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Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan

August 31st, 2017 - by admin

Book Review by Justin Raimondo / AntiWar.com – 2017-08-31 23:19:05

Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan

Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan
Scott Horton’s book is a blockbuster!

Justin Raimondo / AntiWar.com

(August 31, 2017) — After 16 years of writing about it, I thought I knew a lot about the war in Afghanistan, but Scott Horton’s new book, Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan, showed me how much I didn’t know — and that’s quite a bit.

Did you know that the Taliban tried desperately to surrender, offering to turn over Osama bin Laden to the country of Washington’s choice — but that George W. Bush would have none of it? I didn’t.

Sit down for this one: Even before the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Taliban tasked their Foreign Minister, one Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil, to warn us that an attack on US soil was coming. Muttawakil’s journey to deliver the warning to the US embassy in Pershawar, Pakistan, in July of 2001, was to no avail. The Americans weren’t interested.

Although I had some idea of the extent of al-Qaeda’s operations in the Balkans in the 1990s, during the Bosnia war, I had no idea that 9/11 ringleader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed fought on “our” side — the Bosnian side — in that war.

Nor did I realize the extent of US support for al-Qaeda during the Clinton administration in other areas of the world, such as Chechnya, and even the Western-most provinces of China. Horton gives us a comprehensive — and little noted — account.

It’s hard to shock me, but I did a double-take when I read that “for political reasons, the US decided to blame the [1996] Khobar [Towers] attack on ‘Iranian-backed Saudi Hezbollah,’ thus letting the guilty” — al-Qaeda — “escape blame.” Nineteen US Air Force personnel were killed in that attack, along with one Saudi.

Then-Secretary of Defense William Perry now says he believes al-Qaeda was the perpetrator: bin Laden himself took credit for the attack. Yet the Saudi propaganda machine, in collaboration with their Washington allies, still perpetuate the myth of Iranian involvement.

So how did the “blind Sheikh,” Omar Abdel Rahman, leader of Egypt’s Islamic Jihad outfit, who masterminded the first attack on the World Trade Center, in 1993, even get into the country when he was a known terrorist? The CIA — “who considered him an old friend from the 1980s” — made sure he got a visa. Does Ann Coulter know about this?

And then there’s that time, after the first Iraq war, when G. H. W. Bush encouraged the Iraqi Shi’ites and Kurds to rise up, and then let them be slaughtered. But that wasn’t the full extent of Bushian perfidy: according to one report, US helicopters landed on a highway to Baghdad in order to block a coup attempt by Iraqi army officers marching on the capital.

And that’s just in the first 70 or so pages of the book! All this is extensively documented by Horton in a plethora of footnotes: you can check his sources as you read the book. I won’t go into every bit of surprising information that I came across in Fool’s Errand — that would require a 10,000-word essay. I’ll let my readers discover this treasure trove for themselves.

Instead, I want to focus on the central theme of the book: the concept of the Afghan war as a trap that the US willingly fell into. It’s constantly reiterated throughout the text, as on page 39:

“Their strategy was fairly simple, as bin Laden and [Ayman] Zawahiri repeatedly explained. They wanted to replicate their success against the Soviet Union by provoking America into invading the region outright, to bog the US military down and bleed its treasury dry, ultimately forcing complete collapse and withdrawal from the Middle East.”

Horton cites bin Laden’s own words, and they’re worth reiterating here:
“All that we have to do is to send two mujahideen to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al Qaeda, in order to make generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses without achieving anything of note other than some benefits for their private corporations.

“This is in addition to our having experience in using guerrilla warfare and the war of attrition to fight tyrannical superpowers, as we, alongside the mujahideen, bled Russia for ten years, until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat…. So we are continuing this policy of bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy.”

Horton prefaces Chapter Two with this citation, and right below it quotes George W. Bush, speaking in September of 2001: “We’re angry, but we’re not stupid.”

Except we are stupid, aren’t we? Because sixteen years later we’re still in Afghanistan, still falling ever deeper into bin Laden’s trap — and that much closer to bankruptcy.

There’s so much in this fact-jammed book that it’s impossible to cover it all in a review; you need to get it and read it. It’s accessible, not too long, and a real eye-opener. It’s especially relevant now, with our clueless President launching yet another “surge” in Afghanistan — the history of these endless “surges” is told in detail by Horton, who shows why they failed and why they’ll fail again.

By the way, Scott is our Opinion Editor here at Antiwar.com, and an invaluable asset for us. His wide knowledge is on full display in this book, his first. Extra bonus: he kept updating it right up until publication day, so it’s not only the most comprehensive treatment I’ve seen, it’s also got an analysis of all the latest developments. You can’t ask for anything more!

Antiwar.com is the premier web site for non-interventionists — and also has the best, most comprehensive coverage of foreign affairs on the Internet, no matter what your views. We don’t get funding from the big foundations, or Hollywood, or from eccentric billionaires: we depend on you, our readers, to give us the support we need to continue our work.

Scott Horton is managing director of The Libertarian Institute, host of Antiwar Radio for Pacifica, 90.7 FM KPFK in Los Angeles and 88.3 FM KUCR in Riverside, California, host of the Scott Horton Show and the opinion editor of Antiwar.com. Horton has conducted more than 4,500 interviews since 2003.

To listen to Antiwar Radio, tune in to KPFK 90.7 FM, Pacifica, in the Los Angeles area at 8:30 am Pacific time Sundays, subscribe to the podcast feed of the shows at Scott’s website, on iTunes or on Stitcher.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

US Launches Missile Intercept Test; Calls for Bombing in the Waters Off Hawaii

August 31st, 2017 - by admin

Missile Defense Agency News & William Cole / Honolulu Star-Advertiser & Jessica Else / The Garden Island – 2017-08-31 23:11:44

https://www.mda.mil/news/17news0009.html

Aegis BMD System Intercepts Target Missile
Missile Defense Agency News


Aegis Ashore FTO-02 E1a Flight Test — December 12, 2015

(August 29, 2017) — The Missile Defense Agency and US Navy sailors aboard the USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) successfully conducted a complex missile defense flight test, resulting in the intercept of a medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) target using Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) guided missiles during a test off the coast of Hawaii today.

John Paul Jones detected and tracked a target missile launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii with its onboard AN/SPY-1 radar, and onboard SM-6 missiles executed the intercept.

“We are working closely with the fleet to develop this important new capability, and this was a key milestone in giving our Aegis BMD ships an enhanced capability to defeat ballistic missiles in their terminal phase,” said MDA Director Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves. “We will continue developing ballistic missile defense technologies to stay ahead of the threat as it evolves.

This test, designated Flight Test Standard Missile-27 Event 2 (FTM-27 E2), marks the second time that an SM-6 missile has successfully intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile target.

Aegis BMD is the naval component of the Ballistic Missile Defense System. MDA and the US Navy cooperatively manage the Aegis BMD program. Additional information about all elements of the ballistic missile defense system can be found here.

Missile defense technology being developed, tested and deployed by the United States is designed to counter ballistic missiles of all ranges — short, medium, intermediate and long.

Since ballistic missiles have different ranges, speeds, size and performance characteristics, the Ballistic Missile Defense System is an integrated, “layered” architecture that provides multiple opportunities to destroy missiles and their warheads before they can reach their targets.

The system’s architecture includes:
* Networked sensors (including space-based) and ground- and sea-based radars for target detection and tracking;

* Ground- and sea-based interceptor missiles for destroying a ballistic missile using either the force of a direct collision, called “hit-to-kill” technology, or an explosive blast fragmentation warhead;

* and a command, control, battle management, and communications network providing the operational commanders with the needed links between the sensors and interceptor missiles.

Missile defense elements are operated by United States military personnel from US Strategic Command, US Northern Command, US Pacific Command, US Forces Japan, US European Command and others. The United States has missile defense cooperative programs with a number of allies, including United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, Israel, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Poland, Italy and many others.

The Missile Defense Agency also actively participates in NATO activities to maximize opportunities to develop an integrated NATO ballistic missile defense capability.

Related:
US, Japan Conduct Successful Missile Interception Test (February 6, 2017)


Feds OK 5-year Air Force Plan
For Bombing Practice off Kauai

William Cole / Honolulu Star-Advertiser

(August 30, 2017) — The National Marine Fisheries Service has given approval to a five-year Air Force plan for bombing practice at sea off Kauai that reduces munitions used and increases monitoring for impacts to whales and dolphins.

Earthjustice attorney David Henkin, who previously criticized the plan as not doing enough to protect marine mammals, said Tuesday the Air Force “did beef up the monitoring, which is a positive development.”

The Long Range Strike Weapons System Evaluation Program may use aircraft, including B-1, B-2 and B-52 bombers, and F-15, F-16, F-22 and F-35 fighters to release over water weapons including joint air-to-surface standoff missiles with a 1,000-pound warhead; 200 to 250-pound small-diameter glide bombs; high-speed anti-radiation, or HARM, missiles; and joint direct attack munitions, the Air Force said in a previous environmental assessment.

The Air Force said it needs the annual at-sea training at Kauai’s Pacific Missile Range Facility up to Aug. 20, 2022, due to unspecified national security threats that likely revolve around China, with increased air-to-surface exercises directed by the Pentagon.

The fisheries service said since the development of the environmental assessment, which was completed in October, the Air Force identified a reduction in the number of munitions to be used during each exercise. No reason was given for the decrease.

The Air Force also previously said each long-range strike mission would occur over a maximum of five consecutive days a year with about 110 bombs released each time. The impact area is approximately 50 miles off Kauai in waters 15,000 feet deep.

A “finding of no significant impact” signed by the Fisheries Service on Aug. 11 said that in 2017 training would only occur on one day and include eight small-diameter bombs.

“In future years, the number (and) type of munitions are reduced by 40 percent with a maximum of four days of training occurring over a five-day time period,” the finding said. Between 38 and 64 weapons would be released annually between 2018 and 2021.

The training for 2018 through 2022 would be conducted on weekdays between June and August, or September through November.

Earthjustice, an environmental group, put the fisheries serv¬ice on notice in June that it believed the federal regulations proposed at the time for the bombing practice violated the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

The fisheries service said it was issuing the “letter of authorization” for the Air Force to go forward with the training after the Air Force decreased the number of munitions it plans to deploy annually, reducing the level of harassment for marine life.

The agency said it worked with the Air Force “to develop a comprehensive marine mammal mitigation and monitoring plan designed to decrease potential impacts to marine mammals.”

Monitoring measures will include:
* Aerial surveys using long-range sensor pods on aircraft and range cameras at PMRF to monitor before, during and after training.

* Delaying exercises if a marine animal is observed within an exclusion zone to avoid exposure to levels of explosives likely to result in injury or death.

* Shifting the target site as far as possible from an observed marine mammal’s location.

* Data from acoustic monitoring using PMRF’s hydrophones will be collected and analyzed to better understand the effects of the Air Force bombing.

Henkin said it’s preferable to use the hydrophones in real time to monitor for marine animals, and environmental experts are reviewing the Air Force’s assertion that the hydrophones wouldn’t be suited for that.

“What I can say today, having looked at (the approval for the first time Monday), there have been many improvements made,” Henkin said.

The Marine Mammal Protection Act allows, with review and approval, the incidental but not intentional “taking” or harassment of small numbers of marine mammals during activities such as military training, the fisheries serv¬ice said. Deaths or serious injury to whales and dolphins are not anticipated or authorized for the training, the agency said.

Level A harassment has the potential to injure a marine mammal, while Level B harassment has the potential to disturb an animal by causing a disruption of behavioral patterns.

Thirty instances of Level A harassment from the training are projected annually by the fisheries service for whales and dolphins, with 18 for dwarf sperm whales, while nearly 1,200 instances are anticipated for Level B harassment.

The service issued a marine mammal incidental har¬assment authorization for very limited Air Force at-sea bombing off Kauai in 2016.


Training on at PMRF:
Loud Noises Could Continue Through Today

Jessica Else / The Garden Island

BARKING SANDS (August 30, 2017) — People living near the US Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility might have heard sirens and other loud noises coming from the base Tuesday, and those noises will be continuing today. It’s because of a two-day training exercise.

Training is centered around chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and enhanced conventional weapons (CBRNE) exercises, designed to enhance the training, readiness and capability of security forces and first responders, according to PMRF staff. The exercise is not in response to any specific threat, PMRF staff members said.

“From what I saw it was a great training event,” said Capt. Vincent Johnson, PMRF commanding officer.

Sirens and exercise announcements communicated through a mass communications system called the “Giant Voice” could continue to echo from PMRF through today, and people might see those in training in protective CBRNE suits at PMRF.

Staff members at PMRF said the exercise might cause some temporary delays in base access and increased traffic around the base, but measures are being taken to minimize disruption to community and normal base activities.

Copyright 2017 Thegardenisland.com. All rights reserved

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

ACTION ALERT: Help Hurricane Recovery Efforts; Condemn Trump’s Denial of Climate Change

August 31st, 2017 - by admin

Reggie James / Sierra Club & Amanda Terkel / The Huffington Post & Petition / The Daily Kos – 2017-08-31 23:00:00

https://sierra.secure.force.com/donate/rc_connect__campaign_designform

ACTION ALERT: Hurricane Harvey:
Help Sierra Club support community-led recovery efforts

Reggie James / Sierra Club

HOUSTON, Texas (August 31, 2017) — I could never have imagined seeing devastation like this in my home state. As rain continues to fall, I know all of our hearts are with those here in Texas and Louisiana who have had their lives affected by this horrific disaster. The heroism and sacrifice of first responders and volunteers risking their lives and working tirelessly to save others is truly inspiring, and gives me hope.

But communities here have not even begun to recover. We still do not know the full extent of the devastation, and FEMA officials are already preparing for a “years long” recovery process.

I know many of you are heartbroken and searching for ways to help. Well, here’s one critical way:
Donate to Sierra Club’s Harvey relief efforts.

Sierra Club’s local chapters and national staff will be working hand-in-hand with community groups throughout the Gulf Coast to address the hurricane’s environmental effects, support urgent relief efforts, and advocate for a just and equitable distribution of resources.

Communities across the Gulf Coast need immediate assistance. We have seen first-hand the results of disregard for environmental safety, as toxic chemicals and fossil fuel infrastructure throughout the Gulf Coast have made people sick.

Refineries, storage tanks and chemical plants have already caused untold damage to the neighborhoods they were built in, and to the people who have lived next to them for decades. Now, low-income communities and communities of color are being exposed to new risks as Harvey’s winds and waters threaten more than 20 toxic sites and 24 Superfund sites that are in the storm’s path.

It is a tragedy and we need to respond with all the tools we have to help provide immediate relief and begin the long road toward a just recovery.

The Sierra Club is mobilizing our staff and marshalling resources to help support relief efforts across the Gulf. It is more imperative than ever before that we leave no person or community behind, both in the efforts to clean up after this historically devastating storm and in the efforts to rebuild and recover in the weeks, months, and years to come.

Please make your donation to Sierra Club’s Harvey relief efforts through the Lone Star Chapter today. 100% of funds you donate will go directly to community-led recovery efforts throughout the flood zone.

Thank you for your support,
Reggie James is Director, of the Sierra Club’s Lone Star Chapter


“What a Crowd! What a Turnout!”
Trump Makes Devastating Hurricane All About Trump

Amanda Terkel / The Huffington Post

(August 29, 2017) — Crises like major weather disasters offer presidents the chance to unify the country and rise above partisan politics. Although a significant amount of aid work is done at the state and local levels, the president still has a major role in coordinating the response and setting the tone for the country.

But for Donald Trump, Hurricane Harvey has been a golden opportunity to promote himself.

“We want to be looked at in five years, in 10 years from now as, this is the way to do it,” the president said on Tuesday. “We want to do it better than ever before.”

Right now, however, Trump wants to be looked at in a way that makes people say, “I would really like to wear that hat, and I’d be willing to pay that man $40 for it.”

The president has repeatedly worn his own campaign merchandise, which is on sale at his website, to Hurricane Harvey events.

Nearly every chance he gets, Trump brags about the size of his hurricane. He doesn’t have to deal with just any old storm like his predecessors did — he is confronting a huge storm. The biggest storm you’ve ever seen. A storm that only he could handle. And of course, he wants everyone to know that he and his administration are doing a heckuva job.

Trump also continued to tout how many supporters he has, and the size of his crowds, which he also does at nearly every campaign rally. On Tuesday, he remarked on the crowd size while visiting Corpus Christi, saying, “What a crowd, what a turnout.”

He was at a fire station to meet with local officials about the disaster response. It was not a rally.

Reporters at the event heard no mention from the president of the dead, suffering or displaced Texans, nor did they hear Trump express any sympathy for them, according to a Dallas Morning News reporter.

Trump seems to be taking a certain amount of satisfaction from the attention he and the hurricane are getting on TV, where cable news has nearly non-stop coverage.

On Tuesday, Trump boasted that Federal Emergency Management Director Brock Long “has really become very famous on television over the last couple of days.” And he defended his decision to pardon controversial Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio during Harvey, saying he did so because of how many people were tuning in: “I assumed the ratings would be far higher.”

On the same day that Trump was tweeting about the size of the hurricane, his great rescue operation, NAFTA and his insistence that Mexico will pay for the border wall, former President Barack Obama tweeted a donation link to the Red Cross.


ACTION ALERT: Sign the Petition:
Denounce Trump’s Response to Hurricane Harvey

The Daily Kos
(August 30, 2017) — We all remember George W. Bush’s disgraceful response to Hurricane Katrina: “Heckuva job, Brownie.” If you can believe it, Donald Trump’s response to Harvey is even worse.

While victims are stranded waiting for assistance to evacuate, Trump:
(a) tweeted that it was the biggest storm in 500 years, and the spirit of Texas people is “incredible,”
(b) demanded that Mexico pay for his border wall,
(c) bragged that he won the state of Missouri and
(d) promoted a political supporter’s book.

His Twitter feed is a complete disgrace.

Meanwhile, Trump has failed to appoint people to key administration posts on disaster relief.

Sign the Petition: Trump’s response to Hurricane Harvey is a complete disgrace.

Our Message to Donald Trump:
Many of Hurricane Harvey’s victims will die as a result of Donald Trump’s disgraceful reaction. Shame on Trump!

ACTION ALERT: Houston Hurricane — A Harbinger of Climate Change

August 31st, 2017 - by admin

Jim Hightower / Our Revolution – 2017-08-31 22:46:32

https://go.ourrevolution.com/page/s/act-on-climate-now

ACTION ALERT: Houston Hurricane —
A Harbinger of Climate Change

Jim Hightower / Our Revolution

(August 31, 2017) – Devastating floods along the Gulf Coast and across the world this week are not isolated incidents — they are our new climate reality. We need members of Congress to take radical steps to combat the worst effects of climate change now before things get even worse.

Senators Bernie Sanders and Jeff Merkley, and Representatives Tulsi Gabbard, Pramila Jayapaul, Raul Grijalva and many others have introduced legislation to transition our energy economy off of dangerous fossil fuels to renewable energy.

The tragedy of the devastating flooding from Hurricane Harvey has already cost dozens of lives, with tens of thousands of families flooded out of their homes, and hundreds of billions of dollars needed to help Houston and surrounding communities along the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast recover.

In addition, we have to think more broadly about the ravages of climate change. In the same week as Harvey, torrential rains have caused mudslides in Sierra Leone that have claimed more than 1,000 lives, and the worst monsoon storms in South Asia have resulted in flooding that has killed more than 1,200 people across India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Twentieth century infrastructure is not equipped to handle this new climate reality, and our over-reliance on fossil fuels has only exacerbated the effects of a warming climate.

In times of global crisis, the United States has always striven to be a leader. The future of our planet is in peril, but we have the capacity to expand newly innovated technologies on a massive scale. Like Franklin Delano Roosevelt established the Tennessee Valley Authority at the height of the Great Depression to bring new technology to vast swathes of our country, creating millions of new jobs in the process, we need a modern day initiative to transition away from fossil fuels and embrace renewable energy.

Members of Congress like Senators Bernie Sanders and Jeff Merkley, Representatives Raul Grijalva, Tulsi Gabbard, Pramila Jayapal, and many others have introduced strong pieces of legislation to rapidly transition our economy off of fossil fuels to renewable energy. We must come together as one nation and one people by supporting these efforts and more.

No matter an individual’s party affiliation, global climate change is a crisis that demands cooperation and coordination amongst our political parties and the countries of the world.

We cannot predict natural disasters, but we can work to mitigate the worst effects of human-caused climate change. There is still time to act to ensure tragedies like we have seen in the Gulf Coast, Sierra Leone, South Asia, and regions around the world do not get worse.

Now is the time for change. Incrementalism is no longer a viable option. Your leadership in the global climate movement can help to ensure a better future.

In solidarity,
Jim Hightower, Board Member, Our Revolution

ACTION: Sign our petition calling on Congress to pass legislation to end our reliance on fossil fuels and move to sustainable energy. Help us save the world for ourselves and future generations.

Our Revolution, 603 2nd Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002

2017 NoWar Conference Will Feature Powerful Film on What War Does to the Earth

August 31st, 2017 - by admin

David Swanson / Talk Nation Radio & Scarred Lands Film.com – 2017-08-31 13:07:19

Talk Nation Radio: Alice and Lincoln Day on What War Does to the Earth

“Scared Lands and Wasted Lives: What War Does to the Earth”
David Swanson / Talk Nation Radio

David Swanson interviews Alice and Lincoln Day / Talk Nation Radio

Alice and Lincoln Day have produced an amazing film about the impact of war on the natural environment, which fits perfectly with World Beyond War’s upcoming conference on that theme. Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives was produced between 2006 and 2007 in Australia, California, Vermont, Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia.

The feature-length version premiered at the 2008 DC Environmental Film Festival. Since then, the film has been screened in film festivals throughout the U.S. and some countries overseas, winning 15 awards along the way.

A shorter 56-minute version of the film was created that aired nationally on Public Television in 2011 and 2012, and will be screened at the No War 2017 Conference set for September 22-25 in Washington DC. [Read more about the Conference below.]

Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives:
The Environmental Footprint of War

HOPE FOR RESTORING A WOUNDED PLANET
The Scarred Lands Project invites you to watch and share these five short films, directed and produced by Alice and Lincoln Day, to inspire a new ethic of interdependence with the natural world. These shorts are based on the award-winning documentary Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives: The Environmental Footprint of War.

Winner, Award of Merit Special Mention:
Documentary Short, Best Shorts Competition

WATCH AND SHARE THESE SHORTS

The order of the films listed below represents a progression from the despair at what we see the Iraq war has left behind to the hope that real change is possible through creating alternatives to military force.

What We Are Leaving Behind in Iraq

7 min.) An Iraq war veteran who served two deployments tells what he saw we are leaving behind in Iraq and recorded with thousands of photos. Michael Fitzpatrick is a former U.S. Army Sergeant, deployed in Iraq from March 2004 to March 2005 and then again from October 2006 until January 2008. The 5-year stretch he was there gave him an unusual opportunity to view changes over time in the environment and activities of the American military.

He was particularly horrified by the scale of military equipment, ordnance, and dangerous munitions that were left lying around, a threat to the safety of American soldiers and to Iraqi children and adults alike. He felt strongly that Americans should be made aware of what was going on: that “they knew how to destroy, they didn’t know how to restore.” To record what he saw, Fitzpatrick took some 3,000 photos that became the inspiration and basis for this 7-minute photo essay.

Ecosystems War and Climate Change

(4 min.) Four scientists describe the impact of climate change on wildlife and fragile ecosystems, and underline the destructive role of warfare in undermining our capacity to protect and sustain our essential natural resources.

Environmental Pathways to Peace Building

(6 min.) Building peace parks, sharing common ecosystem needs, such as access to scarce potable water, and providing children and adults with first-hand experience of nature, are presented as specific, do-able strategies for maintaining peace and furthering sustainable practices toward the earth’s natural systems.

The Top Priority

(3 min.) A Lt. General (ret.) says that a top priority is raising consciousness in the military about the need for protection of the environment for future generations. As long as the national leadership is not strongly on its side, it is unlikely that the military will recognize the importance of natural security to national security.

Forging a New Ethic

(7 min.) “What we need is a new ethic in which every person changes lifestyle, attitude, and behavior.” Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UN Environment Program.


No War 2017: War and the Environment
September 22-24 Conference in Washington, D.C.

Following September 21, the International Day of Peace, and in the tradition of No War 2016: Real Security Without Terrorism, this year’s conference will focus on addressing how the antiwar and environmental movements can work together. We encourage and can help you to hold similar events in other locations, and this event will be livestreamed so that other events can watch it.

WHEN:
Friday, Sept 22: 7-10 p.m.
Saturday, Sept 23: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sunday, Sept 24: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.

WHO:
Speakers will include: Medea Benjamin, Nadine Bloch, Max Blumenthal, Natalia Cardona, Suzanne Cole, Alice Day, Lincoln Day, Tim DeChristopher, Dale Dewar, Pat Elder, Bruce Gagnon, Philip Giraldi, Will Griffin, Tony Jenkins, Larry Johnson, Kathy Kelly, Jonathan King, Lindsay Koshgarian, Peter Kuznick, James Marc Leas, Annie Machon, Ray McGovern, Rev Lukata Mjumbe, Elizabeth Murray, Anthony Rogers-Wright, Alice Slater, Gar Smith, Susi Snyder, Mike Stagg, Jill Stein, David Swanson, Robin Taubenfeld, Eric Teller, Brian Terrell, Brian Trautman, Richard Tucker, Donnal Walter, Larry Wilkerson, Diane Wilson, Emily Wurth, Kevin Zeese. Read speakers’ bios.

MUSIC by The Irthlingz Duo: Sharon Abreu and Michael Hurwicz, and by Emma’s Revolution, and by Bryan Cahall.

WHERE:
American University Katzen Art Center
4400 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016
All events in the Recital Hall. Workshops on Sunday in the Recital Hall, and in Rooms 112, 115, 123, and 128.

How to get there.
Lodging and rides board.

Click here to register (includes 2 catered vegan meals and a copy of the new 2017 edition of A Global Security System: An Alternative to War). The venue seats 211, and we will close registrations when we need to.

About Talk Nation Radio
Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!
Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete at http://TalkNationRadio.org
and at https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/tracks

David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson’s books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at DavidSwanson.organd WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015, 2016, 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.

ACTION ALERT: Help Move Your Government To Ratify the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty

August 31st, 2017 - by admin

Abolition 2000 – 2017-08-31 02:27:13

http://www.abolition2000.org/en/news/2017/08/25/check-out-the-new-kit-and-help-get-your-government-to-sign-and-ratify-the-ban-treaty/

ACTION ALERT: Help Move Your Government
To Ratify the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty

Abolition 2000

(August 25, 2017) — Democracy broke out at the UN this summer when 122 nations working closely with Civil Society adopted a treaty to ban nuclear weapons on July 7, 2017 after three weeks of negotiations; mandated by the UN General Assembly.

For the first time in history; nuclear weapons will be ruled unlawful and prohibited; just as the world has done for other weapons of mass destruction such as biological and chemical weapons!

Although the nine nuclear weapons states and their partners in the US nuclear alliance in NATO — as well as Japan, Australia, and South Korea — did not support the negotiations, the non-nuclear weapons states took the lead to make this new treaty to ban the bomb a reality.

The treaty requires 50 countries to sign and ratify it before it enters into legal force. It will be opened for signature at the UN General Assembly in New York on September 20, 2017.

Please see and download the Signing Kit here prepared by the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (or click on the image below) to help you take effective action to enroll your government to sign and ratify the treaty.

See the ICAN website here, for more information on the text of the treaty and which nations voted for it.


Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons —
Signature and Ratification

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons includes a comprehensive set of prohibitions on participating in any nuclear weapon activities. These include undertakings not to develop, test, produce, acquire, possess, stockpile, use or threaten to use nuclear weapons.

The Treaty also prohibits the deployment of nuclear weapons on national territory and the provision of assistance to any State in the conduct of prohibited activities. States parties will also be obliged to prevent and suppress any activity prohibited to a State Party under this Treaty undertaken by persons or on territory under its jurisdiction or control.

The Treaty also obliges States parties to provide adequate assistance to individuals affected by the use or testing of nuclear weapons as well as to take necessary and appropriate measure of environmental remediation in areas under its jurisdiction or control contaminated as a result of activities related to the testing or use of nuclear weapons.

This brochure describes the procedures that States must follow in order to sign, ratify, accept, approve or accede to this treaty.

Included are model instruments that can be used for deposit with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

1. Signature
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will open for signature on 20 September 2017 at United Nations Headquarters in New York. Thereafter it can be signed at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Under established international practice, only Heads of State, Heads of Government or Ministers for Foreign A airs are empowered, by virtue of their functions, to sign multilateral treaties on behalf of States without having to produce full powers to that effect.

Other representatives wishing to sign the Treaty must be in possession of appropriate full powers signed by one of these authorities. States wishing to sign the Treaty should, as necessary, provide the required full powers in advance to the United Nations Secretariat, Office of Legal Affairs.

By signing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, a State signals its intention to become a party to it in the future. Once it has signed the Treaty, a State must not take any action that would undermine its object and purpose (see Article 18, Vienna Treaty on the Law of Treaties, 1969). Signing the Treaty does not make the State a party to it.

Signature does not legally bind the signatory State or require it to begin to implement the provisions of the Treaty. To become legally bound by a multilateral treaty, a signatory State must subsequently deposit its instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval. That State will then become a party in accordance with the entry into force provisions of the treaty in question.

States that have not signed a treaty may also consent to be bound by the treaty through the act of accession.

2. Consent to be bound (ratification, acceptance, approval and accession)
To become party to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, a State must formally consent to be bound by the Treaty. This involves two steps: action by the concerned State at national level, and the notification to the depositary of consent to be bound.

A. Action by the national government
At the national level, a State must agree to adhere to the Treaty in accordance with domestic procedures for becoming party to treaties. This usually requires discussion within the country and action by its parliament and/or its executive.

B. Notification to the depositary
After domestic procedures have been followed and the decision to be bound by the Treaty has been taken, a State will need to prepare an instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.

A State that has signed the Treaty may consent to be bound by preparing an instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval.

A State that has not signed the Treaty may consent to be bound by preparing an instrument of accession.

For constitutional reasons, certain States use the terms ‘acceptance’ or ‘approval’ to describe their adherence to multilateral treaties. These terms have the same legal effect as ratification and consequently express a signatory State’s consent to be bound by a treaty.

Instruments of consent to be bound by the Treaty (ratification, acceptance, approval or accession) must be deposited with the Treaty’s depositary: the Secretary-General of the United Nations (contact: Office of Legal A airs, Treaty Section). e deposit of an instrument of consent to be bound with the depositary is a pre-requisite for the entry into force of a multilateral treaty for a State.

Some States can ratify treaties immediately, if their domestic procedures so permit. Nothing prohibits a State from depositing its instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on the same day as it signs the Treaty.

3. Entry into force
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons shall enter into force 90 days after 50 States have deposited their instrument of consent to be bound (ratification, acceptance, approval or accession). The specific date on which the Treaty becomes binding on a State is determined as follows:

a) For the first 50 States that deposit instruments with the United Nations Secretary-General, the Treaty will enter into force 90 days after the 50th instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession is deposited.

b) For States that deposit their instrument thereafter, the Treaty will enter into force 90 days following the date on which they deposit their its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with the United Nations Secretary- General.

4. Model instruments
Models of instruments to be deposited with the Secretary- General of the United Nations are annexed.

A. Model Instrument of Full Powers
FULL POWERS

I, [name and title of Minister for Foreign Affairs, Head of State or Head of Government],

HEREBY AUTHORIZE, [name and title], to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, done at New York on 7 July 2017, on behalf of the Government of [name of State].

Done at [place] on [date] [Signature]

This instrument must be signed by the Head of State, Head of Government or Minister of Foreign A airs.

B. Model Instrument of Ratification, Acceptance or
Approval of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

WHEREAS the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted at New York on 7 July 2017 and opened for signature at New York on 20 September 2017,

WHEREAS the said Treaty has been signed on behalf of the Government of _____ on ______,

NOW THEREFORE I, [name and title of the Head of State, Head of Government or Minister of Foreign Affairs], declare that the Government of _______, having considered the above-mentioned Treaty, ratifies [accepts, approves] the same Treaty and undertakes faithfully to perform and carry out the stipulations therein contained.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have signed this instrument of [ratification, acceptance, approval] at _______ on _______.

[Signature] + [seal]

This instrument must be signed by the Head of State, Head of Government or Minister of Foreign Affairs.

C. Model Instrument of Accession to the
Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

WHEREAS the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted at New York on 7 July 2017,

NOW THEREFORE I, [name and title of the Head of State, Head of Government or Minister of Foreign Affairs], declare that the Government of _______, having considered the above-mentioned Treaty, accedes to the same Treaty and undertakes faithfully to perform and carry out the stipulations therein contained.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have signed this instrument of accession at _______ on _______.

[Signature] + [seal]

This instrument must be signed by the Head of State, Head of Government or Minister of Foreign Affairs.


Positions on the Treaty

“Governments say a nuclear weapons ban is unlikely.
Don’t believe it. They said the same about a mine ban treaty.”

— Jody Williams Nobel laureate

On 7 July 2017, an overwhelming majority of the world’s nations voted to adopt the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – a landmark international agreement that outlaws the ultimate weapons of mass destruction and establishes a pathway to their elimination. This page summarizes government positions on the treaty.
+ Which nations were involved in negotiating the treaty?
+ Which nations voted in favour of adopting it?

Afghanistan
Supportive
Afghanistan participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Albania
Not supportive
Albania did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. Albania claims that US nuclear weapons are essential for its security.

Algeria
Supportive
Algeria participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was the site of French nuclear testing in the 1960s.

Andorra
Unclear
Andorra participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, but was absent for the vote on its adoption on 7 July 2017. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. However, in 2015 it pledged to cooperate in efforts to stigmatize, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons.

Angola
Supportive
Angola participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Antigua & Barbuda
Supportive
Antigua and Barbuda participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Argentina
Supportive
Argentina participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Armenia
Unclear
Armenia participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, but was absent for the vote on its adoption on 7 July 2017. It abstained from voting on the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Australia
Not supportive
Australia did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. Earlier that year, it had attempted to derail a special UN working group on nuclear disarmament in Geneva, which adopted a report recommending the negotiation of the treaty. Australia claims that US nuclear weapons are essential for its security. It was the site of British nuclear testing in the 1950s and 1960s.

Austria
Supportive
Austria participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. In 2014 it hosted the third intergovernmental conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, at which it launched a pledge, subsequently endorsed by 127 nations, to cooperate in efforts to stigmatize, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons.

Azerbaijan
Supportive
Azerbaijan participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Bahamas
Supportive
The Bahamas participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Bahrain
Supportive
Bahrain participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Bangladesh
Supportive
Bangladesh participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Barbados
Supportive
Barbados participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, but was absent for the vote on its adoption on 7 July 2017. It voted in favour of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Belarus
Unclear
Belarus did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It abstained from voting on the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Belgium
Not supportive
Belgium, which hosts US nuclear weapons on its territory, did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. It claims that US nuclear weapons are essential for its security.

Belize
Supportive
Belize participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Benin
Supportive
Benin participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Bhutan
Supportive
Bhutan participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Bolivia
Supportive
Bolivia participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Bosnia & Herzegovina
Not supportive
Bosnia and Herzegovina did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Botswana
Supportive
Botswana participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Brazil
Supportive
Brazil participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Brunei
Supportive
Brunei participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Bulgaria
Not supportive
Bulgaria did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. It claims that US nuclear weapons are essential for its security.

Burkina Faso
Supportive
Burkina Faso participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Burundi
Supportive
Burundi participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Cabo Verde
Supportive
Cabo Verde participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Cambodia
Supportive
Cambodia participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Cameroon
Supportive
Cameroon participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, but was absent for the vote on its adoption on 7 July 2017. It voted in favour of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Canada
Not supportive
Canada did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. It claims that US nuclear weapons are essential for its security.

Central African Republic
Supportive
The Central African Republic attended parts of the UN conference to negotiate the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, although it did not formally participate. It voted in favour of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Chad
Supportive
Chad participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Chile
Supportive
Chile participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

China
Not supportive
China, which possesses approximately 260 nuclear weapons, did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It abstained from voting on the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. Although it regularly declares its support for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons, its true commitment to nuclear disarmament remains in serious doubt. It has failed to fulfil its legally binding disarmament obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Colombia
Supportive
Colombia participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Comoros
Unclear
The Comoros attended parts of the UN conference to negotiate the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, although it did not formally participate. It abstained from voting on the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. However, it has pledged to cooperate in efforts to stigmatize, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons in light of their unacceptable humanitarian consequences.

Congo
Supportive
Congo participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Costa Rica
Supportive
Costa Rica participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. Its disarmament ambassador, Elayne Whyte Gómez, presided over the process. Costa Rica was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Cote d’Ivoire
Supportive
Cote d’Ivoire participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Croatia
Not supportive
Croatia did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. It claims that US nuclear weapons are essential for its security.

Cuba
Supportive
Cuba participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Cyprus
Supportive
Cyprus participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Czech Republic
Not supportive
The Czech Republic did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. It claims that US nuclear weapons are essential for its security.

Denmark
Not supportive
Denmark did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. It claims that US nuclear weapons are essential for its security. However, in the past it had called for intensified efforts to outlaw nuclear weapons in light of their unacceptable humanitarian consequences.

Djibouti
Supportive
Djibouti participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Dominica
Supportive
Dominica attended parts of the UN conference to negotiate the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, although it did not formally participate. It voted in favour of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Dominican Republic
Supportive
The Dominican Republic participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

DRC (Congo)
Supportive
The Democratic Republic of the Congo participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Ecuador
Supportive
Ecuador participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Egypt
Supportive
Egypt participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

El Salvador
Supportive
El Salvador participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Equatorial Guinea
Supportive
Equatorial Guinea participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Eritrea
Supportive
Eritrea participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Estonia
Not supportive
Estonia did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. It claims that US nuclear weapons are essential for its security.

Ethiopia
Supportive
Ethiopia participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Fiji
Supportive
Fiji participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Finland
Unclear
Finland did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It abstained from voting on the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. It regularly aligns itself with nations that claim that US nuclear weapons are essential for their security.

France
Not supportive
France, which possesses approximately 300 nuclear weapons, did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It has said that it intends never to join the treaty. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. It has failed to fulfil its legally binding disarmament obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Gabon
Supportive
Gabon attended parts of the UN conference to negotiate the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Gambia
Supportive
The Gambia participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Georgia
Unclear
Georgia did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, nor did it participate in the vote on the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Germany
Not supportive
Germany, which hosts US nuclear weapons on its territory, did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. It claims that US nuclear weapons are essential for its security.

Ghana
Supportive
Ghana participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Greece
Not supportive
Greece did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. It claims that US nuclear weapons are essential for its security.

Grenada
Supportive
Grenada participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Guatemala
Supportive
Guatemala participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Guinea
Supportive
Guinea participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, but was absent for the vote on its adoption on 7 July 2017. It voted in favour of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. It has pledged to cooperate in efforts to stigmatize, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons in light of their unacceptable humanitarian consequences.

Guinea-Bissau
Supportive
Guinea-Bissau attended parts of the UN conference to negotiate the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Guyana
Supportive
Guyana participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Haiti
Supportive
Haiti participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Holy See
Supportive
The Holy See participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Honduras
Supportive
Honduras participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Hungary
Not supportive
Hungary did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. It claims that US nuclear weapons are essential for its security.

Iceland
Not supportive
Iceland did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. It claims that US nuclear weapons are essential for its security. However, in the past it had called for intensified efforts to outlaw nuclear weapons in light of their unacceptable humanitarian consequences.

India
Not supportive
India, which possesses approximately 110 to 120 nuclear weapons, did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It abstained from voting on the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. Although it regularly declares its support for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons, its true commitment to nuclear disarmament remains in serious doubt.

Indonesia
Supportive
Indonesia participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Iran
Supportive
Iran participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Iraq
Supportive
Iraq participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Ireland
Supportive
Ireland participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Israel
Not supportive
Israel, which possesses approximately 80 nuclear weapons, did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Italy
Not supportive
Italy, which hosts US nuclear weapons on its territory, did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. It claims that US nuclear weapons are essential for its security.

Jamaica
Supportive
Jamaica participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Japan
Not supportive
Japan, which is the only nation ever to be attacked with nuclear weapons, did not formally participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It attended the first day of negotiations, but only to declare that it would be unable to negotiate constructively and in good faith. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. It claims that US nuclear weapons are essential for its security.

Jordan
Supportive
Jordan participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Kazakhstan
Supportive
Kazakhstan participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. From the 1940s to 1980s, it was the site of Soviet nuclear testing.

Kenya
Supportive
Kenya participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Kiribati
Supportive
Kiribati participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was the site of British nuclear testing in the 1950s and US nuclear testing in the 1960s.

Kuwait
Supportive
Kuwait participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Kyrgyzstan
Unclear
Kyrgyzstan attended parts of the UN conference to negotiate the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, although it did not formally participate. It abstained from voting on the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. However, in 2015 it pledged to cooperate in efforts to stigmatize, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons.

Laos
Supportive
Laos participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Latvia
Not supportive
Latvia did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. It claims that US nuclear weapons are essential for its security.

Lebanon
Supportive
Lebanon participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Lesotho
Supportive
Lesotho participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Liberia
Supportive
Liberia participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Libya
Supportive
Libya participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, but was absent for the vote on its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Liechtenstein
Supportive
Liechtenstein participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Lithuania
Not supportive
Lithuania did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. It claims that US nuclear weapons are essential for its security.

Luxembourg
Not supportive
Luxembourg did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. It claims that US nuclear weapons are essential for its security.

Macedonia
Supportive
Macedonia participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, but was absent for the vote on its adoption on 7 July 2017. It voted in favour of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. It has pledged to cooperate in efforts to stigmatize, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons in light of their unacceptable humanitarian consequences.

Madagascar
Supportive
Madagascar participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Malawi
Supportive
Malawi participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Malaysia
Supportive
Malaysia participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Maldives
Supportive
The Maldives attended parts of the UN conference to negotiate the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, although it did not formally participate. It voted in favour of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Mali
Unclear
Mali attended parts of the UN conference to negotiate the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, although it did not formally participate. It abstained from voting on the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. However, in 2015 it pledged to cooperate in efforts to stigmatize, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons.

Malta
Supportive
Malta participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Marshall Islands
Supportive
The Marshall Islands participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. The Marshall Islands was the site of US nuclear testing in the 1940s and 1950s.

Mauritania
Supportive
Mauritania participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Mauritius
Supportive
Mauritius participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Mexico
Supportive
Mexico participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. In 2014 it hosted the second intergovernmental conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, at which the chair concluded that a diplomatic process must be launched for the prohibition of nuclear weapons.

Micronesia
Not supportive
The Federated States of Micronesia did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. It was the only Pacific island state to do so, citing its military relationship with the United States as the reason.

Moldova
Supportive
The Republic of Moldova participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Monaco
Unclear
Monaco participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, but was absent for the vote on its adoption on 7 July 2017. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Mongolia
Supportive
Mongolia participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Montenegro
Not supportive
Montenegro did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. It claims that US nuclear weapons are essential for its security.

Morocco
Supportive
Morocco participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Mozambique
upportive
Mozambique participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Myanmar
Supportive
Myanmar participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Namibia
Supportive
Namibia participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Nauru
Supportive
Nauru participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, but was absent for the vote on its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Nepal
Supportive
Nepal participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Netherlands
Not supportive
The Netherlands, which hosts US nuclear weapons on its territory, participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons but voted against its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was the only nation to do so. It claims that US nuclear weapons are essential for its security.

New Zealand
Supportive
New Zealand participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Nicaragua
Unclear
Nicaragua participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, but was absent for the vote on its adoption on 7 July 2017. It abstained from voting on the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. It was the only Latin American nation to do so. However, in 2015 it pledged to cooperate in efforts to stigmatize, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons.

Niger
Supportive
Niger attended parts of the UN conference to negotiate the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, although it did not formally participate. It voted in favour of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. In 2015, it pledged to cooperate in efforts to stigmatize, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons.

Nigeria
Supportive
Nigeria participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

North Korea
Not supportive
North Korea, which is in the process of developing nuclear weapons, did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. In 2003 it announced its withdrawal from the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and has since carried out multiple nuclear test explosions.

Norway
Not supportive
Norway did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. It claims that US nuclear weapons are essential for its security. However, in the past it had called for intensified efforts to outlaw nuclear weapons. In 2013, it hosted the first intergovernmental conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons.

Oman
Supportive
Oman participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Pakistan
Not supportive
Pakistan, which possesses approximately 120 to 130 nuclear weapons, did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It abstained from voting on the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. Although it regularly declares its support for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons, its true commitment to nuclear disarmament remains in serious doubt.

Palau
Supportive
Palau participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Palestine
Supportive
Palestine participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Panama
Supportive
Panama participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Papua New Guinea
Supportive
Papua New Guinea participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Paraguay
Supportive
Paraguay participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Peru
Supportive
Peru participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Philippines
Supportive
The Philippines participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Poland
Not supportive
Poland did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. It claims that US nuclear weapons are essential for its security.

Portugal
Not supportive
Portugal did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. It claims that US nuclear weapons are essential for its security.

Qatar
Supportive
Qatar participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Romania
Not supportive
Romania did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. It claims that US nuclear weapons are essential for its security.

Russia
Not supportive
Russia, which possesses approximately 7,000 nuclear weapons, did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. It has failed to fulfil its legally binding disarmament obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Rwanda
Supportive
Rwanda did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. However, it voted in favour of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Saint Kitts & Nevis
Supportive
Saint Kitts and Nevis participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Saint Lucia
Supportive
Saint Lucia participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Saint Vincent & the Grenadines
Supportive
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Samoa
Supportive
Samoa participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

San Marino
Supportive
San Marino participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Sao Tome & Principe
Supportive
Sao Tome and Principe participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Saudi Arabia
Supportive
Saudi Arabia participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Senegal
Supportive
Senegal participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Serbia
Not supportive
Serbia did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. However, in 2015 it pledged to cooperate in efforts to stigmatize, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons.

Seychelles
Supportive
The Seychelles participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Sierra Leone
Supportive
Sierra Leone participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Singapore
Unclear
Singapore participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons but abstained from the voting on its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Slovakia
Not supportive
Slovakia did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. It claims that US nuclear weapons are essential for its security.

Slovenia
Not supportive
Slovenia did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. It claims that US nuclear weapons are essential for its security.

Solomon Islands
Supportive
The Solomon Islands participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Somalia
Supportive
Somalia attended parts of the UN conference to negotiate the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, although it did not formally participate. It voted in favour of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. In 2015, it pledged to cooperate in efforts to stigmatize, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons.

South Africa
Supportive
South Africa participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

South Korea
Not supportive
South Korea did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. It claims that US nuclear weapons are essential for its security.

South Sudan
Unclear
South Sudan attended parts of the UN conference to negotiate the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, although it did not formally participate. It also did not participate in the vote on the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Spain
Not supportive
Spain did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. It claims that US nuclear weapons are essential for its security.

Sri Lanka
Supportive
Sri Lanka participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Sudan
Supportive
Sudan participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Suriname
Supportive
Suriname participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Swaziland
Supportive
Swaziland participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, but was absent for the vote on its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Sweden
Supportive
Sweden participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Switzerland
Supportive
Switzerland participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Syria
Unclear
Syria participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, but was absent for the vote on its adoption on 7 July 2017. It did not participate in the vote on the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Tajikistan
Supportive
Tajikistan attended parts of the UN conference to negotiate the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, although it did not formally participate. It voted in favour of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. In 2015, it pledged to cooperate in efforts to stigmatize, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons.

Tanzania
Supportive
Tanzania participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Thailand
Supportive
Thailand participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Timor-Leste
Supportive
Timor-Leste participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Togo
Supportive
Togo participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Tonga
Supportive
Tonga participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Trinidad & Tobago
Supportive
Trinidad and Tobago participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017. It was among the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty.

Tunisia
Supportive
Tunisia participated in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and voted in favour of its adoption on 7 July 2017.

Turkey
Not supportive
Turk

ACTION ALERT: Endorse the Petition For Diplomatic Solution to US-Korea Clash

August 31st, 2017 - by admin

Appeal of Abolition 2000 – 2017-08-31 01:46:06

http://www.abolition2000.org/en/news/2017/08/30/5826/

ACTION ALERT: Endorse the Petition
For Diplomatic Solution to US-Korea Clash

We invite you to endorse an Appeal of Abolition 2000 Members for a diplomatic approach to address the Korea nuclear crisis.

(August 30, 2017) — The escalating tensions and threat of military conflict over North Korea’s nuclear and missile capabilities make a diplomatic solution of vital importance and the highest priority. The increasing risk of war — and possibly even the use of nuclear weapons by miscalculation, accident, or intent — is frightening.

Below is the appeal drafted by members of Abolition 2000. We plan to send the appeal and list of endorsers to leaders of China, Japan, North Korea, Russia, South Korea and the United States, as well as to the United Nations and European Union.

Please reply to info@baselpeaceoffice.org by September 5 if you can endorse, indicating whether you endorse as an individual or on behalf of your organization.

The Abolition 2000 members listed below, representing peace and disarmament organisations from around the world, call on the United States and North Korea to step back from the brink of war in North East Asia, and instead adopt a diplomatic approach to prevent war.

We call for the immediate commencement of negotiations to prevent a military conflict from erupting, and to resolve the underlying conflicts. Such negotiations should take place both bilaterally and through a renewed Six-Party framework involving China, Japan, North Korea, Russia, South Korea and the United States.

The escalating tensions and threat of military conflict over North Korea’s nuclear and missile capabilities makes a diplomatic solution of vital importance and the highest priority. The increasing risk of war — and possibly even the use of nuclear weapons by miscalculation, accident, or intent — is frightening.

More than three million citizens of Korea, Japan, China, USA and other countries lost their lives in the Korean War from 1950-1953. Should a war erupt again, the loss of lives could be considerably worse, especially if nuclear weapons are used. Indeed, a nuclear conflict erupting in Korea could engulf the entire world in a nuclear catastrophe that would end civilization as we know it.

In supporting diplomacy rather than war, we:
1. Oppose any pre-emptive use of force by any of the parties, which would be counter-productive and likely lead to nuclear war;
2. Call on all parties to refrain from militaristic rhetoric and provocative military exercises;
3. Encourage China, Japan, North Korea, Russia, South Korea and the United States to consider the phased and comprehensive approach for a North-East Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone with a 3+3 arrangement [1] , which already has cross-party support in Japan and South Korea and interest from the North Korean government;
4. Encourage China, Japan, North Korea, Russia, South Korea and the United States to also consider options and modalities for turning the 1953 Armistice Agreement into a formal end to the 1950-1953 Korean War;
5. Welcome the call of the UN Secretary-General for a resumption of Six-Party talks and his offer to assist in negotiations;
6. Welcome also the offer of the European Union to assist in diplomatic negotiations, as they did successfully in the negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program;
7. Call on the United Nations Security Council to prioritise a diplomatic solution to the conflict.

[1] The 3+3 arrangement would include Japan, South Korea and North Korea agreeing not to possess or host nuclear weapons, and would require China, Russia and the USA agreeing not to deploy nuclear weapons in Japan, South Korea or North Korea, nor to attack or threaten to attack them with nuclear weapons.

For other actions and updates on the Korea nuclear crisis please visit www.pnnd.org . Current articles include:
1. US (and other) legislators call on President Trump to step back from the nuclear brink;
2. EU High Rep offers to help a diplomatic solution in Korea;
3. Help diplomacy in Korea, reduce nuclear threats and advance nuclear disarmament.
For background on the 3+3 NE Asia NWFZ proposal please click here.

US (and Other) Legislators Call on President Trump
To Step Back from the Nuclear Brink

Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND)

(August 11, 2017) — United States legislators responded yesterday to President Trump’s provocative threats against North Korea by calling on the President to step back from the nuclear brink and pursue a diplomatic solution to the escalating nuclear crisis.
On Wednesday, President Trump announced that ‘North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States’ or ‘they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.’

The announcement sent diplomatic shock-waves around the world, and elevated the tensions between North Korea and the USA. North Korea responded that, if attacked, they would creat an ‘enveloping fire’ around Guam, a key US military base in the Pacific.

PNND Co-President Senator Markey responds
PNND Co-President Senator Ed Markey responded yesterday by stating that:
‘President Trump’s escalatory rhetoric is exactly the wrong response to dealing with North Korea’s provocative behavior. It unnecessarily heightens the risk of miscalculation and creates the very fog that can lead to war.

Instead of scaring our allies and the American people by always trying to top North Korea’s bellicose rhetoric, President Trump should instead immediately authorize the State Department to engage in direct discussions with North Korea.

Talking is not a concession, it’s just common sense.’
Senator Markey also used the occasion to urge the Senate to remove the President’s current authorisation to launch a first strike with nuclear weapons without having to consult the US Congress.

‘We also must ensure that President Trump cannot turn his ‘fire and fury’ rhetoric into reality with a pre-emptive nuclear strike by passing the legislation I introduced with Congressman Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) that prohibits the President from doing so without a declaration of war from Congress.’

PNND Members Barbara Lee and John Conyers lead response in US House of Reps
PNND member Barbara Lee and Ranking Member John Conyers responded to the escalating crisis by organising a letter endorsed by more than 60 of their Democratic colleagues, which was sent yesterday to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urging the Trump Administration to exercise restraint with North Korea.

“President Trump’s belligerent rhetoric towards North Korea is dangerous. It’s imperative that President Trump de-escalate tensions and pursue diplomacy with North Korea,” said Congresswoman Lee. “Instead of saber-rattling, we should be pursuing direct talks with North Korea to prevent this crisis from spiraling out of control.”

Barabara Lee also urged the Trump Administration to acknowledge Congress’s constitutional role in authorizing war.

“The fact is that there is no military solution to this problem. Moreover, the power to declare war — or undertake any pre-emptive attack — lies with Congress. President Trump and his advisors must respect the constitutional authority of Congress to debate and vote on any war operations.”

‘Ratchet down the Rhetoric’ says UK Labour Leader
PNND Council member Jeremy Corbyn, who also serves as the leader of the UK Labour Party, today called on the USA and North Korea leaders to ‘ratchet down the rhetoric’ and ‘hold face-to-face talks in the interest of sanity and safety.’

‘We cannot play fast and loose with nuclear weapons and nuclear threats,’ Corbyn told the BBC. ‘I think it’s time that both Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un toned it all down a bit. Maybe even spoke to each other. I ask them both. Calm down. There are phone-calls that could be made, discussions that could be held. Surely, in the interest of sanity and safety over the whole world, do it.’

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs calls for diplomacy
PNND Honorary Council Member Federica Mogherini, who currently serves as the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, in a recent address to the European Union Foreign Affairs Council, called for a diplomatic solution syaing that ‘. . . we can do more to facilitate a solution that in our view cannot be but a diplomatic and political one; for sure not a military solution for the situation in the Korean peninsula, as the South Korean have pointed out very clear.’

On August 11, 2017, Ms Mogherini announced that she will hold a special meeting of the EU Security Committee on August 14 to discuss the escalating Korean crisis and the role of the EU.

Motion in Scottish parliament for diplomacy and a NE Asian nuclear-weapon-free zone
PNND Co-President Bill Kidd submitted a motion to the Scottish parliament today calling for diplomacy to resolve the North korean crisis and highlighting the proposal for a North East Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone.

‘That the Parliament notes the increasing tensions and threat of military conflict arising from North Korea’s nuclear and missile capabilities; is supportive of a letter to President Trump, which has been endorsed by 64 members of the United States House of Representatives, reminding him that military strikes without congressional approval would violate the constitution and urging him to therefore follow a diplomatic approach, and notes also the support of US policy experts, including Morton Halperin, who it understands was a high-level policy official in the Johnson, Nixon and Clinton administrations, who support the concept of a north east Asia nuclear weapon-free zone.’

NE Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone a possible solution
In May 2010, a cross-party group of parliamentarians from Japan and South Korea proposed the negotiation of a North East Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone as a solution to the growing nuclear threat from North Korea. The group included a number of former Foreign Ministers as we as the current Foreign Minister Taro Kono, a Co-President of PNND at the time.

The group believed that a NE Asia NWFZ would be a more feasible approach than calling for North Korea to unilaterally give up its nuclear option. Informal discussions with North Korean parliamentarians and diplomats since then gives some reason to believe that they are correct in this analysis.

Katsyua Okada, one of the former Foreign Ministers who endorsed the 2010 proposal, has released a Model NE Asia NWFZ treaty based on the 3+3 model pioneered by Dr Hiromichi Umebayashi.

This model would require North Korea, Japan and South Korea to agree not to possess nuclear weapons, station them on their territory, or threaten each other with nuclear weapons. The model would also require China, Russia and the United States to commit not to threaten or use nuclear weapons against Japan, South Korea or North Korea.

Dr Umebayashi will in September this year receive the international Nuclear Free Future Awardin recognition primarily of the potential of his 3+3 NE Asia NWFZ to help resolve the nuclear crisis in the region.

“I am very pleased to receive the award for my efforts, especially for establishing a Northeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone, but I think I should be modest because establishing such zone is an on-going endeavor being tackled by many players. I do hope this award will help strengthen people’s power as a whole toward that goal.”

Japanese cities and religious leaders support the NE Asian NWFZ proposal
On August 9, 2017, Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue, called on the Japanese government to examine the NE Asia NWFZ as a possible solution to the growing nuclear crisis. The call was made in the Nagasaki Declaration, presented by Mayor Taue at the annual event commemorating the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki.

Mayor Taue is one of 545 Japanese heads of cities and 126 Japanese religious leaders who have given their support for the NE Asian NWFZ proposal.

US experts support NE Asia NWFZ
A number of US policy experts support the concept of a NE Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone, including Morten Halperin, a high-level policy official in the Johnson, Nixon and Clinton administrations. See Promoting Security in Northeast Asia: A New Approach by Morton H. Halperin).


EU High Rep Offers to
Help a Diplomatic Solution in Korea

Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND)

(August 15, 2017) — On August 14, 2017, Federica Mogherini, the Vice-President of the European Union and its High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, held a special meeting of the EU Security Committee to discuss the escalating Korean crisis.

The EU played a critical role in the successful negotiations on the Iran nuclear program, and could possibly also play an important role to support negotiations between the key parties in the Korean nuclear conflict.

After the meeting, Ms Mogherini released the following statement.
“There is an urgent need for a de-escalation of tensions on the situation on the Korean Peninsula. It is a priority for the European Union and for the rest of the international community. We therefore call on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to refrain from any further provocative action that can only increase regional and global tensions.

“At such a critical juncture, the European Union supports diplomatic work with our partners aimed at the de-escalation of the situation and achieving the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula through peaceful, not military, means. This is the only way to find lasting peace.

“Following my meetings with all key regional and international players during the ASEAN Regional Forum in Manila, I convened today a meeting of the Political and Security Committee to discuss on an EU common approach to the escalation of tensions and the way forward.

“It has been agreed that the European Union and its Member States will strengthen their diplomatic work by reaching out to the Republic of Korea, the United States, China, Russia and Japan, as well as the DPRK, to convey our messages. Maintaining the unity of the international community in addressing the challenge is indeed critical.

“The European Union is ready to support the process towards a credible and meaningful dialogue with the DPRK and the international community, with the Republic of Korea in the lead. I confirmed to Minister Kang Kyung-wha last week my readiness to support her in all possible ways in this endeavour, including putting at her disposal the technical expertise the EU has developed in negotiating nuclear-related issues.

“The DPRK’s continued acceleration of its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes constitutes serious and worrying violations of the DPRK’s international obligations, as set out in several UN Security Council Resolutions. The unanimous adoption on 5 August by the UN Security Council of Resolution 2371 (2017) demonstrates that the international community is fully united behind furthering increasing international pressure to bring about a peaceful solution.

“I will continue to be in regular contact with my counterparts in the region and beyond. The EU will continue to follow the developments and will consider further appropriate measures and responses in close consultation with key partners and in line with UN Security Council deliberations.

“No diplomatic efforts must be spared in working to help avoid further escalation and to find a solution to this crisis that is putting into danger not only the overall non-proliferation regime but also the security of Asia and the world.”

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

US Airstrikes Are Wiping Out Entire Families in Yemen and Syria: UN Asks for War Crimes Investigation

August 31st, 2017 - by admin

Darius Shahtahmasebi / The AntiMedia & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Bethan McKernan / The Independent & United Nations Human Rights Council – 2017-08-31 01:28:53

http://theantimedia.org/us-airstrikes-killing-families-syria-yemen/

US Airstrikes Are Wiping Out
Entire Families in Yemen and Syria

Darius Shahtahmasebi / The AntiMedia

(August 29, 2017) — The United States is killing entire families in Raqqa, Syria, and enabling Saudi Arabia to do the same in Yemen.

In June of this year, the US led a campaign to retake the city of Raqqa from ISIS fighters while the Russian and Syrian militaries were also attempting to do the same thing. In the first week of fighting, UN war crimes investigators warned that the US had already killed 300 civilians from air strikes alone in that seven-day period.

Rather than heed that warning, the US has continued the same strategy of pounding Raqqa into the ground despite the likelihood of civilian casualties. Pentagon chief James “Mad Dog” Mattis has dismissed this horror as a mere “fact of life” — a very easy decision to make when the fighting doesn’t concern one’s own relatives. Not to mention that Donald Trump relaxed the rules surrounding air strikes earlier this year, meaning military generals on the ground (including Iraqi forces, for example) can call in airstrikes from the ground with zero oversight.

The result, the Intercept reports, is that entire families are being massacred by US-led air strikes.

“We have seen incidents in which entire families have been wiped out. The scale of things is increasing significantly,” said Alex Hopkins, a researcher at AirWars.

According to Hopkins, there has been a “worrying increase in the rate of mass casualty incidents” in recent weeks, and disproportionate numbers of children are being reported killed in US-led air strikes.

As the Intercept noted, Raqqa is home to very few die-hard ISIS supporters who are fighting to the death to defend its de-facto capital, whereas an estimated 160,000 civilians remain trapped in the crossfire of the city’s fighting.

The Intercept also spoke to witnesses and activists by phone who explained incidents of widespread civilian deaths at the hands of US air strikes. These activists oppose ISIS and are based in Raqqa, according to the Intercept, and their identities remain confidential.

“The planes hit the street where he [father] was walking to go home. There were no ISIS members or headquarters in that street, my father was only 50 meters from home. I wished that he had hurried home that night, but he was too old and it took him time,” one activist said of his father’s death in June.

Drawing on research from Amnesty International and Airwars, the Intercept describes many other instances in which entire families were wiped out:
“For instance, a coalition airstrike in Raqqa City on August 14 killed a mother, Nahla Hamoud Al-Aran al-Shehab, and her three children, Marwa, Ahmed, and Mariam. Three days later, another strike killed 30 members of the al-Sayer family, including several children.

On August 21, yet another attack killed eight members of the Al-Aliwi family, internally displaced refugees who had previously fled from fighting in their home city of Palmyra.

“Amnesty International researchers also visited a farmhouse in the Hukumya-Salhiya area northwest of Raqqa, where 14 people were reportedly killed in a coalition attack before the campaign to take the city officially began. Amnesty found fragments of GPS-guided American munitions, and judged that ‘from the pattern of destruction there seems little doubt that the house was destroyed by air strikes.'” [emphasis added]

In its most recent report, Amnesty International also explains a scenario in which one Syrian lost her mother, sisters, nephews and nieces “for no reason at all.”

“The planes were circling all night, and we could not even approach the house to get the two injured children out from under the rubble until the following day,” said another member of the family who witnessed the attack. “The bodies were in shreds. We recovered body parts hundreds of meters away.”

Up until the beginning of June, the US only had two personnel investigating casualties in Iraq and Syria full-time. As the Intercept notes, the US military rarely conducts interviews with survivors and regularly discounts the majority of reports on civilian deaths as “non-credible.” This makes it incredibly difficult to verify the exact number of civilian deaths, but it also demonstrates America’s shockingly non-existent commitment to international law. The US military may boast that it takes the utmost care to protect civilians, but are we just supposed to take their word for it?

One should also bear in mind that when Amnesty International releases evidence condemning a US arch rival, such as Bashar al-Assad in Syria, the US government jumps all over it. When the tables turn, suddenly these reports of civilian deaths are “non-credible.”

And make no mistake — as horrifying as the terror being inflicted on Raqqa is, what is occurring in Raqqa right now is not taking place in isolation. The US is delivering this disturbing criminality all over the world. In Yemen, the Saudi-led coalition, which is armed, trained, and protected by the United States and the United Kingdom, is doing the exact same thing.

A recent airstrike in Yemen saw an entire family murdered; only one four-year-old girl survived. The New York Times reported the story with the headline “Young Yemen Girl Is Sole Survivor After Airstrike Topples Her Home.” The word “topple” suggests an NFL sports-like scenario. In comparison, when reporting on Russia’s bombing of Aleppo in 2016, the New York Times regularly used terms like “scorch” and “brutal,” words that were conveniently not employed this time around.

Just days ago, the Saudi-led coalition struck a hotel near Yemen’s capital, killing at least 60 people with two dead bodies hanging from the upper floor. These kinds of attacks seem to be occurring daily, and no target is off-limits for the coalition.

The US has already been warned that its support for the war in Yemen could attract serious legal consequences, and despite this, Yemen is clearly not the only location where the US is rolling out this criminal strategy.

One of Trump’s campaign pledges was that he would not only bomb the shit out of ISIS via attacking their oil fields but that he would kill their families too. Even if every single family member documented above was related in some way, shape, or form to a member of ISIS, these acts are still legally and morally repugnant and should be condemned in the strongest terms. As such, the only evidence at hand shows these civilians were completely innocent, which makes their deaths wholly inexcusable — particularly when they occur on such a large scale.

Unfortunately, one can’t rely on the mass media or governmental institutions to do their job and hold their militaries to account, especially when the media is more concerned with what Trump tweets as opposed to how many hundreds of children he is killing in the Middle East.

In that regard, it is probably quite time for the media to review its priorities.


Latest Saudi Strike Kills Five Yemen Civilians
As Calls Grow for War Crimes Panel

Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com

(August 30, 2017) — Some 60 different human rights bodies have issued a joint call today for the UN to establish an investigatory panel to probe human rights abuses and war crimes by Saudi Arabia in its two and a half year long war against Yemen. Human Rights Watch appears to be spearheading the effort.

The call comes after the latest in a series of strikes killing civilians in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, where Saudi warplanes attacked a police checkpoint. The strike killed two police manning the checkpoint, and hit a taxi cab, killing five civilians.

That’s just part of the overall toll, according to some accounts, as one of the strikes also hit a gas tanker, and set fire to a nearby gas station, causing an explosion which prevented any rescue workers from reaching the area and trying to save anyone.

Saudi Arabia had two different incidents of airstrikes killing civilians in Sanaa last week as well, leveling a hotel in one case and then destroying an apartment building on the second occasion, which they insisted was a “technical error.”


Saudi Arabia May Finally Face Accountability in
Yemen as Another Air Strike Kills Five Civilians

Bethan McKernan / The Independent

BEIRUT (August 30, 2017) — At least five civilians have died in a Saudi-led coalition air strike in Yemen, eyewitnesses have said, as calls at the UN grow for an independent body to investigate possible war crimes being committed in Yemen’s civil war.

Fighter jets attacked a Houthi rebel-controlled checkpoint outside the capital of Sanaa on Wednesday morning, killing five civilians sitting in a taxi and two armed personnel at the site, witnesses said.

Rebel officials said that the strike hit an oil tanker waiting at the checkpoint, which exploded — as did a nearby petrol station, which caught fire and complicated rescue efforts. They put the death toll at 13, adding that the victims had all been burnt alive.

There was no immediate comment from the coalition on the strike in Masajed, about 10 km (six miles) west of the city.

The civilian deaths come on top of last week’s bombings of a hotel and civilian three-storey building which combined killed approximately 60 people.

Riyadh and its allies have extensively bombed Houthi rebels in charge of Yemen’s capital and north since March 2015 at the request of the exiled, internationally recognised president, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

The campaign has been repeatedly criticised for causing an excessive loss of civilian life.

Saudi blockades on Yemen’s ports and airspace have also been blamed for causing the current famine facing the country’s 22-million-strong population as well as the worst cholera outbreak in modern history, which has infected 500,000 people.

On Tuesday, Human Rights Watch (HRW) and 56 other international non-governmental organisations urged the United Nations to establish an international body to investigate abuses they say may amount to war crimes committed by all the warring parties in Yemen.

Such a panel should “begin chipping away at the impunity that has been a central facet of Yemen’s war,” HRW’S Geneva director John Fisher said in an open letter to the UN’s human rights council.

A report authored by several international aid agencies released earlier this month said Yemen suffered more air strikes in the first half of this year than in the whole of 2016, increasing the number of civilian deaths and forcing more people to flee their homes.

Western governments have also faced criticism for their role in the war: arms sold to Saudi Arabia are destined for use in the Yemeni war, rights groups say.

Officials within former US President Barack Obama’s administration were worried the sales could amount to complicity in war crimes.


Urgent Need for Independent
International Inquiry on Yemen

Joint NGO letter to Permanent Representatives of Member and Observer States of the United Nations Human Rights Council

Excellency,

We, the undersigned nongovernmental organizations, urge you to support the creation of an independent international investigation into violations and abuses of international human rights law and international humanitarian law in Yemen since the start of the current conflict.

This is a call that has been made since 2015 by national, regional, and international civil society organizations, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Security Council Panel of Experts on Yemen. The number of abuses, and the need for credible international investigations, has only increased since 2015.

Yemen is now enduring the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, with at least seven million people on the brink of famine and hundreds of thousands suffering from cholera. This crisis is manmade, with the war deepening and exacerbating the humanitarian situation in the Middle East’s poorest country, and both sides impeding the delivery of humanitarian aid.

As the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross said at the end of his visit to Yemen in July 2017, “Unless the warring parties improve their respect of the laws of war, I am afraid we must expect more epidemics in the future.”

Since March 2015, at least 5,110 civilians have been killed and at least 8,719 wounded in the armed conflict, according to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Serious violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of international human rights law by parties to the conflict have continued to be committed with impunity.

The Saudi Arabia-led coalition has conducted scores of unlawful airstrikes, some of which may amount to war crimes, that have killed thousands of civilians and hit schools, hospitals, markets, and homes.

The Houthi armed group and forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh have fired weapons indiscriminately into populated areas in Yemen and southern Saudi Arabia and used explosive weapons with wide-scale effects in cities such as Taizz and Aden, killing and maiming scores in attacks that may amount to war crimes.

Both sides have harassed, arbitrarily detained and forcibly disappeared Yemeni activists, human rights defenders and journalists, shrinking the space for civil society groups and the media to operate throughout the country.

The number of the “missing” is also growing: Houthi-Saleh forces, forces affiliated with the Yemeni government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, and the United Arab Emirates and UAE-backed Yemeni forces have arbitrarily detained or forcibly disappeared hundreds, denying family members access to their loved ones or even information on the fate of those detained.

Parties to the conflict are recruiting and deploying child soldiers. Both sides have used widely banned weapons that can endanger civilians long after a conflict ends. The Saudi-led coalition has used at least seven types of cluster munitions, and the Houthi-Saleh side has laid antipersonnel landmines in a number of Yemeni governorates.

In September 2015, the Human Rights Council called on the Yemeni government, with support from the OHCHR, “to ensure the effective investigation, with a view to ending impunity, into all cases of violations and abuse of human rights and of violations of international humanitarian law.”

In September 2016, the Council strengthened the mandate of the OHCHR, requesting the High Commissioner “to allocate additional international human rights experts to the Office of the High Commissioner in Yemen to complement the investigatory work of the national commission, while collecting and preserving information to establish the facts and circumstances of alleged violations and abuses.”

While the 2016 resolution sought to strengthen the OHCHR presence in Yemen, this has been difficult in practice. The Houthi-Saleh side has publicly refused to cooperate with the Yemeni national commission or OHCHR in its capacity implementing the resolution.

In March 2017, the Deputy High Commissioner expressed concerns about the National Commission, noting it has failed “to comply with internationally recognized standards of methodology and impartiality,” and has “yet to clarify how its work could facilitate viable mechanisms of accountability.”

The Saudi-led coalition’s investigative mechanism (JIAT) has also failed to conduct credible investigations into alleged violations and abuses. The coalition has called into question its purported commitment to accountability with continued blanket denials of violations and abuses documented by a number of credible sources.

Last year, Saudi Arabia threatened to withdraw funding from critical UN programs if the Secretary-General did not remove the coalition from his annual “list of shame” for violations against children.

For two years, the High Commissioner has called for and continues to call for an independent international investigation.

The victims of abuses in Yemen cannot afford to wait longer for credible investigations into ongoing grave violations and abuses to be undertaken. We therefore call on the Human Rights Council to establish, during its thirty-sixth session, an independent international inquiry to investigate alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law and violations of international humanitarian law committed by all parties to the conflict in Yemen.

The inquiry should be given the mandate to establish the facts and circumstances, and to collect and preserve evidence of, and clarify responsibility for, alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law and violations of international humanitarian law, with a view to ending impunity and providing accountability.

We urge you to support the creation of such an inquiry by the Council during upcoming session.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of our highest consideration,
1. Advocating for Human Rights in Saudi Arabia
2. Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain
3. Amnesty International
4. Arab Program for Human Rights Activists
5. Arabic Federation for Democracy, Palestine
6. Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI)
7. Association for Human Rights in Ethiopia (AHRE)
8. Avaaz
9. Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD)
10. Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
11. CARE
12. CIVICUS
13. Conectas, Brazil
14. Control Arms
15. Corporación Humanas
16. Defend Defenders (the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project)
17. Dove Tales
18. English PEN
19. European-Saudi Organisation for Human Rights (ESOHR)
20. Friends Committee on National Legislation, US
21. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
22. Gulf Centre for Human Rights
23. Human Rights and Democracy Media Centers (SHAMS)
24. Human Rights Defenders Network, Sierra Leone
25. Human Rights Law Centre, Australia
26. Human Rights Watch
27. InterAfrica Group
28. International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
29. International Platform against Impunity
30. International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)
31. MADRE
32. Marib Dam Foundation for Social Development, Yemen
33. Medecins du Monde
34. Migrant Forum in Asia
35. Mwatana Organisation for Human Rights, Yemen
36. NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security
37. Oyu Tolgoi Watch, Mongolia
38. Pan African Human Rights Defenders Network
39. Partnership for Justice, Nigeria
40. PAX
41. PEN International
42. Physicians for Human Rights
43. Reprieve
44. Rivers Without Boundaries, Mongolia
45. Saferworld
46. Sisters Arab Forum for Human Rights (SAF)
47. Society for Threatened Peoples, Germany
48. Win Without War, US
49. World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)
50. Yemen Humanitarian Forum
51. Yemen Peace Project, US
52. [Name withheld], Yemen*
53. [Name withheld], Yemen*
54. [Name withheld], Yemen*
55. [Name withheld], Yemen*
56. [Name withheld], Yemen*
57. [Name withheld], Yemen*
58. [Name withheld], Yemen*
59. [Name withheld], Yemen*
60. [Name withheld], Yemen*
61. [Name withheld], Yemen*
62. [Name withheld], Yemen*

* Eleven other Yemeni organizations endorsed the letter, but asked for the names of their organizations to be withheld from the public list due to fears of retaliation. Their names are on file with Human Rights Watch.

UPDATE: The original letter had listed 57 organizations and has since been updated to reflect an additional five signatories, now totaling 62.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

Jeff Sessions Reveals Deadly Misunderstanding

August 30th, 2017 - by admin

Alan Pyke / ThinkProgress – 2017-08-30 02:44:53

Jeff Sessions reveals deadly misunderstanding of what public safety actually is

Jeff Sessions Reveals Deadly
Misunderstanding of What Public Safety Actually Is

A twisted portrayal of what police
reformers want — and why they want it

Alan Pyke / ThinkProgress

(August 29, 2017) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions struck a new blow in his war against police reform on Monday, announcing that President Donald Trump will rescind an executive order from his predecessor restricting local cops’ access to hardware designed for war zones.

The long-predicted move puts grenade launchers and bayonets back on small-town police department shopping lists. It also guts accountability measures for a much longer list of defensive equipment and military tools, which had remained available to police under President Barack Obama’s reforms.

But the most striking thing in a speech riddled with falsehoods was Sessions’ presentation of the thinking behind the administration’s move — dismissing police reform efforts as harmful to public safety.

“These restrictions that had been imposed went too far,” the attorney general said before the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) in Nashville. “We will not put superficial concerns over public safety.”

Sessions was speaking to a receptive audience. Tennessee’s Commissioner of Safety and Homeland Security, David Purkey, opened by characterizing police as soldiers in a war for decency.

“You, my young friends, stand in the gap for this country. This country offers inspiration, and intimidation. We offer intimidation through our military,” Purkey quoted Marine Corps Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis as having told soldiers in the field.

“When I look out on this crowd,” Purkey went on, broadening the warzone sermon to include the police audience in Tennessee, “I see a group of men and women who stand in the gap for this country.”

Sessions later characterized the new Trump order as part of its broader rejection of civilian complaints about police.

“We will always seek to affirm the critical role of police officers in our society, and we will never participate in anything that will give comfort to radicals who promote agendas that preach hostility rather than respect for police,” he said.

The rise of these so-called “radicals” and the spread of distrust for police from minority communities to a wider band of the American public is directly connected to the kinds of abuses of force that Sessions ignored in his remarks.

While a new wave of public attention to individual police killings of unarmed black and brown people in recent years helped galvanize reform efforts, the drive for change draws on a long-running conversation about systematic rights violations by police.

Obama’s order came out of a deliberative process informed by input from police, civic leaders, private researchers, and Pentagon officials. Its new controls on military materiel were modest, flexible, and grounded in decades of police violence and unnecessary death.


Pentagon Tried to Give $1.2 Million in Guns and Bombs to a Fake Police Department
The military is so eager to put war machines in cops’ hands that it doesn’t bother making sure they’re, you know, actually cops

Alan Pyke / ThinkProgress

(July 25, 2017) — Protests and violence in Ferguson, Missouri following the police killing of Michael Brown provided the immediate motivation for Obama’s reforms. The heavily armored police response in St. Louis County provided striking visuals of cops as an occupying military force — the tip of a counter-insurgency spear, not a shield that protects and serves.

But mass-protest crowd control is almost a more appropriate use of such heavy equipment than has been typical over the 25-year history of the “1033” program modified by Monday’s order. When a police agency obtains a new tool or stands up a new unit, its mere existence creates an imperative: Leadership must find some reason to use the new toys, send out the new tactical team.

As paramilitary-style police thinking, tactics, and equipment found their way into even the smallest towns in America, where situations that actually require armored vehicles are rare, the imperative to justify equipment and personnel bred monstrous outcomes.

Sessions repeatedly depicted the now-canceled restrictions on Pentagon equipment dispersals to police as a cosmetic move born of a misguided focus on perceptions over reality. In his telling, concern about militarized policing inside US borders is feckless posturing that endangers police and harms public safety.

Sessions was roasting a straw man. The actual argument is that police should act from a sense of unity with those they serve rather than from the mindset of an occupying military force. The claim Sessions sidestepped is that the cop-as-conquistador mentality actually brings more violence into communities, not less.

So-called “dynamic entry” police raids — the type of GI Joe police activity encouraged throughout the War on Drugs and enabled by Pentagon equipment — are deadly and prone to error. More than 120 civilians and dozens of police officers have died in such raids since the 1990s, including 94 such deaths from 2010 to 2016 alone. These numbers are almost certainly low, as statistics about police violence always are thanks to lax recordkeeping.

Raids that don’t go deadly can still inflict gore on innocents.When Georgia police burst into a family home before dawn in 2014, 19-month-old Bounkham Phonesavanh was sleeping in his playpen.

An officer chucked a flashbang grenade in with him, tearing a massive hole in the toddler’s chest. The child survived, and the officer was acquitted on federal charges after state officials declined to prosecute any of the police involved in the raid.

When officers are trained to think like soldiers on foreign soil, they learn to regard the “natives” around them with constant suspicion. That disposition makes investigators sloppy, eager to have their gut belief that something fishy is going on confirmed by any means possible. It only takes one cunning jailhouse snitch, familiar with the rewards of giving an officer the basis for a warrant he wants, to get a SWAT team dispatched to a sleepy family home.

Sessions never mentioned actual paramilitary tactics like these drug raids in his speech. Instead, he pretended that the Obama restrictions had kept life-saving gear like bulletproof vests and helmets out of police officer hands. That is a lie.

Only five categories of equipment were flat-out prohibited from the police recycling system: grenade launchers, bayonets, high-caliber ammunition, track-driven armored vehicles, and certain types of camouflage.

All other materiel covered by the 1033 redistribution program — including the safety gear Sessions cited in Monday’s remarks — remained accessible to local cops as “controlled equipment.” Departments were required to provide specific justifications for their requests, to establish training and use protocols for the gear, and to more closely track how officers actually use controlled equipment.

“These guidelines were created after Ferguson to ensure that police departments had a guardian, not warrior, mentality. Our communities are not the same as armed combatants in a war zone,” Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights head Vanita Gupta said in a statement.

The rules would have meant greater scrutiny for the kinds of reckless assaults on civilian homes that lead to flashbangs in baby cribs and needless firefights between startled, sleeping homeowners and the black-clad invaders they do not realize are police. They would not have sent first responders into harm’s way in flip-flops and Jimmy Buffett tee-shirts as Sessions insinuated.

Still, the FOP convention crowd ate it up.

The most prominent US leaders are not just walking back policies that curb law enforcement’s institutional instinct toward dominance and hard power. They are actively decrying police critics as radical cop-haters, diminishing their nuanced observations about the incentive structures in our criminal justice system into simplistic notions of good and evil.

The remilitarization of American policing — seen in both Sessions’ speech on Monday and in Trump’s blithe endorsement of police brutality in July — is sold by the administration as simply deferring to what police say they need.

Yet the portrayal of Trump as an open ear and blank check for cops doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. When police’s experience in the field leads them to conclusions opposite to Trump’s own preferences, he is happy to ignore them.

Cops across the country have made clear that the administration’s push to deputize them into immigration enforcement work does grave harm to public safety in communities where people fear deportation. They reject Trump’s desire to enlist them into his crackdown on undocumented immigrants, specifically because it makes people less likely to call 911 or cooperate with investigators.

If the administration were serious about promoting public safety, it would listen to the people who disagree with them about where safety comes from and what role police play in ensuring it.


Florida Sheriff Cuts
Tough-guy Video with Masked SWAT Team

Guilty people aren’t the only ones
who should fear nighttime raids

Alan Pyke / ThinkProgress

(April 10, 2017) — Tired of nuanced debate over police tactics and introspection by law enforcement leaders who recognize they can’t do their jobs if their communities do not trust them? Pining for the real world to look more like the black-and-white moral simplicity of a Hollywood blockbuster?

Sheriff Peyton Grinnell of Lake County, Florida has your back.

In a video “message from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Community Engagement Unit” posted to Facebook on Friday, Grinnell is flanked by four silent, masked, flak-jacketed sheriff’s deputies.

“To the dealers that are pushing this poison, I have a message for you: We’re coming for you,” Grinnell says.

“Enjoy trying to sleep tonight, wondering if tonight’s the night our SWAT team blows your front door off the hinges.” Grinnell seems not to realize that lots of innocent people might be wondering that too.

The sheriff’s swaggerific tone and colorful script are meant to frighten the bad guys and, by the transitive property, comfort everyone else. The premise is that Grinnell’s masked goons are competent enough that only lawbreakers need fear them. All other citizens can sleep more soundly.

Or maybe not. Police departments use the aggressive paramilitary tactics Grinnell boasts of here thousands of times per year. And in many cases, they simply take the wrong door.

Maybe the information was bad. Maybe the information was good but officers went to a different house by mistake. Either way, no-knock raids and dead-of-night “dynamic entry” tactics have become notorious in recent years precisely because they often terrorize innocent people. Grinnell’s show of force and grim threats of nighttime police raids ignore a raft of evidence that these tactics are misapplied.

From 2010 to 2016, the New York Times found, at least 81 civilians and 13 cops have been killed in “dynamic entry” raids, oftentimes after police obtained a “no-knock” warrant allowing them to bust in a door and go in heavy without warning.

Most such raids, regardless of the type of warrant, are conducted in the wee hours of the night in hopes of catching residents off guard.

The consequences of that approach can be tragic when police are acting on bad information, as they did in Georgia in a 2014 raid where one cop tossed a flashbang into a baby’s crib and blew a hole in the 19–month-old’s chest, nearly killing him.


ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

Florida does not allow no-knock warrants, but police are authorized to use “dynamic entry” tactics as they deem necessary. Even when officers knock, they do not necessarily announce who they are  —  and the knock can be followed almost immediately with a battering ram, stun grenades, and a sudden swarm of heavily-armed, adrenalized cops rushing into a sleeping home.

Sometimes  —  in dozens and dozens of cases around the country, going back to the 1980s  —  these keyed-up officers are barging into the wrong house.

Police in Hawaii twice raided the wrong house  —  once throwing two elderly residents to the ground and holding guns to their heads in front of their grandchildren  —  in pursuit of a drug ring in 2005. An article in Playboy in 1989 documented 18 separate examples from the previous few years of officers raiding the wrong home.

The NYPD sent a memo around in 1998 advising officers on how to contact locksmiths when they kicked in the wrong door  —  ”suggesting that mistakes were in fact fairly common,” policing expert Radley Balko noted in a 2006 report documenting the overuse of SWAT tactics across the country. Balko’s other research has uncovered at least 40 additional deaths in botched SWAT raids in the years prior to the Times‘ study.

While no comprehensive figures on mistaken-address raids are available, the stories and stats Balko and others have collected suggest that erroneous SWAT raids without fatalities are far more common than those where a death garners public outcry.

Lake County residents should know by now that the kind of terror-that-bumps-in-the-night ruthlessness Sheriff Grinnell promises is often visited upon innocent people.

Deputies there killed a man in 2012 after a botched attempt to catch a murder suspect. The deputies knocked that night, at 1:30 a.m., but reportedly failed to identify themselves as police. The apartment was not registered to their suspect, but his motorcycle was parked nearby.

When the actual resident, 26-year-old Andrew Lee Scott, answered the knock with his gun in his hand, the cops killed him. He had nothing to do with their case.

A judge later tossed out the Scott family’s wrongful death suit against the county sheriff’s office, which in turn declined its right to charge the family for the legal costs of defending the lawsuit.

The masked tough guys flanking Grinnell in his video are dressed to do a certain kind of job. The other kind of job  —  public service, professional maintenance of public safety, and conflict resolution in service of the law  —  requires a different kind of costume.

In some police departments where leaders have recognized they must reform their enforcement culture to regain the trust of their communities, brass have veered in the opposite direction. Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis recently ended all plainclothes police work, ordering his whole team back into standard uniforms in hopes of grounding their daily work in the higher-minded purposes of the job.

Davis’ gesture on uniforms may seem small. But it’s an abrupt course change from decades of recent history.

Dynamic-entry tactics and their attendant horrors became prevalent nationwide thanks in large part to the years-long spread of SWAT teams to small-town America. Communities with little real need for an independent, permanent group of videogame-style supercops nonetheless maintain such “Special Response Teams.”

Tactics and organizational plans designed to respond to terrorist attacks, riots, and gang violence are instead applied almost exclusively to drug investigations, in sleepy towns where house raids are the only action available to these warrior cops.

This long process of militarizing law enforcement at the local level seemed poised for a reversal as recently as a few years ago, with broader police reform efforts gaining momentum and longstanding criticisms of heavy-handed policework coming to the fore.

But President Donald Trump ran on a promise to end that swerve and instead encourage police “to go and counterattack,” and act “very much tougher than they are right now.”

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

NRA’s Video Message to ‘Elites’: ‘We’re Coming for You’

August 30th, 2017 - by admin

Lisa Marie Pane / Associated Press – 2017-08-30 02:44:11

http://enews.earthlink.net/article/us?guid=20170826/5d69d8a8-fe9e-47a4-a298-3b79bdbe6c6b

NRA’s Video Message to ‘Elites’:
‘We’re Coming for You’

Lisa Marie Pane / Associated Press

ATLANTA (August 26, 2017) — The election of President Donald Trump and Republican control of Congress meant the National Rifle Association could probably rest easy that gun laws wouldn’t change for at least four years. But the NRA has begun a campaign not against pending legislation but what it sees as liberal forces bent on undoing the progress it’s made — and the political powerhouse is resorting to language that some believe could incite violence.

Using the hashtags #counterresistance and #clenchedfistoftruth, the NRA has put out a series of videos that announce a “shot across the bow,” and say the gun-rights group is “coming for you” and that “elites . . . threaten our very survival,” terms that suggest opponents are enemy combatants.

“The times are burning and the media elites have been caught holding the match,” NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch says in one video aired on NRATV, the gun lobby’s web video site, as it shows footage of people fighting police, breaking storefront glass and burning the American flag.

Later, she specifically calls out The New York Times:
“We’ve had it with your narratives, your propaganda, your fake news. We’ve had it with your constant protection of your Democrat overlords, your refusal to acknowledge any truth that upsets the fragile construct that you believe is real life. And we’ve had it with your tone-deaf assertion that you are in any way truth or fact-based journalism . . . . Consider this the shot across your proverbial bow. . . . In short? We’re coming for you.”

Kathleen Hall Jamieson, the director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, said the tone and language is “overwrought rhetoric” that, viewed by the wrong person, could lead to violence. The kicker on one of the videos — “We’re coming for you” — is straight out of the movies, she said, and “that phrase means that violence is imminent and we will perpetrate it.”

The NRA is taking a page from the Trump playbook.

The friction between the gun lobby and the media isn’t new. But critics of the NRA contend the organization is relying on the “fake news” mantra started by Trump to whip up its followers after a dip in gun sales that has taken place since Trump succeeded President Barack Obama, who favored stricter gun-control laws.

“They’re not inventing this hyperangry, nasty partisan tone but piggybacking on Trump’s approach. Of course, NRA voters by and large are Trump voters, so they would be sympathetic to that kind of message,” said Robert Spitzer, chairman of the political science department at State University of New York at Cortland, who has examined the firearms industry and Second Amendment issues extensively.

Spitzer, a member of the NRA as well as the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said it’s a pattern the NRA has exhibited as the group evolved from an almost exclusive focus on gun safety into a political beacon for conservatives who fear changes to the Second Amendment and the gun industry.

“It was Bill Clinton in the 1990s. In the early 2000s, it was John McCain. It was Hillary Clinton. It was the United Nations. They’ve held up the UN as ready to swoop in and take everybody’s guns,” Spitzer said. “The focus of their ire has changed, but the basic message has been the same.”

The NRA declined to comment on the videos to The Associated Press. But the NRA has produced videos saying the left and the media are out of control and feeding a false narrative that tea party conservatives are racists and Trump supporters are “toothless hillbillies.”

Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA, said this month: “There is no longer any difference between our politicians and the elite media who report on them . . . . These elites threaten our very survival, and to them we say: We don’t trust you, we don’t fear you, and we don’t need you. Take your hands off our future.”

Erich Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, said it’s been a longtime frustration with journalists who, he contends, “ignore the violence and harsh rhetoric on the left while magnifying and twisting the words of those on the right.”

The NRA videos prompted Mike Nelson, a Democratic congressional candidate in Arkansas and self-described hunter and gun-rights supporter, to label them as “hate speech.” Nelson, whose website lists the NRA among more than two dozen organization he’s supported, said he can no longer back the NRA.

In a Facebook post, Nelson wrote: “If the NRA does not stop their hate campaign, I will call them out on sedition. Sedition is the willful undermining of the legal authority, the Incitement of Violence.”

Some gun owners have cheered the videos and said they give voice to conservatives weary of media attacks on Trump; others say the videos stray from the NRA’s original mission and that the NRA is inviting violence.

Joe Plenzler, a Marine veteran who served overseas and sometimes had reporters accompanying his unit, joined two other veterans in writing an opinion piece for The Daily Beast criticizing the videos.

“The NRA props up the Second Amendment by undermining and vilifying the protections afforded in the First, and paints everyone who may disagree with the current administration, our country’s justice system, or the NRA’s partisan political position with a very dark and unjust broad brush,” Plenzler wrote with Marine veterans Craig Tucker and Kyleanne Hunter.

Plenzler, who has since dropped his NRA membership, said he was disturbed by the videos.

“Lately, it seems like they’ve gone well out of the bounds of any sort of sane responsible behavior. If you want to advocate for the Second Amendment, which I unapologetically believe in, that’s fine,” he said. “But I think at the point where you are going to demonize half the American population in a recruitment effort to get more members, I’ve got a big problem with that.”

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

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