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April 4, 2003
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EAW's Breaking News archive

Martin Luther King's 1967 Antiwar Speech: "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence"
(Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. / Riverside Church, NYC )

I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. I join you in this meeting because I am in deepest agreement with the aims and work of the organization: Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam. The recent statement of your executive committee are the sentiments of my own heart and I found myself in full accord when I read its opening lines: "A time comes when silence is betrayal." That time has come for us in relation to Vietnam.

The Hidden History of MLK's Murder Conspiracy Trial
(Environmentalists Against War & Coretta Scott King et al)

In 1976, lawyer William Pepper began an investigation of the 1968 assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Pepper's research uncovered a conspiracy that involved US government, military and intelligence operatives. In 1999, at the behest of the King family, Pepper embarked on a historic four-week trial that presented jurors with reams of documentation and the sworn testimony of 70 individuals, including several who confessed to peripheral roles in the conspiracy to murder Dr. King.

Who Killed Martin Luther King, Jr. and Why?
(Kevin Zeese / Popular Resistance & William Pepper / Ratical.org)

Imagine how different the world would have been if Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. had not been assassinated. Imagine he continued to speak out against militarism, if the Poor People's Campaign had proceeded under his leadership and if he joined Bobby Kennedy as vice president on the Democratic ticket. It is not difficult to understand why those in power were worried about where he would take the country -- by challenging militarism, capitalism and racism

ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress to Oppose Any New Military Bases on the Okinawa Bay
(Friends of the Earth)

The US military is attempting to build a new base in Okinawa, Japan. This base threatens precious ecosystems, endangered species, the democracy of the Okinawan people, and the livelihoods of its Indigenous community. Helipads are already being constructed in a remote area that contains important biological diversity. Help send 20,000 messages to the US Congress to oppose any new US military bases on Okinawa.

ACTION ALERT: Bernie Sanders Set to Tackle Pentagon Spending
(Win Without War & Julian Borger / The Guardian & Bernie Sanders / In These Times)

Donald Trump just announced a plan to build laser drones to fire at North Korean missiles. As ludicrous as that sounds, it's just a small part of an enormous and extremely expensive Pentagon plan that experts have slammed as unaffordable, unworkable, and massively dangerous. Stand with Senator Bernie Sanders' call to rein in the United States' dangerous, out-of-control military spending. We must put public dollars into building true safety and security -- not fueling violence and stuffing defense CEOs’ pockets.

Has the US Government Legalized Secret Defense Spending?
(Matt Taibbi / Rolling Stone)

While a noisy Supreme Court fight captivated America last fall, an obscure federal accounting body quietly approved a system of classified money-moving. October 4, 2018, a little-known government body called the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board essentially legalized secret national security spending. From this point on, the real answer for how big a share of national spending is controlled by the intelligence community is probably . . . "God only knows."

Pentagon Confirms Climate Change Is A National Security Threat, Contradicting Trump
(Chris D'Angelo and Alexander C. Kaufman / The Huffington Post)

More than a year after President Donald Trump nixed climate change from his administration's list of national security threats, the Pentagon has released an alarming report detailing how dozens of US military bases are already threatened by rising seas, drought and wildfire. The report revealed that key military 53 sites are currently vulnerable to repeat flooding due to climate change and rising sea levels worldwide -- in short, Trump's climate denialism is putting buildings, resources and soldiers' lives at risk.

The Wall, The Endless War, and the Troops Who Pay
(Gerry Condon / Common Dreams)

The presence of US troops in Syria, as in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia and elsewhere, provides motivation for terrorist attacks. US troops are now sitting ducks in a sea of terrorism of the US's own making. Withdrawing the troops from Syria is the way to reduce terrorism and bring an end to the war. The US has no legal right to be in Syria in the first place.

Things Congress Could Do for Peace -- From the Easiest to the Hardest
(David Swanson / David Swanson.org & Woeld BEYOND War)

Please consider sending this "To-Do List" to your representatives in Washington: When talking about how to fund useful projects, or talking about the federal budget or the US economy, talk as if US military spending exists. With 67 percent of federal discretionary spending going to militarism, don't talk about the "size" of the government as if only the other 33 percent exists. Be aware of the fact that military spending is an economic drain, not a jobs program, and speak accordingly. And so on . . . .

GHW Bush's Covert Take-over of Reagan's Foreign Policy: Spies, Hidden Wars, Assassinations and Secret Operations
(Seymour M. Hersh / London Review of Books)

During Reagan's presidency, GHW Bush emerged -- by default and very much in private -- as the most important decision-maker in America's intelligence world. "He controlled the strings," the officer said. "We ran small, limited operations that were discreet, with a military chain of command." Congress, and the Constitution, were at first no more of an obstacle to Bush's covert operations than the press. The one member of Congress who knew what was going on was "Poppy" Bush's colleague, Dick Cheney.

At Age 70, It's Time To Rethink NATO
(Patrick J. Buchanan / AntiWar.com & Rebecca Kheel / The Hill)

NATO this year celebrates a major birthday. The alliance is 70 years old. And under this aging NATO, the US is committed to treat an attack on any one of 28 nations from Estonia to Montenegro to Romania to Albania as an attack on the United States. The time is ripe for a strategic review of these war guarantees to fight a nuclear-armed Russia in defense of countries across the length of Europe that few could find on a map. But now, a new, bi-partiosan Senate bill would block Trump from withdrawing from NATO.

Let's Expose Congress Members for the Warhawks They Are
(Maj. Danny Sjursen / TruthDig & AntiWar.com)

As the nation continued to reel from President Donald Trump's shock decision last month to remove all US troops from Syria, news came Wednesday that an unknown number of US soldiers were among at least 15 killed in a bombing in northern Syria. Amid such continued violence, one would think the president's withdrawal would have ever more urgency. And yet, just about everyone in Washington has attacked his decision to pull out.

US Adopts Christian Ideology to Guide Foreign Policy
(William Boardman / Reader Supported News)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went to the American University in Cairo early this year to deliver what may be the clearest statement of foreign policy principles that will come from this administration. Pompeo's speech began with his acknowledgement that he views the world through a pair of self-reinforcing ideologies: Christian evangelism and American Salvationism.

Democrats Need to Rein In Our Out-of-Control Military Spending
(Senator Bernie Sanders / In These Times)

At a time when our infrastructure is crumbling, public schools lack the resources to provide a quality educations, and 30 million Americans have no health insurance, most Democrats backed GOP efforts to increase military spending by $165 billion over two years. It has been correctly pointed out that, to a great degree, we have a "one-party foreign policy" where there is almost no debate about the basic premises underlying our long-term positions. In a complicated and volatile world, this is not a good thing.

Russia, US Fail to Save Missile Treaty, Washington to Pull Out
(Robin Emmott /Reuters & AntiWar.com)

Initially ratified in 1987, the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which famously kept all nuclear missiles out of Europe for decades, is set to collapse, with US officials saying they will withdraw from the treaty next month.

ACTION ALERT: US Arrests American-born Journalist: No Charges Given
(AntiWar.com & Roots Action & Environmentalists Against War & National Iranian American Council)

Marziyeh Hashemi, a US citizen who works as an anchor and reporter for Iran's state-run PressTV, has been arrested and detained by the US government. She was arrested at St. Louis Lambert International Airport trying to board a flight, and is being held without charges.

A Planet in Crisis: The Heat's on Us as We Face Global "Co-extinction"
(Dahr Jamail / TomDispatch)

Climate change could lead to a "domino effect" that might, in the end, annihilate all life on the planet. Organisms will die out at increasingly rapid rates because they depend on other species that are also on their way out. It's a process the study calls "co-extinction." According to its authors, a five to six degree Celsius rise in average global temperatures might be enough to annihilate most of Earth's living creatures.

ACTION ALERT: Humans, Just 0.01% of all Life, Have Destroyed 83% of Wild Mammals; Today, 60% of All Mammals Left on Earth Are Livestock
(Damian Carrington / The Guardian & Avaaz.org)

Humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970, leading the world's foremost experts to warn that the annihilation of wildlife now threatens human civilization. The new estimate of the massacre of wildlife -- from a major WWF report involving 59 scientists from across the globe -- finds that the growing consumption of food and resources by the global population is destroying a web of life -- billions of years in the making -- upon which human society ultimately depends.

Amazon Ecosystem at Risk as Bolsonaro Acts; Brazil's Socio-environmental Groups Resist
(Sue Branford and Thais Borges / Mongabay)

In Brazil, the newly elected Bolsonaro administration is barely two weeks old, but the new president and his appointees continue to make incendiary statements and press forward with provisional measures and policies that could seriously infringe indigenous and agrarian reform land rights, and environmental protections. Amazon land thieves also have been emboldened since the election, with the invasion of the Arara Indigenous Reserve. There has been no federal law enforcement response to either conflict.

Life in Damascus after US Imperialism Is Defeated
(Kevin Zeese / Popular Resistance)

This is an excellent series of videos showing the streets of Damascus and interviews with people in Syria about what life is like in the capital now that US/NATO and their allies attempt at taking over the country has been defeated. Life is returning to normal, people are going about their business and there are relaxed smiles on their faces. It is a powerful report that we do not hear in the western media -- life after the US is defeated.

Trump Discussed Pulling US From NATO
(Julian E. Barbes and Helene Cooper / The New York Times)

There are few things that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia desires more than the weakening of NATO, the military alliance among the United States, Europe and Canada that has deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years. Last year, Donald Trump suggested a move tantamount to destroying NATO: the withdrawal of the United States. But who's the real aggressor in the region? It is the US that has slowly encroached on Russia's borders. Moscow has good cause to feel threatened.

Renew the Nuclear Arms Control Treaty, Don't Destroy It
(Andrew Lichterman and John Burroughs / Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy)

The INF Treaty and the enterprise of nuclear arms control are at risk, as Andrew Lichterman of IALANA affiliate Western States Legal Foundation and LCNP's John Burroughs explain in the below IPS opinion piece. LCNP and WSLF helped develop a RootsAction-led online campaign enabling constituents to contact their representative and senators to urge action to save the treaty - please participate! As this piece explains, Congress has the authority and power to do so.

Back from the Brink: The Call to Prevent Nuclear War
(The Back from the Brink Task Force)

With the renewed and growing threat of nuclear war -- by intent, provocation, error, or accident -- the Back from the Brink coalition has sent a letter to Rep. Adam Smith, Chair of the House Armed Services Committee, thaningk him for his leadership and urging him to make nuclear weapons a priority in 2019.

ACTION ALERT: How to Fund the Green New Deal: Bring Back Reagan-era 70% Tax Rates for the Wealthy
(Demand Progress & Politico & New York Magazine)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has an excellent idea to take on concentrated wealth and the climate crisis: tax the rich. Recently, on 60 Minutes, she called for higher taxes on millionaires and billionaires, asking them to pay up to 70% on incomes above $10 million. She wants some of that money to help support the Green New Deal to address the climate crisis. She's already getting attacked by corporate Democrats for her plan. Let's show her that we've got her back.

General Dynamics: Profiting Off War, Surveillance, and Suppression of Migrants
(Invistigate / American Friends Service Committee)

General Dynamics, one of the largest military contractors in the world, is providing weapons and munitions used by the Israeli air force against Palestinian civilians and is involved in monitoring the US-Mexico border and surveilling immigrant communities inside the United States.

Microsoft's Big Win: Pentagon Signs Massive $1.76 Billion Contract
(Liam Tung / ZDNet)

Microsoft has scored a major win with the US Department of Defense (DoD), winning a $1.76 billion contract over five years to supply "enterprise services" to the DoD, Coast Guard, and intelligence community. Microsoft's win comes as the DoD assesses proposals for its $10 billion, 10-year cloud contract known as JEDI or Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure. The Pentagon is expected to announce a single winner of the JEDI deal in the first quarter.

ACTON ALERT: Include a New Peace Deal in the Green New Deal
(CODEPINK & Robert C. Koehler / Common Dreams)

CODEPINK wholeheartedly supports Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal and we suggest some additions to address the environmental impact of militarism and the bloated Pentagon budget as a source of revenue. The Green New Deal should take on militarism and war as well as climate change and poverty; they are all linked. It's a rallying cry and vision that virtually transcends political thinking as we know it, reflecting a near-complete dismissal of status quo politics and its obeisance to Big Money.

Women Against the Bomb: The Fate of the Earth Depends on Women
(Beatrice Fihn / The Nation)

On October 20, President Trump announced that the United States would pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty after more than 30 years. In doing so, he ended an agreement that abolished an entire class of nuclear weapons and recklessly pushed us to the brink of a new Cold War. He's brought us back to a time when the United States and Russia could develop and expand their nuclear arsenals without restraint.

Rooting for the Green New Deal
(Justine Calma / Grist)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Elizabeth Warren. Beto O'Rourke. Those are just a few of the high-profile names either leading the development of or jumping to endorse today's environmental cause celebre, the Green New Deal. Inside congressional halls, at street protests, and, of course, on climate Twitter -- it's hard to avoid the idea, which aims to re-package ambitious climate actions into a single, wide-ranging stimulus program.

Why Donald Trump Poses an Increasing Risk to Democracy in the US and What We Can Do about It
(Robert Reich / The Guardian UK)

Commentary: Trump’s entire presidency to date has sacrificed the means of democracy to preserve his personal power, and the shutdown over the border is no different. Here is what MoveOn has planned to win this fight.

Corporations Set to Launch 5G Networks Despite Risks to Human Health and the Environment
(Zacks.com & Salon & Radiation Health Risks.com)

Forget 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution), the stage is set for 5G wireless race in the US telecom space. With the US telecom industry continuously evolving, companies in the sector are fighting it out to stay ahead of the curve. But as next-gen cell networks get closer to reality, public health watchdogs stage a final stand.

Wireless Radiation: Stop the 5G Network on Earth and in Space, Devastating Impacts on Health and the Environment
(Arthur Firstenberg / Global Research)

Telecommunications companies are poised to roll out the fifth-generation wireless network (5G) to deliver unprecedented change on a global scale. We will have "smart" homes, "smart" businesses, "smart" highways, "smart" cities and self-driving cars. What is not widely acknowledged is that this will also result in unprecedented rise in electromagnetic radiation on a global scale -- millions of new 5G base stations on Earth, 20,000 satellites in space, and 200 billion transmitting objects in the Internet of Things by 2020.

Hawking the News: America's Militaristic Mainstream Media
(Gregory Shupak/ Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting)

In December, President Donald Trump said that he planned to withdraw from Syria the US troops there, which number between 2,000 and 4,000. Trump's claim was widely condemned in corporate media, demonstrating the commentariat's shared belief in American benevolence toward other peoples, in Washington's alleged right and duty to decide other countries' fates, and the forever war the US supposedly has to wage in the Middle East.

626 Groups Present Petition with 'Green New Deal' Demands<
(Nick Sobczyk / E&E News)

Progressive organizers today presented lawmakers with a formal wish list for "Green New Deal" legislation, asking for a sweeping plan to address climate change and move to 100 percent renewable energy. In a letter to lawmakers on Capitol Hill, more than 600 advocacy groups, including Friends of the Earth, Food & Water Watch, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Sunrise Movement, and Environmentalists Against War, laid down a set of principles, fleshing out the "Green New Deal."

Transboundary Pollution Poses Growing Global Health Threat
(Business Wire)

Disease-causing toxic pollution is a leading cause of death globally, and harms the health of millions of people, including those who live far from the source of the pollution, according "Pollution Knows No Borders," a new report issued by the non-profit organization Pure Earth.

Congresswoman (and Former Army Major) Tulsi Gabbard Announces She Is Running for President as an Anti-war Candidate
(Honolulu Star-Advertiser )

Gabbard becomes the first high-profile Democrat to announce a run for president in a field that is expected to become crowded with challengers who view the president as vulnerable. Other Democrats who have been mentioned as possible challengers include Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, California Sen. Kamala Harris, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Trump Declares Himself a National Emergency
(David Swanson / David Swanson.com)

Commentary: "Donald Trump is the most antiwar president the United States has seen in decades. As a dedicated peace activist, I believe Trump needs to be removed from office immediately. How can this be so?"

Trump's Syrian Exit Prompts Pentagon Panic
(Jeff Mackler / Socialist Action)

Donald Trump's unexpected Dec. 19 announcement ordering a 30-day timetable for the withdrawal of the 2,000 US troops in Syria and 7000 of the 14,000 US troops in Afghanistan provoked a bipartisan panic in Washington. Defense Secretary "Mad Dog" James Mattis, "the butcher of Fallujah," resigned in protest. The warmongering Democrats joined their Republican counterparts along with a host of generals, past and present, to signal Trump that in the US presidents really don't make fundamental policy.

Jon Kyl Voted for New Nukes After Taking Payments From Nuclear Company
(Alex Kotch / Sludge)

After Sen. John McCain's death in August 2018, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey appointed former Republican Senator Jon Kyl to replace him -- despite Kyl having spent years lobbying his former colleagues for an array of defense, utility, nuclear, tech, and social media companies that have business before the chamber. The senator-turned-lobbyist-turned-senator-turned-lobbyist had a paid board seat at one nuclear company and lobbied for two others. Then he joined the Senate.

After Wildfires, Solar Power Could Play a Greater Role in California's Electric Grid
(J.D. Morris / San Francisco Chronicle)

Advocates of solar power say the technology can play a bigger role in the state's electric grid -- an opportunity they say has become much more necessary as climate change increases the likelihood of extreme weather with the potential to fuel devastating wildfires.

Organize US Military to Respond to Natural Disasters
(David Helvarg / San Francisco Chronicle)

It's time to call in the Marines, and also the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard to respond to the growing number of climate-linked natural disasters.When it comes to national security, no threat compares to our changing climate and its intensification of hurricanes, wildfires, heat waves and other natural disasters. If the rise of Nazi Germany and the nuclear balance of terror with the Soviet Union were the major strategic threats to overcome in the last century, climate change is the major challenge of this one.

Poll Reveals Democrats May Be More War-like Than Republicans
(Caitlin Johnstone / Caitlin Johnstone.com)

A new Politico/Morning Consult pollh has found that there is much more support for ongoing military occupations among Democrats surveyed than Republicans. These results will be truly shocking and astonishing to anyone who has been in a coma since the Bush administration. For anyone who has been paying attention since then, however, especially for the last two years, this shouldn't come as much of a surprise.

After $8 Billion and 11 Years, US-Backed Afghan Air Force Appears to Be a Failure
( & David Zucchino / The New York Times)

In recent months, some of the airstrikes in Afghanistan have been credited to the Afghan Air Force. This air force is operational, to some extent, though calling it functional would be an exaggeration. US planes still conduct 80% of the strikes inside the country while the Afghan Air Force is responsible for killing more civilians in aerial attacks.

Holy Cop-out: It's Time to Stop Blaming God for Corporate-caused Pollution Catastrophies
(Kyle Piscioniere / Slate)

Climate change keeps challenging our understanding of, well, everything. Carolyn Merchant and Bill McKibben famously argued that our quaint ideas of nature are dead. But nature was only one of climate change's early victims. Other deceased include rationality and, in smaller terms, the way "we" use language. But there's one thing that climate change should kill: claiming that made-made disasters are an "act of God" -- which is simply a legal trick for corporations to avoid financial liability for misdeeds.

The Blinders on the US Nuclear Policy Establishment
(Hugh Gusterson / The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists)

If there is such a thing as a nuclear deep state, it was on full display at a crowded event at Washington's Brookings Institution on Monday. Over 160 people, 90 percent of them men, packed into a room built for about 140 to hear the nuclear cognoscenti opine on the topic of whether "the politics of New START and strategic modernization" is falling apart.

President Bolton Overrules Trump's Promise on Syria Withdrawal
(Juan Cole / Informed Comment)

The Last Two Neoconservatives in the Trump administration, National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have swung into action to repeal Trump’s troop withdrawal from Syria.

Trump's Wall Is a Fascist Monstrosity
(Revolution Newspaper)

Commentary: Trump has shut down the government to get his wall on the border. If this wall gets funded, in whatever form and with whatever concessions, it will represent a major escalation in the attack on immigrants. The Imperialist System has created 65 million refugees through economic plunder and disruption, ecological catastrophe, and war. This system cannot be reformed -- it must be overthrown!

In the Colombian Amazon, Peace Has Environmental Consequences
(Gena Steffens / Nivela & GlobalPost & Camila Bustos and Marcela Jaramillo / The Guardian)

In 2016, after more than half a century of civil war that left some 220,000 dead and more than 7 million displaced, a peace agreement was reached between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Colombian state. The end of what was once the Western Hemisphere's longest-running armed conflict is assumed to be an outcome broadly beneficial to society, but for the environment it has proven to be a double-edged sword.

The New Congress Needs to Create a Green Planet at Peace
(Medea Benjamin and Alice Slater / Common Dreams & World BEYOND War)

Commentary: We cannot tolerate a new Democratic-controlled Congress continuing to do business as usual, with a military budget of over $700 billion and a trillion dollars projected for new nuclear weapons over the next ten years, while struggling to find funds to address the climate crisis. It's time to leave the nuclear age and divest from the war machine , freeing up trillions of wasted dollars over the next decade. We must transform our lethal energy system to one that sustains us.

Six Days, Six Deaths: More Murders of Social Leaders in Colombia

Murdered on January 6 for defending land rights in northern Colombia, Maritza Quiroz Leiva becomes the country's 6th murder within six days of the new year. In December, social and communal leader Ignacio Gomez Avila and Viviana Munoz Marin, a young psychologist working for the social reintegration of former FARC members, were killed in the department of Caqueta.

Trump vs. the Foreign Policy Establishment
(Andrew Bacevich / Common Dreams)

Commentary: "We're waist deep in the Big Muddy And the big fool says to push on." The United States once more finds itself stuck in a perplexing military misadventure, this one dating from 2001 and known initially as the Global War on Terrorism. Once more we have a bona fide fool in the White House -- one whose antics make LBJ look like a font of acumen and good sense.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Thrivent Financial to #DivestFromWar
(CODEPINK & Divest from War et al.)

Thrivent Financial, an organization founded by Lutherans, represents over 2 million members. As a membership-based Christian organization, it advises on insurance and finance in addition to investment opportunities. Thrivent Financial investments include weapon manufacturers BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Boeing, General Dynamics, and BlackRock -- the largest investor in nuclear weapons in the world.

Has Trump Been Outmaneuvered on Syria Troop Withdrawal?
(Senator Dick Black / Virginia State Senate & Patrick Cockburn and TheRealNews)

Trump's possible backtracking on withdrawal from Syria means he may have been once again outmaneuvered by the Deep State, says Virginia State Senator Dick Black who notes: "There is strong evidence that the US planned to overthrow Syria in 2001; the US Embassy in Damascus issued a detailed strategy to destabilize Syria in 2006. . . . The Syrian War had little to do with the "Arab Spring" and much to do with clandestine actions of CIA . . . . We trained and recruited far more terrorists than we killed."

US Sends Troops to Gabon; Trump Warns Congo Against Post-Vote Protests
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Mathilde Boussion / Associated Press)

Congo faces what could be its first democratic, peaceful transfer of power since independence from Belgium in 1960. The Catholic Church has threatened an uprising if untrue vote is announced. Anticipating post-election protests in this far-off land, Donald Trump has ordered US troops to neighboring Gabon and has taken it upon himself to warn the Congolese not to protest.

US Bases in Okinawa Are a Threat to Freedom
(David Swanson / World BEYOND War & Bernie Sanders / US Senate)

The US builds giant military bases in other people's countries to "protect freedom in the US." But consider the people of Okinawa: they are not free to enjoy unpoisoned water, they are not free to live without noise pollution and crashing airplanes, are not free from the fear of attacks by drunken soldiers and rapists and not free from massive environmental destruction. Repeatedly they elect governments to shut down these bases and, repeatedly, more bases are built in the name of "spreading democracy."

The Pentagon's Massive Accounting Fraud Exposed
(Dave Lindorff / The Nation)

On November 15, Ernst & Young and other private firms that were hired to audit the Pentagon announced that they could not complete the job. Congress had ordered an independent audit of the Department of Defense, the government's largest discretionary cost center -- the Pentagon receives 54 cents out of every dollar in federal appropriations -- after the Pentagon failed for decades to audit itself.

US Accused of Killing Greatest Number of Civilians; Press Accuses Taliban of "Threatening" Oil Fields
(The News & Agence France-Pressse & Abdul Matin Sahak / Reuters)

The Taliban blamed US and Afghan forces for almost 90 percent of civilian casualties in 2018 -- in a report that suggested Afghanistan's largest militant group was not responsible for a single death or injury. Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Taliban fighters are "threatening" major oil wells near the northern Afghan city of Sar-e Pul following days of fighting in which dozens of members of the security forces have been killed and wounded.

Washington Trained Guatemala's Mass Murderers -- and the Border Patrol Played a Role
(Greg Grandin and Elizabeth Oglesby / The Nation)

Even before Ronald Reagan's 1980 election, two retired generals playing prominent roles in his campaign traveled to Central America and told Guatemalan officials that "Mr. Reagan recognizes that a good deal of dirty work has to be done." Once in office, In office, Reagan supplied munitions and training to the Guatemalan army to carry out that "dirty work." Now two Guatemalan children have died under Border Patrol custody. But the agency's role in Latin American oppression has a long history.

China Introduces Railgun Weapon in South China Sea
(J.D. Simkins / Navy Times & Alan Weedon / Australian Broadcasting Corp)

During a Dec. 20 speech to the 2018 Military Industry List summit, China's Rear Adm. Lou Yuan, the deputy head of the Chinese Academy of Military Sciences, added fuel to the South China Sea fire when he stated the key for Chinese domination in those hotly contested waters could lie in the sinking of two US aircraft carriers. The introduction of China's fierce new railgun weaponry could mean an attack on two of the US Navy's steel behemoths could claim upwards of 10,000 lives.

ACTION ALERT: Honor MLK and Say "No to NATO"
(Joe Lombardo and Marilyn Levin / United National Antiwar Coalition)

The United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) has initiated a call for a demonstration in Washington, DC on Saturday, March 30, 2019 to protest the fact that NATO leaders will be coming to DC on April 4, 2019 to hold a "celebration" of NATO’s 70th anniversary. April 4 is also the anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the date, a year earlier, of Dr. King's famous antiwar speech. This call to action against NATO, War and Racism has now been joined by a broad section of the US peace movement.

Yemen and the War Powers Act
(Arn Menconi / AntiWar.com)

The House and Senate War Powers Resolutions were complicated to begin with, so most journalists and politicians were not able to explain half of it. For the wonkiest of wonks, here is some information about the two separate Resolutions invoking the War Powers Act to end U.S. support for the now widely reported Saudi-led war. What's driving the debate and vote for US involvement in this four-year-old war, is the horrific human toll it's taking.

US Military May Be Targeted by Its Own Missiles in Middle East
(Tom O'Connor / Newsweek)

Advanced weapons capable of piercing through armored vehicles and developed by the United States have been found in the hands of insurgent groups across the Middle East and may pose a threat to US forces there.

State Dept Says No Timeline for Syria Withdrawal as US Attacks Kill Children
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)

A senior US State Department official declared Friday that the US "do not intend to have an indefinite military presence in Syria," but also confirmed that there is no definite timeline for actually leaving. Meanwhile, US airstrikes pounded the village of Kishkiyeh in eastern Syria on Friday, killing at least 11 civilians, according to activist group DeirEzzor 24. The death toll was later confirmed by the Syrian government.

US to Expand Pine Gap Site in Australia to Weaponize Space
(Henry Belot / Australian Broadcasting Corp.)

Senior government ministers acknowledged an expansion of US military intelligence operations at Pine Gap would see them accused of "weaponising space" and walking away from an anti-ballistic missiles treaty. Cabinet documents from 1997 marked "for Australian eyes only" reveal the pre-conditions for establishing the Relay Ground Station, which has become the foundation of the US missile launch detection system.

Trump's Syrian Withdrawal: An Act of Political Realism
(Patrick Cockburn / CounterPunch)

President Trump's decision to withdraw US troops from Syria is being denounced by an impressive range of critics claiming that it is a surrender to Turkey, Russia, Syria and Iran -- as well as a betrayal of the Kurds and a victory for ISIS. The pullout may be one or all of these things, but above all it is a recognition of what is really happening on the ground in Syria and the Middle East in general. This has not come across clearly enough because of the loathing for Trump among most of the American and British media.

Trump Bows to Domestic Pressure by Delaying Withdrawal from Syria
(Elijah J Magnier / EJMagnier.com)

In response to domestic pressure, Trump agreed to extend the deadline for withdrawal of thousands of US troops from the northeaster Syrian province of al-Hasaka from the initial 30 days previously announced until April this year. Journalistic warmongers and hawks in think-tanks and among the US establishment have been railing at Trump with implausible arguments for maintaining the presence of US forces in Syria.

What if Osama bin Laden Had Legitimate Grievances?
(Maj. Danny Sjursen / TruthDig & AntiWar.com)

You're not supposed to utter these words, but what the heck: Osama bin Laden had a point. No, his grievances, as well as those of his followers and sympathizers, didn't excuse the mass murder of 9/11 -- not by a long shot. Still, more than 17 years after the attacks on the Pentagon and twin towers, it's worth reflecting on bin Laden's motives and discussing the stark fact that the US has made no moves to address his gripes.

The United States is First in War, But Trailing in Crucial Aspects of Modern Civilization
(Lawrence Wittner / Z Magazine)

Does the US government's priority for military spending explain, at least partially, the discrepancy between the worldwide preeminence of the US armed forces and the feeble global standing of major American domestic institutions?

State Dept Says No Timeline for Syria Withdrawal: US Strikes Kill Children as Fighting Continues

A senior US State Department official declared Friday that the US "do not intend to have an indefinite military presence in Syria," but also confirmed that there is no definite timeline for actually leaving. Meanwhile, US airstrikes pounded the village of Kishkiyeh in eastern Syria on Friday, killing at least 11 civilians, according to activist group DeirEzzor 24. The death toll was later confirmed by the Syrian government.

Reporter Quits NBC Citing Network's Support For Endless War
(Caitlin Johnstone / Caitlin Johnstone.com & William M. Arkin)

Long-time reporter Willian Arkin is leaving NBC and MSNBC, complaining in a remarkable statement that these outlets are captive to the national security state and devoted to Endless War -- cheerleaders for "open and subtle threat mongering" and are reflexively pro-war.

Isolationism or Imperialism or . . . . New Thinking for New Year
(David Swanson / David Swanson.org & World BEYOND War)

The United States is the only nation on earth that has not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is the only country to have pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement. It is by many measures a top destroyer of the natural environment, yet has been a leader in sabotaging climate protection negotiations for decades. The United States not only stands outside the International Criminal Court, but openly threatens sanctions against it and against nations that support it.

This Is What It Looks Like When Imperialism Comes Home
(Maj. Danny Sjursen / TruthDig & AntiWar.com)

Commentary: "You have to hand it to him -- the man has a way with words and he sure knows how to fire up his base. Early in November, Donald Trump addressed a crowd of supporters in Montana and gushed with pride about his deployment of troops to the US border with Mexico. The commander-in-chief bragged about the job his troops were doing in fending off the "invasion" -- that isn't an invasion at all -- from a "caravan" of asylum-seeking Central American migrants who were, at the time, 700 miles away.

The Future of Peace in the World
(Juan Gomez / Redaccion Chile & Pressenza.com)

Commentary: "Frequently we ask ourselves if peace is possible. Many people are disappointed thinking that it is just a delusion, an unattainable utopia. Even those who support and adhere to the peace movement, still appear to struggle to mobilize for it. There are powerful interests behind the scenes working towards total domination, power and control."

Reflecting On Trump's Syrian Pullout
(Richard Falk Interviewed by Daniel Falcone / CounterPunch)

Daniel Falcone asks journalists and commentator Richard Falk -- an acknowledged expert on American foreign policy -- to assess the true meaning and significance of Donald Trump abrupt announcement to start pulling ground troops out of Syria. Is it this simple and straightforward? What are the implications of Defense Secretary Mattis' resignation? Does this mark a turning point in US foreign policy and military meddling?

Trump: A Loose Cannon for Peace?
(Robert C. Koehler / Peace Voice)

Apparently what's under assault is war itself, or so the Establishment believes, in the wake of the shocking announcement by the president that he plans to withdraw all 2,000 US troops now deployed in Syria and 7,000, or half, the US troops in Afghanistan. "No, can't do that! Can't do that!" the voices of the military-industrial-media complex object. There's never an acknowledgment, by the war establishment, of the consequences of militarism, just abstract discussions of strategy and "interests."

Democrats and Neocons Are the Biggest Losers of Trump's Syria Withdrawal
(Daniel Lazare / TruthDig)

When power is balanced as delicately as it is in the Middle East, minor changes can have major consequences. So while 2,000 troops may not sound like much, Donald Trump's decision to withdraw them from eastern Syria has generated a rich list of winners and losers. Here's a rundown.

ACTION ALERT: Tell House Democrats: Investigate Ryan Zinke
(CREDO Action)

Rep. Raul Grijalva, progressive champion and incoming chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, has signaled plans to conduct official oversight hearings on Zinke's misdeeds in the Trump administration. A new petition demands: Hold Trump's corrupt former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke accountable for waging war on our environment, violating federal rules and becoming mired in unethical behavior. Use your power to hold Zinke accountable.

Bernie Sanders Starts Mentioning the Military Budget
(David Swanson / World BEYOND War & Bernie Sanders / US Senate)

Senator Bernie Sanders has added the existence of foreign policy onto the bottom of his recent Agenda for 2018 policy statement. This action follows an open letter sent to Sanders by World BEYOND War and RootsAction.org endorsed by 100 prominent activists asking Sanders to address the issues of foreign military policy and military spending. The letter was eventually signed by more than 13,000 people. The open letter and Sen. Sanders' new policy statement appear below.

ACTION ALERT: Ocasio-Cortez Rips Dem Leadership for Treating Planet-Saving Green New Deal as 'Controversial'
(Andrea Germanos / Common Dreams)

Incoming Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took aim at the Democratic Party on Monday over the newly-announced climate crisis committee -- a body she and other progressives say lacks the teeth needed to avert planetary disaster. Demands for a Green New Deal headed by a committee (whose members agree to receive no money from the fossil fuel lobby) have been deemed too "controversial." In fact, they are essential to the survival of a planet already threatened by accelerating climate change.

There Is No Place for Nuclear Power in a Green New Deal
(Harvey Wasserman / The Progressive & Portside)

The environmental policy centerpiece of the incoming Democratic House has ignited tremendous grassroots enthusiasm but it is threatened -- by fossil fuel interests from without and pro-nuclear advocates from within. While the draft proposal has ignited tremendous grassroots enthusiasm -- with massively favorable poll readings, even among some Republicans -- some Democrats are still promoting nuclear reactors as a "clean" power source. Moreover, the DoD budget needs to be cut to fund the transition.

Bill Blum, Presente! Honoring an Author, Activist and Powerful Critic of US Foreign Policy
(Chris Agee and Louis Wolf / CovertAction Magazine)

William Blum was an author, historian, and critic of US foreign policy. In 1967, he abandoning his career as a State Department Foreign Service Officer, because of his opposition to the US war in Vietnam. He then became one of the founders and editors of the Washington Free Press, the first '"alternative'" newspaper in the capital. As a freelance journalist in Chile in 1972-3, he covered the Allende government's tragic overthrow in a CIA-backed coup, which cemented his role as a critic of US policies around the world.

10 Good Thing about 2018
(Medea Benjamin / CODEPINK)

Commentary: "Yes, you could say I’m trying to put lipstick on a pig. 2018 was a year of whiplash, a never-ending series of assaults on our environment, immigrants, people of color, Muslims, Jews, the poor, international law. But there is light at the end of the tunnel and here are some rousing points of light from 2018, both domestic and international."

Boeing CEO to Run Pentagon: The Trouble With Patrick Shanahan
(John Nichols / The Nation)

Donald Trump finished out the year by doubling down on what many in Washington saw is his most unsettling act of 2018: a break with Secretary of Defense James Mattis. That required Trump to name an acting Secretary of Defense, and he chose Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan. It was a surprise move made on the weekend before Christmas; so surprising that Shanahan had to fly back to Washington from a Holiday travel schedule he had already begun.

Funding the 'Green New Deal': This Radical Plan Just Might Work
(Ellen Brown / TruthDig)

The "Green New Deal" promoted by Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., appears to be forging a political pathway for solving all of the ills of society and the planet in one fell swoop. Her plan would give a House select committee "a mandate that connects the dots" between energy, transportation, housing, health care, living wages, a jobs guarantee and more. But "everyone knows" a program of that scope cannot be funded without a massive redistribution of wealth. Yet, it may be possible.

What It Takes to Avoid War
(Paul Rogers / CBC Radio )

If Paul Rogers had his way, we would talk about that peacemaking side of geopolitics, and the absence of war, more often. Rogers, who often speaks to "The Sunday Edition" to help make us sense of a chaotic, violent world, is an emeritus professor of Peace Studies at Bradford University in Britain. He's also the Global Security Consultant with the Oxford Research Group, and an internationally renowned expert on terrorism and armed conflict.

Our Poor, Defenseless Military Industrial Complex
(Alan MacLeod / Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting)

The US spends almost as much on its military as all other countries in the world combined and supports more that 800 military bases on every inhabited continent. Yet with US military spending at historic highs. the prospect of cutting military costs elicited a storm of protest across the media landscape with the National Review claiming that, "for decades, America has short-changed defense" leaving "America's ability to defend its allies, its partners, and its own vital interests is increasingly in doubt."

Dems Vow to Curb President's Post-9/11 War Powers
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Bryan Bender and Gregory Hellman / Politico)

The House changeover is giving new life to calls by some lawmakers to reexamine the sweeping authority that Congress granted the White House 17 years ago. The post-9/11 Authorization for the Use of Military Force against al-Qaeda offered American presidents broad war-making powers. Now, 17 years and umpteen wars later, it's safe to say the presidents have been misusing that unconstitutional power. The incoming Democratic House of Representatives is looking to change that.

Trump Scores, Breaks Generals' 50-Year War Record
(Gareth Porter / The American Conservative)

Commentary: The mainstream media has attacked Donald Trump's decision to withdraw US troops from Syria as impulsive, blindsiding his own national security team. But detailed, published accounts of the policy process over the course of the year tell a very different story. They show that senior national security officials and institutions have been playing a political game aimed at keeping Trump from wavering on our indefinite ground presence in Syria. It's the same dynamic prolonged the failed US war on Vietnam.

Those Corrupt Spineless Iraqi Legislators . . . Are Right
(David Swanson / David Swanson.org & World BEYOND War)

Commentary: "You've got 5,000 armed foreign troops stationed in your country. You don't say a word until the idiot foreign emperor stages a surprise visit. Then you're outraged principally because he didn't notify you or meet with you or put up any pretense that your country belonged to you in any way. At that point you demand that the US occupation of Iraq finally be brought to a bitter better-late-than-never end. And you're damn right."

How Corporate Democrats Aim to Stifle Criticism
(Norman Solomon / Reader Supported News)

Well-informed public discussion is a major hazard for Democratic Party elites now eager to prevent Bernie Sanders from winning the 2020 presidential nomination. National polling shows the public strongly favors bold proposals that Bernie Sanders has been championing -- climate change, Medicare for All, tuition-free public college and reining-in Wall Street corruption. This momentum is a threat to the entrenched corporate forces accustomed to dominating the Democratic Party.

Trump Ignores Climate Change to Enrich Big Timber
(Mark Hand / ThinkProgress)

Nowhere in an 1,800-word executive order to address forest management and wildfires does Donald Trump draw any connection between climate change and increased wildfire risk. Instead, critics say it looks like a potential handout to the logging industry. Far from being a solution to the world's increasing forest fires, commercial logging has been found to actually increase the risk of wildfires.

Could This Be Our Best Hope of Removing Trump From Office?
(Paul Street / TruthDig)

The dog whistle couldn't have been any clearer. When Donald Trump said that "the people would revolt" if he were impeached, his extremist base of neo-Nazis, Klan members, right-wing militias and sympathetic service members most likely heard the following: "Feel free to attack Democrats, liberals, leftists and progressives if the incoming ouse of Representatives acts on its constitutional right to impeach me."

Good Riddance to General Mattis and the Rest of Washington's Mad Dogs of War
(David Stockman / AntiWar.com)

"Mad Dog" Mattis has been fired from the Oval Office twice -- first by Obama for his virulent antipathy to Iran and now by Trump for his resistance to the withdrawal from Syria. On Christmas Eve, there could be no better gift to the American people -- or the long-suffering populations of the Middle East (who have been subjected to Mattis style we'll-kill-you-if-even-look-cross-eye at our occupation of your lands) than Trump's tweet dismissing Mattis. Hopefully more of the Pentagon's Mad Dogs of War will follow.

Bring the Troops Home, But Let's Also Stop the Bombing
(Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies / AntiWar.com)

A good New Year's resolution for the United States would be to put an end to the wars we have been engaged in for the past 17 years, and to make sure we do not allow the same military madness that got us into this mess to sucker us into new wars on North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, or other countries. Yes, let's bring the troops home, but let's also stop the bombing.

22-day-long "Cast Lead Plus10" Campaign Starts December 27
(Helena Cobban / Just World Educational & Miko Peled / Just World Educational)

On December 27, 2008, Israel launched Operation Cast Lead, a massive, 22-day military assault on the Gaza Strip. The ferocity of the attack was unprecedented in six-decade-old conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Some 1,400 Palestinians were killed, mostly civilians. In the aftermath, a UN fact-finding team found evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by both the Israeli military and Palestinian militias. Investigations by human rights groups came to the same conclusion.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Gets It
(Ryan Cooper / The Week)

Over the next decade, if the US is going to do its part in the global effort to combat the existential risk posed by climate change, it must conduct an all-out crash decarbonization program. The biggest obstacle to that objective is the Republican Party. The second-biggest is the moderate faction of the Democratic Party, which is too corrupt to address radical climate action. That's why it's heartening to see Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez mounting an attempt to become the House Democratic caucus chair.

ACTION ALERT: Don't Let the Dem's Bury the Bury the Green New Deal
(Christopher D. Cook / In These Times)

As House Democratic leaders prepare to reclaim power this January, they are clamping down on insurgent progressive initiatives like the Green New Deal, which could be sidelined in favor of a broader climate committee with limited powers -- despite pledges from at least 43 Democrats to support a Green New Deal select committee.

The Empire Strikes Soon: TrumpExit's Great Leap
(Harvey Wasserman / Reader Supported News)

Commentary: "What matters to the TrumpExit countdown is that the bankers and the Star Warriors have reason to conclude that he's too crazy, arrogant, and unpredictable to tolerate. In the innermost circles of power, Mike Pence or even Nancy Pelosi must seem a safe harbor in a cyclone of insanity. If The Donald had even half a brain, he'd shut up and duck for cover. But he doesn't, and he won't. So the sound of the TrumpExit ticking may now be a fire bell on Wall Street and at the Pentagon."

22-day-long "Cast Lead Plus10" Campaign Starts December 27
(Helena Cobban / Just World Educational & Miko Peled / Just World Educational)

On December 27, 2008, Israel launched Operation Cast Lead, a massive, 22-day military assault on the Gaza Strip. The ferocity of the attack was unprecedented in six-decade-old conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Some 1,400 Palestinians were killed, mostly civilians. In the aftermath, a UN fact-finding team found evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by both the Israeli military and Palestinian militias. Investigations by human rights groups came to the same conclusion.

ACTION ALERT: Elites United in Panic Over Syria Pullout, Afghanistan Drawdown
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & CodePink)

Open-ended war has so much momentum in the US that Donald Trump's announced pullout from Syria shocked the nation. Followed up the same week with a drawdown from Afghanistan, the mainstream is now completely apoplectic. On the left and right, comfort with the status quo was virtually uniform. Criticism of the drawdowns vary depending on the side of the aisle the commenter is on, but the message is uniform opposition to ending a war Congress never authorized in the first place.

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