisan Report)
John D. Gartner, a registered psychotherapist from the renowned Johns Hopkins University Medical School has decided to break the ethical code known as the "Goldwater Rule" in order to warn the public about the dangers posed by our new commander-in-chief's mental state. Gartner unofficially diagnosed Trump with "malignant narcissism." Although Gartner has not personally examined Trump, he claims it's obvious from watching Trump's behavior that he meets the diagnostic criteria for the disorder.

The Threat of Undiagnosed Trumpism: A Public Manifesto (Citizen Therapists Against Trumpism)
Commentary: "As psychotherapists practicing in the United States, we are alarmed by the rise of the ideology of Trumpism, which we see as a threat to the well-being of the people we care for and to American democracy itself. At the cultural level, the Urban Dictionary has defined Trumpism as "the belief system that encourages pretentious, narcissistic behavior as a way to achieve money, fame, and power." We cannot remain silent as we witness the rise of an American form of fascism."

ACTION ALERT: Order an Emergency Psychiatric Evaluation of Donald Trump (Teresa Zimmerman / Change.org Petition)
New York Mental Hygiene Law 9.39(a) provides for emergency mental health evaluations for "any person alleged to have a mental illness for which immediate observation, care, and treatment . . . is appropriate and which is likely to result in serious harm to himself or others." The likelihood of serious harm "shall mean . . . a substantial risk of physical harm to other persons as manifested by homicidal or other violent behavior by which others are placed in reasonable fear of serious physical harm."

Quebec Murders Initially Blamed on Islamic Terror: Killer Turns Out to Be a White, Rightwing, Trump Supporter (Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain / The Intercept & TeleSur)
After a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque that left six people dead, right-wing nationalist tabloids instantly linked the violence to Islamic terrorism. Fox News falsely claimed that "at least one gunman shouted 'Allahu akbar!'" In fact, the solitary shooter turned out to be a 27-year-old white French Canadian described as a rabid anti-immigrant nationalist, a far-rightwing "troll," and an outspoken supporter of Donald Trump.

The Environmental Impacts of Trump's Rulings (The Center for Biological Diversity & Emma Foehringer Merchant / Grist & Brian Palmer / EcoWatch)
Donald Trump's desire to build a wall along the US-Mexico border, would perpetuate human suffering, harm border communities and halt the cross-border movement of jaguars, ocelots, wolves and other wildlife. The wall would be particularly harmful to highly endangered jaguars. Trump has vowed to solve problems we don't have. His America First Energy Plan would "decrease our dependence of foreign oil" by killing US jobs in clean alternative energy and subsidizing costly. dirty, old-fashioned fossil fuels.

This Is an Outrage: Even by Neoconservative Standards, This Is an Outrage (NBC Evening News & Julie Pace and Eric Tucker / The Associated Press & GrabYourWallet.com)
Thousands of protesters flooded into airports in many US cities to protest the president's order, and to support the detainees and their families, who are waiting anxiously to see what happens next. Iraqi translator who risked their lives for the US, now find themselves stranded by Trump's Travel Ban. Overnight, Trump's ill-considered iimmigration vetting order has dashed the hopes and dreams of desperate families from around the world who were hoping to build a better life for themselves in the United States.

Climate Extremists Are Losing Ground (Kevin Grandia / EcoWatch)
In his Senate confirmation hearing, Secretary of State-pick Rex Tillerson stated: "The risk of climate change does exist, and the consequences could be serious enough that action should be taken." Given ExxonMobil's shady past regarding climate change, Tillerson's words are likely seen as empty rhetoric by many political observers. And considering Trump's recent executive orders to restart the process of constructing the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, it seems highly probable that is the case.

Corruption Watch: Looking Back on the Pentagon's $43 Million Gas Station Debacle in 2015 (Avi Asher-Schapiro / Vice News)
Somewhere in Sheberghan, a medium-sized Afghan city in the northern province of Jowzjan, lies a simple gas station with just a handful of pumps. The humble facility, which was supposed to provide cheap natural gas to local Afghan drivers, cost $43 million to build -- and the US Department of Defense footed the bill.

SEAL Team Chopper Crashes During Midnight Raid in Yemen. More than 40 Civilians Killed, Including Women and Children (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Associated Press & Eric Schmitt / The New York Times)
In the first counterterrorism operation authorized by Donald Trump since he took office, one US soldier was killed and several others were injured when a V-22 Osprey crashed during a pre-dawn SEAL team raid inside Yemen. The US attach killed roughly 57 people – mostly civilians, including women and children. The Cairo AP office reported receiving photographs showing the bodies of several young children who were shot multiple times during the raid.

From Pipelines to Refugees, Everything Trump Does Is Connected (Kate Aronoff / The Guardian)
Analysis: Donald Trump is the fossil fuel industry's puppet, and he's spent the first few days of his administration doing its bidding. A former ExxonMobil executive is en route to become the country's top diplomat, and the Centers for Disease Control has cancelled a long-planned conference to discuss the impacts of climate change on public health. Meanwhile, too comfortable in their separate silos, activists on the left need to learn that the only way to fight a unified rightwing agenda is to unify in response.

How Donald Trump's Muslim Ban Would Enrich the Prisons-for-Profit Industry (Keegan Hamilton / Vice News)
Private prison companies just hit the jackpot. Donald Trump has effectively given the Department of Homeland Security carte blanche to expand immigrant detention. His executive order authorizes the department to "allocate all legally available resources" to "establish contracts to construct, operate, or control facilities to detain aliens at or near the land border with Mexico." That means paying private prison companies like CoreCivic and the GEO Group big money to open new facilities in the US.

Seven Steps Democrats Must Take to Reinvent the Party (Robert Reich / San Francisco Chronicle)
The ongoing contest between the Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders wings of the Democratic Party continues to divide Democrats. It's urgent Democrats stop squabbling and recognize seven basic truths.

Trump Orders 'Great Rebuilding' of Pentagon (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Dan Lamothe / The Washington Post)
During his first post-inauguration visit to the Pentagon, Donald Trump today signed an executive order for what he described as the start of a "great rebuilding of the Armed Forces," seeking to increase the size of the US military -- which already spends roughly as much as the eight next largest militaries in the world -- with new warplanes, new ships, new resources, and in increase in the number of special forces.

Report: Only 19 Countries Are 'Full Democracies': The US Is Not Among Them (Vice News & The Economist Intelligence Unit)
The number of "full democracies" has decreased from 20 in 2015 to 19 in 2016 -- and the one missing is the USA. The Democracy Index tracks governments of 167 countries has downgraded the US to spot 21. Other "flawed" democracies include France, Greece, and Japan. At the top of the list is Norway, which maintains a near-perfect score of 9.93 out of 10. Meanwhile, Donald Trump continues to promote the unsubstantiated "fake news" story that 3-5 million illegal votes were cast in the Presidential election.

Banning Refugees From Countries America Destroyed Is Wrong (Lucy Steigerwald / Anti-War.com & Senator Kamala Harris)
Donald Trump has kept his campaign promises to ban refugees from nations "of particular concern." Which nations are included in that list? Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. These are all countries the US military has spent years attacking, killing thousands of innocent people in the process. It is the US that is the terrorist here. Meanwhile, while 15 of the 9/11 attackers were Saudi citizens and Saudi Arabia is not on Trump's list.

Chiquita Made a Killing From Colombia's Civil War. Will Their Victims Finally See Justice? (Matt Kennard and Nick MacWilliam / In These Times)
On Dec. 6, 1928, Chiquita -- then the United Fruit Company -- got the Colombian police and army to massacre hundreds of banana workers striking for better conditions. Colombians still refer to the "masacre de las banners." UFC is infamous throughout the region for lobbying Washington to lead a CIA-instigated military coup in Guatemala in 1954, that overthrew a democratically elected president, installed a military dictatorship, and unleashed a civil war that took the lives of a quarter-million poor Colombians.

Trump Is Now a War Criminal: Joins Bush and Obama in Ordering Drone Assassinations (William Boardman / Reader Supported News)
Now Donald Trump is a war criminal just like his predecessors. Over the inaugural weekend -- while the president was obsessing about the size of his crowd -- his government let loose two drone strikes against defenseless Yemen, reportedly killing an estimated 10 people. Three of these people were on a motorcycle hit by one drone, the other seven were in a vehicle hit by the other drone. The US is not formally at war with Yemen but strikes the country with drones whenever it feels like it.

Why Did the Army Blow Up Grandma? How the Pentagon Secretly Used Donated Bodies for Weapons Tests (John Shiffman / Reuters)
After she died, her family hoped 74-year-old Doris Stauffer's body would be used to study Alzheimer's disease. Instead, Stauffer's body was blown up by Pentagon researches studying the impact of roadside bombs. The story of how Doris Stauffer became the subject of a Pentagon experiment casts a spotlight on a growing and unregulated industry: human body brokers.

Trump's Alt-right Strategist Tells the Media to "Shut Up" (Amy Goodman / Democracy Now!)
In a rare interview with the New York Times Trump's Chief Strategist Steve Bannon said, "The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while." Bannon, the former head of Breitbart News, added, "I want you to quote this. The media here is the opposition party. They don't understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States."

Monsanto Challenges First Amendment to Silence Protestors (Reverend Billy Talen / Al Jazeera)
Monsanto's attacks on citizens that are critical of its popular herbicide, RoundUp -- and its carcinogenic glyphosate toxin -- are similar to the National Rifle Association. When Rev. Billy Tallen and friends staged a protest against Monsanto's chemical assault on the Earth, they were arrested. In court, Monsanto's lawyers attempted to argue that the defendants could not use the First Amendment in defense of their protest. Judge Carol Coppola disagreed, ruling that speech was Constitutionally protected.

Trump's Talk Helps Move Doomsday Clock 30 Seconds Closer To Midnight (Matt Ferner / The Huffington Post)
On January 26, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists announced that it had moved the Doomsday Clock's minute hand 30 seconds closer to midnight -- the hour symbolizing global catastrophe. Humankind is now just 2-and-a-half minutes from doomsday. The compounding factors prompting this grave adjustment (the closest the clock has been to midnight in a generation) include climate change, nuclear spending, political attacks on science and provocative statements from the new US administration.

Two US Senators Call for Law Restricting the First Use of Nuclear Weapons (Hon. Edward J. Markey / US Senate)
On January 24, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Congressman Ted W. Lieu (CA-33) and introduced the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. This legislation would prohibit the President from launching a nuclear first strike without a declaration of war by Congress. The crucial issue of nuclear "first use" is more urgent than ever now that President Donald Trump has the power to launch a nuclear war at a moment's notice.

A Bad Day for the Environment in Senate -- With Many More to Come (Bill McKibben / The New Yorker)
The Trump Administration had imposed a comprehensive gag order on employees of the Environmental Protection Agency. According to a leaked memo, "no press releases," "no blog messages," and "no social media will be going out," and "no new content can be placed on any website" until further notice -- perhaps an attempt to camouflage the other big EPA announcement, which was that the agency's grants and contracts had been temporarily frozen, effectively halting its work.

Earth to Pruitt: At a Confirmation Hearing, Denialism Stands while Temperatures Rise (Elizabeth Kolbert / The New Yorker)
Either it was a cleverly engineered plan or some kind of cosmic joke: just as the confirmation hearing for Scott Pruitt, the climate denier who is Donald Trump's nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency, was getting under way Wednesday, on Capitol Hill, two federal agencies -- the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration -- announced that 2016 was the warmest year since modern record-keeping began, in 1880.

Syrians Ask Visiting Congresswoman Why US Is Supporting Terrorist Forces (Rep. Tulsi Gabbard / AntiWar.com )
As much of Washington prepared for the inauguration of President Donald Trump, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard spent a week on a fact-finding mission in Aleppo, Damascus, and Beirut. After hearing directly from the Syrian people she warns: "This regime change war does not serve America's interest, and it certainly isn't in the interest of the Syrian people. The US must stop supporting terrorists who are destroying Syria and her people. We must allow the Syrian people to try to recover from this terrible war."

ACTION ALERT: Trump Cuts Put Vets Lives at Risk (Vote for Vets & Donovan Slack / USA TODAY)
Veterans make up about 31% of the federal workforce. Roughly 623,000 vets depend on Federal jobs. Donald Trump's hiring freeze hits veterans harder than almost any other group. According to VoteVets: "It would be the ultimate insult to our men and women who serve to deny them the additional doctors, nurses, therapists, and administrators that are sorely needed at the VA. If his Executive Order leads to preventable deaths, that will be on Trump's hands, and we will hold him personally accountable."

Prepare for Trump's Program of Disaster Capitalism (Naomi Klein / The Intercept)
Commentary: We already know that the Trump administration plans to deregulate markets, wage all-out war on "radical Islamic terrorism," trash climate science and unleash a fossil-fuel frenzy. It's a vision that can be counted on to generate a tsunami of crises and shocks. All this is dangerous enough. What's even worse is the way the Trump administration can be counted on to exploit these shocks politically and economically.

45,000 Years Ago, Humans Wiped Out Australian Megafauna (Phys.org)
Some 45,000 years ago. Australia was populated by an extraordinary range of megafauna -- including 1,000-pound kangaroos, 2-ton wombats, 25-foot-long lizards, 400-pound flightless birds, 300-pound marsupial lions and Volkswagen-sized tortoises. More than 85 percent of the continent's massive mammals, birds and reptiles went extinct shortly after the arrival of the first humans

Turkish Bombs Have Killed 350 Syrians: At Least 2,500 Others Wounded (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & SyriaHR)
In late August, Turkey invaded the Syrian border city of Jarabulus, an ISIS-held city along the Euphrates River. Turkey has made much of "liberating" large amounts of territory from ISIS, and "neutralizing" large numbers of ISIS fighters but, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Turkey's invasion has left at least 352 civilians dead across northern Syria, and at least 2,500 others wounded.

Pentagon Reports ISIS Air War Costs Up to $11 Billion (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Oriana Pawlyk / DODBuzz)
Two and a half years in and with no end in sight, the cost of the US air war against ISIS continues to rise, with the Pentagon now saying the total cost is around $11 billion, a figure which only includes the direct costs of the military operation, and not the substantial additional costs associated with the conflict. 22% of the cost, or about $2.5 billion, was just the cost of the bombs the US dropped on Iraq and Syria in the course of the war.

Trump and the Senate Are Headed for War (David Kowalski / AntiWar.com)
The US needs now, more than ever, a "reset" that finally breaks Washington's orthodoxy out of its Cold War mindset and walks back tensions that are at their worst since the dark days of mutually assured destruction. Congress is clearly not having it, and expanding NATO with yet another useless member seems like a great way to derail Trump's ambitions.

The Collective "Wisdom" of the US Intelligence Community (Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch)
They call themselves the US "Intelligence Community," or the IC. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence began in 2005 as a crew of 12. By 2008 it had grown to a staff of 1,750, including an alphabet soup of acronyms -- including the CIA, the NSA, and the DIA. The IC spends something like $70 billion of taxpayer dollars annually, mostly in secret, hires staggering numbers of private contractors from various corporations and sucks up communications of every sort across the planet.

US Drone Killing Machine Now on Autopilot (Laurie Calhoun / AntiWar.com)
Much of the mess in the Middle East is due to the accelerated use of lethal drones in "signature strikes" to kill thousands of military-age men in seven different lands. Adding fuel to the fire, Obama oversaw the largest exportation of homicidal weapons to the Middle East ever undertaken by a single US president. Donald J. Trump became the new US president on January 21, 2017. On that same day, two drone strikes in Yemen killed a slew of people, three of whom were said to be "suspected Al Qaeda leaders".

Trump May Try Evicting Press from White House to Control the News (Robert Reich / San Francisco Chronicle)
Commentary: Tyrants hate a free press. They want total control. That's why, according to senior officials, the Trump administration is considering evicting the White House press corps from the pressroom inside the White House. Press events would move to a larger room, allowing Trump to fill seats with "alt-right" fringe journalists, right-wing social media, supporters, and paid staffers who would ask the questions Trump wants to answer, jeer at reporters who ask critical questions, and applaud Trump's replies.

For Leopards in Iran and Iraq, Land Mines Are a Surprising Refuge (Peter Schwartzstein / National Geographic )
Few parts of the world look more hostile to big cats than the rugged wilderness that flanks the northern Iran-Iraq frontier. Laced with land mines and roamed by packs of dedicated poachers, it's an environment seemingly calculated to imperil even the most fleet-footed animal. Yet this is the place the world's largest leopard calls home. Because land mines keep people out of the Persian leopard's last habitats. This creates a conundrum since redefining the area would leave the cats more vulnerable.

Charlie Liteky, a Vet Who Renounced his Medal of Honor to Become an Anti-war Activist (Veterans for Peace & Charlie Liteky / News Review & San Francisco Chronicle)
Charlie Liteky passed away on January 20, 2017. Charlie, an Army chaplain in Vietnam, won the Medal of Honor for rescuing more than 20 wounded men but later returned the medal in protest and became a life-long peace activist. Charlie was a huge hero to many who knew him. Not only did he return his Medal of Honor, he also fasted for over 40 days with S. Brian Wilson, Duncan Murphy and George Mizo in 1986 on the steps of The Capitol Building in Washington to protest US policy in Central America.

New Hope for Elephants: War Against Ivory Mongers (Agence France-Presse & African Wildlife Foundation)
The International police body Interpol has announced a new project to identify and dismantle origanised crime networks between Africa and Asia that have devastated wildlife and made ivory a sought-after luxury. The initiative will focus on providing increased resources to countries linked to the illegal wildlife trade -- especially as it relates to elephant ivory, rhino horns and Asian big cats. At the same time, the African Wildlife Foundation has commended China for its decision to ban the ivory trade.

West Antarctica Is Breaking Up: Global Floods Could Follow (The Daily Kos )
A berg the size of Scotland is poised to break off the Larsen ice shelf in West Antartica at any time. West Antartica is quite literally cracking up. The culprit is anthropogenic climate change, a steady rise in global temperatures produced by accumulating industrial emissions. Climate change is particularly virulent near the poles. Meanwhile, the ice shelves of South Antarctica, located in the Bellingshausen sea, are in rapid melt. A 17 mile crack threatens to put the Larsen C ice shelf at risk of collapse.

Obama Report Covered Up Civilian Drone Deaths (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Gregory Korte / USA TODAY)
The Obama Administration made a habit of dramatically underreporting civilian deaths in its assorted military operations around the world, but the Obama White House took things to a whole new level in its last such document, claiming that only one civilian had been killed in US drone strikes "worldwide" in all of 2016.

The American Left Will Be Reborn under President Trump (Owen Jones / The Guardian & Robert Reich / Robert Reich's Blog)
Analysis: Clintonian-centrism was defeated in November, but attempts to repeal Obamacare show the Republicans are weak and divided. Now is the time for the left to craft a populist alternative. The ongoing contest between the Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders wings of the Democratic Party continues to divide Democrats. It's urgent Democrats stop squabbling and recognize seven basic truths.

Donald Trump Will Violate the Constitution on Day One (Zephyr Teachout / The Nation)
Commentary: "Thus far, the debate over Donald Trump's refusal to sell his assets has focused on whether he might use his position to make himself even wealthier, in ways that most people would regard as corrupt. But earlier generations of Americans -- including the founders of our country -- would have seen his actions in a far harsher light. They would have viewed Trump as a traitor, someone who was willing to become a stooge of foreign powers."

First "We the People" Petition on White House Site Demands Trump Release His Tax Returns (Kerry Eleveld / The Daily Kos & Brent Griffiths / Politico & BOLD Democrats.org)
The "We the People" petition site created by the Obama Administration has been kept live by President Donald Trump's team as it relaunches the White House website, and the only petition now on the site, which has been wiped clean of Obama-era requests, demands that the new commander-in-chief release his tax returns.

What Can We Do? "Throw Sand in the Gears" (Frances Fox Piven / The Nation)
Commentary: "We woke from a nightmare to find it was our new reality. A gaggle of inflated far-right self-promoters and operatives, big businessmen and their toadies, and homegrown fascists will control the presidency and determine the Supreme Court majority, maybe for a generation or more . . . . What do we do now?"

Botched Nigerian Air Strike May Have Killed 236 Civilians (Agence France-Presse)
As many as 236 people may have been killed in the botched Nigerian air strike against Boko Haram that hit a camp for civilians displaced by the unrest, a local official told AFP on Saturday. Doctors Without Borders said the death toll from Tuesday's strike on the town of Rann in the far northeast had risen to 90, although it claimed that could climb as high as 170. The bombed camp had been set up to help people fleeing Boko Haram Islamists in Borno State.

The First Cover-up: How Many People Attended Trump's Inauguration? (The Huffington Post & Joshua Gillin / Politifact & Maya Kosoff / Vanity Fair & Elizabeth Williamson / The New York Times)
Donald Trump boasted that there would be a "record-setting turnout for the inauguration." When that didn't happen, Trump dressed up his new Twitter account with a picture-perfect inauguration photo. But it was a photo of President Obama's well-attended 2009 inauguration (which drew 1.8 million spectators), not Trump's sparsely attended event (which drew perhaps a third of Obama's numbers). So how many spectators did Trump draw? We don't know. It appears to be a state secret.

Donald Trump's Inaugural Untruths and Exaggerations (Associated Press & Clark Judge / The New York Times & Mona Eltahawy / The New York Times)
Donald Trump's inaugural address held familiar echoes of the campaign speeches that led to his presidential win: downbeat about the state of the nation, to the point of hyperbole. A look at some of his assertions.

Obama's Parting Expansion of the Surveillance State (Scott Shackford / Reason.com)
President Barack Obama's administration has ended its eight-year rule by expanding the sharing of intercepted communications and data between federal agencies. Attorney General Loretta Lynch has signed off on changes that will increase the ability of the National Security Agency to share raw intercepted data with other agencies -- without removing private information from people unconnected to actual targets. The new rules have very little oversight outside of the executive branch.

The $5 Billion Cost of Protecting Trump (Cynthia McFadden, William Arkin and Kevin Monahan / NBC Nightly News)
To the average American, presidential protection conjures up the image of a stone-faced Secret Service agent hovering near the commander-in-chief's podium or running alongside his limo. But the effort to keep any president safe once he's in office goes far beyond that, with heavy military involvement, a fleet of aircraft, unseen weapons, drones -- and a very hefty price-tag.

Chelsea Manning, A Heroine for Our Times (Justin Raimondo / AntiWar.com & Lucy Steigerwald / AntiWar.com)
Commentary: is Chelsea Manning a "traitor," as outraged neocons are now claiming? The answer is an emphatic "No!" Not a single document revealed by Chelsea's actions was labeled "Top Secret." The revelations following publication of these documents has been cleansing. While the commutation of Chelsea Manning's sentence by President Obama is bad politics -- and, from my vantage point, the only moral act on his part that I can recall -- it took balls to do this and, for that, I have to give him credit.

McCain's $5 Trillion Military Budget: Will It Make America Great Again? (Daniel McAdams / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity & Connor O'Brien / Politico)
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) wants to spend five trillion dollars over the next five years in a massive build-up of the US military. How much do McCain's donors in the military-industrial complex love this budget? We can only imagine. As Alibaba gazillionaire Jack Ma put it so well recently in Davos, the US has wasted $14 trillion on wars over the past 30 years.

Obama's Unnecessary Wars and 'Humanitarian' Interventionism (Daniel Larison / The American Conservative)
Commentary: Obama's most enduring legacy has been war without end -- and yet this part of his record receives relatively little attention. Obama famously rode his opposition to a "war of choice" (George Bush's illegal invasion and destruction of Iraq) all the way to the White House, but has committed the US to several completely unnecessary wars. Every war that the US started or joined on Obama's watch was not necessary for the security of the United States.

How the Rise of Donald Trump Mirrors America's Narcissistic 'National Character' (Robert Jensen / ZComm.org)
Analysis: Politicians and pundits love to talk about our "national character" in rapturous tones of triumphalism. But an honest investigation of the US national character reveals signs of pathology and decay. Scan the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association and one category jumps out: Narcissistic Personality Disorder -- characterized by a grandiose sense of self-importance and a preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, and adoration.

Trump's Energy Pick Feels the Heat (Valerie Volcovici and Timothy Gardner / Reuters )
President-elect Donald Trump's choice to lead the US Environmental Protection Agency expressed doubt about the science behind global climate change during a contentious Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday, but added he would be obliged for now to uphold the EPA's finding carbon dioxide poses a public danger.

Green Groups Confront Trump's Cabinet Nominees (Natasha Geiling / ThinkProgress)
Environmental groups around the country are mobilizing to oppose Trump's picks for EPA, Secretary of State, and more. At the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week, Rex Tillerson's opening statement (despite his more than 40 years working for the world's largest oil company) mentioned neither Exxon nor climate change. From the back of the chamber, the shouting began. By the end of the nine-hour hearing, four Greenpeace protesters had been arrested and charged with disrupting Congress.

Income Inequality Grows: Eight Men (Including 6 US Billionaires) Own Half the World's Wealth (Ray Offenheiser / Oxfam America & Gerry Mullany / The New York Times & Peter S. Goodman / The New York Times)
Shocking news: Just 8 people now have the same wealth as the poorest 3.6 billion people. Far from trickling down, income and wealth are instead being sucked upwards at an alarming rate. Inequality is a daily reality for millions of Americans who are struggling to make ends meet. But we are not alone. The same challenges Americans face are part of a global phenomenon where the wealthy profit from a rigged economic and political system that leaves everyone else behind.

Will President Obama Give Leonard Peltier an 11th Hour Reprieve? It's a Moral Duty (Jane Ayers / Reader Supported News)
For more than 40 years, Leonard Peltier has been on Amnesty International's list of "Prisoners of Conscience." AI states that Peltier received "an unfair trial" and is a political prisoner. Peltier was forced to serve six years in solitary confinement. He suffers from diabetes and has an aortic aneurism needing immediate surgery. With three days left before Obama steps down, supporters worldwide have been jamming the White House phone lines to plead for Leonard Peltier's freedom.

Obama Shortens Chelsea Manning's Term, Grants Clemency to Hundreds (The Associated Press)
President Barack Obama commuted the prison sentence of Chelsea Manning on Tuesday, allowing the Army intelligence officer who leaked scores of classified documents to go free nearly three decades early. Manning was one of 209 inmates whose sentences Obama was shortening, a list that includes Puerto Rican nationalist Oscar Lopez-Rivera. Obama also pardoned 64 people, including retired Gen. James Cartwright, charged during a probe into the disclosure of classified information.

Trump's Proposed Naval Buildup -- 350 New Ships -- Would Torpedo the US Budget (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Kristina Wong / The Hill)
President-[s]elect Donald Trump wants to expand the Navy's fleet to 350 ships, the largest build-up since the end of the Cold War. But where that money will come from is unclear. Experts warn that this buildup is totally unaffordable without massive spending increases, and that just building all the new ships would cost about $165 billion over 30 years.

Crumbling Reactors and Other Nightmares of a Trump-Perry Energy Policy (Harvey Wasserman / The Progressive)
Trump's commitment to nuclear energy and fossil fuels contrasts sharply with China's massive new solar- and wind-power programs. If China, the world's number-two economy, joins Germany (number four) and possibly Japan (number three) in converting to 100 percent renewable sources, the US economy will be left in the dust. Meanwhile, the nation's 99 aging nuclear plants are literally crumbling. New York's Indian Point and California's Diablo Canyon are surrounded by active earthquake faults.

Four Looming Flashpoints: Trump's 21st-Century Armageddons (Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & Michael Klare / TomDispatch)
Within months of taking office, Donald Trump is likely to face one or more major international crises, possibly entailing a risk of nuclear escalation. Not since the end of the Cold War has a new chief executive been confronted with as many potential flashpoints involving such a risk of explosive conflict. There are four areas posing a high risk of sudden crisis: North Korea, the South China Sea, the Baltic Sea region, and the Middle East. All are primed to explode early in the Trump presidency.

Trump's Energy Pick Feels the Heat (Valerie Volcovici and Timothy Gardner / Reuters )
President-elect Donald Trump's choice to lead the US Environmental Protection Agency expressed doubt about the science behind global climate change during a contentious Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday, but added he would be obliged for now to uphold the EPA's finding carbon dioxide poses a public danger.

Marines to Norway? Another US Provocation along Russia's Border (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Carlo Munoz / The Washington Times & RT News)
Tensions are already on the rise between the US and Russia over massive US deployments in Germany for a training exercise marching east toward Russia. A force of US Marines are now heading to Trondheim, Norway for deployment along the Russian border. Norway is breaking a decades-old commitment to Russia not to host foreign troops on its soil. Russia, the apparent target of the buildup, said it was puzzled by the move.

Obama's Legacy: War Without End (Daniel Larison / The American Conservative)
Analysis: While presenting himself as the president responsible for ending America's foreign wars, Obama has involved the US in at least four new ones since the spring of 2011. His decisions to initiate, escalate, or join these wars have faced little scrutiny or resistance. There has been virtually no organized opposition to any of his wars. Media coverage has been favorable or neutral. Even when his policies have come under criticism, it has never been sustained long enough to do much damage.

The Threat From China's Lone Aircraft Carrier Has Been Overstated (Ivan Eland / AntiWar.com)
The world's media is touting the "coming out" party for China's lone aircraft carrier, the Liaoning. The carrier and its's entourage of escorting destroyers and frigates made a splash when they left the first island chain behind and sallied forth into the open Pacific Ocean past Taiwan and Okinawa. The ship and its battle group are symbolically headed to the South China Sea, where China has territorial disputes with several nations.

Warming Oceans Causing Massive Destruction of World's Coral Reefs (Tim Radford / Climate News Network & Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch)
Some time this century, if humans go on burning fossil fuels at the present rate, severe bleaching will hit 99 percent of coral reefs every year. Coral bleaching happens when the organisms become uncomfortably hot, and reject the algae on which their lives ultimately depend. Right now, the world's reefs are caught up in the longest global coral bleaching event ever recorded.

More Than 1 Million People Urge Obama to Pardon Edward Snowden (TeleSURtv)
More than 1 million people signed onto a petition asking outgoing President Barack Obama to pardon former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. The Obama administration has said repeatedly that Snowden must face the charges against him and that he'll be afforded a fair trial. "Pardoning Snowden would show the world the US cares about human rights at a time of great concern."

At Paris Meeting, Major Powers Warn Trump Over Middle East Peace While Israel Bombs Gaza (Reuters & teleSURtv & The International Middle East Media Center / Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.)
Some 70 countries reaffirmed on Sunday that only a two-state solution could resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and warned against any unilateral steps by either side that could prejudge negotiations. At the same time that diplomats from many countries issued an implicit warning to Donald Trump about moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, Israeli tanks hit targets inside occupied Gaza.

Military Officials Alarmed at Trump's Denial of Climate Change as a Major National Security Risk (Damian Carrington / The Guardian & George Monbiot / The Guardian)
Senior military officials are concerned that Donald Trump refuses to recognize what the Pentagon has known for years -- "unchecked global warming is greatest threat to 21st-century security where mass migration could be 'new normal'." The generals said the impacts of climate change were already factors in the conflicts driving a current crisis of migration into Europe, having been linked to the Arab Spring, the war in Syria and the Boko Haram terrorist insurgency.

15 Signs of Impending Tyranny Under President Trump (Robert Reich / RobertReich.org)
As tyrants take control of democracies, they typically: Exaggerate their mandate to govern -- claiming, for example, that they won an election by a landslide even after losing the popular vote. A watch list as "president-select" Donald Trump approaches the Oval Office.

North Dakota Republicans Propose Law to Legalize Killing Anti-pipeline Protesters (TeleSURtv)
Pro-pipeline state lawmakers are proposing a rash of bills that will criminalize protests and put protesters lives in danger. Water protectors in North Dakota may need to be more careful when crossing the street if a proposed bill to exempt drivers who "unintentionally" hit or kill pedestrians who are blocking traffic is passed.

Native Activists Protest War on Yellowstone's Grizzlies (Matthew Brown / Associated Pres)
A deluge of opposition from dozens of American Indian tribes, conservation groups and some scientists is tying up a decision on lifting protections for more than 700 grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National park.

Police to Trump: 'Help Us Continue to Militarize' (Abigail R. Hall-Blanco / The Orange County Register)
In the wake of protests about police killings in the US, President Obama issued an executive order restricting police departments' access to certain surplus military gear -- including armored vehicles, grenade launchers and combat weapons. During his campaign Donald Trump said "I will rescind" Obama's executive order and expand Program 1033, the Pentagon's initiative that allows police to obtain such equipment at little to no cost. "An excellent program that enhances community safety," says Trump.

Can Trump Tame the Pentagon? (William J. Astore / AntiWar.com)
Commentary: "Will Donald Trump keep his campaign promise to end America's wasteful wars overseas? Since he's stated he knows more than America's generals, will he rein them in? Will he bring major reforms to the military-industrial complex, or will he be nothing but talk and tweets?"

Pentagon Spending: 50% for Bullets, 50% for Bureaucracy (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Shawn Snow / Military Times)
Overseas operations are often misleadingly budgeted around 10-12% of the overall Pentagon spending annually. Officials, however, say that when operations and general maintenance are figured in, the cost grows to cover over half of the nation's military spending, $251 billion as of 2015 -- a huge increase that has steadily grown for decades. Pentagon have no explanation why everything seems to cost way more than it did the previous year -- even though the number of troops and the number of wars remain relatively stable.

The Airline Industry's War on Birds (https://www.yahoo.com/news/miracle-hudson-legacy-70-000-slain-birds-122453379.html)
Birds took the blame for bringing down a jetliner that landed in the Hudson River eight years ago -- and they have been paying for it with their lives ever since. An Associated Press analysis of bird-killing programs at the New York City area's three major airports found that nearly 70,000 gulls, starling, geese and other birds have been slaughtered -- mostly by shooting and trapping -- since the 2009 accident. It is not clear whether those killings have made the skies any safer.

Mike Has Five Moore, Last-minute Requests for President Obama (Michael Moore / Michael Moore's Facebook Page)
Commentary: "Sir, you have one week left as our President. There are no words to express the my profound sadness in typing such words. Thank you for giving us eight years of your life. With so little time left, I hope you don't mind if I ask you for a favor or two. Well, actually, five. I can guarantee you I am not alone in these requests; in fact, I'm guessing millions of our fellow Americans share in these sincere final asks of you."

The Crimes of SEAL Team 6 (Matthew Cole / The Intercept)
Officially known as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, SEAL Team 6 is today the most celebrated of the US military's special mission units. But hidden behind the heroic narratives is a darker, more troubling story of "revenge ops," unjustified killings, mutilations, and other atrocities -- a pattern of criminal violence that emerged soon after the Afghan war began and was tolerated and covered up by the command's leadership.

ExxonMobil Facing Orders to Provide Background on Fake News Coverup of the Oil Industry's Impact on Climate Change (Stephanie Ebbert / The Boston Globe)
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey won a major legal showdown against Exxon Mobil on Wednesday, when a judge ruled that the company must turn over 40 years of documents detailing a coordinated campaign to coverup, deny and obfuscate the company's knowledge that climate change was, in fact, happening and that the oil industry was, in large measure, responsible.

Did Climate-denier Jeff Sessions Try to Hide His Carbon Footprint? (Tom Hamburger / The Washington Post & Amber Phillips / The Washington Post)
Attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions did not disclose his ownership of oil interests on land in Alabama as required by federal ethics rules, according to an examination of state records and independent ethics lawyers who reviewed the documents. The Alabama records show that Sessions owns subsurface rights to oil and other minerals on more than 600 acres in his home state, some of which are adjacent to a federal wildlife preserve.

How the GOP -- Not the Russians -- Hacked the 2016 Elections (Thom Hartmann and Richard Green / AlterNet)
The election of 2016 may well have been stolen -- or to use Donald Trump's oft-repeated phrase, "rigged" -- and nobody in the media seems willing to discuss it. The rigging was a pretty simple process, in fact: in 27 Republican-controlled states (including critical swing states) hundreds of thousands (possibly millions) of people showed up to vote, but were mysteriously blocked from voting for allegedly being registered with the intent to vote in multiple states.

Vo Quy, Father of Environmental Conservation in Vietnam (Mike Ives / The New York Times)
Over a half-century career, Dr. Vo Quy was known for his pioneering studies on Vietnam's wildlife and his efforts to restore tropical habitats that had been destroyed by defoliants during the Vietnam War. He often used his stature as one of Vietnam's leading naturalists to advocate policies, including the country's first biodiversity action plan, that sought to balance economic development with environmental protection.

Thawing Arctic Is Turning Oceans into Graveyards (Steve Connor / The Guardian & Associated Press & Lars Ostenfeld / The Guardian)
In November 2016, Canada's Hudson Bay was as ice-free as on a summer's day. Polar bears could be extinct here by mid-century. If the bears are in trouble, so are we. NASA research shows that ice-free summers are now imminent, posing a peril to us all. Unfortunately, the US strategy offers no solution to address threat of greenhouse gases on decline of sea ice habitat.

Afghan "Ghost Soldiers" Cost US Taxpayers $300 Million Annually (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Perry Chiaramonte / Fox News)
Ghost soldiers are a phenomenon in which Afghan military commanders fill their ranks with fictional names and just keep the salaries, which since the salaries are paid pretty much exclusively by NATO and overwhelmingly by the US, has been a known tactic that the Afghan government has done nothing to prevent.

Washington Invented Hacking and Interfering in Elections (Philip Giraldi / The UNZ Review)
Is the United States the victim of an unprovoked cyber and media attack by Russia and China or are the chickens coming home to roost after Washington's own promotion of such activity worldwide? One can reasonably argue that Washington started the practice of cyber-warfare and has been a long-time practitioner of both regime change and election tampering in its relationship with much of the world.

What Is a Country For? Fighting for the Good Life in Trumplandia (Tom Engelhard / TomDispatch & Rebecca Gordon / TomDispatch)
Commentary: "Many of the folks I know are getting ready to play serious defense in 2017, and they're not wrong. Before we take up our three-point stance on the national line of scrimmage, however, maybe we should ask ourselves not only what we're fighting against, but what we're fighting for. What kind of United States of America do we actually want? Maybe, in fact, we could start by asking: What is a country for? What should a country do? Why do people establish countries in the first place?"

Daniel Ellsberg on Donald Trump and Nuclear Doomsday (David Talbot / San Francisco Chronicle<)
The freak show that is American politics got even freakier last week. Mercury was definitely in retrograde, as Sean Hannity got up close and personal with Julian Assange, Sarah Palin hailed him as a national hero (and urged people to see Oliver Stone's "Snowden," and Donald Trump, who once called for the "death penalty or something" for Assange, suddenly embraced the WikiLeaks founder as a trusted source.

Trump versus Whistleblowers (Roots Action & Cheryl K. Chumley / The Washington Times & Jesselyn Radack / The New York Times)
Revealing the truth from inside the US government is about to become harder than ever, with a president who has scorn for facts. John Kiriakou and Thomas Drake know what's at stake. As CIA and NSA whistleblowers, Kiriakou went to prison for two years and Drake was dragged through years of prosecution. "After looking at Trump's own words," Kiriakou says, "I fear for the country, for whistleblowers, and for those considering bringing to light evidence of waste, fraud, abuse, and illegality in government."

Trump Fires Nuclear Controllers (Ashley Feinberg /Gizmodo)
Prescient-select Trump appears determined to be free of anyone who was appointed by Obama, regardless of whether or not he has anyone in line for the job. According to Department of Energy officials, the Trump transition team has declined to ask the head of the National Nuclear Security Administration and his deputy to stay in their roles after Trump takes office on January 20th. One government source calls this: "a shocking disregard for process and continuity of government."

ExxonMobil Could Reap $1 Trillion under Trump Administration ( Tom Caiazza / American Progress & The Center on American Progress & Rebecca Leber and Ben Adler / Grist)
ExxonMobil could reap as much as $1 trillion under Trump, according to the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank. The CAP report adds up the many ways in which the incoming Trump administration could enrich the world's largest oil company. The report comes a day before Rex Tillerson, Exxon's former CEO, starts his nomination hearing to be President-select Trump's secretary of state.

America Dropped 26,171 Bombs in 2016. What a Bloody End to Obama's Reign (Medea Benjamin / The Guardian)
Most Americans would probably be astounded to realize that the president who has been painted by Washington pundits as a reluctant warrior has actually been a hawk. While candidate Obama came to office pledging to end George W Bush's wars, he leaves office having been at war longer than any president in US history. He is also the only president to serve two complete terms with the nation at war. In 2016 alone, the Obama administration dropped at least 26,171 bombs. That's three bombs per hour, 24/7.

A Victim of Obama's First Drone Strike Calls Obama a 'Tyrant' (Spencer Ackerman / The Guardian)
Obama, now in the twilight of his presidency, wants to be remembered as a peacemaker, the man who denuclearized Iran peacefully, who opened Cuba and ended the last vestige of the Cold War, who replaced the "dumb wars" he campaigned against with the prudent, precise counter-terrorism of drone strikes. All Raheem Qureshi knows about Obama, he declared from Islamabad, "is what he has done to me and the people in Waziristan, and that is an act of tyranny."

Will Obama's 'Good War' in Afghanistan Continue? (Ron Paul / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity)
Commentary: "What will a President Trump do about the 15-year failed nation-building experiment in Afghanistan? He has criticized the long-standing US policy of "regime-change" and "nation-building" while on the campaign trail, and I would like to think he would just bring the troops home. However, I would not be surprised if he accelerates US military action in Afghanistan to "win the war" once and for all. He will not succeed if he does so, as the war is not winnable."

Democrats Are Playing with Fire on Russia (Norman Solomon / The Hill)
Commentary: "Two months after the defeat of Hillary Clinton, the most cohesive message from congressional Democrats is: blame Russia. The party leaders have doubled down on an approach that got nowhere during the presidential campaign -- trying to tie the Kremlin around Donald Trump's neck."

US Sends 2,800 Tanks, Trucks and Armored Personal Carriers to Russia's Borders to "Deter Aggression" (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Andrea Shalal / Reuters)
Despite the incoming president-elect making a normalization of diplomatic ties with Russia a top priority, the Pentagon continues to move forward with bigger and more complicated war-games. The US military on Sunday vowed to increase the scope and complexity of its European training exercises to deter Russian aggression, as more US tanks, trucks and other equipment arrived in Germany for a big buildup on NATO's eastern flank.

Israeli Witness in Gaza: No Water, No Electricity and Children Dying Unnecessarily (Ayelett Shani / Haaretz)
Salah Haj Yahya, 50, who lives in Taibeh, runs a mobile clinic on behalf of Physicians for Human Rights and leads medical teams going to Gaza. We met at a Tel Aviv cafe, on a Thursday morning. "We're the only ones going there from Israel, with the approval of the IDF and security services," he says. ""Gaza is cloaked in desperation. You feel it the minute you cross the border. It's like traveling to another world. You see thousands of destroyed houses, factories in ruin, sewage flowing through the streets."

US Special Operations Numbers Surge in Africa's Shadow Wars (Nick Turse / The Intercept)
Africa has seen the most dramatic growth in the deployment of America's elite troops of any region of the globe over the past decade, according to newly released numbers. In 2006, just 1% of commandos sent overseas were deployed in the US Africa Command area of operations. In 2016, 17.26% of all US Special Operations forces -- Navy SEALs and Green Berets among them -- deployed abroad were sent to Africa and adding to wars the US is waging in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.

Ditch the CIA, the Pentagon, and the NSA (Jacob G. Hornberger / The Future of Freedom Foundation)
Commentary: "The worst mistake we ever made was to convert the federal government into a national-security state. We should have fought the communists with freedom and limited government, not with a national-security state. As the Germans, the Russians, the Chinese, the Cubans, the Chileans, the Guatemalans, the Iranians, the North Koreans, the Egyptians, and so many others have discovered, it is impossible to have a free and prospering economy under a warfare state."

Coverup Exposed: Pentagon Plot to Subvert Obama's Syria Policy (Gareth Porter / InformationClearinghouse & TruthDig)
US airstrikes against two Syrian army positions Sept. 17 killed at least 62 Syrian troops and wounded dozens more. US Central Command claimed the strikes were carried out in the mistaken belief that Islamic State forces were being targeted, and the attack was quickly treated as a non-story by the US news media. But a subsequent investigation reveals far more than the Pentagon and CENTCOM would have desired. There is detailed evidence that CENTCOM's attacked the Syrian army deliberately.

Trump's Stolen Election: Disenfranchisement and Computer Maniplutation (Hon. Barbara Lee / US House of Representatives & Solartopia & Rolling Stone)
"During this presidential election cycle, hundreds of thousands of minority voters were disenfranchised before and on Election Day. The use of malfunctioning voting machines, the restriction of provisional ballots, the improper purging of voter rolls, and the widely reported incidents of intimidation and misinformation at the polls amount to widespread efforts to disenfranchise and suppress voters across the country."

Extreme Weather Risk: Megafloods in California (B. Lynn Ingram / Scientific American)
A 43-day storm that began in December 1861 put central and southern California underwater for up to six months, and it could happen again. Geologic evidence shows that truly massive floods, caused by rainfall alone, have occurred in California every 100 to 200 years. Such floods are likely caused by atmospheric rivers: narrow bands of water vapor about a mile above the ocean that extend for thousands of kilometers.

Airport Shooter a US Vet: Internal "War Blowback" Not Foreign Terrorism (Jason Dearden / The Associated Press)
The man police say opened fire with a gun from his checked baggage at a Florida airport was a US Army vet with a history of mental health issues -- some of which followed his military service in Iraq.

ACTION ALERT Trump Appoints Pro-Oil Climate Denier to Ruin the EPA, Not to Run It (CREDO Action & Alex Guillen and Andrew Restuccia / Politico & Ryan Schleeter / Greenpeace)
Scott Pruitt, Donald Trump's nominee for Environmental Protection Agency administrator, is literally one of the last people on Earth who should be put in charge of protecting the environment. He's a radical climate-change denier who has repeatedly sued the EPA to block the Obama administration's life-saving clear air and climate rules.

Bomber Obama Goes Out With a Blast (Teresa Welsh / McClatchy)
The US dropped 26,171 bombs last year, 3,027 more than 2015. According to an analysis of Defense Department data from the Council on Foreign Relations, a non-partisan think tank, the majority of the bombs were dropped in Iraq and Syria. The US dropped 79 percent of the anti-Islamic State group coalition bombs in Syria and Iraq, totaling 24,287. That figure, along with others analyzed by CFR, is likely lower than the actual number dropped because one airstrike can involved multiple bombs.

WARSCAM: US Taxpayers Pay Millions to US Companies that Make Bombs that Make Millions of New US Enemies (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Paul Sonne / The Wall Street Journal & Seeking Alpha)
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein has bragged that the US is "hitting more targets than we've ever hit in a long time in Iraq, Syria, and in Afghanistan." That's bad news for the people in those countries the bombs are falling on, and bad news for the taxpayers, but it's great news for a handful of key US arms makers, who are seeing their sales soar on the orders that the military has placed to replace the dropped bombs and fired missiles.

Avoiding Accidental Nuclear War (Jon Basil Utley/ The American Conservative & AntiWar.com)
Commentary: "A trillion-dollar-plus military and intelligence establishment has many, many ways to subsidize and promote its profitable and career-building agenda. As our new editor Robert Merry describes, most Americans don't support Washington's unending military interventions against ever-morphing enemies. Fifty-one percent think we are less safe today than we were before we started them. Only 11 percent think we are consequently safer."

The GOP's Plan to Cripple Government (Ian Millhiser /ThinkProgress)
The incoming House majority plans to schedule a vote on the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act (REINS Act) soon after new members are sworn in. A top priority of the US Chamber of Commerce, the leading lobby group for big business, REINS would fundamentally alter the federal government in ways that could hobble federal agencies during periods when the same party controls Congress and the White House -- and absolutely cripple those agencies during periods of divided government.

Syria's War Has Caused a Drinking Water in Damascus (Ben Hubbard / The New York Times)
For millions of Damascus residents, long-term concerns about the direction of the war in Syria have been replaced by worries about where to get enough water to do the dishes, wash clothes or take a shower. For nearly two weeks, the Syrian capital and its vicinity have been afflicted by a water crisis that has left taps dry, caused long lines at wells and forced people to stretch whatever thin resources they can find.

No 'Spolis of War' in Aleppo: A Once Great City Has Been Reduced to a Frozen Hell of Rubble (Lisa Barrington / Reuters)
Thousands of people are starting to return to formerly rebel-held east Aleppo despite freezing weather and destruction "beyond imagination", a top UN official told Reuters from the Syrian city. People returning face appalling conditions. "It is extremely, bitterly cold here," said Malik. "The houses people are going back to have no windows or doors, no cooking facilities."

There's Little Reason To be Optimistic About Trump and Privacy (Lucy Steigerwald / AntiWar.com )
Commentary: "t's still impossible to know what president-elect Donald Trump will do. His statements over the past 18 months, and before, have often contradicted each other on issues as varied as foreign policy and transgender people using the bathroom of their choice. On one important issue, however, Trump has been depressingly consistent. From all appearances, he does not seem to be a friend of the Fourth Amendment. But then, that puts him into the camp of the vast majority of politicians."

The Toll of Washington's "Endless Wars": Suicide Kills More US Troops than ISIL in Middle East (Tom Vanden Brook / USA TODAY )
Suicide -- not combat -- is the leading killer of US troops deployed to the Middle East to fight Islamic State militants, according to newly released Pentagon statistics. Of the 31 troops who have died as of Dec. 27 in Operation Inherent Resolve, 11 took their own lives. The reasons suicide is the main cause of troop deaths likely include pre-existing mental illnesses, post-traumatic stress, multiple combat deployments, and the heightened anxiety from serving in a military that has been at war for 16 years.

The Washington Post's New 'Fake News' on Russian 'Hack' (Annie Machon / The Consortium News)
Commentary: The Washington Post's latest folly -- falsely reporting a Russian "hack" into Vermont's electric grid -- reflects the paper's steep decline from the days of Watergate. And the old media still wonders why it is no longer trusted? Ex-British intelligence officer Annie Machon reports.

The Washington Post's Faked Fake News and the Return of the CIA's "Operation Mockingbird" (Daniel McAdams / AntiWar.com & Ron Paul Liberty Hours & Claire Bernish / The Free Thought Project)
FBI agents conducting undercover investigations have now been given the green light to impersonate journalists, according to a Justice Department determination that effectively legalizes the government's most notorious propaganda program, "Operation Mockingbird," a covert Allen Dulles-era program employed from the 1960s-1990s to infiltrate and control the content of public news media.

Failing to Prevail on the Ground, the Pentagon Mulls Attacking ISIS from Space (Jim Michaels / USA TODAY)
Military chiefs are prepared to give President-elect Donald Trump the options he wants to intensify the fight against the Islamic State, including the possibility of granting commanders greater leeway to use secret cyber-warfare and space weapons, the top Air Force leader said. "We've heard him loud and clear that he's going to be looking for options," Gen. David Goldfein, the Air Force chief of staff has declared.

A Problem of Overseas Bases: Turkey Tells US: "Help Us Invade Syria Or We'll Kick You Off Our Airbase at Incirlik" (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & The Next News Network)
While Pentagon officials yesterday were bragging about their military overflights over the ISIS city of al-Bab as "a show of force" meant to support the Turkish invasion, Turkish officials don't see it that way, and have threatened to expel US warplanes from Turkey's Inciirlik Air Base over the lack of significant help. In August 2015, 7,000 armed Turkish soldiers surrounded the Incirlikl airbase and holding US soldiers hostage while leading Turkish newspapers demanded the US turn over its 90 nuclear weapons "or else."

Congress Issues Demand for Pentagon to Reveal How Much Wars Have Cost (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Leo Shane III / Military Times)
How much has the US spent on war since 9/11? That's been a matter of debate, with no real official figures available. Estimates varying wildly from low-end reports on literal deployments to larger figures covering wars and aftermath. For the first time, the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act includes a provision requiring the Pentagon and the IRS to both assess the overall cost of the wars and make that figure publicly available. If the GOP is truly concerned about cutting government costs, it can start here.

Assange: Our Source Is Not the Russian Government
Interviewed by Sean Hannity on Fox News, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange reiterated that his organization did not get any of the documents they leaked on Hillary Clinton's campaign from any state actor, adding that "our source is not the Russian government and is not a state party."

ACTON ALERT: President Obama: Pardon Snowden Now (CREDO Action Petition & Ed Pilkington / The Guardian)
Bernie Sanders is leading leads a chorus of20 prominent public figures calling for clemency, a plea agreement or, a full pardon for the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. , the Democratic presidential candidate Sanders argues that Snowden acted as a patriot when he revealed how the NSA secretly violated the constitutional rights of citizens with its mass surveillance program. Join the ACLU, Amnesty International and a coalition of civil liberties groups urging Pres. Obama to pardon Snowden.

A Special Kind of War Crime: In a Desperate Bid for Power, Richard Nixon Plotted to Thwart LBJ's Vietnam Peace Talks and Continue the War's Murderous Toll on Soldiers and Civilians (Peter Baker / The New York Times)
According to a forthcoming book, in a telephone conversation during his 1968 campaign to seize the White House, Richard M. Nixon told his aide, H. R. Halderman, that they needed to secretly "monkey wrench" President Johnson's peace talks in Vietnam for fear that ending the war would hurt Nixon's chances to become president. We now know the horrible truth: a presidential candidate was willing to promote the murder of untold civilians and soldiers simply to pursue his desire for personal glory.

Previewing America in the Era of Trump (Chris Hedges / TruthDig)
Karl Marx predicted, the last stage of capitalism would be marked by global capital being unable to expand and generate profits. Capitalists would begin to consume the government along with its physical and social structures. Democracy, social welfare, electoral participation, the common good, investment in public infrastructure, education, ecosystem protection and health care would be sacrificed to feed the mania for short-term profit. This is the stage of late capitalism that Donald Trump represents.

Ways to Can Keep Fighting for Justice (Ijeoma Oluo / The Guardian)
It's reasonable to just want to hibernate for the next four years. But that won't help make things better. Those of us appalled and terrified by the election of Donald Trump and the open rise of white supremacy in America ended 2016 exhausted and disillusioned. Now we enter 2017 in full knowledge that this year will probably be no better. As we start this new year, here are some resolutions for resistance.

Why Obama's "Pull-back" Won't Stop the War Crimes in Yemen (A. Trevor Thrall / The National Interest)
Roughly two weeks ago, the Washington announced plans to block some arms sales to Saudi Arabia as a rebuke to the Kingdom's 20-month-long war in Yemen. The proposed ban is at best a weak attempt at "virtue signaling" -- an effort to distance the US from an ugly war it has no real justification for supporting. US-backed bombings have displaced millions, killed thousands of civilians, severely damaged the country's, prompting the UN to ask whether the Saudis' indiscriminate bombing constitutes war crimes.

144 Children Dying Daily in US-backed War on Yemen
At least 1,219 children have died as a direct result of the war in Yemen, but a desperate lack of medical supplies, bombed-out hospitals, and missing or dead medical staff are likely to cause an additional 10,000 preventable deaths each year according to a report from Save the Children International. 50 percent of hospitals and other medical facilities have been rendered inoperable by the war. There's also a critical shortage of medical staff and medicine.

World War Three, By Mistake (Eric Schlosser / The New Yorker)
George W. Bush, while running for President in 2000, criticized the US Nuclear Aresnal's launch-on-warning option. Barack Obama, while running for President in 2008, promised to take Minuteman missiles off alert. Launch-on-warning has also been opposed by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State George Shultz, and former Senator Sam Nunn. And yet the Minuteman III missiles still sit in their silos today, armed with warheads, ready to destroy the planet in a matter of minutes.

China Declares an End to Its War on Elephants (Elly Pepper / NRDC & Daniel Stiles / Natural Resources Defense Council)
In what may be the biggest sign of hope for Africa's elephants since the current poaching crisis began, the Chinese government has announced a one-year timeline for its promised domestic ivory ba. According to the notice, China will begin phasing out registered legal ivory processors and traders by March 31, 2017 and shut down its legal commercial ivory trade completely by December 31, 2017.

3,000 Years Ago, Nimrud Ruled the Mideast. Now Blown to Pieces (Lori Hinnant / Associated Press)
The chilly December wind whipped rain across the strewn wreckage of a city that, nearly 3,000 years ago, ruled almost the entire Middle East. Rivulets of water ran through the dirt, washing away chunks of ancient stone. The city of Nimrud in northern Iraq is in pieces, victim of the Islamic State group's fervor to erase history.

Trump Inexplicably Calls for a New Nuclear Weapons Arms Race (Dan Rather / Facebook & Madeline Conway / Politico)
Commentary: Nuclear weapons are not a game. They are not a toy for the petulant and ill-informed to boast about on off-handed tweets. Yet, in a series of impromptu statements about nuclear weapons, Donald Trump is threatening to upend longstanding US nonproliferation policy, even as his advisers contradict him and muddy his intentions.

Silent Night: The Christmas Truce of WWI (Gar Smith / Environmentalist Against War & John McCutcheon)
Following tradition, EAW is honoring the holidays by posting the lyrics to John McCuthcheon's "Christmas in the Trenches." Gar Smith's Common Ground article describes the events that gave rise to the song. In the middle of one of history's bloodiest wars, soldiers on both sides disobeyed orders, laid down their arms, sang carols and exchanged gifts on the frozen battlefields in one miraculous "Silent Night" that brought an end to war. Regular postings resume in January.

Trump's Frightening "Nuclear Expansion" Tweet (Rachael Revesz / The Independent)
One of the world's most famous scholars said he was "frightened" by Donald Trump's tweet on "strengthening and expanding" nuclear capabilities in the US. Noam Chomsky, professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said Mr. Trump's tweet was "one of the most frightening things I've seen recently". The statement could trigger a change in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' Doomsday Clock, the globally recognised symbol of how close we are to destroying humanity -- to be updated in 2017.

'We're Ready to Fight.' Gov. Jerry Brown Unloads on Trump and Climate Issues (Office of the Governor & John Myers / The Los Angeles Times)
Rallying thousands of scientists at one of the largest international gatherings of its kind, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has called on the scientific community -- the "truth-tellers" and "truth seekers" -- to mobilize for the climate fight. "The time has never been more urgent or your work never more important. The climate is changing, temperatures are rising, oceans are becoming more acidified, habitats are under stress -- the world is facing tremendous danger," Brown told the annual meeting of the AGU.

Once Syria's Crown Jewel, Aleppo Now a City in Ruins (Bill Neely / NBC Nightly News)
Commentary: For more than four years, Western governments and the United Nations stood by, watching, as Assad and his backers ostentatiously ignored the laws of war, and residents of eastern Aleppo live-streamed their own extermination. Now, along with tens of thousands of civilians, the credibility of the powerful countries and institutions that could have helped them, but didn't, lies in Aleppo's rubble and blood.

CIA Has Interfered With Over 81 Foreign Elections
The CIA Has Interfered With Over 81 Foreign Elections in the Past Century – and this number doesn’t include military coups and regime change efforts following the election of candidates the US didn’t like – notably, those in Iran, Guatemala, and Chile.

CIA Has Interfered With Over 81 Foreign Elections
The CIA Has Interfered With Over 81 Foreign Elections in the Past Century – and this number doesn’t include military coups and regime change efforts following the election of candidates the US didn’t like – notably, those in Iran, Guatemala, and Chile.

Environmental Catastrophe: Iraqi Oil Fires Still Burning after 4 Months (Gareth Davies / The Daily Mail)
The battle to liberate the Iraqi city is leaving a lasting legacy of environmental damage and health risks. ISIS set fire to the oil wells in the Qayyarah area in a last-ditch attempt to confuse coalition soldiers in August. Four months later and the flames are still spewing plumes of thick, black smoke into the air near Mosul. It has caused havoc with farmers who are not able to sell sheep because the animals have turned black.

UN Security Council Condemns Israeli Settlements, US Abstains (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Zaid Jilani / The Intercept)
For the first time in 36 years, the United Nations Security Council has passed a resolution criticizing the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, calling them an obstacle to the two-state solution, and calling on Israel to reverse the expansions of the settlements. The vote was unanimous, 14-0, with only the United States abstaining.

The War on Terrorism Is Making It Worse (Patrick Coburn /The Independent & The UNZ Review)
European political leaders are making the same mistake in reacting to the massacre at the Christmas fair in Berlin, in which 12 died, as they did during previous terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels. There is an over-concentration on the failings of the security services in not identifying and neutralising the Tunisian petty criminal, Anis Amri, as the threat he turned out to be. There is too little focus on bringing to an end the wars in Syria and Iraq which make this type of atrocity unstoppable.

Far-right Is ISIS Ally in Destabilizing Western Governments
Analysis: There is something infinitely naive in our pursuit of the identity of those behind the ISIS massacres in Europe. After the Bataclan mass murders and the lorry slaughter in Nice, we asked the same questions but we didn't bother to ask what ISIS was trying to do. Was it a tactic of 'terror' -- or a strategy to produce a profound crisis in Western Europe. The intention of ISIS' attacks is to provoke European states to 'persecute' Muslims within their frontiers and provoking a rebellion by these domestic Muslims.

Nuclear Nonsense: Trump, Putin Both Seek More Nukes (Jason Ditz / Antiwar.com & The Washington Post)
The two largest nuclear powers on the planet, the United States and Russia have enough nuclear weapons to effectively end human civilization. Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President-elect Donald Trump both agree that's not nearly enough. US President-elect Donald Trump has called for the country to expand its nuclear weapons capabilities until the world "comes to its senses." It was not clear what prompted his comment.

Is Civilian Control of the Military in Jeopardy? (Kelley Beaucar Vlahos / The American Conservative )
Our nation was founded on the healthy fear that unbalanced power in the hands of the military could eventually lead to dictatorship, that the military as an institution is not wired for democratic policymaking, governing, or statecraft. Its coding, rather, is to defend, deter, or kill. It is for that reason that some political scientists and former members of the military who spoke with TAC warn against an overreliance on recently retired "military men" at the top level of the new Trump administration.

US Return of Okinawa Training Area Faces Harsh Criticism from Local Residents (Ayako Mie / Japan Times & Jon Hetman / Truthout)
The return of about 4,000 hectares of the Jungle Warfare Training Center, was reached following the gang rape of a 12-year-old Okinawan girl by three US military service members. The US agreed to partially return the land to Japan in exchange for allowing the construction of six helipads in the remaining areas. From the beginning, the reversion process met fierce opposition from local residents and environmental groups.

US Drones a Flop in Ukraine: Quickly Hacked by Russians (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Defence24.com & Phil Stewart / Reuters)
The range of military equipment the Obama Administration has provided to the Ukrainian military includes some 72 Raven RQ-11B micro-drones -- worth an estimated $9 million. But Ukrainian military officials say the drones have been a disappointment from the start, complaining that the eastern rebels have shown the ability to hijack the video feeds and even jam them more or less at will.

All the President's Generals (Tom Engelhardt and William J. Astore / TomDispatch & Antiwar.com)
Analysis: Here is another curious aspect of the Coming Age of Trump: a phenomenon until now restricted to the military and its distant wars seems about to spread to what's left of the civilian part of our government -- 21st-century America is witnessing the elevation of "losing" generals to the highest offices in the land -- a move that represents a de facto military coup. Donald Trump's covey of retired generals will undoubtedly do their damnedest to create further havoc on planet Earth.

Obama 'Permanently Bans' Oil Drilling in Millions of Acres of Ocean (BBC World News & Josh Lederman and Kathleen Hennessey / Associated Press)
Outgoing US President Barack Obama has permanently banned offshore oil and gas drilling in the "vast majority" of US-owned northern waters. Mr. Obama designated areas in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans as "indefinitely off limits" to future leasing. The move is widely seen as an attempt to protect the region before Mr. Obama leaves office in January. Supporters of president-elect Donald Trump could find it difficult to reverse the decision.

Trump Taps 'Dancing with the Stars' Contestant to Oversee Nuclear Weapons (Jen Hayden / The Daily Kos)
During a 2011 Republican primary, former Texas Governor Rick Perry proclaimed that if he were president, he would eliminate three government agencies: the Department of Education, the Department of Commerce and . . . he couldn't remember the name of the other agency he wanted to eliminate. That forgettable agency was the Department of Energy, which Donald Trump has announced he'll nominate Rick Perry to lead.

Urgent to Progressives: Stop Fueling the Anti-Russia Frenzy (Norman Solomon / AntiWar.com)
Zeal to blame Russia for a bad election outcome has spread like contagion among countless self-described progressives. But such eagerness to share undocumented spin as absolute fact has led many progressive groups to go with knee-jerk reactions. Bent on gaining a propaganda advantage over Trump, those reactions are helping to stampede this country toward a modern form of McCarthyism -- as well as brinkmanship with Russia that could lead to a cataclysmic military conflict.

Trump, Putin Both Seek More Nukes (Jason Ditz / Antiwar.com & The Washington Post)
The two largest nuclear powers on the planet, the United States and Russia have enough nuclear weapons to effectively end human civilization. Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President-elect Donald Trump both agree that's not nearly enough.

A Spy Coup in America? Are American Intelligence Agencies Intervening in Our Elections? (Robert Parry / Consortium News & AntiWar.com)
As the Electoral College assembles, US intelligence agencies are stepping up a campaign to delegitimize Donald Trump as a Russian stooge, raising concerns about a spy coup in America. Intelligence officials often come to see themselves as the stewards of America's fundamental interests, sometimes needing to protect the country from dangerous passions of the public or from inept or corrupt political leaders.

Marine Corps Withheld Suicide Investigation on Drug Use among Marines (Dan Lamothe / The Washington Post)
The results of an investigation into the suicide of a Marine that suggested his unit might have a "drug problem" and highlighted a hostile work environment were withheld from the Marine's family for an "unacceptably long time" spanning months. The investigation was initially completed in January, but its release was "unnecessarily delayed."

War's Smallest Victims: The Children of Aleppo (Stephanie Nebehay / Reuters & Ece Toksabay / Reuters & Michelle Nichols / Reuters)
The UN Security Council unanimously called for UN officials and others to observe the evacuation of people from the last rebel-held enclave in Aleppo and monitor the safety of civilians who remain in the Syrian city. Half of Syria's 22 million people have been uprooted and more than 400,000 killed.

Civilians in Mosul Are Dying from Serious Shortage of Medicine (Margaret Griffis / AntiWar.com & Mira Rojkan / BasNews & Missy Ryan and Mustafa Salim / The Washington Post)
At least 12 civilians, some of them children, have died in the past few days due to a lack of medicine in Mosul hospitals, a local medical source told Anadolu Agency on Monday. "Within the last 10 days, six elderly people who have been suffering from leukemia -- in addition to six newborn babies -- died in different Mosul hospitals," the source anonymously said. "They died mainly due to a lack of medicine and health supplies in the city’s hospitals," he added.

The New Exterminatory Warfare (Edward Hunt / AntiWar.com)
During its final years in office, the Obama administration has devised a new form of warfare with major implications for how the US government confronts its enemies. Over the past two years, US officials have worked with coalition forces to launch more than 15,000 airstrikes against IS. "We estimate that over the past 11 months we've killed about 25,000 enemy fighters," MacFarland stated. "When you add that to the 20,000 estimated killed prior to our arrival, that's 45,000 enemy taken off the battlefield."

McCain Slams $13 Billion in Pentagon Spending in Latest Waste Report (Rebecca Kheel / The Hill)
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is blasting what he says is more than $13 billion of waste at the Pentagon, $12 billion of which was for 26 Littoral Combat Ships with "no proven combat capability." McCain stated: "As our Armed Forces confront the most diverse and complex array of national security challenges since the end of World War II under extraordinarily constrained fiscal resources, we simply cannot afford to waste our precious defense dollars on unnecessary or poorly performing programs."

Heartstrings and Aleppo (Paul R. Pillar / The National Interest)
Commentarty: By all means sympathize with the people of Aleppo. We should feel anguish over their suffering. But don't confuse anguish with policy analysis. There is little or nothing in the history of this war, the state of Syrian political culture, or previous efforts to recruit and train opposition forces to suggest that the mirage of a "moderate" element strong and cohesive enough to topple Assad and form the basis of a stable follow-on regime was ever anything but a mirage.

After Aleppo: We Need a New Syria Policy (Ron Paul / The Ron Paul Institute &AntiWar.com)
Commentary: "As far as I know, the western mainstream media did not have a single reporter on the ground in Aleppo, but relied on "activists" to inform us that the Syrian army was massacring the civilian population. It hardly makes sense for an army to fight and defeat armed rebels just so it can go in and murder unarmed civilians . . . . The only sensible Syria policy is for the US to stop trying to overthrow their government, to treat others as we wish to be treated ourselves."

Congress Mandates Report On How Much US Wars Have Cost Taxpayers (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Leo Shane III / Military Times)
How much has the US spent on war since 9/11 has been a matter of debate, with no real official figures on the matter. Estimates vary wildly from reports on the cost of the literal deployments to much larger all-in figures covering the war and aftermath. Now, we're going to finally get an official figure as the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes a provision requiring the Pentagon and the IRS to both figure out the overall cost of the wars and make that figure available to the public.

Saudis Admit Using Banned UK Cluster Bombs in Yemen, Promise to Stop (Rowena Mason and Ewen MacAskill / The Guardian)
British Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon was forced to tell the Commons that internationally banned British-made cluster bombs had been dropped by Saudi Arabia in Yemen, prompting MPs and charities to say that the UK should stop supporting the Gulf state's military action. The UK is one of 120 countries to have signed the 2008 Ottawa convention on cluster munitions, banning their use or assistance with their use. Saudi Arabia is not a signatory to the treaty.

Pentagon Waste: The US Navy's $29 Billion Ship Still Can't Fight (Mandy Smithberger and Pierre Sprey / The Project on Government Oversight)
The Navy's $29 billion Littoral Combat Ship program provides a step-by-step case study in acquisition failures and the costs and risks of unacceptable levels of concurrency. Its design requirements were poorly conceived, the manpower planning was wildly unrealistic, Navy leadership and program managers repeatedly circumvented acquisition rules -- increasing concurrency and cost risk -- and production was approved despite poor and rushed analysis.

Washington's Commandos Without Borders (Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & Nick Turse / TomDispatch)
When Donald Trump enters the Oval Office, he will not only take possession of his own private air assassination corps (those CIA drones that take out terror suspects globally from a White House "kill list"), but also 70,000 "special ops" Green Berets, his own private, secret military. The firepower now available to a president to wage global assassination campaigns and make war just about anywhere on Earth, personally and privately, will now be inherited by a man to whom such powers are likely to have real appeal.

How the US Meddled in Russian Politics to Elect Boris Yeltsin (Michael Kramer / Time Magazine)
In 1966, five candidates were ahead of Boris Yeltsin in Russian presidential polls. The corrupt and authoritarian (but US-approved) Yeltsin was favored by only 6% of the electorate and was "trusted" by an even smaller proportion. Yeltsin's comeback victory was due to US corporate "meddling" in the Russian election. As one pro-Yeltsin official later admitted: "The Americans helped teach us Western political-advertising techniques." US meddling was successful in tilting the Russian election back towards Yeltsin.

Should the 9/11 Lawsuits Proceed? Saudi's DC Lobbyists Say 'No' (Kelley Beaucar Vlahos / The American Conservative & Agence France-Presse & Al Monitor)
Surviving 9/11 victims, as well as the families and loved ones of those who died that day, say they have reams of evidence linking the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the al-Qaeda hijackers -- and they want their day in court, which may result in billions of dollars in damages. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister has been lobbying US legislators to change a law allowing victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks to sue the kingdom.

On the Schizophrenia of Celebrating and Mourning Aleppo (Riham Alkousaa / Al Jazeera)
Commentary: "Since I left in 2014, I stopped asking myself why the people ... are doing nothing to stop the tragedies in Syria. I know the fear, the frustration and the survival mode you get into. When I was there, I was thinking about the blackouts, about how much the chicken will cost tomorrow and, most of all, about how to get out of there. Our story, I am afraid, would be that one day we were so different that we killed each other, and we celebrated this killing with chocolates and gaudy Christmas trees."

How Media Did and Did Not Report on Standing Rock (Tristan Ahtone / Al Jazeera)
Native American issues are only media sexy when natives with painted faces and horses are around. It's been entertaining to watch the press crowd come out to Indian Country. They didn't want to, of course, but after a few months of US security forces using tear gas, rubber bullets, mace, water cannon and concussion grenades on indigenous protesters intent on stopping an oil pipeline, they had to. When the mainstream media finally showed up en masse, the scene played out like a revisionist western movie.

The Fall of Aleppo: How Obama Made Syria's Civil War Much, Much Worse (Michael Brendan Dougherty / The Week)
Commentary: Aleppo has fallen. And much of the West is awash in guilt over the Syrian city's fate. The Eiffel Tower was dark yesterday in honor of the victims of Bashar al-Assad's regime in Aleppo. In Britain's House of Commons, ministers grandly accused themselves of their own inaction. The horror in Aleppo is easy to mourn, because the West is now so thoroughly not in a position to do anything to halt it. US interventionists should not learn the wrong lesson from Aleppo's fall.

Samantha Power Grandstands on Human Rights at UN, but Forgets to Mention All the Massacres Done in America's Name (Robert Fisk / The Independent)
Commentary: When Samantha talked about 'barbarism against civilians' in Aleppo, I remembered climbing over the dead Palestinian civilians massacred at the Sabra and Chatila refugee camps in Beirut in 1982, slaughtered by Israel's Lebanese militia friends while the Israeli army -- Washington's most powerful ally in the Middle East -- watched.

There's More Propaganda Than News Coming Out of Aleppo (Patrick Cockburn / The Independent and The Unz Review)
It has become more dangerous to be a foreign correspondent reporting on Syria's civil war. This is because the jihadis in east Aleppo were able to exclude Western journalists, who would be abducted and very likely killed if they went there, and replace them as news sources with highly partisan '"local activists'" who cannot escape being under jihadi control. The precedent set in Aleppo means that participants in any future conflict will have an interest in deterring foreign journalists who might report objectively.

Donald Trump's Israel Ambassador Is Hardline Pro-settler Lawyer (Judy Maltz / Haaretz & Peter Beaumont and Julian Borger / The Guardian)
Donald Trump has named as his ambassador to Israel a pro-settler lawyer who has described some US Jews as worse than concentration camp prisoner-guards. David Friedman opposes two-state solution, backs undivided Jerusalem as capital and has acted for Trump's failing hotels.

NDAA Would Allow US to Send Anti-Aircraft Weapons to Syrian Rebels (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Ben Norton / AlterNet:)
It wasn't widely reported during the debate of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), nor indeed was it mentioned in either the House or Senate versions of the bill, but the NDAA has a provision within it that would allow the US to send shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles to rebel factions in Syria. Provisions slipped into the latest defense bill could give anti-aircraft missiles to extremist groups.

Starving Yemeni Children Versus Bloated US Weapons Makers (Medea Benjamin / AntiWar.com & Al Jazeera<)
While the world is transfixed on the epic tragedy unfolding in Syria, another tragedy -- a hidden one -- has been consuming the children of Yemen. Battered by the twin evils of war and hunger, every ten minutes a child in Yemen is now dying from malnutrition, diarrhea and respiratory-tract infections. According to a new UNICEF report, at least 462,000 children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition with 2.2 million in need of urgent care.

China Seizes US Naval Drone in South China Sea (Al Jazeera)
A Chinese Navy warship has seized an underwater drone deployed by an American oceanographic vessel in the South China Sea, triggering a formal diplomatic protest from Washington. US officials demand return of the drone they say was testing salinity and temperature in international waters. Adding to the tension, Beijing is facing a new US president who has questioned long-standing US policy on Taiwan, called Beijing a currency manipulator and threatened Chinese imports with punitive tariffs.

Shocking Revelation: UN Armed Sudan Rebels who Massacred Civilians (Jason Patinkin / The Washington Post)
The UN mission in South Sudan gave weapons to a top rebel general just weeks after civil war began three years ago, and his forces went on to carry out one of the war's worst atrocities, according to a Small Arms Survey Sudan report. in December 2013 UN officials in the town of Bentiu in northern Unity state handed dozens of weapons, as well as ammunition, to rebel general James Koang. Four months later, Koang's troops killed hundreds of civilians sheltering in a mosque and a hospital.

US Drone Airstrike Kills Family of Nine in Mosul, Iraq (The Peninsular Quatar & Al Araby & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & The Daily Star & The Associated Press)
Nine members of the same family were killed in a US-led coalition airstrike in Mosul amid a major offensive to recapture the northern Iraqi city from Islamic State terrorist group. Meanwhile, at least 40 civilians have been killed including women and children and dozens of others injured in air raids and artillery fire in the east of the Islamic State group [IS] bastion of Mosul, local and medical sources have said.

Has the War in Syria Also Destroyed Journalism? (Ramzy Baroud / AntiWar.com)
Commentary: It was recently revealed that the US hired a London-based firm, Bell Pottinger, to create fake al-Qaeda videos and news reports designed to appear as if written by legitimate Arabic media. The propaganda videos were "personally approved" by General David Petraeus. We still do not know the specific content of many of these videos and to what extent such material -- which cost US tax payers $540 million dollars -- influenced events on the ground and our understanding of these events.

A New Establishment Study Urges More US Interventions (Philip Giraldi / The UNZ Review)
The Atlantic Council's "Middle East Strategy Task Force" report, released on November 30, promises a new "Compact for the Middle East" and asserts that "isolationism is a dangerous delusion." The report may be regarded as a quintessential document laying out the Establishment position on what should be done in the region. It is ostensibly the product Madeleine Albright and Stephen Hadley, both US interventionists collectively responsible for the deaths of more than a half-million children.

Donald Trump's Energy Policies Would Pave a Path to Hell (Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & Michael T. Klare / TomDispatch)
Scroll through Donald Trump's campaign promises and you could easily conclude that his energy policy consists of little more than a wish list drawn up by the major fossil fuel companies. If, however, you take a closer look at this morass of pro-carbon proposals, an obvious, if as yet unnoted, contradiction becomes apparent. If all of Trump's policies were enacted, many fossil fuel companies would be annihilated, thanks to the rock-bottom fuel prices produced by a colossal oversupply of oil, coal, and natural gas.

US Cuts Saudi Arms Sales Over Killing of Yemen's Civilians (AntiWar.com & Reuters & BBC News)
The US has said it will limit arms sales to Saudi Arabia amid concerns over civilian casualties linked to air strikes in Yemen. Precision-guided weapons will no longer be delivered, a Pentagon official said. In October, more than 140 people were killed in a strike on a funeral in the country.

American Military Power in Asia and the Trump Factor (Nick Turse / TomDispatch & Tim Shorrock / TomDispatch)
Despite the attention being given to America's roiling wars and conflicts in the Greater Middle East, crucial decisions about the global role of US military power may be made in a region where, as yet, there are no hot wars: Asia. Donald Trump will arrive in the Oval Office at a moment when Pentagon plans for a future US-Japan-South Korean triangular military alliance may have reached a crucial make-or-break moment. Whether those plans go forward could shape our world in crucial ways into the distant future.

US Urges Taiwan to Increase Military Spending Given China Threat (David Brunnstrom / Reuters)
President-elect Donald Trump set off a diplomatic firestorm when he questioned why the US should be bound by the long-standing policy under which Washington recognizes Beijing rather than Taiwan, which China considers a renegade province. Meanwhile, days after Trump touched off a storm by questioning American policy over the island, a senior US defense official said military spending in Taiwan has not kept pace with the threat posed by China and should be increased.

War Against the Press: Number of Jailed Journalists Hits Record High Worldwide (Al Jazeera & Elana Beiser / Committee to Protect Journalists)
At least 81 journalists are imprisoned in Turkey, all of them facing anti-state charges, in the wake of an unprecedented crackdown that has included the shuttering of more than 100 news outlets. The 259 journalists in jail worldwide is the highest number recorded since 1990. Mass arrests in various countries have pushed number to 259 so far, says annual census of imprisoned journalists by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Trump Questions Military Spending: An Encouraging Sign (Thomas Knapp /AntiWar.com & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)
Donald Trump has been all over the map on military issues throughout his campaign and post-campaign pronouncements. Still, Trump's December 12 tweet on Lockheed's F-35 contract is encouraging to those who'd like to see real "defense" spending cuts. Styling himself as a shrewd negotiator who can get the best deals, Trump hasn't been shy in criticizing the massive cost overruns in some of the Pentagon's juiciest contracts, setting the stage for potential acrimony with the influential military industry.

US Losing the War on Terror in Afghanistan -- Unless It Legalizes the Opium Trade (Abigail Hall-Blanco / Quartz)
According to a recently released report by the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), opium production in Afghanistan has risen by 43% in the last year. The country's drug trade employs some 2.9 million people -- 12% of the Afghan population -- and generates approximately $68 billion in revenue a year. This increase comes despite the fact that drug eradication policies have been a cornerstone of US policy in Afghanistan since the invasion in 2001.

The Syrian-Sarin 'False Flag' Lesson (Ray McGovern / AntiWar.com)
A review of events leading to the very edge of full-blown US shock-and-awe on Syria three years ago provides a case study with important lessons for new policymakers as they begin to arrive in Washington. It is high time to expose the whys and wherefores of the almost-successful attempt to mousetrap President Barack Obama into an open attack on Syria three years ago.

Report Faults Lack of US Transparency in Anti-ISIS Airstrikes (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & The Daily Star (Lebanon))
A report released by Airwars, a London-based project aimed at tracking the US-led coalition's airstrikes targeting ISIS, criticized the coalition's lack of transparency when assessing civilian casualties. While US officials have acknowledged that 173 civilians have died in coalition airstrikes since the launch of the campaign against Daesh in the summer of 2014, the Airwars group says the number of civilian casualties is much greater: at least 1,500.

Yet Another Undeclared US War (Tom Engelhardt and Rebecca Gordon / TomDispatch & AnbtiWar.com)
Commentaries: What is it about America and its twenty-first-century wars? They spread continually -- there are now seven of them; they never end; and yet, if you happen to live in the United States, most of the time it would be easy enough to believe that, except for the struggle against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, there were no conflicts underway. 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.

How the War on 'Fake News' Is an Attack on Real News (Ron Paul / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity & Philip Giraldi / The Unz Review)
Commentary and Analysis: A major threat to liberty is the assault on the right to discuss political issues, seek out alternative information sources, and promote dissenting ideas and causes such as non-interventionism in foreign and domestic affairs. If this ongoing assault on free speech succeeds, then all of our liberties are endangered. The drama surrounding allegations that the internet is awash with "fake news" is being promoted by the so-called mainstream media which has a lot to answer for.

How War Propaganda Keeps on Killing (Robert Parry / Consortium News)
The "fake news" hysteria has become the cover for the US government and mainstream media to crack down on fact-based journalism that challenges Official Washington's "group thinks." This is especially dangerous because Official Washington gets trapped by its own propaganda, which restricts the government's ability to change direction even when the need for a shift becomes obvious.

Peace Prize Winner Questions the 'War on Drugs' (BBC World News & Josh Lederman and Kathleen Hennessey / Associated Press)
The President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, has used his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech to call for the world to "rethink" the war on drugs. He said the zero-tolerance policy might be "even more harmful" than all the other wars being fought worldwide. Mr Santos's government and the country's biggest rebel group, the FARC, signed a peace deal last month.

RAF Urged to Recruit Video Game Players to Operate Reaper Drones (Patrick Wintour / The Guardian)
Air Marshal Greg Bagwell, a former RAF deputy commander of operations, disclosed that the psychological pressure on drone operators in the UK was such that some had quit due to mental stress or illness. Bagwell's solution? Resolve the "relentless demand" to deploy the unmanned aircraft by recruiting "18- and 19-year-olds straight out of the PlayStation bedroom" to operate the weapons.

Trump Proposes Curbing Pentagon Corruption. Pentagon Fires Back (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Steve Holland and David Lawder / Reuters)
US President-elect Donald Trump has said he is considering imposing a lifetime ban on US military procurement officials going to work for defense contractors. Trump floated the idea of such a ban only three days after publicly rebuking Boeing Co over the cost of the next-generation Air Force One presidential aircraft. Pentagon officials are already criticizing the proposal, saying such lucrative jobs were a big reason why Pentagon officials took procurement jobs in the first place.

US to Build $1.6 Billion Idaho Facility for Warships' Nuclear Waste (Keith Ridler / The Associated Press)
A $1.65 billion facility will be built at a nuclear site in eastern Idaho to handle fuel waste from the nation's fleet of nuclear-powered warships, the Navy and US Department of Energy announced. Officials said the new facility is needed to keep nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines deployed.

EPA Fears 'Unprecedented Disaster' for Environment over Scott Pruitt Pick (Oliver Milman / The Guardian & Daniel Gross / Slate)
Senate Democrats vow to fight Trump's nominee to lead the EPA, a climate denier who has sued the agency multiple times as attorney general of Oklahoma. The appointment of Scott Pruitt as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, has raised fears within the agency that he will trigger an "unprecedented disaster" for America's environment and public health.

The Trump Administration's Plans for Wars in Space (Karl Grossman / Nation of Change)
For decades various US administrations -- the Reagan administration with its "Star Wars" plan a leading example -- have expressed interest in placing weapons in space. But that has alternated with some administrations more-or-less opposed -- the Obama administration is a example. It is now highly likely that the Trump administration will move to deploy weapons in space. If this happens, it will be profoundly destabilizing, setting off an arms race and, also likely, leading to war in space.

Avoiding the Unthinkable in India and Pakistan: Nuclear War (Conn Hallinan / Foreign Policy In Focus & AntiWar.com)
India and Pakistan have fought three wars over the disputed province of Kashmir in the past six decades and came within a hair's breadth of a nuclear exchange in 1999. Both countries now are on a crash program to produce more nuclear weapons. Between them they have enough explosive power to kill more than 20 million of their own people and throw the Northern Hemisphere into a nuclear winter, which would trigger a catastrophic collapse of agriculture worldwide.

The Horrific Consequences of US Interventionism (Jacob G. Hornberger / The Future of Freedom Foundation)
Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, is chagrined at what he perceives to be a double cross by US officials, who have refused to lift brutal sanctions despite Iran's agreement to halt its nuclear programs. What's important to realize, however, is that the bad relations between the United States and Iran are rooted in US interventionism -- specifically the CIA's violent coup in 1953, which succeeded in overthrowing a democratically elected government and installing the Shah of Iran, a brutal pro-US dictator.

Democrats Should Fight All of Trump's Nominees (Joan Walsh / The Nation & George Zornick / The Democratic Underground & Tom Engelhardt and Nomi Prins / TomDispatch)
Commentary: Donald Trump has packed his transition team with corporate executives and lobbyists, and he doesn't want you to know what they're doing. He has betrayed his working-class supporters by naming a cabinet of millionaire and billionaire insiders. Democrats are missing an opportunity to brand the president-elect as a man who's betraying his base, right out of the gate. Democrats should be fighting virtually all of Trump's picks.

Rep. Gabbard Calls for Law to Stop US from Arming Terrorists (C-Span & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & RT News)
The Stop Arming Terrorists Act (SATA) has been introduced on December 8 in the House of Representatives by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI). The bill is a bipartisan effort, co-sponsored by Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), and Thomas Massie (R-KY) which would forbid the US from using taxpayer dollars to arm, fund, or train terrorist organizations like ISIS, which has received US weapons, supplies and funding in its war against Syria's embattled leader.

Iraq's US-armed and Trained Air Force 'Massacres Innocent Civilians' (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Ahmed Rasheed / Reuters)
On December 7, Iraqi warplanes attacked a crowded marketplace in the town of al-Qaim, killing at least 55 civilians along with eight ISIS militants, according to sources at the local hospital. Qaim is the last town in Anbar Province that remains under ISIS control. The hospital reported that there were three airstrikes against the market, and that the 55 civilians slain included at least 12 women and 19 children. Officials at the hospital, along with local MPs, described the attack as a "massacre against innocent civilians."

ACTION ALERT: Rep: Lee Says "Audit the Pentagon!" Navy Refuses to Cut Costs (Hon. Barbara Lee / US House of Representatives & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & David B. Larter / Navy Times)
It was recently discovered that the Pentagon tried to hide at least $125 billion dollars in wasted spending. The Department of Defense receives more than half of the country's entire discretionary budget -- $500 billion in taxpayer money per year -- but unlike other government agencies, the DOD is the only government agency that cannot be audited, and it has never produced a valid financial statement. Some have called this the "Golden Age of Pentagon Waste."

Pentagon's Suppressed Waste Report Only The Tip of Ihe Inefficient Machine (William D. Hartung / The Hill)
The revelation this week by The Washington Post that the Pentagon buried a report that exposed $125 billion in waste in the administrative operations is just the latest indication that the Pentagon has been padding its budget with taxpayer dollars. This is not the first time the issue of the billions in unnecessary bloat in the Pentagon's budget has been raised. Reducing this entrenched bureaucracy should be a top priority for the new administration and the new Congress that take office in January.

The Pentagon's Risky US Nuclear Bomb Gets Green Light (Len Ackland / The Reveal)
The most controversial nuclear bomb ever planned for the US arsenal -- some say the most dangerous, too -- has received the go-ahead from the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration. The agency announced on Aug. 1 that the B61-12 -- the nation's first guided, or "smart" nuclear bomb. This announcement comes in the face of repeated warnings from civilian experts and former high-ranking military officers that the bomb could tempt use during a conflict because of its precision.

New Navy Ship Leaking Tax Dollars (Jonathan Marshall / Consortium News)
The New Cold War with Russia provides a stronger budgetary lifeline for the Military-Industrial Complex than the War on Terror does while helping to quiet critics of wasteful spending. The world's mightiest navy is at risk of being sunk -- not by a superior enemy, but by its own inability to acquire ships that work at a price that even the richest military on the planet can afford.

Guess Who's Bombing Libya (Arnaud Delalande / War Is Boring<)
Twice in November 2016, the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council, or BRSC  --  a group with ties to Al Qaeda  --  published photos of United Arab Emirates Air Force AT-802 and Reaper-style drones in the sky over the Ganfouda area of Benghazi in eastern Libya. Evidence is mounting that the UAE is indiscriminately bombing militant strongholds in Libya. And civilians are caught in the crossfire.

The Coming War on China (John Pilger / teleSURtv)
The greatest build-up of American-led military forces since the Second World War is well under way. I have spent two years making a documentary film, The Coming War on China, in which the evidence and witnesses warn that nuclear war is no longer a shadow, but a contingency. The greatest build-up of American-led military forces since the Second World War is well under way. They are in the northern hemisphere, on the western borders of Russia, and in Asia and the Pacific, confronting China.

Publish, Punish, and Pardon: Nine Last-minute Things Obama Could Do to Rein-in the National Security State (Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & Pratap Chatterjee / TomDispatch)
In less than seven weeks, President Obama will hand over the government to Donald Trump, including access to the White House, Air Force One, and Camp David, Trump will also inherit the nuclear codes, the latest weapons, the CIA's fleet of killer drones, the NSA's vast surveillance and data collection apparatus, and the FBI's enormous system of undercover informants. "Obama's failure to rein in George Bush's national security policies hands Donald Trump a fully loaded weapon," warns the head of the ACLU.

Donald Trump versus the Dark State (Michael J. Glennon / The Boston Globe & Jordan Michael Smith / The Boston Globe)
"Vote all you want: the Secret Government won't change. The people we elect aren't the ones calling the shots," says Tuft University's Michael Glennon. Incoming presidents quickly learn that our military, intelligence, and law enforcement departments are largely self-governing -- virtually immune from accountability and the checks-and-balances described in civics books. They make up a second government -- a concealed, unelected force that actually defines and manages the nation's security.

More Americans Are Expressing Support for Torture and War Crimes (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Vincent Haiges / Deutsche Welle & Spencer Ackerman / The Guardian)
Most people polled in 16 countries rejected war crimes. Yet, in the US, UK, Russia, China and France, the number of people who view torture and bombing civilians as legitimate has grown since the last 'People on War' poll was taken in 1999. Roughly half of the Americans polled seeing torture as an acceptable way to gather information. No other permanent UN Security Council members were anywhere near this. The only other countries with comparable pro-torture figures are Nigeria and Israel.

"Yosemite Samsung National Park"? Obama's Park Service Prepares to Put Wilderness on the Market (Tim Wu /The New York Times)
This year, parks in several states -- including Idaho and Washington, and the National Park Service -- will be blazing a new trail as they begin offering wealthy corporations the opportunity to introduce advertising campaigns within park borders. Among the early winners: an auditorium at Yosemite National Park will be named after Coca-Cola and Bryce Canyon may soon be accessible via busses adorned by an image of the Michelin Man.

Pentagon Buries Evidence of $125 Billion in Bureaucratic Waste (Craig Whitlock and Bob Woodward / The Washington Post)
The Pentagon has buried an internal study that exposed $125 billion in administrative waste in its business operations amid fears Congress would use the findings as an excuse to slash the defense budget, according to interviews and confidential memos obtained by The Washington Post. Pentagon leaders requested the study to help make their enormous back-office bureaucracy more efficient and reinvest savings in combat power. But senior defense officials moved swiftly to kill it by suppressing the results.

The US Government Is Literally Arming the World, And Nobody's Even Talking About It (William D. Hartung / TomDispatch & Mother Jones Magazine)
When US firms dominate a global market worth more than $70 billion a year, you'd expect to hear about it. Not so with the global arms trade. So here's a question that's puzzled me for years: Why do other major US exports -- from Hollywood movies to Midwestern grain shipments to Boeing airliners -- garner regular coverage while trends in weapons exports remain in relative obscurity? The US is behind more than half of all global arms deals in 2014. making us the greatest purveyor of weapons on Earth.

Why We Should Close America's Overseas Military Bases: (John Glaser / TIME Magazine)
America's overseas military bases are largely taken for granted in today's foreign policy debates. The US maintains a veritable empire of military bases throughout the world -- about 800 of them in more than 70 countries. Many view our bases as a symbol of our status as the dominant world power. But America's forward-deployed military posture incurs substantial costs and disadvantages, exposing the US to vulnerabilities and unintended consequences.

Foreign Military Bases and the Global Campaign to Close Them (Wilbert van der Zeijden / The Transnational Institute)
There are more than a thousand foreign military bases worldwide which have become the infrastructure for imperial wars and have severe social and environmental impacts locally that have prompted growing resistance. Foreign military bases are found in more than 100 countries and territories. All these facilities undermine international peace and security while causing social and environmental problems at a local level. There are 450 No-Bases Network campaigns working to close foreign military bases.

Obama Calls for Rerouting Dakota Oil Pipeline; GOP Vows to Retaliate (NBC News & Caroline Kenny and Gregory Krieg / CNN )
Celebrations, tears of joy, chanting and drumming rang out among thousands of protesters at the Standing Rock site after the Army Corp of Engineers announced it will look for an alternate route for the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota.

House Passes Massive $611 Billion New Military Spending Bill -- Including $14-Billion Lockheed Boondoggle (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Hope Hodge Seck / Military.com & Kimberly Amadeo / The Balance)
The House of Representatives has passed a massive $611 new military spending bill. Though presented as the National Defense Authorization Act for 2017, the bill is only a portion of what the US will ultimately spend on the military in fiscal 2017. Meanwhile, the Navy's littoral combat ship is costing taxpayers billions more than budgeted, failing survivability assessments, and may never live up to the original vision for the program. The cost to taxpayers for Lockheed's costly boondoggle -- $14 billion.

Why Did the EPA Water Down Fracking Dangers? (Susan Phillips / National Public Radio & Jon Hurdle / StateImpact )
New documents have emerged that show the EPA downplayed the risks of fracking in a landmark report on the process used to extract oil and gas from shale. The last minute changes made by the EPA are documented in a story by the public radio show Marketplace and APM Reports.

Lawsuit Aims to Hold Two CIA Contractors Accountable for Torture (Sheri Fink and James Resen / The New York Times)
Nearly 15 years after the United States adopted a program to interrogate terrorism suspects using techniques now widely considered to be torture, no one involved in helping craft it has been held legally accountable. Even as President Obama acknowledged that the United States "tortured some folks," his administration declined to prosecute any government officials. But now, one lawsuit has gone further than any other in American courts to fix blame.

The Military Annihilation of Aleppo (Al Jazeera)
Residents of Syria's Aleppo are at risk of extermination and the clock is ticking on the besieged city as winter sets in, a top UN envoy told the Security Council. UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs Stephen O'Brien has urged access to residents of eastern Aleppo as at least 45 civilians died while attempting to flee the fighting.

US Goal is Global Dominance: History Records Hundreds of US Wars (Bruce Fein / The Washington Times & The Congressional Research Service)
The United States commonly professes "stability" as its foreign policy objective. But that profession is fact-free. Euphemisms to disguise the ulterior motive of our foreign policy were invented because "power for the sake of power" was too crude and off-putting. The US has chronically fomented instability -- invading countries, toppling elected governments, installing dictators -- around the world since World War II. Yet, only 11 times in its history, has the US formally declared war against foreign nations.

ISIS Oil Fires Trigger Environmental Catastrophe in Iraq (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & CNN & Daily News & Andrea DiCenzo / Al Jazeera)
In the months leading up to the telegraphed Iraqi invasion of the major ISIS city of Mosul, ISIS had ample time to set up myriad defenses. Among these was setting fire to oil wells, aiming to provide a cloud of smoke that would hinder US airstrikes. 19 wells were set on fire and, after 100 days, only three have been sealed. Extinguishing the rest could take months and cost millions. Meanwhile, the smoke is complicating the air war, and also sickening people on the ground.

The Destruction of Mosul and its People (Zaid al-Ali / Al Jazeera & Zena Tahhan & Salam Khoder / Al Jazeera & Caroline Malone / Al Jazeera)
With its vastly superior numbers, armaments, funding and international support, the military will push ISIL out of its last redoubts within Iraq's territory, possibly before the end of this year. It is inevitable that Mosul will suffer significant physical damage in the coming weeks and months. And Mosul's residents at at risk from Iraq's notorious Popular Mobilization Units, who have unnecessarily damaged property and infrastructure and committed horrific abuses against ordinary citizens.

ACTION ALERT: 2,000 US Vets to Dakota. Declare Standing Rock a National Monument (Charley Lanyon / New York Magazine & CREDO Action & The Ring of Fire Network)
More than 2,000 US veterans are headed for North Dakota this weekend to form a human shield around besieged oil-pipeline protesters. More than 7,000 people are camped out in support of the Standing Rock Sioux in opposition to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which threatens tribal lands. President Obama can end this standoff now -- before Donald Trump closes in on the White House -- by declaring Standing Rock a national monument, forever protecting its cultural sites.

Barack Obama's Surprising Toxic Legacy of Carbon Pollution (Asaf Shalev, Michael Phillis, Elah Feder and Susanne Rust / The Guardian)
President Barack Obama has staked his environmental legacy on his administration's reputation as the most progressive on climate change in US history. However, an obscure US agency has spoiled his record by promoting overseas fossil fuel emissions -- effectively erasing gains expected from Obama's Clean Power Plan and fuel efficiency standards. The US Export-Import Bank has poured more than $33 billion into fossil fuel projects that will lead to a massive increase in global carbon emissions.

ACTION ALERT: Demilitarize Teachers' Pension Funds (World Beyond War)
While governments buy weapons, market weapons to other governments, donate weapons to other governments, and bestow tax breaks on weapons dealers, there is another less-visible way in which public money sustains weapons dealing. Public pension and retirement funds are invested, directly and indirectly, in weapons companies. Teachers and other public servants whose interests ought to lie with promoting human needs have their retirement security tied up with maintaining or enlarging the war industry.

ACTION ALERT: Beyond the Electoral College -- A Path to Democracy (Robert Weissman / Public Citizen & Robert Reich & Ed Pilkington, The Guardian & The Hamilton Electors)
In 2012, Donald Trump proclaimed: "The Electoral College is a disaster for a democracy" and "a total sham and a travesty." The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It has been enacted into law in 11 states with 165 electoral votes. It will take effect when enacted by states with 105 more electoral votes.

UN Warns of Food and Water Shortages in Mosul as Iraq Cuts Supplies (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Isabel Coles and Saif Hameed / Reuters )
Six weeks into the Iraqi invasion of Mosul, only a portion of the city's east has actually fallen. The battle is expected to continue for months more, with Iraqi officials saying the overall battle could last six months. It's only now that the humanitarian ramifications of this protracted offensive are being considered.

In Yemen's War, Trapped Families Ask: Which Child Should We Save? (Sudarsan Raghavan / The Washington Post)
The family of Osama Hassan faced a wrenching choice as his tiny body wasted away. Should they use the little money they had, in a time of war, to take the 2-year-old to a hospital? Or should they buy food to feed their other children? His family chose food.

US Clusterbombs Used in Yemen Feed Anger against America (Sudarsan Raghavan / The Washington Post)
American-made cluster bombs -- banned by scores of countries but not the United States or Saudi Arabia – have killed and wounded thousands of innocent civilians in Yemen. So it comes as no surprise that the streets of this war-battered capital and decorated with anti-American murals and giant billboards proclaiming: "America is killing the Yemeni people. They are feeding on our blood."

How Many Countries is the US Currently Bombing (Fusion & Peter Phillips & Test Tube News / Seeker Daily)
Over the past two decades, the United States has performed military operations in more than a dozen foreign countries. So which countries has the US invaded since the Cold War and how many countries is the US actively bombing today?

US Admits Killing Syrian Troops: US Generals Unable to Win Wars (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & Andrew Bacevich / TomDispatch)
On September 17, in the middle of a ceasefire negotiated by the US and Russia, US warplanes attacked a Syrian military base, killing at least 62 troops and setting the stage for an ISIS take-over. The US subsequently explained the hour-long attack was the result of "human error." Since September 11, 2001, the US has been in a state of more or less permanent war. The war in Afghanistan is in its 16th year (and not going well). The war in Iraq is in its 13th year. Other US wars are underway in Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia.

Montenegro and the Uselessness of NATO (Justin Raimondo / AntiWar.com)
Analysis: The latest entrant into the NATO alliance, Montenegro, underscores both the absurdity of this archaic Cold War relic and the dangers it poses to the United States. Montenegro is a cauldron of ethno-nationalist tensions that could explode into a civil war -- or a cross border conflict with any number of its neighbors -- at a moment's notice. But the NATO treaty requires signatories to come to the aid of member states who face aggression or any sort of conflict, which risks WWIII.

Trump Being Urged to Abolish 260 Million Acres of National Monuments (Dan Zukowski / EcoWatch)
US Rep. Rob Bishop, a fierce anti-public lands Republican in Utah, is urging President-elect Donald Trump to abolish national monuments created by Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. More than 270 million acres of American land and waters are potentially at risk -- an area two and a half times the size of California. The action would be unprecedented. No president in history has undone the creation of a national monument by a predecessor.

ACTION ALERT: Protect Free Speech and Honest Science (PEN America, Daily Kos, et al.)
On January 20, Donald J. Trump will take the oath of office and swear to preserve, protect and defend the US Constitution. During his presidential campaign, his statements and actions called into question his commitment to constitutional principles, including the freedom of expression. Of specific concern were his threats and insults directed toward journalists, arbitrary limitations on media access and comments in support of potential legal reforms that would weaken First Amendment protections.

Washington Post's 'Fake News' Hoax Targets First Amendment and Government Critics (Matt Taibbi / The Rolling Stone & Ben Norton, Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept & Lee Fang / The Intercept)
Commentary and analysis: The Washington Post, citing an unvetted report by unnamed analysts from a group called PropOrNot -- a team of anonymous smear artists – calls for blacklisting independent news and blogsites for being agents of "Russian propaganda" -- because they criticize mainstream media and US foreign policy. As is so often the case, those crying "fake news" the loudest (including the Post and the Trump campaign) are the most aggressive disseminators of it.

The Original 'Fake News' Story that Was Used to Call for the Suppression of Independent Media Critics (PropOrNot.com & RT News)
In an unprecedented attack on free speech, independent media, political and social criticism, a prominent mainstream newspaper has chosen to sacrifice its journalistic reputation by promoting a mysterious entity called "PropOrNot" hoping to blacklist scores of prizewinning, respected online news sites as "agents of Russian propaganda." An identical attack, underway in Europe, has been condemned by the president of International Federation of Journalists. Could this all be a government intelligence operation?

Veterans Head To Standing Rock To Support 'We The People' (TheRealNews & Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch)
Hundreds of veterans are preparing to join the Water Protectors at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota on December 5 to peacefully protest the Dakota Access Pipeline. "My first duty as a marine is to protect the people of the United States," Gulf War veteran Michael Markus said. "That's why I'm here, to protect the people, protect the water, protect future generations."

Standing Rock Is Our Civil Rights Event (Bill McKibben / The Guardian & Josh Fox / Democracy Now!)
We're seeing a scene as explosive as the Freedom Rides or the bus boycotts play out in real time on the high plains of the Dakotas. In the 1960s, the US government sent helpers to protect integration efforts. Why not do more to protect the Dakota Pipeline protesters today?

Corporate News Attacks Alternative Media with "Fake News" Label (Justin Raimondo / AntiWar.com)
Free speech is under attack -- by the Washington Post. Instead of doing its own research, the Post has promoted a marginal website's "watch list" of websites that deemed to be "fake news" outlets. Targets include a host of anti-establishment sites, including -- Antiwar.com, The Drudge Report, WikiLeaks, David Stockman's Contra Corner, the Ron Paul Institute, LewRockwell.com, Counterpunch, Zero Hedge, Naked Capitalism, Truthdig, Truth-out.

US Admits It Has Used Radioactive Weapons in Syria (International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons & Samuel Oakford / IRIN News)
The US has admits that it fired radioactive Depleted Uranium weapons on two occasions in Syria in November 2015, contrary to earlier claims. The Pentagon's justification for use was unclear after target analysis triggering calls for full disclosure and demands to extend harm-reduction measures. Russia took advantage of the news to distract attention from its own conduct in the conflict.

What Trump's Election Would Mean for the US War Industry (Tom Engelhardt and William D. Hartung / TomDispatch)
Pay no attention to the cries of poverty emanating from the Pentagon: there's plenty of money available for "defense." The problems lie in overly ambitious, counterproductive military strategies and the Pentagon's penchant for squandering tax dollars. Industry giants LockheedMartin, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman rose sharply upon news of a Donald Trump presidency. The biggest winner, however, may be Huntington Ingalls, a manufacturer of aircraft carriers and nuclear attack subs.

Africa's Elephants Are Becoming War Refugees (Christine Dell'Amore / National Geographic & Adam Cruise / National Geographic)
A national park in Botswana is struggling to support the staggering number of animals fleeing from poaching in other countries. To avoid ivory poachers in neighboring Namibia, Zambia, and Angola, elephants are fleeing in astounding numbers to Chobe, where illegal hunting is mostly kept in check. But while Chobe offers some protection, it's increasingly dry ecosystem is buckling under the pressure of supporting so many of the six-ton animals, which each eat 600 pounds of food daily.

Parks at Risk: Trump's Interior Secretary Could be an Oil Baron, Sarah Palin, or Trump's Son
Drilling in the massive Arctic National Wildlife Refuge? Oil wells inside Yosemite National Park? Uranium mines in the Grand Canyon? These are some of the possibilities emerging under a Trump administration as leading candidates for Secretary of the Interior reportedly include Sarah Palin, various oil company executives, and Donald Trump, Jr.

ACTION ALERT: President-elect's Investments Pose Conflicts of Interest (Murshed Zaheed / Credo Action & Jeff Nesbit / TIME Magazine)
No one knows the full extent of Trump's foreign financial and business entanglements because of his unprecedented secrecy and refusal to release his tax returns. Government ethics experts have already said Trump is poised to violate the Constitution by personally profiting from the presidency. On top of it all, we still do not know whether he is indebted to foreign interests that would give them influence over the commander in chief.

What Would a Trump EPA Look Like? Environmental Leaders on Hope And Progress in the Age of Trump (Grist Staff)
Donald Trump, a climate denier who has promised to gut the Paris accord, scrap the Clean Power Plan, bring back coal, and roll back pollution restrictions is our next president, and the civil and human rights of so many in this country are threatened. Hateful, violent acts committed in his name continue to populate the news. As we've done before in similar times, we've turned to politicians and other green leaders to ask how we keep working toward climate action, sustainability, and social justice? And what gives them hope, inspiration, or determination in such a trying time?

First Amendment Under Fire: Journalists at Standing Rock Shot and Arrested (Alleen Brown / The Intercept)
Pat Boyle, a Denver-based journalist, was shot in the abdomen by a rubber bullet as he reported on a clash between demonstrators and police that would end with 26 protesters sent to hospitals and 300 requiring other medical treatment. Police have used rubber bullets, ice-cold water, and, reportedly, concussion grenades on the crowd. According to the Bismarck Tribune, at least seven journalists have been arrested while covering the clashes. Others have been stung by tear gas, pepper spray, or rubber bullets.

Fidel Castro, Cuba's Revolutionary Former Leader: ¡Presente! (CBS Evening News & Jack Epstein / San Francisco Chronicle )
Fidel Castro, who led the revolution that brought communism to Cuba, has died at age 90, younger brother Raul Castro announced Friday. Mr. Castro leaves a national legacy of nearly 100 percent literacy, a health system and life expectancy of 79 years on par with some developed countries, and athletes who are respected around the world. But he also leaves a nation suffering from endemic shortages, dilapidated housing, and a repressive security system.

Fidel Castro's Green Revolution (Robert Bradley Jr. / Master Resource.org & Rachel Cernansky / TreeHugger.com)
Fidel Castro (1926-[2016]), one the great wealth destroyers and wealth averters of the last fifty years. Fidel Castro combined Marxism-Leninism with environmentalism. He railed against industrialization on environmental grounds, most recently criticizing Canadian oil-sands development. Cuba gets a lot of attention for sustainable practices it has adopted over the last few decades. Cuba is home to the Caribbean's largest and best-preserved wetland area and is a model for urban sustainability.

Major Source of 'Fake News'? The US Government (John W. Whitehead / Rutherford Institute and AntiWar.com & James W Carden / Consortium News)
There's garden variety fake news -- titillating, tabloid-worthy material peddled by anyone with a Twitter account, a Facebook page and an active imagination -- then there's the more devious kind of news stories circulated by one of the biggest propagators of fake news: the US government. The US mainstream news media often holds itself out as the world's gold standard, home for careful reporting and diverse opinions compared to Russia's monolithic propaganda, but the reality is quite different.

WikiLeaks' 'Yemen Files' Reveal Scope of US Involvement in Yemen War (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & WikiLeaks)
WikiLeaks has released a new collection of 500 internal documents today from the US Embassy in Sanaa, the latest in a long series of leaks the group has obtained over the years. The documents detail US involvement in Yemen in the lead up to and during the Saudi invasion.

Secret Former US Nuclear Launch-site in Greenland Threatened by Melting Ice (Jan M. Olsen / Associated Press)
A once-secret US base designed to attach Russia with nuclear missiles was abandoned years ago but the clean-up was never completed. With the arctic melting due to climate change, an array of abandoned equipment, chemical waste and radioactive pollution -- intended to remain buried under the ice for centuries -- may start to resurface before the end of this century. Greenland is now urging Denmark to remove the remains of Camp Century and several other abandoned US military bases.

Demolition Begins at Washington State Nuclear Site (Annette Cary / Tri-City Herald)
Workers at the Hanford Nuclear Site may be just weeks away from the start of demolition of the nuclear reservation's most hazardous building, the Plutonium Finishing Plant. The Department of Energy faces a revised legal deadline to have the plant torn down to slab on grade by Sept. 30, 2017. Demolition will cap a 20-year effort to clean out and decontaminate the Plutonium Finishing Plant, starting with stabilization of plutonium left in the plant in a liquid solution at the end of the Cold War.

Mysterious 'Doomsday Plane' Appears over Denver Causing Alarm (Mark Belcher / Denver7 TV News & Mark Slavo / Freedom Outpost & 911 Review)
A plane shrouded in mystery captured the attention of thousands of curious Denver residents on November 16. Nobody knew why a high-altitude plane circled the City of Denver for hours. Denver7 tracked IRON99 as it traveled from the West Coast to Oklahoma, where it eventually landed at Tinker Air Force Base, however it spent roughly an hour in Denver, circling in a racetrack-style holding pattern over the city. Now the Navy has some answers.

How Many Police Are Needed to Subdue a Peaceful Protest? (Thomas Dresslar / ACLU & Steve Horn / DeSmog Blog & The Huffington Post)
Almost exactly 20 years ago, President Bill Clinton signed into law a bill -- the Emergency Management Assistance Compact -- creating an interstate agreement for emergency management. That law has opened the door for the current flood of out-of-state law enforcement agents repressing the continuing protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. As of November 7, the assault against the Native protests had engaged law enforcement personnel from from 24 counties, 16 cities and 9 states.

UN Investigates Human Rights Abuses at Dakota Access Pipeline Protests
A United Nations group is investigating allegations of human rights abuses by North Dakota law enforcement against Native American protesters, with indigenous leaders testifying about "acts of war" they observed during mass arrests at an oil pipeline protest. Protesters who have raised concerns about excessive force, unlawful arrests and mistreatment in jail where some activists have been held in cages.

US Vets Heading to Standing Rock To Engage 'The Enemy' -- The US Government (Adam Linehan / Task and Purpose)
On December 4, Veterans Stand For Standing Rock will bring scores of US vets -- along with fire fighters, ex-cops, and medical personnel -- will join the Native activists protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline in a three-day "deployment" designed to "prevent progress" on the pipeline and draw attention to the human rights and environmental abuses directed against the Sioux tribes. The Vets say they're prepared to take a bullet, rubber or otherwise, for a cause they believe should be crucial to any patriotic American.

Trump Targets NASA's Climate Research as He Invests in Dakota Pipeline Project (Oliver Milman / The Guardian & Daniel Gross / Slate)
NASA's Earth science division is set to be stripped of funding as president-elect Donald Trump seeks to shift focus away from our home planet in favor of deep space exploration. Meanwhile, back on Earth, Sunoco Logistics, a crude and natural gas pipeline company, has agreed to acquire Energy Transfer Partners, a large pipeline company, in a transaction worth $21 billion. On CNBC, Jim Cramer called it "the first Trump deal."

The Standing Rock Protests Are a Taste of Things to Come (Kate Aronoff / The Guardian)
On Sunday night, police turned tear gas and rubber bullets on hundreds of unarmed "water protectors" protesting the Dakota Oil Pipeline. Water cannon were used in sub-freezing temperatures. More than 160 people were injured and many were hospitalized. One woman could lose her arm. These strong-arm tactics are reminiscent of the police brutality experienced by America's civil rights movement. As Donald Trump prepares to enter the White House, this escalation of violence could be a view of the future.

300 Injured; Young Woman Has Arm Blown Off as Media Ignore Standing Rock Protests (Democracy Now! & Paul Gottinger / Reader Supported News & Prolific The Rapper)
Sunday's attack at Standing Rock included police firing rubber bullets, mace canisters and water cannons in subfreezing temperatures. As many as 300 people were injured in the attack. 21-year-old activist Sophia Wilansky is in critical condition and has been undergoing a series of surgeries, after reportedly being hit by a concussion grenade during the police attack against water protectors fighting the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota Sunday night.

The Trump Effect: A War on Civility and Interior Secretary Sarah Palin? (Bill Berkowitz / Buzzflash at Truthout & Nancy Cook and Andrew Restuccia / Politico)
In this post-election period, white supremacists, white nationalists, Islamophobes, and anti-Semites seem to feel empowered to do and say just about anything. The Southern Poverty Law Center has already recorded more than 700 incidents of "hateful intimidation and harassment." Meanwhile President-elect Donald Trump continues to build his Cabinet, relying on a short list of industry titans and conservative activists who could comprise one of the most controversial Cabinets in modern history.

Trump's Foreign Policy Will Remain Washington's Policy: Global Dominance (Bruce Fein / The Washington Times)
Commentary: Since the beginning of time, nations have crowned themselves a chosen people to justify gratifying hormonal cravings for power and domination. Species narcissism blinds us to that ugly truth about our primal urges. The US, for instance, commonly professes "stability" as its foreign policy objective, while it repeatedly foments instability around the globe. Do not hold your breath for any foreign policy change from President-elect Donald Trump. Power for the sake of power will remain in the saddle.

The Environmental Impact of Black Friday Shopping (Green Business Watch)
Because the holidays are a time of excess, they have a major environmental impact. One 1999 study concluded that Black Friday was 50 times worse in terms of greenhouse gas emissions than Cyber Monday. The best way to minimize your environmental impact is simply to consume less: that's a gift your planet can live with.

2012 Report Confirmed: Attack on the Benghazi Embassy Was an 'Inside Job' (Justin Raimondo / AntiWar.com & Malia Zimmerman and Adam Housley / Fox News)
New documents have bolstered a report from 4 years ago that guards hired to protect the US Embassy in Benghazi were actually part of the Ansar al-Sharia and Al Qaeda groups operating in the area. The State Department hired the Blue Mountain Group -- a security company with no experience or personnel -- to take charge of Embassy protection. Blue Mountain hired unvetted local Libyans. During the deadly attack, it was these guards who enabled the assault and turned their guns on the Americans.

Trump Is Ready to Bet the World (Bill McKibben / The Washington Post & Ted Galen Carpenter / The National Interest)
Commentary: Donald Trump will enter the White House with an environmental policy agenda opposed to that of the Obama administration and many other nations that have pledged support to the Paris climate agreement. We simply don't know what a Trump administration foreign policy will look like with respect to Europe, East Asia or any other region. All we have are a number of statements that the candidate made during the heat of a political campaign.

Deadly Waters: The Threat of Climate Change and Rising Sea Levels to Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches (Peter Fugazzotto / Turtle Island Restoration Network)

In Search of a New, Noninterventionist, US Foreign Policy (Daniel L. Davis / The Federalist)
Commentary: For the past few decades, there have been two dominant schools of thought on foreign policy: the liberal interventionists and the neoconservative interventionists. The intellectual foundation for these two schools of thought was always thin. Both failed to create positive outcomes for US global interests. We need new ways of thinking and acting international stage -- ways that accurately reflect the evolving and sometimes chaotic world of 2016.

ACTION ALERT: Police Fire Rubber Bullets and Water Cannon at Unarmed Pipeline Protesters (Judith LeBlanc / Native Organizers Alliance & Lauren Carasik / Al Jazeera)
Images of law enforcement brutality have elicited widespread outrage. The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly has denounced the excessive force. On November 20, police responded aggressively to hundreds of unarmed water protectors gathered in the freezing temperature at a contested bridge barricade between the main encampment and the drill site with water cannons, rubber bullets and chemical agents, injuring many of them.

Putin Responds to NATO Expansion With More Missiles (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Maria Tsvetkova and Polina Devitt / Reuters & Yaron Steinbuch / The New York Post & Scott Campbell / The Mirror)
Moscow will deploy S-400 surface-to-air missiles and nuclear-capable Iskander systems in the exclave of Kaliningrad in retaliation for NATO deployments. Russia has previously said it periodically sends Iskanders to Kaliningrad, but until now it has said these were routine drills. Moscow has not linked the moves explicitly with what it says is a NATO military build-up on Russia's western borders.

What Trump Could Do With Executive Power (Peter Van Buren / The American Conservative)
The dangers many are now predicting under the Trump administration did not start on November 8. The near-unrestrained executive power claimed by the Obama administration, and issues left unresolved from the Bush administration, will be handed to the president-elect. Here's what that means.

ACTION ALERT: No Arctic Gas Oil Leases for 5 Years! Make It Last (Greenpeace & Rebecca Hersher / National Public Radio & Kristin Brown / League of Conservation Voters)
President Obama just finalized the offshore drilling plan for the next five years, and Atlantic AND Arctic drilling are both off the table! LCV Members like you fought tooth and nail over the last year to protect these oceans, and President Obama listened. But the fight is not over. We need to save our shores -- FOREVER.

Thousands Around the World Rally Against Dakota Pipeline (Scott Galindez / Reader Supported News)
On November 15, more than 200 actions took place around the world in solidarity with water protectors at Standing Rock. The actions were called by Native American leaders around the country. Standing Rock activist Fred Lemere fears that one of Trump's first acts will be to send troops to rough up Indian people at Standing Rock and clear them away from the path of the pipeline. He said the protest will need 50,000 not 5.000 people to go to Standing Rock and defend the land.

The US Remains Deeply Complicit in the War on Yemen's Civilians (Daniel Larison / The American Conservative & Ben Hubbard / The New York Times)
The atrocious US-backed war on Yemen hasn't ended. US weapons sold to the Saudi-led coalition have been used to attack critical infrastructure and purely civilian targets. The Saudi-led coalition is hitting civilian targets, like factories, bridges and power stations, that critics say have no clear link to the rebels. In the rubble, the remains of American munitions have been found. Graffiti on walls across Sana reads: "America is killing the Yemeni people."

Donald Trump and the Future of the Paris Climate Accord (Bill McKibben / The Guardian & Robinson Meyer / The Atlantic)
Commentary: "It seems likely that the Paris climate accords will offer one of the first real tests of just how nuts Donald Trump actually is. The Paris agreement was assembled over 25 years by many of the world's leading lights. It has now been handed, as a gift, to the new child-emperor, and everyone is waiting to see what he'll do. If the president-elect sabotages last year's agreement, he will own every disaster -- every hurricane a Hurricane Donald, every drought a moment for mockery."

How the GOP Flipped and Stripped Yet Another American Election (Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman / Solartopia.org)
Hillary Clinton has won the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election by well over a million votes. But her impending defeat in the Electoral College comes with familiar signs that yet another American election has been stripped and flipped. This article presents a comprehensive overview of how it was done, and a brief summary of how our electoral system needs to be changed to make sure it doesn't happen again.

ACTION ALERT: How the Electoral College Could Make History by Choosing Democracy (Gar Smith / Special to Environmentalists Against War)
When it comes to electing presidents, the US has never been a democracy. More than 108 countries honor direct popular election of their leaders but the US-- along with with Estonia, Pakistan and Surinam -- is one of six countries that rely on a parliamentary or an Electoral College system. With more than 4 million votes still uncounted, Hillary Clinton has a lead of 1.5 million in the popular vote. Under Electoral College rules, Clinton could still become America's first elected female president. How is that possible?

ACTION ALERT: Tell Washington to Block Trump's Crony Cabinet (CREDO Action & US Senator Elizabeth Warren & Harry Cheadle / VICE)
Commentary: "Allowing Trump to appoint hatemongers and corporate insiders to leading positions would corrupt our democratic institutions and put millions at risk. Leading Democrats need to find their spines and immediately commit to resisting and blocking Trump's crony cabinet." Michael Flynn, a nominee for national security adviser, has repeatedly peddled anti-Muslim bigotry. Oil executive Forrest Lucas would be in charge of national parks. And try to imagine Sarah Palin as Secretary of the Interior.

The Real Reason to Worry About Gen. Michael Flynn (James Carden / The Nation)
In Flynn, Trump has found someone who clearly shares his penchant for indulging in dog-whistle rhetoric. He once infamously tweeted "Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL." Flynn is eager to wage a global war against an enemy alliance that runs from Pyongyang, North Korea, to Havana, Cuba, and Caracas, Venezuela and -- along the way -- picks up a host of radical Muslim organizations like al Qaeda and the Taliban and Islamic countries such as Iran and the self-proclaimed Islamic State.

Obama Refuses to Pardon Edward Snowden. Trump's New CIA Pick Wants Him Dead (Alex Emmons and Naomi LaChance / The Intercept)
President Obama indicated on Friday that he won't pardon NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, even as President-elect Donald Trump announced his pick to run the CIA: Kansas congressman Mike Pompeo, who has called for "the traitor Edward Snowden" to be executed. Pompeo has supported nearly unfettered NSA surveillance, blames Muslim leaders for condoning terror, and has hyped the Islamic State -- which seeks a Caliphate in Syria -- as "an existential threat to America."

Trump Names Bellicose Figures to Top National Security Posts (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)
President-elect Donald Trump has named a handful of picks for top positions in his incoming cabinet, tapping former Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn for the position of National Security Adviser, Sen. Jeff Sessions to Attorney General, and perhaps most controversially of all, Rep. Mike Pompeo to director of the CIA. Pompeo has called for the execution of whistleblower Edward Snowden and ending the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran.

Russia and North Korea Offer Peace Overtures to Trump (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Stephanie Nebehay / Reuters )
Officials have confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President-elect Donald Trump have spoken on the phone and have agreed to resolve "extremely unsatisfactory" Russo-American relations. Meanwhile, North Korea Ambassador So Se Pyong expressed his country's interest in ending the Korean War,(technically still ongoing since 1950). He suggested that if President-elect Trump follows through on a proposal to withdraw US troops from the Korean Peninsula, North Korea would move to normalize ties with the US.

Spiral: Trapped in the Forever War (Conn Hallinan / Dispatches from the Edge)
The fundamental contradiction at the heart of the Bush/Obama "war on terror" is this: the means used to fight it have proven to be the most effective recruiting device for Al Qaeda, the Taliban, the Shabab, and ISIS. Targeted assassinations by drones, the use of torture, extra-legal renditions, and the invasions of Muslim countries, has been an unmitigated disaster, serving only to destabilize foreign nations, killing hundreds of thousands, generating millions of refugees, and stoking hatred of the US.

How Trump's Reign Could Save the World -- by Destroying the US (Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & Nick Turse / TomDispatch)
Given his penchant for running businesses into the ground and racking up trillions of dollars in debt, it's possible that Trump will inadvertently cripple the US military. And given that the government is, in many ways, a national security state bonded with a mass of money and orbited by satellite departments and agencies, Trump could even kneecap the entire government. If so, what could be catastrophic for the US -- a battered, bankrupt nation -- might, ironically, bode well for the wider world.

A Preview of Trump's World: Torture, Drones, and John Bolton (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Gina Doggett / Agence France-Presse & Gareth Porter / Middle East Eye)
President-elect Donald Trump made a lot of promises on the campaign trail, trying to out-hawk rivals during the Republican primaries. Human Rights Watch has expressed alarm that President-elect Trump has promised to revive the torture of detainees and has called for killing the families of suspected terrorists. Among the candidates for Trump's Secretary of State is John Bolton, a bellicose loose-cannon who has called for "regime change" in Iran -- essentially a unilateral declaration of war.

National Bird: America's Symbol Is No Longer the Eagle (Gar Smith / The Berkeley Daily Planet & Heather Linebaugh / The Guardian)
In her new film, director Sonia Kennebeck introduces us to three of the people behind the violence. Heather is an unlikely military vet who decided to escape her small-town fate by joining the Air Force. She now suffers from PTSD for her role in "helping to kill people by remote control." Lisa has traveled to Afghanistan to do humanitarian work in hopes of regaining her "humanity." Daniel's home was raided by 40 FBI and heavily armed federal police. He is now facing imprisonment for violating the1917 Espionage Act.

Big Oil Versus Orcas: Canadian Pipeline Threatens Survival of Killer Whales (Ashifa Kassam / The Guardian)
Conservationists say Canada's proposed Trans Mountain Expansion project poses the greatest risk yet to a killer whale population already on the edge of extinction. Known as the "southern resident killer whales," the group has long had a fraught relationship with the urban sprawl they live alongside, leaving them on the knife's edge of extinction. The latest threat: a $5 billion expansion proposal for a pipeline that would snake from Alberta to the Pacific coast.

ACTON ALERT: Trump, the Dakota Pipeline, and Native Rights (Bill McKibben / EcoWatch & Our Revolution & Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. / Waterkeeper Alliance & Josh Fox / EcoWatch)
The ugly side of the American psyche that's propelled Donald Trump to the presidency is nothing new to Indigenous people. It's nothing new to people of color, to immigrants, to the vulnerable and the marginalized. This is a time for drawing together the many threads of our resistance -- to fossil fuels, yes, but also and just as importantly to widespread hatred. But President Obama could take dramatic and decisive action to safeguard native lands and the publics water -- by declaring Standing Rock a National Park.

Chemical Dangers Mount in the Battle for Mosul (Hamish de Bretton-Gordon / Al-Jazeera)
With ISIL's Iraq strongholds gone, so is most of the caliphate, no doubt with a final battle in Raqqa -- but the war hinges on Mosul. In this forthcoming apocalypse ISIL will fight with every means available, and this will include the use of their extensive chemical weapons capability. Built up over the past two years, ISIL has been making mustard agent and fashioning toxic industrial chemicals into improvised weapons.

Dear President Trump: An Open Letter (Justin Raimondo / AntiWar.com & Katrina vanden Heuvel / The Nation)
Commentary: A leading voice in the US anti-war movement finds common ground with Donald Trump "in the face of a lot of skepticism from some of my colleagues." Trump ignored a chorus of boos at a GOP gathering to condemn George W. Bush for knowingly lying about WMDs in Iraq. Trump has criticized the neocons and globalists behind US foreign aggressions. Trump has called NATO costly and obsolete and he wants the US to stop funding the anti-government terrorists in Syria. Can we talk?

Will Colombia's Peace Process Have an Environmental Dark Side? (Andrew W. Miller / Amazon Watch)
Colombia's 50+ year armed conflict with the FARC, the country's largest and oldest left-wing insurgent group, may be coming to a close. Though the armed conflict may officially wind down, social movements fear the repression will continue. In recent years, government crackdowns on protests have been lead by the notorious Mobile Anti-Riot Squad, which has caused many deaths and injuries. Protest movements and civil society voices have argued this Colombian National Police unit should disband.

Vice President Pence: The Most Powerful Christian Supremacist in US History (Jeremy Scahill/ The Intercept)
Commentary: While Donald Trump has flip-flopped on a variety of issues, from abortion to immigration to war and health care, his running-mate, Mike Pence, has been a reliable stalwart throughout his public life in the cause of Christian jihad -- never wavering in his commitment to America-First militarism, the criminalizing of abortion, and utter hatred for gay people (unless they go into conversion therapy "to change their sexual behavior," which Pence has suggested the government pay for).

What Will Trump Do in Syria? (Steve Weissman / Reader Supported News & International Peace Bureau)
Donald Trump softens his presidential image. He talks soothingly of unifying the country. He calls Obama a good man. He takes off his website his call for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the US." He deletes his call for mass deportations of 11 million undocumented immigrants. But even with this Trumpian Kumbaya, his victory is energizing white supremacists, Muslim-bashers, women-haters, anti-immigrant nativists, and evangelicals who believe that America should be a white, Christian nation.

Defense Spending for Actual Defense: Ron Paul on Donald Trump (Ron Paul / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity & AntiWar.com)
Commentary: In a disturbing indication of how difficult it would be to bring military spending in line with actual threats overseas, House Armed Services Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry (R - TX) told President Obama last week that his war funding request of $11.6 billion for the rest of the year was far too low. Do we really need 800 US military bases in more than 70 countries overseas? Do we need our CIA to provoke revolutions like in Ukraine or armed insurgencies like in Syria?

New Film Raises Alarming Concerns about Military Drones (Alex Needham / The Guardian & Ed Pilkington / The Guardian)
Using the testimony of three courageous whistleblowers who worked on the US drone programme, a new documentary called "National Bird" uncovers some disturbing truths about modern American warfare.

Obama's Drone War Has Been a 'Recruitment Tool' for ISIS (Alice Ross / The Guardian & Ed Pilkington and Ewen MacAskill / The Guardian)
Drones -- the Pentagon's controversial unmanned aerial weapon system -- came of age under Barack Obama. Civilians have been killed (nearly 90 percent of people killed in US drone strikes are innocent civilians) and UN officials have warned the prolific use of drones to assassinate designated "targets" it will "weaken the rule of law." Butt the outgoing president's actions -- and the incoming president's lack of comment -- indicate that drone warfare won't be going away anytime soon.

ICC Prosecutors: US Likely Committed War Crimes in Afghanistan (AntiWar.com & The Associated Press)
US armed forces and the CIA may have committed war crimes by subjecting "at least 61 detained persons to torture, cruel treatment, [and] outrages upon personal dignity" in Afghanistan, the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor said in a report Monday, raising the possibility that American citizens could be indicted, even though Washington has not joined the global court.

ACTION ALERT: Keep John Bolton, a Cheney/Bush NeoCon, Out of the New Administration (Gareth Porter / Middle East Eye & AntiWar.com & Justin Raimondo / AntiWar.com)
One of the more decisive questions about US policy is whom Trump will pick for his national security team -- and especially whether he will nominate John Bolton to become Secretary of State. Bolton, a notorious member of the Dick Cheney/George W. Bush administration, would certainly push for a US confrontation with both Iran and Russia. Bolton was a supporter of the Project for a New American Century, the neocon group that plotted the illegal and baseless invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Conflicts of Interest: Businessman Donald Trump Has Investment in Dakota Access Pipeline (teleSURtv & Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch)
The Sheriff's Department arrested 40 Water Protectors at the Standing Rock land defense action in North Dakota as Energy Transfer Partners, whose CEO Kelcy Warren was a major supporter of Donald Trump's election campaign, pledged to continue construction of the USD$3.7 billion pipeline project despite lacking the proper permits.

Trump Could Tap Torture Advocate to Head CIA (Lee Fang / The Intercept)
Donald Trump may select Jose Rodriguez, one of the primary architects of the George W. Bush torture program, to run the Central Intelligence Agency, according to a law firm with close ties to Trump. Rodriguez, the former director of the National Clandestine Service, helped developed the CIA black sites, secret prisons operated in foreign countries where interrogators used a range of torture tactics, including the use of "waterboarding."

Responses to the Outcome of the 2016 Presidential Race (Change.org & Bernie Sanders & Michael Moore & Robert Reich & Amy Goodman & Juan Gonzales)
On December 19, the Electors of the Electoral College will cast their ballots. If they all vote the way their states voted, Donald Trump will win. However, they can legally chose to vote for the actual winner of the popular vote -- Hillary Clinton. Even in states where that is not allowed, their votes would still be counted, they would simply have to pay a small fine. Read below for other responses to the election outcome.

A Call for a New Political Party in America (Robert Reich / Robert Reich's Blog)
Commentary: It is time for a New Democratic Party. The old party has become a giant fundraising machine, too often reflecting the goals and values of the moneyed interests. It has been taken over by Washington-based fundraisers, bundlers, analysts, and pollsters who have focused on raising campaign money from corporate and Wall Street executives. Both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama pushed for free trade agreements without providing millions of blue-collar workers who thereby lost their jobs.

Trump's Victory Followed by Wave of Hate Crimes (Lizzie Dearden / The Independent)
Police are investigating a wave of alleged hate crimes against Muslims, Hispanic Americans, black people, ethnic minorities and the LGBT community in the wake of the US election. Attackers professing support for Donald Trump have been accused of numerous attacks in the 24 hours following his shock victory, including death threats, physical assaults and racist graffiti.

The Election Was Stolen -- Here's How (Greg Palast /GregPalast.com)
Immediately after the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act, a coterie of Trump operatives, under the direction of Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, created a system to purge 1.1 million Americans of color from the voter rolls of GOP–controlled states. On Tuesday, we saw Crosscheck elect a Republican Senate and President.

Donald Trump: Peacemaker-in-Chief? (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Caroline Mortimer / The Independent)
A Kremlin advisor says that Donald Trump's apparent electoral victory has prevented World War Three III: "Americans had two choices: WW III or multilateral peace. Clinton was a symbol of war." Since his victory, Trump has moderated his positions on healthcare, the Iran nuclear deal, and has called for ending support to Syrian "rebels" and for winding down foreign wars. (Cautionary note: during his campaign, Trump has issued many contradictory promises.)

A Plea to Donald Trump: Don't Follow the Bush-Obama Foreign Policy Legacy (Jacob G. Hornberger / Future of Freedom Foundation)
Eight years ago, President Obama had a chance to change the warmongering direction that George W. Bush and the US national-security establishment had promoted for the previous eight years. He could have ended US involvement in the endless wars that Bush, the Pentagon, and the CIA spawned around the world. He could have led America in a new direction. Instead, Obama decided to stay Bush's course and Hillary Clinton was set to continue this legacy of death and destruction. Could Trump be a "disrupter."

The United States Is Sleepwalking into a Hot War in Yemen (Matt Purple / Rare)
Commentary: "Our peacemaker president has struck again. Barack Obama, a nobel Laureate -- lest we forget -- is already fighting at least four active ground wars, presiding over several more aerial drone campaigns, and sending American forces back to Iraq. Having allowed himself to become almost wholly assimilated into the Washington do-something foreign policy establishment, he's now edging into yet another conflict, this one in the Middle Eastern nation of Yemen."

Wildlife Facing Extinction as Destruction of Soils Releases CO2 (Duke University and Exeter University / Science Daily)
Scientists warn that there are hundreds more species that are at risk of extinction than is currently recognized. Another study finds that, if people continue changing the land over the next century in the same way they currently do, soils will lose the ability to counter the effect of climate change and will become a net source of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Pentagon Finally Admits It Killed Allies, Not al-Shabaab, in Somalia (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Warren Strobel / Reuters)
More than six weeks after the US mounted a deadly airstrike in Somalia's semi-autonomous Galmudug Province, the Pentagon has confessed that the victims were not al-Shabaab militants but ten members of the provincial government the US was supposed to be assisting. The Pentagon attributed the deaths to a case of mistaken identity in a "self-defense" operation.

Trump? Clinton? The Man or Woman in Power Changes, but Power Never Does (Lucy Steigerwald / AntiWar.com)
Commentary: It's a shame that Trump won but it's good that Clinton lost. Trump remains a foreign-policy mystery. He has thrown some encouraging scraps to the anti-interventionist crowd but his sensible suggestions about picking who you are fighting were drowned out by his desire to keep bombing ISIS to hell. He calls for the US to steal oil from various countries, or at least burn oil fields, never mind the environmental cost. Trump maintains that police are the country's most oppressed people.

What Trump and the GOP Would Do: Wars on Porn and National Forests (National Public Radio & Jenny Rowland / ThinkProgress & The Greanville Post)
Commentary: Trump's plan for his "first 100 days," outlines three main areas of focus: cleaning up Washington; protecting American workers; and restoring rule of law. He also laid out his plan to introduce 10 pieces of legislation to repeal Obamacare, build a wall at the Southern border, and rebuild America's "depleted" military. Meanwhile, the GOP platform calls coal a "clean" energy source and calls for the abolition of national parks and forests. How much of this is likely to happen?

How the US Military Can Save $1 Trillion (Benjamin H. Friedman / The National Interest)
In a recent study on "Developing Alternative Defense Strategies 2016" organized by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, the Cato Institute argued that the US could reduce Pentagon spending by over a trillion dollars in the next decade -- spending $5.2 trillion rather than the currently planned $6.3 trillion -- by adopting strategy of military restraint. A foreign policy guided by restraint would need far less force structure, personnel, operational funding, administrative support and real estate.

US Airstrikes Continue to Kill Civilians in Syria While US Allies Murder Civilians in Iraq (Deutsche Welle & AntiWar.com & BBC News)
A human rights monitor said Wednesday that an American airstrike has killed at least 20 civilians in Al-Heisha. The attack hit near Raqqa, the de facto capital of the so-called "Islamic State." Meanwhile, Amnesty International reports that a number of Iraqi civilians were rounded up by Iraqi federal police while fleeing the area around Mosul and that at least six men and a teenager were tortured and killed by the police.

5 Big Eco Wins in November Elections v. Trump's Toxic Appointments (Dan Zukowski / EcoWatch & Lee Fang / The Intercept & The League of Conservation Voters)
Florida voters saw through utility industry efforts to thwart the state's burgeoning solar energy business and California voters appeared to affirm a ban on single-use plastic bags while Massachusetts and Oregon passed key animal protection laws. Meanwhile, as Donald Trump promises to break the control of Washington by political insiders, his transition team is preparing to hand his administration over to a cozy clique of corporate lobbyists and Republican powerbrokers.

The Standing Rock Protests Are About the Constitution; Snipers Kill 11-year-old Girl (John Kiriakou / Reader Supported News)
The numbers of activists protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline at the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota continue to swell. The mainstream media continue to ignore it. National politicians continue to pretend that nothing is happening. And the local police continue to douse protestors in pepper spray, beat them, arrest them, and charge them with felonies for exercising their Constitutional right to freedom of speech.

Still Fighting: Vietnam Vets Seek Help for Rare Cancer (Robin McDowell and Margie Mason / Associated Press)
Hundreds of Vietnam vets have been diagnosed with a rare bile duct cancer that may be linked to their time in the service and may be traced to parasites in raw or poorly cooked river fish. The worms infect an estimated 25 million people, mostly in Asia. They can easily be wiped out with a few pills early on. Left untreated, however, a cancer known as cholangiocarcinoma can develop, often killing patients just a few months after the first symptoms appear.

ACTION ALERT: Clinton Concedes Electoral College Loss but Still Leads in the Popular Vote (Harvey Wasserman / The Progressive & Greg Price / International Business Times & Chris Bowers / The Daily Kos)
Donald Trump was right: The electoral system is "rigged." Because presidential elections are not decided by a direct popular vote, the US is not an actual democracy. In the US, a candidate can win the popular vote but still not win the presidency. For the sixth time in our history (and the second time in 16 years), a candidate for President of the United States may have won the popular vote but lost the White House. This must end. If we are to have anything resembling a democracy, the Electoral College must be abolished.

Another US Massacre of Civilians in Afghanistan (Jacob G. Hornberger / The Future of Freedom Foundation)
In a war that has now gone on for 16 years, US forces just killed at least 32 more civilians, many of whom were children. Another 25 people were wounded. Of course, this is on top of all the wedding parties, hospitals, and other victims of US bombing attacks that have brought the death toll from US interventionism in Afghanistan to more than 200,000, not to mention the wounded, maimed, homeless, and refugees.

US-Backed War Is Pushing Yemen to the Brink of Famine (TIME Magazine)
Drowned by the noise of the US presidential election and overshadowed by the conflict in Syria and Iraq, war and hunger have quietly ravaged Yemen. Yemen's 18-month civil war has killed about 10,000 people, and now it is pushing the country to the brink of famine. More than 21 million Yemenis -- 80% of the population -- are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, according to the UN.

Arms Sales Report: Obama a Bigger Warmonger than George W. Bush (Marcus Weisgerber and Caroline Houck / Defense One)
The Obama administration has approved more than $278 billion in foreign arms sales in its eight years, more than double the total of the previous administration, according to figures released by the Pentagon. Most of the $278 billion in approved sales have gone to Saudi Arabia and other Mideast allies.

Donald Trump's Thoughts on War and Hydrogen Bombs (Ronnie Dugger / Reader Supported News)
Steve Bannon, the Chief Executive Officer of Trump's presidential campaign, in a recorded strategy conference with Trump last December, said to him that he was postulating himself as "the war leader of this country." Trump told his top sidekick that his plan, if elected, was to form an alliance of his chosen nations to work together with the United States. "I will get the Russians," Trump said. "I will get Turkey and a couple of other countries, and they'll all work together, and they'll all get along."

Hillary Clinton's Dangerous Thoughts on War and US Imperial 'Exceptionalism' (Philip Giraldi / The UNZ Review)
Hillary Clinton and her advisors, who believe strongly in Washington's leadership role globally and embrace their own definition of American exceptionalism, have been explicit in terms of what they would do to employ our military power. She would be an extremely proactive president in foreign policy, with a particular animus directed against Russia.

No Matter Who Wins, Americans Want a New Foreign Policy (Ron Paul / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity & AntiWar.com)
Commentary: "It doesn't matter much which candidate wins. Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are authoritarians and neither can be expected to roll back the leviathan state that destroys our civil liberties at home while destroying our economy and security with endless wars overseas. The day after the election is our time to really focus our efforts on making the case for a peaceful foreign policy and the prosperity it will bring. No more regime change. US troops home now."

US 'Can't Wait Any Longer' to Buy New Nukes Says Obama's War Chief (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Tim Johnson / McClatchy News & Alex Emmons / The Intercept)
Ash Carter has ratcheted up Pentagon calls for massive spending increases, particularly to build a new arsenal of nuclear weapons. The plan likely to cost in excess of $1 trillion. Carter ignored the cost in his comments, insisting that having more of these world-ending weapons is "vital." The costly proposal, which calls for building new cruise missiles, ICBMs, nuclear subs, and long-range bombers, has been widely panned by critics as "wasteful," "unsustainable," "unaffordable," and "a fantasy."

Trump's Divisive Campaign Spurs White Militias to Prepare for Civil War (Bill Berkowitz / The Smirking Chimp & Sarah Posner and David Neiwert / Mother Jones Magazine)
Should Hillary Clinton win the election, Trump's congressional colleagues are pledging to launch investigations, threatening impeachment, and, vowing to not approve any Clinton Supreme Court nominees. Even more troubling is that while Trump has been trumpeting a "rigged election," rightwing paramilitary groups are preparing for civil war.

The US Electoral Barrel Bomb (Chris Floyd / Information Clearing House)
Commentary: Establishment collusion -- and Democratic cowardice -- completely degraded and delegitimized the American electoral process 16 years ago, when the Supreme Court stopped a recount that would have resulted in the actual winner to take office. No matter who assumes the presidency, the entrenched coagulation of corporate interests and war profiteers that have strangled the peace, prosperity and prospects of the American people will not be budged an inch.

NATO Preparing for War with Russia: Real Security Means Dismantling the Pentagon (Zoe Efstathiou / The Daily Express & David Korten / YES! Magazine)
Analysis: NATO is said to be preparing a military force of up to 300,000 personnel, capable of being deployed within just two months, in response to growing tensions between the West and Russia. A military response to violence creates more violence. For real security, we need to stop climate change and work toward shared prosperity. We currently spend roughly $598 billion on defense, which is more than the next seven biggest military spenders combined.

Doomsday Nuke War Looming between US and Russia: 'The End of Life as We Know It' (Henry Holloway / The Daily Star & Harry Kemble / The Daily Star)
Russia pushes back as NATO troops and weapons encroach on Russia's borders. Putin says US strategy to overwhelm Russia's nuclear deterrent creates a global imbalance that would allow a US "first-strike." Putin's response: a new missile that can't be stopped by US missiles. As tensions rise, a top British general warns a nuclear war between NATO and Russia would spell "the end of life as we know it." Russian missiles could decimate the US eastern seaboard in one fell swoop if World War 3 breaks out.

US Admits to Slaughter of 30-plus Afghan Men, Women and Children (AntiWar.com & The Washington Post & Reuters & The Guardian)
Pentagon officials have confirmed that the US was behind airstrikes against the north Afghan village of Bouz Kandahari, which they conceded "likely resulted in civilian casualties." The attack was initially reported to have killed at least 30 civilians, with subsequent reports from locals saying they'd buried 36 killed in the attack. The villagers insist that there were no Taliban in the village at the time, pointing out that no Taliban were hit in the airstrikes. The Pentagon has promised an investigation.

US Airstrikes Kill Hundreds of Innocent Civilians in Syria (Alice Ross / The Guardian & Max Bearak / The Washington Post )
A US-led air strike in October in Kobani, Syria, during fighting between Syrian Kurds and Islamic State. More than 5,700 air strikes have been launched in the year-long US campaign. Chris Woods, of Airwars, said: 'You can't have an air war of this intensity without civilians getting killed or injured.' According to an Airways report, the US bombing campaign against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has killed more than 450 civilians.

US, NATO and Government Forces Are Increasingly Responsible for Civilian Deaths in Afghanistan (Max Bearak / The Washington Post)
According to a UN agency, it likely that 2016 will be the worst year for Afghanistan's beleaguered civilian population since 2009, when the organization began keeping track. A UN report found that 1,601 Afghans had been killed and 3,655 wounded by July 2016. A full third of the casualties were children, representing an 18 percent increase over last year. Overall, there was a 4.4 percent increase in civilian casualties.

Whose Finger Will Be on the Pentagon's Nuclear Button? (Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & Michael T. Klare / TomDispatch)
At the present moment, nine countries possess nuclear weapons -- more than 15,000 of them. Most are staggeringly more destructive than that first bombs that devastated the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. With passions running high on both sides in this year's US presidential election -- and rising fears about Donald Trump's impulsive nature and Hillary Clinton's hawkish one -- it's hardly surprising that the "nuclear button" question has surfaced repeatedly throughout the campaign.

The Paris Climate Accord Is a Big Deal (Rebecca Leber / Grist & Naser Haghamed / Al Jazeera)
On Friday, November 4, 2016, the landmark Paris climate agreement officially entered into force. The news will surely be buried under a mudslide of US election coverage, but it shouldn't be. Paris was a big deal. As proof of the importance of this moment, a new coalition of climate groups -- the Global Muslim Climate Network -- has come together to tackle climate change in the Muslim world.

What Countries Have to Do To Meet the Paris Accord's 2-Degree Climate Target (Eric Alterman / The Nation & Zoe Carpenter / The Nation)
Years from now, historians will marvel at the absence of global warming in the 2016 US presidential campaign debates. Pentagon planning recognizes climate change as "an urgent and growing threat to our national security, contributing to increased natural disasters, refugee flows, and conflicts over basic resources such as food and water." And yet the Republican Party platform simply dismisses it. Planetary survival means no new drilling, no new fracking, no new coalminers, and no new pipelines.

A Small Unreported Victory at Standing Rock (Desiree Kane / YES! Magazine & William Boardman / Reader Supported News)
On October 27, a colonial force of 250 armed with military weapons prepared to attack the campsite of oil pipeline protesters. The soldier-police faced off on a bridge against 40-50 veterans armed with only prayer. And the Natives won. Meanwhile, in Washington, the president equivocates. "We're monitoring this closely," Barack Obama says. "We're going to let it play out for several more weeks...."

$10 Million Spent to Brutalize Pipeline Protestors to Protect Texas Oilman's $3.8 Billion Project (teleSURtv & Angelo Young / Salon & Protect Mother Earth)
North Dakota has spent $10 million in tax dollars to fund an armed police crackdown against the thousands of Native Americans and allies impeding the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline. Journalists have been arrested and shot. Nonviolent protestors have been tear-gassed, beaten, arrested and abused. Yet, despite the protests and outcry, Energy Transfer Partners and CEO Kelcy Warren remain bullish on the $3.8 billion project.

Afghan Anger over US Killing of Civilians as Number of Anti-US Fighters in Afghanistan Soars to 45,000 (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Voice of America News & & Edith M. Lederer / Associated Press & ABC News)
Hundreds of angry mourners gathered today in the north Afghan village of Bouz Kandahari to bury an estimated 30 civilian victims of a US airstrike the previous day. The locals noted that many of the civilians being buried were infants and small children. UN-NATO coalition airstrikes also killed two US soldiers and four Afghan soldiers. As civilian deaths soar, so does anti-US recruiting. The UN estimates there now are about 45,000 opposition fighters in Afghanistan and 20-25 percent are foreigners.

US Hypocrisy: Bombing of Aleppo Is No Worse Than What Happened in Gaza and Iraq (Gareth Porter / AntiWar.com)
The Russian-Syrian bombing campaign in eastern Aleppo, which has ended at least for the time being, has been described in press reports and op-eds as though it were unique in modern military history in its indiscriminateness. In fact, many of the Syrian and Russian airstrikes are not all that dissimilar from the major US bombing campaign waged in Iraq in 2003 or the indiscriminate air campaigns that have characterized Israel's recent assaults on densely populated cities in Gaza and the Occupied Territories.

Tortured for Attempting Suicide, Chelsea Manning Again Attempts Suicide (Jim Suhr / Associated Press & BBC World News)
Army Private Chelsea Manning -- a transgender soldier serving a 35-year sentence in a Kansas prison for leaking classified information that revealed US war crimes in Iraq -- has attempted suicide for the second time this year. After her first suicide attempt, Manning was thrown into solitary confinement as punishment. "Solitary" is widely recognized as a form of psychological torture that is known to drive prisoners to attempt suicide.

Remember When the Media Sold Us the Iraq WMD Lies? It's Happening Again (Alice Salles / The AntiMedia)
When Bush was trying to sell the Iraq war to Congress, New York senator Hillary Clinton, voted to authorize Washington's illegal invasion of Iraq, relying on "advisers as from Bush administration officials." She now claims her vote was a mistake, but she was a consistently pro-intervention Secretary of State proposing a no-fly zone to "save lives." In a private a speech to Goldman Sachs, however, Clinton acknowledged that establishing a no-fly zone would kill "a lot" of Syrian civilians -- and trigger a war with Russia.

How Corporate Greed Drives the US War Economy (Dennis Kucinich / The Nation)
Commentary: There is no money to be made from deciding that a war is uncalled for. And so -- despite millions protesting in the US and worldwide -- George W. Bush launched the US into an abyss in Iraq, while a lot of armchair generals waved combat pennants. The marching band and chowder society of DC think tanks have learned nothing from the Iraq and Libya experience. Nor did they wish to. The only winners were the arms dealers, the oil companies, and the jihadists.

The Fatal Expense of American Imperialism (Jeffrey D. Sachs / The Boston Globe & Linda J. Bilmes / The Boston Globe)
US-led regime change has been a key part of US foreign policy around the world – in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. In Latin America, between 1898 and 1994, the US successfully toppled 41 foreign governments -- an average rate of one US-backed overthrow every 28 months for a century. And this count does not include the failed attempts, such as the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. But regime change has rarely served US goals. The result is rarely a stable government. It is more often a civil war.

NATO Needs US as 'World's Policeman'; NATO Kills US Troops in Afghanistan (AntiWar.com & Sky News & The Associated Press)
Former NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen tells Sky News "the world is on fire," and more American interventionism is needed to restore law and order. It was the old narrative of America as the "world's policeman." Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, a joint US-Afghan raid involving NATO airstrikes killed 26 civilians (including several children), three Afghan troops and two US soldiers.

Military Memorial, Wildlife at Odds in New Battle of Midway (Caleb Jones and Josh Lederman / Associated Press & The Republic)
The Battle of Midway was a major turning point in World War II's Pacific theater. The remote atoll where thousands died is now a delicate sanctuary for millions of seabirds, and a new battle is pitting preservation of its vaunted military history against the protection of its wildlife.

War Against Native Americans in the US: Hundreds Arrested, Scores Injured, One Horse Shot to Death (Tracy Loeffelholz Dunn / YES! Magazine & teleSURtv)
To clear the way for a controversial oil pipeline project, North Dakota invoked a measure reserved for state emergencies like natural disasters to mobilize an army of police from seven different states and hired outside security firms. The founder of one of the security firms responsible for the brutal attacks on nonviolent native protesters, is a Delta Force veteran who once served as lead advisor to the CIA in the invasion of Afghanistan.

Obama Breaks Silence, Suggests Dakota Pipeline Be Rerouted (teleSURtv)
Nearly 8 months after a Indigenous tribes and their supporters began protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, President Barack Obama has finally issued statement, suggesting that work be rerouted around sacred Native American lands. A UN investigation warned the police response violated basic human rights. When asked about the brutal and highly militarized policing of the protests, including incidents of police firing rubber bullets at protesters, Obama said, "It's a challenging situation...."

US Militias Preparing for Armed Response if Trump Loses November Election (Justin Mitchell and Andy Sullivan / Reuters)
As the most divisive presidential election in recent memory nears its conclusion, some armed militia groups are preparing for the possibility of a stolen election on Nov. 8 and civil unrest in the days following a victory by Democrat Hillary Clinton. In Georgia, camouflaged members of the Three Percent Security Force have mobilized for rifle practice, hand-to-hand combat training -- and an impromptu campaign rally for Donald Trump. In the works: plans for an armed march on Washington if Clinton wins.

Self-inflicted Chemical Warfare: 92% of Earth's Population Forced to Breath Toxic Air (Merrit Kennedy / National Public Radio)
Some 300 million children around the world are breathing highly toxic air. 92 percent of the world's population breathes air containing pollutants exceeding WHO limits. In 2012, one out of every nine deaths was the result of air pollution-related conditions. The number of deaths attributable to indoor and outdoor air pollution totaled approximately 6.5 million worldwide, of which 3 million deaths were blamed on outdoor air pollution.

ACTION ALERT: The US Government Must Permanently Halt the Dakota Access Pipeline (Robert Reich / RSNews & Annie Leonard / Greenpeace & Krystal Two Bulls / Red Warrior Camp )
The US government must permanently halt the Dakota Access Pipeline. Now. The Army Corps of Engineers never did a proper review of its environmental impact, nor did it adequately consulted with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. Not only does pipeline go through tribal burial grounds, but if the pipeline were to leak or burst it would send oil deep into the Missouri River, the Standing Rock Sioux's single source of water for everything from bathing to drinking.

Do Red Lives Matter? The Difference between Oregon and North Dakota (Charles P. Pierce / Esquire Magazine)
Commentary: "There is a cruel, stupid irony about living in a country when, on the same day, a bunch of gun-toting rubes . . . get acquitted after an armed takeover of federal property in Oregon while, half a country away, peaceful protesters doing nothing but praying on land to which they have a right guaranteed by treaty get rousted, roughed up, and hauled away by a militarized police force acting largely at the behest of a private company."

Do Not Resist: How America's Police Are becoming an Occupying Military Force (Gar Smith / The Berkeley Daily Planet)
Filmmaker Craig Atkinson's dad was a Detroit-area cop for 29 years and a member of his town's first SWAT team in 1989. Both the filmmaker and his retired father are troubled by the direction policing has taken in the US over the post-9/11 years and "Do Not Resist" -- a visceral, unnarrated 73-minute documentary -- presents a powerful warning about the perils and growing presence of an American Police State.

Son of Honduran Human Rights Activist Murdered (teleSURtv)
In post-coup Honduras, a coup which Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton supported, the corpses continue to pile up. Human rights organizations are raising alarm after yet another assassination in Honduras, this time of the son of a prominent human rights defender. The United States -- which helped secure the 2009 coup -- is complicit in the ongoing crisis in Honduras.

Extinction Alert: Study Warns 66% of Earth's Wildlife Could Be Lost in Four Years (Damian Carrington / The Guardian & Jessica Aldred / The Guardian)
The Living Planet Index shows vertebrate populations are set to decline by 67% from 1970 levels unless urgent action is taken to reduce humanity's impact on the planet's shrinking wilderness regions.

Dakota Pipeline Is the New Keystone -- With Police Dogs and Donald Trump (Bill McKibben / The New York Times & Sam Levin / The Guardian & Oliver Milman / The Guardian)
The Native Americans who have spent months in peaceful protest against an oil pipeline along the banks of the Missouri are standing up for tribal rights, clean water, environmental justice and a working climate. And it's time that everyone else joined in. Meanwhile, Donald Trump's close financial ties to Energy Transfer Partners, the operators of the controversial pipeline, have been laid bare: Trump has invested in ETP and has received more than $100,000 in campaign contributions from its chief executive.

An All-American Slaughter: US Kids with Guns (Tom Englehardt / Tom Dispatch & Gary Younge / Tom Dispatch)
Every day, on average, seven kids and teens are shot dead in America. Election 2016 will undoubtedly prove consequential in many ways, but lowering that death count won't be one of them. To grapple with fatalities on that scale -- 2,500 dead children annually -- a candidate would need a thoroughgoing plan for dealing with America's gun culture that goes well beyond background checks.

US/South Korea Rehearse Military Plan to Invade North Korea (International Business Times & Korea JoongAng Daily & Rachel O'Donoghue / The Daily Star)
The US and South Korea have carried out a surgical strikes drill, codenamed "Teak Knife", simulating targeted attacks on key North Korean sites. This is thought to be the first time the two allies are making the details about such exercises public. The events are thought to involve simulated attacks on Pyongyang's core facilities -- particularly its missile and nuclear installations -- using fixed-wing aircraft and special forces. How would the US feel if North Korea were to hold a similar invasion exercise in Mexico?

The US' Guantanamo Prison Base Is Destroying the Cuban Ecosystem (teleSURtv)
The US prison base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is destroying the local ecosystem and cutting off locals of profit from their biologically rich resources, according to researchers. Scientist Mario Montero Campello says that the rich ecosystem could have brought valuable research and revenue to the impoverished bay. Meanwhile, instead of preparing to close the facility, the United States Navy will spend $240 million to build new facilities at the military detention camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Al Gore Calls for Justice at Standing Rock (Al Gore / EcoWatch & Mark Trahant / YES Magazine & Dan Zukowski / EcoWatch)
Commentary: "I stand with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in their opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. We have witnessed inspiring and brave acts by Native Americans and their allies who are defending and trying to protect their sacred sites and the safety of their sole source of water."

Why Russia Views Hillary Clinton As An "Existential Threat" To Peace (Tyler Durden / Zero Hedge)
When it comes to the two presidential front-runners, the media often paints Donald Trump as an unpredictable blowhard who will lead us down a path of terror. However, the truth remains that despite Trump’s overall nonsensical rhetoric, he is the only leading candidate who has said anything sane regarding US foreign policy. Claims that the Middle East would have been safer with Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi still in power are probably the most profound things ever spoken by the wildly racist billionaire.

A Nuclear War over Syria Being Planned (Larry Chin / Global Research)
Opinion: "As nuclear war with Russia over Syria is being planned in earnest and craved by New World Order fanatics including the Clintons, the Obama administration and the Bushes, a 'civil war' is being waged ahead of the presidential election. The future of the planet is at stake. The efforts to control the narrative and eventual outcome, are desperate and unprecedented, as has been the resistance to the imperial propaganda effort." Note: This is a personal opinion and does not necessarily reflect the consensus of EAW.

Girl Soldiers: Forgotten Casualties of War (Pat Hynes / AntiWar.com)
As secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was visibly shaken by sexual crimes against women and girls when she visited the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 2009. Sexual crimes in this central African country, known as the "rape capital of the world," include the sexual exploitation of tens of thousands of girls abducted and trapped as child soldiers. Nonetheless, since 2010, President Obama has waived a congressionally mandated ban on military aid to countries known to exploit child soldiers, among them the DRC.

Putin Rejects Russian Army's Calls to Resume Aleppo Airstrikes (AntiWar.com & The Telegraph)
The British head of the UN's humanitarian office has launched a searing attack on Russia and Syria for the continued bombardment of Aleppo, telling the Security Council he was "incandescent with rage" about the diplomatic stalemate. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has officially rejected a Defense Ministry request to permit a resumption of Russian airstrikes against the Syrian city of Aleppo -- after 10 straight days of no Russian airstrikes being conducted.

How David Petraeus and Vladimir Putin Are Risking a Syrian Armageddon (Steve Weissman / Reader Supported News & International Peace Bureau)
Whatever one may think of Petraeus -- or of Putin -- the danger is all too real. Until now, the US and Russia have engaged in a proxy war. An American-imposed no-fly zone risks a direct military confrontation between two nuclear-armed powers. Neither side wants a nuclear war. But the more the US and Russia confront each other militarily, the greater the threat that Syria will become an Atomic Armageddon.

Cost of the Human War on Earth: 58% of Wildlife Eradicated in Past 46 Years (Jeremy Hance / The Guardian & Rebecca Morelle / BBC News)
Global wildlife populations have fallen by 58% since 1970, according to a biodiversity report, but is the loss of a unique life form on Earth big news? Not according to most media outlets. But how can the public care about global mass extinction if they aren't even told about its victims?

Attacks on Syrian Schools Constitute War Crime -- UNICEF (Sky News & Al Jazeera & Journeyman Pictures & R&U Vid)
Airstrikes on a Syrian school that killed scores of children could be a "war crime", says the head of the UN children's agency. The strike in rebel-held Idlib province on Wednesday may have been the deadliest attack on a school since the beginning of the war five years ago. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova condemned the attack on a school in Syria's Idlib, denied Russian complicity and has called for an investigation into the bombing.

Letter from Aleppo: 'My City Is Not Just a Death Toll' (Beebers Mishal as told to Samya Kullab / Al Jazeera)
A Syrian Civil Defense member and resident of Aleppo reflects on the worst onslaught the city witnessed since 2011. Syrian civilians trapped in the besieged city of Aleppo have made desperate pleas for help, as warplanes pummeled rebel-held areas and deteriorating security conditions left two million people without access to safe drinking water.

US and Russian Jets in 'Near-miss' over Syria: Putin Says Tensions Are Being Stoked by War Profiteers in the West (Sky News & AntiWar.com)
Vladimir Putin has accused the West of exaggerating the threat Russia poses to the world to justify increased military spending. Addressing an audience of foreign policy experts, the Russian President said: "It's very pleasant and profitable to make yourself out to be defendants of civilization from some new barbarians, but the thing is Russia doesn't plan to attack anyone." He said the idea was "unthinkable -- simply stupid and unrealistic."

Who Was really Responsible for Breaking the Syria Ceasefire? (David Morrison / Open Democracy)
Commentary and Analysis: Rely on the mainstream UK or US media for your information about Syria, and you probably think all the bombings and civilian deaths in the beleaguered country were the result of actions by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russia aircraft. Here is what goes unreported.

US Leads Fight Against Banning Nuclear Weapons: North Korea Votes to Eliminate Nuclear Arms (Joe Cirincione / The Huffington Post)
Eight nations with nuclear arms (the United States, Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom, India, Pakistan, and Israel) opposed or abstained from the resolution, while North Korea voted yes. However, with a vote of 123 for, 38 against and 16 abstaining, the First Assembly decided "to convene in 2017 a United Nations conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination."

Budgeting the Good War, for 75 Years (Robert Koehler / AntiWar.com)
Today we call it the status quo, or endless war, or we just don't bother to notice it. Indeed, now more than ever we don't notice it. It's barely part of the 2016 election, even though we're engaged in active conflict in half a dozen countries, toying with a relaunch of the Cold War with Russia and, of course, hemorrhaging, as always, more than half our annual discretionary budget on "defense." World War II has been going on for seven decades now and has no intention of ever stopping.

Why Progressives Love the New Cold War (Justin Raimondo / AntiWar.com & Daniel Larison /The American Conservative)
Commentary: The Clinton campaign's full-scale effort to turn this election into a referendum on Vladimir Putin is causing liberals much heartburn. Clinton has likened Putin to Hitler -- and hasn't that always been the prologue to a regime change operation by the US? Saddam Hussein was supposed to be the Iraqi incarnation of Hitler. Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic was another "Hitler." And George Herbert Walker Bush said that Manuel Noriega was "worse than Hitler."

Do Not Resist: How America's Police Have Become an Occupying Military Force (Gar Smith / The Berkeley Daily Planet)
"Do Not Resist," a powerful new documentary, presents a powerful warning about the growing reality of an US Police State. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the Pentagon and the War Lobby found a new way to increase their powers and wealth -- by arming our domestic police with full-scale combat weaponry including assault rifles, drones, and armored personnel carriers. But here's the problem: When you adopt these weapons, you also adopt the killer mentality they are designed to serve.

The Stand-off at Standing Rock: Native Defenders Stand against Oil Pipeline (Jim Hightower / Salon)
In 2014, ETP, a Texas oil behemoth, went public with its scheme to build a massive oil pipeline from the fracking wells of the Bakken oil fields in northwestern North Dakota. If the $3.8 billion line is completed, it would carry 570,000 barrels of oil a day through hundreds of farms and ranches and make 200 river crossings. Kelcy Warren, Energy Transfer Partners' well-heeled chief, appears to have met his match in North Dakota with the steadfast resolve of the Lakota Sioux.

Police Viciously Attack Peaceful Protesters at Dakota Access Pipeline (Jihan Hafiz / The Intercept)
On October 22, just before dawn, hundreds of people gathered to march toward the Dakota Access pipeline construction site near Standing Rock, North Dakota. Native American organizers lit sage and prayed for protection from police brutality before setting off on the 8-mile trek. Dozens of officers, backed by military trucks, police vans, machine guns, and nonlethal weapons, violently approached the group without warning. “Don’t move, everyone is under arrest,” boomed the loudspeaker of the military vehicle.

FBI's Warning: Homegrown Terrorism Is Rooted in US Aggression, Not Islam (CJ Werleman / Middle East Eye)
A 2012 FBI report into homegrown extremism found that grievances over US military action far outrank any other factor -- including religious ideology. While news headlines drive public discourse, it is public discourse that drives policy, and policy is where we win, lose or die.

The US and Canada Have Blood on their Hands over Honduras Violence
The international community needs to be held to account for propping up and subsidizing the murderous regime in Honduras. Honduran military and police forces, backed by the international community and in particular millions of US dollars, once again brutally attacked peaceful protesters in a week that saw more social movement blood spilt.

Amnesty International: US Coalition Has Killed at Least 300 Civilians in Syria (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Emma Graham-Harrison /The Guardian)
Amnesty International has issued a new statement warning that the US needs to do more to prevent civilian casualties in its coalition airstrikes in both Iraq and Syria, and cautioned the US has dramatically under-reported the number of civilians killed in their air war. AI says more must be done to prevent fatalities and calls for independent investigations into possible violations of international law.

America's Budget-Busting Business-Friendly Doctrine of Armed Exceptionalism (William Hartung and Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch)
Commentary: Through good times and bad, regardless of what's actually happening in the world, one thing is certain: in the long run, the Pentagon budget won't go down. Right now, the US is ever more deeply involved in significant conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Libya, and increasingly Yemen -- at least five ongoing wars in the Greater Middle East. The Pentagon's budget is growing no matter who enters the Oval Office, it's only going to get bigger. It's war, American-style, and taxpayer dollars to the horizon.

Massive Spill: US Air Force Dumps Toxic Chemicals Into Colorado Sewer System (Andrea Germanos / Common Dreams & Bruce Finley / The Denver Post)
The U.S Air Force said Tuesday that a Colorado base had released roughly 150,000 gallons of water containing elevated levels of perfluorinated compounds into the Colorado Springs Utilities sewer system and a nearby creek. PFCs -- found in firefighting foam used by the military -- have been linked to adverse health effects including liver damage and development harm.

Tom Hayden, Presente! The Radical Inside the System (The Washington Post & Alternate)
In one of the most dramatic personal transformations in American political history, Tom Hayden went from being a famed 1960s and 1970s student radical to a mainstream elected official and elder statesman of the country's left. Hayden was a master strategist, brilliant speaker and long-distance runner for change.

Major Court Rules Torture Illegal: US Presidents and Officials Guilty (Alex Emmons / The Intercept)
In a robust ruling in favor of Abu Ghraib detainees, an appellate court ruled Friday that torture is such a clear violation of the law that it is "beyond the power of even the president to declare such conduct lawful." The ruling from a unanimous panel of judges on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstates a lawsuit against CACI Premier Technologies, a military contractor that played a key role in the torture of four men at the notorious prison in Iraq.

Pentagon Denies Accusations that US Jets Killed Iraqi Civilians during a Funeral Procession (AntiWar.com & Baku-APA & Muslim News)
Russia's Defense Ministry has accused the US-led coalition of launching strikes on a funeral procession killing dozens of Iraqi civilians. The incident in Daquq, took place on Friday reportedly leaving some 20 people dead and 45 injured. "Weddings, funerals, hospitals, police departments, humanitarian convoys and even Syrian troops, fighting against Daesh terrorists near Deir ez-Zor, become targets for coalition airstrikes," a Russian official stated. The Pentagon denies involvement.

Why Are We in Somalia? A Military Intervention with No Purpose for US (By the Editorial Board / The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette & The Real News)
American forces have now beefed up their presence in Somalia, where the US has been involved since 1992, in an attempt finally to gain victory over a Somali force called al-Shabab, "the Youth," on behalf of a coalition with Somali and African Union forces. Among the six wars in the region that the administration of President Barack Obama has kept the US involved in -- Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen -- it is perhaps hardest to find a rationale for America's long and expensive involvement in Somalia.

Life Under Siege -- We Live in Aleppo: Here's How We Survive (Omair Shaaban / The Washington Post)
Commentary: "There weren't any bombs today, or the day before. That's good, because it means you can leave your apartment, see your friends, try to pretend life is normal. Still, you don't know when the attacks will resume or how much worse they'll be when they do. The war here has been going on for more than four years. Hundreds of thousands of people have fled, and thousands more are dead, including many of my friends. My wife and I are among about 250,000 people trapped in eastern Aleppo...."

ACTION ALERT: Why President Hillary Will Not Stop the Slaughter in Syria (Steve Weissman / Reader Supported News & International Peace Bureau)
Hillary Clinton has pushed a no-fly zone and safe havens in Syria since the early days of her presidential campaign but these measures would lead to confrontations with Russian jets and have little chance of ending the slaughter in Syria. While Clinton blames Russia, she never mentions that US and coalition bombs similarly killed thousands of civilians in the attack on Fallujah (and will kill many more in the attempt to capture Mosul). Meanwhile, the Saudis have been killing civilians in Yemen using US bombs.

The Battle for Mosul: Civilians Face 'Impossible Choice' (Teo Kermeliotis / Al Jazeera)
As Iraqi armed forces and their allies move to reclaim the city of Mosul from ISIL fighters, humanitarian agencies are warning that the lives of an estimated 1.5 million civilians are in grave danger. While it is uncertain whether Iraqi forces will achieve their promised "victory," two things are certain: Hundreds of innocent civilians will die and a major urban center will be reduced to rubble.

The Perpetual Killing Fields: A Return to South Sudan (Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & Nick Turse / TomDispatch)
Commentary: "The world is awash in killing fields, sites of slaughter where armed men have laid waste to the innocent, the defenseless, the unlucky; locales where women and children, old and young men have been suffocated, had their skulls shattered, been left gut-shot and gasping. Over the last century, these blood-soaked sites have sprouted across the globe: Cambodia, the Philippines, the Koreas, South Africa, Mexico, Lebanon, Rwanda, Bosnia, Guatemala, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria . . .."

Putin's Plea for Restraint as Hillary Clinton Calls for Launching a Nuclear Attack in "Self-defense" (Diana Johnstone / Global Research & Prof Michel Chossudovsky / Global Research)
Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned: "If it's Hillary, It's war." When Presidential candidate Clinton signals that she wants to achieve regime change in Russia, she does so knowing that she enjoys the support of most of the State Department and much of the Pentagon. And Congress is ready to go. Clinton is on record as stating that a pre-emptive nuclear first strike against America's enemies -- including Iran and Russia -- is "on the table." But how can a preemptive attack be seen as an act of "self-defense"?

War or Peace? Hillary Clinton's Path to War with Russia (Dennis Kucinich / World Without War & Zoltan Grossman / CounterPunch)
The most consequential statement by Secretary Clinton in the last presidential debate was her pronouncement that a no-fly zone over Syria could "save lives and hasten the end of the conflict." It would do none of the above. If the US has not been invited into a country to establish a "no-fly zone" such an action is, in fact, an invasion, an act of war. As Secretary Clinton once confided to a Goldman Sachs audience, such an action would"kill a lot of Syrians" -- and trigger a shooting war with Russian jets.

ACTION ALERT: Mainstream Media Hides History of US Aggression against Yemen (Adam Johnson / Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting & MoveOn.com & Oxfam)
To hear US corporate media tell it, the US was just dragged into a brand new war -- against an armed faction in Yemen. US destroyers in the Gulf of Aden launched airstrikes against Houthi rebels, a Shia insurgent group currently withstanding a massive bombing campaign from a Saudi-led coalition in a year-and-half conflict between largely Shia rebels and the Saudi-backed Sunni government in Yemen. The US press rarely mentions that the US role in the brutal bombing campaign that has left over 4,000 dead.

Was a US Ship Attacked by a Missile off the Coast of Yemen . . . or Not? (Sarah Lazare / AlterNet)
On October 8, a US-backed Saudi Arabia-led airstrike against a funeral hall in the Yemen, killed at least 140 people and wounding more than 500. The weapon used in the mass-killing was a US-made 500-pound laser-guided bomb. Obama administration officials have privately expressed alarm that Washington could be charged with war crimes. Meanwhile, a US Navy blockade has cut off food aid to Yemen, contributing to a humanitarian emergency that has affected at least half of the country's population.

UN Experts Accuse US of Complicity in Saudi War Crimes in Yemen (Edith M. Lederer / Associated Press & The Independent)
UN experts investigating the double bombing of a packed funeral hall in the rebel-held Yemeni capital on Oct. 8 are accusing the Saudi-led coalition of violating international humanitarian law by attacking civilians, the wounded, and medical personnel. The UN Ministry of Health estimated 114 were killed and 613 injured in an attack on a funeral in Sanaa on October 8, 2016.

Mali and the US Fight for Sahel's Resources (Al Jazeera)
Africa remains a key territory on the global chessboard of the 21st century. Rich in oil and natural resources, the continent holds a strategic position. But despite its position and resources, conflict and chaos have spread throughout the continent. At the heart of this turmoil is a strategic territory: the Sahel.

ACTION ALERT: Congress Plots Native Land Grab for Oil (CREDO Action from Working Assets & Dan Zukowski / EcoWatch)
For the first time in more than 100 years, the federal government could steal fragile, sacred land from Native American tribes and hand it over to the fossil fuel industry. Utah Republican Reps. Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz along with Sen. Mike Lee recently introduced a bill that would strip away protections for 100,000 acres of Ute tribal lands to allow for oil drilling and uranium mining.

Documentary Filmmakers Face Decades in Prison for Videotaping Oil Pipeline Protests (Sam Levin /The Guardian)
Filmmakers Deia Schlosberg and Lindsey Grayzel face felony charges for covering Native American protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline Project. Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman was recently charged with trespassing for reporting on the protests and filming oil company attacks on unarmed activists. First Amendment advocates say are part of a growing number of attacks on freedom of the press.

Syria Tensions Escalate with Massive Russian Naval Exercise and Deployment of Nuclear-capable Tactical Missiles (Ben Farmer and Barney Henderson Roland Oliphant / The Telegraph & TASS)
Russia has begun its biggest surface deployment since the end of the Cold War as it aims to effectively end the war in Syria on the eve of the US election. The Kremlin is sending the full might of its Northern Fleet and part of the Baltic Fleet to reinforce a final assault on the city of Aleppo. At the same time, Moscow has commenced drills inside Western Russia involving more than 20 pieces of combat hardware including nuclear-capable tactical missiles.

A Frustrated Putin Blames the West for Instability in the Middle East (RT News)
Washington and its allies are using the Syrian crisis to play politics, instead of providing real solutions, Vladimir Putin told French TV. He said that Moscow has put forward an offer to send troops to safeguard aid convoys in Aleppo, while the West accuses Moscow of committing war crimes. Case in point: Washington blamed Russian jets for an attack on a UN aid convoy near Aleppo last month. Russia claims Washington is hiding drone evidence that shows the attack was the work of one of the local terrorist groups.

Saudis and US Accused of Letting ISIS Fighters Escape Mosul to Fight in Syria (RT News & Jon Lockett / The Sun)
French President Francois Hollande has expressed concern that Islamic State militants are being allowed to flee the Iraqi city of Mosul and are traveling to the group's Syrian stronghold, Raqqa. The US and Saudi Arabia reportedly have secretly agreed to grant free passage to around 9,000 Islamic State militants before the Iraqi city of Mosul is stormed. Under the rumored deal, the jihadists have agreed to be redeployed to fight inside Syria in opposition to the Assad government at its Russian support forces.

Green Party and Turkish Officials Warns US, Russia on Brink of Nuclear WWIII (Jon Lockett / The Sun & RT News & InfoWars)
Russian ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky has a message for America: "Americans voting for a president on Nov. 8 must realize that they are voting for peace on Planet Earth if they vote for Trump. But if they vote for Hillary it's war. It will be a short movie. There will be Hiroshimas and Nagasakis everywhere." Green Party candidate Jill Stein on why a Clinton presidency would risk WWIII and the significance of Russia's recent emergency mass evacuation drill involving moving 60 million citizens into shelters.

In the Battle for Mosul, Civilians Face 'Impossible Choice' (Teo Kermeliotis / Al Jazeera)
As Iraqi armed forces and their allies move to reclaim the city of Mosul from ISIL fighters, humanitarian agencies are warning that the lives of an estimated 1.5 million civilians are in grave danger. While it is uncertain whether Iraqi forces will achieve their promised "victory," two things are certain: Hundreds of innocent civilians will die and a major urban center will be reduced to rubble.

"Wars" Against ISIS in Iraq & Syria Are Doomed to Fail (The Campaign for Peace and Democracy & Joseph Daher / Peace News)
As the sectarian government of Iraq, with full US support, prepares for a bloody attack on Mosul, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah have joining forces with the Assad regime to turn Aleppo into a 21st century Guernica. Hopefully, this article written Swiss-Syrian activist Joseph Daher, can provide a political and moral compass in responding to the major continuing consequence of the "War on Terror" -- imperial carnage brutalizing civilians in Syria and Iraq and across the Middle East.

How War Propaganda Rules Mainstream US Media (Robert Parry / Consortium News)
As the US-backed offensive in Mosul, Iraq, begins, the mainstream US media readies the American people to blame the terrorists for civilian casualties but the opposite rules apply to Syria's Aleppo. Note how differently the media prepare the public for civilian casualties from the US-backed Iraqi government assault on the city of Mosul to "free" it from the Islamic State, compared to the unrelenting condemnation of the Russian-backed Syrian government assault on Aleppo neighborhoods held by Al Qaeda.

The Ethics of the Leak: Julian Assange and Naomi Klein (Julian Assange / WikiLeaks & Glenn Greenwald and Naomi Klein / The Intercept)
WikiLeaks has released thousands of hacked emails between Clinton campaign Chai John Pedestal and candidate Clinton including a recent batch that includes nuclear energy issues and donations to the Clinton Foundation from nuclear interests. Author and activist Naomi Klein believes there are serious threats to personal privacy and other critical political values posed by hacks of this sort, particularly when accompanied by the indiscriminate publication of someone's personal emails.

ACTION ALERT: A Message to Our Next President: 'No More War!' (World Beyond War)
As the war system keeps societies in a state of Permawar, we have reached a stage in human history at which we can say with confidence that there are better and more effective alternatives. Of course, we know the question: "You say you are against war, but what's the alternative?" From September 23-26, the No War 2016 event was convened in Washington, DC, to develop answers to this question. A two-hour compilation video is included below. The entire proceedings are also available on DVD.

Command and Control: How a Socket Wrench and a Nuclear Missile Nearly Destroyed Arkansas (Gar Smith / Berkeley Daily Planet)
Director Robert Kenner (Food, Inc.) and writer Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation) have combined their proven story-telling prowess to create a film of unimaginable true-life horror that will have you gripping the seat upholstery at the local cinema. Based on an incident reported in depth in Schlosser's book, "Command and Control," Kenner's latest film recreates a nearly forgotten incident that demonstrates, in chilling detail, the folly of pretending nuclear weapons are subject to human "command" or "control."

Riot Charge Dropped: Amy Goodman Had Been Threatened for Reporting on Dakota Oil Pipeline Protest (Sam Levin / The Guardian)
Authorities had issued a warrant for the arrest of Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman after she filmed and broadcast a video of armed guards restricting access to a controversial Dakota oil pipeline by using attack dogs and pepper spray on unarmed Native American protesters. Today, a North Dakota judge rejected prosecutors' "riot" charges against the award-winning broadcast journalist, a decision that advocates hailed as a major victory for freedom of the press.

Native Lives Matter: The Police Killings No One Is Talking About (Stephanie Woodard / In These Times)
Native Americans are being killed by police at a higher rate than any other group in the country - but these deaths are rarely covered in the media. Now, native groups are organizing for justice in a growing Native Lives Matter movement.

Start Preparing for Blowback from Illegal US Attack on Yemen (Jacob G. Hornberger / The Future of Freedom Foundation)
Commentary: If there is another terrorist attack on US soil, this time because of the death and destruction that the US government is wreaking in Yemen, I can already hear the complaints of statist-Americans: "Why do the terrorists and the Muslims hate us for our freedom and values?" The last thing they're going to acknowledge is that the Tomahawk missiles the US military fired against radar sites in Yemen (killing whoever was manning those radar sites), will have had anything to do with retaliatory terrorism against the US.

Europe Sours on NATO and Confrontational Policies that Threaten Nuclear War (Michael Hudson / The Real News Network)
Michael Hudson says that the US-led confrontational approach of NATO with Russia is driving European countries to consider leaving the military alliance due to increased security risks. The French prime minister has said that "we don't need NATO." The leaders of the two major German parties -- the Social Democrats and the Christian Democrats -- have said that NATO was guilty of warmongering and Former Pentagon Chief William Perry has warned that NATO is threatening to provoke atomic war in Europe.

The Pentagon Must Stop Abusing the War Budget (William D. Hartung / The National Interest)
After years of claiming that the war budget has been limited to paying for the costs of foreign conflicts, the Pentagon has finally admitted that it has been using that account to pay for tens of billion of dollars in costs that have nothing to do with fighting wars. This budget shell game has been particularly egregious in recent years, as the Pentagon has sought to evade the caps on non-war spending that were imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011. Cost for Overseas Contingency Operations now top $30 billion.

Environmental Victory in El Salvador; Environmental Leader Killed in Brazil (teleSURtv & Nika Knight / Common Dreams)
A little-known World Bank tribunal has ruled against corporate power, rejecting Canadian-Australian gold mining giant OceanaGold's claim that El Salvador interfered with its profits when it pulled the plug on a proposed gold mine. Meanwhile, Latin America remains the most dangerous region in the world for land defenders and environmentalists. The latest victim: Brazilian activist Luiz Araujo, well known for his aggressive enforcement of deforestation laws in the Amazon.

Command and Control: How a Socket Wrench and a Nuclear Missile Nearly Destroyed Arkansas (Gar Smith / Berkeley Daily Planet)
Director Robert Kenner (Food, Inc.) and writer Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation) have combined their proven story-telling prowess to create a film of unimaginable true-life horror that will have you gripping the seat upholstery at the local cinema. Based on an incident reported in depth in Schlosser's book, "Command and Control," Kenner's latest film recreates a nearly forgotten incident that demonstrates, in chilling detail, the folly of pretending nuclear weapons are subject to human "command" or "control."

Yemen's Nonexistent Missile Attack: US Retaliation Claim Now Seen as an Act of Aggression (AntiWar.com & The Week & CNN & CommonDreams)
After once again attacking Houthi targets along the coast, in spite of any evidence that the Houthis fired the missiles at them, officials are now saying they're not even sure about the missiles, and are looking into the possibility that the USS Mason, which has claimed all the attacks, has a radar malfunction which is generating ghost signals. The Navy now says it also could have been a radar malfunction generating "ghost signals." In response to the US attack, Iran has sent ships to patrol off Yemen's coast.

The US Just Bombed Yemen -- and No One's Talking about It. (Moustafa Bayoumi / The Guardian)
Commentary: "What if the United States went to war and nobody here even noticed? The question is absurd, isn't it? And yet, this almost perfectly describes what actually happened this past week. We need answers from the candidates on how they would deal with a deadly conflict in Yemen -- one of the Middle East's poorest countries. We're not getting them."

Big Money behind War: CNN Commentator Promotes Profits over People (Zaid Jilani and Alex Emmons / The Intercept & Al Jazeera)
Responding to critics of a $1.1 billion US arms sale to Saudi Arabia, CNN's Wolf Blitzer argued that "moral issues" should not take precedence over higher profits "for arms manufacturers." Meanwhile, homeland security spending was expected to yield a 12 percent annual growth -- an astronomical return compared to other parts of the tanking US economy -- and a massive counterterrorism system to spy on US citizens employs tens of thousands to search for domestic terrorists.

ACTION ALERT: First Amendment Under Fire at Pipeline Protest: Reporters and Filmmakers Face Prison Terms (Jane Kleeb / Our Revolution & Nick Visser / The Huffington Post)
Deia Schlosberg, a documentarian arrested while filming an oil pipeline protest in North Dakota, has been charged with three felony charges -- and could face decades in prison if convicted. Meanwhile, authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! In September, Goodman covered the protests involving thousands of Native American protesters and filmed troubling footage in which heavily armed guards used pepper spray and attack dogs against the nonviolent activists.

Unheeded Warnings: The Secret Back Story to Russia and Ukraine that Americans Never Learned In School (Washington's Blog)
Beginning with Truman's first day in office, he adopted the views of hard-line anti-Communists,turned his back on Roosevelt's understanding with Stalin, authorized the unnecessary dropping of the atomic bombs (to send a message to the USSR that the US was now "in charge") and set about spreading a network of military bases around the world. The US and NATO used "false flag" terror attacks to discredit the Soviets beginning with a 1950s CIA plot that hired Iranians to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister -- the first of many covert US acts of subversion.

America and the Cult of the Bully: At Home and Abroad (Charles Derber and Yale Magrass / University Press of Kansas & TruthOut)
What causes bullying in the United States? In Bully Nation, Charles Derber and Yale R. Magrass show how US inequalities of power, militarism and aggressive capitalism make both personal and institutional bullying commonplace. The following excerpt of Bully Nation is from Chapter Six, "Marching to Bully: How the Military Trains Bullies, Both Inside and Outside the Services.

Unheeded Warnings: US Armed Attempts to Overthrow Syria Risk Nuclear War (Washington's Blog & Robert Parry / Consortium News)
Turkey, Saudi Arabia and US neocons seek an invasion that could kill Russian troops inside Syria. The Russians have warned that Moscow is prepared to use tactical nuclear weapons if Turkish and Saudi troops invade Syria. (The Russians note they were "invited" into Syria.) History shows that crisis interactions, once triggered, take on a life of their own. Miscalculations, misinterpretations and loss of control create a fog of crisis in which low-level military encounters could quickly lead to a nuclear catastrophe.

Unheeded Warnings: US Overthrow of Ukraine Government Risks Nuclear War (Sherwood Ross / Global Research & Washington's Blog)
By subverting the elected government of The Ukraine, President Obama has restarted a dangerous and costly Cold War with Russia that literally threatens life on the planet. Without congressional consent, the president has bombed six countries, (Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq) and is risking a possible escalation of the Ukraine crisis he helped foster. The only question is: Will this reckless policy of provocations and regime change trigger a World War over Ukraine or Syria?

Obama, Aides to Meet to Discuss Attacking Syria (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Arshad Mohammed and Jonathan Landay / Reuters)
US President Barack Obama and his top foreign policy advisers are expected to meet on Friday to consider their military and other options in Syria as Syrian and Russian aircraft continue to pummel Aleppo and other targets, US officials said. The US and Russian foreign ministers will meet in Lausanne, Switzerland on Saturday to resume their failed effort to find a diplomatic solution, possibly joined by their counterparts from Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Iran, but US officials voiced little hope for success.

The High Human and Financial Costs of War (Rami G Khouri / Reuters)
We have always known that war is dirty and destructive, but a new investigation reveals how destructive and expensive several wars have been. More than 600,000 military and civilian dead, more than seven million refugees and displaced people, and perhaps nearly $13 trillion in financial costs over the lifetimes of the conflicts. The ravages and costs of war can persist for generations after the fighting and bombing stop.

The Budgetary Costs of Wars through 2016: $4.79 Trillion and Counting (Neta C. Crawford / The Cost of War Project: Boston University)
Wars cost money before, during and after they occur -- as governments prepare for, wage, and recover from them by replacing equipment, caring for the wounded and repairing the infrastructure destroyed in the fighting. As of August 2016, the US had appropriated, spent, or taken on obligations to spend more than $3.6 trillion in current dollars on the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria and on Homeland Security. The total US budgetary cost of these wars reaches $4.79 trillion.

Experts in Germany, France, Russia and US Warn the World Is Moving Closer to Nuclear War (ZeroHedge & RT News)
Germany's Foreign Minister -- Frank-Walter Steinmeier -- wrote earlier this month that tension between the US and Russia is worse than during the Cold War. Former Defense Secretary William Perry has warned that "the likelihood of a nuclear catastrophe today is greater than it was during the Cold War." Earlier this month, Russia conducted a major civil defense training involving 40 million people nationwide. A total of 200,000 rescue professionals and 50,000 vehicles took part in the exercise, which lasted four days.

Escalation Nation: Yemen Retaliates for US-backed Saudi Massacre; US Blindly Lashes Back (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Richard Sisk / Military.com & Alex Emmons / The Intercept)
Four days ago, the Saudi coalition bombed a funeral in the Yemeni capital, killing 125 and wounding 525 in one of the worst massacres of the war. Fragments of US-made bombs were found at the scene. Following this war crime, missiles were fired in the direction of a US destroyer cruising off Yemen's coast. In response, Washington destroyed there radar stations belonging to the Shi'ite Houthis. Houthi forces denied launching the missiles and vowed to respond in kind to the US use of military force.

Is US Vulnerable to War Crimes Charge for Supporting Saudi Bombing of Innocents in Yemen? (Sarah Lazare / AlterNet)
A White House statement claimed that the Obama administration was "deeply disturbed" after a Saudi airstrike on a funeral in Yemen killed at least 140 people. Yet, internal government documents exposed by Reuters reveal that the Obama administration has long known that the 18-month military campaign has killed thousands of Yemeni civilians. The US provided $1.3 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia despite official warnings that doing so could implicated the US in war crimes.

The Growing Danger of Military Conflict with Russia (Nikolas K. Gvosdev / The National Interest)
Barack Obama was going to reset relations with Russia, and now, in the weeks remaining in office, is facing demands from his own State Department and Department of Defense for drawing a line in the sand in Syria against Russian airstrikes on a besieged Aleppo -- even at the risk of a face-to-face confrontation between American and Russian forces.

A Clinton Win Means an Expanded War in Syria (Daniel Larison / The American Conservative)
Commentary: "Clinton seems unable to distinguish between what is of vital interest to the Russians and peripheral interest to America. She combines this with her bias toward always taking action -- of any sort, for good or ill. The combination is dangerous. And it makes the Republicans' inability to field someone capable of challenging her intelligently on these terms even more egregious."

US/Saudi Wars Crimes Prompt Missile Attack on US Destroyer: Do Yemeni Lives Matter? (NBC Evening News & Medea Benjamin / AntiWar.com & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)
How much is the life of a Yemeni worth? Not much, according to the Saudi regime that has been bombing and starving the people of Yemen for since March 2015, or to the Saudi's western backers, particularly the US and UK, which have been supplying the Saudi regime with weapons, military training, logistical support and diplomatic cover for its dirty interventionist war. The latest outrage is the October 8 bombing of a funeral hall in Yemen's capital that killed more than 140 people and injured about 600 more.

ACTION ALERT: Growing Calls to Stop US Military Aid to Murderous Saudi Regime (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Warren Strobel / Reuters & United States Senator Chris Murphy)
Rep. Ted Lieu, a former US Air Force lawyer, has urged the Obama Administration to suspend all arms sales to Saudi Arabia and to suspend cooperation in the war in Yemen, saying that the growing civilian death toll "appears to be the result of war crimes." US Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), has called for a halt to aid noting: "Saudi airstrikes, with support from the US, have killed thousands of civilians in Yemen. ‎Yesterday's attack on large funeral party follows months of attacks on schools, homes, and hospitals."

US Foreign Policy: Killing People to Save Them (Dr. Arshad M Khan / teleSURtv)
The 15th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan -- a war with no end in sight -- quietly passed by unnoticed by major US media. Meanwhile, we have seen the Middle East and large parts of North Africa on the receiving end of death, destruction and displacement over the last 15 years due to US "interventions" that have brought neither peace nor stability. These regions are on the receiving end of a swath of death, destruction and displacement on a scale unseen since the end of World War II.

The Dehumanization of US War Victims in Afghanistan Continues (Emran Feroz / teleSURtv.net)
"You should be cursed with your bombs which lead to the suffering of the people of Kunduz and covered them with blood and dust," was the last sentence of Dr. Ehsan Osmani adressed to the Afghan government and its American backers. The anguished note was written one year ago on Dr. Osmani's Facebook feed. During the next few moments, Osmani was killed by one of the US bombs that was dropped on the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, an attack that killed at least 42 MSF staff and patients.

War Crime Evidence: US Bomb Fragments Found at Site of Saudi Funeral Massacre in Yemen (Alex Emmons / The Intercept & BBC World News)
Fragments of what appear to be US-made bombs have been found at the scene of one of the most horrific civilian massacres of Saudi Arabia's 18-month air campaign in Yemen. Aircraft from the Saudi-led coalition on Saturday bombed a community hall in Sana'a, Yemen's capital city, where thousands of people had gathered for a funeral. The aircraft struck the hall four times, killing more than 140 people and wounding 525. One local health official described the aftermath as "a lake of blood."

Evidence Shows the Leading Cause of the War on Terror Is . . . The War on Terror (Murtaza Hussain and Cora Currier / The Intercept & Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept)
A secret FBI study has found that anger over US military operations abroad was the most commonly cited cause for individuals committing acts of "homegrown" terrorism. A 2004 Pentagon task force report decisively concluded that American intervention in the Muslim World has elevated the stature of the radical Islamists, while diminishing support for the US. In short, Muslims do not "hate our freedoms," but rather, they hate our policies of attacking Muslim nations and killing innocent civilians.

In the War on Earth's Climate, the Leading 'Methane Bombs' Are Oil, Gas, Cows, and Jets (Bobby Magill / Climate Central)
When trying to figure out why atmospheric concentrations of methane -- a potent greenhouse gas driving climate change -- have been rising continuously since 2007, fingers often point to North America's shale oil and gas boom over the last decade. But a NOAA study published in the journal Nature paints a different picture. While fossil fuels have polluted the atmosphere with up to 60 percent more methane than scientists previously thought, the main culprits behind the rise in global methane levels are wetlands, landfills, rice fields and belching cows.

ACTION ALERT: It's True: The Presidential Debates ARE Rigged (Lilia Tamm Dixon / The Open Debate Coalition)
PresidentialOpenQuestions.com invited America to suggest questions to be asked of the presidential candidates. More than 3.6 million votes were cast on more than 15,800 suggested questions. During the debate, the moderators cited this history survey but only asked one of the least-important questions -- a question that had received only 13 votes.

Fifteen Years Into the Afghan War, Do Americans Know the Truth? (Ron Paul / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity & Missy Ryan and Thomas Gibbons-Neff / The Washington Post)
Last week marked the 15th anniversary of the US invasion of Afghanistan, the longest war in US history. There weren't any victory parades or photo-ops with Afghanistan's post-liberation leaders. That is because the war is ongoing. In fact, 15 years after launching a war against Afghanistan's Taliban government in retaliation for an attack by Saudi-backed al-Qaeda, US-backed forces are steadily losing territory back to the Taliban while Washington is directly and indirectly funding and assisting a franchise of al-Qaeda that is attacking the Syrian government.

US Can't Bomb Syrian Forces Without Congressional Approval (Robert Naiman / Common Dreams)
According to multiple voices in the DC press, the idea of the US bombing Syrian government forces is "back on the table" this week. In their reporting on this new threat of escalation, the mainstream media failed to acknowledge that, in order to bomb Syrian government forces, President Obama first would need to seek and receive an authorization for the use of military force from Congress.

Washington's Horrific, Inhumane Torture of Jailed Detainees Left a Legacy of Damaged Minds (Matt Apuzzo, Sheri Fink and James Risen / The New York Times<)
Before the United States permitted a terrifying way of interrogating prisoners, government lawyers and intelligence officials assured themselves of one crucial outcome. They knew that the methods inflicted on terrorism suspects would be painful, shocking and far beyond what the country had ever accepted. But none of it, they concluded, would cause long lasting psychological harm. Fifteen years later, it is clear they were wrong.

The Trump Effect: This Election Is Bad for Our Brains (John Boghosian Arden / The San Francisco Chronicle & The Southern Poverty Law Center & Gail Sheehy / Politico)
Donald Trump's public behavior, amplified by the media, has contaminated America's mental landscape and has changed the behavior of many of the nation's children. In schools across the country, teachers are reporting that minority students are being bullied, insulted, and attacked by other students yelling "Trump, Trump, Trump." Latino and Muslim students are being singled out for special intimidation by fellow students chanting "Build a wall" or "Kill the terrorists." The triggers are installed deep in our brains.

Crumbling Oligarchies and Media Manipulation Risk Nuclear WWIII (Russia Insider & Chronicles Magazine)
A picture of a little boy pulled from the rubble of Aleppo after what was dubiously reported as a Russian airstrike -- promptly dubbed "Aleppo Boy" -- went viral in every prestige outlet in the US and Europe. Not long before, another little boy was beheaded on video by the Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenkim, a "moderate" US-supported jihad terror group. The images of his grisly demise received far less media attention than those of official Aleppo Boy.

War of Words Rages between US and Russian Media (Finian Cunningham / RT News & Matheous77 / YouTube & Joshua Keating / Slate)
Commentary: Western Cold War fever broke into beads of sweat this week with yet more doom-laden reports warning about Russia 'winning the information war'. That's a revealing way to look at journalism and news -- as 'warfare'. But is Russia really winning an "information war"? Funny how you don't ever hear Russian leaders speaking in those terms. Or is it just a more prosaic matter of Russian news media providing a closer approximation to the truth on major world events than Western counterparts?

ACTION ALERT: US Military Vets Still Dying from Burn-pit Exposures (Leo Shane III / Military Times & Burn Pit Families & The Burn Pits 360 Veterans Organization)
Veterans exposed to burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan are begging US leaders to focus attention on their crippling health problems. Burn pits are this generation's Agent Orange, but we are seeing deaths happen after three or five years, instead of decades later. A new petition asks Pres. Obama to use his final months in office to "speak out and educate the American people" about the long-term health effects of burn pits and to increase research into health and medical impacts of exposure to burning hazardous wastes.

New York Times Leads Western Media in Blaming Russia for Syria's Misery (Robert Parry / Consortium News & RT News)
Commentary: Every day, The New York Times sinks deeper into the swamp of propaganda, reliably touting neocon notions about the Middle East and Russia. Meanwhile, "Saving the West" was the title of a recent gathering organized by CEPA, a Russia-obsessed group funded by American corporations including Lockheed Martin, the Raytheon Company, Sikorsky Aircraft and Bell Helicopters -- military contractors whose profits are linked to foreign wars.

Capitol Hill Raises Alarm on over Mosul Attack (Julian Pecquet / Al-Monitor.com)
One of the top human rights champions on Capitol Hill has brought prominent activists together October 6 to urge the United States and Iraq to protect civilians in the coming assault on Mosul. The briefing served as an urgent appeal to the Barack Obama administration to keep human rights and humanitarian needs top of mind as officials prepare for a conflagration that could displace a million people -- and lay the groundwork for future conflict.

WWIII Danger Looms: US Drops Dummy Nuclear Bombs in Nevada 'Test' as Risks of US/Russian War Rise in Syria (Sputnik News)
Russia's Defense Ministry has cautioned the US-led coalition against mounting airstrikes on Syrian army positions that could put Russian personnel in danger. At a time of rising tensions between the US and Russia -- two nuclear-armed powers -- was the US intending to "send a message" by test-dropping two dummy nukes in the Nevada desert? Are we teetering on the abyss of a nuclear holocaust?

Russians Fear CIA Assassination as US Neo-com Calls on US to "Overthrow" Putin (Robert Parry / Consortium News & Russia Insider)
The head of the neo-consesrvative, US-taxpayer-funded National Endowment for Democracy, has called on America to "summon the will" to remove Russian President Vladimir Putin from office. Officials in Russia are expressing growing alarm. Russia Insider recently reported: "The US views Russia as a competitor to be eliminated at any cost." After Putin's chauffeur died in a horrific car crash, rumors erupted that he "was assassinated by Western spies to send a violent message to Russian president."

Afghan Opium Trade Thrives Under US Plan While Islamic State Succeeds in Eradicating Poppy Fields (Reuters & Noor Zahid / Voice of America)
Opium production in Afghanistan increased this year to one of the highest levels on record as efforts to eradicate the crop in a country that provides much of the world's heroin collapsed, the United Nations said Wednesday. Now the opium industry has a new enemy: Islamic State. Afghan opium farmers in areas under IS control report that IS has eradicated poppy crops in eastern parts of the country. The opium poppy is considered Haram [prohibited in Islam] and villages where it was grown have been destroyed.

Why We Should Close America's Overseas Military Bases (John Glaser / TIME Magazine)
America's overseas military bases are largely taken for granted in today's foreign policy debates. The US maintains a veritable empire of military bases throughout the world -- about 800 of them in more than 70 countries. Many view our bases as a symbol of our status as the dominant world power. But America's forward-deployed military posture incurs substantial costs and disadvantages, exposing the US to vulnerabilities and unintended consequences.

New Guantanamo Intelligence Upends Old 'Worst of the Worst' Assumptions (Carol Rosenberg / The Miami Herald)
The "Dirty 30" probably weren't all Osama bin Laden bodyguards after all. The "Karachi 6" weren't a cell of bombers plotting attacks in Pakistan for al-Qaida. An Afghan man captured 14 years ago as a suspected chemical weapons maker was confused for somebody else. An ongoing review shows the US intelligence community has been debunking long-held myths about some of the "worst of the worst" at Guantanamo. The retreat emerges in a series of unclassified prisoner profiles released by the Pentagon.

The American-made Catastrophe in Yemen (C. J. Werleman / Middle East Eye)
While US officials condemn Russian war crimes in Syria, the US-Saudi coalition in Yemen is committing the same -- but the media is silent. Where John Kerry condemned Russia's attack on the aid convoy, and was reported by most major media outlets, the US-led attack against civilians in Yemen went widely unnoticed.

Yemen: The Graveyard of the Obama Doctrine (Samuel Oakford and Peter Salisbury / The Atlantic)
A year and a half into the Saudi kingdom's relentless war in Yemen, opponents of the new $1.15 billion US arms sale see it as an outright affirmation of Washington's involvement in a deadly, strategically incoherent war that the White House has kept largely quiet about. What's more, it is at odds with Obama's apparent distaste for regional proxy wars. Nonetheless, the US has delivered more than 40 million pounds of fuel to jet aircraft belonging to the oil-rich monarchy along with air refueling, tanks and bombs.

Russians Fear CIA Assassination as US Neo-com Calls on US to "Overthrow" Putin (Robert Parry / Consortium News & Russia Insider)
The head of the neo-consesrvative, US-taxpayer-funded National Endowment for Democracy, has called on America to "summon the will" to remove Russian President Vladimir Putin from office. Officials in Russia are expressing growing alarm. Russia Insider recently reported: "The US views Russia as a competitor to be eliminated at any cost." After Putin's chauffeur died in a horrific car crash, rumors erupted that he "was assassinated by Western spies to send a violent message to Russian president."

Iraqis to Sue US for Illegal, Devastating 2003 US Invasion (teleSURtv)
In the wake of the recently approved US 9/11 bill, an Iraqi group is lobbying the country's parliament to sue the United States over the 2003 invasion that ousted late President Saddam Hussein, killed and displaced millions of people and unleashed a major sectarian conflict in Iraq and the region over the past 16 years. The Arab Project in Iraq hopes to form an independent legal body to seek compensation from the US over civilian deaths and damage to property caused during and after the invasion.

George W. Bush and Dick Cheney Both Knowingly Lied to Justify Illegal Invasion of Iraq (David Swanson / teleSURtv)
The Bush administration knowingly relied on misleading propaganda and false information to "lie the nation" into an illegal war on Iraq that killed upwards of a million people, wounded, traumatized, and displaced millions more, generated hatred for the United States, drained the US economy, stripped away civil liberties back home, and laid the groundwork for the creation of the Islamic State.

A US Soldier Explains "How I Created ISIS" (Vincent Emanuele / teleSUTtv)
Where did ISIS come from? Many commentators and former military officials correctly suggest the Iraq war is primarily responsible for unleashing the forces we now know as ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, etc. Here, hopefully I can add some useful reflections and anecdotes. When I was stationed in Iraq with the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, I routinely saw and participated in obscenities. The West never allowed a serious examination of the greatest war crime of the 21st century. I knew there would be a reckoning.

The Presidential Debates: What We Talk About When We Don't Want to Talk About Nuclear War (Nick Turse / TomDispatch & Andrew J. Bacevich / TomDispatch)
Commentary: During the latter part of the much-hyped but excruciating-to-watch first presidential debate, NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt posed a seemingly straightforward but cunningly devised question. His purpose was to test whether the candidates understood the essentials of a longstanding nuclear policy -- the insistence that every US president has the power to unilaterally launch a nuclear war -- and the modifications that Obama had contemplated making to it.

Another Pipeline War (Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. / EcoWatch)
The fossil fuel industry's business model is to externalize costs by clawing in obscene subsidies and tax deductions -- causing environmental harm, toxic pollution and global warming. Other costs of our addiction to oil include social chaos, war, terror, the refugee crisis, and the loss of democracy and civil rights abroad and at home. As we focus on the rise of ISIS and search for the source of its savagery the finger of blame points back at the champions of militarism, imperialism and petroleum here at home.

Pipelines or Pipe Dreams: The Roots of War in Syria (Steve Weissman / Reader Supported News & Pepe Escobar / CounterPunch)
"Our war against Bashar Assad did not begin with the peaceful civil protests of the Arab Spring in 2011," writes Robert F. Kennedy Jr. "Instead it began in 2000 when Qatar proposed to construct a $10 billion, 1,500-km pipeline through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Turkey." But this disregards the historic conflict between Syria's Sunni Arabs and the ruling Alawites and their minority allies. Syria is an energy war featuring a vicious geopolitical competition between two proposed gas pipelines -- the ultimate Pipelinestan war.

Russia Complains about Washington's Resort to Threats (RT News)
Russian FM Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova hit back at her US counterpart John Kirby, who warned that terrorist attacks may take place in Russia if the civil war continues in Syria. Former CIA deputy director Michael Morell -- a Clinton backer -- has said that Russians and Iranians in Syria should be killed covertly to "pay the price." US State Department spokesperson John Kirby warned that if the war in Syria continues, "Russian lives will be lost, more Russian aircraft will be shot down."

US, Pentagon, Soros: Plans to Overthrow Putin (Bill Van Auken / World Socialists Website & Tyler Durden /ZeroHedge.com )
US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has delivered a speech to "missileers" at the Air Force Global Strike Command base in Minot, South Dakota, defending the massive $348 billion plan to rebuild the "nuclear triad" and the $1 trillion modernization of the US nuclear arsenal. Carter also used the occasion to issue bellicose threats against Russia. Meanwhile, leaked documents reveal how billionaire George Soros uses his wealth to create global chaos --including toppling a democratically elected government in Ukraine.

Do We Really Want Nuclear War with Russia? (Robert Parry / Consortium News)
The US propaganda war against Russia is spinning out of control, rolling ever faster downhill with a dangerous momentum that threatens to drive the world into a nuclear showdown.

Washington's Russia-Baiting and Risks of Nuclear War (Ray McGovern / Consortium News & AntiWar.com)
Commentary from a former US intelligence officer: As US and Russian officials trade barbed threats and as diplomacy on Syria is "on the verge" of extinction, we are engaging in a propaganda exchange over who shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in July 2014. This is a sideshow and a huge mistake -- easily made by President Obama's wet-behind-the-ears sophomoric advisers who seem to know very little of the history of US-Russia relations and appear smug in their ignorance. Adult input is sorely needed.

Syria's White Helmets Risk Everything to Save the Victims of Airstrikes (Murtaza Hussain / The Intercept)
The 3,000 members of the Syrian Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets, form a volunteer force dedicated to rescuing victims of bombings and shellings. The White Helmets are first responders at the scenes of airstrikes by Russian and Syrian government forces, pulling survivors from the rubble of collapsed apartment buildings and homes. The group's work has garnered international attention, including a Nobel Peace Prize nomination as well as the Netflix documentary.

Why Obama Should Pardon All the Whistleblowers (Peter Maass / The Intercept)
President Obama should pardon Edward Snowden -- and Chelsea Manning. There are excellent reasons for thanking rather than jailing the two most famous whistleblowers of the post-9/11 era. But the unfortunate truth is that Obama is not going to pardon Snowden and Manning: Too much has been invested in demonizing them. However, there are other whistleblowers whose pardons would be compelling and politically palatable -- Stephen Kim, Jeffrey Sterling, John Kiriakou, and Thomas Drake.

Colombia in Unchartered Territory with Peace Deal's Defeat (Joshua Goodman and Andrea Rodriguez / Associated Press)
A stunning referendum defeat for a peace deal with leftist rebels leaves Colombians with no Plan B to save an accord that sought to bring an end to a half century of hostilities. Instead of winning by a predicted two-to-one margin, the accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia lost by a razor-thin margin, 49.8 percent to 50.2 percent. Both President Juan Manuel Santos and leaders of the FARC have vowed to press ahead in pursuit of a lasting peace.

ACTION ALERT: Nuclear Stand-down -- No-First-Use (Hon. Diane Russell / US House of Representatives & Dominic Tierney / The Atlantic Magazine)
Regardless who is in the Oval Office, the president's unchecked power to launch nuclear weapons is a problem. It's not one we've had to think about since the Cold War . . . until now. President Obama is considering a "No First Use" policy that would commit the US to only using a nuclear weapon in response to a nuclear attack. No First Use is the only sane policy. Without it, we invite one person's dangerous thinking or misperception to dictate the future of our civilization. This is a risk our world cannot afford.

Russia Suspends Plutonium Weapons Deal; Putin Warns US of (The Associated Press & AntiWar.com & The Associated Press)
Russia has warned the United States against carrying out any attacks on Syrian government forces, saying it would have repercussions across the Middle East. A Russian official warned that a US intervention against the Syrian army "will lead to terrible, tectonic consequences." At the same time, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday suspended a Russia-US deal on the disposal of weapons-grade plutonium, a move that comes amid escalating tensions over Syria between Moscow and Washington.

Concerned Intelligence Professionals Call on Obama to Defuse Tensions with Russia (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity)
On October 1, Russia's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova issued a chilling warning: "If the US launches a direct aggression against Damascus and the Syrian Army," she said, it would mean "full-scale war" between Russian and the US. A group of ex-US intelligence officials has issued an urgent plea to President Obama, advising that he defuse growing tensions with Russia over Syria by reining in the demonization of Putin and asserting White House civilian control over the Pentagon.

Pentagon Outlines Preparations for Nuclear War with Russia (Bill Van Auken / World Socialist Web Site & TASS)
The Obama administration has tried to portray Russia as responsible for igniting a new nuclear arms race but the nuclear saber rattling is being carried out by the US government. Russia's military budget is little more than one-tenth that of the US. The Pentagon plans to spend $348 billion to "rebuild" the so-called nuclear triad. Pentagon Chief Ashton Carter recently travelled to the Global Strike Command base in North Dakota and used the occasion to issue bellicose threats against Russia.

US Blocks UN Treaty on Space War Ban; Activates Missiles on Russia's Border (TASS & Israel National News & Sputnik News & Business Insider)
On September 22, Kremlin experts issued a warning that the entire world now “stands on the brink” after the Obama administration singlehandedly blocked a United Nations resolution against sending weapons into space. One hour after casting its vote banning wars in space, the Pentagon ordered its controversial "missile shield" facing the Russian border activated for the first time in history. Russian officials are understandably alarmed.

A Costly and Devastating War in Space May Be Closer Than Ever (Lee Billings / Scientific American & Robert Beckhusen / War Is Boring & Vice.com)
The world's most worrisome military flashpoint is arguably not in the Strait of Taiwan, the Korean Peninsula, Iran, Israel, Kashmir or Ukraine. In fact, it cannot be located on any map of Earth, even though it is very easy to find. To see it, just look up into a clear sky, to the no-man's-land of Earth orbit, where a conflict is unfolding that is an arms race in all but name. Space has become the ultimate high ground, with the US as the undisputed "King of the Hill."

US Plan to Arm Al Qaeda with Missiles Could Put Russian Jets at Risk (Tony Cartalucci / New East Outlook)
US officials have threatened Syria -- and its ally Russia -- that the collapse of shaky US-Russian ceasefire could lead "Gulf States" to arm militants with shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles. Calls to down Russian and Syrian aircraft over Syria are coming from the highest levels of policy and politics within Washington. US Senator John McCain has suggested the US "might do what we did in Afghanistan many years ago -- to give those guys the ability to shoot down those planes." Which could trigger WWIII.

Pentagon Paid $540 million for Fake 'Al Qaeda' Videos (Crofton Black & Abigail Fielding-Smith / The Bureau of Investigative Journalism)
A controversial foreign PR firm known for representing unsavory characters was paid millions by the Pentagon to create fake terrorist videos.The Pentagon gave the firm, Bell Pottinger, more than half a billion dollars to run a top-secret propaganda program in Iraq. According to a former employee, Bell Pottinger's output included short TV segments made in the style of Arabic news networks and fake insurgent videos that could be used to track the location and background of people who watched them.

Israel Pays $20 Million for Killing 10 in 2010 Attack on Gaza Peace Boat (AntiWar.com & Agence France-Presse & The Times of Israel)
As part of the reconciliation package with Turkey, Israel today sent some $20 million in compensatory payments into the Turkish Justice Ministry, from which it will be distributed to the families of 10 slain Turkish citizens killed by Israeli troops during an attack on a ship in a peace flotilla that was hoping to breach an Israeli blocked and deliver humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza.

Bolivia Ends Its Drug War by Kicking Out the US DEA and Legalizing Coca (Simeon Tegel / Vice.com)
Under its "Coca Si, Cocaine No" program, Bolivia has legalized coca growing, replacing a strategy of forced eradication with one of regulated production. The biggest benefit has been the end of the climate of fear. "There used to be all kinds of conflict before," a former coca farmer and mother of four said. "Now it couldn't be more different. The soldiers would abuse us, especially the women, sexually. Now, there is respect on both sides. No one exceeds their cato. Some people don't even have front doors."

Over Past 20 Years, US Spent $284 Million on Plots to Topple Cuba (teleSUR)
Washington spent close to $4 million in 2015 alone to fund programs that promote regime change on the socialist island of Cuba through the US agency National Endowment for Democracy, data compiled by journalist Tracey Eaton. Cuban youth are the main target of such funding, followed by communications, with $2 million, and political activities in communities. Newspapers that received the most secret funding from the Obama administration included "Diario de Cuba" and "Cubanet."

Pentagon Accused of Destroying Civilian Bridges in Syria, Killing Civilians in Afghanistan (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & John Davison and Michelle Nichols / Reuters & Pamela Constable / The Washington Post)
With more and more US airstrikes not only failing to hit their announced targets but actually hitting the wrong people, the Obama Administration is having growing criticism and questioning about their policies, with the UN warning the US to adhere to its obligations under international humanitarian law.

The Wholesale Failure of American Foreign Policy (Daniel L. Davis / The American Conservative)
It is discouraging to see the administration, Congress, and the Department of Defense fully tethered to the perpetual application of military power against small-scale threats. But the obsession with using major military assets on these relatively small-scale threats has in part been responsible for expanding it. A change in foreign policy is critically needed.

FBI Hid Orlando Shooter's Real Motive: Anger over US Killing of Muslim Civilians (Carey Wedler / The AntiMedia)
Months after Omar Mateen's deeply distressing mass-shooting spree in Orlando, Florida, which took the lives of 49 innocent people, the full transcripts of his phone calls with emergency services and police have been released. The FBI withheld the full transcripts claiming it wished to avoid providing a "publicity platform" to would-be terrorists. It is now clear that US foreign policy was a major factor in Mateen's decision to murder dozens of innocent people in an act of retaliation.

US Military Is Building a $100 Million Drone Base in Africa (Nick Turse / The Intercept)
Once a nexus for camel caravans hauling tea and salt across the Sahara, Agadez is now a West African paradise for people smugglers and a way station for refugees and migrants intent on reaching Europe's shores by any means necessary. It is also the site of "the most important US military construction effort in Africa," an American drone base now under construction on the outskirts of the city.

Militarized Police Threaten and Arrest Dakota Pipeline Water Protectors (The Daily Kos & teleSURtv)
In April 2016, Native peoples began protesting the 1,172-mile, four-state, Dakota Access Pipeline, calling the DAP a threat to sacred lands and water. On September 28, 2016 the Water Protectors' caravan was met with armored vehicles, helicopters dropping tear gas and police armed with military-style rifles. Videos show that, as the resisters are confronted, the militarized police start locking and loading their weapons as the protesters raise their hands in unison and yell that "We are not armed. We are praying!"

October 1: A Global Plea to End the Bombing in Aleppo (The Campaign for Peace and Democracy & the Global Campaign of Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution)
In Syria, the violent sectarian forces have grown in strength directly as a result of the devastation wrought by relentless bombing. The democratic opposition to both the dictatorship and the violently sectarian forces is being crushed under barrel bombs, cruise missiles, cluster and phosphorus munitions, napalm and chemical weapons attacks. The peace and antiwar opposition can stand in solidarity with the democratic struggle by demanding an end to all bombing by all parties.

Mystery Sponsors of Weapons And Money To Syrian Mercenary : Qatar and Saudi Arabia (Tyler Durden / ZeroHedge)
Background history: "One question that has so far remained unanswered, and a very sensitive one now that the US is on the verge of voting to arm the Syrian rebels, is who was arming said group of Al-Qaeda supported militants up until now. According to the Financial Times, "The tiny gas-rich state of Qatar has spent as much as $3 billion over the past two years supporting the rebellion in Syria . . . but is now being nudged aside by Saudi Arabia as the prime source of arms to rebels."

Pentagon Report Reveals US Created ISIS As A "Tool" To Overthrow Syria's Government (Tyler Durden / ZeroHedge & Nafeez Ahmed / Medium)
Historical background: "While speculation was rife that, just like the CIA-funded al Qaeda had been used as a facade by the US to achieve its own geopolitical and national interests over the past two decades, so ISIS was nothing more than al Qaeda 2.0, there was no actual evidence of just this. Now a declassified US government document shows that Western governments deliberately allied with al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups to topple Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad."

FBI Hid Orlando Shooter's Real Motive: Anger over US Killing of Muslim Civilians (Carey Wedler / The AntiMedia)
Months after Omar Mateen's deeply distressing mass-shooting spree in Orlando, Florida, which took the lives of 49 innocent people, the full transcripts of his phone calls with emergency services and police have been released. The FBI withheld the full transcripts claiming it wished to avoid providing a "publicity platform" to would-be terrorists. It is now clear that US foreign policy was a major factor in Mateen's decision to murder dozens of innocent people in an act of retaliation.

A Legal Precedent: First War Crimes Conviction for Destroying Temples (Camila Domonske / National Public Radio)
A militant has been found guilty of a war crime for intentionally destroying cultural sites -- a first for the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Ahmed al-Faqi al-Mahdi has been sentenced to nine years in prison for his role in the destruction of nine mausoleums and the door of a mosque in the Malian city of Timbuktu in 2012.

High Hitler: How Nazi Drug Abuse Steered the Course of History (Rachel Cooke / The Guardian)
German writer Norman Ohler's astonishing account of methamphetamine addiction in the Third Reich changes what we know about the second world war. The invasion of France was made possible by the drugs. Rommel and all those tank commanders were high. Nazi Germany was a place of complete chaos. Meth kept people in the system without their having to think about it. The book also reveals the Third Reich's profligate use of cocaine, heroin, and morphine.

The Pentagon Plan to 'Divide and Rule' the Muslim World (Nafeez Ahmed / Middle East Eye)
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has warned that Yemen is on the brink of "total collapse," thanks to Saudi Arabia's terror from the air, backed by Washington, Britain and an unprecedented coalition of Gulf states. Yemen is the latest casualty of a neoconservative strategy commissioned by the US Army to "capitalize on Sunni-Shia conflict in the Middle East as part of the overarching goal -- nothing short of "Western dominance."

How Nuclear Power Causes Global Warming (Harvey Wasserman / The Progressive & Solartopia)
Supporters of nuclear power like to argue that nukes are the key to combatting climate change. Here's why they are dead wrong. Every nuclear generating station spews about two-thirds of the energy it burns inside its reactor core into the environment. Only one-third is converted into electricity. Another tenth of that is lost in transmission.

Senate Set to Vote Today on Obama Veto of Saudi September 11 Bill (David Morgan / Reuters & David Swanson / Let's Try Democracy & Stephen Kinzer / The Boston Globe)
The US Senate will vote on Wednesday on whether to override President Barack Obama's veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act -- a bill allowing relatives of victims in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia. Obama warned that other countries could use the law to sue US soldiers, the Pentagon, American companies, and any foreign organizations receiving US weapons or training. David Swanson and Stephen Kinder debate the potential outcomes should the JASTA go into effect.

Lockheed and Boeing Want War: And They Are Prepared to Pay to See that It Happens (Jonathan Marshall / Consortium News)
Behind the US media-political clamor for a new Cold War with Russia is a massive flood of hidden investments by the Military-Industrial Complex in "think tanks," propaganda campaigns, and political lobbying. US military contractors continue to prove that no force on earth can resist their lobbying prowess and political clout. Case in point: the $1 trillion the Air Force, Navy, and Marines plan to spend on 2,400 Lockheed-Martin F-35 jets - -a fighter bomber doesn't work properly and may never perform as advertised.

US Climate Change Costs Hit $67 Billion: Rising Heat Threatens Life on Earth (Associated Press & Juan Cole / Informed Comment & Erin Auel and Alison Cassady / EcoWatch)
This year is on pace to smash last year's record for the hottest year. The summer of 2016 was hotter than any summer since at least 1016 AD and there is "compelling evidence" that this past summer was hotter than at any point in the past 100,000 years. Arctic ice levels this year were the second-lowest in recorded history and extreme weather events – wildfires, floods, drought and hurricanes – cost the US $67 billion in disaster relief between 2005 and 2015.

Deal-making and Dirty Tricks: Inside the Race for the Next UN Secretary General (Julian Borger / The Guardian)
Geopolitical struggle and intrigue in the Balkan states mean there is, as of yet, no clear favorite to succeed Ban Ki-moon as the new secretary-general of the United Nations -- the world's top diplomatic job. In the ballots so far, the hope that a strong field of women contenders would produce the United Nations' first female secretary general looks to have been rebuffed. In the latest poll, the first three spots were taken by men.

Trump's Pentagon Plan Could Cost Almost $1 Trillion (William Hartung / The Huffington Post)
Analysis: Donald Trump's campaign has been short on specifics, but that changed earlier this month when he gave a speech that provided some examples of what his proposed defense buildup would entail. It's worth considering whether we need a buildup at all. Although he asserted that he was opposed to "toppling regimes" and that his administration would "stress diplomacy, not destruction," he is still calling for increasing spending on virtually every aspect of the US military.

US Ivory Trade Drives A War on Elephants That Is Leading to Extinction (Samantha Page / ThinkProgress)
By the time today's children are grown adults, there may be no more wild elephants on the African continent. With only 400,000 elephants left there, and 30,000 to 40,000 lost to ivory poachers every year, the population's prognosis is dire, according to the newest African Elephant Status Report. The United States is the world's second-largest ivory market, after Asia.

Yes We Scan: How President Barack Obama Created the World's Most Intrusive Surveillance System (James Bamford / Foreign Policy)
When NSA chief Keith Alexander appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2013, he could only cite one case where an intercept detected a potential threat: a Somali taxi driver in San Diego who sent a check to al-Shabab. But there were other, more demonstrable uses for mass-surveillance. In a top-secret memo dated Oct. 3, 2012, Alexander raised the possibility of using vulnerabilities discovered in mass data -- "viewing sexually explicit material online," for instance -- to damage reputations.

Should Prison Really Be the American Way? (Tom Engelhardt and Rebecca Gordon / TomDispatch)
Approximately 11 million Americans are sent to US jails and prisons each year. More than 2.3 million people are permanently held in 1,719 state prisons, 102 federal prisons, 942 juvenile correctional facilities, 3,283 local jails, and 79 Indian Country jails as well as in military prisons, immigration detention facilities, civil commitment centers, and prisons in the US territories. As many as 100,000 inmates in state and federal prisons are held in solitary confinement.

San Francisco's New 'Time and Distance' Policing Strategy Works: Armed Standoff Ends Peacefully (Associated Press & KGO TV & The San Francisco Examiner )
A standoff with an armed and suicidal man at San Francisco's Civic Center has ended after the man surrendered peacefully. Police Officer Carlos Manfredi said the man gave up after six hours of negotiations that prompted authorities to evacuate Civic Center and a nearby public square. After several recent police shootings raised a public outcry, the SFPD instituted a new response policy. Instead of relying on force, weapons and intimidation, the new "Time and Distance" policy stresses patience.

How The Pentagon Sank the Syria Ceasefire (Gareth Porter / Middle East Eye)
Another US-Russian Syria ceasefire deal has been blown up. The final blow apparently came from the Russian-Syrian side, but what provoked the decision to end the ceasefire was the first ever US strike against Syrian government forces when, on September 17, US forces attacked a Syrian government base in the desert near one of its airbases in Deir Ezzor, killing at least 62 Syrian troops and wounding more than 100.

The Situation in Aleppo Is Catastrophic. (Al Jazeera)
Syrian and Russian air raids are ongoing against Aleppo city. Air strikes and all different kinds of rockets have hit different districts. Residents speak of "ferocious bombardment" as at least 91 people are killed. Meanwhile, nearly two million and left without food or water. "What we are suffering can't be expressed by words in any language. We don't have water to give our children . . . the roads have been cut off by rubble. In the hospitals, there are three-four people on one bed."

Slavery Is Still Legal in the US: Striking Against the Prison-Industrial Complex (The Intercept & The Cato Institute & Newsweek & What Does It Mean?)
The largest prison strike in US history began on September 9, but there's a good chance you haven't heard about it. Some 20,000 prisoners in 24 states and 40 to 50 prisons pledged to join a work strike against "slavery in America." Slavery was never abolished in the US. The 13th Amendment contains a waiver for prison employment. It's no coincidence that today's slaves (forced to labor for major US corporations) and primarily people of color.

Civilians Continue to Die as UK and US Profit off Arms Sales to Saudis (Jason Ditz /AntiWar.com & Nick Cumming-Bruce / The New York Times & Tom Batchelor / The Express)
Since the pro-Saudi faction issued its latest demand for unconditional surrender and then withdrew from the peace talks hosted by Kuwait, violence in Yemen has been on the rise, with Saudi airstrikes taking a heavy toll, particularly on the civilian population. Britain has announced plans to increase the amount of aid destined for those caught up in the civil war in Yemen -- at the same time as it sells arms to the Saudi regime which is carrying out deadly airstrikes against civilians in the war-torn Gulf state.

UN Suspends Aid Deliveries in Syria as Airstrikes Resume (Syria Direct.org)
The Assad regime and Russia are responsible for more than 90 barrel bombs and missile strikes in the 24 hours after the Syrian army's General Command declared an end to the ceasefire, a Civil Defense spokesman told Syria Direct on Tuesday. "Since 7pm Monday night, more than 60 barrel bombs and naval mines have been dropped on Aleppo province," accompanied by an additional "30 airstrikes, including cluster bombs and incendiary weapons."

Russia and US Provide a Lesson in Propaganda Over Syrian Ceasefire (Patrick Cockburn / The Independent & The UNZ Review)
Airstrikes that hit the wrong target have always been justified or denied by the perpetrators with a rich blend of hypocrisy and lies. It was interesting to see this tradition of deliberate mendacity being not only maintained, but outdone in Syria over the last week. The US was seeking to explain how it had come to kill at least 62 Syrian soldiers fighting ISIS. And the Russians were attempting to evade responsibility for an attack on a UN aid convoy that killed 20 people outside Aleppo five days later.

Police Violence in US is Worse Than Colin Kaepernick Says (Marc Ash / Reader Supported News)
According a leading UK newspaper, US police have killed 790 people as of September 2016. Last year the total exceeded 1,200. While African Americans are killed in disproportionate numbers, Native Americans are the hardest hit proportionally, says The Guardian. Blacks are second, based on a per capita breakdown. The largest total numbers killed are whites (387). FBI Chief James Comey admits 'it's ridiculous' and 'unacceptable' that the FBI has less-detailed data on the number of civilians killed by cops.

America's Clear Priorities: Weapons over People: The Cost of One Fighter Plane Could Pay for 3,358 Years of College (Peter Van Buren / Reuters)
Commentary: Unlike nearly every other developed country, which offer free or low-cost higher education, in America you need money to go to college. Does free college threaten our all-volunteer military? That is what Benjamin Luxenberg, on the military blog War on the Rocks says. But the real question goes beyond Luxenberg's practical query, striking deep into who we are and what we will be as a nation.

Exposed: Senators Linked to Saudi Cash and Military Contractors (Avid Asher-Schapiro and David Sirota / The International Business Times)
Since 2009, the Obama administration has signed 42 separate arms deals to Saudi Arabia, worth nearly $115 billion -- a sales boon for defense contractors like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and General Dynamics. The Senate recently voted to block a bipartisan initiative to halt a $1.15 billion arms deal to the Saudis -- a deal that would benefit General Dynamics (GD). The top Senate recipients of GD donations -- Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Gary Peters (D-MI), and Jack Reed (D-RI)-- all voted to approve the deal.

Bombing Everything, Gaining Nothing: An Obsolescent Military (Fred Reed / AntiWar.com)
Analysis: What, precisely, is the US military for, and what, precisely, can it do? While the US military looks formidable, it isn't particularly useful. The US does not have the land forces to fight a major or semi-major enemy. It could bomb Iran, with unpredictable consequences, but couldn't possibly conquer it. The Pentagon is again bombing an enemy that can't fight back -- its specialty -- but that it seems unable to defeat. Wrong military, wrong enemy, wrong war, wrong world.

You Must Be Kidding! War, Peace, and Absurdity (Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch)
Commentary: The September 6th front-page of the New York Times featured the headline: "Obama Unlikely to Vow No First Use of Nuclear Weapons." In translation: the only country that has ever used such weaponry will remain on the record as ready and willing to do so again without nuclear provocation. You must be kidding! Assassination, previously an illegal act, has become the heart and soul of Washington's way of life -- a way of war that only seems to spread conflict further. You must be kidding!

No War 2016 Summit in Washington, DC -- Real Security Without Terrorism (World Beyond War, Code Pink, International Peace Bureau, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Jane Addams Peace Association, Veterans For Peace, United for Peace and Justice and many others)
The historic #NoWar2016 conference -- which is being convened at the American University in Washington, DC from September 23-25 -- is full to capacity, but you can still sign up here to be part of the protest at the Pentagon at 9 a.m. on September 26, 2016. Among those speaking at the three-day event are: Dennis Kucinich, Kathy Kelly, Harvey Wasserman, Medea Benjamin, David Swanson, Leah Bolger, Mel Duncan, Jodie Evans, Gar Alperovitz, Gareth Porter, John Kiriakou, and Jeremy Corbyn (by video)

A First Step for Syria? Stop the Killing (Jimmy Carter / New York Times Op-Ed)
Commentary: "The announcement this month of a new cease-fire agreement in Syria is good news. But a lack of trust among the Syrian belligerents and their foreign supporters means this agreement, like the one that came before it, is vulnerable to collapse. Still, there is reason for hope. If Russia and the United States were willing to come far enough in their negotiations to reach this deal, these setbacks can be overcome."

Honoring Aylan Kurdi by Ending the War in Syria (Ramzy Baroud / QZ.com & AntiWar.com)
Between 400,000 and 500,000 people have lost their lives in Syria's ongoing war, including tens of thousands of children. Despite the international despair generated by the photo of Aylan Kurdi's lifeless body washed up on a beach, the image has been used by various parties to validate their reasons for war. The photo became a weapon in the hands of warring parties, instead of a rallying cry for an urgent ceasefire. The interests of the Syrian people -- the likes of Aylan and his family -- hardly seem to matter.

Letelier-Moffitt Murder Highlights US Impunity, Imperialism 40 Years On (teleSURtv)
Forty years ago, a remote-controlled car bomb exploded blocks from the White House, killing Orlando Letelier, a Chilean diplomat and his US assistant Ronni Moffitt. The attack was ordered by Chile's Augusto Pinochet, but human rights advocates have long argued that the chief masterminds behind the terrorist attack -- including Henry Kissinger -- should be put on trial. Meanwhile, Michael Townley, the US hitman who orchestrated the bombing, remains safely sheltered in the US witness protection program.

US Admits Supplying Saudis With White Phosphorus Munitions (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Thomas Gibbons-Neff / The Washington Post)
The US has faced growing pressure in recent months over arms sales to Saudi Arabia, as their airstrikes in Yemen have caused massive numbers of civilian casualties. Faced with increasing evidence that Saudi Arabia appears to be using US-supplied white phosphorus munitions in its war in Yemen, US officials have admitted that the weapons were provided by the United States "in the past," but Washington refuses to say when, or how many weapons were provided.

America's Worldwide Impunity: A Reckless Global Empire (Robert Parry / Consortium News)
After several years of arming and supporting Syrian rebel groups that often collaborated with Al Qaeda's Nusra terror affiliate, the United States launched an illegal invasion of Syria two years ago. Meanwhile, the mainstream US media is treating a US-led airstrike that killed scores of Syrian troops as an unfortunate boo-boo, ignoring the fact that the US and its allies have no legal right to operate in Syria at all.

There Is "No Justification Under International Law" for Washington's Military Attacks inside Syria (Chas W. Freeman, Jr. / Just World Books)
Although the dynamics of the US Presidential race have changed dramatically since Ambassador Freeman went on record in June of this year, his primary observation is still valid and reinforces the argument advanced in Robert Parry's Consortium News essay that the current US military actions in Syria "have no framework in international law."

Why Does the US Continue to Finance Saudis' Bombing of Hospitals and Schools? Because It's Good for the US War Economy! (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Zaid Jilani and Alex Emmons / The Intercept)
In a 71-27 vote, the US Senate voted to kill a bill that would've blocked the US from selling $1.15 billion worth of tanks to Saudi Arabia. The Obama administration announced the transfer last month, the same day the Saudi Arabian coalition bombed a potato chip factory. In the following week, the Saudi-led forces proceeded to bomb a children's school, the home of the school's principal, a Doctors Without Borders hospital, and the bridge used to carry humanitarian aid into the capital.

$38 Billion Weapons Deal for Israel Will Enrich US Arms Makers (Ron Paul / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity & AntiWar.com)
Over the next ten years, the US taxpayer will be forced to give Israel some $38 billion in military aid. Why is the US giving a rich and incredibly well-armed country like Israel, a record amount of US military aid? The real beneficiaries are not the American people, and not even Israeli citizens. The real beneficiaries are the top military officials and corporations that constitute the US military-industrial complex.

81% Oppose $38 Billion Arms Packager for Israel: Obama's Secret Deal Violates US and International Law (Grant Smith / AntiWar.com)
In a recent survey, only 16.8 percent of those polled agreed with the plan to spend $38 billion on US military aid to Israel. While the actual agreement remains secret, it is a fact that conducting nuclear tests and possession nuclear weapons by non-NPT signatories are triggers for cutting off or imposing waivers on aid under the Symington and Glenn amendments to the Foreign Aid Act of 1961. In the top levels of government, it is common knowledge that Israel has at least 200 nuclear weapons.

A UN Call for All Soldiers to Lay Down Their Arms on the International Day of Peace -- 21 September (The United Nations)
Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

From Syria to Afghanistan, the Pentagon Kills Civilians, Sabotages a Ceasefire, Attacks Allies, and Arms Al Qaeda Militants (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Thomas Gibbons-Neff / The Washington Post)
The US bears major responsibility for sabotaging the Syrian ceasefire, with the Syrian military announcing it would be renewing military strikes. This was seen as all but inevitable after a botched US airstrike killed 83 Syrian soldiers. Meanwhile, former CIA officers have revealed that the agency is knowingly providing weapons to Al Qaeda fighters inside Syria and a bungled US air strike in Uruzgan Province killed eight Afghanistan police officers.

One in Three Saudi Air Raids on Yemen Hit Civilian Sites, Data Shows (Ewen MacAskill and Paul Torpey / The Guardian)
More than one-third of all Saudi-led air raids on Yemen have hit civilian sites, such as school buildings, hospitals, markets, mosques and economic infrastructure, according to the most comprehensive survey of the conflict. Pressure on UK and US roles in the Yemen war is set to increase as survey shows the full range of non-military targets attacked by US-backed Saudi Arabian forces.

The Lion Queens of India: The Unlikely Protectors of the Gir Forest (Sanchari Pal / The Better India)
India's Gir forest is the sole home of the Asiatic lion in the wilderness and is one of the most important protected areas in the world. Thanks to some amazing conservation efforts by the government over the years, the number of endangered Asiatic lions has risen to 523! Much of the credit for the increase goes to Gir's forest guards and its animal rescue team -- who are all women!

"No Pardon for Snowden"? Shame on the Washington Post (Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept)
Three of the four media outlets that received secret NSA documents provided by Edward Snowden -- The Guardian, The New York Times, and The Intercept -- have called for the US government to allow the NSA whistleblower to return to the US with no charges brought against him. In the face of a growing ACLU and Amnesty-led campaign to secure a pardon for Snowden, the Washington Post has demanded that Snowden -- the paper's own source -- stand trial on espionage charges.

ACTION ALERT: Pardon Snowden -- Time Is Running Out for NSA Whistleblower (Demand Progress & Watchdog.net)
Edward Snowden's whistleblowing revealed the NSA's massive, secret -- and unconstitutional -- surveillance programs. His actions launched a vital national debate on whether the NSA should be spying on innocent Americans. Snowden stood up for our rights. Now it's time we stand up for his. He should be pardoned. Former Attorney General Eric Holder agrees: "I think that he actually performed a public service by raising the debate that we engaged in and by the changes that we made."

"Mistaken" US Airstrike Helps ISIS Seize Syrian Base, Threatens to Unravel Ceasefire Agreement (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Angus McDowall / Reuters)
A disastrous series of US-led airstrikes -- lasting 20 minutes -- killed at least 83 Syrian troops and wounded 120 others who were defending a critical base. The US attack allowed ISIS fighters to overrun the base. The US Central Command claimed they thought the base belonged to ISIS. It does now. Russia has called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting over the matter. The US-Russia ceasefire now appears to be on the brink of collapse, following the US airstrikes.

Snowden: Whistles Are Blowing over Oliver Stone's Newest Film (Gar Smith / Environmentalists Against War)
Los Angeles Times movie critic Kenneth Turan has characterized Oliver Stone's new bio[pic as an "unashamed mythologizing of Edward Snowden." TIME dismissed "Snowden" as "lifeless." I found the film, well-crafted, thought-provoking and edgy. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is superb as Snowden's doppelganger, matching his voice and his focused intensity. Stone's film is filled with insider details and eye-popping cinematic moments. As a result, I'm giving the film a good review: Two thumb drives up!

The House Intelligence Committee's Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad Snowden Report (Barton Gellman / The Century Foundation)
Commentary: The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has released a three-page executive summary of its two-year inquiry into Edward Snowden's National Security Agency disclosures. On first reading, I described it as an "aggressively dishonest" piece of work. With a day or so to reflect on it, I believe it's worse than that. The report is not only one-sided, not only incurious, not only contemptuous of fact. It is trifling.

Edward Snowden: Freedom and Democracy Are Threatened Not by Foreign Rivals but Also by Our Own Government (Alan Rusbridger / Financial Times)
Edward Snowden reflects on the consequences of his whistleblowing: his new life as a fugitive, the "reforms" that were promised following his disclosures of government spying, and his views on Oliver Stone's new film. "What's powerful about it" Snowden says, "is that it compresses years of reporting into two hours so it reaches a whole new audience who aren't wonks. The film can be a vehicle for democratizing information, and that's a beautiful irony for a film about an act that was intended to do the same thing."

The Propaganda Path to War: Getting Fooled on Iraq, Libya, Now Russia (Robert Parry / Consortium News)
After Britian's Chilcot Report exposed the falsehoods used to justify invading Iraq in 2003, a new UK inquiry found similar misconduct in the 2011 attack on Libya. Today, we are seeing a dangerous repetition of this pattern: demonizing Russian President Vladimir Putin, destabilizing the Russian economy, and pressing for "regime change" in Moscow. Amid the propaganda orgy against Putin, virtually no one in the mainstream is drawing any cautionary lessons from the Iraqi and Libyan examples.

Oliver Stone Takes Aim at Government Surveillance While the DOJ Plans to Vastly Expand Government Hacking (Benjamin Lee / The Guardian & Senator Ron Wyden, Matt Blaze and Susan Landau / WIRED Magazine)
At the same time Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone talks about his Edward Snowden biopic at the Toronto film festival, the US Justice Department is planning a vast expansion of government hacking. Under a new set of rules, the FBI would have the authority to secretly use malware to hack into hundreds of thousands of computers that belong to innocent third parties -- and even crime victims. The unintended consequences could be staggering.

CEOs Can Now Be Prosecuted Like War Criminals at the Hague ( teleSURtv & Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch)
The International Criminal Court has announced it will now hold corporate executives and governments legally responsible for environmental crimes. Meanwhile, four of the largest US chemical companies have been accused of selling billions of dollars worth of harmful isocyanate chemicals but intentionally concealing their dangers to consumers over the past several decades.

The Bayer Monsanto Merger: A Campaign for Control of the World's Food (teleSURtv & The ETC Group)
The confirmation that Monsanto and Bayer have agreed to a $66 billion merger while at least three more game-changing mergers are in play (and flying under the radar). Anti-competition regulators should block these mergers, and particularly in the emerging markets of the Global South. "These deals are not just about seeds and pesticides, but also about who will control Big Data in agriculture," says Pat Mooney of ETC Group, a Canadian NGO that monitors agribusiness.

America Has Wasted Nearly $5 Trillion on Wars Since 9/11 (Eric Levitz / New York Magazine & Naomi LaChance / The Intercept)
Since the September 11 attacks, the United States has spent $3.6 trillion on wars. When you add in the amount of war funding that the departments of State, Defense, and Homeland Security have requested for next year -- and then the estimated costs of our present commitments to veterans -- the overall price tag comes to $4.79 trillion, according to a new report by Brown University's Watson Institute.

US Troops in Syria Flee US-Backed Rebels in Syria (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Raf Sanchez / The Telegraph)
Video footage appears to show US commandos fleeing a Syrian town under a barrage of abuse and insults hurled at them by fighters from the American-backed Free Syrian Army rebel group. The FSA is the centerpiece "moderate" rebel faction of all US cheerleaders of the Syrian Civil War, and heavily backed by the US throughout the war. One of the US-backed rebels shouts: "Christians and Americans have no place among us. They want to wage a crusader war to occupy Syria."

Who's Behind the War Lobby? (Stephen Kinzer / The Boston Globe)
By trying to block a $1.15 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, a bipartisan group of US senators is challenging one of the key forces that shape US foreign policy -- the arms industry. Their campaign shines a light on the role that this industry plays in whipping up fears of danger in the world. The campaign to block the arms deal is being vigorously opposed by Big Arms lobbyists. Blocking this sale would be a rebellion against one of Washington's richest lobbies. A vote could come soon.

ACTION ALERT: Petition the Vatican to Renounce the (David Swanson / World Beyond War)
Just War theory holds that a war is morally justified under certain circumstances. In April 2016, the Vatican held a meeting on whether the Catholic Church, the originator of Just War theory, should reject it and issue an encyclical renouncing the Just War Doctrine and, instead, promoting the teaching and use of nonviolence, and and the pursuit of the abolition of war and weapons of war. Here is a petition you can sign, whether or not you are Catholic, urging the church to do just that.

Record $38 Billion US Military Deal Leaves Israel's Supporters Wanting More (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Barak Ravid / Haaretz & Daniel McAdams / AntiWar.com)
US and Israeli officials have signed a military aid package which will see the US give Israel $38 billion worth of equipment over the next decade -- the largest single military aid package in US history. US officials were quick to insist it could rise even further "in case of emergency."

Five Reasons Why US-Israel Military Deal Stinks (Marwan Bishara / Al-Jazeera)
Commentary: "Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of United States foreign assistance since World War II. And this week it received the largest US military aid package ever signed between two countries. This begs the question: why does Israel, whose per capita income is among the world's top 20, receive tens of billions of dollars in military support each decade?"

Syria's War: UN Appeals for Passage of Aleppo Aid (Al Jazeera and News Agencies)
The UN has called on the Syrian government to "immediately" allow life-saving aid into eastern Aleppo, where about 300,000 people are living under siege. Staffan de Mistura, the UN special envoy, said there were 20 aid lorries ready to cross the border from Turkey into Syria, and make it to Aleppo city where a cessation of hostilities was holding "by and large."

UN Chief and Former Israeli PM Slam Netanyahu over 'Ethnic Cleansing' Remark (Al-Monitor)
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday took a swipe at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying it was "unacceptable and outrageous" to claim that opposition to settlements was tantamount to ethnic cleansing. Netanyahu has accused the Palestinians o seeking a state with "no Jews" and declared in a video released last week that this could be described as "ethnic cleansing."

ACTION ALERT: Pardon Edward Snowden (Ed Pilkington / The Guardian & Ewen MacAskill / The Guardian)
Bernie Sanders leads a chorus of prominent public figures calling for clemency, a plea agreement or, a full pardon for the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. Snowden revealed how NSA violated the constitutional rights of US citizens with its mass surveillance program. Sanders joins 20 other prominent public figures calling on Barack Obama to find some way of allowing Snowden to return home to the US from exile in Russia.

How Israel Stole the Bomb (James DiEugenio / Consortium News)
When Israel launched a covert scheme to steal material and secrets to build a nuclear bomb, US officials looked the other way and obstructed investigations, as described in Roger Mattson's new book, "Stealing the Atom Bomb: How Denial and Deception Armed Israel." What Mattson reveals is no less than an atomic heist -- one that could have been prevented if men in high positions had done their duty.

The Veeps on War: They Are Both Hawkish (Kelley Beaucar Vlahos / The American Conservative )
Donald Trump's VP could be "the most powerful vice president" ever -- in charge of foreign policy, and domestic too. The Republican nominee's lack of experience would force him to default to others, particularly on the international front. Trump and Clinton's vice-presidential picks are both hawks. Mike Pence was an apt pupil of Bush and Cheney during the neoconservative years. Tim Kaine supports a muscular, liberal-interventionist foreign policy, and greater intervention in Syria, just like Clinton.

FBI Whistleblower Seconds Jill Stein's Call For A New 9/11 Investigation (Coleen Rowley / Huffington Post & AntiWar.com & Jill Stein's Statement On 9/11)
Commentary: "After the events of September 11, 2001, as a longtime FBI agent and division legal counsel, I blew the whistle on the FBI's failure to act on information provided by the Minneapolis field office that could have prevented the attacks. On this sad 15th anniversary of 9/11, I am encouraged to see that Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein put out a statement calling for a new investigation not afflicted by all the limitations, partisan obstacles and other problems that adversely affected the 9/11 Commission."

ACTION ALERT: Rep. Barbara Lee's Lone Vote on Sept. 14, 2001, Was as Prescient as It Was Brave and Heroic (Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept)
Almost immediately after the 9/11 attack, while bodies were still buried in the rubble, George W. Bush demanded Congressional authorization to use military force against those responsible for the attack. The resulting resolution that was both vague and broad. The lone dissenting vote was Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee of California, who stood up on the House floor to deliver an eloquent and, as it turned out, extremely prescient explanation for her opposition.

US-backed Saudi Airstrikes on Water Well Kill at Least 30 Yemeni Civilians (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Ahmed al-Haj / Associated Press)
Saudi-led airstrikes on a water well in Yemen reportedly killed 30 people and wounded 17, a UN official said, making it one of the deadliest attacks since peace talks collapsed a month ago. UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, said the casualties included first responders and children. McGoldrick said he is "deeply disturbed by the unrelenting attacks on civilians and on civilian infrastructure." The strikes took place on the eve of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

US, Israel Agree on $38 Billion Military Aid Deal (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Times of Israel & Washington Post & Reuters)
Israel's Channel 2 has today reported that Israeli officials have accepted the most recent US military aid package, which will see them receiving some $38 billion over the next decade. The current aid package stands at $3 billion annually, and Israel has asked that the amount for the next 10-year deal be raised to $3.7 billion each year. A senior US administration official described the deal as "the largest single pledge of military assistance to any country in US history."

Money and Power in America: The Plutocrats vs. The People (Bill Moyers and Andy Kroll / TomDispatch)
The truth of our country the moral compact implicit in the preamble to our Constitution: we're all in this together. We are all one another's first responders. But step by step and debate by debate, America's public officials have rewritten the rules of politics and the American economy in ways that benefit the few at the expense of the many. The winners bought off the gatekeepers, then gamed the system. Then, when the fix was in, they turned our economy into a feast for the predators.

9/11, the Monstrous Lie, the Truth, and the Path Forward (Former Congressmember Dennis Kucinich / Dennis Kucinich & Eric Margolis / UNZ Review)
Commentary: America has been trapped inside the heart of darkness, living a lie about a world full of enemies, which we have created. Only when we know the truth will we freed from endless war. ISIS is a military pipsqueak. North Korea only wants to be left alone to its misery. Washington, Paris, and London need the ISIS bogeyman just as they needed al-Qaida and the Soviet Union before, to justify budget-busting arms spending and keeping the population whipped up with bogus war fever.

9/11 and the Treason of Empire (Justin Raimondo / AntiWar.com)
Commentary: The road back from 9/11 has been a long one -- and our journey is hardly over. Yet of one thing we can be sure; we won't restore our old republic until and unless we divest ourselves of an empire that has become an albatross hung 'round our collective neck. It is dragging us down, even as I write, into the abyss of bankruptcy and moral corruption. We must free ourselves, or face ruination.

What 80 Million Unexploded US Bombs Did to Laos (Rebecca Wright / CNN)
Some 80 million unexploded bombs are scattered across the country -- the deadly legacy of what became known as America's "secret war" in Laos -- a CIA-led mission during the Vietnam War. In total, between 1964 and 1973, the US dropped more than two million tons of bombs -- one of the heaviest aerial bombardments in history. To this day, less than 1% of the bombs have been removed.

US Veterans Support Legal Fight for Victim of US Drone (W.J. Hennigan / Los Angeles Times)
Three military veterans once involved in the US drone program have thrown their support behind a Yemeni man's legal fight to obtain details about why his family members were killed in a 2012 strike. The veterans' unusual decision to publicly endorse the lawsuit against President Obama and other US officials adds another twist to Faisal bin Ali Jaber's four-year quest for accountability in the deaths of his brother-in-law and nephew.

US Response to 9/11 Seen as Driving Force in Spread of Terror (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Michel Moutot / France 24 & Agence France Press & The Times of Israel )
While within the US, there is still plenty of willingness for politicians to use the 9/11 anniversary to make hawkish speeches praising America's "unity," internationally there is growing willingness to be more circumspect about the results. French President Francois Hollande, or one, claims it was the Iraq war that created the Islamic State group, which in turn, led to the rise of extremist attacks across Europe.

Colombia's FARC Starts Demobilization of Child Soldiers (Deutsche Welle)
Colombia's FARC rebel group has handed over eight child soldiers to an international humanitarian body as part of a peace deal reached with the government last month. The child soldiers were the first to be demobilized since last month's historic peace deal between Marxist guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the and the Colombian government to end a half-century of fighting.. Further demobilizations are expected.

9/11 Then and Now: Terror, Militarism, War and Fear< (Rami G Khouri / Al Jazeera News)
Terrorism is a terrible thing, but it is made even more terrible and tragic when people and governments fail to react to it intelligently and allow it to perpetuate itself and expand -- which is precisely what is happening today, 15 years after the 9/11 attacks by al-Qaeda against the United States. We do not know how many have been killed or injured in the dozen countries across the Middle East and South Asia where the so-called 'global war on terror' continues unabated.

The Tyranny of 9/11: From Democracy to a Police State (John W. Whitehead / The Rutherford Institute & AntiWar.com)
We've walked a strange and harrowing road since September 11, littered with the debris of our once-vaunted liberties. We have gone from a nation that took pride in being a model of a representative democracy to being a model of how to persuade the citizenry to march in lockstep with a police state. We have proven Osama Bin Laden right. He warned that "freedom and human rights in America are doomed. The government will lead the American people in -- and the West in general -- into an unbearable hell."

America's Hypocrisy on Foreign 'Provocations' (Ted Galen Carpenter / The National Interest)
In late August near the Strait of Hormuz small patrol boats from Iran intercepted a US destroyer. The USS Nitze fired warning shots. US officials immediately condemned the incident as a provocation. No one seemed to question why it was not provocative for the United States to sail a heavily armed destroyer (along with other warships) 6,000 miles away from the American homeland to operate within a few miles of the Iranian coast.

Trump and Clinton Promise to Repeat Foreign Policy Mistakes of the Past (Wilson Dizard / Mondoweiss)
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton participated in a public forum with veterans, describing how they'd defeat Islamic State. Although they diverged on the methods and allies they'd bring to war in the middle east, both laid out foreign policy proposals that involve more war there. Trump's aims include defeating ISIS, but they also plainly call for the US to seize Iraq's oil. Clinton's motivations for dropping bombs on Iraqis come down to preserving American security by eliminating ISIS.

Urban Shield Police Training Draws Anti-Miitarization Protesters (Peter Fimrite and Sarah Ravani / San Francisco Chronicle & Henry Austin / The Independent)
Protesters blocked the main gates of the Alameda County Fairgrounds in California to demonstrate their opposition to the Urban Shield police training and expo held over the weekend. Believed to be the largest tactical exercise in the nation, the multiday Urban Shield event provides first responders from throughout the country with training techniques and equipment to use in an array of emergency scenarios, including hostage situations, terrorist attacks and active-shooter incidents.

Hillary Clinton's National Security Advisers Are a "Who's Who" of the Warfare State (Zaid Jilani, Alex Emmons, Naomi LaChance / the Intercept)
Hillary Clinton has met with a national security "working group" filled with an elite "who's who" of the military-industrial complex and the security deep state. The list of key advisers includes the general who executed the troop surge in Iraq and a former Bush homeland security chief turned terror profiteer -- a strong indicator that Clinton's policies will not threaten the post-9/11 national-security status quo that includes active use of military power abroad and heightened security measures at home.

House Unanimously Passes Bill to Allow 9/11 Lawsuits against Saudi Arabia (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Katie Bo Williams / The Hill)
The House of Representatives has unanimously passed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act. The bill passed by unanimous voice vote in the Senate back in May. The bill allows families of victims of the 9/11 attack to sue Saudi Arabia in US courts over the attack, based on evidence that the Saudi government played a role in supporting al-Qaeda in the attack. The Saudis are now vowing to collapse the US treasury market in retaliation by selling some $750 billion in Saudi-held assets.

Bill Championed by Families of 9/11 Victims Headed for Likely Veto (Karoun Demirjian / The Washington Post)
Congress passed a bill to allow families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia over its alleged ties to terrorism. The House passed the legislation by voice vote, with leaders calling it a "moral imperative" to allow victims' families to seek justice for the deaths of loved ones. The White House is in a difficult spot. Saudi Arabia has lobbied hard against the legislation, even threatening to start selling off US assets if the measure passes.

Senators to Force Vote on $1.15 Billion Saudi Arms Sale (Jordain Carney / The Hill & Nikita Vladimirov / The Hill / Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.)
A group of senators is planning to force a vote this month to block a $1.15 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia. Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced a joint resolution of disapproval on Thursday that, if passed, would undercut a planned sale of tanks and related equipment. Paul said in a statement that selling the military equipment to Saudi Arabia "is a recipe for disaster and an escalation of an ongoing arms race in the region."

Kim Jong-un's Growing Nuclear Arsenal Could Force US Back to Negotiating Table (Julian Borger / The Guardian)
North Korea's fifth nuclear test confirms growing fears in the international community that the regime's nuclear aspirations reach much further than once assumed and Washington may have no option but to bargain with him.

Iraqi Woman Files War Crimes Lawsuit against George W. Bush et al. (Marjorie Cohn / Global Research)
Sundus Saleh, an Iraqi woman, first filed her lawsuit against George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice and Paul Wolfowitz in September 2013. Alleging that the Iraq War constituted an illegal crime of aggression, Saleh filed the suit on behalf of herself and other Iraqis in the US District Court for the Northern District of California.

With 28 Million Children Uprooted by War, UK to Spend on $2.5 Million on Wall (Associated Press & The Guardian)
Some 28 million children have been driven from their homes by violent conflict, according to a UNICEF report. Children make up about a third of the world's population as of 2015, they accounted for nearly half of all refugees, with the number of child refugees having doubled in the last decade. Meanwhile, work is about to begin on "a big, new wall" in Calais to prevent refugees and migrants from jumping aboard lorries heading for the Channel port and refuge in the UK.

Inspector General Report: Pentagon Misreporting Trillions Of Dollars (Dan Wright / Shadowproof.com & Dave Lindorff / FAIR)
The Pentagon continues its quest to be the biggest financial black hole in world history. A recent Inspector General's report found that the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service Indianapolis made unsupported "adjustments" totaling $6.5 trillion by year's end. During Hillary Clinton's years as secretary, the State Department lost records for or misreported some $6 billion in US contracts. (State claims the money was not lost, just not accounted for.)

UK-based Multinational behind Attacks on Native American Protesters at Dakota Pipeline (Telesur & Global Research)
G4SP, a UK-based security multinational, admitted to having personnel deployed at "remote sites" where Native Americans are defending their lands from the planned $3.8-million Dakota Access pipeline that they say would pollute the drinking water of millions. G4SP has been under fire for providing services to Israeli prisons and settlements, expanding across Afghanistan and Iraq, operating juvenile detention centers, and handling deportations from the US.

Obama Won't Promise Not to Launch Nuclear First Strikes (Jason Ditz / Antiwar.com & The New York Times )
It has been over 70 years since the United States last used nuclear weapons. President Obama is now believed to have abandoned any plans for a no first use statement with respect to America's massive nuclear arsenal, facing too much opposition from the rest of the administration that sees such a statement as a "sign of weakness."

Obama Offers Saudis Over $115 Billion in Arms Deals (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Yara Bayoumy / Reuters)
US President Barack Obama's administration has offered Saudi Arabia more than $115 billion in weapons, other military equipment and training, the most of any US administration in the 71-year US-Saudi alliance. The Center for International Policy is revealing that over the course of his term in office, President Obama has offered Saudi Arabia over $115 billion in arms and other military equipment in 42 separate deals, by far the most of any US administration.

US Stages Provocation, Slams Russia for 'Eroding International Order' (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Lidia Kelly / SwissInfo & Reuters)
US officials have been coming up with excuses for military confrontation with Russia for some time now, and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter seems to be the latest beating that increasingly tired war-drum, declaring Russia both a threat to "collective security" and of plotting to erode "international order." The latest "incident" was triggered when a US spy plane began heading for Russia's border and turned off its identifying transponder, provoking a response from a Russian jet.

America's New Nuclear-Armed Missile Could Cost $85 Billion (Anthony Capaccio / Bloomberg)
The US Air Force's program to develop and field a new intercontinental ballistic missile to replace the aging Minuteman III in the nuclear arsenal is now projected to cost at least $85 billion, about 36 percent more than a preliminary estimate by the service. It includes $22.6 billion for R&D, $61.5 billion for procurement and $718 million for related military construction. Lockheed Martin Corp., Boeing Co. and Northrop Grumman Corp. are all competing to build the new ICBMs.

Trump and Clinton Prep to Strut before an Audience of Soldiers and Vets (Gar Smith / Special to Environmentalists Against War)
On September 7, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are set to share a stage on a back-to-back NBC broadcast called the "Commander-in-Chief Forum." an event devoted to "national security, military affairs and veterans issues." The candidates will vie for the allegiance of "an audience consisting mainly of military veterans and active service members." Here are some critical questions we would like to see raised and would like to hear the candidates address.

80 Million Unexploded US Bombs in Laos: Obama Pledges Bomb Removal Assistance (BBC World News & Josh Lederman and Kathleen Hennessey / Associated Press)
Half a century ago, the United States turned Laos into history's most heavily bombed country, raining down some two million tons of ordnance in a covert, nine-year chapter of the Vietnam War. Declaring a "moral obligation" to heal the wounds of a secret war, President Barack Obama on Tuesday pledged help to clear away the 80 million unexploded bombs the US dropped on Laos a generation ago -- more than 10 for every one of the country's 7 million people.

Keeping Track of the Pentagon's Special Ops in Africa (Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & Nick Turse / TomDispatch)
Although it swallows up at least $600 billion-plus a year of our money, the Pentagon seems remarkably comfortable knowing remarkably little about itself. Incredible as it might seem -- given an organization that notoriously can't keep track of the money it spends -- it's entirely possible that no one actually knows how many Pentagon special operations missions have been carried out on the African continent, where they occurred, or what transpired during them.

America: The Indispensable Nation . . . Not (Peter Lee / China Matters and The Unz Review & Daniel Lazare / Consortium News)
Commentary: Hillary Clinton has affirmed "American exceptionalism" in a speech to the American Legion. Democrats are delighting in attacking Donald Trump from the right, employing McCarthyistic tactics and embracing the imperialist notion of "American exceptionalism." In Clinton's view, the US is now the global sovereign, a supreme authority that imposes law on others but not on itself. Whatever the US does is legal because it decides what's legal and what's not. The US sets the rules.

ACTION ALERT: Unarmed Dakota Pipeline Protesters Withstand Dogs and Mace, Drive Back Enbridge Security (Marc Ash / Reader Supported News & Amy Goodman / Democracy now! & Josh Nelson / CREDO Action & Matt Agorist / MintPress News )
The bulldozers returned to the site of the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline project Saturday. The protesters, anchored by Standing Rock Sioux tribal activists, rallied quickly to defend “the land.” The result was a chaotic confrontation between the all-white private security forces armed with mace and attack dogs and an unarmed multi-ethnic coalition of Americans determined to stop them in their tracks.

The Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the US-Saudi Connection (Medea Benjamin / Book Excerpt (OR Books))
Commentary: The billions we have spent protecting the Gulf monarchies and the petrodollar, far from increasing our security, has accelerated one of the greatest security threats we have ever faced: climate chaos. If we are to have a chance at saving the planet, we must transition from a fossil-fueled economy. The US-Saudi "relationship of convenience" is no longer convenient. The US must re-evaluate a partnership that is neither sensible, credible, justifiable, or sustainable.

An Update on the Struggle for Peace and Justice in Central America and Mexico (James Jordan / The Alliance for Global Justice )
The Alliance for Global Justice has just celebrated another anniversary of Nicaragua's Sandinista Revolution, which took power away from the corrupt and bloody Somoza regime back in July of 1979. We also celebrate the ceasefire that has brought to an end more than 52 years of war in Colombia. Unfortunately, there are enemies of the peace in Colombia and assaults against popular movements, human rights defenders, rural and indigenous communities are on the rise.

Russia Claims US Biological Research Not Entirely Peaceful (RT News & USA Today & Associated Press & Northwest Public Radio)
America's staunch opposition to Russian efforts to create a monitoring mechanism for the execution of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) indicates that the US may be conducting militarized biological research. In response, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has suggested the US may be conducting biological research that is "not entirely peaceful."

15 Years After 9/11, The War on Terror Has Failed (John Arquilla / Insight, San Francisco Chronicle)
As the 15th anniversary of al Qaeda's attacks on America nears, one simple but very inconvenient truth must be acknowledged: The "global war on terror" launched by President George W. Bush has failed. The vast increase in the number of terrorist attacks worldwide provides irrefutable evidence of this failure. Since the US began its "war on terror," there has been a sevenfold increase in incidents and a more than fivefold rise in combined deaths and injuries.

How Washington Created the World's Three Worst Terror Groups (TJ Brown / Foundation for Economic Education)
Every politician promises to destroy terrorism: from teen hackers stealing emails to Islamist radicals decapitating reporters. But as much as Washington boasts about its intolerance of terrorism, the fact is that the US government, itself, actually created the world's three most notorious terrorist organizations. Washington's chaos-inducing regime change, perpetual warfare, and economic assault have transformed much of the world into a battleground.

Using Human Shields as a Pretext to Kill Civilians (Neve Gordon and Nicola Perugini / Reuters)
In Syria, ISIL fighters reportedly fled Manbij in convoys using human shields; in Kashmir, "army and police used civilians as human shields in operations against militants"; in Ukraine, pro-Russian separatists were accused of using international observers as shields. The phrase "human shields"is also invoked to describe the use of civilians civilians in protests, from Zimbabwe and Ethiopia to Ferguson, Missouri.

Hillary Clinton's Plan to Destroy Russia (Eric Zuesse / Global Research)
Commentary: "Leaked emails are filling in the picture of a Bill-and-Hillary-Clinton plan to destroy Russia -- a plan which had originated with US President George Herbert Walker Bush in 1990, and which has been followed through both by his son George W. Bush, and by both of the Clintons, but which has only recently started to become documented by leaked publications of personal communications amongst the key operatives who were the insiders running this operation."

US and China Accept Climate Treaty; Antarctic Ice in Massive Meltdown; Ecuador Going 100% Renewable (The Climate Reality Project & Futurism.com & TheCivilEngineer.org)
The US and China -- which together make up about 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions -- have become the first major economies to formally accept the Paris Agreement. Meanwhile, alarmed researchers report nearly 8,000 polar lakes have appeared across Antarctica between 2000 and 2013 -- a sign of potential ice-sheet collapse. In a hopeful sign, Ecuador continues to produce more than 99% of its electrical energy from renewables -- for a third year in a row.

The Most Critical -- and Most Ignored -- Debate: Rethinking a Nuclear "First Strike" (Kingston Reif and Daryl G. Kimball / The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists)
While the Obama administration has narrowed the circumstances under which the US would consider using nuclear weapons, Washington still retains the option to use nuclear weapons first to preempt a real or "suspected" nuclear attack or to counter the "possible" use of chemical or biological weapons. The circumstances that led US leaders to reserve the option to unilaterally start a nuclear war are long gone. It is time to adjust US nuclear declaratory policy.

The FMS: Washington's Wal-Mart of Weaponry (Ambassador Tina Kaidanow and Vice Adm. Joseph Rixey / Defense News)
How the US markets death and destruction: "The US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system -- a mechanism by which the US government transfers defense articles and services to partner nations -- is a central element in our foreign policy toolkit. In addition to the superior quality of US defense articles and services, what sets this system apart is our 'Total Package Approach.' No other country offers partner nations the same comprehensive up-front planning and foresight."

New US-Korean War Games Focus on 'Pre-emptive' Attack on North Korea (Yonhap News & The Korean Times)
The US/South Korea Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG) military exercise, which began on August 22, is focused on dealing with a potential inter-Korean conflict, with 25,000 American forces and 50,000 Korean soldiers participating in the annual drill. US-South Korea war games in March 2016 placed 315,000 troops along the disputed border. North Korea sees the annual war games as a rehearsal for invasion. Close to 30,000 US troops are permanently stationed in South Korea.

Using Human Shields as a Pretext to Kill Civilians (Neve Gordon and Nicola Perugini / Reuters)
In Syria, ISIL fighters reportedly fled Manbij in convoys using human shields; in Kashmir, "army and police used civilians as human shields in operations against militants"; in Ukraine, pro-Russian separatists were accused of using international observers as shields. The phrase "human shields"is also invoked to describe the use of civilians civilians in protests, from Zimbabwe and Ethiopia to Ferguson, Missouri.

ACTION ALERT: Amnesty International Condemns Obama's "Astonishing," Unprecedented Arms Deals with Repressive Saudi Regime (Scott Paul / OXFAM America & Ben Norton / Salon)
Amnesty International has accused the US of "deadly hypocrisy" for its massive arms deals with Middle East governments that have carried out war crimes and other violations of international law. The repressive Saudi monarchy is using American bombs, aircraft and maintenance personnel to commit war crimes in Yemen. Put an end to Washington's complicity in the slaughter of civilians. Halt all military aid and weapons to the Saudi regime.

Madness in Syria: US Troops are Fighting CIA Troops (Eric Margolis / The Unz Review)
Commentary: "In the crazy Syrian war, US-backed and armed groups are fighting other US-backed rebel groups. How can this be? It is so because the Obama White House had stirred up the war in Syria but then lost control of the process. Growing competition between the US military and militarized CIA has finally broken into the open in Syria where the US military launched and supported its own rebel groups in Syria while CIA did the same."

Syria and Iraq Are Incubators for Remote-Controlled Guns (Robert Beckhusen / War Is Boring)
The Syrian civil war is producing a multitude of remotely-operated, custom-made killing machines -- sniper rifles and machine guns which a shooter can trigger remotely with the push of a button. Their adoption by rebel groups is an innovation arising from an intermingling of war, cheap personal computers, and cameras.

US Marines Are Testing a Machine-gun-toting Robot (Stacy Liberatore / The Daily Mail)
Built for reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition missions and armed with M24OB machinegun and four M2O3 grenade launchers, the MAARS weapons system also has 360-degree visual capability and lasers to find targets. The US Marines is currently testing this war machine.

Hillary Clinton's American Legion Speech: Did She Threaten to Attack Russia? (Justin Raimondo / AntiWar.com & Daniel Larison /The American Conservative)
During her speech before the American Legion, Hillary Clinton promoted militant interventionism in an age when the American people are sick and tired of foreign wars. Clinton called the US "an exceptional nation because we are an indispensable nation. In fact, we are the indispensable nation." That isn't true, but Clinton's claim confirms that she understands "American exceptionalism" in a particularly warped way -- one that justifies interfering all over the globe.

US Arms Makers Invest in a New Cold War (Jonathan Marshall/ Consortium News)
Behind the US media-political clamor for a new Cold War with Russia is a massive investment by the Military-Industrial Complex in "think tanks" and other propaganda outlets. The US military has won only a single major war since the end of World War II (the Gulf War of 1990-91). But US military contractors continue to win major budget wars in Congress nearly every year, proving that no force on earth can resist their lobbying prowess and political clout.

The Pentagon Invests in Casinos and Strippers (Spencer Ackerman / The Guardian)
A new report from the office of the general inspector details how Pentagon officials allowed their subordinates to use government charge cards (and taxpayer dollars) to ring up nearly $100,000 in expenses at strip clubs and "adult entertainment establishments" -- and almost $1 million at casinos -- all without serious reprisal.

Did US Airstrike in Lybia Kill Two Serbian Diplomats? (Sharif Abdel Kouddous / The Intercept)
Despite Pentagon evasions, evidence is mounting that a US airstrike against an ISIS training camp in Libya in February 2016 killed two Serbian diplomats. The Pentagon erroneously believed that no civilians were at the camp at the time of the attack. The strike, which involved fighter jets and drones, was authorized by President Obama. At the time, Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook characterized the attack as "very successful" and made no mention of any civilian casualties.

US Navy Pushes Escalation in Waters Off Syria and Iran; Air Force Attacks Lybia (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Alex Emmons / The Intercept)
On August 1, the Obama Administration ordered attacks on ISIS in the Libyan city of Sirte, starting another American war -- once again, without Congressional approval. Meanwhile, US Naval forces operating off the coast of Iran are prepared to "defend themselves" and "improve stability and security in the region" and the US has resumed bombing ISIS targets in Libya, a significant escalation that is spreading the conflict thousands of miles from the warzones in Syria and Iraq.

War on Elephants: Africa's Iconic Creatures Facing Extinction because of Poaching (Al Jazeera & David McKenzie and Ingrid Formanek / CNN)
The continent's savanna elephants are in danger of being wiped out as poaching thrives. New research warns that many of Africa's elephant populations may go extinct in as little as a decade.

The Anthropocene Epoch: Human Populations Are Altering Life on Earth (Damian Carrington / The Guardian)
Experts say human impact on Earth so profound that Holocene must give way to epoch defined by nuclear tests, plastic pollution, soot from power stations, concrete, and even the bones left by the global proliferation of the domestic chicken. The new epoch has been marked by the acceleration of carbon dioxide emissions, sea level rise, the global mass extinction of species,increasing weather extremes and the transformation of land by deforestation and development.

An Oil Pipeline and a River: A Tale of Two Standoffs (Winona LaDuke / Yes Magazine & Michael McLean / Jacobin Magazine)
It's 2016, and the weight of US corporate interests has come to the Missouri River, the Mother River. This time, instead of the Seventh Cavalry, or police dispatched to assassinate Sitting Bull, it is Enbridge and Dakota Access Pipeline. The federal response to Lakota protests against the Pipeline couldn't be more different than their reaction to this year's Bundy occupation. The pipeline decision has been delayed to Sept. 9. Thousands of indigenous activists continue protests.

How Veterans' "Service" Is Used to Fuel Private Profit (Nick Turse / TomDispatch & Ann Jones / TomDispatchNick Turse / TomDispatch)
In an adapted version of the keynote address she recently gave to the annual convention of Veterans for Peace, Ann Jones takes aim at schemes seeking to use veterans for corporate interests and dismantle the VA system in the name of privatized profits. In 150 years, will some writer be tallying up the number of widows and children still collecting on the wars, interventions, attacks, and raids in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere?

New US Policy: "Kill the Kurds" (William Boardman / Reader Supported News)
The continuing incoherence, of US policy in and around Syria was highlighted brilliantly, albeit perhaps inadvertently, by Vice President Joe Biden on a state visit to Turkey August 24, when he threatened the most effective fighting force against the Islamic State -- the Kurdish militias -- with US punishment if they didn't play nice with the Turks (who have spent years supporting the Islamic State and years attacking the Kurds in Turkey, Iraq, and now, Syria).

Syria Uprising: Mossad, Blackwater and the CIA -- Targeting Damascus Since 1949 (Sara C Nelson, Senior Editor / The Huffington Post UK & )
CIA, Mossad and Blackwater agents are involved in military violence in the Homs district, an Arab news agency reports. Qatar has also made deals with Israeli and American companies to arm the armed groups, and Gulf countries have been financing the agreements. Meanwhile, CIA agent Miles Copeland Jr in a televised interview with the BBC in 1967 admits that the CIA orchestrated and staged the 1949 Syrian Coup against President Shukri al-Kuwatli. (Video included.)

ACTION ALERT: Nuclear Peace Action Appeal to Obama (Jon Rainwater / Peace Action & Yonhap News & Inside Defense & Phoebe Wynn-Pope /The Daily Telegraph)
We are now in the final months of President Obama's Administration. This is the time presidents begin to look for actions to that will solidify their legacy. From our sources on the ground, we know that President Obama is deliberating his final actions in this regard on nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, a State Department nonproliferation official has recent dismissed UN panel's proposal to launch negotiations to ban nuclear weapons as "unrealistic." Action is needed.

On International Day Against Nuclear Tests: Kazakhstan and Russia Offer Proposals (United Nations News Center & TIME Magazine & TASS)
In 2009, the UN General Assembly declared 29 August the International Day against Nuclear Tests. The date marks the closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site in Kazakhstan in 1991. The Soviet Union detonated hundreds of nuclear devices over a period of 40 years at Semipalatinsk. While that stopped when the test site closed 25 years ago, radiation levels are still as much as ten times higher in the soil and water and cancers have leveled the population.

What's Really behind the War in Syria? Another (Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. / EcoWatch)
Commentary: Every violent US intervention has resulted in a catastrophic blowback far more costly to our country than any of the problems our meddling intended to solve. Our mischief has not made America safer. The only winners have been the military contractors and oil companies who pocketed historic profits. We have compromised our values, butchered our youth, and killed hundreds of thousands of innocents in fruitless and costly adventures abroad.

Genocide by Proxy: US Okay With Surgical Strikes on Yemen Hospitals (William Boardman / Reader Supported News)
Commentary: "There is no reason to expect any good to come to Yemen until a whole lot more Americans face the reality of their country's support for a genocidal war of aggression. When enough Americans recognize that, then they will have to do a lot more about it than stop selling tanks to the aggressors. Until then, the US-sponsored atrocity of ethnic cleansing in a poverty-stricken country that threatens no one will continue unabated."

US-backed War in Yemen Turns Hospitals into Morgues (Alex Emmons / The Intercept)
The humanitarian toll of Saudi Arabia's US-backed bombing campaign in Yemen has become so extensive that the International Committee of the Red Cross has taken the unusual step of donating entire morgue units to Yemeni hospitals. "The hospitals were not able to cope. You could have more than 20 dead people brought into one hospital on one single day. The morgue capacity at a regular hospital is not equipped to handle this influx of dead bodies."

More Civilians Die in Airstrikes: US Is Killing Far More Syrians Than It Admits (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Missy Ryan, Zakaria Zakaria and Thomas Gibbons-Neff / The Washington Post)
Just before 3 a.m., A-10 and B-52 aircraft bore down on the Syrian village of Tokhar. Their 500-pound bombs struck their targets and, when the dust settled, at least 95 people lay dead. According to conflicting Syrian and US accounts, the attack was either a major victory for the United States and its allied ground forces or the worst case of civilian casualties by the United States since the war against the Islamic State began. The final death toll rose to nearly 200.

Does the DOD Really Provide Security? A 12-Year Budget Coverup (Ivan Eland / AntiWar.com)
The US Army has been falsifying its accounting records to the tune of $6.5 trillion for the year, according to a recent report by Department of Defense auditors. And the Department of Defense has been falsifying its accounting on a massive scale for years, as was reported by Reuters in 2013 and others stretching back to at least 2001. A private company or individual would have probably been arrested years ago for such practices, but the government will never arrest itself.

The Bloody Legacy of American Exceptionalism (Vanessa Beeley / American Herald Tribune)
Commentary: There are many theories surrounding the origin of American exceptionalism. The most popular in US folklore, being that it describes America's unique character as a "free" nation founded on democratic ideals and civil liberties. Over time, exceptionalism has come to represent superiority. At the same time, the US has become exceptionally lawless and authoritarian particularly in its intolerant neo-colonialist foreign policy. The media supports this superiority complex.

Divisions on Syria Weaken the Antiwar Movement: A Topic for Debate (The United National Antiwar Coalition Responds to Terry Burke / In These Times)
In a blistering In These Times essay,Terry Burke wrote that the peace movement "has largely ignored anti-Assad progressive Syrian voices and relied heavily on Western pundits for their analysis of the Syrian conflict. Consequently, many peace activists know little about Syria's peaceful uprising and how it devolved into armed conflict." Members of the the United National Antiwar Coalition respond.

Russian Bombs Creating a 'Humanitarian Crisis' in Syria (Zena Tahhan / Al Jazeera & Peter Yeung / The Independent & Military World)
Residents and activists in Syrian city say supplies are scarce and aerial bombardment of civilian areas is unrelenting. Schools, hospitals and civilian homes have allegedly been targeted in the air strikes. Field hospitals, ambulance and civil defense personnel have been targeted in the last few days, especially with cluster bombs.

The US Army Lost Track of $6.5 Trillion (Matthew Gault / War Is Boring.com)
The Army made headlines in mid-August 2016 when a Defense Department Inspector General report landed with a heavy thud. The 75-page report detailed all the ways the Army screwed up its accounting of the Army General Fund in 2015. According to the report, Army bookkeepers screwed up the budget to the tune of . . . $6.5 trillion dollars. That's $6.5 trillion in accounting mistakes for the year 2015 alone.

Who Would Win If the Pentagon Fought the Whole World? (Logan Nye / We Are the Mighty.com & Scout.com)
How would the US hold up if it wound up going to war with the rest of the world? All at once? It's the big fight, the heavyweight championship -- the US against the world. The whole world. And not just traditional rivals. In this scenario, the US has to fight off its allies like the United Kingdom, France, and South Korea as well. So if it's the US against the world, who's going to win? In short, America would stomp them.

"The Best, The Strongest, The Smartest Candidate for President" Routinely Ignored by Media (Lindsay France / RT America & Kevin Gosztola / ShadowProof.com)
Green Party presidential nominee Dr. Jill Stein and her running mate Ajamu Baraka finally got their moment in the spotlight during a CNN Green Party townhall. As expected, the event was ignored by the mainstream media. Kudos to CNN, which explained: "We believe it's part of our duty to the process to represent all the parties that are options." See the Green Party Downhill broadcast below.

Assad's Choppers Accused of Dropping Napalm on Last Hospital in Darayya (Hussam Eddin / Syria Direct)
On Tuesday, regime helicopters dropped four barrel bombs containing an unknown incendiary substance on the only hospital in the Damascus suburb of Darayya. These barrel bombs did not detonate and caused fires that burned uncontrollably for several hours. Residents of Darayya are referring to the substance reportedly delivered by Tuesday's barrel bomb attacks as "napalm," an incendiary liquid that sticks to skin and other surfaces, causing severe burns.

Pentagon Loses Hundreds of Thousands of Guns in Syria and Afghanistan (C. J. Chivers / The New York Times)
The American arming of Syrian rebels, by both the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Department, has also been troubled by questions of accountability and outright theft in a war where the battlefield is thick with jihadists aligned with Al Qaeda or fighting under the banner of the Islamic State. In a recent audit, 110,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles and 80,000 pistols bought by the United States for Iraq's security forces could not be accounted for.

Obama's Offshore Drilling Puts Whales and Dolphins in Peril, Groups Warn (Oliver Milman / The Guardian)
Barack Obama, who has called global warming an "genuine existential threat" has been praised his leadership on climate issues. But environmentalists are increasingly frustrated over Obama's plan to allow offshore oil drilling. Environmental groups warn president's climate legacy could be at risk over research showing areas cleared for oil and gas extraction contain marine life -- including whales and dolphins -- that would be put at risk.

A Message from Setsuko Thurlow (The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)
Atomic bombing survivor Setsuko Thurlow recalls: "The calendar never fails to bring me the special reminder each year of the unforgettable day, August 6, 1945, that changed my life and that of the entire world. As I attempt to ponder the meaning of my survival from that hell on Earth, I remember Einstein's words, "Splitting the atom has changed everything except our way of thinking, thus we drift towards unparalleled catastrophe".

Colombia and the FARC: A Half-century of War Has Left Deadly a Legacy of Landlines (The Economist & The Miami Herald & Associated Press)
Colombia's half-century civil war may finally be resolved. A peace accord was announced on August 24, after four years of talks in Havana. Over 52 years,the war killed 220,000 people and left large swaths of the country salted with landlines. Colombia is second only to Afghanistan in the number of landmine victims. The peace deal with the FARC rebels offers a chance to end the landmine scourge. The US and Norway have pledged to help Colombia become landmine-free by 2021.

How Media Manipulation Is Pushing the World towards Nuclear War (Noam Chomsky / Manufacturing Consent & Mark Crispin Miller / The Empire Report & John Pilger / teleSURtv)
Commentary: In the US, the anti-Russia, pro-war campaign has been elevated to virtual reality. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has called Donald Trump the "Siberian Candidate." These tribunes of "perpetual war" are terrified that the multi-billion-dollar business of war by which the United States maintains its dominance will be undermined if Trump wins the White House and strikes peace deals with Putin and with China's Xi Jinping.

Why Are Western Interests Pressing for War? Because 'The Russian Threat Is Great for Business' (Lee Fang / The Intercept & Precious Valerie / Morning News USA)
The escalating anti-Russian rhetoric in the US presidential campaign comes in the midst of a major push by military contractors to position Moscow as a potent enemy that must be countered with a drastic increase in military spending by NATO countries. Weapon makers have told investors that they are relying on tensions with Russia to fuel new business in the wake of Russian's annexation of Crimea and modest increases in its military budget.

Costly Nuclear Accident in New Mexico Covered Up (Ralph Vartabedian / The Los Angeles Times)
When a drum containing radioactive waste blew up in an underground dump in New Mexico two years ago, the Energy Department rushed to quell concerns in nearby communities and quickly reported the site was resuming operations. Early federal statements gave no hint that the blast that caused massive long-term damage to the dump -- a facility crucial to the nuclear weapons cleanup program -- ranked among the costliest nuclear accidents in US history.

Pentagon Spending on Guns in 'War on Terror' Revealed (Action on Armed Violence )
A team of British researchers spent almost a year analyzing every contract published by the Pentagon between September 11, 2001 and September 10, 2015. Posted on the DOD contract website and archived, these disclosures only should show contracts valued at $7 million or above. Even on the basis of this partial reporting, in the 14 years following the terror attacks of 9/11, the DoD has issued contracts that, if fulfilled, would reach over $40 billion on guns and ammo.

ACTION ALERT: Appeal to Congress. Stop the Saudi Arms Sale: Hospitals, Schools and Civilians Are Being Bombed (Action Network & Wired for Change & Just Foreign Policy)
Despite previous promises to stop targeting civilian targets earlier this year, the Saudi-Ied, US-supported coalition continues to bomb civilians in Yemen with US-made weapons, killing more than 20 in just the last several days. The Obama administration has notified Congress of intent to sell $1.15 billion of weapons to Saudi Arabia, including tanks which would replace tanks destroyed in Saudi Arabia's war against Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Pentagon Water Contamination from Colorado to Wisconsin: A Tale of Two Bases (Dan Elliott / Associated Press & Laura Olah / Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger)
In Colorado, health officials say it's highly likely that trace amounts of toxic chemicals found in three drinking water systems came from firefighting foam used at a nearby Air Force base. In Wisconsin, the 7,400-acre Badger Army Ammunition Plant was once the largest ammunition plant on Earth. Of the 40 contaminated military sites in Wisconsin, the Badger Plant was the most polluted and nearby communities have a significantly higher incidence of cancer deaths.

What Parents in Aleppo Tell their Children about War (CNN)
This commentary was written by a man who lives in the Shaar district of Aleppo with his wife and six children. The family fled the fighting and privations of war in 2012, first to the north and then the west of the country, but could not escape the violence and so returned to the ruins of Aleppo where they continue to face grave danger and hardship.

US-Backed Militias Tortured and Killed Hundreds in Iraq (teleSURtv & Ned Parker and Jonathan Landay / Reuters)
A Reuters investigation reveals that Iraqi militias backed by the US and Iran have disappeared over 700 people. The Reuters research documents disturbing information that reveals US-backed Shiite militias in Iraq have tortured and killed thousands of Sunni men and boys in Fallujah since the city was liberated from the Islamic State group in June. Men were shot, beaten with rubber hoses and, in several cases, beheaded.

Russia Offers NATO an Olive Branch but There's No Profit in Peace for the Military Industrial Complex (Danielle Ryan / RT News & Katharine Q. Seelye / The New York Times)
Russia has invited NATO's military experts to Moscow in September and offered a "positive program" for developing relations with the military alliance -- but is reconciliation really what NATO is interested in? Russia's move has been backed up with at least one concrete public proposal: safer flights over the Baltic. However, NATO's existence and the revival of the Cold War "would offer arms makers a new and hugely lucrative market" with billions of US tax dollars.

ACTION ALERT: End US Support of Saudi Arabia CODEPINK (CODEPINK & The Editorial Board of the New York Times)
A hospital associated with Doctors Without Borders. A school. A potato chip factory. Under international law, those facilities in Yemen are not legitimate military targets. Yet all were bombed in recent days by warplanes belonging to a coalition led by Saudi Arabia, killing more than 40 civilians. And now Washington wants to send $1.5 billion dollars worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia.

Oxfam: London 'In Denial' over Saudi Arms Sales as UK Bombs Kill Civilians in Yemen (Al Jazeera News & Hamid Dabashi / Al Jazeera)
An international aid organisation has accused British politicians of being in "denial and disarray" over the selling of arms to Saudi Arabia for potential use in the war in Yemen. Oxfam said on Tuesday the UK was violating the International Arms Trade Treaty, which regulates the transfer of conventional arms to ensure there are no violations of international humanitarian law.

US Plans to Place More Modern Nuclear Bombs in Germany (Deutsche Welle)
US President Barack Obama intended to make nuclear disarmament one of his government's goals but now the US intends to modernize its nuclear weapons stationed in Germany. Germany's air force is preparing to adapt some of its Tornado warplanes to carry more up-to-date US atom bombs in light of plans by Washington to modernize its nuclear arsenal in Germany.

Obama's Nuclear Test Moratorium Is Common Sense (Daryl Kimball / The National Interest)
Twenty years ago, the United States took a leading role in negotiations to ban the practice of conducting nuclear-weapon test explosions, which enables states to prove new and more deadly nuclear-warhead designs. The result was the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which was opened for signature on September 24, 1996. A UN Security Council move against nuclear-weapons testing would serve American interests.

With One Word, Congress Looks to Change a Legacy of Nuclear Policy (Karoun Demirjian / The Washinton Post)
Donald Trump has sparked a presidential debate about whether and how the US should use weapons from its nuclear arsenal. But behind the scenes, Republican lawmakers are quietly planning to ramp up development of atomic weapons in a move that could change long-standing US policy and rock global relationships. It all comes down to one word -- "limited."

Cuba's Fidel Castro Marks 90 with Fresh Call for World Peace (Morning Star & Fidel Castro Ruz / Granma)
Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro called for nuclear disarmament and world peace on his 90th birthday on August 13. In an open letter to the Cuban people published by Communist Party of Cuba newspaper, "Granma," Castro warned: "The human species today faces the greatest risk in its history" and faulted Barack Obama for failing to apologize for the US bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, adding that "no power has the right to kill millions of human beings."

Top US Commander Threatens Russia, Syria Over Air Flights (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Barbara Starr / CNN)
In the most direct warning to Moscow and Damascus to date, the new US commander of American troops in Iraq and Syria is vowing to defend US special operations forces in northern Syria if regime warplanes and artillery again attack areas where troops are located. "We will defend ourselves if we feel threatened," Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend warned. Townsend is the first senior military commander to openly raise the possibly of US aircraft firing on Syrian Air Force combat jets.

Naming America's Own Genocide: The US and California's Indian Catastrophe (Reviewed by Richard White / The Nation)
Madley argues that California's elected officials were "the primary architects of annihilation" of Indigenous communities and that they were funded and enabled by the federal government. In California, what Americans have often called "war" was nothing of the sort. For every American who died, 100 Indians perished. They died horribly -- men, women, and children. The men who killed them were brutal. Nor did the killings result from a moment of rage; they were systematic.

UN Calls for Nuclear Abolition Treaty; Tokyo and Seoul Call for Nuclear First-Strike (Susi Snyder / Pax for Peace & ICAN & The Asahi Shimbun)
UN disarmament talks concluded in Geneva with the overwhelming majority of nations signaling their intention to launch negotiations in 2017 for a global ban on nuclear weapons.107 nations in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, the Pacific, and Europe, united behind a proposal to convene a conference next year to outlaw nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons remain the only weapons of mass destruction not yet prohibited under international law.

ACTION ALERT: Gun Control Is Possible: Venezuela Acts to Reduce Gun Violence (Frank Jack Daniel / Reuters & The Pen & The Peace Team)
Venezuelan police crushed and chopped up nearly 2,000 shotguns and pistols in a Caracas city square on Wednesday, as the new interior minister relaunched a long-stalled gun control campaign in one of the world's most crime-ridden countries. With a critical presidential and congressional election coming up, it's time to take a stand on reasonable gun regulation: The Pen and the Peace Team provide an Action Page.

'Disproportionate Force': Airstrikes and Civilian Casualties (Chris Woods / The New York Times & Impunity Watch / Syracuse University College of Law)
As the US and its allies continue their bombing campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, many more noncombatants are perishing than they seem prepared to admit. During July, reported civilian casualties from coalition airstrikes reached the highest level since the air war began in 2014. Airwars estimates at least 1,500 civilians have been killed by the US-led coalition -- around one death for every nine strikes. Coalition officials admit to just 55 deaths.

Army Fudges Its Accounts by Trillions as US Contractors Hunger for War with Russia (Scot J. Paltrow / Reuters & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Lee Fang / The Intercept)
The United States Army's finances are so jumbled it had to make trillions of dollars of improper accounting adjustments to create an illusion that its books are balanced. In 2015, the Army the Army lacked receipts or invoices for $6.5 trillion in spending. Still, if there's one thing military contractors agree on, it's that the US military budget is never big enough. Now it's Russia's turn to be the excuse, and contractors couldn't be happier.

Pentagon, Inc.: Why Military Spending Remains Untouchable (Andrew J. Bacevich / TomDispatch)
The Pentagon presently spends more in constant dollars than it did at any time during the Cold War -- despite the absence of anything remotely approximating what national security experts like to call a "peer competitor." What are Americans getting for their money? Sadly, not much. Washington knows how to start wars and how to prolong them, but appears clueless when it comes to ending them. Meanwhile "endless war" means "endless profits" for powerful US corporations.

Brazil and the Olympics: Environmental Symbolism Cannot Offset the Murder of 23 Environmental Activists (AIDA & Global Witness & TheLipTV)
Commentary: Last year, Brazil was the world´s most dangerous country for environmental activsts. At least 50 were killed. So far this year, 23 have been assassinated. The Amazon, where I was born, is the epicenter of these crimes. While the opening ceremony focussed on two issues critical issues -- deforestation and climate change -- It would have been stronger if the Amazon's indigenous people hadn't been portrayed only as relics from Brazil's past.

Did US Transfer Nukes From Turkish Airbase to Romania? Romania Says 'No' (Haaretz & Balkan Insight & Stimson.org)
The US has started transferring American nuclear weapons stationed at an airbase in southeastern Turkey, according to the independent Euractiv website. The reported move comes after a US-based think tank said the stockpile, consisting of 50 nuclear bombs, is at risk of being captured by "terrorists or other hostile forces." The move could save US taxpayers $3.7 billion over five years.

One Coal Company CEO's Salary Would Cover Solar Jobs for Coal Miners: GOP Military Budget Could Make Every Homeless Person a Millionaire (Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch & Adrienne Mahsa Varkiani / ThinkProgress)
With US renewable energy growing leaps and bounds, many critics argue that a transition to clean power would leave fossil fuel industry workers without jobs. According to a new study, however, "relatively minor investment in retraining" could provide most coal workers with new, clean jobs in the booming solar energy sector. Meanwhile, the $602 billion the GOP wants for the FY 2017 military budget could, instead, be spent to make every homeless person in the a millionaire.

UN Talks Recommend Negotiations of Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty (International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons)
In a dramatic final day in Geneva, the groundbreaking UN talks on nuclear disarmament concluded by making a clear recommendation to start negotiations on a treaty banning nuclear weapons. For the first time, the "Open-Ended Working Group" has outlined elements to be included in a new legally binding nuclear ban. It is now up to the October meeting of the UN General Assembly to advance the campaign by issuing a call to start negotiations.

How American Politics Went Insane (Jonathan Rauch / The Atlantic)
Analysis: Astonishingly, the 2016 Republican presidential race has been dominated by a candidate who is not, in any meaningful sense, a Republican. Since 1987, Trump has been a Republican, then an independent, then a Democrat, then a Republican, then "I do not wish to enroll in a party," then a Republican; he has donated to both parties; he has shown loyalty to and affinity for neither. Trump, however, didn't cause the chaos. The chaos caused Trump.

This is the Face of War: And This Is Why Airstrikes on Cities Should Be a War Crime (Al Jazeera News & Hamid Dabashi / Al Jazeera)
The image of five-year-old boy, confused after an air strike in Aleppo, have sparked revulsion around the world. In the silent bewilderment and steady gaze of the Omran Daqneesh there is the indictment of the entire Earth on which he lives. Nothing will ever wipe away the image of that dusty bloody face or close those piercing, inquisitive eyes.

US War Crimes or 'Normalized Deviance' (Nicolas J S Davies / Consortium News)
One of the reasons for the widespread anger directed against the US from people in other countries is a consequence of the fact that the US foreign policy establishment-- and its mainstream media -- operate with a pervasive set of hypocritical standards that justify war crimes. This process of self-righteous acceptance of violence and "collateral damage" is an example ofwhat might be called a "normalization of deviance."

US Air Force Wants to Plasma Bomb the Sky (David Hambling / The New Scientist)
The US Air Force is working on plans to improve radio communication over long distances by detonating plasma bombs in the upper atmosphere using a fleet of micro satellites.

Secret Documents Confirm Obama DID 'Found' ISIS (Tyler Durden / ZeroHedge & Nafeez Ahmed / Medium)
There now is abundant evidence that the US has supported the creation and growth of select "jihadist" movements, from the Taliban during the Russian presence in Afghanistan to rebel fighters in Syria. In Syria, the strategic goal is to depose Syria's president Assad, who for years has stood in the way of the construction of a critical Qatari natural gas pipeline that would dethrone Russia as Europe's dominant source of fossil fuel energy.

US Losing at Cyberwar: NSAs Email Leak Much Worse than Hillary's (Ellen Nakashima / The Washington Post & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)
Some of the most powerful espionage tools created by the National Security Agency's elite group of hackers (with code names like Epicbanana, Buzzdirection and Egregiousblunder) have been revealed in recent days, a development that could pose severe consequences for the spy agency's operations and the security of government and corporate computers.

In Palestinian, Trees and Boats Are Targets (Ma'an News)
Israeli settler bulldozers under the protection of Israeli army and intelligence forces uprooted hundreds of olive trees from Palestinian lands in the village of Iskaka in eastern Salfit. Villagers were taken by surprise when the convoy stormed the village and uprooted the olive trees without giving prior notice. Meanwhile, Israeli naval forces opened live fire at Palestinian fishermen in waters off the coast of the northern part of the besieged Gaza Strip.

War in Yemen Continues to Destroy the World's Poorest Country (Yara Bayoumy / Reuters & The Associated Press)
The cost from damage to infrastructure and economic losses in Yemen's civil war is more than $14 billion so far, according to a confidential report seen by Reuters. The conflict has killed more than 9,000 people, displaced 2.4 million, and destroyed much of the already limited infrastructure in the Arab world's poorest country, where more than half the population is suffering from malnutrition.

How Gaza's Electricity Crisis Is Becoming Israel's Water Catastrophe (Shlomi Eldar / Al-Monitor)
The inability to treat wastewater in the Gaza Strip because of a lack of electricity is threatening to contaminate the water supplies of Gaza as well as Israel unless the long-standing problem is immediately addressed.

Exxon's Olympic Ads Mislead as Climate Change Threatens an End to the Olympics (Climate Truth & The Huffington Post)
While Exxon peppers Olympic coverage with glossy ads promoting its concern for the environment, the truth is that the infrastructure and security issues bedeviling the Rio Olympics could be dwarfed by another huge problem for potential host cities in coming years -- as a result of fossil fuel burning and global warming, it could simply become too hot and humid for many cities to host the games at all.

WW3 Scenarios Threaten as US and Russian Escalations Mount (Morning News & What Does It Mean?)
Wherever they may be, Russia wants NATO to know that it is ready to meet the alliance with force, if necessary. With NATO moving more troops closer to Russia's borders, Russia has recently announced that it has amassed its own forces to counter NATO. According to Russia, the forces have been armed with the newest nuclear weapons and defense capabilities.

The Pro-Nuclear War Party (David Swanson / World Beyond War)
According to a Wall Street Journal report, the following people would like the United States to begin a nuclear war:>Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz. All three individuals reportedly reject the policy of "no first use" of atomic weapons and instead believe that the United States should declare that it reserves the policy option of beginning a nuclear war -- and killing most life on Earth.

What Is the Military Industrial Complex? (Chris Coyne / AntiWar.com & Van Buren / AntiWar.com & Eric Schuler / AntiWar.com)
When government and private military contractors get too close, "People are shipped off to fight and die without making our nation any safer." Unfortunately as a result of the Military Industrial Complex, not all acts of war actually end up making our nation any safer. So, how much healthcare would $1.7 billion buy? Because that's how much money the United States just gave the Harris Corporation (the sole bidder) to provide radios for the near-useless Afghan Army.

Underground Hospitals Struggle to Treat Aleppo's Children as War Rages across Syria (Richard Engel / NBC Nightly News & James Denselow / Al-Jazeera)
Several conflicts are at play in Syria. The first is the retreat of the Islamic State of ISIS across the country and the second is the unpredictable events in and around Aleppo where regular regime gains have been stunningly reversed. It is hard to overestimate the importance of Aleppo. Syrian/US/Russian airstrikes have been ferocious -- with the reported use of incendiary and chemical weapons. Hospitals also have become targets -- with one being hit every 17 hours.

Inciting Wars the American Way (Major Todd E. Pierce (USAF, Ret.) / AntiWar.com)
Major US think tanks -- like Rand and the American Enterprise institute -- are constantly engaged in activities that the Pentagon identifies as "Information War" -- propaganda targeting foreign countries designated by the US as an enemy at any given moment. Using disinformation to condition a population to hate a foreign nation or population with the intent to foment a war, is the routine "business" of the best-known US think tanks. The current target is Russia.

The B61-12: Risky New Nuclear Bomb Gets Green Light (Len Ackland and Burt Hubbard / The Weekly Reveal)
The most dangerous nuclear bomb ever planned for the US arsenal has received the go-ahead from the Department of Energy. The B61-12 -- at $11 billion for about 400 bombs the most expensive US nuclear bomb ever -- illustrates the extraordinary power of the "military industrial complex," aka the "nuclear enterprise." The bomb lies at the heart of an ongoing modernization of America's nuclear arms, projected to cost $1 trillion over the next 30 years.

Donald Trump Asks "Why Can't We Use Nuclear Weapons?" (Robert Koehler / Peace Voice & AntiWar.com)
Commentary: Donald Trump "doesn’t know any more ... than Joe Sixpack does, so the questions he asks are Average American questions. In the process, he yanks the geopolitics of nuclear deterrence out of the clutches of the deep state and its secret priesthood. The last thing I want to see is Trump gaining admittance to this realm. But his banging at the door may serve a valuable purpose -- it brings certain realities into the consciousness of the American mainstream.

US-backed Saudi Strike Kills Schoolchildren in Yemen (Agence France-Presse & Al-Monitor )
Saudi-led air strikes on a school in a rebel-held province of northern Yemen have killed 10 children and wounded 28 others, according to reports from Doctors Without Borders. The war in Yemen continues to take a terrible toll as UN-mediated peace talks remain stalled, and a fragile cessation of hostilities, barely a week old, is already collapsing.

America's War for the Greater Middle East (Book Review by Marwan Bishara / Al Jazeera)
"America's War for the Greater Middle East" is a remarkable book. Andrew J. Bacevich, a military historian and an American patriot who served in the United States military, and who lost his son in the Iraq war, is a no-nonsense no-warmonger. Sober and comprehensive, Bacevich's balance sheet of US wars in the Muslim world is a testimony to Washington's military failures in the Greater Middle East.

Washingtons 20th Century War Myths (Eric Garland / Al Jazeera)
How can it be that US policymakers could be considering yet another intervention in the Middle East -- with limited moral justification, flimsy legal cover, and no clear strategic endgame? To understand the mentality of the current crop of US leaders as they claim the right to enter the Syrian civil war on behalf of morality, look to the myths that drive people who grew up in another time.

Fukushima: A Crisis Without End (Helen Caldicott / TalkingStickTV & PR Newswire)
A new report titled "5 Years Living With Fukushima" concludes that the full impact of the three nuclear reactor meltdowns at Fukushima may never be known, due to Japan's failure to immediately and fully track radiation exposures, as well as a "disturbing" lack of testing of the general population for radiation-related diseases and other impacts (miscarriages, fetal malformations, leukemia, lymphomas, solid tumors or non-cancerous diseases).

Tensions Rise as US Pressures Russia and Ukrainian Spies Murder Two Russians Inside Crimea (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Ricky Onsman / Sputnik)
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's appointment of former NATO head Anders Fogh Rasmussen as his personal adviser marks a significant step in the US masterplan to fully integrate Ukraine into NATO. This is why presidential candidate Bernie Sanders represented "the greatest direct political challenge to the established interests in the United States" -- a global peace campaigner.s

Agents of US-backed Ukraine in Terror Plot to "Rig" US Election? (Justin Raimondo / AntiWar.com)
Analysis: Ukrainian saboteurs recently killed two Russians inside Crimea. One of the surviving terrorists admitted acting under orders from the intelligence agency of the US-backed Ukrainian government. Their assignment: to plant bombs at tourist sites and incite panic to destroy Crimea's lucrative tourist industry. A second goal: an "October Surprise" to provoke a Russian into a military response to sabotage Trump's Putin-friendly rhetoric and help elect Clinton.

"America, Ask Why You Are Hated!" The July 28, 2016 US Manbij Massacre (Ollie Richardson / StalkerZone & Spencer Ackerman / The Guardian & Leith Fadel / Al-Masdar News)
The US-led coalition's presence in Syria is becoming more unwelcome as the days pass. It is becoming increasingly difficult for the massacre of civilians to simply go unnoticed. On July 28th, A US-led coalition airstrike on Ghandura village in northern Manbij resulted in the deaths of 45 civilians, including women and children. The bombing targeted a street market crowded with people. The following day, ISIS posted a video depicting the horrific aftermath of the airstrike.

In the Midst of War, Yemenis Turn to Alternative Energy (Ahmed Alwly / Al-Monitor)
With the start of the civil war, solar panels found their way into the country fast. As the war continues in Yemen, increasing power cuts have driven more and more citizens to install solar panels. The value of the solar energy equipment that has entered Yemen since 2014 is estimated to exceed $2 billion. A solar panel no bigger than a textbook is enough for some people. This costs $21.

America's War for the Greater Middle East (Book Review by Marwan Bishara / Al Jazeera)
"America's War for the Greater Middle East" is a remarkable book. Andrew J. Bacevich, a military historian and an American patriot who served in the United States military, and who lost his son in the Iraq war, is a no-nonsense no-warmonger. Sober and comprehensive, Bacevich's balance sheet of US wars in the Muslim world is a testimony to Washington's military failures in the Greater Middle East.

Promise of a Green Olympics Replaced by an Olive Drab Crackdown (National Public Radio & Reuters & Our Planet Today)
In the opening ceremony of Rio's Olympic Games, Brazil's shantytowns were showcased as a birthplace of Brazilan culture. That was showbiz. Brazil is one of the world's most unequal countries. In Rio, at least 25 percent of the population lives in poverty. The government promised that the $12.2 billion to be spent on the games would include the expansion of essential "green" infrastructure and other social improvements. Instead, the money was spent on police.

Who Runs the Pentagon? Not Defense Secretary Ashton Carter (Andrew J. Bacevich / The Nation)
Nearly 15 years after the Global War on Terrorism began, it continues with no end in sight. The inability of "the greatest fighting force the world has ever known" to bring the GWOT to a successful close would seem to require an explanation. Secretary Carter offers none. The military-industrial complex looks to Carter to preserve the status and prerogatives it has long enjoyed. Averting change while pretending to foster it represents the defense secretary’s foremost function.

Why It's So Hard for Members of the Military to Speak Out (Tom Englehardt & William J. Astore / TomDispatch)
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. Having spent trillions of dollars on war with such sorry results, it's a wonder that key figures in the US military . . . haven't spoken out forcefully and critically about the disasters on their watch. Why they don't ever express their concerns publicly?

No Donald, It Wasn't Obama and Clinton Who Created ISIS; It was Bush and Cheney (Scott Galindez / Reader Supported News)
ISIS wasn’t created by Obama pulling troops out of Iraq, it was created by the Bush/Cheney invasion of Iraq. ISIS formed during the invasion of Iraq and was radicalized by the way we, and the Iraq government we installed, treated the Sunnis. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney broke Iraq and didn’t rebuild it. Instead they helped the Shia crush the Sunni population. Giving the Sunnis a state, following the invasion, would have prevented the subsequent radicalization.

Over 1,500 Civilians Killed by US Coalition in Iraq and Syria (teleSURtv & The Empire Files)
More than 1,500 people have been killed by the US-led coalition against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, London-based Airwars monitoring group said in a report released on the second anniversary of the beginning of the airstrikes against the extremist group. By August 8, 2016 -- the second anniversary of the air war -- between 3,462 and 4,736 civilian non-combatant fatalities had been alleged from 527 separate reported incidents, in both Iraq and Syria.

Russia Hosts the 2016 International Army Olympics (Al Jazeera & the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation)
The International Army Games 2016 kicked off just outside Moscow earlier this month, with more than 3,000 military personnel from 20 different countries participating. The Games include 23 field, air and marine-based events and feature 121 teams from Russia and 19 other countries.

ACTION ALERT: End Pentagon Bloat: Use War Bucks to Create Jobs and Rebuild America (Just Foreign Policy & James Hohmann / The Washington Post)
The Washington Post claims that Hillary Clinton won't be able to fulfill her promise to increase domestic infrastructure spending, because House – and, apparently, the Washington Post -- believe that the bloated Pentagon budget is sacrosanct. Put cuts to the bloated Pentagon budget on the table to pay for needed spending on domestic infrastructure.

ACTION ALERT: Google Maps Erases Palestine from the Face of the Earth (Causes.com & The Washington Post)
After years of fear-mongering over the hyped Iranian "threat"* to "wipe Israel off the map," Google has just done just that to Palestine. (The "threat" stems from a mistranslation of a speech that Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini gave in the 1980, in which he said: "This occupation regime over Jerusalem must vanish from the arena of time.") 137 counties and the UN recognize the state of Palestine and Google should, too!

Over 500 Days of the Indefensible, US-Backed War on Yemen (Daniel Larison / The American Conservative)
Yemen is listed by the UN as one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world today, and in terms of the sheer number of lives at risk of starvation I think it is fair to say that it is the most severe in the entire world. Even if the fighting stopped immediately (and it obviously won’t), Yemen will be recovering from this war for decades.

Sanctions for Russia and a Green Light for Israel to Continue War Crimes (Ajamu Baraka / Ajamu Baraka's Website )
Commentary: The moral duplicity in the US political class is breathtaking. President Barak Obama has announced expanded economic sanctions against Russia for its' alleged support for "pro-Russian separatist forces" in Eastern Ukraine. At the same time, it is undeniable that war crimes are being committed in Gaza. Applying the same logic that the US applied to the Russians leaves the US as morally culpable for the war crimes being carried out by Israel.

Lawsuit Aims to Contest US Aid to Clandestine Nuclear Power Israel (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Mondoweiss & Britain Eakin / Courthouse News)
US aid to Israel violates a long-standing ban on giving foreign aid to clandestine nuclear powers. The US has given Israel an estimated $234 billion in foreign aid since Congress passed the International Security Assistance and Arms Export Control Act of 1976. This, despite the fact that Israel is a known nuclear-armed state that has refused to become a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The Port Chicago Vigil: 50 Years On (Gar Smith / Environmentalists Against War)
Fifty years ago, on August 6, 1966, I was arrested for stopping a napalm truck at the Concord Naval Weapons Station. Here is a retelling of that tale.

Britain Boycotts Disarmament Talks While World Remembers Hiroshima and Nagasaki Bombings (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons & Tomihisa Taue / Mayor of Nagasaki / Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.)
As the world remembers Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the UK continues to boycott disarmament talks that could prevent similar tragedies in the future. At UN talks this year, more than 100 governments laid the groundwork for a new global treaty to ban nuclear weapons. In a speech marking the 71st anniversary of his city's bombing, Nagasaki's Mayor plead: "Young people, for the sake of the future, will you face up to the past and thereby take a step forward?"

Trident in a Time Warp: Party Politics vs Defence Needs (Rebecca Johnson / Open Democracy (Part 1))
As Britain and Europe reeled from Brexit Theresa May rushed through the vote on Trident replacement. Was this strong leadership or our human security being sacrificed to expediency? The vote is likely to accelerate expenditure on redesigning and enhancing nuclear warheads, putting more taxpayers money into US arms manufacturers like Lockheed Martin, which makes the Trident missiles.

New UK Prime Minister Says She is "Prepared" to Kill Millions of Innocent Civilians with a Nuclear Weapon (Rebecca Johnson / Open Democracy (Part 2))
During the Trident debate on July 18, Britain's new Prime Minister Theresa May declared she was "personally prepared to authorise a nuclear strike that could kill 100,000 innocent men, women and children." The forty 100-kiloton nuclear warheads on Trident submarines have the firepower equal to 320 Hiroshimas. May's order would result in the killing of millions and would potentially unleash massive regional firestorms, years of "nuclear winter" and global famine.

Will Nagasaki Be the Last Use of Nuclear Weapons? (Rebecca Johnson / Open Democracy (Part 3))
At 11:02 on August 9, 1945 a single US plutonium bomb -- with less than one-fifth of the explosive power of an average warhead for Trident submarine -- lead to the deaths of more than half of Nagasaki's population of 240,000. On the anniversary of this bombing, survivors travel from Japan to Britain to stand vigil -- and face arrest -- at the gates of the Faslane nuclear base where the UK's fleet of US Trident subs (armed with US-supllied nuclear weapons) are stationed.

Hiroshima Memorial Statements (Kim Won-soo, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs)
The bombing of Hiroshima shows that nuclear weapons do not discriminate between gender, age, religion, ideology or nationality. At this sober memorial, I ask all states to overcome their differences to galvanise global will for disarmament. Those States with nuclear weapons have a special responsibility to prevent another Hiroshima. They must honour their commitments and lead the way to dialogue [and] to find common ground through inclusive dialogue.

The Lesson of Nagasaki (Michael Krepon / USA Today & The Arms Control Network)
Hiroshima gets all the attention, but Nagasaki teaches the more important lesson. The need to destroy Hiroshima will be forever debated, but the counterarguments were unpersuasive to President Harry Truman and Secretary of War Henry Stimson. The arguments in favor of the first explosive use of an atomic bomb do not apply to the second.

Nuclear War Threats Growing in the Koreas, Pakistan, Japan and the US (Agence France-Presse & Zero Hedge & Donga.com & First Post.com)
North Korea has accused Washington of planning a pre-emptive nuclear strike, after the US announced it would deploy its B-1 bomber in the Pacific for the first time in a decade. Japan ordered its military on Monday to be ready at any time to shoot down any North Korean missiles. As unrelenting tension escalates between India and Pakistan, Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahudeen has threatened to wage a nuclear war against India over the Kashmir issue.

Pentagon Officials Openly Challenge Obama over Pre-emptive Nuclear War (Russia Today & Agence France-Presse & DefenceTalk)
US Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James has called Russia the greatest challenge to US national security, even when compared to Islamic State fighter and North Korea's nuclear ambitions. James also challenged her Commander-in-Chief by publicly stating that she would be "concerned" if President Obama were to declare a "no-first-use" policy for America's arsenal of nuclear weapons. James argued the potential for a nuclear pre-emptive strike raised some useful "ambiguity."

Refugee Athletes Arrive in Rio to Compete under the Olympic Flag (Annalisa Merelli / Quartz & NBC Nightly News & Niyazi G. Atay / Al Monitor)
For the first time in Olympic history, refugee teams from Syria, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo will participate at the games in Rio, representing not only the people from each of these countries, but the 65 million people displaced by war and persecution. Having overcome unimaginable hardships on their way to Rio, all ten of these athletes share an ardent desire that their refugee status not define them. They are in Rio as competitors.

US Hit for Using "Scorched Earth" Tactics in Syria (Lizzie Dearden / The Independent)
Members of the US-led coalition have been accused of deploying a "scorched earth policy" in Syria by activists who claim to have documented scores of civilian deaths -- including air strikes in Manbij that have killed innocent families. "The attacking militias and the international coalition have dealt with Manbij civilians, who are estimated to be around 3,000 in number, as if they were terrorists or ISIS supporters."

Key Libyan Religious Leader Slams US Airstrikes (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Jamie Dettmer / Voice of America News)
A critic of the UN-backed "unity government," major Libyan religious leader Grand Mufti Sadek al-Gharlani has issued a statement slamming the US airstrikes in Libya as illegal, sparking a rebuke from pro-unity government forces and raising talk of further division within the country. One Libyan TV station has even appeared to side with the IS fighters, arguing that the West's bombing raids have been aimed at Muslims following the Way of the Prophet.

ACLU Prompts Release of US Drone Assassination Policy (Kevin Bohn / CNN & American Civil Liberties Union)
The Obama administration has released a previously secret 18-page policy guidance document that lays out how potential drone targets may be chosen and approved and the President's role in the decision-making process. The policy document, known as the President Policy Guidance, says counterterrorism operations -- including lethal action against designated terrorist targets -- will be taken only when there is "a near certainty" that the target is properly identified.

A Letter to Barack Obama from Hiroshima Survivor Setsuko Thurlow (Daniel Hogsta / International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons & Setsuko Thurlow, Hiroshima Survivor & Rebecca Johnson / Open Democracy)
Japanese A-bomb survivors are growing old with their dreams of nuclear abolition unfulfilled. Following three International Conferences on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, 127 nations have pledged to rid the world of nuclear weapons -- but the US refused to even attend these meetings. Why, Mr. President, is the US government boycotting the UN disarmament negotiations, the most significant advance for nuclear disarmament in a generation?

A Call for a Nuclear-free World on "Hiroshima Day" (Hiroshima Mayor Matsui Kazumi)
On the 71st anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Mayor Matsui Kazumi of Hiroshima delivered this year's Peace Declaration at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony. "Today, we renew our determination, offer heartfelt consolation to the souls of the A-bomb victims, and pledge to do everything in our power, working with the A-bombed city of Nagasaki and millions around the world, to abolish nuclear weapons and build lasting world peace."

ACTION ALERT: Sign the Global Call for Atomic Disarmament (Joseph Gerson / Peace and Planet & The 2016 World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs)
Seventy-one years ago, the US used nuclear weapons against the civilian populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The two bombs burned out the cities and claimed the lives of about 210,000 people by the end of the year. It was a hell on earth. Today, Japan's A-bomb survivors invite the world to join the International Signature Campaign in Support of the Appeal of the Atomic Bomb Survivors of Hiroshima & Nagasaki, for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

America's War for the Greater Middle East: Does US Meddling Ever Improve Matters? (Marwan Bishara / Al Jazeera & Dan Hind / Al Jazeera & Eric Garland /Al Jazeera)
Andrew Bacevich's new book offers a fierce and fearless critique of US military strategy. Most of the lessons that should have been learned in the pre-9/11 Middle East went unheeded. Bacevich's balance sheet of US wars in the Muslim world is a testimony to Washington's military failures in the Greater Middle East. if the US is to become a positive force for world security, antiseptic, antiquated myths about American power must be modified or replaced entirely.

Syria Crumbles Under Russian Airstrikes (Al Jazeera)
Since September 30, 2015, Russia has been carrying out air strikes in Syria in support of its ally President Bashar al-Assad. The campaign has been relentless and growing in intensity, with Russian jets flying 444 combat sorties against more than 1,500 targets between February 10 and 16 alone. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, says thousands of non-combatants have been killed or wounded in these airstrikes.

ACTION ALERT: Israel Set to Destroy Palestinian Village (Just Foreign Policy & J Street Blog)
In days, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman will decide whether to destroy 40% of the Palestinian village of Susya, leaving a hundred people homeless. You can urge Secretary of State John Kerry to make clear the US won't tolerate the demolition of Susya by signing the Just Foreign Policy petition at MoveOn.

Obama Offers $3.1 Billion in Military Aid to Israel (Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept & Ed Adamczyk / UPI & David Welna / National Public Radio & Nick Thompson / CNN)
The US already transfers $3.1 billion in taxpayer money every year to Israel -- more than any other country by far -- but a new agreement that President Obama is set to sign "significantly raises" that amount -- and guarantees that it will continue for another 10 years. In response to this massive windfall, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is angry that he is not getting even more. For some time, Netanyahu has reportedly been "holding out for as much as $5 billion a year."

Hiroshima Mayor's Appeal: "Please, everyone, shout loudly that we don't need nuclear weapons." (Hiroshima Mayor Matsui Kazumi)
Today, the 71st anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Mayor Matsui Kazumi of Hiroshima delivered this year's Peace Declaration at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony. Seventy-one years later, over 15,000 nuclear weapons remain, individually much more destructive than the one that inflicted Hiroshima's tragedy. "Is it not time to honor the spirit of Hiroshima and clear the path toward a world free from that "absolute evil," that ultimate inhumanity?"

US' Failed War Has Doubled the Reach of ISIS (AntiWar.com & NBC News)
As the US launched more airstrikes against ISIS targets in Libya -- representing an expansion of the US military operations beyond Iraq and Syria -- a new map reveals the disturbing global expansion of the terror group. In 2014, the group had a presence in seven nations; today, a White House report reveals, ISIS is 18 "fully operational" in 18 countries.

New US War Crimes in Syria: 200 Murdered Civilians 'Mistaken for ISIS' (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Al-Monitor)
With the Pentagon's Centcom already promising an investigation into the US airstrikes on July 19 in Manbij, in which warplanes killed up to 200 civilians after "mistaking them for ISIS," the Pentagon has confirmed today that a second formal investigation has been launched into a July 29 strike, which hit civilian neighborhoods near Manbij, killing another 28.

ACTION ALERT: International Month of Action against Arms Fairs (Against Arms Fairs & Campaign Against Arms Trade & Ewan Palmer / International Business Times)
From London to Paris, Wellington to Seoul, anti-war activists are taking action against arms fairs. Arms fairs are where the deals that fuel global conflict and repression begin. That means this is where we can act to stop wars. Saudi Arabia -- one of the world's biggest arms customers -- is guilty of mass executions, war crimes in Yemen, flogging of critics, and political suppression. Britain's High Court has ruled activists now can take the arming of Saudi Arabia to a Judicial Review!

Can Chevron, ExxonMobil and BP Be Sued for Climate Change? (John Vidal / The Guardian & Emma Howard / The Guardian & Arthur Neslen / The Guardian)
The Filipino government body gives 47 'carbon majors' 45 days to respond to allegations of human rights violations resulting from climate change. A legal case will consider if the emissions of 50 fossil fuel companies violate the human rights of those hit by extreme weather. In 2015, a Dutch court ordered the state to reduce emissions by 25% within five years to protect its citizens from climate change in world's first climate liability suit.

ACTION ALET: Latest US Attack on Libya Criticized and Condemned (Daniel McAdams / AntiWar.com & Jamie Merrill / Middle East Eye & Hon. Barbara Lee / US House of Representatives)
The Pentagon has begun airstrikes in Libya to protect the local "government" from ISIS fighters. But it was the US "liberation" of Libya that opened the door for ISIS. And, as far as defending a "government of national accord," the current regime was not selected by the Libyan people. It was created by the United Nations and sent into Libya on a ship from Tunisia. Rep. Barbara Lee's petition to halt these airstrikes can be found below.

The US Military Pivots to Africa and That Continent Goes Down the Drain (Tom Englehardt and Nick Turse / TomDispatch)
Almost 15 years after the US invaded the Taliban's Afghanistan, launching the second American Afghan War of the past half-century, US troops are still there, their "withdrawal" halted. Thirteen years after George W. Bush and launched an invasion to claim Iraq's oil, we still have 6,000 troops in that country. And, in Africa, the number of personnel, missions, dollars spent, and special ops training efforts, drone bases and other outposts have all multiplied.

UN Calls for Protection of Children in War Zones: Saudis Threaten to Withdraw UN Funding (United Nations News Service & Associated Press)
With children continuing to be tortured, maimed, imprisoned, starved, sexually abused and killed in armed conflict, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on all countries to back their words with concrete actions to end such violations. "In places such as Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen, children suffer through a living hell," the UN chief said as he opened the Security Council's debate on children and armed conflict.

Life among Barrel Bombs for Aleppo's Children (Olivia Alabaster & Zouhir Al Shimale / Al Jazeera & Samer Abboud / Al Jazeera)
The psychological trauma of being trapped in a war zone lasts long after the conflict ends. Regardless of how many civilians manage to leave besieged Aleppo in the coming days, the psychological scars left on the city's children may never heal. Some 300,000 civilians remain in the opposition-held part of the city, 60 percent of whom are women and children. For the more than 400,000 residents who remain in Aleppo, the immediate future is bleak.

US Nukes Almost Lost in Turkey Coup: It's Time To Negotiate A Nuclear Ban Treaty (Susi Snyder / The Huffington Post & Julian Borger /The Guardian)
This weekend is the 71st anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and it's a good time to give a few thoughts to nuclear weapons. Most people don't think about them much, and the majority of countries have fully rejected them. The attempted coup in Turkey raises fresh questions about the wisdom of the US stationing the biggest stockpile of nuclear weapons in Europe at such a vulnerable site.

No More Hiroshimas, No More Nagasakis: Ban Nuclear Weapons! (Australian Doctor.com)
Notes on the aftermath of America's nuclear bombing of Hiroshima: "I saw nothing that wasn't burnt to a crisp. Streetcars were standing and inside were dozens of bodies, blackened beyond recognition. I saw fire reservoirs filled to the brim with dead bodies who looked as they had been boiled alive. In one reservoir I saw one man, horribly burned, crouching beside another man who was dead. I paused to rest."

Patterns of Harm: Tracking Civilian Deaths 2011-2015 (Iain Overton / Action on Armed Violence)
For over five years, Action on Armed Violence has monitored English language media coverage of explosive violence around the world. Our latest report presents data from over 188,325 recorded deaths and injuries -- a result of 12,566 incidents of explosive weapons use between 2011 and 2015. Of the 188,325 deaths and injuries recorded from 2011 to 2015, 145,565 (77%) were civilians. In populated areas, civilians accounted for 91% of deaths and injuries.

ACTION ALERT: The Struggle Against Racist Policing -- from the US to Brazil to Palestine (teleSUR & ColorOfChange and MoveOn.org)
Black Lives Matter argues that the police violence and killings of Black people in the US is connected to Israel's decades-long oppression of Palestinians. In recent weeks BLM activists have intensified their global campaign against the killings of non-white minorities around the world. The federal government knows exactly how police departments are terrorizing Black communities -- it's past time they do something about it and hold these officers accountable.

Toss Turkey out of NATO: US Doesn't Need Civilian Dictatorship or Military Junta (Doug Bandow / Forbes and the Cato Institute)
Commentary: Turkey's brief democratic moment is ending. Today Turkey undermines US and European security. As Ankara moves toward an authoritarian one-party state, its membership in NATO becomes ever more incongruous. A civil divorce would be best for all parties.

Hacked Emails Reveal NATO's Plot to Destabilize Ukraine (Christoph Schult and Klaus Wiegrefe / Der Spiegel)
A trove of newly released emails reveal how a group close to NATO's chief military commander Philip Breedlove sought to secure weapons deliveries for Ukraine. The explosive collection of 1,096 of Breedlove's private email correspondence -- most dating back to the dramatic 12 months of the Ukraine crisis -- how Breedlove and others secretly plotted to intensify the conflict between the West and Russia.

Coups Inside NATO: A Disturbing History (Jonathan Marshall / Consortium News & Nafeez Ahmed / Middle East Eye)
Turkey's embattled President Erdogan suspects US sympathy for the failed coup if not outright assistance to the coup plotters, a belief that has some basis in history. The assumption that NATO has always before respected peaceful political change within its ranks is false. Turkey's 1960 coup was engineered by Colonel Alparslan Türkes, reportedly a liaison officer to the CIA. Many Greeks blamed Washington for the 1967 coup lead by right-wing army officers.

Pressed by NATO, Vladimir Putin Reportedly Prepares for WW3 (Jennifer Ong / Morning News USA & Precious Valerie / Morning News)
Nothing spells danger more than what is happening between NATO and Russia. Despite denying accusations that they are both strengthening their forces against each other, the signs are evident for a new Cold War,. With NATO moving more troops closer to Russia's borders, Russia recently announced that it has begun amassing its own forces to counter NATO. According to Russia, its forces have been armed with the newest nuclear weapons and defense capabilities.

Hillary Clinton and Her Hawks (Gareth Porter / Consortium News & Patrick Tucker / Defense One)
Focusing on domestic issues, Hillary Clinton's acceptance speech sidestepped the deep concerns anti-war Democrats have about her hawkish foreign policy, which is already taking shape in the shadows as her advisers are already recommending air strikes and other new military measures to topple the Assad regime in Syria.

Racism Casts 'Dark Shadow' Over United States, Says UN Expert (teleSUR & Cedric Johnson / Jacobin Magazine)
A high-ranking United Nations human rights official has raised alarms over police brutality and impunity, mass incarceration, and racial bias in the US criminal justice system where nearly 40 percent of the country's 2.3 million prisoners are African-Americans. In Jacobin Magazine, Cedric Johnson argues that genuine public safety and social justice will come from projects that build popular consensus and organize for real power.

Human 'Super Predator' More Terrifying than Bears, Wolves and Dogs (Science Digest & the University of Western Ontario)
Globally, humans now kill smaller carnivores at much higher rates than large carnivores do. Bears, wolves and other large carnivores are frightening beasts but the fear they inspire in their prey pales in comparison to that caused by the human 'super predator.' A new study demonstrates that smaller carnivores, like European badgers, that may be prey to large carnivores, actually perceive humans as far more frightening.

ACTION ALERT: Investigate FBI and DHS Surveillance of Political Activists (CREDO Action from Working Assets & Alice Speri / The Intercept & Dustin Volz / Reuters)
In a blatant attempt to intimidate peaceful protesters and discourage First Amendment protected activities, FBI and DHS agents reportedly visited the homes of peaceful activists and community organizers in Cleveland, Ohio, asking about their plans for the Republican National Convention. This type of behavior is not new. The FBI and DHS have conducted ongoing surveillance of nonviolent social justice activists and political organizations for years.

Air Force Seeks Proposals for Over $60 Billion in New Nukes (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Robert Burns / Associated Press & Brendan McGarry / DOD Buzz)
The US Air Force has issued a press release today seeking proposals from military contractors to provide the next generation of nuclear weapons, including both ICBMs and air-launched nuclear cruise missiles, a pair of contracts that will cost well in excess of $60 billion. the Air Force estimate was that the new ICBMs alone would cost $62.3 billion, more than even most major countries spend on their entire military in a given year.

The Hidden Oil Spill that Polluted the Democratic Convention (The Guardian & Robert Reich & The New York Times)
Environmentalists say panels sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute -- the nation's main fossil fuel lobby group -- helped to undermine the party platform's stance on energy and climate change. Environmental activists charged that a series of events sponsored by oil and gas industry lobbyists were designed to "pollute" the Democratic National Convention with climate denialism and should have been boycotted by leading Democrats.

Democrats Welcome Oil Lobby and Big Money Back Into the Convention (Zaid Jilani and Alex Emmons / The Intercept )
By quietly dropping a ban on direct donations from registered federal lobbyists and political action committees, the Democratic National Committee in February reopened the floodgates for corruption that Barack Obama had put in place in 2008. What was going on inside the convention hall was also reflected outside, at costly events sponsored by the fossil fuel industry, technology companies, for-profit colleges, pharmaceutical companies, and railway companies.

ACTION ALERT: Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6-9 (Joseph Gerson / The International Peace Bureau Newsletter & William Boardman / Reader Supported News)
Commentary: With the Hiroshima and Nagasaki commemorations approaching, let us consider these three questions: the meaning of Hiroshima, the growing great power tensions in the Asia-Pacific, and the problems with "deterrence." Meanwhile, in Barack Obama's visit to Hiroshima in May, his sterile language and detached manner illustrated how far we are from facing the reality of our own government's profound crime in this deliberate atrocity.

Toss Turkey out of NATO: US Doesn't Need Civilian Dictatorship or Military Junta (Doug Bandow / Forbes and the Cato Institute)
Commentary: Turkey's brief democratic moment is ending. The rise of Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2002 signaled the collapse of the militarized secular republic created by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. The failed coup of two weeks ago killed the semi-liberal democracy that briefly replaced Kemalism. NATO is an anachronism and Ankara's membership even more so. Today Turkey undermines US and European security. A civil divorce would be best for all parties.

Coups Inside NATO: A Disturbing History (Jonathan Marshall / Consortium News & Nafeez Ahmed / Middle East Eye)
Turkey's embattled President Erdogan suspects US sympathy for the failed coup if not outright assistance to the coup plotters, a belief that has some basis in history. But this flies in the face of the preamble to the 1949 North Atlantic Treaty, which emphasizes the determination of the signing countries "to safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilization of their peoples, founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law."

New York Times Pushes Nukes While Claiming Renewables Fail to Fight Climate Change (Harvey Wasserman / Counterpunch)
Commentary: The New York Times published an astonishing article last week that blames green power for difficulties countries are facing to mitigate climate change. The article by Eduardo Porter, "How Renewable Energy is Blowing Climate Change Efforts Off Course," serves as a flagship for an on-going attack on the growth of renewables. It is so convoluted and inaccurate that it requires a detailed response.

NATO Encroachment Is Pushing Russia Towards War (Reuters & RT News & Morning News USA)
Russia has been forming a force to counterbalance NATO's massive military buildup along it's borders. Russia has strengthened its southwestern flank as NATO builds up its military presence and Ukraine remains unstable. Russia's Defence Minister has called on the US to cease the provocations and former Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev has accused the NATO alliance of intentionally escalating tensions by "preparing for offensive operations."

Diablo Canyon to Close: People Power Outlasts Nuclear Power (Mark Evanoff / Earth Island Journal)
The story behind the Pacific Gas and Electric Company's (PG&E) announcement last week that it would close down the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant is the culmination of a 60-year land conservation and appropriate energy debate between the utility company and the people of California. The point winner is the environmental community and grassroots activists who fought long and hard for the plant's closure.

Thousands Protest Outside US Base in Turkey (Andrew Tilghman / Military Times & RT News & Infos.360)
Thousands of Turkish protesters filled the streets outside the US military base at Incirlik, Turkey, on Thursday, burning American flags and demanding that the government close the base. The US military maintains an arsenal of nuclear weapons at Incirlik. During the recent failed coup attempt, power was cut to Incirlik and the he base -- home to nearly 3,000 US troops -- was placed on high alert.

Wild Turkey With H-Bombs: Failed Coup Heightens Calls for Denuclearization (John LaForge / AntiWar.com)
An explosive cocktail of political instability mixed with 90 US H-bombs raises the specter of accidental or suicidal nuclear detonation in or near Turkey. This risk was brought into sharp relief by the attempted military coup there in mid-July.

ACTION ALERT: Suspend Saudi Arabia from UN Human Rights Council (Amnesty International USA & The US Department of State)
The evidence is mounting -- Saudi Arabia has committed gross and systemic violations of human rights abroad and at home, and used its position on the UN Human Rights Council to obstruct justice for possible war crimes. Saudi Arabia has executed minors, killed civilians in airstrikes and blocked investigations into possible war crimes. Join us in calling on the UN General Assembly to immediately suspend Saudi Arabia from the Human Rights Council.

Nice, Munich and the Terrorism of the West (Belen Fernandez / Middle East Eye)
Commentary: Eighty-four lives lost in Nice is an atrocity of extreme proportions, but what of the estimated half-million Iraqi children killed by US sanctions in the 1990s,well before George Bush announced the "war on terror"? It has become tiresome to point out the institutionalised hypocrisy, but there's not exactly an alternative -- particularly when the function of Western media is to fuel an anti-intellectual, anti-analytical, anti-empathetic approach to current events.

How Close Are We to Nuclear War? (William Boardman / Reader Supported News)
Former Clinton cabinet member William J. Perry sees a danger that this year's presidential wannabes have largely ignored. The last presidential candidate to address the threat of nuclear war was Congressman Dennis Kucinich -- in 2008. In Perry's recent book, "My Journey to the Nuclear Brink," he restates his long-felt concern that the detonation of just one nuclear weapon could produce a "nuclear catastrophe . . . that could destroy our way of life."

US Navy Sued over Plans for War Games on Pacific Islands (Caleb Jones / Associated Press and ENews & The Center for Biological Diversity)
Community members and the earthJustice environmental group have sued the US Navy, the Department of Defense and the Secretary of Defense over a plan to turn two Pacific islands into live-fire testing sites for training exercises. The Pentagon's plan calls for using the islands of Tinian and Pagan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands for military war games.

Human-caused Species Extinctions Worldwide Now Threaten Human Life (Ian Johnston / The Independent)
Animal and plant species are declining so quickly that world biodiversity loss could soon start to threaten much of the planet's ability to support human life. Experts analysed nearly 2.4 million records about more than 39,000 species at 18,600 different places around the world and discovered that for 58.1 percent of the world's land surface, the loss of biodiversity was serious enough to call into question its ability to sustain the 5.3 billion people who live there.

UN: Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan Reach Record Highs (Rebecca Kheel / The Hill)
Following a depressingly familiar trend, a new UN report has found record levels of violence against Afghan civilians in the first half of 2016, with 1,601 killed and 3,565 wounded -- the highest number of casualties since 2009 and on track to break the record level set in 2015. Children are increasingly the targets of this rising violence, with the new report including 388 children killed and 1,121 injured.

British Nuclear Sub Damaged in Collision with Tanker off Gibraltar (Brian Reyes / Gibraltar Chronicle & Walter Russell Mead / The New York Times)
A British nuclear submarine sustained external damage to its conning tower after smashing into a commercial tanker while operating submerged in the waters off Gibraltar. This is only the latest in a chilling inventory of nuclear "near misses" that includes the US Air Force accidentally dropping a nuclear bomb in the backyard of a South Carolina family in the 1960s.

Domestic Terror: How the GOP Ignored the Problem of 'Killer Vets' (Ben Wofford / Politico)
While GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump is blaming Barack Obama for police shootings, the fact is that it was the Republicans who halted a federal study that sought to detect potential radicalization by veterans -- seven years ago.

Congressman and Former Marine Says Assault Rifles Don't Belong on City Streets (Seth Moulton / New York Daily News & Katie Mettler / The Washington Post & Jason Zengerle/ GQ Magazine)
Congressman and Iraq War veteran Seth Moulton writes: I'm a Marine. I carried guns every day in Iraq, guns very similar to the ones used to perpetrate the Orlando murders and many other mass shootings in America. But there's a big difference between a US Marine with a rifle and a civilian with a gun.

Will Any Democrat Say No to the US as Global Cop? (Steve Weissman / Reader Supported News & Justin Salhani /Think/Progress)
Commentary: Caught up in their self-justifying praise of America as the indispensable nation, those in power have long taken as gospel that they should police the world, whether under the banner of a crusading war on terror or an anti-communist crusade. Their urge to intervene as the top global cop is deep-seated. Geared up to play global cop, American leaders and their European allies have given the Islamist provocateurs precisely what they want.

Okinawa Protests Erupt as US Helipad Construction Resumes (Ayako Mie / Japan Times)
Hundreds of riot police and protesters clashed as construction of US helipads resumed in Okinawa's Northern Training Area, a key condition for the partial return to Japan of a large parcel of land being used by US forces. Local residents have complained about the noise made by the crash-plagued Osprey tilt-sing aircraft and the environmental impact construction will have on the area.

Anti-nuclear Bus Ad Hits the Streets of Seattle (Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action)
On June 23, and continuing for eight weeks, 14 Seattle Metro downtown buses are displaying an anti-nuclear advertisement. King County Metro was initially hesitant to run the ad, and questioned the accuracy of the statement of fact regarding the number of nuclear weapons at Bangor. Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, provided corroboration of the statement.

War on Journalists: DHS Detains US Reporter, Journalist Murdered in Ukraine (Mazin Sidahmed / The Guardian & Sputnik)
Maria Abi-Habib, a Middle East correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, said DHS officials attempts to confiscate her cellphones after she arrived at LA airport. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian political system is turning into "mass grave" for journalists and journalism in general, says a Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, commenting on the killing of journalist Pavel Sheremet in a car bomb attack in Kiev.

Dueling Plans for US Nuke Arsenal: 10 Senators Demand De-escalation (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Brendan McGarry / DODBuzz & US Senate)
In competing letters this month to the Obama administration, US lawmakers dueled over plans to upgrade the military's nuclear arsenal. A group of 10 Democratic senators urged the president to restrain spending on nuclear weapons and to adopt "a policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons, and canceling launch-on-warning plans." A bipartisan group of Republicans and Democrats -- including Hillary Clinton's VP nominee, Tim Kaine -- have called for increasing nuke funds.

"Eco-Militarism"?: Taking up Arms to Defend Elephants (Azzedine Downes and Faye Cuevas, Esq. / International Fund for Animal Welfare)
Elephants are still being killed for their ivory at a frightening rate -- an average of one every 15 minutes. And all the killing continues to fuel the illegal wildlife trade. The transnational organized crime networks that run the illegal wildlife trade are sometimes known to traffic drugs, weapons and humans as well. In order to defeat that network, IFAW decided to build its own army to enforce laws to protect elephants.

Proposed Fracking Projects Would Destroy US Climate Goals (Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch)
The US will burst through its emission-reduction target under the Paris climate agreement if the 19 natural gas pipelines proposed in the Appalachian Basin come to fruition, according to a new study published by the environmental group Oil Change International in partnership with 11 other local, regional and national organizations.

The Republican Party Platform Would Sink Our Planet--Literally (Mark Schlosberg / Food and Water Watch & Jordain Carney / The Hill)
The policies in the Republican Party's platform would be a disaster for our environment and the climate. The GOP held its convention in a state that has experienced earthquakes and pollution from fracking, a state whose governor turned a blind eye to the impacts of fracking and welcomed truckloads of fracking waste from Pennsylvania. So it is not surprising that the Party Platform takes us 180 degrees in the wrong direction on energy and the environment.

US Airstrikes Will Continue -- Despite Mass Killing of Civilians (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Spencer Ackerman / The Guardian)
The US will not pause airstrikes in Syria despite appeals from opposition activists after what appears to be the worst US-caused civilian casualty disaster of the war against the Islamic State. Syrian activists claim as many as 125 civilians were killed in a northern city hit by US-led effort airstrike. Despite calls from its own allies within Syria to immediately suspend their air campaign, US military officials vowed that US airstrikes in Iraq and Syria will continue unchanged.

More Proof That America's Drone War Doesn't Work (Paul Pillar / The National Interest 7 Emily Manna / Georgetown Public Policy Review)
Most of the debate surrounding the United States drone program has focused on its legality and morality, while its effectiveness as a counterterrorism strategy has gone largely unquestioned. There is reason to believe that leadership decapitation is no longer an effective tactic to use against Al Qaeda and the Taliban. One principal finding: there was a statistically significant rise in terrorist attacks in a province after it became the target of US drone strikes.

The Big Boom: Nukes And NATO (Conn Hallinan / Foreign Policy In Focus and AntiWar.com)
It's been 71 years since atomic bombs destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and humanity's memory of those events has dimmed. But the world has little idea of what we face today. The bombs that obliterated those cities were tiny by today's standards. If the Hiroshima bomb represented approximately 27 freight cars filled with TNT, a one-megaton warhead would require a train 300 miles long. Each Russian RS-20V Voevoda intercontinental ballistic missile packs 10 megatons.

The Crisis in Turkey Could Swallow Us All (William Boardman / Reader Supported News & Michelle Alexander )
Turkey has been in a growing crisis for years, and the end seems nowhere in sight. In the wake of the failed military coup, Turkish officials and civilians are pointing the finger at the US for instigating it. "America is behind the coup," said Turkey's Labor Minister. Whatever the US ends up deciding is likely to prolong the chain reaction of critical events set off by the coup, with national, regional, and potentially global impact.

War Crime: US-backed Rebels Ask US to Stop Bombing as Entire Families Are Killed in Syria Attack (AntiWar.com & Reuters & The Washington Post)
The US-backed opposition umbrella group the Syrian National Coalition has called for the US to immediately suspend all airstrikes against Syria following an attack on the villages of Tokhar and Hoshariyeh. left 56 civilians dead. The Syrian Observatory has warned the final death toll is being revised upward and could be around 200. Rebels warned that "entire families had been wiped out," serving as a recruitment tool for ISIS and other Islamist factions.

ACTION ALERT: Ban Cluster Bomb Transfers to Saudi Arabia -- And Everywhere Else (Just Foreign Policy & No Clusterbombs.org & The Cluster Munition Coalition)
A White House decision to suspend cluster munition transfers to Saudi Arabia should be made permanent and extended to cover all such munitions. The White House suspended sales of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia following concerns over civilian harm from their use in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition has been conducting military operations since March 2015. Urge the US Senate to oppose the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia.

Toxic and Deadly, the Human and Environmental Toll of Open Burning (Daniel Ross / TruthOut)
Because the open burning of old munitions is highly toxic, it is banned in Canada and many European countries. But not in the US. Now, a decades-long effort to end the practice is moving ahead. In the meantime, bases across the US continue to dispose of tons of small arms cartridges, rockets, mortars, artillery shells and tactical missiles by burning them in the open, causing toxic clouds to blow over surrounding communities and contaminating the soil and groundwater.

Action Alert - Appeal for Solidarity with Okinawan Anti-Bases Movement - Takae (Joseph Gerson / American Friends Service Committee)
There is deep concern about potential consequences of Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's election victory, including the abandonment of Japan's pacifist constitution, encouragement for the US' first-strike nuclear war-fighting doctrine, and support for the US move to build yet another military base in Okinawa -- a so-called helipad to serve as bases for Osprey warplanes -- that would devastate the rare, near-pristine mangrove forests in Takae.

Iran Divided over Nuke Accord as GOP Passes 52 Punishing Sanctions (Prensa Latina & Deborah Danan / Breitbart)
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says the nuclear deal with six world powers has brought Iran closer to the world. Meanwhile, the leader of Iran's parliament, is warning that the Republican-dominated Congress has imposed "injurious measures" against the agreement." Since the deal was reached, Congress has passed 52 bills and sanctions targeting Iran and has initiated so many "harassment actions" that Iran has no choice "but retaliation."

Trump on Nuclear Weapons: "By Whatever Means Necessary" Part 1 (Ronnie Dugger / Reader Supported News)
Starting 32 years ago, Donald Trump has spoken publicly about nuclear weapons much more and much more alarmingly than Hillary Clinton. During the present presidential campaign, the candidates have almost totally avoided and ignored the only "issue" that rivals climate change in its threat to life on earth. In contrast, Trump has been sharring his attitudes and thoughts on the subject. He has been brooding about nuclear weapons during much of his adult life.

Trump on Nuclear Weapons: 'Right Now in This World' Part 2 (Ronnie Dugger / Reader Supported News)
The President is the dictator on the use of America's nuclear weapons -- he can fire nuclear missiles without Congressional authorization. What then, as Donald Trump becomes the GOP's presidential nominee, is the import of his declaration that Russian President Putin and he are "stablemates" and of Trump's one-time plan for the US and the USSR to join forces to constitute "the Big Two" in order to secure the world's monopoly on nuclear weapons?

During Turkey's Coup Attempt, the US Lost Control over 50 Hydrogen Bombs (Bonnie Kristian / The National Interest & Eric Schlosser / The New Yorker & Alexandra Bell and Benjamin Loehrke / The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists)
During the recent military coup attempt in Turkey, the US briefly lost access to the Incirlik Air Base and a critical underground storage facility containing around fifty American-made B-61 hydrogen bombs -- roughly a quarter of the nukes of NATO -- each one capable of producing a boom up to eleven times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The bombs simply sit at the base, underground, waiting to be used or misused.

Another US 'Mistake' Kills 56 Civilians in Syria; How the US Fuels Extremism (teleSURtv & Jeremy Scahill / The Intercept)
An airstrike by the US-led coalition killed at least 56 civilians -- including at least 11 children -- north of the besieged city of Manbij. Another 21 people were killed in raids believed to have been conducted by US-led coalition aircraft on Manbij's northern quarter. Since August 2014, the US and its allies have carried out more than 10,800 airstrikes, but have only admitted to killing 21 civilians. According to Airwars, between 1,000 and 1,400 civilians having "likely" been killed.

US-backed Fighters Behead 10-year-old Boy, Post Video
The US says it may reconsider its affiliation and support for the Syrian opposition if reports of anti-Assad rebels beheading a Palestinian boy are confirmed. The State Department has vowed "consequences" if the gruesome videos of the death are true.

US and Russia Are Killing More Civilians Than They Admit (teleSURtv)
The US and Russia both refuse to concede their bombs are killing hundreds of innocent men, women and children in the Middle East. The US has launched more than 7,500 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria since August 2014 but admits to killing only 21 civilians. According to a UN count, at least 400 civilians had been killed by airstrikes in Iraq alone between January 2014 and October 2015.

US Police State Caught Spying on EcoActivists Opposed to Fracking (Lee Fang and Steve Horn / The Intercept)
Government emails reveal that, when more than 300 protesters assembled in May at the Holiday Inn in Colorado -- for a Bureau of Land Management auction of oil and gas leases on public lands -- several of the demonstrators were, in fact, undercover agents sent by law enforcement to spy on the anti-oil activists. Working with large oil and gas firms, police spies infiltrated 350.org, Break Free Movement, Rainforest Action Network, and WildEarth Guardians.

Britain Votes to Retain Trident Missiles, Renews Commitment to Nuclear Weapons (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)
On Monday 18 July, the British parliament voted in favour of building four new nuclear-powered submarines to carry US Trident missiles armed with modernized nuclear warheads for the next half century. The vote gives permission to the government to sign multi-billion pound contracts with the aim of ensuring that the UK will continue to possess and deploy an enormously dangerous arsenal of weapons of mass destruction.

Pentagon Declares Cyberwar on ISIS (India Ashok / International Business Times)
The US military's first-of-its-kind cyberwar campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS) is off to a slow start that has left Pentagon officials frustrated. The US Cyber Command was established to undermine ISIS's online activities, specifically concerning online recruitment and planned attacks. However, the unit is yet to develop malware and other tools to launch offensive attacks.

Nuclear Weapons Are The Most Consequential Threat America Faces (President John F. Kennedy & Lee H. Hamilton / The Huffington Post)
Commentary: If you ask Americans to identify the greatest risk to our national security, most will probably point to terrorism. Others will cite climate change, illegal immigration, or potential conflict with China or Russia. From my point of view, however, the gravest threat to our security and well-being as a nation is the threat posed by nuclear weapons. A single nuclear detonation could kill tens of thousands. A nuclear conflict could bring an end to civilization.

Who Does THAAD Protect? South Koreans? No! US Bases? Yes! (Oh Young-jin / Korea Times)
The destabilizing introduction of a THAAD anti-missile array in South Korea has been justified as necessary for the "defense" of the people of South Korea. In fact, it puts civilians at risk and mainly serves to protect US troops in the country. For the thousands of North Korean missiles that will rain down from the sky when, God forbid, the North invades, one THAAD unit is never enough. But if it is to protect one or two key US military installations, it would prove to be effective.

US Loses Control over Nuclear Weapons in Turkey (Sputnik News & The Guardian & Boiling Frogs Post)
Turkish officials are preventing access to and from the air base until they complete "anti-coup" operations effectively leaving America's nuclear arsenal in the hands of the same Erdogan regime that just accused Washington of masterminding the coup. About 50 nuclear bombs are stored at Incirlik airbase, which was closed after Turkey claimed coup plotters used it as a base of operations.

Thousands Attend Trident Protests across Scotland (Scottish Scrap Trident Coalition & BBC Online)
Parliament is due to vote on whether to go ahead with building replacements for the UK's Vanguard fleet of four submarines carrying Trident nuclear missiles. The subs are due to become obsolete by the end of the next decade. In advance of the vote, thousands of people gathered in 35 towns and cities across Scotland to make their opposition to Trident renewal known before the House of Commons votes on Monday.

ACTION ALERT: Congress Orders More Nuclear Triggers. Let's Ban Nuclear Weapons Instead (Mark Oswald / Albuquerque Journal & Alice Slater / New Age Peace Foundation & International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)
The National Nuclear Security Administration is under orders from Congress to produce as many as 80 new nuclear weapons triggers a year by around 2030, and Los Alamos National Laboratory is the only place in the country that is equipped to make them now.

It Was Not a Good Week for the NRA (Gar Smith / Berkeley Daily Planet)
Commentary: The NRA likes to argue that people need to carry guns for "self-defense" but real-world experience shows that merely having a gun in your possession can get you killed. As PolitiFact noted in 2013: "More Americans have died from guns in the US since 1968 than on battlefields of all the wars in American history." The scale of US gun-deaths now routinely claims more lives than are lost in countries with active civil wars — including Pakistan and Sudan.

Nuclear Weapons: Progress but an Unfinished Agenda (Friends Committee on National Legislation / Washington Newsletter)
Speaking in Japan at the memorial to those killed by US atomic bombs, President Obama reaffirmed a commitment to disarmament, declaring: "We must have the courage to escape the logic of fear and pursue a world without them." As inspiring as those words are, the Obama administration has a mixed record on nuclear weapons. We are disappointed that this president, who won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize in part for his focus on nuclear issues, hasn't done more.

ACTION ALERT: Ask The Candidate about the Nuclear Threat (Friends Committee on National Legislation / Washington Newsletter)
This year, violent extremists linked to the Islamic State spied on the home and office of a person involved with storing large quantities of dangerous nuclear material. The motive for the surveillance is unknown, but authorities speculate that the group might want the material to use in an attack. The country where this surveillance happened? Belgium, in the months before the deadly March 2016 bombings. It's time to make the nuclear threat a presidential campaign issue.

Western Propaganda for a New Cold War (Rick Sterling / Consortium News)
Western propaganda portrays Russia as the aggressor and NATO as the victim, but the reality looks almost opposite from the ground level, Rick Sterling found on a recent fact-finding trip. Sterling writes: "It is alarming to see the constant drumbeat in Western media that Russia is 'aggressive,' that Russia 'invaded' Crimea, Russia is 'a threat.'"

Britain's Nuclear Deterrent Isn't 'Independent' (avid Morrison / Middle East Eye)
Conservative and Labour advocates for the retention of the Trident system invariably describe it as an 'independent' nuclear deterrent. At least eight (and perhaps nine) states in the world now possess functional nuclear weapons and the means of delivering them. All of them, bar one, manufacture and maintain their own nuclear weapons and the means of delivering them. All of them, bar one, have complete control over the use of their systems. The sole exception is Britain.

It Was Not a Good Week for the NRA (Gar Smith / Berkeley Daily Planet)
Commentary: The NRA likes to argue that people need to carry guns for "self-defense" but real-world experience shows that merely having a gun in your possession can get you killed. As PolitiFact noted in 2013: "More Americans have died from guns in the US since 1968 than on battlefields of all the wars in American history." The scale of US gun-deaths now routinely claims more lives than are lost in countries with active civil wars — including Pakistan and Sudan.

After Nice, Don't Trade Liberty for Security (Eric Schuler / AntiWar.com)
Europe suffered another tragic terrorist attack Thursday night, as a white semi-truck deliberately ran over scores of pedestrians in Nice, France. Even before there was evidence of a terrorist link, French President Hollande vowed to step up military action in Iraq and Syria. After the Charlie Hebdo attack, France declared a state of emergency and suspended many civil liberties "temporarily." The loss of French liberties still remains in effect and new abridgments may be enacted.

Did the Israeli-American Stuxnet Virus Launch a Cyber World War? (Gar Smith / Environmentalists Against War & Neta Alexander / Haaretz)
A new documentary tells the story of Stuxnet, a computer virus developed, it is claimed, by Israel and the US to disrupt the Iranian nuclear project. In an interview, filmmaker Alex Gibney talks about Israel's responsibility for the revelation of the operation and its eventual spread around the world. Are we already in the midst of what Gibney calls 'World War 3.0'?

Armed, Extremist 'Hate Groups' Heading for the GOP Convention (Ryan Lenz / Southern Poverty Law Center & Keegan Hankes / SPLC)
A year of extreme political rhetoric on the campaign trail approaches a milestone as several antigovernment and racist groups have announced plans to attend the Republican National Convention, including some promising to be armed. A recent confrontation between white nationalists and anti-fascist counter-protesters left five hospitalized in Sacramento. The following is a list of groups that have confirmed plans to attend the RNC.

GOP Platform Targets Parks and Forests (Jenny Rowland/ ThinkProgress )
The Republican platform committee met this week to draft the document that defines the party's official principles and policies. Along with provisions on pornography as a "public health issue" and LGBT "conversion therapy" is an amendment calling for the indiscriminate and immediate disposal of America's national forests and public lands.

The Price of "Victory": Fallujah in Ruins (Kelley Beaucar Vlahos / The American Conservative)
The liberation last month of the Sunni city of Fallujah from a two-year ISIS stranglehold was celebrated as a rare victory by Iraqi forces and their US backers. But the city lies ravaged. Fallujah looks post-apocalyptic. The only people in Fallujah right now are fighters. Shia fighters, Iraqi forces, and non-uniformed Shiite militia raising their own flags in the city. The very people the US helped to "liberate" are being abused all over again.

28 Pages Reveal Evidence of Saudi Government Involvement in 9/11 (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Murtaza Hussain / The Intercept)
The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has released the notorious "28 pages" from the 9/11 Report, which had been kept classified, and which detail the role of the Saudi Arabian government in the attacks. The White House claimed the pages "proved" the Saudis had nothing to do with 911. In fact, the documents provide considerable evidence that the 911 hijackers had contact with Saudi intelligence agents who provided "substantial assistance."

World Calls for Nuclear Abolition: NATO Leader Calls for an "Increased Role" for Atomic Weapons (Elizabeth Philipp and Kelsey Davenport / Arms Control Association & Sputnik News)
In a major report, the Arms Control Association concludes that the world has made significant progress on strengthening nonproliferation and nuclear security norms over the past three years but progress on reducing nuclear arsenals has slowed. At the same time, former US Commander of NATO Gen. Philip Breedlove has called for increasing reliance on nukes, arguing that international competition will increase the role of nuclear weapons in the near future.

US Orders Britain and Scotland to Keep Nukes (Russia Today & BBC News)
Britain must maintain Trident nuclear submarines to deal with modern-day threats, a group of US generals says. British MPs will vote on Monday whether to renew the nuclear arsenal after Prime Minister Theresa May hastily ordered a ballot. The UK government does not intend to make alternative plans for the storage of the UK's nuclear weapons outside of Scotland, it has emerged.

UK Claims It Is 'Not Responsible' for Cleaning Up Radioactive Wastes It Left in Iraq (Doug Weir / The Ecologist &Toxic Remnants of War Network)
The UK government has disclaimed any duty to decontaminate the toxic, radioactive ash left behind by its DU munitions - -- or even monitor the impacts on human health. The UK and the US position is that assessing harm, and the costly and technically challenging task of clearance, is the sole responsibility of the country they attacked - -- arguments they also used to make for removing landmines and cluster bombs.

South Korean Villagers Protest US Missile System (Choe Sang-Hun / The New York Times & PressTV News)
Villagers rallied under a sweltering sun to condemn the choice of their county, Seongju, which is about 135 miles southeast of Seoul, the capital, for the so-called Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system, known as Thaad. South Korea and the US say the powerful missile and radar system is needed to defend the country -- and US troops stationed there -- against North Korean missiles, but residents fear it will threaten their health and ruin their agricultural economy.

Another Increase in US Military Spending and Another $40 Billion in US Arms Sales to Fuel Global Militarism (Lawrence Wittner / AntiWar.com & Andrea Shalal / Reuters)
The US, armed with the latest in advanced weaponry, has more military might than any other nation in world history. China and Russia spend only a small fraction of what the US spends on the military. Yet, when Americans are given the facts about US military spending, a substantial majority of them favor reducing it. At the same time, the US is on track to approve nearly $40 billion in foreign military sales -- weapons deals that will generate huge profits for US weapons-makers.

ACTION ALERT: Army Base Poisoning Michigan's Water and Air (Laura Olah / Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger (CSWAB))
For years, the Badger Army Ammunition Plant has been flooding surrounding land and waters with ead, copper, arsenic, ammonia, nitroglycerine, PCBs and methylmercury – the most toxic form of mercury. Meanwhile, in communities across America, open burning and detonation of hazardous waste explosives results in the uncontrolled release of toxic heavy metals, energetic compounds, perchlorate, nitrogen oxides, dioxins and other carcinogens to the environment.

Chilcot Report Damns the Charade of Iraq War (Andrew J. Bacevich / Boston Globe)
The recently released 2.6 million-word official investigation into Britain's involvement in the Iraq War, informally known as the Chilcot Report, reveals in shocking detail how Prime Minister Blair allowed the United Kingdom to be dragged into George W. Bush's unnecessary, poorly planned, ultimately unsuccessful, and arguably illegal war. In the end, the UK and its people gained nothing and paid dearly. There has been an accounting in the UK: We have yet to face history in the US.

ACTION ALERT: Demand that Obama Hold Hearings on Iraq War (Mathew Hoe /CODEPINK)
Matthew Hoe writes: "Like many of my fellow veterans with whom I served in Iraq, I am still haunted by what was done, and is still being done, to the Iraqi people because of our invasion of their country in 2003. This week, a damning report was released in Britain exposing the country's role in the US-led illegal and immoral war on Iraq. We need a similar investigation in the US."

Biodiversity, GMOs, Gene Drives and the Militarized Mind (Vandana Shiva / Common Dreams)
A recent report from the US National Academy of Science, titled "Gene Drives on the Horizon," warns: "One possible goal of release of a gene-drive modified organism is to cause the extinction of the target species or a drastic reduction in its abundance." Gene Drives have been called "mutagenic chain reactions," and are to the biological world what chain reactions are to the nuclear world. The London Guardian has described Gene Drives as the "gene bomb."

ACTION ALERT: Help Stop Police Use of Lethal Force (Jamira Burley / Amnesty International)
The use of lethal force by law enforcement officers raises serious human rights concerns regarding the right to life, the right to security of the person, the right to freedom from discrimination and the right to equal protection under law. The first step to securing the right to life, says the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, is the creation of a legal framework for the use of force by the police and the conditions under which force may be used.

15,000 Nuclear Weapons Pose a Threat to Humanity (Mayor Frank Cownie / Mayors for Peace & The Nation)
We members of Mayors for Peace, an international organization of cities dedicated to eliminating nuclear weapons, are keenly aware that these devices were designed to wipe cities off the map. Cities around the world are utterly unprepared to respond to a catastrophe of that scale. Prevention is the only cure. Yet the presidential candidates have said little about how they would address the existential threat posed by nuclear weapons.

America's Funding of Honduran Security Forces Puts Blood on our Hands (ohn James Conyers, Jr, Keith Ellison, Hank Johnson , Marcy Kaptur, Jan Schakowsky and Jose E Serrano / The Guardian)
The US is investigating allegations Honduran military had hitlist of environmental activists to target. We should not be working with Honduran police and military until the government defends human rights and holds security forces responsible for their crimes.

UN Preparing Principles to Guid Environmental Protection After Conflicts (Doug Weir / Toxic Remnants of War Project )
The UN's International Law Commission is trying to see whether it's possible to translate the environmental behavior of militaries, governments and international organizations into legal principles that could guide their actions before during and after armed conflicts.

The TPP Trade Plan Is Not Just a Job-Killer, It's a Planet-Killer (Sarah Rasmussen / Greenpeace & Sierra Club / EcoWatch)
Congress is considering approving an international trade agreement that would lead to more fracking here in the US, more burning of rainforests for palm oil and fewer protections for American workers. That international trade agreement is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which was negotiated in extreme secrecy. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a bad deal for our country and our climate -- here's how we can stop it.

The President Is Wrong About Dallas, Wrong About Race (William Boardman / Reader Supported News & Michelle Alexander )
Commentary: "These are not 'tragedies.' It is not a tragedy when a cop chokes a man to death or blows away a 12-year old with a toy gun. These are innocent, unarmed people killed in cold blood. These are not tragedies, they are something more like negligent homicide, or murder." "If we're serious about having peace officers -- rather than a domestic military at war with its own people -- we're going to have to get honest with ourselves about who our democracy actually serves and protects."

Nationwide Police Crackdown on Peaceful Protesters: Police Arrest Man Who Videotaped Police Murder of Alton Sterling (on Swaine and Edward Helmore / TheGuardian & TeleSURtv)
Hundreds of demonstrators were arrested in cities across the US this weekend, as protests against police shootings intensified. More than 160 people were arrested in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Meanwhile, Chris LeDay, the man who shared the video recording of the Alton Sterling shooting, was arrested less than 24 hours after he shared the footage on false charges of "assault and battery," a move he said was an act of police retaliation.

Gaza: Living and Dying with Drones (Ann Wright / Consortium News)
Commentary: While US political leaders claim to uphold universal human rights, nearly all are selective in sympathizing with Israel in its lopsided war against the Palestinians as reflected in the 2014 slaughter in Gaza. Two years ago, on July 7, 2014, the Israeli government launched a horrific 51-day air, land and sea attack on the people of Gaza. Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) fired missiles, rockets, artillery and tank shells relentlessly on 1.8 million Palestinians.

US Put on Tourism Watchlist as Cops Kill Another Black Man: Meanwhile Police Killings of Latinos Go Unreported (teleSURtv)
Alva Braziel is the most recent victim of police terror in the US as he was shot 10 times by Houston police. "Black people don't feel as if we're being treated unequally -- it's a fact that we're being treated unequally," says Dr. Cornell West. It was telling, West said, that Obama could call the shooting of Dallas police "a vicious and despicable act" but he would not use those exact words to describe police-involved killings in general.

What Does Dallas's 'Bomb Robot' Mean for the Future of Policing? (Simone McCarthy / The Christian Science Monitor )
The anti-police violence in Dallas started with human gunfire and ended with a robot bearing a bomb, marking the first time US law enforcement has used a robot to kill a suspect.

The United States and NATO Are Preparing for a Major War With Russia (Michael T. Klare / The Nation)
For the first time in a quarter-century, the prospect of war between the major powers -- was on the agenda of the recent NATO Summit. Another sign of US and NATO preparations for a war with Russia -- NATO recently conducted the largest Eastern Europe war games since the end of the Cold War. Anakonda 2016 involved some 31,000 troops (about half US) and thousands of combat vehicles from 24 nations in simulated battle maneuvers across the breadth of Poland.

A Report from the NATO Counter-Summit in Warsaw (Joseph Gerson / American Friends Service Committee)
Growing concern about NATO, led by the US, is dangerously ratcheting up military tensions in Europe. Beginning with the Lisbon Treaty of 2009, the EU has been developing its own military. It is deeply integrated with NATO. The slogan on the banner that will lead our protest today says something like "We've suffered Russia and We Don't Want Washington. No to NATO." NATO must be retired as soon as possible.

Ramstein: The Most Important US Air Force Base You've Never Heard Of (Norman Solomon / The Nation)
The massive Ramstein Air Base hosts 57,000 US citizens and 7,500 "active duty Airmen." Nearly ignored by US media, Ramstein is the keystone for the Pentagon's drone warfare. It soaks up billions of taxpayer dollars and Washington's endless war propels an endless gravy train. Former NSA and CIA director Gen. Michael Hayden -- an outspoken advocate of the drone program -- received $240,125 last year as a boardmember of a company that manufactures drones.

Black Lives Still Must Matter, Even After Dallas (Kai Wright / The Nation)
Commentary: "Nothing about the horrific events in Dallas last night changes the reality that brought hundreds of people out to march in the first place, any more than the assassination of NYPD Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in 2014 changed the fact that Eric Garner's killing was a crime against humanity. It is still sadly necessary to remind the nation and our law enforcement that black lives matter."

Unarmed Americans Die by Police Bullets but Attorney General Lynch Still Does Nothing (Marc Ash / Reader Supported News)
Commentary: You said: "All of us as Americans should be troubled by the shootings." All of us are. Attorney General Lynch is the best-positioned person in the nation to confront excessive police violence. As the head of the Department of Justice she has more powerful tools at her disposal than any other law enforcement officer in the nation. But she will not use the power that she has.

America Spends More Money on Jails than on Schools (Teresa Welsh / McClatchy)
The US has the highest percentage of people in jail of any country on Earth. Spending on jails and prisons has increased by 324 percent -- to $71 billion. Texas has hiked incarceration spending by 850 percent. More than two-thirds of state prison inmates are high school dropouts.

Countries Where Cops Do Not Carry Guns Are Much Safer (Rick Noack / The Washington Post)
It has been another week of devastating gun violence in the US 37-year-old Alton Sterling and 32-year-old Philando Castile were both fatally shot by police officers in separate incidents which sparked outrage across the nation. Gun control is a strategy that seems to work surprisingly well for other countries: In Britain, Ireland, Norway, Iceland and New Zealand, officers are unarmed when they are on patrol. Police are only equipped with firearms in special circumstances.

ACTION ALERT: 'No to NATO' Protests Set for July 9, 2016 (Medea Benjamin and Alice Slater / The Hill & Workers World)
Protests are set in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco on July 9 to protest the NATO summit held in Warsaw, Poland, calling it an aggressive threat against Russia. Despite US assurances to Gorbachev not to expand NATO after the collapse of the USSR, today NATO has expanded to include twelve new countries in eastern and central Europe, has extended its reach to Russia's border, and has even been discussing NATO membership with Georgia and Ukraine.

Is NATO Necessary? (Stephen Kinzer / The Boston Globe)
Britain's vote to quit the European Union was a rude jolt to the encrusted world order. Now that the EU has been shocked into reality, NATO should be next. When NATO leaders convene for a summit in Warsaw on Friday, they will insist that their alliance is still vital because Russian aggression threatens Europe. The opposite is true. NATO has become America's instrument in escalating our dangerous conflict with Russia. We need less NATO, not more.

US Army-trained Sniper Targets Police; Killed by Robot-bomb (Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Del Quentin Wilber, Matt Pearce / The Los Angeles Times)
After announcing the arrest of one suspected shooter and another "person of interest," police have announced that an attack in downtown Dallas that killed five police officers and injured seven other officers was the act of a single "lone gunman -- an Afghanistan veteran drawn to Black Power symbology and a determination to kill white people" -- especially white police.

The Crippling Wounds of Mass-shooting 'Survivors' (Timothy "Meteor Blades" Lange / The Daily Kos)
In our recollections of mass shootings, we remember the tally of the dead: Aurora -- 12; Sandy Hook -- 27; San Bernardino -- 14; Orlando -- 49; Fort Hood -- 13; Dallas -- 5. But, as frequently is the case, the number of wounded outnumbers the slain, just as is the case on the battlefield. For many of them, the nightmare didn't end when the shooter died or was captured. The impact of their wounds can continue for months or years or a lifetime.

Unarmed Americans Die by Police Bullets but Attorney General Lynch Still Does Nothing (Marc Ash / Reader Supported News)
Commentary: You said: "All of us as Americans should be troubled by the shootings." All of us are. Attorney General Lynch is the best-positioned person in the nation to confront excessive police violence. As the head of the Department of Justice she has more powerful tools at her disposal than any other law enforcement officer in the nation. But she will not use the power that she has.

ACTION ALERT: One Cheer for Obama's Executive Order on Drone Strikes (Rachel Reid / Foreign Policy & CODEPINK)
Analysis: President Barack Obama finally released data on civilians killed in US counterterror operations in Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen -- an important step toward ending the absurdity of undeclared drone wars. Yes, the White House low-balled its drone casualty numbers. But don't let that obscure the value of its important policy changes, which will save civilian lives.

Tony Blair Revealed as a War Criminal: Now It's Time for a Chiicot Indictment of George W. Bush (Justin Raimondo / AntiWar.com & Trevor Timm / The Guardian & Seth Colter Walls / The Huffington Post)
Did we really need a 2.6 million word report on how former British Prime Minister Tony Blair allowed George W. Bush to pull his country into a conflict that claimed hundreds of British lives, thousands of American lives, and at least 150,000 Iraqi lives, while plunging the entire region into a maelstrom of terroristic chaos? Remember: Blair wasn't the principal architect of this catastrophic war. The US should investigate George W. Bush for his fraud-based decision to invade Iraq.

ACLU Report: US Is Routinely Deserting and Deporting Vets (Adolfo Flores / Buzzfeed)
A report by the ACLU released on Wednesday accuses the federal government of failing to naturalize, and then deporting, immigrants after they serve in the military. The findings released on Wednesday are based on interviews with 59 veterans from 22 countries who have been deported or are fighting their deportation. Of those, 31 of were brought to the US before the age of 10.

Obama's Model "Clean Coal" Project Fails (Ian Urbina /The New York Times)
A fortress of steel and concrete towering above the pine forest was a first-of-its-kind power plant that builtto prove that it was possible to produce electricity from coal in a way that emits far less pollution, and to turn a profit while doing so. But the Mississippi "clean coal" project -- a centerpiece of President Obama's climate plan -- has been plagued by problems that managers tried to conceal, and by cost overruns and questions of who will pay.

Gaza is Barely Holding Together (Bill Corcoran / American Near East Refugee Aid and Just World Books)
The United Nations predicts that Gaza will be unlivable by 2020. The study estimates the population of 1.6 million will expand to more than two million, requiring a hefty increase in basic services. But, Gaza has barely recovered from the 2014 war, the third in five years. ANERA is helping to provide support on the ground. Meanwhile, Just World Books has just published a "Gaza Library" -- a collection of four books exploring Palestinian culture, politics and cuisine.

UK Investigation Concludes: Blair and Bush Lied their Nations into an Unjustified Act of Aggression (Steven Erlanger and David E. Sanger / The New York Times & Esther Addley / The Guardian)
Sir John Chilcot delivered a devastating critique of Tony Blair's decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003, concluding there was no imminent threat from Saddam Hussein. Blair was harshly criticized for offering a blanket promise of British support if the US went to war to topple Saddam Hussein. Families who lost sons, brothers and fathers as a result of the unnecessary Bush/Blair war have called the former PM "the worst terrorist in the world" and demanded that he "face consequences."

Deadlier than ISIS: US Cops Continue to Kill Americans (Celisa Calacal / ThinkProgress)
In the first half of 2016, police have killed 532 people -- many of whom were unarmed, mentally ill, and people of color. This number comes from The Guardian's police killings database, but the Killed by Police database counts 580 people who have died at the hands of police so far this year. The Washington Post also reports that 488 people have been shot and killed by cops.

State Dept: Israel Systematically Seizing Palestinian Land (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & The Jerusalem Post)
In an unusually harsh public criticism, State Department spokesman John Kirby criticized Israel for systematically seizing Palestinian land for the expansion of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, insisting that such moves are "fundamentally undermining the prospects for a two-state solution."

Donald Trump Thinks America Must Commit War Crimes (Eric Levitz / New York Magazine)
Commentary: Hours after Tuesday's massacre at Ataturk International Airport, Donald Trump called on America to "fight fire with fire." The presumptive GOP nominee told supporters in Ohio that, while he likes waterboarding, it probably isn't "tough enough." Last December, the Republican front-runner revealed his big new idea for winning the war on terrorism: kill more women and children in the Middle East.

Sanders: Democratic Party Platform Still Needs Work (Sen. Bernie Sanders / The Philadelphia Inquirer)
Sen. Sanders argues that there were a number of vitally important proposals that "were not adopted in the Democratic party platform" and hopes that "a grassroots movement of working people, environmentalists, and human-rights advocates" will compel thepParty include these initiatives to be adopted by the full committee in Orlando including, a $15 minimum wage, protections for pensions of millions of Americans, a tax on carbon, and a ban on fracking.

Words of Mass Destruction That Continue to Deceive (Patrick Cockburn / The Independent & The UNZ Review)
Britain's rulers periodically admit that they got many things wrong in Iraq, but they tend to be unspecific about what these were or what llessons can be learned from British military involvement between 2003 and 2009. This ignorance is willful and stems from a conscious or unconscious sense that, by admitting to real weaknesses and failures, it will appear as a less valuable ally by the US as it continues to convince others of its political and military strength.

A Lesson from Turkey and Russia: America Needs To End New Cold War (Doug Bandow / Forbes)
Commentary: Turkey and Russia have kissed and made up. Or at least done the diplomatic equivalent. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed his regret over the shoot-down of a Russian aircraft last November. Russian President Vladimir Putin began dropping his government's retaliatory sanctions. There's talk of possible cooperation over Syria. Reducing tensions between the two is good for them and the region -- as well as for the US and NATO.

For Obama's Secret Wars, the Record Suggests a Far Worse Reality (Chris Woods / AntiWar.com)
Targeted killings or assassinations beyond the battlefield remain a highly charged subject. Most controversial of all is the number of civilians killed in US covert and clandestine drone strikes since 2002. United Nations data for Afghanistan indicates that one civilian was killed for every 11 international airstrikes in 2014.

Trump and Clinton: Both Lost in the Military-Industrial Complex (Chuck Spinney / Consortium News)
America is engaged in the longest and second most expensive war in its history -- a war that is grinding on endlessly, without a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have ducked any serious discussion of America's escalating military spending, suggesting that whoever wins will be captive of the "Military-Industrial Complex" that President Eisenhower warned against in 1961.

US-Backed Syrian Rebels Accused of Torture, Summary Executions (AntiWar.com & The Associated Press & Sky News)
While most of the reports on war crimes in Syria center on either ISIS or the Syrian government, they are by no means the only ones committing such crimes, as a new report from Amnesty International details "chilling" abuses committed by a number of different groups, including several US-backed rebel factions.

Benghazi Just a Symptom; Interventionism Is the Disease (Bonnie Kristian / Reason)
The real story behind the Select Committee on Benghazi's 800-page report is not about what Hillary Clinton knew and when -- though, to be sure, the inquiry presents criticisms worth serious consideration given their subject's perpetual touting of her foreign policy record. The real story here is not specific to the Benghazi incident at all. It is rather found in the bigger picture of bipartisan military intervention, which in Libya produced yet another a reckless war of choice.

The Nonviolent History of American Independence (Rivera Sun / AntiWar.com)
Independence Day is commemorated with fireworks and flag-waving, gun salutes and military parades . . . however, one of our nation's founding fathers, John Adams, wrote, "A history of military operations . . . is not a history of the American Revolution." Often minimized in our history books, the tactics of nonviolent action played a powerful role in achieving American Independence from British rule.

The Founding Myth of the United States of America (Benjamin Naimark-Rowse / Political Violence at a Glance)
Every July 4th, we're taught that we won our independence from Britain through bloody battles and we're shown depictions of Minutemen battling Redcoats. But these lessons of a democracy forged in the crucible of revolutionary war tends to ignore how a decade of nonviolent resistance (before the shot-heard-round-the-world) shaped the founding of the United States, strengthened our sense of political identity, and laid the foundation of our democracy.

How Can America Celebrate Independence Day With Millions Behind Bars and Under Surveillance? (JB Nicholas / The Daily Beast )
Commentary: "It was bizarre to celebrate a day dedicated to freedom from inside prison. Even after being released, the day smacks of hypocrisy for me . . . . For 13 Independence Days, I was a prisoner. To be a prisoner on the Fourth of July is to know the essential hypocrisy of contemporary America. "

The Five Principles of Patriotism (Robert Reich / Robert Reich's Website)
Commentary: "We talk a lot about Patriotism, especially around July 4th, but we need also to take to heart its five basic principles."

The Age of Mass Graves: Pakistan Prepares for Climate Deaths (im DeChristopher / TimDeChristopher.org)
Commenttary: "This week I took action to express the grief that has been weighing on my heart ever since I read about Pakistan digging mass graves in anticipation of their climate change induced heat waves last month. Even as someone who reads a lot of heartbreaking stories about climate change, the fact that we have now entered the age of anticipatory mass graves broke my heart in a whole new way."

July 4th: No Time for Celebration for Indigenous Peoples in US (Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz / TeleSURtv)
July 4 symbolizes the beginning of the "Indian wars" and "westward movement" that raged across the continent over a century of unrelenting US wars of conquest. That was the goal of independence for both the seasoned killers of the so-called "revolutionary army" and the militias using extreme violence against Indigenous noncombatants to subjugate and expel. Without this resistance, the intended genocide of the Native people would have completely succeeded.

Top 5 Green Energy Good News Stories Today (Juan Cole / Informed Comment & The Reveal)
Solar power is poised to grow 6-fold by 2030 and could constitute between 9% and 13% of world electricity production by then. Price per kilowatt hour for solar is plummeting, so that it is on the verge of being the cheapest form of energy, outstripping coal in that regard. China now plans to get between 1/4 and 1/3 of it electricity from wind turbines by 2030.

The Code War: Alex Gibney's Disturbing Film Reveal the Dark Forces Behind the Stuxnet Computer Worm (Reviewed by Gar Smith / The Berkeley Daily Planet)
Alex Gibney's new film, Zero Days, makes a convincing case that the US (in partnership with Israel) created the Student computer virus in a secret plot to destroy Iran's nuclear processing ability. The suspicion is that US hoped to forestall an impending Israeli air attack that could have spread fallout over the region -- and may well have triggered a major (perhaps cataclysmic) war.

ACTION ALERT: No Fly No Buy (CREDO Action )
Breaking the NRA's chokehold on Congress will require massive grassroots pressure on our elected officials, demanding they deliver more than thoughts and prayers in the face of our epidemic of gun violence. Can you add your voice today to tell Republican leaders to vote on a meaningful package of gun control reforms, including an assault weapons ban?

The Staggering Myths about Gun Control (Dennis A. Henigan / Salon)
Commentary: "The issue of guns in America causes people in other parts of the developed world to look at our country and shake their heads. They just don't get it. They don't understand why so many Americans have such passion for their guns. They don't understand why gun control is such a contentious issue. The gun lobby's disproportionate political power will never be overcome until these fallacies are destroyed."

The Ten Worst Acts of the Nuclear Age (David Krieger / Waging Peace)
The ten worst acts of the Nuclear Age described below have set the tone for our time. They have caused immense death and suffering; been tremendously expensive; have encouraged nuclear proliferation; have opened the door to nuclear terrorism, nuclear accidents and nuclear war; and are leading the world back into a second Cold War.

Police Kill Nearly 25 Dogs Each Day (Andrea B. Scott / The Nation)
The Department of Justice estimates that nearly 25 dogs are killed by law enforcement every day in the United States, which makes a total of 10,000 per year. Law enforcement's treatment of dogs is just a symptom of the militarized policing so many of our neighborhoods are subjected to.

First US Assessment of Drone Strikes Downplays Civilian Deaths (Associated Press & Bill Roggio / The Long War Journal)
Peeling back some of the secrecy of America's drone strikes on suspected terrorists, the Obama administration on Friday said it has killed up to 116 civilians in counterterror attacks in Pakistan, Yemen and other places where the US is not engaged in active, on-the-ground warfare.

The Obama Administration's Dubious Drone Death Toll (Ryan Devereaux / The Intercept & Lawfare Blog)
In a long-anticipated gesture at transparency, the Obama administration has released an internal assessment of the number of civilians killed by drone strikes in nations where the US is not officially at war. According to the data, US drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya killed between 64 and 116 civilians during Obam's two terms -- a fraction of even the most conservative estimates of drone-related killings catalogued by independent researchers over the same period.

War Against Democracy: Election Fraud in California (The Huffington Post & Citizens' Oversight and Election Justice USA & Election Fraud 2016 and TrustVote.org )
With nearly a quarter-million ballots still uncounted in the California Presidential Primary, a lawsuit has been filed citing numerous irregularities and contending that citizens were denied their "right to vote." This level of election fraud (usually found in Third world countries) is now occurring blatantly in the US.

The Globalization of Electronic Election Theft (Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman / The Huffington Post)
From Ohio and California to Scotland and France, the disputes surrounding electronic voting machines have gone truly global. Two felony convictions have so far arisen from what prosecutors call a "rigged" recount that occurred in Cleveland during the 2004 presidential election. The recent trend to privatizing vote counts, with corporations claiming "proprietary rights" to keep their hardware and software covert, has added a new dimension to an old tradition.

Russia Accused of War Crime: Dropping Phosphorus and Thermobaric Bombs on Residents of Allepo (Daily Sabah & Yalibnan.com)
Footage of Russian warplanes targeting civilians in Syria's second largest city of Aleppo on June 8 shows the use white phosphorus -- an incendiary and toxic chemical banned by the international treaties. Its usage constitutes a war crime. Moscow is also dropping what appear to be fuel-air bombs, described by one arms expert as "a mini nuclear bomb" next to residential areas. Former British Army explosives expert Major Chris Hunter called it "a very, very irresponsible act."

Russia to Open New Naval Base in Black Sea to Counter NATO (Nikolai Litovkin / Russia Beyond the Headlines)
The Russian Navy is to open a new base on the Black Sea coast hosting Varshavyanka class Project 636.6 diesel-electric submarines with Kalibr cruise missiles. According to a RBTH source in the military-industrial complex, the Black Sea Fleet's new base will host six Varshavyanka class Project 636.6 submarines. Initially, the new base on the Black Sea coast was being built because of disagreements in Russian-Ukrainian relations after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

CIA Gave Romania Millions to Host Secret Prisons (Alison Mutler |/ Associated Press & Open Society Foundation)
The CIA paid Romania "millions of dollars" to host secret prisons, a rights lawyer said Wednesday as the European Court of Human Rights heard accusations that Romania allowed the agency to torture terrorism suspects in a secret renditions program under President George W. Bush.

Clinton Forces Dominate DNC Platform, Demolishing Key Sanders Issues (The Real News Network)
According to many reports on Monday, DNC Platform Committee more or less disregarded Senator Sanders' policy positions on a number of fronts. Hillary Clinton's surrogates on that platform committee have produced a document that leaves plenty of room for Hillary Clinton to run a campaign without offending jobs-exporting corporations or bankers or energy companies or health industry profiteers or the Israel lobby.

US Conference of Mayors Unanimously Adopts Resolution Calling for Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (Mayors for Peace and 2020visioncampaign.org)
At the close of its 84rd Annual Meeting, the United States Conference of Mayors, for the 11th consecutive year, adopted a resolution in support of Mayors for Peace, warning that "the nuclear-armed countries are edging ever closer to direct military confrontation in conflict zones around the world," and calling on the next US President "to pursue new diplomatic initiatives to lower tensions with Russia and China and to dramatically reduce US and Russian nuclear stockpiles."

Palestinians Say Israel Caused their Summer Water Shortage (Mohammed Daraghmeh and Daniella Cheslow / Big Story & Alex Traiman/ Jewish and Israel News )
As Palestinians in the West Bank fast from dawn to dusk in scorching heat during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, tens of thousands of people have been affected by a drought that has greatly reduced the flow to their taps. Israel admits it's been forced to cut water supplies to the parched area, saying that nearby Jewish settlements have also been affected. But Palestinian areas appear to have been hit much harder, and both sides are blaming each other.

Clinton Campaign Turns Democratic Platform into a Pro-oil, Pro-corporate, Pro-war Wish List (Bill McKibben / Politico)
The DNC has abandoned its progressive claims. In a series of 7-6 votes, Clinton's delegates on the Platform Committee struck down proposals for carbon tax, a fracking ban, any effort to keep fossils in the ground, measures to mandate that federal agencies weigh climate impacts, and a plan to keep fossil fuel firms from taking private land by eminent domain. Bill McKibben reports only one pro-environment victory: "We did, however, reach unanimous consent on more bike paths!"

Navy Builds Underground Nuclear Weapons Base 20 Miles from Seattle (Hans M. Kristensen / Federation of American Scientists & President Barack Obama)
The US Navy has quietly built a new $294 million underground nuclear weapons storage complex at the Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific (SWFPAC), a high-security base in Washington that stores and maintains the Trident II ballistic missiles and their nuclear warheads for the strategic submarine fleet operating in the Pacific Ocean.

If Australia Can Stop Mass Shootings Why Can't the US? Part One (Amy Goodman / Democracy Now!)
As the United States struggles to make sense of yet another mass shooting, we look at one country that fought to change the culture of gun violence and won. Just 12 days after a grisly mass shooting, Australia's government announced a bipartisan deal to enact gun control measures. Now, 20 years later, there has not been a single mass shooting in Australia, and overall gun violence has decreased by 50 percent.

If Australia Can Stop Mass Shootings Why Can't the US? Part Two (Amy Goodman / Democracy Now!)
As the United States struggles to make sense of yet another mass shooting, we look at one country that fought to change the culture of gun violence and won. Just 12 days after a grisly mass shooting, Australia's government announced a bipartisan deal to enact gun control measures. Now, 20 years later, there has not been a single mass shooting in Australia, and overall gun violence has decreased by 50 percent.

Betraying Progressives, DNC Platform Backs Fracking, TPP, and Israel Occupation (Lauren McCauley / CommonDreams & The Jimmy Dore Show)
Despite claims to want to unify voters ahead of November's election, the Democratic party appears to be pushing for an agenda that critics say ignores basic progressive policies, "staying true" to their Corporate donors. During a 9-hour meeting in St. Louis on Friday, members of the DNC's platform drafting committee voted down a number of measures proposed by Bernie Sanders surrogates that would have opposed the contentious Trans-Pacific Partnership, fracking, and the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Back from the Brink: Toward Restraint and Dialogue between Russia and the West (The Arms Control Association)
Relations between Russia and the West have fallen to an historic low. Hopes for sustained and comprehensive cooperation have dimmed significantly. The prime objective for the next few years should be limiting the potential for dangerous military incidents that can escalate out of control. Russia and the West must come back from the brink. Restraint and dialogue are now needed more than ever.

Russia Accused of War Crime: Dropping Phosphorus and Thermobaric Bombs on Residents of Allepo (Daily Sabah & Yalibnan.com)
"It's really terrifying; night turns into clear day," says a resident of Allepo, Syria. "My city is totally stricken. There are hundreds of airstrikes with vacuum rockets, thermite and cluster bombs, barrel bombs and naval mines." Former British Army explosives expert Major Chris Hunter called it "a very, very irresponsible act . . . . It is a breach of the Geneva Convention to use these weapons off the battlefield. The effect on civilians is horrific."

NATO Summit 2016: Heritage Foundation Tells NATO to Send More Money to Corporate Arms Industry (Daniel Kochis and Luke Coffey / The Heritage Foundation)
The July NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland, offers an opportunity for the alliance to build on commitments of the 2014 summit, a Heritage Foundation report declares. "The US should reverse its own defense cuts and find creative ways to press its allies to invest more in defense." According to the hawkish Heritage Foundation, "NATO members are, at a minimum, treaty-obligated to spend adequately on defense."

Iraq's Flawed Liberation of Fallujah (Anthony E. Deane / Foreign Policy)
Commentary: "Today, Ramadi lies in ruins. The city of 400,000 people was destroyed in order to liberate it -- and now Fallujah faces a similar fate. . . . A decade ago, I was on the front lines in Anbar Province as US forces developed the blueprint for defeating al Qaeda. Today, the Iraqi government is ignoring all the lessons we learned."

ACTION ALERT: Top Scientists Call for Obama to Take Nuclear Missiles off Hair-Trigger Alert (Lisbeth Gronlund / Union o f Concerned Scientists)
More than 90 prominent US scientists, including 20 Nobel laureates and 90 National Academy of Sciences members, sent a letter to President Obama yesterday urging him to take US land-based nuclear missiles off hair-trigger alert and remove launch-on-warning options from US warplans.

Massive Cyber Attack Could Trigger NATO Response: Stoltenberg (Andrea Shalal / Reuters & Hana Levi Julian / The Jewish Press)
A major cyber attack could trigger a collective response by NATO warns NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. "A severe cyber attack may be classified as a case for the alliance. Then NATO can and must react. How, that will depend on the severity of the attack." In 2014 the US-led alliance assessed that cyber attacks could potentially trigger NATO'S mutual defense guarantee, or Article 5, and trigger a military counterattack with conventional weapons.

Massive Cyber Attack Could Trigger NATO Response: Stoltenberg (Andrea Shalal / Reuters & Hana Levi Julian / The Jewish Press)
A major cyber attack could trigger a collective response by NATO warns NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. "A severe cyber attack may be classified as a case for the alliance. Then NATO can and must react. How, that will depend on the severity of the attack." In 2014 the US-led alliance assessed that cyber attacks could potentially trigger NATO'S mutual defense guarantee, or Article 5, and trigger a military counterattack with conventional weapons.

Massive Cyber Attack Could Trigger NATO Response: Stoltenberg (Andrea Shalal / Reuters & Hana Levi Julian / The Jewish Press)
A major cyber attack could trigger a collective response by NATO warns NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. "A severe cyber attack may be classified as a case for the alliance. Then NATO can and must react. How, that will depend on the severity of the attack." In 2014 the US-led alliance assessed that cyber attacks could potentially trigger NATO'S mutual defense guarantee, or Article 5, and trigger a military counterattack with conventional weapons.

Dangerous Crossroads in US-Russia Relations: Arms Control and Non-Proliferation in Jeopardy (Andrei Akulov / Global Research & Strategic Culture Foundation & )
Two key treaties -- the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) and the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty -- are still in force. However, their future is not assured. The 2010 New START (also known as the Prague Treaty) was an important achievement in preventing the collapse of arms control. But it expires in 2020 without any prospects for a new agreement coming into force.

UK's 'Operation Blue Peacock': A Nuclear Landmine 'Operated' by Live Chickens (Jeremy Bender / Business Insider)
The development of Britain's seven-ton 'Blue Peacock' nuclear landmine showed a problem with it suffering from extreme cold weather. A possible solution to this problem was proposed: simply stuff the casing with chickens to provide sufficient heat to keep the explosive mechanism from failing.

ATION ALERT: NATO's Warsaw Summit Threatens War with Russia (John Catalinotto / Workers World & Manlio Dinucci / Workers' World)
The location of NATO's next summit meeting is itself a provocation against Russia. NATO leaders will meet on July 8-9 in Warsaw, Poland, less than 200 miles from the Russian province of Kaliningrad. The meeting follows NATO military maneuvers under US command that threaten Russia. On June 5, a sea exercise called Baltops 16 began in the Baltic Sea with 6,100 troops, 45 ships and 60 warplanes from 17 countries, as bombers flew toward Russian borders.

NATO's Warsaw Summit Threatens War with Russia (John Catalinotto / Workers World & Manlio Dinucci / Workers' World)
The location of NATO's next summit meeting is itself a provocation against Russia. NATO leaders will meet on July 8-9 in Warsaw, Poland, less than 200 miles from the Russian province of Kaliningrad.

Tens of Thousands Protest US Bases in Okinawa (Chosun News & The Diplomat)
Tens of thousands of protestors have gathered on the Japanese island of Okinawa demanding the US military shut its bases following a rash of high-profile incidents -- including sexual assaults and murder -- involving service members that have made headlines in recent months. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's popularity has dipped in the region because he favors relocation rather than removal of all US military personnel from Okinawa, as called for by the island's governor.

Orlando Shooter Was a Corporate Security Mercenary (Reuters & Benjamin D Katz and Lucas Shaw / Bloomberg.com)
G4S Plc's approach to the vetting of its security personnel is under scrutiny after it emerged that Florida nightclub killer Omar Mateen had been employed by the world's biggest guarding company for almost a decade. The man identified as the shooter who killed 50 people at a packed gay nightclub in Florida on Sunday had worked for G4S, the world's largest security services firm, since 2007 and carried a gun as part of his duties, the company said on Sunday.

Drug Ring Found Operating inside US Nuclear Missile Site (Robert Burns / Associated Press)
Five more airmen are under investigation for illegal drug activity at a nuclear missile base in Wyoming, bringing the total to 19 and expanding the probe beyond the security forces group initially implicated. That investigation led to the discovery that dozens of missileers had been cheating on their proficiency tests at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana, which also operates a fleet of 150 Minuteman 3 missiles.

What's the Democratic Peace Platform? (Tom Hayden / The Democracy Journal & Hon. Barbara Lee / US House of Representatives)
This year's Democratic primary debate has been dominated by criticism of Hillary Clinton for her 2002 vote to authorize the Iraq war, and her general support of regime change. It's forgotten that Bernie Sanders was for regime change as well. . . .

US and Japan Oppose Nuclear Ban Efforts (Ayako Mie / Japan Times)
US President Barack Obama's historic Hiroshima visit Friday signifies a step forward in his stated 2009 dream of a "world without nuclear weapons." But Obama's trip also casts light on key questions, including why Japan has welcomed his visit without a formal apology, and how much Obama has accomplished toward his goal of nuclear disarmament amid increasing -- and menacing -- military buildups in China, North Korea and elsewhere.

The Cause of Washington's 'Endless Wars' -- Endless Profits (Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & Andrew Cockburn / TomDispatch)
When it comes to waging war, creating and maintaining an effective fighting force has become a secondary consideration, reflecting a relative disinterest -- remarkable to outsiders -- in the actual business of combat. The truth is, the real purpose of the weapons-making cartels that lobby Washington for expanding wars, is to service the goal of raking in billions of taxpayer dollars for the Pentagon and its industrial and political partners.

Not Much Bang for the Buck (Richard Palmer / The Trumpet)
Does big spending buy invincibility? America is great at throwing money at problems, from health care to education. The question is, "How is that money being spent?" A shocking amount of it is simply wasted. Exactly how much is unknown because the Pentagon has never been audited.

Navy Atomic Subs and US Marine Corps: Not Ready to Serve (Richard Palmer / The Trumpet)
The USS Minnesota nuclear attack submarine is stuck in port as workers try to make it seaworthy. The $2.7 billion vessel is only three years old. After investing more than $6 billion, the US Navy has three new nuclear submarines that pose a known risk to their crews if deployed. Fox News reports that the vast majority of US strike fighter aircraft are not airworthy.

World's Largest Cemetery Receives '100 Bodies a Day' from Fighting in Iraq (Alex MacDonald / Middle East Eye)
As far as the eye can see, gravestones, tombs and Shia icons stretch out amid the baking summer heat. This is the Al-Salam Valley cemetery, the largest in the world, in Iraq's Najaf province. Middle East Eye speaks with gravedigger at Al-Salam Valley cemetery, where Shia dead are delivered from fighting in Fallujah and across Iraq.

US Making a Deadly Mistake in Afghanistan, Says Former Diplomat (Charles Davis / teleSURtv)
Matthew Hoh resigned from the State Department in 2009 to protest the US war in Afghanistan. He says Obama is making the same mistakes today. The war that Barack Obama promised to end two years ago is now being expanded, with reports of more airstrikes and ground combat to come. According to the UN at least 3,545 innocent men, women and children were killed and another 7,457 injured in 2015--the worst death toll since the US invaded the country in 2001.

US Rules Soldiers Who Killed 2 Pregnant Afghan Women Acted 'Appropriately' (teleSURtv & Jeremy Scahill / The Intercept)
The US Department of Defense absolved soldiers involved in the murder of seven Afghan civilians, including two pregnant women. Surviving witnesses had testified that the soldiers allegedly tried to cover up their actions by digging their bullets out of the bodies of the women they had killed. Ultimately the massacre would take seven civilian lives. The Pentagon ruled that "the amount of force utilized was necessary, proportional and applied at appropriate time."

Orlando Massacre Wasn't 'Terrorism' or a 'Hate Crime': It Was 'Counter-terrorism' (Malia Zimmerman / FoxNews.com & Anneta Konstantinides and Hannah Perry / Dailymail.com and Associated Press)
After days of reports characterizing the Orlando mass murders as a "hate crime" targeting gays, a series of previously unreleased phone calls and social media postings reveal that Omar Mateen intended his acts to be revenge for Washington's murders of innocent women and children in the so-called "War on Terror." If Mateen's act were prompted in response to US violence they could be seen as "retaliation" or, in the Pentagon's parlance, "counter-terrorism."

After Orlando, Clinton, Trump Call for Bombing ISIS; Ignore Links to a US Mercenary Corp (Alex Emmons / The Intercept )
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump responded to the Orlando shooting with the same plan: bomb people. Both candidates called for escalating the US-led bombing campaign against ISIS -- which played no role in the attack. Little attention has been focused on the fact that the killer of 49 innocents in Orlando worked as a security guard for G4S -- a giant, often controversial global contracting corporation that provides mercenary forces, prison guards and security services.

Approaching Nuclear Midnight: The Steady Tick of the Doomsday Clock (Tom Englehardt and Noam Chomsky / TomDispatch)
Professor, activist, critic and author Noam Chomsky turns to the single most vital question for humanity: Will we destroy ourselves? "Prospects for decent long-term survival are not high unless there is a significant change of course. A large share of the responsibility is in our hands -- the opportunities as well.... Nuclear weapons pose a constant danger of instant destruction, but at least we know in principle how to alleviate the threat, even to eliminate it."

A Visit with Julian Assange: A Whistleblower's Fate (Michael Moore's Facebook Page & New Society Revolutionary Movement)
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has spoken out against US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, calling her a "war hawk with bad judgment" who gets an "emotional rush out of killing people." Meanwhile, filmmaker Michael Moore has visited Assange, who has been confined to London's Ecuadorian Embassy for years -- without charges, without trial -- simply for informing the American people "of the lies that our government told us."

The Case Against Big Oil: A Vast Conspiracy to Profit by Poisoning a Planet (James Osborne / The Houston Chronicle)
For years, efforts to hold energy companies and governments liable for the warming of the planet had moved through the court system with little fanfare or success. But with state governments probing Exxon Mobil's public and internal statements on climate change, lawyers warned their clients to get ready.

ACTION ALERT: Act to Control Gun Violence in America (Credo Mobile & ActionTaker)
Another horrific mass shooting happened yesterday, leaving at least 50 dead and 50 more wounded at an LGBT club in Orlando. As the death toll from the tragedy in Orlando continued to mount, Republican politicians were quick to offer their "prayers and condolences" to the families and friends of the victims. But "thoughts and prayers" are not enough. We need a real gun control legislation package that includes a ban on assault weapons.

ACTION ALERT: Hillary Clinton and the UASI Fueling Police Militarization (The War Resisters League et al & Sarah Lazare / AlterNet)
Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton are teaming up with the NYPD to request high levels of funding for a federal "counter-terror" program that is directly bankrolling the militarization of police forces nationwide. To secure the funds, they are invoking the threat of terrorism and exploiting the climate of fear and incitement that has come to define the 2016 election cycle.

The Tragedy in Orlando Was Not Terrorism: It Was a "Hate Crime" (Juan Cole / Informed Comment & The Reveal)
Analysis: For some people tracking the toll of gun violence in America, the work seems to have no clear end in sight. Mass killings happen roughly every two weeks in America The FBI counted 172 cases between 2006 and 2011. By law, if the alleged Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, had been a terrorist, he would have directed criticism to US government policy and issued demands. Shooting people at a nightclub has no obvious strategic goal.

Another Cause of PTSD: Combat Concussions (Sarah Knapton / The Telegraph)
Shockwaves from explosions may scar the brains of soldiers in areas linked to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), suggesting a possible physical cause for the condition. Scientists found distinctive injuries in the brains of eight military personnel who survived bomb blasts but died between four days and nine years after the trauma.

War Is a Lie: Peace Activist David Swanson Tells the Truth (Gar Smith / Environmentalists Against War)
At a Memorial Day book signing at Diesel Books, David Swanson, the founder of World Beyond War and author of "War Is a Lie" said he hopes his book will be used as a how-to manual to help citizens "spot and call out the lies early." Despite bellicose speech echoing through the halls of many capitals, pacifism is becoming increasingly mainstream. "Pope Francis has gone on record saying 'There is no such thing as a just war' and who am I to argue with the Pope?"

White House Announces Plan to Escalate Afghan War (AntiWar.com & The New York Times)
After 14 years of US war, the Taliban maintain a significant footprint in Afghanistan. About one-fifth of the country is controlled or contested by the Taliban -- but this is a conservative estimate. Some analysts fear the Taliban probably either control or heavily influence "about a half of the country." Now, in addition to increased airstrikes, the White House confirmed plans to loosen restrictions on ground troops, with an eye toward engaging in direct combat.

US Admits Friendly Fire Killed Its Syrian Allies (Adam Entous and Gordon Lubold / The Wall Street Journal)
The US military bombed a Syrian rebel unit it had trained and equipped in a friendly-fire incident in late May, prompting an internal investigation and raising questions about renewed Pentagon efforts to build local forces to battle Islamic State. The military didn't disclose the incident until asked about it by The Wall Street Journal. It is unclear why the US military didn't disclose the Syria incident earlier.

Latest Provocation: US Sails Warship into Black Sea. Russia Vows to Respond (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Andrew Osborn and Jack Stubbs / Reuters)
The Russian Foreign Ministry has accused the US of taking provocative action in the Black Sea with the arrival of the USS Porter, a guided missile destroyer which arrived in the area a few days ago, outfitting with a new missile system. The US Navy claimed the ship entered the Black Sea to "promote peace" with its shiny new offensive missile system, which the Navy had described as being installed due to the "Russian threat."

Senate Amendment Would Block US Bomb Sales for Saudi War (AntiWar.com & Defense News & Agence France-Presse)
A bipartisan amendment at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is seeking to halt all sales of bombs and other air-to-ground munitions to Saudi Arabia until the Kingdom promises to take precautions to limit the number of civilians they kill. Sen. Chris Murphy (D- CT) noted that the US involvement in the Saudi War is damaging their credibility internationally, and says that "every single civilian death inside Yemen is attributable to the United States."

Calling Out Drone War as a War Crime (Dennis J. Bernstein / Consortium News)
Night and day, US "pilots" sit in cushioned chairs near Las Vegas, commanding drones on the other side of the planet, tracking and killing people, what retired Colonel Ann Wright and other activists call a war crime. Col. Wright, who spent most of her adult life as a diplomat working in the US State Department, is now leading the charge against the US "drone war."

US Escalates Combat Role in Afghanistan as Afghan People Complain of 'Abandonment' (Al Jazeera)
The White House has announced the expansion of the US military's role in Afghanistan to fight the Taliban, ratcheting up a 15-year conflict President Barack Obama had vowed to end. US forces will play a "more proactive" role in helping local troops "be more effective in the battlefield." In the meantime, the residents of Afghanistan complain of increasing threats, greater instability and a feeling of "abandonment" by Western countries.

What Hope Is There for Syria's Besieged Civilians? (Al Jazeera)
For nearly four years, Syrians in the town of Daraya have lived under siege at the hands of their government with limited access to food and medicine. The UN estimates that more than 500,000 Syrians are affected, but some groups like the Siege Watch Project put that figure at more than one million. Now government forces have dropped barrel bombs on a suburb of Damascus, just as it was set to receive its first food-aid delivery in four years.

The High Toll of Obama's Low-cost Wars (Greg Jaffe and Loveday Morris / The Washington Post)
The White House is on the verge of releasing a long-delayed accounting of how many militants and civilians it has killed, primarily with drones. In his final months as president, Obama has touted his toughness even as he has worried openly about the toll American airstrikes take on innocent civilians. As one deadly bombing in Iraq shows, even the most surgical of strikes can result in unintended consequences.

US Feeds a Global Plague of Handguns and Pistols: Small Arms Imports to Middle Eastern Countries Have Doubled (Dave Bryan / Associated Press & KIM Won-soo, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs)
Small Arms Survey's latest report reveals annual sales of small arms and light weapons to Middle Eastern countries nearly doubled in dollar terms in 2013 over the year before, as conflicts heated up across the region. Weapons sales rose from $342 million in 2012 to $630 million in 2013. The US was both the biggest exporter and importer of weapons ranging from pistols and military firearms to hunting rifles, ammunition and anti-tank guns.

Small Arms and Femicide: Confronting a Vector of Violence against Women (Reaching Critical Will & Women's International League for Peace and Freedom)
Small arms and light weapons are a key part of the global armed violence epidemic, resulting in about half a million deaths annually. The manufacture, trade, proliferation, possession, and use of small arms and light weapons facilitate gender-based violence, sexual violence, domestic violence, mass shootings, human trafficking, and armed conflict. They also are key factors in the perpetuation of violent masculinities and the militarisation of communities.

Saudis Threaten UN to Hide Child Killings in Yemen (Edith M. Lederer / Associated Press & Alex Emmons, Zaid Jilani / The Intercept)
The Saudi regime in Riyadh threatened to pull hundreds of millions of dollars from United Nations programs if it was singled out for killing and maiming children in Yemen. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was forced to cover-up Saudi crimes fearing millions of other children around the world "would suffer grievously" if UN programs were defunded. "This was one of the most painful and difficult decisions I have had to make," the UN leader said.

Revive Arms Control and Start with Nuclear-Armed Cruise Missiles (Sico van der Meer and Christine Parthemore / War on the Rocks)
A global conversation is also beginning to emerge. In May, for example, officials from Sweden and Switzerland recommended to the UN Open-Ended Working Group on nuclear disarmament in Geneva "that States initiate or engage in a process to reduce risks associated with nuclear armed cruise missiles."

Muhammad Ali Understood the Racist Roots of War and Militarism (Phyllis Bennis / Antiwar.com)
Commentary: In the history of the peace and justice movements, the most effective activists analysts and cultural workers were those who understood the racism at the core of US wars. They grasped the ways in which US militarism relied on racism at home to recruit its cannon-fodder. It was Muhammad Ali who first described the Vietnam-era draft as "white people sending black people to fight yellow people to protect the country they stole from the red people."

The Foreign Policies of Sanders, Trump, and Clinton: America and the World in 2016 and Beyond (Joanne Landy / Campaign for Peace and Democracy )
Analysis: The world is faced with crises on virtually every front, and any assessment of the foreign policy positions of the two major parties' presidential candidates must be measured against how well they respond to these crises. Despite their differences, the foreign policies of both Trump and Clinton promise a future of endless militarism, drone attacks, support for dictators, and savage neoliberal economic policies throughout the world.

Democrats Are Now the Aggressive War Party (Robert Parry / Consortium News)
For nearly a half century -- since late in the Vietnam War -- the Democrats have been the less warlike of the two parties, but that has flipped with the choice of war hawk Hillary Clinton. The Democratic Party has moved from being a reluctant war party to an aggressive war party with its selection of Clinton as its presumptive presidential nominee. With minimal debate, this historic change brings full circle the arc of the party's anti-war attitudes that began in 1968 and have now ended in 2016.

Rigged Elections: The Covert War on Democracy (Change.org & Greg Palast with Dennis J Bernstein / The Election Crimes Bulletin)
Nearly 18 million Californians registered to vote in Tuesday's highly contested primary, yet only 3.5 million votes were recorded. 3 million mail-in ballots remain to be counted. What happened to the other 11.5 million votes? Poll workers were told to give independent voters "provisional" ballots if they want to vote Democratic. Provisional ballots are typically left uncounted. And some electronic voting machines refused to accept votes for Sanders. See video.

Calling Out Drone War as a War Crime (Dennis J Bernstein / Consortium News & Dan Falcone and Saul Isaacson / CounterPunch)
Night and day, US "pilots" sit in cushioned chairs near Las Vegas, commanding drones on the other side of the planet, tracking and killing people, what retired Col. Ann Wright and other activists call a war crime.

Israel Covets Golan's Water and Now Oil (Jonathan Marshall / Consortium News & Nafeez Ahmed / Middle East Eye)
Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu is defiantly asserting permanent control over the occupied Golan Heights, a determination strengthened by Israel's extraction of water and now possibly oil from the land. On June 1, Israeli police arrested an Israeli journalist for "incitement to violence and terrorism" after the reporter exposed Israel's plans to seize oil from the Golan Heights, a 460-square-mile region of Syria seized by Israel during the Six Day War in 1967.

Stop The Gene Bomb! (The ETC Group & Joel Achenbach / The Washington Post)
The NAS today released a significant report about Gene Drives -- one of the most alarming developments in genetic engineering and a clear example of high-risk technology that needs to be stopped in its tracks. This first study on gene drive oversight avoids such explosive issues as militarization, commercialization, and food security. The ETC Group is working on a critical report on Gene Drives that urges that gene drive patents and governance be handed to the UN.

The Latest Attempt to Whitewash the Saudi-Led Coalition's Crimes in Yemen (Daniel Larison / The American Conservative)
Commentary: The UN has made a humiliating, disgraceful reversal in its reporting on the Saudi-led coalition's crimes in Yemen: The United Nations said on Monday it had removed the Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting in Yemen from a child rights blacklist pending a joint review by the world body and the coalition of the cases of child deaths and injuries.

US Criticizes Israel's Settlement Expansion; Offers $40 Billion in New Weapons (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Haaretz and JTA)
During her speech at the American Jewish Committee Global Forum National Security Adviser Susan Rice offered some vague criticism of ongoing Israeli settlement expansion. She then went on to offer Israel the "single largest military assistance package -- with any country -- in American history," expected to range between $37.5 and $40 billion over the next decade.

Casualties of War (Lori Freshwater / Earth Island Journal)
It seemed there was an unusually high number of rare cancers and diseases afflicting current and former residents of several neighborhoods that Coldwater Creek ran through, including St. Ann. The most likely cause, the news reports and websites she scanned indicated, was the creek, which had been contaminated by radioactive waste from the World War II era.

Now Underway: Rehearsals for World War III (Justin Raimondo / AntiWar.com & Conn Hallinan / Foreign Policy in Focus)
The US and Russia are moving inexorably toward WW III. NATO's Operation "Anakonda 16" involves 31,000 troops (14,000 of them American) engaged in a war game "to secure an Allied victory in World War III." The upcoming NATO summit is expected to approve stationing increased numbers of US troops in eastern Europe – along Russia's border. One critic warns: if Hillary Clinton gets into the White House, "you can be sure the tensions with Russia will reach fever pitch."

Fleeing Falluja Civilians Shot; Detainees Tortured (BBC World News & Sinan Salaheddin / Associated Press)
Civilians fleeing Falluja, an Iraqi stronghold of the so-called Islamic State (IS), are being shot as they leave, an aid agency says. The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said families it had interviewed described people being shot dead as they crossed the Euphrates River. The Iraqi government has been urged to investigate allegations that civilians detained during the battle for Falluja have been tortured by Shia militiamen.

The Latest Taliban Leader's Death Changes What, Exactly? (Gayle Tzemach Lemmon / Defense One)
Commentary: Ask three people what they make of Taliban leader Mullah Mansoor's death by drone and you'll get three answers, none offering a swift end to the war. In the aftermath of the drone strike that killed Mansoor in Baluchistan, Washington is debating what his death means and what message the strike sends. From the perspective of those who have lived with Afghanistan's security woes, the one certainty they fear they can count on is more violence.

Wrong All Along: IMF Admits Neoliberalism Fuels Inequality and Hurts Growth (The Daily Kos & Ben Norton /Salon & The International Monitary Fund)
The world's largest evangelist of neoliberalism, the International Monetary Fund, has admitted that it's not all it's cracked up to be. The top researchers conclude neoliberal policies result in "little benefit in growth"and increase inequality, which in turn, hurts sustainability and growth. Finally, "evidence of the economic damage from inequality suggests that policymakers should be more open to redistribution than they are." In other words: Share the wealth.

Monitoring International Airstrikes (Airwars.org)
Airwars is a journalist-led transparency project working around four strands. We monitor and assess reports of civilian casualties allegedly caused by Coalition and other international airstrikes. We analyze data from the campaigns to help make sense of the war. We archive military claims. And we publish news on our findings.

Obama Acts to End the War on Elephants (Katie Pohlman / EcoWatch)
President Obama, along with the US Fisheries and Wildlife Service, has announced regulations banning nearly all commercial elephant ivory trade in the US. This landmark decision, coming from the country with the second-largest market for ivory, should have a significant impact on the trade. The ban helps fulfill Obama's 2013 executive order to combat wildlife trafficking.

Muhammad Ali: The Greatest Fighter's Biggest Bout: Refusing to Fight in America's Racist War (Bill Berkowitz / The Smirking Chimp)
Once, one of the most polarizing figures in America for refusing to serve in the military during the Vietnam War and becoming an outspoken convert to Islam, Muhammad Ali became one of the most beloved figures in America and the world.

Congressional Resolution Salutes Anti-Vietnam War Peace Movement (Tom Hayden / The Democracy Journal & Hon. Barbara Lee / US House of Representatives)
Rep. Barbara Lee has introduced a House Resolution recognizing the Vietnam anti-war movement as, "one of the largest and most prolonged efforts to achieve peace and justice in recent generations and was critical to bringing an end to the war." The Vietnam peace movement is the only Sixties movement that has been marginalized instead of memorialized. Yet it was a life-changing experience for many, including thousands of soldiers and veterans.

ACTION ALERT: Corporate Trade Deals Destroy the Environment: How About a TPP for the People? (CREDO Action & The Sierra Club & David Korten / YES! Magazine)
If Congress passes the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the massive corporate power-grab "trade" deal championed by President Obama, it would grant more foreign corporations powers to challenge US safeguards to our air, water and climate. Current trade agreements have been of, by, and for transnational corporations but growing opposition is giving us the opportunity to change that in our next-generation agreements.

US-trained Iraqi Army Faces Collapse as US Arms Rebels in Syria, Asks Russia Not to Bomb Al Qaeda (Jason Ditz /AntiWar.com & Al Jazeera)
In 2014, US-trained Iraqi troops threw down their weapons and fled in the face of ISIS attacks. Now, 17 months into the effort to retrains Iraq's military, US officials are increasingly admitting the effort is another failure. On June 3, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov revealed that the US had asked Russia forces to stop bombing Al Qeada's Al Nusra Front fighters inside Syria. On the same day, the US -- for the first time -- began dropping weapons to rebel fighters inside Syria.

Gaza Blockade Denies Palestinians Their Freedom, Says Oxfam (teleSUR & Sultan Barakat / Al Jazeera English and The Brookings Institute)
As the two-year anniversary of the last round of conflict in Gaza approaches, the inhumane conditions to which 1.8 million Palestinians are being subjected threaten to reach boiling point by the summer months, when the lack of access to water and electricity -- available for a maximum of eight hours a day -- combined with the oppressive heat and the lack of a reconstruction progress, could exacerbate frustrations, culminating in a new cycle of violence.

ACTION ALERT: Close Ramstein Air Base -- The Hidden Player in the Pentagon's Killer Drone Program (World Beyond War & Jeremy Scahill / The Intercept & Der Spiegel)
A top secret government document has confirms that the sprawling US military base in Ramstein, Germany, serves as the high-tech heart of America's drone program. Ramstein is the site of a satellite relay station that enables drone operators in the American Southwest to communicate with their remote aircraft in Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan. Urge Washington to abandon what Martin Luther King Jr. called "the madness of militarism."

ACTION ALERT: Call for an End to America's Global Militarism (Debra Sweet / The World Can't Wait & The Peace Boat Campaign)
President Barack Obama recently visited two countries that had been seriously damaged by US military assault. Vietnam saw 2 million civilians killed in the "American War" and Japan became the first nation targeted for destruction by nuclear weapons. Instead of offering apologies to Vietnam, Obama offered US weapons in exchange tor access Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam's deep water port, from which the US could challenge China for control over Asia's resources.

"The Man Who Seduced the 7th Fleet": The Biggest Military Corruption Scandal in Decades (Craig 234 / Daily Kos & Craig Whitlock / The Washington Post)
The chief executive officer of Glenn Defense Marine Asia, has admitted to bribing 'scores' of Navy officials with millions of dollars to leak classified and confidential information about Navy operations, which he used to gouge the Navy for port services. Leonard Francis has been charged with bribery and conspiracy to defraud the United States. About 30 US Navy admirals are under investigation. Francis admitted guilt in January 2015. He is still awaiting sentence.

Could US Trade Threaten Sustainable Agriculture in Cuba? (Ming Chun Tang / North American Council on Latin America)
Cuba is known for its innovative approach to sustainable agriculture. But a new US-Cuba agricultural accord could change that. Cuba faces a tricky balancing act between using US agricultural exports to address food security while protecting its own agroecological and organic farms from increased competition. Will a pioneering, sustainable food system that emerged from a period of extreme scarcity and hardship survive the transition to an era of relative abundance?

Trump, Fascism and the New American Militarism (David Niose / Salon)
The rise of Donald Trump as a presidential contender has evoked dire warnings of a coming fascist tide. With his belligerence toward opponents, policy proposals aimed at religious and ethnic groups, constant appeals to making the nation great again -- Trump makes it easy for pundits to draw analogies to historical fascists. What should concern us is not that Trump is an American Hitler, but that he is a continuation of a militarist trend the US has been following for decades.

Climate Stress Is Turning World's Food Crops Toxic (Kagondu Njagi / Thomson Reuters Foundation)
A new report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) warns that critical global food crops such as wheat and maize are generating more potential toxins as a reaction to protect themselves from extreme weather. These chemical compounds are will prove harmful to both people and animals if consumed for a prolonged period of time.

UN Blacklists US-backed Saudis for Murdering, Maiming Children (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Michelle Nichols / Reuters)
United Nations slammed the Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting in Yemen for killing and maiming children and added the Saudi regime to an annual blacklist of terrorist states and armed groups that violate children's rights during conflict. The US role in the Yemen war was not mentioned nor was the US named when the UN report condemned the deadly attack on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

Russia's Got a Point: The US Broke Its NATO Promise (Joshua R. Itzkowitz Shifrinson / The Los Angeles Times)
In early February 1990, US leaders made the Soviets an offer. According to transcripts of meetings in Moscow on Feb. 9, then-Secretary of State James Baker suggested that in exchange for cooperation on Germany, US could make "iron-clad guarantees" that NATO would not expand "one inch eastward." Within days, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to reunification talks. Instead of withdrawing, however, NATO has steadily advanced on Russia's borders.

America's Habit of Fighting Unnecessary Wars (Daniel Larison / The American Conservative)
Commentary: "War supporters carelessly involve the US in avoidable wars, and then complain that the people back home aren't willing to make an enormous commitment that no one ever told them would be required. Then when the people recoil from the costs of the unnecessary war or overambitious reconstruction scheme that the war supporters insist on, the latter accuse them of betrayal. Someone has betrayed an important trust in all this, but it isn't the people here at home."

The Donald and The Ronald: What the Trump Candidacy Shares with Reagan's (Frank Rich / New York Magazine)
Analysis: To understand Donald Trump's surprising advance, why he has been underestimated, and why he has a shot at seizing the Oval Office in November, few road maps are more illuminating than Ronald Reagan's unlikely path to the White House. One is almost tempted to say that Trump has been studying "the Reagan playbook" -- but to do so would be to suggest that Trump actually might have read a book, another Trumpian claim for which there is scant evidence.

An Unprecedented Act: Iraqi Leader Halts Planned Assault on Fallujah because of Risk to 50,000 Civilians Trapped in City (Sinan Salaheddin / Associated Press & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Carlo Munoz / The Washington Times)
The UN Children's Fund issued a warning to Iraqi troops and ISIS militants in the battle for Fallujah to spare an estimated 20,000 children, among the tens of thousands of civilians trapped by the fighting in this city west of Baghdad. Shortly thereafter, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi halted military operations to retake the city over concerns the city's 50,000 inhabitants would be caught in the crossfire. A remarkable act. In war, the lives of innocent civilians are rarely a concern.

Pentagon Rules Special Ops Killing of Pregnant Afghan Women Was 'Appropriate' (Jeremy Scahill / The Intercept)
An internal Pentagon investigation into a notorious US night raid inside Afghanistan has ruled that the soldiers involved had followed the rules of engagement. Although two children were shot and multiple witnesses and Afghan investigators confirmed that US soldiers dug bullets out of the body of at least one of several pregnant women killed by US troops, the Pentagon concluded that "the amount of force utilized was necessary, proportional and applied at appropriate time."

ACTION ALERT: Don't Draft Women; Don't Draft Men. Support H.R. 4523 and Abolish the Selective Service System (Edward Hasbrouck / Hasbrouck.org & Resist.org)
This year, Congress is having its most serious debate about draft registration in decades. The Selective Service System maintains contingency plans for a general "cannon fodder" draft of young men and/or a separate Health Care Personnel Delivery System for men and women up to age 44. A provision requiring women to register for the draft remains in the Senate version of the Defense Authorization Act. Meanwhile, a new bill, H.R. 4523 would abolish the draft.

A First Look at America's New 'Supergun' (Julian E. Barnes / Wall Street Journal)
The weapon is called a railgun and requires neither gunpowder nor explosive. It is powered by electromagnetic rails that accelerate a hardened projectile to staggering velocity -- a battlefield meteorite with the power to one day transform military strategy, say supporters, and keep the US ahead of advancing Russian and Chinese weaponry. "This is going to change the way we fight," said US Navy Adm. Mat Winter, the head of the Office of Naval Research.

The Eerie Silence about a New World War (John Pilger / Consortium News)
Commentary: Clinton, the "women's candidate," leaves a trail of bloody coups: Clinton's presidential campaign has received money from all but one of the world's ten biggest arms companies. No other candidate comes close. Sanders backed Bill Clinton's illegal bombing of Serbia. He supports Obama's terrorism by drone. Ironically, only Trump has raised these critical questions: Why is the US "everywhere on the globe"? What is NATO's true mission?

America's Sinkhole Wars (Tom Engelhardt and Andrew Bacevich /TomDispatch)
Commentary: "We have it on highest authority: the recent killing of Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour by a US drone strike in Pakistan marks 'an important milestone.' But a question remains: A milestone toward what exactly? Toward victory? Peace? Reconciliation? At the very least, toward the prospect of the violence abating?"

The Untold Story Behind Saudi Arabia's 41-Year US Debt Secret (Andrea Wong / Bloomberg)
Nixon's Treasury Secretary William Simon understood how to sell the Saudis on the idea that the US was the safest place to park their petrodollars. This was Nixon's gambit -- a do-or-die plan that has come to influence nearly every aspect of US-Saudi relations. The basic idea was simple. The US would buy oil from the Saudis and provide military aid and weapons. In return, the Saudis would plow billions of petrodollars into US Treasuries to finance Washington's spending.

America's Atomic Vets: 'We Were Used as Guinea Pigs -- Every One of Us.' (Jennifer LaFleur / The Reveal: Center for Investigative Journalism)
The military had a long history of using war games to train troops. During the nuclear testing era, troops were exposed to detonations to see how they would react to a nuclear attack and whether equipment still would function. All of the atomic vets were sworn to secrecy. Until the secrecy was lifted decades later, they could not tell anyone about their experiences. Even if they became ill, they could not tell doctors they might have been exposed to radiation.

Memorial Day Should Make Us Rethink Platitudes About the US Military (Ivan Eland / AntiWar.com)
As the US once again honors its war dead on Memorial Day, instead of spouting the usual nationalistic platitudes about US soldiers dying to keep the country "free," we should ask whether this is even true. Unfortunately, the many military deaths we are mourning have been unnecessary. Since WW II, the military has been used for imperial policing, not defending the country. Statistically, since World War II, the US has been the most aggressive country on Earth.

Memorial Day Lesson -- End War (Popular Resistance Newsletter)
Memorial Day has become a holiday that celebrates war and treats soldiers as heroes, rather than respecting its roots as a day to mourn the personal costs of war. Instead of being a time of reflection on the truth about wars, the US Empire's war culture is on full display over the Memorial Day weekend perpetuating the myths that being in the military is both patriotic and heroic, when in truth many US wars are unnecessary and violate international law.

Top 12 Reasons The "Good War" Was Bad -- Hiroshima In Context (David Swanson / The American Herald Tribune)
President Franklin Roosevelt has assured Winston Churchill that the US would provoke Japan into attacking the US. FDR had already drafted a declaration of war against Japan prior to the attack onPearl Harbor. FDR already had built US bases in the Pacific, traded weapons to the Brits, begun the draft, created a list of Japanese-American citizens, provided planes and pilots to China, imposed harsh sanctions on Japan, and advised the US military that a war with Japan was coming.

US Veterans Secretly Poisoned, Lied to and Denied Healthcare as Corporations Profited (Abby Martin / The Empire Files: teleSUR & The Guardian & The Agent Orange Record)
On Memorial Day, politicians will speak at ceremonies all over the country and repeat their favorite mantra: "Support the troops." This pledge is hammered into the American psyche at every turn. But there is a hidden, dark history that shows that the politicians are in fact no friend to service members -- but their greatest enemy.

UN Environment Assembly Passes Major Resolution on Conflict and the Environment (Doug Weir / Toxic Remnants of War Project)
After five months of negotiations, a resolution from Ukraine on the protection of the environment from armed conflict has been approved by consensus at the second meeting of the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi. The resolution, co-sponsored by Jordan, the DRC, Iraq, South Sudan, Norway and Lebanon, is the most significant UN resolution of its kind since 1992.

75 Hospitals Attacked in 2015: US, France, Britain, Rebels Stand Accused (Stephanie Nebehay / Reuters and The Huffington Post & teleSUR)
Four of the five members of the UN Security Council -- the US, UK, France and Russia -- stand accused of bombing civilian hospitals. The only Security Council member not involved in these crimes was China. Nearly 1,000 people were killed in attacks on health centers over the past two years (almost 40% in Syria). The World Health Organization reported 594 attacks lead to 959 deaths and 1,561 injuries in 19 countries between January 2014 and December 2015.

US-Funded Company Involved in Murder of Honduras Activist Berta Caceres (TeleSUR)
Activist Berta Caceres spent decades fighting for indigenous rights and against environmental destruction -- dangerous work that made her a target for death threats. Less than three months before Caceres was murdered, Desarrollos Energeticos S.A. -- the firm behind the controversial Agua Zarca hydroelectric project on Lenca land -- signed a contract with USAID partner Fintrac. Four people, including three Honduran military men, have been linked to her murder.

15 Found Guilty in Operation Condor Murders, a CIA-backed Conspiracy that Terrorized Latin America (J. Patrice McSherry / TeleSURtv & Hugh Bronstein / Reuters)
Operation Condor was a covert, multinational "black operations" program organized by six Latin American states (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay, later joined by Ecuador and Peru), with logistical, financial, and intelligence support from Washington. A classified US Army Special Forces manual of December 1960 Counter-Insurgency Operations secretly endorsed "counter-terror" tactics including assassination and abduction.

Victory! Obama Blocks Cluster Bomb Sale to Saudis (Robert Naiman / Just Foreign Policy & John Hudson / Foreign Policy & Stop Cluster Munitions.org)
"Frustrated by a growing death toll, the White House has quietly placed a hold on the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia as the Sunni ally continues its bloody war on Shiite rebels in Yemen . . . It's the first concrete step the United States has taken to demonstrate its unease with the Saudi bombing campaign that human rights activists say has killed and injured hundreds of Yemeni civilians, many of them children."

The Truth about the Pentagon's Military Base at Diego Garcia (David Vine / International Forum on Globalization)
Between 1968 and 1973, US officials conspired with their British colleagues to remove the native Chagossians from their ancestral home on the islands of Diego Garcia, carefully hiding their expulsion from Congress, Parliament, the UN, and the media. During the deportations, British agents and members of a US Navy construction battalion rounded up and killed the islanders pet dogs -- gassing the howling animals with exhaust piped in from US military vehicles.

Hillary Clinton, the Militocracy and US-Saudi War Crimes (Lee Fang / The Intercept & Sorcha Faal / What Does It Mean)
The shockingly brutal Saudi air campaign in Yemen has been led by US-made F-15 jet fighters. At least 2,800 civilians have been killed so far, according to the United Nations. In 2011, Secretary of State Clinton OKed a $29.4 billion sale of up to 84 advanced Boeing F-15SA fighters. Afterward, Clinton's deputy chief of staff (now a senior policy adviser on her presidential campaign), sent her a celebratory email string topped with the chipper message: "FYI -- good news."

Will Women Dodge the Draft? (Kelley Vlahos / The American Conservative)
It's been two generations since "your number is up" meant anything but relief at the DMV or a one-way ticket to the pearly gates. But for any man older than 65, it once meant something entirely different. Today, the issue of whether to open the Selective Service to women -- all men 18-25 are still required to register -- is very much a debate on Capitol Hill. Such a change could be included in the next major defense budget authorization bill.

Obama's Hiroshima Speech Was Lovely, Frustrating, and Infuriating (Lucy Steigerwald / AntiWar.com)
Commentary: As unforgivable as Obama has been on foreign policy in myriad ways there is something about him which almost looks like better than it could be. At least in certain lights. That is to say, Obama kills people, but he also occasionally appears to notice that the US has made foreign policy mistakes. Obama did what leaders do. Poetry made evading details easier -- "death fell from the sky" instead of, "the Enola Gay dropped a nuclear bomb."

Hope and Hype of Hiroshima Can't Conceal Obama's Dismal Record on Nuclear Disarmament (Tim Wright / The Guardian & Ward Wilson and Jean-Marie Collin / UPI)
An estimated 140,000 residents Hiroshima, almost all of them civilians, perished instantly in the vast inferno, or died within a few months from severe burns, blast injuries or radiation sickness. The president will make no apology on behalf of his nation for this horrific attack. The president speaks of a world without nuclear arms but, contrary to perceptions, under the Obama presidency, the pace of nuclear warhead dismantlement has slowed, not hastened.

The Republicans' Military Budget Could Make Every Homeless Person in America a Millionaire (Adrienne Mahsa Varkiani / ThinkProgress)
The US spent more than $596 billion on the military in 2015, more than the next six countries in the world combined. Now House Republicans want to spend $602 billion on the Pentagon. With 564,708 homeless people in the US, ending homelessness would take less than 1 percent of next year's military expenditures. From 2016 to 2025, there will be a US funding gap of over $1.4 trillion for surface transportation, water, electricity, airports, and waterways and ports.

Global Climate Change Threatens to Create More Refugees (Barın Kayaoglu / Al-Monitor & Andy Rowel / Oil Change International)
New reports are warning of the possibility that global warming could worsen the refugee crisis in the Middle East and North Africa. Several studies are warning that climate refugees could become the leading export of the Middle East and North Africa region by 2050. If world leaders ignore the promises they made at the Paris Climate Change Summit in December 2015, average summer temperatures soon will increase by 5 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit).

ACTION ALERT: Act Today to Ask the Senate to Halt Open Burning of Toxic Military Waste (Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger & Suzanne Yohannan / Superfund Report)
On May 26, US Senator Tammy Baldwin (WI-Dem) filed an amendment (S.2943) to the National Defense Authorization Act requiring an independent scientific review of safer alternatives to open burning, detonation and incineration of the Pentagon's hazardous waste munitions. The current practice of incinerating these toxic explosive chemical wastes involves burning in open-air pits, resulting in immediate, downwind and downstream pollution.

The "Nuclear Football" Goes to Japan (Joe Cirincione / Defense One & Michael Dobbs / Smithsonian Magazine)
When President Obama visits Japan -- and the site of the first targeted nuclear detonation -- he will have the power of 22,000 Hiroshimas on public display in the suitcase his aide carries with him. This is the "nuclear football" that allows any US leader to launch 975 nuclear warheads within five to 12 minutes. Each warhead is 6-30 times more powerful than the bomb that obliterated Hiroshima. Within 30 minutes of launch, hundreds of millions of people would be killed.

Obama's Hiroshima Visit Is a Wake-up Call on the Risks of Nuclear Weapons (Peter Maurer and Tadateru Konoe / The New Statesman)
We now know more than ever the dangers of an accidental or deliberate detonation of a nuclear weapon. Malfunctions, mishaps, false alarms and misinterpreted information have nearly led to the intentional or accidental detonation of nuclear weapons on numerous occasions since 1945. In the past two years alone, we have seen scores of "military incidents" involving nuclear weapon states and their allies. There can be no adequate response to a nuclear detonation.

Barack Obama's Abysmal Nuclear Disarmament Legacy: Among the Worst on Record (Hans M. Kristensen / Federation of American Scientists & President Barack Obama)
Despite a chill in East-West relations, Russia has not increased its nuclear arsenal but continues to reduce it. Meanwhile, Barack Obama has cut the US atomic stockpile less than any other post-Cold War president -- the number of warheads dismantled in 2015 was a record low. Instead of spending $1 trillion to build new "modernized" nuclear weapons, Obama should cancel the program and pursue the global ban on nuclear war that he once promised in Prague.

US Airstrikes on Syria Kill More than 400 Civilians (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Rudaw News)
A new summary of casualties from US-led coalition airstrikes against Syria says that, since September of 2014, the strikes have killed nearly 4,900 people, mostly ISIS but also including 417 civilians -- 111 of them children under the age of 18 and at least 70 women. This is ten times as many civilians as the Pentagon has confirmed killing over the course of the entire war. Meanwhile, the Syrian regime has managed to kill more than 10,000 civilians in 2015 alone.

How to Disappear Money, Pentagon-Style (Nick Turse / TomDispatch & William D. Hartung / TomDispatch)
The US Africa Command has set up a sprawling network of off-the-books bases while it peddles misinformation about its gigantic "small" footprint in Africa and keeps Americans in the dark about the activities being carried out with their dollars. The US is on track to spend more than $600 billion on the military this year. The more that's spent on "defense," however, the less the Pentagon wants us to know about how those mountains of money are actually being used.

Questions Grow over US Role in Death of Honduran Eco-Activist Berta Caceres (Democracy Now!)
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has returned from a visit to Honduras. Johnson's visit comes as a growing number of activists in Honduras and in the United States are calling on the United States to stop funding the Honduran military, over accusations that state security forces have been involved in human rights violations, extrajudicial killings -- and the murder of internationally renown environmentalist Berta Caceres.

ACTION ALERT: It's Time to Stop the Saudis (Charles P. Pierce / Esquire Magazine & CODEPINK)
Commentary: Saudi government money is responsible for spreading Wahhabism -- and terrorism -- around the world. It has been 17 years since a US-led intervention wrested Kosovo from Serbian oppression. Now, our great good friends, the Saudis, are doing their best to start the bloodletting all over again. ACTION: Prevent Saudi Arabia and other accused foreign sponsors of terror from invoking sovereign immunity in cases involving terrorist acts in the US.

Conflict, the Environment and Humanitarian Action (The Toxic Remnants of War Project & Turkey International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)
This week the much anticipated but also disputed World Humanitarian Summit begins in Istanbul. Its aim is to find ways to improve the global system of humanitarian assistance for the challenges posed by conflict, natural disasters, climate change and displacement. Conflict-related environmental damage is a growing cause for concern for humanitarian actors and civil society in war-torn countries.

World Scholars Call on Obama to Address Nuclear Weapons Ban at Hiroshima (Joseph Gerson / Peace and Planet & Peace Action & Japan Times Editorial)
Given the potential dangers posed by the accidental use of nuclear arms and nuclear terrorism, all states should support the effort to ban nuclear weapons. In Hiroshima, President Obama should announce cancelation of his $1 trillion nuclear modernization plan and a reduction of the US nuclear arsenal. Obama and Russian President Putin should open talks to create the nuclear weapons-free world promised in Prague and required by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Climate Change Threatens Cherished Sites around the Planet (Seth Shulman / Catalyst Magazine & Union of Concerned Scientists)
Ancient buildings, wilderness, and historic in virtually every nation -- from the Taj Mahal to the Great Barrier Reef – are now at risk from unprecedented climate-driven storms and floods. In the US, much of America's natural and cultural heritage – from the Statue of Liberty and Mesa Verde National Park – face imminent threats from climate change and extreme weather events.

ACTION ALERT: Urge Obama to Meet with Governor Onaga of Okinawa (CODEPINK & Women for Peace)
The US has had a presence in Okinawa since the end of WWII and currently 33 US military facilities and about 28,000 US military personnel remain on the island. Crimes against Okinawans by US military personnel and damage to the environment caused by the presence of US military bases have been occurring for over 70 years. It is not too late for Obama to honor the request of Governor Onaga to meet and talk about the destructive US bases in Okinawa.

Doctors With Enemies: Did Afghan Forces Target the MSF Hospital? (Matthieu Aikins / The New York Times)
The aircraft's target, a Doctors Without Borders hospital, was lit by generators, a beacon in the blacked-out city. As they prepared to fire, the gunship's crew members radioed to the ground force commander, a United States Army Special Forces major, for more information. The US government's report has ruled the attack an accident but mounting evidence suggests that Afghans' mistrust for the nonprofit medical group might have set the tragedy in motion.

America's Civilian Killings Are No Accident (Peter Van Buren / AntiWar.com)
America and its allies make modern war in a way that assures "mistakes" destroy hospitals, and civilian lives are taken by drones. These horrors are all too often strategic decisions, or the result of the profligate use of needlessly destructive weapons. They are typically far from accidents.

Why Is CIA Backing Al Qaeda Rebels inside Syria? (Juan ColeTwitter / The Nation & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Fox News)
What's left of the Free Syrian Army is an alphabet soup of fundamentalists, some more moderate Muslim Brotherhood elements, others armed with blueprints for a puritanical Salafi regime with no room for secularists, religious minorities, or for democracy. The CIA claims to have "vetted" more than 30 such insurgent groups as having no ties to Al Qaeda. The problem is that the "vetted" groups keep showing up on the battlefield as de facto allies of Al Qaeda in Syria.

Trump and the Rise of Anti-politics: How Fascism Comes to America (Robert Kagan / The Washington Post & Robert Reich's Website)
Commentary: The GOP's attempt to treat Donald Trump as a normal political candidate would be laughable were it not so perilous to the republic. What Trump offers is an attitude, an aura of crude machismo, a boasting disrespect for democratic process. Trump's rise suggests a new kind of politics. You might call it anti-politics. Instead of right against left, anti-politics pits the Establishment against a growing number of people who think the game is rigged against them.

Legendary No Nuker Michael Mariotte Passes On (Harvey Wasserman / EcoWatch & Celine Mergan / Greenpeace International)
Michael Mariotte was a giant in the No Nukes movement. From the 1980s on he has been at the forefront of some of the great Solartopia campaigns, writing, strategizing and moving us all. He was a major factor in defeating reactors proposed for Calvert Cliffs, Maryland and a uranium facility in Louisiana among much much else.

The Birds and the Bees Are Dying from Climate Change (Reuters & Oliver Milman / The Guardian & Lisa Palmer / e360)
More than a third of all North American bird species are at risk of becoming extinct owing to climate change and pollution. More than a quarter of US honeybee colonies were wiped out over the winter. More than half of beekeepers suffered unsustainable losses from mite infestations and harmful land management. Now scientists have identified a new culprit behind the frightening decline of bee populations -- soaring levels of carbon dioxide.

The US Military Should Defend-- Not Endanger -- US Security (Ivan Eland / AntiWar.com)
As President Obama visits still-communist Vietnam, a former American rival, in his "pivot to Asia" to recruit more countries to shelter against a rising China, the trip only serves to illustrate the global American Empire’s overextension. At the same time, he is opening missile defenses in Europe, quadrupling US military spending there, and deploying more military forces near Russia -- all of which will have the effect of continuing to provoke that already insecure country.

Big Screen Propagandizing: The CIA and Hollywood, an Unlawful Alliance (John Kiriakou / Reader Supported News & The Guardian)
The CIA's Office of Public Affairs (OPA) provided "support" to a variety of Hollywood films, like Argo and Zero Dark Thirty; television series like Covert Affairs and Top Chef; documentaries; and even novels like Richard Patterson's The Devil's Light. The nature of the support is largely unknown because the CIA did not keep records these backstage "management perception" operations.

What Happened to the $6.5 Billion in US Military Aid to Egypt? (Julian Pecquet / Al-Monitor)
The Obama administration has provided Cairo with $6.5 billion in military aid since 2011 but can't account for all of it, according to a new government report. The US provided $6.5 billion in military assistance to Cairo between 2011 and 2015 with the understanding that it would be closely monitored and would serve American interests. Instead, the Government Accountability Office asserts that the Obama administration has often failed to meet those requirements.

The State of American Journalism: The Government Lies to the Press and the Press Lies to the People (Jon Schwarz / The Intercept & Robert Parry / Consortium News)
Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, Obama and both GHW Bush and GW Bush lied to the American people regarding events leading to US military actions, invasions and wars. The "group think" about the Syrian regime crossing "red line" in a 2013 sarin attack has collapsed, but The New York Times still reports it as fact. Major media outlets could advance the cause of truth by simply refusing to print unsubstantiated claims just because they come from senior US government officials.

Trump's Attacks on the Press Raise Fears of an "Extinction-level Event" for Democracy (Robert Reich / Robert Reich.org / Michael Winship / Bill Moyers.com)
Commentary: Donald Trump's many fascistic tendencies, his treatment of the media -- "disgusting reporters" he calls them -- replicates the tactics of demagogues since the 1930s. The groundwork for the Trump phenomenon has been laid by the government and mainstream media's failure to recognize and address the growing rage of Americans out of jobs, opportunities and hope.

An Iraqi Doctor's Plea for the Children and People of Her Country (Souad Al Azzawi / BRussels Tribunal & CounterCurrents & Global Research)
For two decades, the American occupation has violated children's rights on all levels -- health care, education, social security, family unity, separation of children through detention, imprisonment and exile. The US and the UK have been waging continuous wars to occupy this oil rich country, attacking civilians with conventional, non-conventional, and banned weapons -- such as cluster bombs, napalm bombs, white phosphorous and Depleted Uranium weapons.

US-backed Iraqi Government Follows in Assad's Footsteps, Kills Civilian Protesters (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Kareem Raheem and Stephen Kalin / Reuters)
In Iraq, there is still no vote on the cabinet nominated over a month ago. This has triggered public discontent leading to mass protests and rallies centered around the walled-off Green Zone. Many protesters forced their way in, with some entering the prime minister's office.Iraqi military and police, responded with tear gas and live ammunition, wounding at least 58 and according to some reports killing several civilians. Baghdad has imposed a city-wide curfew

ACTION ALERT: Speak Up for Children Held in Israel's Military Detention (Defense for Children International -- Palestine & Robert Naiman / The Huffington Post)
Each year the Israeli military arrests and prosecutes around 700 Palestinian children. Israel is the only country in the world to automatically prosecute children in military courts that lack basic safeguards for a fair trial. Help us stop this.

Why Young Syrians Are Joining ISIS (Rebecca Crozier / Newsweek)
When discussing how to curb recruitment by militant groups, we often hear of the need to reduce their ideological appeal among young people in Syria and beyond. But evidence shows that the young Syrian men are deciding to join these groups for economic -- not religious -- reasons. With little prospect of employment and the closure of borders, for many men inside Syria, the wages offered by armed groups is incentive enough to join the fight.

US Prepares to Stage Another Massive 'Military Exercise' Aimed at North Korea (Ankit Panda / The Diplomat)
The US, South Korea, and Japan will hold a joint exercise in Hawaii in June 2016, on the sidelines of the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) naval exercise; RIMPAC is the largest international maritime security exercise and will run from June 1 to August 1, 2016. The trilateral US-South Korea-Japan exercise will focus on anti-missile operations amid growing ballistic missile threats from North Korea, which has undertaken a flurry of tests since the beginning of this year.

'Unprecedented Destruction' of Kurdish City of Cizre (Tom Stevenson and Murat Bayram / Deutsche Welle)
A Turkish human rights group reveals that Turkey's army turned the Kurdish city of Cizre into a 'war zone' where more than 200 civilians were killed and more than 10,000 homes were destroyed. Cizre, once a thriving, populated and prosperous city, now lies in ruins. Residents of Cizre, in Turkey's volatile southeast, have slowly been returning to the city which has been laid waste by a protracted military campaign targeting Kurdish militants.

Rebuilding Gaza: Humanitarian and Reconstruction Needs (ANERA: American Near East Refugee Aid)
For 51 days in the summer of 2014, Gaza experienced the worst destruction and displacement since the start of the Israeli occupation in 1967. "Operation Protective Edge" killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, mostly civilians. 11,231 were injured, with 10% suffering permanent disabilities. One year after the last war there are few signs of rebuilding. More than eight years of blockade and three wars in seven years have made Gaza unlivable for the besieged residents.

Tair Kaminer, Israeli War Resister, becomes Longest Jailed Military Objector (Josef Federman / Associated Press)
Tair Kaminer, a 19-year-old Israeli woman, has spent more than three months in military prison -- the longest sentence ever handed down to a female conscientious objector in Israel. Kaminer is refusing to perform compulsory military service because of her opposition to Israel's nearly 50-year military occupation of captured lands sought by the Palestinians.

The Importance of Distance in Modern Warfare (John Govern / The Modern War Institute)
Remote weapon systems, or unmanned weapons and weaponized vehicles that are remotely controlled, represent a fundamental change in the nature of the battlefield. We are witnessing warfare change in ways that our tactics, operations, and strategy have not yet come to comprehend. As we continue to use and develop remote weapons systems, the nature of our battlefield will bear witness to a new kind of warfare.

Obama's Hiroshima Visit Can't Undo the Past. But It Can Change the Future (Katrina vanden Heuvel / The Washington Post Op-ed & Paul Meyer for Open Canada & Ray Acheson /Reaching Critical Will)
As the White House announced that President Obama would visit Hiroshima, Japan, it immediately pledged that the he would not apologize for the US dropping atomic bombs on that city and Nagasaki during World War II. But the real reckoning in Hiroshima should be about the future of nuclear weapons. Unless the president acts and speaks forthrightly, his visit may mark the ashes of his own promise to move toward a world freed of the threat of nuclear annihilation.

ACTION ALERT: Urge President Obama to Take Action in Hiroshima (The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation & John Hall / The MailOnline)
It is an encouraging sign that President Obama will be the first sitting US President to visit Hiroshima. At the same time, Washington is planning to spend at least $1 trillion over the next 30 years to "modernize" its nuclear arsenal -- warheads, submarines, missiles, bombers, production facilities and command and control infrastructure. Actions speak louder than words. That's why we are petitioning President Obama not to come to Hiroshima empty-handed.

Lawmakers Are Finally Voting To End a 15-Year-Old War Authorization Act (Matt Fuller / The Huffington Post & Manila Chan / RT America News)
In yet another win for a growing coalition of lawmakers opposed to the continued use of a vast war authorization written in the days following 9/11 terrorist attacks, Congress will go on the record regarding the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force. The House Rules Committee advanced a measure to consider 181 amendments to the defense bill, including one proposal from Rep. Barbara Lee that would end the arguably unconstitutional 2001 war authorization.

Climate Change Summed Up in a Single, Startling Animation (Richard Gray / Daily Mail Online)
An animation created by a climate scientist at the University of Reading shows month-by month temperature changes between 1850 and 2016. The graphic reveals a clear warming trend that has got greater in recent years.

Iran Seeks Compensation From US for 1953 Coup that Replaced a Democracy with a Dictator (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & John Bacon / USA Today)
Iran's parliament today voted on a bill requiring the government to request compensation from the US for damages caused by the CIA's coup d'etat against Iran's democratically elected government. In August 1953, Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh sought to change the terms of the existing oil monopoly of British Petroleum in Iran. The British government responded by secretly "inviting" the CIA to force Mosaddegh from office and install the Shah of Iran.

Climate Change and Nuclear War Threaten Human Survival (Nermeen Shaikh, Amy Goodman and Robert Jay Lipton/ Democracy Now!)
After advocating against nuclear weapons for decades, the leading American psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton has recently focused on the global threat posed by climate change. Last year, he wrote a piece in The New York Times comparing the nuclear freeze movement of the 1980s to the climate justice movement of today. Lifton explores the parallels between the threats of nuclear weapons and global warming, and the growing public awareness to meet the challenges they pose.

Climate Change and Nuclear Proliferation Pose the Worst Threat Ever Faced by Humans (Amy Goodman and Noam Chomsky / Democracy Now!)
Experts warn the refugee crisis may also worsen due to the impacts of global warming with 2016 on pace to be by far the hottest year ever. Meanwhile, many fear a new nuclear arms race with the US, Russia and China building arsenals of smaller nuclear weapons. Today we speak with one of the world's preeminent intellectuals, Noam Chomsky, institute professor emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His latest book is titled "Who Rules the World?"

Nuclear Competition among China, India, Pakistan Could Escalate (The Economic Times)
Small increments of stockpile growth and multiple warhead missiles will ratchet up a triangular nuclear competition among China, India and Pakistan , a new book has said while warning that there are no realistic prospects for banning such arsenal. With China beginning its long-awaited deployment of the DF-5B intercontinental ballistic missile, India and Pakistan are likely to respond by placing multiple warheads atop some of their missiles.

Congress Prepares to Vote on Funding the Military Industrial Complex (Daniel McAdams and Ron Paul / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity)
This week the House will vote on the Defense Authorization Act for 2017. The Defense Authorization bill is supposed to be an opportunity for Congress to shape national defense priorities and share the responsibility with the president when it comes to foreign policy. Instead, Congress members abrogate their authority to set defense spending priorities to the Pentagon, the military-industrial complex, and to special interests in their districts.

Washington Puts US Tanks in Putin's 'Backyard'; Activates Missiles on Russia's Romanian Border (Flora Drury / MailOnLine & Robin Emmott / Reuters)
The Pentagon's two-week Noble Partner 2016 military exercise, which began on May 11, 2016, included about 650 US soldiers, 150 British and 500 Georgians along with an entire mechanized company -- including eight Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and eight M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks. Some of the activities took place on a former Russian base inside the former Russian state. The exercise angered Russian officials who said it could destabalize the region.

The Battle to Command Tax Dollars: The Civil War Inside the US Military (Justin Raimondo / AntiWar.com)
In early April, a battalion of senior military officials appeared before a Senate panel and testified that the US Army is "outranged and outgunned." They demanded an even larger budget, claiming that "the army of the future will be too small to secure the nation." Russia was named as the major reason the US Army needed to channel even more money to the country's politically powerful "defense" contractors -- Boeing, Lockheed, Northrup Grumman, Raytheon et al.

Conference Ends with Growing Global Support for a Nuclear Weapons Ban (Beatrice Fihn / International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons)
The new United Nations working group on nuclear disarmament has completed its second and most substantive session in Geneva. 100 governments met for over two weeks. Many more contributed support through a joint working paper from the Humanitarian Pledge group (now numbering 127 States). Of course, the US and other nuclear umbrella states were unhappy, but "this meeting was all about the ban. And it was clear that governments are ready to do this."

Keep Trump's (and Hillary's) Hands off the Nuclear Trigger (John Buell /The Progressive Populist)
Would you want Donald Trump's fingers on the nuclear trigger? Well, the fact is: on at least 30 occasions since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, every US president has prepared and/or threatened to initiate a nuclear war. The take-away? No one should be trusted with the nuclear trigger: The most responsible course is disarmament.

American War Crimes That Still Ought to be Prosecuted (Tom Englehardt / Tikkun Magazine & Rebecca Gordon /TomDispatch)
Donald Rumsfeld called him a top leader in al-Qaeda. The CIA called him "Bin Laden's senior lieutenant." None of it was true. But what the CIA did to Abu Zubaydah -- with the knowledge and approval of the highest government officials -- is a prime example of the kind of still-unpunished crimes -- waterboarding, beatings, solitary confinement, torture -- that officials like Dick Cheney, George Bush, and Donald Rumsfeld committed in the so-called Global War on Terror.

War Crimes: US Airstrikes Kill Hundreds of Civilians in Attacks on Homes, Colleges and Mosul University (Nicolas J S Davies / Common Dreams & Avi Asher-Schapiro / Vice News & Fox News)
Under new, looser rules, US military commanders in the field are now free to order air strikes that are expected to kill up to 10 civilians without prior approval from US Central Command. US officials acknowledge that air strikes are killing more civilians under the new rules -- arguably a policy that encourages the commission of war crimes. In recent weeks, fewer than a dozen of these airstrikes reportedly killed more than 440 civilians inside Iraq and Syria.

Piercing the 'Diplo-Speak' to Explain the Latest Steps toward Nuclear Abolition (Xanthe Hall / International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War)
Over the last two weeks, the UN's Open-Ended Working Group on nuclear abolition meetings have been underway in Geneva. "Front-line" reporters need to avoid overdoing the acronyms and use plain speech, and avoid getting sucked into diplo-speak. Here are a few personal definitions to help readers understand what lies behind some of the frequently used code words in the many statements and in over 60 working papers submitted to the May session of the OEWG.

Former CIA Officer's Warning: Smart People Know that the US Empire 'Is in Decline' (Patrick L. Smith / Salon.com)
Analysis: After almost 30 years in the CIA, Ray McGovern became a truth-teller. He sits down with Salon for a long debriefing. Ray McGovern joined the Central Intelligence Agency during the Kennedy administration. He left 27 years later and founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity and Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence.

Massive Global Die-Offs: The Industrialized World's War on Nature (Michael Snyder / ActivistPost & Erin Blakemore / The Smithsonian Magazine & Catherine J. Frompovich / ActivistPost)
Why are millions upon millions of dead sea-creatures suddenly washing up on beaches all over the world? It is certainly not unusual for fish and other inhabitants of our oceans to die. This happens all the time. But over the past month we have seen a series of extremely alarming mass death incidents all over the planet. Other mass die-offs have killed millions of land mammals, reptiles and insects.

Obama Should Heed Hiroshima's Survivors (Amy Goodman, Denis Moynihan / Common Dreams)
Commentary: The White House announced this week that President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, the site of the world's first atomic-bomb attack. He will be the first sitting president to visit a city where 140,000 people were killed and another 100,000 seriously injured by a US atomic bomb dropped on Aug. 6, 1945. While Obama has called for nuclear abolition, he recently revealed a 30-year plan to modernize the entire US nuclear arsenal -- at a cost of $1 trillion.

Who Was Mustafa Badreddine? (BBC World News & Al Jazeera )
Thousands of people have attended the funeral in Lebanon's capital, Beirut, of top Hezbollah military commander Mustafa Amine Badreddine who died in an explosion near Damascus airport. Hezbollah was established in the wake of the Israeli occupation of Lebanon in the early 1980s, and has called for the "obliteration" of Israel. Hezbollah has said its top military commander Mustafa Badreddine died as a result of artillery shelling by a Sunni armed group in Damascus.

American War Crimes That Still Ought to be Prosecuted (Tom Englehardt / Tikkun Magazine & Rebecca Gordon /TomDispatch)
Donald Rumsfeld called him a top leader in al-Qaeda. The CIA called him "Bin Laden's senior lieutenant." None of it was true. But what the CIA did to Abu Zubaydah -- with the knowledge and approval of the highest government officials -- is a prime example of the kind of still-unpunished crimes -- waterboarding, beatings, solitary confinement, torture -- that officials like Dick Cheney, George Bush, and Donald Rumsfeld committed in the so-called Global War on Terror.

US, Russia Trade Warnings Over North European Buildup (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Mark Perry / Politico)
The Pentagon's top brass profess to be really worried about Russian leader Vladimir Putin. But a growing group of dissenters say they are intentionally overreacting to grab a bigger share of the defense budget. Putin has repeatedly complained that the US military buildup in Poland and the new US missile defense base in Romania, provides evidence that the Americans are attempting to start a new arms race by putting strategic weapons along Russia's frontier.

Army Chaplain Resigns over US Drone Wars and Nuclear Weapons (Ann Wright / Consortium News)
The US reliance on drones to sustain perpetual war in the Mideast is meeting resistance from some of those assigned to carry out these tactics, US Army Reserve Chaplain Captain Christopher John Antal has resigned his post because he could not support "unaccountable killing" using armed drones to kill "anyone, anywhere on Earth, at any time, based on secret evidence, in a secret process, undertaken by unidentified officials."

US-backed Washington Coup in Brazil? Was Incoming President a US Embassy Informant? (Daniel McAdams / AntiWar.com & Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept & Dom Phillips and Nick Miroff / The Washington Post)
It is part of the US interventionist strategy -- from Moscow to Budapest to Minsk to Damascus to Sau Paulo -- for US embassy personnel to engage opposition figures in countries where the US would like to see regime change. Adding to suspicions of a US role in the ouster of progressive Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff is a revelation that the opposition leader tapped to step in as interim president has worked as an "informant" for the US embassy.

Destroying a City to 'Save It': US Bombs Have Obliterated Ramadi (Elizabeth McLaughlin and Justin Fishel / ABC News)
It was one of the biggest cities in Iraq -- the capital of Anbar Province and a strategic hub for travelers going west to Syria and Jordan. Once a bustling city along the banks of the Euphrates with a booming population of nearly 850,000, Ramadi is now a ghost town. Buildings, roads and waterways have been destroyed. Hidden mines and unexploded ordnance threaten anyone who tries to return.

US Covered Up Saudi Ties to 9/11 Attacks; Destroyed Evidence in Case against Accused 9/11 Mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (Philip Shenon / The Guardian & Spencer Ackerman / The Guardian)
In the first serious public split over the release of the 911 Commission's secret "28 pages," a member of the commission has confirmed that there was clear evidence of Saudi ties to September 2001 terrorist attacks on the US. Meanwhile, the case against Guantanamo detainee and alleged 9/11 plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was thrown into "chaos" after a judge ruled the government destroyed critical evidence, leaving the case "fatally flawed."

Videos Show ISIS Fighters with US Equipment Leading Iraqis to Believe US Is Secretly Feeding the War to Destabilize Region (Associated Press)
The US has spent $7 billion on 5,000 air strikes against ISIS targets but regional newspapers and TV networks repeat conspiracy theories that the US created the jihadi group to sow chaos in the region to seize its oil. A $10 million on pro-US propaganda appears to have made little headway in dispelling such rumors. Many Iraqis still blame the chaos that followed the 2003 invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein on American malice rather than simple incompetence.

Three Centuries of US Writing Against War (David Swanson / OpEd News)
Every student of peace, sanity, or survival, every person interested in the possibility of the United States making its current wars its last seven wars, every believer in the value of wisdom and the written word should pick up a copy of Lawrence Rosendwald's 768-page collection, "War No More: Three Centuries of American Antiwar and Peace Writing."

Inside the Obama Administration's Tug of War Over Nuclear Warheads (Nuclear Threat Initiative)
In June 2009, US Vice President Joseph Biden blocked a Pentagon bid to revive a defunct program aimed at fielding modern nuclear warheads across the strategic arsenal after Defense Secretary Robert Gates raised the idea of reinstating the controversial Reliable Replacement Warhead effort during a secret meeting convened by the National Security Council. Biden argued the move would undercut nonproliferation goals. The issue remains unresolved.

Hillary's Email Bombshell: Saudis Financed the Benghazi Attack (Gar Smith / World Beyond War & The Real News & OpEd News)
In 2012, a paid consultant for Hillary Clinton reporting from Libya informed the Sec. of State that the deadly attack on the US Consulate at Benghazi was financed by Saudi money. Given the current frenzy over Guccifer and his revelations, it is remarkable that this potentially headline-grabbing "leak" went virtually unreported when it was first released to a Russian news agency, back in 2013. At the time, the West's mainstream media took little notice.

Human Extinction Isn't That Unlikely (Robinson Meyer / The Atlantic)
"A typical person is more than five times as likely to die in an extinction event as in a car crash," says a new report. Nuclear war. Climate change. Pandemics that kill tens of millions. These are the biggest threats to globally organized civilization. They're the stuff of nightmares and blockbusters -- but unlike sea monsters or zombie viruses, they're real, part of the calculus that political leaders consider everyday and they're much more likely than we might think.

The World's Ocean's Are Starting to Run Out of Oxygen (Niina Heikkinen / ClimateWire & The Scientific America)
Climate change is doing more than warming the world's oceans. It's also making it harder for marine life to breathe. New research reveals that -- in addition to exacerbating global warming and ocean acidification -- rising levels of CO2 are depleting the amount of oxygen in the world's oceans. For each degree of ocean warming, oxygen concentration goes down by 2 percent.

ACTION ALERT: How to Oppose the Draft for Women and Not Be Sexist (David Swanson / World Beyond War & Roots Action)
Commentary: "Some peace activists believe that the key to ending war-making is actually activating the draft in as big a way as possible. And liberal humanitarian warriors want equal war rights for women. Much of the rest of the world, meanwhile, believes the United States has overdosed on military madness. As a helpful public service, I offer this guide on how (and why) to oppose extending draft registration to women without being a sexist pig."

EU Militarization: A Dangerous Future (http://www.brugesgroup.com/leaflets/92-leaflets/1161-eu-militarisation-a-dangerous-future)
"An EU army is inevitable. As the EU has declared, it is moving to ever-closer union, it intends to become a fully-fledged superstate. That's the plan," warns Colonel Richard Kemp. According to Colonel Kemp, Britain would be forced to join an EU army within five to 10 years if people vote to remain in the EU.

European Nuclear Bases at Risk (Hans M. Kristensen / The Federation of American Scientists)
Security upgrades underway at US Air Force bases in Europe indicate that nuclear weapons deployed in Europe have been stored under unsafe conditions for more than two decades. The decision to upgrade nuclear security perimeters at the two US bases strongly implies that security at the other four European host bases must now be characterized as inadequate.

Raised by War: Coming of Age in Today's Iraq (Jane Arraf / Global Post)
In 2003, the most powerful army in the world invaded Iraq. Young Ali al-Makhzomy was shaken by the rumble of US tanks rolling into Baghdad. The invasion was the first of many traumatic forces that defined life for an entire generation of young Iraqis. Now in their late teens and twenties, 20 million Iraqi children have been shaped by years of Western sanctions and militarism. Their experiences will shape the country -- for better or worse -- for many years to come.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Big Coal's War on Bengal Tigers (CREDO Action at Working Asset)
The Orion Group, a Bangladeshi company, has approached the US Export-Import Bank to obtain financing for the building of two coal-fired power plants in Bangladesh. These public US funds could be used to finance Big Coal's destruction of the Sundarbans, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is home to precious endangered animals -- in a country that is one of the most climate-endangered in the world.

Moldova: US Troops Conducting Military Exercises Inside Former Russian Territory (Vitalie Calugareanu, Robert Schwartz / Deutsche Welle)
Joint maneuvers with US soldiers are causing alarm in the Republic of Moldova. The pro-Russia opposition has referred to the exercises as an invasion. "What are the Americans doing here?" wondered one worker from the town of Balti. "We're a neutral state. Why are they provoking Russia? Can't they see what's happening in Ukraine?"

Freedom of Speech in a Shocking and Steep Decline Worldwide (TeleSUR)
Freedom of expression has registered a concerning decline globally and as of 2015, it hit its lowest point in 12 years. Governments, political institutions, powerful corporations and organized crime have also increasingly repressed the people's right to voice their opinion and denounce acts of corruption, violence or other human rights violations, various experts revealed on World Freedom of the Press Day. Only one in seven people in the world actually enjoy a free press.

How NATO, 'The Most Terrifying Military Alliance in History' Threatens Latin America (Center of Political Studies for International Relations and Development & US Peace Council )
NATO is the most terrifying military alliance, with the most destructive power, ever conceived in the history of mankind. Today, it is a serious threat to Latin America and the Caribbean. The US/NATO-backed process of militarizing the South American continent has generated an increase in human rights violations, repression of social movements, displacement and forced migration of millions of people, and the destruction of the environment.

Father Daniel Berrigan and the Price for Witnessing Against War (Ray McGovern / Consortium News and AnitWar.com)
Commentary: "Tears welled as I watched Catholic Worker friends drop a large banner with the words from Isaiah, "They shall beat their swords into plowshares. Nations shall make war no more," a charge lived into by all three brothers Berrigan -- Jerry, Dan, and Phil. And I thought back on what I learned decades ago at retreats led by Dan on the prophets Isaiah and Amos."

Obama Confesses: US Military Strikes Provoked Terror Attacks in Europe (Gar Smith / World Beyond War)
On April 1, 2016 President Barack Obama addressed the Nuclear Security Summit and, for the first time, publicly admissed that US foreign policy and military actions were directly linked to the spike in terror attacks against Western targets in Europe and the US. "As ISIL is squeezed in Syria and Iraq," the president explained, "we can anticipate it lashing out elsewhere, as we've seen most recently and tragically in countries from Turkey to Brussels."

Point of No Return: Obama's Legacy in the Middle East (Seymour M. Hersh / Harper's Magazine)
Analysis: It is now evident, 15 years after the 9/11 attacks, that Obama's foreign policy has maintained many of the core elements of the global war on terror initiated by his predecessor -- assassinations, drone attacks, heavy reliance on special forces, covert operations, and, in the case of Afghanistan, the continued use of US ground forces in combat. And, as in the years of Bush and Cheney, there has been no progress, let alone victory, in the fight against terror.

CIA Vet: War on Terror a Costly Failure . . . As Intended (Philip Giraldi / The American Conservative)
It's been almost a decade and a half since 9/11, but the foreign-policy establishment still cannot admit that continuous US intervention in the Middle East has been a failure -- unless your are part of the military-industrial complex. The US continues to repeat national security policy mistakes that promote rather than discourage terrorism. Why? Because hyping a "terror threat" that has been grossly inflated feeds powerful political and economic interests.

Small Arms, Big Violations: Why Isn't the Firearms Threat a Human Rights Issue? (Daniel Mack / International Journal on Human Rights)
Firearms are the main vector of violent death and injury worldwide. The preponderance of small arms in the armed violence "epidemic" -- over a half million killed annually. Less than 14% of armed violence deaths worldwide were the result of wars. The number of homicides in Brazil in 2013 (over 56,000) was greater than the number of conflict deaths worldwide for every year between 2004 and 2009.

ACTION: A Week Against Gun Violence, Mary 1-8 (Women's International League for Peace and Freedom)
Small arms -- guns, rifles, etc. -- are a key part of the global armed violence epidemic, resulting in about half a million deaths annually. The manufacture, trade, proliferation, possession, and use of small arms facilitate gender-based violence, sexual violence, domestic violence, mass shootings, human trafficking, and armed conflict.

Boots on the Ground in Yemen: Former US Diplomats Condemn US Role in Yemen War (Channel News Asia & Agence France-Presse & AntiWar.com & The Intercept)
The Pentagon acknowledged on May 6 that it has deployed US troops to Yemen in a push to bolster Arab and local government forces battling Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The US now is militarily involved in a second war inside Yemen -- between the pro-Saudi faction and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. A US-backed offensive has been brutally bombing Yemen for more than a year but former US diplomats now say that the war harms US interests.

Bear Baiting: The US and NATO Provoking Russia (Conn Hallinan / Dispatches from the Edge)
Is Russia really a military threat to the United States and its neighbors? Is it seriously trying to "revenge" itself for the 1989 collapse of the Soviet Union? Is it actively trying to rebuild the old Soviet empire? According to Russia's ambassador to NATO, Alexander Grushko, it is the West's continued deployment of armed forces along Russia's borders that makes it impossible to have a "meaningful dialogue." We are baiting the bear, not a sport that ever ends well.

Is the US War on ISIS Legal? Is the US War in Iraq Delusional? (Matt Ford / The Atlantic & John J. Duncan Jr. / The National Interest)
A US Army captain and intelligence officer currently stationed in Kuwait, has filed a federal lawsuit arguing that President Obama violated the War Powers Resolution by launching a war against ISIS without congressional support "within 60 days." Meanwhile, John J. Duncan Jr., the only Republican remaining in Congress who voted against going to war in Iraq, now observes that "the most unpopular vote I ever cast has very slowly become possibly the most popular."

Obama Confesses US Military Strikes Provoked Terror Attacks in Europe (Gar Smith / World Beyond War)
On April 1, 2016 President Barack Obama addressed the Nuclear Security Summit and, for the first time, publicly admissed that US foreign policy and military actions were directly linked to the spike in terror attacks against Western targets in Europe and the US. "As ISIL is squeezed in Syria and Iraq," the president explained, "we can anticipate it lashing out elsewhere, as we've seen most recently and tragically in countries from Turkey to Brussels."

Iraq 'Victory' Leaves the City of Ramadi Destroyed (Susannah George, Desmond Butler and Maya Alleruzzo / The Associated Press)
When Iraqi forces backed by US-led warplanes wrested Ramadi from Islamic State militants after eight months, it was heralded as a major victory. But the cost of winning Ramadi has been the city itself. More than 3,000 buildings and nearly 400 roads and bridges were damaged or destroyed between May 2015, when Ramadi fell to IS, and Jan. 22, after most of the fighting had ended. Over roughly the same period, nearly 800 civilians were killed in clashes, airstrikes and executions.

The Assassination Complex: A New Book Examine's Obama's Drone Wars (Amy Goodman, Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald / Democracy Now!)
As the Obama administration prepares to release for the first time the number of people it believes it has killed in drone strikes in countries that lie outside of conventional war zones, we look at a new book out today that paints a very different picture of the US drone program. The book, "The Assassination Complex," examines leaked government documents provided by a whistleblower -- documents that undermine government claims that drone strikes are "precise."

Study Argues Entire World Could Powered by Renewables by 2050 (The Climate Reality Project & Megan Treacy / Treehugger)
The US reached a renewable energy milestone recently when the one-millionth solar installation came online. At the rate the industry is going, it'll take just another two years to reach 2 million. And now, Stanford and University of California researchers report that the entire world could be fully powered by renewables by 2050 and the scientists outline the right mix of resources for each country.

Kochs Spend Big to Block Clean Climate Plans (Aliya Haq / Natural Resources Defense Council & EcoWatch)
An alphabet soup of polluter-funded groups is taking credit for the latest state legislative push against climate action. The groups, including the American Legislative Exchange Council, the American Energy Alliance and the State Policy Network, all receive funding from the Koch brothers and their goal is to stymie the Clean Power Plan, President Obama's signature effort to cut carbon pollution from power plants.

Help the Air Force Name Its New Bomber (Gar Smith / World Beyond War and EAW)
The Secretary of the Air Force has asked for help in naming the B-21 long-range strike bomber -- "A Bomber for the 21st Century" in her words. The contest was set to run through May 6 but was only open to members of the USAF, Air Force Reserve, the Air National Guard, their dependents and retirees. According to the official rules, taxpayers were disqualified from participating. We decided to give taxpayers a chance to name the bomber. Here are the results!

Hiding the Costs of Armageddon: GOP Tries to Hide the Costs of US Nuclear Arsenal (Alex Emmons / The Intercept)
Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives have lined up to quietly kill a cost estimate of the Pentagon's three-decade nuclear modernization program, which experts predict will exceed $1 trillion. With America's infrastructure -- roads, bridges, hospitals, schools, water supplies -- crumbling, the Pentagon is moving to refurbish its 1,900 deployed nuclear warheads and replace each leg of its nuclear triad -- its land, sea, and air-based delivery systems.

How the GOP's New Budget Targets America's Environment (Amanda D. Rodewald / The Hill)
House Republicans have released a new fiscal plan titled "A Balanced Budget for a Stronger America." But, if enacted, the GOP budget plan would significantly erode many regulations, rules and mandates designed to protect our environment, while at the same time expanding oil, coal and gas development likely to a carry hefty environmental toll. Like Donald Trump, the House members are preparing to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency.

Greenpeace: US to Use Global Trade Deal to Evade EU's Environmental and Public Health Protections (Arthur Neslen / The Guardian & Stuart Jeffries / The Guardian)
Trade deal talks between Europe and the US face a serious impasse with "irreconcilable" differences. According to documents leaked by Greenpeace, the two sides are at odds over US demands that the EU break promises it has made on environmental protection. "These leaked documents give us an unparalleled look US demands to circumvent EU protections for environment and public health. The EU position is very bad, and the US position is terrible."

'Catastrophic' Radiation Leak at Washington State's Hanford Nuclear Reservation (Nadia Prupis / Common Dreams & Alexander Nazaryan / Newsweek & )
A leak at the Hanford nuclear site in Washington state has prompted warnings of "catastrophic" consequences, as workers attempt to clean up more than eight inches of toxic waste from one of 28 underground tanks holding radioactive materials leftover from plutonium production. Alarms on the site began sounding on Sunday, leading workers to discover 8.4 inches of toxic waste in between the inner and outer walls of tank AY-102, which has been slowly leaking since 2011.

Hanford Warnings from 2014: Fired Whistleblowers, Cracking Containers, Failing Dam (RT News & USA Today & Associated Press & Northwest Public Radio)
"Significant construction flaws" have been found in at least 6 of the 28 double-shelled radioactive waste storage tanks at the Hanford nuclear waste complex in Washington State. The operators were warned of the problems in 2014. Now concerns are rising as "huge amounts" of radioactive fumes have continued to pour from the damaged containment vessel for "more than two weeks," sending growing numbers of plant workers to local hospitals.

The Pentagon vs. Palestine: Gaza Needs Peace, Jobs, Security and Water (Washington Newsletter / Friends Committee on National)
The hypermilitarized US approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict needs to change. US military aid to Israel --now 20% of Israel's military budget -- is part of the problem. President Obama's 2017 budget allocates $3.1 billion in military assistance to Israel -- more than twice the aid to any other country. In Gaza, with the world's highest unemployment rate, families spend a third of their income on water. Gaza's drinkable water could run out by the year's end.

South Sudan's Broken Oil Industry Is Increasingly Becoming an Environmental Hazard (Wim Zwijnenburg /Toxic Remnants of War Network )
The environment has long been a factor in violent conflict in South Sudan, especially with respect to control over oil. PAX's Wim Zwijnenburg asks whether tackling the health and environmental risks from South Sudan's oil industry could help boost the legitimacy of a unity government.

Why Russia Resents Us: The US, Not Russia, Is the Destabilizing Force Today (Patrick J. Buchanan / CNS News)
Commentary: Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work announced that 4,000 NATO troops, including two US battalions, will be moved into Poland and the Baltic States, right on Russia's border. The Pentagon complains that Russia has mounted "a lot of snap exercises right up against [their] border." But how are Russian troops deploying inside Russia "provocative," while US troops on Russia's front porch are not? Wasn't the US-backed coup in Ukraine "provocative"?

World's Doctors Say: 'Ban Nuclear Weapons': It's a Matter of Human Health (IPPNW & Pressenza)
The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), a non-partisan federation of national medical groups in 64 countries -- and the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985 for its efforts to educate US and Soviet leaders about the consequences of nuclear war -- has called on world leaders to "assert the need for a new [anti-nuclear weapons] treaty that . . . explicitly prohibit[s] . . . nuclear weapons, based on their unacceptable [health] consequences."

Global Nuclear Weapons Ban Talks Open in Geneva (Mia Gandenberger / Reaching Critical Will & Silene Theobald / ICAN France)
On May 2, 2016, the open-ended working group (OEWG) began a two-week meeting in Geneva to undertake nuclear disarmament negotiations. (An earlier session was held in February.) During the May meetings, it is imperative that states focus on discussing elements for a treaty banning nuclear weapons and making concrete recommendations to the General Assembly in relation to moving forward with negotiations on such a treaty.

ACTION ALERT: Largest Civil Disobedience in History of the Environmental Movement Underway from May 4-16 (350.org & Break Free.org)
2015 was the hottest year ever recorded and the impacts of climate change are already hitting communities around the world. From rising sea levels to extreme storms, the need to act on climate change has never been more urgent. Starting today, a global wave of peaceful direct actions lasting for 12 days will take place across six continents targeting the world's most dangerous fossil fuel projects, under the banner of "Break Free."

In Gun-crazed America, Armed Toddlers Proving Deadlier than Terrorists (Christopher Ingraham / The Washington Post)
Since April 20, 2016, there have been at least seven instances in which a 1-, 2-, or 3-year-old shot themselves or somebody else in the United States. In 2015, toddlers were finding guns and shooting people at a rate of about one a week. In 2015, at least 265 people were accidentally shot by kids and, in the past five years, at least six Americans have been shot by dogs. Guns are now killing as many people as cars.

Jordan Grapples with the Environmental Consequences of Its Refugee Crisis (Doug Weir / The Ecologist &Toxic Remnants of War Network)
The massive flow of refugees fleeing the violence and atrocities of the Syrian conflict is creating huge political and logistical challenges for neighbouring countries. Amidst the urgency of the humanitarian response, the environmental footprint of these population surges has been less visible but, as Jordan is discovering, failing to address the impact of migration during response and recovery could have serious health, environmental and political consequences.

Hiroshima Mayor Appeals for Nuclear Ban at UN Summit in Geneva (NHK & Jake Adelstein / The Los Angeles Times)
The mayor of Hiroshima Kazumi Matsui has appealed for a legal framework to ban nuclear weapons as a United Nations' working group on the issue begins a meeting in Geneva. The UN working group will hold its second round of talks from Monday to May 13. Hiroshima bombing survivor Setsuko Thurlow said that the world is tired of the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty and other existing frameworks, which have failed to bring about the abolition of nuclear arms.

War and Environment Missing from UN Plans for Sustainable Development (Doug Weir / Toxic Remnants of War Network)
Analysis: The environment may be absent from the UN's Sustainable Development discussions but civil society should pushed to more fully consider the role the environment plays throughout the conflict cycle. The global community is currently underperforming when it comes to integrating the environment into matters of peace and security. Climate change and contemporary armed conflicts are forcing a re-evaluation of this complex relationship.

Pentagon Planning More 'Boots on the Ground' in Iraq (The Intercept & RT News & The-Edge.net)
After President Obama announced on Monday that he would deploy 250 additional special operations troops to Syria, a visibly uncomfortable State Department spokesperson named John Kirby tried to deny that Obama had ever promised not to send "boots on the ground" inside Syria. Unfortunately for Kirby, Obama has repeated the promise at least 16 times since 2013. After reporters pointed this out, Kirby redefined the phrase "boots on the ground" to exclude special forces.

US and Russian Forces Engage in Mutual Provocations in the Arctic and the Baltic Sea (The London Mirror)
Was this a warning shot? This chilling footage shows a Russian nuclear submarine launching a cruise missile from underwater to destroy a coastal training target. It is the latest show of strength from Russia's military after a number of close passes by fighter jets near US planes and ships. A Russian pilot provoked fury at the Pentagon by performing a barrel roll just 25 feet from a US ship in the Baltic and a Russian jet flew just 50 feet from a US spy plane last week.

Former ISIS Militant Says Coalition Bombing Campaign Drives Jihadists to Launch Attacks on Western Targets (Lizzie Dearden / The Independent)
In an interview with The Independent, a former jihadist reveals that he once worked for Royal Mail as a postman before he joined the so-called Islamic State in Syria and appeared in one of its notorious propaganda execution videos. He has a troubling message for the West: it is the US-led bombing campaign against ISIS that has driven jihadists to launch terror attacks in the West and these attacks will continue as long as drones keep killing civilians and ISIS fighters.

The Unrepentant Torturers (John Kiriakou / Reader Supported News & The Guardian)
The cadre of former CIA directors needs to get its act together on the torture issue. Current director John Brennan said recently that no future CIA director would carry out presidential orders to reconstitute a torture program. Brennan hasn't had any human rights epiphany. He was, after all, the deputy executive director of the CIA under George W. Bush, during which time he did absolutely nothing to stop torture.

Daniel Berrigan, Poet, Peacemaker, and Priest, Dies at 94 (Raw Story & Associated Press)
There were two bands of charismatic brothers whose presence and public actions helped define the 1960s -- John F. and Robert Kennedy and the activist, anti-war Catholic priests Daniel, Phillip, and Jerry Berrigan. As James Martin, SJ, editor-at-large of the Jesuit magazine America noted: "The great Daniel Berrigan, SJ, Jesuit priest, activist, poet and peacemaker, died today. May he rest in peace."

Inside the Devastation of America's Drone Wars (Tom Engelhardt TomDispatch & Pratap Chatterjee / TomDispatch)
In attempts to take out 41 men, US drones killed an estimated 1,147 Pakistani civilians (while many of the 41 targeted figures survived). This isn't a war ON terror, but a war OF terror. In addition to those they kill, Washington's drones also wound (both physically and psychologically) their own operators as well as the people who live under their constant surveillance -- real victims with all-too-real damage, on opposite sides of the globe.

ACTION ALERT: Take Malik Jalal Off Obama's Kill List (Malik Jalal / 38 Degrees & Democracy Now!)
Malik Jalal has been targeted by drones four times. Dozens of other innocent people have died in the strikes. His family members are terrified that he will be next. Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch has revealed as many as 12 civilians were killed in December when a US drone targeted vehicles that were part of a wedding procession going towards the groom's village outside the central Yemeni city of Rad'a. It is useless for the US to deny this: there is a video.

US Pivot to Asia Poised to Enter Nuclear Phase (Peter Lee / The Unz Review)
Commentary: The US rejection of tactical nuclear weapons in Asia, however, is a matter of situational analysis, not principle or service scruples. The US maintains a reported stash of 200 air-delivered tactical nuclear weapons with its NATO allies in Europe because otherwise NATO would consider itself at a fatal disadvantage against the larger Russian forces, which also have tactical nuclear weapons.

Hidden Costs of US Air War: Schools, Homes, Apartments Destroyed and Hundreds of Civilians Killed (Nicolas J. S. Davies / Consortium News)
When Russian air strikes kill civilians in Syria, it is big news in the US, when US bombs kill civilians there is silence. The US has dropped more than 40,000 bombs and missiles and destroyed 6,000 buildings but the Pentagon claims there have been only 26 civilian deaths. The US has bombed homes, apartments, medical targets, water treatment plants, a telephone exchange, a women's dormitory. Two attacks on Mosul University in March killed 92 faculty and students.

The US Is Killing More Civilians in Iraq and Syria Than It Acknowledges (Paul Wood / Global Post)
In almost a-year-and-a-half of bombing Iraq and Syria, the United States admits to killing just 21 innocent people. An independent monitoring group says the real figure could be more than a thousand. "You build in your countries and destroy in ours?" asked Abdul-Aziz al Hassan, who lost his father in the bombing at al Gharra. "Is this how you bring democracy? Stop it. Really, stop it. People are tired."

Punishments but No Criminal Charges in US Attack on Hospital (Robert Burn / Associated Press)
US apologizes for war crime. Claims it was just a mistake. Promises to be more careful in the future. A US aerial gunship attack on a hospital in Afghanistan that killed 42 people occurred because of human errors, process mistakes and equipment failures, and none of the aircrew or US ground troops knew the target was a hospital, a top US general said Friday.

Death from the Sky: Searching for Ground Truth in the Kunduz Hospital Bombing (May Jeong / The Intercept)
"Had the authorities said it is a terrible mistake from day one, then it would have been easier to believe that it was a mistake. But because in the beginning Afghan senior officials said the hospital was bombed because it was a Taliban base, it is difficult for us to swallow the 100 percent mistake scenario."

War and Environmental Collapse (David Swanson / Excerpt From "War Is A Lie" (Just World Books, 2016))
Our planet will not survive nuclear war. It also may not survive "conventional" war, of the sorts the US government now wages. Intense damage has been done by wars and by the preparation for wars. War's environmental impact falls into four areas: "production and testing of nuclear weapons, aerial and naval bombardment of terrain, dispersal and persistence of land mines and buried ordnance, and use or storage of military despoliants, toxins, and waste." We must end war.

The Power of Protest: House Resolution Honors Vietnam Anti-war Protesters (Tom Hayden / Vietnam War Summit & Hon. Barbara Lee / US House of Representatives)
California Rep. Barbara Lee has introduced a US House Resolution recognizing the Vietnam anti-war movement as, "one of the largest and most prolonged efforts to achieve peace and justice in recent generations and was critical to bringing an end to the war." Anti-war leader Tom Hayden notes: "The debate over the War . . . is still alive." Last year 1,000 peace activists gathered at the MLK Memorial to challenge the Pentagon's narrative of the Vietnam War.

Seymour Hersh 'Horrified' by Obama's Move to Put 'Boots on the Ground' Inside Syria (Amy Goodman / Democracy Now!)
Commentary: "It's now evident, 15 years after the 9/11 attacks, that Obama's foreign policy has maintained many of the core elements of the Global War on Terror initiated by his predecessor -- assassinations, drone attacks, heavy reliance on Special Forces, covert operations and, in the case of Afghanistan, the continued use of ground forces in combat. And, as in the years of Bush and Cheney, there has been no progress, let alone victory, in the fight against terrorism."

The Battle for Truth over Saudi Arabia's Ties to 9/11 (Andrew Bacevich / Los Angeles Times Op-Ed)
Commentary: "Of the 19 hijackers who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks, 15 were citizens of Saudi Arabia. What does that fact signify?According to senior US officials, little or nothing. From the outset, they treated the national identity of the terrorists as incidental, connoting nothing of importance. It was as if the 15 murderers just happened to smoke the same brand of cigarettes or wear the same after-shave."

US Borrows Deadly 'Warning Shot' Airstrikes from Israel (Agence France-Presse & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)
Before blowing up a jihadist cash hoard in Iraq, the US military warned bystanders of an impending strike by using a Hellfire missile to deliver the wartime equivalent of a door-knock. It was the first time the Pentagon has conducted a "knock operation" in Iraq and Syria, and the inspiration came from watching the Israel Defense Forces pioneer the controversial tactic in Gaza. The US strike managed to kill a woman, some children and several other non-combatants.

Another War Crime as US Tries, Fails to Mimic Israeli 'Roof-knock' Bomb Warning in Iraq (Judah Ari Gross / The Times of Israel)
The US military employed an Israeli technique, albeit unsuccessfully, of warning civilians prior to an airstrike, known as "roof-knocking," in the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul, Iraq. The technique has been used extensively by Israel in its operations in the Gaza Strip over the years in an attempt to minimize civilian casualties in a densely populated urban area, but only debuted on April 5 in an American operation -- and immediately wound up killing civilians.

American Nuremberg: US Officials Guilty of War Crimes (Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & Tikkun Magazine & Rebecca Gordon / Hot Books)
In recent months, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have indicated that, as president, they would resort to waterboarding and the murder of a "targeted" individual's family. In short, war crimes. Note: When Trump says such things, it's a future nightmare, to be called by its rightful name and denounced, as well as rejected and resisted by military and intelligence officials. But when President George W. Bush and his top officials actually did such things, it was another story entirely.

Judge Rules CIA Torture Suit Can Begin (Jenna McLaughlin / The Intercept & The Center for Torture Accountability)
A civil suit against the architects of the CIA's torture program, psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, will be allowed to proceed, a federal judge has ruled. The District Judge denied the pair's motion to dismiss a lawsuit launched against them on behalf of three victims -- one dead -- of the brutal tactics they designed. This is the first time torture opponents will have the chance to seek discovery evidence in a court case unimpeded by government interference.

The Cost of the US War on ISIS: $7 Billion and Counting (Martin Matishak / The Fiscal Times<)
The war against the Islamic State has now cost American taxpayers more than $7 billion, a figure that could increase dramatically as the US prepares to send 200 more troops to Iraq to help fight the extremist network. As of March 15, the price tag for 568 days of war was $6.8 billion, with an average cost of $11.5 million per day -- or $345 million per month -- according to a Defense Department report.

Crash and Burn: Capitalism Versus the Planet (Kate Aronoff / Jacobin Magazine)
Commentary: Paths to economic growth have historically involved digging up and burning massive stores of carbon held in fossil fuels. For centuries, their fumes have produced the energy needed to build factories, plan modern cities, and increase living standards. Calls to find new paths to prosperity are met by cries from the Right that pit growth against environmental stewardship.

Money Wasted on Stranded Coal Assets Could End World Energy Poverty (Nicole Ghio / Sierra Club )
Nearly a trillion dollars -- $981 billion to be exact. According to a report released today, that is the estimated amount that could be spent on the global coal plant pipeline. It is also more than one-and-a-half times the cost to end energy poverty according to the International Energy Agency's (IEA) Energy for All Case. Constructing all proposed coal plants would cost $981 billion, more than 1.5 times the amount needed to end energy poverty for 1.2 billion people.

Top US Military Contactor Exposed in Panama Papers (Fusion Investigative Unit)
The Panama Papers are the Wikileaks of the financial world: Nearly 12 million unearthed documents from one Panamanian law firm show how offshore shell companies keep trillions of dollars out of our global economy -- some of it held by drug traffickers, politicians, arms dealers, and defense contractors -- including Triple Canopy, one of military contracting's 800-pound gorillas, a private army that existed largely on paper.

Provocation v. Negotiation: Obama Rejects North Korea's Second Offer to Halt Nuclear Tests (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & The Washington Times)
North Korea believes the only leverage it has on proposing peace talks with the US is its nuclear program. The US, by contrast, insists it won't "reward" North Korea with peace as long as it possesses a nuclear weapons program. But Washington's view that a peace agreement is a gift the US can bestow only if it is placated, seems like a recipe for keeping the war going for decades more.

How Neoconservatives and Liberal Hawks Use Lies to Sell Wars (Derek Royden / Nation of Change)
Commentary: Regardless of who leads us, the arms industry, paired with warmongering politicians and their media enablers are always trying to shape the conversation around war and peace in favor of the former. It isn't just in the US where public intellectuals and government officials work hard to sell interventions overseas. The UK government was stymied twice by parliament in calling first for war in Syria and later for a role in US-led coalition airstrikes.

ACTION ALERT: The 30th Anniversary of Chernobyl: Nearly 1 Million Deaths (Harvey Wasserman / EcoWatch & Celine Mergan / Greenpeace International)
When Chernobyl blew up 30 years ago, it exposed two basic lies that had been used to promote nuclear power: (1) that a commercial reactor could not explode and (2) that the industry's radiation would kill no one. It has been estimated that 985,000 people have died from Chernobyl's fallout. Here's a short list of 30 ways these two tragic flaws are killing us all.

Islam and the Environment (Gar Smith / Earth Island Journal)
Commentary: Islam and Christianity have much in common. In their view of the natural world, both the Bible and the Qur'an share many of the same stories, heroes, and ethical concepts. But there are some differences. The Qur'an might even be said to be the "greener" of the two holy books.

Terrorists 'R' Us: Pentagon Wants to Kill More Civilians in the Name of the 'War on Terror' (Tom Vanden Brook / USA TODAY)
The Pentagon has approved airstrikes that risk more civilian casualties in order to destroy Islamic State targets as part of its increasingly aggressive fight against the militant group in Iraq and Syria, according to interviews with military officials and data. Six Defense Department officials, speaking anonymously, described how Islamic State targets are selected for attack, described a sliding scale of likely civilian casualties based on the value of the target and the location.

America's Long War to Control the Middle East (Charles Glass / The Intercept)
The conviction that invasion, bombing, and Special Forces benefit large swaths of the globe runs deep in the American psyche. Nothing undermines the American belief in military force. No matter how often its galloping about results in resentment and mayhem, the US gets up again to do good elsewhere. Failure to improve life in Vietnam, Lebanon, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya stiffens the resolve to get it right next time.

UN Urges Saudis to Halt Floggings, Beheadings, Amputations (Stephanie Nebehay / Reuters)
United Nations torture experts have called on Saudi Arabia to stop corporal punishment, including flogging and amputations, practices that the Gulf Kingdom considers an integral part of its interpretation of Islamic law. The committee that monitors the UN Convention against Torture, in its first review of Saudi Arabia since 2002, also raised concerns about the ill-treatment of Saudi bloggers, activists and human rights lawyers while in custody.

Climate Change to be Top Priority in Muslim World (Zafirah Zein / The Solutions Journal)
Environment Ministers from more than 50 Muslim countries have signed a joint declaration on environmental protection and sustainable development. At the 6th Islamic Conference, members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation discussed ways to combat climate change and promote sustainable development by pursuing green economies, eradicating poverty, creating new energy systems, and adopting good practices in sustainable governance.

ACTION ALERT: North Korea Offers To Halt Nuke Test If US Halts Massive Military Exercises! (Associated Press & Jack Radey / Facebook & Sadhbh Walshe / The New York Times Op-Ed)
Call the White House, your Senators and Representatives. North Korea has offered to halt its next scheduled nuclear weapons test if the US will call off the massive joint US/South Korean military exercise -- an exercise that involves a practiced overthrow of the North Korea regime. Here is a chance for Washington to replace saber-rattling with peace-making. And, if the Pentagon wishes, it will be able to claim that "US military might" forced Kim Jong-un to "back down."

US Admits to 20 More Civilian Deaths from Air Strikes (Middle East Eye)
The Pentagon acknowledged on Friday that 20 civilians were killed in US air strikes on Islamic State (IS) group targets over a five-month period, more than doubling an ongoing tally of such deaths to 41. Observers were quick to dismiss the toll as "unbelievable," warning that the number is likely much higher. See the embedded video for additional evidence that the US military routinely kills civilians and ignores the human damage -- and the terrorist blowback -- that it causes.

The 'Deep and Disturbing Decline' in Global Press Freedom (Niraj Chokshi / The Washington Post & Lee C. Bollinger / The Washington Post)
For the first time in more than a decade, the press is freer in Africa than in the Americas. Yet a global "climate of fear and tension" continues to erode press freedom around the world, according to the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders. Overall, press freedom eroded in two-thirds of the 180 countries tracked since last year. Europe's news media is freest. Africa is next, followed by the Americas. Finland, is the freest followed by the Netherlands, Norway, and Denmark.

America's Muzzled Media: How CBS News Aided the JFK Cover-Up (James DiEugenio / Consortium News)
CBS, NBC, and ABC, wielded powerful control over what the American people got to see and hear in the 1960s. By slapping down any criticism of the Warren Commission, CBS executives prevented the case surrounding the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy from receiving the full airing it deserved. Documents shed light on how senior news executives, who have bought into one interpretation of the facts, are highly resistant to revisit the evidence.

White House Considers Syria Escalation to Confront Russia (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Jonathan Landay and Phil Stewart / Reuters)
With US officials gleefully planning a massive escalation in Syria the moment the ceasefire collapses, many in the Obama Administration are being more direct about their desire to turn the Syrian Civil War into a proxy war against Russia. Officials familiar with the debate have called National Security Advisor Susan Rice a "fly in the ointment," claiming she has vetoed plans to escalate the war even further and targeting Russia more directly with arms shipments.

CIA's 'Plan B' Would Ship New Weapons to Syrian Rebels (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Adam Entous / The Wall Street Journal)
The CIA and its regional partners have drawn up plans to supply more-powerful weapons to moderate rebels in Syria fighting the Russia-backed regime in the event the country's six-week-old truce collapses. According to US and other officials, preparations for a so-called Plan B center on providing vetted rebel units with weapons systems that would help them in directing attacks against Syrian regime aircraft and artillery positions.

NATO Wants Bigger Black Sea Fleet to Provoke Russia (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Tsvetelia Tsolova / Reuters)
While deploying ever-growing numbers of ground troops in Eastern Europe, NATO's latest focus in needling Russia involves a major increase in naval presence in the Black Sea. Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania may expand the NATO alliance's maritime presence in the Black Sea as part of a broader strategy to "contain" Russia and freeing NATO to patrol Russia's borders by air, land and sea while positioning missiles and anti-ship missiles in the Black Sea and in Syria.

ACTION ALERT: Senators Challenge US Military Aid to Saudi Arabia (Robert Naiman / Truthout | Op-Ed)
Until recently, the US relationship to Saudi Arabia has been unquestioned. But now, a bipartisan group of senators is poised to pass legislation that would limit the sovereign immunity of the Saudi government from lawsuits over the 9/11 attacks and Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul have introduced a bipartisan bill that would place new conditions on US military aid to Saudi Arabia.

Violence and Death at Heart of US Drug War in Latin America (Dawn Paley / TeleSURtv & Cyril Mychalejko / TeleSURtv)
The militarization of drug prohibition has allowed the US to push policies of social control through violence and militarization in Latin America while host governments provide most of the funds for these wars against their own populations. The US-backed Plan Colombia and the Merida Initiative have had devastating social consequences, spurring violence and terror, spiking murder rates, pushing up disappearances, and increasing forced displacement.

War on the Planet: Enviros Sue over Pollution from Airliners (Michael Beisecker / Associated Press & Gar Smith / Earth Island Journal)
A coalition of environmental groups has sued federal regulators over long-sought pollution standards for airliners and cargo jets. A UN panel has called for a 4 percent cut in fuel consumption starting in 2028 but the rule would not apply to take-offs and landings, when aircraft burn the most fuel. Jets have been crossing the skies since the 1950s, but scientists only began to notice signs of climate change occurring beneath well-traveled jet routes in the late 1990s.

ACTION ALERT: It's Time to Ban Killer Robots (Rasha Abdul Rahim / Amnesty International & Ray Acheson / Reaching Critical Will)
In April, the third Convention on Conventional Weapons met to address growing alarm over the use of drones and the development of autonomous robot killing machines. The idea of machines killing humans on the basis of algorithms is cynically abhorrent. While the US insists that its drones provide "enhanced situational awareness," independent reviews reveal that, during one five-month stretch, "90% of people killed by US drone strikes were unintended targets."

Rep. Barbara Lee Recognizes Vietnam Peace Movement in House Resolution (Hon. Barbara Lee / US House of Representatives & World Beyond War )
Rep. Barbara Lee has introduced a House Resolution (H.Res.695) recognizing the Vietnam anti-war movement as, "one of the largest and most prolonged efforts to achieve peace and justice in recent generations and was critical to bringing an end to the war." Rep. John Conyers became a co-sponsor as an effort begins to seek endorsements from other congressional representatives.

Obama begins Saudi Arabia Trip with Snub by King Salman (Adam Edelman / New York Daily News)
As the US President visits the undemocratic and repressive Saudi monarchy, newly unearthed evidence underscores renewed suspicions of Saudi involvement in the horrific 9/11 terror attacks on the US and growing criticism over Obama's opposition to legislation that would give victims' families the right to sue the Saudi government for any role it may have played in the terror attacks.

Barack Obama Urged To Rule Out Trading US Cluster Bombs for Saudi Favor (Adam Withnall / The Independent)
Barack Obama has been urged to use his visit to Saudi Arabia to rule out selling controversial cluster bombs to the kingdom amid mounting evidence they have been used against civilians in Yemen. The US President's visit came amid increasing tension between the two allies over America's ever-closer relationship with Iran, as well as the potential release of documents purportedly linking Saudi officials to the 9/11 terror attacks.

ACTION ALERT: Saudi Teen Jailed for Peaceful Protest Faces Crucifixion and Beheading (CODEPINK & Women for Peace)
Ali al-Nimr is facing a death sentence imposed by the Saudi government, for participating in a peaceful protest during the Arab Spring when he was just 17 years old. On the occasion of President Obama's visit to the Saudi Kingdom, concerned activists are asking that he meet with Saudi human rights activists -- as he did during his recent trip to Cuba. Take action to spare the life of Ali al-Nimr and two other teenagers facing execution for engaging in political protests.

Mass Arrests in DC Ignored by Major TV News Networks (Jayne O'Donnell /USA TODAY & Amy Goodman / Democracy Now!<)
Police calmly arrested hundreds of people in Washington, D,.C. protesting the influence of money in politics, in what participants described as a striking display of restrained law enforcement. More arrests took place Monday, the final day of protests, when the non-violent protests focused on voting rights and timely consideration of the Merrick Garland's nomination to the Supreme Court. US Capitol Police have arrested more than 1,000 "Democracy Spring" protesters.

Washington's Dangerous Addiction to Military Power (Daniel L. Davis / The National Interest)
Commentary: In the White House, it appears there are only two camps in the formation of foreign policy: hawks and uber-hawks. For most of the past two administrations there appears to be no credible bloc of advisors counseling against the routine use of lethal military power. Like a drug addict, it appears Washington feels an irresistible necessity to send ground troops, special forces, or use air power somewhere, against someone, at all times. They need the fix.

Washington's War against the World (Philip Giraldi / The Unz Review)
The Middle East and South Asia would be better off today if the US had never intervened in the first place. Terrorism is a global security issue but the actual threat that it represents for Europeans and Americans has been greatly exaggerated. It cannot do serious damage to the US. In fact, the US would be less endangered by ISIS and al-Qaeda if its soldiers were not "over there" destabilizing existing governments and creating power vacuums that militants are able to exploit.

US Continues 'Regime Change' Plots across Latin America (Francisco Dominguez / teleSUR )
Despite Washington's recent apologies to Argentina and overtures to Cuba, huge financial, political and cultural resources are being mobilized to bring about hegemony for "regime change." The modality may have changed but US foreign policy remains pretty much what it was: to remove governments it does not like. US State Dept. and USAID budget is bigger than the GPD of many states, in 2016 it was $50.3 billion.

Washington's Nuclear Weapons Stored in Europe (Hans M. Kristensen / The Federation of American Scientists)
Security upgrades underway at US Air Force bases in Europe indicate that nuclear weapons deployed in Europe have been stored under unsafe conditions for more than two decades. An internal US Air Force investigation has determined that "most sites" currently used for deploying nuclear weapons in Europe do not meet Department of Defense security requirements. A blue-ribbon USAF panel concluded that "each site presents unique security challenges."

Obama to Veto Lawsuits Against Saudi Regime for Role in 9/11 Attacks? (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Brian P. McGlinchey / 28 Pages.org)
As President Obama prepares to visit Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, his administration is under increasing pressure to declassify 28 pages that, according to many who've read them, illustrate financial links between the Saudi government and the 9/11 hijackers. Meanwhile, a lesser-known document from the 9/11 Commission Report indicates "political, economic and other considerations" affected US government investigations of links between Saudi Arabia and 9/11.

Saudis Vow to Bankrupt US If Its 9/11 Role is Revealed (Fox News)
Saudi Arabia has reportedly told the Obama administration and congressional leaders that it will sell billions of dollars in US financial assets if Congress passes a bill to make the Saudi government legally responsible for any role in the 9/11 attacks.

The US Military: What a Waste (Tom Englehardt and William D. Hartung / TomDispatch)
Think about just how deeply a level of Third World-style of corruption is buried in the very heart of our system and in the way of life of the military-industrial complex. Nothing the Pentagon touches turns to anything but dross (including its never-ending wars). All of it added up to what I then labeled a massive "$cam" with American taxpayer money lost in amounts that staggered the imagination.

'Los Alamos: Secret Colony, Hidden Truths' (Book Review by Casey Sanchez / The Santa Fe New Mexican)
Book review: After 32 years of working at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Chuck Montano's last day on the job had all the pomp of an offramp motel room at checkout time. "Instead of a going-away gift and slice of retirement cake, I had a legal document in hand, putting to rest six wasteful years of litigation. I was to leave the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) for good, quietly . . . just disappear. . . . No one could talk about it, or at least not yet."

The Hiroshima Declaration Hoping to Add Momentum to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Movement (Ayako Mie / The Japan Times & The Group of Seven)
The Group of Seven foreign ministers concluded a historic two-day meeting in Hiroshima on Monday that saw them discuss the goal of global nuclear disarmament in the first city destroyed by an atomic bomb. The meeting was a victory for the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which were A-bombed just days apart toward the end of the war in August 1945. The US and other major nuclear powers, still remain opposed to the call for nuclear disarmament.

ACTION ALERT: Call for a UN Investigation Into the May 2, 2014 Odessa Massacre (Bruce Gagnon / Organizing Notes)
The violent, provocative rhetoric and physical attacks that have accompanied Donald Trump's rallies are a reminder that the specter of political violence is not limited to genocidal massacres between rival Hutu and Tutsi tribes in Rwanda. On May 2, 2016, a memorial will be held in Odessa, Ukraine, to honor the memory of scores of pro-democracy activists who were brutally murdered by rightwing radicals on that date in Odessa two years ago.

Saudi Arabia Warns of Economic Fallout if Congress Passes 9/11 Bill (Mark Mazzetti / The New York Times)
Saudi Arabia has told the Obama administration and members of Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of American assets held by the kingdom if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible in American courts for any role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The Obama administration has lobbied Congress to block the bill's passage, warning of diplomatic and economic fallout from the legislation.

War and Politics: Is a Vote for Clinton a Vote for More Wars? (Robert Parry / Consortium News)
Commentary: The argument over whether Hillary Clinton is a neoconservative may have been settled by her hawkish debate performance on April 14. In every meaningful sense, she is a neocon and -- if she becomes President -- Americans should expect more global tensions and conflicts in pursuit of the neocons' signature goal of "regime change" in countries that get in their way.

No, a New Surge Isn't the Solution to ISIS (Bonnie Kristian / The National Interest)
And even though State Department research has found that "nearly all Iraqis have unfavorable views of [ISIS] and oppose its goals and tactics, with no significant variation across religious sects and ethnic groups," that doesn't mean they want more western intervention. The same State report revealed, "around half of Iraqi Sunnis and Shia" -- categories which include the vast majority of the country -- "now say that they completely oppose" the US-led coalition against ISIS.

War on the Amazon: Ecuador's Aggressive Amazonian Oil Push (Kevin Koenig / Amazon Watch)
Ecuador has announced construction has begun on the first of 276 planned wells, ten drilling platforms, and multiple pipelines and production facilities in the Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini oil field, which overlaps Yasuni National Park in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest. the slated drilling frenzy is part of a larger, aggressive move for new oil exploration as the country faces daunting oil-backed loan payments to China, its largest creditor.

Sanders Criticizes Israel's Policies in Palestine, Raising Questions over Death Count (Robert Mackey / The Intercept & Rachel Maddow)
Israeli politicians attacked Bernie Sanders, even after Sanders admitted that he confused the estimated number of Palestinians killed in Israel's 2014 bombardment of Gaza. Sanders erred in saying 10,000 were killed. That was the number of civilians wounded. The UN reported 1,473 civilians killed. The hysteria in Israel seemed overwrought, however, given that "We only killed 500 kids" is not great material for righteous indignation.

There In No More "Promised Land" on Earth (John Lloyd / Reuters)
A "promised land" has been a constant hope in the world since the Lord promised what became Israel to Abraham, in the Book of Genesis (15:18). Some centuries later, the Lord told Moses (according to Numbers 34) to lead the Israelites out of Egypt to occupy a somewhat smaller space than he had outlined to Abraham -- the land east from the Jordan River to the sea.

US Mulls New War in UAE; Covers Up Civilian Carnage in Yemen (AntiWar.com & The Intercept)
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Obama Administration are in talks to launch a completely separate conflict in Yemen, this time focused against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The "army" may be a group of mostly Colombian mercenaries initially created by US war entrepreneur Erik Prince. Meanwhile the US report on civil rights in Saudi Arabia carefully ignores thousands of civilian casualties from the Saudi-led bombing in Yemen.

We Need a "Natural Guard" to Stand Up to the Pentagon (Lisa Savage / Maine Natural Guard & Bruce Gagnon / The Times Record)
Commentary: For years now I have been listening in vain for the sound of environmental activists noticing the Pentagon's enormous carbon footprint. A two-day conference last week made no mention of the organization that is the biggest fossil fuel consumer on the planet. Naomi Klein's high-impact book on the urgency of climate action, This Changes Everything, gave the Pentagon one paragraph. In response I have created the Maine Natural Guard.

Keep Kazakhstan Nuke-Free (Alice Slater / New Age Peace Foundation & President Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan)
"Under the IAEA auspices,"President Nazarbayev writes, "Kazakhstan is to host the Low-Enriched Uranium Bank on its territory, which will allow countries to develop civilian nuclear energy." The anti-war movement must condemn the "inextricable link" between nuclear weapons and nuclear power -- and should oppose this new misguided global measure to make Kazakhstan the locus for producing toxic radioactive enriched uranium for "peaceful" nukes.

ACTION ALERT: Who Sells Cluster Bombs? (Code Pink)
On April 18, peace activists from across New England will gather in front of Textron Industries headquarters in Providence, Rhode Island, to call on the company to stop selling cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia that it is using to kill civilians in Yemen. Another petition: "We, the undersigned, call on President Obama to meet with Saudi human rights activists during his upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia."

Report: US Has Not "Exported Democracy": It Has Supported Despotism (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Press Trust of India)
The 40th annual State Department report on human rights is raising more eyebrows than usual this year, as the preface by Secretary of State John Kerry warns of a "global governance crisis" wherein countries around the world are cracking down on basic freedoms and stifling dissent, often violently.

Not the First Time the USS Donald Cook Has Engaged Russian Jets (Voltaire Network & Veterans Today)
In 2014, the State Department acknowledged that the crew of the USS Donald Cook was gravely demoralized after their vessel was overflown by a Russian Sukhoi-24 fighter jet in the Black Sea. The Su-24 carried no bombs or missiles -- only an electronic warfare device that reportedly disabled the ship's advance electronics, leaving it dead in the water. In 2015, a Russian jet disabled all radar, control circuits, and information systems on the US destroyer Ross.

What Would a US-Russia War Look Like? (Andrew Tilghman and Oriana Pawlyk / Military Times)
Experts agree that the US military's globe-spanning force would clobber the Russian military in any toe-to-toe conventional fight. But modern wars are not toe-to-toe fights; geography, politics and terrain inevitably give one side an advantage. The US spends nearly 10 times more than Russia on national defense. The US operates 10 aircraft carriers; Russia has one. But looming over the entire US-Russian relationship are their nuclear arsenals.

US Ships Approach Russian Border; Russian Jets Approach UN Ships (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Andrew Tilghman / Military Times & RT News)
The US Navy sails 4,000 miles from US coast to "international waters" 80 miles from Russian territory and is met by "visibly unarmed" Russian fighter jets. The Pentagon angrily accuses the Russian government of "aggression."

Human Rights Watch Reports US Bombs Used in Saudi War Crime (Kareem Fahim and C. J. Chivers / The New York Times)
A Saudi Arabia-led military coalition used bombs supplied by the United States in an attack on a market in Yemen last month that killed at least 97 civilians, including 25 children, Human Rights Watch said in a report released Wednesday. HRW said it found fragments of two US-made bombs at the market, linking the United States for the first time to the deadly March 15 airstrikes.

Iraqi Troops Again Flee From ISIS as Soon as Shooting Starts (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Hollie McKay / Fox News)
ISIS fighters have managed to rout an Iraqi military offensive near Mosul. As has so often been the case, the Iraqi troops didn't handle coming under fire particularly well, and fled en masse as soon as the shooting started in earnest. Analysts warn that the Iraqi troops -- despite years of costly US "training" -- simply aren't combat ready and, in this case, they lost what little ground they took almost immediately.

Peabody Coal Declares Bankruptcy: Taxpayers Stuck with Clean-up Costs? (Clayton Aldern / Grist)
In a move that has environmentalists dancing, Peabody Energy -- the world's largest private-sector coal company -- has filed for bankruptcy. It is the fourth major US coal company to go bankrupt in the last year. The dirtiest fossil fuel sector has been hit hard by the natural gas boom and dropping prices for renewables. Further adding to coal's woes are Obama's pending Clean Power Plan and aggressive anti-coal organizing by climate activists.

Israel Introduces New Terror Weapon: Armed Micro-drones (Sputnik News & Arie Egozi / Flight Global)
Inexpensive flying grenades are bringing drone technology to a ground-war setting. Israel's "attack and suicide drones" will allow a soldier to follow a target via onboard camera and then remotely drop a lethal grenade on the subject. Meanwhile, another Israeli company plans to profit from creating a "Drone Dome" to protect privileged communities from intrusion by " UAVs classified as malicious."

Killer Robots and 'Meaningful Human Control' (Human Rights Watch)
According to experts in artificial intelligence, fully autonomous weapons, which would select and engage targets without meaningful human control, could be developed for use within years, not decades. In light of this troubling development, Human Rights Watch and the International Human Rights Clinic is calling on all states to adopt a prohibition on the development, production, and use of all fully autonomous weapons.

US Undecided on Vetoing UN Resolution Against Israel's Illegal West Bank Settlements (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Tovah Lazaroff, Herb Keinon, Danielle Ziri / The Jerusalem Post & Haaretz Editorial)
The US State Department insists the Obama Administration has not taken any position on the potential veto of an upcoming UN Security Council resolution against Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law, and the Security Council is expected to simply reiterate that fact. The US vetoed an anti-settlement resolution in 2011, the only veto cast by the US during President Barack Obama's tenure.

Fukushima Fallout: Radioactive Boars. In Chernobyl, Wildlife Is Flourishing (Richard Lloyd Parry / The Times & Travis M. Andrews / The Washington Post & Sarah Kaplan and Nick Kirkpatrick / The Washington Post)
Communities in northern Japan are being overwhelmed by radioactive wild boars, which are rampaging across the countryside after being contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Meanwhile, in the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster that turned a huge swath of Ukraine into a "No Man's Land," wildlife is flourishing -- largely because of the absence of human activity.

The Question That Is Never Asked: Why Is US Attacked? (Joe Lauria / Consortium News)
When Western media discusses terrorism against the West, the motive is almost always left out, even when the terrorists state they are avenging longstanding Western violence in the Muslim world. Western militaries have killed infinitely more innocent civilians in the Middle East than Russia has. Then why won't Western officials and media cite retaliation for that Western violence as a cause of terrorist attacks on New York, Paris and Brussels?

Afghan Families Seek Probe of US Drone Attack that Killed 17 Civilians (Shereena Qazi / Al Jazeera & Emran Feroz / Al Jazeera)
Relatives and tribal elders in southeastern Afghanistan are demanding an investigation into the killing of 17 people by US drones this week, claiming that the air strikes hit civilians, not members of armed groups. Bahadur Noorullah Khan, a clerk working in the district office, was one of the 17 people killed in the raids. He left behind a wife and two children. "Who is going to feed them?" Khan's wife asked.

Obama Admits US Drone Attacks Routinely Kill Innocent Civilians (Nicole Gaouette / CNN & The New York Times & The Bureau of Investigative Journalism)
President Barack Obama has said there is "no doubt" that innocent civilians have been killed in drone strikes worldwide. The Obama administration has continuously expanded the drone program over two presidential terms, drawing heavy criticism for the extent of civilian deaths -- also known as "collateral damage."

USAF Won't Reveal How Much Its New Bomber Really Costs (Scott Amey / The Project On Government Oversight)
The recently announced Long Range Strike Bomber is moving forward with no one in Congress knowing its actual price tag. Despite requests by the chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Air Force has decided against releasing the final contract value to taxpayers. It stands by its decision to only release estimates. The B-21 contract, which was awarded to Northrop Grumman in October 2015, now is estimated to cost taxpayers as much as $58 billion.

28 Pages: It's Time to Reveal the Saudi Role in the 9/11 Attacks (Steve Kroft / 60 Minutes)
In 10 days, President Obama will visit Saudi Arabia at a time of deep mistrust between the two allies, and lingering doubts about the Saudi commitment to fighting violent Islamic extremism. Former Sen. Bob Graham and others urge the Obama administration to declassify redacted pages of a report that holds 9/11 secrets.

Two Leading Journalists Bemoan the State of US Media Reporting (Robert Parry / Consortium News)
Mainstream US journalism has completely lost its way, especially in dealing with foreign policy issues where bias now overwhelms any commitment to facts, a dangerous development. The major newspapers and TV networks are staffed largely by careerists who uncritically accept what they are fed by US government officials or what they get from think-tank experts who are essentially in the pay of special interests.

Vietnam Redux: US Deploys B-52 Bombers to Destroy Islamic State (Andrea Shalal / Reuters & Hana Levi Julian / The Jewish Press)
For the first time in 25 years, America has sent B-52 bombers to the Middle East to fight the war on terror: this time, against Da'esh (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq. "The B-52 demonstrates our continued resolve to apply persistent pressure on Daesh and defend the region in any future contingency," said Air Force Lieutenant General Charles Brown. The Pentagon says the bombers would drop one or two munitions in an area, rather than use carpet-bombing.

Kids Sue Fossil Fuel Industry over Polluted Future (Our Children's Trust)
A Magistrate Judge with the US Federal District Court in Eugene, Oregon, has ruled in favor of 21 young plaintiffs in their landmark climate change case against the federal government. The judge ruled against the motion to dismiss brought by the fossil fuel industry and federal government. The plaintiffs claim fossil fuel pollution violates their constitutional right to life. Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein call this the planet's "most important lawsuit."

ACTION ALERT: 60 Minutes to Report on Saudi Link 9/11 (28 Pages.org & Bob Graham / CBS News)
The drive to declassify 28 pages from a congressional intelligence inquiry that detail specific indications of foreign government support of the 9/11 hijackers is about to be put under a powerful spotlight, as 60 Minutes will air a segment on the topic this Sunday, April 10 at 7 pm ET/PT. Former Senator Bob Graham and others urge the Obama administration to declassify redacted pages of a report that holds 9/11 secrets.

How Saudi Arabia's War in Yemen Has Made al Qaeda Stronger and Richer (Yara Bayoumy, Noah Browning and Mohammed Ghobar / Reuters)
One unintended consequence of the war in Yemen is that, today, Al Qaeda now inhabits a base in Africa that is relatively stable and extremely well-financed. Once driven to near irrelevance by the rise of Islamic State abroad and security crackdowns at home, al Qaeda in Yemen now openly rules a mini-state with a warchest swollen by an estimated $100 million in looted bank deposits and revenue from running the country's third largest port.

Making Sense of Shifting Alliances in the Mideast--and Their Impact on the US and Israel (Uri Avnery / Tukkun Magazine)
Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor of Tikkun Magazine writes: "Once again Avnery gives us the larger view of the conflicts in the MidEast and helps us understand how distorted the framework that the Western media presents about what is actually happening and the impact of the West in that area. Is the idea that the U.S. should stop trying to be the policeman of the world really so crazy, given the actual realities of what we've been doing and how destructive our impact has been?"

Once Again, Iraqi Troops Flee From ISIS as Soon as Shooting Starts (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Hollie McKay / Fox News)
The notion that ISIS fighters are unrivaled on the battlefield doesn't always stand up to close scrutiny, but the ISIS leadership can certainly continue to push that narrative this week, after routing an Iraqi military offensive near Mosul. The Iraqi troops didn't handle coming under fire particularly well, and fled en masse as soon as the shooting started in earnest, losing what little ground they took almost immediately.

US Drones and Bombs Kills136 Civilians -- From Afghanistan to Yemen (AntiWar.com & The New York Times & The Defense Security Cooperation Agency)
In Afghanistan, a series of US drone strikes has killed at least 17 civilians. The US is often late to acknowledge civilian deaths. A US Brig. Gen. insisted there was "no evidence" that any of the slain were civilians. On March 15, Saudi warplanes attacked a crowded marketplace in the Yemeni Shi'ite town of Mastaba, killing 119 civilians. The attack was among the deadliest Saudi strikes on Yemen's civilians since the war began. More than 3,000 civilian bystanders have been killed.

The Revolt Against NATO Is a Revolt against Interventionism (Justin Raimondo / AntiWar.com)
Commentary: Donald Trump has spent much of his campaign deriding NATO allies for 'ripping off' the American taxpayer and failing to contribute to the world's most powerful military alliance. But on Wednesday, his fellow Republicans joined the chorus during a closed-door meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Capitol Hill, according to sources inside the room.

Clinton Email Reveals: Google Sought Overthrow of Syria's Assad (Rudy Takala / The Washington Examiner )
Google in 2012 sought to help insurgents overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad, according to State Department emails receiving fresh scrutiny this week. Messages between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's team and one of Google's executives detailed the plan for Google to get involved in the region. These disclosures are found in the 50,547 pages of documents from 30 June 2010 to 12 August 2014. 7,570 of the documents were sent by Hillary Clinton.

US Policy and the Corporate Media Created Refugee Crisis (Andrew Smolski / CounterPunch)
Take a look at the structure of the media system. The major media institutions are great corporations, some of them parts of megacorporations. Like other businesses, they sell a product to a market. The product that they sell is audiences. What do you expect to come out as the media product of a system of major corporations selling audiences to other corporations in close interaction with a major power system, state power, that there all very much interlocked with?

In Syria, Militias Armed by the Pentagon Are Fighting CIA-backed Forces (Citizens for Legitimate Government )
Syrian militias armed by different parts of the US war machine have begun to fight each other on the plains between the besieged city of Aleppo.The fighting has intensified over the last two months, as CIA-armed units and Pentagon-armed ones have repeatedly shot at each other while maneuvering through contested territory on the northern outskirts of Aleppo, US officials and rebel leaders have confirmed.

Goal of Obama's Nuclear Summit: To Keep Nuclear Terror in the Hands of the West (Toronto Star & The Next News Network & Tyler Durden / ZeroHedge & Hwang Ji-hye, Arirang News)
An international summit was held last week to address the threat of nuclear material falling into the wrong hands. But is it possible for nukes ever to be the right hands? The US has slammed North Korea with sanctions for test-firing missiles in response to massive joint US/South Korean military exercises aimed at toppling the regime in the North. Almost no attention has been paid to the fact that the US has test-fired nuclear-capable ICBMs at least 15 times since January 2011.

Pentagon's Position: "Nuclear War Is Necessary" (Dennis Bernstein / Reader Supported News)
In this extended interview, I spoke with John Pilger about his new film in progress on the impact of nuclear testing around the world, the massive nuclear buildup now taking place under the auspices of the Obama administration, and the ongoing and expanding policy of the US to control and restrain China by any means necessary, which includes full nuclear dominance from air, sea, land, and space.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Your City to Divest from Nuclear War (Susi Snyder / ICANW & The Future of Life Institution & Max Tegmark / Huffington Post)
The US is hoarding more than 7,000 nuclear missiles. A long history of near-misses underscores the risk of an accidental nuclear war that could trigger a nuclear winter, killing most people on Earth. Yet rather than retire its excess nukes, the US plans to spend $4 million-per-hour for the next 30 years making them more lethal. On April 2, Cambridge, Massachusetts unanimously voted to divest its $1 billion pension fund from nuclear weapons production.

Escalation Nation: More US Bases in Iraq? (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & The Jerusalem Post & Lolita C. Baldor / Associated Press)
As they continue to push for ever-more ground troops in Iraq, the Pentagon today confirmed that they are giving consideration to opening up more bases in the country, or potentially reopening bases from the previous occupation, with an eye toward getting more deeply involved in the war. The Pentagon is considering opening more small military outposts to provide artillery support and other aid to Iraqi forces in Iraq's combat zones.

War and Environmental Collapse (David Swanson / War Is a Lie)
Book excerpt: "The environment as we know it will not survive nuclear war. It also may not survive "conventional" war, understood to mean the sorts of wars the US government now wages. Intense damage has already been done by wars and by the research, testing, and production done in preparation for wars. . . . [W]ars have damaged the earth, both intentionally and -- more often -- as a reckless side-effect."

US Aid to Israel Is 'Too Much' Say 61.9% of Americans (Grant Smith / AntiWar.com)
A majority Americans say US foreign aid to Israel is excessive -- either "much too much" (32.5 percent) or "too much' (29.4 percent). The March 10, 2016 survey, fielded through Google Consumer Surveys, reveals only slight changes since it was first asked on September 27, 2014. The US has provided more aid since Israel's creation in 1948 -- $250 billion adjusted for inflation -- than to any other foreign country according to government figures adjusted for inflation.

ACTION ALERT: Hold the Gun Industry Accountable (Alliance for Gun Responsibility, & Sign for Good & Left Action)
Gun manufacturers and dealers make huge profits from America's gun violence epidemic, which kills over 33,000 Americans a year. Yet they have a unique legal immunity that shields them from accountability for the injuries their products create, due to previous legislation passed to protect gun dealers known as PLCAA (The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act).

US Should Stop Arming Surrogates in Foreign Wars (Kevin Schwartz / Al Jazeera)
Reliance on proxies in the pursuit of policy goals is nothing new for the US, recurring as an element of policy through successive Cold War and post-Cold War administrations -- from South America to Southeast Asia -- with variations in commitment, transparency, and results. The proxy-training and support apparatus remains robust with US Special Operations forces scattered across the globe in nearly 135 countries.

Rating the Candidates: Who Wants War? (Philip Giraldi / The Unz Review)
Commentary: "That American presidential candidates can promote carpet bombing, annihilation of families and going to war to remove an undesirable government tells one that they are willfully ignorant of the consequences of their words. Whom I will be voting for in November comes down to only one issue -- who is less likely to start a new war."

Funding Presidential Wars: A Black Check instead of Checks and Balances
Commentary: "Let's face it: in times of war, the Constitution tends to take a beating. With the safety or survival of the nation said to be at risk, the basic law of the land -- otherwise considered sacrosanct -- becomes nonbinding, subject to being waived at the whim of government authorities who are impatient, scared, panicky, or just plain pissed off. The examples are legion."

Is the 2016 Election Already Being Stripped & Flipped? (Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman / Reader Supported News & Laura Packard / Voter Rights Action)
Disturbing signs of the time-tested "Strip and Flip" strategy for stealing elections have begun to surface. Will they ultimately decide the outcome of the 2016 election? The core approach is to STRIP citizens of their voting rights, then FLIP the electronic vote count if that's not enough to guarantee a win for the corporate 1%. Most electronic voting machines, on which the vast majority of Americans will vote this fall, are 10 years old or more and can easily be hacked.

Obama: US Has Killed Innocent Civilians; Warns Drones with 'Dirty Bombs' Could Threaten US Cities (Robert Hutton / Bloomberg & Nicole Gaouette / CNN & )
During his Nuclear Summit in New York, President Obama admited US drones kill innocent civilians, he then showed a fake propaganda newscast depicting an imaginary plot in which anti-US fanatics use drones and "dirty bombs" to spread radioactive material through US cities. No mention was made of the US use of radioactive weapons in Iraq or how these "dirty bomb" attacks contaminated entire cities and destroyed thousands of lives with radioactive poisons.

Irradiated Iraq: The Nuclear Nightmare We Left Behind (Barbara Koeppel / The Washington Spectator)
We invaded Iraq to destroy its non-existent weapons of mass destruction. To do it, we fired these new weapons, causing radioactive casualties. In the 1991 Desert Storm campaign, the US military fired weapons containing depleted uranium. Within two years, grotesque birth defects began to spiral. Babies with two heads. Or missing eyes, hands, and legs. Or stomachs and brains inside out.

CIA Leaves Bomb on Schoolbus. Was It an Accident? CIA and FBI Share a History of Planting Deadly Bombs (RT News & The Washington Post & Charles Pierce / Esquire & The New York Times & Dan Rather / CBS)
The CIA left "explosive training material" under the hood of a Loudoun County school bus after a training exercise last week. The bus was used to ferry elementary and high school students to and from school with the explosives still sitting in the engine compartment -- a troubling incident given the CIA's history of using car bombs to assassinate foreign "targets" and the FBI's role in the deadly 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center that killed six and injured 1,000.

Nuclear Checkmate? Russia's New ICBM Cannot Be Intercepted (Sputnik News )
Unlike other missiles, Russia's new RS-26 ICBM travels along a continuously changing trajectory, making it impossible to shoot down. Military expert conclude the US missile defense system would be "absolutely useless" against the RS-26. Russia claims the new ICBM was developed in response to Washington's plans to deploy a global missile defense system along Russia's borders.

Obama Admits US Foreign Policy Responsible for Attacks in Paris, Brussels (Dave Boyer / The Washington Times & Barack Obama / White House Press Center)
US President Barack Obama said Friday that the US is sending counter-terrorist "surge teams" to Europe in the wake of the Brussels attacks, and warned that more such terrorist attacks are likely. Mr. Obama explained that, as the Islamic State is "squeezed" by the US-led coalition in Syria and Iraq, "we can anticipate it lashing out elsewhere, as we've seen most recently and tragically in countries from Turkey to Brussels."

Obama Stokes Fears of Nuclear Drones and 'Dirty Bombs' (Japan Times & Bloomberg )
The image of terrorists flying drones to spread radioactive material over a civilian area was part of a nightmare scenario Barack Obama urged world leaders to consider as they debated better ways of controlling nuclear material. With the aid of propaganda tools -- including apocalyptic fake newscasts -- Obama asked a group of 50 heads of state and foreign ministers to imagine that a terrorist group had bought nuclear isotopes through brokers on the so-called Dark Web.

The Cowards' Wars: The Bias of the International Criminal Court (Luciana Bohne / CounterPunch)
Commentary: "They come; they see; people die. Their maps are not a territory inhabited by living beings; they are military targets. In 38,000 sorties and 22,000 tons of bombs in three months (Yugoslavia, 1999), they never lost a plane. They promise the people their bombs will not harm a hair on their heads; then they bomb markets and bridges at noon, when people are at their thickest; they say they are as careful at noon as they are at midnight."

ACTION ALERT: Protest Pentagon Waste, including $86 Million Spent on a Plane that Is 'Inoperable' (Peace & Planet.org & Christopher Woody / Reuters)
The Pentagon plans to spend $66,000 per minute to build the new generation of lnuclear weapons and their delivery systems. This is more than most people make in a year. Think what that money could buy in your community and for your family. The Pentagon has spent $86 million on a counternarcotics plane for Afghanistan that has never carried out a mission and now sits idle in Delaware. Join the Global Day of Action on Military Spending -- April 16-18, 2016.

ACTION ALERT: STOP the Use of Killer Drones (The World Can't Wait)
"Reform" is in the air. What we need is visible opposition to US war for empire from people living in this country. Millions of Americans reproach their government for failure to secure access to basic necessities -- housing, education and healthcare -- for a purposeful life. Fundamental dynamics of the capitalist economic system have created a desperate situation for growing numbers of the dispossessed, across the globe.

Drone Killings Are War Crimes (Daniele Archibugi / Open Democracy)
The threat that terrorists pose to US interests and security did not create killing drones: rather the technical feasibility of killing drones has generated imagined terrorist threats. It is nearly fifteen years since the United States, followed by a few of its closest allies such as the United Kingdom and Israel, used unmanned flying vehicles, better known as drones, for targeted killings.

How US-Backed War on Syria Helped ISIS (Daniel Lazare / Consortium News)
Commentary/ Analysis: By funneling TOW missiles and other weapons to Syrian jihadists for their "regime change" war, President Obama facilitated the Islamic State's rise with the terrorist blowback now hitting Europe. Why are Islamic militants wreaking havoc from Brussels to Lahore? The best way to answer this question is by taking a close look at how The New York Times covered the liberation of Palmyra from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's Islamic State.

Cleaning Up Hillary's Libyan Mess (Robert Parry / Consortium News)
Hillary Clinton's signature project as Secretary of State – the "regime change" in Libya – is now sliding from the tragic to the tragicomic as her successors in the Obama administration adopt increasingly desperate strategies for imposing some kind of order on the once-prosperous North African country torn by civil war since Clinton pushed for the overthrow and murder of longtime Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

US Nuclear Security Summit Shadowed by Rising Terrorism (Thalif Deen / International Press Service News & Alice Slater / RT News)
When some of the world's major nuclear powers meet in Washington DC next Friday, they will be shadowed by the rising terrorist attacks– largely in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Anti-nuclear critic Alice Slater explains the real threats that are not being discusses, one of the largest being the fact that nuclear power plants are "sitting ducks" for terrorist attacks. And US nuclear missiles remain on hair-trigger alert, despite a long history of errors and "close calls."

The US Is Militarizing the Pacific -- and Not Taking Questions (Jon Letman / Foreign Policy in Focus & AntiWar.com)
The biggest US military realignment in a generation may be underway in the Asia-Pacific. But most Americans know nothing about it. Unveiled in 2011, the "Pacific Pivot" aims to transition US military and diplomatic resources away from the Middle East and toward the world's most populous and economically dynamic region. "The United States is a Pacific Power," President Obama told the Australian parliament in November 2011, "and we are here to stay."

War on Immigrants: Death on the Border (Andrew Becker / Reveal & Center for Investigative Reporting)
Use of force by the US Border Patrol is back in the spotlight. In a scathing report published last week, a former Justice Department official criticized border agents' "astonishing pattern" of shooting people who threw rocks at them, a practice that led to a "highly predictable" death in 2011. Watch a Spanish-language documentary on deadly force by Border Patrol agents that the Center for Investigative Journalism produced with Telemundo and MSNBC.

Los Alamos: Secret Colony, Hidden Truths ( Casey Sanchez / The Santa Fe New Mexican)
Book Review: After 32 years of working at Los Alamos National Laboratory -- and daring to speak out as a whistleblower -- Chuck Montano was fired. Montano has now self-published a tell-all book in hopes of convincing a congressional subcommittee to reopen its February 2003 investigation into why LANL terminated the contracts of two independent investigators in November 2002. And there was the matter of that unsolved murder.

Obama Speaks of Human Rights, Offers FBI Assistance as Argentina Cracks Down on Media (TeleSUR TV)
Argentina's right-wing government is moving to take the regional news network, teleSUR, off the air. Argentina's move may amount to an act of censorship, teleSUR said. After years of tension between Washington and Buenos Aires, the new government of President Mauricio Macri has opened its doors to US meddling. As part of this new bilateral relation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation will be allowed to open up an intelligence center in the South American nation.

How Hillary Destroyed Libya, Once a Leading 'Developed Nation' (Riley Waggaman / Huffington Post & Maximilian Forte / CounterPunch)
As a ferocious supporter of invading of Iraq, then-Senator Hillary Clinton insisted that Saddam Hussein was giving "sanctuary" to terrorists. Aside from being total nonsense, the dark irony is that the invasion transformed Iraq into an enormous terrorist incubator: A top military adviser to General Petraeus has plainly stated: "There undeniably would be no ISIS if we had not invaded Iraq" and "we have to recognize that a lot of the problem is of our own making."

US 'Engagement' Poses a Threat to Cuba's Ecological Farming Revolution (Miguel Altieri / The Conversation)
President Obama's trip to Cuba has accelerated the warming of US-Cuban relations. Many people in both countries believe that normalizing relations will spur investments that can help Cuba develop its economy and improve life for its citizens. But in agriculture -- where Cuban farming has become a leading example of successful ecological agriculture (aka "agroecology") -- US corporate investments and business intrusions could destroy Cuba's hard-won sustainability.

The Case Against Bombing ISIS (Greg Shupak / Jacobin Magazine)
When ISIS claimed responsibility for the horrendous attacks in Brussels, President Obama said the US "can and will defeat those who threaten the safety and security of people all around the world." More bombing was on the way. The anti-ISIS campaign is just the latest phase of US imperialism in the Middle East. To date, US-led airstrikes against ISIS have killed at least 1,044 civilians in Iraq and Syria. Even "collateral damage" cannot rationalize such deaths.

Militant Interest in Attacking Nuclear Sites Stirs Concern in Europe (Geert De Clercq and Christoph Steitz / Reuters)
Meter-thick concrete walls and 1950s-style analog control rooms help protect nuclear plants from bomb attacks and computer hackers, but Islamist militants are turning their attention to the atomic industry's weak spots. While blowing up a nuclear reactor is beyond the skills of militant groups, the nuclear industry has some serious vulnerabilities that could be easily exploited.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Sales of US F-15E Fighter Jets to Qatar (Robert Naiman / Just Foreign Policy & MoveOn.org & Dan De Luce / Foreign Policy)
The White House can't decide whether to sign off on a multibillion-dollar arms deal with the Persian Gulf kingdom, a sometime ally that has close ties to Islamist militants and Iran. The potential deal for up to 73 F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jets, worth billions of dollars, has been on the table for more than two years. Israel has privately expressed reservations about the deal because of concerns that Israel's military superiority in the region could be undercut by the sale.

The Case Against Bombing ISIS (Greg Shupak / Jacobin Magazine)
When ISIS claimed responsibility for the horrendous attacks in Brussels, President Obama said the US "can and will defeat those who threaten the safety and security of people all around the world." More bombing was on the way. The anti-ISIS campaign is just the latest phase of US imperialism in the Middle East. To date, US-led airstrikes against ISIS have killed at least 1,044 civilians in Iraq and Syria. Even "collateral damage" cannot rationalize such deaths.

Obama Apologizes to Argentina: Now It's Time to Apologize to Cuba (Gar Smith / Environmentalists Against War )
Commentary: In an unprecedented act of geopolitical contrition, Barack Obama has become the first US president to apologize to another world leader for America's role in overthrowing an elected democracy and installing a brutal military regime that murdered and "disappeared" more than 30,000 civilians. Now would be a good time to apologize to Cuba, as well

The US Wants the Islamic State Group to Win in Syria (Fuerzas Armadas & David Swanson / TeleSUR )
The US State Department does not want the government of Syria to defeat or weaken the Islamic State group, at least not if doing so means any sort of gain for the Syrian government. Watching a recent video of a State Department spokesperson speaking on that subject might confuse some US war supporters.

What Do Terrorists Want? (Sheldon Richman / AntiWar.com & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)
Analysis: After the terrorist violence in Brussels many people, including Barack Obama, said we should not change our way of life and live in fear because that is what terrorists want. Maybe, but is that all they want? It seems that something important is left out of the story. In the classical model of terrorism, instilling fear (along with causing death and injury) is not an end in itself. It's a means to an end.

Pro-Trump Would-be Terror Bomber Gets Probation: Man Plots To Massacre Muslims, Judge Sets Him Free (Justin Salhani / ThinkProgress & Justin Salhani / ThinkProgress & Judd Legum / ThinkProgress)
A 55-year-old man from California will spend 90 days in jail after being caught in possession of a bomb and threatening to kill Muslims. Under a plea deal he was offered probation and banned from Facebook. Meanwhile, in NY, a former Congressional candidate admitted to "plotting the annihilation" of a Muslim community with "500 rounds of ammunition, a pistol, and a machete." A federal judge released the man "into the custody of family members."

The US Military Has a Lot More People In Iraq than It Has Been Saying (Missy Ryan / The Washington Post)
The US military has around 5,000 service members in Iraq, officials said on Monday, far more than previously reported, as the Obama administration quietly expands ground operations against the Islamic State. The number of American forces in Iraq has come under increased scrutiny following the death over the weekend of a Marine staff sergeant, the second combat casualty in renewed US operations in Iraq.

Commentary: In an unprecedented act of geopolitical contrition, Barack Obama has become the first US president to apologize to another world leader for America's role in overthrowing an elected democracy and installing a brutal military regime that murdered and "disappeared" more than 30,000 civilians. Now would be a good time to apologize to Cuba, as well

US/South Korea Exercise to "Decapitate" North Korea Prompts Threat of Nuclear Retaliation (Yonhap News & Korea Times & Associated Press)
North Korea warned Saturday that its military is ready to attack Seoul's presidential palace unless South Korean President Park Geun-hye apologizes for "treason" and publicly executes officials responsible for what Pyongyang says are plans to attack its leadership. On Saturday, the DPRK posted a video titled "Last Chance," depicting a nuclear missile crashing into the streets near Washington's Lincoln Memorial before an explosion wipes out the city.

As Nuclear Summit Nears, It's the GOP, Not the President, That Is Promoting Nuclear Arms Control (Alan J. Kuperman / The New York Times & Yonhap News)
Next week President Obama will welcome world leaders to Washington for his fourth Nuclear Security Summit, a biennial event to prevent terrorists from acquiring atomic bombs. One might expect the president to seize the opportunity to announce a major nonproliferation initiative, then brace for resistance from congressional Republicans skeptical of arms control. But reality is exactly the opposite. It is the Republican-controlled Congress that is pushing an ambitious arms control project. President Obama is the one resisting.

America's Astounding Human Rights Hypocrisy. What We Could Learn from Cuba (Harvey Wasserman / Reader Supported News & Marjorie Cohn / Marjorie Cohn.com)
Our American president's long-overdue visit to Cuba has been a great thing for many reasons. But when it comes to harping on the human rights situation in Cuba maybe it's time to come clean about what’s happening here in the US. A comparison of Cuba's human rights record with that of the United States shows that -- when it comes to supporting women, education, healthcare and workers' rights -- it is the US that should be taking lessons from Cuba.

US Bombings Have Increased ISIS Attacks in Europe; In US, Trump Supporter Plans to Terror-bomb Muslims, Gets Probation (Steve Weissman / Reader Supported News & Justin Salhani /Think/Progress)
Who are the terrorists and what inspires them? US foreign policy created ISIS and is now the driving force behind ISIS-inspired terror attacks across Europe. The world has grown increasingly distressed over terrorist attacks -- in Europe, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Turkey, the Middle East, Africa and the US. And not just by Muslim jihadis, but also by Christian nationalist and white supremacist groups in the US (many of whom are supporters of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz).

Pentagon Spending (Now 54% of the Budget) Is Destroying the World -- and the US (David Swanson / World Without War)
The Congressional Progressive Caucus has requested budget proposals from members of the public. Here is a friendly suggestion from World Beyond War. Last year's CPC budget proposed to cut military spending by, in my calculation, 1%. Military spending now is 53.71% of discretionary spending, according to the National Priorities Project. No other item adds up to even 7%. Military spending also produces the need for additional spending on debt and veteran care.

With US Help, Saudi Arabia Is Obliterating Yemen (Sharif Abdel Kouddous / GlobalPost)
More than 5,700 people, including at least 2,577 civilians -- 637 of them children -- have been killed in the eight months Saudi Arabia has been bombing Yemen, according to the United Nations. The UN expects the actual toll to be even higher because many of the dead or injured never reach medical facilities and so go unrecorded.

A World War Has Begun: Break the Silence (John Pilger / TeleSUR)
Commentary: Donald Trump has been accused of "unleashing the dark forces of violence" in the US. Unleashing them? This is the country where toddlers shoot their mothers and police wage a murderous war against black Americans. This is the country that has attacked and sought to overthrow more than 50 governments, many of them democracies, and bombed from Asia to the Middle East, causing the deaths and dispossession of millions of people.

Blackwater Founder Erik Prince in the Hot Seat (Matthew Cole, Jeremy Scahill / The Intercept)
Erik Prince, founder of the now-defunct mercenary firm Blackwater and current chairman of Frontier Services Group, is under investigation by the US Department of Justice and other federal agencies for attempting to broker military services to foreign governments and possible money laundering, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the case.

America's Astounding Human Rights Hypocrisy. What We Could Learn from Cuba (Harvey Wasserman / Reader Supported News & Marjorie Cohn / Marjorie Cohn.com)
Our American president’s long-overdue visit to Cuba has been a great thing for many reasons. But when it comes to harping on the human rights situation in Cuba maybe it's time to come clean about what’s happening here in the US. A comparison of Cuba's human rights record with that of the United States shows that -- when it comes to supporting women, education, healthcare and workers' rights -- it is the US that should be taking lessons from Cuba.

ACTION ALERT: One Year of Killing in Yemen. Stop Arming Saudi Arabia (CodePink & PBS & ITV)
Today marks one year since Saudi Arabia began what they said would be "short-term" military involvement in Yemen's civil war. In the 365 days since, using American-made fighter jets, cluster bombs, and other munitions, more than 3,000 innocent Yemeni civilians have been killed, many of them in ways that may amount to war crimes. It is past time for the US to stand up and repudiate Saudi aggression and killing in Yemen.

Media Sensationalize Terrorist Violence in Brussels, Ignore Western-backed Terrorist Violence in Yemen (Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept )
When the media report on civilian deaths in Brussels but ignores Yemen, it's dispensing propaganda, not news. The ultimate media taboo is self-examination: the question of whether the actions we take exacerbate the problem we say we are trying to resolve. Such a process would not dilute the evil of ISIS's civilian-targeting violence, but it would enable a more honest understanding of the role Western military policies play and the inevitable human costs they entail.

A 'Legal Gap'? Nuclear Weapons Under International Law (Gro Nystuen and Kjolv Egeland / Arms Control Today)
Over the past five years, the international community has devoted attention to the humanitarian, environmental, and developmental consequences of nuclear weapons detonations. More than 120 states have now formally endorsed the "Humanitarian Pledge" calling on states -- nuclear-armed states, in particular -- and other stakeholders to "fill the legal gap for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons."

Recalling Ireland's Easter Rising 100 Years Ago (Associated Press & Jack Radey / Facebook & Sadhbh Walshe / The New York Times Op-Ed)
Thousands of soldiers marched solemnly through the crowded streets of Dublin on Sunday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising against Britain, a fateful rebellion that reduced parts of the capital to ruins and fired the country's flame of independence, when about 1,200 rebels sought to ignite a popular revolt against Ireland's place in the United Kingdom.

Issue of Illegal US-Saudi War in Yemen Is Not Up for Debate (William Boardman / Reader Supported News)
Why are two of the world's richest countries, the US and Saudi Arabia, engaged in unrelenting, aggressive war against one of the poorest countries in the world, Yemen? The US-Saudi-led war has used outlawed cluster bombs against a population with no air force or other effective air defense. The US-supported slaughter has killed more than 6,000 people, mostly civilians. The UN has condemned the war but it is has not mentioned in the Republican or Democrat debates.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Bayers' War on Bees (Kristin Brown / The League of Conservation Voters)
A new UN report has found that many species of wild bees, butterflies, and pollinators could be moving toward extinction. STOP mass bee deaths this spring! Join us in helping to save the bees before it's too late! Tell Bayer: stop producing bee-killing pesticides.

Global Day Against Military Spending: April 5-18 (Demilitarize.org & American Friends Service Committee)
Seventy years after the US devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki with atomic bombs, and 25 years after the end of the Cold War, the world still teeters on the brink of nuclear catastrophe. On April 5th, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute will publish the global military expenditure figures for 2015, together with its analysis of the trends. April 18th is Tax Day in the USA, a traditional date for civil society to challenge the uses put to public money.

Pope Says Weapons Makers Are Not Christians (Philip Pullella / Reuters)
Anyone who makes weapons or invests in weapons industries is a hypocrite if they call themselves Christian, Pope Francis said Sunday. Francis issued his toughest condemnation to date of the weapons industry at a rally of thousands of young people at the end of the first day of his trip to the Italian city of Turin. But what about the rumor that the Vatican Bank is the majority shareholder of the Beretta Holding SpA, the world's largest arms manufacturer?

Escalation Nation: US Marines Expanding Iraq Combat Role (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Associated Press)
The US combat role in Iraq appeared to expand as US Marines provided targeting assistance and artillery fire to support Iraqi troops. Earlier this week, US officials confirmed the creation of a Marine outpost, dubbed Fire Base Bell -- the first such base established since the US returned forces to Iraq in 2014. Pentagon officials are still trying to argue semantics, insisting Firebase Bell is not a "combat outpost," despite its role in combat,

Obama: "ISIS Not an Existential Threat to US" (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Steve Benen / MSNBC)
President Obama recently abandoned jingoism for truth. It's hard to imagine how ISIS could pose an existential threat to the US, as the group does not control any territory within the US -- or within the Western Hemisphere -- and seems focused primarily on retaliatory terror strikes against Western countries, as opposed to conquering them outright.

Obama Apologizes for US Role in Argentina Coup and 'Dirty War' that Tortured and Killed Thousands (Kamilia Lahrichi and Oren Dorell / USA TODAY & Julie Hirschelf Davis / The New York Times)
President Obama Thursday visited a memorial in Argentina to the thousands of people killed and disappeared during that country's "dirty war," on the 40th anniversary of the coup that started it. Obama used his visit to announce his plan to declassify new military and intelligence records that document the human rights violations from 1976 to 1983.

The US Military Is Everywhere, Except History Books (Robert Neer / Aeon)
War defines the United States. Domestically, it is the country's greatest budgetary priority: $598 billion, 54 percent of discretionary spending, in fiscal year 2015. Globally, we have more than 800 bases in some 80 countries, and spend more than the next nine nations combined. Yet academic historians, especially those at the nation's most richly endowed research universities, largely ignore the history of the US military.

ACTION ALERT: Killer Drone Advocates Now Have a Movie to Love (David Swanson / World Beyond War & Roots Action)
If the recent spate of anti-drone movies and plays was making you feel warm thoughts about US culture, you'll want to avoid seeing "Eye in the Sky." This is what "Zero Dark Thirty" was for torture lies. This is what "The Interview" was for hatred of North Korea. The director of "Eye in the Sky," Gavin Hood, openly brags about having had military advisors on this film, just as those films had their government advisors. And it shows.

Is War Ever an Answer? (Kristin Christman / The Albany Times Union)
Commentary: "It's swell that presidential candidates assert they wouldn't have invaded Iraq had they been president in 2003 with the information they have now. But candidates should display not only hindsight but foresight: How will they react to future unverified information about foreign threats? Why would war even be an option?"

US Marines Enter Battle In Iraq To Defend Oil Fields From ISIS (Erin Banco / The International Business Times & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)
It's not about protecting Iraqi freedoms: it's about controlling Iraq's oil. ISIS is trying to retake control of the oil fields it lost two years ago in Iraqi Kurdistan by launching rockets at Kurdish and Iraqi soldiers -- in an attempt to earn back the massive amount of cash it once used to fund its activities. In response, US Marines have been sent back into Iraq and into front line combat roles -- tasked with protecting Iraq's oil fields and petroleum resources.

ACTION ALERT: Tell United States and All Non-Members to Join the ICC (Roots Action Campaign Petition)
Global justice requires global participation. Partial and biased justice damages the cause of establishing the rule of law and the nonviolent settlement of disputes. To succeed, the ICC must include all nations and treat all crimes equally regardless of where committed or by whom. The US should abandon its rogue nation status and join the majority of the world's nations in recognizing the ICC. Only international criminals need fear an International Criminal Court.

What Are Foreign Military Bases For? (World Beyond War )
If you're like most people in the United States, you have a vague awareness that the US military keeps lots of troops permanently stationed on foreign bases around the world. But have you ever wondered and really investigated to find out how many, and where exactly, and at what cost, and to what purpose, and in terms of what relationship with the host nations? "Base Nation," a wonderfully researched new book, six years in the works, answers these questions.

The Mystery of the Pentagon's Missing-in-the-Mail Hellfire Missiles (Willamette Week & CNBC News & CounterPunch)
The news traveling across wire services on March 13 was bizarre and alarming: Bomb-sniffing dogs had found two AGM-114 Hellfire missiles traveling as cargo on a Serbian passenger jet. Destined for Portland, Maine, they instead were directed to Portland, Oregon. The story of the miss-mailed missiles mirrored another tale: A US Hellfire missile, that apparently fell into the hands of the Cuban government in 2014, was recently returned to the US on January 7, 2016.

The Bidding War: Millions for Minions in Afghanistan (Matthieu Aikins / The New Yorker)
America's war in Afghanistan, which is now in its fifteenth year, presents a mystery: how could so much money, power, and good will have achieved so little? Congress has appropriated almost eight hundred billion dollars for military operations in Afghanistan; a hundred and thirteen billion has gone to reconstruction, more than was spent on the Marshall Plan, in postwar Europe.

Pentagon Admits It Has Deployed Military Spy Drones Over the US (Gregg Zoroya / USA Today)
A report by a Pentagon Inspector General, made public under a Freedom of Information Act request, has revealed that the Pentagon has deployed drones to spy over US territory for non-military missions over the past decades -- nearly 20 times between 2006 and 2015. The Pentagon insists the flights have been rare and lawful, according to a new report.

Saudi Arabia to Scale Down Mass Murders of Yemen Civilians (ssociated Press & Vice News & Al Jazeera & World Beyond War)
Saudi Arabia said Thursday its military coalition will scale down operations in Yemen, an announcement that came as the death toll from an airstrike by the alliance on a market north of the Yemeni capital this week nearly doubled, reaching 119. A UN official said 22 children were among those killed, in this, the latest in a series of US-backed Saudi airstrikes that have killed hundreds of civilians.

ACTION ALERT: A Call to Halt Arms and Aid to Saudi Arabia (CODEPINK, Campaign for Peace and Democracy et al.)
The March 5-6 Summit on Saudi Arabia and US-Saudi ties ended with a vote to launch a campaign to end weapons sales to Saudi Arabia. The execution in January of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, an opponent of both Sunni and Shiite sectarianism and an advocate of a non-violent strategy, is only the most recent example of the barba