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EAW's Breaking News archive

Divest from the War Machine Summit: October 21-22, 2017

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

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."

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