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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.


ACTION ALERT: Defund the Criminal US/Saudi Military Assault on Yemen (Washington Post Editorial & AntiWar.com & US Senator Chris Murphy )
On August 9, an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen dropped a bomb that struck a bus packed with young boys in the village of Dayan. The US-made bomb killed at least 51 people, including 40 children. A Saudi spokesmen defended this horrific massacre. The administration's response has amounted to a shrug. The US is complicit in a probable war crime and the Dahyan bombing was not an isolated incident -- previous airstrikes have hit civilian weddings, funerals and food markets.

Are Congress and the White House Reaching Breaking Point on Yemen? (Eric Eikenberry / Lobe Log)
After a Saudi-led strike killed 40 children in Yemen, a Pentagon spokesperson shrugged: "We may never know if the munition [used] was one that the US sold to them." General Joseph Votel professed the same know-nothingness when he told the Senate that CENTCOM cannot say whether US fuel and US munitions are responsible for airstrikes that are killing civilians. There are growing signs of escalating tension between Congress and the administration over US support for war crimes in Yemen.

ACTION ALERT: With Trump's Military Parade Cancelled, How Should the Peace Movement Respond? (Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers / Popular Resistance)
This week, the Trump military parade, planned for November 10, was canceled for 2018. In February, a coalition of groups went public, announcing we would organize to stop the parade and, if it went forward, to mobilize more people at the parade calling for an end to war and militarism. The coalition called for "ending the wars at home and abroad." The question the coalition is asking now is how to build on the success of stopping Trump's military parade. Please join the conversation about where we go from here.

Israeli Peace Activist Uri Avnery Dies at 94 (Haaretz & Rabbi Michael Lerner / Tikkun & Uri Avnery / Gush Shalom)
The peace community grieves and mourns the passing of Uri Avery, the founder and leader of Israel's peace movement, Gush Shalom Until the last moment he continued on the way he had traveled all his life. Two weeks ago, he collapsed in his home when he was about to leave for the Rabin Square to attend a demonstration against the "Nation State Law." A few hours later, he wrote a sharp article against that law. You can read Uri's last article below.

Long-buried WWII Bombs Discovered in France, Poland, England, and Hong Kong! (Agence France-Presse & The New York Times et al.)
A French fishing trawler netted a World War II bomb containing nearly a ton of explosives off a stretch of the Normandy coast where the June 1944 D-Day landings that led to the liberation of occupied France took place. In Germany, a 1,100-pound WWII-era bomb was found one mile from downtown Berlin. In June, a WWII-era bomb was discovered at a US military base in Stuttgart. In February, a WWII bomb was found in the Thames. In May, people were evacuated when a WWII bomb was unearthed in Hong Kong.

The Next Frontier: Trump and Space Weapons (Karl Grossman / Popular Resistance & Bruce Gagnon / Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space)
By removing a single word from legislation governing the military, Congress has laid the groundwork for a major shift in US nuclear defense doctrine and a costly effort to field space-based weaponry. But Washington's obsession over dominating the world from space did not begin with Donald Trump. The Pentagon began planning for a military base on the moon in 1959. In 2006, at a time of historic debt, NASA announced its intention to establish a permanent base on the moon by 2024.

The Earth Is Experiencing an Insect Armageddon (Living on Earth / Public Radio International & Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) / US House of Representatives & Jessica Else / The Garden Island)
The disappearance of bees and butterflies has concerned scientists and the public for years, but a study from Germany confirms that the abundance of all flying insects has dropped over 75% since 1989. Dave Goulson, Professor of Biology at the University of Sussex in the UK, discusses the probable causes with host Steve Curwood, and says the problem is so serious, loss of insects could lead to an "ecological Armageddon."

EPA Scientists Rebel over Trump's Pro-Petrol Pollution Plan (Chris Mooney and Dino Grandoni / The Washington Post)
Staffers at the EPA strongly criticized the logic behind a recent move to loosen future gas mileage rules for cars -- at one point requesting that the EPA's name and logo be removed from a key regulatory report. Documents released Tuesday provide a window into a tense technical battle between experts at two separate government agencies -- the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Weeks before the rollout of a massive new proposal, the two agencies had major disagreements.

David McReynolds (1929 - 2018): Resist in Peace (War Resisters League & The New York Daily News & WBAI News)
Longtime peace activist Dave McReynolds -- still healthy and mentally sharp at the age of 88 -- has died after a fall at his Manhattan home. During the Korean War, he was a draft resister. He joined the staff of the War Resisters League in 1960 where he worked for almost 40 years. He was one of the first to expose the flow of US arms and advisors in the lead up to the Vietnam War. He ran for president three times, becoming the first openly gay presidential candidate. He was also an gifted photographer.

Congress Rushes to Spend Billions on Space Weapons -- Even if They Don't Work (Tom Z. Collina and Zack Brown / Defense One)
Before the GOP-controlled Congress spends billions of your tax dollars on new, highly controversial weapons in space, you might think it would seek the opinion of the Defense Department. But no. Strange as it may seem, Republicans are rushing ahead with space-based missile interceptors over the objections of the White House and before a Pentagon review on the subject has been completed. The irony is that even a bare-bones Space Force would be ridiculously costly and more likely to foster war than prevent it.

UK Reporter Robert Fisk Reveals Al Qaeda Is Using US Missiles (Tyler Durden / Zero Hedge)
Veteran Middle East war correspondent Robert Fisk recently published a bombshell report that reveals how US weapons manufactured by American arms manufacturers are winding up in the hands of Al Qaeda fighters inside Syria. Fisk has literally been showing up at arms factories and questioning arms dealers -- including officials at the Saudi Embassy in London -- asking: "Why are your weapons in the hands of terrorists?" The answer is simple: capitalist economics and the profit motive.

How the US Helped Prevent North Korea and South Korea From Reaching Real Peace in the 1950s (Michael Pembroke / TIME Magazine)
In the long history of Korea, nothing compares to the 20th century division of the peninsula or the war that followed. That war has not finished, and a peace treaty remains elusive. China, North Korea and South Korea all seek a peace treaty, but 11 US presidents since 1953 have been unwilling to agree. If Donald Trump turns out to be the exception, that shift could help put an end to more than a half-century of conflict. The truth is, the US has played a key role in keeping the conflict going as long as it has.

Big Oil's War on America's Endangered Water Supply (Joe Romm / ThinkProgress)
An alarming new study reveals fracking is quite simply destroying America's water supply. The natural gas released in the fracking process, is mostly methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Methane emissions are responsible for about a quarter of the human-caused global warming we're suffering today. Thanks to fracking, we are losing potable water forever in many semi-arid regions of the US, while simultaneously producing more carbon pollution that, in turn, is driving ever-worsening droughts in those same regions.

US Supplied Lockheed Martin Bomb that Killed 44 Children in Yemen (AntiWar.com & CNN)
A week after Saudi Arabia attacked a school bus full of children in northern Yemen, killing at least 42 of them, munitions experts are confirming that the bomb itself which hit the bus was provided to the Saudis by the US. The bomb was identified as a US-made MK-82, a 500-pound bomb made by Lockheed Martin and sold to the Saudis during one of the many US arms deals reached in recent years to supply the Saudi war in Yemen.

ACTION ALERT: November Trumparade Postponed but Anti-war Marches and Concerts Still Set to Continue (David Swanson / World BEYOND War & Kathy Kelly / The Progressive)
One day after more than 187 organizations publicly vowed to counter Donald Trump's planned weapons parade with a parade for peace in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, the Pentagon pulled the plug on Trump's $92 million show-of-farce. While the Trumparade has been postponed, a number of large counter protests, concerts, and foot-races are being planned -- in Washington, DC and in cities and towns around the world -- to celebrate Armistice Day, as a global day to honor peace.

ACTION ALERT: Say NO to Trump's Pro-polluter Environmental Rollbacks (Democratic Climate Action & Emily Holden / Politico)
Trump's official climate plan reinforces what we've known about the president all along: He is anti-environment to the core. We need concerned Americans to step up NOW and make their voices heard on Trump's destructive agenda: a whole range of extreme, anti-environment actions with absolutely no check from the federal government. That means already dangerous weather could get even more dangerous, high temperatures could rise even higher and the costs to respond to catastrophes could get even costlier.

Breaking News: Trump's Military Parade Postponed as Activist Protests Mount! Now Let's Get It Cancelled! (Vote Vets & CNBC & Popular Resistance and 186 International Peace Groups )
Donald Trump's proposed military parade -- an international embarrassment all to honor a man who does nothing but dishonor veterans -- was getting out of control with the costs soaring more than 600 times its original estimate. With citizens and vets struggling with hunger, homelessness, and health problems, the idea of spending millions on an empty military spectacle apparently became untenable. Nearly 200 anti-war groups had called for the parade's cancellation. That remains the goal.

ACTION ALERT: Break the Silence on US Support for the Terror-exporting Saudi Monarchy (Win Without War & Kate Kizer / The Nation & Max Fisher / Vox)
The US-backed Saudi-UAE coalition bombed a school bus in Yemen, killing dozens of young children -- and the Trump administration said nothing. Trump has effectively handed over decision-making on Middle East foreign policy to the corrupt regimes of Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Our government has let the Gulf States get away with brutal repression and human rights abuses. Media pundits looked the other way as the proof of Gulf corruption mounts. No one else is speaking out -- so we've got to.

Illuminating the Dark History of Washington's Plan for (Ian Baldwin / The Vermont Independent)
It is not possible to grasp the preposterous idea that covert military geoengineering is taking place on a planetary scale without our consent unless we understand its historic context, its roots. What is the cultural, political, even civilizational background that has given rise to the outrageous possibility of deliberately altering -- or "dominating" -- an entire Earth system, such as the climate, or the ionosphere?

Warming Warning: US Oil Industry Was Warned of Climate Catastrophe . . . in 1959 (Benjamin Franta / The Guardian & Neela Banerjee / Inside Climate News)
In 1959, Edward Teller warned the US Oil Industry: "Energy resources will run short as we use more and more of the fossil fuels. . . . But [there is] another reason why we probably have to look for additional fuel supplies. And this, strangely, is the question of contaminating the atmosphere. Whenever you burn conventional fuel, you create carbon dioxide. A temperature rise corresponding to a 10 percent increase in CO2 will be sufficient to melt the icecap and submerge New York."

US, Trump, Raytheon Complicit in Child Slaughter in Yemen (Katy Kelly / AntiWar.com & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Helene Cooper / The New York Times)
Why is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia spending $200 million per day to bomb Yemen? Many believe the goal is to seize control over "a gold mine" of oil reserves, natural gas, minerals, and a strategic location. The US has provided the Saudis with 6,700 Raytheon missiles -- like the one used in the mass slaughter of 40 Yemeni children in a school bus. Donald Trump claims the right to ignore Congressional requirements that he address Saudi war crimes committed with US funds and bombs.

Polls Show Millennials Are More Skeptical of Foreign Wars (Sophia Larson / The National Interest)
A June 2018 Chicago Council on Global Affairs study found that each new generation is less in favor of military intervention than their parent's generation, while support for international cooperation remains high across generational lines. So while nothing is guaranteed in American politics, those in favor of peace and non-interventionism should be cautiously optimistic about the future of US foreign policy. Still, some worry that Millennials may not vote. Only 46 percent of Millennials voted in 2012.

The Slow Violence of Pollution in Afghanistan: Deadlier than War (Doug Weir / The Conflict and Environment Observatory)
The Health Effects Institute's State of Global Air project has found that Afghanistan has one of the highest per-capita rates of deaths from air pollution. Pollution kills more people in Afghanistan each year than armed violence. Addressing the health and environmental threats posed by pollution in the face of insecurity, high levels of corruption and with limited financial resources remains an enormous challenge.

The US and Napalm: The Burning of Cities; The Incineration of Civilians (Robert Barsocchini / AntiWar.com & Robert M. Neer / Napalm: An American Biography)
Fire-weapons have been used from ancient times. Napalm-like weapons were used by and against the Romans and Greeks. One term used for them was "wildfire"; another was "Greek fire", as incendiaries were widely used by the Greeks. In Vietnam, images of children horrifically burnt or incinerated by napalm triggered public opposition to the weapon and corporations (particularly Dow Chemical) that produced it. The flaming gel became regarded as a "worldwide synonym for American brutality."

Trump Overrides Defense Budget Restrictions; Claims He Is Above the Law (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Donald J. Trump / The White House)
In a 15-page signing statement, Donald Trump revealed that he intends to ignore many of the provisions and congressional restrictions imposed on the $716 billion military spending bill. Trump vowed to ignore any limitations on the Yemen War and any investigation of war crimes. He rejected demands to account for civilian casualties in America's overseas wars. Finally, Trump declared he would void penalties aimed at Russia and would reject any calls to investigate Russia's meddling in the 2016 election.

67 Years After America's Atomic Holocaust, Japan's Survivors Still Suffer (David Swanson / David Swanson.org)
Americans need to acknowledge the holocaust their leaders unleashed on Japan's civilian population. "Some walked or crawled. Some made it to hospitals where others could hear their exposed bones clacking on the floor like high heels. The dead sounded metallic when thrown into trashcans and trucks, sometimes with their children crying and moaning for them nearby. The black rain fell for days, raining death and horror. Those who drank water died instantly. Those who thirsted dared not drink."

ACTION ALERT: Yemeni Children Matter but Does Raytheon Care? (CODE PINK & David Swanson.org & Common Dreams & George Galloway & CNN)
We've been given a rare opportunity. While the US military has slaughtered innocents by the hundreds of thousands in the Middle East over the past couple of decades, almost never have US television viewers seen images of the victims, in particular images of them alive just moments before death rained down on them. Now we have video footage of dozens of little boys on a bus less than an hour before US-made Raytheon bombs murdered many of them, wounded others, and traumatized survivors.

The US Needs to Face Up to Its Long History of Election Meddling (Peter Beinart / The Atlantic)
During the Cold War, America's leaders saw nothing wrong with electoral interference, so long as the United States was conducting it. Dov Levin, a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Politics and Strategy at Carnegie Mellon University, has identified 62 American interventions in foreign elections between 1946 and 1989. The large majority -- like Russia's in 2016 -- were conducted in secret. But now, the US turns these covert capers into Hollywood movies and no one blinks twice.

Instead of Profiting from Peace, Trump Pushes for a Costly Attack on Iran (Eric Margolis / EricMargolis.com & Muhammad Sahimi / AntiWar.com)
So intense is the Trump administration's hatred for Islamic Iran that it decided to sabotage a multinational nuclear deal that would have meant a bonanza for US and European companies that included a $40-50 billion sale of 210 US and EU jet airliners to Iran. Trump has imposed added sanctions on the Iranian economy -- the latest of a long string of US assaults that have targeted Iran with the overthrow of a democratically elected government, and attacks on Iran's navy, oil platforms in the Gulf and a civilian jetliner.

Profiting from Trump's War on Children (Will Evans, Lance Williams, Matt Smith and Aura Bogado / Reveal @ The Center for Investigative Reporting)
By the time Washington started sending immigrant children to Shiloh Treatment Center in 2009, the warning flags were waving red. Three children died after being physically restrained at the US-sponsored detention facility. Children reported being slapped, punched and kicked while in custody. Others testified that they were forcibly injected with psychiatric drugs. There were reports of sexual abuse. And still, the US continued to pay more than $33 million the Shiloh's operator, Clay Dean Hill.

Wildfires Increasing Threat to Planet: Trump Won't Act but California's Governor Just Might (Amy Goodman, Michael Mann and Michael Brune / Democracy Now! & Michael Brune / Medium.com & )
Even as we deal with the Trump administration's cascade of corruption, the climate-change clock keeps ticking. The math is merciless: If we don't accelerate a phaseout of fossil fuels, today's wildfires, droughts, and extreme weather will seem mild compared to what's coming. We can't count on Washington to tackle this problem. The solution? Take the challenge to the one state that's got the political, moral, and environmental clout to challenge Trump's devastating denial of a visible, existential danger.

Should Al Qaeda Be Made America's 51st State? (David Swanson / DavidSwanson.org & Khaleda Rahman and Anthony Harwood / Daily Mail Online)
Commentary: "Without Al Qaeda the US would not be whole. With it, all is in perfect balance. If there were no Al Qaeda we'd have to invent one. Pretending there's been a major Al Qaeda presence in Afghanistan has worked wonders . . . paying off members of Al Qaeda or related groups in Afghanistan has been a gold mine . . . . Having successfully gotten a major war going, and created the worst human catastrophe on earth, The US-Saudi alliance now passes millions of dollars to Al Qaeda fighters in Yemen."

Child Separation and the Practice of Genocide: In Canada and the US (David Swanson / David Swanson.org & World BEYOND War)
Commentary: "While the US removal of immigrant children from their families has been in the news of late, it's not been newly invented. Both settler-colonist Canada and Nazi Germany learned from the US practice of removing Indigenous children from their families in order to "educate" them into another culture."

New Report: US-backed Saudis in Yemen Are Allied with Al Qaeda (Win Without War & the Associated Press)
For three years, the Saudi-UAE coalition in Yemen has been using US military support to bomb and starve civilians. But the US has been flat-out ignoring these atrocities because our government believes Saudi Arabia and the UAE are our critical "allies" against Al Qaeda. Turns out, both Saudi Arabia and UAE have been secretly paying off Al Qaeda operatives in Yemen, even recruiting them to join their ranks -- making the US Al Qaeda's de facto air force!

Trump's "Space Force" No Match for Meteor that Crashed Near US Base in July (Ellen Mitchell / The Hill & News.com.au)
Defense Secretary James Mattis, who originally opposed plans for a military "space force" now states that he "absolutely" supports the creation of a new space branch for the military. But the proposal for an expanded US military designed to "dominate" the Earth would have been helpless against a meteor-strike like the 2.1 kiloton impact that nearly hit a US military base in Greenland in July. Maybe that explains why the Pentagon has made no mention of the near-miss.

'By the Youth, For the Youth': A Manifesto for Tomorrow's Activists (The International Congress of Youth Voices / The Guardian)
'Our vision is to create a global system', says a global coalition of youth activists after gathering for the first International Congress of Youth Voices in San Francisco. After three days of deliberation, the delegates wrote a group manifesto, which has been translated and published in several languages.

The Secret Agreement that Requires the US to Keep Lying About Israel's Nukes (Grant Smith / AntiWar.com)
Why does the US give away the lion's share of the foreign aid to a country long known to have a disqualifying secret nuclear weapons program? The last four US presidents have signed a secret "gag order" preventing mention of Israel's nuclear weapons or the US role in creating them. The letter is said to be central for Israel's leader Benjamin Netanyahu because the nuclear arsenal fuels his "sense of impunity, sense of Israel being so powerful, that it can dictate its own terms in the region and beyond."

How Trump and Three Other US Presidents Protected Israel's Worst-Kept Secret: Its Nuclear Arsenal (Adam Entous / The New Yorker)
When a delegation of senior Israeli officials visited the Trump White House on February 13, 2017, they wanted to discuss several critical issues. Topping the list was a secret letter concerning a subject the Israelis had promised the Americans never to discuss publicly -- Israel's undeclared nuclear arsenal. The very existence of the letters have been a closely held secret -- unknown even to incoming presidents. The letter pledges that no future US nuclear arms reduction treaty will address Israel's secret nuclear arsenal.

Charlottesville Remembered: 'A Battle for the Soul of America' (Joel Gunter & Roland Hughes / BBC News )
On 12 August, Charlottesville, Virginia will mark the anniversary of a deadly white nationalist rally that shocked the nation. The violence that day cost the life of a young counter-protester and scarred Charlottesville. In the year since, some residents have attempted to reckon with the legacy of that weekend and the racial inequality that persists in the city. Here, in their own words, some of those closest to the events tell the story of what happened, why it happened, and what it meant to a city and a nation.

The White-right Fighters Who Struck Charlottesville and their Ties to the US Military and Weapons Contractors (Amy Goodman and A. C. Thompson / Democracy Now!)
This week marks one year since white supremacists and neo-Nazis descended on Charlottesville, Virginia, in the deadly "Unite the Right" rally to protest the city's decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a downtown park. It became the biggest and deadliest white supremacist rally in the US in decades.

Saudis Vow to Investigate Mass-murder of Yemeni Children: UN Demands an Independent Investigation (AntiWar.com & Reuters & The Daily Star & Lena Masri / ABC News)
At least 40 children have been killed a US-backed Saudi airstrike on a bus in northern Yemen. The Arab states initially said the attack on the bus was a "legitimate military action" against missile launchers, carried out in accordance with international humanitarian law. The Saudis have promised to investigate but outraged human rights groups and UN officials are demanding an independent inquiry.

Portland Police Protect Right-wing Activists; Maim Citizens with Wanton Gunfire (Arun Gupta / The Daily Beast & The Real News)
Demonstrators injured by a barrage of police stun grenades and other less-lethal weapons in Portland recall how their city became a terrifying war zone. At least five people sought emergency medical care after the August 4 police onslaught -- a group that includes this reporter's partner (who ended up with third-degree burns), Anthony who was diagnosed with a minor brain hemorrhage after being shot in the head, and a 29-year-old man who had his arm ripped apart.

Caribbean Nations Blame Trump for Weather War (Oliver Milman / The Guardian)
As warming temperatures caused by climate change is strengthening hurricanes, leaders in the Caribbean are pleading with Donald Trump to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord. Caribbean states and territories have criticized the Trump administration for dismantling the US' response to climate change, warning that greenhouse gas emissions must be sharply cut to avoid hurricanes and sea level rise threatening the future of island nations.

ACTION ALERT: The World Is Disappearing in Flames: Can We Protect Half to Save the Planet? (Jeff Goodell / Rolling Stone & Avaaz: The World in Action)
"Our future," James Lovelock observed, "is like that of the passengers on a small pleasure boat sailing quietly above the Niagara Falls, not knowing that the engines are about to fail." By 2020, two-thirds of wild animals will be gone. Life is being extinguished as fast as when the dinosaurs disappeared because humanity is taking a chainsaw to the tree of life. Our best chance to save our ecosystems and 80-90% of all species is giving them enough safe space to thrive -- by keeping half the Earth intact.

ACTION ALERT: Today the Saudis Dropped US Bombs on a School Bus Filled with Children! (CODEPINK & Associated Press & Win Without War & The Hill)
Wounded children, their clothes and schoolbags covered with blood, lay on hospital stretchers. The International Committee of the Red Cross said the hospital in Saada received the bodies of 29 children, all under 15 years old. It also received 48 wounded people, including 30 children. The bombs that killed these children were made in the USA. Their blood is on our hands.

Trump Demands War in Space to "Dominate" the World (Popular Mechanics)
The US was the first country to militarize space. In 1959, the Pentagon revealed plans for a military base on the moon. In 1985, the US was the first nation to destroy a satellite in orbit. China has 57 military satellites in orbit. Russia has 83. The US has 157. In January 2018, the US refused to join China and Russia in signing a treaty to assure the "Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space." Peaceful, freedom-loving nations do not wish to "dominate." That is the core verb used by totalitarian military dictatorships.

NATO Nuclear Sharing: Handing Out Nuclear Bombs to Our Allies (Tim Street / Oxford Research Group & Center for Security Studies Blog Network)
This primer explains the role US-owned B61 tactical nuclear weapons play in Europe as part of NATO's nuclear sharing arrangements. The US currently deploys some 180 'tactical' nuclear weapons (B61 gravity bombs) across six bases in five European NATO member states -- Belgium, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, and Turkey. The fragility of Turkey-NATO relations, have raised questions about the costs, benefits, and security of NATO's nuclear sharing programs.

Trump Plan to Dump Immigrant Families at Toxic Waste Sites (E.A. Crunden / ThinkProgress)
Environmental and health advocates want more information about the Trump administration's plans to house detained immigrants, including children, at two Texas military posts with a history of toxic contamination. Under Trump's plan, detained immigrants would be kept near or on toxic waste sites currently slated for government cleanup.

When It Comes to War, Words Matter (ayle Morrow and Greta Zarro / The Progressive)
An unheralded word change to Trump's Department of Defense mission statement is unsettling -- to say the least. While the newly stated DoD mission is not surprising to those familiar with the history of US foreign policy, it is foreboding in its explicitness. The statement saying the department's mission is to "deter war" has been replaced by to "provide a lethal Joint Force to defend the security of our country and sustain American influence abroad."

Why We Are Organizing to Stop Trump's Military Parade (No Trump Parade & Courtney Kube / NBC News)
At a time when the US military budget is growing, now constituting 57% of our federal discretionary spending, programs for domestic needs such as food, education, housing and health care are being cut and US militarization is infecting most of the countries of the world, our schools and our communities, Donald Trump plans to spend more than $30 million dollars to parade tanks and weapons through the streets of Washington, DC.

ACTION ALERT: Tell the IRC: No Award for BlackRock CEO (CODEPINK)
Every 10 minutes a child in Yemen dies from war-related hunger and disease -- a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions. Meanwhile, US weapons companies, and the financial firms like BlackRock that invest in them, make billions of dollars from this war. So why is the International Rescue Committee, a group that works to save the lives of suffering Yemeni children, giving their annual humanitarian award to Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock and a man who profits from that very same war?

ACTION ALERT: Why I'm Running as a Green and Not as a Democrat (Pat Elder / Elder for Congress)
Commentary: "People ask why I'm running as a Green rather than running as a Democrat. They're skeptical of any political party outside the box and they're concerned I'll help a Republican get elected. They're also fearful of a left-leaning democratic socialist agenda. Here's my response."

ACTION ALERT: As Wildfires Rage Worldwide, Activists Plan March at September Climate Action Summit ( & Nina Chestney / Reuters)
Real climate leadership rises from the grassroots up. Thousands of people from around the world are getting ready to Rise for climate, jobs, and justice on September 8th. In September, world leaders are meeting at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. On Sept. 8th, let's show them we need bold action. Join thousands of people from across the world for a global day of action to demand a just transition to 100% clean energy.

Climate Change and War: Why a Waring Planet Is a Warming Planet (Stacy Bannerman / Common Dreams)
Commentary: The big environmental organizations seem to have tacitly agreed that the US military is the one entity we won't mention when we talk about the biggest contributors to climate change. Yet the Pentagon uses more petroleum per day than 175 of the world's 210 nations and generates more than 70% of total US greenhouse gas emissions. We cannot cure this man-made cancer on the climate without addressing the socially sanctioned, institutionalized violence perpetrated by US foreign policy.

Millions Flow to Pentagon's Banned Contractors Via a Back Door (Sam Skolnik / Bloomberg Government)
Some of the world's largest companies have benefited from a little-known law that lets the Defense Department override decisions barring contractors accused or convicted of bribery, fraud, theft, and other crimes from doing business with the government. Companies receiving waivers included some accused or convicted of major fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy, ethical bidding violations, and in the case of fuel-seller BP, an overall "lack of business integrity."

If Julian Assange Leaves the Ecuadorian Embassy, What Next? (Hilary Hurd / Lawfare)
WikiLeaks founder and CEO Julian Assange might be nearing his final days in Ecuador's London embassy, where he's lived and worked since 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden for rape charges or, potentially, to the United States. The Intercept reported that Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno recently met with British officials to finalize plans to expel Assange from the embassy. The release might occur in the coming weeks, or even days.

The Real Reason NATO Exists: It Is a Goldmine for the Military Industrial Complex (Brian Cloughley / AntiWar.com & NATOWatch)
Donald Trump has ordered members of NATO's military alliance to double spending on weapons, but his reasons have nothing to do with any defense. NATO's members already spend 12 times more on military preparedness than Russia. Russia is a pretext for a spending spree designed to benefit the global weapons industry. Meanwhile, if Trump reduced NATO spending to 2 percent of the US GDP, this could generate a $159 billion peace to meet US health, housing, and infrastructure needs.

What If Russia Could Really Be Our Friend? (David Swanson / David Swanson.org)
Commentary: There is a case to made that "Russia is our friend." The threat of the communists taking wealth away from the rich was a driving force in US foreign affairs from 1920 and long after World War II. Attacking Russian sooner rather than later was a view advocated by Gen. George Patton, Hitler's replacement Admiral Karl Donitz, Allen Dulles, and the OSS. Lies about overblown Soviet threats -- nonexistent missile gaps and a global communist conspiracy -- became profit makers for US weapons companies.

Russiagate and the New McCarthyism: How Democrats and Corporate Media Are Attacking Progressive Movements (Alan Macleod / Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting)
Russiagate allows the Democrats to ignore calls for change and ignore why they lost to the most unpopular presidential candidate in history. If Russia hacked the election, there's no need for introspection, no need to address the Sanders wing of the party, no need to heed progressive challenges from the left. Meanwhile, small, independent news sources that challenge the establishment can be censored, defunded or deranked by corporate media giants citing "Russiagate" as an excuse to stifle criticism and competition.

'Never Again' Is Now: The US Revives the Specter of Ethnic Concentration Camps (Nancy Ukai / San Francisco Chronicle)
Paul Tomita, 79, was only 4 years old when he departed the Minidoka prison camp for American Japanese in southern Idaho, one of 10 concentration camps in remote places in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Utah and Wyoming. It was 1943 and his parents had passed a lengthy clearance process to re-enter society. Not charged with a crime, they were nonetheless banned from returning to their Seattle home on the West Coast, which had been designated a military zone.

Hiroshima Marks 73rd Anniversary of US Atomic Bombing in WWII (Mari Yamaguchi / Associated Press)
Hiroshima marked the anniversary of the Aug. 6, 1945, atomic bombing with a somber ceremony Monday to remember the people killed and injured and a call to eliminate nuclear weapons amid hopes of denuclearizing North Korea. Mayor Kazumi Matsui opened his peace address by describing the hellish scene of the blast that morning 73 years ago and the agony of the victims, telling the audience to listen "as if you and your loved ones were there."

US Wants Nicaragua to Fall Because It Poses the Threat of a Good Example (Roger D. Harris / Mint Press & The Task Force on the Americas)
The US has targeted Nicaragua for regime change. Some former supporters of the Sandinista party echo the US talking points: President Daniel Ortega's government has been, "in essence, neoliberal. Then it becomes authoritarian, repressive." But, in Noam Chomsky's words, Nicaragua has been targeted because it poses "the threat of a good example" to the US empire. Since Ortega's return election victory in 2006, Nicaragua had achieved remarkable success in health, education, and economic equality.

Open Letter to Amnesty International on Nicaragua From a Former Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience (Camilo Mejia / CounterPunch & Camilo Mejia vs. Julio Martinez Ellsberg / Democracy Now!)
Commentary: "Through this letter I express my unequivocal condemnation of Amnesty International with regards to the destabilizing role it has played in Nicaragua, my country of birth." AI's report, "Shoot to Kill: Nicaragua's Strategy to Repress Protest," could be dismantled point by point, but that requires time that the Nicaraguan people don't have, therefore I will concentrate on two main points: The report completely lacks neutrality and AI is contributing to the chaos in which the nation now finds itself.

Pentagon Expected to Ignore New Call for Accountability for Civilian Deaths (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Rita Siemion / Just Security)
The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act includes two provisions dealing with civilian casualties in America's assorted wars. The language requires the Pentagon to create a high-ranking civilian post that would be in charge of establishing uniform processes on recording strikes, investigating casualties, reducing risks to civilians, and establishing uniform standards for accepting responsibility and offering payments for the families of victims. The problem is that the Pentagon may just ignore the language.

ACTION ALERT: Remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki; Global Actions to Abolish Nuclear Arms (Abolition 2000 & The Global Coalition to Abolish Nuclear Weapons & The Basel Peace Office)
The risk of a nuclear war by accident, miscalculation or intent has risen due to unstable leaders and unresolved tensions. August 6 and 9 are the 73rd anniversaries of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. According to the 'Doomsday Clock' the world is just '2 Minutes to Midnight', the closest we have been to nuclear war since the height of the Cold War. Global gatherings will remember the holocausts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Please raise your voice and make a difference by abolishing nuclear weapons.

ACTION ALERT: The Appeal of the Hibakusha, Japan's A-bomb Survivors (Japan Confederation of A-and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations)
The Hibakusha Appeal is a signature campaign calling for an international treaty to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons. The average age of the Hibakusha is now over 80 years old, yet the threat of a global nuclear war seems to be growing larger each day. The horrors of "Hell on Earth" that the Hibakusha have experienced should never be repeated again. Signatures will be collected until 2020, or until such a treaty is realized.

The Real Face of Climate Change! (Kyla Mandel / ThinkProgress & Damian Carrington /The Guardian)
This summer, much of the world has endured record-breaking heat -- the type of which science tells us is what we can expect from climate change. Unrelenting extreme weather is leading to some unprecedented and shocking events, including record temperatures in Europe, tornadoes in Virginia and Massachusetts, the hottest rainfall on Earth and what many are calling a "fire tornado" with an unprecedented 143 mile-per-hour windspeed.

"S---hole America" -- How Trump Misled the Public on US Poverty (Foreign Policy & Reader Supported News)
After a UN agency issued a report on the soaring state of poverty in the US -- concluding that 40 million Americans are poor and more than 5 million live in "Third World conditions" -- the Trump administration ridiculed the findings as "inaccurate, inflammatory and irresponsible" and cited its own data in rebuttal. But key economists are questioning the accuracy of the data the administration chose to cite and claiming their research findings were altered or ignored to paint an "an overly optimistic picture."

US-Backed Saudi Airstrike on Family With Nine Children Shows "Clear Violations" of the Laws of War (Iona Craig and Shuaib Almosawa / The Intercept)
On May 14, a 500-pound, US-made bomb was dropped near a tent in Yemen. Instead, was a nomadic family including 9 sleeping children. Once again, the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen demonstrated how officers in charge of daily air raids were ignoring their own procedures aimed at minimizing civilian casualties. Specialists in international humanitarian law say the incident described in the document shows "clear violations" of the laws of war.

More War Memorials? Are We at Peace with That? (David Montgomery / The Washington Post)
In addition to calling for a costly and divisive military parade, Donald Trump has also signed legislation approving a costly new war monument n the nation's capitol -- the National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial. This is one of five new projects designed to celebrate Washington's burgeoning militarism. One of the proposed monuments would celebrate George W. Bush's ongoing Global War on Terror, now in its 17th year. The only question now is where to place them.

ACTION ALERT: We Don't Need More War Monuments or Military Parades: We Need Peace! (David Swanson / World BEYOND War)
Washington, DC is already brimming with monuments to wars and warriors, but the government is now planning to spend millions of additional taxpayer dollars erecting five new battle monuments to: World War I, the Gulf War, Native American fighters, African Americans who fought in the US War for Independence, and the (still unfinished) War on Terrorism. There also is to be a memorial to Dwight Eisenhower (that's "Ike the Warrior," not the president who warned of the dangers of the military-industrial complex.

US Continues Preparations for War in the Arctic (Matthew Cox / Military.com & Todd South / The Army Times)
As Russia makes moves in the Arctic, some say the Army needs to put more resources into the cold weather fight. Lawmakers want the Pentagon to submit a report to Congress on whether the US military services have the equipment and training they need to survive in cold-weather combat. Conferees want the report presented to the congressional defense committees "not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act on current cold weather capabilities and readiness of the Armed Forces."

Intelligence Vets Warn: A Trumped-up War on Iran Could Be Catastrophic (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity / Consortium News)
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity warned that George W Bush's justification for attacking Iraq was based on lies. Now, VIPS is warning Donald Trump that the Iranian "threat" is overblown and "that you are being played by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu" whose claims about Iran are "based on intelligence exposed as fraudulent several years ago." These intelligence professionals are warning that plans for an illegal and unjustified US attack on Iran could prove to be "all-caps CATASTROPHIC."

Foolish Wars Have Consequences (James J. Zogby / Lobe Log)
Commentary: "Fifteen years ago, we were still in the early stages of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, "the war that would change everything." Looking at the Middle East today, I feel an overwhelming sadness as I consider the far-reaching and devastating impact that the Iraq war has had on my country and the region and its peoples."

America Spends Over $20 Billion Per Year on Fossil Fuel Subsidies. Abolish Them! (Dana Nuccitelli / The Guardian)
In the 2015-2016 election cycle oil, gas, and coal companies spent $354 million in campaign contributions and lobbying and received $29.4 billion in federal subsidies in total over those same years -- an 8,200% return on investment. Some 88% of Big Carbon's lobbying funds went to Republicans, 97% of whom the voted against taxing carbon pollution. Meanwhile, Donald Trump continues to prop up the dying coal industry. The GOP might as well rebrand itself as the "Grand Oil Party."

Big Oil Defeats Big Wind as Trump's Uranium Fuel Policies Disintegrate (Dan Gearino / Inside Climate News & Stephen Lee / BNA News)
Wind Catcher, a 2,000 megawatt wind-power farm planned in Oklahoma, needed clearance from four states but oil and gas industry-connected groups campaigned to stop it. Meanwhile, the nuclear industry says Donald Trump's uranium policies are affecting purchasing decisions. Cameco, world's biggest uranium miner, says prices already too low to make economic sense.

The Survival of Organized Human Life Is At Risk Due to Climate Change & Nuclear Weapons (Amy Goodman and Noam Chomsky / Democracy Now!)
We're destroying the environment. We're threatening a terminal disaster with nuclear weapons. For the first time in history, human beings need to ask: "Will human life survive?" And yet, we are focusing on issues of minor importance instead of problems of enormous importance. Questions of how to deal with immigration or the challenge of survival of organized human life on Earth. Those are the topics we should be thinking about, not whether Trump tweeted an insult or misbehaved in a press conference.

UN 'Running Out of Cash' and Facing Urgent Cuts: Retiring Just One Nuclear Missile Could Save the UN's Mission (The Guardian & The Basel Peace Office & Union of Concerned Scientists)
The UN is facing an unprecedented shortage of funding for its core budget. 112 out of 193 member states have paid their share; the US, Argentina, Syria, Venezuela and Belarus have not. If the US retired just one Trident missile, the money saved could cover the UN deficit. Better yet, if all the nuclear armed States abandoned plans to upgrade their nuclear weapons, the nearly $100 billion saved could be re-directed into job creation, climate protection, education, health, peace, diplomacy and sustainable security.

Blistering UN Report: Trump's Policies Worseing Poverty & Inequality (Amy Goodman and Philip Alston / Democracy Now!)
The UN has reported 40 million Americans are living in poverty with 18.5 million in "extreme poverty." When the General Assembly condemned the Israeli military's attacks on nonviolent protesters in Gaza (Since March 30th, more than 120 Palestinians have been killed and more than 13,000 injured by Israeli bullets) only eight countries failed to criticize Israel: "The US, Australia and six other very small countries." On June 19, the Trump administration withdrew the US from the UN Human Rights Council.

Kids and Lawyers vs. Big Oil: Climate Suits Dismissed and Sustained (Lawrence Hurley / Reuters & Nicholas Kusnetz and David Hasemyer / InsideClimate News)
The US Supreme Court has rejected a bid by the Trump' administration to halt a lawsuit filed by 21 young activists who have accused Washington of ignoring the perils of climate change. Meanwhile New York City has lost a bid to hold the oil industry responsible for the costs of adapting to sea-level rise triggered by increasing heat. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has vowed to appeal the ruling.

Daniel Ellsberg Unmasks the Existential Danger of the Nuclear Doomsday Machine (Paul W. Rea / Environmentalists Against War)
Researcher, writer, and activist Daniel Ellsberg is internationally recognized for blowing the whistle on the outrageous violence in Vietnam. But late in 2017, Ellsberg delivered another disturbing expose -- one that reveals the persistent and growing danger of nuclear weapons. "The Doomsday Machine" emerges from Ellsberg's insider knowledge that atomic weapons on hair-trigger alert for over 60 years ca still -- in less than a half hour, by intent, mistake or a simple error -- bring an end to nearly all life on Earth.

Israel Stops Ship with Humanitarian Aid for Gaza; Beats; Jails Crew, Including American Naval Vet (Joe Lauria / Special to Consortium News & April Watters / Peoples Internet Radio)
Israeli forces have violently boarded a ship that was headed to Gaza bringing humanitarian aid. The ship reportedly was boarded in international waters. Joe Meadors, a US Navy veteran and a survivor of the deadly 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty is one of the detainees now in Israeli custody.

Iran: Another Illegal US War of Aggression? (Jacob G. Hornberger / The Future of Freedom Foundation)
Commentary: I am getting that Iraq deja vu feeling again, only this time it's about Iran. Remember the build-up to the US war of aggression against Iraq: WMDs. Mushroom clouds. Charts and graphs. Preventive war. The propaganda from US officials was overwhelming, so much so that many Americans completely accepted the notion that the US was an innocent victim about to come under nuclear attack -- rather than the aggressor. As some observers put it: We were "lied into war."

Stop Weapons Testing on the Potomac! A Long Shot vs. the Big Shots (Pat Elder / Pat Elder for Congress & The Naval Sea Systems Command Warfare Centers)
Commentary: The MK-46 30 mm gun is tested in the Potomac River, not far from my house. The crabs and fish hate it and so do I. Six miles of the river will be shut down for testing on Wednesday, August 1, from Dahlgren down to Swan Point on the Maryland side, and Colonial Beach on the Virginia side. It's loud, it's dangerous, it's poisonous, and it's unnecessary. I'm running for Congress as a Green against Steny Hoyer because issues like this are never addressed by the Democrats or Republicans.

US Sends Mixed Signals on Plans for Illegal Act of Aggression Targeting Iran (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Phil Stewart / Reuters)
Is the United States preparing the public for another illegal act of Pentagon aggression? In this case, an unprovoked attack on Iran? On one hand, Defense Secretary James Mattis dismisses the idea as "fiction," but other US officials (and sources in the Australian military) have since gone on record as saying the attack is still being considered. The pretext for this war appears to be Saudi Arabia's ongoing Yemen War. The Saudis have previously alleged the Houthis are "tied" to Iran. The Saudi war is backed by the US.

Ron Dellums, Presente! Remembering the Marine Vet Who became an Antiwar Congressman (Rachel Swan / The San Francisco Chronicle & Hon. Barbara Lee / US House of Representatives)
As a congressman, Ron Dellums is best remembered for his uncompromising opposition to the Vietnam War and compelling speeches on the House Floor. Some elected officials saw the fiery, Oakland-raised peacenik as a political outlier -- and even as an agitator but, as one of Dellums' aides recalled: "He would go to the floor and challenge his colleagues, and they would challenge him back. And that's how he learned to work with them rather than just name-calling."

US Secret Wars in Africa Rage on Despite Talk of Downsizing (Nick Turse /The Intercept)
Last October, four US soldiers were killed in an ambush in Niger. Since then, talk of US special operations in Africa has centered on missions being curtailed and troop levels cut. Analysts have already stepped forward to question or criticize the proposed cuts. According to figures provided by US Special Operations Command, 16.5 percent of commandos overseas are deployed in Africa. More US commandos are deployed to Africa than any other region of the world except the Middle East.

ACTION ALERT: Tell the IRC Not to Honor Blackrock's War-supporting CEO (Codepink)
The two leading contributors to the current global refugee crisis are climate change and war. It is through the work of the IRC that refugees are able to gain a foothold in their host countries. Honoring Mr. Larry Fink with a humanitarian award directly contradicts the mission and vision of the International Rescue Committee. BlackRock maintains significant stakes in weapons companies such as General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon.

Wildfires Raging Worldwide Detonate WWII Bombs in Germany (Deutsche Welle)
The EU says that it is currently involved in the biggest joint mission to fight wildfires in the bloc's history -- with fires raging in Sweden, Greece, England, Germany and Latvia. Meanwhile, a rare forest fire near Potsdam, outside Berlin, has caused some World War II munitions to explode, hampering firefighters. The fire is now reported to be under control.'

NATO: The Unexamined Alliance (Conn Hallinan / Dispatches from the Edge & The European Leadership Network)
Commentary: The outcome of the July11-12 NATO meeting in Brussels got lost amid the media's obsession with President Donald Trump's bombast, but the "Summit Declaration" makes for sober reading. The 28-page document "upgraded military readiness" and was "harshly critical of Russia," but there was not much detail beyond that. But details matter, because that is where the Devil hides.

War No Longer Works: Except for Military Profiteering (Tom Streithorst / The American Conservative & George D. O'Neill, Jr. / The American Conservative)
Commentary: The US spends more on its military than all its enemies put together yet it still can't win wars. Failed adventures in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan have drained America's power and diminished its prestige. Bloated Pentagon budgets actually make us weaker. Here's the weird bit: nobody seems to care. If any other government department spent as much and accomplished as little, the populace would be in arms. Instead we mumble "Thank you for your service" and increase defense appropriations.

Weaponized Keynesianism in Washington (Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & William Hartung / TomDispatch )
Commentary: The notion that the Pentagon can play a primary role in boosting employment to any significant degree is largely a myth that serves the needs of the military-industrial complex, not S workers or Donald Trump's base. Until the political gridlock in Washington that prevents large-scale new civilian investments of just about any sort is broken, however, the Pentagon will continue to seem like the only game in town. And we will all pay a price for those skewed priorities, in both blood and treasure.

New War Budget Bans Troop Drawdowns: 10 Senators, 68 Reps Vote "No" on NDAA (Yonhap News Agency & Office of Rep. Mark DeSaulnier & GovTrack.us)
Congress has passed a defense authorization bill that restricts any drawdown of 28,500 US troops currently stationed in South Korea. The legislation specifically notes that any reduction of forces as "a non-negotiable item as it relates to the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization" of North Korea." The budget bill would give an additional $717 billion to the Pentagon. Some politicians are demanding an audit of Pentagon waste (Current estimate: at least $125 billion) before approving a new budget.

Questioning the Pentagon's $717 Billion Budget (Republican Policy Committee Summary / GovTrack)
Despite fact that the Pentagon Budget is one of the government's largest and most consequential pieces of legislation, the news media pays little attention to the document's contents or the process that channels billions of tax dollars into programs and operations that are wasteful, lethal, polluting and damaging to America's reputation and standing in the world.

"Warflation" and the Cost of Military Exercises (The Wall Street Journal & CNBC)
Call it "Warflation." The military's $700 billion FY 2019 budget marks an increase of 15.5% over FY 2018. At the Singapore summit, Donald Trump vowed to cancel joint US/South Korea military exercises because they were provocative to North Korea and "tremendously expensive." The cost? According to a Pentagon analysis, the military exercises known as Freedom Guardian, (set to begin in August) would have set the US military back $14 million -- less than the cost of a single new fighter jet.

The 24 Moral Questions Americans Dare Not Ask (Nick Turse / TomDispatch & Andrew J. Bacevich / TomDispatch)
Commentary: Since the late eighteenth century, the United States has been involved in an almost ceaseless string of wars, interventions, punitive expeditions, and other types of military ventures abroad. The country has formally declared war 11 times and engaged in undeclared conflicts (many of which are still on-going). The media's current obsession with Donald Trump's every tweet serve as a distraction from critical national security issues that presently receive short shrift or are ignored altogether.

Which Is More Occupied, Crimea or Afghanistan? (David Swanson / David Swanson.org)
Commentary: In 2014, the people of Crimea voted to re-join Russia. The vote followed a US-backed coup in Kiev, meaning that Crimea was voting to secede from an undemocratic government. The US has supported the secessions of Kosovo from Serbia, Slovakia from Czechoslovakia, and South Sudan from Sudan. One example of an occupation that Washington is not condemning, however, is the US/NATO occupation of Afghanistan where an occupation force of 41,000 remains in place after 16 years.

US Supports Saudi-UAE War Crimes in Yemen (Kathy Kelly / AntiWar.com)
In July of 2018, an Amnesty International report entitled "God Knows If He's Alive," documented the plight of dozens of families in southern Yemen whose loved ones have been tortured, killed, or forcibly disappeared by Yemeni security forces reporting to the United Arab Emirates. The UAE is part of a US-backed coalition that has been bombarding and blockading Yemen for three brutal years. The on-going disappearances, and torture, can sadly be laid at the doorstep of the United States.

Soldiers Say Order to Turn Military Bases into Concentration Camps 'Smacks of Totalitarianism' (Courage to Resist & The Daily Beast)
In a policy that echoes the infamous detention of Japanese-Americans during World War II and the forcible separation of children of native nations after Wounded Knee, the Pentagon has been ordered to create concentration camps for immigrant detainees at military bases across the US. "It smacks of totalitarianism," said Steve Kleinman, a retired Air Force colonel and military intelligence officer.

The Left's Missing Foreign Policy (Aziz Rana / N-Plus-One Magazine)
Analysis: On the 15th anniversary of Washington's "shock and awe" attack on Iraq, few have paid attention to just why so many Democrats were swept along by the drift to war. Figuring this out is all the more pressing because the same figures who supported the war continue to direct the foreign policy framework of the Democratic Party.

'War Games' Trump Said Were Too Expensive Cost Less Than a Fighter Jet (Nancy A. Youssef and Gordon Lubold / The Wall Street Journal)
Call it "Warflation." The military's $700 billion FY 2019 budget marks an increase of 15.5% over FY 2018. At the Singapore summit, Donald Trump vowed to cancel joint US/South Korea military exercises because they were provocative to North Korea and "tremendously expensive." The cost? According to a Pentagon analysis, the military exercises known as Freedom Guardian, (set to begin in August) would have set the US military back $14 million -- less than the cost of a single new fighter jet.

Big-Oil GOP Decrees Which Animals Must Perish to Protect Polluters' Profits (Jake Bullinger / Guardian UK)
Republicans have been trying to whittle away the Endangered Species Act since Donald Trump took office. Under new proposals, wildlife managers would limit protections for threatened species, consider the economic costs of protecting a species, and de-emphasize long-term threats such as climate change. These Republican-led changes to the Endangered Species Act would put plants and animals across America at risk. Here are the ones you should be most concerned about.

Pentagon Shrugs Off Video of US-backed Troops Executing Women, Children (Nick Turse / The Intercept)
The US has a long tradition of working with unsavory regimes -- from Chile's brutal dictatorship under Augusto Pinochet to Indonesia's military dictatorship under Suharto -- and training "partner-nation" security forces implicated in war crimes. If the response of the Pentagon to the Salak disclosures is any indication, the latest evidence of videotaped executions by US-backed troops in Cameroon will not fundamentally alter America's relationship with the West African nation.

ACTION ALERT: How You Can Divest from War (World BEYOND War)
When we pay taxes, donate money to a local church, pay for college tuition, contribute to our 401(k), or renew union dues, we may be unwittingly contributing to the war economy. Many institutions -- corporations, universities, faith groups and municipalities -- invest their holdings in asset management firms, like Vanguard, BlackRock, and Fidelity, which in turn reinvest in weapons manufacturers and military contractors. Check if you're unknowingly financing war with our new searchable database.

$15 Billion Wasted on Afghan War; Bill Would Ban US Arms to Terrorists (NBC News & AntiWar.com & Roll Call )
Asked to assess the cost of the unending Afghan War, the Special Inspector General calculated more than $15 billion -- but cautioned this may only be "a portion" of the waste. Meanwhile, language championed by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and others has landed in the defense authorization bill -- if accepted, it would prohibit the Pentagon from arming known terror groups.

Profits over Planet Trump Ramps Up Attacks on Land, Air, Rivers, Oceans, Climate (McClatchy News & E&E News & The Hill)
California and like-minded states are girding for a legal battle with the Trump administration on whether those states have gone too far in controlling greenhouse gases from automobiles, a prospective case that is sure to reach the US Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Trump's team continues to target protected wilderness and ocean sanctuaries, which are being opened to drilling and mining operations. At the same time, farmers are being encouraged to expand activities that pollute land, air, and water.

New Openness at EPA but Same Policies: New Obstacles at Interior (The Society of Environmental Journalists)
Now that Andrew Wheeler has started settling into office at the EPA, many are asking what his new regime means. On the one hand, he may be easier on journalists than departed head Scott Pruitt, whose tenure was marked by exclusion and secrecy. On the other hand, he is expected to continue Trump's anti-environmental agenda. Meanwhile, journalists have written Interior Secretary Zinke urging him to drop plans to interpose political appointees between reporters and the scientists they need to interview.

It's Time For a Little Perspective On Russia (Lyle Jeremy Rubin / Current Affairs)
Commentary: "I was trained at NSA headquarters as a signals intelligence officer in the Marines. I think we are due for a little perspective on Russia." Trump recently signed a $700 billion gift to the Pentagon. The budget increase alone ($61 billion) exceeds Russia's entire annual expenditure ($46 billion). The Pentagon budget now equals more than the combined budgets of China, Russia, Britain, Japan, Saudi Arabia, India, and France. It's 14 times larger than the Kremlin's budget. Russia's not an existential threat.

Is Putin's Russia an 'Evil Empire'? (Patrick J. Buchanan / AntiWar.com)
Commentary: To those of us raised in the Truman era, when the Red Army was imposing its bloody Bolshevik rule on half of Europe, and NATO was needed to keep Stalin's armies from the Channel, the threat seemed infinitely more serious. Is Putin's Russia really a reincarnation of Stalin's Soviet Union? Is Russia today a threat of similar magnitude? Today, the Soviet Union is history, having splintered into 15 nations. Russia is smaller than it was in the 19th century, with two-thirds the population of the USSR.

The Impacts of Militarism on Climate Change (Florian Polsterer / University of Luxembourg & the Global Campus Open Knowledge Repository )
The Military-Industrial-Media and Entertainment Complex, is possibly the world's biggest producer of greenhouse gases and ecological degradation. Regardless of whether it is during war or peacetime, the world's armed forces consume enormous amounts of fossil fuels and produce immense quantities of toxic waste. According to the Treadmill of Destruction Theory, war is waged mainly to secure the natural resources needed to fight wars -- thereby creating a self-perpetuating cycle of destruction.

Will Trump Revert to Gunboat Diplomacy in Latin America? (Ted Galen Carpenter / The National Interest (Online) & The Cato Institute)
News media outlets are abuzz with reports that President Trump told aides in August 2017 to prepare a contingency plan for US military intervention in Venezuela. The president apparently indicated considerable interest in that option. His security advisers reportedly pushed back firmly, arguing that resorting to military force would have significant adverse repercussions -- including a surge of anti-US sentiment throughout the Western Hemisphere.

Final Defense Bill Would Limit US Support to Saudi Campaign in Yemen (Rebecca Kheel / The Hill)
The final version of this year's defense policy bill -- the National Defense Authorization Act -- would put conditions on the US refueling of Saudi Arabian and Emirati planes bombing Yemen. A Saudi-led coalition has been fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen since 2015. The US has supported the Saudis with billions of dollars in arms sales, intelligence sharing and logistics like air refueling. But Capitol Hill has grown increasingly frustrated as the civilian death toll rises, mostly caused by Saudi airstrikes.

Iran's Destabilization Is Not in US Interest (Shahed Ghoreishi / Lobe Log)
On July 3, 1988, the US Navy, on patrol in the Persian Gulf, shot down Iran Air Flight 665 in Iranian territorial waters, killing all 290 passengers on board including 66 children. The US agreed to a $131.8 million settlement for this horrific war crime, but refused to apologize. President Ronald Reagan's egregious decision to award the commander of the Navy ship the Legion of Merit for actions that claimed the lives of hundreds of innocent Iranian civilians continues to haunt US-Iran relations.

From Demented Tweets to Covert Action, Trump Plots to Overthrow Iran's Elected Government (Imran Khan / Al Jazeera & AntiWar.com)
Riots have erupted in southern Iraq after Iran stopped supplying electricity to the region because it is owed $1.5 billion in unpaid bills. Al Jazeera has been told, off the record, that the US put pressure on Iraq not to pay the Iranians to destabilize Tehran. Meanwhile, the Trump Administration has formally launched an "offensive" campaign to erode support for Iran's elected government and to foment pressure against Iran's leaders. But Trump's latest Twitter tirade takes bellicosity to new extremes.

The GOP Stands by as Trump Up-ends American Security (Evan Osnos / The New Yorker & Reader Supported News)
Commentary: Fifty years ago, America was in agony. Its unity at home, and its standing abroad, were deteriorating. Today, the country again faces a profound political crisis, and the summer of 1968 is instructive. But this crisis differs in a fundamental way: fifty years ago, the President’s party had the will to respond. In the aftermath of Donald Trump's performance at the Helsinki summit, there has been outcry, but no real action, from the Republican establishment.

Global Report: There are 400,000 Slaves in the "Land of the Free" (Edward Helmore / The Guardian & Anne T. Gallagher / The Anti-Trafficking Review)
More than 400,000 people could be living in "modern slavery" in the US, a condition of servitude broadly defined in a new study as forced and state-imposed labor, sexual servitude and forced marriage. The Walk Free Foundation describes modern slavery as an often hidden crime that crosses borders and jurisdictions. "The United States is one of the most advanced countries in the world, yet has more than 400,000 modern slaves working under forced labor conditions. This is a truly staggering statistic."

ACTION ALERT: War on Planet and Health: Stop Trumps NAFTA (Friends of the Earth)
Donald Trump is renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico. Trump's NAFTA 2.0 would lock in his rollback of essential environmental, public health, and consumer regulations while blocking new safeguards for food, chemicals, pesticides, and GMOs. Trump's NAFTA is nothing more than a giveaway to giant corporations, including the pesticide industry and other polluters. Congress can stop this attack on protections for people and the planet.

Iran's Destabilization Is Not in US Interest (Shahed Ghoreishi / Lobe Log)
On July 3, 1988, the US Navy, on patrol in the Persian Gulf, shot down Iran Air Flight 665 in Iranian territorial waters, killing all 290 passengers on board including 66 children. The US agreed to a $131.8 million settlement for this horrific war crime, but refused to apologize. President Ronald Reagan's egregious decision to award the commander of the Navy ship the Legion of Merit for actions that claimed the lives of hundreds of innocent Iranian civilians continues to haunt US-Iran relations.

ACTION ALERT: War on Wildlife: Trump's Plan to Destroy the Endangered Species Act (Max Matza / BBC & Friends of the Earth)
The Trump administration has proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act, a law credited with keeping hundreds of species from going extinct. The change would eliminate automatic protections for threatened plant and animal species, and make it easier for species to be removed from the list. The proposed change is the latest in a series of White House efforts to remove environmental regulations designed to protect vulnerable species and their habitat. Environmentalists have reacted with outrage.

Camp Humphreys, South Korea: America's Largest Overseas Military Base (TIME Magazine & The Korea Times & Newsweek & The South China Morning Post)
The new US military base in South Korea is the Pentagon's largest. Built over the protests of local villagers, who were forcibly removed to create the huge $10.8 billion complex, Camp Humphreys features more than 650 buildings – including a 310-000-sq-ft shopping mall, four schools, five churches, a sports complex and an 18-hole golf course. While it is home to nearly 45,000 American troops and contractors, South Korea is footing the bill for 92% of the annual operating costs.

Trump's Treason Demands a Brave Response; It's Time for a Nationwide General Strike (Will Bunch / The Philadelphia Inquirer)
Commentary: How can a democratic country respond to an authoritarian president with nothing but contempt for 242 years of democratic norms, a free press, and a judicial system untainted by political interference? Americans will have to hit the oligarchy in the only place it really hurts them -- in their bankbooks -- by boycotting the wealthy corporate sponsors behind Trump's mis-administration and staging a general strike like the "Candlelight Revolution" that toppled South Korea's corrupt leader.

The Stories Corporate Media Failed to Cover (Sonali Kolhatkar / TruthDig)
In the aftermath of Donald Trump's disastrous performance at the NATO Summit, a Free Speech TV producer and journalists writes: As has been typical of the Trump presidency, each week's news is so jaw-dropping that we forget the horrors of the week before, while our president tramples like a bull in a china shop over expectations, diplomatic norms and the difference between truth and lies. What important stories and contexts were eclipsed by Trump's global tantrums?

Pentagon Moves to Make It Easier to Buy and Use US Weapons to Kill Civilians (AntiWar.com & Defense News & The Intercept)
The Pentagon is considering lowering a transportation fee for foreign buyers of American defense goods as part of a broader push to lower the cost and hurdles for foreign military sales. At the same time, arms control experts are raising concerns about a possible loophole in the Trump administration's new arms export policy, arguing that it gives the administration further cover to sell weapons to some of the world's worst human rights violators.

Lobbyists Rejoice as US Arms Sales Soar as Trump Tells NATO Nations to Double Their Spending on Weapons (RT News)
The US has sold more weapons to its foreign allies in the first six months of the year than in the whole of 2017 much to the delight of military industrial complex lobbying groups. But, as the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas notes, increased weapons spending championed by Donald Trump at the NATO summit will not make the world safer. What is needed, instead, is "respect for international order."

War No Longer Works: Except for Military Profiteering (Tom Streithorst / The American Conservative & George D. O'Neill, Jr. / The American Conservative)
Commentary: The US spends more on its military than all its enemies put together yet it still can't win wars. Failed adventures in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan have drained America's power and diminished its prestige. The bloated Pentagon budget only makes us weaker. And here's the weird bit: nobody seems to care. War in America today is nothing but a combination of show business and fiscal stimulus. No wonder we can't win. It is time for the US to stop its wasteful wars with Russia as a constructive partner.

The New Handmaids of the Warfare State (David Stockman / AntiWar.com)
Commentary: If you want to know why the US is going to hell in a fiscal hand basket, it's because the last vestige of opposition to the Warfare State and the fiscal muggings of the military/industry/intelligence complex has utterly evaporated. The Russophobia that has overtaken the Dems and the liberal media since they had the daylights shocked out of them by the 2016 election has now degenerated into downright hysteria since the Helsinki Summit.

Trump's Space Force: Military Profiteering's Final Frontier (Harvey Wasserman / The Progressive & Karl Grossman / CounterPunch)
Donald Trump has announced a new mission into the realm of martial excess -- a "sixth military branch" to be known as the Space Force. Trump's plan will enrich the aerospace industry by spreading the global battlefield to a new dimension. If Trump gets his way on formation of a Space Force, the heavens would become a war zone filled with armed, nuclear-powered satellites carrying hypervelocity guns, particle beams and laser weapons. Inevitably, there would be military conflict in space.

Poll Finds Most Canadians Unclear on Military's Role (Murray Brewster / CBC News)
Most Canadians are only vaguely aware, decidedly confused, or uncertain about their military actually does, according to new research conducted for National Defense. A recent survey found that 90 percent of those asked believed Canadian troops should be conducting disaster assistance on the world stage, followed closely at 85 percent by those who believe in conducting peace support missions. Most Canadians had no knowledge their troops engaged in exercises and active campaigns around the world.

ACTION ALERT: Did the NRA Help Russia Promote Donald Trump's Presidential Race? (CREDO Action)
A suspected Russian agent has been charged and arrested for trying to influence American politics. It is beginning to appear that some of America's most dangerous right-wing extremists may have broken the law to help the Russian government illegally tilt the 2016 presidential election for Donald Trump.

Losing the Serengeti: The Maasai Land that was to Run Forever (The Oakland Institute)
This report -- based on field research, never publicly-seen-before documents, and an in-depth investigation into Tanzania's land laws -- is the first to reveal the complicity between Tanzanian officials and foreign companies as they use conservation laws to dispossess the Maasai, driving them off their lands and creating a stifling map of confinement. The violent evictions began on August 10, 2017 and were set to last for two weeks. Maasai villages were destroyed to "preserve the ecosystems and attract more tourists."

Trump Warns NATO Collective Defense Could Start World War III (AntiWar.com & The Hill & Reuters)
Donald Trump has once again stirred up fury among NATO nations, this time by questioning the wisdom of NATO's collective defense terms. Trump noted that under the pact, even the tiny nation of Montenegro "may get aggressive and congratulations, you're in World War III." Meanwhile, Russia has called for new steps to limit atomic war -- and has revealed its newest "super weapons."

7 Americans Among Those Arrested for Invading and Occupying a US Nuke Base in Germany (Atom Bomb-free Buchel & Pressenza.com & International Peace Bureau)
On July 15, 2018, 18 people from the US (7), Germany (6), The Netherlands (4) and England (1) cut through fences to reclaim German Air Force Base Buchel, which hosts about 20 US nuclear bombs. The activists cut through razor wire and some other fences and several made it to the runway. Three activists walked to a nuclear weapons bunker, and climbed up to the top where they went undetected for an hour.

Trump's Oil Dreams: For Mountains and Wildlife, It's the Pits (Zack Colman / Reveal News & Elizabeth Shogren / Reveal News)
Ten thousand feet up, it's possible to see all of Colorado's North Fork Valley -- sloping mesas with snow-dusted mountains, the land below resembles a vintage pioneer landscape. But if Donald Trump has his way, this sweeping vista could soon be replaced by an invasion of oil and gas pumps. Trump's administration is opening vast stretches of public land to energy companies and, in the case of North Fork, up to 95 percent of the valley's forests and fields could be handed over to drillers.

Endangered Whales at Risk from BP's Ocean Oil Drilling (Amelia Meister / SumOfUs.org & Lindsay Jones / The Globe and Mail)
Experts are raising the alarm: The Northern right whale is in danger of extinction. The Canadian government vowed to take "every possible measure" to protect the whales. Yet at the same time, Canadian Environment Minister McKenna approved BP's offshore oil wells running right through the homes of the Northern right whale. This could be the nail in the coffin for these beautiful creatures.

Israeli Army Told to Prepare for Large-Scale Invasion of Gaza (AntiWar.com & The Times of Israel & Al Jazeera & Haaretz)
Israeli army warplanes attacked the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, threatening a three-day ceasefire. Israel has further tightened its blockade on the Gaza Strip -- a measure that human rights groups denounced as 'morally depraved.' Meanwhile, Israel's army has begun drills to prepare to for a "large-scale" attack to conquer all of Gaza. Israel is said to have warned Hamas it is prepared to embark on the military campaign if arson kite launches don't cease by Friday.

Israel's Parliament Takes a Troubling Turn towards Totalitarianism (Oliver Holmes / The Guardian)
Israel is in the throes of political upheaval after parliament passes a law that could ban groups critical of the armed forces or the state from entering schools and speaking to students. Meanwhile, anti-authoritarian protests have erupted as the country's ruling party seeks to pass apartheid-style legislation that could allow for Jewish-only communities, which critics have condemned as signaling the end of a democratic state.

Commandos Sans Frontiers, the Global Growth of US Special Operations Forces (Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & Nick Turse / TomDispatch)
Since Green Berets "liberated" Afghanistan in 2001, the US has been involved in combat there and in a plethora of other forever-wars in Cameroon, Iraq, Kenya, Libya, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, the Philippines, Somalia, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen. On any given day, more than 8,000 exceptionally well-equipped special operations soldiers from a US command numbering roughly 70,000 -- active-duty personnel, reservists, and National Guardsmen as well as civilians --are deployed in approximately 90 countries.

The Great Peace Charter XXI: Awaiting Signatures (Peace From Harmony.org)
What if Trump and Putin had met and agreed on a path of action that would move the planet towards peace by pledging to disarm, abolish nuclear arsenals, commit to diplomatic resolution of differences, and join the rest of the world's nations in a cooperative effort to address climate change and avoid the calamities that are already destroying innocent lives around the world? Here is a proposal that has been offered to Putin and Trump. It awaits their signatures.

The Overblown Myth of Russian Aggression (The Independent & Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty & Press For Truth & RT News)
Commentaries: Western pundits are busy peddling a new phenomenon they call 'Russian aggression', which they say represents a global threat of the first order. Have the Russians become an aggressive race, or is this just a smokescreen to conceal the West's own behavior?

A Short History of NATO Aggression (Reuters & RT News & Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty & The National Review)
NATO's military alliance has grown since the start of the Cold War. By 2016, NATO activity on Russia's doorstep "more than doubled" with the deployment of about 1,200 pieces of military equipment, 30 combat jets, and more than 1,000 soldiers inside Eastern European countries. US Navy and NATO military vessels regularly approach Russia's borders via the Baltic and Black Seas. NATO continues to build missile bases facing Russia's borders while upgrading facilities in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and the Baltics.

NATO's 1999 Attack on Serbia Started With a Lie (Venom SRBIJA & Zivadin Jovanovic / Global Research)
In March, the Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals and other independent non-party associations paid tribute to the victims of NATO's 1999 aggression on Serbia. This aggression took lives of more than thousand defenders, including military and police officers and also of thousands of civilians, including 87 children. About 10.000 were wounded. We will never know how many lost their lives due to injuries, hidden cluster bombs, chemical poisoning and exposure to depleted uranium weapons.

US Politicians Attack US-Russia Detente because The War Economy Needs an "Enemy" (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Eric Beech / Reuters & Patrick J. Buchanan / AntiWar.com)
Trump has long expressed interest in improving ties with Russia, and this summit was actually one of his first real opportunities at doing so. Russian President Putin revealed in an interview that he had promised Donald Trump that Russia was prepared to extend the New START nuclear treaty, which is set to expire in 2021. Yet it will be difficult for this progress to have any permanence with pro-war politicians in both parties (many beholden to the profiteering of Cold War militarism) so united in undermining it.

Trump-Putin Summit Ends With Talk of Cooperation, US Lawmakers Furious (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Patrick J. Buchanan / Anti-War.com)
Beginning his joint press conference with Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump declared that US relations with Russia have "never been worse." He then added pointedly, that just changed "about four hours ago." It certainly did. With his remarks in Helsinki and at the NATO summit in Brussels, Trump has signaled a historic shift in US foreign policy that may determine the future of this nation and the fate of his presidency. Trump blamed our poor relations with Russia, not on Putin, but on the US establishment.

The Vlad and Donald Show -- A Glorious Blow for Peace! (Conald Trump and Vladimir Putin / CNN & David Stockman / AntiWar.com)
Commentary: The Vlad and Donald show in Helsinki was brilliant and breathtaking -- even a beautiful thing to behold. Between them, they left CNN's nattering nabobs of neocon nonsense sounding like the shrieking monkeys they are. And made fools of the newly minted liberal and progressive warmongers on the Dem side of the aisle in Washington -- and the so-called journalists who fill 90% of the space in the so-called mainstream media with endless pro-war propaganda.

Donald Trump Is Getting Away With the Biggest Scandal in American History (David Corn / Mother Jones Magazine)
In 2016, Russia mounted information warfare against the US, in part, to help Trump become president. While this attack was underway, the Trump team covertly colluded with Moscow, seeking to set up a secret communications channel with Putin's office while repeatedly providing cover for the Russian operation. Trump and his lieutenants aligned themselves with and assisted a foreign adversary as it was attacking the US. The evidence is rock-solid: They committed a profound act of betrayal. That is the scandal.

ACTION ALERT: It's Time for Trump to End the US War in Afghanistan (Mujib Mashal and Eric Schmitt / The New York Times & World Beyond War)
Thus far, the United States has spent an outrageous $783 billion with virtually nothing to show for it except the death of thousands of US soldiers, and the death, injury and displacement of millions of Afghans. The Afghanistan War has been and will continue to be, as long as it lasts, a steady source of scandalous stories of fraud and waste. Even as an investment in the US economy this war has been a bust. It's time to act and end the costly, bloody US-imposed war in Afghanistan.

Trump and Putin Have a Chance to Revive Promise to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (The Institute for Public Accuracy & Michael T. Klare / The Nation & Reuters & The National Security Archive)
Russia offered to end the arms race and begin to abolish nuclear weapons 30 years ago. The US ignored the offer. Ronald Reagan was reportedly sympathetic to Mikhail Gorbachev's call for an end to the costly and dangerous nuclear arms race but hard-liners within the administration secretly intervened and sabotaged what might have been a historic opportunity to turn the world away from military conflicts and towards a new era of peace and diplomacy.

Lessons That Should Have Been Learned From NATO's Destruction of Libya (Brian Cloughley / CounterPunch)
The summit meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the military alliance that is expanding its deployments of troops, combat and surveillance aircraft and missile ships around Russia's borders, took place on July 11-12 and was a farce, with Trump behaving in his usual way, insulting individuals and nations with characteristic vulgarity.

War on Freedom: Jailing Americans for Private Profit (John Kiriakou / Reader Supported News)
Illinois's Republican governor, Bruce Rauner, has made good money from his investments this year, according to his most recent "statement of economic interests." Much of Rauner's money comes from investments in a "health care company" called Correct Care Solutions, a group that provides healthcare services in mental hospitals, prisons, jails, detention centers, and ICE deportation facilities across the country.

Indigenous Colombians Face Extinction: 128 Political, Social and Environmental Activists Assassinated So Far this Year (teleSUR)
Colombia's National Indigenous Organization has denounced "the continuous and systematic Human Rights violations, and the physical and cultural extermination of Indigenous Peoples of Colombia." Since the beginning of 2018, a total of 128 social and political leaders have been killed in Colombia. Several Indigenous peoples were among that figure. The ONIC stated that the "figures of rights violation of Indigenous Peoples and Communities . . . go as high as 10,599, between January 1 to July 5, 2018."

It's Time to Cut the Pentagon's Weapons Contractors Loose (National Priorities Project & Fox News & Political Economy Research Institute)
The average American taxpayer will have paid $14,520 in federal income taxes for 2017. And one of the biggest items on your tax receipt is the US military. Almost half of the military budget -- and 11 cents out of every tax dollar you pay -- goes to corporations whose military contracts brought in more than $300 billion in 2017. Lockheed Martin gets more federal funding in a year than your whole state probably does -- more than the US spends on K-12 education; way more than the government spends to cure cancer.

Israel Exchanges Intense Fire with Hamas Militants in Gaza (Aron Heller / Associated Press & Al Jazeera)
The Israeli military carried out its largest airstrike campaign in Gaza since the 2014 war Saturday as Hamas militants fired dozens of rockets into Israel throughout the day, threatening to trigger an all-out war after weeks of growing tensions along the volatile border. Two Palestinian teenagers were killed in an airstrike in Gaza City, while three Israelis were wounded from a rocket that landed on a residential home.

Red-hot Planet: All-time Heat Records Set Worldwide over Past Week (Jason Samenow / The Washington Post & United Nations & Vanessa Romo / NPR )
From the normally mild summer climes of Ireland, Scotland and Canada to the scorching Middle East to Southern California, numerous locations in the Northern Hemisphere have witnessed their hottest weather ever recorded over the past week. Africa may have witnessed its all-time hottest temperature Thursday: 124 degrees in Algeria.

ACTION ALERT: Oil Is Killing Us: Will Gov. Jerry Brown Act? (Angela Hart / The Sacramento Bee & Bill McKibben / The Los Angeles Times)
Critics of Gov. Jerry Brown are pressuring him to take a stronger stance on an issue that has come to define his legacy -- climate change and the environment. Consumer and health care groups launched a campaign dubbed, "Brown's Last Chance," calling on the governor to freeze all new oil and gas drilling in California and phase out current production. "Fossil fuels are the No. 1 driver of climate change, and we have to address them. Please be part of the solution."

US Airstrike Kills at Least 28 Civilians inside Syria (AntiWar.com & Deutsche Welle)
US and coalition planes in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor attacked a village along the Iraqi border and killed scores of innocent civilians. The airstrike in an area of eastern Syria controlled by the Islamic State killed at least 28 civilians who were sheltering in an ice factory. Syrian state media blamed the US-led coalition for carrying out the strike.

ACTION ALERT: Whales Versus Oil. Our Seas Are at Risk (Amelia Meister / SumOfUs.org & Lindsay Jones / The Globe and Mail)
Experts are raising the alarm: The Northern right whale is in danger of extinction. The Canadian government vowed to take "every possible measure" to protect the whales. Yet at the same time, Canadian Environment Minister McKenna approved BP's offshore oil wells running right through the homes of the Northern right whale. This could be the nail in the coffin for these beautiful creatures.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Gov. Jerry Brown: It's Time To Protect the Climate by Ending Fossil Fuel Production (David Turnbull / Climate Truth.org)
All-time heat records have been broken all across the planet this month, and the impacts are growing more dangerous. Los Angeles hit a record 111 degrees on Friday. Montreal hit 97.9 degrees on July 2nd, as part of a heat wave that caused 70 deaths. An emergency of this scale requires a response commensurate with the problem we face -- we just need California Governor Jerry Brown to show the courage to take on Big Oil.

Detaining Immigrant Kids Is Now a Billion-dollar Industry (Martha Mendoza and Larry Fenn / Associated Press)
Detaining immigrant children has morphed into a surging US industry that reaps $1 billion annually -- a tenfold increase over the past decade. Health and Human Services grants for shelters, foster care and other child welfare services for detained unaccompanied and separated children has soared from $74.5 million in 2007 to $958 million in 2017. Now the agency is reviewing a new round of proposals amid a growing effort by the White House to keep immigrant children in government custody.

Time for a Mercy Killing at NATO (David Stockman / AntiWar.com)
Commentary: Here's a news flash for the Donald: You don't need to your budget-busting $716 billion defense budget to defend Germany from Russia because there is absolutely no reason to believe the latter wants to attack Germany or any other country in Europe. The NATO-28 (excluding the US) are now spending $250 billion per year on defense -- four times Russia's entire military budget. It is time to declare "mission accomplished" with respect to NATO and disband it forthwith. Call it a Mercy Killing,

New Poll Shows Germans Want US Troops Out of Germany (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Jon Stone / The Independent & Ron Paul and Daniel McAdams / The Ron Paul Institute)
A new poll for is showing German voters are growing resistant to the current level of spending on the military in their country, as well as the number of US troops that Germany is playing host to -- 35,000! The poll shows that, even as officials fret Donald Trump was threatening to pull US troops out of Germany, voters actually would welcome the US departure, with only a hair over a third of the Germans wanting US soldiers to stay.

Bulldozing Palestine, One Village at a Time: One Village Has Already Been Destroyed 119 Times (Mariam Barghouti / Al Jazeera & The United Nations)
Khan al-Ahmar, a Bedoin village of 180 people, is about 15km northeast of Jerusalem. Since 2017, the whole Bedouin village has been threatened with demolition by the Israeli authorities. Between 2008 and 2014, some 6,000 Bedouins were forcefully displaced and the area has been inundated with more than 300,000 Israelis living in 125 illegal settlements. Just last year, the Bedouin village of al-Araqib was destroyed for the 119th time by Israeli forces -- even though its residents carry Israeli citizenship.

Searching for Common Ground: Both Russia and the US Are Guilty (An An Open Letter from The Nation & Robert Scheer / TruthDig )
Concerned about growing tensions between two nations with large quantities of nuclear weapons, an important statement by scores of progressive voices faults Russia for attempting to influence US elections but fails to mention Washington's long history of meddling in other nations' politics -- including sabotaging Mikhail Gorbachev's reform efforts while promoting the rise of Boris Yeltsin. The rape of Russian resources by a new class of billionaires was a US export conflating capitalism with freedom.

Trump and the Global NATO Alliance: Intentional Chaos (Joseph Gerson / Truthout)
Commentary: As the world gears up for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit this week in Brussels and Donald Trump's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin scheduled for July 16, there is uncertainty and anxiety across the world about the outcomes of these encounters. Will Trump swing his wrecking ball at NATO allies? Can he engage in serious negotiations with his Russian counterpart and save the increasingly endangered Intermediate Nuclear Forces Agreement?

Remembering Bolivia's Eco-politics. From 2009: A Plan to End Capitalism and War (Amy Goodman / Democracy Now! & Judy Rebick / Rabble.com)
In 2009, indigenous activist Evo Morales attended the United Nations Climate Summit in Copenhagen -- as the elected president of Bolivia. Morales laid out a detailed plan for reinventing his country's social, political and environmental landscape. The goal has not yet been realized in Bolivia but Morales' "Ten Commandments to Save the Planet" still remain inspiring as guideposts for action.

Fanning the Flames -- The Environmental Impact of Gaza's Incendiary Kites (Doug Weir / Conflict and Environment Observatory)
The 8th July marked 100 days since the first homemade incendiary kites were launched over Israel from Gaza. It also saw Israel promising punitive measures against Gaza in retaliation. As tensions continue to escalate, this blogs looks at the impact of Palestinian incendiary kites on the environment.

Trump: Trying to Remake America in His Own Image (Thomas L. Friedman / Opinion: The New York Times)
Commentary: First Donald Trump remade the Republican Party in his own image, and now he is trying to remake America the same way -- into a selfish, dishonest country with no close friends, totally unpredictable, free of any commitment to enduring values, ready to stab any ally in the back on Twitter if it doesn't do our bidding and much more comfortable with mafia-like dictators than elected democrats. God forbid we become the United States of Trump.

Ethiopia and Eritrea Unite after Ending 20-year Border War (Elias Meseret / Associated Press)
After 20 years of war, Ethiopia and Eritrea have accepted the terms of a peace agreement and have reestablished a political relationship. "From this time on, war is not an option for the people of Eritrea and Ethiopia," said Ethiopia's new reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, "What we need now is love." Abby, who took office in April, quickly set off a wave of reforms, freeing journalists and opposition figures from prison, opening up the state-run economy, and unblocking hundreds of political websites.

On the 50th Anniversary of the Non-Proliferation Treaty: An Exercise in Bad Faith (Alice Slater / World BEYOND War)
On July 1, the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) will turn 50 years old. In that agreement, five nuclear weapons states -- the US, Russia, UK, France, and China -- promised, a half a century ago, to make "good faith efforts" to give up their nuclear weapons, while non-nuclear weapons states promised not to acquire them. Every country in the world agreed to join the treaty except for India, Pakistan, and Israel. Despite the passage of 50 years, there are still about 15,000 nuclear weapons on our planet.

ACTION ALERT: Reject Trump's Supreme Court Pick (Friends of the Earth & As It Happens / CBC Radio)
If Trump successfully installs Brett Kavanaugh to fill Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat, he'll have a rubber stamp on his radical right-wing agenda for a generation to come. Trump's Court could gut our environmental protections, hand even more power to giant corporations, and strip individuals of their voting rights. The risks are so grave that American University environmental law professor Bill Snape likens Kavanaugh to the Harry Potter villain, Lord Voldemort.

Pope Francis Calls for People Power Ahead of Climate Summit (350.org & Pope Francis)
As a co-organizer of the global Rise for Climate mobilization, 350.org welcomes today's call by Pope Francis for 'citizens' pressure groups' to take action ahead of the Global Climate Action Summit that is taking place in San Francisco, USA on 12-14 September, to ensure it provides 'suitable responses' to the climate crisis. "Reducing greenhouse gases requires honesty, courage and responsibility, above all on the part of those countries which are more powerful and pollute the most" the Pope said.

NATO Is the Problem, Not the Solution (Roger Kotila / Personal Opinion)
Commentary: A Democratic World Federalists proposal titled "NATO & the Community of the Democracies" being developed for the November 2018 Paris Peace Forum claims to promote world peace through a world federation, but actually calls for increased militarization -- the opposite of the DWF's world federalist vision. Why not a "new UN" rather than keeping the old UN? The Earth Constitution provides a model for a world federal union government.

From Singapore to Helsinki: The Case for Peace (Justin Raimondo / AntiWar.com)
Commentary: North Korea's opacity is a boon to the War Party: they can seize on any glitch in the ongoing negotiations with the Trump administration as "proof" that Kim Jong-un "will never give up his nuclear weapons." The contention is that Pyongyang has a different definition of "denuclearization" than the rest of the world: it means US withdrawal from South Korea, we are told. So what's the real story?

They Went to Jail for Justice (David Swanson / David Swanson.org)
Reviews: C.J. Hinke has produced probably the best collection I’ve read of writings by and about conscientious objectors and war refusers behind bars. It’s called "Free Radicals: War Resisters in Prison." The book is a bit of a time capsule but it’s a shame that the book proceeds chronologically through the 20th century and then breaks off, more or less, in the 1970s. But what has come since may be more familiar, and what is found here is of tremendous value.

Watch Out World: Peace May be Breaking Out (Alice Slater / World BEYOND War)
Trump should ask Russia -- as well as other countries who are leaving NATO and giving up their nuclear weapons and joining the ban treaty -- to also commit to donate those funds no longer needed to support their nuclear military budgets which would more than adequately and generously support the "Keep People Safely and Happy in Their Home Countries Fund," so we won't need to build walls and hire police forces and homeland security guards to stop impoverished, war-torn, threatened people from migrating.

ACTION ALERT: With Pruitt Out, What's Next? Trump Targets the Endangered Species Act! (Liz Butler / Friends of the Earth & Tiffany Finck-Haynes / Friends of the Earth US & 350.org)
You wrote to your Member of Congress. You made phone calls. You took to the streets. And it worked -- last week, Scott Pruitt lost his job as EPA Administrator. This is a huge victory for people and the environment. But our environmental protections are still at risk. A new bill was just introduced in Congress that would overhaul and dismantle the Endangered Species Act. This bill would be a disaster for bees, butterflies, birds, wolves and other valuable wildlife. We can't let that happen.

US Warships Taunt China in Waters of the Taiwan Straight (Phil Stewart, Idrees Ali, Jess Macy Yu / Reuters)
Two US warships have passed through the Taiwan Strait on a voyage that will likely be viewed as a sign of support by Donald Trump amid heightened tension with China. Washington has no formal ties with Taiwan but is bound by law to defend it and is the island's main source of arms. The passage through the Taiwan Strait -- the first by a US Navy ship in about a year -- follows a series of Chinese military drills around the island that have stoked tensions between Taipei and Beijing.

NATO Fears Trump May Threaten to Pull Troops From Europe (AntiWar.com & Edward Malnick / The Telegraph)
Donald Trump's visit to the NATO summit in Brussels in expected to come with a flurry of demands for NATO nations to increase military spending. This is virtually a constant for NATO summits. That Trump will be meeting with Vladimir Putin almost immediately thereafter, however, have NATO nations taking a lot more notice with diplomats predicting Trump will make threats to redraw the security landscape in Europe if NATO doesn't give him what he wants.

Jared Kushner's Middle East Fantasy (Philip Gordon and Prem Kumar / The Atlantic & Robert Fisk / The Independent)
Commentary: In an interview with a Palestinian newspaper, Donald Trump's son-in-law has revealed himself to be either strikingly naive -- or deeply cynical. Given the risks of escalating violence and the desperate humanitarian situation in Gaza, Jared Kushner's desire to move forward even in the face of long odds is understandable. Unfortunately, his interview also revealed that he is living in a fantasy world and is preparing an approach more likely to compound the current problems than to resolve them.

Surveillance Valley: The Secret Military History of the Internet (Yasha Levine / Public Affairs Publishers & David Swanson / DavidSwanson.org)
Tasha Levine's book, "Surveillance Valley," reveal that Google and other Internet firms have been major military and spy contractors from the beginning. Google partnered with Lockheed Martin on the Iraq war and remains a major partner of the military, the CIA, the NSA, etc. During the Obama years, the tech press and community aired no concerns whatsoever about this militarism, but that changed with the arrival of Trump. Levine maintains that Google employees do not object to militarism, just Trumpian militarism.

South Korean Villagers Tell the Pentagon: 'No Nukes, No THAAD' (AntiWar.com & Jeongmin Kim / Reuters)
For the past 680 days, hundred of residents from the small farming village of Soseong-ri have been taking shifts around the clock to try to block US vehicles traveling to the site of a proposed US anti-missile launch site. They have a simple message for Washington: "No Nukes; No THAAD." With peace progress being made with North Korea, there is a feeling that THAAD (which President Moon never authorized to deploy in the first place) is no longer needed.

Italy's Populist Coalition Divests from Pentagon and Lockheed; Cancels F-35 Order (Reuters & US News and World Report)
Italy will not buy more Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets and is considering whether to stick to the order to which it is already committed, Defence Minister Elisabetta Trenta said. Italy's anti-establishment 5-Star Movement has always been critical of NATO member Italy's order for 90 of the planes, saying the money could be better spent inside Italy to boost social welfare and help stimulate the sluggish economy.

The Latest Terror Plot Is Just Another Fake News Story from the FBI (William Boardman / Reader Supported News)
A detailed look into the FBI's report on an alleged July 4 "terror plot" reveals the suspect, Demetrius Pitts, has been serially lynched -- by the FBI, again by the Justice Department, and finally by the news media which parroted the FBI's "fake news" that Pitts was behind a "terror attack." Turns out the "plot" was proposed and promoted by the FBI to entrap Pitts and feed the "terror" narrative. Once again, police-state tactics have railroaded an innocent man and the police state's flimsy story is unchallenged.

A Statement in Advance of the Putin Trump Summit (Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament & The Basel Peace Office)
Parliamentarians and nuclear disarmament activists are calling on Donald Trump and Russian President Putin to use their July 16 summit to step back from the nuclear brink and make progress on nuclear disarmament. Trump and Putin should consider 'No-First-Use' commitments, better military-to-military communications (upgrading hotlines instead of scrapping them), lowering the "instant-alert". status of US and Russian weapons, and an end to provocative and potentially dangerous military exercises.

Immigrant Soldiers Rocked by Sudden US Army Discharges (Martha Mendoza and Garance Burke / Associated Press & Perry O'Brien / Common Defense)
Immigrant recruits and reservists are struggling with abrupt, often unexplained military discharges and canceled contracts. They volunteered to join the armed forces for the prospect of US citizenship, a timeworn exchange that's drawn immigrants to the military since the Revolutionary War. It is unclear how many these men and women have been ousted from the Army. Some recruits say they were given no reason for their discharge.

"No to War -- No to NATO": Counter Summit July 7-8, 2018 (No to NATO.org)
NATO's role as a nuclear-armed alliance continues to risk a global atomic war. NATO is pressing its members to spend 2% of GDP on military budgets to fund wars and aggression, even though EU member states submit to strict austerity policies. When NATO members meet in Brussels, a counter summit will greet them. Questions we want to discuss at the counter summit include: How we can organize more effective opposition and what new strategies can be employed for the peaceful conversion of NATO?

Trump Is Right to Criticize NATO (Vox News & Aaron Mate and David Gibbs / The Real News & Joan Brunwasser / Op-ed News)
Virtually all the aspects of US-Russian conflict have been triggered by NATO. It was NATO that expanded into the former Communist states. It was NATO that violated a 1990 agreement. It was NATO that then expanded into the former USSR's Baltic States. How would the US feel if Russia were to forge a military alliance with Mexico? Maintaining NATO is extremely expensive with no positive results whatsoever so abolishing NATO I think is long overdue. It should have happened in the early 90s.

Warships Sailing on Dying Oceans (Sophie M. Lavoie / NB Media Coop)
Tamara Lorincz asked a Fredericton audience if it would be happy to take leave of the planet while sailing on a warship in a lifeless ocean. "Federal budgets are "moral documents" and our priorities are not on the environment. What about environmental and human security? Do we want to spend 'the precious reserves' we have on military spending? The environment is essential to our sustained survival and there is a need for peaceful alternatives."

Victory for the Planet: Scott Pruitt Resigns from the EPA (Friends of the Earth & Charles P. Pierce / Esquire Magazine)
VICTORY! Scott Pruitt just resigned from his job as EPA Administrator. Pruitt resigned after voters signed petitions, made phone calls, and took to social media to demand that he be kicked out of the EPA. This shows that when people stand up to Trump and his Administration, you can make a difference. You can stop Trump and his minions from destroying our environment.

US Bombs Are Killing Civilians in Yemen and Making New Enemies for America (Jane Ferguson / PBS News Hour)
War rains down from the sky in Yemen, where an aerial bombing campaign by Saudi-led and American-backed coalition hammers much of the north. The US military supports the campaign against the Houthi rebels with logistics and intelligence, and sells the Saudis many of the bombs it drops on that country. Special correspondent Jane Ferguson smuggled herself across front lines to report this series.

Trump Eager to Invade Venezuela -- Despite Critics, Regional Opposition, and International Law (Joshua Goodman /Associated Press)
As a meeting last August in the Oval Office to discuss sanctions on Venezuela was concluding, President Donald Trump turned to his top aides and asked an unsettling question: With a fast unraveling Venezuela threatening regional security, why can't the US just simply invade the troubled country?

Key Issues about US Wars That Neither the Washington Elite Nor the Media Will Answer (Nick Turse / TomDispatch & Andrew J. Bacevich / TomDispatch)
Since the late eighteenth century, the United States has been involved in an almost ceaseless string of wars, interventions, punitive expeditions, and other types of military ventures abroad. The country has formally declared war 11 times and has often engaged in undeclared conflicts with some form of congressional authorization, as with the post-9/11 "wars" that rage on today. Andrew Bacevich offers a list of key questions about the US, war and national security that should be asked but never are.

ACTION ALERT: Standing Up for Human Rights on Independence Day (ABC TV New York & CODEPINK & US Senator Kamala Harris)
This July 4, as this nation celebrates its independence and freedom, we celebrate our interdependence and proclaim that an injury to one is an injury to all. While there is one mother or father separated from a child because they were not born on the "right side" of a border, none of us are free. While there is one despondent child sleeping in a cage, none of us are free.

No to NATO: Trump Threatens Military Alliance (AntiWar.com & Emily Shugerman / The Independent & Reuters )
Next week's NATO summit in Brussels in going to be another round of pushes by US officials, led by President Trump, for other members to increase military spending. President Trump has been writing threatening letters making the rounds to those nations. The long and short of the narrative is that the US cannot, and will not, be "the world's piggy bank" in providing defense for all these other NATO nations who aren't spending at the same level as the US.

Man-Made Drought Threatens to Ravage Iraq (Patrick Cockburn / The Independent)
As Iraq begins to recover from 40 years of wars and emergences, its existence is being threatened by the rapidly falling water levels in the two great rivers on which its people depend. It was on their banks that the first cities were established cities 8,000 years ago and where the flood stories of Gilgamesh and the Bible were first told. Such floods are now a thing of the past -- the last was in 1988 -- and each year the amount of water taken by Iraq's neighbours has been rising.

57 Unpatriotic Ways the Corp/Dems Have Enthroned TrumPutin (Harvey )
Commentary: As we celebrate our nation's birth, and organize to once again overthrow an illegitimate tyrant, we might pity Trump's classic liberal enabler, Al Dershowitz. The pitiful self-promoting professor is being horribly snubbed by his fellow liberal neighbors on Martha's Vineyard because he now supports Trump. The ordeal must be every bit as painful as being separated from one's children at the Mexican border.

Trump Says NATO Allies Don't Pay Their Share. Is That True? (Dominique Mosbergen / The Huffington Post & Peter Baker / The New York Times)
Donald Trump has sent letters to the leaders of the NATO countries demanding they increase their defense spending -- and threatening to scale back US military presence around the world if they refuse. "NATO is as bad as NAFTA," Trump has argued, referring to the trade agreement as the "worst trade deal in the history of the world." "It's much too costly for the US." Is Trump right about NATO spending? Yes and no.

Behind the Secret US War in Africa (Wesley Morgan / Politico)
American special operations teams are playing a more direct role in military actions against suspected terrorists in Africa than the Pentagon has publicly acknowledged, planning and participating in combat raids by African troops in multiple countries including Somalia, Kenya, Tunisia and Niger, under a set of classified programs. "Once you start these things, they're hard to turn off. Some of them pan out, and some of them don't," said a former White House official.

America: The Failed State (Chris Hedges / TruthDig)
Commentary: America's "corporate coup d'etat in slow motion," has opened a Pandora's box of evils that is transforming the country into a failed state. The "unholy trinity of corruption, impunity and violence" can no longer be checked. The ruling elites abjectly serve corporate power to exploit and impoverish the citizenry. Democratic institutions, including the courts, are mechanisms of corporate repression. Financial fraud and corporate crime are carried out with impunity.

Washington's Forgotten and Peculiar War of 1812 against Canada (Maj. Danny Sjursen / TruthDig & AntiWAr.com & David Swanson and William Geimer / Talk Nation Radio)
Americans, sadly, know little of their own history. Who among us recalls anything about the War of 1812? Why did we fight? Was it necessary? Did we win? The cherry-picked anecdotes of jingoism answer none of these vital questions, but ask them we must. It was a peculiar war, full of paradox and farce. Thousands died, but little was gained and, in a strange tinge of irony, the side that best championed liberty was not always American. For all its complexity, the War of 1812 deserves a fresh look.

The High Cost of War . . . Is Intentional (William D. Hartung and Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch)
Remember the Pentagon's $37 screws, the $2,043 nut, and the $7,622 coffee pot? When it comes to government investment on the US economy and our disintegrating infrastructure, there really is little left after the Pentagon grabs its disproportional share but now comes news that the Air Force is set to spend $10,000 (each) for toilet seats to be installed on its Boeing C-17 Globemaster III transport planes. Admit it: even taking inflation into account, that's waste on a scale that should make any American proud!

The Pentagon Budget as Corporate Welfare for Weapons Makers (Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & William D. Hartung / TomDispatch)
A large part of the Pentagon's new funding will fuel good times in the military-industrial complex but little to help the troops or defend the country. This flood of new funding -- which could crush a generation of Americans under a mountain of debt -- will make it easier to sustain the seemingly endless seven wars that the US is fighting in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. So call this one of the worst investments in history, ensuring as it does failed wars to the horizon.

How America's Wars Fund Inequality at Home (Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & Stephanie Savell / TomDispatch)
Commentary: In the name of "fighting terrorism," the US is currently waging wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere. Never before has the US relied so heavily on deficit spending ("credit-card wars") to pay for its wars. The more money spent on military activities, the more public coffers will be drained by war-related interest payments and the less funding there will be for anything else. Americans should worry about living in a country whose inequality gap could soon surpass that of the Gilded Age.

Get On the Trump Peace Train! He Wants Out of Korea, Germany, Syria -- and NATO! (Justin Raimondo / AntiWar.com )
Commentary: Finally, an American president has woken up to the fact that World War II, not to mention the cold war, is over: There's no need for US troops to occupy Germany. Vladimir Putin isn't going to march into Berlin in a reenactment of the Red Army taking the Fuehrer-bunker -- but even if he were so inclined, why won't Germany defend itself? When a US President tells us he wants to bring our troops home from defending the world against itself -- I'll be damned if I'll react in any manner except for some very loud cheering.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: A Rare, Anti-war, "Peace Economy" Candidate (David Swanson / David Swanson.org & Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez' platform is dramatically better than many may realize. It tackles the greatest evil in existence in a way that no other big-2 congressional candidate's website does and which most do not even mention. And in doing so, it makes serious much of the rest of her socialist platform in a way that even presidential candidate Bernie Sanders did not -- a way promoted by the peace movement, the Poor People's Campaign, and Black Lives Matter.

ICE Is a State-Sponsored Terrorist Organization -- It Should Be Abolished (William Boardman / Reader Supported News)
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the Department of Homeland Security's largest police agency, with some 20,000 employees, offices in 50 states and 48 foreign countries. Over the past fifteen years, lacking enough serious criminals to justify its $6 billion budget, ICE has reduced itself (with poisonous political pandering in support) to the horrifying monster we're finally seeing more clearly -- littering the American landscape with the cries of broken families, caged parents and traumatized children.

ACTION ALERT: Tell the USDA: We Need Clear Labels on GMO Foods! (Friends of the Earth)
URGENT: We only have 2 days left to tell the USDA not to hide genetically engineered food behind smiley-face and sunshine labels! This labeling proposal is nothing more than industry propaganda and wouldn't even cover all GMOs. We have to stop it. But time is running out to speak up.

African-American Senators Introduce Anti-Lynching Bill -- With No GOP Support (Vanessa Romo / National Public Radio)
Congress's three African-American senators introduced a bipartisan bill Friday to make lynching a federal crime. The bill defines the crime as "the willful act of murder by a collection of people assembled with the intention of committing an act of violence upon any person." It also classifies lynching as a hate crime that would warrant enhanced sentences. To date, no Republicans have backed the bill.

Germany: Protest Demands Closure of Ramstein US Airbase (EBLNews & Stars & Stripes & Sputnik News & RT Deutsch)
Thousands of anti-war protesters and peace activists attempted to block the entrance to the Pentagon's Ramstein Airbase near the German city of Kaiserslautern on Saturday. One US protestor explained the base is "absolutely necessary for the US drone wars that under German law are considered illegal." Another American taking part in the nonviolent protests added: "The drone killing that the US is doing is totally barbaric and immoral, and we need to stop it."

Protests and Activism on the 50th Anniversary of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (Alice Slater / Pressenza & Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Common Dreams)
On July 1, the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) will turn 50 years old. In that agreement, five nuclear weapons states -- the US, Russia, UK, France, and China -- promised, a half a century ago, to make "good faith efforts" to give up their nuclear weapons, while non-nuclear weapons states promised not to acquire them. Every country in the world agreed to join the treaty except for India, Pakistan, and Israel which then went on to develop their own nuclear arsenals.

Oil Drilling Plan Threatens Endangered Gorillas in Congo National Park ( & Chloe Farand / The Independent)
Democratic Republic of Congo's government has announced it has decided to open up parts of Virunga and Salonga National Parks -- home to mountain gorillas, bonobos and other rare species -- to oil drilling. Earlier proposals to allow oil exploration in the parks met fierce resistance from environmental activists, who say drilling would place wildlife at risk and release huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, causing global warming.

The Peoples' Grid: Unplugging from the Monopoly Paradigm (Wenonah Hauter / The San Francisco Chronicle & Nick Chaset / San Francisco Chronicle & Peter Fimrite / San Francisco Chronicle)
California's energy future is at a crossroads. The state must decide how it will replace its fossil fuels with renewable energy to avoid climate disaster. The Legislature is considering legislation to hand energy oversight management of the energy grid to an unelected regional board that would govern a single energy market across the Western US. A better option: Community choice aggregators -- public agencies that contract for cleaner, low-cost electricity -- that already provide clean power to millions of Californians.

Trump's Military Drops a Bomb Every 12 Minutes And No One Is Talking About It (Lee Camp / TruthDig & Whitney Webb / Mint Press)
Commentary: Over 8 years, George W. Bush's military dropped 70,000 bombs on five countries -- and another three nations the US was not even "at war" with. In Trump's first year, he has dropped 44,096 bombs -- 80 times more than Bush. We are a rogue nation with a rogue military and an unaccountable ruling elite. The government and military you and I support are murdering people every 12 minutes. In response to this crime against humanity, there's nothing but silence.

US Ends 70-Year Military Presence in South Korean Capital (AntiWar.com & The Associated Press )
The US military has formally ended a 70-year presence in the South Korean capital of Seoul with the opening of a new military headquarters further south in the city of Pyeongtaek. The relocation (which has been planned for some time) places the new base out of the range of North Korean artillery -- a threat that is now is clearly lessened with North Korea in talks to relocate its artillery and with peace talks underway.

How to Address the Refuge Crisis: Stop the Wars! (Ramzy Baroud / Politics for the People)
Europe is facing the most significant refugee crisis since World War II. All attempts at resolving the issue have failed, mostly because they have ignored the root causes of the problem. The disturbing truth is this: Europe is accountable for much of the mayhem under way in the Middle East. Despite the obvious correlation between Western-sustained wars and the EU's refugee crisis, no moral awakening is yet to be realized. Until this fact is recognized by EU governments, the flow of refugees will continue.

Invitation: First International Conference Against US/NATO Military Bases November 16-18, 2018 (No to NATO Bases.org)
The increasingly aggressive and expansionist actions of US/NATO forces in violation of international law and the sovereign rights of all nations, have created crises that, unless checked by popular opposition, can lead to unimaginable catastrophe and war. None of us can stop this madness alone from within our national borders. The global peace forces must come together, mobilizing the millions in our countries, and around the world, for peace. We must unite for peace!

ACTION ALERT: March on June 30 -- Protest Defense Contractors Profiting Off Separation of Immigrant Families (Win Without War & The Daily Beast & SF.Curbed.com)
The Trump administration is planning to imprison migrant families on a military base that is a toxic Superfund site. Major defense contractors are raking in cash from surveilling migrant kids and keeping them from their parents. Trump's cruel immigration policies are a national emergency -- and they're directly propped up by the war machine. Marches nationwide on Saturday will protest Trump's inhumane policies.

Like History's Other Dictators, Trump Detains, Separates Families; Sets Stage for Concentration Camps (Harvey Wasserman / Solartopia & Juan Cole / Informed Content)
Separating children from their parents -- as Trump and Sessions are doing -- is a monstrous act that has been characteristic of the biggest dictators of the modern era. And now, the US Supreme Court has approved Donald Trump's presumed dictatorial power to ban and imprison any would-be immigrant group he does not like.

Donald Trump and the Threat of a Fascist Dictatorship (War Criminals Watch and The Conversation & Curtis Johnson / Truthout)
Analysis: "Trump has been called a buffoon or unfit. He has an obsessive need for fawning adulation; his decision-making is based on "gut instinct" that eschews evidence and reason; and his worldview is embedded in the deep history of American chauvinism, white supremacy, genocide and brutal repression. When all this is sorted through however, you have a man not substantially different from other fascist leaders seeking dictatorial powers."

ACTION ALERT: Congressmember Asks UN to Investigate Trump's Border Policies (Hon. Barbara Lee / US House of Representatives)
Congress member Lee: "More than 2,300 children have been separated from their parents by border patrol agents under Trump's directive. That's why I'm visiting detention sites. The truth about how these innocent children are being treated needs to come out. That is why I'm urging the UN to send experts to observe conditions at the border and throughout the more than 17 states around the country that are now housing children who have been separated from their families. Add your name now to join me."

UN Report: US-backed Saudi Coalition Behind Most Yemen Child Casualties (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Al Jazeera)
The annual "Children and Armed Conflict" report from the United Nations details the deaths of Yemeni children in the Saudi-led invasion. Unsurprisingly, the overwhelming majority of the slain were killed by the Saudi-led coalition. The UN report verified 552 children killed in 2017 in Yemen. 67% of the child deaths were directly attributable to the Saudi coalition, predominantly the as result of Saudi airstrikes.

Pentagon Spending Only Promotes More Waste and Suffering. Learn How to Divest from War (The Institute for Public Accountability & CODEPINK)
America's post-9/11 wars have done more harm than good, resulting in over 370,000 deaths on all sides at a cost of $5.6 trillion and counting. Congress should be acting to end these devastating conflicts, not continuing to fund them. You can engage with the movement to divest from war by consulting the Weapon Free Fund database to search 3,000 commonly held mutual funds and ETFs to find out if you or your community are invested in war.

Why No Outrage Over US Killing of Children Abroad? (Jacob G. Hornberger / The Future of Freedom Foundation)
National outrage over Donald Trump's policy of separating immigrant children from their parents as a way to deter illegal immigration into the United States has forced the president to abandon the policy. The outrage came from all sides of the political spectrum, especially from the left, and from the mainstream media. What's strange, however, is that there is virtually no outrage over the US government's policy of killing children in foreign countries.

10,000 Children Killed and Maimed in Global Wars (Verena Dobnik / Associated Press & Maureen Clare Murphy / Electronic Intifada)
The United Nations reports that more than 10,000 children were killed or maimed amid armed conflicts last year: others were raped, forced to serve as armed soldiers or caught in attacks on schools and hospitals. The UN blames the US-backed Arab coalition fighting in Yemen for at least half of the more than 1,300 child deaths or injuries. Meanwhile, Infant mortality in Gaza, in sharp decline since the 1960s, has stagnated over the past decade, which coincides with Israel's ongoing siege of the territory.

Failure to Launch: Trump's Call for a Space Force Unrealistic and Dangerous (Philip Giraldi / The UNZ Review)
Commentary: Instead of arming outer space, Washington should be working with other countries that have capabilities in that region to demilitarize exploration and both commercial and government exploitation. Everyone has an interest in not allowing outer space to become the next site for an arms race, though admittedly working with other countries does not appear to be something that the Trump Administration enters into lightly. Or at all.

ACTION ALERT: Thank Google for Ending Contract with Pentagon (The World Can't Wait & World BEYOND War & Google)
In early April, more than 3100 Google employees signed a letter that began with the words "Google should not be in the business of war." The letter is a response to the company's participation in a Pentagon artificial intelligence program called Project Maven -- a "customized AI surveillance engine" designed to interpret visual images from US assassination drones.

Trump's Proposed New Space Force Must Fly over Many Hurdles (Tom Roeder / The Gazette)
Donald Trump may have ordered the Pentagon to clear the way for a new space force last week, but experts caution that the military is a long way from reaching that final frontier. Even if Congress, which has been resistant to similar proposals in the past, signs off on creating the new service, details as numerous as stars in the Milky Way must be worked out. And fundamental questions remain -- including whether the new force is even needed.

EAW Special Schedule for June (Gar Smith / Environmentalists Against War)
The EAW staff will be traveling in South America for the next three weeks. Regular filing of stories will not resume until June 26. We will post articles as time and circumstance allows.

DOD to Outsource Drone Killing to Corporate America (Joseph Trevithick / The Drive)
The US Navy has awarded General Atomics a contract worth more than $39.5 million to fly its own MQ-9 Reaper drones to keep watch over a US Marine task force in Afghanistan, a possible plan The War Zone was first to report on in January 2018. The deal comes as the Marines are sending personnel to train with the US Air Force on operating these same drones as the former service moves ahead in developing its own large, multi-purpose unmanned aircraft.

New Contractors Selected For Expanded Nuclear Weapons Production (Nuclear Watch New Mexico)
On June 8, 2018, the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration announced its choice for the new management and operating contract for the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The new contractor, Triad National Security, LLC, is a limited liability company consisting of the Battelle Memorial Institute, the University of California, and Texas A&M University. All three are non-profits.

Targeting Nicaragua (Mitchel Cohen & Dan La Botz / NewPol.org & Tortilla Con Sal)
Commentaries: It's pretty clear that the US government has had it in for the Sandinista government in Nicaragua since the revolution in 1979, despite the elections there which at one time voted out Daniel Ortega, and later re-elected him as Nicaraguan president. Nicaragua has been a good example of how Western corporate and alternative news media are able to create a custom-made bizarro-world to suit the propaganda requirements of their countries' elites.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Trump: No Drilling in the Great Lakes; No Mining in Yellowstone Park (Hon. Debbie Stabenow / US Senate & Josh Nelson / CREDO Action)
The Great Lakes are under attack like never before. Today, in a new executive order, Donald Trump os trying to dismantle protections to open the Great Lakes to drilling. Yellowstone National Park is facing one of its biggest threats since it was established nearly 150 years ago. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is considering whether to open up more than 30,000 acres of public lands at the northern gateway of America's oldest and most iconic national park to aggressive gold, silver and other mineral extraction.

Will Trump Keep Korea Promises? (Joe Bernick / Peoples World)
Both North and South have distinct visions of what a unified future might look like. So Donald Trump and his hawkish right-wing advisors meet with North Korean leaders, and some Democrats and liberals are criticizing what appear to be steps towards peace. What gives?

Kings Bay Plowshares: US Indicted for Global Nuclear Terror (William Boardman / Reader Supported News)
On April 4, 2018, the Kings Bay Plowshares Seven, three women and four men, all Catholics, carried out a nonviolent, symbolic action, pouring blood on the world's largest nuclear submarine base and indicting the US for the crime of holding the world hostage to the terrorist threat of nuclear war. The US crime that began in 1945 has reached new intensity with Donald Trump's years of casual rhetoric threatening nuclear holocaust on targets from ISIS to North Korea.

War Games Between South Korea and United States (Associated Press)
The United States has formally suspended a major military exercise with South Korea that was scheduled for August. President Donald Trump had pledged to stop the "war games" after his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The Pentagon said planning has been halted on the August drill but no decisions have been made on any other military exercises with South Korea. Here is a brief explanation of US-South Korea military exercises.

Report Says Over 1 Billion Small Arms in World -- Nearly Half in the US (Edith M. Lederer / Associated Press)
There are over 1 billion firearms in the world today, including 857 million in civilian hands -- with American men and women the dominant owners, according to a study released Monday. The Small Arms Survey says 393 million of the civilian-held firearms, 46 percent, are in the United States, which is "more than those held by civilians in the other top 25 countries combined."

The US Is Exacerbating the World's Worst Humanitarian Crisis by Outsourcing Its Yemen Policy (Alex Emmons / The Intercept)

Lybian Oil Crescent Ablaze: Satellite Imagery Captures Burning Oil Tanks in Libya (Wim Zwijnenburg / Bellingcat)
Recent eruptions of violence in Libya's so-called 'oil cresent' between armed forces loyal to Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) and rival armed groups resulted in another row of burning oil tanks. In the areas around oil terminals at Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, clashes continued for days. As a result, various oil tanks at the Fida Oil Farm, west of the Ras Lanuf oil terminal were hit and caught fire. They are still burning.

The Slow Violence of Pollution in Afghanistan (Doug Weir / The Conflict and Environment Observatory)
The State of Global Air report estimates that air pollution was attributable for 51,600 deaths in Afghanistan in 2016. With an annual rate of 406 deaths per 100,000, its air pollution is among the worst in the world. Air pollution in Afghanistan now is killing more people than armed violence.

Farming as Resistance in Guatemala (Trina Moyles / YES! Magazine<)
Threatened by a mining company, indigenous women in the remote highlands of Guatemala are marching, increasing productivity, and planting trees.

They Could Hear Their Children Screaming (Joan Walsh / The Nation)
In the week since Senator Jeff Merkley made newswhen he was turned away from a child-immigrant-detention center in Brownsville, Texas, mainstream news outlets have begun covering the abomination at the border. Only one member of Congress has been able to talk to the mothers who have had their children taken from them: Washington state Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who got into a federal Bureau of Prisons facility near Seattle to meet with roughly 170 immigrant women.

ACTION ALERT: Can Elephants Survive Climate Change? Human Impacts Causing Radical Changes in Animal Behavior (American Wildlife Foundation & David Nield / Science Alert)
An elephant needs 30 to 50 gallons of water every day to survive. Will elephants survive the poaching crisis only to succumb to climate change? Meanwhile, according to a new study, a growing number of mammals are switching to a nocturnal cycle and sleeping during the day, primarily to avoid contact with human beings.

Karzai Blames US, Pakistan For Afghanistan Chaos (Kalinga Seneviratne / InDepth News)
Former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has blamed the United States and Pakistan for the chaos created in his country over the past two decades. He firmly believes that the West, including Germany, should admit to their failures in his war-torn country. He began by pointing out western complicity in the chaos that is seen today in the Middle East describing the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the US led forces as justified by "trumped up charges" that led to the rise of terrorism in the region.

US Threatens 'Measures' Against Syria for Defending Its Territory in the Southwest (AntiWar.com & Reuters and the Jerusalem Post)
The US will "take firm and appropriate measures" in response to Syrian government violations in a so-called de-escalation zone in the southwest of the country. President Bashar al-Assad's forces have recovered swathes of territory from rebels with the help of Russian air power and Iran-backed militias, and he has repeatedly pledged to take back "every inch" of the country.

ACTION ALERT Congress May Declare the Forever War (Conor Friedersdorf / The Atlantic)
A proposed law with bipartisan support would dramatically weaken the ability of legislators to extricate the United States from perpetual armed conflict. Please call your House member and both Senators if you are a US citizen to express your views on this. All can be feached at any of the following phone numbers: 1-202-224-3121, 1-202-225-3121, 1-877-762-8762.

Burlington Mayor Ignores Voters; Continues to Push Air Force to Base F-35s in State (James Marc Leas / Truthout)
The mayor of Burlington, Vermont, clearly has a perverse notion of a representative republic's superiority to direct democracy and deserves to be impeached, recalled, voted out, shamed, bird-dogged, and drummed out of office, something every peace group ought to be proud to help with.

How Big Tech Serves Pentagon and CIA (Tim Johnson / McClatchy News Service)
A funny thing has happened to Google and Amazon on their path toward high-tech success: They have become crucial cogs in the US national security establishment. Both companies are expanding teams of employees with security clearances to work on projects that include deploying artificial intelligence and building digital "clouds" to offering law enforcement facial recognition tools that can even read the mood of people caught on camera.

New Contractors For Expanded Nuclear Weapons Production (Nuclear Watch New Mexico)
The Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration recently announced its choice for the new $2.5 billion management and operating contract for the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The new contractor, Triad National Security, LLC, is a limited liability company consisting of the Battelle Memorial Institute, the University of California and Texas A&M University. All three are non-profits -- two are supposed "institutes of higher learning." Make that "institutes of higher earning."

How the Last Superpower Was Unchained, American Wars and Self-Decline (Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch)
Commentary: To George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and the rest of the crew, 9/11 seemed like a heaven-sent opportunity -- a "Pearl Harbor of the twenty-first century" calamity that provided a magic formula for the ultimate control of the planet. Think of it as the all-American version of the human comedy: a great power that eternally knows what the world needs and offers copious advice with a tone deafness that would be humorous, if it weren't so grim. If you look, you can find examples of this just about anywhere.

ACTION ALERT: Looking Beyond the Kim-Trump Summit Toward a Lasting Peace in Korea (David Swanson /David Swanson.org & Hon. Tulsi Gabbard / US House of Representatives)
Despite the image of the Kim-Trump handshake, the US media and even leading Democrats continue to press for a hard-line against North Korea. If the US government is going to get out of the way of the peace process that Koreans from the North and South are pursuing, the US public is going to have to actively demand it. The corporate media will not help. The Democratic and Republican "leaders" will not help.

An Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience Condemns AI's Role in Nicaragua (Nicolas J. Sandy Davies / United for Peace and Justice & Camilo E. Mejia)
Commentary: Camilo Mejia has written a letter to Amnesty International to challenge the biased and destabilizing role it is playing in the violence and chaos sweeping Nicaragua. Camilo grew up in a Sandinista family in Nicaragua, and was an Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience when he was imprisoned in the US as an Iraq War resister.

Pentagon Openly Refuses to End Korean Military Exercises (Jamie McIntyre / The Washington Examiner)
The Pentagon is openly refusing to end war rehearsals in Korea despite Trump's announcement. The US military is making plans to restructure, scale down, and reschedule military training with South Korea, maintaining that training would continue -- just without the high-profile "in-your-face" exercises with aggressive code names like "Max Thunder" and "Key Resolve." We need to end all "war games" in the region and begin withdrawal of all US troops stationed in South Korea.

As Trump and Kim Shake Hands, What Does This Mean for Koreans? (Rebecca Johnson / Open Democracy)
Two vain men met in Singapore, posed for the cameras and signed a joint statement. Neither US President Donald Trump nor North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un deserve to be trusted, so why should we be cautiously hopeful that the Singapore Summit might this time lead to more sustainable peace and disarmament in the Korean Peninsula? To implement the Singapore and Panmunjom commitments, what is needed is a collective plan to denuclearize security relations across North-East Asia.

Sweden's Military Madness (David Swanson / World BEYOND War & The Guardian & CNN)
The government of Sweden has reinstated the military draft and sent a war propaganda brochure to all Swedes promoting fear, Russophobia, and warlike thinking. the militarist threat from tiny Sweden hardly compares with that of the Pentagon. While Sweden is fifth in dealing weaponry to poor countries and ninth in dealing weaponry to all countries, we all know who's first. Sweden is, in fact, a customer for US weapons sales.

An Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience Condemns AI's Role in Nicaragua (Nicolas J. Sandy Davies / United for Peace and Justice & Camilo E. Mejia)
Camilo Mejia has written a letter to Amnesty International to challenge the biased and destabilizing role it is playing in the violence and chaos sweeping Nicaragua. Camilo grew up in a Sandinista family in Nicaragua, and was an Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience when he was imprisoned in the US as an Iraq War resister.

Notes from Paraguay: Return of the Colorado Party and A Forgotten War in South America (Gar Smith / Environmentalists Against War & A Global World & Nikolas Kozloff / Al Jazeera)
June 12 was a national holiday in Paraguay. Chaco Armistice Day, commemorates peace – and the end of a bloody war between Paraguay and its neighbor Bolivia. The conflict erupted over the control of the Chaco region, a contested area that was believed to harbor immense stores of untapped underground oil. The surprising part of the story involves the covert involvement of the US government and, allegedly, the role of major US oil companies in fomenting the conflict.

The World According to Seymour Hersh: Two Reviews (David Swanson / David Swanson.org & Christian Lorentzen / New York Magazine)
Commentary: Seymour Hersh's new memoir, Reporter: A Memoir, occasionally notes the failure of the exposure of wrongdoing to result in accountability or policy reforms. That's the closest the book generally comes to touching on any motivation behind Hersh's work related to ending war or torture or any other evil. The exception is the bit about Hersh's time working for Eugene McCarthy's presidential campaign.

It's Time to End the Afghan War (Adam G. House / Chaos Section)
Review and commentary: "It's not just time to end the war in Afghanistan; it's time to end the United States government's reign of terror across the planet; it's time to liberate the world from the perpetual warfare state; it's time to end the era of Keynesian central banking cartels; it's time to harness the power of the internet and technology to expose war crimes and disinfect the world from the plight of authoritarian statism and its' violent extremist purveyors."

ACTION ALERT: Assault on Yemen Port Could Cost 250,000 Civilians Lives (Tom Miles / Reuters & CODEPINK)
A long-anticipated assault on Yemen's port city of Hodeidah by the US-backed, Saudi-led coalition could cost up to 250,000 lives, according to a senior United Nations humanitarian official. Allied forces were 20 km (12 miles) from Houthi-held Hodeida. It is unknown whether there are plans for an assault to seize the port, the chief entry point for food and supplies needed to ease a famine and cholera epidemic. Coalition officials could not immediately be reached for further comment.

ACTION ALERT: The US-North Korea Summit (American Friends Service Committee)
Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un are scheduled to take part in a historic summit that could be a significant step to deescalate tensions between the US and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. This meeting isn't just about nuclear arms. It's about ending the Korean War, which was never officially ended. Here are three ways you can show your support for peace on the Korean peninsula today.

ACTION ALERT: Troops at Risk from Burn Pits: The VA Must Be Held Accountable (Kelley Beaucar Vlahos / The American Conservative & Hon. Tulsi Gabbard / US House of Representatives)
"For the nearly 3 million troops who deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11, burn pit exposure has proven to be prevalent and has contributed to cancer diagnoses, respiratory illness, and neurological and pulmonary damage. There's a registry for veterans who have been affected, but too many veterans are not yet on that registry, with some being rejected care and not receiving the support they deserve. We must do more." -- Hon. Tulsi Gabbard.

Toward a Truly Indigenous Peace in the Korean Peninsula (Simone Chun / AntiWar.com)
Commentary: "Last month, I took part in an international women's peace delegation to South Korea, led by Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire and Women Cross DMZ founder Christine Ahn. It was my first visit to my native Korea in over three years. Everywhere I went, I witnessed the afterglow of the inspiring candlelight movement that restored democracy to the country last year, and I sensed the deep conviction with which Koreans support the current peace process initiated by President Moon Jae-in."

Just Say No to an Illegal War on Iran. The US House Did (Marjorie Cohn / Truthout)
In a little noticed but potentially monumental development, the House of Representatives voted unanimously for an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019 (H.R. 5515) that says no statute authorizes the use of military force against Iran. The amendment, introduced by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota), states, "It is the sense of Congress that the use of the Armed Forces against Iran is not authorized by this Act or any other Act."

Nuclear Threats Can Not Be Resolved by Two Men With Nuclear Buttons: ICAN Will Be Active in Singapore (Akira Kawasaki / International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)
All people of East Asia and beyond need to join the nuclear disarmament game. You must not remain a passive audience to the crucial talks between two men with nuclear buttons. If the Singapore Summit fails, we all face the real threat of a nuclear war over the Korean Peninsula. The consequences would be catastrophic, with no winners. Your lives are being threatened, taken hostage. We must all work for our own survival.

Recent US and Russia Accused of Killing Civilians in Syria (Brett Wilkins / AntiWar.com & Al Jazeera)
Amnesty International reports that US and coalition warplanes have pounded areas of Syria's Deir Ezzor and al-Hasaka -- provinces controlled by Islamic State militants -- reportedly killing around 100 civilians, including more than 30 children. Local media reported the victims included children as young as five months old. Meanwhile, air attacks believed to have been carried out by Russia on a Syrian village killed at least 44 people, inflicting the highest death toll in a single attack on the region this year.

ACTION ALERT: How Does Coal-Friendly Power-abusing Scott Pruitt Still Have a Job? (ClimateTruth.org Action & The New York Times)
How does Scott Pruitt still have a job? With every passing day the list of Pruitt's scandals grows larger, and ever more bizarre. It's enough to make your head spin. This week we learned that Pruitt had his staff assisting him with improper personal tasks. A growing number of critics and DC colleagues claim Pruitt's extreme anti-science, anti-environment, climate-denier agenda is a danger to the American people -- and his dirty dealings and unethical conduct are unacceptable. It's time for him to go.

A Former US Vet Asks: What Was the Point of Regime Change in Iraq? (Danny Sjursen /The National Interest)
Commentary: "On the evening of 25 January 2007, my platoon left the gates of Forward Operating Base (FOB) Rustamiyah and snaked through the streets of East Baghdad, Iraq. Our mission was to link up with and check on some local Iraqi policemen. It was a dangerous time. Upwards of 100 US soldiers were being killed each month -- many, if not most, in the capital city."

Even Though Google Cancelled Pentagon Maven, Drone Deal Concerns Continue (Marco Margaritoff / The Drive & the Institute for Public Accuracy & Yasha Levine / Surveillance Valley)
Google will officially not renew its contract with a Pentagon drone project after it expires, according to Bloomberg, following protests by the tech company's staff and the ensuing publicity. But does that mean an end to Pentagon experiments with drones and artificial intelligence. Apparently no. Now is the time for scientists, engineers and employees to stand up and refuse to work of these anti-human projects designed to project force, power, and control by spying on and murdering "designated targets."

Google and Other Companies Must Endorse Ban on Killer Robots and Military Contracts (Campaign to Stop Killer Robots)
Google and its parent company Alphabet are starting to address some ethical concerns raised by the development of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, but, as yet, have not taken a position on the unchecked use of autonomy and AI in weapon systems. These and other technology companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Oracle, should publicly endorse the call to ban fully autonomous weapons and commit to never help develop these weapons.

Google to Drop Pentagon AI Contract After Employee Objections to the 'Business of War' (Drew Harwell / The Washington Post)
Google will not seek to extend its contract next year with the Defense Department for artificial intelligence used to analyze drone video, squashing a controversial alliance that had raised alarms over the technological buildup between Silicon Valley and the military.

Academics Protest Google's Role in Drone Murders (Andre Damon / World Socialist Web Site)
Three prominent technology scholars published an open letter Monday, which has now received over 900 signatures, condemning Google's collaboration with the Pentagon's illegal "targeted killing" program. The academics published their letter in support of over 3,100 Google employees who issued their own open letter last month protesting the company's participation in a Pentagon program called Project Maven.

US, UK and France Have Left Raqqa in Ruins (Patrick Cockburn / The Independent & the Unz Review)
Air and artillery strikes by the US and its allies inflicted devastating loss of life on civilians in the Isis-held city of Raqqa, according to an Amnesty International report. It contradicts claims by the US, along with Britain and France, that they precisely targeted Isis fighters and positions during the four month siege that destroyed large swathes of the city.

Locals Say US Airstrike in Libya Killed Three Civilians (AntiWar.com & Abdullah Ben Ibrahim / The Libya Observer)
A US airstrike on Wednesday near Bani Walid, in northern Libya, destroyed a vehicle and killed four people. One of them was identified as Abdul-Ati Estewi, a member of ISIS. The other three victims are a matter of dispute. AFRICA said in a statement ":we assess no civilians were killed in this strike," adding that the airstrike was coordinated with "the Libyan Government of National Accord." But sources on the ground told local reporters the target was a single ISIS fugitive and three civilian family members.

Colombia Joins NATO, and That Means Trouble (W. T. Whitney Jr. / People's World & Morningstar Online)
In 2013, Colombia and NATO agreed to cooperate in intelligence-sharing, military-training exercises, and so-called humanitarian interventions. And in May 2017, Colombia and NATO agreed that the former would become a NATO "global partner." On May 25, 2018, President Juan Manuel Santos made an announcement to that effect. Colombia thus becomes NATO's first global partner in Latin America. Those in other regions include Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, New Zealand, Japan, Mongolia, and South Korea.

North Korea Has Taken Big Steps: Now It's Trump's Turn ( Medea Benjamin and Ann Wright / The Guardian)
From easing the travel ban to humanitarian aid, there are many ways the US could show its commitment to progress. Respect and reciprocity are key elements in Korean culture. During our recent trip to South Korea as part of an international women’s peace delegation South Korean women complained that Donald Trump’s erratic conduct showed disrespect for the mediating role of their president and commented on the lack of US reciprocity for North Korea’s goodwill gesture of returning three imprisoned US citizens

Iran: Sanctions & War (Conn Hallinan / Dispatches from the Edge)
Has the Trump administration already made a decision to go to war with Iran, similar to the determination of the Bush administration to invade Iraq in the aftermath of the 2001 attacks? Predictions are dicey things, and few human institutions are more uncertain than war. But several developments suggest that the rationale for using sanctions to force a re-negotiation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is cover for an eventual military assault by the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia aimed at regime change in Teheran.

Google and Other Companies Must Endorse Ban on Killer Robots and Military Contracts (Campaign to Stop Killer Robots)
Google and its parent company Alphabet are starting to address some ethical concerns raised by the development of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, but, as yet, have not taken a position on the unchecked use of autonomy and AI in weapon systems. These and other technology companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Oracle, should publicly endorse the call to ban fully autonomous weapons and commit to never help develop these weapons.

What Is NATO?: The Essential Q & A (NO to NATO: The International Network to Delegitimize NATO)
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a political and military alliance between several North American and European countries. Its basis is the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949. NATO is an alliance of member states who agree, under Article 5 of the Treaty, to mutual defence and consider an attack on one member to be an attack on all -- but although they are obliged to respond, they are free to choose how.

US Considers Direct Military Aid in Attacking Port in North Yemen (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Karen DeYoung and Missy Ryan / The Washington Pos)
US officials are reportedly considering direct US military support for the offensive against the Yemen port of Houdeidah -- the lone source of humanitarian aid for Houthi-controlled northern Yemen, meaning it feeds millions of civilians. The United Arab Emirates, has been pushing toward Hodeidah in an ongoing offensive, with the idea that the fall of the port would be a decisive loss for the Houthi rebels. Human rights groups have been complaining for weeks that the fall of the port would start an immediate famine.

Casualties Up 42% in a Month as Afghan War Rages On (Ahmad Shah Erfanyar / Pajhwok)
Nearly 3,000 people have been killed and injured in 205 attacks in Afghanistan in May, showing 42 percent increase in casualties happened in April. Pajhwok Afghan News reports show 1,220 people have been killed and 866 others injured in 173 different attacks in 28 provinces of the country in April.

US Attacks on Syria Kill 20 Civilians, Including 12 Family Members (Agence France-Presse & AntiWar.com)
At least 12 civilians -- members of the same family -- have been killed in US-led coalition raids on ISIS in northeastern Syria. "The air strikes and artillery fire [Friday night] by the international coalition on the village of Hidaj, held by IS in the southern sector of Hasakeh province, killed at least 12 people," the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, using another acronym for ISIS.

Will Pentagon's Billion-dollar Bombers Go the Way of the Dodo? (William J. Astore and Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch)
Did you know the US Air Force is working on a new stealth bomber? Don't blame yourself if you didn't, since the project is so secret that most members of Congress aren't privy to the details. (Talk about stealthy!) Known as the B-21 Raider, it's designed to carry thermonuclear weapons as well as conventional missiles and bombs. A $100 billion boon for Northrop Grumman, the plane's primary contractor, the procurement of 200 B-21s is likely to prove a bust for the American taxpayer.

Why the Air Force Thinks It Can Turn Gamers Into Its Next Top Guns (Jason C. Ditz / The American Conservative)
This is what happens when you combine lofty recruitment goals with a bottomless pit of taxpayer money: the military is encouraged to make reckless attempts to engage the public. The Air Force now appears to be lining up one of the most reckless of blunders yet.

ACTION ALERT: Vets Say No to Ken Burns Emmy and Trump's Parade Charade (Mike Ferner / AntiWar.com & Will Fischer / Vote Vets)
A national veterans' organization is weighing in on this year's Emmy awards with a full-page ad in Variety, saying Ken Burns and Lynne Novick's "Vietnam War" series does not deserve a "Best Documentary" award. Meanwhile, members of Vote Vets, are concerned that politicians in Washington are supporting calls for Donald Trump's ridiculous -- and costly -- military parade. Vote Vets notes: " If Donald Trump really wanted to honor our military and veterans, he'd fill the nearly 50,000 vacancies at the VA."

Team Bolton: Do These Guys Prefer War With North Korea? (Doug Bandow / The American Conservative)
Commentary: "When Lord Acton coined the phrase "power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely," he might have had America in mind. Never mind US leaders' professed good intentions: possession of extraordinary military power continues to lead otherwise sensible people to pursue dangerous, even monstrous policies. So it is with North Korea."

Thoughts on the Saudi-Israeli Connection (Lawrence Davidson / Consortium News)
Israel and Saudi Arabia are making strange bedfellows but there are reasons for the emergence of their de facto alliance. Israel has become an established "fact on the ground" and the concept and practice of settler colonialism is well-rooted in Palestine. Saudi Arabia has, perhaps begrudgingly, accepted this change -- and it is not hard to see why.

Google Employees Say "No" to Working for the Pentagon (VentureBeat.com & Gizmodo & The New York Times & Defense.gov)
Since Google's involvement with Project Maven became public, about a dozen Google employees resigned in protest and more than 3,000 employees -- including Artificial Intelligence chief Jeff Dean -- have signed letters stating that Google shouldn't participate in the creation of autonomous weaponry. Google should listen to its employees and stay out of the business of war and that Maven reflects the need for a Hippocratic oath for AI practitioners, but the backlash isn't just coming from journalists.

Largest Theft in History: Pentagon Lost $21 Trillion in the Name of "National Security" (RT News)
The first-ever audit of the Pentagon (which is taking 2,400 auditors to do the job) is trying to determine what happened to $21 trillion in unsupported adjustments. Evidence suggests the Pentagon has misplaced more money than the GDP of the whole of the United Kingdom! In the latest instance of negligent bookkeeping at the Pentagon, its Defense Logistics Agency has failed to account for more than $800mn intended for construction projects and has spent more than $5.6 trillion on wars since 9/11.

Pentagon Report Raises Alarm that US Industry Can't Support War for Much Longer (RT News)
Between globalization and nearly 20 years of constant warfare, the industrial part of the US military-industrial complex is not looking so good, putting future wars at risk, according to the Pentagon's Annual Industrial Capabilities report.

US Defense Stocks Skyrocket Thanks to America's Adventures in the Middle East
Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon stocks have enjoyed the fruits of the Arab Spring. Since 2011, the shares of US defense contractors have soared by as much as 700 percent. Lockheed Martin, the maker of fighter jets including the trillion-dollar F-35, has enjoyed a five-fold increase in market cap, with company shares soaring from $69 in 2011 to the current $351. Producer of Tomahawk missiles, Raytheon, has also grown more by than 500 percent from $40.76 to $227 per share.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress to Block Bomb Sales to War Criminals in Yemen (Win Without War & Alex Emmons / The Intercept & Al Jazeera)
The heartbreaking humanitarian crisis in Yemen fueled by our tax dollars is taking a horrific turn for the worse. Already, the Saudi-led coalition has driven 8 million Yemenis to the brink of starvation and let loose the worst cholera epidemic in history -- all with direct US support. Instead of demanding Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain stop this brutal offensive and negotiate peace, Trump wants to sell them $2 billion in more bombs for Yemen.

Israelis Shoot, Kill Young Female Medic; US Vows to Veto UN Call to Protect Palestinians (Agence France-Presse & Reuters & The Jerusalem Post & AntiWar.com)
Two months of violent Israeli crackdowns on public protests along the border. 115 Palestinians were killed in these protests, and over 13,000 wounded. This includes an estimated 3,600 Palestinians hit with live ammunition. The International Committee of the Red Cross is sending two teams of war surgeons to Gaza and setting up a surgical unit to treat the many victims.

France Promotes Israeli-made Rifles Used in Gaza Massacres (David Cronin / The Electronic Intifada)
The maker of rifles used during Israel's recent massacres in Gaza will soon exhibit its products at an arms fair sponsored by the French government. Amnesty International's investigations have identified the Tavor as likely to have been one of the main guns fired by Israeli snipers attacking Palestinian demonstrators over the past two months. As the manufacturer of that rifle, Israel Weapon Industries ought to be blacklisted by every country which professes concern for human rights.

Construction of Israeli Settlements in the West Bank Has Tripled Under Trump's Watch (Al-Jazeera & Agence France-Presse )
The Israeli government has approved the construction of 2,070 new settlement units in the occupied West Bank. According to Israeli organisation Peace Now, 14,454 settlement units in the West Bank have been approved since US President Donald Trump took office, which is more than three times the amount that was approved in the year and a half before his inauguration.

US Claims Control over Parts of Syria; Syria Vows to Defend Its Sovereignty and Expel US Troops (Jason Ditz Pos/ AntiWar.com & Julia Manchester / The Hill & John Bowden / The Hill)
Washington's claim the the US now occupies and controls territory in Syria's southwestern region has provoked the country's leader to vow that Syria will reclaim its sovereignty by "going to resort to liberating those areas by force" if necessary. "We don't have any other options," Assad insisted. He noted that US troops are in the country with no legal basis, and pointed out the consequences of the US having similarly entered Iraq with no legal basis. The US is guilty of the international crime of military aggression.

Israel Deliberately Provoked the Latest Violence in Gaza (James North / Mondoweiss)
The timeline proves that Israeli is provoking the latest violence in Gaza. On Sunday, Israeli tanks killed 3 members of the small Islamic Jihad group who were inside Gaza. (The Israeli military said it killed the 3 because a bomb had been planted overnight near the border; it offered no proof the dead had anything to do with the alleged bomb.) In response, Islamic Jihad, and the much larger Hamas, supposedly fired 70 mortars or rockets into Israel, killing no one.

Trump Has Plenty of Accomplices in His Reckless Energy Policies (Harvey Wasserman / The Progressive)
Some 360,000 Americans now work in the solar industry, more than in nukes and coal combined. In fact, more Americans are now working in California's solar industry than are digging coal nationwide. And the US wind business now employs more than 100,000 people. But President Donald Trump wants to change that. He has already slammed the solar industry's growth by slapping a 30 percent tariff on imported Chinese panels, slowing installations nationwide.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Trump from Letting Hunters Kill Bear Cubs and Wolf Pups in their Dens (Friends of the Earth & The Sierra Club)
The Trump administration just proposed allowing hunters to kill bear cubs and wolf pups in their dens. If this proposal goes through, it would put rare wildlife at risk of inhumane treatment in national preserves in Alaska. The Department of the Interior is accepting comments on this plan. So we need you to speak up now! Help send 50,000 comments to the Department of the Interior opposing Trump's efforts to harm wildlife!

War on Iran Is US Policy Now, According to Secretary of State (William Boardman / Reader Supported News)
In his first formal public address, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo effectively declared war on the sovereign nation of Iran. Pompeo wants us to believe that everything bad that happened in the Middle East after Saudi terrorists attacked us on 9/11 in 2001 has been Iran's fault. Almost everything Pompeo had to say to the Heritage Foundation was a lie or, more typically, an argument built on lies. Pompeo continues to preach the longstanding Big Lie that "Iran continues to be . . . the world's largest sponsor of terror."

House Tells Trump: "You Cant Attack Iran" (AntiWar.com & Rep. Keith Ellison / US Congress)
An amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2019, which itself passed the House on Thursday, warns the Trump Administration that they have no legal authorization for a military attack on Iran. The amendment was offered by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), and was very simply worded. It simply declares that it is the sense of Congress that neither the NDAA nor any other act authorizes the use of military force agaist Iran.

This Is What Democracy Doesn't Look Like: Congress Targets Election Winners in Iraq (Bryant Harris / Al-Monitor)
The US Congress has unanimously voted to sanction two Iran-backed militias in Iraq, one of which just won more than a dozen parliamentary seats. The House of Representatives legislation would require Donald Trump to sanction "persons that are officials, agents, affiliates of or owned and controlled by" two prominent Iran-backed militias that operate in Iraq and Syria. Iran's Fatah (or Conquest) political coalition, won 47 out of 329 parliamentary seats.

Hurricane Maria's Deadly Aftermath: The Tragic Failure of Washington's Response (Carolina Moreno / Huffington Post)
An extensive Harvard study has found that about 4,645 people -- not the 64 officially reported -- died as a result of Hurricane Maria, and it provided some damning details about life on the island after the storm. Most of the deaths occurred in the aftermath of the storm. Data from this large-scale survey also revealed some sobering information about what life has been like for those trying to manage their health on the island in the wake of the storm.

ACTION ALERT: Dual Wars in North Korea and Iran? (Win Without War & The Washington Post & Politico)
We have less than a week to stop Trump from getting a huge blank check for endless global war. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee could vote as soon as next week on a horrifying new Authorization for the Use of Military Force -- or AUMF -- that would let Donald Trump start a new war any time, anywhere, with just an FYI to Congress. In the worst-case scenario, Trump could be on track to add two more wars to Washington's growing list of armed interventions -- targeting both Iran and North Korea.

Dan Ellsberg on What Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un Don't Know About Their Own Standoff (George Perkovich / The Atlantic & Defense One)
It's getting harder to see how Trump and Kim can make the mutual accommodations necessary for diplomacy to succeed. In fact, beneath the surface, the current situation resembles the prelude to the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, which historical research continues to show was much more dangerous than anyone knew at the time. The question is, will the military hold the president back from his impulsiveness? The fear is, they can't hold him back. Who has ever told this president "You can't do this"?

Hundreds Arrested Nationwide as Poor People's Campaign Demands 'End to the War Economy' (Jake Johnson / Common Dreams)
Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s warning that "a nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death," the Poor People's Campaign has launched a series of nationwide protests to confront the US war economy, which pours money that could be used to provide healthcare and food to the poor at home into the killing of innocents abroad. The PPC denounces a system that profits "every time a bomb is dropped on innocent people."

Untold History: How Black People Created Memorial Day (Felice Leon / The Root & David Blight / The New York Times & Paul Harvey / Religion in American Culture)
For generations, American children have grown up learning the story of Paul Revere's ride and Lincoln's address at Gettysburg but they have rarely, if ever, heard of the true origins of Memorial Day. It was on May 1, 1865, that more than 10,000 people -- recently freed slaves, black schoolchildren, colored soldiers and their allies -- gathered in Charleston, South Carolina and held what was the country's first Memorial Day parade.

Inconvenient Truths: What We Forget to Remember on Memorial Day (David Swanson / David Swanson.org & World BEYOND War & RootsAction)
Commentary: ""Memorial Day is a time to remember, appreciate, and honor the selfless patriots who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to freedom . . . [so] that we live in the most free and prosperous nation on Earth," Congressman Tom Garrett proclaimed. It would be difficult to count all of the lies in the above statement. Let's just highlight a few. Let's start with "most free."

A Multinational Peace Vigil in Japan Brings Hope for Peace in Korea (Joseph Essertier / World BEYOND War)
On May 26, 2018, a multinational group of Japanese, Korean and American activists gathered at the Hope Square next to the Fountain of Hope in Nagoya City, for a candlelight vigil in support of the peace process underway in Korea. People in Japan are jumping on the "peace train" headed for an end to the Korean War.

Parading the Pro-war Myth: The Illusion of War Without Casualties (Nicolas J.S. Davies / Consortium News and Mint Press News)
Commentary: The latest broadcast of the widely watched Academy Awards ceremony was interrupted by a special presentation devoted to films about war-- "American Sniper," "The Hurt Locker" and "Zero Dark Thirty." To pretend to a worldwide audience in 2018 that the US war machine is "fighting for freedom" in the countries it attacks or invades was an absurdity that could only add insult to injury for millions of survivors of US coups, invasions, bombing campaigns and hostile military occupations all over the world.

ACTION ALERT: Cal Poly Students Threatened for Protesting Raytheon's Weapons (CODEPINK and Change.org)
On April 19, 2018, members of the SLO Peace Coalition entered the Cal Poly Career Fair with the intent of peacefully bringing a message about war profiteers to Raytheon's booth. Raytheon creates many of the weapons used in illegal killings of innocent civilians across the world. After 15 minutes, the nonviolent, song-based protesters left peacefully. Two weeks later, they were informed they were under investigation for violating the University's Student Code of Conduct.

On Memorial Day: Remember the Victims and the Defeats (Reader Supported News & CODEPINK)
While flags fly and politicians preach patriotism, millions of our veterans remain neglected. As we begin this Memorial Day weekend, remember those who have lost their lives in war and violence. From the children dying right now of starvation in Yemen, to the peaceful protesters recently massacred in Gaza, to the countless numbers killed by the US in Iraq, Afghanistan, and victims of gun violence here in the US. We know that wars and violence never bring us closer to peace.

ACTION ALERT: Say NO to US/NATO Military Transports Through Eastern Germany (Potsdam Peace Coordination & Jungwelt)
Between May and June 2018, over 100 US military convoys are set to cross the eastern German state of Brandenburg and head toward Eastern Europe. The NATO exercise will take place in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland with 18,000 military personnel from 19 countries. According to NATO propaganda, US soldiers and NATO troops are training to protect the Baltic States from the "aggressor Russia." Join the international protest opposing this latest example of NATO's aggressive provocations.

We've Seen "Wars on the Homeless" Before: In Nazi Germany (Terry Messman / The Street Spirit)
Nazi Germany's attempt to eliminate its entire Jewish population is remembered and widely condemned. Less widely remembered are the Third Reich's campaigns to purge gay and lesbian people, political leftists, Polish people, the Sinti and Roma (Gypsy) populations, and the physically and mentally disabled. But in a striking and tragic omission, a strange sort of historical amnesia has clouded our memory of this criminal regime's terrible attacks on the homeless, the jobless, beggars, and vagrants.

The Butterfly Effect: How One Small Action Could Trigger a Nuclear War; US Missile Crews on LSD (Eric Ortiz/ TruthDig & Robert Burns / The Associated Press & Military.com)
Two young artists from Greece, Spiros Nobilakis and Eugenia Koumaki, created a graphic novel comic to show the interconnectedness of our world and how one small action can have disastrous consequences -- including an out-of-control nuclear war. Case in point: Service members entrusted with guarding nuclear missiles were caught using LSD and other mind-altering drugs. The activity -- at Warren Air Force Base, a highly secure military base in Wyoming -- went undetected for months.

The US Has Military Bases in 80 Countries. It's Time to Close Them All (Alice Slater / The Nation & Canadian Dimension)
On the weekend of MLK Day, Baltimore University hosted more than 200 peace, environment, and social-justice activists to launch a Coalition Against US Foreign Military Bases. In a series of panels over two days, speakers from every corner of the globe described the extraordinary cruelty and toxic lethality of US foreign policy -- despite King's warning more than 50 years ago that "a nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."

A Fiscal Conservative's Cure for Imperialism: End Foreign Aid -- to Everyone (Jacob G. Hornberger / The Future of Freedom Foundation)
Commentary: Americans have only lived under a federal income tax system since 1913. The law requires them to send a certain portion of their income to the US Treasury. Washington then uses a portion of those seized monies to send money or armaments to foreign governments. We call it "foreign aid" but in actuality it is nothing more than government-to-government welfare. The Israeli government then uses the "foreign aid" to underwrite its merciless programs and deadly operations aimed at the Palestinians.

ACTION ALERT: Protest BlackRock's Investments in Washington's Global War Machine (Mehreen Kasana / Independent Media Institute & Chelsia Rose Marcius and Rich Shapiro / New York Daily News & CODEPINK)
According to the progressive anti-war and women-led Code Pink, it's time for BlackRock -- the world's most powerful private equity giant -- to cease making a "killing on killing." It must be held accountable for its massive investments in the manufacturing of deadly weapons both within the United States and around the world. Code Pink's Divest from the War Machine campaign notes that the weapons BlackRock invests in are killing innocent civilians "in places like Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq."

Humans 0.01% of Life Have Destroyed 83% Wild Mammals (Damian Carrington / The Guardian)
A groundbreaking assessment of all life on Earth reveals humanity's surprisingly tiny part in it -- as well as our disproportionate impact. Humankind is simultaneously insignificant and utterly dominant in the grand scheme of life on Earth. While the world's 7.6 billion people represent just 0.01% of all living things, since the dawn of civilisation, humanity has caused the loss of 83% of all wild mammals and half of plants.

Watchdog: US Intervention in Afghanistan a $5 Billion Failure (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Courtney Kube / CBS News)
The US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has issued a new report Thursday. The report concluded that the 15-year, $5 billion Afghan stabilization program has been a failure. Unrealistic expectations and a lack of political will doomed the rebuilding effort, according to a new report.

Mike Pompeo's 12-Step Plan for Disaster With Iran (Scott Ritter / TruthDig)
In what The Washington Post labeled "a silly speech," Trump's new Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, provided an American answer to the charge that, when it came to the Iranian nuclear agreement, the US had "no Plan B." The unrealistic demands made upon Iran in Pompeo's address -- coupled by the absolute detachment from reality and historical fact and/or context these demands were made -- made the speech more dangerous than silly.

Houses Passes $717 Billion Military Spending Bill; Pentagon Speeds Up Arms Exports (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Patrick Tucker / Defense One)
In a 351-66 vote, the House of Representatives passed their version of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, a military spending bill that would pour $717 billion over the next fiscal year into operations to support the military, its wars, and nuclear arms. The NDAA would assure that the US remains by far the world's largest exporter of arms -- with Saudi Arabia a top customer. Another beneficiary: Ukraine, whose Russia-friendly government was toppled by a US-backed, rightwing coup.

Probe Says MH17 Downed by Russian Missile: Russia Refutes Claim (Mike Corder / Associated Press & RT News & Xinhua News)
The missile used to shoot down a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet over eastern Ukraine in 2014, killing all 298 aboard, belonged to a Russia-based military unit, an international team of investigators said Thursday. Moscow has rejected any involvement in the crash of flight MH17 after the Netherlands and Australia declared Russia "responsible" for the deployment of a BUK missile system that downed the jet in 2014. Russia was not allowed to take part in the investigation of the controversial crash.

ACTION ALERT: Trump Cancels Summit with Kim. Tell Congress It's Time to Step In (Win Without War & CNN & Agence France-Presse & The Telegraph & Fox)
The sinkhole that is Donald Trump's foreign policy got even bigger this morning when he abruptly cancelled his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, scrapping plans for what would have been a historic diplomatic summit to bring peace to the Korean Peninsula. We can't let that happen. We need to make it clear that Congress and the American people remain fully committed to diplomacy, not war, with North Korea.

The 1994 "Agreed Framework": How US-North Korea Diplomacy Promised Peace, Stability and Denuclearization (The Arms Control Association & The Washington Post & The Guardian & The Conversation )
In 1994, Bill Clinton and North Korea's Kim Jong-Il secured a "Agreed Framework" that put an end to the North's nuclear weapons program in exchange for US financial aid and assistance with energy technology. By 2000, North Korea was on the verge of agreeing to a historic document that would have denuclearized the Korean Peninsula. If Al Gore had been declared winner of the 2000 presidential election, that might have happened. Instead, George W. Bush's hawks took control and scrapped the agreement.

ACTION ALERT: First-person Shooter Games, the US Military, and Serial Killers: Outlaw Violence Porn: (Pat Elder / World BEYOND War)
This is distressing "must read" story reveals a common thread among America's mass-killers: they tend to be socially awkward young men transfixed by violent videogames -- the same games the Pentagon employs to encourage young boys to become armed "warriors." Is anyone organizing to censor and outlaw "violence porn," the way society has done for sexual pornography? Our military should not be allowed to rely on these "games" to cultivate the "best murderers" for recruitment into real-time killing.

Carbon Crooks Breaking the Planet as Water Resources Are Stretched Thin (Bill McKibben / RNZ Community Scoop & Eric Holthaus / Grist)
With half the Arctic summer sea ice gone, the impacts of climate change are becoming dramatically visible -- despite the Carbon Baron's decades-long coverup of the damage they knew they were inflicting on the planet. Meanwhile, as humans have harnessed rivers, built dams, and dug wells to quench our growing civilization, we now have -- for the first time -- a picture of what all those generations have wrought on our blue planet's most defining resource.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Tour of US Hypocrisy, from Africa to the South Pacific (Maj. Danny Sjursen / TruthDig & AntiWar.com)
Commentary: In foreign policy, Americans like to keep it simple: Good countries versus bad countries. What no one seems to ask is whether idealistic Americans have a clear view of the world. As the US enters its 17th year of perpetual war, these might be questions worth pursuing. Problem is, the truth can be disturbing.

War Is Love: The Language of Propaganda (David Swanson / David Swanson.org & World BEYOND War & RootsAction)
Commentary: "It was hard at this peaceful gathering and in the 'training' before it not to notice people's habitual shouts of 'fight back!' and 'go to war!' and 'we must be warriors!' -- not to mention the handing out of US flags. What bothers me far more than peace activists talking war talk, however, is war activists talking peace. I recently debated a 'military ethicist' who literally claimed to support wars 'out of love.' . . . War activists are constantly claiming that war will produce peace."

Israel's Attacks on Protesters Leave Gaza's Hospitals on Brink of Collapse (Halla al-Safadi / Middle East Eye)
The scenes at the emergency entrances at Gaza's hospitals are not for the faint-hearted. Wailing ambulances rush into hospital emergency gates and bloody casualties who were given quick first aid treatment are pulled out of the vehicles, each person hoping to be saved and not fall victim to Gaza's poorly equipped hospitals. Many of the surviving protestors will end up suffering infections and losing limbs.

Radiation Apocalypse: Why 5G Is a Human Health and a National Security Issue (NBC News & Julie Watts and Abigail Sterling / KPIX & Arthur Firstenberg / Cellular Phone Task Force)
Is a cell tower going up in your neighborhood? If it's not now, it may soon. Wireless carriers are installing millions of them across the US to enable the new, faster 5G cellphone technology. But there are legitimate health concerns. Some of the frequency bands the FCC has made available will allow telecom companies to buy up to 3 GHz of contiguous spectrum at auction. They will then legally be allowed to emit an effective radiated power of up to 900,000 watts to penetrate urban airspace, walls and human bodies.

Major Trump Blunder Threatens US-North Korea Summit (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Phil Stewart / Reuters & CNBC)
The Max Thunder US aerial exercises in South Korea were cited on Tuesday as North Korea's reason for cancelling talks with the South, and led to warnings about the US summit. Most of the world was relatively surprised that the major exercises had happened at all. Meanwhile, North Korea has a message for US President Donald Trump ahead of next month's summit: Don't listen to your new hard-line national security adviser, John Bolton.

A Skeptical Vet Exposes the Pentagon as an Aggressive, Illegal Force (Maj. Danny Sjursen / TruthDig & AntiWar.com)
Commentary: With US troops deployed to 70 percent of the world's countries and the US bombing seven nations (that we know of), it's time to take stock of the role our military plays on this planet. The Pentagon doesn't engage in "defense" but is an institution that obediently kills and sacrifices its soldiers whenever an imperial president wants to start an illegal war. That's the army I've served since before I was 18 years old. Perhaps it's time we should start calling the Pentagon the "Department of Offense."

Washington's "War on Terror": A Staggeringly Well-Funded Blowback Machine (Tom Engelhardt /TomDispatch)
The costs of America's wars, still spreading in the Trump era, are incalculable. Just look at photos of the cities of Ramadi or Mosul in Iraq, Raqqa or Aleppo in Syria, Sirte in Libya, or Marawi in the southern Philippines -- all in ruins in the wake of the conflicts Washington set off in the post–9/11 years -- and try to put a price on them. Those views of mile upon mile of rubble, often without a building still standing untouched, should take anyone's breath away. Some of those cities may never be fully rebuilt.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Trump from Drilling in Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (CREDO Action & Pamela King / E&E News & Ben Stewart / Greenpeace)
When Big Oil is giving the orders, the Trump administration can move frighteningly fast. Immediately after a sneaky provision in the Trump Tax Scam opened the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, the Trump team has rushed to seal the deal. Drilling threatens caribou and the cultural future of the Alaska Native Gwich'in people whose way of life depends on this sacred place. Sign the petition to stop this catastrophe before it's too late.

Gaza Violence Troubles the Region and Alarms the World (BBC World News)
There have been angry exchanges between Israeli and Palestinian envoys at the UN, as the diplomatic fallout over deadly violence in Gaza gathered pace. Some 58 Palestinians were killed when Israeli troops fired on protesters on Monday. The Palestinian envoy spoke of a "crime against humanity," while Israel accused Hamas of placing their own people in the line of fire.

Jerusalem Embassy: Why Trump's Move Was Not about Peace (BBC World News)
Analysis: Trump's move to relocate the US Embassy to Jerusalem was a gift to conservative orthodox Jews dominating Mr. Trump's inner circle and Christian evangelicals like Vice-President Mike Pence. Trump also sided with Israel in its response to the deadly violence on the Gaza border, accusing Gaza's Hamas leaders of "intentionally and cynically" provoking Israel in an attempt at "gruesome propaganda." But, unlike European countries, Trump did not call on the Israeli army to exercise restraint.

ACTION ALERT: Proposed GOP Farm Bill Is a War on Nature (Peter Stocker / Friends of the Earth & Derrick Z. Jackson / Environmental Health News )
The GOP's Farm Bill doubles down on a failing food system that harms our health, decimates soil and pollinators, pollutes our air and water, and accelerates climate chaos. Big Ag and the Republicans are fighting hard to pass this disastrous bill. For both humans and wildlife, the Republican reauthorization of the Farm Bill would usher in the weakest federal protections against pesticide abuse since Silent Spring.

ACTION ALERT: Google Employees Resign in Protest Against Pentagon Contract (Kate Conger / Gizmodo & Win Without War)
It's been nearly three months since many Google employees -- and the public -- learned about the company's decision to provide artificial intelligence to a controversial military pilot program known as Project Maven, which aims to speed up analysis of drone footage by automatically classifying images of objects and people. Now, Google employees are resigning in protest over the company's continued involvement in Maven. They are insisting that Google shouldn't be involved in military work at all.

41 Palestinians Killed as Protesters Mark 70th Anniversary of Nakba (Chloe Benoist / Middle East Eye)
At least 41 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip on Monday as thousands of Palestinians took to the streets to mark the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, with tensions running high in Jerusalem, Gaza, and the West Bank. The Nakba -- or catastrophe -- saw 750,000 Palestinians displaced from their homes during the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. Their descendants now include more than two million in the occupied Palestinian territory, who have been calling for an end to the Israeli occupation and the right to return to their homeland.

World Leaders Condemn Israel's Brutality in Gaza Massacre (Al Jazeera )
At least 58 Palestinians were killed on Monday in Gaza and more than 2,700 others wounded as the Israeli army fired live ammunition, tear gas and firebombs at protesters assembled along the border fence with Israel. Since the protests began on March 30, Israeli forces have killed at least 107 Palestinians and wounded about 12,000 people. Turkish leader Erdogan declared: "What Israel has done is a genocide." The UN HR High Commissioner has expressed concern, stating: 'Israeli Live Fire in Gaza Must Stop.'

ACTION ALERT: Protest US Israel Attacks on Palestine (American Friends Service Committee)
Today, as the US and Israel celebrate the move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank continue to protest the systematic denial of their rights. Israel soldiers have killed at least 105 while more than 10,000 protesters have been injured -- 166 critically. Washington offers Israel full support for its violent repression of the largely non-violent Gaza protests. You can ask your representatives to hold Israel accountable for its violence against Palestinian protesters.

Trump's War on the Press Is an Attack on Democracy Itself (Mort Rosenblum / Reader Supported News)
Commentary: At a time when trustworthy news organizations face mounting pressure from greedy management, political connivance, fragmentation, and background babble, nothing is more dangerous than Trump's insidious yet relentless campaign to strike America blind. Across the US, corporate capital is being used to purchase -- and dismantle -- once-vibrant but now struggling legacy newspapers. We need to ask who is behind those T-shirts that read: "Tree. Rope. Journalists. Some assembly required."

Google Employees Resign in Protest Against Pentagon Contract (Kate Conger / Gizmodo)
It's been nearly three months since many Google employees -- and the public -- learned about the company's decision to provide artificial intelligence to a controversial military pilot program known as Project Maven, which aims to speed up analysis of drone footage by automatically classifying images of objects and people. Now, Google employees are resigning in protest over the company's continued involvement in Maven. They are insisting that Google shouldn't be involved in military work at all.

War Extinctions Ravaging Africa: Animals at Risk (University of Granada & Phys.org)
An international study involving researchers from the University of Granada has established that the escalation of armed conflicts in the Sahara-Sahel region is leading to a dramatic population decline of species such as the African elephant and dorcas gazelle. The research paper calls for greater emphasis on environmental factors in the peace process initiatives that aim to bring an end to the conflicts.

Inside the Cutthroat World of Billion-Dollar Military Supply Contracts
The US Government Accountability Office is expected to rule soon on a disputed contract worth more than a billion dollars to supply food to US forces in the Middle East. The decision will mark the most recent twist in a battle over giant US military contracts dating back nearly a decade that includes allegations of sanctions busting, corruption, and fraud. The latest scandal involves a contract where the Pentagon's Defense Logistics Agency awarded $1.38 billion for food to a subsidiary of Kuwait and Gulf Link Transport.

Trump Has No Plan Left on Iran Other Than War (Jon Wiener and Michael Klare / The Nation)
Commentary: Donald Trump has no Plan B in tearing up the nuclear deal. He said somehow we're going to force the Iranians to come back to the table and give us a better deal, but that's utter nonsense. The Europeans say there's no path to such an outcome. The Iranians say there's no path. And certainly Russia and China would not agree to such a path. Trump has left no path forward other than war.

Trump's Unprecedented Breach of Iran Accord Threatens International Law (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Deutsche Welle)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized President Trump for withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, saying it was not right that a deal "voted upon in the UN Security Council and unanimously approved, should be unilaterally terminated." She warned this would damage trust in the international order. Trump's outlaw action has raised questions about the future of the trans-Atlantic partnership and fueled speculation about Washington's growing isolation leading to "the death of the West."

Washington Prepares to Sell Saudis More Weapons After US Bombs Used to Attack a Wedding Party in Yemen (Alex Emmons / The Intercept & Aric Toler / Bellingcat.com)
Last month, warplanes belonging to the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen repeatedly bombed a wedding party in the northern part of the country, killing more than 20 people, including the bride, and injuring dozens of others. The bomb responsible for the massacre contained a serial number tying it to the US-based weapons manufacturer Raytheon. Congress should finally make clear that the US government is no longer willing to reward Saudi abuses with more arms, nor risk US complicity in war crimes.

Torture? Let's Also Not Forget Assassination (Jacob G. Hornberger / Hornberger's Blog @ the Future of Freedom Foundation)
The nomination of CIA operative Gina Haspel to be CIA director has given rise to powerful arguments against government participation in torture, a practice common to tyrannical regimes. But what about state-sponsored assassinations? When one examines the powers that the Constitution delegated to the federal government, one thing is clear: Assassination, like torture, wasn't among them. The Framers had decided not to give federal officials the power to assassinate or the power to torture people.

Israel Nudges Trump Towards War With Iran (Robert W. Merry / The American Conservative)
Commentary: If you want to know what's really going on in the Middle East, don't watch Donald Trump, instead watch Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli leader is promoting the impression that Iran has initiated a series of threats along Israel's boarders. This is nonsense. It was Israel, not Iran, that initiated military action in the ongoing tensions between the two countries -- by repeatedly breaching international law by sending jets and missiles to attack targets inside Syria's borders.

Trumps Breach of Iran Accord Threatens International Law (AntiWar.com & Deutsche Welle)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized President Trump for withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, saying it was not right that a deal "voted upon in the UN Security Council and unanimously approved, should be unilaterally terminated." She warned this would damage trust in the international order.

ACTION ALERT: Boycott, Divest From and Sanction the US (David Swanson / World BEYOND War & Resist & United for Peace and Justice)
Petition: "I commit to supporting strategic targeted efforts to boycott, divest from, and sanction the US government until it supports the rule of law, peace, and justice on Earth."

Trump's Disavowal of Iran Nuclear Deal, Escalating Threat of War with Iran (Amy Goodman / Democracy Now! )
The day after Donald Trump announced he would pull the US out of the deal and reimpose sanctions on Iran, European nations -- along with China and Russia -- began scrambling to save the landmark nuclear agreement. Former President Obama called Trump's decision a serious mistake and warned it could lead to another war in the Middle East. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani responded by saying Iran would continue to abide by the agreement and would not renew its nuclear program for now.

Gina Haspel's Legacy: Waterboarding, Up-Close-and-Personal (Jessica Schulberg and Igor Bobic / The Huffington Post & Fatima Boudchar / The New York Times & Jessica Schulberg / The Huffington Post)
Recalling his experience with waterboarding, a former Army interrogator testified: "You've got water in your lungs, your brain is on fire, your nasal cavity is on fire, your throat is completely swollen up." Appearing at her confirmation hearing in Washington, former CIA torture administrator Gina Haspel pledged not to revive the spy agency's interrogation operation -- but she wouldn't condemn the CIA's past use of torture. This was no comfort to her victims.

Daniel Ellsberg Warns of 'No Survivors' if US Goes to War With 'Criminally Insane' Nuclear Weapons (Nina Burleigh / Newsweek)
Daniel Ellsberg is best known as the defense analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers and exposed Defense Department lies about American involvement in the Vietnam War. But in 1971, when he took those top secret documents out of his office safe at the Rand Corp., he also took a cache of materials related to his job as one architect of America's mutually assured destruction nuclear strategy, or MAD.

Trump Has Wrecked One of the Most Successful Arms-Control Deals in Modern History (Fred Kaplan / Slate)
Trump has wrecked one of the most successful arms-control deals in modern history, destroyed any possible leverage to negotiate a new one, further disrupted unity with our allies, further damaged US credibility, strengthened hard-line factions in Iran, exacerbated instability in the Middle East, and possibly boosted the chance of war. What a "deal-maker."

Trump's Ten Lies: A Response to the Iran Nuclear Agreement Speech (Ted Snider / Anti-War.com)
After listening to Trump's speech explaining his decision to pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement with Iran, Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said that Trump's speech contained "over ten lies." So, what were the lies Trump told?

Say Goodbye to the Iran Deal and Hello to a "Polynuclear" Middle East< (Ezra Friedman / The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists)
Commentary: A recent simulation conducted by the Tel Aviv-based Institute for National Security Studies and the RAND Corporation confirm that a US withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal will likely lead to increased instability. If the current trajectory of events continues, it will likely result in the proliferation of nuclear technology and programs in the region that could very easily lead the world down a road of no return -- to a polynuclear Middle East.

Israel Attacks Syria: Attack Called Biggest Strike in Decades (Associated Press & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Haaretz )
While Israeli officials continue to insist they don't "seek escalation" in Syria, they have been precipitously escalating the conflict along the border -- repeatedly violating Syrian airspace with fighter jets and bombs attacks that have killed scores of people on the ground. After Syria responded by launching 20 missiles , Israel carried out strikes against dozens of Syrian targets in an attack called Israel's most extensive attack on Syria in decades. The Israeli military has warned Syria not to respond to its attacks.

Ending Wars, Not 'Winning' Them, Should Be America's Goal (William J. Astore / AntiWar.com & Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch)
Commentary: You can't win wars that should never have been fought. The US should never have fought the Iraq and Afghan wars, nor should we have fought the Vietnam War. The challenge is not about reforming the US military so that it can win wars. Americans must reform our culture and our government so that we can avoid wars, even as we end the ones we're in. For constant warfare is the enemy of democracy and the scourge of freedom.

A Soldier's Ten Commonsense Suggestions for Making Peace, Not War (William J. Astore / TomDispatch )
The Defense Department (or more correctly, the "War Department") hasn't won a victory since the end of WWII in 1945. Yet today, America is waging (and losing) a war on terror in 76 countries and renewing preparations for a struggle against peer competitors Russia and China. With more than a quarter-million US troops stationed at more than 800 bases in 172, the lack of clear victories since then seems to faze no one in Washington. If the US is not winning wars, why does it still need to fight them?

The Origins of Washington's Permanent War Economy (Thomas K. Duncan and Christopher J. Coyne / The Independent Review)
The military-industrial complex that Dwight D. Eisenhower (1961) warned of has become a vast network of expanded political power, enlarged profits, and increased state authority. National security, in terms of dollars, mentality, and interests, has bled into nearly every aspect of American life, into nearly every federal department, into domestic and international humanitarian efforts, and even into domestic policing. So, how did this permanent war economy emerge?

America's Perpetual State of Emergency: An Unending War on Domestic Freedom (Gregory Korte / USA TODAY)
The US is in a perpetual state of national emergency -- 30 separate emergencies, in fact. An emergency declared by President Carter during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis remains in effect almost 40 years later. "What the National Emergencies Act does is like a toggle switch, and when the president flips it, he gets new powers. There are very few constraints about how he turns it on." Since 1976, presidents have declared at least 53 states of emergency -- not counting declarations for floods and tornados.

Trump's Ten Lies: A Response to the Iran Nuclear Agreement Speech (Ted Snider / Anti-War.com)
After listening to Trump's speech explaining his decision to pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement with Iran, Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said that Trump's speech contained "over ten lies." So, what were the lies Trump told?

Trump's Decision on Iran Deal: 'Horrible,' 'Disastrous,' 'Disgraceful' (Cesar Chelala / AntiWar.com & Daniel Larison / The American Conservative)
Commentary: Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the deal with Iran creates, unnecessarily, a new source of tension in a region besieged by conflicts. Trump is walking away from a deal that got the US almost everything it wanted at virtually no cost, and he is doing it mainly because it allows him to repudiate his predecessor's work. It is a perfect example of putting petty self-interest and pique ahead of the interests of the United States, and it has absolutely nothing to do with putting America first.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress to Keep the Iran Nuclear Deal (RootsAction.org & CODEPINK & Environmentalists Against War)
Congress is not entirely on board with Donald Trump's effort to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by ending the successful Iran nuclear agreement. We are ashamed that our government has broken a deal that was working. Join us in reaching out to the Iranian people with an apology for our president's unscrupulous behavior and a pledge to try to reverse this decision. Unlike our president, we believe that a deal is a deal. Unlike our president, we want to resolve the conflicts in the Middle East, not escalate them.

A Contest of Competing Timelines: Tehran Says Israel's Netanyahu Lied (BBC & Al-Akhbar English)
Iran has called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a "liar" after he accused [Iran] of deceiving the world about its nuclear intentions. Mr. Netanyahu produced what he said were copies of Iranian files detailing a project to build nuclear weapons, which was reportedly mothballed 15 years ago. Iran said it had never sought to build a bomb when it signed an international deal to curb nuclear activity in 2015.

Denuclearization Means the US, Too (Jeffrey D. Sachs / Project Syndicate)
There are two types of foreign policy: one based on the principle "might makes right," and one based on the international rule of law. The United States wants to have it both ways. This approach is doomed to fail. As Jesus declared, "all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword." Rather than perishing, it's time to hold all countries -- including the US -- accountable to the international rules of nuclear non-proliferation.

Treason: Obama Iran Deal Officials Targeted by Trump Via Israeli Black Cube (Juan Cole / Informed Comment & Ronan Farrow / The New Yorker)
Soon after Trump's 2017 visit to Tel Aviv, his aides initiated a "dirty tricks" campaign to smear Obama-era officials Ben Rhodes and Colin Kahl. The goal: to discredit the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. "This just eviscerates any norm of how governments should operate or treat their predecessors and their families. It crosses a dangerous line."

Arms Trade War: Turkey Threatens US -- For Not Providing Turkey with Weapons (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Tuvan Gumrukcu / Reuters / Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.)
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is warning that Turkey is prepared to retaliate against the United States if Congress goes through with a plan to halt the sales of US weapons to Turkey. Turkey has been openly threatening to attack US forces within Syria for backing the Kurdish YPG. The US is also irked that Turkey recently bought a Russian S-400 air defense system, choosing it over more expensive US-made options.

Military Aircraft Crashes: A Growing Threat to Civilians Around the World (Dahr Jamail / Truthout)
The US military maintains bases in at least 80 countries around the world. The military "doesn't give a damn" about the damage it does, both at home and abroad, but that this isn't big news. They've got a huge fraction of the population sucked into the nearly religious belief that the military is important to their safety . . . it isn't. It's for wrecking other countries and other cultures. Its core competency is death and destruction in the name of Wall Street."

Billions in Extreme Weather Damage and FEMA Plan "Forgets" to Mention Climate Change (Kate Yoder / Grist & Ryan Grenoble / Huffington Post)
In 2017, an unprecedented string of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and wildfires cost the US a record-shattering $306 billion -- four times more than average over the past decade, adjusted for inflation. In March, after a year of record-shattering natural disasters, the Federal Emergency Management Agency released its long-term strategic plan. And that 37-page document somehow neglected to mention climate change. The official explanation: We forgot to mention it.

Peace in Korea, War on Iran: Trump's Dystopian Policies (John Feffer / AntiWar.com & Peter Van Buren / AntiWar.com)
Commentary: Donald Trump is a stern and wrathful leader. He thinks nothing of raining down fire and fury upon the enemies of his "chosen people." Indeed, he even flirts with ending the world if he doesn't receive due respect and the requisite number of burnt offerings. But he can also reward his followers, and those who curry his favor, with positions of power and untold riches. This month, Trump will appear as both of these avatars.

Trump Hired Israeli Spies to Target Iran Peace Deal; GOP Warns Trump Not to Kill Treaty (Mark Townsend and Julian Borger / The Guardian)
Aides to Donald Trump hired an Israeli spy agency to orchestrate a "dirty ops" campaign against key Obama administration officials who helped negotiate the Iran nuclear deal. These "extraordinary and appalling allegations ... illustrate a high level of desperation by Trump and [the Israeli prime minister] Benjamin Netanyahu." A source with details of the "dirty tricks campaign" said: "The idea was that people acting for Trump would discredit those who were pivotal in selling the deal, making it easier to pull out of it."

New Revelations: The CIA's Kennedy-Era Plot Against Cuba (Jerry Iannelli / Miami New Times & David Talbot / MaryFerrell.org)
Thanks to the cache of John F. Kennedy-related files the government recently released, Miamians now know about the utterly bonkers plot the feds cooked up to stage a false-flag bombing on its own populace in Miami and then blame the deaths and chaos on Fidel Castro.

11% of Every US Tax Dollar Goes to War Contractors
Almost half of the military budget -- and 11 cents out of every tax dollar -- goes to corporations. Military contracts pulled in more than $300 billion in 2017. The average taxpayer contributes twice as much to military contractors in 2017 ($1,600) as the amount paid to care for all military vets, from WW II to kids just returning from Syria and Afghanistan. Meanwhile, new research finds federal spending on domestic programs creates far more American jobs and yields more broad-based benefits than military spending.

Borderline Profits: The Military Industrial Complex Stands to Make Millions Off Trump's Militarized Border (Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & Todd Miller / TomDispatch)
The Border Patrol has increased from a force of 4,000 in the early 1990s to 21,000 today and operates like "a standing army on American soil." The monoliths of the military-industrial complex -- including Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Elbit Systems -- have long been tailoring their technologies to homeland security operations. They are now deeply involved in the increasingly lucrative "border market." As one vendor put it many years ago, "We are bringing the battlefield to the border."

Drones Target First Amendment: Chicago Moves to Spy on Public Protests (Fran Spielman / Chicago Sun-Times)
The American Civil Liberties Union has accused Chicafo Mayor Rahm Emanuel of being behind legislation that would allow police to use drones to monitor the growing number of protests on the streets of Chicago. The groundbreaking bill would allow drones to hover over crowds, for the purpose of taking still photos and making audio and video recordings. The drones could be equipped with facial recognition technology. Eventually they could be armed with tear gas, concussion grenades, and bullets.

Move Over Chernobyl, Fukushima is Now the World's Worst Nuclear Disaster (John LaForge / CounterPunch & ZeroHedge)
The radiation dispersed into the environment by the three reactor meltdowns at Fukushima-Daiichi in Japan has exceeded that of the April 26, 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe, so we may stop calling it the "second worst" nuclear power disaster in history. Total atmospheric releases from Fukushima are estimated to be between 5.6 and 8.1 times that of Chernobyl. Chernobyl's reactor No. 4 blew apart and burned for 40 days, spreading fallout across the Northern Hemisphere. Fukushima was much worse.

The Other War Against Whales (The Conflict and Environment Observatory)
There is a war being waged against whales, and it is being fought with noise. Originally exposed after unusual mass strandings of whales, this new war has left scientists and conservationists concerned about the potential impact of military noise on the wider marine ecosystem as a whole. And it has prompted the question of whether naval activities are bound by environmental norms, or whether this form of warfare is set to continue in the name of national security.

CIA Insider Warns We're About to Be "Lied to War" Once Again (John Kiriakou / Reader Supported News)
Commentary: I spent nearly 15 years in the CIA. I like to think that I learned something there. I learned that the CIA will push the envelope of legality until somebody in a position of authority pushes back. I learned that the CIA can wage war without any thought whatsoever as to how things will work out in the end. There's never an exit strategy. I can tell you from firsthand experience that I've seen this before. Our government is laying the groundwork for yet another war.

ACTION ALERT: Save the Iran Deal (Win Without War & Basel Peace Office & Al-Akhbar )
Donald Trump and his war-hungry cabinet are about to kill the Iran deal. In 2003, the Bush administration built a similar smokescreen of lies to justify their invasion of Iraq. We've got to get Congress to call out Trump's avalanche of anti-Iran deal lies before before he plunges us into a repeat of the Iraq War. Tell Congress to step in now to prevent war with Iran.

In the Steps of Rev. King and Dan Berrigan: Peace Activists Jailed for Targeting Militarism (World Beyond War & Art Laffin / Pax Christi USA )
On April 4, the 50 anniversary of the assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., seven peace activists entered the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base. Carrying hammers and bottles of their own blood, they sought to enact and embody the prophet Isaiah's command to: "Beat swords into plowshares." For upholding the Constitution (through its requirement to respect treaties) and international law (through the UN Charter and Nuremberg Principles) they are now imprisoned and awaiting trial on May 10.

Why Trump's Boasts About the Korea Summit Are Premature (Robin Wright /The New Yorker & Reader Supported News)
Commentary: An agreement between North Korea and the US will need to include a detailed roadmap for a way forward, including each side's concessions. Seoul will likely press Washington to mirror the optimism and vision we saw at Panmunjom. It remains unclear if the Trump Administration will go along with symbolism or focus on specifics and substance.

Netanyahu's "Fake News" Stunt Shows Why Iran Nuclear Deal Needs to Remain (Patrick Cockburn / The Independent & Francois Murphy / Reuters)
The trove of Iranian documents about its nuclear programme presented by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as proof of Tehran's duplicity contain nothing of substance that was not known before. The vast cache of files presented .were largely historical and related to the period before 2003. Mr. Netanyahu was unable to find any evidence that Iran has breached the agreement signed in 2015. The UN's nuclear watchdog calls the Iran deal "the world's most robust verification regime."

Artificial Intelligence Would Raise the Risks Nuclear War (Patrick Tucker / Defense One & Edward Geist and Andrew J. Lohn / RAND Corp)
A new RAND report says ideas like mutually assured destruction and minimal deterrence strategy offer a lot less assurance in the age of intelligent software. Advances in AI have provoked a new kind of arms race among nuclear powers. This technology could challenge the basic rules of nuclear deterrence and lead to catastrophic miscalculations.

Pentagon Lied to Congress: Army Special Forces Secretly Sent to Yemen (AntiWar.com & Al-Monitor & The New York Times)
The US military is more deeply involved in the Saudi War in Yemen than officials ever admitted. In fact, new evidence suggests the Pentagon lied to Congress during the March debate about US involvement, presenting the US role at present being limited to targeting and mid-air refueling of Saudi warplanes.

The Military Doesn't Advertise It, But US Troops Are All Over Africa (Greg Myr / National Public Radio)
When US troops were ambushed in Niger last October, the widespread reaction was surprise: The US has military forces in Niger? What are they doing there? Yet in many ways, the Niger operation typifies US military missions underway in roughly 20 African countries, mostly in the northern half of the continent. The missions tend to be small, they are carried out largely below the radar.

Top 100 Reasons Not to Bomb Iran (David Swanson / David Swanson.org & World BEYOND War & RootsAction)
Commentary: (1.) There are over 80 million men, women, and children in Iran. Bombing them would be mass-murder. (2.) If the US government and its allies bomb Libya and Iran when their governments choose not to have nuclear weapons, you can forget about North Korea and the rest of the world choosing not to have nuclear weapons. (3.) The longer the world has nuclear weapons, and the more countries that have them, the greater the likelihood of nuclear war. And 97 more reasons.

Bibi Lies about Iran While Unarmed Men, Women, and Children Are Shot in Gaza (Juan Cole / Informed Commeny)
Commentary: Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, a notorious warmonger, is attempting to bamboozle the clueless Trump into getting on a war footing with Iran. Meanwhile, Israeli troops are systematically shooting unarmed people who pose no threat -- a war crime and a crime against humanity. Meanwhile, Israel manifestly and robustly practices Apartheid against the Palestinians under its military heel. The Statute of Rome identifies Apartheid rule as a "crime against humanity."

Why Can't the Pentagon Win Its Wars? (Arnold Isaacs and Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch)
The world's self-proclaimed "leading military power" has spent 16 years in Afghanistan and has still not managed to declare "victory." If Americans are right in ceaselessly telling themselves that theirs is the most powerful country the world has ever seen and that their military is the "greatest fighting force ever," as President Trump calls it, should it have been this hard and taken this long to find a way -- if they really have -- to defeat enemies whose war-making resources are a tiny fraction of ours?

Negotiations for an End to the Korean War? (Dave Lindorff / Counterpunch.org & Popular Resistance)
Media reports and political statements coming out of Washington on the blossoming of peace talks between North and South Korea focus on the issue of whether North Korea's leader is really "serious" about eliminating nuclear weapons arsenal. Missing in all the verbiage has been any reporting on the long history of the US basing nuclear weapons in South Korea, where the US still -- 65 years after the end of fighting on the peninsula -- maintains at least three military bases and 28,000 combat-ready troops.

Netanyahu Pushes "Fake News" to Give Trump an Excuse for War (AntiWar.com & New York Magazine & Moon of Alabama.org & The Jerusalem Post & Reuters)
On April 30, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a presentation intended to give Donald Trump a justification for killing the successful nuclear deal with Iran. Netanyahu's "evidence,"came from 2003 and was well-known. The International Atomic Energy Agency promptly dismissed Israeli allegations of a "secret" Iranian nuclear program. The UN watchdog says there are "no credible indications" of any Iranian nuclear weapons activities after 2009. Note: the folders Netanyahu presented were all empty.

Scaremongering Netanyahu Strikes Again: More Lies and Provocations (Scott Ritter / The American Conservative)
The timing of Netanyahu's presentation -- two weeks before Trump is to announce his decision about the fate of the Iran Nuclear Deal is suspect. Trump has been searching for a way to blame US the treaty-breaking on Iran; the timing of Netanyahu's presentation appears geared toward helping push Trump toward a decision to withdraw from a working agreement. Legally speaking, however, the Israeli argument -- along with the information used by Netanyahu in his presentation -- does not hold water.

Beware of White Helmets Bearing News (Col. Ann Wright (Ret.) / Special to Consortium News)
The use of social media -- especially unveiled videos -- to engage in an act of war is part of a disturbing trend. The celebrated White Helmets of Oscar fame appeared to have made their own feature film in Duma on the night of an alleged chemical attack. Subsequent interviews with eyewitness and children seen in the video have established that there was no gas attack. The US rushed to bomb Syria before the pretext for the attack could be investigated and disproved.

ACTION ALERT: May Day: End Border Militarization (CODEPINK, Environmentalists Against War, Just World Educational, Traprock Center for Peace & Justice, and World Beyond War)
This day, in honor of all working-class, poor, and other oppressed people, we will rise because we want to live in a world without weapons and war, without violence and hate, without bans and walls. A world where people can live without fear, where communities can have what they need to thrive and assert their rights to peace, justice, and health. We call for an end to border-zone militarization and the criminalization of migrants and refugees, and for the divestment of all border funding.

ACTION ALERT: Peace Comes to Korea: Let's Understand Why (David Swanson / David Swanson.org & World BEYOND War & RootsAction)
When peace shows its face, and weapons companies' stocks plummet, we have to do more than just cheer. We have to avoid misunderstanding where peace comes from. We have to recognize the forces that want to destroy it.Peace is bad business for the weapons makers and their investors. BlackRock is the largest investment firm in the world. It controls trillions of dollars and has billions invested in weapons manufacturers.

Kim Would Give Up Nuclear Weapons For US Pledge Not to Invade (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Choe Sang-Hun / The New York Times)
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has told South Korea's President Moon that he is willing to abandon nuclear weapons in return for an end to the Korean War and a promise from the US not to invade. North Korean officials have long said that their nuclear program was only necessary to deter a US attack. A formal pledge from the US would achieve that goal. But Secretary James Mattis said that the future presence of US troops in the region would be "up for negotiation" only after a peace deal is signed.

Amnesty International Calls for Global Arms Embargo on Israel As Civilian Casualties Rise on Gaza Border (Ori Lewis / Reuters & Amnesty International)
Israeli troops shot and killed three Palestinians along the border with the Gaza Strip in two separate incidents on Sunday, the Israeli military said. As of 26 April, the total number of injured is estimated at 5,511 -- 592 children, 192 women and 4,727 men -- with 1,738 injuries from live ammunition. Amnesty International has called for a worldwide arms embargo on Israel in response to the country's disproportionate response to mass demonstrations.

The Western Media Shuts its Eyes and Closes Its Ears to Douma Testimony (Jonathan Cook Blog)
On April 26, Russia brought 17 witnesses from Douma to testify before the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in the Hague. They included one of the young boys seen in a widely replayed video showing children being doused with water. The residents all stated that there was no chemical weapons attack: their breathing problems were caused by the dust from bombed buildings and a sandstorm. If true, the pretext for the precipitous US attack on Syria was false and the attack itself was illegal.

China Reports North Korea Nuclear Test Site Has Collapsed; May Be Releasing Radiation (Justin McCurry /The Guardian)
North Korea's main nuclear test site has partially collapsed under the stress of multiple explosions, possibly rendering it unsafe for further testing and leaving it vulnerable to radiation leaks, a study by Chinese geologists has shown. Nuclear explosions release enormous amounts of heat and energy, and the North's largest test, in September last year, was believed early on to have rendered the site -- a network of tunnels beneath Mount Mantap -- unstable.

First Bomb the Wedding, Then Bomb the Rescue Workers (William Boardman / Reader Supported News)
In an impoverished mountain village in Yemen, the wedding celebration was still going strong when the first airstrike hit on April 22. The US-backed Saudi attacks killed the bride and "at least 33 people." Since 2009, the US has committed war crimes in Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and elsewhere. The US president surely knew such attacks are war crimes under international law as well as US law, but who was going to hold him accountable (any more than anyone has held his predecessor or successor accountable)?

"Torture Queen" Gina Haspel "Followed Orders" and That's the Problem (The Boston Globe Editorial Board)
Commentary: Gina Haspel, the career spy nominated to lead the Central Intelligence Agency, oversaw a secret facility in Thailand during the time when Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a man accused of involvement in the bombing of a US navy ship, was repeatedly tortured by waterboarding. Hassle later authorized the destruction of videotapes of CIA torture sessions. It is for those two acts in particular that her confirmation as head of the CIA should be denied.

Nearly Every Mass Killer Is a Man. We Should Be Talking about That (Gary Younge / The Guardian)
Commentary: From the Oklahoma bombing to the massacre in Norway it is always the same. In the immediate aftermath of mass murder, the initial assumption is that it must be a Muslim. But there is a far safer assumption one can make. While a relatively small proportion of mass killers in North America have been Muslim, across the globe, mass killers are almost all men. After the Toronto attack, there should be a debate about toxic masculinity, and the rage that turns so many men towards violence.

North and South Korea Agree To Work Toward Peace, No Nukes: Full Text (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Full Text of Joint Declaration Issued at Inter-Korean Summit)
Friday's summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in looks to have been a dramatic success. The talks culminated in agreements to work together toward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and to pursue a deal with the United States formally ending the Korean War.

US, UK, French Attack On Syria Was a "Naked Criminal Act of Military Aggression" (Rich Scheck / State of the Nation & Paul Craig Roberts / Information Clearing House)
The Trump/May/Macron attack on Syria constituted a naked act of aggression in violation of the Nuremberg prohibitions making them prospective war criminals. The UN was created to avoid the scourge of war and yet has proven inept in stopping them. World federalists and others are calling for a new political system with laws that are solid and enforceable on all nations, leaders and individuals.

Did Donald Trump Just Save the F-15 (and Bail Out Boeing)? (Dave Majumdar / The National Interest & Mark Thompson / The Project on Government Oversight)
The Trump Administration has proven to be a boon for Boeing's fighter programs. In previous years, both the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and F-15 Eagle production lines were expected to shut down as Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter moved to dominate the fighter market domestically and globally. Meanwhile, the Pentagon's F-22s and F-35s have design problems that cause pilots to pass out from lack of oxygen, leading the planes to crash -- aka to experience a "Controlled Flight Into Terrain."

ACTION ALERT: Tell EPA's Scott Pruitt: "Stop Your War on Science" (CREDO Action & Madison Dapcevich / Forbes & ILF Science)
EPA chief Scott Pruitt's escalating war on science has a clear goal: ending the regulations that protect us from smog, pesticides, climate change and other dangerous threats to our health and the environment. Pruitt and the rest of the Trump regime are willing to risk human lives to make their friends a little richer. Pruitt must go. Instead of throwing out hallmark research, much of it funded by taxpayers through the EPA, Pruitt should be following the guidance of real scientific experts.

Trump May Kill The Iran Deal -- Even If He Still Doesn't Understand It (S.V. Date / Huffington Post)
As Republicans in 2016 hammered then-President Barack Obama's nuclear agreement with Iran, their party's foreign policy leaders and even many of the GOP candidates themselves understood that the deal, while not ideal, was worth keeping. Somebody, it seems, forgot to give candidate Donald Trump the memo. Two years later and still bashing the agreement, Trump is now on track to effectively end it in mid-May.

How Many Millions of People Have Been Killed in America's Post-9/11 Wars? -- Part One: Iraq (Nicolas J.S. Davies / Consortium News)
The numbers of casualties of US wars since Sept. 11, 2001 have largely gone uncounted, but coming to terms with the true scale of the crimes committed remains an urgent moral, political and legal imperative, argues Nicolas J.S. Davies.

How Many People Has the US Killed in its Post-9/11 Wars? Part 2: Afghanistan and Pakistan (Nicolas J.S. Davies /Consortium News)
In the first part of this series, I estimated that about 2.4 million Iraqis have been killed as a result of the illegal invasion of their country by the United States and the United Kingdom in 2003. I turn now to Afghan and Pakistani deaths in the ongoing 2001 US intervention in Afghanistan. In part three, I will examine US-caused war deaths in Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.

How Many People Has the US Killed in its Post-9/11 Wars? Part 3: Libya, Syria, Somalia and Yemen (Nicolas J.S. Davies / Consortium News and Mint Press News)
In the first two parts of this report, I have estimated that about 2.4 million people have been killed as a result of the US invasion of Iraq, while about 1.2 million have been killed in Afghanistan and Pakistan as a result of the US-led war in Afghanistan. In the third and final part of this report, I will estimate how many people have been killed as a result of US military and CIA interventions in Libya, Syria, Somalia and Yemen.

Bombing Syria and Targeting Truth: Provocations Rooted in Rumor, Bolstered by Press Propaganda (Ann Wright / United National Antiwar Coalition & Margaret Kimberley / Black Agenda Report)
Without any evidence, the US, France and Britain preceded to attack Syria for an alleged "war crime." The lies which allowed these countries to attack Syria were presented without contradiction. The people with knowledge and expertise who could counter these narratives are "disappeared" from access to newspapers or television stations. The close relationship between the "Deep State," the corporate media, and the establishment elite at home and abroad continues without hindrance.

Days before North-South Summit: South Korean Police Attack Vigilers Protesting US Missile Base; Trump Tells South to Pay $1.8 Billion in Costs (Zoom In Korea)
It has been nearly one year since the US and the South Korean Defense Ministry resorted to brute force against the residents who were peacefully blocking the road to the THAAD missile deployment site. On April 23, 2018, South Korean police forced 200 residents of Soseong-ri and anti-THAAD activists to disperse from their peaceful protest to make way for additional construction material and equipment to further construction of the widely unpopular THAAD missile base.

No Evidence of Chemical Weapons at Sites Bombed by US; President Carter Suggests Attack on Syria "Borders on War Crime" (Sputnik News)
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has confirmed that there were no chemical weapons at the Barzeh research center in Damascus -- despite the US claims that it bombed the complex because it was used to produce "chemical weapons." Russian officials questioned the logic of bombing facilities believed to house toxic agents. If toxic agents had been stored at the sites the US targeted, tens of thousands of civilians would have died from toxins released by the missile explosions.

What Mass Killers Tend to Have in Common (David Swanson / DavidSwanson.org & World Beyond War)
Looking at a long list of mass shootings in the United States, almost all of the shooters are men, and almost all of them are between ages 18 and 59. About 14.76 percent of US men between 18 and 59 are veterans, but at least 35% of these shooters were veterans. In other words, in the US, mass shooters are more than twice as likely to be military veterans. Of course it's possible that people inclined toward mass shootings are also inclined to join the military -- but that relationship is a correlation and not a cause.

Trump's Missiles Not So "Smart"? Russian Press Conference Reveals Remains of Intercepted US Weapons (SouthFront.org & TASS)
On April 25, 2018, the Russian Defense Ministry held a press conference showing US President Donald Trump's "smart" missiles intercepted in Syria. Russia revealed wreckage of the intercepted missiles and showed at least one unexploded Tomahawk cruise missile. In addition to scores of parts from damaged incoming weapons, two relatively intact, unexploded missiles were put on display at the press event. Russia claims that, of the 105 missiles launched by the US and its allies, 66 missiles were intercepted.

Trump's Blank Check for War and the Debate on a New AUMF (Marjorie Cohn / Truthout & Consortium News & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)
On April 23, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee reviewed a bill that would virtually give President Donald J. Trump a blank check to wage war anywhere in the world any time he pleases. The new bill, should it pass, would effectively make the transfer of the war power from Congress to the president complete. It is hard to imagine a worse time in American history for this to happen. Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of senators has introduced a new, more restrictive, Authorization for Use of Military Force.

House Lawmakers Close Pentagon Budget Hearing to Taxpayers (Caroline Houck / Defense One & Mike Stone and Rachit Vats / Reuters)
For the first time in at least eight years, House appropriators will grill the Pentagon's top civilian and uniformed leader about their $686.1 billion 2019 budget request not in a public hearing but -- behind closed doors. Meanwhile, the Pentagon has stopped accepting deliveries of Lockheed's controversial F-35 over a dispute about who will cover the $119 million costs for fixing a production error involving the costly, over-due, over-budget, under-performing aircraft.

ACTON ALERT: Free Sarah And Tulia: Colombia Arrests Social Movement Leaders (Black Alliance for Peace & Proceso de Comunidades Negras, PCN)
Sara Liliana Quinonez Valencia and her mother, Tulia Marys Valencia, have dedicated their lives to defending the collective ethnic rights of the black community in Alto Mira and Frontera in Colombia. On April 20, 2018, both were arrested by the government and accused of "rebellion." At the time of her arrest, Sara and her nuclear family were living in a state of forced displacement in Cali with protective measures from the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights. They should be freed.

Nuclear-Weapon States Leading 'A New Qualitative Arms Race' (Izumi Nakamitsu / InDepth News)
Following are extensive excerpts from a statement by Izumi Nakamitsu, UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs to presented to the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference being held in Geneva from April 23 to May 4, 2018.

War and Slavery: The Roots of America's Gun Culture (Isaac Chotiner / Slate)
The ubiquity of guns in America is unique in modern Western society, with consequences that are felt every day via gun violence, mass shootings, and increasingly militarized policing. But in her new book, Empire of Guns, Priya Satia takes a historical look at the role of guns in Britain's economic development, tracing how gunrunning became important to the British economy and how guns, in turn, ended up playing a crucial role in the global perpetuation of human slavery.

How the NRA Sells Guns in America Today (Elliott Woods / The New Republic)
The NRA will tell you that minorities and women are fast-growing markets. But the demographics of gun ownership remain lopsided: gun owners are disproportionately old, Republican, male, white, rural, less educated, and not wealthy and, when it comes to the hard-core activist element of the NRA, the scales tip decidedly in the direction of the demographic markers that describe Donald Trump's core supporters and the audiences for Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.

ACLU Warns Senate Against Giving Trump Blank Check to Declare War (Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez / Democracy Now!)
Congress is considering rewriting the presidential war powers granted after the 9/11 attacks. On September 14th, 2001, three days after the World Trade Center attack, the current Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed the Senate 98 to 0, and 420 to 1 in the House. Since then, it's been used by Presidents Bush, Obama and Trump to justify at least 37 military operations in 14 countries -- many of which were entirely unrelated to 9/11. A second AUMF was passed in 2002 ahead of the Iraq invasion.

WMD's Redux? NBC Cites Douma Hoax; Perpetuates 'Official Story' (The Independent & Sputnik News & Muraselon.com)
In the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, the US media failed to challenge the Bush Administration's rationale for the attack -- Weapons of Mass Destruction. It was not until long after Baghdad was pummeled and Saddam Hussein was toppled that Americans learned that the threat of "weapons of mass destruction" was a lie. It was not the first time Washington had relied on false claims to launch an unprovoked war on a foreign nation. With the latest attack on Syria, it appears we still have not learned our lesson.

US/Saudi Coalition Kills Scores of Men, Women and Children at Yemeni Wedding Party (The American Conservative & The Independent & Reuters & Canadian Broadcast Corporation & The United Nations)
The dead were mostly women and children gathered in a tent set up for the wedding in the Bani Qayis district, according to Khaled al-Nadhri, the leading health official in the north-western Hajjah province. Thirty of those injured were reported to be children, with some in critical condition having suffered severed limbs and shrapnel wounds. Footage that emerged from the scene of the airstrike showed scattered body parts and a young boy in a green shirt hugging a man's lifeless body, screaming and crying.

Trump Approves Selling Killer Drones to Other Countries (Mark Karlin / Buzzflash @ Truthout)
Amnesty International is so concerned about the accelerating drone strikes under Trump that it has issued a plea to the four European nations supporting the US drone program to break ties with Washington's remote assassination program. Trump has shown little regard for the collateral deaths of innocent bystanders and family members of targeted individuals. Trump has repeatedly told the Pentagon and drone program operators that, when targeting terrorists, "You have to take out their families."

Radioactive Soil on the Loose: How a Clean-up Became a Cover-up (J.K. Dineen / San Francisco Chronicle)
The scandal involving cheating in the $1 billion cleanup at the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard has until now focused on allegations of what was left behind at the site: radioactive dirt dumped into trenches to save the time and expense of testing and disposing of it properly. But former shipyard employees and environmentalists say that toxic waste removed from the site is of just as great a concern.

Cluster Bombs Are Back -- and America and Russia Can't Get Enough (Michael Peck /The National Interest)
Cluster weapons -- those mini-bombs that have maimed and killed many civilians -- are back. Russia has just unveiled a "stealth cluster bomb" and the Trump administration has scrapped plans to eliminate cluster weapons by 2019 -- despite 103 nations signing an international treaty to ban such weapons. So far, 120 nations have joined the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions and 103 have actually ratified it. Unfortunately, the two biggest arms exporters in the world -- America and Russia -- have yet to join.

We Should Be Sceptical of Those Who Claim to Know the Events in Syria (Patrick Cockburn / The Independent & The Unz Review)
Commentary and Analysis: "The story of the Abu Ghraib baby milk factory is worth retelling because it underlines -- in the wake of the US, British and French air strikes on alleged Syrian BW sites on 14 April -- the need for permanent scepticism towards claims by governments that they know what is happening on the ground in Syria or anywhere else."

The Skripal Case: Another Dodgy British Dossier (Gareth Porter / Consortium News)
The British government shared a dossier containing sensitive intelligence to convince allies and EU member states to support its accusation of Russian culpability in the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in England on March 4. But like the infamous 2003 "dodgy dossier" prepared at the direction of PM Tony Blair to justify British involvement in the US invasion of Iraq, the dossier on the Salisbury poisoning turns out to have been based on politically-motivated speculation rather than actual intelligence.

As Korea Talks Progress, Mainstream Media Try to Derail Peace (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)
Months of diplomatic progress with North Korea has really picked up in recent weeks. South Korea's President Moon and Kim Jong-un have set a summit on ending the Korean War, 68 years after it started. Denuclearization remains a top priority for the US. North Korea has long expressed a willingness to make such a deal -- so long as they don't have to fear a US attack. This was generally assumed to involve removing the 30,000 US troops and weapons positioned along the South Korean side of the border.

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

For EarthDay: STRATEGIES FOR A MORE PEACEFUL WORLD (Excerpted from The War and Environment Reader, edited by Gar Smith (Just World Books, 2017))
The economic impact of violence in 2015 hit $13.6 trillion -- 13.3 percent of global GDP, equal to the combined economies of Canada, France, Germany, Spain, and the UK. In countries with high levels of "positive peace" -- i.e., attitudes and institutions promoting peaceful societies -- internal resistance movements were less likely to become violent and were more likely to win concessions from the state. The following list highlights initiatives designed to lead the world toward the goal of "positive peace."

On Earth Day: "Why We Oppose War and Militarism" (Environmentalists Against War)
On February 20, 2003, Environmentalists Against War (a global coalition of antiwar organizations) held a press conference at the San Francisco office of the Sierra Club to announce its opposition to the George W. Bush administration’s imminent attack on Iraq. A joint statement -- signed by more than 100 environmental, antiwar, and social-justice organizations from around the world -- enumerated 11 reasons to reject war and militarism.

For Earth Day: Protecting Nature from War (The United Nations Environment Programme)
"The environment continues to be the silent victim of armed conflicts worldwide. The toll of warfare today reaches far beyond human suffering, displacement, and damage to homes and infrastructure. Modern conflicts also cause extensive destruction and degradation of the environment. Environmental damage, which often extends beyond the borders of conflict-affected countries, can threaten the lives and livelihoods of people well after peace agreements are signed."

ACTION ALERT: Stop the Corker-Kaine Bill: Don't Give Trump a Blank Check for Endless War (MoveOn.org & David Swanson / David Swanson.org & The American Civil Liberties Union)
According to the US Constitution, only Congress can declare war. But Senators Bob Corker and Tim Kaine's new Authorization for the Use of Military Force would throw the doors wide open for Donald Trump to declare more unilateral wars. Wherever he wants. On whomever he wants. We can block this horrifically dangerous piece of legislation. The resolution hasn't reached the Senate floor yet but we've got to act fast. The ACLU also recognizes the proposed war declaration resolution illegal under the UN Charter.

Native Americans on US-Mexico Border Block Trump's Troops (Jorge Rivas / Splinter News & The Tohono O'odham Nation)
There's at least 75 miles of the US-Mexico border where National Guard troops can't go, no matter what President Donald Trump says. The Tohono O'odham Nation says its people have inhabited what is now southern and central Arizona and northern Mexico since "time immemorial -- in other words, way before any borders were put in place.

Making America Hate Again: A Rise in People Invoking Trump's Racist Taunts (Will Carless / REVEAL)
Nearly every metric of intolerance in the US has surged over the past 18 months, from reported anti-Semitism and Islamophobia to violent hate crimes based on skin color, nationality or sexual orientation. This renaissance of hate features something new: xenophobic, racist and homophobic attacks punctuated with Donald Trump's name. REVEAL examines more than 150 reports of Trump-themed taunts and attacks stretching across 39 states over the past year and a half.

UN Still Won't Let Chemical Weapons Inspectors Visit Douma (AntiWar.com & RT News & Sputnik News & TASS & The Daily Star)
Two weeks after tan alleged chemical attack in Douma, chemical inspectors are still waiting for UN permission to enter Douma. In the meantime, there still is no public proof that the April 7 strike took place and -- following on-the-ground reports by Robert Fisk -- growing doubt that it actually happened. Residents within Douma have also expressed doubts about the strike. Speculation is growing that the delays are designed to prevent discovery that the chemical attack never took place.

Arming the World: Inside Trump's 'Buy American' Drive to Expand Weapons Exports (Matt Spetalnick and Mike Stone / Reurers & William D. Hartung / The Nation)
For 25 of the past 26 years, the US has been the leading arms dealer on the planet. Its major weapons-producers -- including Boeing, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin -- regularly pour the latest in high-tech arms and munitions into the world's most explosive regions. In January, acting on behalf of Boeing, Donald Trump personally helped close a massive arms deal, calling from the White House to press a Gulf monarch in Kuwait to agree to a $10 billion fighter jet deal that had been stalled for more than a year.

Trump's Arms Policy: Presidential Pimping for Pentagon's Profiteers (Democracy Now!)
A new investigative report reveals how the Trump administration plans to make the US an even larger weapons exporter by loosening restrictions on the sale of equipment ranging from fighter jets and drones to warships and artillery. The new initiative will provide guidelines that could allow more countries to be granted faster deal approvals, and will call on Cabinet officials to help close deals between foreign governments and US defense contractors.

Pentagon Report Warns: Climate Change Is Destroying Critical Military Facilities (Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics / Department of Defense)
The Pentagon's "Climate-Related Risk to DoD Infrastructure Initial Vulnerability Assessment Survey" provides stunning evidence of the impact climate change is wreaking on America's military assets. Buildings and coastal bases in the US and around the world have been damaged by massive and repeated flooding, extreme winds have toppled critical electric lines, hurricanes have destroyed piers and pipelines, airfield runways are crumbling into the sea, and wildfires have devastated inland air force bases.

Looking at Trump's Syria Attack through a Different Lens (David Swanson / David Swanson.org & World Beyond War & The American Civil Liberties Union)
Commentary: Imagine some foreign nation sent 100 missiles into Washington D.C. Imagine that for weeks or months prior to this attack, the foreign nation's government and public debated whether to do it. There is no crime larger than war. There is no way to legalize it. The Kellogg-Briand Pact bans it, and the United Nations Charter bans it with narrow exceptions that have not remotely been met by any of the US wars of the past 17 years. A small crime cannot justify a larger one.

We Have No Word for 'Wall': Native Americans on US-Mexico Border Block Trump's Troops (Jorge Rivas / Splinter News & The Tohono O'odham Nation)
There's at least 75 miles of the US-Mexico border where National Guard troops can't go, no matter what President Donald Trump says. The Tohono O'odham Nation says its people have inhabited what is now southern and central Arizona and northern Mexico since "time immemorial -- in other words, way before any borders were put in place.

An Appeal for Earth Day, 2018: To Save the Earth, Curb Militarism! (CODEPINK, Environmentalists Against War, Just World Educational, Traprock Center for Peace & Justice, and World Beyond War)
CODEPINK, Environmentalists Against War, Just World Educational, Traprock Center for Peace & Justice, and World Beyond War, invite citizens and organizations in the US and around the world to express support for the statement that follows. We are hoping to gather as many individual signatures and organizational endorsements as possible between now and Earth Day, April 22.

Syria and the Myth of Ethical Wars (David Swanson and Scott Ritter / Talk Nation Radio & Scott Ritter / The American Conservative)
The bottom line is that the US is threatening to go to war in Syria over allegations of chemical weapons usage without having any factual evidence. Moreover, this rush to judgment on Syrian guilt is being done in a highly politicized environment, coming on the heels of an FBI raid on the offices of the president's personal attorney. In such times, a president is often attracted by the prospect of "looking presidential" -- by ordering a military attack -- to distract attention from personal problems.

Rising Seas Threaten Half of US Bases: Pentagon Warned of Climate Change 52 Years Ago (Sammy Roth / USA TODAY & Dana Nuccitelli / The Guardian)
Military leaders are sounding another alarm about the dangers of climate change, saying in a new report that half of US military sites have already been affected by floods, wildfires, droughts and other weather extremes that are exacerbated by rising global temperatures. It's not like the Pentagon wasn't warned: In 1965, US president Lyndon Johnson's science advisory committee sent him a report predicting climate change that was being triggered by "Carbon Dioxide from Fossil Fuels -- the Invisible Pollutant."

Former Marine Officer Says Troop Suicides Are from Guilt, Not PTSD (Matthew Hoh & RootsAction Education Fund)
In the following video clip from a recent RootsAction Education Fund event, US veteran and whistleblower Matthew Hoh shatters the popular myth that post-traumatic stress disorder is behind the high suicide rates for US veterans.How notes that PTSD has the lowest connection to suicide of any mental health problem, according to the US Veterans Administration. The more likely cause is the moral trauma of killing another human being.

Robert Fisk Reports from Douma: Scant Evidence of Alleged Syria Gas Attack (AntiWar.com & Robert Fisk / The Independent)
"I was with my family in the basement of my home three hundred metres from here on the night but all the doctors know what happened," a doctor in Douma told British reporter Robert FkisL "People began to arrive here suffering from hypoxia, oxygen loss. Then someone at the door, a 'White Helmet', shouted 'Gas!' and a panic began. People started throwing water over each other. Yes, the video was filmed here, it is genuine, but what you see are people suffering from hypoxia -- not gas poisoning."

A Murderous Immoral Criminal Action Depicted as "Law Enforcement" (David Swanson / World BEYOND War & Jack Goldsmith and Oona Hathaway / Just Security)
Commentary: "The use by the United States in recent wars of white phosphorous, napalm, depleted uranium, cluster bombs, and other notorious weapons is no more grounds for some foreign self-appointed global savior to bomb Washington, than any events in Syria are grounds for Trump's latest flaunting of his apparent impunity." There is no apparent domestic or international legal authority for the strikes. A number of legal theories have been floated in recent days. We address them each briefly here.

World War II Bomb Forces Evacuation of 26,000 Residents in Germany (Deutsche Welle )
More than 26,000 people were forced to flee their homes as bomb disposal experts worked to dismantle a massive WWII British bomb in the small German city of Paderborn. The 1.8-ton bomb was discovered in a garden just 80 centimeters below the surface. In some German towns, a average of a half-dozen WWII bombs are still being unearthed -- every year.

Two Tales of Extremism: Inside Antifa and Neo-Nazi 'Tyrone' Exposed as US Marine (Fault Lines / Al Jazeera English & Paul Abowd / Al Jazeera)
"We have very dark, sinister, totalitarian forces that are snuffing out the last vestiges of American democracy. And we better revolt, we better respond." A loosely-knit anti-fascist movement known as Antifa has gained new popularity and scrutiny in the US exists to visit violence on rightwing extremists. At the same time, it has been revealed that a notorious agitator known as Neo-Nazi 'Tyrone' was, in fact, a white-supremacist active-duty US Marine named Michael Joseph Chesny whose speciality was explosives.

New Laws Are Needed to Prevent Illegal Wars of Aggression (David Swanson / David Swanson.org & World Beyond War & The American Civil Liberties Union)
The ACLU has called Trump's attack on Syria "illegal." A violation of constitutional law barring hostile use of force without congressional authorization "and international law forbidding unilateral use of force except in self-defense." In Britain and the US, people are calling for restraints on the willful resort to military violence. How about reviving the Ludlow Amendment? This proposal -- requiring a vote by the public before any branch of government could launch a war -- was blocked by President Franklin Roosevelt.

US Says No Missiles Intercepted: But Videos and Reports from Damascus Suggest Otherwise (The Military Times & AntiWar.com & The News & The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights)
"A perfectly executed strike," Trump tweeted after the Pentagon boasted all of its 105 missiles hit their Syrian targets. But reports from Russian and Syria media suggest 65-71 of the Tomahawk cruise missiles were destroyed by Syria's anti-missile defenses. Amateur videos from Damascus appear to show a number of incoming US missiles intercepted in mid-air. At nearly $2 million-per-missile, Congress might want to investigate how effective these General Dynamics/Raytheon missiles really were.

ACTION ALERT: A Call to Reform US Foreign Policy by Respecting the Constitution and Law (The Action Network & Ray McGovern / Consotrium News & AntiWar.com)
As was the case 15 years ago when the US and UK launched a war of aggression against Iraq, the pretext was so-called "weapons of mass destruction." We need a new foreign policy. With that in mind: Be it resolved that henceforth the US shall reject the role of "policeman of the world" and cease all military and covert intervention in the affairs of foreign countries. US military force shall only be used when absolutely necessary to protect US sovereignty, territory, and vital interests, narrowly defined.

For Third Week in a Row, Israeli Forces Fire Live Ammunition at Unarmed Protesters in Gaza, Injuring Hundreds (teleSUR)
Over half of the 2 million people who live in Gaza are refugees. Gaza has often been called the largest open-air prison because of the decade-long blockade imposed by Israel and enforced both by Israel and Egypt. Despite international condemnation, including warnings by the UN Human Rights Council against the use of lethal force against civilians, who pose no immediate threat to life, Israeli authorities and politicians have praised the army's actions and vowed to continue repressing protesters to "protect" their border.

Trump Attacks Syria without Proof: UN Security Council Rebuffs Russia (Joe Lauria / Consortium News& teleSUR)
Donald Trump ordered airstrikes on Syria as a team of experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons was about to arrive on Saturday to determine whether a chemical weapons attack had even occurred. Meanwhile, Russia's UN Security Council proposal to resolve Friday's military strikes orchestrated by the United States, Britain and France against Syria has been rejected by all but three of the 15-member council.

Who Is the Real Culprit Behind the Chemical Attacks in Syria? (Muhammad Sahimi / AntiWar.com & Ian Wilkie / Newsweek)
A review of credible reports by objective experts and journalists reveals that, prior to 2014, when Syria gave up its arsenal of chemical weapons, it was more likely that anti-Assad terrorist groups used chemical weapons in the war. Rebel forces have repeatedly been identified as the agents behind chemical attacks. And, in February, Secretary of Defense James Mattis admitted that the US still has "no evidence" that the Syrian government used the banned nerve agent Sarin against its own people in 2017.

Criticism of Illegal US Attack on Syria Comes from Britain, Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia (teleSUR)
After questioning the joint US, UK and French airstrikes against Syria, British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said his country needs a war powers act to limit government's control over military interventions. Several Latin American governments, including those in Bolivia, Cuba and Venezuela -- as well as regional leaders and presidents -- condemned the the US, France and Britain for ignoring "the most elementary principles and norms of International Law."

ACTION ALERT: Don't Give Trump a Blank Check to Wage Worldwide War (The American Civil Liberties Union & Jon Queally / Common Dreams)
If you're concerned about President Trump's reckless threats and unlawful firing of missiles in Syria, just imagine what he would do if Congress hands him a license to go to war wherever he wants and against anyone he thinks is an enemy, anywhere in the world. That's exactly what Senator Bob Corker wants to do. A new Authorization for Use of Military Force would grant Trump an unconstitutional blank check for worldwide war.

Without Waiting for an Investigation, Allies Struck Syria before UN Gas Attack Report (Matthew Lee / Associated Press & RT News)
The United States, Britain and France opted to strike Syria for its apparent use of chemical weapons without waiting for a report from UN inspectors because they were convinced that the Assad government had used chlorine and sarin nerve gas against a rebel-held Damascus suburb, American officials said Saturday.

Russia Has "Irrefutable Evidence" UK Staged Syrian Chemical Attack (Tyler Durden / ZeroHedge)
As the blame game over the alleged chemical attack in Syria escalates ahead of what is expected to be an imminent, if contained, air strike campaign by the US, UK and/or France against Syria, on Friday morning, Russia's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow had "irrefutable evidence" that the attack was a hoax, staged with the help of a foreign secret service.

A Round-up of US Attack Reports: Russia Claims 70% of US Missiles Were Intercepted (The Washington Post & Sputnik News & Al-Masdar News & TASS & RT News & The Daily Star)
Russia's Defense Ministry said Washington's missiles did little damage. Of 103 US cruise missiles fired, Russia claims 71 were shot down by Syria's Soviet-made air-defense systems. The intercepted missiles included all 12 of those targeting the Al-Dumayr military airfield. The Defense Ministry claims it has "plenty of evidence" that the alleged April 7 chlorine attack was a provocation staged by pro-Western forces. Syria is asking the UN Security Council to denounce Washington's "naked aggression."

ACTION ALERT: All Out Against War on Sunday, April 15 (Spring Action Against War / UNAC & Win Without War & MoveOn.org)
Trump just bombed Syria. He's got ultra-hawk Bolton egging him on. Demand Congress stop a catastrophic Trump/Bolton war. This strike will only create more destruction, chaos, misery, and death in Syria. The only way to end the terrible war in Syria and bring justice to the victims of war crimes -- is to end the war in Syria. Trump's attack was not authorized by Congress, which means it was 100% unconstitutional. Tell Congress: Hold Trump accountable to the Constitution and halt any further illegal wars.

US, UK, France Attack Syria's Civilian Capital in Violation of International Law (Al Jazeera )
Donald Trump has ordered US military air attacks against targets in Syria, in collaboration with the UK and France. The pre-dawn attacks early on Saturday come in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack in the former rebel stronghold of Douma last weekend. Syrian state TV said air defenses responded to the attack by shooting down several missiles and called the "tripartite aggression . . . a flagrant violation of international law."

Trump's Attack on Syria: A Murderous Immoral Criminal Action (David Swanson / World Beyond War & Prof. Michael Clarke / BBC World News)
As the US and UK governments continue to discuss their potential response to the suspected chemical weapons attack in Douma in Syria, what could military intervention achieve? The critical military virtue of surprise has long since disappeared. Syrian forces have had more than two days to move their aircraft and other military assets. Why take all the risks of escalation with Russia and the prospects of unintended consequences that normally follow? What strategic purpose can be served by this?

Russia Tells UN Security Council It Has 'Clear Evidence' Alleged Gas Attack Was a Staged 'Provocation' (Al Jazeera )
The UN Security Council has held an emergency meeting called by Russia to discuss what it describes as a threat to international peace from potential US military action in Syria. Russia's UN ambassador to the UN said during Friday's session that its specialists found no traces of "toxic substance use" in Douma, a town near Syria's capital Damascus, after a suspected chemical attack hit the area. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said Russia had "clear evidence" that the incident was staged.

The US Now Has 8 Military Bases, 2 Airfields and 7,500 Ground Forces Inside Syria (Jack Detsch / Al-Monitor & BBC World News & Agnes Helou / Defense News)
A military bases race is underway between Russia and the US as each nation seeks to expand its presence in Syria and counter asymmetric threats. For the first time, it has been revealed that 5,508 US-paid contractors are currently working inside Syria helping 2,000 US soldiers build military outposts throughout the country. Unlike Russian troops and contractors, the Americans were never invited into the country.

ACTION ALERT: National Day of Action Against War April 14-15 (The United National Antiwar Coalition)
Trump has tweeted, "Russia get ready," promising a missile attack on Syria. Russia says it will shoot down any missiles -- and target their source. US and Russian ships have moved into the waters off Syria. The world is in grave danger. People around the world are looking to see what we in the US will do. We need to show our unwavering opposition to US war in the streets -- now more than ever. Our Spring Actions against the wars at home and abroad will take place this coming weekend. Please join us.

Trump v. Syria: Taking the World to the Brink (Rick Sterling / Consortium News)
Not content with the destruction of Iraq and Libya based on false claims, Western hawks are now pressing for a direct US attack on Syria. But why is violence being threatened before there is a serious, independent investigation of the chemical incident? If the accusations against Syria are true, why not let it be investigated, especially now that the area was liberated on Monday and safe access can be provided?

A Mediastorm of Unproven Accusations Threatens to Trigger WWIII (Phil Giraldi / The Unz Review & Gar Smith / Environmentalists Against War & Tucker Carlson / Fox News & Ron Paul / The Liberty Report)
Donald Trump turns out to be a pretty good liar, even if he frequently has no idea what he's talking about. But, when it comes to lying about poison plots, the prize has to go to the British. From dodgy allegations of Novichok poisoning in the UK to unconfirmed accusations of chemical attacks in Syria, due process and due diligence has been replaced by partisan warhawks frantically trying to stampede the public by waving false flags.

ACTION ALERT: Trump Has No Authority to Broaden War in Syria (Max Greenwood / The Hill & Roots Action)
Sen. Bernie Sanders has reminded the country that DonaldTrump "has no legal authority" to deepen US military involvement in Syria, and that it is ultimately up to Congress to make that decision. Defend the Constitution: Block Trump's reckless march toward war. Email your House Member and Senators: Demand that Congress immediately cutting off funds for expanding Trump's reckless actions. Alleged Syrian crimes should be investigated and prosecuted, not used as excuses for larger crimes.

Risky Business: The Role of Arms Sales in US Foreign Policy -- Part 1 (A. Trevor Thrall and Caroline Dorminey / The Cato Institute)
US arms sales policy is out of control. Since 2002, the US has sold more than $197 billion worth of major conventional weapons and military support to 167 countries. In a study of arms sales from 1950 to 1995, major-power arms sales to existing allies provided no deterrent effect. Worse, recipients of US arms that were not treaty allies were significantly more likely to become targets.

Risky Business: The Role of Arms Sales in US Foreign Policy -- Part 2 (A. Trevor Thrall and Caroline Dorminey / The Cato Institute)
Though arms sales are of marginal value to national security and the pursuit of national interests, their negative consequences are often severe. Arms sales can spawn unwanted outcomes on three levels: blowback against the US and entanglement in conflicts; regional consequences in the buyer's neighborhood, such as the dispersion of weapons and increased instability; and consequences for the buyer itself, such as increased levels of corruption, human rights abuses, and civil conflict.

Russia, Trump's Critics, Trump's Alt-Right Backers, All Calling Alleged Syrian Gas Attack a Staged "False Flag" Event (Prison Planet & Newsweek & Haaretz )
Russia's EU ambassador has called a chemical attack in Syria a "staged event." Trump's Alt-right supporters have called it a false flag operation -- designed to keep US troops in Syria. Chemical weapons experts Hans Blix, Scott Ritter, Gareth Porter and Theodore Postol all question the "official" US narrative that Assad employed deadly gas. Even Defense Secretary James Mattis now admits the US had "no evidence" Assad used chemical weapons in 2017. But Trump still attacked Syria with 59 Tomahawk missiles.

Mattis Now Admits US Had 'No Evidence' Assad Used Chemical Weapons in 2017 (Ian Wilkie / Newsweek)
Secretary of Defense James Mattis has admitted the US has "no evidence" that the Syrian government used the banned nerve agent Sarin against its own people. This assertion flies in the face of the White House Memorandum that was rapidly written and released to justify the US Tomahawk missile strike against the Shayrat airbase in Syria in 2017. Trump blamed Assad of direct responsibility for Sarin attacks and hinted Russia was complicit. Now Trump threatens another attack without proper evidence.

Questions Arise after Red Crescent Says No Evidence of Chemical Attack in Syria's Douma (AntiWar.com & RT News)
Questions surrounding a reported chemical weapons attack have begun to arise after the Syrian Red Crescent issued a statement dismissing the allegations of a weekend attack in the city of Douma. The statement insisted their medical personnel in the city had found no evidence any such attack took place. Russian medics who also examined patients in Douma also reported that none showed signs of chemical poisoning. Meanwhile the White Helmets have claimed scores killed and over 500 wounded by exposure.

Calls for Investigations after Conflicting Stories Arise around Alleged Syrian Gas Attack (The Syrian Arab News Agency & Reuters & South China Morning Post)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an international and impartial investigation in the alleged use of chemical weapons in Douma city emphasizing that the seriousness of the new allegations requires "thorough investigation using impartial, independent, and professional expertise." Meanwhile, in the UN Security Council, the US and Russia vetoed competing drafts calling for an investigation into whether the alleged chemical weapons attack actually occurred and, if so, who was responsible.

China Warns against Military Action in Syria As Threat of US Strikes Puts Everyone on High Alert (Associated Press & Agence France-Presse & Reuters & South China Morning Post)
With Saturday's suspected poison gas attack in the rebel-held town of Douma and Monday's air strike by US ally Israel on a base where several Iranians were killed have escalated tensions in the already volatile Middle East. Beijing has called for calm in Syria as government forces and their Russian allies remain on alert amid fears of a US strike after an alleged chemical weapons attack. The danger is that further unwarranted military escalation could lead to a wider war between the US and Russia.

Nicaragua Reminds the US of its Debts (Chuck Kauffman / NicaNotes)
Passage by the US House Foreign Affairs Committee of the NICA Act brought a rebuff by the Sandinista government of President Daniel Ortega and a reminder of the US's own unpaid debt to Nicaragua. The US owes Nicaragua an estimated $17 billion -- plus 31 years of interest -- for its illegal Contra War to overthrow the Sandinista government in the 1980s under Ronald Reagan and continued under George H. W. Bush. Read the Nicaraguan government's response to the congressional committee's action.

Wars 'R' Us: Rethinking Weapons Exports (Kristin Christman / Times-Union)
How do we treat opponents? In strong democracies, we engage them in cooperative dialogue. In weaker democracies, we exclude and overpower them. If we're undemocratic, we might kill them. So why has the United States, democracy's alleged leader, become the world's largest weapons exporter?

War and Gender: It's Mostly Men Who Are Violent Extremists (Michael Kimmel / Guardian UK)
According to an ever-growing number of young men in Europe, the United States and across the Muslim world, we are at the beginning of a war. And no one knows how it will end. The fact is that virtually all of those mobilizing on all sides of this growing clash are young men -- whether right-wing extremists, anti-immigrant zealots, anti-Muslim skinheads and neo-Nazis or young Muslims readying for jihad.

Economic Sanctions and Blockades: Tools of Regime Change (Chuck Kaufman / NicaNotes @ Alliance for Global Justice)
The US Office of Foreign Asset Control (the agency that enforces the US economic blockade of Cuba) has informed the Nicaragua business and banking communities that sanctions against Venezuela and the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, will now apply to Albanisa in Nicaragua as well. Let's be clear about one thing: unilateral sanctions are illegal under international law so Trump's sanctions against Venezuela -- and those of President Obama before him -- are illegal, just as is the US embargo of Cuba.

Selling Our Vets to the Highest Bidder: What Do the Koch Brothers Want? (Senator Bernie Sanders)
Commentary: "I believe the major issue not being discussed by the corporate media is the power of the Koch brothers and the movement in this country toward oligarchy -- a nation where our economic and political life is increasingly controlled by a handful of billionaires. Seen any good programs about that lately on CBS, NBC, ABC or anywhere else? I haven't."

Climate Change Has Become A Major Threat to Global Wildlife (Chelsea Harvey / E&E News & Scientific American & Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services / Science Daily)
Biodiversity -- the essential variety of life forms on Earth -- continues to decline in every region of the world, significantly reducing nature's capacity to contribute to people's well-being. This alarming trend endangers economies, livelihoods, food security and the quality of life of people everywhere, according to four landmark science reports written by more than 550 leading experts, from over 100 countries.

The Chemical Attack in Syria: No Doubt It's a War Crime: But Is It Also a (Al Jazeera & Associated Press & RT News)
A chemical attack in Douma produced symptoms of a chlorine attack. Russia's military has rejected claims that Syrian government forces used chemical weapons in an attack on the rebel-held town. A Russian general said "a number of Western countries" are trying to prevent the resumption of an operation to remove Army of Islam fighters from Douma and "to this end they are using the West's pet theme of the use of chemical weapons by Syrian forces."

Timeline of Syrian Chemical Weapons Activity, 2012-2018 (The Arms Control Association)
In July 2012, Syria acknowledged that it possesses chemical weapons, including mustard gas, blister agents, and nerve agents such as sarin and VX. On October 31, 2013, however, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons confirmed that Syria had destroyed or rendered inoperable, all of its declared facilities for mixing and producing chemical weapons. Below is a timeline of significant events related to Syria's chemical weapons program from July 2012 to the present.

ACTION ALERT: Should the Army Subsidize High-school Soldiering? (The Economist & Ilana Novick / AlterNet)
When 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz was arrested for a mass-shooting at his former school, he was wearing a polo shirt emblazoned with the JROTC crest. In 2016, Cruz's unit received $10,827 from the NRA. Pat Elder is the director of the National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy, a group that fights militarism in education. Recently, Elder taught his usual GED class at Great Hills High School in Maryland and woke the next morning to the news that his building had been the site of the latest US school shooting.

Nearly 200 Environmental Activists Were Murdered in 2017. In 2018, the Killing Continues (The Guardian UK & Global Witness)
Over the past year, in collaboration with Global Witness, the Guardian has attempt to record the deaths of all these people, whether they be wildlife rangers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or indigenous land rights activists in Brazil. At this current rate, chances are that four environmental defenders will be killed this week somewhere on the planet.

Israeli Forces Kill More Gaza Protesters at April 6 Demonstrations (AntiWar.com & The New York Times & Al Jazeera)
A week after Gaza's Land Day protests, tens of thousands of demonstrators showed up at the Gaza border for the "day of tires," where protesters burned tires near the border fence. As with the previous week, Israeli forces positioned and the border opened fire on protesters, killing several.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Weapons Investors: "Stop Gun Violence" (Sen. Elizabeth Warren / CREDO Action & The Brady Campaign & The Nation)
Big Wall Street investors have been profiting off of gun violence in America for far too long. Nine major Wall Street institutions, including heavy hitters like the massive wealth management fund BlackRock, are massive shareholders in the most prominent weapons makers. "Stop profiting from the gun violence epidemic and instead use your power as major shareholders in Smith & Wesson; Sturm, Ruger & Company; and Vista Outdoors to pressure these companies to take concrete steps against gun violence."

Why the Google Protest of War Work Is Wonderful (David Swanson /David Swanson.org)
Commentary: "The fact that 3,100 Google employees signed a letter opposing Google doing work for the US military is wonderful for what it reveals. It does not reveal that any significant number of people exist who can name every current US war or who want them ended or who believe that war should be banned or who know that it long since has been or who recognize the normalization of militarism as the gravest danger the world faces. But it sure is an amazing and stunning step in that direction."

Russia Warns Against US Military Exercises Aimed at North Korea (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Julian Ryall / Deutsche Welle )
Russia's Foreign Ministry has called on the United States to immediately halt all military activity on the Korean Peninsula. Russia officials say the spring joint operations (always a source of tension on the peninsula) are "not helping" in ongoing efforts to try to reduce military tensions in the region. North Korea has remained unusually silent as US-South Korea military drills begin. Does the North's softer tone indicate it is ready to enter negotiations over its nuclear weapons?

An Intelligence Insider Sends a Warning about John Bolton (Ray McGovern / Consortium News)
There is less than a week left to batten down the hatches before Bolton makes US foreign policy worse that it already is. Bolton fits seamlessly into a group of take-no-prisoners zealots once widely known in Washington circles as "the crazies," and now more commonly referred to as "neocons." During his time in the GWB administration, Bolton ran circles around -- and bullied -- secretary of state Colin Powell and many others. Bear in mind, Bolton still says the attack on Iraq was a good idea.

A US Soldier Reconsiders His Service: "Are We Who We Thought We Were?" (Maj. Danny Sjursen / AntiWar.com & TruthDig.com)
Commentary: We, the soldiers and the American citizenry, were told to kick ass, take vengeance, and, in the process, to bring democracy, gender equality, and basic modernity to Kabul and Kandahar. In reality, counter-terror quickly morphed into armed nation-building. The US military backed venal warlords and an increasing illegitimate, corrupt central government run by the Karzai-clique and a slew of drug lords.

The Space Race the Pentagon Doesn't Want (Mark Thompson / Center for Defense Information)
The Pentagon and its allies on Capitol Hill are intent on pumping money into space weapons to keep an American edge up there. Unfortunately, it's a quest as fruitless as preserving the US nuclear monopoly following World War II. (That lasted four years). Nonetheless, Donald Trump impetuously re-launched the notion of Space Wars back into orbit March 13 when he suggested the creation of a Space Force armed with "space-based lasers."

Why Is the Pentagon Using Taxpayer Money to Train Young Americans to Shoot Deadly Weapons of War? (Greta Zarro / Common Dreams)
The culture of war is pervasive in our society, through military-funded Hollywood films and video games, the militarization of the police, and JROTC and ROTC programs in our schools. Perhaps what's key above all, however, is that JROTC, and US militarism as a whole, is embedded in our sociocultural framework as Americans. So much so that to question it is to cast doubt on one's patriotic allegiance to this nation.

New Zealand General Resigns Following Journalists' Claims of War Crime Cover-up in Afghanistan (Martyn Bradbury / The Daily Blog & New Zealand Herald)
Commentary: Our New Zealand media have a sorry history of being played like propaganda sock puppets by the NZDF. Now that we have full and undisputed evidence that the NZDF lied again where is the wall-to-wall media focus demanding accountability? In 2017, NZ troops killed and wounded 21 Afghan civilians -- mainly women and children -- burned down their village, and lied to cover up the crime. A new book, "Hit and Run," reveals the NZ troops operated out of a CIA compound called "Camp Kiwi."

Russia Demands an Independent Investigation of UK Chemical Poisoning Attack (Agence France-Presse & The Guardian)
Russia has attempted to discredit Britain's reputation at the UN after a series of blunders by the British Foreign Office led to accusations that the UK overstated its case that Russia was behind the nerve agent attack on former spy Sergei Scribal. Although the carefully crafted international alliance backing the UK has survived Russian pressure, ministers were forced to backtrack from the foreign secretary's claim that the UK's chemical weapons watchdogs had proof Russia was behind the attack. They didn't.

Google Workers and Scholars Refuse to Work on Pentagon's War Projects (Google Employees / The New York Times & Julia Conley / Common Dreams & Researchers for Peace)
Commentary: In a public letter to Google's CEO, the firms workers declared: "We believe that Google should not be in the business of war. Therefore we ask that ... Google draft, publicize and enforce a clear policy stating that neither Google nor its contractors will ever build warfare technology." Meantime, more than 50 artificial intelligence experts from nearly 30 countries have announced a boycott of a South Korean university whose new defense partnership could lead to the development of "killer robots."

Australia Is Making a Killing Off Killing by Selling to Saudis (The Juice Media & Michael Brull / The New Matilda)
As the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen spirals out of control -- in part a consequence of Australia's support for a Saudi-led siege on the country -- it is worth cataloguing the government's lies about why it won't disclose military exports to Saudi Arabia. Fortunately, the "Australian" Government has just released an ad that explains its plan to become one of world's top exporters of arms -- and it's surprisingly honest and informative.

Make Peace Great Again! Rally Against NATO in July (No to NATO.org)
As the world becomes more dangerous by the day, the need for action for peace has never been more vital. With militarism on the rise, the need for a global people's alternative -- of justice, sustainability and peace -- has never been more urgent.

ACTION ALERT: Trump Rolls Back Wilderness Protections (Rhea Suh / Natural Resources Defense Council)
The Trump administration is fast-tracking a sham planning process for our illegally redrawn national monuments. Speak up now to stop this latest attack on Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante.

Lawmakers Are Trying to Criminalize Pipeline Protesters for "Conspiracy" (Justine Calma / Grist & Steve Hardy / The Advocate & Nikhil Swaminathan / Grist)
Efforts to prosecute environmental activists with felony or eco-terrorism charges have intensified since Standing Rock. Those tensions are coming to a head in Louisiana and Minnesota, where newly introduced bills seek to make it a felony to plan to trespass, damage, or disrupt pipeline operations -- even if the individuals didn't physically participate or go through with the action.

Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence (Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.)
The war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit. The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

Trump Orders Military to Guard the Border and Taxpayers Will Pay for It (Bill Colvin and Lolita C. Baldor / Associated Press & Daniella Diaz and Veronica Stracqualursi / CNN)
Frustrated by his failure to deliver on a major campaign promise, Trump has declared he wants to use the military to secure the US-Mexico border until his border wall is built. But federal law prohibits the use of active-duty service members for law enforcement inside the US, unless specifically authorized by Congress. Trump has privately floated the idea of funding construction of a border wall with Mexico through the US military budget but Sen. Dick Durbin says Trump has no legal authority to do that, either.

ACTION ALERT: ICE Accused of Humanitarian Crimes Targeting Detainees (Isra Ibrahim / MPower Change & Josh Marcus / The Intercept)
Emboldened by an openly bigoted White House, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have been ramping up their abusive behavior targeting Black and brown communities. One of the most egregious cases involves 92 Somali migrants on a botched deportation flight -- who endured barbaric treatment at the hands of ICE agents, including being beaten and shackled for 40 hours.

ACTON ALERT: No Dow Chemical Shills at EPA; Remove Scott Pruitt from EPA (CREDO Action & Bess Levin / The Atlantic & Alexander C. Kaufman / The Huffington Post)
Once again, Donald Trump's contempt for the environment is on full display with his recent nomination of Peter Wright, a lawyer for Dow Chemical and a former Monsanto employee, to head up the EPA office that oversees chemical spills at Superfund sites. Dow Chemical is eager to profit from sales of a toxic chemical "originally derived from a nerve gas developed by Nazi Germany." Meanwhile, Trump's EPA chief Scott Pruitt faces mounting pressure to resign amid ballooning scandals.

Washington: Selling Arms as if There Were No Tomorrow (Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & William D. Hartung / TomDispatch)
Commentary: The US been the world's top arms exporting nation over the past 100 years. In 2017 it sold one and a half times as much weaponry as its closest rival, Russia. Barack Obama made more arms offers in his two terms in office than any US president since World War II, including an astounding $115 billion in weapons deals with Saudi Arabia. Trump's arms sales are meant to promote pork-barrel politics, while pumping up the profits of US weapons manufacturers. As for human rights or human lives, who cares?

The Candlelight Revolution Offers Hope for Peace (Joseph Essertier / World Beyond War)
Commentary: Not only Koreans who live in Japan but also many Japanese -- far more than one would think after watching a few hours of TV programs about North Korea -- are yearning for an end to the Korean War. Peace is popular! Our global candlelight solidarity action in Nagoya demonstrated that.

Still No Conclusive Proof in Russian Poison Case: Why the Rush to Judgment? (David Morrison / Open Democracy)
There is no conclusive evidence that the nerve agent used in the attempted assassinations of Sergei and Yulia Skripal originated in Russia. One could for forgiven for thinking that those who ordered the killing may have been opponents of President Putin. In fact, Russia destroyed its nerve agents under an international treaty. The US is now the only state party to the Convention that still hasn't fulfilled that requirement. Among the few countries that still possess the Novichok poison: Britain, Israel and the US.

Trump Friendly Media Giant Set to Control 75% of US New Broadcasts (The New York Times & PBS Newshour & John Oliver & Courage Campaign)
The country's largest local broadcast group is under fire for requiring local news anchors in dozens of markets to read an identical promo ad script, criticizing "false news" and "fake stories." Sinclair Broadcast Group,which owns or operates 193 US television stations, is seeking to buy Tribune Media, a $3.9 billion deal that's being held up by regulators over antitrust concerns. Sinclair creates singular, politicized content that local stations are then forced to air in lieu of local coverage.

Palestinians Hold Day of Mourning After 773 'Shot With Live Ammunition' (Hazem Balousha and Oliver Holmes / The Guardian & The Associated Press)
Gaza hospitals, running low on blood owing to the huge number of wounded, were reeling after one of Gaza's bloodiest days after Israeli soldiers shot 773 people with live ammunition, according to the ministry of health. Tens of thousands of people, including women and children, had planned to camp several hundred meters from the frontier for a peaceful, six-week protest. But groups of mostly young men approached the frontier and started throwing stones and burning tyres. Soldiers responded by opening fire.

By Design or Default, the Democrats Are a Pro-War Party (Daniel Wirls / San Francisco Chronicle)
By completing the $1.3 trillion spending bill for 2018, the Republican Congress and the president took the first big step in implementing their highest priority: a huge increase in the Pentagon budget. The US has embarked -- with hardly a pause after 16 years of costly and counterproductive wars -- on another binge of military spending. This victory for the military-industrial complex would not have been possible without the compliance and support of the Democratic Party.

ACTION ALERT: A Petition to Hold Trump to His Promise to Order US Troops Out of Syria (David Swanson / David Swanson.org & World Beyond War)
Commentary: We demand that you actually follow through on getting the US military out of Syria, including the skies above Syria. We insist that, for a small fraction of the cost of continuing the war making, the United States instead provide massive humanitarian aid and assistance.

ACTION ALERT: A Call to Congress: Divest from Guns and War (CODEPINK & Sen. Elizabeth Warren / CREDO Action & The Brady Campaign & The Nation)
As we enter the Spring season, we need to tell Congress it's time for them to do their part and commit to "No Money for Weapons Manufacturers and the NRA." Congress is home for Spring break, so grab your gear and show up at a town hall or public hearing in your community.

Israeli Snipers Murder 17 Protesters at Gaza Border during Massive Land Day Demonstration (Juan Cole / Informed Comment & Ma'an News Agency)
Commentary: The Israeli army indiscriminately opened fire on the protesters with live ammunition, killing at least 17 and wounding dozens (perhaps hundreds). Hundreds were also sickened by military-grade tear gas. There is no reason to think that the Israeli troops were in danger or received deadly fire themselves. There was rock throwing toward the fence that imprisons the Palestinians. This was more like a US police shooting of an innocent, unarmed victim.

The Bolton Appointment: How Scared Should We Be? (Daniel Lazare / Consortium News)
Donald Trump's appointment of war hawk John Bolton is a cause for concern, Daniel Lazare writes, but what is perhaps an even bigger concern is that both major US political parties are dominated by war hawks.

Burlington Vermont Votes to Block F-35 Fighter Jets (The Burlington Peace and Justice Center)
Burlington's City Council voted 9-3 to block USAF plans to base F-35 fighter jets at Burlington's International Airport. The vote came three weeks after the voters approved a citizen initiative to cancel the planned F-35 basing. Noise from the F-35 can damage hearing, children's cognitive abilities, and trigger heart attacks in adults. Nearly 3,000 local homes would become unlivable do to the increased noise. Meanwhile, the F-35 drains $1.4 trillion from health care, education, affordable housing, and infrastructure.

Murder and Racial Bias: How the NYT Offers Excuses for White Killers (CREDO Action & Dana Liebelson / The Huffington Post & The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence & Timothy Johnson / Media Matters)
White extremist violence has been on the rise since Donald Trump took office, and his racist administration is refusing to do anything about it. By humanizing white killers, The New York Times is using its platform and credibility to reinforce the racism that is both driving this crisis and sweeping it under the rug. This needs to stop now. Tell the Times to "stop humanizing violent white extremists, defaming Black people murdered by police and perpetuating anti-Muslim bias."

Revealing the Pentagon's Unaddressed Burn Pit Perils (Perry Chiaramonte / Fox News Investigative Unit Exclusive)
Fox News has discovered pits as large as football fields existed next to a number of military bases during the Iraq War; makeshift junkyards, many ignited by jet fuel, left to smolder 24 hours a day. More than 130,000 vets have reported exposure; Will Carr reports from Los Angeles.

From Venezuela to Ghana, a Call for Activists to Confront and Reject US Warmongering (Ajamu Baraka / Black Alliance for Peace & Seth Kwame Awuku, Esq. / MyJoyOnline)
Commentary: We need an independent movement to address both the economic needs of poor and working people and the escalating attacks on the Black community, immigrants, women, unions, the LGBTQ community, refugees, Muslims, the physically and mentally challenged, youth, students, the elderly, Mother Earth -- all of us.

Palestinian Reality Tour Stuns Americans: Palestine Signs Nuclear Abolition Pact (Phillip Weiss / Mondoweiss & The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)
On a March night in Brooklyn, two activists from the International Solidarity Movement described their work in Palestine to 70 people crowded into the Commons Cafe. Their tour will continue to many other venues across Canada and the US. The plain-speaking tour is noteworthy because it conveys, in the most unrhetorical manner, some small portion of the immense trauma that Palestinians are experiencing. Yet, despite its troubles, Palestine recently became the 6th state to ratify the UN Atomic Weapons Ban.

'Hostiles' and Hollywood's Untold Story (Jada Thacker / Consortium News)
Commentary: A movie poster for the recent Western "Hostiles," depicts a Frontier widow, a hardboiled Indian fighter, and an Indian chief. It is a perfect example of a genre that consistently ignores the essential themes of the American Frontier. Every American today who rages at corrupt and incompetent government, who counts out their pennies for rent or mortgage, or who despairs of the growth-driven, mechanized rape of the landscape can thank the American Frontier experience for their trouble.

The Bolton Appointment: How Scared Should We Be? (Daniel Lazare / Consortium News)
Donald Trump's appointment of war hawk John Bolton is a cause for concern, Daniel Lazare writes, but what is perhaps an even bigger concern is that both major US political parties are dominated by war hawks.

The Bolton Appointment: How Scared Should We Be? (Daniel Lazare / Consortium News)
Donald Trump's appointment of war hawk John Bolton is a cause for concern, Daniel Lazare writes, but what is perhaps an even bigger concern is that both major US political parties are dominated by war hawks.

ACTION ALERT: Do Whatever It Takes: Say No to Bigotry and Torture; Oppose Pompeo and Haspel (MPower / Muslim Grassroots Movement & Brett Samuels / The Hill & Democracy Now!)
Trump's attempts to appoint Mike Pompeo and Gina Haspel to his cabinet are an affront to human rights and basic decency. Trump wants to make Mike Pompeo -- a shameless anti-Muslim bigot -- our Secretary of State and replace him as CIA Director with Gina Haspel, a seasoned torturer. But Senators are preparing for hearings -- and at least two Republicans have already voiced their clear opposition. A public opposed to hatred and brutality can block these appointment, if we contact our Senators ASAP.

Leaked Memo: EPA Shows Workers How To Downplay Climate Change (Alexander C. Kaufman / The Huffington Post)
The Environmental Protection Agency has sent employees a list of eight approved "talking points" on climate change from its Office of Public Affairs -- guidelines that promote a message of uncertainty about climate science and gloss over proposed cuts to key adaptation programs. The talking points boil down to the sort of climate misinformation that Trump-appointee EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has long trumpeted.

How the Military Banned Waterboarding of Trainees -- And Kept Quiet About It (Jessica Schulberg / The Huffington Post)
Torture apologists cite the military's use of waterboarding trainees in defense of Gina Haspel, Trump's nominee for CIA director. One problem: The military stopped that training in 2007. For years, the military used waterboarding, a centuries-old torture technique, to train US troops to resist interrogation if captured. Torture apologists have long cited this fact in defense of the CIA's use of torture. One problem: The military stopped that training in 2007, ruling it to be too brutal.

Weapons 'R' US: Arming Dictators for Pride and Profit (William D. Hartung / Defense One)
Last week, as the Senate was debating whether to end US support for Saudi Arabia's brutal war in Yemen, Donald Trump was meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, engaging in one of his favorite activities -- bragging about the US jobs generated by foreign arms deals. If Trump's presentation sparks a debate about the role of jobs in US arms sales policy, it may actually do some good. The bottom line is that creating US jobs should play no role in deciding which countries to lavish with US weaponry.

US Drones Continue Killing Yemen's Children in US-backed Saudi War (Shuaib Almosawa and Maryam Saleh / The Intercept)
On March 5, 13-year-old Amer Ali al-Saqra Huraidan and his cousin were on their way home from visiting relatives in al-Hudhi, a small town in the eastern Yemeni province of Hadramout. As they drove along a desert highway around 4 p.m. local time, a US drone circled overhead. Somewhere thousands of miles away, the drone operator launched a strike.

Militarized Media: A Steady Diet of War Hawks, Spies and Liars (Jeff Cohen / TruthDig & Norman Solomon / TruthDig)
When the "War on Terror" was launched in 2001, mainstream media started a parade -- a narrow parade of hawkish retired military and intelligence brass promoting war as the response to the crime of 9/11, predicting success and identifying foreign enemies to attack. It's now the 15th anniversary of the tragic invasion of Iraq. Just as they did in the lead-up to the Iraq invasion, MSNBC and CNN now serve up a steady parade of war-hawks, spies and liars, presenting them as credible and almost heroic.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Pompeo to Block Bolton (CODEPINK & The Times of Israel & Mitchell Plitnick / Right Web)
Commentary: John Bolton's appointment doesn't require Senate confirmation. We can send a message by stopping Mike Pompeo, Trumps choice as Secretary of State. The brazen nature of Bolton's appointment was underscored by the fact that it came the same day that news broke of Bolton having recorded a video for a Russian gun group in 2013.

Trump's FEMA Fumbles its Mission as US Banks Fund Climate Change (Democratic Climate Action / Democratic Governors Association & Rainforest Action Network)
Under the thumb of Donald Trump, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's new strategic plan to handle natural weather disasters completely omits any mention of climate change. Meanwhile, in an annual joint-report on banking support for fossil fuels, BankTrack, Honor the Earth, Indigenous Environmental Network, Oil Change International, Rainforest Action Network, and the Sierra Club demand that banks end financing for extreme fossil fuels and all expansion of the fossil fuel industry.

The Neocons Are Back -- With a Big War Budget and Big War Plans (Ron Paul / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity & Patrick J. Buchanan / AntiWar.com)
Commentary: "Trump signed the omnibus spending bill for 2018. The $1.3 trillion bill was so monstrous that it would have made the biggest spender in the Obama Administration blush. This is why I often say: forget about needing a third political party -- we need a second political party! Trump is admitting that to fuel the warfare state and enrich the military-industrial complex, it was necessary to dump endless tax dollars into the welfare state."

The Novichok Incident: Growing Concerns Russia Is Being Falsely Accused to Provoke a Western Power Play (CNN & Chris Kanthan / NationofChange & Ron Paul / The Liberty Report & Executive Intelligence Review & Craig Murray / Strategic Culture & Patreon.com)
If you're Sherlock Holmes and you go through all the facts and possibilities, would you still conclude that Putin's agents were behind the UK chemical attack? Fact: There is no evidence that Russia retains an active Novichok capability -- unlike the US, Britain and Israel. The fact the UK chose to shut down all avenues of inquiry -- and to falsely claim that the "only possibility" is for all roads to lead to Russia -- demonstrates that we are almost certainly in the midst of a concerted state propaganda operation.

Army Document: US Plan to 'Dethrone' Putin for Oil Risks WWIII (Nafeez Ahmed / Medium.com & Insurge Intelligence)
The overwhelming chorus from traditional reporting on Russia, presents the United States as being under threat from fanatical Russian expansionism. Meanwhile, Russia sees the US as a meddling, global aggressor. Now, a candid US Army document concedes the real interests driving US military strategy toward Russia. The goal is to "dethrone" Putin in order to dominate oil pipeline routes, access the vast natural resources of Central Asia, and enforce the expansion of American capitalism worldwide.

5 Steps to Stop Trump from Blowing up the World by the End of May (Helena Cobban / Just World Education Blogpost)
Commentary: "You have to believe the world is in trouble when a Defense Secretary hailed by Pres. Trump (and many others) as "Mad Dog Mattis" now looks as if he will be the most moderate high-level person in Washington's national-security team. By the decisions he's made over the past two weeks, to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Mike Pompeo, and National Security Council advisor H.R. McMaster with John Bolton, Trump is now veering into full 'Dr. Strangelove' mode."

The New Breed: Voices from the March for Our Lives (Alison Letterman & Emma Gonzales et al.)
Commentary: Tears rain down her face but she doesn't stop shouting she doesn't apologize she keeps calling them out, all of them all of us who didn't do enough to stop this thing. And: young voices from the Washington, DC March for Our Lives.

Why the Shooting Will Continue and How to Address Gun Violence (Margaret Kimberley / Black Agenda Report & Bruce Lesnick / Socialist Action)
There is nothing worse in America than the act of shooting white people. Ever since the latest attack at a Florida high school there has been talk of little else. The school shooting enveloped every other issue and was used to vilify Russia, the FBI, Bernie Sanders and the National Rifle Association all at once. America has a unique history with firearms. The settler colonial state enshrined gun ownership into the constitution because of a determination to maintain chattel slavery and the violent enforcement, which had to go with it.

Bolton "Is a War Ciminal": His Appointment Risks Nuclear War (Juan Cole / Informed Comment & Ian Williams and Helena Cobban / Just World Educational & Gareth Porter / The American Conservative & Democracy Now!)
John Bolton helped lie our country into an illegal war of aggression that killed several hundred thousand Iraqis, wounded over a million, and displaced 4 million from their homes, helped deliver Baghdad into the hands of Iran, and helped create ISIL, which blew up Paris. In a just world, Bolton would be on trial at the Hague for war crimes. Instead, he has been promoted into a position to do to Iran what he did to Iraq.

The Saudi-Trump War on Yemen (Juan Cole / Informed Comment & Medea Benjamin / Voices for Creative Nonviolence & UNAC)
Three years ago this month, the then 29-year-old Minister of Defense of Saudi Arabia (now its crown prince) launched a ruinous war on Yemen. When the Saudis tried to spread their intolerant form of Wahhabism among Zaydi Shiites, it produced a backlash in the form of the Houthi resistance. But don't get sucked into the media hype surrounding Mohammad bin Salman's US tour -- he is really a brutal bully responsible for bombing and starving Yemeni civilians and he's also gunning for a war with Iran.

Facebook Has Been Weaponized and We're All Targets: Including Emma Gonzales (Douglas Rushkoff / The Los Angeles Times & Virginia Heffernan / The Los Angeles Times & Tanya Edwards /Yahoo Lifestyle & Chas Danner / New York Magazine)
A powerful tool of human connection and social action has been transformed by profit-seeking opportunists and social engineering clients into a tool for monitoring -- and manipulating -- individual behavior and crowd responses. We now know that Facebook has been used to foment political violence in order to influence foreign elections and has been used to inflame partisan anger inside the US. In a recent case, NRA supporters have circulated a faked video designed to show an anti-gun activist tearing the Constitution.

The Smoking Gun Behind Gun Violence in the US (Op-ed / Anakbayan-USA)
Commentary: The Philippines are currently under assault by armed "anti-drug" attacks orchestrated by the government. Members of the Anakbayan movement are all-too-familiar with state-sponsored gun violence. They write: "By exposing the smoking gun behind gun violence in the US, we hope to contribute not only to the youth and student movement for justice, but, more importantly, to the mass movement to disarm imperialism and the violence it unleashes on exploited and oppressed peoples all over the world."

US Militarists Double Down As the American Empire Declines (Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers / Popular Resistance Newsletter)
US empire is in decline. Reports of the end of the US being the unitary power in world affairs are common. China surpassed the US as the world economic leader, according to Purchasing Power Parity Gross National Product, and Russia has announced new weapons that can overcome the US' defense systems. In response, The US plans to do more of what has been causing the decline -- more money for weapons and war, more aggression abroad and more internal surveillance at home.

Scientists Warn: The Destruction of Nature Is as Dangerous as Climate Change (Jonathan Watts / The Guardian UK)
Unsustainable exploitation of the natural world threatens food and water security of billions of people, major UN-backed biodiversity study reveals. Among the standout findings are that exploitable fisheries in the world's most populous region -- the Asia-Pacific -- are on course to decline to zero by 2048; that freshwater availability in the Americas has halved since the 1950s and that 42% of land species in Europe have declined in the past decade.

Insiders Admit Trump's Defense Budget Is (Lawrence J. Korb / Center for American Progress)
As part of the recent deal to keep the government open, Congress agreed to increase the FY 2018 defense budget to $700 billion -- an increase of $108 billion, or 18 percent, above the proposed 2017 budget -- and the FY 2019 budget to $716 billion. This means that since Trump took office, the defense budget will have grown by $133 billion, or 23 percent. But current and former generals insist the Pentagon is not suffering from a lack of funds and that such claims are "overblown."

Why America Needs War: From Bush to Trump (Dr. Jacques R. Pauwels / Indy Media Belgium and Global Research )
Commentary: The Pentagon is always ready to pay huge sums without asking difficult questions. As had been the case during the Second World War, it was again primarily the large corporations who were allowed to fill the orders. A "peace dividend" was of no interest whatsoever to the nation's wealthy elite, because the provision of social services by the state does not yield profits for entrepreneurs and corporations, and certainly not the lofty kind of profits generated by military state expenditures.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Pompeo; Block Bolton; Disarm Trump's War Cabinet (David Swanson / World Beyond War & Win Without War & Red to Blue CA)
Commentary: Trump just named a disgraced warmonger as his National Security Advisor. John Bolton helped engineer the Iraq War, can't wait to attack North Korea, and is obsessed with bombing Iran. And one thing just got really, really clear: Trump is building a war cabinet.

Chomsky on Next Middle East War: "It Will Be The Worst Yet" (Farina Pajooh interviews Noam Chomsky / Lobelog)
Chomsky: Trump is trying everything that he can to destroy the Iran nuclear accords. Nonetheless, Trump has "a very good chance" of winning re-election. "His popular base is fanatic. They are just dedicated to him. He could be God, as far as they are concerned. A lot of them are evangelical Christians. The secular state doesn't mean anything to them. They are working for Jesus, and Jesus says support Trump."

Saudi War Criminals Win $3.5 Billion Discount From Trump's Pentagon (Anthony Capaccio / Bloomberg)
Donald Trump hails the Saudis as a "big purchaser" of American arms. A $3.5 billion discount they won from the Pentagon last year in buying an anti-missile system for $15 billion shows they're also adept at tapping into the Pentagon's generosity. Trump didn't mention the discount granted last April on the THAAD system from Lockheed Martin Corp. It came in the form of two waivers from a US law requiring foreign purchasers of American weapons to pay part of the Defense Department's costs in developing them.

ACTION ALERT: Warhawks in the White House: Bolton Wants War with Korea (Hon. Tulsi Gabbard / US House of Representatives & Jon Soltz / VotVets.org & Daniel Larison / The American Conservative)
Two neocon warhawks have been chosen by Donald Trump to fill key cabinet positions. CIA Director Mike Pompeo was selected to replace Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. Now, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster is out and former UN Ambassador and unapologetic Iraq War champion John Bolton is in. Bolton defends preventive war against North Korea. But f the US strikes North Korea first under Bolton's dangerous rationale, our government would be committing an act of aggression -- pure and simple.

The Fight to Save the EPA & the Struggle to Block Arctic Drilling (John R. Platt / The Revalator & NationOfChange & Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch )
Saving the EPA could be a tough task considering the recent actions by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, which include rolling back regulations for clean air and water, recommending the repeal of the Clean Power Plan, removing climate change from official policies (and from EPA web pages), and extending the use of toxic pesticides. But direct action by Greenpeace/Norway "kayaktivists" has halted drilling for oil in the waters of the Arctic.

Why Does Washington's Imperialist War-making Continue? (Helena Cobban / Just World News)
It was 15 years ago this week that George W. Bush unleashed his war on Iraq. In the months leading up to March 19, 2003, I was proud to take part in several of the broad and spirited antiwar demonstrations and other actions that took place all around the United States and the world. But we failed to stop Bush from launching his illegal war.

15 Years after the "Shock and Awe" Bombing of Baghdad (Gar Smith / Earth Island Journal & AlterNet & Maureen Dowd / The New York Times)
As bad as the attack on Baghdad was, it was supposed to be much worse. According to documents discovered and cited in the following story (which was published only days before the US invasion), the original missile attack was supposed to have been 20 times more destructive and deadly. Someone apparently decided not to follow the original "Shock and Awe" game-plan. I don't have proof, but I like to think that the following article had something to do with the outcome.

Trump's Threat of Nuclear War With North Korea Is Making a Fortune for 10 US Companies (Cristina Maza / Newsweek & Mark Sullivan / Fast Company)
As President Donald Trump threatens to launch a nuclear war with North Korea, a small handful of private companies is benefiting from the heightened threat. A new report from ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons) and PAX is calling out the 20 biggest nuclear-weapons financiers, underscoring the degree to which banks and contractors have been quietly funding the recent resurgence in the global arms race. Disturbingly, investment in nuclear weapons increased by $81 billion in 2017.

The GI Resistance Continues: Vietnam Vets Return to My Lai, Where US Slaughtered 500 Civilians (Amy Goodman / Democracy Now! & The Huffington Post)
As a group of Vietnam War veterans and peace activists travel back to Vietnam to mark the 50th anniversary of the My Lai massacre, Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez speak with three members of the delegation: Vietnam vet Paul Cox, who later co-founded the Veterans for Peace chapter in San Francisco; Susan Schnall, former Navy nurse who was court-martialed for opposing the war; and longtime activist Ron Carver, who organized an exhibit honoring the GI antiwar movement in Ho Chi Minh City.

Congress OKs $1.3 Trillion Budget; Declares War on Taxpayers (Lisa Mascaro and Alan Fram / Associated Press & Bruce Leonard / Freedom Magazine & Jack Moore / Newsweek)
Congress gave final approval Friday to a giant $1.3 trillion spending bill that ends the budget battles for now, but only after late obstacles skirted close to another shutdown as conservatives objected to big outlays on Democratic priorities at a time when Republicans control the House, Senate and White House. The Pentagon was the big winner with a with $700 billion slice of the pork.

Why Did 55 US Senators Vote for Genocide in Yemen? (David Swanson / Let's Try Democracy )
Tuesday's debate and vote in the US Senate on whether to end (technically whether or not to vote on whether to end) US participation in the war on Yemen can certainly be presented as a step forward. While 55 US Senators voted to keep the war rolling along, 44 voted not to table the resolution to end it. See which senators voted for and against a measure to end the US-backed genocide in Yemen -- and see how much campaign money they received from so-called "defense" contractors.

One Man's Fast Against the War Industry's Greed (The Peace Report )
General Dynamics, owner of the Bath Iron Works, is pushing to get yet another tax break from the citizens of Maine: a $60 million tax break over the next 10 years. General Dynamics is one of the most powerful and wealthy weapons manufacturer's in the world. But the money will go straight to the pockets of the CEO, board, and shareholders of General Dynamics, it doesn't go into the pockets of Mainers. Activist Bruce Gagnon staged a hunger strike to protest the plan -- a hunger strike that has lasted for many weeks.

15 Years in Iraq: A Shameful Anniversary (Daniel R. DePetris / The American Conservative)
March 19, 2018 seems like just another day on the calendar. In fact, it's anything but ordinary. March 19 marked the 15th anniversary of the most disastrous US foreign policy decision since President Lyndon Johnson's 1965 escalation in Vietnam -- the invasion of Iraq, a military campaign that ended up costing the United States trillions of dollars, killing more than 4,500 US troops, and realigning the Middle East power structure to Iran's advantage. The sectarianism, terrorism, and Iranian expansionism that defines today's Middle East can be traced back to that fateful decision in March 2003.

On the 15th Anniversary of US Invasion of Iraq, a Call for Reparations (The Center for Constitutional Rights)
The Center for Constitutional Rights has challenged US militarism abroad for decades,litigating cases challenging torture and extrajudicial killing by private military contractors during the Iraq war since 2004. CCR has also sought accountability for US torture in Iraq by filing cases in foreign courts under universal jurisdiction laws. On March 19, 2018, the 15th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, CCR and its partners in Iraq campaign continue to call for reparations and accountability for the US invasion of Iraq.

US Support for Yemen War to Continue: Thanks to 10 Democrats (Alex Ward / Vox.com & The Hill )
A bipartisan effort to end US involvement in a bloody, three-year war in Yemen failed in a close Senate vote on Tuesday afternoon. The vote demonstrated growing pushback on Donald Trump's coziness with Riyadh, which is leading the war effort in Yemen. That same day, the president met with Saudi Strongman Mohammed Bin Salman, calling the Crown Prince a ""very great friend? and expressing the hope that Bin Salman would prove "a big purchaser of [US military] equipment and lots of other things."

Trump Hopes Saudis Will Buy "Finest Weapons" to Kill Yemen Civilians: US Mercenaries Hired to Torture Prince bin Salman's Victims (Al Jazeera & Juan Cole / Informed Consent & Ryan Parry and Josh Boswell / The Dailymail.com)
Greeting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on his first visit to the White House, Donald Trump discussed a 2017 deal for $200 billion worth of Saudi investments with the US, including large purchases of US military equipment. Trump said the military sales -- and, by implication, the continuation of the US-backed humanitarian disaster in Yemen -- would contribute to the creation of 40,000 American jobs. Meanwhile, US mercenaries have already been hired to run Saudi Arabia's torture chambers.

Data, Democracy and Dirty Tricks: A Cyberwar on America to Elect Trump (Nina Golgowski / Huffington Post & BBC Channel 4 News & The Observer)
Disturbing undercover interviews with executives from UK-based political research firm Cambridge Analytica have revealed admissions of bribery, entrapment and the use of sex workers to sway political elections around the world, including the US. whistleblower has revealed to Channel 4 News how the British data firm (described as "pivotal" in Donald Trump's presidential victory) used a 'data grab' of more than 50 million Facebook profiles to benefit the Trump campaign.

Happy Equinox: Remembering Doug Tompkins (Tom Butler / The Foundation for Deep Ecology & FDE Founder Doug Tompkins)
To mark both the arrival of spring here in the Northern Hemisphere and the birthday of Douglas R. Tompkins (born on this date in 1943), it seems fitting to circulate some words from Doug. Many of us enjoyed his "rants from the southern listening post."

A Messsage from Three Eastern Ghouta Students: It's Suicide if We Leave Our Basements (Zouhir Al Shimale and Mersiha Gadzo / Al Jazeera)
It has been nearly five years since Syrian government forces imposed a siege on the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta. The past month has been one of the deadliest in the enclave, with more 1,200 civilians killed since the aerial and ground bombardment began on February 18. From deep inside the bombed city, three students explain what life is like in rebel-held besieged enclave, as they try to keep up with their studies with the threat of injury or sudden death always hanging over their heads.

Trump's Interior Department Calls Wildlife Protection Laws "Totalitarian Tactics" (Elizabeth Shogren / Reveal @ The Center for Investigative Reporting)
Since the 1970s, federal officials had used the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to prosecute and fine companies that accidentally killed birds with oil pits, wind turbines, spills or other industrial hazards. But a legal decision issued in December by the Interior Department revoked that ability. Under the new interpretation, the law no longer applies to oil spills. Wildlife officials predict deadly consequences for migratory birds.

Why Are Schools Still Accepting NRA Money? (Sophie Kasakove / The Nation)
While the NRA's financial investment in youth shooting programs has surged in recent years, the organization has long emphasized young shooters in its programming. But it wasn't until the early '80s -- coinciding with the NRA's radicalization -- that the NRA adopted an official mandate to "introduce as many of our nation's youth as possible to the legitimate use of firearms." Today, the website boasts that more than one million youth participates.

Los Angeles's Power Plans on Track to Go 100% Renewable! (Food & Water Watch)
Los Angeles, like other cities and states across the country, is grappling with the question of how to transition to 100 percent renewable energy. This is no small feat for a city with nearly 1.5 million electricity customers and an energy system that relies on fossil fuels. Fortunately, an analysis conducted by Synapse shows that the pathway to renew- able energy can be readily achieved in Los Angeles by 2030.

Trump and Putin Square Off over New Nuclear Arms Race (Andrew Lichterman / TruthDig & Western States Legal Foundation)
The Trump administration's new Nuclear Posture Review proposes two new capabilities, both aimed at Russia: (1) a low-yield warhead deployed on submarine-launched missiles, and (2) a sea-based, nuclear-armed cruise missile. It also endorses existing plans to sustain and upgrade existing nuclear forces and infrastructure at a cost of more than a trillion dollars over the next 30 years -- marking the costly and dangerous emergence of a renewed nuclear arms race with Russia.

As Half of the Pentagon's Infrastructure Suffers Damage from Extreme Weather, FEMA Deletes All References to "Climate Change" (Nick Sobczyk /E&E News & Science Magazine & Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch)
At the same time the Pentagon reports that half of the military's infrastructure has been affected by extreme weather and other climate-related risks, FEMA's new Strategic Plan has removed all mentions of climate change, censoring the terms "climate change," "sea level rise" and "extreme weather." The only phrasing that comes close is "rising natural hazard risk" and "pre-disaster mitigation." Still, ignoring Trump's orders, the DOD appears to have no plans to stop preparing for a warmer future.

Patriotism Pushups and Prayer: Preparing America's Children to Fight (Will Carless / Reveal & The Center for Investigative Reporting)
In rural central Florida, a group of children attending an organized military training camp pray over the breakfast they're about to eat and ask for safety during their upcoming weapons training, during which they will learn how to disarm a knife-wielding attacker, load a rifle and properly handle a handgun. Increasingly, these "boost camps for kids" look more like offshoots of the military than private enterprises, with their uniforms, ex-military staff and weapons -- much of which are paid for indirectly by US taxpayers.

How the New York Times Is Making War with Iran More Likely (Robert Wright / The Intercept)
It isn't easy to say which country America will fight in its next ill-advised war. Iran? Or, assuming Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un don't hit it off at their summit, North Korea? Maybe even Venezuela or Russia? It's easier to say what one of the major causes of the war will be: the failure by many Americans to employ a specific mental power that we're all capable of employing -- cognitive empathy, the ability of seeing someone else's point of view.

Some Democrats Are Still Pro-war and Pro-Nukes (Harvey Wasserman / The Progressive)
Just when you thought the pro-Democrat "Blue Wave" ignited by Donald Trump might bring real change (including a revolution in green power) some Democrats are rallying around the suicidal, obsolete technologies of atomic power and weapons.

Multiple Sources Warn: US Preparing Missile Strike on Syria In Response to Fake Chemical Weapons Attack Staged by US Agents (Southfront Analysis & Dr. Hisham Ahmed & Newsweek & The Daily Star & Sputnik & Almanar & Syria News)
Russia has expressed alarm that strike groups of US naval carriers armed with cruise missiles are being formed in the Eastern part of the Mediterranean, in the Persian Gulf and in the Red Sea. Moscow claims an attack will follow a US-planned chemical attack to be blaimed on the Syrian government. Any such move would infuriate Russian President Vladimir Putin and risk a superpower confrontation.

How American High Schools Teach The Iraq War (Nick Robins-Early and Rebecca Klein / The Huffington Post)
American troops have been in Iraq longer than the average high school freshman has been alive. But for the most part, the deadliest US military intervention since the Vietnam War remains a footnote in America's social studies classrooms. Fifteen years after the US-led coalition invaded Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein, teachers and education leaders are still trying to find ways to teach students about an intervention that has yet to end.

South Korean Report on Summit Discredits US Elites' Assumption (Gareth Porter / TruthDig & AntiWar.com)
Media and political reactions to the announcement of a summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have been based on the assumption that it cannot succeed. But the full report by South Korean president Moon Jae-in's national security adviser (covered by South Korea's news agency but not covered in US news media) makes it clear that Kim will present Trump with a plan for complete denuclearization -- linked to the normalization of relations between the US and North Korea.

America's Phony Wars: Winning's Not the Goal, It's All for the Money (Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & William Astore / TomDispatch)
Wherever the US military has gone into battle in these years, yet more terror groups have subsequently sprouted like so many malignant weeds. Bureaucracy and mediocrity go unchallenged; massive boosts in military spending reward incompetency and the creation of a series of quagmire-like "generational" wars. In the last 17 years of "forever war," this nation hasn't for one second been mobilized. What sort of war requires no sacrifice? Answer: A phony war conducted to funnel profits into the hands of a few.

The Pentagon Continues Its Unwelcomed Occupation of Okinawa (Jon Letman / Truthout)
What the US frames as protection is, in fact, only another form of occupation by a foreign military (the US) that invaded Okinawa decades ago. Okinawans have never given their permission to have bases here, nor have they been asked. More than 72 years after World War II ended, Okinawa remains a "dual colony of the US and Japan." The US says its offering Okinawa "protection." From what? one local jokes: "It would be terrible to be occupied by a foreign power; they might confiscate your lands and build bases on them!"

Government Places Army Surplus Pistols on Sale to Arm the Public (Pat Elder / World Beyond War)
When Congress approved the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in mid-November, it authorized the sale of surplus Army pistols to the public. 8,000 .45 caliber M1911 pistols will be available for sale in 2018 and 10,000 in 2019. After that, the remaining stock of 100,000 military surplus handguns may become available for purchase.

The My Lai Massacre 50 Years On: The Slaughter the Pentagon Tried to Hide (Amy Goodman / Democracy Now!)
Fifty years ago, on March 16, 1968, US soldiers attacked the Vietnamese village of My Lai. They slaughtered more than 500 Vietnamese women, children and old men over the next four hours -- and then attempted to cover up what happened. Today, memorials have been held in My Lai to mark the 50th anniversary of this horrific American military war crime.

USA: A Brainwashed Nation (Barton Kunstler / Counter Punch)
We are a brainwashed nation and the political energy of "resisters" is expended in outrage, fending off the latest assault on immigrants, the poor, or civil liberties. For the first time in history, our government is controlled by a cabal whose program is to monopolize wealth; impose theocratic values; intimidate the population; militarize the police; privatize the military; destroy civil liberties; and plunder national resources while slashing medical, educational, environmental, and worker safety laws.

Mikhail Gorbachev on the Growing Risk of Nuclear War (Mikhail Gorbachev / TIME Magazine)
In 1985, negotiations between the USSR and the United States opened the way to ending the nuclear arms race. We reached agreement with one of the most hawkish US presidents, Ronald Reagan, to radically reduce the arsenals. Today, those achievements are in jeopardy. More and more, defense planning looks like preparation for real war amid continued militarization of politics, thinking and rhetoric.

GOP and Military Join Forces to Block Vote to Ban Yemen War (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Zaid Jilani / The Intercept)
Expectations are that the Senate War Powers vote on the Yemen War, SJ Res 54, will come up for debate and a vote next week. That may not happen if the Republican leadership gets its way, however, as many are opposed to the bill, and are trying to stall a vote.

World War III Is Approaching: We Need a New Anti-war Movement -- One that Includes Soldiers (Paul Craig Roberts / The Institute for Political Economy & Prof. Michel Chossudovsky / Global Research)
Commentary: When will the Russians notice that literally everyone in the Trump regime is issuing threats to Russia -- Mattis, Tillerson, Nikki Haley, the UK PM and Foreign Secretary. Yet the Russians still speak about how much they want to get along with their "partners" the West. We are at a dangerous crossroads. The threat of World War III is real, yet there is no anti-war movement in sight. In the US, Canada and the EU, the peace movement is defunct, ignorant of the broader implications of nuclear war.

Help Refugees, Halt Wars: The Sanctuary Movement Needs an Anti-war Voice (Azadeh Shahshahani and Maha Hilal / Foreign Policy In Focus and In These Times)
The concept of sanctuary, providing refuge and protection to people who are marginalized and oppressed, has a long history in the United States -- even when the United States itself is responsible for that repression. These days, the concept is most often associated with so-called "sanctuary cities" -- state and local jurisdictions that say they refuse to cooperate with federal efforts to deport undocumented residents. These cities have been relentlessly targeted by the Trump administration.

ACTION March Against Gun Violence; Fight Bullets with Billboards (Emma Gonzalez / March for Our Lives & MoveOn.org Civic Action)
Commentary: We survived the shooting at our school, but too many of our classmates did not. And since then, Members of Congress have done NOTHING to ensure that gun violence like this never happens again. That's why we're marching to demand that the lives of every student and every American become a priority, and we want you there by our side.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress to End the US-Backed War in Yemen (Mokhtar Alkhanshali / MoveOn.org & Mokha Foundation )
For three years, the US has been providing military support to a Saudi-led war in Yemen that has has only escalated and led to one of the worst humanitarian situations in the world. Over 42,000 people have been harmed, and over 18 million people in Yemen require humanitarian aid. But there is hope. Senators Bernie Sanders, Mike Lee, and Chris Murphy are calling on Congress to exert its constitutional authority and end this inhumane destruction of millions of lives for geopolitical games. A vote is imminent.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Recruiting Children to Join the Army (Pat Elder / National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy & Nafeesa Syeed and Chloe Whiteaker / Bloomberg)
To meet Donald Trump's goal for a bigger military, Army recruiters are seeking 80,000 more men and women to join the Pentagon's ranks as deployments continue from Iraq to Afghanistan. 11,500 more soldiers are this year than in 2017. Recruiters are boosting efforts to win over "influencers" -- such as high school principals and teachers -- who can encourage youngsters to enlist. The effort includes "educator tours" to bases, where they can climb into helicopters and talk with pilots to learn of opportunities.

ACTION ALERT: Pressure Builds for Clean-up of Military Pollution of Lake Wisconsin (Laura Olah / Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger)
On behalf of concerned residents, US Senator Tammy Baldwin has requested and recently received an update on the Army's pending cleanup of mercury-contaminated sediments at Gruber's Grove Bay on Lake Wisconsin. The contamination was caused by the direct discharge of industrial wastewater from the Badger Army Ammunition Plant during active production years.

ACTION ALERT: Trump Fires Tillerson, Appoints Warhawk and Torture Chief to Head State Dept and CIA (Nancy Pelosi / US House of Representatives & Common Defense & The Washington Post & Matthew Rosenberg / The New York Times)
There is something strange going on. Trump fires Tillerson for criticizing Russia at the same time House Republicans announce there was "no collusion" between Trump and Moscow. If we don't act quickly, our nation's new top diplomat will be Mike Pompeo, a war-hungry, torture-loving, diplomacy-hating demagogue. Meanwhile, Gina Haspel, the new CIA chief-designate has an arrest warrant out for her issued by a European human rights organization for her role overseeing CIA waterboarding.

Trump's Spur of the Moment 'Yes' Unmasked 68 Years of Washington Duplicity (David Stockman / AntiWar.com)
Commentary: They say that even a blind squirrel occasionally finds an acorn, and The Donald just proved that in spades with his spur-of-the-moment acceptance of Kim Jong Un's proposal for a summit meeting. But the fact is, the Korean "problem" was born, bred and perpetuated in Washington -- and it could be "unmade" with alacrity in the same corridors of Imperial power. The case against North Korea is rooted in a 68-year-old, Washington-propagated tissue of errors, lies, pretense and duplicity.

ACTION ALERT: Stand By Imprisoned Whistleblower Reality Winter (RootsAction & Billie Winner-Davis / Courage to Resist & Kevin Gosztola / Shadowproof Press)
Reality Leigh Winner, an USAF vet, a whistleblower, and a former employee of an NSA contractor, has been in jail for nine months without trial. The government's treatment of Ms. Winner has been shameful, vindictive and indefensible. Winner was arrested and charged under the Espionage Act for allegedly releasing a top-secret document to a US media outlet. The document exposed Russian online intrusions prior to the 2016 presidential election. Held without bail, Winner now spends 12 hours a day in shackles.

Whistleblower's Mother Calls for US to Respect Her Imprisoned Daughter's Legal and Human Rights (Amy Goodman & Billie Winter-Davis / Democracy Now! & The Huffington Post)
Reality Leigh Winner is a former National Security Agency contractor who has pleaded not guilty to charges she leaked a top-secret document to The Intercept about Russian interference in the 2016 election. Jailed without bail and without charges, Winter spends 12 hours a day in shackles as she faces up to 10 years in prison on charges she violated the Espionage Act.

ACTION ALERT: Put an End to the Unconstitutional US War in Yemen (Win Without War & Project on Government Oversight)
After three years of our tax dollars helping Saudi Arabia bomb and starve Yemen, we have three more days to maximize our pressure and cut off US support for this brutal, unconstitutional war. But the Trump administration isn't about to cave in without a fight. They're spewing false information and excuses to justify the continued starvation of 8 million people. So we can't let a single stone go unturned to knock out these hypocritical counterarguments and get our senators on board before Thursday.

Pentagon Targets Congress over Brazen Peace Move (Bruce Fein / The American Conservative)
Commentary: Now that key senators have introduced measures that would end US-aided hostilities in Yemen, we can expect that a coordinated backlash from the military establishment. The multi-trillion-dollar military-industrial-counterterrorism complex has a habit of scuttling any laws that would curtail US in military involvement overseas. This typically involves leaking classified falsehoods. A vote on S.J. Res. 54, to terminate use of the USAF to support Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen, is expected this week.

"Gang of Four" Senators Calls for US-Russia Arms Control Talks (Gilbert Doctorow and Ray McGovern / Consortium News & AntiWar.com)
In a sad commentary on the parlous state of the US media, a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson from four US Senators dated March 8 calling for opening arms control talks with the Kremlin ASAP is nowhere to be found in mainstream newspapers a day after its release on the Senate home page of one of the authors, Jeff Merkley (D-OR). And so, it is left to alternative media to bring to the attention of its readership a major development in domestic politics first reported by Russian news outlets!

Will Trump Say "No Thanks" to a Parade with No Tanks? (Common Defense & Danielle McLean / ThinkProgress & Ryan Browne / CNN & Alana Abramson / TIME Magazine)
Donald Trump is a step closer to getting his fervently wished for military parade, which is expected to cost taxpayers between $10 and $30 million. But it's likely to be missing some of the oversized hardware that thrilled him at a military procession in Paris. Less than a month after Trump unveiled a fiscal 2019 budget that included $3 trillion in social spending cuts, defense officials late released plans for a massive and costly parade of military might to take place on November 11, Armistice Day, a global day of peace.

The Lobbying War for War in Yemen: Cashing in by Turning Kids into Corpses (Ben Freeman / AntiWar.com & Reuters )
Since the war in Yemen began -- and despite the UN confirming that more than 10,000 civilian lives have been lost in the conflict -- the Saudi government and their lobbyists in D.C. have been working hard to keep Yemen off policymakers' radars and keeping US weapons flowing into Saudi Arabia in record numbers. In 2017, Saudi Arabia spent more than $16 million on lobbying. On May 20, 2017, Trump approved a $110 billion arms sale to Riyadh. Five days later a Saudi coalition strike killed 24 civilians at a Yemen market.

Take-A-Knee Against Racism and Militarism (David Swanson / David Swanson.org & World Beyond War)
On March 1, 2018, David Swanson participated in a robust round of discussions on the topics of racism, war, freedom of speech, and patriotism at Saint Mary's Hall, a private high school in San Antonio "Military City USA" Texas. Five speakers were invited to address issues related to the "take-a-knee" protests. The embedded videos including the opening remarks, the presentations, and a question-and-answer period with students.

Mainstream Media Finally Reports on the Militarization of America's Schools (Pat Elder / National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy & The Economist)
There have been three remarkable breakthroughs in the last month regarding the media's willingness to report and comment on the alarming process of the militarization of America's high schools. For more than a generation, the corporate media has imposed an apparent moratorium on in-depth reporting on deceptive, school-based DOD recruiting programs.

France and India Announce a Solar Alliance as Trump "Betrays Humankind" (Deutsche Welle & Sonya Angelica Diehn / Deutsche Welle)
French President Emmanuel Macron has pledged hundreds of millions for solar projects in developing countries at the International Solar Alliance summit in New Delhi. The ISA has set a target of producing 1 trillion watts of solar power by 2030. Macron, has pledged an extra $861.5 million for solar energy projects in developing nations. Macron also took a jibe at Trump for leaving the Paris Agreement. So far 61 countries have signed the treaty and 32 have ratified it.

NRA Pays Students to Learn to Shoot Guns at School (Agnel Philip / The Arizona Republic)
The NRA Foundation provided more than $200,000 in grants to 15 Arizona high school clubs between 2010 and 2016, giving equipment and money often used for competitive shooting teams.The gun-rights group has come under intense scrutiny and criticism in the wake of the February shooting at a Parkland, Fla. high school, in which an NRA-financed, JROTC-trained gunman killed 17 students. Many of the NRAs corporate partners have since severed ties to the NRA's gun-lobby leadership.

When We Make Guns the King: A Warning about Arming Teachers (Leah D. Schade / EcoPreacher)
Commentary: Will the NRA-backed plan to arm school teachers truly protect students? Or will it be like pouring gasoline on an already out-of-control fire? The answer seemed to come almost immediately when -- the very next day -- a teacher in a Georgia high school barricaded himself in a classroom and fired his gun, sending terrified students into lock-down. The decision indicates a a troubling ideological acceptance of "the myth of redemptive violence" -- devotion to violence for the sake of curbing violence.

A US Army Vet's "Modest Proposals" to Address Gun Violence (Ralph E. Stone / Eclectic Rant & The Berkeley Daily Planet)
Commentary: As the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held in Tardy v. Hogan, certain kinds of rifles, including assault rifles, are "weapons of war," and are not covered under the Second Amendment for the purpose of self-defense. They have no use in hunting and are unnecessarily powerful as home defense weapons. Let's face it, an AR-15 is not for hunting, it's for killing. Common sense should tell us It is time to ban such weapons.

Sleepwalking into Disaster: Are We in a State of Denial about Climate Change (George Marshall / RainforestInfo.org)
Commentary: The Maldives is a country where 80% of land is less than one metre above sea level and is likely to be rendered uninhabitable within 100 years by sea level rise and storm surges. Whilst their Prime Minister tells anyone who will listen that his is a nation in peril, the tourism industry prepares for an endless expansion of profits and a party that will keep going on forever. Thanks to pervasive media, we are left in no doubt that a long haul lifestyle is the acme of personal achievement.

The Illusion of War Without Casualties (Nicolas J.S. Davies / Consortium News)
America's recent wars have been characterized by relatively low US casualties, but that does not mean that they are any less violent than previous wars. This year's Oscar Award ceremonies included an incongruous tribute to Hollywood war films. To pretend to a global audience that the US war machine is "fighting for freedom" in countries it attacks or invades was an absurdity that could only add insult to injury for millions of survivors of US coups, invasions, bombing campaigns and hostile occupations.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress: Stop Fueling War in Yemen (Veterans for Peace & Indivisible.org)
Yemen is facing a massive humanitarian catastrophe and we need your help to stop it. American aid is crucial to the Saudi war effort, and removing our assistance would limit Saudi attacks and maybe even push them to the negotiating table. Email your lawmakers now and tell them to support the War Powers Resolution S.J.Res. 54 to end US support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

Citizens and Children Are Suing Trump to Save the Planet (Bob Egelko / The San Francisco Chronicle & Robert Weissman / Public Citizen)
A federal appeals court has given a go-ahead to an unprecedented suit by 21 young people who accuse the federal government of endangering their future, and the planet, by failing to act against global warming. Meanwhile, another legal challenge -- Public Citizen v. Donald J. Trump -- would block Trump's anti-regulatory executive order which would require repealing two existing public safety rules for every new regulation introduced.

Saber-Toothed "Chemtrails" (William Thomas / Will Thomas Online.net)
Commentary: Why is nearly everyone ignoring nearly everything (of dire and urgent importance)? Activists know by now that constantly warning of doom gets people highly motivated -- to tune them out! Conversely, insisting that everything's going to be okay when the inverse is already happening does not inspire changed perspective and priorities either. So what's going on? (Or not.) The latest brain and behavior research shows that more facts -- especially irrefutable evidence -- is not the answer.

Marking International Women's Day with Action (Hon. Tulsi Gabbard / US House of Representatives & Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans / CODEPINK)
Commentary: Women make up half of the world's population, but in 2018, we are still working to guarantee basic fairness and equality. On this International Women's Day, let us honor those who came before us, be inspired by their example, and take on the challenges that are before us with strong hearts. Meanwhile, in Israel, 17-year-old Ahed Tamimi is facing up to 10 years in prison. Each year, Israel prosecutes around 700 Palestinian children in military court. Ahed Tammi is to be tried in a closed court.

Garry Davis Had a Vision: World Passports for a Planet Without Borders (Donnal Walter / World Beyond War & Marc Eliot Stein / World Beyond War)
Commentary: I recently watched the movie. "The World is My Country," which highlights the life and work of Garry Davis, the first "World Citizen." With his creation of a World Passport, he sparked a global citizenship movement, which envisions a peaceful world beyond the divisions of nation states. I've been inspired to join this movement by applying for, and traveling on, a world passport.

As Trump Threats Stir Global Arms Race, New Report Details the Nuclear War Profiteers (Andrea Germanos / Common Dreams & Maaike Beenes / International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons)
Who benefits from Donald Trump's threats of nuclear war? According to the latest annual report from "Don't Bank on the Bomb," no fewer than 329 financial institutions in 24 countries invested $525 billion in the top 20 companies involved in the production, maintenance, and modernization of nuclear weapons from January 2014 through October 2017. The top three nuclear weapons producers, by investments -- Boeing, Honeywell International, and Lockheed Martin-- are all based in the US.

Who Has the Power to Destroy Life on Earth? Only Nine Countries (Don't Bank on the Bomb: 2018 Report)
Nuclear weapons are indiscriminate, inhumane and immoral -- and they are prohibited by international treaty. Still, from January 2014 through October 2017, researchers found 329 banks, insurance companies, pension funds and asset managers from 24 countries that had invested significantly in the top 20 nuclear weapon producers. Of these, 204 were based in North America, 70 were based in Europe, 52 were based in Asia- Pacific, 3 in the Middle East. None were based in Africa or Latin America.

ACTION ALERT: Trump's Latest Flip-flop Could Extinguish the World's Elephants for Profit (Ashley Curtin / NationofChange & Dartunorro Clark / NBC News & MoveOn.org & The Animal Welfare Institute)
The Trump Administration announced yesterday that it is reversing course and will now allow the importation of elephant remains (trophies) on a "case-by-case" basis. This is directly in contrast to President Trump's comments referring to elephant hunting as a "horror show " and suggestion that he would keep the ban in place. The ruling promises to accelerate the extinction of Africa's largest land mammals. Make your voices heard.

Let The Record Show: Negotiations With North Korea Have Worked in the Past (Catherine Killough / LobeLog & Leon V. Sigal / 38 North)
President Trump has consistently misrepresented the negotiation record between North Korea and the United States. It is neither new nor uncommon to berate North Korea for its imperfect negotiating record, but it has never been more dangerous. For those seeking to prevent a war that could result in millions of casualties on the Korean Peninsula, there are no military options. Given this political environment, correcting the distorted history on US-North Korea negotiations is imperative

America's Children: Caught in the Crosshairs of the NRA and the Gun Industry (Michael Payne / NationofChange)
Can you imagine the psychological trauma that children across America are going through as they hear of one school shooting after another? Washington spends billions fighting suspected terrorists around the world but does nothing to stop domestic terrorists from slaughtering Americans and their helpless children. Meanwhile, Norway passes ban on semi-automatic weapons.

On the Ground With the Parkland Teens as They Plan Their Revolution (Lisa Miller / New York Magazine)
In Parkland, in the weeks after the shooting, emotional distance from the actual horror is measured in increments. The teenagers who quickly became the faces of the trauma were not those who had been the closest to the violence. Most of those students and their families are suffering in all the cruel and by-now-expected ways. But a different cadre of students has exhibited a very different response: Activated by fury and demanding to be heard, they had the emotional bandwidth to strategize and speak out.

Marking International Women's Day with Action (Hon. Tulsi Gabbard / US House of Representatives & Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans / CODEPINK)
Commentary: Women make up half of the world's population, but in 2018, we are still working to guarantee basic fairness and equality. On this International Women's Day, let us honor those who came before us, be inspired by their example, and take on the challenges that are before us with strong hearts. Meanwhile, in Israel, 17-year-old Ahed Tamimi is facing up to 10 years in prison. Each year, Israel prosecutes around 700 Palestinian children in military court. Ahed Tammi is to be tried in a closed court.

ACTION ALERT: North Korea Offers Diplomacy Not War. The US Should Respond Constructively (Benjamin Haas and David Smith / The Guardian & Win Without War)
North Korea has agreed to discuss relinquishing its nuclear weapons and will freeze its nuclear and missile programs if it begins direct talks with the US, in a dramatic easing of tensions after a visit by senior South Korean politicians. The key question: with Trump's State Department in tatters and no qualified diplomats on hand, will the US drop its plans for an unprovoked "bloody nose" attack on the North and also cancel the impending joint-military exercises aimed at toppling the regime in Pyongyang?

A Rare Chance for Peace: North Korea Willing to Discuss Denuclearization (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Jeff Mason and Christine Kim / Reuters)
In comments that could potentially have significant ramifications on convincing the US to join talks with North Korea, South Korean delegation envoys say they were told by Kim Jong-un that the North is willing to discuss scrapping their nuclear arsenal. The White House has long suggested scrapping the nuclear program and missile development as a precondition for talks. North Korea seems very willing to discuss the subject within the talks, and has offered to disarm if the US agrees to halt its threats.

Congress Keeps Funding a War Machine as Vermont Stands Up to the F-35 Fighter Jet (Medea Benjamin and Elliot Swain / Alternet & Jess Aloe / The Burlington Free Press)
Why did Senate Democrats agree to a boost in military spending that exceeded the cap for fiscal 2018 by $70 billion, bringing the total request to an enormous $716 billion? Because both Democrats and Republicans are on the war-makers' dole. Inevitably, more Pentagon contracts will be awarded to private corporations that use endless war to line their pockets and to bribe local and federal politicians. But people in Burlington are free to vote against a proposal to base noisy F-35 jets near their homes.

Drain the Swamp: The Pentagon Robbed Taxpayers of $16 Billion (Mandy Smithberger / The Project on Government Oversight & Linda J. Bilmes and Joseph E. Stiglitz / The Washington Post)
Under the law, when a foreign government buys US weapon systems through the Department of Defense those governments are required to reimburse the Department for research, development and other one-time costs for those systems. A recent audit by the Government Accountability Office found the department has waived $16 billion it could have recovered for taxpayers on $250 billion worth of weapons sold under the Foreign Military Sales program from 2012 to 2017.

It's Never Been about the Second Amendment: It's About Corporate Profits (Leonard C. Goodman / In These Times )
A familiar pattern has emerged after mass shootings. Lawmakers offer thoughts and prayers and then quietly shoot down any restrictions on gun sales, citing their fealty to the Second Amendment. Our bought-and-paid-for politicians only hold the Constitution sacred when it aligns with corporate interests. There is a chance that this time will be different, thanks to the teenagers from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who are fighting back against lawmakers who protect industry profits over lives.

Israel Complains about Violation of Its Sovereignty While Being a Serial Violator (David Morrison / Open Democracy)
From 1 July to 30 October 2017, Israel violated Lebanon's airspace 758 times for a total of 3,188 hours. On 10 February 2018, a single unarmed Iranian drone entered Israeli airspace from Syria (and was shot down by an Israeli helicopter). It is not clear that the entry into Israeli airspace was deliberate. The Director General of Israel's Intelligence Ministry said that the incursion "was not an attack".

The University of Nuclear Bombs (Will Parrish / The East Bay Express)
The University of California's two shadow campuses at Los Alamos and Livermore have competed with one another, as they were designed to do, to produce and to promote the most efficient means of ending life on Earth when used. But it's good for the short-term profits of powerful US corporations. At least 96 percent of the National Nuclear Security Administration's 2017 budget went to contractors such as the UC-Bechtel consortiums, Lockheed Martin, and other military-industrial corporations.

Former Defense Secretary William Perry on Trump and the Nuclear Threat (Robert Scheer / Truthdig)
The following interview with William Perry, the United States Secretary of Defense from 1994 to 1997 under President Bill Clinton, was first published on Truthdig in September 2017. We are reposting Perry's warning about the rising danger of nuclear war in response to Donald Trump's call for the modernization of US nuclear forces and Vladimir Putin's response in his speech this week showing Russia's new nuclear weapons arsenal.

The Ultimate Blowback Universe, A Planet Boiling With Unintended Consequence (Tom Engelhardt, /TomDispatch)
Commentary: You want to see "blowback" in action? Just do a Google Search for phrases like "warmest years," "rising sea levels," "melting ice," "wildfire season," or "climate refugees," The continued use of fossil fuels consitutes a form of blowback that threatens not just the decline of a single great imperial power but of humanity itself -- of the very environment that nurtured generation after generation of us over these thousands of years. By definition, that makes it the worst form of blowback imaginable.

War Threatens Our Environment (World Beyond War)
A major motivation behind some wars is the desire to control resources that poison the earth, especially oil and gas. Oil can be leaked or burned off, as in the Gulf War, but primarily it is put to use in all kinds of machines polluting Earth's atmosphere, placing us all at risk. The interplay of war with oil goes beyond that, however. The wars themselves, whether or not fought for oil, consume huge quantities of it. One of the world's top consumers of oil, in fact, is the US military.

Fight Climate Change, Not Wars (Naomi Klein / EnviroNation & Stephen Kretzmann / Oil Change International)
In 2009, the Obama administration's climate negotiators in Geneva suggested that Washington might be willing to contribute a paltry $1.4-billion to an international climate change fund. Meanwhile, the cost of the the Pentagon's planned "surge" inside Afghanistan was estimated to cost $30-40-billion. Wars drain money that could be spent helping countries adapt to climate change and shift to green energy. Wars also deepen the climate crisis because they are themselves major sources of greenhouse gasses.

Why Are Moderns Wars Costing More and Lasting Longer? (Associated Press & Stephen M. Walt / Foreign Policy & Barbara F. Walter / Political Violence at a Glance)
According to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, competing global alliances, cyber threats, scarce resources and multiplying political factions and armed groups are making modern conflicts more intractable. As a result, conflicts today last longer -- more than 20 years on average -- and often involve multiple armed groups competing for control of government institutions, natural resources and territory.

Honduran Businessman Arrested in Death of Environmental Activist Berta Caceres (Al Jazeera & Global Witness)
Honduran police have arrested a construction executive for his alleged role in the murder of environmental activist Berta Caceres. Global Witness alleges those involved in the killings include some of the country's elite, including serving and former members of the military, politicians, and business leaders. Meanwhile, tens of millions of US dollars intended for social programs have been directed to the police and military -- both of which have been implicated in violence against land and environmental activists.

ACTION ALERT: North Korea Offers Talks; Trump Prepares an Illegal Military Attack (Win Without War & The New York Times)
The US military is secretly rehearsing for a bloody war with North Korea. Top military brass gathered in Hawaii to draw up plans for attacking the Korean mainland expect that 10,000 American soldiers could be wounded in just the few days of the armed US attack. The human costs of this war would be awful beyond imagining. We have a major chance to turn this growing murmur of worry into a massive outcry for common-sense diplomacy. Don't allow Trump's war games to become a devastating reality.

ACTION ALERT: US Arms and Money Are Supporting the War in Yemen (Sarah Arnold / The Nation & StopTheWar & RootsAction & CREDO Action )
Yemen is facing a massive humanitarian catastrophe and we need your help to stop it. American aid is crucial to the Saudi war effort, and removing our assistance would limit Saudi attacks and maybe even push them to the negotiating table. A bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Senator Bernie Sanders, have introduced a resolution to end US support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. Will you write to your members of Congress to demand that they join them.

Will US Audiences Finally Be Allowed to See Oliver Stone's Banned Doc on Ukraine Coup? (Off-Guardian & Ukraine on Fire.com & PaulCraigRoberts.org & Russia Insider)
Oliver Stone's seminal documentary "Ukraine on Fire" -- which documents the US role in supporting the Nazi-backed coup that toppled Ukraine's elected government and installed a corrupt, pro-West regime -- has finally been made available to watch in the West. Originally released in 2016, Stone encountered resistance to distributing the film in the US and western countries. Ironically, while the documentary was aired on TV in Russia, people in the 'Free World' were left without access to the full film.

How the Pentagon Devours the Budget (Tom Engelhardt and William D. Hartung / TomDispatch & NationOfChange)
Though the Pentagon's budget was already through the roof, it will get an extra $165 billion over the next two years -- paid for by increasing the federal debt and defunding government services. The biggest reductions include a 41% cut in funding for diplomacy and foreign aid; a 36% cut in funding for energy and the environment; and a 35% cut in housing and community development. Up next: the Trump administration is preparing a full-scale assault on food stamps, Medicaid, and Medicare.

Top 10 Signs the US Is The Most Corrupt Nation in the World (Juan Cole / Truthdig & NationOfChange)
In many key ways America's political and financial practices make it in absolute terms far more corrupt than the usual global South suspects. After all, the US economy is worth over $18 trillion a year, so in our corruption a lot more money changes hands. Three American billionaires are worth as much as the bottom 150 million Americans. That kind of wealth inequality hasn't been seen in the US since the age of the robber barons in the nineteenth century. Both eras are marked by extreme corruption.

The Victims of War: US Ordered to Pay $245 Million in Reparations for Victims of Iraq-Iran War (Press TV & World Beyond War )
In August 2017, the Iranian Judiciary issued a ordered the US government pay around $245 million in damage to victims of chemical attacks carried out by Saddam Hussein's troops during the 1980 to 1988 imposed war on Iran. Veterans for Peace/Oregon activist Leah Bolger discusses US military concerns for the mental health of returned soldiers. International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has lambasted Croatian officials for refusing to accept the court's rulings on the 1990s Bosnia war.

ACTION ALERT: Follow the Gun Money. The Tyranny of the Gun Culture (Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund & Chris Hedges / TruthDig)
Guns buttress the myth of a rugged individualism that atomizes Americans, disdains organization and obliterates community, compounding powerlessness. Gun ownership in the United States, largely criminalized for poor people of color, is a potent tool of oppression. It does not protect us from tyranny. It is an instrument of tyranny.

ACTION ALERT: To Save the Earth, Curb Militarism! An Appeal for Earth Day, 2018 (CODEPINK, Environmentalists Against War, Just World Educational, Traprock Center for Peace & Justice, and World Beyond War)
Our five organizations, CODEPINK, Environmentalists Against War, Just World Educational, Traprock Center for Peace & Justice, and World Beyond War, invite citizens and organizations around the US to express support for the statement that follows.

Long before Trump's "Big Lie" Tactics, The Pentagon Saw Climate Change as a Real Threat (Johanna Peace / Inside Climate News)
In 2009, long before the rise of Donald Trump, a spate of Pentagon reports and intelligence studies made headlines for their common conclusion: Climate change is a real threat to national security. In response, the Pentagon set a goal of cutting its greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2015. (An earlier 2007 executive order by President Bush required federal agencies to reduce their energy intensity.) The administration's internal aim was to produce 25 percent of the military's electricity from renewables by 2025.

Top Military Brass Warn The Pentagon Is Losing the Battle Against Climate Change as Bases Worldwide Begin to Flood (Neela Banerjee / Inside Climate News & John H. Cushman, Jr. / Inside Climate News & Nicholas Kusnetz / Inside Climate News & The Weather Channel & Phil McKenna / Inside Climate News)
A growing number of US military sites are being damaged by sea level rise fueled by climate change, and that will threaten the military's ability to protect vital national security interests if the Pentagon and Congress don't take faster action, a panel of retired admirals and generals warns in a new report. The retired admirals and generals say climate change is putting key military facilities at risk of costly damage that could knock out critical operations for weeks.

Public Health Experts Identify Militarism As Threat (David Swanson / War Is a Crime)
The World Health Organization (WHO) Commission on the Social Determinants of Health pointed out that war affects children's health, leads to displacement and migration, and diminishes agricultural productivity. Child and maternal mortality, vaccination rates, birth outcomes, and water quality and sanitation are worse in conflict zones.

Foreign Minister Tells UN the US Is Training Europe to Use Nuclear Weapons against Russia (Holly Ellyatt / CNBC & The Moscow Times)
While attending the UN Disarmament Conference in Geneva, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the US was training Europe's armed forces to use tactical nuclear weapons against Russia. NATO and the US denied the accusation. Lavrov also charged that the US had decided to keep a significant number of rockets in breach of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Russia has also long-objected to the deployment of a US-commanded NATO missile defense system along Russia's border in eastern Europe.

Is War Ever Justifiable? The Video Debate: Round 1 (David Swanson / Let's Try Democracy & Pete Kilner / US Army (Ret))
A contest of ideas and the contenders: David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of WorldBeyondWar.org. Swanson's books include War Is A Lie and War Is Never Just. He is a 2015, 2016, 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. Pete Kilner is a writer and military ethicist who served more than 28 years in the Army as an infantryman and professor at the US Military Academy. He deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan. He is a graduate of West Point.

Is War Ever Justifiable? The Video Debate: Round 2 (David Swanson / Let's Try Democracy & Pete Kilner / US Army (Ret))
To build a movement powerful enough to influence the US oligarchy, we do need this debate, we do need a clearer understanding that no war can ever be justified, and therefore that dumping over a trillion dollars a year into preparing for a possible just war has to stop. After all, 3 percent of that money could end starvation on Earth, 1 percent could end the lack of clean water, a bigger chunk could give us a chance against climate change (rather than serving as the leading cause of climate change).

Scientists Raise Alarm: Arctic Melting Is in Overdrive (Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch & Justin Mikulka / Desmog Blog)
Over the past few days, many climate scientists took to social media to express dismay over the Arctic's unseasonably warm temperatures and record-low sea ice. At the height of winter, the region is clocking temperatures normally seen in May. "The northernmost permanent weather station in the world -- just 440 miles from the North Pole -- has warmed to 43°F today" and this warming comes "in the middle of months-long darkness during what is normally the coldest time of the year."

Normalizing Nukes in the Age of President Strangelove (Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & Rajan Menon / TomDispatch)
In the Trump era, the Pentagon is calling for new, more "useable" nuclear weapons. Why? To give the commander-in-chief more "flexibility" in conducting "small" and "limited" nuclear attacks -- on declared "enemies" that have not attacked the US, on countries that threaten Washington's allies, on countries that commit "aggression" in the form of cyber-attacks. Hack the US and expect thermonuclear "fire and fury." This new game plan for nuclear war is a "road to hell paved with the worst intentions imaginable."

AR-15's Are Not Designed for Self-Defense: They Are Murder Weapons (Dr. Ernest E. Moore / NBC News & Sarah Zhang / Wired Magazine & Rebecca Corral / KCBS)
The Parkland shooter's AR-15 was designed to kill as efficiently as possible. It was made for the military, to allow members of the armed forces to better dispatch multiple enemies in short order. It has no other purpose. Given that, there is no reason that these weapons should be broadly available to the civilian population.

NRA Fallout: Weapons Lobby Targeted by Growing Commercial Boycott (MoveOn.org & USA TODAY & Fox Business)
Last week, in less than three days, 16 major corporations broke their ties to the NRA. United Airlines. Delta. Enterprise Rent-a-Car. MetLife Insurance. North American Van Lines. Simplisafe Home Security. They all said "enough" and canceled their deals with the NRA. Some Republican governors and members of Congress are finally standing up to the NRA as well, with new supporters coming out in favor of everything from an assault weapons ban to universal background checks and raising the age limit on gun purchases.

Gun Violence Has Dropped Dramatically in Three States With Very Different Gun Laws (Mike Males / YES! Magazine)
This week, 17 teachers, students, and visitors died in a Florida high school, in a country where mass shootings have been devastatingly routine. This was followed by another day of despairing, angry furor over guns, schools, and shootings that replayed the same reactions from dozens of past shootings. To have an honest, nonpartisan discussion about gun violence, we must look at what happened in New York, California, and Texas.

Trump: If North Korea Doesn't Obey Me, I Might Punish the Whole World (Eric Levitz / New York Magazine & Alex Ward / VOX.com<)
President Trump used a high-profile speech Friday morning to attack the media, rehash his surprise Electoral College win, promise to build his controversial border wall, and lead a crowd of conservative political activists in chants of, "Lock her up." Then, near the very end of his remarks, Trump casually said he was targeting North Korea with what he called the "heaviest sanctions ever imposed on a country before." If that fails, Trump threatened to take measures that would be "very unfortunate for the world."

JROTC, Military Indoctrination and the Training of Mass Killers (Pat Elder / The National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy & World Beyond War)
It's time to connect the dots between military indoctrination and firearms instruction on the one hand, and the propensity for training mass killers -- whether their crimes are committed as soldiers in atrocities overseas or in US high schools. Nikolas Cruz, the south Florida shooter, was enrolled in the Army's Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps program as a 9th grader at Stoneman Douglas High School. It was the Army that taught Cruz to shoot lethal weapons at a young and impressionable age.

The US Military Attempts a Political Coup in Vermont to Win Support for F-35 Jet (William Boardman / Reader Supported News & Ashley Curtin / NationofChange & Reuters)
There was a time when pretty much every American understood that the US Constitution provides for civilian control of the military. And there was a time when Americans understood that uniformed military were not to engage in civilian politics. Civilian control of the military is bedrock American constitutionalism. But American militarism has started to spin way out of control in Vermont, where Maj. Gen. Steven Cray he has jumped into the political arena to lobby for the troubled F-35 jet -- in violation of Army Regulations.

Two Essays and a Video in Search of the Lost America (Robert Reich / San Francisco Chronicle & Robert Reich / RobertReich.org & Democracy Now!)
Commentary: When Donald Trump refers to "America," what does he mean? Trump encourages a combination of tribalism, libertarianism and loyalty. But the core of our national identity has never been any of this. It has been found in the ideals we share -- political equality, equal opportunity, freedom of speech and of the press, a dedication to open inquiry and truth, and to democracy and the rule of law. Today, an unbridled selfishness, a contempt for the public, a win-at-any-cost mentality, is eroding America.

Florida School-shooter's Gun Training Provided by the Pentagon and the NRA (Amy Goodman and Pat Elder / Democracy Now!)
The gunman who fired on students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida was a former member of the school's Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program. Nikolas Cruz took part in a four-person JROTC marksmanship team at the school which received $10,000 in funding from the NRA to promote a program that introduces gun possession to children as young as 13. It's "a win-win proposition for [the NRA] and for the sellers of weaponry," says Pat Elder.

How Trump and Pruitt Are Destroying the EPA (Peter Fimrite /The San Francisco Chronicle)
Lynda Deschambault knew her career at the Environmental Protection Agency had taken a hard turn in July when her supervisor told her during a performance review to "be as invisible as possible." The next month, she took early retirement. The request, she said, was jarring for a woman who had spent two decades enforcing pollution laws and the cleanup of toxic lands for the EPA's Pacific Southwest region. Managing Superfund sites is not a position that lends itself to blending in.

Britain's House of Lords Debates Nuclear Risks and Abolition (The Basel Peace Office & Alyn Ware / In Depth News & Abolition 2000)
From May 14-16, the United Nations General Assembly will hold its first ever High-level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament. This conference has become even more important in light of increased nuclear risks, which led the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists on January 25 to move the hands of the Doomsday Clock to 2 minutes to Midnight.

The Death of Syria: "A Monstrous Campaign of Annihilation" (Rawya Rageh, Alia Malek, Wendy Pearlman and Amy Goodman / Democracy Now!)
There truly are no words to describe the extent of the horrors that we're seeing in Syria -- the malnutrition, the deprivation, the massacres. So many external players sort of robbed people of their dreams and their hopes and their ability to bring about the basic reforms and democracy they were asking for. No one in Syria was asking for this kind of civil infighting. And this just shows you the lengths to which the Syrian government and its supporters were willing to go just to maintain the rule of one man in power.

Trumplandia Uber Alles: More Money, More Guns, More Bombs, More Wars (Christopher A. Preble / The National Interest & Eric Margolis / UNZ Review)
The Trump administration released its budget for FY 2019 on Monday, and the reviews are in: military spending advocates are pleased and deficit hawks are dismayed. The top line steers $716 billion to various national security functions. The Pentagon will get $617 billion in its base budget, plus $69 billion to pay for the ongoing wars. The size of the active-duty force will rise by 25,900. Funds for new equipment from corporate weapons manufactures will grow by nearly $19 billion, a 14.9 percent increase over 2018.

Good News for the Earth: Chile Adds 10 Million Acres of Parkland in Historic First (Elizabeth Royte and Michael Greshko / National Geographic)
On January 29, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet officially declared a major expansion of Chile's parklands creating two new national parks and protecting vast swaths of the country's rainforests, grasslands, and other wild terrains. This major achievement in public-private conservation was made possible by world's largest gift of privately held land -- 10 million acres of protected forests, mountains and rivers donated by American philanthropists Kristine Tompkins and her late husband, Doug.

Power to the People: Socialize Renewable Energy (Christine Marie / Socialist Action & The United National Antiwar Coalition & Sean Sweeney and John Treat / Trade Unions for Energy Democracy)
As Bill McKibben and others keep reminding us, as the cost of solar and wind energy keeps dropping government efforts to incentivize private investment with guarantees of profitable it would make renewables competitive with fossil fuels and lead to a green capitalism. But the chances of this happening, under the current paradigm of public-private partnerships that guarantee profits, is zero. The global labor movement should demand a green energy transition anchored in public financing, social ownership and democratic control.

The American Warlord: Trump Plans Major Boost to Already Record US Arms Sales (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Samuel Stebbins / 24/7 Wall St.com)
The United States is already the world's leading exporter of weapons, by far. This fact is driving record profits for well-positioned US arms-makers on record sales to every country on even sort-of good terms with the US. With the US government increasingly gauging its export success on weapons sales, "enough" simply isn't an option. Now Donald Trump is finalizing a policy guidance to boosts to sales of US-made weapons above and beyond what's already been sent abroad.

Rivers of Plastic: Oceans of Waste; Corals Are Wasting Away (Prachi Patel / Scientific American & Wenonah Hauter / YES! Magazine & Chelsea Harvey / Scientific American & Helen Briggs / BBC)
Our seas are choking on plastic. Eight million metric tons wind up in oceans every year. A recent study estimates that more than a quarter of all that waste could be pouring in from just 10 rivers, eight of them in Asia. The Yangtze alone pours up to an estimated 1.5 million metric tons into the Yellow Sea. Meanwhile, new data show that ocean acidification not only stops corals from building, it tears them down.

US Sanctions North Korea for Seeking Peace; US Threatens Iraq for Buying Russian Missiles (PressTV)
Seemingly eager to provoke conflict, the Trump administration is reportedly set to unveil a large package of sanctions against North Korea, even as Pyongyang is continuing to engage its main rival Seoul in pursuit of peace. In another instance of "bully politics," the US has warned Iraq (and a number of other countries) "consequences" of purchasing weapons from Russia instead of the US. Case in point: Iraq's move to purchase S-400 surface-to-air missile defense systems from Russia instead of Washington.

Court Determines Military Burn Pits Caused Lung Disease in Service Members (Perry Chiaramonte / Fox News)
The tens of thousands of US military personnel and private contractors whose health was compromised by the dense black smoke from burn pits -- and who were then denied proper treatment -- may finally be vindicated by a recent court ruling. A judge has ruled that open-air burn pits -- where thousands of chemicals were released into the air when trash and other waste were incinerated at American military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan -- are connected to lung disease.

Gun Violence as State-Sponsored Domestic Terrorism (Rabbi Michael Lerner / The Network of Spiritual Progressives & Henry A. Giroux /Tikkun Magazine)
There are 300 million guns in the United States and, since the mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School of 20 young children and 6 teachers a decade ago, 11,000 more children have died of gun violence. There is no defense for putting the policies of the NRA ahead of the lives of children. Today, in Washington and many US states, criminal acts often pass for legislative policies.

Does Peace Need a Business Plan? (David Swanson / David Swanson.org)
Analysis: Scilla Elworthy has proposed a "budget for peace" that focuses on positive policies governments should pursue (while attempting to replace oligarchic, militaristic governments). Her total budget is less then $200 million per year -- a relatively miniscule expense (a mere 0.01 percent of the roughly $2 trillion spent on war and war preparations by the world's governments every year). It's a good beginning but the plan needs work.

Anti-Drone Billboards Pop Up in Syracuse; Encounter Censorship Elsewhere (David Swanson / World Beyond War)
World Beyond War has been raising funds for and renting billboards in opposition to war. We've run into censorship from numerous billboard companies but persevered, and more billboards are on their way. We're currently putting these two new billboards in Syracuse, New York, where drone pilots participate in US wars from Hancock Air Base.

The Environmental Consequences of the Use of Armed Drones (Doug Weir and Elizabeth Minor / Reaching Critical Will & Toxic Remnants of War)
To date, debate over the implications of the growing use of armed drones has focused on human rights, on the expansion of the use of force into new contexts, and on the imbalances created by the newfound ability to project violence at a distance. Largely missing from the debate over the use of drones are concerns about the environmental and derived humanitarian impacts of drone operations. For starters, the use of these explosive weapons has the capacity to generate toxic remnants.

A Secret Nuclear-Powered US Military Base to Be Revealed as the Arctic Melts (Kate Lunau / Motherboard @ VICE.com)
At the height of the Cold War, the US built a top-secret nuclear missile site beneath the Greenland ice sheet. The US abandoned the base, believing it would remain a secret but, as the Arctic melts, the base -- and its wastes -- are coming back to haunt the present. The question of who should take responsibility for Camp Century's radioactive wastes has become a political hot potato. At this point it isn't clear exactly who is responsible for cleaning it up.

The US Used Biowarfare on North Korea (David Swanson / David Swanson.org & Jeffrey S. Kaye / INSURGE intelligence)
The US bombed North Korea flat with ordinary, non-bioweapons bombs. It ran out of standing structures to bomb. People lived in caves, if they lived. Millions died, most of them from regular old non-scandalous but mass-murderous bombs (including, of course, Napalm which melts people but doesn't give them exotic diseases). It is less known that the US tried to spread diseases like bubonic plague in North Korea. Jeffrey Kaye has just posted online an important report that has been largely unavailable for decades.

ACTION ALERT: Standing Up to the NRA: A Domestic Terrorist Organization (Ashley Curtin / NationofChange & Common Defense & The Us Campaign)
Dallas is home to this year's NRA annual convention but a city council member and the mayor pro tem are urging the NRA to take its convention elsewhere. Huge protests are planned if the NRA goes forth with the convention, which would include the selling of ammunition and assault weapons. For years, the NRA has fed violent, paranoid rhetoric to their millions of members along with apocalyptic, terrorizing propaganda videos, openly threatening peaceful protesters with menacing violence.

ACTION ALERT: Guns Amok: If Congress Won't Act, Perhaps the Banks Will (Ultraviolet & NewsMax & William Cummings and Bart Jansen / USA TODAY)
Kids are being murdered and Congress has done nothing to stop the sale of these assault weapons -- they are more worried about losing their campaign contributions than people's lives. Now we're calling on Visa, Mastercard, and other credit card companies to stop allowing people to buy assault weapons with their credit cards.

Planet-killing Corporations Want Laws to Treat Eco-activists as "Terrorists" (Alexander C. Kaufman / The Huffington Post)
Corporate polluters are comparing nonviolent environmental activists to dangerous "terrorists." In 2017, the American Legislative Exchange Council drafted model legislation calling for severe punishments for anyone caught trespassing on oil, gas or chemical company lands. The Critical Infrastructure Protection Act even includes a clause that any "conspirator" organization would be fined 10 times more than the trespasser, opening the door to crippling penalties for environmental groups like Greenpeace.

ACTION ALERT: A Letter to the Taliban and a Letter to Donald Trump (David Swanson / Let's Try Democracy & The Action Network)
Advice to the Taliban: Research shows that nonviolent movements are more than twice as likely to succeed. "As long as you allow yourselves to be depicted as viciously violent, you will be a highly profitable advertisement for US weapons makers and US politicians." Advice to Trump: During each of the past 15 years, Washington has informed us that success was imminent. During each of the past 15 years, Afghanistan has continued its descent into poverty, violence, environmental degradation, and instability.

End the "Proxy War" in Syria Before the Entire Region Is Engulfed in Flames (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Amos Harel / Haaretz & Jeffrey D. Sachs / Informed Comment, Common Dreams)
The US government mischaracterizes the war as a civil war among Syrians, rather than a proxy war involving the US, Israel, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Qatar. With Assad's advances, the civil war and America's reduced involvement in the region, Israel has been forced to make significant changes in its policies in the Golan Heights. Faced with an alarming risk of a renewed escalation of fighting, it's time for the United Nations Security Council to step in and end the bloodshed.

The Cost of Washington's 17-year 'Global War on Terror': $5.6 Trillion (Stephanie Savell / TomDispatch )
17 years after the war on terror began, it's a topic that seems to fire relatively few of us up, much less send us into the streets, Vietnam-style, to protest. As those wars are approaching the end of their second decade, most of us don't even think of ourselves as "at war." But we are, and it has cost both lives and treasure. The Costs of War Project has come up with a comprehensive estimate of what the war on terror has actually cost this country since 2001: an extraordinary $5.6 trillion.

14 Environmental Programs Eliminated in Trump's Budget Proposal (John R. Platt / The Revelatory)
President Trump released his proposed federal budget for 2019 on Monday, and in the process pushed for the complete elimination of more than a dozen key environmental programs. These include, but are not limited to, areas of the government focusing on climate change, public lands and energy efficiency. Trump's proposal also drastically slashes the budgets of the Environmental Protection Agency, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies critical to a sustainable future.

Demanding Justice: Indigenous Women In Guatemala Battle Canadian Mining Giant (Heather Gies / Upside Down World)
Elena Choc Quib, a unilingual Q'eqchi' speaker from a remote village in rural Guatemala, never imagined travelling outside her country, let alone boarding a plane to Toronto. But everything changed when she and 10 other women were gang raped during a violent eviction more than a decade ago, allegedly on behalf of a formerly Canadian-owned nickel mine.

Playing by the Rules? Nuclear Powers Could Learn from Olympic Athletes and Fans (Marilyn Langlois / TRANSCEND Media Service)
Commentary: "The US, the only nation to ever use nuclear weapons, subjecting the people of Japan to unspeakable horrors, is quick to assume a holier-than-thou attitude when proclaiming who else is allowed and who is not allowed to develop, possess, and upgrade these killing machines. The world's stockpile of nukes could destroy humanity many times over."

ACTION ALERT: The GOP the NRA and Mass Murder: The Proven Solution in Gun Control (Robert Reich & Dan Rathert & YES! Magazine & VoteVets)
This week, 17 teachers, students, and visitors died in a Florida high school, in a country where mass shootings have been devastatingly routine. Background checks and gun control have proven effective at reducing gun suicides and domestic shootings (both very worthwhile goals), but not the gun homicides or mass shootings such remedies are invoked to redress. But the last 25 years have seen massive declines in gun homicides in New York, California, and Texas -- all states with strict gun-control laws.

1.7 Million Afghans Preparing to Sue the US for War Crimes (teleSUR)
More than one million statements from Afghan people and organizations have been submitted to the International Criminal Court alleging war crimes were committed by several actors in the country including the US military, the CIA, Afghan forces and the Taliban, local groups working with the Hague-based tribunal. The Kabul-based Human Rights and Eradication of Violence Organization reports that 1.17 million statements have been submitted to the court over the past three months.

In Florida, It's Easier to Buy a Gun than to Vote (Ruth Milka / NationofChange & Heather Dockray and Andrea Romano / Mashable.com)
The United States, which has the highest rate of civilian gun ownership in the world, makes it surprisingly easy to buy an assault weapon. In Florida, it's harder to get birth control and purchase over the counter medications, such as Sudafed, than it is to buy a gun.

ACTION ALERT: Student-Shooting Survivors Give Voice to Their Outrage (Julie Turkewitz, Matt Stevens and Jason M. Bailey / The New York Times & Emma Gonzalez)
Commentary: "If the President wants to come up to me and tell me to my face that it was a terrible tragedy and how it should never have happened and maintain telling us how nothing is going to be done about it, I'm going to happily ask him how much money he received from the NRA? . . . . I already know. $30 million. And divided by the number of gunshot victims in the US in the one and one-half months in 2018 alone, that comes out to being $5,800. Is that how much these people are worth to you, Trump?"

ACTION ALERT: There Are Many Bills in Congress To Reduce Gun Violence -- And The GOP Has Blocked Them All (Senator Elizabeth Warren & CREDO Action )
Democrats have bills to ban assault weapons but the Republicans control the House, Senate, and White House. Even when kids die every day in deliberate shootings, accidental shootings, drive-by shootings, and random shootings, the Republicans have blocked even the tiniest gun reform laws to protect our children and communities.

Pentagon Gets Billions as Older Defense Industry Workers Lose Jobs and Benefits (Stephen Miles / Inkstick Media & Peter Whoriskey / The Week)
The Pentagon's budget is $700 billion for this 2018 and $716 billion for 2019. Senate Chair John McCain declared that without these funds "our military would not be able to defend the nation." (Give the military $620 billion and they're helpless but give them 8% more and everything will be ok?) Meanwhile, McDonnell-Douglas, a major defense contractor, has set enacted cost-saving measures that involve shutting plants to deny pensions to aging members of its workforce -- forcing many workers into bankruptcy.

We Can Avoid War with North Korea -- If We Listen to Women Peacemakers (Erica Fein / Ms. Magazine Blog & Cindy Sheehan's Soap Box)
The US and North Korea have been at war for 67 years. Since 1953, a united Korea -- that had existed for well over a thousand years -- has given way to a stark division. Conventional thinking isn't just continuing the status quo -- it's putting us on a path to renewed war. If we want to truly achieve peace, we must listen to the voices of those who have witnessed the human costs of war on the Korean Peninsula. And, on all sides of the negotiating table, women must be heard.

ACTION ALERT: Stop the School Shootings: Ban Sales of Military Weapons (LegitAction Team & Brave New Films & The Huffington Post & Kucinich.com & MomsRising)
The recent shooting in Parkland, Florida is an example of the deadly consequences that can arise when the American people overwhelmingly ask for a policy (like gun safety reforms) that Congress ignores at the behest of a few campaign donors (like the NRA and gun manufacturers). Rich and powerful gun interests are undermining our democratic legitimacy: our lives and our freedoms are at risk. Raise your voice to challenge the Gun Lobby.

Trump Quietly Kills Gun-control Law! (Ashley Curtin / NationofChange & Dave Lindorff / This Can't Be Happening)
In a very hush manner, Donald Trump signed a bill into law on Tuesday that rolled back an Obama-era regulation that put restrictions on gun purchases for people with mental illnesses. Why do we permit people to buy semi-automatic assault rifles?Something is clearly sick in America. The latest shooting, in Broward County, Florida, did not take place in some crowded, poor, violence-plagued, urban school, but rather in an upscale suburban community -- at a top-performing high school.

It's Time to Deal With Trumputin's Second Amendment Idiocy (Harvey "Sluggo" Wasserman / Reader Supported News)
Commentary: The first thing to remember about gun violence is that it is A BUSINESS. There is an entire corporate infrastructure that makes BIG MONEY on these murders. Whoever makes and sells the automatic weapons and the bullets that do these slaughters makes a profit on them. Yesterday's shooting, like tomorrow's, puts money in their bank account. They will be enriched by the next mass slaughter and the one after that and the one after that.

Las Vegas Autopsies Reveal The True Brutality Of Mass Shootings (Nick Wing and Matt Ferner / Huffington Post)
Media coverage often serves to sanitize the graphic, uncomfortable reality of these tragedies. Maybe we don't deserve the privilege of that comfort. In the wake of the Las Vegas mass-shooting in October 2017, reports from the Clark County coroner's office offer a raw account of the power of civilian weaponry. With bullets traveling at 3,000-feet-per-second, the damage these high-powered rifles can inflict on human bodies is extreme -- even when the gunman appears to have no particular firearms expertise.

1,607 More Mass Shootings Since Sandy Hook: Washington Offers 'Thoughts and Prayers' (German Lopez, Ryan Mark and Soo Oh on / VOX & The Gun Violence Archive & The New York Times)
In December 2012, a gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and killed 20 children, six adults, and himself. Since then, there have been at least 1,607 mass shootings, with at least 1,846 people killed and 6,459 wounded.

JROTC, Military Indoctrination and the Training of Mass Killers (Pat Elder / The National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy)
Nikolas Cruz, the south Florida shooter, was enrolled in the Army's Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) program as a 9th grader at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The Army taught Cruz to shoot lethal weapons at a very young and impressionable age.

US Wasting Billions on Nuclear Bombs that Serve No Purpose and Are a Security Liability (Julian Borger / The Guardian)
The US is to spend billions of dollars upgrading 150 nuclear bombs positioned in Europe, although the weapons may be useless as a deterrent and a potentially catastrophic security liability, according to a new report by arms experts. A third of the B61 bombs in Europe under joint US and NATO control are thought to be kept at Incirlik base in Turkey, 70 miles from the Syrian border, which has been the subject of serious concerns.

The Pope's Message on Nuclear Abolition (Pope Francis / The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development)
Commentary: "International relations cannot be held captive to military force, mutual intimidation, and the parading of stockpiles of arms. Weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons, create nothing but a false sense of security. They cannot constitute the basis for peaceful coexistence between members of the human family, which must rather be inspired by an ethics of solidarity."

A Letter from Afghanistan: The Taliban Asks the American People to End this Deadly War (Gar Smith / Environmentalists Against War & The Berkeley Daily Planet)
In an unprecedented 17,000-word letter released on February 14, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (aka, the Taliban) has appealed directly to the American people to "put pressure on your authorities and demand an end to the occupation of Afghanistan. It is not the duty of America to draft laws and suggest systems for other countries," the letter states -- especially when doing so entails the deaths of "3,546 US and foreign soldiers" and "tens of thousands of helpless Afghans, including women and children."

UN: Over 10,000 Afghan Civilian Casualties in 2017 (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Reuters)
More than 10,000 Afghan civilians were killed or wounded in violence last year, the United Nations said on Thursday, with militant bombings the main cause while air strikes by US and government forces inflicted a rising toll. US President Donald Trump introduced a more aggressive US strategy in Afghanistan in August including a surge in air strikes.

Behind the Latest Mass-Shooting: The Hidden Role of the Pentagon, JROTC, and the NRA (David Swanson / David Swanson.org & Pat Elder / Counter-Recruit Press)
The worst kept secret in our gun-mad and war-mad culture is that: "US mass-shooters are disproportionately veterans." Even in the latest tragedy, while the teenage shooter wasn't a military veteran, he was a veteran of his high school's Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps. Promoted by the Pentagon and funded by the NRA, the JROTC trained Nikolas Cruz in marksmanship skills that were used to deadly effect on the grounds of the Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Big Oil Continues to Lie about Climate Change While Its Critics Are Strong-armed and Silenced (Elliott Negin / EcoWatch)
ExxonMobil is still very much engaged in trying to stymie any government attempt to seriously address climate change. Meanwhile, Lissa Lucas, a West Virginia resident who is running for a House seat, traveled over 100 miles to testify against an oil-and-gas-industry sponsored bill. She was physically removed from the podium when she began listing oil lobbyists' contributions to local politicians.

New Defense Strategy: War With Great Nations and A New Arms Race (Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers / Popular Resistance)
At a time when US empire is fading (something the Pentagon recognizes) and with the US is falling behind China economically, the War Party in Washington has revealed a new National Defense Strategy that focuses on conflicts with great powers and calls for a new arms race, including an escalation of nuclear weapons development. The US military is spread across the world with troops in several dangerous conflict areas that could develop into an all-out wars with China or Russia.

On the Occasion of the 39th Anniversary of the Iranian Revolution (Phil Wilayto / UNAC Editor Revolution)
The very first attack on a foreign government by the newly formed Central Intelligence Agency was directed against Iran in 1953, when Kermit Roosevelt, orchestrated the overthrow of the immensely popular Prime Minister Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh, whose only "crime" was to be the world's first head of state to nationalize his own country's oil resources. The hated Mohammad Reza Shah was placed in power and the US gained control over 40 percent of Iran's oil, previously controlled by the British.

The Pentagon's Costly F-35 Fiasco Continues In 2018 (William Thomas / Will Thomas Online)
The F-35 Joint Strike Failure is still flapping around the boneyard, unable to fly very much except for photo-ops. At least $8 billion of the Pentagon's budget for 2015 was devoted to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Already on track to be the most expensive weapon system in history, in 2018, the F-35 is becoming a black hole in the Pentagon budget.

Remembering Vietnam 50 Years On (Peter Berres / The Lexington Herald-Leader & Jordan Travis / The Traverse City Record-Eagle & Alastair Crooke / Consortium News)
January 30 was the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive, an attack by North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces that inflicted heavy losses on US and South Vietnamese militaries and lead to the Pentagon's ignominious retreat from the country. 50 years on, military planners appear to have learned the wrong lessons from the Vietnam War -- still focusing on war's "winnability" rather than questioning whether it makes sense to engage in it all.

Trump's Budget Proposal Includes Major Cuts to Environmental Programs (Mythili Sampathkumar / The Independent)
Donald Trump's budget proposal includes steep cuts to -- or the complete elimination of -- many critical;y important environmental programs. This comes despite a deal made in Congress last week that added hundreds of billions of dollars in new, general funding to the federal budget. Trump's proposed budget reflects many of the priorities outlined in the first proposal submitted last April. Called the "skinny budget," it focused heavily on military spending. Congress must still debate, amend and approve the budget.

Military Leaders Warn Trump Not to Slash Diplomacy Budget (Mythili Sampathkumar / The Independent)
More than 150 retired generals and admirals have asked Donald Trump not to make deep cuts to diplomacy in a proposed budget that focuses heavily on defense. Trump would slash budgets for the State Department and foreign aid programmes by 32 percent from 2017 while spending $686 billion on the military -- a 13 percent increase from the previous year. More than 1,200 military vets from all branches of the armed forces echoed the call in separate open letters addressed to the Congressional leadership.

Trump Vows Major Expansion of US Nuclear Arsenal (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Stephen M. Walt / Foreign Policy & Conn Hallinan / Dispatches from the Edge)
Talking up his new budget priorities, President Trump announced plans to conduct a massive expansion of the US nuclear weapons arsenal, with an eye toward building a number "far, far in excess of anybody else" -- once again overlooking the fact that the US already has the strongest nuclear arsenal on the planet. The Pentagon also wants to develop a new generation of smaller "usable" nuclear weapons to allow more flexible targeting abilities -- which would actually make nuclear war more likely.

Greenwashing Wars and the US Military: The IUCN Turns a Blind Eye to Terracide (Col. Ann Wright (US Army Ret.) / Consortium News)
A recent 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, reports retired Col. Ann Wright. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature held a six-day conference in Hawaii followed by 4 days of discussions and 1300 workshops. And yet there was no mention of the environmental destruction caused by military operations and wars.

In Trump's New Budget, 54% of Discretionary Funds Will Go to Military (Lindsay Koshgarian / The National Priorities Project & Ruth Milka / NationofChange & Sal Rodriguez / Orange County Register)
After a brief government shutdown, the House and Senate passed a budget deal that sets 2018 spending levels at $700 billion for the military -- including an $80 billion budget increase, as well as $71 billion in war and emergency funding (an increase over recent years) -- and massive cuts in domestic spending on health, education, social programs, and the environment. Meanwhile, the unwinable Afghan war cost taxpayers $45 billion during the first year of Donald Trump's administration.

Militarizing America's Energy Policy (Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & Michael T. Klare / TomDispatch )
According to the Congressional Budget Office, government cash reserves are already starting to fall faster than expected as a result of lost revenue from Trump's "tax reform" bill. At the same time, Mr. Trump's addiction to fossil fuels -- and his belief that freeing Big Energy from every form of restriction and regulation -- remains at the core of the GOP's vision of global domination. Every great power has sought to control energy resources as a means to control the planet -- but this path threatens to destroy the planet.

Why a Peace Treaty Is the First Step in Seeking a Denuclearized North Korea (Cesar Jaramillo / Open Canada.org)
Despite all eyes on the showing of unity between the Koreas at the Pyeongchang Games this month, North Korea's nuclear program remains the elephant in the Olympic-sized room. But a key issue remains to be addressed: declaring a formal end to the Korean War. A peace treaty for the Korean peninsula may be the only realistic framework to achieve the denuclearization of North Korea.

Who Killed Esmond Bradley Martin? (Margot Kiser / The Daily Beast)
Esmond Bradley Martin was found dead on February 4, a stab wound in his neck and the floor of his home covered with blood. The famous white-haired American wildlife activist and expert on the illegal ivory trade had been murdered within the confines of his estate in Langata, a posh suburb of his adopted country's capital. Was the murder linked to Martin's efforts to circumvent the illegal trade in wildlife or was he killed because of an attempted land grab?

Russia Charges US Target in Syria Isn't ISIS, It's Oil (Tass Russian News Agency)
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Washington's illegal military presence in Syria is not aimed at destroying Islamic insurgents but its actually designed to seize Syria's economic assets -- including the al-Isba oil refinery, the Conoco gas field in the Deir ez-Zor province, and the al-Omar and al-Tanak oil fields -- believed to be the largest in Syria with a daily yield of 27,000 barrels of oil.

US, Russia, and Israel Causing Havoc in Syria, Risking a Wider War (AntiWar.com & The Guardian & Haaretz & The Express)
Israeli officials have been carrying out large-scale attacks against military sites in Syria claiming they are "Iranian" targets. Turkey charges one of its military helicopters has been shot down in Syria by US-backed Kurdish forces. Russia has bombarded Syria's Idlib province with more than 100 air attacks in just a few hours after one of its fighter jets was shot down by rebels.

Turkey's Minister of Foreign Affairs Warns US Is 'Arming Terrorists' in Syria (Hon. Mevlut Cavusoglu / teleSUR)
The so-called People's Protection Units, or YPG, are simply the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party terrorist organization by another name, writes Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. "An impasse has been created between us by the US' choice of local partner in this war: a group the US government recognizes as a terrorist organization. The so-called People's Protection Units, or YPG. . . To our dismay, terrorists across our borders in Iraq and Syria are using weapons and training provided by the US."

Washington Eager to Waste $1.4 Trillion on War; NATO Allies, Not So Much (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Claudia Grisales / Stars and Stripes & Max Greenwood / The Hill)
The latest brief government shutdown in the US on Friday resulted in a new budget deal that cements a huge 2018 budget by promising a huge military spending increase for 2019 -- in excess of $1.4 trillion in promised military spending over the next two years. But this is just the baseline increase agreed to. The final bill is expected to be higher than anyone requested in the first place. Meanwhile, most NATO member states have yet to make plans to meet the military spending target insisted upon by the US.

One Drone Enters Israeli Airspace; Israeli Bombs Syria in 'Largest Attack Since 1982' (Reuters & Muraselon: Syrian News & Al Jazeera)
Anti-aircraft fire downed one of eight Israeli warplanes returning from a bombing raid on Iran-backed positions in Syria in one of the most serious confrontations yet between Israel and Syrian forces based across the border. Israel claimed the airstrikes inside Syria were in retaliation for a drone that entered Israeli airspace and was shot down. But Israel has a history of violating Syrian airspace -- at least a half-dozen times since 2014 -- to attack targets that included the outskirts of Damascus, Syria's capital.

"Iranian" Drone that Entered Israeli Airspace Called an "American Knock-off"; Moscow Accuses US of Covert Drone Attack (Judah Ari Gross / Times of Israel & Vladimir Isachenkov / The Associated Press)
The Iranian drone shot down by the Israeli Air Force early Saturday morning appears to have been a relatively new stealth model whose design was stolen from an American unmanned aerial vehicle that was captured by Iran in 2011, according to aviation analysts.

Iran Claims "No Permanent Bases" Inside Syria: The US Has Built At Least 8 (Muraselon: The Syrian Reporter & Agnes Helou / Defense News & Inside Syria Media Center)
Senior Advisor to the Iranian Parliament Speaker Hossein Amir Abdollahian dismissed media reports claiming that Tehran has set up military bases in Syria, but meantime, confirmed the country's advisory role. Meanwhile, a military "base race" is underway between Russia and the US as each nation seeks to expand its presence inside Syria. While Russia was invited into Syria; the US occupies the country illegally and is in further violation of international law by constructing US-controlled bases inside Syria.

In Wake of US 'Massacre' that Killed Russians in Syria, Senator Demands Release of Trump's Secret War Powers Memo (NBC News & World Socialist Web Site & The Globe and Mail)
Sen. Tim Kaine is demanding the release of a secret memo that outlines Donald Trump's interpretation of his legal authority to wage war. Kaine's demand comes after the US-led coalition fighting ISIS in Syria conducted air and artillery strikes that killed an estimated 100 pro-regime fighters. Multiple reports indicate that Russian military contractors were among those killed in "devastating" US air and artillery strikes. The confrontation "raises serious questions about our continued presence in Syria."

Imagine Peace: Olympics Begin With Both Koreas Marching Together (Motoko Rich / The New York Times)
The opening ceremony of the 23rd Winter Olympics unfurled in frigid temperatures and high spirits as athletes from the two Koreas marched into the stadium together less than 50 miles from the heavily-fortified border between their nations, offering hope of a breakthrough in a tense, geopolitical standoff. The largest Winter Olympics yet, with 92 nations participating, began with the North and South Korean delegations marching under one flag, renewing hopes of a peninsula no longer divided by history and ideology.

Koreas Unite for Peace; Trump Threatens War; Tillerson Boasts of Sanctions and Civilian Deaths (RT News)
At a time of unprecedented goodwill between Seoul and Pyongyang over the Winter Olympics, the US has doubled down on its inflammatory rhetoric and threats to the Korean Peninsula. "We are seeing how the US every time attempts both to tighten the sanction screws and to threaten it with the use of force," said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. "I very much hope that [the war] scenario, which could claim the lives of up to 1 million people or even more, won't be carried out."

Trump's Nuclear Posture Review Revives Nightmares of Dr. Strangelove (Derek Royden / NationofChange)
On February 2, the Pentagon officially released the Trump Administration's Nuclear Posture Review, the first such review since 2010. Like most such documents, there's a lot of repetition over its 100 pages but, overall, it makes for terrifying rather than boring, reading. In true Trumpian fashion, nuclear arms are sold throughout the review as a cost-efficient, even cheap, means to maintain American strategic dominance in every corner of the world.

Confessions of a Washington Insider: I Helped Sell the False Choice of War Once. It's Happening Again. (Lawrence Wilkerson/ The New York Times & Portside)
Commentary: Fifteen years ago, Wilkerson helped Secretary of State Colin Powell promote the hoax that a war with Iraq was necessary. It was "a campaign built on the politicization of intelligence and shortsighted policy decisions to make the case for war. And the American people have apparently become so accustomed to executive branch warmongering -- approved almost unanimously by the Congress -- that such actions are not significantly contested." Once again, the US is being "lied" into war.

Trump's Parade Plan Gets the Boot (Sen. Rand Paul / Fox News & Major Danny Sjursen / The American Conservative)
Commentary: "A military parade in the nation's capital? Though the martial image of high-stepping soldiers is not one I tend to associate with our nation's Founders' distrust of a standing Army, I'm not against a victory celebration. So I propose we declare victory in Afghanistan, bring home our 14,000 troops and hold a victory parade." "Hail the generals-who-tried! Hail the young soldiers who died for naught but their mates! Hail the forever war and . . . the new American militarism!"

ACTION ALERT: Stop NBC's Winter Olympics Whiteout (Public Citizen & Kendra Pierre-Louis / The New York Times & Henry Fountain / The New York Times)
Jessie Diggins is a cross-country skier on the American women's team. Diggins is also an advocate for climate action. Yesterday, another Olympian spoke out about the need for immediate climate action. The New York Times told this story. But NBC -- the official network of the Winter Olympics -- did not. In fact, NBC has been silent on the ways climate change is impacting the Winter Olympics and its athletes. We no longer can talk about winter without talking about global warming.

Drug Wars, Missing Money, and a Phantom $500 Million (Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & Nick Turse / TomDispatch)
A report by the Defense Department Inspector General on the day after Christmas 2017, raises questions about a combatant command with a history of scandals, including significant failures in planning, executing, tracking, and documenting projects across the African continent, as well as the effectiveness of US assistance efforts there. Nick Turse tells a true-life story of squandered money and drug wars that catches the essence of what may be the true opioid crisis of twenty-first-century America.

ACTION ALERT: A Call for the Baltic Sea to Become a "Sea of Peace" (Women for Peace, Sweden & Physicians for Social Responsibility, Finland, et al)
We, the organizations and movements that have signed this letter are extremely concerned about the deepening crisis between the United States, EU and Russia and about the rapidly advancing militarization of the Baltic Sea. The hope that awoke with the end of the 'old' Cold War is increasingly waning, and worryingly the lessons of the Cold War that brought mankind and the planet to the brink of nuclear destruction have been all but forgotten.

ACTION ALERT: Vets Oppose Trump's Call for Weapons Parade (Associated Press & VoteVets & Common Defense & The Huffington Post)
Donald Trump has ordered the Pentagon to prepare for a military parade. Our military should not be used to prop up Donald Trump's fragile self-image. Trump doesn't actually honor the troops, he wants to force the troops to honor him. If Trump wants to see us marching in the streets of DC, we'll go -- In protest. Plans are underway to stage a "Tiananmen Square" moment -- with hundreds of protesters walking into the street to confront the first M1 Abrams tank that lumbers down the road.

Trump Might Well Break International Law Over North Korea (Jonathan Power / IDN-INPS)
We are soon going to have a clash between President Donald Trump and international law. This is predicable when one examines the presidential discourse over what to do about North Korea and its possession of nuclear-tipped rockets. Trump's threat to "destroy" North Korea with thermonuclear "fire and fury" doesn't sound like the opening words of the UN's Charter.

What Trump Did Not Say about Foreign Policy (Mohammed Cherkaoui / Al Jazeera)
In his first State of the Union address, Trump also took a page from the Cold War playbook and resurrected the idea that the US is the protector of global freedoms. Just like Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon frequently did in the 1980's, he shaped the sections of his speech that deal with foreign policy around advocacy of freedom and American morality.

ACTION ALERT: How to Back the US Away from Nuclear Madness (World Beyond War)
In Trump's State of the Union he proposed building more nuclear weapons to counter "rivals" who "challenge" US "values." The Pentagon's new Nuclear Posture Review proposes nuclear weapons to counter even "cyber warfare" and of course for "deterrence," but also for "achievement of US objectives if deterrence fails." How do we back Washington away from madness? This might help. . . .

ACTION ALERT: The Winter Olympics Shows a Path to Peace (Athletes for Peace / Veterans for Peace)
Commentary: As former and current atheltes, we value the Olympic spirit and tradition of bringing men and women from diverse nations together for peaceful competition and performance. The Olympic Truce represents an important opportunity to defuse tensions and begin the work of reconciliation on the Korean peninsula. We therefore call upon the US Olympic Committee to fully support both Korean governments' current efforts to restore a peace process.

As Congress Feeds the Merchants of Death, the People Must Divest (Medea Benjamin / NationofChange )
In recent budget negotiations, Senate Democrats agreed to a boost in military spending that exceeded the cap for fiscal 2018 by $70 billion, bringing the total request to an enormous $716 billion. Inevitably, this means more Pentagon contracts will be awarded to private corporations that use endless war to line their pockets. If neither major political party will stand up to this status quo, what can be done? One answer might be found in the recent push to divest from fossil fuel -- from Norway to New York City.

50 Years in the Making, We Must Again Confront and Reject US Warmongering (Ajamu Baraka / Black Alliance for Peace)
Mission Statement: The Black Alliance for Peace seeks to recapture and redevelop the historic anti-war, anti-imperialist, and pro-peace positions of the radical black movement. Through educational activities, organizing and movement support, organizations and individuals in the Alliance will work to oppose both militarized domestic state repression, and the policies of de-stabilization, subversion and permanent war agenda of the US state globally.

The War You've Never Heard Of: AFRICOM The US Invasion of Africa (Nick Turse / Vice News & Nick Turse / The Intercept)
Six years ago, a deputy commanding general for US Army Special Operations Command revealed 116 missions were being carried out by Navy SEALs, Army Green Berets, and other special operations forces across the globe. Today, according to US military documents, special operators are carrying out nearly 100 missions in Africa alone. There are now more special operations personnel devoted to Africa than anywhere except the Middle East -- 1,700 people spread out across 20 countries.

Trump's Nuclear Posture Review: Back to Armageddon (Michael T. Klare / The Nation)
While Donald Trump's proposed expansion of the nuclear stockpile will channel hundreds of billions of dollars into the coffers of US military contractors (consistently among Trump's major cheerleaders), there is much more to all this than prestige and profits. Trump, and his associates in the White House, reject the measured and conservative outlook that governed Obama's nuclear policy and instead profess a stance that is both darker and far more combative.

We Can Avoid War with North Korea -- If We Listen to Women Peacemakers (Erica Fein / MS. Magazine)
Commentary: The US/Canada Summit on Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula which met in Vancouver in January was composed of countries that sent troops to fight North Korea during the Korean War. When a global delegation of women demanded a seat at the negotiating table, they were turned away. "Our reason was simple: when women influence the peacemaking process, studies show that agreements are almost always reached, are more likely to be implemented. and are likely to last longer."

New Defense Strategy: Instead of 'War on Terror' a 'War with Great Nations' -- and the Democrats Who Voted for Trump's New Arms Race (Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers / Popular Resistance & Alexandra Jacobo / NationofChange)
Trump's new National Defense Strategy pivots away from the 'War or Terror' to focus on conflicts with "Great Power" and a new arms race -- complete with an escalation of nuclear weapons development. The US' is spread across the world with troops fighting simultaneously in conflicts on several continents -- any one of which could become an all-out war with China or Russia. Who benefits? Weapons manufacturers, defense contractors, lobbyists, and other beneficiaries of the military-industrial complex

ACTION ALERT: Divest from the War Machine -- A Week of Resistance (CODEPINK / Divest from the War Machine)
This Tuesday's State of the Union address emphasized war, violence, and weapons. As we watch our country invest more of our money in weapons and war, we can take action and send a message to companies like Lockheed Martin that we will not invest in their acts of war.

ACTION ALERT: Trump's New Nuclear Doctrine Called a "Roadmap to Nuclear War" (The Basel Peace Office, Abolition 2000, Sen. Edward J Markey et al.)
The Trump administration's new Nuclear Posture Review has been criticized as a "roadmap to nuclear war" that calls for developing new low-yield "tactical" nuclear weapons and increases the role of nuclear weapons in US military planning by lowering the bar on the threats that could trigger a nuclear war. It backs a modernization of the existing nuclear arsenal that would increase the nuclear weapons budget by $60 billion per year.

ACTION ALERT: Join the "Off Fossil Fuels" Campaign (Food and Water Watch)
For five years, Food & Water Watch has worked to ban fracking because it presents unacceptable risks to our water supply. Now, we're taking on dirty energy for another reason: climate chaos. The goal: to move the US from fossil fuels to 100% renewables by 2035. Over 400 organizations have signed onto a letter urging support for this "visionary legislation," including 350.org, Friends of the Earth, Center for Biological Diversity, Progressive Democrats of America, Our Revolution, National Nurses United and more.

Donald Trump Loves the F-35 but the People of Vermont Do Not (William Boardman / Reader Supported News & Tyler Rogoway / The Drive)
Corrupt practices are driving the Burlington City Council in a headlong campaign to force a neighboring city to host a weapon of mass destruction -- the F-35, a nuclear capable fighter-bomber. In development since 1992 (at a cost of $400 billion and counting), the trouble-plagued F-35 was first flown in 2000 and is still not reliably deployable in 2018. The F-35 can't shoot straight and has more than 200 other deficiencies. Donald Trump sees no problems: he actual (and falsely) believes the F-35 is "invisible."

Around the World, Democracy Is in Decline -- Led by the United States (Amanda Erickson / The Washington Post & The Economist)
Democracy is in under siege around the world, according to a new report by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The annual Democracy Index tracks the health of the world's governments. And the results for 2017 are depressing. In 89 countries, democratic norms look worse than they did last year, the report's authors write. Just 4.5 percent of the world's residents live in fully functioning democracies, down from 8.9 percent in 2015. That precipitous drop is thanks, primarily, to the United States.

It's Time to Take War Off Its Pedestal (William J. Astore and Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & AntiWar.com)
Commentary: Our troops are human and vulnerable and imperfect. We don't help them when we put them on pedestals, give them flags to hold in the breeze, and salute them as icons of a feel-good brand of patriotism. Talk of warrior-heroes is worse than cheap: it enables our state of permanent war, elevates the Pentagon, ennobles the national security state, and silences dissent. That's why it's both dangerous and universally supported in rare bipartisan fashion by politicians in Washington.

Trump's Arctic Oil Plan Violates Law, Could Lead to Extinction of Polar Bears (Sabrina Shankman / InsideClimate News & Zahid Mahmood / CNN)
A new study warns that polar bears are starving as a result of fossil-fuel-driven climate change and could face extinction faster than previously thought. Meanwhile, Earthjustice and other groups warn that a proposed National Petroleum Reserve lease sale failed to consider how burning the fossil fuels might impact climate change. There is also concern that the areas made available for leasing included the Teshekpuk Lake Special Area, which is among the largest and most ecologically significant wetlands in the world.

America's Response to School Shootings; Teachers Are Being Trained to Shoot Their Students (Joel Gunter / BBC News & Patricia J. Williams / The Nation)
Two schoolchildren died on Tuesday and 14 others suffered bullet wounds when a classmate opened fire outside a school in Benton, Kentucky. It was the third shooting incident at a school in 48 hours and the 11th in the three weeks since the start of the year. In lieu of any serious discussion about gun control, there has been instead a proliferation of laws and bills that would arm teachers, and train them to be able to kill -- to kill their own armed students, if necessary.

ACTION ALERT: Join the "Off Fossil Fuels" Campaign (Food and Water Watch)
For five years, Food & Water Watch has worked to ban fracking because it presents unacceptable risks to our water supply. Now, we're taking on dirty energy for another reason: climate chaos. The goal: to move the US from fossil fuels to 100% renewables by 2035. Over 400 organizations have signed onto a letter urging support for this "visionary legislation," including 350.org, Friends of the Earth, Center for Biological Diversity, Progressive Democrats of America, Our Revolution, National Nurses United and more.

ACTION ALERT: Join the "Off Fossil Fuels" Campaign (Food and Water Watch)
For five years, Food & Water Watch has worked to ban fracking because it presents unacceptable risks to our water supply. Now, we're taking on dirty energy for another reason: climate chaos. The goal: to move the US from fossil fuels to 100% renewables by 2035. Over 400 organizations have signed onto a letter urging support for this "visionary legislation," including 350.org, Friends of the Earth, Center for Biological Diversity, Progressive Democrats of America, Our Revolution, National Nurses United and more.

Creating an Empire of Graveyards (Tom Engelhardt / NationOfChange)
Commentary: "Since he rode down that Trump Tower escalator into our political lives in June 2015, this sort of thing and more or less nothing else has largely been "the news." It goes without saying -- which won't stop me from saying it -- that not since Nebuchadnezzar's words were first scratched onto a cuneiform tablet has more focus been put on the passing words, gestures, and expressions of a single human being."

Trump's State of the Union: Lies, Damn Lies, and Nuclear Posture Reviews (David Swanson / World Beyond War)
Commentary: Trump's State of the Union gave several justifications for building more weapons -- aka a "safe, secure, and effective nuclear deterrent." There is, of course, nothing safe or secure about producing, maintaining, or threatening to use nuclear weapons. Nor is there evidence that they have ever deterred anything that the United States wanted deterred. We should all contemplate for a moment what the US objectives are that can be achieved by nuclear weapons "if deterrence fails."

Reality Check: Where Are the World's Nuclear Weapons? (Reality Check Team / BBC News)
The Pentagon has outlined how it wants to revamp the US nuclear arsenal, and develop new low-yield bombs. Reality Check looks into where the world's nuclear weapons are located and who owns them.

What's Behind the Spike in Deadly Terror Attacks in Afghanistan? (Andrew Wilder / US Institute of Peace)
In Afghanistan, a string of attacks has killed more than 130 people and wounded more than 300 in just over a week. Bombings and gun battles jarred a busy downtown block near a government hospital, an international hotel, a military training academy, and the global charity Save the Children. Andrew Wilder, of the US Institute of Peace, offers some analysis.

America's Second Great Sin: Beyond Slavery Lies the Holocaust of Native Americans (Reed Lannom / The Orlando Sentinel & Indian Country Today)
A campaign must be started immediately to remove all statues of and monuments to US Supreme Army Gens. William T. Sherman, Ulysses S. Grant and Philip Sheridan for the following reasons: In the 28-year span of the Plains Indian Wars from 1862 to 1890, the same top military leaders who commanded the Union Army in the Civil War were also the top military commanders in the US Army's war of genocide against the Plains Indians. And Abraham Lincoln cannot be given a pass.

ACTION ALERT: Divest from the War Machine (CODEPINK / Divest from the War Machine)
CODEPINK, in partnership with an array of peace and disarmament groups, is launching a divestment campaign to encourage universities, religious organizations, retirement funds, mutual funds, private investors, and other financial institutions in the United States to take action to reduce violent global conflicts and slow the hyper-militarization of our world by divesting from the US War Machine. Pledge to work with CODEPINK to stop those who are making a killing on killing and stealing our future!

Protesters Target US Spy Base in Waihopai, New Zealand (NewsHub.com & Stuff.com & TV New Zealand & NewsTalk ZB)
The annual protest against the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) listening station at Waihopai, near Blenheim, is on again. Protesters say they will be at the main gate at Waihopai Valley Road say the GCSB systematically spies on New Zealanders, and on other countries. In 2008 three peace activists broke into Waihopai and deflated a dome covering one of the satellite dishes.

Donald Trump's For-profit Mercenary Army (Emily Ludolf / Occupy.com)
Mercenaries have gone corporate. The UN Mercenary Convention, signed in 2001, places limits on what constitutes mercenaries. Although there are notable holdouts, the UN's position is that mercenarism is against international humanitarian law. But this hardly seems to matter because, by exploiting loopholes in international law, the modern mercenary now operates with impunity. US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq increasingly rely on private contractors, Blackwater being the most infamous.

FEMA to Abandon Puerto Rico: Bernie Sanders Proposes Billion-dollar Program to Solarize the Island (Ashley Curtin / NationofChange & Senator Elizabeth Warren & Julia Conley / Common Dreams & EcoWatch)
As parts of Puerto Rico continue to struggle to recover four months after Hurricane Maria devastated the island, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has announced it will shut off food and water aid to the island as of Jan. 31. A third of Puerto Rico residents are still without electricity and lack access to clean water. Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders has proposed a $146 billion recovery package that could lead the way for Puerto Rico to become a leader in solar power and other sustainable energy.

Pentagon Releases Suppressed Afghan Finding: No Military Solution in Afghanistan (AntiWar.com & The News International & Reuters)
After this morning's revelation that the Pentagon had prohibited the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) from including Afghan district data in his quarterly report to Congress, despite that data being unclassified, media pressure has led to a surprising reversal. Meanwhile, Pakistan's Foreign Office has issued a statement, saying that history has shown there is no military solution that will bring a lasting peace in Afghanistan.

Capitalize on the Olympic Truce, Formalize a Freeze With North Korea (Kevin Martin / AntiWar.com)
At the recent meeting of foreign ministers (mainly from countries involved in the devastating 1950-53 Korean war), Rex Tillerson dismissed the most promising starting point for negotiations with North Korea -- the "freeze for a freeze" proposal. Under this approach, North Korea would freeze its nuclear and ballistic missile testing and the US and South Korea would postpone joint-military exercises that include simulated nuclear bombing runs and "decapitation strikes" aimed at toppling the North Korean regime.

ACTION Divest from the War Machine -- Week of Action, February 5-11, 2018 (World Beyond War & Divest from the War Machine / CODEPINK)
World Beyond War is joining with Code Pink to promote a week of actions to divest from the war machine. The War Machine refers to the massive, global US military apparatus that operates largely thanks to an alliance between the arms industry and policy makers. We need to tell the companies that earn their profits from the spread of war and militarism that their priorities are not our priorities. As we join together to take action against the War Machine here are some ways to get started.

Trump Arms Cops Amidst School Shootings and Escalates the War on Terror Abroad (Ashley Curtin / NationofChange & Gareth Porter / Truthout & Antiwar.com)
There have been 11 school shootings this year alone. And Trump's answer to keep children safe at schools is to supply law enforcement with military gear. The candidate who campaigned on a promise to stop waging foreign wars quickly abandoned his non-intervention vows when the generals' made their pitch for the indefinite continuation of the 16-year-old Afghan war -- and showed Trump photographs of Afghan girls in Kabul in miniskirts to convince him that Western values could prevail in Afghanistan.

Vietnam: The War That Never Ends (for the US Military High Command) (Major Danny Sjursen / TomDispatch & Consortium News)
A 50-year-old war, once labeled the longest in our history, is still being refought by one group of Americans -- the military high command. And almost half a century later, they're still losing it and blaming others for doing so. A preoccupation with the "win-ability" of the Vietnam War has persisted among US military commanders who doggedly pursue the War on Terror, despite all indications of the disastrous reality of both conflicts, writes US Army Major Danny Sjursen.

US Petcoke: A Carbon-based Weapon of Mass Destruction (Tammy Webber and Katy Daigle / Associated Press)
US oil refineries that are unable to sell a dirty fuel waste product at home are exporting vast quantities of it to India instead. Petroleum coke, the bottom-of-the-barrel leftover from refining Canadian tar sands crude and other heavy oils, is cheaper and burns hotter than coal. But it also contains more planet-warming carbon and far more heart- and lung-damaging sulfur -- a key reason few American companies use it. Instead, US refineries are sending it around the world, especially to energy-hungry India.

Remembering Investigative Journalist Robert Parry (Marc Ash / Reader Supported News & Norman Solomon / The Nation)
In 1995, award-winning investigative journalists Bob Parry launched a unique journalistic space called Consortiumnews, where he worked intensely as publisher, editor, and writer for the next 22 years. Last month, he died suddenly following a stroke. He will be missed. What made Bob Parry a trailblazer for independent journalism also made him a bridge burner with the media establishment. He refused to take on faith the official story, whether from governments or news outlets.

Robert Parry's Legacy and the Future of Consortiumnews (Nat Parry / Consortium News & Robert Parry / Consortium News)
Commentary: "With my dad, professional work has always been deeply personal, and his career as a journalist was thoroughly intertwined with his family life. I can recall kitchen table conversations in my early childhood that focused on the US-backed wars in Central America and complaints about how his editors at The Associated Press were too timid to run articles of his that -- no matter how well-documented -- cast the Reagan administration in a bad light."

ACTION ALERT: New Trump Nuclear Policy Veers into Dangerous Territory (Martin Fleck / Physicians for Social Responsibility)
The Huffington Post has leaked a draft of the Trump administration's new Nuclear Posture Review. The NPR, which officially defines the role of US nuclear weapons, dangerously increases reliance on nuclear weapons rather than pursuing diplomacy to prevent conflict and move towards arms reductions. Help PSR hold our government accountable in calling this reckless policy unacceptable.

Nuclear War: A Thousand Buttons (Conn Hallinan / Dispatches from the Edge)
When President Donald Trump bragged that his nuclear "button" was bigger and more efficient than North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un's "button," he was perpetuating the myth that the leaders of nuclear-armed nations control their weapons. But you do not have to be Trump, Kim, Vladimir Putin, Theresa May, Xi Jinping, Narendra Modi, Mamnoon Hussain, or Benjamin Netanyahu to push that "button." There are thousands of buttons and thousands of people who can initiate a nuclear war.

Hawaii's False Alarm Raises Questions About Militarization (Jon Letman / LobeLog.org)
Commentary: In the days since Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency mistakenly issued an emergency alert warning of an inbound ballistic missile, many of us in Hawaii have been thinking a lot about weapons and war. Everyone agrees that the frightening mishap should serve as a wake-up call not just for Hawaii but the entire country. The debate over how much duct tape and Vienna sausage to keep in stock in case of a nuclear attack overlooks the US role in perpetuating a system that terrorizes people around the world.

Facing Up to US Nukes: In 2017, Activists Occupied a US Nuclear Bunker inside Germany (John LaForge / CounterPunch)
First-person account: "The fairy tale that nuclear weapons provide state security is a fiction believed by millions. On July 17, five of us proved that state guarantees of 'highly secure' nuclear weapon facilities are just as fictitious. After nightfall, an international group of five peace activists got deep inside the Buchel Air Base and, for the first time in a 21-year long series of protests against its deployment of US nuclear bombs, we occupied the top of one of the large bunkers potentially used for storing nuclear weapons."

Behind Trump's Attack on Solar: A Carbon/Nuclear Energy Crisis (Harvey Wasserman / The Progressive)
There is virtually no economic margin for any other new energy production construction beyond solar, except wind and natural gas. Even gas -- with its uncertain long-term supply -- is on the cusp of being priced out. The shutdown of four more major reactors would be a huge blow to the downwardly spiraling atomic energy industry.

Heatwaves and Fires: Hell on Earth for Australia's Wildlife (International Fund for Animal Wildlife & National Geographic & Nikkei Asian Review)
After an intense heat wave in Australia which spiked past 117°F this month, the animal death toll in New South Wales is climbing. The extreme heat and bushfires in New South Wales, Australia are scorching animals' homes. Helpless animals have been left orphaned and suffering from heat exhaustion, starvation and burns. Your urgently needed gift can help save suffering wildlife in New South Wales, Australia and animals in need throughout the world.

2017 Was the Hottest Year on Record for Oceans (Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch)
Last year wasn't just one of the hottest years on Earth's surface, as it was the hottest year on record for the global ocean, according to a new study from the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP)/Chinese Academy of Science. Researchers Lijing Cheng and Jiang Zhu found that the top 2,000 meters of ocean waters are hotter than ever recorded.

Pentagon Suggests Countering Devastating Cyberattacks With Nuclear Arms (David E. Sanger and William J. Broad / The New York Times)
For decades, American presidents have threatened "first use" of nuclear weapons against enemies in only very narrow and limited circumstances. Now, a newly drafted US nuclear strategy that has been sent to the Oval Office for approval would permit the use of nuclear weapons to respond to a wide range of devastating but non-nuclear attacks on American infrastructure -- including what current and former government officials described as the most crippling kind of cyberattacks.

As Olympic Truce Raises Promise of Peace, US Responds with New Threats of War (Kanga Kong / Bloomberg & Veterans for Peace)
The question as to whether the Olympic detente will continue after Games end in March has been complicated the Washington's announcement that it intends to order a resumption of military exercises aimed at destabilizing North Korea. The US announcement came after North Korea issued a call for unification of the two Koreas. It would appear that the US prefers military action to a diplomatic resolution that could bring peace to the Korean Peninsula.

ACTION ALERT: US Aiding Child Sexual Abuses in Afghanistan (RT News & Win Without War & Human Rights Watch)
A new US government report has found that US military troops stationed in Afghanistan have turned a blind eye on thousands of "gross human rights abuses" by the Afghan military forces over the past few years, including many instances of child sexual abuse. The heavily-redacted report was supposed to remain classified until June 2042. According to the report, the Pentagon has given a free pass to the perpetrators of no less than 5,735 cases of child sex abuse between 2010 and 2016 -- in violation of US laws.

Democrats and Congressional Black Caucus Use DACA to Join the Mad Rush to War (Glen Ford / Black Agenda Report)
Commentary: The top Democrats in Congress have transformed DACA (the effort to protect childhood immigrants from deportation) into a gargantuan funding tool for the Pentagon. It is Democratic leadership -- not Donald Trump and his mad generals -- that has been the driving force in this year's military spending insanity. In July, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi gave the Pentagon $57.4 billion more than it requested -- ensuring that the what remains of the social safety net will be slashed into oblivion.

How Military and Corporate Advertisers Are Hoping to (Cooper Hedger and Pat Elder / World Beyond War & Cooper Hedger / Change.org)
SkoolLive's interactive electronic kiosks bring advertising into schools where kids are offered up as a captive audience for a stream of commercial advertising and invited to engage in personal data-trolling. SkoolLive kiosks are making it much easier for the military and corporate America to circumvent federal privacy laws designed to protect children at school. These profit-seeking electronic intruders are an affront to American public education.

ACTION ALERT: US Bombers in Guam Seen Readying For Tactical Nuclear Strike on North Kore (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Alex Lockie / Business Insider)
With all other signs of tensions on the Korean Peninsula on the decline, the US is stepping up its deployment of nuclear-capable bombers and general firepower to the airbase at Guam. This is further fueling speculation that the US is preparing itself for the long-speculated sneak attack on North Korea, and that such a sneak attack could involve B-61 gravity bombs as part of a tactical nuclear strike.

Is Trump Plotting a "Bloody Nose" Attack against North Korea: If So, It Would Be a War Crime (Michael Schmitt and Ryan Goodman / Just Security)
As tensions de-escalate on the Korean Peninsula, the international legal debate over the so-called "Bloody Nose Strategy," which involves "a limited military strike against North Korean sites without igniting an all-out war on the Korean Peninsula" has moved in the other direction. Our best assessment is that it would amount to a violation of the prohibition on the use of force set forth in Article 2(4) of the UN Charter and customary international law. It would also likely fit the definition of a crime of aggression.

Iceland Named the Most Peaceful Country in the World: US Places 114th (IcelandNaturally.com & The Norwegian Government & G. S. McCLure / Travel & Leisure )
Each year, the Institute for Economics & Peace's project, Vision of Humanity, releases the Global Peace Index to rank the world's most peaceful countries and least safe countries. In 2017, to no one's surprise, Iceland topped the list -- for the tenth year in a row. The USA ranked among the world's less peaceful and more dangerous nations -- 114 out of 163 countries.

US Agents Commit Inhumane Acts on Mexican Border; Arrest Humanitarian (Rafi Schwartz / Splinter News & E.J. Montini / AZcentral)
United States Customs and Border Patrol officers arrested an immigration activist just hours after his group presented damaging video evidence that captured CBP agents in the act of destroying humanitarian aid -- water and food -- left for undocumented immigrants trying to survive an arduous trek through the Arizona desert. Some 7,000 bodies have been found along the border wilderness. Now, it appears, some of those deaths may have been due to the Border Patrol's criminal acts.

Atomic 'Doomsday Clock' Now One Minute Closer to Nuclear Midnight (Doyle Rice / USA TODAY)
"Because of the extraordinary danger of the current moment, the Science and Security Board today moves the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock 30 seconds closer to catastrophe," said Rachel Bronson, president of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. "This is the closest the Clock has ever been to Doomsday, and as close as it was in 1953, at the height of the Cold War."

ACTION ALERT: Legislation to Prevent Trump from Starting Nuclear War Introduced as 'Doomsday Clock' Nears Midnight (Basel Peace Office & Hon. Edward J. Markey / US Senate)
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists today moved the hands of the symbolic Doomsday Clock to 2 Minutes to Midnight, indicating that the world is the closest to possible nuclear Armageddon since the height of the Cold War. Now 22 Senators say US commitment to the elimination of nuclear weapons -- not the creation of new, more "usable" weapons -- should be core components of Nuclear Posture Review.

Pentagon and Military Industrial Complex Only Winners In Endless, Losing, $11 Trillion War on Terror' (Andrew J. Bacevich / The American Conservative)
No nation in recorded history has ever deployed its troops to more places than has the United States since 2001. We have rained US bombs and missiles on dozens of countries. We've killed an astonishing number of people. And what have Americans gotten in return for the $11 trillion (give or take) expended over the past 16-plus years of continuous war? In Washington, the question goes not only unanswered but unasked.

Forget Trump's Border Wall. A $14-Billion Sea Wall Is Needed to Protect Houston (Steve Campion / KTRK Eyewitness News & Diana Budds / CO Designs & Fault Lines / Al Jazeera English)
When Hurricane Ike reached the Houston-Galveston area in 2008, it pushed a 19-foot storm surge into the Galveston Bay, causing $29 billion in damage and releasing more than 500,000 gallons of crude oil. Refineries around Galveston Bay and the Houston Ship Channel process 40% of the US' petroleum and half of its jet fuel. Without the construction of a protective sea wall, flood waters could cause a massive disaster, spilling millions of gallons of oil and chemicals into local rivers, the bay, and the Gulf of Mexico.

A National Defense Strategy of Sowing Global Chaos (Nicolas J. S. Davies / AntiWar.com)
Presenting the 2018 US National Defense Strategy at the Johns Hopkins University, Defense Secretary James Mattis painted a picture of a dangerous world in which US power -- and all of the supposed "good" that it does around the world -- is in decline. "Our competitive edge has eroded in every domain of warfare," he said. "And it is continually eroding." What he could have said instead is that our military is overextended and much of the chaos seen around the world is the direct result of Pentagon adventurism.

The US Maintains More Than 800 Overseas Bases and Has a Military Presence in 172 Foreign Countries (Alice Slater / The Nation)
On the Martin Luther King Day weekend, Baltimore University hosted more than 200 peace, environment, and social-justice activists to launch a timely new initiative -- the Coalition Against US Foreign Military Bases. Ajamu Baraka, Green Party vice-presidential candidate and co-founder of the Black Alliance for Peace, opened the meeting reminding us that Rev. King, in his historic anti-war speech more than 50 years ago at Riverside Church, called the US "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today."

Beyond Vietnam (Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)
In this historic, watershed speech, Dr. King took a stand against Washington's military violence and moral corruption. He clearly warned: "When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered. . . . A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."

Trump Calls for Unneeded and Costly Offshore Drilling While Attacking Solar Panels (Karl Grossman / NationofChange & Yossarian Johnson / The Intellectualist)
The Trump administration's push for increased offshore drilling is completely unnecessary. The US is awash in petroleum and oil drilling in the sea ten times more costly than drilling for oil on land. Plus, renewable energy, led by solar and wind, is now well-developed and cheaper than fossil fuels. At the same time, renewable energy, led by solar and wind, is now well-developed and cheaper than fossil fuels. Trump's response? A tariff on imported solar panels that could cost 48,000 to 63,000 US jobs.

As the Global Elite Head for Davos, Inequality Continues to Divide the World (Winnie Byanyima / Al Jazeera)
For the past five years, I have carried Oxfam's call to tackle global inequality to the rich and powerful people attending the World Economic Forum in Davos. I don't sing alone there any more. Nearly every politician I meet in Davos will talk about the evils of inequality. How could they not? The evidence is overwhelming. A new billionaire is created every other day because the top 1 percent pocket more than 80% of the wealth our world creates while the bottom half of humanity gets none of the new wealth.

Questioning Washington's Foreign Bases: An Imperial Occupation that Encircles the World (Ann Garrison / Counterpunch)
Last year, a divided Congress approved a military spending bill of $700 billion, more than either the President or the Pentagon had requested. Hundreds of billions will go to maintain and arm nearly 1,000 overseas US military bases and US troops in more than 175 foreign countries. The US is the largest, most lethal military power in human history -- with seven geographic commands spanning the globe. The annual cost of these bases -- approximately $156 billion -- diverts funds that could improve lives inside the USA.

It's Time to Call Economic Sanctions What They Are: War Crimes (Patrick Cockburn / CounterPunch)
The record of economic sanctions in forcing political change is dismal, but as a way of reducing a country to poverty and misery it is difficult to beat. Punishing UN sanctions imposed against Iraq from 1990 until 2003 lead to the death of millions of civilians. Saddam Hussein and his senior lieutenants were rightly executed for their crimes, but the foreign politicians and officials who were responsible for the sanctions regime that killed so many deserved to stand beside them in the dock.

Nazi Rallies and White Extremists: From Kiev to Charlottesville (David Swanson / Let's Try Democracy & Bill Berkowitz / Buzzflash @ Truthout)
Commentary: Nazi rallies in the news in recent years have most prominently been held in Charlottesville, Virginia, and in Ukraine where Nazis are marching 20,000 strong. US taxpayers would fiercely object if they knew that Washington has been quietly providing Kiev's Nazis with weapons. It is time to stop supporting fascism both in Ukraine and in the US. White the White House repeats warnings about "radical Islamic terrorism" it ignores the fact that homegrown white extremists have killed more Americans.

The Rise of Walls in a Warming World (Todd Miller / San Francisco Chronicle)
In 2015, 400,000 people living in what has become Honduras' "dry corridor" planted seeds and waited for rain that never came. What came instead was an extreme drought that stole their livelihoods. Central America has become ground zero for climate change in the Americas. The coming climate upheavals, which also include superstorms and sea level rise, are predicted to leave unprecedented numbers of people with no other choice but to move. And, increasingly, walls are rising to block their flight.

A New Domestic Threat: Drones in the Hands of Rebels, Robbers, and Madmen (Paul Buchheit / Common Dreams)
As armed drones become cheaper, smarter, and more readily accessible, they could launch the modern armed revolution of the undervalued human being against the world's entrenched -- and previously inaccessible -- elites. Technologies needed to build autonomous weapons -- intelligent targeting algorithms, geo-location, facial recognition -- are already with us. While the 'good' people of the Earth may be targeted by terrorists, those at the top end of an unequal society may be targeted by revolutionaries.

Women's March 2018: We Shall Overcome (Zach D. Roberts / NationofChange & Nina Mast / Media Matters)
Commentary: With the government shutdown, Donald Trump must have had free time clearly to look outside his window and see the thousands of Women's Day marchers carrying messages from "Dump Trump" to "Lock Him Up!" Despite the huge turn-out for the second global Women's March, the protests were largely ignored by the mainstream media. The longest mention was a meager 20 seconds on NBC's Meet The Press. Other shows were worse.

Trump Presidency Spurs Mass Resignations at National Park Service (Ashley Curtin / NationofChange & Darryl Fears / The Washington Post)
Nine out of 12 members of the National Park Service's advisory board abruptly resigned on January 15. The resignations come after the Department of the Interior announced its plan to open the nation's coastline to offshore drilling. Three days before, the Trump administration announced it would strike the Canada lynx from the endangered-species list -- despite a 2016 assessment that warned the species would die out in its northern range by the end of the century without federal protection.

Trump's 'Mini-Nukes' Would Increase -- Not Diminish -- the Likelihood of Nuclear World War (Gar Smith / Truthout )
The Pentagon claims a new line of "fashionable, well-tailored mini-nukes" would provide the military with "more options" and "greater flexibility." Instead of facing the terrifying specter of engaging in all-out nuclear war with 400-kiloton thermonuclear planet-killers, mini-nukes would free Washington's military planners to whack at its enemies with smaller, more "palatable" blasts of atomic threat that would obliterate practically anything within a mile of Ground Zero. Or, they could trigger a thermonuclear world war.

A Troubling Series of False Nuclear Missile Alarms: From Hawaii, Japan, and the Pentagon (Lucy Steigerwald / Foundation for Economic Education & The Associated Press & Alex Ward / VOX News)
On January 13, residents of Hawaii were terrified by a text message that said a missile was heading their way, and they should "seek shelter immediately." On January 17, the Japan Broadcasting Corp. issued an erroneous alert about a North Korean missile fired at Japan. On January 15, the Pentagon tweeted false report claiming that the US maintains "secret silos" for its nuclear warheads and has "B-1 bombers that can drop them from the air." Should the survival of humanity hinge on bureaucratic protocols?

Wilderness at Risk as Trump Desecrates the US Interior Dept. (Elizabeth Kolbert / The New Yorker & Jane Kay / The Reveal)
Commentary: "Nearly all Trump's Cabinet members have shown disdain for the regulatory processes they're charged with supervising. And, when it comes to conflicts of interest, they seem, well, unconflicted . . . . In the decades to come, one can hope that many of the Trump Administration's mistakes -- on tax policy, say, or trade -- will be rectified. But the destruction of the country's last unspoiled places is a loss that can never be reversed."

Climate-Change-Stoked Bacterial Plague Kills 200,000 Endangered Antelope (Merritt Kennedy / National Public Radio)
"You went from one or two animals to within three or four days -- thousands. And then they were all dead by the seventh day. The animals were showing normal behavior, normal signs, normal grazing and then suddenly they'd start looking a little bit unhappy and stop feeding. Within about three hours they were dead." There's evidence that unusual weather patterns could be having similar impacts in other animal populations, such as reindeer and musk ox. "We may be looking at a much more global effect."

War and Poverty: End War and Fund Peace by Supporting the New Poor People's Campaign (David Swanson / World Beyond War)
A whole new world opens up if military funding stops. Options include tax cuts for working people and a shift in power to state and local levels. The economy benefits from the removal of military spending -- in tax cuts for working people, the creation of more and better-paying jobs. There would be enough savings to assure that every worker can be retrained for transition to a peace-based economy. And then the $1 trillion doubles to $2 trillion if the rest of the world demilitarizes as well.

Trump Is Turning the State Department Into a Global Weapons Dealer (Haley Pedersen and Jodie Evans / AlterNet)
In the Trump administration, the State Department -- an agency originally created to promote peace -- is now fomenting war. hrough a plan dubbed "Buy American," the administration is calling for US attaches and diplomats to play a larger role in the sale of US weapons, effectively solidifying their role as lobbyists for the arms industry rather than agents of diplomacy -- essentially forcing the State Department to undermine its role of fostering peaceful global relations and, instead, fomenting militarism and instability.

Report: White Right-wing Extremists Are a Greater Domestic Threat than Islamic Extremists (Christopher Mathias / The Huffington Post)
According to a new report from the Anti-Defamation League's Center on Extremism, white supremacists in the United States killed more than twice as many people in 2017 as they did the year before, and were responsible for far more murders than domestic Islamic extremists, helping make 2017 the fifth deadliest year on record for extremist violence in America. Of the 34 people killed, 18 were murdered by white supremacists, marking a 157 percent increase over the 7 people killed by white supremacists in 2016.

US Homeland Security Agents Now Deployed in 70 Foreign Nations (Ron Nixon /The New York Times)
An estimated 2,000 Homeland Security employees -- from Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to TSA officials -- now are deployed to more than 70 countries around the world. Hundreds more are either at sea for weeks at a time aboard Coast Guard ships, or patrolling the skies in surveillance planes above the eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.The expansion has created tensions with countries who say that the US is trying to export its immigration laws to their sovereign territory.

The World Has Officially Lost Confidence In US Leadership Under Trump (Alana Horowitz Satlin / The Huffington Post & The Gallup Poll)
Global views on US leadership have plummeted since President Donald Trump took office, according to a Gallup poll. The poll shows that only 30 percent of the public approves of US leadership, down from 48 percent in 2016. At the same time, 43 percent of people expressed a negative opinion of the US leadership, up from 28 percent in 2016.

The Island Paradise Where The US Tests Missiles to 'Neutralize' The North Korean Threat (Jon Letman / The Daily Beast)
The recent Korean Olympic peace pause is a good sign -- a welcome step back from the brink and a hopeful step down the path of diplomacy. But in the meantime, in Hawaii, the US is developing and deploying weapons meant to block Kim Jong Un's missiles. Hawaii's Pacific Missile Range Facility is the launch site for testing the Pentagon's Advanced Hypersonic Weapon -- a massive nuclear-strike missile capable of hitting anywhere in the world in under an hour.

War. What Is It Good For? Lockheed, Northrop, General Dynamics, Boeing. Ab$olutley (William D. Hartung / TomDispatch & Nation of Change)
As Donald Trump might put it, major weapons contractors like Boeing, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin cashed in "bigly" in his first year in office. They raked in tens of billions of dollars in Pentagon contracts, while posting sharp stock price increases and healthy profits driven by the continuation and expansion of Washington's post-9/11 wars. But last year's bonanza is likely to be no more than a down payment on even better days to come for the military-industrial complex.

Pentagon Study Declares American Empire Is 'Collapsing' (Nafeez Ahmed / www.medium.com)
An extraordinary new Pentagon study concludes that the US-backed global order established after World War 2 is "fraying" and may even be "collapsing," threatening US "primacy" in world affairs. The Pentagon's vision of what comes next hardly inspires confidence. The plan to protect US power calls for more surveillance, propaganda and military expansion. What is really driving the end of the American Empire? What is the real solution?

Koreas Opt for Diplomacy and Cooperation While Trump Continues to Threaten War (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Choe Sang-Hun and Mark Landler / The New York Times & Reuters)
North and South Korea may have generations of mistrust to work through, but the two Koreas have made big progress in just a few meetings, agreeing to march side-by-side at next month's Winter Olympic -- and even field a common team for ice hockey. Meanwhile, US unwillingness to engage in direct talks with North Korea looks all the more like the real aberration in the region as Washington continues to launch threats of increased sanctions and open war on the Korean Peninsula.

Under Trump's Presidency, Civilian Deaths in Iraq and Syria Have Soared More than 200% (Alex Hopkins / AirWars)
Sold as the "most precise campaign in history" by US officials, the urban battlefields in Iraq and Syria laid waste by bombs, artillery and improvised explosives told another story. Non-combatant deaths from US air and artillery strikes rose by more than 200 percent compared to 2016, with between 3,923 and 6,102 civilians estimated killed. Roughly 65% of all civilian deaths from Coalition actions since 2014 occurred over the last 12 months. This unprecedented death toll coincided with the start of the Trump presidency.

Nuclear War and Extreme Weather Lead List of Top 2018 Threats (AntiWar.com & Reuters & USA Today & The World Economic Forum)
The World Economic Forum's 13th annual Global Risks Perception Survey reveals that the risk of wars -- both limited and major -- are both increasing substantially. The report predicts that 2018 could see a 79% increase in the risk of state-on-state military conflict. The risk of political and economic confrontations between major powers, including outright military conflicts, has risen sharply. Top risks for 2018 include threats from extreme weather, economic inequalities, cyber attacks, and nuclear weapons.

Disposable People: Deporting US Veterans (Paul Cox / The Volunteer: The American Lincoln Brigade)
As many as 8 percent of US Army enlistees are immigrants. Despite risking their lives, many face deportation after the end of their service, Today, the ACLU estimates that around 300 US veterans have been deported to countries around the world. These veterans are now stuck in a country they may have left as infants; some do not even speak the language.

ACTION ALERT / VIDEOS: Uncovering and Opposing the Pentagon's Global Empire of Bases (No Foreign Bases Coalition & World Beyond War & Popular Resistance)
Unknown to most Americans, the Pentagon operates a vast, global empire of military bases that circles the planet. This hidden empire consists of nearly 562,000 facilities worth more than $585 billion located on more than 4,800 sites in 42 nations and covering over 24.9 million acres -- equal in size to the entire state of Kentucky. The US cannot be a moral or ethical country until it faces up to the realities of US empire and the destruction it causes around the world.

The Unifying Force of War Abolition (David Swanson / Let's Try Democracy)
Commentary: "Unless we redistribute wealth, we cannot redistribute power. We can't create media unless we have something important to say. We can't protect the Earth’s climate while steadfastly ignoring the top consumer of petroleum on earth because criticizing the military would be inappropriate. But we will go on ignoring it if we don't create good media. We have to do it all, and there are various ways in which we can become more united, more strategic, and potentially more effective."

Trump Expands Offshore Drilling in Assault on Biodiversity and Indigenous Communities (Subhankar Banerjee, Nermeen Shaikh and Amy Goodman / Democracy Now!)
Bipartisan opposition is growing to President Trump's proposal to greatly expand offshore oil and gas drilling. The reversal of the Obama-era restrictions would open more than a billion acres of water in the Arctic, Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico to offshore oil and gas drilling. The Interior Department moved to allow offshore oil and gas drilling in nearly all US coastal waters but spared Florida after complaints from Florida's Republican Governor -- triggering protests from every other coastal state.

Sen.Warren Condemns Trump's Offshore Oil Plan (Andrew Emett / NationofChange)
In response to Donald Trump's announcement to permit offshore drilling along US coastlines, Sen. Elizabeth Warren strongly condemned his plan while accusing the president of being "weak-kneed" and beholden to Big Oil, instead of the American people. Enumerating recent natural disasters and oil spills, Warren warned Trump that he will be held responsible for the economic and environmental impact caused by climate change and Big Oil's dwindling safety regulations.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on the Real Reason North Korea Has Nukes (Dave Lindorff / This Can't Be Happening)
Commentary: "We already knew that Tulsi Gabbard was courageous. . . . Now, as basically the only member of Congress with the guts to call out the US as the cause of our current knife-edge threat of a nuclear war, she's demonstrated her courage again."

Trump's War on the First Amendment, Free Speech, the Media, and Public Protest (Patrick Strickland / Al Jazeera & Chris Stevenson International Editor / The Independent)
On January 20, 2017, the day of Donald Trump's inauguration, 230 US citizens -- demonstrators, medics, journalists and bystanders -- were rounded up and arrested by police. Charged with" felony rioting," they faced a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. While their trials continue, Mr. Trump responded to the publication of a book critical of his time in the Oval Office by calling for stronger libel laws so "you wouldn't have things like that happen where you can say whatever comes into your head."

In Trump's White House, Coal Is in Control (The Us Campaign & Lisa Friedman / The New York Times)
President Trump's first year in office has been a boon for the coal industry, with the Trump administration rolling back regulations on coal-fired power plants and withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate change agreement. Weeks after Trump's inauguration, Robert E. Murray (a coal company owner and major Trump contributor) sent a memo to the White House with a wish-list of environmental rollbacks. A year later, Trump is on track to fulfill most of Murray's 16 detailed Earth-exploiting demands.

Let's Wrench Power Back From the Billionaires (Bernie Sanders / The Guardian UK)
Commentary: In a time of dire news, an inspiring call to action from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders: "Difficult as it is to comprehend, the fact is that the six richest people on Earth now own more wealth than the bottom half of the world's population" but "If we stand together against powerful special interests, we can eliminate poverty, increase life expectancy and tackle climate change."

Trump to Cut Red Tape on Overseas Sales of US Weapons (Carlo Muboz / The Washington Times & The White House)
The Trump administration is taking aim at another US industry it says it being held back by overregulation and government red tape, moving to reduce federal rules and restrictions governing overseas sales of weapons and armament, in a bid to accelerate American arms deals to a growing international clientele eager to field the latest generation of US-made weaponry. US diplomats and military attaches will be tasked with talking up and promoting the sales of US military-industrial products abroad.

A Model for US Activists: British Protesters Challenge UK Arms Sales to Saudis (Campaign Against the Arms Trade)
Saudi Arabia is the UK's biggest arms customer and most shameful relationship. One of the world's most authoritarian regimes, its repression at home and aggression abroad is propped up and supported by UK arms sales. The UK's military support for the Saudi regime makes us complicit in its wrongs. The UK must end all arms sales and military support to Saudi Arabia.

After US False Missile Alarm: Koreas Meet to Talk Peace and Pentagon Plans to Launch War (AntiWar.com & The New York Times )
A war with North Korea would be "catastrophic" still, about two dozen current and former Pentagon officials and senior commanders insist that planned US attack exercises largely reflect the military's instructions to be ready for any possible military action on the Korean Peninsula. Meanwhile, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard -- long an advocate of diplomacy -- says that America's long history of wars of regime change is the reason North Korea feels the need to have nuclear armed missiles as a deterrent.

ACTION ALERT: Help Create the Largest Protected Area on Earth: The Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary (Greenpeace)
On December 1, 2017, the Ross Sea Marine Protected Area -- a land sanctuary covering 1.5 million square kilometers -- came into force. Now the Antarctic Ocean needs protection. Greenpeace writes: "We are calling for the creation of the biggest ocean sanctuary in the world, to protect the fragile and amazing wildlife in the Weddell Sea, like the irreplaceable penguins, whales and seals that call it home. But we simply can't do it without your help. And we want you to come along for the journey!"

Hawaii's Fake Missile Alert versus a Real Existential Threat (Robert Reich & Jon Letman / The Daily Beast<)
Commentary: "I know this could be the end of my life. Or not. The tub is filling with water. My wife and son are seated on the bathroom floor, the most protected room in the house, I suppose. But the thought this wooden could protect us is laughable but I know there is no time to go anywhere. ""Something must be done. Not just about the flawed warning system in Hawaii, but about a world in which nations are poised to destroy each other with barely a moment's notice.:

Israel Has Already Killed Three Palestinian Children in 2018 (Maureen Clare Murphy / The Electronic Intifada & The International Middle East News Center)
With the second week of 2018 not yet over, Israeli occupation forces had killed three Palestinian children. Fourteen Palestinian boys and girls under the age of 18 were killed by soldiers and police in all of 2017. Two children were shot and killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip on Thursday. A third child was seriously injured. Amir Abd al-Hamid Abu Musaad, 15, died immediately after being hit in the chest with a live bullet during a protest along the Gaza-Israel boundary.

New York City Just Declared War on the Oil Industry (Bill McKibben / The Guardian UK & Naomi Klein / The Intercept & Suzanne Goldenberg / The Guardian)
New York City, the home of Wall Street, announced on Wednesday that it will be divesting its massive pension fund from fossil fuels. That hits fossil fuel giants where it hurts. Five years after the ravages of Hurricane Sandy, New York announced it was divesting its massive pension fund from fossil fuels -- and suing the five biggest oil companies for damages. Our planet's most important city is now at war with its richest industry.

Will I Die at Guantanamo Bay? (Sharqawi Al Hajj / Newsweek)
Commentary: "I was captured when I was in my 20s and brought to Guantanamo Bay in 2004, after more than two years in secret prisons. I have been imprisoned here without charges since then. I am now 43. I feel like an old man. I am one of the last remaining prisoners at Guantanamo. I wonder if I am going to spend the rest of my life here."

ACTION ALERT: Stop Trump's Destructive EPA Budget Cuts (Rhea Suh / NRDC Action Fund)
Donald Trump and EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, along with their anti-environment allies in Congress, are pushing for bone-deep cuts to EPA funding that would make critical environmental cleanups nearly impossible. Congress must pass a new spending bill by January 19 to keep the government running -- and Trump and his cronies are using this deadline as an excuse to force their extreme anti-environment agenda into law. Ask your representatives to stand up for environmental protections.

It's Time to Bury the Monroe Doctrine (David Swanson /World Beyond War & No Foreign Bases)
The US policy of antidemocratically and often violently seeking to dominate the nations to its south, in the name of preventing some other force from doing so, has seen its shelf-life expire. The Monroe Doctrine -- as evolved and abused over the centuries -- ought to be buried.

UN Sanctions Iran but Not US for Yemen Weapons (Cesar Chelala / CommonDreams & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Agence France-Presse)
While the US actively supplies weapons that kill civilians in Yemen, Iran has been accused of failing to halt the transfer of "component." Health facilities in Yemen continue to be hit by Saudi bombs and health and humanitarian workers are increasingly targeted. In a scene out of Guernica, one survivor described a Saudi airstrike killed at least 63 civilians: "It was like something out of Judgment Day. Corpses and heads scattered, engulfed by fire and ashes."

Militarism: Escaping the Trap (Washington Newsletter / Friends Committee on National Legislation)
Militarism permeates US society. Our budget is skewed towards the Pentagon, local towns depend on military industries for revenue, Washington gives surplus military gear to local police to use against their own citizens. Martin Luther King, Jr. called for a shift from a "thing-oriented" to a "person-oriented" society. "When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered."

Trump Secretly Readies Nuke Bombers as Talks Begin in Korea (Jason Ditz /AntiWar.com & Dan Lamothe / The Washington Post)
During the bilateral talks between North and South Korea, the US Air Force deployed three nuclear-capable B-2 Spirit bombers to Guam, along with some 200 airmen. The troubling fact is that, while the US never formally objected to the Korean peace talks, there were reports that Trump was considering a "limited" sneak attack against North Korea. Deployment of B-2s during the Winter Olympics -- and shortly after Trump tweeted that his "Nuclear Button" was bigger -- was seen as inflammatory.

ACTION ALERT: Trump's New Nuclear Policy: More Nukes, Including Smaller, (Ashley Feinberg / The Huffington Post & International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons & Win Without War)
On the order of President Trump, the US Department of Defense is currently concluding a sweeping review of the United States' nuclear policy -- a "nuclear posture review" -- expected to be released at the end of this month. But already now, the text has leaked and shows that the Trump administration will loosen constraints on the use of nuclear weapons and develop more "usable" nuclear warheads.

ACTION ALERT: Vancouver Women's Forum on Peace and Stability on the Korean Peninsula (Nobel Women's Initiative, Women Cross DMZ, WomenPeaceKorea, et al.)
On January 16, 2018 Foreign Ministers from 20 nations will gather in Vancouver to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula. Research clearly shows that the participation of women's movements in peace processes leads to far better outcomes. Women must be at the table! An international delegation of 16 woman leaders representing peace, environment, women's and social justice movements from across Asia, Europe and North America is ready to participate in the discussions.

The Pentagon's Sprawling Empire of Bases: A US Military Land and Sky Grab (Carol Miller / Space Alert! )
How many new and expanded military bases is the Pentagon building and why is it so difficult to answer this question? While the media has paid some attention to global base relocation and expansions around the world, the massive military expansion within the US has remained mostly under the radar. There are many land, air, and sea space expansions underway in the US itself and every expansion destroys fragile and important ecosystems, harms protected species, range animals, wildlife and people.

Poll: Americans Finally Tiring of Costly, Endless, Unwinnable Foreign Wars (Center for Citizen Initiatives & James Carden / The Nation)
For years, the US media has consistently supported a militaristic mindset presenting wars as exciting, brave and all-American. But a new polls reveals that a majority of Americans -- particularly the younger business and professional class -- are now "largely skeptical of the practicality or benefits of military intervention overseas, including both the physical involvement of the US military and also extending to military aid in the form of funds or equipment as well."

Breaking News: A Major Step Forward as Leading Dutch Bank Drops Nuclear Investments (Selma van Oostwaard / PAX for Peace & Maaike Beenes / Don't Bank of the Bomb & Susi Snyder / Don't Bank on the Bomb)
"We received great news today: the largest pension funds in the Netherlands has decided to end its investment in nuclear weapon producers! We had a big campaign against ABP planned, which is not needed anymore :). ABP mentioned the shifts in national and international context and the ban treaty as strong arguments to make this decision." And, in October, the Nobel Foundation announced its intention to divest from nuclear-weapon-producing companies.

Trump's Wars Mean Big Profits for Oil Companies (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Sharon Cho / Bloomberg)
In the last three and a half years, crude oil prices fell precipitously and have languished at prices rarely seen in the post-9/11 era. Citigroup analysts say they expect that to reverse in 2018, as the Pentagon's mounting wars once again drive prices higher. Citigroup says that Donald Trump "looms large" as a potential wildcard whose various overseas wars are likely to drive the price of oil to $80 a barrel within the next year.

January 12-15 Conference: Close All US Military Bases on Foreign Soil (Coalition Against US Foreign Military Bases)
The Coalition Against Foreign Military Bases is focused on closing all US military bases abroad. This campaign strikes at the foundation of US empire, confronting its militarism, corporatism and imperialism. Foreign nations that allow US bases on their soil serve as client states of Washington and are controlled through the economic power of the US, World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The US has used regime change tactics, including assassination and military force, to keep its empire intact.

US Special Ops Now at War in 149 Countries -- from Afghanistan to Somalia (Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & Nick Turse / TomDispatch)
There is no persuasive security rationale for having US Special Operations forces involved in an astonishing 149 countries, given that the results of these missions are just as likely to provoke greater conflict as they are to reduce it, in large part because a US military presence is too often used as a recruiting tool by local terrorist organizations.

Israeli Planes Attack Damascus; Children Die as Syria Attacks Rebel Strongholds (Al Jazeera)
Israel has launched a series of predawn air strikes then followed up with artillery fire on an army base near the Syrian capital, Damascus. After the air raids, Israel also launched rockets from the occupied Golan Heights. Syria wrote a letter to the UN Security Council demanding that it condemn Israel's cross-border strikes. Meanwhile, ten children were killed in Syrian strikes on a rebel enclave in Ghouta, near the Syrian capital. Warning: Graphic videos of airstrike aftermath.

When a Terrorist Is a White Supremacist, the DOJ Stays Quiet (Ryan J. Reilly / The Huffington Post & Bill Berkowitz / Buzzflash at Truthout)
Usually, when the FBI arrests a terrorist, it's a big deal. But the Trump Justice Department's quiet handling of the federal terrorism case against Taylor Michael Wilson -- an armed White Supremacist -- is indicative of the government's approach to domestic terrorism. On October 22, 2017, Wilson hijacked an Amtrak train and took hundreds of passengers hostage. The failure to publicize this brazen attack suggests an attempt to obscure a terrorism case that doesn't fit into Trump's broader agenda

Police 'Gun-buys' Don't Work When the Police Turn Around and Offer the Guns for Sale (Martha Bellisle / Associated Press)
After the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives declined to release tracking information on guns associated with crimes, the Associated Press created a database of almost 6,000 firearms sold by law enforcement since 2010 and found more than a dozen firearms sold by police in Washington state since 2010 ended up as weapons seized in the commission of new crimes.

ACTION ALERT: Words and Deeds: Challenging War -- on Billboards and in Baltimore (World Beyond War & The Coalition Against US Foreign Military Bases)
The US maintains a costly global empire of military bases outside its territory, estimated at almost 1000 (95% of all foreign military bases in the world. The annual cost of these bases to the American taxpayers is approximately $156 billion. The support of US foreign military bases drains funds that can be used to fund human needs and enable our cities and States to provide necessary services for the people. Devoting just 3% of US military spending could put an end to starvation everywhere on Earth.

Terror or Entrapment? How the FBI Creates Terrorist Plots and Provides the Bombs (Darwin BondGraham / The East Bay Express)
Five recent Bay Area terrorism cases by the FBI raise questions as to whether the bureau has enticed young, troubled Muslim men to attempt acts they wouldn't have otherwise committed. All of the terror suspects were young and Muslim, each of them had been struggling with mental health issues and family problems, and each was heavily assisted by undercover FBI agents who posed as terrorists and provided money, drugs, vehicles and even bombs.

Open Letter to the American People from the Former President of Honduras (Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales / Socialist Project and The Bullet)
Former Honduran President Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales writes: The people of the United States, have been sold the idea that your government defends democracy [but the US is] supporting blatant electoral fraud fin Honduras. At least one opposition protester has died in shootings in Honduras after the country announced a curfew and suspended constitutional rights in the face of protests over a disputed election.

Mega-Dams May Be History in the Brazilian Amazon! (Christian Poirier / Amazon Watch)
Hydroelectric dams have caused great damage to indigenous and traditional communities and the environment, but they are only one of many serious Amazon threats -- new roads, railways, waterways, mines and other infrastructure all result in great destruction. While the just-announced shift in hydropower policy is important, experts agree that major changes are needed before one can talk of a real conservation breakthrough in the Brazilian Amazon.

Trump to Order Diplomats to Pimp for Pentagon Weapon Makers (Mike Stone and Matt Spetalnick / Reuters)
The Trump administration is nearing completion of a new "Buy American" plan that calls for US military attaches and diplomats to help drum up billions of dollars more in business overseas for the US weapons industry, going beyond the limited assistance they currently provide. One senior administration official described the proposal as a "180-degree shift" in the current arms-length approach to foreign weapons sales.

Guam's Military Perspective: Let The Public Be Damned (Harry Brill / The Berkeley Daily Planet)
Guam, which is a possession of the United States, has been making the news in response to military threats by North Korea. North Korea's warning was triggered by military threats from President Trump. It is probably unlikely that either nation will attack the other. On the other hand, Trump does not need the approval of Congress to launch an assault even with the deployment of nuclear weapons.

Energy Agency Rejects Trump Bid to Boost Coal, Nuclear Power (Matthew Daly / Associated Press)
An independent energy agency on Monday rejected a Trump administration plan to bolster coal-fired and nuclear power plants, dealing a blow to President Donald Trump's efforts to boost the struggling coal industry. The decision by the Republican-controlled Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was unexpected and comes amid repeated promises by Trump to revive coal as the nation's top power source.

Western Complicity Is Fuelling Yemen's Humanitarian Crisis (Stephen McCloskey / Open Democracy)
The United Nations Humanitarian Co-ordinator for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, has described the conflict in Yemen as "absurd" and "futile," characterised by "the destruction of the country and the incommensurate suffering of its people." A besieged and starved population has been pushed to the brink of famine. The UK, US and France need to re-evaluate their relationship with Saudi Arabia.

ACTION ALERT: Israel Implements a Deliberate Policy to Terrorise Palestinian Children (Kamel Hawwash / Middle East Eye)
Israel's founding father David Ben-Gurion once said about the Palestinians: 'The old will die and the young will forget.' How wrong was he about the Palestinian people. There are currently some 450 Palestinian children who have been placed in detention by Israel. Warning: Contains graphic video of an armed soldier shooting a Palestinian child.

War on America's Poor: Why Sessions (and the Prison Industry) Needs Pot Laws (Harvey Wasserman / Op-Ed News)
There are two main reasons behind the US Attorney-General's plan to pursue federal pot prosecutions: power and money. The Republican Party is vested in America's vast private prison system. Every new arrestee means money in the pockets of the investors who own and operate them. Keeping those cells and beds occupied is the essence of the industry and of Pot Prohibition. The Drug War is a giant cash cow for the prison owners, cops, guards, lawyers, judges, bailiffs and others.

Pollution and Global Disease: Washington's War on Americans' Health (Christopher Ingraham / The Washington Post & Alexandra Jacobo / NationofChange & Sophie Haigney / San Francisco Chronicle)
American lives are shorter on average than those in other wealthy nations, and the gap is growing -- owing to electromagnetic radiation, pollution, and chemical addictions. In 2016, US life expectancy dropped for the second year in a row. Children with low birth-weights -- less than 5 pounds 8 ounces -- are at increased risk for diabetes, heart disease and hypertension in later life.

The World's Policeman Comes Home: US Policing Abroad and Military Tactics at Home (Danny Sjursen / Tom Dispatch & The Nation)
Commentary: As in Baghdad, so in Baltimore. It's connected, you see. Scholars, pundits, politicians, most of us in fact like our worlds to remain discretely and comfortably separated. That's why so few articles, reports, or op-ed columns even think to link police violence at home to our imperial pursuits abroad.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Twitter to Revoke Donald Trump's Twitter Account (CREDO Mobile & Jack Moore / GQ Magazine)
Donald Trump has used Twitter to demean religions, other countries, immigrants, and world leaders. Now he is using Twitter to threaten a nuclear crisis. Ordinarily an online comment like that would send the CIA and FBI scrambling into action to track down and immobilized the "terrorist threat." It's time to demand that Twitter revoke Donald Trump's Twitter account for violations of the terms of service and institute safeguards to prevent a single tweet from sparking armed conflict.

The CDC Promotes Trump's Threat of a Nuclear War (Brett Molina / USA TODAY & Tyler Durden / ZeroHedge.com)
As tensions between North Korea and the US rise, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention want Americans to be prepared in case of a "nuclear event." The CDC's traditional role involves preventative intervention -- hygiene and vaccinations. Teaching the public "how to survive a nuclear detonation" is like teaching the public how to survive an influenza epidemic -- after stepping aside and allowing it to happen. If the CDC took nuclear war as seriously as the flu, it would be working on ways to prevent war.

$406 Billion for Trouble-plagued F-35 Jet but Healthcare "Too Costly" -- as Jets Endanger Childrens' Health (Ashley Curtin / NationofChange & Reuters & James Marc Leas / Truthout)
Members of Congress say the US is "too broke" to increase spending on programs that intend to improve education and healthcare, but $27 billion more could go to F-35 jet program. Meanwhile, the health of children in a working-class neighborhood of Vermont is suffering from exposure to the roar of jet fighters overhead. This jet noise is set to sharply increase in two years when the Air Force plans to replace the F-16s with four-times-louder F-35 fighter bombers.

ACTION ALERT: Trump's War on Independent Investigations (March for Truth & MoveOne.org & Glenn R. Simpson and Peter Fritsch / New York Times)
"Why did Mr. Trump repeatedly seek to do deals in a notoriously corrupt police state that most serious investors shun?" That's a question posed by the founders of Fusion GPS in a new op-ed for The New York Times.

Trump's Articles of Impeachment: A Greatest Hits Collection (David Swanson / FireDonaldTrump.org & Let's Try Democracy)
Although several potential articles of impeachment against Trump stand very strongly on their own, the strongest case for impeachment is a cumulative one. Because I cannot predict which articles, if any, will gain the most popular or Congressional support. I am have collected the strongest ones at FireDonaldTrump.org and will add more as the crime wave rolls on. I pushed for impeaching Bush and Obama for some similar offenses but many of Trump's high crimes and misdemeanors are unprecedented.

Psychiatrist Who Briefed Congress on Trump's Mental State Says: This Is (Eliza Barclay / Vox & Donald Trump / The New York Times)
The longer Donald Trump is in office, the more he shocks and alarms us with his strange and extremely unpresidential behavior. From the incoherent, fallacious interview he gave the New York Times on December 28 to Tuesday's tweet about his "nuclear button" to his smearing of Steve Bannon, the incendiary remarks keep getting more menacing and portentous of disaster. As Vox's Ezra Klein recently wrote: "The president of the United States is not well."

The Pentagon's Kadema Air Base Called "World's Most Dangerous Airport" (The Peace Report / Veterans for Peace & Jon Mitchell / The Japan Times)
The Kadema Air Base on Okinawa Island is the largest US Air Force installation in Asia. Equipped with vast runways and thousands of hangars, homes and workshops, the base and adjoining arsenal cover 46 square kilometers. Over the years, accidents and neglect have polluted local land and water with hazardous chemicals -- including arsenic, lead, polychlorinated biphenyls, asbestos and dioxin -- while US officials hid this information, putting at risk the health of US service members and 184,000 civilians living nearby.

Is Rebuilding after "Victory" Possible? Restoring Mosul Will Take Time, Money, and Will
Nearly every city or town in formerly ISIS-occupied territory needs repair. The longer it takes, the longer many of those who fled the fighting remain uprooted. While 2.7 million Iraqis have returned to lands seized back from the militants, more than 3 million others languish in refugee camps. Worst hit is Mosul. The UN estimates 40,000 homes there need to be rebuilt or restored. Returning residents face billions in construction costs and decades of rebuilding, but the source of financial aid remains uncertain.

Donald Trump's War Crimes (War Criminals Watch & Marjorie Cohn / TruthOut)
Since World War II, the United States has greatly expanded its global military presence and interventions around the world in order to protect overseas investments and to exploit global resources, including human labor, to establish itself as the dominant superpower. Just two and a half months into his presidency, Donald Trump quickly distinguished himself as a war criminal. His administration stands accused of killing unusually large numbers of civilians, in violation of US and international law.

A Deadly Legacy of Pollution Haunts Overseas US Military Bases (Whitney Webb / Mint Press & John Lindsay-Poland and Nick Morgan / The Institute for Policy Studies)
Producing more hazardous waste than the five largest US chemical companies combined, the US Department of Defense has left its toxic legacy throughout the world in the form of depleted uranium, oil, jet fuel, pesticides, defoliants like Agent Orange and lead, among other pollutants.

Three-day Conference on US Foreign Military Bases Begins January 12 (Coalition Against Foreign Military Bases)
The United States maintains the highest number of military bases outside its territory, estimated at almost 1000 (95% of all foreign military bases in the world). There are US military bases in every Persian Gulf country except Iran. US foreign military bases are NOT in defense of US national, or global security. They are the military expression of US intrusion into the lives of sovereign countries on behalf of the dominant financial, political, and military interests of a Western ruling elite.

ACTION ALERT: Trump's Un-American War on Immigrants (Mom's Rising / Mamas Con Poder & Nicole Prchal Svajlenka, Angie Bautista-Chavez, and Laura Muñoz Lopez / Center for American Progress)
The Trump administration is ripping away Temporary Protected Status status from thousands of families. This is un-American. Lives are in grave danger. TPS beneficiaries are integral to the US economy and American society: They have lived in the US for an average of 19 years and are employed at high rates, ranging from 69.2 to 83.5 percent. The contributions made by TPS holders will only continue to grow in the future, as they are collectively raising families that include nearly 275,000 US-born children.

Is Rebuilding after "Victory" Possible? Restoring Mosul Will Take Time, Money, and Will
Nearly every city or town in formerly ISIS-occupied territory needs repair. The longer it takes, the longer many of those who fled the fighting remain uprooted. While 2.7 million Iraqis have returned to lands seized back from the militants, more than 3 million others languish in refugee camps. Worst hit is Mosul. The UN estimates 40,000 homes there need to be rebuilt or restored. Returning residents face billions in construction costs and decades of rebuilding, but the source of financial aid remains uncertain.

36,898 Reported Killed in Iraq in 2016 -- And Probably More Have Died (Margaret Griffis / AntiWar.com)
At least 36,898 people were killed, and 8,753 were wounded in Iraq during 2017. These figures should be considered lowball estimates, especially considering that the number of casualties being reported publicly was reduced. During 2016, 52,369 people were killed 21,795 were wounded. The Iraqi government censored information about security casualties and perhaps even civilian ones. Consequently, at the end of 2016, the UN was hectored into limiting the number of casualties it was allowed to compile.

How It May Soon Be Possible to Prosecute War as a Crime (David Swanson / World Beyond War & Thomas Knapp / AntiWar.com)
War is a crime. The International Criminal Court has just announced that it will finally treat it as a crime, sort-of, kind-of. But how can war's status as a crime effectively deter the world's leading war-maker from threatening and launching more wars, large and small? How can laws against war actually be put to use? How can the ICC's announcement be made into something more than a pretense?

Palestinian Refugee Camp Is the Most Tear-Gassed Place on Earth, According to New Study (brahim Husseini and Liam O'Hare / Al Jazeera)
Refugee camps are among the most vulnerable to tear-gas exposure. A recent report finds that one Palestinian refugee camp in the occupied West Bank may be the most tear-gassed community in the world. While tear gas is usually composed of synthetic or naturally occurring gases, including pepper spray, the specific chemical utilized "is unknown" although Israel is obligated to disclose the composition of the tear gas it uses so medical professionals can treat the symptoms the chemicals cause.

Wars of Aggression to Become Global Crimes; Leaders Could be Held for Trial (Coalition for the International Criminal Court)
Marathon diplomatic negotiation at 16th Assembly of States Parties in New York achieves consensus on activating ICC jurisdiction over leaders who wage aggressive war -- with conditions.

Trump Mulls His Own Private Army (Jefferson Morley / The Progressive Populist)
President Trump is maneuvering to establish his own intelligence service to do what the CIA cannot or will not do for him. According to BuzzFeed, Trump is considering a proposal for a private company, the Amyntor Group, "to set up a large intelligence network and run counterterrorist propaganda efforts." The Intercept reports the plan was developed by Erik Prince, founder of the Blackwater private security firm, with help from Oliver North, a key figure in the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s.

Pop Quiz! How Much Do You Know About the Korean War? (Refuse Facism)
Donald Trump has threatened "fire and fury" against people living on the Korean Peninsula. Many people fear and hate Trump but do not know the history of Korean-US relations including the Korean War of the 1950s. Take this test and RefuseFascism will email you the results of your quiz and publish overall responses as soon as the quiz generates at least 1,000 submissions.

The Iranian Protests and Washington's Opportunism (Daniel Larison / The American Conservative & teleSURtv & Juan Cole / Informed Content)
Many of the problems racking Iran stem from long-standing US pressures, including an array of punishing economic sanctions. The near seven decades of US interference in Iran have included the orchestration of a military coup against a democratically elected government. The key thing that US politicians and policymakers need to keep in mind is that Iran's internal protests are not about us, nor are they an "opportunity" for us to exploit. Trump doesn't really care about Iran's troubled citizens.

Honduran Election Fraud Follows Decades of Corruption Funded By US Drug War (Danielle Marie Mackey / The Intercept)
Olancho is gorgeous, with elevated cloud forests flush with orchids and fresh water that tumbles down majestic cliffs, spilling into lowland rainforests or emerald rolling pastures and valleys. But a sinister history lies below the surface and reveals itself only indirectly. A satellite image of a preserved rainforest that traverses the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve reveals a cemetery of hacked trees. The extent of the carnage was almost certainly too big and had happened too fast to be funded by anything other than drugs.

Washington's Earlier Wars: The Anti-Imperialist League and the Battle Against Empire (Thomas E. Woods, Jr. / The Mises Daily<)
In April 1898 the US went to war with Spain for the stated purpose of liberating Cuba from Spanish control. When the war had ended, Cuba had been transformed into a US protectorate, and Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines had become American possessions. When the US government failed to grant independence to the Philippines, the result was a brutal guerrilla war that stretched on for years and claimed the lives of some 200,000 Filipinos.

ACTION ALERT: Ekecheiria! An Olympic Peace Week for Korea (Roots Action & the United Nations)
The United Nations has asked its member states to observe an Olympic truce during the upcoming February 9-25 Winter Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, and for one week on either side. That would be February 2 to March 4. South Korea has asked the United States to delay its war rehearsal flights over South Korea until after the truce. If the world can prove that it can refrain from war during a sports competition, it will have proved that it can do so after the competition as well.

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.

Earth Anthems: Imagine a New National Anthem: One that Celebrates Peace and Not War (Stephen Longfellow Fiske, Michael Jackson, et al.)
In 1931, Congress officially designated "The Star-Spangled Banner" as the US National Anthem. Now, in the ongoing folk tradition of adding new verses to old songs, visionary singer, songwriter Stephen Longfellow Fiske (descendant of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow) brings the evolution of the song to the global perspective of the 21st century, blending democratic ideals, peace, and environmental harmony with his Earth Anthem.

The 10 Most Ridiculous Things Media Figures Said About Climate Change and the Environment in 2017 (Kevin Kalhoefer / Media Matters for America / Research)
When it comes to climate change denial, various pundits and media sources unleashed a storefront of fake news during 2017. Here is a short-list of some of the most outlandish whoppers.

How Dick Cheney and His Allies Created the Korea Crisis (Gareth Porter / AntiWar.com & Julian Borger / The Guardian)
The Trump administration has been telling people for months that the crisis with North Korea is the result of North Korea's relentless pursuit of a nuclear threat to the US homeland and past North Korean cheating on diplomatic agreements. However, North Korea reached agreements with both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations that could have averted that threat, had they been completed. Instead, a group of Bush administration officials led by then-Vice President Dick Cheney sabotaged both agreement.

Ellsberg's The Doomsday Machine: The Madness of America's Nuclear Weapons (William J. Astore / AntiWar.com)
Daniel Ellsberg's new book, The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner, is a shattering portrayal of the genocidal nature of US nuclear planning during the Cold War -- and that threat of worldwide genocide (or omnicide, a word Ellsberg uses to describe the death of nearly everything from a nuclear exchange that would generate disastrous cooling due to nuclear winter) persists to this day.

Germany Generates Such a Huge Excess of Wind Energy Consumers Are Paid to Use It! (Josie Cox / The Independent & Josh Gabbatiss / The Independent)
In Germany -- thanks to the growth of clean, renewable energy -- demand for energy has been outstripped by supply on weekends. This year, when factories across the country powered down and many offices closed, wind power generated such a glut of energy that customers were paid to use it. Germany aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 95 percent by 2050. Meanwhile, in Britain, the latest government figures show 'record high' for electrical power produced from sources like wind and solar.

Why Doesn't Congress Care When Israel Kills American Citizens? (Alex Kane / The Forward)
When Americans of Palestinian descent are shot dead by Israeli soldiers, no Senators or Congressmen rush to press for accountability from Israel's army, or put the names of Palestinian victims on legislation that would tie US aid to Israel to policy changes. On February 26, 2016, Mahmoud Shaman, a 16-year-old teenager from Florida who had moved to his family's village near Ramallah, was fatally shot an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint. Witnesses said the boy's hands were raised when he was shot.

The Impact of Global Warming in the Land of Santa Claus (Josh Gabbatiss / The Independent)
Lapland occupies a happy space in the popular imagination as a winter wonderland, occupied by reindeer, elves and Father Christmas. The real life Lapland, however, is increasingly facing up to the grim reality of global warming. Research has revealed the disproportionate impact of climate change in the Arctic, where temperatures are currently rising at double the rate of the global average. The far north is bearing the brunt of global warming.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Is Honored With a Nobel Peace Prize (Alice Slater / The Nation & Beatrice Fihn / ICAN & Setsuko Thurlow / ICAN)
It has been just 10 years since ICAN first launched its astonishing campaign to ban nuclear weapons, just as chemical and biological weapons have been banned as well as land mines and cluster bombs. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has now closed a legal gap in the 1970 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that only requires "good faith efforts for nuclear disarmament" by the then-five existing nuclear weapons states -- the United States, Russia, UK, France, China.

Trump Inauguration Protesters Acquitted: Victory for the First Amendment (Alexandra Jacobo / NationofChange & Ryan J. Reilly / The Huffington Post)
During a protest of Donald Trump's inauguration, police arrested nearly 200 people, charging them with conspiracy to riot, engaging in a riot, and five counts of criminal property destruction -- simply based on the fact that they participated in the protest. A jury has now acquitted the first six defendants to be tried on these charges. This key First Amendment case could determine the fate of others arrested during the protests who found themselves facing "guilt-by-association felonies."

The GOP Tax Bill: How the Environment Lost (Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch)
The Republican tax bill has major repercussions for our precious environment. While the electric vehicle industry and the wind and solar sector can breathe a little easier that the sweeping legislation preserves their tax credits, fossil fuel producers are likely cheering the opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling. Environment America notes that the bill continues massive incentives for fossil fuel production amounting to tens of billions of dollars over the next decade.

There Is No Military Solution to End War in Yemen (Al Jazeera & Daniel Larison / The American Conservative)
Every day that the US continues to provide arms and fuel to the Saudi-led coalition is another day that the administration shows that it is not serious about addressing the causes of the humanitarian catastrophe engulfing Yemen. The Red Cross reports that there are now more than a million cases of cholera in Yemen.

ACTION ALERT: Federal Court Invalidates Trump's Call to Allow Trophy Hunting (Endangered Species Coalition & The Humane Society & Care2 Petitions)
The US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has ruled that the US Fish & Wildlife Service did not follow the law in its recently-announced decision to allow the importation of elephant and lion "trophies" from Zimbabwe and Zambia. Meanwhile, the Pentagon routinely mutilates and kills animals in military exercises designed to train medics to deal with "battlefield injuries."

Pentagon Confirms 'Multiple' US Ground Operations in Yemen (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Hans Nichols and Mosheh Gains / NBC News)
While the Pentagon has been very secretive about what they've been doing in Yemen all year, on Wednesday officials confirmed that they have carried out "multiple ground operations," as well as 120 airstrikes in 2017. Before Wednesday's statement, the extent of the US counterterrorism operations in Yemen was unknown under the Trump administration, with only sporadic acknowledgement of US military operations there.

US Plans for a 'Bloody Nose' Attack on North Korea Could Trigger Massive Deaths (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Ben Riley-Smith / The Telegraph & Dr. Laura Grego / Union of Concerned Scientists)
According to a new report in the Daily Telegraph, the concerns about a US attack on North Korea are very well-founded, and the White House has "dramatically" stepped up plans for what it is calling a "bloody nose" attack on North Korea. Apparently ignoring months of analyst warnings that there is no way to have a "limited" war with North Korea, the White House envisions a quick, damaging attack.

France to Ban Oil and Gas Extraction: US Bank Breaks Vow to Ban Oil Pipeline Investments (Ruth Milka / NationofChange & Sharon Kelly / DeSmogBlog)
In a major victory for the planet, French parliament has passed a law that bans all exploration and production of oil and natural gas by 2040 within France and all its overseas territories. Meanwhile, US Bank (which announced it would be the first large American bank to completely halt loans for oil and gas pipeline projects) has quietly offered a $4 billion loan to the company behind the Dakota Access pipeline project.

ACTION ALERT: For the Sake of a Single Tree (Neil Cohen / Solartopia.org)
When we found the unedited report from the arborist hired by the city, we were stunned to discover that he actually wrote a GLOWINGLY SUPPORTIVE report about this tree -- but that the city's staff for some reason chose to cut, paste, and rearrange the arborist's written narrative in order to HANG the tree.

Trump: Pursuing a Defense Spending Hike and a Pentagon Audit at the Same Time? (Curt Mills / The National Interest)
Left unmentioned in the president's speech on Monday regarding the National Security Strategy is that, under his direction, the Pentagon is undergoing its first audit in history. It's not referenced in the document itself, either, though "restraining Federal spending" and "making government more efficient" are mentioned. The National Interest pointed out last week how little attention the audit is getting.

ACTION ALERT: South, North Korea Hope for Peaceful Olympics Games. Will US Cancel Military Exercises? (Roots Action & Nam Hyun-woo / The Korea Times & Doug Bandow / The American Conservative)
South Korea wants to delay the joint military drills with the United States during the PyeongChang Olympic Games. For the past two months, North Korea has been acting within this concept. Unfortunately, the US has not scaled down its drills and plans to add another exercise. In order to bring the North to the discussion table, some action from the US should be seen. Does the US want to exacerbate or defuse the crisis?

The US Is Building Its Biggest Overseas Base -- In South Korea (Jon Letman / The Diplomat)
Now in the final stage of a massive base expansion, when completed around 2020, Humphreys will have tripled in size to nearly 3,500 acres -- roughly the size of central Washington, D.C. -- making it the largest overseas American military base in the world, capping off over a dozen years of transformation and consolidation of the US military footprint in South Korea.

The Boys Who Said "No": The Story That Was Missing in the Ken Burn's Vietnam Documentary (Judith Ehrlich / The Boys Who Said No and Robert Levering / Waging Peace)
Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's PBS series, "The Vietnam War," deserves an Oscar for its depiction of the gore of war and the criminality of the warmakers. But it also deserves to be critiqued for its portrayal of the anti-war movement. Millions joined the struggle against the war. Any semblance between the peace movement I experienced and the one depicted by the Burns/Novick series is purely coincidental. A new documentary, "The Boys Who Said 'No'", hopes to set the record straight.

US-backed Saudi Airstrikes in Yemen Kill 136 Civilians in 11 Days (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & The Associated Press)
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes against targets across northern Yemen have continued since the early 2015 invasion, and civilians have borne the brunt of the strikes. Escalating attacks suggest a disturbing trend, with the UN High Commission for Human Rights expressing deep concern. Not only are the civilian death tolls mounting, but the nature of the strikes has been increasingly troubling. Recent strikes have hit a hospital, a prison, a TV station, and a carload of women returning from a wedding.

Trump's 'National Security Strategy' Is the Opposite of National Security (Thomas Knapp / AntiWar.com)
Commentary: The Goldwater-Nichols Act requires the president to submit a "National Security Strategy" report each year. Every president since Ronald Reagan has failed to comply with the law in one or more years of his administration, but on December 17 Donald Trump issued his report. Unfortunately, Trump's offering is of a piece with his prior displays of economic illiteracy and foreign policy jingoism. It's a dog's breakfast of policy pronouncements.

ACTION ALERT: 1000 Days of War: Stop the Humanitarian Disaster in Yemen (Win Without War)
December 20, 2017 marks 1000 days of Saudi Arabia's intervention into Yemen's civil war. Thanks to this disastrous war -- that is waged with the support of the US, UK, and France -- millions of Yemeni civilians are on the brink the largest famine the world has seen in decades as millions more face outbreaks of preventable diseases like cholera and diphtheria, and indiscriminate violence. Add your name to a statement on the need to end the war and find a political solution to this man-made disaster.

Three Administrations, One Standard Playbook (Danny Sjursen and Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch)
Commentary: In a Washington politically riven in ways not seen since the pre-Civil War era, take hope. Despite everything you've read, bipartisanship is not dead. On one issue, congressional Democrats and Republicans, as well as Donald Trump, all speak with a single resounding voice, with, in fact, unmatched unanimity and fervor as they stretch hands across the aisle in a spirit of cooperation. Perhaps you've already guessed, but I'm referring to the Pentagon budget.

Carbon Colonialism: The Failure of Carbon Offset Projects in Uganda (Anuradha Mittal / The Oakland Institute)
As the One Climate Summit began in Paris, the Oakland Institute's new report, Carbon Colonialism: Failure of Green Resources' Carbon Offset Project in Uganda, exposed the false solutions to climate change promoted by some Western corporations and institutions in Africa. In Uganda, one major carbon-offset project -- supported by a number of international financial institutions -- illustrates how climate change is increasingly misused as a pretext for imposing a new form of "carbon colonialism" in Africa.

ACTION ALERT: Why Is Tellerson Backtracking on Korea Diplomacy? (Tulsi Gabbard / US House of Representatives & AntiWar.com & Ron Paul / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity)
Commentary: It seems pretty reasonable to open talks with North Korea after a period of "good faith" gestures between Washington and Pyongyang. Why not agree on no US/South Korean joint military exercises for six months in exchange for no North Korean missile launches for the same period and then agree to a meeting on neutral ground? How could it possibly hurt, particularly considering the alternative?

Is Trump Building His Own Global Private Spy Agency? (Bill Berkowitz / Buzzflash & TruthOut)
What could be more exciting for a chickenhawk president who bullies, boasts and brags, then to have his own private spy network at his beck and call? According to The Intercept, that's exactly what Erik Prince is proposing: "to provide CIA Director Mike Pompeo and the White House with a global, private spy network that would circumvent official US intelligence agencies, according to several current and former US intelligence officials and others familiar with the proposals."

Call for a Ban as Pentagon Explores Genetic Extinction Warfare (Arthur Neslen / The Guardian)
A US military agency is investing $100 million in genetic extinction technologies that could wipe out entire species. The technology could be used to wipe out malaria-carrying mosquitos or other pests, but UN experts say fears over possible military uses and unintended consequences strengthen case for a ban. The UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is debating whether to impose a moratorium on the gene research next year and several southern countries fear a possible military application.

The 'American Dream' an 'illusion,' Says UN. US Now 'World Champion' of Inequality (United Nations News Centre & Ed Pilkington / The Guardian)
United Nations special rapporteur Philip Alston, fresh from two-week, fact-finding tour, has issued a devastating critique of US society that condemns "private wealth and public squalor . . . . The face of poverty in America is not only black or Hispanic, but also white, Asian and many other colors. 'American Dream' quickly becoming an 'illusion.' The persistence of extreme poverty is a political choice made by those in power. With political will, it could readily be eliminated."

Costly New US-Russia Nuke Arms Race Features New, More Dangerous Weapons (Scot Paltrow / Reuters)
President Barack Obama rode into office in 2009 with promises to work toward a nuclear-free world. His vow helped win him the Nobel Peace Prize that year. He promised that America would develop no new types of atomic weapons. Instead, Obama initiated a $1 trillion modernization program that is making nearly all of the Pentagon's nuclear weapons more accurate and deadly. And Russia, its weapons badly degraded from neglect after the Cold War, has begun its own costly modernization program.

War Against Equality: Over the Past Year, the Income of the USA's Top .001% Increased by 636% (teleSUR & The Huffington Post)
Global Economic Inequality is surging, further widening the pay gap between the haves and have-nots, according to a new World Inequality report. The report, which highlights the growing gulf between haves and have-nots, was compiled by five economists, including scholars Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty. Average annual income for the bottom 50 percent has remained basically unchanged at $16,000 over the past 40 years. In 2016, the richest one percent held 39 percent of the country's wealth.

The Planet's Shrinking Wilderness -- Ignored at Our Peril (Wildlife Conservation Society & Science Daily)
The majority of remaining wilderness areas are in the deserts of Central Australia, the Amazon rainforest in South America, the Tibetan plateau in central Asia, and the boreal (snow) forests of Canada and Russia. These ecosystems play a key role in regulating local climates, sequestering and storing large amounts of carbon and supporting many of the world's most culturally diverse and marginalized communities. Maps of these critically important wilderness areas are now freely available online.

US Allegations of Iran Missiles in Yemen Met With Skepticism (AntiWar.com & Reuters & Moon of Alabama)
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley presented what she called "irrefutable" evidence that a Yemen-fired missile was of Iranian origin on Thursday, but there remains substantial speculation about what, if anything, she actually proved in the presentation. Haley's presentation was very light on specifics. France was very clear about how skeptical they are of the Haley comments, noting that the UN has not drawn any conclusions.

War on the First Amendment: Medics, Observers and a Journalist Face 50 Years in Prison for Trump Inauguration Protests (Amy Goodman / Democracy Now! & The Huffington Post)
Final arguments are underway today in Washington, DC, in a case that could shape the future of free speech and the right to protest in the US: the first trial of the nearly 200 people arrested during Donald Trump's inauguration. The first so-called trial to go to a jury involves six people, including one journalist, Alexei Wood, a freelance photojournalist. The defendants face multiple felony and misdemeanor charges, including multiple counts of destruction of property. Evidence against the defendants has been scant.

Privatize the Wars: Erik Prince Is On the Move (Bill Berkowitz / Buzzflash @ TruthOut & Charles Pierce / Esquire)
Erik Prince, the founder of the notorious Blackwater (now known as Academi) private army that wreaked havoc during the Bush-era military adventures in Iraq, the chair of Frontier Services Group, an aviation, logistics, and security firm, brother of education secretary Betsy DeVos, and close friend to Steve Bannon, is not letting any grass grow under his mercenary and entrepreneurial feet. Prince is looking to franchise FSG operations in China.

Donald Trump and Rupert Murdoch Have Set Our Future on Fire (Mark Hertsgaard / The Nation & Climate Nexus / EcoWatch)
Commentary: The fires of hell roared through the City of Angels, dispatched by the lords of darkness. Blasted by 80-mile-an-hour winds that turned palm trees into giant torches. In one of those ironies so glaringly obvious that fate seems to be commanding that humans pay attention, one of the properties scorched by the LA fires belonged to Rupert Murdoch, the founder of Fox News, a lavish donor to the GOP, a close confidant of Donald Trump, and a major purvey of "fake news" about the "hoax" of global warming.

War Against Equality: Over the Past Year, the Income of the USA's Top .001% Increased by 636% (teleSUR )
Global Economic Inequality is surging, further widening the pay gap between the haves and have-nots, according to a new World Inequality report. The report, which highlights the growing gulf between haves and have-nots, was compiled by five economists, including scholars Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty. Average annual income for the bottom 50 percent has remained basically unchanged at $16,000 over the past 40 years. In 2016, the richest one percent held 39 percent of the country's wealth.

ICC Rules Aggression Is a War Crime: Will Washington Be Held to Account? (Coalition for the International Criminal Court)
Marathon diplomatic negotiations at 16th Assembly of States Parties in New York have achieved consensus on activating International Criminal Court jurisdiction over world leaders who wage aggressive wars -- with conditions. "For the first time since the post-WWII trials in Nuremburg and Tokyo, an international court may be able to hold leaders individually criminally responsible for the crime of aggression."

Trump's World of War: US Special Ops Commandos to 149 Countries (Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & Nick Turse / TomDispatch)
Since 9/11, the US has expanded the size of its force by almost 75%. In terms of geographic sweep, since 2001, the activities of US Special Operations forces have grown in every conceivable way. On any given day, about 8,000 special operators -- from a command numbering roughly 70,000 -- are deployed in approximately 80 countries around the world. This year, US special operators were killed in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Niger and Mali.

US Weapons Industry Bombs the World for Profits but the Pentagon Is Not a Sacred Cow (teleSUR & The Editorial Board of the New York Times)
In 2016, global arms producers saw $375 billion in profits, with the US weapons industry claiming more than half the global sales. Meanwhile, back in the US, the Pentagon continues to waste about one in five of the dollars it receives. Health care, Social Security, Medicare and other social programs are all on the chopping block as Republicans race to write tax bill that benefits large corporations (including arms makers) but the Pentagon remains a sacred cow, destined to receive yet more taxpayer dollars.

The Brutal Origins of Gun Rights (Patrick Blanchfield / New Republic)
In her brilliant and devastating new book, Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment, writer and historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz argues that America's obsession with guns has roots in a long, bloody legacy of racist vigilantism, militarism, and white nationalism. What the Second Amendment guarantees is instead something else: "the violent appropriation of Native land by white settlers . . . as an individual right."

The US Is a Country Addicted to War: (Tom Englehardt and Andrew J. Bacevich / TomDispatch)
The Pentagon's Predator drones -- ferocious assassins, capable of crossing borders without a blink and without respect for national sovereignty -- terrorize civilians while proving to be remarkable recruitment tools for terror groups. George W. Bush told us that US weapons would spread freedom and democracy. Instead, our wars have sown disorder and instability, creating failed states across the Greater Middle East and Africa. We now see more, not fewer, jihadist groups, while terror acts are soaring globally.

Bombs in Our Backyard: Investigating One of America's Greatest Polluters (Abrahm Lustgarten / ProPublica)
The Pentagon has poisoned millions of acres and left Americans to guess at the threat to their health. Its oversight of thousands of toxic sites has been marked by defiance and delay. Now ProPublica has published data on 40,000 hazardous sites across the country polluted by US military operations. Journalists and activists can use the data to find local stories.

Bombs in Our Backyard: Dangerous Pollutants in Military's Open-Air Burn Sites (Abrahm Lustgarten / ProPublica)
The first results in a national effort to better measure the levels of contaminants released through the burning of munitions and their waste show elevated levels of lead, arsenic and other toxins. Washington appears to have significantly underestimated the amount of lead, arsenic and other toxic pollutants sent into the air from uncontrolled burning of hazardous waste at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant in Virginia. The plumes drift directly towards an elementary school and residents a little more than a mile away.

ACTION ALERT: No More Korean Wars -- The Hidden Histories of the US and North Korea (Nation of Change & World Beyond War & Jimmy Carter / The Washington Post & Col. An Wright (Ret.) / ConsortiumNews & Bruce Cumings / The London Review of Books & Leon V. Sigal / 38 North.org )
In August, President Trump threatened North Korea with "fire and fury like the world has never seen." Following this threat, North Korea revealed plans to launch missiles into the sea surrounding the island of Guam, where US Andersen Air Force Base and B-1 bombers are held. We need a peaceful solution to the current crisis with North Korea.

Tillerson Says US Ready to Talk to North Korea (David Brunnstrom and Christine Kim / Reuters)
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered to begin direct talks with North Korea without pre-conditions, backing away from a key US demand that Pyongyang must first accept that giving up its nuclear arsenal would be part of any negotiations. The White House later issued an ambiguous statement that left unclear whether President Donald Trump -- who has said Tillerson was wasting his time pursuing dialogue with North Korea -- had given his approval for the speech.

How the US Could Provoke a New Korean War (Geoffrey Fattig / AntiWar.com)
Commentary: The bare bones of a deal with North Korea may exist, but senseless provocations could set off a conflict long before then. Given a choice between war and grudgingly accepting one more nuclear state, most Americans would probably choose the latter. Indeed, it is -- unsurprisingly -- Trump's Republican base that is most eager for a war. History shows how Washington has mastered of the art of simultaneously provoking conflict while allowing the US to claim the role of the aggrieved party.

North Korea: The Costs of War Calculated (John Feffer / Foreign Policy in Focus & World Beyond War)
Donald Trump is contemplating wars that would dwarf anything his predecessors ever imagined. He's dropped the "mother of all bombs" in Afghanistan and is considering the mother of all wars in the Middle East. Now some DC policymakers are talking about a "three-month window" within which the Trump administration can stop North Korea from acquiring the ability to strike US cities with nuclear weapons. But the human, economic, and environmental costs of such a war should make people think twice.

ACTION ALERT: A Peoples' Peace Treaty for the US and North Korea (World Beyond War & NationofChange)
Mainstream US media depicts North Korean Kim Jong-Un as crazy and his country as an insane asylum, but there is logic in their fear of "regime change"-- a fear that only negotiations can address. Alarmed by the threat of a nuclear war, concerned US peace groups have come together to present a People's Peace Treaty to Washington and Pyongyang.

US Corps Sue Green Groups Calling Critics "Terrorists" (Rainforest Action Network & Nikhil Swaminathan / Grist & Adam Gabbatt / The Guardian )
Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the company behind the Dakota Access pipeline, has filed a broad legal assault against Greenpeace and many other organizations that oppose this highly controversial fossil fuel project. Why should you care? Because this lawsuit represents a many-faceted and very real threat to everyone's First Amendment rights to protest and organize in defense of people and planet.

How History's Deadliest Bombing Campaign Created Today's Crisis in Korea (Ted Nace / CounterPunch)
As the world watches with mounting concern the growing tensions and bellicose rhetoric between the United States and North Korea, one of the most remarkable aspects of the situation is the absence of any public acknowledgement of the underlying reason for North Korean fears -- or, as termed by United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, "state of paranoia" -- namely, the horrific firebombing campaign waged by the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War and the unprecedented death toll that resulted from that bombing.

The Dome: An Abandoned US Nuclear Waste Site Could Be Swamped by Rising Seas (The Australian Broadcasting Corporation & Mark Willacy / ABC News)
The Runit Dome, an 18-inch-thick concrete dome in the oceans of the Republic of the Marshall Islands contains highly toxic waste from 67 US nuclear weapons tests conducted in the South Pacific from 1946-58. Now, the dome (intended to last for hundreds of years) is cracked and leaking and rising sea levels due to climate change threaten an even greater catastrophe.

Background: The Pentagon versus the Paris Climate Deal (Arthur Neslen / The Guardian)
In an under-reported 2015 story, The Guardian revealed the Paris Climate Accord would have stripped the Pentagon of its automatic exemption from emissions-cutting obligations. Although the US never ratified the Kyoto Protocol, it won an opt-out from having to fully report or act on the Pentagon's destructive greenhouse gas emissions.

US Sued for Dropping H-bombs on Spain (Dave Collings / Associated Press & ABC News)
Veterans who say they responded to a 1966 accident involving US hydrogen bombs in Spain and then became ill from radiation exposure asked a federal appeals court on Monday to allow a class action lawsuit against the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

After 20 Years and $6.5 Trillion in Missing Funds, Pentagon to Submit to Audit (Hon. Ron Wyden / US Senate & Bill Chappell / National Public Radio)
Senator Ron Wyden writes: "In September, the Pentagon escaped budget cuts -- while Meals on Wheels and the National Parks budgets were slashed. The Senate voted to increase military spending by an extra $80 billion a year, resulting in a $700 billion Department of Defense budget. I was one of only 8 members of the Senate who voted NO on this bill. Why? One of the reasons was because we don’t know where this money goes since the Pentagon has NEVER had an audit."

America's Enemies, Who's On the List? (Professor James Petras / Global Research & United National Antiwar Coalition & Ajamu Baraka / Black Alliance for Peace)
For almost 2 decades, the US pursued a list of 'enemy countries' to confront, attack, weaken and overthrow. This imperial quest to overthrow 'enemy countries' operated at various levels of intensity, depending on two considerations: the level of priority and the degree of vulnerability for a 'regime change' operation. The author explores how iImperial strategists consider military, economic and political criteria in identifying high priority adversaries.

How US Monopolizes the World's Wealth (Paul Buchheit / NationofChange)
When Washington sends the Pentagon to war, thousands of young lives are put at risk to ensure that a few thousand American households remain free to take most of the world's seized wealth. From 2012 to 2017, the US took nearly 70 percent of the entire global wealth gain over the past five years. Based on their dominant share of US wealth, America’s richest 10% -- much less than 1% of the world's adult population -- took more than half the world's wealth gain in the past five years.

Honoring International Human Rights Day (Amnesty International & The Basel Peace Office)
Today is Human Rights Day, the 69th Anniversary of the UN General Assembly's adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It's a day to remember all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights -- from Hanan Badr el-Din, an Egyptian woman who has been searching for her missing husband since 2013 to young academics, policy analysts and activists who have issued an appeal regarding the rights of current and future generations to a world free from the threat of nuclear weapons.

Jeremy Corbyn: An Address to The United Nations in Geneva (The Basel Peace Office & The Labour Press)
Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the UK Labour Party and a member of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament gave the following keynote policy speech on human rights at the United Nations in Geneva on Dec 8. Corbyn told the packed auditorium that: "We need to redouble our efforts to create a global rules based system that applies to all and works for the many, not the few. No more 'bomb first' and think and talk later."

US Announces Occupation of Syria: There Are Now More US Troops inside Syria than ISIS Fighters (Antiwar.com & Agence France-Presse & Reuters & Darius Shahtahmasebi / The AntiMedia)
Who authorized this invasion of Syria? The Syrian government never authorized US troops to deploy there and isn't supporting the idea of them staying. Who authorized American troops to be on the front lines in another war in a country that has branded American troops as invaders? Imagine if Syria or Russia did this to the US -- invading and building bases under the guise of fighting terrorism.

Is Luke Skywalker Still a Pacifist? (David Goodner / Waging Nonviolence)
Commentary: "A culture raised on Rambo, Indiana Jones, Luke Skywalker and James Bond wants to believe that combat and killing can be done with impunity -- that we can declare someone to be the enemy and that for cause and country the soldiers will cleanly and remorselessly wipe him from the face of the Earth."

Stealth Imperialism: 44,000 US Troops Fighting Secret Wars Worldwide (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Stephen Carlson / Stars and Stripes)
When the Pentagon wants to mislead the public about where US troops are, generally speaking, they just lie. Yet sometimes the number of troops is just too big to claim as a rounding error, and questions start happening. This week, the focus is on over 44,000 US military personnel deployed to "unknown," which immediately raises red flags, because that's not a place. Pentagon officials, however, say there is "no good way" to describe where they are.

US and Russia Engaged in a Costly New Nuclear Arms Race (The Sunflower / Nuclear Age Peace Foundation & Scot Paltrow / US News & World Report)
In 2010, the Obama administration negotiated the New START treaty with Russia, which limited both sides' deployed strategic nuclear weapons to 1,550. Despite both countries being on track to meeting the limit by the 2018 deadline, experts and former officials warn the risk of nuclear conflict is far from eliminated. In fact, the stricter limitation on the number of weapons has only spurred both countries to initiate modernization programs to improve the efficiency, accuracy, and lethality of their weapons systems.

Who Profits from Nuclear Bombs? (Don't Bank of the Bomb & Matthew Rocco / Fox Business)
These 20 companies, which are the focus of this report, are involved in the nuclear weapons programmes of the United States, the United Kingdom, France and India. The full "Don't Bank on Bombs" report examines which financial institutions around the world invest in these companies through shares, bonds and loans.

Meet the Private Corporations that Have Grown Rich Building A Nuclear Arsenal that Could Kill US All (Richard Krushnic and Jonathan Alan King / TomDispatch & The Nation)
Many Americans are unaware that much of the responsibility for nuclear weapons development, production, and maintenance lies with the Department of Energy, which spends more on nuclear weapons than it does on developing sustainable energy sources. Key to the DOE's nuclear project are the federal laboratories where nuclear weapons are designed, built, and tested. Meanwhile, a small number of powerful companies are making billions working on weapons systems designed to end life on Earth.

UN Security Council Members Condemn Trump's Jerusalem Move (AntiWar.com & Al Jazeera & Rebecca Savransky / The Hill)
Donald Trump's "Jerusalem declaration" has been roundly criticized worldwide, with Israel seemingly the only nation to endorse it. Even there, the declaration sparked massive protests among the Palestinian population under Israeli occupation, who see Trump's move as effectively ending the peace process. At least 31 Palestinians hurt in Israeli army fire on Thursday as anger over the White House move sweeps West Bank and Gaza.

"It's Not a Guns Issue. It's a Mental Health Issue." But What If It's Both? (Gar Smith / Environmentalists Against War & The Berkeley Daily Planet)
After a mass shooting in a church left 26 people dead, Donald Trump quickly moved to deflect growing public concern by claiming: "This isn't a gun situation. This is a mental health problem at the highest level." Once again, the "crazy gunman" meme had been unleashed in the mediastream, shifting attention from the weapons to the individual and suggesting that the solution involved controlling individuals, not their arsenals. But what if owning multiple guns was, itself, a sign of mental illness?

ACTION ALERT: Block the NRA's Plan to Legalize Concealed Weapons Nationwide (CREDO Action & Dana Liebelson / The Huffington Post & The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence & Timothy Johnson / Media Matters)
It would be laughable if it weren't so deadly. Here's how Republicans have finally moved beyond their thoughts and prayers for the victims of gun violence -- with a reckless, dangerous bill to undermine gun safety laws across the country. The right-wing Republican extremists in the House have passed an NRA dream bill -- The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act -- that would force every state in the US to abide by the weakest state gun laws in the entire country -- a "guns everywhere" vision for America.

The Rollback: Trump's Toxic War Benefits Polluters, Endangers the Public (Californians for Pesticide Reform & Al Jazeera)
Since US President Donald Trump entered the White House, there is one achievement he can't be denied. He has made good on a campaign promise to repeal hundreds of "job-killing" federal rules, often following recommendations from powerful industries. The US pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement -- essentially breaching the promise to curb planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions -- and has begun to roll-back environmental protections designed to reduce toxic emissions from industrial polluters.

Trump and Jerusalem: Provocation Is Not Diplomacy (Laura Kyle / Al Jazeera & Jaclynn Ashly / Al Jazeera)
For decades American presidential candidates from both parties have promised to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. But once elected they have retreated from the idea. On Wednesday, Donald Trump changed that. He overruled his top political and military advisers to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital and announce plans to relocate the US embassy. Trump's decision has been widely condemned and has sparked protests in many parts of the Middle East and the wider Muslim world.

How War Pollutes the Potomac River (David Swanson and Pat Elder / World Beyond War)
The Pentagon's impact on the Potomac River is not simply the diffuse impact of global warming and rising oceans contributed to by the US military's massive oil consumption. Not only does the home of war-making sit near rising waters -- rising first and foremost because of the impacts of war-making -- the waters of the Potomac and of the Chesapeake Bay into which it flows, and the tides of which raise and lower the waters of the Pentagon Lagoon each day -- are heavily polluted by war preparations.

There's No Such Thing as Precise Air Strikes in Modern Warfare (Patrick Cockburn / The Independent & The UNZ Review)
The final elimination of ISIS in Iraq and Syria is close, but it has only been achieved at the cost of great destruction and loss of life. This is the new face of war that governments try to conceal: a limited number of combat troops on the ground call in devastating air strikes from planes, missiles and drones -- be they American or Russian -- to clear the way for their advance. US and British claims that smart weapons enable them to avoid killing civilians is simply untrue. There is no such thing as precision air strikes.

The Partisan Economic War on the Equality and the Majority (Jim Hightower / Otherwords & Sen. Dianne Feinstein / Los Angeles Times & Richard Eskow / Campaign for America's Future)
Commentary: Tax proposals can be complex, but the GOP's 429-page monster is shockingly easy to understand: The Trump-Ryan-McConnell triumvirate intends to take money from millions of working families and give it to the world's wealthiest people and corporations. The GOP bill is an act of class warfare that gives half its cuts to the top 1 percent, raises taxes on 36 percent of working families, adds $71 billion to the cost of a college education while benefitting wealthy individuals and special interests.

US Airstrikes Rise Sharply in Afghanistan -- And So Do Civilian Deaths (Shashank Bengali / Los Angeles Times)
As US warplanes flew above a cluster of villages where Islamic State militants were holed up in eastern Afghanistan, 11 people piled into a truck and drove off along an empty dirt track to escape what they feared was imminent bombing. They did not get far.

Western Wars Have Killed Four Million Muslims Since 1990 (Nafeez Ahmed / Middle East Eye)
In May 2017, the Washington DC-based, Nobel Peace Prize-winning Physicians for Social Responsibility released a landmark study concluding that the death toll from 10 years of the "War on Terror" was at least 1.3 million, and could be as high as 2 million. Despite being the first effort to produce a scientifically robust calculation of the number of people killed by the US-UK-led "war on terror, " the 97-page report has been almost completely blacked out by the English-language media.

Grassroots Anti-nuclear Citizens' Group to Accept Nobel Peace Prize on December 10 (The Sunflower / The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation & Kyodo News Service & Vallarta Daily )
Today there are 17,300 nuclear warheads in the hands of nine countries -- the US, Russia, the UK, France, China, India , Pakistan, Israel and North Korea. On December 10, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons and Hiroshima-bomb survivor Setsuko Thurlow will accept the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the global campaign to rid the world of nuclear weapons. In November 2017, Mexico’s Senate approved the treaty. The treaty will go into effect when 50 countries have signed and ratified it.

Disposable People: Deporting US Veterans (Paul Cox / The Volunteer @ The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives)
The plight of the non-citizen veterans of US military service who have been deported stands as a small but telling example of how our country falls far short of living up to its promises. The ACLU estimates that there are around 300 US veterans deported to countries around the world. These veterans are now stuck in a country they may have left as infants; some do not even speak the language.

Trump Provokes North Korea and China with Massive Military Invasion Exercises (Reuters & Neil Connor / The Telegraph & Alexander Smith / NBC News)
Vigilant Ace, the annual US-South Korea military drill comes amid heightened tensions in the region triggered by Kim Jong Un's missile and nuclear tests and the ratcheting up of rhetoric from both sides. A total of 230 planes will fly from eight locations in South Korea, the Air Force said in a statement. North Korea described the exercises as a "grave provocation" that could escalate the situation "to the brink of nuclear war."

Trump Provokes Palestinians and World's Muslims with Vow to Move US Embassy to Jerusalem (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Jack Khoury and Noa Landau / Haaretz & Reuters)
Despite widespread warnings of "dangerous consequences," senior US officials say Donald Trump is likely to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital Wednesday and delay embassy relocation for another six months, yet begin planning the move immediately. Saudi King Salman warned Trump that transferring the embassy is a dangerous step that will inflame feelings of Muslims. Fatah has already begun preparations for "three days of rage" protest rallies.

US Raises Tensions in Korean Peninsula; Builds Mega-Base in South Korea (David Axe / The Daily Beast)
While Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un wage an escalating war of words over Pyongyang's nuclear-weapons program, the US military is quietly transforming its forces on the Korean Peninsula, expanding their ability to wage war with the North. The centerpiece of the transformation is Camp Humphreys, a sprawling new installation south of Seoul where the majority of the roughly 30,000 US troops in South Korea will soon be based.

A Free Society Must Give Up Empire (Robert P. Murphy / AntiWar.com)
Commentary: "If Americans want a free society at home, then they must convince the US government to give up its global empire . . . . If you allow your government to maintain an empire abroad, then you can't possibly expect a free and open society at home. This fact is staring us in the face as police departments across the country accept the surplus military equipment used in foreign occupations."

The Environmental Consequences of the Use of Armed Drones (Doug Weir and Elizabeth Minor / Toxic Remnants of War Network & Reaching Critical Will)
To date, debate over the implications of the growing use of armed drones has focused on human rights and on the imbalances created by the ability to project violence at a distance. Concerns about the environmental and humanitarian impacts of drone operations have been largely ignored -- until now. Airstrikes from armed drones typically use explosive weapons that pose risks to human health following their initial impacts, particularly when these weapons are used in populated areas.

After 67 Years, It's Time To End the Korean War (Robert Alvarez / Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists & Catherine Killough / LobeLog.org)
As the threat of military conflict with North Korea looms, the American public is largely unaware of the sobering facts about America's longest unresolved war and one of the world's bloodiest. The 1953 armistice agreement engineered by President Eisenhower -- halting a three-year-long "police action" that resulted in two-to-four million military and civilian deaths -- is long forgotten, along with the Agreed Framework, a bilateral non-proliferation pact, that opened the door to ending the Korean war.

Trump's Secret Middle East War: Pentagon's Presence Increased by 33 Percent (John Haltiwanger / Newsweek)
President Donald Trump has increased the number of US troops and civilians working for the Department of Defense in the Middle East to 54,180 from 40,517 in the past four months, representing a 33-percent rise. And this number doesn't even account for the big rise in troops stationed in Afghanistan since Trump announced his new strategy for the fight against the Taliban in late August.

Pentagon Investing in Genetic Warfare Weapons (Arthur Neslen / The Guardian)
Technology could be used to wipe out malaria carrying mosquitos or other pests but UN experts say fears over possible military uses and unintended consequences strengthen case for a ban. A US military agency is investing $100 million in genetic extinction technologies that could wipe out malarial mosquitoes, invasive rodents or other species.

Why is Defense Waste Taboo in the Tax Debate? (Jon Basil Utley / The American Conservative)
For all the talk about the big Republican tax cut it's really only about $150 billion per year -- although proponents multiply it by 10 years, so that $1.5 trillion sounds like a lot. Arguments about how to pay for it may end up derailing or neutering it in the end. Which is ironic, since Trump wants to add $50 billion to the defense budget. But no one wants to talk about defense waste during these tax debates. Why is the Pentagon budget untouchable?

America's Military-Industrial Addiction (JP Sottile / Consortium News & AntiWar.com)
The Military-Industrial Complex has loomed over America ever since President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of its growing influence during his prescient farewell address on Jan. 17, 1961. This year, a robust collection of 208 defense companies spent $93,937,493 to deploy 728 "reported" lobbyists (apparently some go unreported) to feed this year's trumped-up, $700 billion defense-only budget. War, as the great Gen. Smedley Darlington Butler aptly put it, is little more than a money-making "racket."

16 Ways to Cut Defense Spending (Jon Basil Utley / The American Conservative)
Admiral Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that "the greatest threat to our national security is our debt." Former Congressmember Ron Paul says that only about half the defense budget is for defense, the other half is for militarism abroad. So here are 16 ways to cut its waste, fraud, and abuse of American taxpayers.

Western Wars Have Killed Four Million Muslims Since 1990 (Nafeez Ahmed / Middle East Eye)
When a 97-page report by Physicians for Social Responsibility (the Nobel Peace Prize-winning doctors' group) provided the first accounting of civilian casualties from US-led "counter-terrorism" interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, it was almost completely blacked out by the English-language media. The report found the US "War on Terror" had killed perhaps as many as 2 million Muslims. Undisputed UN figures show 1.7 million Iraqi civilians (half children) died due to the West's brutal sanctions.

Iran's 'Behavior' Isn't Threatening Americans (John Glaser / The Washington Post & Robert W. Merry / The American Conservative)
Analysis: Citing "support for terrorist organizations" and "active ballistic missile development program" Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has announced that the Trump administration is "committed to addressing the totality of the Iranian threat." But the obsession with these Iranian policies amounts to threat inflation. Neither poses a serious threat to America's domestic security or core national interests and they don't warrant jettisoning a thus-far successful nuclear nonproliferation agreement.

Why There Is No Peace On Earth: "War Is a Racket" (David Stockman / Contra Corner & AntiWar.com)
The end of the cold war meant world peace was finally at hand, yet 26 years later there is still no peace because Imperial Washington confounds it. The fact is, the modern Warfare State has been the incubator of American imperialism since the Cold War, and is now proving itself utterly invulnerable to fiscal containment, even in the face of a $19 trillion national debt. The War Party entrenched in the nation's capital is dedicated to economic interests and ideological perversions that guarantee perpetual war -- and perpetual profits.

Saudis to Buy $7 Billion More in US Arms for Yemen War (AntiWar.com & Reuters & Fortune & BBC World News)
With international complaints about war crimes mounting, and a vote on US involvement in Yemen having just been derailed by the Congressional leadership, another vote on Saudi weapons sales is likely forthcoming, following reports the Saudis have made deals for another $7 billion in US arms related to the devastating war in Yemen. The deals are with Raytheon and Boeing to provide "precision guided munitions."

ACTION ALERT: War on the Bees -- Stop the Monsanto-Bayer Mega-merger (SumOfUs & Robert-Jan Bartunek and Ludwig Burger / Reuters & Brad Plumer / Vox.com)
Bayer and Monsanto have filed a merger request with antitrust authorities in Europe and the US. If they succeed, we'll face a nightmare scenario: more bee-killing neonics in our fields, more toxic glyphosate on our plates, more corporate control over our food supply. Regulators can still stop this merger, but they’re getting hammered by corporate lobbyists pressuring them to back off. That's why we need to move fast -- antitrust regulators have a limited amount of time to take action, and the clock is ticking.

US Oil: A Weapon of Mass Destruction (Tammy Webber and Katy Daigle / Associated Press)
US oil refineries that are unable to sell a dirty fuel waste product at home are exporting vast quantities of it around the world, to more than 30 countries, especially to energy-hungry India. Petroleum coke, the bottom-of-the-barrel leftover from refining Canadian tar sands crude and other heavy oils, is cheaper and burns hotter than coal. But "petcoke" also contains more planet-warming carbon and far more heart- and lung-damaging sulfur.

Will Puerto Rico Be Re-born as Singapore or Solartopia? (Harvey Wasserman / The Progressive)
Warring visions have now erupted over the energy and economic futures of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Will the islands become a green-powered solartopia or a fossil-fueled robber baron playground like Hong Kong or Singapore? Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have proposed a $146 billion green "Marshall Plan" to rebuild Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Solar panels are already pouring in.

UN to Investigate Extreme Poverty . . . In America, the World's Richest Naton (Ed Pilkington / The Guardian)
Philip Alston, the United Nations monitor on extreme poverty and human rights, has embarked on a coast-to-coast tour of the US to hold the world's richest nation -- and its president -- to account for the hardships endured by America's most vulnerable citizens. With at least 41 million Americans living in poverty, the UN mission hopes to demonstrate that no country, however wealthy, is immune from human suffering induced by growing inequality. Nor is any nation, however powerful, beyond the reach of human rights law.

Militarism Is Religion of the United States (Mohsen Abdelmoumen and Matthew Hoh / The American Herald Tribune)
For our culture of militarism, violence and our nationalist concept of American Exceptionalism, we must have an enemy. We view ourselves as Good, so there must be a Bad or an Evil. American Exceptionalism and the violence that comes with it (believed to be redemptive and justice-based), is a Manichean, binary framework, so Americans must have an adversary or an enemy.

Reports of a New US War Crime: This Time in Somalia (Christina Goldbaum / The Daily Beast)
An investigation by The Daily Beast on the ground in Somalia appears to confirm that American soldiers were involved directly in the deaths of 10 innocent civilians.

Massacre In Somalia: US Troops To Blame? (Ron Paul and Daniel McAdams / The Liberty Report)
In August 2017, ten villagers in Somalia were killed in a military raid conducted by US and Somali troops. According to a recent investigation by the Daily Beast, they were killed by Americans. A subsequent Pentagon/AFRICOM investigation claimed that those killed were all enemy combatants. Who's telling the truth? But more importantly, why are American troops even operating in a country like Somalia.

US Military to Indefinitely Delay Ban on Outlawed Cluster Bombs (Phil Stewart / Reuters)
The Pentagon will indefinitely delay a ban on the use of older types of cluster bombs due to take effect on Jan. 1, 2019, officials said, arguing that safety improvements in munitions technology failed to advance enough to replace older stockpiles. Disclosure of the new policy met sharp criticism from Congress and human rights groups.

US-Africa Foreign Policy: From Mogadishu Massacre In Somalia to the Green Beret Killings in Niger (Democracy Now!)
Two massive truck bombs exploded in quick succession in Mogadishu Saturday night, killing at least 300 and wounding more than 300 others. It was the deadliest attack in Somalia since the rise of the al-Shabab militant group a decade ago. The disaster is now being referred to as the "Mogadishu massacre" and some are calling it "the 9/11 of the Somali people." The explosions came after the Trump administration stepped up a US campaign against al-Shabab in Somalia.

The UN's Investigating Extreme Poverty . . . In America, the World's Richest Naton (Ed Pilkington / The Guardian)
Philip Alston, the United Nations monitor on extreme poverty and human rights, has embarked on a coast-to-coast tour of the US to hold the world's richest nation -- and its president -- to account for the hardships endured by America's most vulnerable citizens. With at least 41 million Americans living in poverty, the UN mission hopes to demonstrate that no country, however wealthy, is immune from human suffering induced by growing inequality. Nor is any nation, however powerful, beyond the reach of human rights law.

A Pentagon Nuclear Dumpsite Is About to Be Swamped by Rising Sea Levels (Joe McCarthy / Global Citizen)
The Enewetak Atoll is all but invisible on Google Maps. Halfway between Australia and Hawaii, the ribbon of land is home to a small indigenous population that has seen their way of life eroded by decisions far outside of their control. For more than half a century, the atoll, which is part of the Marshall Islands, has been contaminated by nuclear explosions and waste. The decades ahead could leave it submerged by rising seas.

Polar Bears Massing on Russian Island -- A Sign of Arctic Change (Maria Antonova / Agence France-Presse)
Climate change means ice, where polar bears are most at home, is melting earlier in the year and so polar bears have to spend longer on land, scientists say. This might wow tourists but means the bears, more crammed together on coasts and islands, will eventually face greater competition for the little food there is on land. Locals are also at risk from hungry animals venturing into villages.

More Guns on America's Streets as Army Prepares to Start Selling Weapons to US Citizens (Jared Keller/ Task and Purpose)
The .45 ACP M1911A1 pistol has served the US armed forces for more than a century. Now, thanks to this year's $700 billion federal defense budget, "at least 80,000" of these deadly combat weapons sold to civilian gun owners. The Defense Authorization Act that Congress sent to Donald Trump's desk on Nov. 16 requires the Secretary of the Army to transfer a cache of small arms and ammo to the Civilian Marksmanship Program, including the M1911 and M1911A1 pistols, the M-1 Garand, and .22 rimfire rifles.

The Deadliest Year on Record for Global Land Defenders (The Oakland Institute & Global Witness)
Three times as many land protectors were killed in 2012 than 10 years previously, with the rate doubling to an average of two people a week in the past four years. 2017 is on course to be the deadliest year on record for land rights defenders. 153 activists have been assassinated so far this year -- and those are the ones we know of. Thousands more face displacement, violence, intimidation, and arrest -- all for standing up for their right to live on their land.

Cuba Verde: Can Cuba's Low-carbon Ecological Adaptations Endure? (Bill Weinberg / Earth Island Journal)
After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia cut off the flow of cheap oil and ended the guaranteed prices for Cuban sugar, devastating the island's economy. As food supplies dwindled, malnutrition became alarmingly common. The country's leaders responded by implementing a number of petroleum-free alternatives aimed at making the country self-sufficient. With cars few and far between, bicycles became nearly ubiquitous on Havana's streets. Urban gardens sprang up on unused patches of land.

The Duty to Disobey a Nuclear Launch Order (Marjorie Cohn / Truthout)
On November 19, Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of the US Strategic Command, declared he would refuse to follow an illegal presidential order to launch a nuclear attack. "If you execute an unlawful order, you will go to jail," the general explained at the Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia. "You could go to jail for the rest of your life." In the military, there is a legal duty to obey a lawful order -- but also a legal duty to disobey an unlawful order.

Is North Korea Really a 'State Sponsor of Terrorism'? (Ron Paul / Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity & AntiWar.com)
Commentary: After a nine-year absence, Donald Trump has announced that he was returning North Korea to the US list of "state sponsors of terrorism." Has Pyongyang been found guilty of some spectacular terrorist attack overseas or perhaps of plotting to overthrow another country by force? No, that is not the case. Trump believes that continuing down the path toward confrontation with North Korea will lead the country to capitulate to Washington's demands. That will not happen.

Routed in Syria, the US Should Admit Its Crime, Face Punishment (David Macilwain / Russia Insider)
Commentary: Now the day of reckoning has arrived, marked by the meeting of Presidents Bashar al Assad and Vladimir Putin in Sochi -- a meeting of militaries, whose success on the battlefield against Western-backed terrorists has brought us to this point. So we need to be clear about what happened. As in Bosnia 25 years earlier, mixed ethnic communities who had peacefully coexisted for centuries were turned against one another by foreign actors in a fundamentally malicious plan to "divide and rule."

Wounds of War: Syria's Hospitals, Doctors, and Volunteers Under Attack (Scott Pelley / 60 Minutes & The Syrian American Medical Society)
Syria's government is trying to quash a rebellion by bombing hospitals. Still, brave doctors -- many of them American volunteers -- are risking everything to save lives. In besieged East Ghouta, Syria, nearly 400,000 civilians are facing severe shortages of basic goods and lifesaving medical care. In its latest brief, "Under Siege: The Plight of East Ghouta," SAMS highlights the devastating impact of the four-year long blockade on the health sector and underscores the pressing need to break the siege.

ACTION ALERT: Divest Public Pension Funds from Weapons Dealers (World Beyond War and RootsAction.org)
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.

The Global Shipping Industry Needs to Clean Up Its Act (Maria Gallucci / Grist)
What can the cargo, shipping, and cruise industries do to play a part in limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels -- the most ambitious goal laid out in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement? To meet that target, all cargo ships will need to be "zero-emissions" by 2050. That requires ditching cheap, but noxious, bunker fuel and replacing it with promising alternatives like battery storage, sustainable biofuels, hydrogen fuel cells, and wind-sail technology.

Fidel Castro's Enduring Environmental Legacy (teleSUR & Agence France-Presse)
Fidel Castro's commitment to education and health care stand out as monumental achievements for Cuba. While he emerged as a stalwart of anti-imperialism and anti-capitalism, his commitment to environmentalism and Cuba's achievements in the area gets less attention. Cuba is one of the few developing countries that has shown a strong commitment to the environment and sustainability -- despite a number of obstacles such as the long-standing US blockade.

Oil and Gas Industry Is Causing Texas Earthquakes, a 'Landmark' Study Suggests (Ben Guarino / The Washington Post)
An unnatural number of earthquakes hit Texas in the past decade. In 2008, two earthquakes stronger than magnitude 3 struck the state. Eight years later, the number of strong quakes increased four-fold. The tremors have multiplied along with a recent increase in natural gas extraction -- including fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, but other techniques as well -- which produces a lot of wastewater that is injected deep into the ground where it can work its way into dormant faults, triggering quakes.

ACTION ALERT: Welcome to the Swamp: EPA on the Corporate Chopping Block (Chris Riotta / Newsweek & CREDO Action)
Wall Street billionaires, corporate lobbyists and far right conservatives flooded the White House almost immediately after Donald Trump's presidential victory, according to records of visitor logs the White House was forced to reveal following a Freedom of Information lawsuit. Meanwhile, Trump's climate-change-denying EPA pick, Scott Pruitt, is moving to replace independent scientists on EPA advisory boards with representatives of the fossil fuel and chemical industries.

Stopping Trump's Slide Toward Nuclear War (Andrew Lichterman / Western States Legal Foundation & Tikkun)
Donald Trump's first appearance at the United Nations was a watershed moment. In an address notable for its belligerence, he marked his place not only as a harbinger of the erosion of the post Cold-War international legal order, but as an active agent of its destruction. His threat to "totally destroy North Korea" and its people runs contrary to both the letter and spirit of United Nations Charter. Trump's threat to wage "preventive war" whenever US leaders deem it necessary was also an attack on the UN itself.

Spreading the Truth about Drones (Roots Action Education Fund & General Assembly)
On the 5th of November, Cian Westmoreland spoke at a General Assembly in Berlin along with 69 other delegates from around the world. Cian delivered an emotional testimony on his role as an assassination drone operator in Afghanistan. The delegates at this international meeting addressed issues ranging from mining in the Democratic Republic of the Congo -- where a war has raged for over a decade, taking 7 million lives -- to the abuses animals endure in our factory farms.

US "Liberated" Libya to Become a Modern-day Slave Market (Vijay Prashad / AlterNet )
CNN recently aired a powerful report from Libya, where the reporters went into a house and shot footage of an auction of human beings. Yes, a 21st-century slave market -- grotesque: evidence of how terrible the situation is these days not only in Libya, but also in the Sahel region of Africa. The US, Britain and France were the leaders of the NATO-engineered destruction of Libya in 2011. What we see now is the detritus of NATO's disastrous policies.

Appeal to Congress: End US Support for Saudi War in Yemen (Mark Weisbrot / The Hill)
The New York Times editorial board recently took an unusual position of denouncing what it called "war crimes" by a US ally, in a war in which the United States is actively participating militarily. "Saudis try to starve Yemen into submission," was the headline, and it was no exaggeration. Nearly seven million people, including millions of children, are facing famine owing to blockades of food and medicine and Saudi-coalition bombings carried out with military assistance by the United States.

ACTION ALERT: House Tax Bill Attacks Clean Energy: Meanwhile, Costa Rica Has Been Carbon-free for 300 Days (Union of Concerned Scientists & Alexandra Jacobo / NationofChange)
The tax bill being debated in the House is a bad deal. In addition to cutting taxes for the wealthy at the expense of middle class and low-income families, it poses a major threat to the success of electric vehicles and renewable energy technologies that save consumers money, create jobs, and reduce climate and air pollution. Meanwhile, as of November 22, Costa Rica had run on 100% renewable energy for more than 300 days. In 2016, the US generated only about 15 percent of its power from renewables.

Pentagon to Shop at Amazon: A $53 Billion Gift Under the GOP Budget Bill (David Dayen /The Intercept)
The House and Senate tax bill committees have approved a controversial "Amazon amendment" that would turn over federal procurement of off-the-shelf items, a $53 billion market, to e-commerce portals. The provision would guarantee billions of dollars in new revenue to Amazon. "It seems like Amazon wrote it," said Stacy Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, "It will accelerate the transfer of more and more government spending to Amazon."

Saudis to Buy $7 Billion More in US Arms for Yemen War (AntiWar.com & Reuters and Fortune.com)
With international complaints about war crimes mounting, and a vote on US involvement in Yemen having just been derailed by the Congressional leadership, another vote is likely forthcoming, following reports the Saudis have been promised another $7 billion in US arms. Congressional votes on arms sales have historically been easy to pass, but weapons sold to the Saudis have left thousands of Yemeni civilians killed in the US-backed war amid growing concern that these arms sales constitute US culpability.

Saudis Renege on Promise to End Blockade as Millions of Yemen's Civilians Face Disease and Starvation (AntiWar.com & BBC World News)
Northern Yemen is facing calamitous shortages due to a Saudi blockade, with many civilians dying in from the lack of food, medicine, and a cholera epidemic that is among the worst in human history. Millions are facing malnutrition and outright famine. Despite the Saudi's promise earlier this week that they would lift the blockade on northern Yemen at noon on Thursday, the time came and went. UN and other humanitarian aid ships continue to be blocked from the port of Hodeida and Yemenis continues to die.

US Strikes on Taliban Opium Labs Won't Work, Say Afghan Farmers (Mohammad Stanekzai and Girish Gupta / Reuters)
On Monday, US Army General John Nicholson announced a "new strategy" of attacking opium factories, saying he wanted to hit the Taliban "where it hurts, in their narcotics financing." But as US and Afghan forces pounded Taliban drug factories this week, farmers in the country's largest opium producing-province and narcotics experts say the strategy just repeats previous failed efforts to stamp out the trade.

What Is the True Cost of Inequality? Freedom? Democracy? Peace? (Sam Pizzigati / Campaign for America's Future & Marlee Kokotovic / Nation of Change & Richard Eskow / Campaign for America's Future & Paul Buchheit / NationofChange)
The world has never been richer. Credit Suisse's researchers have discerned "a significant increase in wealth across the globe." The problem is, these numbers have benefited only a precious few. The top 1 percent globally now hold 50.1 percent of the world's household wealth. With inequality ripping us apart -- and with few of our national leaders willing or able to confront the problem -- the United States of America may never again be an equitable and functional society.

The US Is Stockpiling Nuclear Arms, and the Cost Is Astonishing (Harry Blain / Foreign Policy In Focus & AntiWar.com)
Thanks to an October 31 report by the Congressional Budget Office, we now have a 30-year outline of both the kinds of destructive weaponry we are buying, and how much it is going to cost. There are good reasons to be worried. Total cost: $1.2 trillion. Enough money to fund five Environmental Protection Agencies. The "deterrence" value of such an investment isn't immediately clear. But the fiscal impacts will certainly further bankrupt the already debt-burdened US economy.

Too Dangerous: US Strategists Call for Eliminating the ICBM Nuclear Arsenal (Scot J. Paltrow / Reuters)
Of all weapons in the US nuclear arsenal, the ICBM is the one most likely to cause accidental nuclear war, arms-control specialists say. It is for this reason that a growing number of former top Pentagon officials, military scholars and members of Congress are calling for the elimination of ICBMs. Former defense secretaries William Perry and Leon Pancetta are among those warning that, of all weapons in the US nuclear arsenal, the ICBM is the one most likely to cause accidental nuclear war.

US Diplomats Accuse Tillerson of Breaking Child Soldiers Law (Jason Szep and Matt Spetalnick / Reuters)
According to internal documents reviewed by Reuters, a group of about a dozen US State Department officials have taken the unusual step of formally accusing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson of violating a federal law designed to stop foreign militaries from enlisting child soldiers when he decided in June to exclude Iraq, Myanmar, and Afghanistan from a US list of offenders in the use of conscripted, underage soldiers.

Three Recent Bombing Plots That Went Unreported ... and Why (Will Carless and Aaron Sankin / The Hate Report @ The Reveal)
Three men were recently arrested for plotting bomb attacks on US soil. Despite their intent to inflict mass casualties on US citizens, there were virtually no reports on these plots in the US mass media. Why? The stories didn't go viral -- and Trump didn't tweet about the would-be mass-killers -- because the men were not immigrants, Mexicans, or Muslims. They were all White.

John Kennedy on the Dangers of War and the Promise of Peace (David Swanson / World Beyond War)
In 1963, President John F. Kennedy was speaking at a time when, like now, Russia and the United States had enough nuclear weapons ready to fire at each other on a moment's notice to destroy the earth for human life many times over. Kennedy framed his speech as a remedy for ignorance, specifically the ignorant view that war is inevitable. Kennedy renounced the idea of a "Pax Americana enforced on the world by US weapons of war -- precisely what both major political parties now favor.

The US Is Stockpiling Nuclear Arms, and the Cost Is Astonishing (Harry Blain / Foreign Policy In Focus & AntiWar.com)
Thanks to an October 31 report by the Congressional Budget Office, we now have a 30-year outline of both the kinds of destructive weaponry we are buying, and how much it is going to cost. There are good reasons to be worried. Total cost: $1.2 trillion. Enough money to fund five Environmental Protection Agencies. The "deterrence" value of such an investment isn't immediately clear. But the fiscal impacts will certainly further bankrupt the debt-burdened US economy.

The Sex Scandal the Pentagon Would Rather Ignore (Kyle Rempfer / UN Navy Times)
American troops were told to ignore the rape and abuse of children by Afghan security forces they were partnered with, according to a report released on November 16 by the Pentagon's Inspector General. "Bacha bazi," which translates as "boy play," is a cultural practice in which "powerful or wealthy local figures and businessmen sexually abuse young boys who are trained to dance in female clothes," the report reads.

Trump Targets Appalachia; Plots to Plunder America's Wilderness (Nigel Sizer / The Rainforest Alliance & Adam Federman / The Nation & Adam Federman / The Nation & Kate Aronoff / The Nation)
The Appalachian woodlands, an ecological treasure covering 61,500 square miles of the country's southeast, are now threatened by the Trump administration's unsustainable commercial energy and timber exploitation. A leaked draft of a five-year plan reveals how the DOI plans to prioritize "energy dominance" over conservation. Meanwhile, the Department of the Interior is poised to open up millions of wilderness acres to commercial drilling and mining -- from Utah's red-rock country to Alaska's frigid coastal waters.

Remembering JFK: John Kennedy on the Dangers of Government Secrecy and the Importance of a Free Press (Anthony J. Marsella & The National Geographic Channel)
A November 22, 2017 poem in memory of President John F. Kennedy and a documentary investigation into the "missing bullet" fired on the day of his assassination in Dallas, Texas.

Fight Terrorism: Stop Bombing Cities and other Populated Areas (Action On Armed Violence & Reaching Critical Will / Women's International League for Peace and Freedom)
When used in populated areas, explosive weapons cause great harm to individuals as well as to communities. According to Action on Armed Violence, between 80 and 90% of the people injured or killed are civilians in incidents where explosive weapons are used in populated areas. The use of these weapons also damages and destroys critical infrastructure such as housing, schools, hospitals, and water and sanitation systems, resulting in devastating long-term effects on people's lives far beyond the conflict itself.

The United Nations Warns of the Rise of Robot Armies (Jessica Corbett / Common Dreams & Kelsey Atherton / C4isrnet.com)
As the United Nations' first formal meeting about killer robots came to a close on November 17, 2017, tech experts and critics continued to warn about the military use of autonomous weapons and called for more urgent action to curb the threat they pose. While support builds for an outright ban of robotic weapons, powerful nations with large technology industries are resistant to imposing expansive limitations that would compromise their potential revenues.

ACTION ALERT: End US Complicity in Illegal War on the People of Yemen (Perry O'Brien / Common Defense & Zaid Jilani / The Intercept)
Over ten thousand people have been killed in the war in Yemen, and millions of Yemeni people are starving. Their nation is being ravaged by the worst cholera outbreak in human history. Senator Chris Murphy called our continued involvement in this war "barbaric." Last week, Congress voted overwhelmingly to say that complicity in war crimes is unacceptable. Instead of selling high-tech weapons to Saudi Arabia, we should be using our diplomatic power to end the senseless slaughter of innocent civilians.

What Happened in Niger? More Remains of Sgt. La David Johnson Recovered in Niger (Courtney Kube and Corky Siemaszko / NBC News & Derek Royden / NationofChange)
Four weeks after his funeral, more remains of slain US Army Sgt. La David Johnson have retrieved from the spot near the village of Tongo Tongo, Niger, where Johnson and three other US soldiers were ambushed and killed on Oct. 4. There continue to be contrary claims by both soldiers and higher authorities in Niger regarding the attack that left the soldiers dead.

Are US Leaders Planning to Make Nuclear Weapons "Usable"? (Tom Engelhardt and Michael T. Klare / TomDispatch)
Under existing nuclear doctrine, as imagined by the Obama administration back in 2010, this country was to use nuclear weapons only "in extreme circumstances" to defend the vital interests of the country or of its allies. However, for Donald Trump, a man who has already threatened to unleash on North Korea "fire and fury like the world has never seen," such an approach is proving far too restrictive.

ACTION ALERT: Keep Trump's Thumb off the Nuclear Button (Win Without War & Jim McGovern / US House of Representatives & The Union of Concerned Scientists & Nuclear Age Peace Foundation)
Preventing the US from triggering a nuclear apocalypse isn't just general common sense. It's also urgently-needed protection from a president with an itchy Twitter finger and the sole authority to launch nuclear war. Congressman Adam Smith has just introduced a one-sentence bill that gets right to the point: "It is the policy of the US to not use nuclear weapons first." Meanwhile Rep. Jim McGovern has introduced the "Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act" to block Trump's ability to start a nuclear war.

When Starvation Is Used as a Weapon: 60 Minutes, Barred from Yemen, Still Got the Footage (Brit McCandless Farmer / Sixty Minutes @ CBS)
The Saudi-led blockade of Yemen isn't just targeting food supplies. As 60 Minutes found, it's also stopping reporters. Discover how the network's producers got this week's footage of the widespread humanitarian calamity the US-backed Saudi war is having on the desperate men, women and children of Yemen.

Bezos Invests in War as Amazon Wins Huge Pentagon Contract (Whitney Webb / MintPress News)
The US mega-corporation Amazon, run by the world's richest man, Jeff Bezos, has just partnered with the Pentagon on a $53 billion Pentagon-Amazon procurement deal. As Amazon continues to entrench itself as the nation's commissary, huge government supply deals like Pentagon-Amazon procurement deal approved by Congress will leave little room for competitors and raise the specter of government-coddled monopoly.

World's Scientists Issue Second "Warning to Humanity" (William J. Ripple, Christopher Wolf, Thomas M. Newsmen, Mauro Galetti, Mohammed Alamgir, Eileen Crist, Mahmoud I. Mahmoud, William F. Laurance / BioScience / The American Institute of Biological Sciences)
Since 1992 -- with the exception of stabilizing the stratospheric ozone layer -- humanity has failed to make sufficient progress in solving our major environmental challenges. Most are getting far worse. In this paper, a team of leading scientists examine the troubling trends over the last 25 years and suggest possible remedies. The article has received support from more than 15,000 signatories from all ends of the Earth -- the most scientists to ever co-sign and formally support a published journal article.

Warning: Climate Change Threatens Mass Extinction of Life in Pacific (Sydney Pereira / Newsweek & Mac Slavo / SHTFPlan.com)
According to an alarming study published in the Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program in Marine Policy, Pacific Island nations -- surrounded by the warmest waters of the global ocean -- are expected to lose 50 to 80 percent of fish species by the end of the century. Meanwhile, the Gulf of Alaska cod populations appear to have taken a nose-dive -- the "worst they've ever seen." The warming water, which has spread to depths of more than 1,000 feet, "hit the cod like a kind of a double-whammy."

Weathering the Heat: The Desertification of Northern California (Alastair Bland / The East Bay Express)
In 2003, Europe sweltered in 100-degreeheat that killed between 35,000 and possibly 70,000 people. Seven years later, a similar hot spell killed 55,000 people in Russia. Five years later, record heat killed more than 2,000 people in India and Pakistan. In the decades ahead, as temperatures rise and droughts intensify, Northern California's climate, vegetation, and wildlife may begin to look more like Southern California does today.

Noam Chomsky: Trump Represents Severe Threats to "Organized Human Life" (Lucien Crowder and Noam Chomsky / Bulletin of Atomic Scientists)
Noam Chomsky, a noted linguist and a pointed criticic of US foreign policy speaks with Bulletin of Atomic Scientist's senior editor Lucien Crowder about the Trump administration's policies on climate change, nuclear modernization, North Korea, and Iran -- and about an intensification of "the extremely severe threats that all of us face." According to Chomsky, the US, under Trump and the Republican Party, is racing toward disaster.

Pentagon Declares US Troops Will Stay in Syria, Occupying Bases in Violation of Syrian and International Law (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Mark Katkov / NPR & Vanessa Beeley / 21st Century Wire)
The US is flaunting international law: first, by invading Syria and second, by building at least 10 "permanent" military bases inside the very country the US has been punishing for more than six years -- via economic, media, and armed military attacks. Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies are demanding the US leave Syria while "the lawlessness of the US hegemon threatens to engulf the region in sectarian conflict thanks to Washington's Machiavellian meddling in a sovereign nation's affairs on almost every front."

Investigation Reveals US-Led Bombings in Iraq Kill 31 Times More Civilians Than Reported (Jessica Corbett / Common Dreams)
New York Times reporters looking into the Pentagon's role in civilian deaths inside Iraq have uncovered a "consistent failure by the coalition to investigate claims properly or to keep records that make it possible to investigate." The Times concludes the Pentagon's accounting of war crimes may have made the Global War on Terror "the least transparent war in recent American history."

Stop The Malignant Misuse of America's Military (Daniel L. Davis / BreakingDefense)
Commenetary: There are two key ways the faulty use of combat power abroad continues to deteriorate our security. The US Constitution decrees that Congress alone has the power to declare war but today the Executive branch has assumed virtually sole discretion for the deployment of the military. The second and more troubling misuse of the military involve the missions they are given to execute.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Trump from Gutting Climate Efforts, Clean Car Standards, Solar Energy, Net Energy Metering, Solar Roofs . . . (Union of Concerned Scientists & NRDC & Rainforest Action Network & Food and Water Watch)
Tell Scott Pruitt to do his job to protect our health and stop ignoring the growing risks from climate change. Push back against Trump's efforts to kill clean car standards that would double the fuel efficiency of cars and trucks. Pressure two of the biggest banks on Wall St. -- JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo -- to say NO to the Keystone XL pipeline. Bombard Trump's Department of Energy with support for solar power.

Oil Spills: On the Ground and in the GOP Tax Bill (Yessenia Funes / Earther & Mayra Cuevas and Steve Almasy / CNN)
A total of 210,000 gallons of oil leaked Thursday from the Keystone pipeline in South Dakota. This is the largest Keystone oil spill to date and comes just days before Nebraska officials will announce a decision on whether the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline can move forward. Meanwhile, in the Senate, the GOP has added a clause to its tax bill to allow oil and gas drilling in the 19-million acre Alaska National Wildlife Refuge.

Crimes Against Humanity: How a Single US Airstrike Devastated a Family in Mosul (Azmat Khan and Anand Gopal / The New York Times)
How a single US airstrike in Mosul devastated the lives of an innocent Iraqi family. When Basim asked who in his home survived, he was told: nobody. The blast killed Mayada and Tuqa instantly. A second strike hit next door, and Mohannad and Najib were also dead. Only Azza, Najib's mother, was alive, because the explosion had flung her through a second-story window. Not a single person in Iraq or Syria has received a condolence payment for a civilian death since the war Against ISIS began in 2014.

Nothing Patriotic or Conservative About Our Bloated Defense Budget (Hon. John J. Duncan, Jr. / US House of Representatives)
Commentary: It seems that the Defense Department is just like every other gigantic bureaucracy. When it comes to money, the refrain is always "more, more, more." Defense Department appropriations have more than doubled since 2000. On November 14, the House passed what one Capitol Hill paper described as a "$700 billion compromise defense bill." It was $80 billion over the budget caps and many billions more than even President Trump had requested.

ACTION ALERT: New Film on Jane Goodall; New Campaign to Save Orangutans from PepsiCo (Rainforest Action Network & Gar Smith / Berkeley Daily Planet)
Every year, thousands of acres of rainforests in Indonesia are burned to make way for palm oil plantations. The oil is used in major brand products including those from snack food giant PepsiCo. As the forests go up in flames, and the smoke enters the sky, hope fades for the survival of orangutans. Help us convince PepsiCo to stop its part in this destruction. And look for a stunning new film on the life and work of Dr. Jane Goodall. It has been called "the greatest documentary of the year."

Shadow World: Exposing the Reach of the Global Arms Trade (Johan Grimonprez / Independent Lens @ PBS / Premieres on November 20, 2017)
From Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama, from Margaret Thatcher to Tony Blair, "Shadow World" -- a new PBS documentary -- reveals the shocking realities of the global arms trade. The film explores how governments, their militaries and intelligence agencies, defense contractors, arms dealers and agents are inextricably intertwined with the international trade in weapons, and how that trade fosters corruption, determines economic and foreign policies, undermines democracies and creates human suffering.

No Thanksgiving for Yemen: Instead, It's Megadeaths From America (William Boardman / Reader Supported News )
As Americans get ready for Thanksgiving 2017 over-eating, their government is on the verge of successfully starving millions of Yemenis to death by siege warfare. The US naval blockade of Yemen has been unrelenting since March 2015. The US Navy is an essential element of this perpetual war crime, this endless assault on a civilian population of about 25 million. This is the kind of collective punishment of innocents that we once put Nazis on trial for at Nuremberg.

Climate Change Threatens Natural Treasures (teleSUR)
Climate change imperils one in four natural World Heritage sites, including coral reefs, glaciers, and wetlands -- nearly double the number from just three years ago, a report has said. Released during the UN climate talks in Bonn, Germany, the study by the International Union for Conservation of Nature stated that the number of sites at risk has grown to 62 from 35 in 2014.

Trump-frackers Target Nevada Wilderness and the Arctic Wildlife Refuge (Center for Biological Diversity / EcoWatch & Nation of Change & Chris D'Angelo / The Huffington Post)
Three conservation groups filed an administrative protest Monday against an enormous Bureau of Land Management oil and gas lease auction, scheduled for Dec. 12, that would allow fracking on more than 600 square miles of Nevada public lands. The protest says the BLM has violated the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act by failing to analyze the risks of drilling for oil and fracking with dangerous chemicals on such a massive scale.

Why Are We in Niger? (Hon. Barbara Lee / US House of Representatives)
On October 4th, four US Army soldiers were killed in an Ambush in Niger. Yet Congress has been left in the dark about why the US military is stationed there in the first place. At a minimum, we should have a basic understanding of the missions we are asking our service members to risk their lives for. That's why Representative Barbara Lee is demanding that Congress reclaim its constitutional responsibility to debate and vote on the use of military force.

Massive Overkill: Brought to You by the Nuclear-industrial Complex (Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & William D. Hartung / TomDispatch)
Commentary: When it comes to the art of the deal, at least where arms sales are concerned, American presidents, their administrations, and the Pentagon have long been Trumpian in nature. In 2015, for instance, the US once again took the top spot in global weapons sales, $40 billion dollars of them, or a staggering 50.2% of the world market. Until recently, few of us woke up worrying about the threat of nuclear war. But give Donald Trump credit. When it comes to nukes, he's gotten our attention.

Top 10 Ways to Stop Trump Nuking Anybody (David Swanson / David Swanson.org)
Commentary: On Tuesday the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on whether Trump can just up and nuke people or not. The hand-picked witnesses, all former military, all said there was some chance that if Trump ordered a nuking, somebody might refuse to carry out the order. On what grounds? No witness or Senator ever mentioned the illegality of war under the UN Charter or the Kellogg-Briand Pact. Gere are some other possible approaches.

ACTION ALERT: Tweeting the Apocalypse. Trump's Flirtation with Nuclear War (Will Fischer / Vote Vets & CREDO Action & Tom McKay / Gizmodo & Japan Times)
"If Donald Trump decides to initiate an attack on North Korea, even with a nuclear weapon, it's likely that no one -- not even Congress -- would be able to stop him." Scary? You bet. Hence this petition. But note: If we want to think about this rationally, no one -- not even the US Congress -- should have the ability to vote on authorizing a nuclear war. Impeach Trump; Abolish Nukes.

Saudi Alliance Bombs Yemen Airport Stoking Mass Starvation Fears (Agence France-Presse & AntiWar.com & Al Jazeera)
Yemenis from all walks of life took to the streets Monday to protest a Saudi-led blockade that has left thousands struggling to survive. The United Nations last month blacklisted the Saudi-led coalition for the killing and maiming of children in Yemen. The rebel-held port of Hodeida -- crucial to UN aid efforts -- remains closed. Hopes that Sanaa International Airport would be opened to aid flights were dashed when Saudi warplanes attacked the airport. Over seven million of whom are facing famine-like conditions.

US Mass Shooters Are Disproportionately Veterans (David Swanson /David Swanson.org)
Commentary: Are veterans of the US military disproportionately likely to be mass killers in the United States? Asking such a question is difficult, first because of concerns of profiling, discrimination, etc., and second, because it's hard to answer. It's important to answer because it's important for us to know whether military training is contributing to this epidemic of mass murders in this country.

The Evil that Guns Do (Michael Winship / Moyers and Company)
The firearms lobby suggests that because morality can't be legislated, the evil of gun violence can only be controlled by . . . more guns. Don't be fooled by the rhetorical camouflage. The NRA still wants to steer clear of any Congressional debate that could change minds and lead to new gun control rules. To claim as a constitutional right the possession of firearms intended for warfare strains credulity. These are killing machines with no purpose other than to maim and destroy.

Washington's Drug of Choice in the War on Terror (Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch)
After nine months of confusion, chaos, and cascading tweets, Donald Trump's White House has finally made one thing crystal clear: the US is staying in Afghanistan to fight and -- so they insist -- win. "The killers need to know they have nowhere to hide, that no place is beyond the reach of American might," said the president in August, trumpeting his virtual declaration of war on the Taliban.

The Financial Cost of the US 'War on Terror' (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Caroline Houck / Defense One & Marcus Weisgerber / Defense One)
The cost of America's Global War on Terror has yet to be tabulated, and there's a very good reason for that. By and large, the US has not been paying for all of these wars, but rather has been borrowing to pay for the conflict. Analysts say a reckoning is coming -- even as Republicans seek tax cuts that will add at least $1.5 trillion to the national debt. The US is on a path to destroying itself in the name of "defense."

JPMorgan Chase: The Bank that Is Destroying the Earth for Oil (Amazon Watch)
Despite the urgent imperative to keep at least two thirds of all fossil fuels in the ground in order to avoid catastrophic climate change, many governments and companies continue to recklessly expand fossil fuel activities across the globe. And, in the lead, is a major US-based bank -- JPMorgan Chase. Customers should be troubled that banks are financing fossil fuel projects that are harming our planet's environmental sustainability and communities that have been stewards of our planet for generations.

ACTION ALERT: What Makes American Society So Violent? (Emily Costello / The Conversation & Shannon Watts / Everytown for Gun Safety)
There are several factors behind US violence. A child who is spanked learns that physical force is an acceptable method of problem solving. Many states still allow corporal punishment in schools, despite research that clearly shows long-term negative effects. America's gun culture often causes police to fear for their own safety, resulting in unnecessary shootings. A culture of aggression sends men to prison and follows these prisoners behind bars. Increasing use of guns only feeds mass killings.

How Canada's New Feminist Foreign Policy Aims at Eradicating Poverty and Conflict (Sarah Pittman / Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy & Tasia Alexopoulos / CFFP)
On June 9th, the Canadian Minister of International Development announced that Canada intended to radically alter its foreign aid policy to specifically center on feminism. Called the Feminist International Assistance Policy, it has since made waves around the world. This new foreign policy provides an opportunity for Canada to lead the way in fighting poverty and conflict, filling the vacuum left by the Trump administration. Despite its good intentions, there are still significant problems to be addressed.

The Link between Mass Shootings and Domestic Violence (Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan / Democracy Now! & David M. Perry /The Nation)
The mass murder in Sutherland Springs, Texas, was a horrific crime. It was also horrifically predictable, and emblematic of the systemic problem we have with guns and violence in the United States. Devin Patrick Kelley was the white, 26-year-old former active-duty member of the US Air Force who is believed to have killed 26 people and injured 20 on Sunday before killing himself. The massacre serves as yet another lethal example of the link between domestic violence and mass shootings.

The World's Coastal Cities Are Not Prepared for the Coming Floods (Bill McKibben / The Washington Post)
For 10,000 years of human civilization, we've been blessed with a relatively stable climate, and hence flooding has been an exceptional terror. As that blessing comes to an end with our reckless heating of the planet, the exceptional is becoming all too normal, as residents of Houston and South Florida and Puerto Rico found out already this fall.

Conservatives Probably Can't Be Persuaded on Climate Change. So Now What? (David Roberts / Vox)
When it comes to climate change, US conservatives inhabit a unique position, as part of the only major political party in the democratic world to reject the legitimacy of climate science and any domestic policy or international agreement meant to address it. Instead, the GOP is working actively to increase production and consumption of fossil fuels and to slow the transition to renewable energy.

Colombia, an Example to the World, Balances Conservation and Development (Justin Catanoso / Mongabay)
Colombia, under the leadership of President Juan Santos, has more than doubled its national conserved area -- an extraordinary achievement for any country. In an exclusive interview with Mongabay, Luis Gilberto Murillo, Colombia's minister of the environment and sustainable development, tells how that goal was achieved, and what it will take to keep those conserved lands and waters protected for all time.

How US Militarists Hijacked the True Meaning of Armistice Day (Thomas Knapp / AntiWar.com & Arnold Oliver / AntiWar.com & Danny Sjursen / AntiWar.com)
If America were to accept that Vietnam was a mistake, a tragedy, a ruse, a war crime, or simply unwinnable, then the public could be forgiven for their apprehensiveness regarding future foreign interventions. By convincing people it really was a victory, then those 58,000 American boys didn't die in vain, our military remained undefeated (kind of), and the US can once again spread its values -- and troops -- around the world.

ACTION ALERT: Address the Costs of Endless, Unwinnable, Illegal Wars (Matthew Hoh / Win Without War & Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) / US House of Representatives & Hon. Elizabeth Warren / US Senate)
$5.6 trillion, with no end in sight. That's the cost of America's wars since 9/11. As a Marine who served in Iraq, I don't need a price tag to tell you about the cost of our wars. I've seen for myself the amputations, traumatic brain injuries, post traumatic stress disorder and moral injury that lead to massively disproportionate levels of suicide, depression, substance abuse, domestic violence and homelessness in vets returned home from war. And I've witnessed the human cost of our wars beyond our borders.

The Bootprint of Washington's Global Empire: US Special Ops Deployed to 137 Nations (Nick Turse / TomDispatch & TruthOut)
America's most elite troops, the Special Operations Forces (SOF). now "operate and fight in every corner of the world," boasts SOF commander General Raymond Thomas. In 2016, America's most elite forces conducted missions in 138 countries -- roughly 70% of the nations on the planet. Halfway through 2017, US commandos have already been deployed to an astonishing 137 countries carrying out 12 core missions, ranging from "unconventional warfare" to hostage rescue.

Road-building and Nature: Highways to Extinction? (William Laurance and Irene Burgues Arrea / James Cook University & Science Daily)
We are living in the most explosive era of infrastructure expansion in human history. In the next 3 years, paved roads are projected to double in length in Asia's developing nations; in the next three decades, the total length of additional paved roads could approach 25 million kilometers worldwide -- enough to encircle the planet more than 600 times. This global explosion of new roads is rife with economic, social, and environmental dangers.

Saudi Blockade Will Cause Hundreds of Deaths: Why Is the US Supporting the Murderous Attacks on Yemen's Civilians? (Jason Ditz /AntiWar.com & Bonnie Kristian / Rare Politics)
Saudi Arabia's naval blockade of Yemen has tightened dramatically -- today, even vital medications and food are virtually impossible to import. The country now faces mass starvation and catastrophic death tolls from hunger and disease. No container ships carrying pharmaceuticals have been permitted to dock in Yemen since 2015, and just 21 container ships of food were allowed to dock from January to August of this year.

Progressive Rep. Ro Khanna: Stop All Weapons Sales to Saudi Arabia Now (Alex Emmons / The Intercept)
For more than two years, Congress has remained quiet as the United States backed a brutal war in Yemen, supporting a coalition that has killed thousands and starved the country into one of the worst humanitarian crises of the 21st century. Earlier this year, Rep. Ro Khanna introduced a resolution that condemned the war and would have used a provision of the War Powers Act to halt US support for Saudi Arabia. Khanna's resolution was fervently opposed by House leadership -- both Republicans and Democrats.

UN Confirms Recent US Airstrike Killed "at Least 10" Afghan Civilians (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & James Mackenzie / Reuters)
The United Nations mission in Afghanistan said at least 10 civilians may have been killed by an air strike in the northern city of Kunduz last week, despite a US military investigation that found no civilian deaths. Some Afghan media have reported much higher figures. Former President Hamid Karzai, who clashed bitterly with the United States over the issue in past years, condemned the air strikes but the government of President Ashraf Ghani has so far made no public comment.

Pacific News Service, Presente! (New America Media Press Release & Valerie Gorospe, Angel Garcia, and Lucia Calderon / South Kern Sol & New America Media)
For 45 years, Pacific News Service has pioneered new ways to diversify American journalism and communications. Long before terms like civic engagement, youth media, collaborative reporting, and inclusive journalism were in vogue, PNS and New America Media were inventing how to implement them. The board of directors and staff of the nonprofit New America Media, and its parent organization, Pacific News Service, announced today that the two entities will cease operations by November 30, 2017.

US Has Spent a Staggering $4.3 Trillion on Wars Since 9/11 (teleSUR & The Costs of War Project / Brown University)
According to a new report from Brown University's Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs: "The US wars in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the increased spending on homeland security and the departments of defense, state and veterans affairs since the 9/11 attacks have cost more than $4.3 trillion in current dollars through fiscal year 2017" -- more than triple the amount reported by the Pentagon.

A New Armistice Day: What If We Celebrated by Halting All War -- Just for a Day (David Swanson / World Beyond War & Arnold Oliver / Scoop)
Commentary: Exactly at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 99 years ago, people across Europe suddenly stopped shooting guns at each other. It wasn't that they'd gotten tired or come to their senses. Both before and after 11 o'clock they were simply following orders. Armistice Day was widely recognized for almost thirty years until 1954 when the holiday was hijacked by a militaristic US congress and re-named Veterans Day. What if we celebrate this date by halting all war, everywhere, just for a day?

Armistice Day 99 Years On and The Need for a Peace to End All Wars (David Swanson / World Beyond War)
The Outlawry Movement of the 1920s -- the movement to outlaw war -- sought to replace war with arbitration, by first banning war and then developing a code of international law and a court with the authority to settle disputes. The first step was taken in 1928 with the Kellogg-Briand Pact, which banned all war. Today 81 nations are party to that treaty, including the United States.

Time Is Running Out for the Planet (Bill Moyers and Bill McKibben / Moyers & Company)
Bill McKibben's calling has been to wake up Americans to the once creeping, now billowing threat of global warming. For 30 years climate change has been his beat -- first as a journalist, then as an environmentalist and now as a leader of a global movement to win a race against time. In his latest book, Radio Free Vermont, he turns to humor for inspiration. Sixteen books of first-rate journalism and now a novel -- a meditation on the state of the world as experienced in the state of Vermont.

Civilian Massacres Mount in Yemen and Afghanistan (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & War Is Boring.com & NewNews)
With the US once again escalating the war in Afghanistan, the number of US warplanes dropping munitions on the country are on the rise, and with it, the number of civilians being killed in those strikes. While these civilian casualties remain officially "under investigation," the UN is openly expressing concern about the rising toll. And in Yemen, more than 30 civilians -- mostly women and children -- were killed in a series of 18 US-backed Saudi air strikes on Haran, the scene of a similar massacre days earlier.

Trump's Interior Department Recommends Opening Up Pacific National Monuments to Commercial Fishing (David Leestma / EcoWatch)
The Trump administration is considering cutting protections for two national monuments lying south of Hawaii in the central Pacific. The decision, scientists warn, will threaten reefs across the Pacific.

Business as Usual at the Pentagon (William J. Astore / Bracing Views & AntiWar.com)
The revolving door between major defense contractors and the Pentagon is spinning ever more rapidly as a growing tide of defense industry executives go to work in the Pentagon. Case in point: Trump's nominee for secretary of the Army is Mark Esper. Ester happens to be the chief lobbyist for Raytheon -- the country's fourth largest weapons contractor. Officials from Lockheed and Boeing have already been placed in top Pentagon posts where they will approve and dispense arms contracts.

Governments Can No Longer Ignore War's Impact on Planet (Doug Weir / The Ecologist)
Since its inception in 2001, the UN's International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict has mainly served as a reminder of how the environment remains a forgotten victim of warfare. However, in recent years there have been signs that the global community is slowly beginning to address its collective blind spot over the environmental dimensions of armed conflicts -- and the price that people and ecosystems pay for our indifference.

The Paradise Papers: How Global Royalty -- in Politics, Sports, and Business -- Hide their Wealth to Avoid Taxes (The Weekly Reveal / The Center for Investigative Reporting & The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists )
Reveal journalists have teamed up with International Consortium of Investigative Journalists -- the reporting team behind the 2015 disclosure of "The Panama Papers" -- to produce a new bombshell. A new leak of 13 million files containing confidential financial records reveals the tax-shelters and hideaways of superstar artists (Bono, Madonna), iconic brands (Apple, Facebook, Twitter) and power brokers across the political spectrum (from Trump appointees to the Queen of England).

Calls for Paradise Papers Investigation Before Considering GOP Tax Bill (Andrew Emett / NationofChange & Bernie Sanders / US Senate & Ed Pilkington and David Smith / The Guardian)
In response to the Paradise Papers leak disclosing millions of financial documents detailing high-profile offshore accounts and tax havens, Sen. Bernie Sanders called for an investigation into the disclosures -- before even considering the GOP's new tax plan. Due to the fact that most of the information in the leak involved US citizens, residents, and companies, Sanders also urged Americans to "end the rapid movement toward international oligarchy."

ACTION ALERT: War on the Poor No More: No Tax Bill Without an Investigation of Tax-cheating Rich (Oxfam America Action Fund & CREDO Action)
A new set of 13.4 million leaked financial documents has exposed the massive scale of tax dodging by corporations and wealthy individuals -- including some of the very same people negotiating the new GOP tax bill currently before Congress. These papers make it clear: There is one tax code for the rich and powerful and another for the rest of us. This calls for an immediate, exhaustive, public congressional investigation. There should be no movement on tax legislation until such an investigation is complete.

Congress' Romance with Cowardice: War without the War Powers Act (Danny Sjursen / NationofChange)
Senator Rand Paul's recent four-hour-long floor speech demanding something as simple as a congressional discussion of the legal basis for America's forever wars only garnered 36 supporting votes -- scuttled by a bipartisan coalition of war hawks. Consequently, Congress' abdication of its Constitutional responsibility to declare war, continues to cede to the Oval Office, full authority to wage "unlimited war, anywhere, anytime, anyplace upon the globe."

Bonn Climate Marchers Demand End to Era of Fossil Fuels (Jake Johnson / Common Dreams)
Just days before world leaders are set to gather in Bonn, Germany for the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP23), tens of thousands of activists from across the globe kicked off a series of planned actions on Saturday by taking to the streets to demand an end to coal, denounce US President Donald Trump's climate denial, and highlight the necessity of moving toward 100 percent renewable energy as quickly as possible.

Trump Sells War Ahead of Korea Visit as Groups Demand 'Urgent Pivot Towards Peace' (Andrea Germanos / Common Dreams)
As President Donald Trump continues his bellicose rhetoric towards North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during his trip to the Asia-Pacific region this week, organizations from the US, South Korea, and Japan on Monday demanded an "urgent pivot towards peace" and called on their leaders to rein in the militarization that could lead to "catastrophe."

Ex-soldier Kills 26 Civilians in Texas; US Troops Kill 14 Civilians in Afghanistan (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Shashank Bengali and Sultan Faizy / Los Angeles Times & Jim Vetruno, Will Weissert and Paul J. Weber / Associated Press)
A gunman who killed 26 people – including 14 children -- at a small-town Texas church was a former US soldier with a history of domestic violence. Meanwhile, a US-led coalition in Afghanistan has been accused of launching an airstrike that killed at least 14 civilians -- including four children -- in the northern province of Kunduz. Do we lament one crime and ignore the other?

ACTION ALERT: Peace Strike for Colombia (Alliance for Global Justice & teleSUR)
A National Strike for Peace in Colombia has been called in Colombia to demand steps to protect peace accords that are in danger of failure. The strike was called at the end of a particularly bloody October, with 23 activists killed in 23 days. We demand that Colombia's government end the violence and fulfill commitments to crop substitution programs in Tumaco. Demand that the White House support voluntary eradication and stop encouraging violence against rural Colombians.

International Environmental Conflict Day: Protecting the Planet, Protecting People (The Toxic Remnants of War Network & United Nations & The Guardian)
The United Nations' International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict takes place on November 6. The international community must face up to the reality that protecting the environment from conflict is vital to protect people.

November 6: International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict (The United Nations & Civil Society Statement)
On 5 November 2001, the UN General Assembly declared 6 November of each year as the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict. Over the last 60 years, at least 40 percent of all internal conflicts have been linked to the exploitation of natural resources, whether high-value resources such as timber, diamonds, gold and oil, or scarce resources such as fertile land and water. Conflicts involving natural resources have also been found to be twice as likely to relapse.

Big Oil and GOP Collude to Make Protest a Terrorist Act (Steve Horn / DeSmog Blog)
On October 23, 84 Congressional representatives made a splash when they published a letter to US Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking if those engaged in activism disrupting or damaging pipeline operations should face criminal prosecution as an act of terrorism under the USA PATRIOT ACT. The move was championed by the industry lobbying and trade association, the American Petroleum Institute, which said it "welcomed" the letter. It turns out that the API actually was involved in the creation of the letter.

Is the United States Planning to Attack North Korea? (Michael T. Klare / The Nation)
Three US aircraft carriers -- three of the most powerful warships in the world -- are converging in the western Pacific in a mighty show of force on the eve of Donald Trump's 10-day trip to Asia. Not since 2007 has there been such a concentration of US firepower in the region. There are two plausible explanations: (1) to provide Trump with the sort of military extravaganza he seems to enjoy and/or (2) to prepare for a pre-emptive military strike on North Korea.

Pentagon: Only Way to Destroy North Korea Nukes Is Ground Invasion -- With Millions Dead (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Yuliya Talmazan and Associated Press)
In response to a letter from two Democratic congress members asking about casualty assessments in a conflict with North Korea, the Pentagon replied the only way to locate and destroy with complete certainty all components of North Korea's nuclear weapons program is through a ground invasion. Pentagon planners conceded that such an act of aggression would "at the very least," cause "millions of deaths in just the first few days of fighting."

ACTION ALERT: Call to Act for Peace on Armistice Day, Nov. 11 (Veterans For Peace)
In 2017, ninety-nine years after the end of World War I, "the war to end war", the world finds itself on the brink of a nuclear war. Veterans For Peace calls on all peace-loving people to take a stand for peace this Armistice (aka Veterans Day), Saturday November 11. We call for nationally coordinated local actions to demand "diplomacy not war" with North Korea and the abolition of nuclear weapons and war. The people of the world must speak out and act together to demand peace.

ACTION ALERTS: Stop War on Marine Mammals; Don't Nuke the Climate (C.T. Harry / International Fund for Animal Welfare & the Nuclear Information and Resource Service )
The oceans aren't big enough to protect marine mammals from human dangers. Despite the great successes of this bedrock environment law, the Marine Mammal Protection Act has faced threats several times, and it is being attacked again -- through a new proposed bill, HR 3133. Meanwhile, under the expiring Kyoto Protocol, nuclear energy is rightly excluded from the possible solutions available to reduce greenhouse gas emissions -- but the powerful nuclear industry is trying to change this.

ACTION ALERT: The Surveillance State Is at It Again -- The Liberty Act Is a War on Liberty (Win Without War & Color of Change)
Loopholes in a legal authority known as Section 702 give the National Security Agency the power to spy on Americans without a warrant. This law expires at the end of 2017, but the House recently introduced a bill called the "USA Liberty Act" that would extend Section 702 for 6 more years. Even worse, the bill lacks common sense reforms that are needed to prevent the kinds of abuse we've already seen with this far-reaching police-state surveillance power.

White House OKs Report Warning Climate Change Is Caused by Humans (Jean-Louis Santini and Kerry Sheridan / Agence France-Presse & Executive Summary / US Global Change Research Program )
The US government has released a major scientific report that says climate change is "extremely likely" to be caused by human activity and will get worse without major cuts to carbon emissions. The findings of the federally mandated report were approved by the White House, even though they are starkly at odds with the position of Donald Trump, who has labeled global warming a Chinese hoax and named Scott Pruitt. a fossil fuel ally, to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION ALERT: The Peoples Peace Treaty with North Korea (Roots Action & Ann Wright / Consortium News)
Mainstream US media depicts North Korean Kim Jong-Un as crazy and his country as an insane asylum, but there is logic in tNorth Korea's fear of "regime change." The US possesses about 6,800 nuclear weapons and has threatened the use of nuclear weapons against North Korea. A People's Peace Treaty -- to be sent to the governments and peoples of Korea, as well as to the US -- calls on Washington to officially end the lingering and costly Korean War by concluding a peace treaty with the DPRK without further delay.

Release of JFK Papers Reveals US Planned a 261,000-Troop Cuban Invasion Force (Ray Locker / USA TODAY)
One of the nearly 2,900 Kennedy assassination files released by the National Archives reveals that US covert plans to "invade and seize" Cuba, involved the deployment of 261,000 troops and the activation of Polaris missiles on UN nuclear-powered submarines. The papers also revealed Kennedy asking about kidnapping "some of the key people of the Communist regime" as part of the invasion scenario.

Donald Trump's Budget Undercuts Wild Biodiversity Worldwide (William H. Funk / Mongabay)
Donald Trump's proposed 2018 budget would make 32 percent across-the-board cut to already underfunded global programs to combat wildlife trafficking and aid African and Asian nations in protecting elephants, rhinos, tigers, pangolins and other endangered wildlife. The loss of iconic wildlife could directly impact poor communities in Africa and Asia. Hostility from Trump and many in the GOP is likely to target wildlife conservation programs for further and larger reductions in years to come.

Resistance and Resilience in Palestine 100 Years After the Balfour Declaration (The Oakland Institute)
2017 marks 70 years since the Nakba -- the Catastrophe -- which resulted in the forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their land and homes; 50 years since the Six-Day War and Israel's military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip; and 100 years since the Balfour Declaration, which laid the foundation for a Jewish homeland in Palestine. On this day, the Oakland Institute documents Palestinian resistance and resilience in an extensive series of nine reports and multimedia materials.

Washington's Addiction to World Policing Must End (Bonnie Kristian / Reason.com)
Lindsey Graham, member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and perpetual enthusiast of military intervention, only recently learned the United States has roughly 800 soldiers on the ground in Niger, where four of them were ambushed and killed earlier this month. In Graham's undeserved defense, he's not the only one who had no idea the United States has a significant military presence in Niger -- not to mention elsewhere on the African continent.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard Accuses US of Arming Terrorists -- Including Al Qaeda and Saudi Arabia (Hon. Tulsi Gabbard / US House of Represeantatives)
Last December, Rep. Tulsi Gabber introduced the Stop Arming Terrorists Act (H.R.608) to stop the US government from using taxpayer dollars to directly or indirectly support groups allied with and supporting terrorist groups like ISIS and al Qaeda in Syria. The legislation was based on congressional action taken during the Iran-Contra affair to stop the CIA's illegal arming of rebels in Nicaragua. The bill was endorsed by Progressive Democrats of America, the US Peace Council, and Veterans For Peace.

29 More Civilians Die as Congress Rejects Challenge to Legality of War on Yemen (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Associated Press & AntiWar.com & Yemen Peace Project )
Saudi warplanes attacked the north Yemen Sahar District, in the Shi'ite-dominated Saada Province, bombing a crowded marketplace and a nearby hotel, and killing at least 29 civilians. 28 others were said to have been wounded. This is the latest in a long, long string of attacks on civilian targets by Saudi warplanes. A resolution demanding an end to the US role in the Saudi invasion of Yemen (on the grounds that the aggression lacked authorization under the War Powers Act) was thwarted by the House.

ACTION ALERT: Strongest Climate Bill Ever -- The OFF Act. It's Time to Get It ON! (Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard / US House of Representaitves)
The Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act could not be more needed or timely -- it details how we ethically get to 100% renewable energy by 2035. This visionary bill comes as the nation bears witness to the devastation brought by the climate change-super charged storm Harvey to Texas and Louisiana and braces for Irma's impacts. Gabbard's bill -- the strongest yet introduced in Congress -- will put us on a path towards avoiding increased climate chaos by moving the country to 100% renewable energy.

Spreading the Message of "No US Military Bases in the World" (Ann Wright / OpEd News & Ann Wright / Consortium News & Ann Wright / CODEPINK)
Though the US government denies that it runs an empire, the truth is it maintains a bristling global network of more than 800 overseas military bases in more than 80 foreign countries -- a global empire unprecedented in world history. In many cases, these costly installations give rise to local anger because of displacement, pollution, prostitution and abuse of the local populations. Retired Col. Ann Wright discusses the problem based on her 40 years of experience in the Army and State Department.

ACTION ALERT: Block Trump's Racist, Climate-denying Nominee for USDA Chief Scientist (CREDO Action & Friends of the Earth & Miranda Green / CNN )
The Senate Agriculture Committee is expected to vote next week on the nomination of racist, climate-denier Sam Clovis to serve as Donald Trump's "chief scientist" at the USDA. Clovis is an extreme right-wing activist and conservative radio host with no science background or agricultural expertise. In addition, recent news reports indicated that Clovis may have played a key role in the Trump campaign's communications with Russia. Make a call now to oppose his confirmation.

ACTION ALERT: Stop the Militarization of Local Police (CREDO Action & Chris Hedges / TruthDig)
Donald Trump recently rewarded the country's biggest police union for their endorsement of his dangerous, racist candidacy. He has announced plans to give state and local police a trove of Pentagon hand-me-downs -- military-grade weapons of war. While police in England and Wales have killed 62 people in the 27 years between 1990 and the start of 2016, US police have fatally shot 782 people so far this year. Our police are unaccountable, militarized monstrosities that terrorize poor communities.

US Politics, Pork, and Profiteering Have Created a Second-rate Military (Paul Craig Roberts / Institute for Political Economy & The Fiscal Times & Citizens Against Government Waste )
Commentary: The US military is now second class compared to the Russian military. The US Navy has been made obsolete by Russia's hypersonic maneuvering Zircon missile. The speed and trajectory changes of the Russian Sarmat ICBM has nullified Washington's ABM system. The enormously costly F-35 jet fighter is no match for Russian jets. US tanks are no match for Russian tanks. Russian troops are superior in their combat readiness and training. And nuclear Armageddon hangs over us like the sword of Damocles.

Trump Continues Threats & Provocations Against North Korea, Laying Groundwork for Nuclear War (Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh / Democracy Now!)
Tensions between North Korea and the US have been building after a series of nuclear and missile tests by Pyongyang and intense verbal exchanges between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Tensions continued to mount after US Defense Secretary James Mattis's week-long visit to Asia and ahead of Trump's 12-day visit later this week. Meanwhile, Congressional Democrats are pushing legislation that would prevent Trump from launching a preemptive strike against North Korea.

Pruitt Purges Scientists from EPA Panels, Eases Restraints on Dangerous Chemicals (Michael Biesecker / Associated Press & Matthew Brown / Associated Press)
EPA chief Scott Pruitt says he intends to replace the outside experts that advise him on science and public health issues with new board members holding more "diverse views." Pruitt recently overruled experts that recommended banning sales of a top-selling pesticide after peer-reviewed studies showed it damaged children's brains. The Trump administration has halted review of some of the most dangerous chemicals in public use: asbestos, flame retardants, and toxins in homes, offices and industrial plants.

Trump Budget Undercuts US Commitment to Global Wildlife Conservation (William H. Funk / Mongabay)
Trump plans to cut US biodiversity protection spending by more than 66 percent. This funding is critical to protecting species imperiled by the illegal wildlife trade, and enables US investigations of wildlife crimes, helping put traffickers in jail. These cuts couldn't come at a worse time. African elephants are currently being slaughtered for their ivory at the rate of eight percent of their total population per year. (The US is the second largest international market for trafficked wildlife, after China.)

America's Forever War: The New York Times Acknowledges US' Global Empire (Sheldon Richman /AntiWar.com & New York Times Editorial)
One big advantage the war party has is the public's ignorance about the activities of the far-flung American empire. Most people are too busy with their lives, families, and communities to pay the close attention required to know that the empire exists and what it is up to. But now the New York Times had printed an editorial that admits: "The US has been at war continuously since the attacks of 9/11 and now has just over 240,000 active-duty and reserve troops in at least 172 countries and territories" around the globe.

Destroying Raqqa in Order to Save It: Now Who Will Rebuild It? (Derek Royden / Nation of Change & IRIN News)
The 300,000 people who once called Raqqa home won't be able to return with winter fast approaching. Reconstruction in Raqqa -- and in other cities that fell to ISIL -- will be removing the vast amounts of ordinance, including unexploded coalition bombs and artillery shells. Washington has made it clear that it isn't interested in 'nation building.' The massive amounts of money needed to rebuild so many cities in Iraq and Syria will probably lead most of the country's coalition partners to take a similar position.

Where the New York Times Fails to Understand War (David Swanson / David Swanson.org )
Commentary: In an October 23 editorial, criticizing Washington's policy of fighting "permanent wars," the New York Times claimed that what US troops are doing halfway around the globe is "defensive." This explains why such extreme militarism is tolerated. The US would not have gotten into these wars without the hard work of the Times, which has so normalized the mouthing of patent nonsense in defense of permanent war that it goes unnoticed even in an editorial lamenting permanent war.

ACTION ALERT: Popular Resistance Is Demanding US Banks "Divest from Oil" (Brandon Jordan / Waging Nonviolence)
While banking executives from over 90 of the world's largest financial institutions gathered in Sao Paulo, Brazil for the start of a three-day meeting on the environmental and social impacts of their infrastructure investments, activists in at least 15 US states and several other countries staged protests under the banner of "Divest The Globe." Their message to the banks was simple: "Cut ties with fossil fuel companies, or face major divestment campaigns targeting your financial operations."

Turkish Arms Rift Reveals Awkward Truth: NATO's Goal Is Weapons Sales, Not Defense (AntiWar.com & Defense News & Bloomberg )
It's generally assumed that NATO member nations are going to import their weapons from NATO arms dealers, which pretty much always means the United States, with a few small deals for Britain and France. But, in looking to upgrade their air defense system, Turkey had a choice: to buy the advanced Russian S-400 systems, or more expensive, US-made alternatives. Turkey chose to buy Russian, and NATO isn't happy.

ACTION ALERT: Trump's War on Clean Air and Climate Conservation (Robert Weissman / Public Citizen & Rhea Suh / The NRDC & Adam Federman / The Nation)
Millions of families are still struggling to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of devastating hurricanes. Entire neighborhoods have been reduced to ash by wildfires that have raged across the American west. Yet President Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt just officially proposed to repeal the Clean Power Plan, our country's best hope for reversing the worst impacts of climate change. Meanwhile, a leaked draft of a five-year plan reveals how the DOI plans to prioritize "energy dominance" over conservation.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Trump's War on Solar Energy: Defend Rooftop Solar. Act by October 30! (Food and Water Watch & Natural Resources Defense Council)
The Trump administration is attacking solar energy. One of the most successful solar policies we've ever seen -- net metering -- is on the chopping block. It's outrageous. Under Trump's orders, the Department of Energy is attacking solar energy through a study aimed at undermining net metering. Public comment ends on October 30. Meanwhile environmental organizations are encouraging people to sign on online petition to support net metering and defend renewable energy.

The Danger of a President Pence (Jane Mayer / The New Yorker)
Commentary: Pence, who has dutifully stood by the President, mustering a devotional gaze rarely seen since the days of Nancy Reagan, serves as a daily reminder that the Constitution offers an alternative to Trump. The worse the President looks, the more desirable his understudy seems. If the job is a gamble for Pence, he himself is something of a gamble for the country. "If Pence were to become President for any reason, the government would be run by the Koch brothers -- period. He's been their tool for years."

How Ken Burns' Powerful Anti-war film on Vietnam Ignores the Power of the Anti-war Movement (Robert Levering / Waging Nonviolence)
Commentary: Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's PBS series, "The Vietnam War," deserves an Oscar for its depiction of the gore of war and the criminality of the warmakers. But it also deserves to be critiqued for its portrayal of the anti-war movement. Millions of us joined the struggle against the war. I worked for years as an organizer for major national protests and many smaller ones. Any semblance between the peace movement I experienced and the one depicted by the Burns/Novick series is purely coincidental.

ACTION ALERT: US Gun Deaths and Domestic Violence (Dr. Hans Keirstead / Daily Kos & Shannon Watts / Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America)
Commentary: Given the recent tragedy in Las Vegas, we cannot lose sight of the fact that the number one predictor of whether someone is going to become a mass shooter isn't their race, ethnicity, or religion, it's whether they have a history of domestic violence or abusive behavior toward women. One in three American women will be in an abusive relationship at some point in her life. If her abuser has access to a gun, the chance that she will be murdered increases 500 percent.

More Bombs Wont Bring Peace: We Can't Kill Our War to Peace (Washington Newsletter / Friends Committee on National Legislation)
When we blindly hand over our country's resources to the Pentagon while starving successful programs that care for our neighbors, the earth, and each other, we have lost sight of our priorities as a country. We also deprive our leaders and our country of the necessary tools to avoid war.

Who Profits from War? The World's Top 10 Weapons Companies (The Peace Report & The Swedish International Peace Research Institute)
Sales of the world's 100 largest arms-producing and military services companies totalled $370.7 billion in 2015. While there has been a downturn in arms sales since 2011, the Top 100 arms sales for 2015 were 37 percent higher than those for 2002, when SIPRI first began reporting corporate arms sales. Companies headquartered in the US and Western Europe dominate the global arms trade with sales of $305.4 billion accounting for 82.4 percent of the Top 100 arms sales.

ACTION ALERT: Pass House Resolution to Stop US-backed Bombing of Yemen Civilians (Kate Kizer / Yemen Peace Project)
65 organizations have endorse a letter in support of H.Con.Res.81 to invoke the War Powers Resolution to end unauthorized US military support to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen's civil war. The War Powers Resolution is clear: Congressional authorization is required for the introduction of US armed forces in situations of hostilities.

Trump's Nuclear Dreams: Nightmares Past and Present< (Rebecca Gordon / Nation of Change)
Commentary: Preventing a nuclear war between the United States and North Korea may be the most pressing challenge facing the world right now. Our childish, ignorant, and incompetent president is shoving all of us -- especially the people of Asia -- ever nearer to catastrophe. While North Korea probably hasn't yet developed the missiles to deliver a nuclear warhead to the US mainland, it certainly has the capacity to reach closer targets, including South Korea and Japan.

Killing ISIS Fighters Makes Us Terrorists
Commentary: For decades, we have been condemning the dictators of the Middle East for their drumhead courts and their mass hangings. But how can we condemn them now, when we are announcing, quite publicly, that we want our own citizens dead if they joined ISIS.

ACTION ALERT: The Struggle to Save Rhinos in Africa and Vietnam (Jimmiel Mandima / African Wildlife Foundation & Harleen Sehmi / African Wildlife Foundation)
Earlier this year, a court ruling overruled the Government of South Africa's trade moratorium and passed legislation allowing domestic rhino horn trade. With more than 80 percent of the world's rhino population living in South Africa, Africa's rhino populations are threatened by extinction. Meanwhile, a surge in demand for rhino horn in Vietnam has lead to a dramatic increase of slaughtered rhinos in South Africa. In 2007, just 13 rhinos were killed in South Africa while in 2014 this figure rose to 1,215.

US Military Activity Is a "Recruiting Tool" for Terror Groups Across West Africa (Nick Turse / The Intercept)
From mid-January to late March 2013, Green Berets from the 10th Special Forces Group deployed to the impoverished West African nation of Niger. Working alongside local forces, they trained in desert mobility, the use of heavy weapons, and methods of deliberate attack. Until recently, such missions were conducted without notice or media scrutiny. Americans were involved in firefights, but the operations were kept quiet.

The Shadow War in the Sahara (Al Jazeera News)
Africa remains a key territory on the global chessboard. Rich in oil and natural resources, the continent holds a strategic position. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to six of the world's 10 fastest growing economies. The Sahara holds vast oil and natural gas deposits, the most strategic nuclear ore, and coltan, gold, and copper are abundant in the continent. 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.

Why It’s No Longer Possible to Win a War (Yuval Noah Harari / TIME Magazine)
Analysis: The last few decades have been the most peaceful era in human history. For the first time ever, fewer people die today from human violence than from traffic accidents, obesity or even suicide. Yet the international climate is rapidly deteriorating; warmongering is back in vogue, and military expenditure is ballooning. Both laypeople and experts fear that some incident in the Syrian Desert or an unwise move in the Korean Peninsula might ignite a global conflict.

Merger Would Give Trump-friendly Media Giant Control of 75% of TV Broadcasts (Susannah Hook-Rodgers / Courage Campaign & Lucia Graves / The Guardian)
Sinclair is the largest broadcast company in America but its partisan politics -- and connections to the White House -- are raising concerns. Since the first Bush presidency, Sinclair has used its 173 television stations "to advance a mostly right-leaning agenda". Now the ultra-conservative media giant is trying to convince the Federal Communications Commission to allow it to merge with Tribune Media, giving it control over television stations that broadcast to 75% of American homes.

How Big Oil Harms Our Children's Brains and Corrupts America's 'Greenest' Governor (Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch & CREDO Action & Kate Aronoff / In These Times & Michael J. Mishak / Center for Public Integrity and The Nation)
A new study from the Center for Environmental Health adds to the growing body of evidence that unconventional oil and gas (UOG), which includes fracking, is harmful to human healthand especially hazardous to vulnerable populations, including newborns and children. Meanwhile, in California, America's greenest state, the oil industry has spent $122 million in the past six years to shape regulation and legislation.

Washington's Hidden Wars in Africa (Amy Goodman / Democracy Now!)
The US military presence in Africa is suddenly in the news. What happened during the ambush of US Special Forces by militants in Niger, in which five Nigerien soldiers were killed along with four US soldiers? The incident is now the subject of a military and FBI investigation. Meanwhile, at least 800 US troops remain stationed in Niger to support a French-led mission to defeat militants in West Africa.

The Disuniting of America and the Global Splintering of Nation-States (John Feffer / TomDispatch & Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch)
As US bombs fall on cities around the globe, it's time to assess the largely unexplored American role in the fracturing of this planet. Given the polarizing impact of economic and technological globalization, it's no surprise that the politics of the middle has either disappeared or drifted further to the right. Donald Trump is the supreme expression of this stunning loss of faith in centrist politicians as well as such pillars of the institutional center as the mainstream media.

The Peoples' Budget: A Roadmap for Resistance (The Economic Policy Institute Policy Center)
For the seventh year in a row, the Economic Policy Institute has provided the Congressional Progressive Caucus with specific policy proposals for an alternative "Peoples' budget" to improve the economic well-being of low- and middle-income families, make needed public investments, strengthen the social safety net, and increase taxes progressively while reducing the deficit in the medium term. It is a progressive vision for investing in 21st century jobs, tackling inequality, and making corporations pay their fair share.

How Can We Turn Military Spending into a Budget for the People? (Frida Berrigan / Waging Nonviolence)
General Dynamics isn't tightening its belt or trimming its excess or trying to make more with less. It just got a $5 billion contract to build a new class of nuclear-powered, nuclear-armed submarines. Trump's 2018 budget is a brutal behemoth that proposes giving more than $700 billion to the military -- a lot of it going right into the very pockets of the military-industrial complex. The problem isn't only that we are spending more on the military -- it's that it comes at the expense of just about every social good imaginable.

Senators 'Stunned' over US Troops in Niger as Pentagon Plots Invasion of West Africa in 2023 (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Nick Turse / The Intercept)
There is an ongoing US war in Niger that nobody seems to have known about. Senate Armed Services Committee members confirmed they were "stunned" by the revelation. This is adding to the push to repeal the controversial 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force, which makes it easier for the White House (or Pentagon) to start wars without Congressional approval. Meanwhile, The Intercept reveals the Pentagon's little-known plans to invade West Africa in response to a "9-11" style incident.

Trump Wants to Put Nuclear Bombers Back on 24-Hour Alert (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Marcus Weisgerber / Defense One & Alastair Crooke / Consortium News)
US Air Force officials say they aren't planning to nuke anybody in particularly, but they are preparing to resume a 24-hour ready alert for nuclear bombers, the first time they've had such a role since 1991. Air Force chief Gen. David Goldfein is said to has been asking his advisers to think up new ways that the nuclear weapons "could be used for deterrence, or even combat." Goldfein stressed that the alert order had not been given, but that preparations were under way -- in anticipation that it might come.

ACTION ALERT: With Another Massive Spill in the Gulf of Mexico It's Time to Pass the OFF Act and Move Beyond Oil (Hon. Tulsi Gabbard / US House of Representatives & Alexandra Jacobo / Nation of Change)
A pipeline spilled at least 672,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico and almost no one in Washington wants to talk about it. It's the worst environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico since Deepwater Horizon. This oil spill should set off alarms across the EPA. Instead, EPA head Scott Pruitt is pushing to permit a mining company to excavate an area the size of the Grand Canyon in Bristol Bay, Alaska. The "Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act" (H.R. 3671) would curtail pollution and promote clean energy.

Vets Label Trump a "Blue Falcon" for Attacking Gold Star Wife (Perry O'Brien / Common Defense & David Smith / The Guardian)
The deaths of four US soldiers killed in Niger were at the centre of a political storm this week. The row, sparked by the president's remarks, drew in bereaved families, Gen John Kelly, and military veterans. Myeshia Johnson, the widow of slain soldier La David Johnson, has beed attacked on Twitter by Donald Trump. Vet warn: "by calling a grieving war widow a liar, Trump has crossed a line in the sand."

How Can We Turn Military Spending into a Budget for the People? (Frida Berrigan / Wagin Nonviolence)
Commentary: Donald Trump's 2018 budget is a brutal behemoth that proposes giving more than $700 billion to the military -- a lot of it going into the very pockets of the military-industrial complex. That would be bad enough, but the problem isn't that we are spending more on the military -- it's that it comes at the expense of just about every social good imaginable. One year of US military spending could hire every unemployed person in the country and put them to work in a high-paid infrastructure rebuilding job.

Trump Calls Climate Change a "Hoax": The GAO Calls It a "Budget-Busting" Calamity That Will Only Grow (Michael Biesecker / Associated Press & Andrew Taylor / Associated Press)
A Government Accountability Office report released Monday said the federal government has spent more than $350 billion over the last decade on disaster assistance programs and losses from flood and crop insurance. That tally does not include the massive toll from this year's three major hurricanes and wildfires, expected to be among the most costly in the nation's history. The GAO predicts these costs will only grow in the future, potentially reaching a budget-busting $35 billion a year by 2050.

Trump Bans Three EPA Scientists from Speaking about Climate Change Dangers (Alexander C. Kaufman / The Huffington Post)
The Environmental Protection Agency has reportedly barred three agency scientists from publicly discussing their climate change research just days before they were scheduled to speak at a Rhode Island Conference. The researchers were booked to appear at the State of the Narragansett Bay and Watershed workshop, an event highlighting the health of New England's largest estuary, where temperatures have risen 3 degrees Fahrenheit and water has risen up to seven inches over the past century.

THAAD Will Not Protect South Korea -- But It Will Enrich Lockheed Martin (Julian Cho and Hyun Lee / Zoom in Korean & Korea Expose & Space Alert!)
On Mar. 18, 5,000 people from across South Korea gathered in the village to protest the controversial deployment of the US's Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system. Picture two people holding guns to each others' heads. If one shoots first, the other will shoot back, and vice versa. The result is a perpetual standoff. But if one gunman renders the other unable to fire, nothing deters him from pulling the trigger of his own gun. This is the ultimate aim of missile defense -- to gain first strike advantage.

Startling Evidence: Egypt's Mighty Empire Destroyed by Climate Change, Volcanoes (Joe McCarthy / Global Citizen & Alicia McDermott / Ancient Origins)
Building the pyramids was challenging feat. But so is mitigating climate change. In many ways, ancient Egypt had a lot of parallels to modern life. It was an economically diverse, culturally vibrant and unequal place forced to deal with a phenomenon that people today know all too well: climate change. Research shows how climate change and volcanic eruptions triggered a chain reaction of drought, famine, instability and social conflict that lead to the collapse of the mighty Egyptian Empire.

Congress Threatens to Withhold Arms from Baghdad (Bryant Harris / Al-Monitor)
Congress is threatening to stop sending weapons to Baghdad after reports today that Iraqi forces and Iran-backed Shiite militias are shooting at US-friendly Kurdish forces in northern Iraq. US-backed Kurdish peshmerga fighters have accused the Iranian-backed, Shiite-dominated Popular Mobilization Units of using US-supplied Abrams tanks and Humvees in the offensive, sparking outrage among US lawmakers who have long worried about US equipment ending up in Iranian-friendly hands.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress to End the Destruction of Yemen (Asher Orkaby / Foreign Affairs & Daniel Larison / The American Conservative)
Cut off from imports, and under a ceaseless Saudi bombardment, Yemen has become one of the worst humanitarian crises of modern times. Seven million Yemenis are close to famine, nearly two million children suffer from acute malnutrition, and an outbreak of cholera has infected over 600,000 people. The war is indefensible and the US should have no part in it. It is incumbent on the US and the American people to bring this humanitarian disaster to an end and repair the damage that has been done.

Trump's War on Science: EPA Bans Climate Change from Website (Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch & the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative)
In its blind commitment to deny climate change, the Trump White House has ordered the website EPA's website revamped. The website previously included a section titled "Climate and Energy Resources for State, Local, and Tribal Governments." Now, it's simply called, "Energy Resources for State, Local, and Tribal Governments." Fifteen mentions of the term "climate change" have been scrubbed from the original main page alone. The old site contained 380 pages of content; the new site has only 175 pages.

Senate Votes to Open Arctic Wilderness to Oil Drilling: Sierra Club Halts Oil Trains in California (Juliet Eilperin / The Washington Post & Monica Vaughan / The Tribune-News)
The Senate rejected an amendment Thursday that sought to block a key panel from raising revenue through drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a move that could make it easier for future oil and gas drilling to take place there. In other news, the plan by Phillips 66 to transport crude oil by rail to its Nipomo Mesa refinery is dead, environmental groups say, after the company agreed to drop its lawsuit against San Luis Obispo County.

What Are US Forces Doing in Niger Anyway? (Jason C. Ditz / The American Conservative)
On October 4, four US troops and five Nigerians were killed in ambush by ISIS-affiliated fighters near Niger's restive Mali border. It's important to note that this event not only marked the first US combat deaths in Niger, but the first public revelation that the Pentagon was carrying out anything close to combat operations there at all. We can't have a debate on US intervention overseas if we don't even know where are our forces are , let alone to what end.

Dying for the Empire Is Not Heroic (Sheldon Richman / The Libertarian Institute and AntiWar.com)
Commentary: "Dying (and killing) for the Empire is not heroic. Allowing yourself to be ordered to intervene in distant conflicts you surely don't understand is not worthy of admiration. What's heroic is resisting the Empire. Anyone who thought Trump would bring the troops back should now know better. He, of all people, is not about to give up imperial power."

Pollution Is Causing More Deaths Worldwide Than War or Smoking (The Associated Press)
Environmental pollution -- from filthy air to contaminated water -- is killing more people every year than all war and violence. More than smoking, hunger or natural disasters. More than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. According to a major study in the Lancet medical journal, one of out every six premature deaths in the world in 2015 -- about nine million -- was attributed to disease from toxic exposure. The estimated financial cost from pollution-related death, sickness and welfare is $4.6 trillion.

Pollution, Health, and the Planet: Time for Decisive Action (Pamela Das and Richard Horton / The Lancet & Pure Earth)
For decades, pollution and its harmful effects on people's health, the environment, and the planet have been neglected both by governments and the international development community. Pollution is the largest environmental cause of disease and death in the world today, responsible for an estimated 9 million premature deaths in 2015. 92% of all pollution-related mortality is seen in low-income and middle-income countries.

Divest from the War Machine Summit: October 21-22, 2017 (CODEPINK)
After 16 years of unending, costly wars, it is up to us to throttle the war machine. Institutions and individuals are making a Killing On Killing; it is time for them to Divest. Universities, pension plans, banks, cities, counties and states have funds invested to profit from war. At a time when this administration is putting us on a path to war with both North Korea and Iran and the stocks of major US arms dealers are surging to record highs, we, the people, must use divestment to revoke our consent for the war machine!

Is America an Empire? (David C. Hendrickson / The National Interest)
As George Washington observed in his Farewell Address, "Overgrown military establishments" are "inauspicious to liberty" under any form of government and "are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty." Over the past quarter century, the overgrown military establishment and national-security apparatus maintained by the United States has become threatening to domestic liberty and international freedom -- that is, to both the "liberties of individuals" and "the liberties of states."

Call for Global Action Against Military Bases: Polluting Foreign Countries Around the World (CODEPINK & John M. Broder / Los Angeles Times)
For decades, determined activists around the world have been resisting occupation, militarism, and foreign military bases on their lands. As we resist together to abolish war and stop the desecration of Mother Earth, we create a world where every human life has equal value and a safe environment in which to live. Today we invite your organization to plan an anti-militarism action in your community as part of the first annual global week of actions against military bases.

ACTION ALERT: Tell South Africa to Stop the War on Rhinos (The African Wildlife Foundation)
South Africa recently decided to legalize domestic rhino horn trade, posing a serious threat to our efforts with China to curb the deadly poaching industry. It's up to us to stop it. Please sign our petition today to tell China to stand its ground for rhinos! If we don't act now, the white and black rhino could soon share the fate as the western black rhino, which has been driven into extinction.

US Troop Deaths in Niger Reflect Growing Mission Creep as American War Footing Expands Across Africa (AntiWar.com & ABC News)
That the United States had special forces deployed in Niger wasn't exactly a secret before the announcement that four US troops were killed in an ambush near the Malian border. It wasn't exactly public knowledge, either. The report that the US was sending troops to Niger for "training" back in 2015 was scarcely reported. The first indication that this had expanded to participating in patrols came alongside the first deaths. This is a classic sign of mission creep.

ACTION ALERT: Stopping Trump's Coal and Nuclear Bailout While Oz Veers toward Coal (Robert Weissman / Public Citizen & Jacqueline Williams / The New York Times)
Coal not only is too dirty and dangerous, it's too expensive to compete with clean and affordable wind and solar power. Same for nuclear. But Donald Trump wants to bail out the coal and nuclear industries. If he succeeds, US taxpayers will pay -- both in dollars and in damaged health. Meanwhile, the Australian government is considering a proposal to build one of the world's largest coalmines in a remote wilderness. Given the threat of climate change, the plan has met intense opposition at home and abroad.

ACTION ALERT: Would Licensing and Insurance Reduce Gun Deaths? Not under the NRA's Plan for Murderers' Insurance (Sybrina Fulton / Guns Down @ Color of Change.org)
Can tests and insurance stem the loss of lives caused by gun violence? Lockton Affinity, which created and sells NRA Carry Guard insurance, and Chubb Insurance, which underwrites the policies and takes a profit, are perpetuating fear of minorities and immigrants. By offering special protections to gun owners who shoot first and ask questions later, these insurance companies are promoting gun violence. Tell Chubb and Lockton to cut their ties with the NRA and Stop Selling Murder Insurance.

ACTION ALERT: UN to Vote in One Week on Nuclear Disarmament Summit! (UNFold Zero)
The Non-Aligned Movement, representing 120 countries, has submitted a draft resolution to the UN General Assembly laying out the general mandate and dates for a special United Nations process to advance comprehensive nuclear disarmament to take place at the United Nations in New York from May 14-16, 2018. UNFOLD ZERO asks you to contact your government and urge them to support the resolution.

ACTION ALERT: End the Gun Industry's Immunity from Legal Prosecution (CredoAction & Center for American Progress)
The mass shooting in Las Vegas was a tragic reminder that we are never going to address the epidemic of gun violence in our country without breaking the gun lobby's control of Congress. Fortunately, three Democrats have introduced the Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act, which would revoke the law that gives the gun industry legal immunity for negligence that leads to gun-related violence and death.

How the NRA and the Far-right Are Quietly Mobilizing To Kill Gun Safety Reform After Vegas (Addy Baird / ThinkProgress)
In 2016, the NRA spent more than $3.1 million on lobbying, cementing its place as one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the country. During the 2016 campaign cycle, the NRA spent more than $830,000 on federal campaigns to line the halls of power with legislators who will do their bidding. Not everyone has taken the bait. Den. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced a bill, along with more than two dozen Democratic co-sponsors, that would outlaw the bump stock modifications.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress to Stop Diesel Pollution Cheating (Eleanor Fort / The Union of Concerned Scientists)
Your legislator has the chance to stop reckless pollution. Congress is considering legislation that would reduce oversight of the defeat device industry -- the same types of devices that led to the Volkswagen "Dieselgate" scandal. Tell your members of Congress that they have the duty to fix this bill before it turns into a Dieselgate 2.0. Take Action Today!

ACTION ALERT: Stop the Banks that Are Bankrolling Climate Change (Brad Johnson / Climate Hawks Vote)
The world's elite bankers and financial institutions are gathering five days from now in Brazil. These financiers have all committed to financing projects in a "socially responsible manner." But they aren't following through on their promise. Big banks are the ones fronting the money for dangerous projects like the Dakota Access pipeline. They are bankrolling a global polluter economy that drives climate change and tramples on Indigenous land rights.

Somali Bombing May Have Been Revenge for Botched US Raid (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Jason Burke / The Guardian)
A late August US-led raid against the Somali farming village of Barire sparked a lot of anger among surviving locals. Now, investigators believe that the resentment may have provoked the recent massive bombing attack in the Somali capital of Mogadishu. The victims, some of them children, were civilians working in the farming area. Moreover, the evidence was they were summarily executed. It's possible that the Mogadishu attack, which killed over 300, was an act of revenge.

The Impact of the US War on Afghanistan (Marcelo Guadiana / AntiWar.com & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)
The best way to continue a war that's not supported by the public is to announce the deployment of additional troops in an incremental way, quietly and ambiguously, camouflaging it as a necessary and patriotic mission of "advising an assisting," a sort of cover as a heroic diplomat, masking the truth of war and the natural form of violence that comes with any form of occupation. This is what the US government has been doing with the war in Afghanistan.

Standing Rock: One Year Later (Liz Blood / Sierra Magazine and EcoWatch)
A little over a year ago, Morgun Frejo, a member of the Pawnee, Otoe-Missouria, Navajo nations, began camping at Oceti Sakowin at Standing Rock. The Missouri River is sacred to both his Pawnee and Otoe-Missouria tribes and Frejo recalls elders in both tribes telling him stories of its importance as a child. He lived at Standing Rock from mid-August 2016 to late February 2017, just before the camp was evicted and closed by the National Guard and local law enforcement.

Half of Americans Are in or Near Poverty While the US Government Lost Nearly $1 Trillion In FY2017 (Paul Buchheit / Nation of Change & Tyler Durden & Simon Black / ZeroHedge)
In the past 20 years median household expenses increased by 25 to 30 percent, while wages stagnated. As a result, 3 out of 5 Americans spend more than they earn, not on frivolous extras, but on essential needs. People are working longer for decreasing wages and benefits. There are a handful of countries in the world today -- places like Greece -- which are so bankrupt they cannot even afford to pay for basic public services. But the country that has the most unsustainable public finances, by far, is the US.

Washington's War on Economic Democracy (Chris Kanthan / Nation of Change)
It will be shocking to many Americans to discover that our free market system is deeply and fundamentally flawed. The foundation of an economy is money. And if the creation, value and availability of that money are controlled by few elites instead of a free market, then it doesn't matter how complex and a giant system we build.

WTF-35? The Air Force Just Bought 100 Stealth Fighters That Can't Fight (David Axe / The Daily Beast)
The US military has signaled that it might cancel essential upgrades for more than 100 early model F-35 stealth fighters. In that case, some 6 percent of the flying branch's planned 1,700-strong F-35 fleet would be unfit for combat, sticking US taxpayers with a $20 billion tab for fighters . . . that can't fight. Experts say the military never should have bought the planes the first place, as they rolled out of Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth factory.

Climate Change Is Our New Reality (Brian Calvert / High Country News & The National Geographic Channel)
Climate change is no longer a hypothetical threat. This summer, it showed up in force. Hurricane Harvey pummeled the Gulf Coast, dumping trillions of gallons of rain on Houston and causing so much damage it will take years for Texas to recover. Other superstorms devastated Florida and the Caribbean. Meanwhile, heatwaves killed trees, dried soil and triggered massive wildfires out West. The country is full of people determined to address climate change. If only that were true of our national leaders.

Here's Where Your Tax Dollars for 'Defense' Are Really Going: To Lobbyists and CEOs (William D. Hartung / TomDispatch & The Nation)
The next time someone suggests that the Pentagon needs yet more money for the troops, just remember that what they're actually talking about are troops of overpaid defense contractors, not members of the armed forces. If you want to "defend" this country, maybe it's time to protect it from the predators that President Dwight D. Eisenhower once memorably called "the military-industrial complex."

Corporate Militarism Is Driving Climate Change and War (David Swanson / David Swanson.org )
In their new book, "The Secure and the Dispossessed," Nick Buxton and Ben Hayes have collected an unflinching survey of a species gone mad. The book's subtitle is "How the Military and Corporations Are Shaping a Climate-Changed World." The reluctance to tackle famines or disease epidemics, for instance, is linked to the wider problem of the massive arms-for-oil trade deals between the wealthy warmongering permanent members of the UN "Security" Council and the oil-rich dictatorships.

We Need a Green Army to Respond to Climate Change Impacts at Home (David Helvarg / Insight @ San Francisco Chronicle)
The enormous toll of our expanding wildfires, hurricanes, and floods has stretched our first-responder system to the limit. And it's only going to get worse. Now is the time to redirect some of the hundreds of billions of dollars that Congress lavishes on the Pentagon to support and expand the government's disaster response organizations and capabilities within the US -- including the Coast Guard, US Forest Service, NOAA, FEMA, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Trump Names Climate-Denier Kathleen Hartnett-White to Head White House Environmental Council (Steve Horn / DeSmogBlog)
Kathleen Hartnett-White, an outspoken advocate of fossil fuels, hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") and of exporting oil and gas to the global market currently works as a fellow-in-residence at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, which receives funding from ExxonMobil, the Heartland Institute, Koch Industries and others. Hartnett-White will go through a US Senate confirmation hearing process, during which she will likely face questions about her past record of denying climate change and promoting fossil fuels.

October 1, 2017: America's Deadly Day (San Francisco Chronicle & The Washington Post & The Guardian)
On Sunday, Oct. 1, 59 people were killed and more than 241 wounded in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history. But the Las Vegas shooting was just one of 139 gun-related incidents that threatened American lives that day. Gun Violence Archive figures show half of US' gun murders in 2015 were clustered in 127 cities. That violence was concentrated even further than simply the city level: census tract areas that contain just 1.5% of the country's population saw 26% of America's total gun homicides.

A 'Cone of Silence' Surrounds the Pentagon's Monstrous Carbon Bootprint (Joyce Nelson / The Ecologist)
How much of the mainstream media coverage given to COP21 and the Paris Agreement mentioned the mysterious exemption given to the US's massive military and security machine? None. No whistle-blower, no climate negotiator, or politician, or Big Green organization has ever mentioned these Pentagon exemptions to the press. The "cone of silence" that descended on this issue in 1998 is somewhat baffling.

America Needs to Face the Facts about Gun Violence (Becky O'Malley / Berkeley Daily Planet Editorial)
Commentary: After a gunman shot about 550 of his fellow Americans, killing more than 50, the president of the US announced that he was proud to be an American. Well, I'm sure as hell not. Yes, yes, he was praising the response of those who had the unenviable responsibility for mopping up after the catastrophe. But he was totally ignoring the abdication of responsibility by those who allow this kind of thing to happen more and more often in this benighted country. That would be all of us, Fellow Americans.

North Korean Response to US/South Korea Military Exercises Presented as 'Provocation' (Choe Sang-Hun / The New York Times)
As the United States and South Korea prepare for next week's joint naval exercise, North Korean officials on Friday renewed their threat to launch ballistic missiles near Guam, an American territory in the western Pacific. Although both South Korea and the United States insist next week's drill is defensive in nature, North Korea considers such war games rehearsals for invasion. The joint exercise, including a flight by two US B-1B bombers over South Korea, could compel the North to "take military counteraction."

Trump Lies as Global Warming's Victims Die: And Big Media Weathercasters Fail to Mention Climate Change (Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan / Nation of Change)
Scientists have found a direct link between climate change, super-hurricanes and the wildfires in California yet the corporate TV weather reporting aids and abets Trump's misinformation by consistently ignoring the role of climate change in this string of disasters.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress to Save the Iran Deal (Win Without War)
There is no question that the Iran deal is working. Nuclear experts, our allies, even members of Trump's own cabinet agree that Iran has been in compliance. We have blocked Iran from any potential pathway to develop nuclear weapons, and we did it without a single shot fired or a single soldier killed. But Trump can't be bothered with the facts, so now it is up to Congress, and ultimately the American people, to save the deal.

RAN Hails Tar Sands Divestment Victory! Healthy Forests Can Slow Climate Change (Rainforest Action Network & Rainforest Alliance)
Thanks to the thousands of petition signatures and on the ground activism, BNP Paribas -- Europe's 2nd largest bank -- just set the new standard for global bank policies on extreme oil and gas by agreeing to halt funding for tar sands development, tar sands pipelines, fracking, LNG, and Arctic oil projects. Now it's time to focus on the worst US bank when it comes to financing extreme energy -- JPMorgan Chase.

Divest from Oil and Coal: Mazaska Talks Global Day of Action (Oct 23rd-25th) (Divest the Globe And the Action Network)
For far too long, banks have operated in the shadows -- financing the very industries that are driving climate disaster and violating Indigenous rights. The time has come to finally hold these financial institutions across the world accountable. The fossil fuel divestment movement that struck like wildfire at Standing Rock has now been taken global. Will you join #DivestTheGlobe?

The Evil that Guns Do (Michael Winship / Moyers and Company)
The firearms lobby suggests that because morality can't be legislated, the evil of gun violence can only be controlled by … more guns. Don't be fooled by the rhetorical camouflage. The NRA still wants to steer clear of any Congressional debate that could change minds and lead to new gun control rules. To claim as a constitutional right the possession of firearms intended for warfare strains credulity. These are killing machines with no purpose other than to maim and destroy.

US-backed Arms Blockade Risks Death of Millions of Yemeni Civilians (Selam Gebrekidan and Jonathan Saul / Reuters)
A ship with 636 containers of steel, paper, medicine and other relief supplies bound for Yemen's suffering civilians, never arrived. Like dozens of other ships carrying humanitarian supplies, the ship was stopped by a Saudi Arabian warship deployed to enforce a US-backed arms embargo. Intended to block shipments to Houthi forces, it also blocks life-saving deliveries to a nation of 28 million people where a quarter of the population is starving and half a million children under the age of five are severely malnourished

War Powers Challenge on Yemen Postponed to November 2 (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Dan De Luce / Foreign Policy)
A vote on the House leadership's attempt to pass a resolution that would undermine a bipartisan bill to end US involvement in the Saudi War in Yemen has been postponed to November. The concurrent resolution directs the president to end all military participation in the Saudi war in Yemen immediately, pointing out that Congress never authorized such an operation. Congress has sole discretion to make such a determination, and in over two years of war in Yemen, there's never been such a vote.

PBS's Vietnam Documentary Leaves Out a Lot but it Does Include Nixon's Little-known Act of Treason (David Swanson / David Swanson.org & World Beyond War)
Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's PBS documentary begins with the ludicrous idea that the US government had good intentions. It ends with praise for the memorial in DC and its tragic list of names -- without mention of the greater number of US veterans of that war who have since died from suicide, much less the vastly greater number of Vietnamese who were killed. The size of a memorial for all the dead would dwarf the current wall. I want to call particular attention to one item the film includes -- Richard Nixon's treason.

The Masters of War: Who Are the World's Biggest Arms Companies? (Al Jazeera News)
The US has approved a $15 billion deal to supply Saudi Arabia with the THAAD missile defense system. If Congress does not object within 30 days, the deal will result in a massive windfall for Lockheed Martin. According to the Campaign Against Arms Trade: "The arms business has a devastating impact on human rights and security and damages economic development. Large-scale military procurement and arms exports only reinforce a militaristic approach to international problems."

Did Trump Propose a 10-Fold Increase in US Nuclear Weapons? (AntiWar.com & BBC News & Ron Paul Liberty Report)
According to a new report from NBC News, Donald Trump responded to a slide at a cabinet meeting showing that the number of US nuclear weapons has gone down since the late 1960s by demanding a nearly ten-fold increase in the US arsenal. Secretary of Defense James Mattis also said the report was "false," and claimed it was irresponsible for NBC to even report that the meeting happened.

Stop the Unconstitutional War in Yemen (Ro Khanna, Mark Pocan and Walter Jones / The New York Times & Jason Ditz / The Daily Caller)
Imagine that the entire population of Washington State -- 7.3 million people -- were on the brink of starvation, with the port city of Seattle under a naval and aerial blockade, leaving it unable to receive and distribute countless tons of food and aid that sit waiting offshore. This nightmare scenario is akin to the obscene reality occurring in the Middle East's poorest country, Yemen, at the hands of the region's richest, Saudi Arabia with US military support that Congress has not authorized.

North Korea Allegedly Hacks Secret Joint US War Plans to Attack and 'Decapitate' Kim Jong-un (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Agence France-Presse)
South Korean ruling party MP Rhee Cheol-hee is claiming that North Korean hackers infiltrated his nation's military network in September 2016, copying 235 GB of sensitive data, including operational plans for the joint US-South Korea attack on North Korea -- including plans for "decapitation" attacks on North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un.

The Scandal of Pentagon Spending: How the Military-Industrial Complex Preys on the Troops (Tom Englehardt / Tom Dispatch & William D. Hartung / TomDispatch)
Hawks on Capitol Hill and in the US military routinely justify increases in the Defense Department's already munificent budget by arguing that yet more money is needed to "support the troops." In fact, much of the money goes directly to private corporations who waste it on useless overhead and fat executive salaries. The real corruption lies in a five-sided building in Virginia, where taxpayer dollars disappear into the coffers of giant weapons-makers and into the pockets of their CEOs and top officials.

ACTION ALERT: Trump's EPA to Repeal the Clean Power Plan (The NRDC & Climate Hawks & Food & Water Watch & The Baltimore Sun)
Trump's EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is formally proposing to repeal the Clean Power Plan, America's best hope for fighting climate change. In lock step with the fossil fuel industry, Trump and Scott Pruitt are doing everything they can to turn back the clock on our energy future.

The Legacy of Columbus: A Violent Culture that Can't Face Reality (Dave Lindorff / This Can't Be Happening)
Commentary: How are we to explain how a flood of immigrants, most fleeing from oppression in Europe, Asia, and South America ended up producing a nation so steeped in violence and the implements of destruction needed to produce that violence, that we as a people no longer even recoil at the horrors the US routinely commits, encourages, funds, ignores and covers up?

Free Speech and the War on Words (Bettina Aptheker / University of California at Santa Cru & George Ciccariello-Maher / The Washington Post)
The Berkeley Free Speech Movement in 1964 won official recognition that the rights enshrined in the US Constitution extended to America's college campuses. It was not surprising that, within weeks of Donald Trump's inauguration, that the "alt-right" began to stage provocations designed to hijack the issue of "free speech" by appealing to "aggrieved whiteness" -- an ambient furor based on the idea that white American men have become oppressed victims of politically correct multiculturalism.

The Civil Society Statement to the UN General Assembly on Nuclear Disarmament (The Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy)
UN Member States are meeting in New York during the month of October to discuss and adopt disarmament resolutions. Civil society has been invited to give two presentations to the UNGA First Committee on October 10. "The present confrontation between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is extraordinarily perilous. It is profoundly disturbing that in the General Assembly Hall the two countries exchanged unlawful threats of total destruction and of use of intercontinental rockets."

Trump's Threat to Decertify Iran Nuuclear Deal Is Scarier than You Think (D. Parvaz / ThinkProgress)
If Trump does, indeed announce on October 12 that he will not recertify the deal because he doesn't view it as being in US national security interests, then there are two clear takeaways from that decision. First, Trump is upping the ante in his rhetoric against Iran. Second, he is committed to publicly undermining his top advisers, undoing US diplomatic protocols and progress.

Afghans Protest the Continued Occupation of their Country by the US (The Solidarity Party of Afghanistan)
On October 6, 2017, members and supporters of the Solidarity Party of Afghanistan gathered to express their concerns and protest on the eve of 16th year of occupation of Afghanistan by US and NATO. The marchers carried a banner that read:,"In Presence of US, NATO and Their Minions, There Will Be No Peace and Prosperity in Afghanistan!" We are reposting their complaints along with a video of the protest.

America's Shame: Inside CIA's Black Site Torture Room (Larry Siems / The Guardian)
There were 20 cells inside the prison, each a stand-alone concrete box. In 16, prisoners were shackled to a metal ring in the wall. In four, designed for sleep deprivation, they stood chained by the wrists to an overhead bar. Those in the regular cells had a plastic bucket; those in sleep deprivation wore diapers. When diapers weren't available, guards crafted substitutes with duct tape, or prisoners were chained naked in their cells. The cellblock was unheated, pitch black day and night.

ACTION ALERT: End the "Forever War" in Afghanistan (Win Without War)
For 16 years America has been trying the same failed strategies in Afghanistan. It is time to stop the madness and finally end America's longest war. Adding troops or removing timelines will not change the fundamental truth of the situation: we simply cannot bomb our way to peace.

With US Troops in 70% of the World's Nations, the Pentagon Cannot Account for $6.5 Trillion in Spending (Project Censored)
According to a July 2016 report by the Department of Defense's Office of Inspector General (DoDIG), over the past two decades the US Army has accumulated $6.5 trillion in expenditures that cannot be accounted for. Meanwhile, according to a spokesperson for Special Operations Command, Special Operations Forces have been deployed in 147 of the world's 195 recognized nations -- an increase of 80% between 2010-2015. The SOCOM budget has more than tripled since 2001 to nearly $10 billion.

How Outlawing War Changed the World in 1928 (David Swanson / Let's Try Democracy)
When I wrote a book about the Kellogg-Briand Pact my goals were to draw lessons from the movement that created it, and to call attention to its existence as a still-current law being routinely violated -- in hopes of encouraging compliance. After all, it is a law that bans nations from engaging in war -- the primary thing my nation's government does, with a half-dozen US wars going at any time now.

ACTION ALERT: We Need Real Gun Reform in this Congress (Marc Ash / Reader Supported News & Courage Campaign Petition)
The current push in Congress to ban "bump stocks" is a purely cosmetic, politically motivated, and virtually meaningless exercise in face-saving by a Congress which has for decades put gun lobby interests ahead of public safety. It totally misses the bigger question of the presence of military weapons in a civil society. The reality is that no other nation on earth has as many firearms or firearm-related deaths per capita as we do. America stands alone in this disgrace, separate from all other nations.

Is the Nobel Committee Finally Abiding by Nobel's Will? (David Swanson / David Swanson.org & World Beyond War)
The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded Friday to the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons. It's conceivable that some Americans will now learn, because of this award, about the new treaty that bans the possession of nuclear weapons. This treaty has been years in the works. This past summer 122 nations agreed on the language of it. Since the treaty opened for signatures, 53 nations have signed and 3 ratified. Once 50 have ratified, the ban becomes law and violators become outlaws.

The Toll of US Navy Training on Wildlife in the North Pacific (Project Censored)
US Navy training activities are deadly for marine mammals in the North Pacific. In a five-year period, the US Navy has killed, injured, or harassed whales, dolphins, porpoises, sea lions, and other marine wildlife in the North Pacific Ocean nearly twelve million times.

Syria's War Spurred by Contest for Gas Delivery to Europe, Not Muslim Sectarianism (Project Censored)
"The Middle East is being torn to shreds by manipulative plans to gain oil and gas access by pitting people against one another based on religion." In 2011–12, after Syrian president Bashar al-Assad refused to cooperate with Turkey's plan to create a natural gas pipeline between Qatar and Turkey through Syria, Turkey and its allies became "the major architects of Syria's "civil war." The proposed pipeline would have bypassed Russia to reach European markets currently dominated by Russian gas giant Gazprom.

Time for Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands to Go All Green (Harvey Wasserman / Truthdig.com & David R. Baker and Wendy Lee / San Francisco Chronicle)
The terrible global-warmed tragedy that has ripped through Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands now offers us a unique opportunity -- and a vital imperative. As Elon Musk and others in the business of clean, green power have made clear, the islands' centralized fossil-fueled electric grids should not be rebuilt. Instead, they advocate entirely replacing them with decentralized, community-owned micro-grids, powered by solar panels, wind turbines and locally grown biofuels.

Anti-nuclear Weapons Group ICAN Wins Nobel Peace Prize (BBC World News)
The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). Berit Reiss-Andersen, the Nobel committee chair, said it was due to the group's "groundbreaking efforts to achieve a treaty prohibition" on nuclear weapons. Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the group, told reporters that the prize had come as a surprise but that it was "a huge signal" that the group's work was "needed and appreciated".

ICAN's Statement at the Signing Ceremony for the UN Nuclear Ban Treaty (Beatrice Fihn / International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)
Beatrice Fihn, the executive director of International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, delivered the following remarks at the signing ceremony for the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in New York on September 20, 2017.

Jimmy Carter -- What I've Learned from North Korea's Leaders: Peace Is Possible (Jimmy Carter / Opinion: The Washington Post)
Commentary: "Over more than 20 years, I have spent many hours in discussions with top North Korean officials and private citizens during visits to Pyongyang and to the countryside. What the officials have always demanded is direct talks with the United States, leading to a permanent peace treaty to replace the still-prevailing 1953 cease-fire that has failed to end the Korean conflict [and] an end to sanctions, a guarantee that there will be no military attack on a peaceful North Korea."

By Threatening Iran Ban Agreement, Trump's 'Art of the Deal' in Question (John Allen Gay / The American Conservative)
Every indication is that Donald Trump will decertify the Iran nuclear deal next week and announce a tough new approach to the Islamic Republic. Yet there's one big question: Why? More concretely, what does he hope to gain for the United States and how does he hope to gain it? If the president does have a reasoned basis for his opposition to the deal, he has not provided it.

Trump vs. Tillerson: War or Diplomacy? (Ron Paul and Daniel McAdams / The Ron Paul Liberty Report)
Former Ambassador John Bolton wants Donald Trump to breach the multi-state Iran Nuclear Ban Treaty and "expedite delivery of bunker-buster bombs" to the region. Will Trump listen to Bolton, Nikki Haley, Bill Kristol, Tom Cotton, and the rest of the neocon "desk generals" or will he listen to his actual generals? This may be the most important foreign policy decision in Trump's presidency. Grave matters of war or peace hang in the balance. Will the neocons win again?

Trump Issues Lies and Prepares to Violate International Treaty. His Goal: to Attack Iran. Can Congress Stop Him? (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Anne Gearan and Karoun Demirjian / The Washington Post)
Officials familiar with the situation say that President Trump is intending to "decertify" the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran ahead of the October 15 deadline. With no evidence Iran is violating the deal in any way, he is going to instead claim it is just "not in the national interest of the United States" to honor the deal's terms. The move would mark the first step in derailing a deal limiting Iran's nuclear activities reached in 2015 with the US and five other nations. It would be an unprecedented breach of diplomacy.

GOP Uses Climate Change to Attack Environmental Laws (EcoWatch / Center for Biological Diversity)
The House Natural Resources Committee has used the pretext of "catastrophic" wildfires to build support for legislation that would curtail protections for endangered species and limit science-based review of environmental harms to expedite logging projects. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will consider three bills designed to limit environmental reviews on a variety of logging and forest-management projects on public lands. Timber companies would be the only winners if these terrible bills pass.

Red Cross Warns of 'Harrowing' Spike in Civilian Deaths in Syria War (Yuliya Talmazan / NBC News & Syriahr.com)
The worst fighting since the 2016 battle for Aleppo is raging in Syria, causing hundreds of civilian casualties, the International Committee of the Red Cross reports. The ICRC reports an "increasingly worrying spike" in military operations in the past two weeks that correlates with high levels of civilian casualties. The organization says as many as ten hospitals have reportedly been damaged in the past 10 days, cutting hundreds of thousands of people from access to even the most basic healthcare.

ACTION ALERT: End the US-backed War on Yemen (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Daniel Larison / The American Conservative & Dan De Luce / Foreign Policy)
A confidential draft of the latest UN blacklist on child victims of armed conflict included Saudi Arabia and its coalition related to the large number of children they've killed and maimed in the war in Yemen. The report confirmed that Saudi actions "objectively led to" 683 child casualties, including attacks on both schools and hospitals within Yemen in the course of 2016." A new bipartisan resolution that seeks to stop US military participation in Saudi Arabia's war against the Houthis in Yemen.

"Trump's Benghazi": How the Trump Team's First Military Raid in Yemen Went Wrong (Cynthia McFadden, William M. Arkin and Time Uehlinger / NBC News)
Just days into the new Trump administration, in a country virtually unknown to the American public, on a troubled mission approved and ordered by a team that had never worked together before, Navy SEAL Ryan Owen died -- for a purpose that Owens' own father, a former special operator himself, questions. Over the past eight months, NBC News has spoken to more than two dozen officials and special operations insiders to piece together the facts of this Top Secret mission.

Divest from the War Machine: October 21-22 Conference (CODEPINK)
Seven wars in process. A potential war with North Korea and Iran. Tanks on our city streets. The war machine rakes in the profits, and it's up to us to do something about it. CODEPINK and 50 partner organizations are launching a new Divest from the War Machine campaign targeting companies like Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Northrop Grumman that make a killing from killing! Join us for a "Divest from the War Machine" conference on October 21 & 22.

War on Equality: The Growing Danger of Dynastic Wealth (Robert Reich / Robert Reich.org & CommonDreams)
Commentary: hite House National Economic Council director Gary Cohn, former president of Goldman Sachs, said recently that "only morons pay the estate tax." I'm reminded of Donald Trump's comment that he didn't pay federal income taxes because he was "smart." And billionaire Leona Helmsley's "only the little people pay taxes."

What More Is There To Say on Gun Laws? (BillMoyers / Moyers and Company)
Commentary: Over the years, we've done many, many stories on gun violence in America. We encourage you to watch and read our collection of stories, posts and videos. But mostly, we encourage you to call your congressional and state representatives and tell them that you're tired of the call for prayers, you're tired of the condolences -- you want action.

America Wasn't a 'Gun-loving Country' Until a $13.5 Billion Industry Made it So (Steve Ryfle / In These Times)
After the latest mass shooting -- by some statistical measures, the 273rd in the US this year -- Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) quickly assailed his colleagues for failing to act while such horrific incidents become normalized. Meanwhile, in her book, "The Gunning of America," historian Pamela Haag refocuses the gun debate on the moguls who made America into the land of guns -- and mass shootings.

Gun Culture and the American Nightmare of Violence (Henry Girouz / Truthout & Moyers & Company)
Focusing merely on mass shootings or the passing of gun legislation does not get to the root of the systemic forces that produced the United State's love affair with violence. A war culture now shapes every aspect of society as warlike values, a hypermasculinity and an aggressive militarism seep into every major institution in the United States, including schools, the corporate media and local police forces.

What's North Korea Afraid of? (David Swanson / World Beyond War)
Analysis: "Ignorance about the Korean war," writes Blaine Harden, "has . . . led to the cartoonish ahistorical understanding many Americans still have of contemporary North Korea. They know that a family of clownish-looking dictators named Kim has created a hermit state armed with nuclear weapons. But most do not know that the fears of North Korea's isolated citizens are firmly rooted in history: they are afraid that Americans might once again raze their country with ombs and napalm."

Prayers and Condolences Are Not Enough: Stop The Gun Madness in This Country (Bill Berkowitz / The Smirking Chimp & Carolyn Lochhead / The San Francisco Chronicle)
No state permit is required to purchase a rifle, shotgun or handgun in Nevada. Is it really too early to contemplate legislation that might prevent more massacres such as this one, the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history? At the same time, Congress could pass legislation as early as this week that would roll back decades-old restrictions on gun silencers, opening up the market for a device that critics say would make it difficult in a mass shooting to detect where gunfire is coming from.

Trump Sends His 'Warmest Condolences': White House Says It's Premature To Discuss Gun Violence (The Huffington Post)
Following the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history, President Donald Trump on Monday offered his sympathy to the victims, but made no mention of America's pervasive gun violence either in his tweets or his prepared statement from the White House. Trump read prepared remarks from the White House, called the shooting "an act of pure evil" and commended first responders and local officials. Not mentioned in statements from Trump and the White House: the issue of guns.

ACTION ALERT: Military Assault Weapons Do Not Belong on Our Streets (The Care2 Petitions Team & The Huffington Post & CREDO Action)
In the US, it is perfectly legal to own a fully automatic weapon, including machine guns used by the military. While there are federal restrictions that limit the purchase of new military-style assault weapons, people who bought machine guns prior to 1986 just have to pay a fee and register their weapon. In 2006,there were over 390,000 automatic military-style assault weapons registered to private owners in the US -- that's one machine gun for every thousand people living in the US . . . that we know of.

Gun Silencers Make It Easier to Commit Crimes Quietly (Peter AmblerTribune Content Agency)
Commentary: In the hands of criminals, gun silencers pose a serious threat to law enforcement officers and the communities they serve. Now Congress is trying to sneak a measure into an unrelated bill that would make it easier to obtain silencers. The Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act, which will soon be voted on in the House, would roll back an 80-year-old law that regulates the sale of silencers.

Trump Ignoring Diplomacy and Facts as He Pushes for War with North Korea and Iran (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Zack Beauchamp / Vox)
Hoping to avoid a devastating war that could go nuclear, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been working to open direct talks with North Korea. But Donald Trump tweets from his golf course retreat that Tillerson is "wasting his time trying to negotiate" and threatens military action. Meanwhile, Trump continues to attack the Iran nuclear deal, even suggesting that his he may formally declare Iran "in violation" of the pact by a key October deadline. But top military officials insist Iran is in compliance.

House Bill Would End US Role in War on Yemen (Daniel Larison / The American Conservative & Dan De Luce / Foreign Policy)
Two House Republicans and two Democrats have submitted a bill that would end US involvement in the Saudi-led war on Yemen on grounds that Congress has never approved the American role in the war. US involvement in the war is not only unauthorized, but it is enabling the commission of war crimes and other violations of international law. As a result of the war, more than 7 million people are on the verge of starvation in Yemen.

US Military Bases Spread Like Cancer Across the Globe (Col. Ann Wright (US Army, ret.) / Peace in Our Times)
Statement: "Here in the city of Guantanamo, I want to apologize to the people of Cuba for the military base the US forced on Cuba in 1898, 119 years ago, the military base outside the US that my country has occupied the longest in its history. Secondly, I want to apologize for the purpose of the US Naval Base Guantanamo. I apologize that for 15 years, since January 11, 2002, the Guantanamo prison has been the site for the illegal and inhumane imprisonment and torture of 800 persons from 49 countries."

Blue Planet II: Sir David Attenborough's New Series to Show 'Heartbreaking' Examples of Plastic Pollution (Imogen Calderwood / BBC Earth & Global Citizen & EcoWatch)
Sir David Attenborough has spoken out about "heartbreaking" examples of plastic pollution that were documented while filming Blue Planet II, his new BBC documentary series investigating how our oceans are changing as a result of human activities. Attenborough, the broadcasting legend who brought the world Planet Earth, recorded seabirds feeding their chicks with scraps of plastic -- gannets feeding plastic to their chicks off the coast of Scotland, and puffins with scraps of it in their beaks.

In Maria's Wake, Could Puerto Rico Go Totally Green? (Harvey Wasserman / The Progressive & Bold Progressives.org)
The ecological and humanitarian destruction of Puerto Rico has left the world aghast. But there is a hopeful green-powered opportunity in this disaster that could vastly improve the island's future while offering the world a critical showcase for a sane energy future. Instead of oil-fueled pole-and-powerline power, a decentralized network of green micro-grids with solar panels and battery backups could provide access to dependable local power that would promote self-sufficiency in the face of future storms.

Agent Orange and the Continuing Vietnam War (Bill Fletcher, Jr. / Full Disclosure & BlackVoiceNews)
In a 2009 visit to Vietnam, I asked a retired colonel in the Vietnam People's Army about the notorious toxin "Agent Orange." I asked when the Vietnamese first realized the long-term dangers associated with the herbicide. His answer was as simple as it was heart-wrenching: "When the children were born." Despite the official assurances that the use of Agent Orange was both safe and humane, the truth was: it was chemical warfare. And it is not an exaggeration to suggest that it was genocidal.

Bombs in Our Backyard: How Military Outsourcing Turned Toxic (Abrahm Lustgarten / ProPublica)
The military is one of the country's largest polluters, with an inventory of toxic sites on American soil that once topped 39,000. At many locations, the Pentagon has relied on contractors like US Technology to assist in cleaning and restoring land, removing waste, clearing unexploded bombs, and decontaminating buildings, streams and soil. One contractor, US Technology, won some 830 contracts -- worth more than $49 million -- to dispose of toxic wastes at Army, Air Force, Navy and logistics bases.

Ken Burns' Vietnam War Film Skirts Devastating Civilian Toll (Nick Turse / The Intercept)
The $30 million TV documentary, "The Vietnam War," provides lots of great vintage film footage, 25,000 stunning photos, a solid Age of Aquarius soundtrack, and plenty of striking soundbites. Maybe this is what Burns means by "triangulation." The series seems crafted to appeal to the widest possible US audience. But as far as telling us "what happened," I don't see much evidence of that. Combatants are not the main participants in modern war. Modern war affects civilians far more and far longer than combatants.

Ridding Vietnam of Unexploded Ordnance: The Essential Work of Project RENEW (Chuck Searcy / Conversations on Vietnam Development & Peace in Our Times (Veterans for Peace))
For most Americans, the Vietnam War ended in 1975. But for too many Vietnamese, the war didn't end then. They continued to suffer death, injury, and lifetime disabilities from munitions that remained on the surface or just under the soil. These weapons posed a constant danger to unsuspecting residents throughout the country. In 2001, Vietnam's Ministry of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs reported that more than 100,000 Vietnamese had been killed or injured nationwide by bombs and mines.

Nicaragua to Sign Paris Agreement, Leaving Trump Alone With Syria (Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch & 100 News1)
When Donald Trump decided to pull out of the Paris climate agreement in June, that left three of the United Nations' 197 countries that refused to sign the 2015 accord. Syria was embroiled in a full-scale civil war. Nicaragua claimed the pact was not strong enough). Nicaragua now plans to sign the accord out of "solidarity" with the "first victims" of climate change. Today, Trump's only ally is --Bashar al-Assad.

PBS Revisits Vietnam: Whose "Truth" Matters Most When We Recount the War? (Camillo Mac Bica / Common Dreams & Veterans For Peace)
Much has been written about the American War in Vietnam. In September 2017, PBS debuted a highly anticipated, 10-episode, 18-hour, "definitive documentary" directed by respected documentarians Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. The goal, according to the directors, was to "create a film everyone could embrace." Hopefully, the filmmakers will resist the urge to perpetuate what many historians and vets see as a Government-sponsored effort to sanitize and mythologize the US involvement in this tragic war.

The US Is a Nation of War Monuments: Where Are Our Monuments to Peace? (David Swanson / Let's Try Democracy & Counterpunch)
If you propose removing a monument to a Confederate general in a southern US city you can expect to be accused of being "against history" -- of wishing to "erase the past." This comes out of an understanding of the past as consisting entirely of wars. Where are our monuments to peace? Wouldn't the Geneva Conventions have greater respect if the war planners saw a Geneva Conventions Monument out their window?

Ken Burns' Vietnam War Film Skirts Devastating Civilian Toll (Nick Turse / The Intercept)
The $30 million TV documentary, "The Vietnam War," provides lots of great vintage film footage, 25,000 stunning photos, a solid Age of Aquarius soundtrack, and plenty of striking soundbites. Maybe this is what Burns means by "triangulation." The series seems crafted to appeal to the widest possible US audience. But as far as telling us "what happened," I don't see much evidence of that. Combatants are not the main participants in modern war. Modern war affects civilians far more and far longer than combatants.

How Trump Tramples Honest EPA Scientists with Harassment and Censorship (PBS News Hour & The Washington Post & Reuters & QZ.com & E&E News & The New York Times)
The Interior Department's former top climate policy official has filed an official complaint charging the Trump administration is threatening public health and safety by trying to silence honest scientists. Meanwhile, Trump's EPA has chastised scientists who linked super-hurricanes to climate change, calling it "an attempt to politicize an ongoing tragedy." And the person who handles EPA grants is a political operative who has said he doesn't want to see the phrase "climate change" in grant applications.

Flag Idolatry Is a Pathology That Crushes Real American Values (William Boardman / Reader Supported News)
Commentary: The typical American flag ritual is an exercise in mindless obedience with the underlying objective of enforcing fealty to the state. The ritual is totemic and totalitarian. Mindless obedience has long been a goal of self-appointed patriots invoking the flag to defend indefensible domestic injustice or criminal wars. There is no obligation to "respect" any abstract symbol -- much less one as drenched in horrifying contradiction as the US flag.

The Pentagon's Propagandization of American Sports (John Kiriakou / Reader Supported News)
Commentary: Donald Trump's divisive rhetoric condemning NFL football players exercising their constitutional right to freedom of expression has plunged the country into a social and political crisis. Our fearless leader simply cannot abide those with whom he disagrees having a voice that is contrary to his own.

Professor Says Laws Should Not Impede US Rush to Build and Deploy Robot Assassins (Darwin BondGraham / The East Bay Express)
A new book co-authored by University of California law professor John Yoo argues that America should be first in developing the deadliest, smartest, most autonomous new killing machines. As a member of the George W. Bush administration, Yoo authored several legal memorandums arguing that people captured during the US invasion of Afghanistan were not protected by the Geneva Conventions' ban on torture.

Toxic Chemicals Discovered in Drinking Water Near Army Base in Wisconsin (Laura Olah / Cease Fire Campaign & Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger (CSWA)
CSWAB petitioned the Wisconsin DNR today to develop drinking water Health Advisory Levels for toxic compounds that have been detected in groundwater at US Army Reserve Fort McCoy and other Wisconsin sites that used industrial fire-fighting foams. The petition is the first step in securing enforceable standards and cleanup. Approximately two thirds of the people living in Wisconsin rely on groundwater for their drinking water.

Trump's Climate Denialism Is Killing Us (Mark Hertsgaard / The Nation & Laila Lalami / The Nation)
The horrors hurled at Houston and the Himalayan lowlands were heartbreaking. How many times must we see this disaster movie -- Hurricanes Harvey in 2017, Sandy in 2012, and Katrina in 2005 -- before we intervene to change the ending? Multiply the death and destruction in Texas a hundredfold to comprehend the devastation in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh, where 16 million children "are in urgent need of life-saving support." This is murder, even if Trump's willful ignorance of climate science prevents him from seeing it.

San Juan's Mayor Rebukes Trump over Failure to Address Puerto Rico's Climate Crisis (Katherine Krueger / Splinter News & Justin T. Westbrook / Jalopnik.com)
Donald Trump took a break from feuding with the NFL last night to tweet about the crisis in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria, but the mayor of San Juan says the president only muddled matters by equating the lack of food, water, and shelter for millions with the island's debt crisis. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has denied a request to grant a waiver of the Jones Act for Puerto Rico to ease the shipping of food, fuel and other hurricane relief supplies despite previous waivers earlier this year.

Freedom Is Not Washington's Goal: The US Arms 73 Percent of World's Dictatorships
According to Freedom House's rating system of political rights around the world, there were 49 nations in the world, as of 2015, that can be fairly categorized as "dictatorships." As of fiscal year 2015, the last year for which we have publicly available data, the federal government of the United States had been providing military assistance to 36 of them, courtesy of your tax dollars. That means the United States is currently supporting over 73 percent of the world's dictatorships!

ACTION ALERT: Trump Tweets While Puerto Rico Dies (Perry O'Brien / Common Defense & Environmentalists Against War & Climate Hawks)
Puerto Rico -- an island of 3.4 million people -- has been without power for a week. 60% of their population is stranded without drinkable water. And 90% of their cell phone towers are down. This is a full-blown humanitarian crisis. And Trump isn't doing enough to help. According to White House sources, Trump doesn't plan to submit an aid request to Congress until the second week of October. Dragging his feet on this will cost innocent lives. Tell Trump Not to Abandon Puerto Rico.

ACTION ALERT: De-escalate North Korea Crisis Before Trump Blunders Us into a Nuclear War (Rep. Tulsi Gabbard / US House of Representatives & Win Without War)
Regime change policy has failed, and it has nearly bankrupted our federal government. Trading barbs, personal insults, and threats with Kim Jong Un has put the US in a more tenuous position in East Asia than we have experienced since the Korean War. Taking a hardline stance that abandons diplomacy has caused the North Korean military to multiply their ballistic missile tests, put Guam in their crosshairs, and now threaten to shoot down American military planes.

Support H.R. 669: Stop Trump from Launching a Nuclear Strike against North Korea (Hon. Barbara Lee / US House of Representatives & Council for a Livable World)
There is no military solution in North Korea, and escalating tensions will put US troops and families at risk. That's why Barbara Lee co-sponsored H.R. 669, legislation that would prevent Trump from starting a nuclear war. Add your name to call on Congress to vote on H.R. 669 to prohibit Trump from authorizing a nuclear strike against North Korea. Escalation is not the answer.

The Basel Declaration on the Crime of Nuclear Weapons (Abolition 2000)
A four-day international conference of doctors, lawyers, scientists and nuclear experts from 27 countries has produced a statement condemning nuclear weapons and nuclear energy. The Basel Declaration states "the risks and impacts of nuclear weapons, depleted uranium weapons and nuclear energy, which are both transnational and trans-generational, constitute a violation of human rights, a transgression of international humanitarian and environmental law, and a crime against future generations."

Observers Increasingly Fear Trump Is Not Fit For Office (Sam Levine / CNN & Paige Lavender / Huffington Post & Michael Calderone / The Huffington Post)
Members of a CNN panel have openly questioned whether Donald Trump is mentally fit for office. Psychologist Dr. John Gartner has warned: "If we could construct a psychiatric Frankenstein monster, we could not create a leader more dangerously mentally ill than Donald Trump. He's a paranoid, psychopathic narcissist who is divorced from reality and lashes out impulsively at his imagined enemies." The 25th Amendment allows for the vice president to remove the president from office if the Cabinet deems him unfit.

How the UN Provides Cover for US Aggression (JP Sottile / AntiWar.com)
Commentary: As the US has bombed and droned and deployed and invaded and covertly-acted and regime-changed all around the globe, the unspoken truth is that the United Nations has been America's all-too silent partner as Uncle Sam traipsed around the planet with a loaded gun, remote control assassination machines and paper-thin rationales for intervention.

Poll of 65 Nations Reveals US Is Seen as the Biggest Threat to World Peace (The International Business Times & The New York Post Editorial Board)
In their annual End of Year poll, researchers for WIN and Gallup International surveyed more than 66,000 people across 65 nations and found that 24 percent of all respondents answered that the United States "is the greatest threat to peace in the world today." Pakistan and China fell significantly behind the United States on the poll, with 8 and 6 percent, respectively. Afghanistan, Iran, Israel and North Korea all tied for fourth place with 4 percent.

Puerto Ricans Describe 'Horror In The Streets' After Hurricane Maria (Hayley Miller / The Huffington Post & Jennifer Bendery / The Huffington Post)
We've heard devastating stories in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, but not nearly enough about the impact of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico. The US territory was slammed by the tropical storm mere days ago. As 3.4 million residents continue to scramble to safety, the governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rossello, has called for more federal aid. Many residents do not have access to water, power or roads. It's been described as "apocalyptic."

Hate Crimes in the US Soar Under Trump (Christopher Mathias / The Huffington Post)
New data obtained by the Huffington Post shows hate crimes rose about 5 percent from 2015 to 2016. The numbers for 2017 aren't looking great either. According to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, the number of hate crimes rose across the US in 2016, marking the first time in over a decade that the country has experienced consecutive annual increases in crimes targeting people based on their race, religion, sexuality, disability or national origin.

Stones to Drones: A Short History of War on Earth (Gar Smith / World Beyond War #NoWar2017)
War is humanity's deadliest activity. From 500 BC to AD 2000 history records more than 1000 [1,022] major documented wars. In the 20th Century, an estimated 165 wars killed as many as 258 million people -- more than 6 percent of all the people born during the entire 20th century. WWII claimed the lives of 17 million soldiers and 34 million civilians. In today's wars, 75 percent of those killed are civilians -- mostly women, children, the elderly, and the poor.

No War 2017: War and the Environment (David Swanson Remarks at #NoWar2017 conference on September 22, 2017)
What war and war preparations do to the earth has always been a hard topic to get at. Why would those who care about the earth want to take on the beloved and inspiring institution that brought us Vietnam, Iraq, the famine in Yemen, torture at Guantanamo, and 16 years of gruesome slaughter in Afghanistan? But the fact is that if war were moral, legal, and inexpensive, we would still need to abolish it because of the destruction that war and preparations for war do as the leading polluters of our natural environment.

US Has Killed 2,617 Civilians in Syria: Trump's Airstrikes Kill 17 in Libya (New China / Xinhua.net & AntiWar.com)
A total of 2,617 civilians have been killed in the US-led anti-terror operations in Syria since late 2014, a monitor group reported Saturday. The death toll includes 615 children and 443 women, said the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Meanwhile, for the first time since Donald Trump's inauguration, the US has carried out airstrikes inside Libya, bombing what they described as an ISIS camp within central Libya, southeast of Sirte. 17 people were killed, and the US claimed all were ISIS.

Monumental Greed: Trump/Zinke's Plan for Drilling the Wilderness (EcoWatch & Natural Resources Defense Council & The Sierra Club & The Grand Canyon Trust)
A leaked memo reveals how Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke secretly proposed opening publicly held national monuments powerful corporations seeking to expand drilling, logging, commercial fishing and other activities for private profit. Despite receiving 2.8 million public comments in support of our national monuments, Zinke has announced plans to change the way at least 10 of these treasured areas are managed -- and to shrink the boundaries of at least four of them.

The US-Trained Warlords Committing Atrocities in Afghanistan (May Jeong / In These Times)
Investigative Report: In Afghanistan, residents of a village allege that dozens of civilian deaths were commited at the hands of a single US-trained strongman -- just one example of the "Afghan special forces" that the US has supported, armed and delegated to perform as its surrogate in America's longest-running war.

Under Trump, US Has Been Bombing Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria at Record Pace (AntiWar.com & Jennifer Wilson and Micah Zenko / Foreign Policy)
The candidate who once warned America about Hillary Clinton's hawkishness is turning into a war machine. US airstrikes in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan are all at multi-year highs. In the last 193 days of the Obama presidency, there were 21 lethal counterterrorism operations in these countries. Trump has quintupled that number, with at least 92 such operations in Yemen, seven in Somalia, and four in Pakistan.

The Deadly Rain of Obama's Bombs (Medea Benjamin / The Guardian)
In 2016 alone, the Obama administration dropped at least 26,171 bombs. This means that every day last year, the US military blasted combatants or civilians overseas with 72 bombs; that's three bombs every hour, 24 hours a day. While most of these air attacks were in Syria and Iraq, US bombs also rained down on people in Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan. That's seven majority-Muslim countries.

The Corporate Beneficiaries of the Warfare-Welfare State (Tyler Durden / ZeroHedge & Ron Paul / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity & BitOfNews.com)
Commentary: Congress long ago abandoned another primary duty -- preventing presidents from launching military attacks without first obtaining a congressional declaration of war. The uncomfortable question raised by Congress's abrogation of these two key functions is whether a republican form of government is compatible with a welfare-warfare state.

Is Trump About to Repeat George W. Bush's Worst Mistake: Starting an Unnecessary War? (Michael H. Fuchs / The Guardian)
Commentary: In 2003, the US initiated perhaps the greatest strategic disaster in US history by diverting attention . . . to an unnecessary war in Iraq. That war resulted in hundreds of thousands dead and wounded, untold economic catastrophe, states in the Middle East in ruin, and the rise of ISIS. Donald Trump's first speech before the UN general assembly made clear that he wants to take America down a similar path by starting an unnecessary conflict with Iran.

Iran Is in Compliance: It's Trump Who Would Be Violating the Iran Nuclear Deal (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Win Without War)
Trump has called the historic Iran Deal an "embarrassment." But what's really embarrassing is Trump's lies about the nuclear deal -- said in front of an institution that the US helped build in the name of diplomacy and peace. If Trump breaks the deal and once again destroys our nation's credibility on the global stage, no one will trust us to honor our word in future diplomatic agreements -- which means that you can kiss diplomacy with North Korea goodbye.

Trump to Flood the World with Weapons While Don Jr. Lobbies for Silencers (Mike Stone and Matt Spetalnick / Reuters & Chris Carr / Everytown for Gun Safety)
The Trump administration is preparing to make it easier for US gun makers to sell small arms, including assault rifles and ammunition, to foreign buyers. Aides to Donald Trump are completing a plan to shift oversight of international non-military firearms sales from the State Department to the Commerce Department. While the State Department is concerned about international threats to stability and maintains tight restrictions on weapons deals, the Commerce Department typically focuses more on markets and profits.

Trump to Roll Back Limits on Drone Strikes and Commando Raids (The Hill & The New York Times)
The Trump administration is set to roll back various limits on drone strikes and commando raids put in place under former President Barack Obama. Under the policy, strikes would be expanded to include "foot-soldier jihadists" who do not necessarily have leadership roles, instead of allowing strikes only if militants are considered "continuing and imminent threat" to US citizens. The proposed strikes would also no longer have to go through high-level vetting.

Naomi Klein: We Are Seeing the Shock Doctrine In Effect After Hurricanes Harvey & Irma (Amy Goodman and Naomi Klein / Democracy Now!)
We have these hurricanes, past and the coming ones, with extreme fires, storms, droughts, and massive floods -- 1,300 dead in South Asia now from floods -- and yet Fox, MSNBC, and CNN are hardly mentioning the word "climate change" when it comes to these horrific events, at the same time they are spending 24 hours a day reporting on these manifestations of climate chaos. This is the extreme world -- we're catching a glimpse of it -- that we've been warned about.

The Powerful Corporations that Influence Washington's Climate Policy (Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch & Climate Nexus )
For better or worse, corporations have a major influence on climate change policy. Koch Industries, a multinational owned by billionaires Charles and David Koch, has contributed hundreds of millions to candidates and lobbying over the last 25 years. The data shows the climate policy agenda is being driven by a small number of massive global corporations. Meanwhile, Investing giant Vanguard has voted to require ExxonMobil to include more detailed assessments of how climate policies impact its bottom line.

ACTION ALERT: ABC Silent on Climate Change (David Z. Morris / Fortune & Public Citizen & Fareed Zakaria / CNN)
As a brutal hurricane season continues to batter the Caribbean and the United States, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson thinks it might be too late to save coastal cities from the effects of climate change. "I worry that we might not be able to recover from this because all our greatest cities are on the oceans and water's edges, historically for commerce and transportation," deGrasse Tyson said.

California Cities, Counties Sue Oil Companies over Climate Change (Timothy Cama / The Hill & Natasha Geiling / ThinkProgress)
San Francisco and Oakland, Calif., are suing five major oil companies, blaming them for the effects of climate change. The cities announced Wednesday they each filed a lawsuit in their respective county courts against Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips Co., ExxonMobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell and BP. The lawsuits by add to an emerging legal strategy to try to hold individual fossil fuel companies responsible for rising sea levels, extreme weather and other effects of human-induced climate change.

51 Countries (and Counting) Ratify UN Nuclear Weapons Ban (AntiWar.com & World Beyond War & Susi Snyder / PAX & National Public Radio)
Nuclear weapons are terrifying. A blinding flash, a burning wind, the sound of a thousand thunderstorms, a cry for water too poisoned to drink, for help that isn't coming, only to end by begging for death. Those are the realities of nuclear weapons. We cannot allow these 15,000 doomsday weapons to endanger our world and our children's future. Under the ban's language, it takes effect 90 days after the 50th nation ratifies it. Only the nuclear powers reject this ban.

Pentagon Builds First Permanent US Base in Israel (Judah Ari Gross / The Times of Israel)
For the first time in history, the US on Monday established an official, permanent military base in Israel: an air defense base in the heart of the Negev desert. Dozens of US Air Force soldiers will call home the new base, located inside the Israeli Air Force's Mashabim Air Base, west of the towns of Dimona and Yerucham. The "base within a base" will be run by the US military's European Command (EUCOM). It includes barracks, offices and support services.

The Risk of Nuclear War With North Korea: On the Ground in Pyongyang (Evan Osnos / The New Yorker )
Could Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump goad each other into a devastating confrontation? Donald Trump's unhinged threats to launch a "preventive war" against North Korea risk abandoning the one thing that has prevented war in the past -- US restraint. Trump's new rhetoric of threats risks unleashing a spiral of hostility in which neither side intends to start a war but escalating intimidation leads to ever-more-aggressive behavior. Trump and Kim may goad each other into the very conflict that they are both trying to avoid.

Trump Calls for War Crime at UN Speech; Preaches Nationalism over Unity (Michael Harthorne / Newser & Sarah D. Wire / The Los Angeles Times & Julian Borger / The Guardian)
In his first speech in front of the UN General Assembly, President Trump threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea and its "rocket man" Kim Jong Un. ABC's chief foreign correspondent accused Trump of using "WWE rhetoric" to lob an "immoral threat" in front of the world's political leaders. Terry Moran says mulling the destruction of a country of 25 million people "borders on the threat of committing a war crime." The speech was greeted mostly with silence and occasional outbreaks of disapproving murmurs

Trump Invites United Nations to Destroy His Enemies (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali / Reuters & The White House)
Donald Trump demanded that the UN Security Council come together and make more moves against North Korea, adding it "is an outrage" that any nations are trading with North Korea at all because of their "reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons." In the course of criticizing North Korea, however, nuclear weapons were scarcely mentioned. Any conflict on the Korean peninsula could easily result in a degree of bloodshed unseen since the 1950-53 Korean War, which claimed the lives of millions of Koreans.

$700 Billion for DOD and Trump Wants a Big Military Parade, Too (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com &Richard Lardner / Associated Press & )
In an 89-8 vote, the Senate overwhelmingly passed the National Defense Authorization Act, a $700 billion military spending bill. The bill still needs to be reconciled with the House version before it goes to the White House for signature. Meanwhile, Donald Trump wants to flaunt US military might in North Korea-style displays of force. Having added military vehicles to his inauguration, Trump now wants the US military to "come marching down Pennsylvania Avenue" with parades of weapons in DC and New York, as well.

ACTION ALERT: "Whose Streets? Our Streets!" St Louis Police Are Out of Control (Color of Change & Hayley Miller, Ryan J. Reilly / The Huffington Post)
Commentary: Police are out of control in St. Louis and the Mayor has done nothing to stop them. Over the weekend of protests following the not-guilty verdict absolving Jason Stockley of accountability in the death of Anthony Lamar Smith, police taunted protesters with Ferguson-era chants like "Whose streets? Our streets?" -- imitating the neo-nazi terrorists in Charlottesville. Police also fired at protesters with rubber bullets, trampled an older woman, and pepper-sprayed people who tried to help her.

Beyond Harvey and Irma: Militarizing Homeland Security in the Climate-Change Era (Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & Michael T. Klare / TomDispatch)
The US just experienced its largest rainfall event in memory. For the first time in recorded weather history, two category 4 hurricanes hit in a single season (not yet over). And San Francisco experienced an unheard of 106 degree day. This as the new face of homeland security: containing the damage to our seacoasts, forests, and cities caused by extreme weather events made all the more frequent and destructive by climate change. This is a "war" without a name, but it will be no less real for that.

Global Warring is Warming: How Militarism Contributes to Climate Destabilization (Kim Carlyle / The War Crimes Times @ Veterans for Peace)
Carbon-based fuels power the planet's more than one billion automobiles and other modes of transportation and provide for the manufacture of consumer goods and heating and air conditioning -- all for the world's affluent. And this polluting fuel is also used for the machines of war. This profligate consumption of oil and coal releases more than 30 gigatons of carbon into the atmosphere each year. Today, a new and clearly recognized cause for war has emerged: climate change.

In this Korean Crisis, Trump's Bullying Tactics Aren't Working and Never Will (Michael Payne / Nation of Change)
Many experts in world affairs believe that if it were not for America's highly aggressive military agenda that has been aimed at North Korea for many decades, that that nation would never have initiated a nuclear development program. More and more psychiatrists and associated mental health experts are issuing warnings about Trump's mental state. What's going to happen if this president, in some fit of rage, loses control and gives the order to launch an attack, possibly a nuclear one, on North Korea?

ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress to Protect our Public Lands (Sierra Club & Juliet Eilperin / The Washington Post)
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has recommended that Donald Trump modify 10 national monuments created by his immediate predecessors, shrink the borders of four national monuments, and open six other national monuments to mining, drilling, logging, and commercial fishing. Zinke's memorandum is silent on the fate of the remaining 11 monuments, including Papahanaumokuakea, which Bush created but Obama expanded to more than 582,578 square miles of land and sea in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Beyond Harvey and Irma: Militarizing Homeland Security in the Climate-Change Era (Tom Engelhard and Michael T. Klare / TomDispatch)
Deployed to Houston to assist in Hurricane Harvey relief, US troops hadn't even completed their assignments when they were hurriedly dispatched to Florida, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands to face Irma, the fiercest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded. This is the new face of homeland security -- containing the damage to US coasts, forests, and other areas wracked by extreme weather made all the more frequent and destructive thanks to climate change. It is a "war" the Trump White House fails to acknowledge.

The American Military: Deployed Everywhere and Winning Nowhere (Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch)
In 2007, the Government Accountability Office found that the Pentagon could not account for nearly 30% of the weapons it had distributed in Iraq since 2004 -- about 200,000 guns. Similar stories could be told about Afghanistan, another country where US weaponry has disappeared in remarkable quantities. Someday, historians will have to ask one question above all: Why, year after year, in the face of obvious and repetitive failure, was no one in Washington capable of imagining another course of action?

New Book: 27 Psychiatrists Assess The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump (Bill Moyers / Moyers and Company)
The US president has particular powers. This makes Donald Trump the most dangerous man in the world. He's equally dangerous because of his finger on the nuclear trigger and because of his mind ensconced in solipsistic reality. The two are a dreadful combination. There will not be a book published this fall more urgent, important, or controversial than The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, the work of 27 psychiatrists, psychologists, and mental health experts to assess Trump's mental health.

The Noble Cause Principle Is a Total Lie (John Marciano / Peace in Our Times @ Veterans For Peace)
A powerful and fundamental belief has marked US history: it is the Exceptional Nation chosen to lead the world. This belief is the essential foundation for the Noble Cause principle that justifies US foreign policy.

US Wars and Hostile Actions: A List (David Swanson / Let's Try Democracy)
Since World War II, during a supposed golden age of peace, the United States military has killed some 20 million people, overthrown at least 36 governments, interfered in at least 82 foreign elections, attempted to assassinate over 50 foreign leaders, and dropped bombs on people in over 30 countries. The United States is responsible for the deaths of 5 million people in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, and over 1 million just since 2003 in Iraq.

EPA Head Ignores Climate Change: Scott Pruitt Says It's Not the Time to Talk Climate Change (Philip Bump / The Washington Post)
In an interview in March, Scott Pruitt denied the scientific consensus that human activity was driving the warmer climate -- a denial that suggested he would curtail the EPA's efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Once confirmed by the Senate, Pruitt got to work reshaping the agency in precisely that way. In April, the organization's page on climate change was removed; in May, a page focused on educating children was as well.

Egypt Gags Torture Report; Censors Criticism of Its Human Rights Abuses (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Nadine Awadalla / Reuters & Human Rights Watch)
Egypt's military junta has continued its growing media censorship Thursday with a ban on the Human Rights Watch website. This ban appears to have been related to a report released the day before, which the junta was furious about. The report, titled "We Do Unreasonable Things Here," details torture, arbitrary detentions, and disappearances since Egypt's summer 2013 military coup. It tells the story through the accounts of several different detainees.

Have We Been Deceived Over Syrian Sarin Attack? How a Pesticide Caused Mass Casualties in Khan Sheikhoun (Gareth Porter / Alternet & AntiWar.com)
The United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria issued a report this September that reinforced the official narrative that the Syrian air force dropped a bomb containing nerve gas sarin on the insurgent-controlled town of Khan Sheikhoun, Syria on April 4. But a months-long investigation by AlterNet into the questions around the attack raise serious questions about whether a sarin bomb was the source of the deaths.

New Book: 27 Psychiatrist Assess The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump (Bill Moyers / Moyers and Company)
The US president has particular powers. This makes Donald Trump the most dangerous man in the world. He's equally dangerous because of his finger on the nuclear trigger and because of his mind ensconced in solipsistic reality. The two are a dreadful combination. There will not be a book published this fall more urgent, important, or controversial than The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, the work of 27 psychiatrists, psychologists, and mental health experts to assess Trump's mental health.

'Vietnam War': New Documentary Is Powerful, Flawed and Necessary (David Wiegand / San Francisco Chronicle)
Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's PBS documentary, "The Vietnam War," comprises 18 hours organized in 10 parts airing over the course of nearly two weeks. It feels both overwhelming and, counterintuitively, somewhat insufficient, because no matter how much testimony we hear, see and read about the war, the question of "For what?" will always remain. Nearly 60,000 Americans and more than a million Vietnamese died in a war that every president since Dwight Eisenhower said privately was a futile effort.

ACTION ALERT: Demand Fossil Fuel Companies Pay for Hurricane Destruction! (Naomi Ages / Greenpeace USA & Max Greenwood / The Hill & Sarah van Gelder / Yes! Magazine)
Right before Hurricane Irma slammed into Florida, and while Texas was still recovering from Harvey, EPA chief Scott Pruitt grabbed the media stage to deny climate change yet again. He said it's "insensitive" to talk about climate during a hurricane! We can't sit back and make Pruitt's fossil fuel industry backers happy. Fossil fuel-fueled climate change made Harvey and Irma stronger. And that's why the oil and gas giants must be made to pay for the costs of fighting wildfires and recovering from hurricanes.

Military Defies Trump's Orders: Pentagon Plans for Addressing Climate Change (Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch)
Unlike his White House boss, Defense Sec. Jim Mattis does not believe that climate change is a "hoax" invented by the Chinese. The Defense Department has warned for years that climate change is a national security threat and, despite President Trump's orders, the agency continues to take steps to help the military prepare for the impacts of a warming planet. In an unprecedented act of defiance, the Pentagon is continuing to prepare to deal with the effects of climate change -- even though Trump told them to stop.

Trump to Aim Oil-seeking Airgun Blasts on Atlantic Whales, Dolphins (Mike Gaworecki / Mongabay)
The Trump Administration has taken steps to open up the US' Atlantic waters to offshore oil exploration and drilling, sparking fierce resistance up and down the coast. Oil exploration involves vessels armed with airguns blasting intense bursts of noise into the water every 10 to 12 seconds to determine what resources might lie beneath the ocean floor -- blasts so loud they can be heard underwater as far as 2,500 miles away. The blasting can go on for months. Such blasts can prove deadly to marine mammals.

The Freeze-for-Freeze Solution: An Alternative to Nuclear War (Gar Smith / WorldBeyondWar.org & The Free Press)
Over recent years, Washington has imposed sanctions on a wide array of targets -- Syria, Russia, Crimea, Venezuela, Hezbollah -- with negligible results. Kim Jong-un is not the kind personality that responds well to sanctions. And yet, in the past, North Korea has approached Washington with diplomatic invitations to end to hostilities. In 1994, President Clinton and the DPRK signed an "Agreed Framework" to halt to the North's production of plutonium. But George W. Bush breached the accord.

Most of the Proposed House Budget Goes for War (World Beyond War & The Hill & National Priorities Project & USA TODAY)
By a vote of 211-198, the House passed a $1.2 trillion package of spending bills to fund wide swaths of the federal government, ranging from the Department of Homeland Security to the Environmental Protection Agency. Under the GOP budget, that's $696 billion for war and $523 billion everything else -- a 57% cut for war (up from 54% last year). It's closer to 64% of the budget if you include funds for nuclear weapons which are channeled through the Department of Energy.

NASA Celebrates: Prepares to Contaminate Saturn with Deadly Plutonium (Karl Grossman / Nation of Change)
The crashing of the nuclear power-energized Cassini space probe into Saturn -- a process that began on April 22, Earth Day -- will culminate on September 15. The probe -- containing more deadly plutonium than has ever been used on a space device -- will then reach Saturn's atmosphere and disintegrate as it plummets to Saturn. NASA has insisted that nuclear power is needed for deep space missions beyond the orbit of Mars. However, that has been proven false by NASA's solar-powered Juno spacecraft.

ACTION ALERT: US Foreign Military Bases Aren't for 'Defense' (Thomas Knapp / AntiWar.com & CounterPunch & Coalition Against US Foreign Military Bases & Socorro Gomes / World Peace Council)
Commentary: The maintenance of nearly 1,000 US military bases on foreign soil isn't just a nightmare for peaceniks. It's also also an objective threat to US national security. Defensively, scattering US military might piecemeal around the world -- especially in countries where the populace resents that military presence -- multiplies the number of vulnerable American targets. Shutting down those foreign bases and bringing the troops home are essential first steps in creating a functional national defense.

ACTION ALERT: Civil Society Calls for Diplomacy to Deal with Korea Nuclear Crisis (Basel Peace Office & The Korea Herald & Abolition 2000 )
Launching a "preventive" military attack against North Korea would not resolve the nuclear threat in the region, it would only "make matters much worse." 110 organisations and over 200 civil society representatives from 44 countries are calling on the US and North Korea to step back from the brink of war in North East Asia and adopt a diplomatic approach to prevent war. We call for the immediate commencement of negotiations to prevent a military conflict from erupting, and to resolve the underlying conflicts.

Diplomacy With North Korea Has Worked Before, and Can Work Again (Tim Shorrock / The Nation)
At some point, the United States is going to have to sit down with Kim's representatives and seek to hammer something out that will put the North on the path to denuclearization -- or accept it as a nuclear power and seek to temper its program.

The Time for Debate Is Over: Climate Change Is Happening Now! (Bill McKibben / The Guardian & Raghu Karnad / The Guardian)
Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, flash fires, droughts: all of them tell us one thing – "We need to stand up to the fossil fuel industry and fast!" Climate change is here. Extreme weather has created tens of thousands of refugees from their homes in the US. Meanwhile, in India, Mumbai, Assam and other regions have been devastated by extreme flooding. With one-third of Bangladesh under water displaced citizens were demanding: "The powers that be must adjust, and fast!"

US Solar Industry Sees Phenomenal Growth (Solar Energy Industries Association & EcoWatch)
The US solar market continued its years-long expansion in the second quarter of 2017 as the industry installed 2,387 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaics (PV), the largest total in a second quarter to date. This tops Q1's total and represents an 8 percent year-over-year gain. Last year, solar companies added jobs 17 times faster than the rest of the economy and increased our GDP by billions of dollars.

United Nations: Enablers of 'Aggressive War' (Robert Parry / Consortium News)
Commentary: Many people still want to believe that the United Nations engages in impartial investigations. But trust in UN agencies is no longer well placed. While UN investigative reports -- like a new one condemning Syria for alleged sarin use -- are received as impartial and credible, they often are just more war propaganda from compromised bureaucrats.

Climate Change Could Extinguish Vital Parasites that Support Life on Earth (Amy Goodman and Colin Carlson / Democracy Now!)
As the United States continues to deal with unprecedented floods and hurricanes, a new study has revealed climate change is also driving the mass extinction of parasites that are critical to natural ecosystems, and could add to the planet's sixth great mass extinction event that's currently underway -- about a third of all parasite species could go extinct by 2070 due to human activity. The loss could have profound ripple effects on the environment and might pave the way for disastrous health outcomes.

Torture, Beatings, Rape: Egypt Censors Report on Government's Human Rights Abuses (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Nadine Awadalla / Reuters & Human Rights Watch)
Under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt's regular police and National Security officers routinely torture political detainees with techniques including beatings, electric shocks, stress positions, and sometimes rape. The free press no longer exists under al-SIsi and some 424 different websites, mostly media with some human rights groups, are now subject to junta censorship.

URGENT ACTION ALERT: Senate to Vote on Amendment to Repeal President's War Authorization (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Rand Paul / Rare Politics)
Sen. Rand Paul's push for a vote on his amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act -- which allows a president to declare a war without congressional action as required by the US Constitution -- appears to have been successful, and such a vote will take place after all. There is no formal time set for the vote, but it's expected Wednesday in the late morning. Contact your Senators.

Saudi Government Allegedly Funded a 'Dry Run' for 9/11 (Paul Sperry / The New York Post )
Fresh evidence submitted in a major 9/11 lawsuit moving forward against the Saudi Arabian government reveals its embassy in Washington may have funded a "dry run" for the hijackings carried out by two Saudi employees, further reinforcing the claim that employees and agents of the kingdom directed and aided the 9/11 hijackers and plotters.

Crime and Punishment: Will the 9/11 Case Finally Go to Trial? (Andrew Cockburn / Letters from Washington @ Harper's Magazine)
After years of glacial legal progress, the momentous charge that our Saudi allies enabled and supported the most devastating act of mass murder on American soil may now be coming to a resolution. Thanks to a combination of court decisions, congressional action, and the disclosure of long-sequestered government records, it appears increasingly likely that our supposed friend and peerless weapons customer will finally face its accusers in court.

Trump Hints at a 'Mini-Nuclear' War: Instead of Missiles, North Korea Launches a Party (Brian Bender / Politico & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)
The Trump administration is considering proposing smaller, more tactical nuclear weapons that would cause less damage than traditional thermonuclear bombs -- a move that would give military commanders more options but could also make the use of atomic arms more likely.

America's War against Freedom: Prison Slavery & the Attica Rebellion (David A Love and Vijay Das / Al Jazeera & Shaun Gude / Jacobin Magazine)
The US has the world's highest incarceration -- 760 people per 100,000. Between 1999-2010 the use of private prisons increased by 40% at the state level and by 784% at the federal prison level. This rapid expansion is the subject of much debate and has been termed the "Prison-Industrial Complex." Prisoner abuse runs rampant and constitutes a modern-day version of slavery. The 1,300 Attica Prison inmates who rebelled on September 9, 1971 remain a symbol of resistance in the face of institutional injustice.

UK Unions to Vote on Public Ownership of Energy (The Campaign Against Climate Change & Trade Unions for Energy Democracy)
As the impacts of climate change are increasingly felt, urgent action is needed. Yet UK Prime Minister Theresa May's weak and divided government puts deregulation first. And Donald Trump's outright climate denial protects the interests of fossil fuel oligarchs behind false promises of jobs for workers. But the Campaign Against Climate Change believes that another world is possible, with workers leading the transition to a low carbon economy.

New Study: Greenhouse Emissions Linked to Fossil Fuel Companies (Dan Rather / Facebook & Farron Cousins / Nation of Change)
The data provided in this report could likely become one of the most valuable tools in the fight to hold corporations accountable for the harm they have caused to the planet. Documents have shown that ExxonMobil knew about the damage that fossil fuel emissions were causing to the environment in the 1970s and covered up the damage that fossil fuel companies were inflicting on the planet. This cover-up could result in lawsuits against the oil giant.

Climate Denialism Was Literally Killing Us While Exxon Hid the Truth (Mark Hertsgaard / The Nation & Connor Gibson / EcoWatch)
Multiply the death and destruction Hurricane Harvey a hundredfold to comprehend the scale of devastation in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh, where a staggering 16 million children "are in urgent need of life-saving support" after "torrential monsoon rains and catastrophic flooding." Meanwhile, a breakthrough study from Harvard reveals how Exxon covered up its climate-disrupting pollution with an extensive propaganda campaign designed to destroy public trust in climate change science.

Deforestation Has Double the Effect on Global Warming Than Previously Thought (Aristos Georgiou / International Business Times & Rainforest Alliance)
In the fight against climate change, much of the focus rests on reducing dependence on fossil fuels and developing alternative energy sources. However, the results of a new study suggest that far more attention should be paid to deforestation, the effects of which make a much larger contribution to climate change than previously thought. Forests are home to two-thirds of the world's plants and animals. In the biodiversity-rich tropics, deforestation results in the extinction of an estimated 100 species per day.

Bill McKibben on Hurricanes and the Dangerous New Planet We Have Created (Democracy Now & The Huffington Post & The New York Times)
Hurricane Irma is the most powerful storm ever recorded over the Atlantic. Houston -- the nerve center of the world hydrocarbon industry -- has been devastated by Hurricane Harvey, one of the most powerful hurricanes in US history. The Pacific Northwest is aflame with wildfires raging over hundreds of thousands of acres. Suddenly, our once-familiar planet is melting, drying, acidifying, flooding, and burning in ways that no human has ever seen. We have, in effect, created a new, and increasingly dangerous planet.

ACTION ALERT The Politicians Who Voted Against Hurricane Relief (Brad Johnson / Climate Hawks)
In the wake of tens of billions of dollars of damage from Hurricane Harvey, 107 members of Congress in the Senate and House -- including 4 from Texas -- voted "NO" on an aid package to help survivors in the Gulf and to keep FEMA funded. Their excuse? They wanted the cost of this disaster relief to threaten a government shutdown in order to secure tax cuts for billionaire polluters while making the rest of America suffer the consequences of rampant climate change and an entrenched oligarchy.

How 'Regime Change' Wars Led to the Korea Crisis (Robert Perry / Consortium News)
The US-led aggressions against Iraq and Libya are two war crimes that keep on costing, with their grim examples of what happens to leaders who get rid of WMDs driving the scary showdown with North Korea

US Economic Sanctions Are an Act of War (Jacob G. Hornberger / The Future of Freedom Foundation)
If any Third World nations targeted by US sanctions or embargoes were First World nations, there is little doubt that they would respond with a military counterattack against the United States. Few nations are going to permit another nation to intentionally target and kill their citizenry, either by bombs or sanctions.

Trump Sends Billions to Bahrain Dictators to Suppress Freedom (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Mike Stone / Reuters & Amnesty International)
The US State Department has approved $3.8 billion in weapons sales to the tiny island nation of Bahrain. Congress held up a similar sale last year over Bahrain's many, many human rights problems. The $3.8 billion sale is almost entirely going to Lockheed Martin, who will be providing 19 F-16V fighter jets, along with substantial upgrades to the nation's existing fleet of F-16s. Raytheon will be selling 221 anti-tank missiles to go with it.

The Lofoten Declaration: 220 Organizations Call for Rapid, Global Transition to Achieve Low Carbon Future (Julia Conley / Common Dreams)
As scientists stress that climate change has fueled to the enormous strength of hurricanes that have flooded Houston, devastated the Caribbean, and now threatens Florida, a coalition of more than 220 organizations called for a "managed decline of fossil fuel production" with an immediate end to new oil, gas, and coal development. The Lofoten Declaration demands "unprecedented action to avoid the worst consequences of our dependence on oil, coal, and gas."

ACTION ALERT: Rising Seas -- Brought To You By ExxonMobil (The Union of Concerned Scientists / Special to Environmentalists Against War)
As Hurricane Harvey finally retreats from the Gulf Coast and Hurricane Irma threatens Florida's coastline, communities are surveying the devastating damage done by these storms. After extreme weather events, communities face years of recovery and costly rebuilding. As the costs add up, it raises the question: Who should be held accountable for the costs being borne by communities across the United States?

122 Nations -- Including North Korea -- Vote to Ban Nuclear Bombs (Alice Slater /The Nation & In Depth News & Pressenza)
On July 7, 2017, a UN Conference mandated by the UN General Assembly negotiated a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, the only weapons of mass destruction yet to be banned. The US refused to sign, however, claiming a nuclear ban would cause "divisions at a time . . . of growing threats, including those from the DPRK's ongoing proliferation efforts." Ironically, North Korea is the only nuclear power to have voted for a treaty to ban atomic weapons.

ACTION ALERT: Congress to Consider Bill to Get Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future (Katy Kiefer / Food & Water Action Fund)
This is the kind of transformational energy bill we've been waiting for. As we witness the devastation of Harvey and now Irma, our hearts are with the communities impacted by these terrible storms. With a warming climate, extreme weather catastrophes will become more frequent and deadly, with low-income areas and communities of color hit hardest. The Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act is based on the most recent science and is the strongest piece of climate legislation in Congress to date.

ACTION ALERT: Tell US to Join Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons Possession (The Action Network / World Beyond War)
The majority of the world's nations are proceeding with a treaty banning the possession of nuclear weapons. We need to tell every nation to sign on, including the nuclear nations, and including the US. With Trump pushing the US Congress to start funding former president Obama's one trillion dollar nuclear weapons and infrastructure program before he even completes the traditional expected "nuclear posture review," there is not one champion in the Senate or the Congress for nuclear abolition!

In the Wake of Hurricane Harvey: Now Is the Time to Talk About Climate Change (Amy Goodman and Naomi Klein / Democracy Now!)
The World Meteorological Organization has declared that Hurricane Harvey's devastation is linked to climate change. All past US rainfall records have been shattered and the devastating storm is expected to bring even more rain to Louisiana and Texas in the coming days. And yet, the corporate networks have avoided linking the record-breaking storm to climate change. We examine storm coverage with Naomi Klein, best-selling author of "This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate."

Why US Bases Make Okinawa, Guam Nuclear 'Targets' (Jon Letman / Al Jazeera)
The pattern remains predictable: a defiant North Korean missile test followed by provocative war games, then another missile launch, more angry threats and warnings, followed by counter-threats and new sanctions, and now a sixth nuclear test and more severe warnings. The island of Guam has come into sharp focus with North Korea's announced plans to fire four Hwasong-12 ballistic missiles near the US territory in response to Donald Trump's threat to unleash "fire and fury" on Pyongyang.

The Korean Crisis: A Way Out (Justin Raimondo / AntiWar.com)
The latest North Korea nuclear test coincides with hints that the Trump administration is demanding renegotiation of the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement, and is preparing to withdraw from it. And therein lies a possible, albeit unintentional, resolution of the crisis on the peninsula where the relationship between South Korea and the US is unique in the history of empires -- i.e., in exchange for allowing US troops to occupy their territory, America's Asian protectorates have been granted tariff-free access to our markets.

Hundreds of South Korean Villagers Protest Installation of US THAAD Missiles (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Associated Press & Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept)
Public opposition to the deployment of a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense System missile defense system near a South Korean farming village has grown into major protests, with demonstrators coming out in force after the announcement the government was letting the US install four additional launchers. Some 38 people, including six police officers, were injured after thousands of police were sent to remove hundreds of protesters from a road leading to a former golf course where the THAAD was to be set up.

War, Hunger and Now Cholera: Yemen's Crisis Worsens (Sudarsan Raghavan / The Washington Post & Megan O'Toole / Al Jazeera)
Last December, the main hospital in the city of Hajjah in northern Yemen had already received 200 suspected cases of cholera. The patients were being treated at a month-old cholera center supported by the World Health Organization. Today, the number of suspected cholera cases in Yemen has reached half a million and nearly 2,000 people have died. It is now the largest cholera epidemic in the world.

We Can't Be Silent on Climate Change or The Unsustainability of Capitalist System (George Monbiot, Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh / Democracy Now!)
It is not only Donald Trump who censors the discussion of climate change; it is the entire body of polite opinion. This is why, though the links are obvious, most reports on Hurricane Harvey made no mention of the human contribution to it. In 2016, the hottest year on record, the US was hammered by climate-related disasters yet the total combined coverage for the entire year on the evening news on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox News amounted to 50 minutes. The issue of our lives has been blotted from the public's mind.

Donald Trump's Reckless Response to North Korea's Nuclear Test (Amy Davidson Sorkin / The New Yorker)
Commentary: It 's not clear what time Donald Trump, our restless President, was told of the latest North Korean nuclear test, which took place close to midnight Saturday, Washington time, but it only took until 7:30 A.M. for Trump to make an extremely dangerous and volatile situation worse. He did so, in part, by attacking South Korea -- a country at risk in any confrontation -- for a supposed lack of toughness. Even at a moment of historic crisis, Trump can't shake his bully's instincts.

Does Trump Want War? North Korea Offered Peace Deal; US Refused (Son Daekwon / The Diplomat)
It appears clear that Pyongyang is willing to freeze its nuclear program in exchange for suspension of the US-South Korea joint military exercises. Pyongyang has repeatedly put forward the same idea through several channels. Washington, however, apparently ignored this proposal. Even when jointly proposed by China and Russia, Washington dismissed the mutual de-escalation deal as a "non-starter."

The Importance of Civilian Control of War in the Trump Era (Derek Royden / Nation of Change)
Commentary: The long-standing argument about ensuring civilian control of the military has become more relevant than ever during the Trump presidency. The culture of most militaries doesn't normally reward creative thinking, at most times and in most places, it's a culture of 'yes men' who go along to get along.

UN Rights Chief: Trump's Attack on Press Is "Dangerous" (Tharanga Yakupitiyage / Nation of Change)
Commentary: Freedom of the press is under attack in the US and could incite further violence against reporters, said a UN official. During a press conference, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein criticized US President Trump for attacking news organizations and expressed concern over the consequences of such rhetoric. Freedom of the press is now itself under attack from the President himself. "It's sort of a stunning turnaround. And ultimately . . . a dangerous one,"

Climate Breakdown: We Can No Longer Ignore the Science and the Evidence Before Us (Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers / Nation of Change & Marlene Cimons / Nation of Change)
Climate breakdown is happening before our eyes. At the same time, the anti-science movement in the US which includes government officials, industry and others who deny climate change exists, provides cover for elected officials to do nothing or act inadequately on the urgent reality of climate chaos so that corporations continue to threaten the planet. There are 100 companies responsible for 71 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Good government would hold them responsible.

Hurricane Harvey's Lesson: Climate Change Has Become More Powerful than Government (Charles P. Pierce / Esquire Magazine)
Commentary: Once, long ago, the conservative activist Grover Norquist famously said that he wanted to shrink "government" to a size at which it could be drowned in the bathtub. Well, people actually are drowning in Houston now, and so is the political philosophy that reached its height when Ronald Reagan said in his first inaugural that government wasn't the solution, but the problem itself. We all moved onto a political flood plain then, and we're being swept away.

US Infrastructure Collapsing While Govt. Pours Billions into 'The Black Hole of War' (Michael Payne / Nation of Change)
The more taxpayer dollars that are sucked into that black hole of war the more cracks appear in the foundation of America, its national infrastructure, at the center of almost everything that goes on in America; from the transportation of goods to massive refineries shut down by Hurricane Harvey. Washington's ongoing obsession with war -- together with the massive costs of the US, military empire -- are contributing to a massive, widespread deterioration that is happening across America.

South Korea Simulates Attack on North's Nuclear Site: US Says North Is 'Begging for War' (Foster Klug and Kim Tong-Hyung / Associated Press & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com )
South Korean warships conducted live-fire exercises at sea Tuesday as Seoul continued its displays of military capability following US warnings of a "massive military response" after North Korea detonated its largest-ever nuclear test explosion. Washington and Seoul have agreed to develop more powerful weapons to boost attack the North with a "pre-emptive strike."

Nearly 60,000 Rohingya Refugees Flee Violence: Children 'Beheaded and Burned Alive' (Agence France-Presse & BBC World News & Will Worley / The Independent)
Police in Bangladesh have reportedly begun ignoring government orders to stop the influx of Rohingyas fleeing violence in Myanmar, as the United Nations confirmed that 58,600 refugees have made it through the border crossing since violence erupted last week. Myanmar's security forces have launched a violent campaign against the country's minority Rohingya Muslim community in Rakhine State with thousands of homes burned down and civilians attacked by security forces.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Trump's Appointment of Climate-Denying Non-Scientist to Head NASA (Joe Romm / ThinkProgress & RL Miller / Climate Hawks)
Donald Trump just nominated an anti-science climate denier to run NASA. Jim Bridenstine is not a scientist. He's a member of Congress with no experience in space. And he has an ugly history of anti-science rants. On the House floor in 2013, Bridenstine demanded President Obama apologize for dedicating federal resources to studying climate change, citing junk science and outright lies to justify his assertion that climate change isn't real.

The Stain of Yemen: US Support in Saudi War Remains Appalling (The Editorial Board of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Of the six wars that the US is involved in, Yemen is surely the most appalling, for at least three reasons. The first is the state that Yemen has been reduced to. It was the poorest country of the Middle East even before the war started. Now, its cities demolished by years of US-backed bombing by Saudi Arabia, it has experienced an estimated 16,200 deaths, many of them children and other civilians. It is now in the grip of malnutrition and a cholera epidemic, with an estimated 500,000 victims.

Oil Company Files Suit to Destroy Greenpeace Calling it an "Eco-Terrorist Organization" (Amy Goodman, Annie Leonard, Tara Houska, and Antonia Juhasz / Democracy Now!)
The company that owns the Dakota Access pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, has sued Greenpeace International, Earth First! and other environmental groups, accusing them of inciting "eco-terrorism" for their protests targeting construction of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. The lawsuit is part of a well-organized corporate crackdown on environmental activists who dare to challenge the fossil fuel industry by exposing the reality of human-driven climate change.

AG Sessions Says Militarize Police to Fight Hurricanes and Confront Non-existent Spike in Crime (Laura Finley / Peace Voice and Justice.gov & echDirt.com)
On August 28, the Trump administration announced it would lift President Obama's ban on programs to equip local law enforcement and school police with surplus military gear -- including armored vehicles, grenade launchers, high-caliber weapons and camouflage uniforms. Now Attorney Jeff Sessions has cited Hurricane Harvey and a bevy of questionable statistics to argue (unconvincingly) that cops need tanks and assault rifles to keep the peace and battle climate change.

Top General Forced to Admit He Ignored Growing US-caused Civilian Deaths (Samuel Oakford / Foreign Policy & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & David Alexander / Reuters)
Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, commanding general in Washington's war against the Islamic State has steadfastly ignored evidence that US forces have killed hundreds of innocent civilians. Independent monitors have blamed more than 1,900 civilian deaths in Raqqa on the US-led coalition since June 6. Finally, on September 1, facing mounting criticism, the Pentagon confirmed it had likely killed 61 Iraqi and Syrian civilians, raising the number of civilians it has acknowledged killing since the conflict began to 685.

Japan Polls Show Most People Oppose Shinzo Abe's Call for Pre-emptive Strike against North Korea (Mari Yamaguchi / Associated Press)
Japan is debating whether to develop a limited pre-emptive strike capability and buy cruise missiles -- ideas that were anathema in the pacifist country before the North Korea missile threat. Japan's self-defense-only principle under the country's war-renouncing constitution prohibits its military from making a first strike. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has turned hesitant about discussing pre-emptive strikes, a position that is not popular among the majority of Japanese voters who favor Japan's pacifist policies.

Trump and Zinke Plot to Extinguish America's Parks and Monuments (Derek Royden / Nation of Change)
Commentary: The quietness with which the Secretary of the Interior is doing his job might have the effect of making him, and others like Scott Pruitt (EPA) and Rick Perry (Dept. of Energy), who are taking a similar tack, that much more dangerous, as they proceed to gut their agencies and the regulations they're supposed to enforce. As the person in charge most federal lands (and programs involving the country's native peoples), Zinke is well-placed to open wild lands to oil, timber, and mining interests.

The "Freeze to Freeze" Solution: US Peace Delegation Calls for Immediate Response To North Korea's Offer to Freeze Its Nuclear Program (Task Force to Stop THAAD in Korean and Militarism in Asia and the Pacific)
A delegation composed of Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK, Reece Chenault of US Labor Against the War, Will Griffin of Veterans for Peace, and Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has returned from the Korean Peninsula with a call for the US and South Korea to refrain from hosting provocative "military exercises" and THAAD missile-defense escalations. Instead, the US should respond to North Korea's invitation to cease its nuclear program in return for an end to US military provocations and sanctions.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Pentagon's THAAD Base in South Korea (Task Force to Stop THAAD in Korean and Militarism in Asia and the Pacific)
As residents of South Korea, the United States and the world, we are united in our fervent desire for a peaceful, just resolution of the extremely dangerous conflict on the Korean peninsula. We urge President Trump and President Moon to begin diplomatic dialogue with North Korea by freezing the upcoming US/South Korean military exercises in exchange for a freeze of North Korea's nuclear and missile testing.

Afghanistan: More of the Same but Wrapped in Secrecy (Veterans for Peace)
Commentary: Donald Trump's recent speech on Afghanistan only promises more of the same disastrous policies that we have seen for 16 years -- except Trump wants to completely abandon pursuit of a political solution and shroud the war in a cloak of secrecy. Trump only knows how to divide and fear-monger. Now he is using fear of people in another country to wage endless war. Veterans For Peace calls for US troops to leave Afghanistan followed by a robust effort to pursue a political solution to end the war.

73 Years Ago, Vice President Henry A. Wallace Warned of the Rise of American Fascism (Henry Scott Wallace / Peace in Our Times / Veterans for Peace & Henry A. Wallace / The New York Times)
The perfect type of fascist throughout recent centuries has been [a leader] who developed such hatred for other races and such allegiance to a military clique as to make him willing at all times to engage in any degree of deceit and violence necessary to place his culture and race astride the world. In every big nation of the world are at least a few people who have the fascist temperament. An American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings.

ACTION ALERT: Houston Hurricane -- A Harbinger of Climate Change (Jim Hightower / Our Revolution)
Devastating floods along the Gulf Coast and across the world this week are not isolated incidents -- they are our new climate reality. We need members of Congress to take radical steps to combat the worst effects of climate change now before things get even worse. Senators Bernie Sanders and Jeff Merkley, and Representatives Tulsi Gabbard, Pramila Jayapaul, Raul Grijalva and many others have introduced legislation to transition our energy economy off of dangerous fossil fuels to renewable energy.

ACTION ALERT: Help Hurricane Recovery Efforts; Condemn Trump's Denial of Climate Change (Reggie James / Sierra Club & Amanda Terkel / The Huffington Post & Petition / The Daily Kos)
Commentary: Our hearts are with those in Texas and Louisiana whose lives were affected by this horrific disaster. Meanwhile, for Donald Trump, Hurricane Harvey proved a golden opportunity to promote himself. Nearly every chance he gets, Trump brags about the size of his hurricane. He has repeatedly worn his own campaign merchandise (which is on sale at his website) to Hurricane Harvey events. Trump made no mention of the dead, suffering or displaced nor did he express any sympathy for them.

US Launches Missile Intercept Test; Calls for Bombing in the Waters Off Hawaii (Missile Defense Agency News & William Cole / Honolulu Star-Advertiser & Jessica Else / The Garden Island)
The Missile Defense Agency and US Navy sailors aboard the USS John Paul Jones successfully conducted a missile defense flight test during a test off the coast of Hawaii. The US missile successfully intercept a medium-range ballistic missile using SM-6 guided missile. Meanwhile, the National Marine Fisheries Service has approved a five-year USAF plan for bombing practice at sea off Kauai. The munitions used are expected to increase impacts on whales and dolphins in the local waters.

Fool's Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan (Book Review by Justin Raimondo / AntiWar.com)
After 16 years of writing about it, I thought I knew a lot about the war in Afghanistan, but Scott Horton's new book, "Fool's Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan," revealed how much I didn't know. Did you know that the Taliban tried desperately to surrender, offering to turn over Osama bin Laden to the country of Washington's choice -- but that George W. Bush would have none of it? In July 2001, the Taliban warned the White House that an attack on US soil was coming. The Bush team ignored the warning.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Pentagon's THAAD Base in South Korea
As residents of South Korea, the United States and the world, we are united in our fervent desire for a peaceful, just resolution of the extremely dangerous conflict on the Korean peninsula. We urge President Trump and President Moon to begin diplomatic dialogue with North Korea by freezing the upcoming US/South Korean military exercises in exchange for a freeze of North Korea's nuclear and missile testing.

2017 NoWar Conference Will Feature Powerful Film on What War Does to the Earth (David Swanson / Talk Nation Radio & Scarred Lands Film.com)
Alice and Lincoln Day have produced an amazing film about the impact of war on the natural environment, which fits perfectly with World Beyond War's upcoming conference on that theme. "Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives" was produced between 2006 and 2007 in Australia, California, Vermont, Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia. The film will be screened at the 2017 No War Conference set for September 22-25 at the American University in Washington DC. (See event details below.)

US Airstrikes Are Wiping Out Entire Families in Yemen and Syria: UN Asks for War Crimes Investigation (Darius Shahtahmasebi / The AntiMedia & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Bethan McKernan / The Independent & United Nations Human Rights Council)
In June, UN war crimes investigators warned that US attacks in Raqqa killed 300 civilians in a seven-day period. The terror in Syria is not taking place in isolation. The US is delivering this disturbing criminality all over the world. In Yemen, the Saudi-led coalition -- which is armed, trained, and protected by the US and Britain -- is doing the exact same thing. Almost 60 rights groups recently have demanded the UN investigate human rights abuses and possible war crimes in war-torn country.

ACTION ALERT: Endorse the Petition For Diplomatic Solution to US-Korea Clash (Appeal of Abolition 2000 )
The escalating tensions and threat of military conflict over North Korea's nuclear and missile capabilities make a diplomatic solution of vital importance and the highest priority. The increasing risk of war -- and possibly even the use of nuclear weapons by miscalculation, accident, or intent -- is frightening. An international campaign is insisting that US legislators must call on President Trump to step back from the nuclear brink following his threats to unleash 'fire and fury' on North Korea.

ACTION ALERT: Help Move Your Government To Ratify the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty (Abolition 2000)
Democracy broke out at the UN this summer when 122 nations working closely with Civil Society adopted a treaty to ban nuclear weapons on July 7, 2017 after three weeks of negotiations; mandated by the UN General Assembly. For the first time in history; nuclear weapons will be ruled unlawful and prohibited; just as the world has done for other weapons of mass destruction such as biological and chemical weapons.

Can the US and North Korea Move From Threats to Negotiations? (Gareth Porter / AntiWar.com & Julian Borger / The Guardian)
The Trump administration and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have each made a series of moves that have appeared to take them ever closer to war. The US and the South Korean military war plan for the Korean Peninsula, OPLAN 5015, calls for surgical strikes on North Korea's nuclear and missiles sites and command-and-control facilities, as well as "decapitation" raids by Special Forces to take out senior North Korean leaders. But a closer review reveals that both sides are maneuvering for extended negotiations on a new framework for peace on the Korean peninsula. The Trump administration is well aware that it has no real military option against the North.

Arms Bazaar: Needs Wars, Eats Lives (Paul Rogers / Open Democracy)
Commentary: It seems to be business as usual in the worldwide "war on terror". The United States military is currently embroiled in many hotspots where violence, fear, and the ever-present reality or threat of high explosive are the order of the day. Those conditions mean, for people at the sharp end, multiple distress. But for suppliers of weapons and military equipment, the good times -- which never really went away -- are back.

Jeff Sessions Reveals Deadly Misunderstanding (Alan Pyke / ThinkProgress)
Attorney General Jeff Sessions struck a new blow in his war against police reform by backing Donald Trump's plan to increase local cops' access to military hardware designed for war zones. The long-predicted move will put grenade launchers and bayonets back on small-town police department shopping lists. In a speech riddled with falsehoods, Sessions' explanation of the thinking behind Trump's move was a bizarre and unsubstantiated claim that police reform is somehow harmful to public safety.

NRA's Video Message to 'Elites': 'We're Coming for You' (Lisa Marie Pane / Associated Press)
Emboldened by the Trump White House, the NRA has begun a campaign against laws and liberal forces bent on undoing the progress it's made -- and the political powerhouse is resorting to language that some believe could incite violence. the NRA has put out a series of videos that announce a "shot across the bow," and say the gun-rights group is "coming for you" and that "elites . . . threaten our very survival," terms that suggest opponents are enemy combatants.

Trump Orders Police to Confront American People with Bayonets, Grenade Launchers, Tanks (Ryan J. Reilly / The Huffington Post)
Donald Trump has announced plans to sign an executive order repealing limits placed militarizing America's domestic police forces. Barack Obama installed these limits in 2015 in response to the August 2014 unrest in Ferguson, Mo., where St. Louis County Police officers atop armored vehicles pointed sniper rifles at peaceful demonstrators in broad daylight. A Justice Department report found that these highly militarized police actions "inflamed tensions" and violated constitutional rights.

How Climate Change Likely Heightened Hurricane Harvey's Fury (Craig Welch / The National Geographic & Michael E Mann / The Guardian)
While scientists maintain that no single weather event can be solely attributed to climate change, two centuries of fossil-fuel burning has altered temperatures enough to almost certainly make hurricanes worse. And there is another way that oil exploitation has led to increased coastal flooding. Some sea level rise attributed to climate change actually is due to coastal subsidence caused by activities such as oil drilling, which has cause some coastal lands to sink more than 6 inches over the past few decades.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress to End the War in Afghanistan And Stop Supplying the Taliban with US Military Equipment (ActionNetwork & The Daily Kos & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Shawn Snow / The Army Times)
On August 21, Donald Trump announced that he would expand military engagement in the Pentagon's intractable, unwinnable 16-year Afghan war. In addition to risking more lives, Trump's decision also means inadvertently arming the Taliban. Over the years, armored vehicles, night vision devices, M-4s, laser illuminators and scoped optics have all found their way into Taliban hands. And at times the US has been forced to combat its own armored vehicles and weapons.

Billionaire Koch Brothers Bankrolling Plans to Rewrite the US Constitution (The Democratic Legislative Committee & The International Business Times)
According to a new report, right-wing groups funded by the Koch brothers, a pair of billionaire oil barons, are pushing legislation calling for a constitutional convention in more than 30 states. If the Kochs' GOP allies gain control of just two more state legislatures, they'll win the power to unilaterally call a convention to re-write our constitution -- without a single Democratic vote.

Trump Administration Declares War on Bears -- Cubs Included (Charles P. Pierce / Esquire Magazine)
It appears that the US Department of the Interior has decided to turn the National Parks into free-fire zones, the equivalent of taxpayer-funded game ranches similar to the one at which Dick Cheney once ventilated his friend's face. Under a new Trump administration bill, the National Park Service would be prevented from regulating the hunting of bears and wolves in Alaska wildlife preserves, including the practice of killing bear cubs in their dens.

Toxic Armories: National Guard Inaction Exposes Communities to Lead Poisoning (Rob Davis / The Oregonian)
An award-winning four-part series reveals the disturbing extent of neighborhood lead pollution from National Guard sites across the US. An 18-month investigation has revealed that hundreds of armories were routinely contaminated by dangerous amounts of lead dust. In two Oregon armories, parents unwittingly let infants play on neurotoxin blanketed floors with lead levels 10 times higher than the federal safety standard. The Pentagon knew about the danger for nearly two decades but failed to address the problem.

Domestic Terrorists vs Islamic Terrorists: An Accounting (David Neiwert / Reveal and The Investigative Fund)
An early high-water mark of Donald Trump's presidency came Feb. 28, with his first address to Congress. Midway through the speech, the new president turned to national security: "We are also taking strong measures to protect our nation from" -- and here he paused for emphasis -- "radical Islamic terrorism." But the inconvenient fact is that episodes of far-right violent extremism are far more common inside the US. From January 2008 to the end of 2016, there were nearly twice as many incidents of rightwing violence.

Hurricane Harvey Triggers Chemical Clouds over Houston: Climate Deniers Close Ranks (The New Republic & Ellie Shechet / The Slot)
There are huge public health risks from pollution releases during any hurricane, but the risk is particularly high with Harvey. The plants in the area hit directly by the storm "are responsible for roughly 25 percent of the United States' petroleum refining, more than 44 percent of its ethylene production, 40 percent of its specialty chemical feed stock and more than half of its jet fuel."

The Uninhabitable Earth: Climate Change Could Trigger Famine and Economic Collapse Sooner Than You Think (David Wallace-Wells / New York Magazine)
Commentary: If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible, even within the lifetime of a teenager today. It is, I promise, worse than you think. Absent a significant adjustment to how billions of humans conduct their lives, parts of the Earth will likely become close to uninhabitable, and other parts horrifically inhospitable, as soon as the end of this century.

When Climate Change Starts Wars (John Wendle / Nautilus Magazine)
The American Meteorological Society has reported that the warming rate in Central Asia has been twice the average global warming rate over the same period, and larger than any previous decade. As the region heats up, it faces increasing political instability and violence. Violent ethnic disputes over natural resources make armed conflict as a result of climate change more likely in a region that has seen hundreds killed in two pogroms over the past 27 years, in part fueled by fights over territory and water.

Uninhabitable Planet: Humanity Is Getting Very Close to Extinction (Nathan Curry / VICE )
Commentary: With "Doomsday Preppers" the highest-rated show on the National Geographic Channel, the general public seems to be getting ready for societal collapse. Recent climate data suggest we may have already tripped several irrevocable, positive feedback loops -- as temperatures soar, the permafrost is melting, arctic ice is falling into the sea. The link between climate change and human extinction is basically this: the planet becomes uninhabitable for humans if the average temperature goes up by 4° to 6°C.

7 Reasons We Face a Global Water Crisis (Leah Schleifer / World Resources Institute & EcoWatch)
Droughts in Somalia. Water rationing in Rome. Flooding in Jakarta. It doesn't take a hydrologist to realize that there is a growing global water crisis. In August, water experts, industry innovators and researchers gathered in Stockholm to address our most pressing water issues. Climate change is warming the planet, making the planet's hottest regions even more scorching as clouds are driven from the equator and toward the poles At the same time, 21 million people worldwide are at risk of historic, and cataclysmic flooding.

New Zealanders Demand Inquiry into Afghan Civilian Deaths During 2010 SAS Raid (TVNZ & Stuff & Radio New Zealand)
Protesters from New Zealand's Hit & Run Campaign have held a commemoration at the Wellington Cenotaph, demanding an independent inquiry into claims that Afghan villagers were killed or injured in the August 2010 raids led by the New Zealand SAS.

Warming Arctic Spurs Battles for Riches, Shipping Routes (Frank Jordan / Associated Press)
As climate change pushes the cold and ice a little farther north each year, it is spurring talk of a gold rush for the Arctic's abundant natural resources, prized shipping routes and business opportunities in tourism and fishing. The Arctic, including the fabled Northwest Passage between the Atlantic and the Pacific, is among the last regions on earth to remain largely unexplored. In April, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to reverse Obama-era restrictions on oil drilling.

Weapons Money Intended For Economic Development Being Secretly Diverted to Lobbying (Alex Emmons / The Intercept)
According to emails obtained by The Intercept, the United Arab Emirates has created a "slush fund" using money meant for domestic economic development projects and funneled it to a high-profile think tank in the US. When a country buys weapons from a firm overseas, it pumps a large amount of money out of its economy, instead of investing in its own defense industry or in other domestic projects. So to make large weapons deals more attractive, arms companies offer programs to "offset" that effect.

US Ignores UN Pleas, Continues Bombing Raqqa; US Troops Accused of Executing Children in Somalia (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Al Jazeera)
US and Somali troops attacked a farming village early Friday morning, capturing a group of ten civilians -- including three children -- and summarily executed them one at a time. US African Command confirmed that US troops were involved in the assault. Meanwhile, the soaring civilian death toll form US airstrikes against the ISIS capital city of Raqqa has gotten so bad that the US issued a formal appeal to Washington to halt the attacks and allow civilians to flee. The Trump administration shruged off the request.

US Ignores UN Pleas, Continues Bombing Raqqa; US Troops Accused of Executing Children in Somalia Raid (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Al Jazeera)
US and Somali troops attacked a farming village early Friday morning, capturing a group of ten civilians -- including three children -- and summarily executed them one at a time. US African Command confirmed that US troops were involved in the assault. Meanwhile, the soaring civilian death toll form US airstrikes against the ISIS capital city of Raqqa has gotten so bad that the US issued a formal appeal to Washington to halt the attacks and allow civilians to flee. The Trump administration shruged off the request.

UN Panel Condemns Trump's Response to Racism (Marina Fang / The Huffington Post & UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination)
The United Nations' Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has released an unusually strong warning criticizing "the failure of the highest political level of the United States of America to unequivocally reject" racism.

US Elections Ranked Worst in World (Pippa Norris / FairVote)
As one of the oldest democracies, Americans often like to think that the US provides an influential role model for how elections should be run in other countries. At the same time, a long series of vulnerabilities in the conduct of US elections was documented by the 2014 report of the bipartisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration. In addition, there is systematic evidence that US elections are so flawed that the US now rates poorly compared with other long-standing democracies worldwide.

Mercenaries"R"Us: Blackwater's Eric Prince Pushes to Privatize US Wars (Derek Royden / Nation of Change)
The heir to a billion dollar auto parts empire, Blackwater's Eric Prince has argued that the US "can 'restructure' the war, similar to bankruptcy reorganization. By aligning US efforts under a presidential envoy" who would head a mercenary army to attain a "self-supporting Afghanistan." Turning over operations to a for-profit army, Prince argues, could cut 80% of the current billions the Pentagon has been spending annually to win a war that has dragged on for more thant16 unwindable years.

Trump's Attorney Attempts to Bankrupt Greenpeace with $300 Million Lawsuit over Pipeline (Steve Horn / The DeSmog Blog)
The owners of the Dakota Access pipeline have hired Marc Kasowitz, Donald Trump's personal attorney, to file a $300 million Racketeering lawsuit against Greenpeace and other environmental groups to punish them for their active opposition to the long-contested North Dakota-to-Illinois oil-transfer project. Kasowitz' complaint charges that the actions of "putative not-for-profits and rogue eco-terrorist groups" have caused the company to lose "billions of dollars" in potential revenue.

The Conflict in Afghanistan Is Trump's War Now (Andrew J. Bacevich / Los Angeles Times & Daniel Larison / The American Conservative & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Steven Shepard / Politico.com)
The main effect of the ongoing war on terrorism has been to exacerbate the problem that it purports to solve. Trump has defined the mission as "killing terrorists" (which guarantees that more terrorists will be created and ensures the mission will never end). There have been higher numbers of civilian casualties in Iraq and Syria since Trump took office, and his statement that he "lifted restrictions the previous administration placed on our warfighters" promises that the same will happen in Afghanistan.

US Airstrikes Kill More that 100 Civilians in Syria; Women, Children Die (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Samuel Osborne / The Independent & Suleiman Al-Khalidi / Reuters)
US-led coalition air strikes killed at least 42 civilians after targeting densely-populated neighborhoods in the city of Raqqa. The victims included 19 children and 12 women. More than 170 civilians have been killed by US-led strikes on Islamic State in Raqqa city in the past week. The United Nations estimates there are up to 25,000 civilians trapped inside the city, with food and fuel supplies running short.

US-backed Saudis Kill 60 in Hotel Bombing; UN Official Slams Saudis for Blocking Aid to Yemen (Bethan McKernan / The Independent & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)
Riyadh has been repeatedly criticised for causing unnecessary loss of life in its two-and-half-year air campaign to oust Shia rebels from the Yemeni capital of Sanaa. In the latest outrage, Saudi-led coalition air strikes near the Yemeni capital destroyed a hotel, killing an estimated 60 people and injured 13. Air strikes have also been known to hit hospitals and other vital civilian infrastructure. The bombing of a funeral gathering mistaken for a military target killed 140 people in October last year.

Trump's Afghanistan 'Unstrategy': Continue to Fight and Call It 'Victory' (Spencer Ackerman / The Daily Beast)
Commentary: "Donald Trump took ownership of the Afghanistan war with an incoherent strategy that combined maximal promises with uncertain commitments of blood and treasure to achieve them. The president announced he's going to dispatch more troops to die in Afghanistan -- without a coherent plan for what those young men and women might give their lives for. All Trump is doing is ordering US troops -- and Afghan civilians -- to their deaths for the latest installment of an open-ended mission."

An inconvenient Truth: The Taliban Tried to Surrender, the US Said No. (Ryan Grim / Action Network & Jeremy Scahill / The Intercept)
Shortly after the US invaded Afghanistan, the Taliban tried to surrender. But the US said "No way." Only full annihilation was enough for the Bush administration. They wanted more terrorists in body bags. The problem was that the Taliban had stopped fighting (having either fled to Pakistan or put down their weapons and gone back to civilian life) while Al Qaeda was down to a handful of members. So Afghans that the US worked with solved the problem by fabricating bad guys; labelling innocent people as "Taliban."

The Afghan War Lies Trump Will Tell (The White House & Matt Hoh / Common Dreams)
Commentary: Speaking of the decision to escalate the failed strategies of the 16-year war in Afghanistan, the White House stated: "President Trump's top priority remains . . . protecting the American people." But critics note that "there has never been progress by the US military in Afghanistan." The only "winners" have been the US military contractors, Afghan drug barons, and US allies in the Afghan government, militias and security forces. Most Afghans have only known suffering and destruction.

Trump's Wink and Nod toward White Supremacists Ensures There Will Be More Blood (Bill Berkowitz for Buzzflash at Truthout)
May 10, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI issued a Joint Intelligence Bulletin that surveyed white extremist violence between the years 2000 to 2016. The report declared that "lone actors and small cells within the white supremacist extremist (WSE) movement likely will continue to pose a threat of lethal violence over the next year." What the report did not anticipate were "United the Right" rallies like the one in Charlottesville, Virginia, which resulted in the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer.

Climate Migrants to Soar but Wind and Solar Could Save Lives and Money (Baher Kamal / Nation of Change & Marlee Kokotovic / Nation of Change)
Imagine a world with as many as one billion people facing harsh climate change impacts resulting in devastating droughts and/or floods, extreme weather, destruction of natural resources, in particular lands, soils and water, and the consequence of severe livelihoods conditions, famine and starvation. The proven speed with which the process of climate change has been taking place, might lead to such a scenario by 2050. If so, 1 in 9 human beings would be on the move by then. Wind and solar could save lives.

North Korea Warns Provocative US Military Exercise Risks Nuclear War (Oren Dorell / USA TODAY & Andrew Cockburn / TruthDig)
North Korea warned Sunday that the joint US-South Korean military exercises set to start Monday will be "adding fuel to the fire" of already heightened tensions with the United States and its allies. An editorial in North Korea's Rodong Sinmun newspaper described the annual military drill as "reckless behavior driving the situation into the uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war" because "no one can guarantee that the exercise won't evolve into actual fighting."

ACTION ALERT: Trump Rejects National Climate Report, Silences 50 Climate Experts (The Conversation / EcoWatch.org & CREDO Action)
Commentary & Analysis: A scientific report done every four years has been thrust into the spotlight because its findings directly contradict statements from the president and various cabinet officials. If the Trump administration chooses to reject the pending national Climate Science Special Report, it would be more damaging than pulling the US out of the Paris agreement. Censoring experts for doing their jobs is an abuse of authority.

Trump's EPA Budget Cuts Slow Uranium Cleanup in Navajo Nation (Autumn Spanne / Reveal News (The Center for Investigative Journalism))
More than 500 abandoned Cold War uranium mines remain near the Navajo reservation, now home to about 175,000 people. Thousands of these families unwittingly used water from contaminated wells and springs to drink, bathe, hydrate their livestock and irrigate their gardens. Now, EPA head Scott Pruitt has proposed a 30 percent reduction in grants to fund tribes' environmental protection and a 30 percent cut to the Superfund program that funds cleanups of the nation's most toxic sites.

Dick Gregory, 'Presente': Comedian, Civil Rights Activist Dies (Daisy Nguyen / Associated Press)
Dick Gregory, the comedian and activist and who broke racial barriers in the 1960s and used his humor to spread messages of social justice and nutritional health, has died. Gregory rose from an impoverished childhood in St. Louis to win a college track scholarship and become a celebrated satirist who deftly commented upon racial divisions at the dawn of the civil rights movement. He was 84.

War on the Biosphere: Trump Disbands Climate Committee (Chas Danner / New York Magazine & The Independent)
In yet another move that indicates the White House does not take the threat of climate change seriously, the Trump administration has disbanded a federal advisory panel that worked to translate the government's climate data into insight for policymakers and the private sector. The 15-member Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment was tasked with helping public and private-sector officials integrate the findings of the National Climate Assessment into their long-term planning.

Nations Must Reject Washington's Venezuela Invasion Plans at UN Session (Earl Bousquet / teleSURtv)
Venezuela is most likely headed for the UN Security Council's agenda as the White House seeks to ratchet-up global action. Having failed to excite or influence Latin American and Caribbean neighbors to gang-up collectively against Caracas, Washington is now placing its bets on mobilizing international action through the United Nations ahead of very possibly marching US troops in urgent fury into Venezuela.

War May Be the Next Big Venture on Trump's Agenda (Adria Vasil Interviews Naomi Klein / Now Toronto)
Toronto-based activist and journalist Naomi Klein takes on corporate media's (and her own) Donald Trump addiction, the repercussions of Trudeau's arms build-up, and how NDP leadership contenders are missing a Bernie Sanders-style opportunity. Meanwhile, corporate CEOs, billionaires and bankers busily are quietly using the cover of endless crises in American politics to launch a coup of their own against the welfare state.

The Connection Between US Training and Military Coups (Jesse Dillon Savage and Jonathan Caverley / War on the Rocks)
Favoring the military over alternative tools of US foreign policy remains one of the few consistencies within the current administration. Internal documents have proposed folding USAID into the State Department and "zeroing" out development assistance programs that do not advance specific US political or strategic objectives. A third of all US foreign aid funds, $17 billion, goes towards military aid and security assistance, making it on its own the fourth-largest foreign aid budget in the world.

North Korea Calls Off Missile Launch: US Prepares to Launch "Military Exercise" Aimed at the North (AntiWar.com & Reuters & USA Today)
The North Korean government has decided to exercise restraint with a recent announcement that it won't test-fire ballistic missiles near Guam at this time. Instead, a North Korean statement said Kim Jong Un would observe what it called 'foolish and stupid conduct' of the US before deciding whether to order the missiles fired. In response, the US plans to deploy 20,000 troops in a provocative US/South Korean military exercise aimed at toppling the North Korean regime.

China, Russia Offer 'Freeze for Freeze' Peace Plan for Korea: US Responds with Massive Military Exercise (The Associated Press & Stuart Leavenworth / The Charelotte Observer)
America's annual joint military exercises with South Korea always frustrate North Korea. Following Donald Trump's ominous "fire and fury" threat, the war games --set to begin Monday -- hold more potential to provoke than ever. Meanwhile, Steve Bannon told the American Prospect that Washington might consider a "freeze-for-freeze" deal in which North Korea suspends its nuclear buildup with verifiable inspections and, in exchange, the US removes its troops from the peninsula.

Is Trump Fit? Congresswomen Calls for Medical/Mental Examination (Casey Tolan / Bay Area News Group & Bill Curry / Salon & )
Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) has introduced a congressional resolution urging President Donald Trump to undergo a medical and psychiatric examination to determine if he should be removed from office. Over time, says one observer, Trump's mental health has seemed to decline as "he threw more and bigger public tantrums; lied more often and less artfully." Trump doesn't like being forced to denounce racism for the very simple reason that he himself is, and always has been, a racist.

Welcome to the Post-American World (Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch )
Commentary: If you want a personal gauge of American decline, consider this: barely half a year into office, Donald J. Trump is already threatening to launch a nuclear war and exploring whether he has the power not just to pardon aides, friends, and family, but himself in case of future convictions. With the previous decade and a half in mind, here's a question for you: Pardon me, but even if he pardons himself, who's going to pardon the rest of us?

ACTION ALERT: Don't Pay for War! Support H. R. 1947 (The Acton Network and World Beyond War)
People who oppose war, regardless of their religion or lack thereof, must have the right to direct their tax dollars to peaceful initiatives and not to war or preparations for war. We ask you to ensure that tax laws respect this right of conscientious objection. H.R. 1947, the "Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Act of 2017," would legalize conscientious tax refusal. If a citizen believes "Thou Shalt Not Kill," he or she should be should be able to argue "Thou Shalt Not Pay" for war and preparations for war.

Authors Confront the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza (Rose Aguilar and Malhe Razazan / Your Call Radio & the Kirkus Review)
June 2017 marked the 50th anniversary of the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. After visiting the occupied territories, renowned novelists and essayists Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman marked the anniversary by inviting international writers to bear witness to the human cost the Israeli occupation. They appeared on KALX's Your Call radio to talk about their new book, Kingdom of Olives and Ash: Writers Confront the Occupation.

Peace Volunteers Pave Way for Palestinian Homecoming After 20-year Displacement (Jim Haber / Waging Peace)
A new project in the rural hills of the West Bank, called Sumud: Freedom Camp, is the latest sign of a resurgence of strategic, nonviolent organizing in Palestine that is creating strong bonds between Palestinians and Jewish activists from Israel and around the world. I traveled to Palestine in May with a delegation organized by the Center for Jewish Nonviolence to help a unique coalition of Palestinians, Israelis, Jews and international justice seekers standing in solidarity with the village of Sarura.

No More Separation of Church and State: White House Announces Bible Study Group (Bill Berkowitz / Buzzflash at TruthOut & Moises Velasquez-Manoff / The New York Times)
What could be more Trump-esque than for Pastor Ralph Drollinger, a controversial, homophobic, climate change denying, anti-Catholic pastor, who once claimed that mothers do not belong in state office, to lead a White House Bible Study Group among executive cabinet members -- for the first time in at least 100 years. Are there effective strategies for dealing with the resurgent far-right? A small town in Germany has found a way to deal with neo-Nazis -- with "humorous subversion."

UN Report: Saudis Killed 502 Children in Yemen in Past Year (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Khalid Alokozay and Fahim Abedaug / The New York Times)
A Saudi-led military coalition conducting airstrikes in Yemen committed "grave violations" of human rights against children last year, killing 502, injuring 838, according to a draft report by the UN Secretary General António Guterres. "The killing and maiming of children remained the most prevalent violation" of children's rights in Yemen, according to the 41-page draft report obtained by Foreign Policy.

South Korea's President Moon Rules Out War on Korean Peninsula (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Al Jazeera & Edith M. Lederer /Associated Press)
Marking his 100th day in office, South Korea's President Moon Jae-in appears to be increasingly assertive, flat out ruling out any war on the Korean Peninsula in comments today, and reiterating that dialogue must resume at some point. Moon insists that he has absolute right to veto any US military action against North Korea -- and intends to do so. For its part, North Korea warned that it will never put its nuclear weapons program on the negotiating table as long as the US keeps up its "hostile policy and nuclear threat."

US Forces to Stay in Syria for 'Decades' (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & John Davison / Reuters)
Pentagon officials have been pretty clear about their intention of keeping troops in Iraq more or less forever. The plans for Syria, however, have been far less public, mostly owing to the fact that US troops are there without the approval of the Syrian government.

US Drone Strikes in the Philippines Would Be a Massive Mistake (A. Trevor Thrall and Erik Goepner / The Cato Institute & The Washington Post )
The United States is on the verge of carrying out military operations in yet another country as part of the war on terrorism. The Philippines -- specifically the southern island of Mindanao -- may soon become the latest target of the world's busiest and most powerful military. But conducting drone strikes in the Philippines would be a serious mistake because it would further erode America's moral credibility by putting US firepower in the service of Rodrigo Duterte's thuggish regime.

A Memo to Donald Trump on the Nuclear Threat (Elliott Negin / Catalyst Magazine, Union of Concerned Scientists)
Comments by the Trump administration seem to be encouraging a new arms race. We have a president who has made some deeply disturbing comments about nuclear weapons. During last year's presidential campaign, candidate Donald Trump repeatedly said it was important to be "unpredictable" about whether the United States would use nuclear weapons. As a review of US nuclear weapons policy gets under way, UCS recommends several strategies to make us safer.

Former President Jimmy Carter Releases a Statement on North Korea (Jimmy Carter / Fox 5)
Historical analysis: "In June 1994, I met with Kim Il Sung in a time of crisis, when he agreed to put all their nuclear programs under strict supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency and to seek mutual agreement with the United States on a permanent peace treaty, to have summit talks with the president of South Korea, to expedite the recovery of the remains of American service personnel buried in his country, and to take other steps to ease tension on the peninsula."

Who Will Put an End to Donald Trump's Warmongering? (John Cassidy / The New Yorker)
In this mad Presidency, there have been many mad days, but Friday may have been the maddest yet. It began with Donald Trump Tweeting war threat. "Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely." When a reporter asked for a comment to reassure Americans on edge after all the threatening talk, he replied: "Nobody loves a peaceful solution better than President Trump," referring to himself in the third person. He appeared to be thoroughly enjoying himself.

Trump's War on Alaska's Bears Triggers Increase in Orphaned Cubs (Filipa Ioannou / San Francisco Chronicle)
Last year, under President Obama, the US Fish and Wildlife Service put new restrictions on hunting in Alaska's 16 wildlife refuges -- which span more than 76 million acres -- but they were nullified in April by the Trump administration at the urging of the National Rifle Association and other groups. The new rules allow for practices like shooting bears from helicopters and planes. As a result, there has been a disturbing increase in the number of emaciated, orphaned bear cubs.

How War Pollutes the Potomac River (David Swanson and Pat Elder / World Beyond War)
The Pentagon's impact on the river on whose bank it sits is not limited to the impact of global warming and rising oceans (fueled by the military's massive oil consumption). The Pentagon also directly poisons the Potomac River in more ways than almost anyone would imagine. A cruise down the Potomac from its source in the mountains of West Virginia to its mouth at the Chesapeake Bay encompasses six Superfund sites created by the Pentagon's reckless disregard for the Potomac's fragile watershed.

Trump Slashes Science Budgets; EPA Vet Resigns in Dismay (Marla Cone / The Reveal & EcoWatch and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility)
The Trump administration has proposed a series of drastic cuts to science research at federal agencies across the US, with the Environmental Protection Agency slated to bear the brunt. A recent budget proposal aims to eliminate more than $30.6 billion (nearly 21 percent) of research and development funding in fiscal year 2018. Elizabeth Sutherland, a 30-year EPA senior official, has resigned, calling Trump's EPA appointee Scott Pruitt "the leading candidate for worst boss in the world."

A National Calamity in the Making: Provoking a Civil War Could Be Trump's Plan for Seizing Power (Robert Reich / Robert Reich's Blog & Zach D. Roberts / Nation of Change)
The terrorist attack on peaceful counter protesters in Charlottesville was not an isolated incident. The violence is a product of white supremacists and homegrown terrorists. While hateful violence is hardly new to America, never before has a president licensed it as a political strategy. Trump and his consigliere Steve Bannon have been quietly encouraging a civil war between Trump's base of support -- mostly white and worried -- and everyone who's not.

Behind the Battle for a Statue: Robert E. Lee's Conflicted Legacy (Gar Smith / Environmentalists Against War & Harvey Wasserman / Solartopia)
What if these words by Robert E. Lee were added to the monument that bears his name in Charlottesville's Emancipation Park? "So far from engaging in a war to perpetuate slavery, I am rejoiced that Slavery is abolished. I believe it will be greatly for the interest of the South. So fully am I satisfied of this that I would have cheerfully lost all that I have lost by the war, and have suffered all that I have suffered to have this object attained." Still, while Lee could be gracious and chivalrous, his core was medieval.

Trump's War on AlaskaBears Triggers Increase in Orphaned Cubs

Fake News: Korea Can't Strike US Despite Corporate Media's Claims (Paul Gottinger / Reader Supported News)
North Korea's missile tests on July 3 and July 28 were described as successful tests of an intercontinental ballistic missile that put much of the US in range of a strike. Hawkish "experts" immediately claimed the missile tests proved Pyongyang can now strike the US. The corporate media's hyping of the "threat" began pushing the country toward a catastrophic war as Americans were warned how to "prepare" for a nuclear strike -- by covering their heads during the blast and taking showers afterwards! But it was all fake news.

ACTION ALERT: A Peace Monument for Charlottesville and Nine Truths (David Swanson / World Beyond War)
Charlottesville has three Confederate war monuments, one WW I monument and one Vietnam War monument. RootsAction.org, World Beyond War, Pax Christi Charlottesville, Amnesty International Charlottesville, and the Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice are proposing creation of a monument to peace. A peace pole is one easy -- and widely recognized -- way to mark a public interest in nonviolence. Note: Armed attacks with fists and clubs are not covered by the First Amendment.

ACTION ALERT: Charlottesville: Actions and Reactions (NationAction & Collier Meyerson / The Nation & Peter Rothberg / The Nation)
This weekend was heartbreaking. White nationalists descended on the community of Charlottesville, Virginia, with a message of hatred, racism, anti-Semitism, and terrorism. Heather Heyer, one of the brave protesters fighting back, was killed and 19 others were injured when a white supremacist plowed his car into a crowd of demonstrators. Join the continuing fight against the hatred on display this weekend and too often throughout our nation's history.

Charlottesville: Responding to Violence with Positive Action (US Senator Jeff Merkley & Tom Perriello / Slate & Josh Levin / Slate)
Senator Merkley: "It is time that every American denounces racism, anti-Semitism, bigotry, and violence. We need to have some hard conversations with our family and friends of all political leanings about why the hateful ideology on display in Charlottesville takes root in America, and how we can do better."

ACTION ALERT: Stand in Solidarity with Charlottesville -- Find an Event Tonight (Barbara Lee / US House of Representatives & Indivisible & Robert Weissman / Public Citizen & Monique Teal / Daily Kos & Will Fischer / VoteVets & Dan Cantor / Working Families Party )
This weekend, hate groups and domestic terrorists of all stripes went to Charlottesville, VA to push their hateful message of white supremacy, fascism, anti-Semitism, and bigotry. Tonight and tomorrow, Indivisible groups, along with our friends at many other organizations will come together in solidarity with our brave friends in Charlottesville who put themselves at risk to fight against white supremacy. Attend an event in your community to show that you're standing with Charlottesville.

Trump's Speech Fails to Condemn Violence of his Alt-Right Supporters (David Boddiger / SplinterNers & Al Jazeera & Sarah Wildman / Vox)
Commentaries: "Whether or not President Trump is a straight-up racist or simply doesn't want to alienate his white supremacist base no longer matters. Because his response to Saturday's domestic terrorist attack that killed at least one person and injured 19 others leaves no doubt about which side he is on." "We are seeing the beginning of white supremacist movement in the US." In Warsaw, Poland, Donald Trump issued a battle cry that resorted to rhetorical conceits typically used by the European and US alt-right.

Confronting White Supremacy and Hate: A Personal Report from Charlottesville (Helena Cobban / Just World Educational)
This weekend, for the third time this year, our home-city of Charlottesville has been the target of a campaign by leaders of the hate-filled "Alt-Rights" and their associates to claim the space of this city as their own. Yesterday, one of their apparent supporters, who had driven here from Ohio, plowed his car into a group of anti-hate protesters very near to the downtown mall that is the heart of our city, killing one woman (32-year-old Heather Heyer) and injuring more than a dozen others.

Is Trump's Ill-considered Threat to Nuke North Korea Just Another Diversion? (Marc Ash / Reader Supported News)
Analysis: Donald Trump's outrageously irresponsible remarks threatening unspecified military action against North Korea belie a far more complex military and geopolitical reality. North Korea may be "isolated" politically and economically, but the Hermit Kingdom sits in a very crowded and strategically sensitive neighborhood -- sandwiched between two superpowers, China and Russia. A nuclear option is so implausible that it seems more likely that the implied threat is merely Trump's latest diversionary tactic.

US Airstrikes Kill More Civilians in Afghanistan (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Khalid Alokozay and Fahim Abedaug / The New York Times)
Afghan officials today confirmed that US airstrikes targeted and killed at least 16 civilians, mostly women and children, in the eastern Nangarhar Province, targeting the civilians as they tried to flee out of an ISIS-held district where heavy fighting has been ongoing.

Thousands Have Died Due to Saudi's Closure of Yemen's Airport (Al Jazeera)
The Norwegian Refugee Council reports at least 10,000 people have died in Yemen as a result of the Saudi-led coalition's closure of Sanaa airport a year ago. The rights group joined 14 other aid organisations that called on warring parties in Yemen to reopen the country's main airport. "Without access to safe, commercial travel, Yemenis are left with no way to access critical medical care. The result is devastating. Thousands of women, men and children who could have been saved lost their lives."

Washington's Long History of Attacking North Korea (Sheldon Richman / The Libertarian Institute)
The North Korean people have seen their share of "fire and fury" at the hands of the US military. Almost 70 years ago, Harry Truman unleashed America's savage vengeance during the Korean War. More napalm was dropped on Korea than on Vietnam and with much more devastating effect. Gen. MacArthur called the US destruction of North Korea's targeted cities and populations "a slaughter such as I have never heard of in the history of mankind."

Trump's Solution to Climate Change: Ban the Term (Bill McKibben / The Guardian)
In a bold new strategy, the US Department of Agriculture -- guardians of the planet's richest farmlands -- has decided to combat the threat of global warming by forbidding its employees from using the words. Under guidance from the USDA's director of soil health, Bianca Moebius-Clune, a list of phrases to be avoided includes "climate change" and "climate change adaptation." Instead, the USDA's staff has been ordered to only use the phrases "weather extremes" and "resilience to weather extremes."

Trump's Speech Fails to Condemn Violence of his Alt-Right Supporters (David Boddiger / SplinterNers & Al Jazeera & Sarah Wildman / Vox)
Commentaries: "Whether or not President Trump is a straight-up racist or simply doesn't want to alienate his white supremacist base no longer matters. Because his response to Saturday's domestic terrorist attack that killed at least one person and injured 19 others leaves no doubt about which side he is on." "We are seeing the beginning of white supremacist movement in the US." In Warsaw, Poland, Donald Trump issued a battle cry that resorted to rhetorical conceits typically used by the European and US alt-right.

Confronting White Supremacy and Hate: A Personal Report from Charlottesville (Helena Cobban / Just World Educational)
This weekend, for the third time this year, our home-city of Charlottesville has been the target of a campaign by leaders of the hate-filled "Alt-Rights" and their associates to claim the space of this city as their own. Yesterday, one of their apparent supporters, who had driven here from Ohio, plowed his car into a group of anti-hate protesters very near to the downtown mall that is the heart of our city, killing one woman (32-year-old Heather Heyer) and injuring more than a dozen others.

ACTION ALERT: Don't Let Trump Start a Nuclear War (Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan / Democracy Now! & Harvey Wasserman / Solartopia)
Donald Trump threatened nuclear war this week, just six months into his presidency. The US nuclear system was already dangerous, irresponsible, insane. It can only get worse with Trump holding his finger on the trigger. Words matter. This is how wars start. Richard Nixon was the last president to seriously threaten the use of nuclear weapons. The only reason he relented, he explained privately, was that he "feared the response of the global anti-war movement."

ACTION ALERT: Stopping the March to War with North Korea (Will Fischer / VoteVets & CREDO Mobile Petition & Emily Tamkin / Foreign Policy)
The threat of military conflict with North Korea is increasing by the day. This morning, President Trump tweeted that "Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. But what's really missing from this conversation is being bold about diplomatic solutions. Donald Trump currently has the power to launch thousands of nuclear weapons at will. H.R. 669, the Restricting the First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act, would stop Trump from starting a nuclear war.

Take the Nukes Away From the Madman in the White House (Scott Galindez / Reader Supported News)
Commentary: I have always argued that we are hypocrites to say other countries can't have nuclear weapons but we can. People have always said we were not crazy enough to use them. (Um . . . Hiroshima and Nagasaki.) Even if you ignore those bombings, there now is a madman in the White House threatening fire and fury. Kim Jong-un may be a nut job (and the world is a more dangerous place with him in power) but the new problem is Donald Trump -- a nut job with a more dangerous military at his disposal.

ACTION ALERT: Call for Global Action Against Military Bases -- 7 October 2017 (NoDalMolin, CODE PINK & Hambastagi)
Determined activists around the world have been resisting occupation, militarism, and foreign military bases on their lands for decades. These struggles have been courageous and persistent. Let’s unite our resistance into one global action for peace and justice. This fall, during the first week of October, we invite your organization to plan an anti- militarism action in your community as part of the first annual global week of actions against military bases.

A Korean War Would Quickly Escalate -- And Could Go Nuclear (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & David Brunnstrom and John Walcott / Reuters & NBC News)
Former US defense officials and experts warn that any new military conflict with North Korea would almost certainly escalate quickly to the use of nuclear weapons, bringing catastrophic casualties not seen since World War Two and an untold economic impact worldwide. Recent supercharged rhetoric between the unpredictable Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have heightened the risk of miscalculation that could make that nightmare a reality, they say.

Can US Attack North Korea and Claim 'Self Defense'? Congress Cannot Stop Trump from Launching a Nuclear First-strike (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Dan Lamothe / The Washington Post)
The Congressional Research Service states the president "does not need the concurrence of either his military advisors or the US Congress to order the launch of nuclear weapons" [and] "neither the military nor Congress can overrule these orders." Under the War Powers Act, the president need not seek congressional approval until 60 days after the start of a war. Attempts to stop a nuclear attack order until Congress declares war is unlikely to pass with Republicans controlling both chambers of Congress.

North Korea Does Not Trust America for a Pretty Good Reason (Doug Bandow / The National Interest)
North Korea obviously wants to be a nuclear power with the ability to deter the United States. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sought to reassure Pyongyang about America's intentions. Unfortunately, however, Kim Jong-un would be a fool to believe any promises made by Washington. Only actions are likely to convince him. The US routinely runs aircraft carriers along North Korea's coast and flies bombers over North Korea's cities. Kim wants to rule an independent nation, not a de facto PRC province.

Trump White House Weighs Unprecedented Plan to Privatize Much of the War in Afghanistan (Jim Michaels / USA TODAY & Justin Raimondo / AntiWar.com)
Team Trump hopes to privatize healthcare, schools, public utilities, and air traffic control -- so why not war? The plan includes 5,500 private contractors and a 90-plane private air force to provide air support in the nearly 16-year-old war in Afghanistan. One of the biggest winners in this war-profiteering plan is Erik Prince, founder of the controversial Blackwater security firm and the brother of Trump's Education Secretary, Betsy Devos.

A-bomb Anniversary in Nagasaki Amid US-North Korea Tension (Mari Yamaguchi / Associated Press)
Amid growing tension between Washington and North Korea, the mayor of Nagasaki said Wednesday that the fear of another nuclear bomb attack is growing at a ceremony marking the 72nd anniversary of the US atomic bombing of his city. Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue urged nuclear states to abandon such weapons and criticized Japan's government for not taking part in the global effort toward a nuclear ban.

Trump Praises His Powerful Missiles, Mattis Threatens Destruction of North Korea's People, Lockheed Investors Rejoice as Profits Soar (Doina Chiacu / Reuters & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)
Continuing months of war rhetoric, Defense Secretary James Mattis today warned North Korea risks a course of action that "would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people." He insisted North Korea needs to immediately "stand down." The US, of course, has constantly threatened their own preemptive strikes against North Korea for years now, and those threats have only grown. Meanwhile, these rumors of war are a big windfall for the Pentagon's No. 1 arms supplier, Lockheed Martin.

Former US Secretary of Defense Cautions Trump: 'There Is A Deal To Be Made With North Korea' (William J. Perry / The Huffington Post)
The North Korean leaders are not crazy, as some people believe. The North Korean leadership understands that if it launches a nuclear attack, its country will be destroyed. North Korea might agree to a nuclear deal in return for economic concessions from South Korea and security assurances from the US. In fact, they already did -- when they agreed to abandon their nuclear missile program during Bill Clinton's administration. Unfortunately, when George W. Bush became president, he ended the discussions.

Former US Officials Explain Why US Should Get Out of Syria (Oriana Pawlyk / Military.com & David Swanson / World Beyond War )
What's at stake for the US being involved in a conflict that grows more complicated by the day? Everything, said former State Department official Matthew Hoh and former CIA analyst John Kiriakou. US military planes and drones kill a lot of people. Airways has identified thousands of civilian deaths from US and allied airstrikes (4,734 to 7,337 in Syria and Iraq). What purpose is served by US planes over Syria?

ACTION ALERT: Trump Threatens North Korea with "Fire and Fury" (MoveOn.org & The New York Times)
On the anniversary of the US atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Donald Trump apparently has threatened a "fire and fury" nuclear attack on North Korea. Trump is making us more unsafe with every unhinged comment, tweet, and threat. His rhetoric threatening North Korea is exacerbating a dangerous situation, putting everyone around the world in grave danger. While a nuclear North Korea is a real concern, the answer must be diplomacy first, not a rush to a potentially devastating nuclear war.

ACTiON ALERT: Tell Trump to Stop Threatening North Korea: Negotiation, Not Detonation (Roots Action & Nuclear Age Peace Foundation & Medea Benjamin / CODE PINK & Sputnik News & teleSUR & Richard Becker / Global Research & John Laurits / JohnLaurits.com & Jason Le Miere / Newsweek)
Donald Trump claims he has no choice but to threaten North Korea with war -- a war that would prove disastrous to the entire world. Legally, when North Korea tests missiles it breaks no laws. The US tests missiles all the time. But when the US threatens war it commits a grave violation of the law as well as risks getting us all killed. North Korea has repeatedly offered to abandon its nuclear weapons program in exchange for a halt to US/South Korea military exercises. Let's chart a different course before it is too late.

13 US Agencies Confirm Burning Fossil Fuels Is Driving Climate Change and Extreme Weather (Michael Biesecker and Seth Borenstein / Associated Press)
Directly contradicting Donald Trump, a draft report produced by 13 federal agencies concludes that the United States is already feeling the negative impacts of climate change, with a stark increase in the frequency of heat waves, heavy rains and other extreme weather over the last four decades.The report calls the long-term evidence that global warming is being driven by human activities "unambiguous . . . . There are no alternative explanations." Plus: Trump names climate denier to Ag Dept. post.

A Global Resolution on Peace (Peace Now.com)
The Global Resolution supports the Culture of Peace that encourages individuals to become agents of peace and non-violence. We, global citizen signatories from 192 Nations, respectfully call upon the United Nations and all countries to create infrastructures in their governments and in civil society to develop and implement policies, programs and practices that promote, establish, and maintain human and environmental security and justice.

On 72nd A-bomb Anniversary, Hiroshima Highlights Japan's Refusal to Join UN Nuclear Bomb Ban (Sophie Jackman / The Japan Times)
Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui marked the 72nd anniversary of its atomic bombing by calling on the central government to support a treaty banning nuclear weapons. This year's ceremony at Peace Memorial Park near ground zero follows last month's adoption -- by 122 UN members -- of the world's first treaty to comprehensively ban nuclear weapons. But Shinzo Abe, Japan's pro-US leader, has joined forces with the world's nuclear weapon states and refused to participate in the UN treaty.

War Crime: US Airstrikes on Residential District Kills at Least 43 Syrian Civilians (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Xinhua News )
New reports out of the ISIS capital city of Raqqa say US airstrikes hit a number of residential districts in the city over the course of Saturday, killing at least 43 civilians and wounding an unknown, but substantial number of others. There was no obvious specific target for the strikes. A Raqqa-based Red Crescent official report ed that US coalition airstrikes recently had targeted the National Hospital, bombing the hospital's electricity generator and forcing the closure of damaged wards used to treat the injured.

A Conference to End War: Why We Can and Must End Our Greatest Crime (David Swanson / World Beyond War & Thomas Knapp / AntiWar.com)
Following September 1, the International Day of Peace, World Beyond War will host a three-day meeting in Washington DC to address how the antiwar and environmental movements can work together to end war. Since World War II, the US has killed some 20 million people, overthrown at least 36 governments, interfered in at least 82 foreign elections, attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders, and dropped bombs in 30 countries. The US has used "special forces" in two-thirds of the world's countries.

Trump TV: Just like North Korea, Donald Trump Launches His Own State Media (Trump TV & Jake Taper/CNN & Keith Olbermann/ The Closer & Aaron Blake / The Washington Post & Tod Perry / Good Worldwide Inc.)
Commentary: On August 7, the second edition of Trump TV debuted on Facebook with a promise to provide the Real News of the week "from Trump Tower in New York!" In the first 90-second segment, anchor Kayleigh McEnany made a number of questionable claims about Trump's achievements. The Washington Post called the event "a lot like real propaganda -- or state TV." Trump TV is reportedly run by Eric Trump's wife, Lara, and has used campaign funds to finance the broadcasts.

Global Warming, the Tipping Point, and Environmental/Economic Justice (SBS News & Kate Aronoff / The Nation)
Scientists report that world temperatures are likely to rise by more than 2 degrees Celsius this century, surpassing a "tipping point" that a global climate deal aims to avert Al Gore's latest film draws climate change back into the political limelight, but fails to draw connections between environmental and economic justice. Seriously confronting the warming of our planet would essentially spell the end for free market capitalism.

What's So "Moderate" about Constant Warmongering? (Barbara Boland / Rare )
Commentary: Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain are frequently referred to as "moderates," which is pretty astonishing when you look at how frequently and openly they've campaigned for costly and unnecessary American military interventions overseas. Graham and McCain's "war first, last, and always" stance has consistently resulted in disaster. But their constant inaccuracy has not made them shyer or their rhetoric less sharp.

The US Has Called for Economic Sanctions on Iran, North Korea and Russia. How about Economic Sanctions against the US? (teleSUR & Richard Becker / Global Research and Liberation)
Over the past several decades, the US -- sometimes through the UN Security Council, sometimes on its own -- has imposed sanctions, embargoes, and blockades on dozens of countries. President Barack Obama once described US sanctions as a means of "twisting the arms" of sovereign counties so that they "do what we need them to do." The targets of US sanctions are all countries that oppose US imperialist policies while many US allies -- that are certified violators of human rights -- receive a free pass.

War and the Environment (Peace Pledge Union)
Because war disrupts social structures, ecostructures are neglected and abused, with lasting and costly consequences. It's widely agreed that Sudan's 1988 famine was caused by its protracted civil war. The testing and manufacture of nuclear arms has been responsible for some of the most profound and persistent environmental damage to life on Earth. Meanwhile, the complex mixture of poisonous contaminants found on many military sites continues to infiltrate the land, air and water.

Hiroshima & Nagasaki Commemorative Events: National Nagasaki Day (Joseph Gerson / American Friends Service Committee & John Rainwater / Peace Action & Harvey Wasserman / Solartopia)
Hopes and expectations here are high for the recently negotiated Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty, anticipating that treaty signings and ratifications that will begin on September 20 can over time impact the nuclear weapons states, which have boycotted the Ban Treaty process. Those of us living in the nuclear weapons states have our work cut out for us.

US Prepared to Launch 'Preventive War' Against North Korea (Jason Le Miere / Newsweek)
The United States is preparing for all options to counter the growing threat from North Korea, including launching a "preventive war," national security adviser H.R. McMaster said in an interview with MSNBC that aired Saturday. The comments come following North Korea carrying out two tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles last month. "The president's been very clear about it," McMaster stated. "He said he's not gonna tolerate North Korea being able to threaten the United States."

The Truth About North Korea: Why the US Should Stop Provoking the DPRK (John Laurits / JohnLaurits.com)
Commentary: The US dropped 635,000 tons of bombs and 32,557 tons of napalm on North Korea, destroying 5,000 schools, 1,000 hospitals, 600,000 homes, and killing 3 million North Koreans. Pyongyang has reason to fear a foreign invasion -- for 70 years the US and South Korea have staged annual military exercises aimed at invading the North. North Korea has repeatedly offered to halt nuclear missiles tests in exchange for an end to the joint military exercises on the DPRK's border. So far, the US has refused.

Is the Expanding US Military Presence in Syria Legal? (Sharmine Narwani / The American Conservative)
In July, the White House and Pentagon requested authority from Congress to build further "temporary intermediate staging facilities" inside Syria in order to combat ISIS more effectively. Yet when questioned about the international law grounds for this US military presence inside Syria, CENTCOM didn't have a response on hand. It's clear that official Washington simply doesn't want to answer the "international law" question Washington's military presence inside on Syria.

American Ground Troops in Yemen as US-Backed Airstrikes Kill More Women, Children (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Thomas Gibbons-Neff / The Washington Post & Sami Aboudi /Reuters )
The Pentagon has confirmed that US ground troops has been deployed into Yemen for an ongoing operation against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Since February 28, the US has conducted roughly 80 airstrikes against al-Qaeda militants in Yemen. On August 4, a US-backed airstrike killed three women and six children in northern Yemen. In March, a coalition air strike killed 22 and wounded dozens in western Yemen. In June, at least 25 Yemenis were killed in a Saudi-led airstrike on a market.

Congress Pushes for Development of Nuclear Missiles Banned Under US/Russia Treaty (Sputnik News )
The GOP is preparing several defense bills that would require the Pentagon to violate a 1987 Treaty with Russia that bans development of medium-range missiles. Washington's unilateral withdrawal from the treaty -- which was designed to limit the missile potential of the two superpowers -- might lead to a buildup of missiles on both sides, with Europe and the rest of the world risking getting caught in the crossfire.

Senate Bill Would Criminalize Free Speech and Jail US Foreign Policy Critics for 20 Years (Aniqa Raihan / AntiWar.com & Grant Smith / AntiWar.com)
The proposed Israel Anti-Boycott Act would make it a felony for American citizens to express support for campaigns to boycott Israel and would impose a penalty of up to $1 million and 20 years in prison. The bill has bipartisan support, with 32 Republicans and 15 Democrats signed on as cosponsors. The has called the bill a "direct violation of the First Amendment." A 1982 Supreme Court decision upholds the right to support peaceful boycotts to "bring about political, social, and economic change."

Senior Officials Resign from EPA to Protest Scott Pruitt (Sam Knight / Nation of Change & Kristin Brown / League of Conservation Voters)
An inside look at the Trump administration's deregulatory agenda was proffered in the resignation of a 30-year veteran of the Environmental Protection Agency. Elizabeth Southerland announced this week that she was leaving her post at the agency, where she served as a senior executive with both the Water and Superfund programs. On her way out, she sent a lengthy farewell message to her colleagues criticizing Pruitt's anti-regulatory, polluter-friendly policies.

Hiroshima Nagasaki Commemorations (Joseph Gerson / American Friends Service Committee & John Rainwater / Peace Action)
Hopes are high for the recently negotiated Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty, anticipating that treaty signings and ratifications set to begin on September 20 can over time influence the nuclear weapons states. Meanwhile, we are asking that the $1.2 trillion that the Pentagon plans to spend to upgrade nuclear weapons and delivery systems instead be used to preserve and expand essential social services, for education, and for green infrastructure modernization to address climate change and create jobs.

Peaceful Oil Pipeline Protesters Treated Like Terrorists: Behind the Secret Surveillance Operation at Standing Rock (Rose Aguilar and Sana Saleem / KALX & Alleen Brown, Will Parrish, and Alice Speri / The Intercept)
Leaked documents and public records reveal a troubling fusion of private security, public law enforcement, and corporate money in the fight over the Dakota Access Pipeline. The way TigerSwan discusses protesters as "terrorists," their direct actions as "attacks," and the camps as a "battlefield," reveals how the protesters' dissent was not only criminalized but treated as a national security threat.

Pentagon's US Burn Pits Are More Dangerous than Feared (Abrahm Lustgarten / ProPublica & CSWAB)
The federal government appears to have significantly underestimated the amount of lead, arsenic and other dangerous pollutants that are sent into the air from uncontrolled burning of hazardous wastes at Pentagon sites inside the US. The first results in a national effort to better measure the levels of contaminants released through the burning of munitions and their waste show elevated levels of lead, arsenic and other toxins.

US Ground Troops in Yemen as US-Backed Airstrikes Kill More Women, Children (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Thomas Gibbons-Neff / The Washington Post & Sami Aboudi /Reuters )
The Pentagon has confirmed that US ground troops has been deployed into Yemen for an ongoing operation against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Since February 28, the US has conducted roughly 80 airstrikes against al-Qaeda militants in Yemen. On August 4, a US-backed airstrike killed three women and six children in northern Yemen. In March, a coalition air strike killed 22 and wounded dozens in western Yemen. In June, at least 25 Yemenis were killed in a Saudi-led airstrike on a market.

Abolishing War: America's Foreign Bases Assure Private Profits, Not National Defense (David Swanson / World Beyond War & Thomas Knapp / AntiWar.com)
The main purpose of the US "defense" establishment since World War Two has been to move as much money as possible from your pockets to the bank accounts of politically connected "defense" contractors. Foreign bases are an easy way to blow large amounts of money in precisely that way. Shutting down those foreign bases and bringing the troops home are essential first steps in creating an actual national defense.

Two CIA 'Torture Shrinks' to Face Trial for Prisoner Abuse (Sheri Fink / The New York Times)
A federal court judge has refused to drop a lawsuit against two psychologists who helped devise the CIA’s interrogation program -- one of the few attempts to hold people accountable for harm caused by the CIA's "enhanced interrogation" tactics. The psychologists profited from their work: in addition to receiving up to $1,800 a day as consultants, they later formed a company that charged taxpayers $81 million to carry out and expand the CIA's interrogation program.

Don't Blame the Generals: Washington Continues to Fight Wars that Can't Be Won (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Leon Hadar / The National Interest)
Donald Trump has faulted Gen. John Nicholson, Jr. for "not winning the war" in Afghanistan. But the truth is the fault is not in the execution of the "Global War on Terror" but in the very conception of the GWOT. It has become increasinglh apparent that this failed global strategy -- begun by George W. Bush -- has made the world more unstable and dangerous and helped ignite several costly wars.

ACTION ALERT: Close All Overseas US Military Bases (Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers / Popular Resistance & AntiWar.com)
The Pentagon's imperial reach includes a global real property portfolio that consists of nearly 562,000 facilities, located on over 4,800 sites worldwide and covering more than 24.9 million acres in 42 nations. The Coalition Against Foreign Military Bases is a new campaign focused on closing all US military bases abroad. This campaign strikes at the foundation of US empire, confronting its militarism, corporatism and imperialism. We urge you to endorse this campaign.

If Human Rights and International Law Are Important, How About Sanctions Against the United States? (Andy Piascik / Z Comm.org & Popular Resistance)
Commentary: As the US imposes sanctions on Russia and moves to do likewise to Venezuela, it's essential to keep in mind which country it is that's the most destructive and dangerous in the world today. The answer overwhelmingly is: the United States. People in the global South know this all too well from the long and brutal history of US foreign policy. The US's club of dictators includes the Somozas, Suharto, Diem, Savimbi, the Duvaliers, Mobutu and others who were loyal servants of Western business interests.

Goodbye Nuclear Power; So Long, Oil and Gas (Harvey Wasserman / Progressive.org & Kate Aronoff / Nation of Change)
Two of the last four commercial nuclear power plants under construction in the US -- at the V.C. Summer site in South Carolina -- have been cancelled. A decision on the remaining two in Georgia will be made in August. The US may soon be free of all new commercial reactor construction for the first time since the 1950s, marking the definitive death of the dream of "too cheap to meter" radioactive energy. Most teens now see the fossil fuels as bad for society while jobs with oil and gas companies are unappealing.

The Unsustainable Price of Empire: America Cannot Afford More Military Adventurism (Doug Bandow / The National Interest)
Commentary: Congress and the president must begin to rethink priorities as America's fiscal situation becomes more precarious. No security imperative requires defending prosperous and populous allies in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, fighting other nations' battles in Africa and the Middle East, engaging in seemingly endless nation-building in Central Asia and the Middle East, and treating the slightest instability anywhere as a summons to act.

Construction of Trump's Border Wall Set to Begin -- Inside a Wildlife Refuge (ProPublica and the Texas Tribune & Joe Sexton / ProPublica)
America may get its border wall. It just might have to do without a lot else. US Customs and Border Protection is preparing to use its own funds to start construction on the first part of Trump's wall in November -- a 3-mile segment that will damage one of the nation''s most cherished bird-watching locales. The fiscal 2018 $2.6 billion cost for the first stage of the border wall will mean massive cuts to America's environmental, social, health, and arts programs.

Biological Warfare: US and Saudis Use Cholera to Kill Yemenis (William Boardman / Reader Supported News)
More than two years of bombing has largely destroyed Yemen's water and sewage systems, hospitals and clinics, leaving the population of about 25 million with almost no protection against the spread of cholera. The UN calls Yemen's cholera epidemic is "the largest ever recorded in any country in a single year." This may not be literal biological warfare, but it is certainly biological warfare by other means. This is biological warfare in reality, if not in law.

Neither Trump Nor Obama Have Felt Constrained by the Constitution When It Comes to Starting a War (Ron Paul / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity & Ivan Eland / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity)
Donald Trump seems to be impatiently racing toward at least one disastrous war. Maybe two. The big question is who will be first? North Korea or Iran? One unnamed Pentagon source has claimed that Trump "is to order a military strike against North Korea within a year." Barack Obama's claim that he didn't need congressional authorization for his wars in Iraq and Syria is equally troubling. However, history shows that Obama was not the first to believe that a president has the imperial authority for war by executive fiat.

Urgent Warning: Washington Needs to Deescalate Military Threats Against North Korea (Medea Benjamin / CODE PINK & Nation of Change & Sputnik News)
Why is North Korea paranoid? Perhaps because of Washington's actions. There are 83 US military bases on South Korean soil and US warships often patrol the coast. US-South Korean military exercises have been getting larger and more provocative, including dropping mock nuclear bombs on North Korea. The US has long held a "pre-emptive first strike" policy toward North Korea. This frightening threat of an unprovoked US nuclear attack gives North Korea good reason to want its own nuclear arsenal.

The 'Great Game' of Global Energy Imperialism (Zoltan Zigedy / ZZS-Blog)
During June 29 Energy Department meeting, Donald Trump declared a US policy of "energy dominance." Clearly, Russia is a target of the emerging policy. Despite the near total neglect of the foreign policy implications of this emerging policy by US commentators, they have not gone unnoticed in important circles internationally. Trump's recent European tour was a sales trip for US liquified natural gas interests as much as it was a photo-op the G20 summit. It's a battle of OPEC monopoly vs US hegemony.

China's Great Green Grid: Capturing China's "Wasted" Wind and Solar Power (Molly Bradtke / New Security Beat)
In 2016 alone, China installed 34.2GW of solar PV and 23.4GW of wind capacity -- nearly 50 percent of the world's new solar and wind capacity. Yet, many of these renewable energy sources remain untapped as provinces continued to build their own local coal-fired plants.

The Race to Solar-power Africa (Bill McKibben / Reporter at Large @ The New Yorker)
There is a boom in boom in solar power in sub-Saharan Africa. From Ghana, to Ivory Coast, to Tanzania, and along the way you can a variety of new solar ventures, most of them US-led. Some, such as Ghana's Black Star Energy install solar micrograms -- small-scale versions of the giant grid Americans are familiar with -- while others, such as Off-Grid Electric, in Tanzania and Ivory Coast, market home-based solar systems that run on a panel installed on each individual house.

While US Inequality Grows, Denmark's Citizens Are Increasingly Happy (Sam Pizzigati / Nation of Change & Joshua Holland / The Nation)
Two years ago, in 2015, just about all the nations in the world agreed to make reducing inequality -- the gap between rich and poor -- a prime United Nations "sustainable development goal." The US -- the world's wealthiest nation -- continues to lead the world in income inequality, with taxes on workers nearly triple the taxes paid by corporations. The hunger and privation that exists in the US are unknown in Denmark. Though Danes pay a lot more in taxes and fees, they get a much more back in social services.

Water and US National Security (Peter Gleick / Pacific Institute & Army War College & Intellibriefs.com)
Fresh water has long been a vital and necessary natural resource, and it has long been a source of tension, a military tool, and a target during war. National and international leaders must take steps to reduce the risks and threats associated with water insecurity. The failure to address water problems through diplomacy will lead to new and growing security risks, including for the US.

The National Rifle Association Gets Its Own TV Network! (Bill Berkowitz / Buzzflash @ TruthOut)
The National Rifle Association now has at its disposal is NRATV. While the fledging network may not yet be among the choices in your cable television package, or available through existing streaming services, given the power of the gun lobbying organization, NRATV may soon be coming to screen near you. NRATV's declared mission is to provide "The most comprehensive video coverage of Second Amendment issues, events and culture anywhere in the world."

Witnesses of the Unseen: Seven Years in Guantanamo (Robert Koehler / PeaceVoice )
To read Witnesses of the Unseen: Seven Years in Guantanamo is to run your mind along the contours of hell. The book, by Lakhdar Boumediene and Mustafa Ait Idir -- two Algerian men arrested in Bosnia in 2011 and wrongly accused of being terrorists -- allows us to imagine ourselves at Guantanamo, this outpost of the Endless War.

What Costs More than Transgender Soldiers (Sam Levine / The Huffington Post)
President Donald Trump on Wednesday cited "tremendous medical costs" as one of the reasons he will no longer allow transgender people to serve in the US military. Since the 2016 Pentagon decision that allowed trans people to openly serve in the military, health care costs have risen by between $2.4 million and $8.4 million a year, according to one estimate. For perspective, here are a few other things that cost way, way more than health care expenses for trans troops.

Burning Raqqa: America's War Against Syria's Civilians (Laura Gottesdiener & Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch)
The US is now one of the deadliest warring parties in Syria. In May and June, the US-led coalition killed more civilians than the Assad regime, the Russians, or ISIS, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights. The US-led coalition has bombed or shelled: at least 12 schools, a health clinic, an obstetrics hospital, residential neighborhoods, bakeries, at least 15 mosques, cars carrying civilians to the hospital, a funeral, water tanks, at least 15 bridges, a refugee camp, and an Internet cafe in Raqqa.

The Drone War Is Not Sustainable: Traumatized "Pilots" Quitting in Droves (Alex Edney-Browne, Lisa Ling / Los Angeles Times Op-Ed)
Drone pilots have been quitting the US Air Force in record numbers in recent years -- faster than new recruits can be selected and trained. They cite a combination of low-class status in the military, overwork and psychological trauma. Curiously, a widely publicized new memoir promoting America's covert drone war fails to mention what the Air Force euphemistically calls "outflow increases."

Where There's Smoke, There's Danger: The Pentagon's Domestic Burn Pits (Kelly Macias / The Daily Kos)
Though the face of the mainstream environmental movement is largely white, environmental justice is an issue of pressing concern for people of color. There is a direct link between race, class, and environmental issues and black people are on the forefront of our nation's environmental crisis -- with exposure to lead paint, and the chance of living in proximity to landfills and toxic waste sites disproportionately affecting our community.

Trump Plan Could Open California's Giant Sequoia Monument to Logging (Oliver Milman / The Guardian)
The largest living things standing on the planet, California's giant sequoias have a lineage stretching back to the Jurassic period. But their survival is now in question owing to plans being hatched in Washington. As the Trump administration continues to roll back protections on public lands, timber industry advocates are pushing to reduce federal defenses for California's giant trees.

Washington's War Crimes: US-Trained Iraqi Soldiers Murdered Women and Children in Mosul (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Human Rights Watch)
Iraq's US trained and armed 16th Division stands accused of committing myriad war crimes during its assault on the city of Mosul. Leahy's Law obliges the US to suspend direct military aid to the 16th Division -- unless the Iraqi government shows that they are making serious efforts to prosecute war criminals and to prevent such actions in the future. The soldiers and officers haven't made ever a token attempt to abide by US or international law.

ACTION ALERT: No Pentagon Budget without an Audit! (Michael C. Burgess and Grover Norquist / USA Today Op-ed & Karl W. Eikenberry / USA Today)
In 1990, Congress passed the Chief Financial Officers Act requiring every department and agency in the federal government to produce verifiable financial statements that can be fully audited. To date, each major agency has been able to complete this task except one -- the Department of Defense. In January 2015, the Defense Business Board issued a report on Pentagon operations that revealed at least $125 billion in administrative waste. This is unacceptable. It is time to audit the Pentagon.

Marking the Centennial of the Silent Protest against Lynching in America (NAACP & Chad Williams / Brandeis University)
At the break of summer 1917, racial tension simmered across the nation. In East St. Louis, white residents launched a bloody attack on the rapidly expanding black community. Dozens of black residents were killed and thousands more were left homeless after their neighborhood was burned to ashes. The NAACP wasted no time in composing a retort and soon issued a call for a Silent Protest Parade. Their tactic was silence, but their message resounded: anti-black violence is unjust and un-American.

War on the Biosphere: Humans Have Created 9 Billion Tons of Plastic (Tim Radford / Climate News Network & Kate Melges and Nathalie Arfvidson / Greenpeace)
Scientists recently have calculated the mass of all the plastic bottles, bags, cups, toys, instruments and fabrics ever produced and tracked its whereabouts -- another index of the phenomenal change to the face of the planet made by recent human advance. Since about 1950, more than 8.3 billion tons of synthetic organic polymers have been generated, distributed and discarded -- of this, 6.3 billion tons are classified as waste. Read Greenpeace's action page on becoming part of the Plastic-Free Challenge.

ACTION ALERT: Why and How to Bri