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Essential Information

A compendium of articles, reports, essays and investigations into the effects of militarism on the environment and human society. Send additional documents to editor@envirosagainstwar.org.

FEATURED REPORTS

US Corps Sue Green Groups Calling Critics "Terrorists" (Rainforest Action Network & Nikhil Swaminathan / Grist & Adam Gabbatt / The Guardian )
Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the company behind the Dakota Access pipeline, has filed a broad legal assault against Greenpeace and many other organizations that oppose this highly controversial fossil fuel project. Why should you care? Because this lawsuit represents a many-faceted and very real threat to everyone's First Amendment rights to protest and organize in defense of people and planet.

How History's Deadliest Bombing Campaign Created Today's Crisis in Korea (Ted Nace / CounterPunch)
As the world watches with mounting concern the growing tensions and bellicose rhetoric between the United States and North Korea, one of the most remarkable aspects of the situation is the absence of any public acknowledgement of the underlying reason for North Korean fears -- or, as termed by United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, "state of paranoia" -- namely, the horrific firebombing campaign waged by the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War and the unprecedented death toll that resulted from that bombing.

US Sued for Dropping H-bombs on Spain (Dave Collings / Associated Press & ABC News)
Veterans who say they responded to a 1966 accident involving US hydrogen bombs in Spain and then became ill from radiation exposure asked a federal appeals court on Monday to allow a class action lawsuit against the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

After 20 Years and $6.5 Trillion in Missing Funds, Pentagon to Submit to Audit (Hon. Ron Wyden / US Senate & Bill Chappell / National Public Radio)
Senator Ron Wyden writes: "In September, the Pentagon escaped budget cuts -- while Meals on Wheels and the National Parks budgets were slashed. The Senate voted to increase military spending by an extra $80 billion a year, resulting in a $700 billion Department of Defense budget. I was one of only 8 members of the Senate who voted NO on this bill. Why? One of the reasons was because we don’t know where this money goes since the Pentagon has NEVER had an audit."

America's Enemies, Who's On the List? (Professor James Petras / Global Research & United National Antiwar Coalition & Ajamu Baraka / Black Alliance for Peace)
For almost 2 decades, the US pursued a list of 'enemy countries' to confront, attack, weaken and overthrow. This imperial quest to overthrow 'enemy countries' operated at various levels of intensity, depending on two considerations: the level of priority and the degree of vulnerability for a 'regime change' operation. The author explores how iImperial strategists consider military, economic and political criteria in identifying high priority adversaries.

How US Monopolizes the World's Wealth (Paul Buchheit / NationofChange)
When Washington sends the Pentagon to war, thousands of young lives are put at risk to ensure that a few thousand American households remain free to take most of the world's seized wealth. From 2012 to 2017, the US took nearly 70 percent of the entire global wealth gain over the past five years. Based on their dominant share of US wealth, America’s richest 10% -- much less than 1% of the world's adult population -- took more than half the world's wealth gain in the past five years.

Honoring International Human Rights Day (Amnesty International & The Basel Peace Office)
Today is Human Rights Day, the 69th Anniversary of the UN General Assembly's adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It's a day to remember all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights -- from Hanan Badr el-Din, an Egyptian woman who has been searching for her missing husband since 2013 to young academics, policy analysts and activists who have issued an appeal regarding the rights of current and future generations to a world free from the threat of nuclear weapons.

Jeremy Corbyn: An Address to The United Nations in Geneva (The Basel Peace Office & The Labour Press)
Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the UK Labour Party and a member of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament gave the following keynote policy speech on human rights at the United Nations in Geneva on Dec 8. Corbyn told the packed auditorium that: "We need to redouble our efforts to create a global rules based system that applies to all and works for the many, not the few. No more 'bomb first' and think and talk later."

US Announces Occupation of Syria: There Are Now More US Troops inside Syria than ISIS Fighters (Antiwar.com & Agence France-Presse & Reuters & Darius Shahtahmasebi / The AntiMedia)
Who authorized this invasion of Syria? The Syrian government never authorized US troops to deploy there and isn't supporting the idea of them staying. Who authorized American troops to be on the front lines in another war in a country that has branded American troops as invaders? Imagine if Syria or Russia did this to the US -- invading and building bases under the guise of fighting terrorism.

Is Luke Skywalker Still a Pacifist? (David Goodner / Waging Nonviolence)
Commentary: "A culture raised on Rambo, Indiana Jones, Luke Skywalker and James Bond wants to believe that combat and killing can be done with impunity -- that we can declare someone to be the enemy and that for cause and country the soldiers will cleanly and remorselessly wipe him from the face of the Earth."

Stealth Imperialism: 44,000 US Troops Fighting Secret Wars Worldwide (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Stephen Carlson / Stars and Stripes)
When the Pentagon wants to mislead the public about where US troops are, generally speaking, they just lie. Yet sometimes the number of troops is just too big to claim as a rounding error, and questions start happening. This week, the focus is on over 44,000 US military personnel deployed to "unknown," which immediately raises red flags, because that's not a place. Pentagon officials, however, say there is "no good way" to describe where they are.

US and Russia Engaged in a Costly New Nuclear Arms Race (The Sunflower / Nuclear Age Peace Foundation & Scot Paltrow / US News & World Report)
In 2010, the Obama administration negotiated the New START treaty with Russia, which limited both sides' deployed strategic nuclear weapons to 1,550. Despite both countries being on track to meeting the limit by the 2018 deadline, experts and former officials warn the risk of nuclear conflict is far from eliminated. In fact, the stricter limitation on the number of weapons has only spurred both countries to initiate modernization programs to improve the efficiency, accuracy, and lethality of their weapons systems.

Who Profits from Nuclear Bombs? (Don't Bank of the Bomb & Matthew Rocco / Fox Business)
These 20 companies, which are the focus of this report, are involved in the nuclear weapons programmes of the United States, the United Kingdom, France and India. The full "Don't Bank on Bombs" report examines which financial institutions around the world invest in these companies through shares, bonds and loans.

Meet the Private Corporations that Have Grown Rich Building A Nuclear Arsenal that Could Kill US All (Richard Krushnic and Jonathan Alan King / TomDispatch & The Nation)
Many Americans are unaware that much of the responsibility for nuclear weapons development, production, and maintenance lies with the Department of Energy, which spends more on nuclear weapons than it does on developing sustainable energy sources. Key to the DOE's nuclear project are the federal laboratories where nuclear weapons are designed, built, and tested. Meanwhile, a small number of powerful companies are making billions working on weapons systems designed to end life on Earth.

UN Security Council Members Condemn Trump's Jerusalem Move (AntiWar.com & Al Jazeera & Rebecca Savransky / The Hill)
Donald Trump's "Jerusalem declaration" has been roundly criticized worldwide, with Israel seemingly the only nation to endorse it. Even there, the declaration sparked massive protests among the Palestinian population under Israeli occupation, who see Trump's move as effectively ending the peace process. At least 31 Palestinians hurt in Israeli army fire on Thursday as anger over the White House move sweeps West Bank and Gaza.

"It's Not a Guns Issue. It's a Mental Health Issue." But What If It's Both? (Gar Smith / Environmentalists Against War & The Berkeley Daily Planet)
After a mass shooting in a church left 26 people dead, Donald Trump quickly moved to deflect growing public concern by claiming: "This isn't a gun situation. This is a mental health problem at the highest level." Once again, the "crazy gunman" meme had been unleashed in the mediastream, shifting attention from the weapons to the individual and suggesting that the solution involved controlling individuals, not their arsenals. But what if owning multiple guns was, itself, a sign of mental illness?

ACTION ALERT: Block the NRA's Plan to Legalize Concealed Weapons Nationwide (CREDO Action & Dana Liebelson / The Huffington Post & The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence & Timothy Johnson / Media Matters)
It would be laughable if it weren't so deadly. Here's how Republicans have finally moved beyond their thoughts and prayers for the victims of gun violence -- with a reckless, dangerous bill to undermine gun safety laws across the country. The right-wing Republican extremists in the House have passed an NRA dream bill -- The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act -- that would force every state in the US to abide by the weakest state gun laws in the entire country -- a "guns everywhere" vision for America.

The Rollback: Trump's Toxic War Benefits Polluters, Endangers the Public (Californians for Pesticide Reform & Al Jazeera)
Since US President Donald Trump entered the White House, there is one achievement he can't be denied. He has made good on a campaign promise to repeal hundreds of "job-killing" federal rules, often following recommendations from powerful industries. The US pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement -- essentially breaching the promise to curb planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions -- and has begun to roll-back environmental protections designed to reduce toxic emissions from industrial polluters.

Trump and Jerusalem: Provocation Is Not Diplomacy (Laura Kyle / Al Jazeera & Jaclynn Ashly / Al Jazeera)
For decades American presidential candidates from both parties have promised to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. But once elected they have retreated from the idea. On Wednesday, Donald Trump changed that. He overruled his top political and military advisers to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital and announce plans to relocate the US embassy. Trump's decision has been widely condemned and has sparked protests in many parts of the Middle East and the wider Muslim world.

How War Pollutes the Potomac River (David Swanson and Pat Elder / World Beyond War)
The Pentagon's impact on the Potomac River is not simply the diffuse impact of global warming and rising oceans contributed to by the US military's massive oil consumption. Not only does the home of war-making sit near rising waters -- rising first and foremost because of the impacts of war-making -- the waters of the Potomac and of the Chesapeake Bay into which it flows, and the tides of which raise and lower the waters of the Pentagon Lagoon each day -- are heavily polluted by war preparations.

There's No Such Thing as Precise Air Strikes in Modern Warfare (Patrick Cockburn / The Independent & The UNZ Review)
The final elimination of ISIS in Iraq and Syria is close, but it has only been achieved at the cost of great destruction and loss of life. This is the new face of war that governments try to conceal: a limited number of combat troops on the ground call in devastating air strikes from planes, missiles and drones -- be they American or Russian -- to clear the way for their advance. US and British claims that smart weapons enable them to avoid killing civilians is simply untrue. There is no such thing as precision air strikes.

The Partisan Economic War on the Equality and the Majority (Jim Hightower / Otherwords & Sen. Dianne Feinstein / Los Angeles Times & Richard Eskow / Campaign for America's Future)
Commentary: Tax proposals can be complex, but the GOP's 429-page monster is shockingly easy to understand: The Trump-Ryan-McConnell triumvirate intends to take money from millions of working families and give it to the world's wealthiest people and corporations. The GOP bill is an act of class warfare that gives half its cuts to the top 1 percent, raises taxes on 36 percent of working families, adds $71 billion to the cost of a college education while benefitting wealthy individuals and special interests.

US Airstrikes Rise Sharply in Afghanistan -- And So Do Civilian Deaths (Shashank Bengali / Los Angeles Times)
As US warplanes flew above a cluster of villages where Islamic State militants were holed up in eastern Afghanistan, 11 people piled into a truck and drove off along an empty dirt track to escape what they feared was imminent bombing. They did not get far.

Western Wars Have Killed Four Million Muslims Since 1990 (Nafeez Ahmed / Middle East Eye)
In May 2017, the Washington DC-based, Nobel Peace Prize-winning Physicians for Social Responsibility released a landmark study concluding that the death toll from 10 years of the "War on Terror" was at least 1.3 million, and could be as high as 2 million. Despite being the first effort to produce a scientifically robust calculation of the number of people killed by the US-UK-led "war on terror, " the 97-page report has been almost completely blacked out by the English-language media.

Grassroots Anti-nuclear Citizens' Group to Accept Nobel Peace Prize on December 10 (The Sunflower / The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation & Kyodo News Service & Vallarta Daily )
Today there are 17,300 nuclear warheads in the hands of nine countries -- the US, Russia, the UK, France, China, India , Pakistan, Israel and North Korea. On December 10, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons and Hiroshima-bomb survivor Setsuko Thurlow will accept the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the global campaign to rid the world of nuclear weapons. In November 2017, Mexico’s Senate approved the treaty. The treaty will go into effect when 50 countries have signed and ratified it.

Disposable People: Deporting US Veterans (Paul Cox / The Volunteer @ The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives)
The plight of the non-citizen veterans of US military service who have been deported stands as a small but telling example of how our country falls far short of living up to its promises. The ACLU estimates that there are around 300 US veterans deported to countries around the world. These veterans are now stuck in a country they may have left as infants; some do not even speak the language.

Trump Provokes North Korea and China with Massive Military Invasion Exercises (Reuters & Neil Connor / The Telegraph & Alexander Smith / NBC News)
Vigilant Ace, the annual US-South Korea military drill comes amid heightened tensions in the region triggered by Kim Jong Un's missile and nuclear tests and the ratcheting up of rhetoric from both sides. A total of 230 planes will fly from eight locations in South Korea, the Air Force said in a statement. North Korea described the exercises as a "grave provocation" that could escalate the situation "to the brink of nuclear war."

Trump Provokes Palestinians and World's Muslims with Vow to Move US Embassy to Jerusalem (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Jack Khoury and Noa Landau / Haaretz & Reuters)
Despite widespread warnings of "dangerous consequences," senior US officials say Donald Trump is likely to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital Wednesday and delay embassy relocation for another six months, yet begin planning the move immediately. Saudi King Salman warned Trump that transferring the embassy is a dangerous step that will inflame feelings of Muslims. Fatah has already begun preparations for "three days of rage" protest rallies.

US Raises Tensions in Korean Peninsula; Builds Mega-Base in South Korea (David Axe / The Daily Beast)
While Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un wage an escalating war of words over Pyongyang's nuclear-weapons program, the US military is quietly transforming its forces on the Korean Peninsula, expanding their ability to wage war with the North. The centerpiece of the transformation is Camp Humphreys, a sprawling new installation south of Seoul where the majority of the roughly 30,000 US troops in South Korea will soon be based.

A Free Society Must Give Up Empire (Robert P. Murphy / AntiWar.com)
Commentary: "If Americans want a free society at home, then they must convince the US government to give up its global empire . . . . If you allow your government to maintain an empire abroad, then you can't possibly expect a free and open society at home. This fact is staring us in the face as police departments across the country accept the surplus military equipment used in foreign occupations."

The Environmental Consequences of the Use of Armed Drones (Doug Weir and Elizabeth Minor / Toxic Remnants of War Network & Reaching Critical Will)
To date, debate over the implications of the growing use of armed drones has focused on human rights and on the imbalances created by the ability to project violence at a distance. Concerns about the environmental and humanitarian impacts of drone operations have been largely ignored -- until now. Airstrikes from armed drones typically use explosive weapons that pose risks to human health following their initial impacts, particularly when these weapons are used in populated areas.

After 67 Years, It's Time To End the Korean War (Robert Alvarez / Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists & Catherine Killough / LobeLog.org)
As the threat of military conflict with North Korea looms, the American public is largely unaware of the sobering facts about America's longest unresolved war and one of the world's bloodiest. The 1953 armistice agreement engineered by President Eisenhower -- halting a three-year-long "police action" that resulted in two-to-four million military and civilian deaths -- is long forgotten, along with the Agreed Framework, a bilateral non-proliferation pact, that opened the door to ending the Korean war.

Trump's Secret Middle East War: Pentagon's Presence Increased by 33 Percent (John Haltiwanger / Newsweek)
President Donald Trump has increased the number of US troops and civilians working for the Department of Defense in the Middle East to 54,180 from 40,517 in the past four months, representing a 33-percent rise. And this number doesn't even account for the big rise in troops stationed in Afghanistan since Trump announced his new strategy for the fight against the Taliban in late August.

Pentagon Investing in Genetic Warfare Weapons (Arthur Neslen / The Guardian)
Technology could be used to wipe out malaria carrying mosquitos or other pests but UN experts say fears over possible military uses and unintended consequences strengthen case for a ban. A US military agency is investing $100 million in genetic extinction technologies that could wipe out malarial mosquitoes, invasive rodents or other species.

Why is Defense Waste Taboo in the Tax Debate? (Jon Basil Utley / The American Conservative)
For all the talk about the big Republican tax cut it's really only about $150 billion per year -- although proponents multiply it by 10 years, so that $1.5 trillion sounds like a lot. Arguments about how to pay for it may end up derailing or neutering it in the end. Which is ironic, since Trump wants to add $50 billion to the defense budget. But no one wants to talk about defense waste during these tax debates. Why is the Pentagon budget untouchable?

America's Military-Industrial Addiction (JP Sottile / Consortium News & AntiWar.com)
The Military-Industrial Complex has loomed over America ever since President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of its growing influence during his prescient farewell address on Jan. 17, 1961. This year, a robust collection of 208 defense companies spent $93,937,493 to deploy 728 "reported" lobbyists (apparently some go unreported) to feed this year's trumped-up, $700 billion defense-only budget. War, as the great Gen. Smedley Darlington Butler aptly put it, is little more than a money-making "racket."

16 Ways to Cut Defense Spending (Jon Basil Utley / The American Conservative)
Admiral Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that "the greatest threat to our national security is our debt." Former Congressmember Ron Paul says that only about half the defense budget is for defense, the other half is for militarism abroad. So here are 16 ways to cut its waste, fraud, and abuse of American taxpayers.

Western Wars Have Killed Four Million Muslims Since 1990 (Nafeez Ahmed / Middle East Eye)
When a 97-page report by Physicians for Social Responsibility (the Nobel Peace Prize-winning doctors' group) provided the first accounting of civilian casualties from US-led "counter-terrorism" interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, it was almost completely blacked out by the English-language media. The report found the US "War on Terror" had killed perhaps as many as 2 million Muslims. Undisputed UN figures show 1.7 million Iraqi civilians (half children) died due to the West's brutal sanctions.

Iran's 'Behavior' Isn't Threatening Americans (John Glaser / The Washington Post & Robert W. Merry / The American Conservative)
Analysis: Citing "support for terrorist organizations" and "active ballistic missile development program" Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has announced that the Trump administration is "committed to addressing the totality of the Iranian threat." But the obsession with these Iranian policies amounts to threat inflation. Neither poses a serious threat to America's domestic security or core national interests and they don't warrant jettisoning a thus-far successful nuclear nonproliferation agreement.

Why There Is No Peace On Earth: "War Is a Racket" (David Stockman / Contra Corner & AntiWar.com)
The end of the cold war meant world peace was finally at hand, yet 26 years later there is still no peace because Imperial Washington confounds it. The fact is, the modern Warfare State has been the incubator of American imperialism since the Cold War, and is now proving itself utterly invulnerable to fiscal containment, even in the face of a $19 trillion national debt. The War Party entrenched in the nation's capital is dedicated to economic interests and ideological perversions that guarantee perpetual war -- and perpetual profits.

Saudis to Buy $7 Billion More in US Arms for Yemen War (AntiWar.com & Reuters & Fortune & BBC World News)
With international complaints about war crimes mounting, and a vote on US involvement in Yemen having just been derailed by the Congressional leadership, another vote on Saudi weapons sales is likely forthcoming, following reports the Saudis have made deals for another $7 billion in US arms related to the devastating war in Yemen. The deals are with Raytheon and Boeing to provide "precision guided munitions."

ACTION ALERT: War on the Bees -- Stop the Monsanto-Bayer Mega-merger (SumOfUs & Robert-Jan Bartunek and Ludwig Burger / Reuters & Brad Plumer / Vox.com)
Bayer and Monsanto have filed a merger request with antitrust authorities in Europe and the US. If they succeed, we'll face a nightmare scenario: more bee-killing neonics in our fields, more toxic glyphosate on our plates, more corporate control over our food supply. Regulators can still stop this merger, but they’re getting hammered by corporate lobbyists pressuring them to back off. That's why we need to move fast -- antitrust regulators have a limited amount of time to take action, and the clock is ticking.

US Oil: A Weapon of Mass Destruction (Tammy Webber and Katy Daigle / Associated Press)
US oil refineries that are unable to sell a dirty fuel waste product at home are exporting vast quantities of it around the world, to more than 30 countries, especially to energy-hungry India. Petroleum coke, the bottom-of-the-barrel leftover from refining Canadian tar sands crude and other heavy oils, is cheaper and burns hotter than coal. But "petcoke" also contains more planet-warming carbon and far more heart- and lung-damaging sulfur.

Will Puerto Rico Be Re-born as Singapore or Solartopia? (Harvey Wasserman / The Progressive)
Warring visions have now erupted over the energy and economic futures of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Will the islands become a green-powered solartopia or a fossil-fueled robber baron playground like Hong Kong or Singapore? Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have proposed a $146 billion green "Marshall Plan" to rebuild Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Solar panels are already pouring in.

UN to Investigate Extreme Poverty . . . In America, the World's Richest Naton (Ed Pilkington / The Guardian)
Philip Alston, the United Nations monitor on extreme poverty and human rights, has embarked on a coast-to-coast tour of the US to hold the world's richest nation -- and its president -- to account for the hardships endured by America's most vulnerable citizens. With at least 41 million Americans living in poverty, the UN mission hopes to demonstrate that no country, however wealthy, is immune from human suffering induced by growing inequality. Nor is any nation, however powerful, beyond the reach of human rights law.

Militarism Is Religion of the United States (Mohsen Abdelmoumen and Matthew Hoh / The American Herald Tribune)
For our culture of militarism, violence and our nationalist concept of American Exceptionalism, we must have an enemy. We view ourselves as Good, so there must be a Bad or an Evil. American Exceptionalism and the violence that comes with it (believed to be redemptive and justice-based), is a Manichean, binary framework, so Americans must have an adversary or an enemy.

Reports of a New US War Crime: This Time in Somalia (Christina Goldbaum / The Daily Beast)
An investigation by The Daily Beast on the ground in Somalia appears to confirm that American soldiers were involved directly in the deaths of 10 innocent civilians.

Massacre In Somalia: US Troops To Blame? (Ron Paul and Daniel McAdams / The Liberty Report)
In August 2017, ten villagers in Somalia were killed in a military raid conducted by US and Somali troops. According to a recent investigation by the Daily Beast, they were killed by Americans. A subsequent Pentagon/AFRICOM investigation claimed that those killed were all enemy combatants. Who's telling the truth? But more importantly, why are American troops even operating in a country like Somalia.

US Military to Indefinitely Delay Ban on Outlawed Cluster Bombs (Phil Stewart / Reuters)
The Pentagon will indefinitely delay a ban on the use of older types of cluster bombs due to take effect on Jan. 1, 2019, officials said, arguing that safety improvements in munitions technology failed to advance enough to replace older stockpiles. Disclosure of the new policy met sharp criticism from Congress and human rights groups.

US-Africa Foreign Policy: From Mogadishu Massacre In Somalia to the Green Beret Killings in Niger (Democracy Now!)
Two massive truck bombs exploded in quick succession in Mogadishu Saturday night, killing at least 300 and wounding more than 300 others. It was the deadliest attack in Somalia since the rise of the al-Shabab militant group a decade ago. The disaster is now being referred to as the "Mogadishu massacre" and some are calling it "the 9/11 of the Somali people." The explosions came after the Trump administration stepped up a US campaign against al-Shabab in Somalia.

The UN's Investigating Extreme Poverty . . . In America, the World's Richest Naton (Ed Pilkington / The Guardian)
Philip Alston, the United Nations monitor on extreme poverty and human rights, has embarked on a coast-to-coast tour of the US to hold the world's richest nation -- and its president -- to account for the hardships endured by America's most vulnerable citizens. With at least 41 million Americans living in poverty, the UN mission hopes to demonstrate that no country, however wealthy, is immune from human suffering induced by growing inequality. Nor is any nation, however powerful, beyond the reach of human rights law.

A Pentagon Nuclear Dumpsite Is About to Be Swamped by Rising Sea Levels (Joe McCarthy / Global Citizen)
The Enewetak Atoll is all but invisible on Google Maps. Halfway between Australia and Hawaii, the ribbon of land is home to a small indigenous population that has seen their way of life eroded by decisions far outside of their control. For more than half a century, the atoll, which is part of the Marshall Islands, has been contaminated by nuclear explosions and waste. The decades ahead could leave it submerged by rising seas.

Polar Bears Massing on Russian Island -- A Sign of Arctic Change (Maria Antonova / Agence France-Presse)
Climate change means ice, where polar bears are most at home, is melting earlier in the year and so polar bears have to spend longer on land, scientists say. This might wow tourists but means the bears, more crammed together on coasts and islands, will eventually face greater competition for the little food there is on land. Locals are also at risk from hungry animals venturing into villages.

More Guns on America's Streets as Army Prepares to Start Selling Weapons to US Citizens (Jared Keller/ Task and Purpose)
The .45 ACP M1911A1 pistol has served the US armed forces for more than a century. Now, thanks to this year's $700 billion federal defense budget, "at least 80,000" of these deadly combat weapons sold to civilian gun owners. The Defense Authorization Act that Congress sent to Donald Trump's desk on Nov. 16 requires the Secretary of the Army to transfer a cache of small arms and ammo to the Civilian Marksmanship Program, including the M1911 and M1911A1 pistols, the M-1 Garand, and .22 rimfire rifles.

The Deadliest Year on Record for Global Land Defenders (The Oakland Institute & Global Witness)
Three times as many land protectors were killed in 2012 than 10 years previously, with the rate doubling to an average of two people a week in the past four years. 2017 is on course to be the deadliest year on record for land rights defenders. 153 activists have been assassinated so far this year -- and those are the ones we know of. Thousands more face displacement, violence, intimidation, and arrest -- all for standing up for their right to live on their land.

Cuba Verde: Can Cuba's Low-carbon Ecological Adaptations Endure? (Bill Weinberg / Earth Island Journal)
After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia cut off the flow of cheap oil and ended the guaranteed prices for Cuban sugar, devastating the island's economy. As food supplies dwindled, malnutrition became alarmingly common. The country's leaders responded by implementing a number of petroleum-free alternatives aimed at making the country self-sufficient. With cars few and far between, bicycles became nearly ubiquitous on Havana's streets. Urban gardens sprang up on unused patches of land.

The Duty to Disobey a Nuclear Launch Order (Marjorie Cohn / Truthout)
On November 19, Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of the US Strategic Command, declared he would refuse to follow an illegal presidential order to launch a nuclear attack. "If you execute an unlawful order, you will go to jail," the general explained at the Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia. "You could go to jail for the rest of your life." In the military, there is a legal duty to obey a lawful order -- but also a legal duty to disobey an unlawful order.

Is North Korea Really a 'State Sponsor of Terrorism'? (Ron Paul / Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity & AntiWar.com)
Commentary: After a nine-year absence, Donald Trump has announced that he was returning North Korea to the US list of "state sponsors of terrorism." Has Pyongyang been found guilty of some spectacular terrorist attack overseas or perhaps of plotting to overthrow another country by force? No, that is not the case. Trump believes that continuing down the path toward confrontation with North Korea will lead the country to capitulate to Washington's demands. That will not happen.

Routed in Syria, the US Should Admit Its Crime, Face Punishment (David Macilwain / Russia Insider)
Commentary: Now the day of reckoning has arrived, marked by the meeting of Presidents Bashar al Assad and Vladimir Putin in Sochi -- a meeting of militaries, whose success on the battlefield against Western-backed terrorists has brought us to this point. So we need to be clear about what happened. As in Bosnia 25 years earlier, mixed ethnic communities who had peacefully coexisted for centuries were turned against one another by foreign actors in a fundamentally malicious plan to "divide and rule."

Wounds of War: Syria's Hospitals, Doctors, and Volunteers Under Attack (Scott Pelley / 60 Minutes & The Syrian American Medical Society)
Syria's government is trying to quash a rebellion by bombing hospitals. Still, brave doctors -- many of them American volunteers -- are risking everything to save lives. In besieged East Ghouta, Syria, nearly 400,000 civilians are facing severe shortages of basic goods and lifesaving medical care. In its latest brief, "Under Siege: The Plight of East Ghouta," SAMS highlights the devastating impact of the four-year long blockade on the health sector and underscores the pressing need to break the siege.

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

The Global Shipping Industry Needs to Clean Up Its Act (Maria Gallucci / Grist)
What can the cargo, shipping, and cruise industries do to play a part in limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels -- the most ambitious goal laid out in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement? To meet that target, all cargo ships will need to be "zero-emissions" by 2050. That requires ditching cheap, but noxious, bunker fuel and replacing it with promising alternatives like battery storage, sustainable biofuels, hydrogen fuel cells, and wind-sail technology.

Fidel Castro's Enduring Environmental Legacy (teleSUR & Agence France-Presse)
Fidel Castro's commitment to education and health care stand out as monumental achievements for Cuba. While he emerged as a stalwart of anti-imperialism and anti-capitalism, his commitment to environmentalism and Cuba's achievements in the area gets less attention. Cuba is one of the few developing countries that has shown a strong commitment to the environment and sustainability -- despite a number of obstacles such as the long-standing US blockade.

Oil and Gas Industry Is Causing Texas Earthquakes, a 'Landmark' Study Suggests (Ben Guarino / The Washington Post)
An unnatural number of earthquakes hit Texas in the past decade. In 2008, two earthquakes stronger than magnitude 3 struck the state. Eight years later, the number of strong quakes increased four-fold. The tremors have multiplied along with a recent increase in natural gas extraction -- including fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, but other techniques as well -- which produces a lot of wastewater that is injected deep into the ground where it can work its way into dormant faults, triggering quakes.

ACTION ALERT: Welcome to the Swamp: EPA on the Corporate Chopping Block (Chris Riotta / Newsweek & CREDO Action)
Wall Street billionaires, corporate lobbyists and far right conservatives flooded the White House almost immediately after Donald Trump's presidential victory, according to records of visitor logs the White House was forced to reveal following a Freedom of Information lawsuit. Meanwhile, Trump's climate-change-denying EPA pick, Scott Pruitt, is moving to replace independent scientists on EPA advisory boards with representatives of the fossil fuel and chemical industries.

Stopping Trump's Slide Toward Nuclear War (Andrew Lichterman / Western States Legal Foundation & Tikkun)
Donald Trump's first appearance at the United Nations was a watershed moment. In an address notable for its belligerence, he marked his place not only as a harbinger of the erosion of the post Cold-War international legal order, but as an active agent of its destruction. His threat to "totally destroy North Korea" and its people runs contrary to both the letter and spirit of United Nations Charter. Trump's threat to wage "preventive war" whenever US leaders deem it necessary was also an attack on the UN itself.

Spreading the Truth about Drones (Roots Action Education Fund & General Assembly)
On the 5th of November, Cian Westmoreland spoke at a General Assembly in Berlin along with 69 other delegates from around the world. Cian delivered an emotional testimony on his role as an assassination drone operator in Afghanistan. The delegates at this international meeting addressed issues ranging from mining in the Democratic Republic of the Congo -- where a war has raged for over a decade, taking 7 million lives -- to the abuses animals endure in our factory farms.

US "Liberated" Libya to Become a Modern-day Slave Market (Vijay Prashad / AlterNet )
CNN recently aired a powerful report from Libya, where the reporters went into a house and shot footage of an auction of human beings. Yes, a 21st-century slave market -- grotesque: evidence of how terrible the situation is these days not only in Libya, but also in the Sahel region of Africa. The US, Britain and France were the leaders of the NATO-engineered destruction of Libya in 2011. What we see now is the detritus of NATO's disastrous policies.

Appeal to Congress: End US Support for Saudi War in Yemen (Mark Weisbrot / The Hill)
The New York Times editorial board recently took an unusual position of denouncing what it called "war crimes" by a US ally, in a war in which the United States is actively participating militarily. "Saudis try to starve Yemen into submission," was the headline, and it was no exaggeration. Nearly seven million people, including millions of children, are facing famine owing to blockades of food and medicine and Saudi-coalition bombings carried out with military assistance by the United States.

ACTION ALERT: House Tax Bill Attacks Clean Energy: Meanwhile, Costa Rica Has Been Carbon-free for 300 Days (Union of Concerned Scientists & Alexandra Jacobo / NationofChange)
The tax bill being debated in the House is a bad deal. In addition to cutting taxes for the wealthy at the expense of middle class and low-income families, it poses a major threat to the success of electric vehicles and renewable energy technologies that save consumers money, create jobs, and reduce climate and air pollution. Meanwhile, as of November 22, Costa Rica had run on 100% renewable energy for more than 300 days. In 2016, the US generated only about 15 percent of its power from renewables.

Pentagon to Shop at Amazon: A $53 Billion Gift Under the GOP Budget Bill (David Dayen /The Intercept)
The House and Senate tax bill committees have approved a controversial "Amazon amendment" that would turn over federal procurement of off-the-shelf items, a $53 billion market, to e-commerce portals. The provision would guarantee billions of dollars in new revenue to Amazon. "It seems like Amazon wrote it," said Stacy Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, "It will accelerate the transfer of more and more government spending to Amazon."

Saudis to Buy $7 Billion More in US Arms for Yemen War (AntiWar.com & Reuters and Fortune.com)
With international complaints about war crimes mounting, and a vote on US involvement in Yemen having just been derailed by the Congressional leadership, another vote is likely forthcoming, following reports the Saudis have been promised another $7 billion in US arms. Congressional votes on arms sales have historically been easy to pass, but weapons sold to the Saudis have left thousands of Yemeni civilians killed in the US-backed war amid growing concern that these arms sales constitute US culpability.

Saudis Renege on Promise to End Blockade as Millions of Yemen's Civilians Face Disease and Starvation (AntiWar.com & BBC World News)
Northern Yemen is facing calamitous shortages due to a Saudi blockade, with many civilians dying in from the lack of food, medicine, and a cholera epidemic that is among the worst in human history. Millions are facing malnutrition and outright famine. Despite the Saudi's promise earlier this week that they would lift the blockade on northern Yemen at noon on Thursday, the time came and went. UN and other humanitarian aid ships continue to be blocked from the port of Hodeida and Yemenis continues to die.

US Strikes on Taliban Opium Labs Won't Work, Say Afghan Farmers (Mohammad Stanekzai and Girish Gupta / Reuters)
On Monday, US Army General John Nicholson announced a "new strategy" of attacking opium factories, saying he wanted to hit the Taliban "where it hurts, in their narcotics financing." But as US and Afghan forces pounded Taliban drug factories this week, farmers in the country's largest opium producing-province and narcotics experts say the strategy just repeats previous failed efforts to stamp out the trade.

What Is the True Cost of Inequality? Freedom? Democracy? Peace? (Sam Pizzigati / Campaign for America's Future & Marlee Kokotovic / Nation of Change & Richard Eskow / Campaign for America's Future & Paul Buchheit / NationofChange)
The world has never been richer. Credit Suisse's researchers have discerned "a significant increase in wealth across the globe." The problem is, these numbers have benefited only a precious few. The top 1 percent globally now hold 50.1 percent of the world's household wealth. With inequality ripping us apart -- and with few of our national leaders willing or able to confront the problem -- the United States of America may never again be an equitable and functional society.

The US Is Stockpiling Nuclear Arms, and the Cost Is Astonishing (Harry Blain / Foreign Policy In Focus & AntiWar.com)
Thanks to an October 31 report by the Congressional Budget Office, we now have a 30-year outline of both the kinds of destructive weaponry we are buying, and how much it is going to cost. There are good reasons to be worried. Total cost: $1.2 trillion. Enough money to fund five Environmental Protection Agencies. The "deterrence" value of such an investment isn't immediately clear. But the fiscal impacts will certainly further bankrupt the already debt-burdened US economy.

Too Dangerous: US Strategists Call for Eliminating the ICBM Nuclear Arsenal (Scot J. Paltrow / Reuters)
Of all weapons in the US nuclear arsenal, the ICBM is the one most likely to cause accidental nuclear war, arms-control specialists say. It is for this reason that a growing number of former top Pentagon officials, military scholars and members of Congress are calling for the elimination of ICBMs. Former defense secretaries William Perry and Leon Pancetta are among those warning that, of all weapons in the US nuclear arsenal, the ICBM is the one most likely to cause accidental nuclear war.

US Diplomats Accuse Tillerson of Breaking Child Soldiers Law (Jason Szep and Matt Spetalnick / Reuters)
According to internal documents reviewed by Reuters, a group of about a dozen US State Department officials have taken the unusual step of formally accusing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson of violating a federal law designed to stop foreign militaries from enlisting child soldiers when he decided in June to exclude Iraq, Myanmar, and Afghanistan from a US list of offenders in the use of conscripted, underage soldiers.

Three Recent Bombing Plots That Went Unreported ... and Why (Will Carless and Aaron Sankin / The Hate Report @ The Reveal)
Three men were recently arrested for plotting bomb attacks on US soil. Despite their intent to inflict mass casualties on US citizens, there were virtually no reports on these plots in the US mass media. Why? The stories didn't go viral -- and Trump didn't tweet about the would-be mass-killers -- because the men were not immigrants, Mexicans, or Muslims. They were all White.

John Kennedy on the Dangers of War and the Promise of Peace (David Swanson / World Beyond War)
In 1963, President John F. Kennedy was speaking at a time when, like now, Russia and the United States had enough nuclear weapons ready to fire at each other on a moment's notice to destroy the earth for human life many times over. Kennedy framed his speech as a remedy for ignorance, specifically the ignorant view that war is inevitable. Kennedy renounced the idea of a "Pax Americana enforced on the world by US weapons of war -- precisely what both major political parties now favor.

The US Is Stockpiling Nuclear Arms, and the Cost Is Astonishing (Harry Blain / Foreign Policy In Focus & AntiWar.com)
Thanks to an October 31 report by the Congressional Budget Office, we now have a 30-year outline of both the kinds of destructive weaponry we are buying, and how much it is going to cost. There are good reasons to be worried. Total cost: $1.2 trillion. Enough money to fund five Environmental Protection Agencies. The "deterrence" value of such an investment isn't immediately clear. But the fiscal impacts will certainly further bankrupt the debt-burdened US economy.

The Sex Scandal the Pentagon Would Rather Ignore (Kyle Rempfer / UN Navy Times)
American troops were told to ignore the rape and abuse of children by Afghan security forces they were partnered with, according to a report released on November 16 by the Pentagon's Inspector General. "Bacha bazi," which translates as "boy play," is a cultural practice in which "powerful or wealthy local figures and businessmen sexually abuse young boys who are trained to dance in female clothes," the report reads.

Trump Targets Appalachia; Plots to Plunder America's Wilderness (Nigel Sizer / The Rainforest Alliance & Adam Federman / The Nation & Adam Federman / The Nation & Kate Aronoff / The Nation)
The Appalachian woodlands, an ecological treasure covering 61,500 square miles of the country's southeast, are now threatened by the Trump administration's unsustainable commercial energy and timber exploitation. A leaked draft of a five-year plan reveals how the DOI plans to prioritize "energy dominance" over conservation. Meanwhile, the Department of the Interior is poised to open up millions of wilderness acres to commercial drilling and mining -- from Utah's red-rock country to Alaska's frigid coastal waters.

Remembering JFK: John Kennedy on the Dangers of Government Secrecy and the Importance of a Free Press (Anthony J. Marsella & The National Geographic Channel)
A November 22, 2017 poem in memory of President John F. Kennedy and a documentary investigation into the "missing bullet" fired on the day of his assassination in Dallas, Texas.

Fight Terrorism: Stop Bombing Cities and other Populated Areas (Action On Armed Violence & Reaching Critical Will / Women's International League for Peace and Freedom)
When used in populated areas, explosive weapons cause great harm to individuals as well as to communities. According to Action on Armed Violence, between 80 and 90% of the people injured or killed are civilians in incidents where explosive weapons are used in populated areas. The use of these weapons also damages and destroys critical infrastructure such as housing, schools, hospitals, and water and sanitation systems, resulting in devastating long-term effects on people's lives far beyond the conflict itself.

The United Nations Warns of the Rise of Robot Armies (Jessica Corbett / Common Dreams & Kelsey Atherton / C4isrnet.com)
As the United Nations' first formal meeting about killer robots came to a close on November 17, 2017, tech experts and critics continued to warn about the military use of autonomous weapons and called for more urgent action to curb the threat they pose. While support builds for an outright ban of robotic weapons, powerful nations with large technology industries are resistant to imposing expansive limitations that would compromise their potential revenues.

ACTION ALERT: End US Complicity in Illegal War on the People of Yemen (Perry O'Brien / Common Defense & Zaid Jilani / The Intercept)
Over ten thousand people have been killed in the war in Yemen, and millions of Yemeni people are starving. Their nation is being ravaged by the worst cholera outbreak in human history. Senator Chris Murphy called our continued involvement in this war "barbaric." Last week, Congress voted overwhelmingly to say that complicity in war crimes is unacceptable. Instead of selling high-tech weapons to Saudi Arabia, we should be using our diplomatic power to end the senseless slaughter of innocent civilians.

What Happened in Niger? More Remains of Sgt. La David Johnson Recovered in Niger (Courtney Kube and Corky Siemaszko / NBC News & Derek Royden / NationofChange)
Four weeks after his funeral, more remains of slain US Army Sgt. La David Johnson have retrieved from the spot near the village of Tongo Tongo, Niger, where Johnson and three other US soldiers were ambushed and killed on Oct. 4. There continue to be contrary claims by both soldiers and higher authorities in Niger regarding the attack that left the soldiers dead.

Are US Leaders Planning to Make Nuclear Weapons "Usable"? (Tom Engelhardt and Michael T. Klare / TomDispatch)
Under existing nuclear doctrine, as imagined by the Obama administration back in 2010, this country was to use nuclear weapons only "in extreme circumstances" to defend the vital interests of the country or of its allies. However, for Donald Trump, a man who has already threatened to unleash on North Korea "fire and fury like the world has never seen," such an approach is proving far too restrictive.

ACTION ALERT: Keep Trump's Thumb off the Nuclear Button (Win Without War & Jim McGovern / US House of Representatives & The Union of Concerned Scientists & Nuclear Age Peace Foundation)
Preventing the US from triggering a nuclear apocalypse isn't just general common sense. It's also urgently-needed protection from a president with an itchy Twitter finger and the sole authority to launch nuclear war. Congressman Adam Smith has just introduced a one-sentence bill that gets right to the point: "It is the policy of the US to not use nuclear weapons first." Meanwhile Rep. Jim McGovern has introduced the "Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act" to block Trump's ability to start a nuclear war.

When Starvation Is Used as a Weapon: 60 Minutes, Barred from Yemen, Still Got the Footage (Brit McCandless Farmer / Sixty Minutes @ CBS)
The Saudi-led blockade of Yemen isn't just targeting food supplies. As 60 Minutes found, it's also stopping reporters. Discover how the network's producers got this week's footage of the widespread humanitarian calamity the US-backed Saudi war is having on the desperate men, women and children of Yemen.

Bezos Invests in War as Amazon Wins Huge Pentagon Contract (Whitney Webb / MintPress News)
The US mega-corporation Amazon, run by the world's richest man, Jeff Bezos, has just partnered with the Pentagon on a $53 billion Pentagon-Amazon procurement deal. As Amazon continues to entrench itself as the nation's commissary, huge government supply deals like Pentagon-Amazon procurement deal approved by Congress will leave little room for competitors and raise the specter of government-coddled monopoly.

World's Scientists Issue Second "Warning to Humanity" (William J. Ripple, Christopher Wolf, Thomas M. Newsmen, Mauro Galetti, Mohammed Alamgir, Eileen Crist, Mahmoud I. Mahmoud, William F. Laurance / BioScience / The American Institute of Biological Sciences)
Since 1992 -- with the exception of stabilizing the stratospheric ozone layer -- humanity has failed to make sufficient progress in solving our major environmental challenges. Most are getting far worse. In this paper, a team of leading scientists examine the troubling trends over the last 25 years and suggest possible remedies. The article has received support from more than 15,000 signatories from all ends of the Earth -- the most scientists to ever co-sign and formally support a published journal article.

Warning: Climate Change Threatens Mass Extinction of Life in Pacific (Sydney Pereira / Newsweek & Mac Slavo / SHTFPlan.com)
According to an alarming study published in the Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program in Marine Policy, Pacific Island nations -- surrounded by the warmest waters of the global ocean -- are expected to lose 50 to 80 percent of fish species by the end of the century. Meanwhile, the Gulf of Alaska cod populations appear to have taken a nose-dive -- the "worst they've ever seen." The warming water, which has spread to depths of more than 1,000 feet, "hit the cod like a kind of a double-whammy."

Weathering the Heat: The Desertification of Northern California (Alastair Bland / The East Bay Express)
In 2003, Europe sweltered in 100-degreeheat that killed between 35,000 and possibly 70,000 people. Seven years later, a similar hot spell killed 55,000 people in Russia. Five years later, record heat killed more than 2,000 people in India and Pakistan. In the decades ahead, as temperatures rise and droughts intensify, Northern California's climate, vegetation, and wildlife may begin to look more like Southern California does today.

Noam Chomsky: Trump Represents Severe Threats to "Organized Human Life" (Lucien Crowder and Noam Chomsky / Bulletin of Atomic Scientists)
Noam Chomsky, a noted linguist and a pointed criticic of US foreign policy speaks with Bulletin of Atomic Scientist's senior editor Lucien Crowder about the Trump administration's policies on climate change, nuclear modernization, North Korea, and Iran -- and about an intensification of "the extremely severe threats that all of us face." According to Chomsky, the US, under Trump and the Republican Party, is racing toward disaster.

Pentagon Declares US Troops Will Stay in Syria, Occupying Bases in Violation of Syrian and International Law (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Mark Katkov / NPR & Vanessa Beeley / 21st Century Wire)
The US is flaunting international law: first, by invading Syria and second, by building at least 10 "permanent" military bases inside the very country the US has been punishing for more than six years -- via economic, media, and armed military attacks. Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies are demanding the US leave Syria while "the lawlessness of the US hegemon threatens to engulf the region in sectarian conflict thanks to Washington's Machiavellian meddling in a sovereign nation's affairs on almost every front."

Investigation Reveals US-Led Bombings in Iraq Kill 31 Times More Civilians Than Reported (Jessica Corbett / Common Dreams)
New York Times reporters looking into the Pentagon's role in civilian deaths inside Iraq have uncovered a "consistent failure by the coalition to investigate claims properly or to keep records that make it possible to investigate." The Times concludes the Pentagon's accounting of war crimes may have made the Global War on Terror "the least transparent war in recent American history."

Stop The Malignant Misuse of America's Military (Daniel L. Davis / BreakingDefense)
Commenetary: There are two key ways the faulty use of combat power abroad continues to deteriorate our security. The US Constitution decrees that Congress alone has the power to declare war but today the Executive branch has assumed virtually sole discretion for the deployment of the military. The second and more troubling misuse of the military involve the missions they are given to execute.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Trump from Gutting Climate Efforts, Clean Car Standards, Solar Energy, Net Energy Metering, Solar Roofs . . . (Union of Concerned Scientists & NRDC & Rainforest Action Network & Food and Water Watch)
Tell Scott Pruitt to do his job to protect our health and stop ignoring the growing risks from climate change. Push back against Trump's efforts to kill clean car standards that would double the fuel efficiency of cars and trucks. Pressure two of the biggest banks on Wall St. -- JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo -- to say NO to the Keystone XL pipeline. Bombard Trump's Department of Energy with support for solar power.

Oil Spills: On the Ground and in the GOP Tax Bill (Yessenia Funes / Earther & Mayra Cuevas and Steve Almasy / CNN)
A total of 210,000 gallons of oil leaked Thursday from the Keystone pipeline in South Dakota. This is the largest Keystone oil spill to date and comes just days before Nebraska officials will announce a decision on whether the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline can move forward. Meanwhile, in the Senate, the GOP has added a clause to its tax bill to allow oil and gas drilling in the 19-million acre Alaska National Wildlife Refuge.

Crimes Against Humanity: How a Single US Airstrike Devastated a Family in Mosul (Azmat Khan and Anand Gopal / The New York Times)
How a single US airstrike in Mosul devastated the lives of an innocent Iraqi family. When Basim asked who in his home survived, he was told: nobody. The blast killed Mayada and Tuqa instantly. A second strike hit next door, and Mohannad and Najib were also dead. Only Azza, Najib's mother, was alive, because the explosion had flung her through a second-story window. Not a single person in Iraq or Syria has received a condolence payment for a civilian death since the war Against ISIS began in 2014.

Nothing Patriotic or Conservative About Our Bloated Defense Budget (Hon. John J. Duncan, Jr. / US House of Representatives)
Commentary: It seems that the Defense Department is just like every other gigantic bureaucracy. When it comes to money, the refrain is always "more, more, more." Defense Department appropriations have more than doubled since 2000. On November 14, the House passed what one Capitol Hill paper described as a "$700 billion compromise defense bill." It was $80 billion over the budget caps and many billions more than even President Trump had requested.

ACTION ALERT: New Film on Jane Goodall; New Campaign to Save Orangutans from PepsiCo (Rainforest Action Network & Gar Smith / Berkeley Daily Planet)
Every year, thousands of acres of rainforests in Indonesia are burned to make way for palm oil plantations. The oil is used in major brand products including those from snack food giant PepsiCo. As the forests go up in flames, and the smoke enters the sky, hope fades for the survival of orangutans. Help us convince PepsiCo to stop its part in this destruction. And look for a stunning new film on the life and work of Dr. Jane Goodall. It has been called "the greatest documentary of the year."

Shadow World: Exposing the Reach of the Global Arms Trade (Johan Grimonprez / Independent Lens @ PBS / Premieres on November 20, 2017)
From Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama, from Margaret Thatcher to Tony Blair, "Shadow World" -- a new PBS documentary -- reveals the shocking realities of the global arms trade. The film explores how governments, their militaries and intelligence agencies, defense contractors, arms dealers and agents are inextricably intertwined with the international trade in weapons, and how that trade fosters corruption, determines economic and foreign policies, undermines democracies and creates human suffering.

No Thanksgiving for Yemen: Instead, It's Megadeaths From America (William Boardman / Reader Supported News )
As Americans get ready for Thanksgiving 2017 over-eating, their government is on the verge of successfully starving millions of Yemenis to death by siege warfare. The US naval blockade of Yemen has been unrelenting since March 2015. The US Navy is an essential element of this perpetual war crime, this endless assault on a civilian population of about 25 million. This is the kind of collective punishment of innocents that we once put Nazis on trial for at Nuremberg.

Climate Change Threatens Natural Treasures (teleSUR)
Climate change imperils one in four natural World Heritage sites, including coral reefs, glaciers, and wetlands -- nearly double the number from just three years ago, a report has said. Released during the UN climate talks in Bonn, Germany, the study by the International Union for Conservation of Nature stated that the number of sites at risk has grown to 62 from 35 in 2014.

Trump-frackers Target Nevada Wilderness and the Arctic Wildlife Refuge (Center for Biological Diversity / EcoWatch & Nation of Change & Chris D'Angelo / The Huffington Post)
Three conservation groups filed an administrative protest Monday against an enormous Bureau of Land Management oil and gas lease auction, scheduled for Dec. 12, that would allow fracking on more than 600 square miles of Nevada public lands. The protest says the BLM has violated the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act by failing to analyze the risks of drilling for oil and fracking with dangerous chemicals on such a massive scale.

Why Are We in Niger? (Hon. Barbara Lee / US House of Representatives)
On October 4th, four US Army soldiers were killed in an Ambush in Niger. Yet Congress has been left in the dark about why the US military is stationed there in the first place. At a minimum, we should have a basic understanding of the missions we are asking our service members to risk their lives for. That's why Representative Barbara Lee is demanding that Congress reclaim its constitutional responsibility to debate and vote on the use of military force.

Massive Overkill: Brought to You by the Nuclear-industrial Complex (Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & William D. Hartung / TomDispatch)
Commentary: When it comes to the art of the deal, at least where arms sales are concerned, American presidents, their administrations, and the Pentagon have long been Trumpian in nature. In 2015, for instance, the US once again took the top spot in global weapons sales, $40 billion dollars of them, or a staggering 50.2% of the world market. Until recently, few of us woke up worrying about the threat of nuclear war. But give Donald Trump credit. When it comes to nukes, he's gotten our attention.

Top 10 Ways to Stop Trump Nuking Anybody (David Swanson / David Swanson.org)
Commentary: On Tuesday the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on whether Trump can just up and nuke people or not. The hand-picked witnesses, all former military, all said there was some chance that if Trump ordered a nuking, somebody might refuse to carry out the order. On what grounds? No witness or Senator ever mentioned the illegality of war under the UN Charter or the Kellogg-Briand Pact. Gere are some other possible approaches.

ACTION ALERT: Tweeting the Apocalypse. Trump's Flirtation with Nuclear War (Will Fischer / Vote Vets & CREDO Action & Tom McKay / Gizmodo & Japan Times)
"If Donald Trump decides to initiate an attack on North Korea, even with a nuclear weapon, it's likely that no one -- not even Congress -- would be able to stop him." Scary? You bet. Hence this petition. But note: If we want to think about this rationally, no one -- not even the US Congress -- should have the ability to vote on authorizing a nuclear war. Impeach Trump; Abolish Nukes.

Saudi Alliance Bombs Yemen Airport Stoking Mass Starvation Fears (Agence France-Presse & AntiWar.com & Al Jazeera)
Yemenis from all walks of life took to the streets Monday to protest a Saudi-led blockade that has left thousands struggling to survive. The United Nations last month blacklisted the Saudi-led coalition for the killing and maiming of children in Yemen. The rebel-held port of Hodeida -- crucial to UN aid efforts -- remains closed. Hopes that Sanaa International Airport would be opened to aid flights were dashed when Saudi warplanes attacked the airport. Over seven million of whom are facing famine-like conditions.

US Mass Shooters Are Disproportionately Veterans (David Swanson /David Swanson.org)
Commentary: Are veterans of the US military disproportionately likely to be mass killers in the United States? Asking such a question is difficult, first because of concerns of profiling, discrimination, etc., and second, because it's hard to answer. It's important to answer because it's important for us to know whether military training is contributing to this epidemic of mass murders in this country.

The Evil that Guns Do (Michael Winship / Moyers and Company)
The firearms lobby suggests that because morality can't be legislated, the evil of gun violence can only be controlled by . . . more guns. Don't be fooled by the rhetorical camouflage. The NRA still wants to steer clear of any Congressional debate that could change minds and lead to new gun control rules. To claim as a constitutional right the possession of firearms intended for warfare strains credulity. These are killing machines with no purpose other than to maim and destroy.

Washington's Drug of Choice in the War on Terror (Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch)
After nine months of confusion, chaos, and cascading tweets, Donald Trump's White House has finally made one thing crystal clear: the US is staying in Afghanistan to fight and -- so they insist -- win. "The killers need to know they have nowhere to hide, that no place is beyond the reach of American might," said the president in August, trumpeting his virtual declaration of war on the Taliban.

The Financial Cost of the US 'War on Terror' (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Caroline Houck / Defense One & Marcus Weisgerber / Defense One)
The cost of America's Global War on Terror has yet to be tabulated, and there's a very good reason for that. By and large, the US has not been paying for all of these wars, but rather has been borrowing to pay for the conflict. Analysts say a reckoning is coming -- even as Republicans seek tax cuts that will add at least $1.5 trillion to the national debt. The US is on a path to destroying itself in the name of "defense."

JPMorgan Chase: The Bank that Is Destroying the Earth for Oil (Amazon Watch)
Despite the urgent imperative to keep at least two thirds of all fossil fuels in the ground in order to avoid catastrophic climate change, many governments and companies continue to recklessly expand fossil fuel activities across the globe. And, in the lead, is a major US-based bank -- JPMorgan Chase. Customers should be troubled that banks are financing fossil fuel projects that are harming our planet's environmental sustainability and communities that have been stewards of our planet for generations.

ACTION ALERT: What Makes American Society So Violent? (Emily Costello / The Conversation & Shannon Watts / Everytown for Gun Safety)
There are several factors behind US violence. A child who is spanked learns that physical force is an acceptable method of problem solving. Many states still allow corporal punishment in schools, despite research that clearly shows long-term negative effects. America's gun culture often causes police to fear for their own safety, resulting in unnecessary shootings. A culture of aggression sends men to prison and follows these prisoners behind bars. Increasing use of guns only feeds mass killings.

How Canada's New Feminist Foreign Policy Aims at Eradicating Poverty and Conflict (Sarah Pittman / Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy & Tasia Alexopoulos / CFFP)
On June 9th, the Canadian Minister of International Development announced that Canada intended to radically alter its foreign aid policy to specifically center on feminism. Called the Feminist International Assistance Policy, it has since made waves around the world. This new foreign policy provides an opportunity for Canada to lead the way in fighting poverty and conflict, filling the vacuum left by the Trump administration. Despite its good intentions, there are still significant problems to be addressed.

The Link between Mass Shootings and Domestic Violence (Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan / Democracy Now! & David M. Perry /The Nation)
The mass murder in Sutherland Springs, Texas, was a horrific crime. It was also horrifically predictable, and emblematic of the systemic problem we have with guns and violence in the United States. Devin Patrick Kelley was the white, 26-year-old former active-duty member of the US Air Force who is believed to have killed 26 people and injured 20 on Sunday before killing himself. The massacre serves as yet another lethal example of the link between domestic violence and mass shootings.

The World's Coastal Cities Are Not Prepared for the Coming Floods (Bill McKibben / The Washington Post)
For 10,000 years of human civilization, we've been blessed with a relatively stable climate, and hence flooding has been an exceptional terror. As that blessing comes to an end with our reckless heating of the planet, the exceptional is becoming all too normal, as residents of Houston and South Florida and Puerto Rico found out already this fall.

Conservatives Probably Can't Be Persuaded on Climate Change. So Now What? (David Roberts / Vox)
When it comes to climate change, US conservatives inhabit a unique position, as part of the only major political party in the democratic world to reject the legitimacy of climate science and any domestic policy or international agreement meant to address it. Instead, the GOP is working actively to increase production and consumption of fossil fuels and to slow the transition to renewable energy.

Colombia, an Example to the World, Balances Conservation and Development (Justin Catanoso / Mongabay)
Colombia, under the leadership of President Juan Santos, has more than doubled its national conserved area -- an extraordinary achievement for any country. In an exclusive interview with Mongabay, Luis Gilberto Murillo, Colombia's minister of the environment and sustainable development, tells how that goal was achieved, and what it will take to keep those conserved lands and waters protected for all time.

How US Militarists Hijacked the True Meaning of Armistice Day (Thomas Knapp / AntiWar.com & Arnold Oliver / AntiWar.com & Danny Sjursen / AntiWar.com)
If America were to accept that Vietnam was a mistake, a tragedy, a ruse, a war crime, or simply unwinnable, then the public could be forgiven for their apprehensiveness regarding future foreign interventions. By convincing people it really was a victory, then those 58,000 American boys didn't die in vain, our military remained undefeated (kind of), and the US can once again spread its values -- and troops -- around the world.

ACTION ALERT: Address the Costs of Endless, Unwinnable, Illegal Wars (Matthew Hoh / Win Without War & Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) / US House of Representatives & Hon. Elizabeth Warren / US Senate)
$5.6 trillion, with no end in sight. That's the cost of America's wars since 9/11. As a Marine who served in Iraq, I don't need a price tag to tell you about the cost of our wars. I've seen for myself the amputations, traumatic brain injuries, post traumatic stress disorder and moral injury that lead to massively disproportionate levels of suicide, depression, substance abuse, domestic violence and homelessness in vets returned home from war. And I've witnessed the human cost of our wars beyond our borders.

The Bootprint of Washington's Global Empire: US Special Ops Deployed to 137 Nations (Nick Turse / TomDispatch & TruthOut)
America's most elite troops, the Special Operations Forces (SOF). now "operate and fight in every corner of the world," boasts SOF commander General Raymond Thomas. In 2016, America's most elite forces conducted missions in 138 countries -- roughly 70% of the nations on the planet. Halfway through 2017, US commandos have already been deployed to an astonishing 137 countries carrying out 12 core missions, ranging from "unconventional warfare" to hostage rescue.

Road-building and Nature: Highways to Extinction? (William Laurance and Irene Burgues Arrea / James Cook University & Science Daily)
We are living in the most explosive era of infrastructure expansion in human history. In the next 3 years, paved roads are projected to double in length in Asia's developing nations; in the next three decades, the total length of additional paved roads could approach 25 million kilometers worldwide -- enough to encircle the planet more than 600 times. This global explosion of new roads is rife with economic, social, and environmental dangers.

Saudi Blockade Will Cause Hundreds of Deaths: Why Is the US Supporting the Murderous Attacks on Yemen's Civilians? (Jason Ditz /AntiWar.com & Bonnie Kristian / Rare Politics)
Saudi Arabia's naval blockade of Yemen has tightened dramatically -- today, even vital medications and food are virtually impossible to import. The country now faces mass starvation and catastrophic death tolls from hunger and disease. No container ships carrying pharmaceuticals have been permitted to dock in Yemen since 2015, and just 21 container ships of food were allowed to dock from January to August of this year.

Progressive Rep. Ro Khanna: Stop All Weapons Sales to Saudi Arabia Now (Alex Emmons / The Intercept)
For more than two years, Congress has remained quiet as the United States backed a brutal war in Yemen, supporting a coalition that has killed thousands and starved the country into one of the worst humanitarian crises of the 21st century. Earlier this year, Rep. Ro Khanna introduced a resolution that condemned the war and would have used a provision of the War Powers Act to halt US support for Saudi Arabia. Khanna's resolution was fervently opposed by House leadership -- both Republicans and Democrats.

UN Confirms Recent US Airstrike Killed "at Least 10" Afghan Civilians (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & James Mackenzie / Reuters)
The United Nations mission in Afghanistan said at least 10 civilians may have been killed by an air strike in the northern city of Kunduz last week, despite a US military investigation that found no civilian deaths. Some Afghan media have reported much higher figures. Former President Hamid Karzai, who clashed bitterly with the United States over the issue in past years, condemned the air strikes but the government of President Ashraf Ghani has so far made no public comment.

Pacific News Service, Presente! (New America Media Press Release & Valerie Gorospe, Angel Garcia, and Lucia Calderon / South Kern Sol & New America Media)
For 45 years, Pacific News Service has pioneered new ways to diversify American journalism and communications. Long before terms like civic engagement, youth media, collaborative reporting, and inclusive journalism were in vogue, PNS and New America Media were inventing how to implement them. The board of directors and staff of the nonprofit New America Media, and its parent organization, Pacific News Service, announced today that the two entities will cease operations by November 30, 2017.

US Has Spent a Staggering $4.3 Trillion on Wars Since 9/11 (teleSUR & The Costs of War Project / Brown University)
According to a new report from Brown University's Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs: "The US wars in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the increased spending on homeland security and the departments of defense, state and veterans affairs since the 9/11 attacks have cost more than $4.3 trillion in current dollars through fiscal year 2017" -- more than triple the amount reported by the Pentagon.

A New Armistice Day: What If We Celebrated by Halting All War -- Just for a Day (David Swanson / World Beyond War & Arnold Oliver / Scoop)
Commentary: Exactly at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 99 years ago, people across Europe suddenly stopped shooting guns at each other. It wasn't that they'd gotten tired or come to their senses. Both before and after 11 o'clock they were simply following orders. Armistice Day was widely recognized for almost thirty years until 1954 when the holiday was hijacked by a militaristic US congress and re-named Veterans Day. What if we celebrate this date by halting all war, everywhere, just for a day?

Armistice Day 99 Years On and The Need for a Peace to End All Wars (David Swanson / World Beyond War)
The Outlawry Movement of the 1920s -- the movement to outlaw war -- sought to replace war with arbitration, by first banning war and then developing a code of international law and a court with the authority to settle disputes. The first step was taken in 1928 with the Kellogg-Briand Pact, which banned all war. Today 81 nations are party to that treaty, including the United States.

Time Is Running Out for the Planet (Bill Moyers and Bill McKibben / Moyers & Company)
Bill McKibben's calling has been to wake up Americans to the once creeping, now billowing threat of global warming. For 30 years climate change has been his beat -- first as a journalist, then as an environmentalist and now as a leader of a global movement to win a race against time. In his latest book, Radio Free Vermont, he turns to humor for inspiration. Sixteen books of first-rate journalism and now a novel -- a meditation on the state of the world as experienced in the state of Vermont.

Civilian Massacres Mount in Yemen and Afghanistan (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & War Is Boring.com & NewNews)
With the US once again escalating the war in Afghanistan, the number of US warplanes dropping munitions on the country are on the rise, and with it, the number of civilians being killed in those strikes. While these civilian casualties remain officially "under investigation," the UN is openly expressing concern about the rising toll. And in Yemen, more than 30 civilians -- mostly women and children -- were killed in a series of 18 US-backed Saudi air strikes on Haran, the scene of a similar massacre days earlier.

Trump's Interior Department Recommends Opening Up Pacific National Monuments to Commercial Fishing (David Leestma / EcoWatch)
The Trump administration is considering cutting protections for two national monuments lying south of Hawaii in the central Pacific. The decision, scientists warn, will threaten reefs across the Pacific.

Business as Usual at the Pentagon (William J. Astore / Bracing Views & AntiWar.com)
The revolving door between major defense contractors and the Pentagon is spinning ever more rapidly as a growing tide of defense industry executives go to work in the Pentagon. Case in point: Trump's nominee for secretary of the Army is Mark Esper. Ester happens to be the chief lobbyist for Raytheon -- the country's fourth largest weapons contractor. Officials from Lockheed and Boeing have already been placed in top Pentagon posts where they will approve and dispense arms contracts.

Governments Can No Longer Ignore War's Impact on Planet (Doug Weir / The Ecologist)
Since its inception in 2001, the UN's International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict has mainly served as a reminder of how the environment remains a forgotten victim of warfare. However, in recent years there have been signs that the global community is slowly beginning to address its collective blind spot over the environmental dimensions of armed conflicts -- and the price that people and ecosystems pay for our indifference.

The Paradise Papers: How Global Royalty -- in Politics, Sports, and Business -- Hide their Wealth to Avoid Taxes (The Weekly Reveal / The Center for Investigative Reporting & The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists )
Reveal journalists have teamed up with International Consortium of Investigative Journalists -- the reporting team behind the 2015 disclosure of "The Panama Papers" -- to produce a new bombshell. A new leak of 13 million files containing confidential financial records reveals the tax-shelters and hideaways of superstar artists (Bono, Madonna), iconic brands (Apple, Facebook, Twitter) and power brokers across the political spectrum (from Trump appointees to the Queen of England).

Calls for Paradise Papers Investigation Before Considering GOP Tax Bill (Andrew Emett / NationofChange & Bernie Sanders / US Senate & Ed Pilkington and David Smith / The Guardian)
In response to the Paradise Papers leak disclosing millions of financial documents detailing high-profile offshore accounts and tax havens, Sen. Bernie Sanders called for an investigation into the disclosures -- before even considering the GOP's new tax plan. Due to the fact that most of the information in the leak involved US citizens, residents, and companies, Sanders also urged Americans to "end the rapid movement toward international oligarchy."

ACTION ALERT: War on the Poor No More: No Tax Bill Without an Investigation of Tax-cheating Rich (Oxfam America Action Fund & CREDO Action)
A new set of 13.4 million leaked financial documents has exposed the massive scale of tax dodging by corporations and wealthy individuals -- including some of the very same people negotiating the new GOP tax bill currently before Congress. These papers make it clear: There is one tax code for the rich and powerful and another for the rest of us. This calls for an immediate, exhaustive, public congressional investigation. There should be no movement on tax legislation until such an investigation is complete.

Congress' Romance with Cowardice: War without the War Powers Act (Danny Sjursen / NationofChange)
Senator Rand Paul's recent four-hour-long floor speech demanding something as simple as a congressional discussion of the legal basis for America's forever wars only garnered 36 supporting votes -- scuttled by a bipartisan coalition of war hawks. Consequently, Congress' abdication of its Constitutional responsibility to declare war, continues to cede to the Oval Office, full authority to wage "unlimited war, anywhere, anytime, anyplace upon the globe."

Bonn Climate Marchers Demand End to Era of Fossil Fuels (Jake Johnson / Common Dreams)
Just days before world leaders are set to gather in Bonn, Germany for the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP23), tens of thousands of activists from across the globe kicked off a series of planned actions on Saturday by taking to the streets to demand an end to coal, denounce US President Donald Trump's climate denial, and highlight the necessity of moving toward 100 percent renewable energy as quickly as possible.

Trump Sells War Ahead of Korea Visit as Groups Demand 'Urgent Pivot Towards Peace' (Andrea Germanos / Common Dreams)
As President Donald Trump continues his bellicose rhetoric towards North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during his trip to the Asia-Pacific region this week, organizations from the US, South Korea, and Japan on Monday demanded an "urgent pivot towards peace" and called on their leaders to rein in the militarization that could lead to "catastrophe."

Ex-soldier Kills 26 Civilians in Texas; US Troops Kill 14 Civilians in Afghanistan (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Shashank Bengali and Sultan Faizy / Los Angeles Times & Jim Vetruno, Will Weissert and Paul J. Weber / Associated Press)
A gunman who killed 26 people – including 14 children -- at a small-town Texas church was a former US soldier with a history of domestic violence. Meanwhile, a US-led coalition in Afghanistan has been accused of launching an airstrike that killed at least 14 civilians -- including four children -- in the northern province of Kunduz. Do we lament one crime and ignore the other?

ACTION ALERT: Peace Strike for Colombia (Alliance for Global Justice & teleSUR)
A National Strike for Peace in Colombia has been called in Colombia to demand steps to protect peace accords that are in danger of failure. The strike was called at the end of a particularly bloody October, with 23 activists killed in 23 days. We demand that Colombia's government end the violence and fulfill commitments to crop substitution programs in Tumaco. Demand that the White House support voluntary eradication and stop encouraging violence against rural Colombians.

International Environmental Conflict Day: Protecting the Planet, Protecting People (The Toxic Remnants of War Network & United Nations & The Guardian)
The United Nations' International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict takes place on November 6. The international community must face up to the reality that protecting the environment from conflict is vital to protect people.

November 6: International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict (The United Nations & Civil Society Statement)
On 5 November 2001, the UN General Assembly declared 6 November of each year as the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict. Over the last 60 years, at least 40 percent of all internal conflicts have been linked to the exploitation of natural resources, whether high-value resources such as timber, diamonds, gold and oil, or scarce resources such as fertile land and water. Conflicts involving natural resources have also been found to be twice as likely to relapse.

Big Oil and GOP Collude to Make Protest a Terrorist Act (Steve Horn / DeSmog Blog)
On October 23, 84 Congressional representatives made a splash when they published a letter to US Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking if those engaged in activism disrupting or damaging pipeline operations should face criminal prosecution as an act of terrorism under the USA PATRIOT ACT. The move was championed by the industry lobbying and trade association, the American Petroleum Institute, which said it "welcomed" the letter. It turns out that the API actually was involved in the creation of the letter.

Is the United States Planning to Attack North Korea? (Michael T. Klare / The Nation)
Three US aircraft carriers -- three of the most powerful warships in the world -- are converging in the western Pacific in a mighty show of force on the eve of Donald Trump's 10-day trip to Asia. Not since 2007 has there been such a concentration of US firepower in the region. There are two plausible explanations: (1) to provide Trump with the sort of military extravaganza he seems to enjoy and/or (2) to prepare for a pre-emptive military strike on North Korea.

Pentagon: Only Way to Destroy North Korea Nukes Is Ground Invasion -- With Millions Dead (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Yuliya Talmazan and Associated Press)
In response to a letter from two Democratic congress members asking about casualty assessments in a conflict with North Korea, the Pentagon replied the only way to locate and destroy with complete certainty all components of North Korea's nuclear weapons program is through a ground invasion. Pentagon planners conceded that such an act of aggression would "at the very least," cause "millions of deaths in just the first few days of fighting."

ACTION ALERT: Call to Act for Peace on Armistice Day, Nov. 11 (Veterans For Peace)
In 2017, ninety-nine years after the end of World War I, "the war to end war", the world finds itself on the brink of a nuclear war. Veterans For Peace calls on all peace-loving people to take a stand for peace this Armistice (aka Veterans Day), Saturday November 11. We call for nationally coordinated local actions to demand "diplomacy not war" with North Korea and the abolition of nuclear weapons and war. The people of the world must speak out and act together to demand peace.

ACTION ALERTS: Stop War on Marine Mammals; Don't Nuke the Climate (C.T. Harry / International Fund for Animal Welfare & the Nuclear Information and Resource Service )
The oceans aren't big enough to protect marine mammals from human dangers. Despite the great successes of this bedrock environment law, the Marine Mammal Protection Act has faced threats several times, and it is being attacked again -- through a new proposed bill, HR 3133. Meanwhile, under the expiring Kyoto Protocol, nuclear energy is rightly excluded from the possible solutions available to reduce greenhouse gas emissions -- but the powerful nuclear industry is trying to change this.

ACTION ALERT: The Surveillance State Is at It Again -- The Liberty Act Is a War on Liberty (Win Without War & Color of Change)
Loopholes in a legal authority known as Section 702 give the National Security Agency the power to spy on Americans without a warrant. This law expires at the end of 2017, but the House recently introduced a bill called the "USA Liberty Act" that would extend Section 702 for 6 more years. Even worse, the bill lacks common sense reforms that are needed to prevent the kinds of abuse we've already seen with this far-reaching police-state surveillance power.

White House OKs Report Warning Climate Change Is Caused by Humans (Jean-Louis Santini and Kerry Sheridan / Agence France-Presse & Executive Summary / US Global Change Research Program )
The US government has released a major scientific report that says climate change is "extremely likely" to be caused by human activity and will get worse without major cuts to carbon emissions. The findings of the federally mandated report were approved by the White House, even though they are starkly at odds with the position of Donald Trump, who has labeled global warming a Chinese hoax and named Scott Pruitt. a fossil fuel ally, to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION ALERT: The Peoples Peace Treaty with North Korea (Roots Action & Ann Wright / Consortium News)
Mainstream US media depicts North Korean Kim Jong-Un as crazy and his country as an insane asylum, but there is logic in tNorth Korea's fear of "regime change." The US possesses about 6,800 nuclear weapons and has threatened the use of nuclear weapons against North Korea. A People's Peace Treaty -- to be sent to the governments and peoples of Korea, as well as to the US -- calls on Washington to officially end the lingering and costly Korean War by concluding a peace treaty with the DPRK without further delay.

Release of JFK Papers Reveals US Planned a 261,000-Troop Cuban Invasion Force (Ray Locker / USA TODAY)
One of the nearly 2,900 Kennedy assassination files released by the National Archives reveals that US covert plans to "invade and seize" Cuba, involved the deployment of 261,000 troops and the activation of Polaris missiles on UN nuclear-powered submarines. The papers also revealed Kennedy asking about kidnapping "some of the key people of the Communist regime" as part of the invasion scenario.

Donald Trump's Budget Undercuts Wild Biodiversity Worldwide (William H. Funk / Mongabay)
Donald Trump's proposed 2018 budget would make 32 percent across-the-board cut to already underfunded global programs to combat wildlife trafficking and aid African and Asian nations in protecting elephants, rhinos, tigers, pangolins and other endangered wildlife. The loss of iconic wildlife could directly impact poor communities in Africa and Asia. Hostility from Trump and many in the GOP is likely to target wildlife conservation programs for further and larger reductions in years to come.

Resistance and Resilience in Palestine 100 Years After the Balfour Declaration (The Oakland Institute)
2017 marks 70 years since the Nakba -- the Catastrophe -- which resulted in the forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their land and homes; 50 years since the Six-Day War and Israel's military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip; and 100 years since the Balfour Declaration, which laid the foundation for a Jewish homeland in Palestine. On this day, the Oakland Institute documents Palestinian resistance and resilience in an extensive series of nine reports and multimedia materials.

Washington's Addiction to World Policing Must End (Bonnie Kristian / Reason.com)
Lindsey Graham, member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and perpetual enthusiast of military intervention, only recently learned the United States has roughly 800 soldiers on the ground in Niger, where four of them were ambushed and killed earlier this month. In Graham's undeserved defense, he's not the only one who had no idea the United States has a significant military presence in Niger -- not to mention elsewhere on the African continent.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard Accuses US of Arming Terrorists -- Including Al Qaeda and Saudi Arabia (Hon. Tulsi Gabbard / US House of Represeantatives)
Last December, Rep. Tulsi Gabber introduced the Stop Arming Terrorists Act (H.R.608) to stop the US government from using taxpayer dollars to directly or indirectly support groups allied with and supporting terrorist groups like ISIS and al Qaeda in Syria. The legislation was based on congressional action taken during the Iran-Contra affair to stop the CIA's illegal arming of rebels in Nicaragua. The bill was endorsed by Progressive Democrats of America, the US Peace Council, and Veterans For Peace.

29 More Civilians Die as Congress Rejects Challenge to Legality of War on Yemen (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Associated Press & AntiWar.com & Yemen Peace Project )
Saudi warplanes attacked the north Yemen Sahar District, in the Shi'ite-dominated Saada Province, bombing a crowded marketplace and a nearby hotel, and killing at least 29 civilians. 28 others were said to have been wounded. This is the latest in a long, long string of attacks on civilian targets by Saudi warplanes. A resolution demanding an end to the US role in the Saudi invasion of Yemen (on the grounds that the aggression lacked authorization under the War Powers Act) was thwarted by the House.

ACTION ALERT: Strongest Climate Bill Ever -- The OFF Act. It's Time to Get It ON! (Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard / US House of Representaitves)
The Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act could not be more needed or timely -- it details how we ethically get to 100% renewable energy by 2035. This visionary bill comes as the nation bears witness to the devastation brought by the climate change-super charged storm Harvey to Texas and Louisiana and braces for Irma's impacts. Gabbard's bill -- the strongest yet introduced in Congress -- will put us on a path towards avoiding increased climate chaos by moving the country to 100% renewable energy.

Spreading the Message of "No US Military Bases in the World" (Ann Wright / OpEd News & Ann Wright / Consortium News & Ann Wright / CODEPINK)
Though the US government denies that it runs an empire, the truth is it maintains a bristling global network of more than 800 overseas military bases in more than 80 foreign countries -- a global empire unprecedented in world history. In many cases, these costly installations give rise to local anger because of displacement, pollution, prostitution and abuse of the local populations. Retired Col. Ann Wright discusses the problem based on her 40 years of experience in the Army and State Department.

ACTION ALERT: Block Trump's Racist, Climate-denying Nominee for USDA Chief Scientist (CREDO Action & Friends of the Earth & Miranda Green / CNN )
The Senate Agriculture Committee is expected to vote next week on the nomination of racist, climate-denier Sam Clovis to serve as Donald Trump's "chief scientist" at the USDA. Clovis is an extreme right-wing activist and conservative radio host with no science background or agricultural expertise. In addition, recent news reports indicated that Clovis may have played a key role in the Trump campaign's communications with Russia. Make a call now to oppose his confirmation.

ACTION ALERT: Stop the Militarization of Local Police (CREDO Action & Chris Hedges / TruthDig)
Donald Trump recently rewarded the country's biggest police union for their endorsement of his dangerous, racist candidacy. He has announced plans to give state and local police a trove of Pentagon hand-me-downs -- military-grade weapons of war. While police in England and Wales have killed 62 people in the 27 years between 1990 and the start of 2016, US police have fatally shot 782 people so far this year. Our police are unaccountable, militarized monstrosities that terrorize poor communities.

US Politics, Pork, and Profiteering Have Created a Second-rate Military (Paul Craig Roberts / Institute for Political Economy & The Fiscal Times & Citizens Against Government Waste )
Commentary: The US military is now second class compared to the Russian military. The US Navy has been made obsolete by Russia's hypersonic maneuvering Zircon missile. The speed and trajectory changes of the Russian Sarmat ICBM has nullified Washington's ABM system. The enormously costly F-35 jet fighter is no match for Russian jets. US tanks are no match for Russian tanks. Russian troops are superior in their combat readiness and training. And nuclear Armageddon hangs over us like the sword of Damocles.

Trump Continues Threats & Provocations Against North Korea, Laying Groundwork for Nuclear War (Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh / Democracy Now!)
Tensions between North Korea and the US have been building after a series of nuclear and missile tests by Pyongyang and intense verbal exchanges between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Tensions continued to mount after US Defense Secretary James Mattis's week-long visit to Asia and ahead of Trump's 12-day visit later this week. Meanwhile, Congressional Democrats are pushing legislation that would prevent Trump from launching a preemptive strike against North Korea.

Pruitt Purges Scientists from EPA Panels, Eases Restraints on Dangerous Chemicals (Michael Biesecker / Associated Press & Matthew Brown / Associated Press)
EPA chief Scott Pruitt says he intends to replace the outside experts that advise him on science and public health issues with new board members holding more "diverse views." Pruitt recently overruled experts that recommended banning sales of a top-selling pesticide after peer-reviewed studies showed it damaged children's brains. The Trump administration has halted review of some of the most dangerous chemicals in public use: asbestos, flame retardants, and toxins in homes, offices and industrial plants.

Trump Budget Undercuts US Commitment to Global Wildlife Conservation (William H. Funk / Mongabay)
Trump plans to cut US biodiversity protection spending by more than 66 percent. This funding is critical to protecting species imperiled by the illegal wildlife trade, and enables US investigations of wildlife crimes, helping put traffickers in jail. These cuts couldn't come at a worse time. African elephants are currently being slaughtered for their ivory at the rate of eight percent of their total population per year. (The US is the second largest international market for trafficked wildlife, after China.)

America's Forever War: The New York Times Acknowledges US' Global Empire (Sheldon Richman /AntiWar.com & New York Times Editorial)
One big advantage the war party has is the public's ignorance about the activities of the far-flung American empire. Most people are too busy with their lives, families, and communities to pay the close attention required to know that the empire exists and what it is up to. But now the New York Times had printed an editorial that admits: "The US has been at war continuously since the attacks of 9/11 and now has just over 240,000 active-duty and reserve troops in at least 172 countries and territories" around the globe.

Destroying Raqqa in Order to Save It: Now Who Will Rebuild It? (Derek Royden / Nation of Change & IRIN News)
The 300,000 people who once called Raqqa home won't be able to return with winter fast approaching. Reconstruction in Raqqa -- and in other cities that fell to ISIL -- will be removing the vast amounts of ordinance, including unexploded coalition bombs and artillery shells. Washington has made it clear that it isn't interested in 'nation building.' The massive amounts of money needed to rebuild so many cities in Iraq and Syria will probably lead most of the country's coalition partners to take a similar position.

Where the New York Times Fails to Understand War (David Swanson / David Swanson.org )
Commentary: In an October 23 editorial, criticizing Washington's policy of fighting "permanent wars," the New York Times claimed that what US troops are doing halfway around the globe is "defensive." This explains why such extreme militarism is tolerated. The US would not have gotten into these wars without the hard work of the Times, which has so normalized the mouthing of patent nonsense in defense of permanent war that it goes unnoticed even in an editorial lamenting permanent war.

ACTION ALERT: Popular Resistance Is Demanding US Banks "Divest from Oil" (Brandon Jordan / Waging Nonviolence)
While banking executives from over 90 of the world's largest financial institutions gathered in Sao Paulo, Brazil for the start of a three-day meeting on the environmental and social impacts of their infrastructure investments, activists in at least 15 US states and several other countries staged protests under the banner of "Divest The Globe." Their message to the banks was simple: "Cut ties with fossil fuel companies, or face major divestment campaigns targeting your financial operations."

Turkish Arms Rift Reveals Awkward Truth: NATO's Goal Is Weapons Sales, Not Defense (AntiWar.com & Defense News & Bloomberg )
It's generally assumed that NATO member nations are going to import their weapons from NATO arms dealers, which pretty much always means the United States, with a few small deals for Britain and France. But, in looking to upgrade their air defense system, Turkey had a choice: to buy the advanced Russian S-400 systems, or more expensive, US-made alternatives. Turkey chose to buy Russian, and NATO isn't happy.

ACTION ALERT: Trump's War on Clean Air and Climate Conservation (Robert Weissman / Public Citizen & Rhea Suh / The NRDC & Adam Federman / The Nation)
Millions of families are still struggling to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of devastating hurricanes. Entire neighborhoods have been reduced to ash by wildfires that have raged across the American west. Yet President Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt just officially proposed to repeal the Clean Power Plan, our country's best hope for reversing the worst impacts of climate change. Meanwhile, a leaked draft of a five-year plan reveals how the DOI plans to prioritize "energy dominance" over conservation.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Trump's War on Solar Energy: Defend Rooftop Solar. Act by October 30! (Food and Water Watch & Natural Resources Defense Council)
The Trump administration is attacking solar energy. One of the most successful solar policies we've ever seen -- net metering -- is on the chopping block. It's outrageous. Under Trump's orders, the Department of Energy is attacking solar energy through a study aimed at undermining net metering. Public comment ends on October 30. Meanwhile environmental organizations are encouraging people to sign on online petition to support net metering and defend renewable energy.

The Danger of a President Pence (Jane Mayer / The New Yorker)
Commentary: Pence, who has dutifully stood by the President, mustering a devotional gaze rarely seen since the days of Nancy Reagan, serves as a daily reminder that the Constitution offers an alternative to Trump. The worse the President looks, the more desirable his understudy seems. If the job is a gamble for Pence, he himself is something of a gamble for the country. "If Pence were to become President for any reason, the government would be run by the Koch brothers -- period. He's been their tool for years."

How Ken Burns' Powerful Anti-war film on Vietnam Ignores the Power of the Anti-war Movement (Robert Levering / Waging Nonviolence)
Commentary: Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's PBS series, "The Vietnam War," deserves an Oscar for its depiction of the gore of war and the criminality of the warmakers. But it also deserves to be critiqued for its portrayal of the anti-war movement. Millions of us joined the struggle against the war. I worked for years as an organizer for major national protests and many smaller ones. Any semblance between the peace movement I experienced and the one depicted by the Burns/Novick series is purely coincidental.

ACTION ALERT: US Gun Deaths and Domestic Violence (Dr. Hans Keirstead / Daily Kos & Shannon Watts / Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America)
Commentary: Given the recent tragedy in Las Vegas, we cannot lose sight of the fact that the number one predictor of whether someone is going to become a mass shooter isn't their race, ethnicity, or religion, it's whether they have a history of domestic violence or abusive behavior toward women. One in three American women will be in an abusive relationship at some point in her life. If her abuser has access to a gun, the chance that she will be murdered increases 500 percent.

More Bombs Wont Bring Peace: We Can't Kill Our War to Peace (Washington Newsletter / Friends Committee on National Legislation)
When we blindly hand over our country's resources to the Pentagon while starving successful programs that care for our neighbors, the earth, and each other, we have lost sight of our priorities as a country. We also deprive our leaders and our country of the necessary tools to avoid war.

Who Profits from War? The World's Top 10 Weapons Companies (The Peace Report & The Swedish International Peace Research Institute)
Sales of the world's 100 largest arms-producing and military services companies totalled $370.7 billion in 2015. While there has been a downturn in arms sales since 2011, the Top 100 arms sales for 2015 were 37 percent higher than those for 2002, when SIPRI first began reporting corporate arms sales. Companies headquartered in the US and Western Europe dominate the global arms trade with sales of $305.4 billion accounting for 82.4 percent of the Top 100 arms sales.

ACTION ALERT: Pass House Resolution to Stop US-backed Bombing of Yemen Civilians (Kate Kizer / Yemen Peace Project)
65 organizations have endorse a letter in support of H.Con.Res.81 to invoke the War Powers Resolution to end unauthorized US military support to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen's civil war. The War Powers Resolution is clear: Congressional authorization is required for the introduction of US armed forces in situations of hostilities.

Trump's Nuclear Dreams: Nightmares Past and Present< (Rebecca Gordon / Nation of Change)
Commentary: Preventing a nuclear war between the United States and North Korea may be the most pressing challenge facing the world right now. Our childish, ignorant, and incompetent president is shoving all of us -- especially the people of Asia -- ever nearer to catastrophe. While North Korea probably hasn't yet developed the missiles to deliver a nuclear warhead to the US mainland, it certainly has the capacity to reach closer targets, including South Korea and Japan.

Killing ISIS Fighters Makes Us Terrorists
Commentary: For decades, we have been condemning the dictators of the Middle East for their drumhead courts and their mass hangings. But how can we condemn them now, when we are announcing, quite publicly, that we want our own citizens dead if they joined ISIS.

ACTION ALERT: The Struggle to Save Rhinos in Africa and Vietnam (Jimmiel Mandima / African Wildlife Foundation & Harleen Sehmi / African Wildlife Foundation)
Earlier this year, a court ruling overruled the Government of South Africa's trade moratorium and passed legislation allowing domestic rhino horn trade. With more than 80 percent of the world's rhino population living in South Africa, Africa's rhino populations are threatened by extinction. Meanwhile, a surge in demand for rhino horn in Vietnam has lead to a dramatic increase of slaughtered rhinos in South Africa. In 2007, just 13 rhinos were killed in South Africa while in 2014 this figure rose to 1,215.

US Military Activity Is a "Recruiting Tool" for Terror Groups Across West Africa (Nick Turse / The Intercept)
From mid-January to late March 2013, Green Berets from the 10th Special Forces Group deployed to the impoverished West African nation of Niger. Working alongside local forces, they trained in desert mobility, the use of heavy weapons, and methods of deliberate attack. Until recently, such missions were conducted without notice or media scrutiny. Americans were involved in firefights, but the operations were kept quiet.

The Shadow War in the Sahara (Al Jazeera News)
Africa remains a key territory on the global chessboard. Rich in oil and natural resources, the continent holds a strategic position. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to six of the world's 10 fastest growing economies. The Sahara holds vast oil and natural gas deposits, the most strategic nuclear ore, and coltan, gold, and copper are abundant in the continent. But despite its position and resources, conflict and chaos have spread throughout the continent. At the heart of this turmoil is a strategic territory: the Sahel.

Why It’s No Longer Possible to Win a War (Yuval Noah Harari / TIME Magazine)
Analysis: The last few decades have been the most peaceful era in human history. For the first time ever, fewer people die today from human violence than from traffic accidents, obesity or even suicide. Yet the international climate is rapidly deteriorating; warmongering is back in vogue, and military expenditure is ballooning. Both laypeople and experts fear that some incident in the Syrian Desert or an unwise move in the Korean Peninsula might ignite a global conflict.

Merger Would Give Trump-friendly Media Giant Control of 75% of TV Broadcasts (Susannah Hook-Rodgers / Courage Campaign & Lucia Graves / The Guardian)
Sinclair is the largest broadcast company in America but its partisan politics -- and connections to the White House -- are raising concerns. Since the first Bush presidency, Sinclair has used its 173 television stations "to advance a mostly right-leaning agenda". Now the ultra-conservative media giant is trying to convince the Federal Communications Commission to allow it to merge with Tribune Media, giving it control over television stations that broadcast to 75% of American homes.

How Big Oil Harms Our Children's Brains and Corrupts America's 'Greenest' Governor (Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch & CREDO Action & Kate Aronoff / In These Times & Michael J. Mishak / Center for Public Integrity and The Nation)
A new study from the Center for Environmental Health adds to the growing body of evidence that unconventional oil and gas (UOG), which includes fracking, is harmful to human healthand especially hazardous to vulnerable populations, including newborns and children. Meanwhile, in California, America's greenest state, the oil industry has spent $122 million in the past six years to shape regulation and legislation.

Washington's Hidden Wars in Africa (Amy Goodman / Democracy Now!)
The US military presence in Africa is suddenly in the news. What happened during the ambush of US Special Forces by militants in Niger, in which five Nigerien soldiers were killed along with four US soldiers? The incident is now the subject of a military and FBI investigation. Meanwhile, at least 800 US troops remain stationed in Niger to support a French-led mission to defeat militants in West Africa.

The Disuniting of America and the Global Splintering of Nation-States (John Feffer / TomDispatch & Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch)
As US bombs fall on cities around the globe, it's time to assess the largely unexplored American role in the fracturing of this planet. Given the polarizing impact of economic and technological globalization, it's no surprise that the politics of the middle has either disappeared or drifted further to the right. Donald Trump is the supreme expression of this stunning loss of faith in centrist politicians as well as such pillars of the institutional center as the mainstream media.

The Peoples' Budget: A Roadmap for Resistance (The Economic Policy Institute Policy Center)
For the seventh year in a row, the Economic Policy Institute has provided the Congressional Progressive Caucus with specific policy proposals for an alternative "Peoples' budget" to improve the economic well-being of low- and middle-income families, make needed public investments, strengthen the social safety net, and increase taxes progressively while reducing the deficit in the medium term. It is a progressive vision for investing in 21st century jobs, tackling inequality, and making corporations pay their fair share.

How Can We Turn Military Spending into a Budget for the People? (Frida Berrigan / Waging Nonviolence)
General Dynamics isn't tightening its belt or trimming its excess or trying to make more with less. It just got a $5 billion contract to build a new class of nuclear-powered, nuclear-armed submarines. Trump's 2018 budget is a brutal behemoth that proposes giving more than $700 billion to the military -- a lot of it going right into the very pockets of the military-industrial complex. The problem isn't only that we are spending more on the military -- it's that it comes at the expense of just about every social good imaginable.

Senators 'Stunned' over US Troops in Niger as Pentagon Plots Invasion of West Africa in 2023 (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Nick Turse / The Intercept)
There is an ongoing US war in Niger that nobody seems to have known about. Senate Armed Services Committee members confirmed they were "stunned" by the revelation. This is adding to the push to repeal the controversial 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force, which makes it easier for the White House (or Pentagon) to start wars without Congressional approval. Meanwhile, The Intercept reveals the Pentagon's little-known plans to invade West Africa in response to a "9-11" style incident.

Trump Wants to Put Nuclear Bombers Back on 24-Hour Alert (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Marcus Weisgerber / Defense One & Alastair Crooke / Consortium News)
US Air Force officials say they aren't planning to nuke anybody in particularly, but they are preparing to resume a 24-hour ready alert for nuclear bombers, the first time they've had such a role since 1991. Air Force chief Gen. David Goldfein is said to has been asking his advisers to think up new ways that the nuclear weapons "could be used for deterrence, or even combat." Goldfein stressed that the alert order had not been given, but that preparations were under way -- in anticipation that it might come.

ACTION ALERT: With Another Massive Spill in the Gulf of Mexico It's Time to Pass the OFF Act and Move Beyond Oil (Hon. Tulsi Gabbard / US House of Representatives & Alexandra Jacobo / Nation of Change)
A pipeline spilled at least 672,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico and almost no one in Washington wants to talk about it. It's the worst environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico since Deepwater Horizon. This oil spill should set off alarms across the EPA. Instead, EPA head Scott Pruitt is pushing to permit a mining company to excavate an area the size of the Grand Canyon in Bristol Bay, Alaska. The "Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act" (H.R. 3671) would curtail pollution and promote clean energy.

Vets Label Trump a "Blue Falcon" for Attacking Gold Star Wife (Perry O'Brien / Common Defense & David Smith / The Guardian)
The deaths of four US soldiers killed in Niger were at the centre of a political storm this week. The row, sparked by the president's remarks, drew in bereaved families, Gen John Kelly, and military veterans. Myeshia Johnson, the widow of slain soldier La David Johnson, has beed attacked on Twitter by Donald Trump. Vet warn: "by calling a grieving war widow a liar, Trump has crossed a line in the sand."

How Can We Turn Military Spending into a Budget for the People? (Frida Berrigan / Wagin Nonviolence)
Commentary: Donald Trump's 2018 budget is a brutal behemoth that proposes giving more than $700 billion to the military -- a lot of it going into the very pockets of the military-industrial complex. That would be bad enough, but the problem isn't that we are spending more on the military -- it's that it comes at the expense of just about every social good imaginable. One year of US military spending could hire every unemployed person in the country and put them to work in a high-paid infrastructure rebuilding job.

Trump Calls Climate Change a "Hoax": The GAO Calls It a "Budget-Busting" Calamity That Will Only Grow (Michael Biesecker / Associated Press & Andrew Taylor / Associated Press)
A Government Accountability Office report released Monday said the federal government has spent more than $350 billion over the last decade on disaster assistance programs and losses from flood and crop insurance. That tally does not include the massive toll from this year's three major hurricanes and wildfires, expected to be among the most costly in the nation's history. The GAO predicts these costs will only grow in the future, potentially reaching a budget-busting $35 billion a year by 2050.

Trump Bans Three EPA Scientists from Speaking about Climate Change Dangers (Alexander C. Kaufman / The Huffington Post)
The Environmental Protection Agency has reportedly barred three agency scientists from publicly discussing their climate change research just days before they were scheduled to speak at a Rhode Island Conference. The researchers were booked to appear at the State of the Narragansett Bay and Watershed workshop, an event highlighting the health of New England's largest estuary, where temperatures have risen 3 degrees Fahrenheit and water has risen up to seven inches over the past century.

THAAD Will Not Protect South Korea -- But It Will Enrich Lockheed Martin (Julian Cho and Hyun Lee / Zoom in Korean & Korea Expose & Space Alert!)
On Mar. 18, 5,000 people from across South Korea gathered in the village to protest the controversial deployment of the US's Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system. Picture two people holding guns to each others' heads. If one shoots first, the other will shoot back, and vice versa. The result is a perpetual standoff. But if one gunman renders the other unable to fire, nothing deters him from pulling the trigger of his own gun. This is the ultimate aim of missile defense -- to gain first strike advantage.

Startling Evidence: Egypt's Mighty Empire Destroyed by Climate Change, Volcanoes (Joe McCarthy / Global Citizen & Alicia McDermott / Ancient Origins)
Building the pyramids was challenging feat. But so is mitigating climate change. In many ways, ancient Egypt had a lot of parallels to modern life. It was an economically diverse, culturally vibrant and unequal place forced to deal with a phenomenon that people today know all too well: climate change. Research shows how climate change and volcanic eruptions triggered a chain reaction of drought, famine, instability and social conflict that lead to the collapse of the mighty Egyptian Empire.

Congress Threatens to Withhold Arms from Baghdad (Bryant Harris / Al-Monitor)
Congress is threatening to stop sending weapons to Baghdad after reports today that Iraqi forces and Iran-backed Shiite militias are shooting at US-friendly Kurdish forces in northern Iraq. US-backed Kurdish peshmerga fighters have accused the Iranian-backed, Shiite-dominated Popular Mobilization Units of using US-supplied Abrams tanks and Humvees in the offensive, sparking outrage among US lawmakers who have long worried about US equipment ending up in Iranian-friendly hands.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress to End the Destruction of Yemen (Asher Orkaby / Foreign Affairs & Daniel Larison / The American Conservative)
Cut off from imports, and under a ceaseless Saudi bombardment, Yemen has become one of the worst humanitarian crises of modern times. Seven million Yemenis are close to famine, nearly two million children suffer from acute malnutrition, and an outbreak of cholera has infected over 600,000 people. The war is indefensible and the US should have no part in it. It is incumbent on the US and the American people to bring this humanitarian disaster to an end and repair the damage that has been done.

Trump's War on Science: EPA Bans Climate Change from Website (Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch & the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative)
In its blind commitment to deny climate change, the Trump White House has ordered the website EPA's website revamped. The website previously included a section titled "Climate and Energy Resources for State, Local, and Tribal Governments." Now, it's simply called, "Energy Resources for State, Local, and Tribal Governments." Fifteen mentions of the term "climate change" have been scrubbed from the original main page alone. The old site contained 380 pages of content; the new site has only 175 pages.

Senate Votes to Open Arctic Wilderness to Oil Drilling: Sierra Club Halts Oil Trains in California (Juliet Eilperin / The Washington Post & Monica Vaughan / The Tribune-News)
The Senate rejected an amendment Thursday that sought to block a key panel from raising revenue through drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a move that could make it easier for future oil and gas drilling to take place there. In other news, the plan by Phillips 66 to transport crude oil by rail to its Nipomo Mesa refinery is dead, environmental groups say, after the company agreed to drop its lawsuit against San Luis Obispo County.

What Are US Forces Doing in Niger Anyway? (Jason C. Ditz / The American Conservative)
On October 4, four US troops and five Nigerians were killed in ambush by ISIS-affiliated fighters near Niger's restive Mali border. It's important to note that this event not only marked the first US combat deaths in Niger, but the first public revelation that the Pentagon was carrying out anything close to combat operations there at all. We can't have a debate on US intervention overseas if we don't even know where are our forces are , let alone to what end.

Dying for the Empire Is Not Heroic (Sheldon Richman / The Libertarian Institute and AntiWar.com)
Commentary: "Dying (and killing) for the Empire is not heroic. Allowing yourself to be ordered to intervene in distant conflicts you surely don't understand is not worthy of admiration. What's heroic is resisting the Empire. Anyone who thought Trump would bring the troops back should now know better. He, of all people, is not about to give up imperial power."

Pollution Is Causing More Deaths Worldwide Than War or Smoking (The Associated Press)
Environmental pollution -- from filthy air to contaminated water -- is killing more people every year than all war and violence. More than smoking, hunger or natural disasters. More than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. According to a major study in the Lancet medical journal, one of out every six premature deaths in the world in 2015 -- about nine million -- was attributed to disease from toxic exposure. The estimated financial cost from pollution-related death, sickness and welfare is $4.6 trillion.

Pollution, Health, and the Planet: Time for Decisive Action (Pamela Das and Richard Horton / The Lancet & Pure Earth)
For decades, pollution and its harmful effects on people's health, the environment, and the planet have been neglected both by governments and the international development community. Pollution is the largest environmental cause of disease and death in the world today, responsible for an estimated 9 million premature deaths in 2015. 92% of all pollution-related mortality is seen in low-income and middle-income countries.

Divest from the War Machine Summit: October 21-22, 2017 (CODEPINK)
After 16 years of unending, costly wars, it is up to us to throttle the war machine. Institutions and individuals are making a Killing On Killing; it is time for them to Divest. Universities, pension plans, banks, cities, counties and states have funds invested to profit from war. At a time when this administration is putting us on a path to war with both North Korea and Iran and the stocks of major US arms dealers are surging to record highs, we, the people, must use divestment to revoke our consent for the war machine!

Is America an Empire? (David C. Hendrickson / The National Interest)
As George Washington observed in his Farewell Address, "Overgrown military establishments" are "inauspicious to liberty" under any form of government and "are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty." Over the past quarter century, the overgrown military establishment and national-security apparatus maintained by the United States has become threatening to domestic liberty and international freedom -- that is, to both the "liberties of individuals" and "the liberties of states."

Call for Global Action Against Military Bases: Polluting Foreign Countries Around the World (CODEPINK & John M. Broder / Los Angeles Times)
For decades, determined activists around the world have been resisting occupation, militarism, and foreign military bases on their lands. As we resist together to abolish war and stop the desecration of Mother Earth, we create a world where every human life has equal value and a safe environment in which to live. Today we invite your organization to plan an anti-militarism action in your community as part of the first annual global week of actions against military bases.

ACTION ALERT: Tell South Africa to Stop the War on Rhinos (The African Wildlife Foundation)
South Africa recently decided to legalize domestic rhino horn trade, posing a serious threat to our efforts with China to curb the deadly poaching industry. It's up to us to stop it. Please sign our petition today to tell China to stand its ground for rhinos! If we don't act now, the white and black rhino could soon share the fate as the western black rhino, which has been driven into extinction.

US Troop Deaths in Niger Reflect Growing Mission Creep as American War Footing Expands Across Africa (AntiWar.com & ABC News)
That the United States had special forces deployed in Niger wasn't exactly a secret before the announcement that four US troops were killed in an ambush near the Malian border. It wasn't exactly public knowledge, either. The report that the US was sending troops to Niger for "training" back in 2015 was scarcely reported. The first indication that this had expanded to participating in patrols came alongside the first deaths. This is a classic sign of mission creep.

ACTION ALERT: Stopping Trump's Coal and Nuclear Bailout While Oz Veers toward Coal (Robert Weissman / Public Citizen & Jacqueline Williams / The New York Times)
Coal not only is too dirty and dangerous, it's too expensive to compete with clean and affordable wind and solar power. Same for nuclear. But Donald Trump wants to bail out the coal and nuclear industries. If he succeeds, US taxpayers will pay -- both in dollars and in damaged health. Meanwhile, the Australian government is considering a proposal to build one of the world's largest coalmines in a remote wilderness. Given the threat of climate change, the plan has met intense opposition at home and abroad.

ACTION ALERT: Would Licensing and Insurance Reduce Gun Deaths? Not under the NRA's Plan for Murderers' Insurance (Sybrina Fulton / Guns Down @ Color of Change.org)
Can tests and insurance stem the loss of lives caused by gun violence? Lockton Affinity, which created and sells NRA Carry Guard insurance, and Chubb Insurance, which underwrites the policies and takes a profit, are perpetuating fear of minorities and immigrants. By offering special protections to gun owners who shoot first and ask questions later, these insurance companies are promoting gun violence. Tell Chubb and Lockton to cut their ties with the NRA and Stop Selling Murder Insurance.

ACTION ALERT: UN to Vote in One Week on Nuclear Disarmament Summit! (UNFold Zero)
The Non-Aligned Movement, representing 120 countries, has submitted a draft resolution to the UN General Assembly laying out the general mandate and dates for a special United Nations process to advance comprehensive nuclear disarmament to take place at the United Nations in New York from May 14-16, 2018. UNFOLD ZERO asks you to contact your government and urge them to support the resolution.

ACTION ALERT: End the Gun Industry's Immunity from Legal Prosecution (CredoAction & Center for American Progress)
The mass shooting in Las Vegas was a tragic reminder that we are never going to address the epidemic of gun violence in our country without breaking the gun lobby's control of Congress. Fortunately, three Democrats have introduced the Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act, which would revoke the law that gives the gun industry legal immunity for negligence that leads to gun-related violence and death.

How the NRA and the Far-right Are Quietly Mobilizing To Kill Gun Safety Reform After Vegas (Addy Baird / ThinkProgress)
In 2016, the NRA spent more than $3.1 million on lobbying, cementing its place as one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the country. During the 2016 campaign cycle, the NRA spent more than $830,000 on federal campaigns to line the halls of power with legislators who will do their bidding. Not everyone has taken the bait. Den. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced a bill, along with more than two dozen Democratic co-sponsors, that would outlaw the bump stock modifications.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress to Stop Diesel Pollution Cheating (Eleanor Fort / The Union of Concerned Scientists)
Your legislator has the chance to stop reckless pollution. Congress is considering legislation that would reduce oversight of the defeat device industry -- the same types of devices that led to the Volkswagen "Dieselgate" scandal. Tell your members of Congress that they have the duty to fix this bill before it turns into a Dieselgate 2.0. Take Action Today!

ACTION ALERT: Stop the Banks that Are Bankrolling Climate Change (Brad Johnson / Climate Hawks Vote)
The world's elite bankers and financial institutions are gathering five days from now in Brazil. These financiers have all committed to financing projects in a "socially responsible manner." But they aren't following through on their promise. Big banks are the ones fronting the money for dangerous projects like the Dakota Access pipeline. They are bankrolling a global polluter economy that drives climate change and tramples on Indigenous land rights.

Somali Bombing May Have Been Revenge for Botched US Raid (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Jason Burke / The Guardian)
A late August US-led raid against the Somali farming village of Barire sparked a lot of anger among surviving locals. Now, investigators believe that the resentment may have provoked the recent massive bombing attack in the Somali capital of Mogadishu. The victims, some of them children, were civilians working in the farming area. Moreover, the evidence was they were summarily executed. It's possible that the Mogadishu attack, which killed over 300, was an act of revenge.

The Impact of the US War on Afghanistan (Marcelo Guadiana / AntiWar.com & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)
The best way to continue a war that's not supported by the public is to announce the deployment of additional troops in an incremental way, quietly and ambiguously, camouflaging it as a necessary and patriotic mission of "advising an assisting," a sort of cover as a heroic diplomat, masking the truth of war and the natural form of violence that comes with any form of occupation. This is what the US government has been doing with the war in Afghanistan.

Standing Rock: One Year Later (Liz Blood / Sierra Magazine and EcoWatch)
A little over a year ago, Morgun Frejo, a member of the Pawnee, Otoe-Missouria, Navajo nations, began camping at Oceti Sakowin at Standing Rock. The Missouri River is sacred to both his Pawnee and Otoe-Missouria tribes and Frejo recalls elders in both tribes telling him stories of its importance as a child. He lived at Standing Rock from mid-August 2016 to late February 2017, just before the camp was evicted and closed by the National Guard and local law enforcement.

Half of Americans Are in or Near Poverty While the US Government Lost Nearly $1 Trillion In FY2017 (Paul Buchheit / Nation of Change & Tyler Durden & Simon Black / ZeroHedge)
In the past 20 years median household expenses increased by 25 to 30 percent, while wages stagnated. As a result, 3 out of 5 Americans spend more than they earn, not on frivolous extras, but on essential needs. People are working longer for decreasing wages and benefits. There are a handful of countries in the world today -- places like Greece -- which are so bankrupt they cannot even afford to pay for basic public services. But the country that has the most unsustainable public finances, by far, is the US.

Washington's War on Economic Democracy (Chris Kanthan / Nation of Change)
It will be shocking to many Americans to discover that our free market system is deeply and fundamentally flawed. The foundation of an economy is money. And if the creation, value and availability of that money are controlled by few elites instead of a free market, then it doesn't matter how complex and a giant system we build.

WTF-35? The Air Force Just Bought 100 Stealth Fighters That Can't Fight (David Axe / The Daily Beast)
The US military has signaled that it might cancel essential upgrades for more than 100 early model F-35 stealth fighters. In that case, some 6 percent of the flying branch's planned 1,700-strong F-35 fleet would be unfit for combat, sticking US taxpayers with a $20 billion tab for fighters . . . that can't fight. Experts say the military never should have bought the planes the first place, as they rolled out of Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth factory.

Climate Change Is Our New Reality (Brian Calvert / High Country News & The National Geographic Channel)
Climate change is no longer a hypothetical threat. This summer, it showed up in force. Hurricane Harvey pummeled the Gulf Coast, dumping trillions of gallons of rain on Houston and causing so much damage it will take years for Texas to recover. Other superstorms devastated Florida and the Caribbean. Meanwhile, heatwaves killed trees, dried soil and triggered massive wildfires out West. The country is full of people determined to address climate change. If only that were true of our national leaders.

Here's Where Your Tax Dollars for 'Defense' Are Really Going: To Lobbyists and CEOs (William D. Hartung / TomDispatch & The Nation)
The next time someone suggests that the Pentagon needs yet more money for the troops, just remember that what they're actually talking about are troops of overpaid defense contractors, not members of the armed forces. If you want to "defend" this country, maybe it's time to protect it from the predators that President Dwight D. Eisenhower once memorably called "the military-industrial complex."

Corporate Militarism Is Driving Climate Change and War (David Swanson / David Swanson.org )
In their new book, "The Secure and the Dispossessed," Nick Buxton and Ben Hayes have collected an unflinching survey of a species gone mad. The book's subtitle is "How the Military and Corporations Are Shaping a Climate-Changed World." The reluctance to tackle famines or disease epidemics, for instance, is linked to the wider problem of the massive arms-for-oil trade deals between the wealthy warmongering permanent members of the UN "Security" Council and the oil-rich dictatorships.

We Need a Green Army to Respond to Climate Change Impacts at Home (David Helvarg / Insight @ San Francisco Chronicle)
The enormous toll of our expanding wildfires, hurricanes, and floods has stretched our first-responder system to the limit. And it's only going to get worse. Now is the time to redirect some of the hundreds of billions of dollars that Congress lavishes on the Pentagon to support and expand the government's disaster response organizations and capabilities within the US -- including the Coast Guard, US Forest Service, NOAA, FEMA, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Trump Names Climate-Denier Kathleen Hartnett-White to Head White House Environmental Council (Steve Horn / DeSmogBlog)
Kathleen Hartnett-White, an outspoken advocate of fossil fuels, hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") and of exporting oil and gas to the global market currently works as a fellow-in-residence at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, which receives funding from ExxonMobil, the Heartland Institute, Koch Industries and others. Hartnett-White will go through a US Senate confirmation hearing process, during which she will likely face questions about her past record of denying climate change and promoting fossil fuels.

October 1, 2017: America's Deadly Day (San Francisco Chronicle & The Washington Post & The Guardian)
On Sunday, Oct. 1, 59 people were killed and more than 241 wounded in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history. But the Las Vegas shooting was just one of 139 gun-related incidents that threatened American lives that day. Gun Violence Archive figures show half of US' gun murders in 2015 were clustered in 127 cities. That violence was concentrated even further than simply the city level: census tract areas that contain just 1.5% of the country's population saw 26% of America's total gun homicides.

A 'Cone of Silence' Surrounds the Pentagon's Monstrous Carbon Bootprint (Joyce Nelson / The Ecologist)
How much of the mainstream media coverage given to COP21 and the Paris Agreement mentioned the mysterious exemption given to the US's massive military and security machine? None. No whistle-blower, no climate negotiator, or politician, or Big Green organization has ever mentioned these Pentagon exemptions to the press. The "cone of silence" that descended on this issue in 1998 is somewhat baffling.

America Needs to Face the Facts about Gun Violence (Becky O'Malley / Berkeley Daily Planet Editorial)
Commentary: After a gunman shot about 550 of his fellow Americans, killing more than 50, the president of the US announced that he was proud to be an American. Well, I'm sure as hell not. Yes, yes, he was praising the response of those who had the unenviable responsibility for mopping up after the catastrophe. But he was totally ignoring the abdication of responsibility by those who allow this kind of thing to happen more and more often in this benighted country. That would be all of us, Fellow Americans.

North Korean Response to US/South Korea Military Exercises Presented as 'Provocation' (Choe Sang-Hun / The New York Times)
As the United States and South Korea prepare for next week's joint naval exercise, North Korean officials on Friday renewed their threat to launch ballistic missiles near Guam, an American territory in the western Pacific. Although both South Korea and the United States insist next week's drill is defensive in nature, North Korea considers such war games rehearsals for invasion. The joint exercise, including a flight by two US B-1B bombers over South Korea, could compel the North to "take military counteraction."

Trump Lies as Global Warming's Victims Die: And Big Media Weathercasters Fail to Mention Climate Change (Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan / Nation of Change)
Scientists have found a direct link between climate change, super-hurricanes and the wildfires in California yet the corporate TV weather reporting aids and abets Trump's misinformation by consistently ignoring the role of climate change in this string of disasters.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress to Save the Iran Deal (Win Without War)
There is no question that the Iran deal is working. Nuclear experts, our allies, even members of Trump's own cabinet agree that Iran has been in compliance. We have blocked Iran from any potential pathway to develop nuclear weapons, and we did it without a single shot fired or a single soldier killed. But Trump can't be bothered with the facts, so now it is up to Congress, and ultimately the American people, to save the deal.

RAN Hails Tar Sands Divestment Victory! Healthy Forests Can Slow Climate Change (Rainforest Action Network & Rainforest Alliance)
Thanks to the thousands of petition signatures and on the ground activism, BNP Paribas -- Europe's 2nd largest bank -- just set the new standard for global bank policies on extreme oil and gas by agreeing to halt funding for tar sands development, tar sands pipelines, fracking, LNG, and Arctic oil projects. Now it's time to focus on the worst US bank when it comes to financing extreme energy -- JPMorgan Chase.

Divest from Oil and Coal: Mazaska Talks Global Day of Action (Oct 23rd-25th) (Divest the Globe And the Action Network)
For far too long, banks have operated in the shadows -- financing the very industries that are driving climate disaster and violating Indigenous rights. The time has come to finally hold these financial institutions across the world accountable. The fossil fuel divestment movement that struck like wildfire at Standing Rock has now been taken global. Will you join #DivestTheGlobe?

The Evil that Guns Do (Michael Winship / Moyers and Company)
The firearms lobby suggests that because morality can't be legislated, the evil of gun violence can only be controlled by … more guns. Don't be fooled by the rhetorical camouflage. The NRA still wants to steer clear of any Congressional debate that could change minds and lead to new gun control rules. To claim as a constitutional right the possession of firearms intended for warfare strains credulity. These are killing machines with no purpose other than to maim and destroy.

US-backed Arms Blockade Risks Death of Millions of Yemeni Civilians (Selam Gebrekidan and Jonathan Saul / Reuters)
A ship with 636 containers of steel, paper, medicine and other relief supplies bound for Yemen's suffering civilians, never arrived. Like dozens of other ships carrying humanitarian supplies, the ship was stopped by a Saudi Arabian warship deployed to enforce a US-backed arms embargo. Intended to block shipments to Houthi forces, it also blocks life-saving deliveries to a nation of 28 million people where a quarter of the population is starving and half a million children under the age of five are severely malnourished

War Powers Challenge on Yemen Postponed to November 2 (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Dan De Luce / Foreign Policy)
A vote on the House leadership's attempt to pass a resolution that would undermine a bipartisan bill to end US involvement in the Saudi War in Yemen has been postponed to November. The concurrent resolution directs the president to end all military participation in the Saudi war in Yemen immediately, pointing out that Congress never authorized such an operation. Congress has sole discretion to make such a determination, and in over two years of war in Yemen, there's never been such a vote.

PBS's Vietnam Documentary Leaves Out a Lot but it Does Include Nixon's Little-known Act of Treason (David Swanson / David Swanson.org & World Beyond War)
Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's PBS documentary begins with the ludicrous idea that the US government had good intentions. It ends with praise for the memorial in DC and its tragic list of names -- without mention of the greater number of US veterans of that war who have since died from suicide, much less the vastly greater number of Vietnamese who were killed. The size of a memorial for all the dead would dwarf the current wall. I want to call particular attention to one item the film includes -- Richard Nixon's treason.

The Masters of War: Who Are the World's Biggest Arms Companies? (Al Jazeera News)
The US has approved a $15 billion deal to supply Saudi Arabia with the THAAD missile defense system. If Congress does not object within 30 days, the deal will result in a massive windfall for Lockheed Martin. According to the Campaign Against Arms Trade: "The arms business has a devastating impact on human rights and security and damages economic development. Large-scale military procurement and arms exports only reinforce a militaristic approach to international problems."

Did Trump Propose a 10-Fold Increase in US Nuclear Weapons? (AntiWar.com & BBC News & Ron Paul Liberty Report)
According to a new report from NBC News, Donald Trump responded to a slide at a cabinet meeting showing that the number of US nuclear weapons has gone down since the late 1960s by demanding a nearly ten-fold increase in the US arsenal. Secretary of Defense James Mattis also said the report was "false," and claimed it was irresponsible for NBC to even report that the meeting happened.

Stop the Unconstitutional War in Yemen (Ro Khanna, Mark Pocan and Walter Jones / The New York Times & Jason Ditz / The Daily Caller)
Imagine that the entire population of Washington State -- 7.3 million people -- were on the brink of starvation, with the port city of Seattle under a naval and aerial blockade, leaving it unable to receive and distribute countless tons of food and aid that sit waiting offshore. This nightmare scenario is akin to the obscene reality occurring in the Middle East's poorest country, Yemen, at the hands of the region's richest, Saudi Arabia with US military support that Congress has not authorized.

North Korea Allegedly Hacks Secret Joint US War Plans to Attack and 'Decapitate' Kim Jong-un (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Agence France-Presse)
South Korean ruling party MP Rhee Cheol-hee is claiming that North Korean hackers infiltrated his nation's military network in September 2016, copying 235 GB of sensitive data, including operational plans for the joint US-South Korea attack on North Korea -- including plans for "decapitation" attacks on North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un.

The Scandal of Pentagon Spending: How the Military-Industrial Complex Preys on the Troops (Tom Englehardt / Tom Dispatch & William D. Hartung / TomDispatch)
Hawks on Capitol Hill and in the US military routinely justify increases in the Defense Department's already munificent budget by arguing that yet more money is needed to "support the troops." In fact, much of the money goes directly to private corporations who waste it on useless overhead and fat executive salaries. The real corruption lies in a five-sided building in Virginia, where taxpayer dollars disappear into the coffers of giant weapons-makers and into the pockets of their CEOs and top officials.

ACTION ALERT: Trump's EPA to Repeal the Clean Power Plan (The NRDC & Climate Hawks & Food & Water Watch & The Baltimore Sun)
Trump's EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is formally proposing to repeal the Clean Power Plan, America's best hope for fighting climate change. In lock step with the fossil fuel industry, Trump and Scott Pruitt are doing everything they can to turn back the clock on our energy future.

The Legacy of Columbus: A Violent Culture that Can't Face Reality (Dave Lindorff / This Can't Be Happening)
Commentary: How are we to explain how a flood of immigrants, most fleeing from oppression in Europe, Asia, and South America ended up producing a nation so steeped in violence and the implements of destruction needed to produce that violence, that we as a people no longer even recoil at the horrors the US routinely commits, encourages, funds, ignores and covers up?

Free Speech and the War on Words (Bettina Aptheker / University of California at Santa Cru & George Ciccariello-Maher / The Washington Post)
The Berkeley Free Speech Movement in 1964 won official recognition that the rights enshrined in the US Constitution extended to America's college campuses. It was not surprising that, within weeks of Donald Trump's inauguration, that the "alt-right" began to stage provocations designed to hijack the issue of "free speech" by appealing to "aggrieved whiteness" -- an ambient furor based on the idea that white American men have become oppressed victims of politically correct multiculturalism.

The Civil Society Statement to the UN General Assembly on Nuclear Disarmament (The Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy)
UN Member States are meeting in New York during the month of October to discuss and adopt disarmament resolutions. Civil society has been invited to give two presentations to the UNGA First Committee on October 10. "The present confrontation between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is extraordinarily perilous. It is profoundly disturbing that in the General Assembly Hall the two countries exchanged unlawful threats of total destruction and of use of intercontinental rockets."

Trump's Threat to Decertify Iran Nuuclear Deal Is Scarier than You Think (D. Parvaz / ThinkProgress)
If Trump does, indeed announce on October 12 that he will not recertify the deal because he doesn't view it as being in US national security interests, then there are two clear takeaways from that decision. First, Trump is upping the ante in his rhetoric against Iran. Second, he is committed to publicly undermining his top advisers, undoing US diplomatic protocols and progress.

Afghans Protest the Continued Occupation of their Country by the US (The Solidarity Party of Afghanistan)
On October 6, 2017, members and supporters of the Solidarity Party of Afghanistan gathered to express their concerns and protest on the eve of 16th year of occupation of Afghanistan by US and NATO. The marchers carried a banner that read:,"In Presence of US, NATO and Their Minions, There Will Be No Peace and Prosperity in Afghanistan!" We are reposting their complaints along with a video of the protest.

America's Shame: Inside CIA's Black Site Torture Room (Larry Siems / The Guardian)
There were 20 cells inside the prison, each a stand-alone concrete box. In 16, prisoners were shackled to a metal ring in the wall. In four, designed for sleep deprivation, they stood chained by the wrists to an overhead bar. Those in the regular cells had a plastic bucket; those in sleep deprivation wore diapers. When diapers weren't available, guards crafted substitutes with duct tape, or prisoners were chained naked in their cells. The cellblock was unheated, pitch black day and night.

ACTION ALERT: End the "Forever War" in Afghanistan (Win Without War)
For 16 years America has been trying the same failed strategies in Afghanistan. It is time to stop the madness and finally end America's longest war. Adding troops or removing timelines will not change the fundamental truth of the situation: we simply cannot bomb our way to peace.

With US Troops in 70% of the World's Nations, the Pentagon Cannot Account for $6.5 Trillion in Spending (Project Censored)
According to a July 2016 report by the Department of Defense's Office of Inspector General (DoDIG), over the past two decades the US Army has accumulated $6.5 trillion in expenditures that cannot be accounted for. Meanwhile, according to a spokesperson for Special Operations Command, Special Operations Forces have been deployed in 147 of the world's 195 recognized nations -- an increase of 80% between 2010-2015. The SOCOM budget has more than tripled since 2001 to nearly $10 billion.

How Outlawing War Changed the World in 1928 (David Swanson / Let's Try Democracy)
When I wrote a book about the Kellogg-Briand Pact my goals were to draw lessons from the movement that created it, and to call attention to its existence as a still-current law being routinely violated -- in hopes of encouraging compliance. After all, it is a law that bans nations from engaging in war -- the primary thing my nation's government does, with a half-dozen US wars going at any time now.

ACTION ALERT: We Need Real Gun Reform in this Congress (Marc Ash / Reader Supported News & Courage Campaign Petition)
The current push in Congress to ban "bump stocks" is a purely cosmetic, politically motivated, and virtually meaningless exercise in face-saving by a Congress which has for decades put gun lobby interests ahead of public safety. It totally misses the bigger question of the presence of military weapons in a civil society. The reality is that no other nation on earth has as many firearms or firearm-related deaths per capita as we do. America stands alone in this disgrace, separate from all other nations.

Is the Nobel Committee Finally Abiding by Nobel's Will? (David Swanson / David Swanson.org & World Beyond War)
The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded Friday to the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons. It's conceivable that some Americans will now learn, because of this award, about the new treaty that bans the possession of nuclear weapons. This treaty has been years in the works. This past summer 122 nations agreed on the language of it. Since the treaty opened for signatures, 53 nations have signed and 3 ratified. Once 50 have ratified, the ban becomes law and violators become outlaws.

The Toll of US Navy Training on Wildlife in the North Pacific (Project Censored)
US Navy training activities are deadly for marine mammals in the North Pacific. In a five-year period, the US Navy has killed, injured, or harassed whales, dolphins, porpoises, sea lions, and other marine wildlife in the North Pacific Ocean nearly twelve million times.

Syria's War Spurred by Contest for Gas Delivery to Europe, Not Muslim Sectarianism (Project Censored)
"The Middle East is being torn to shreds by manipulative plans to gain oil and gas access by pitting people against one another based on religion." In 2011–12, after Syrian president Bashar al-Assad refused to cooperate with Turkey's plan to create a natural gas pipeline between Qatar and Turkey through Syria, Turkey and its allies became "the major architects of Syria's "civil war." The proposed pipeline would have bypassed Russia to reach European markets currently dominated by Russian gas giant Gazprom.

Time for Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands to Go All Green (Harvey Wasserman / Truthdig.com & David R. Baker and Wendy Lee / San Francisco Chronicle)
The terrible global-warmed tragedy that has ripped through Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands now offers us a unique opportunity -- and a vital imperative. As Elon Musk and others in the business of clean, green power have made clear, the islands' centralized fossil-fueled electric grids should not be rebuilt. Instead, they advocate entirely replacing them with decentralized, community-owned micro-grids, powered by solar panels, wind turbines and locally grown biofuels.

Anti-nuclear Weapons Group ICAN Wins Nobel Peace Prize (BBC World News)
The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). Berit Reiss-Andersen, the Nobel committee chair, said it was due to the group's "groundbreaking efforts to achieve a treaty prohibition" on nuclear weapons. Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the group, told reporters that the prize had come as a surprise but that it was "a huge signal" that the group's work was "needed and appreciated".

ICAN's Statement at the Signing Ceremony for the UN Nuclear Ban Treaty (Beatrice Fihn / International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)
Beatrice Fihn, the executive director of International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, delivered the following remarks at the signing ceremony for the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in New York on September 20, 2017.

Jimmy Carter -- What I've Learned from North Korea's Leaders: Peace Is Possible (Jimmy Carter / Opinion: The Washington Post)
Commentary: "Over more than 20 years, I have spent many hours in discussions with top North Korean officials and private citizens during visits to Pyongyang and to the countryside. What the officials have always demanded is direct talks with the United States, leading to a permanent peace treaty to replace the still-prevailing 1953 cease-fire that has failed to end the Korean conflict [and] an end to sanctions, a guarantee that there will be no military attack on a peaceful North Korea."

By Threatening Iran Ban Agreement, Trump's 'Art of the Deal' in Question (John Allen Gay / The American Conservative)
Every indication is that Donald Trump will decertify the Iran nuclear deal next week and announce a tough new approach to the Islamic Republic. Yet there's one big question: Why? More concretely, what does he hope to gain for the United States and how does he hope to gain it? If the president does have a reasoned basis for his opposition to the deal, he has not provided it.

Trump vs. Tillerson: War or Diplomacy? (Ron Paul and Daniel McAdams / The Ron Paul Liberty Report)
Former Ambassador John Bolton wants Donald Trump to breach the multi-state Iran Nuclear Ban Treaty and "expedite delivery of bunker-buster bombs" to the region. Will Trump listen to Bolton, Nikki Haley, Bill Kristol, Tom Cotton, and the rest of the neocon "desk generals" or will he listen to his actual generals? This may be the most important foreign policy decision in Trump's presidency. Grave matters of war or peace hang in the balance. Will the neocons win again?

Trump Issues Lies and Prepares to Violate International Treaty. His Goal: to Attack Iran. Can Congress Stop Him? (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Anne Gearan and Karoun Demirjian / The Washington Post)
Officials familiar with the situation say that President Trump is intending to "decertify" the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran ahead of the October 15 deadline. With no evidence Iran is violating the deal in any way, he is going to instead claim it is just "not in the national interest of the United States" to honor the deal's terms. The move would mark the first step in derailing a deal limiting Iran's nuclear activities reached in 2015 with the US and five other nations. It would be an unprecedented breach of diplomacy.

GOP Uses Climate Change to Attack Environmental Laws (EcoWatch / Center for Biological Diversity)
The House Natural Resources Committee has used the pretext of "catastrophic" wildfires to build support for legislation that would curtail protections for endangered species and limit science-based review of environmental harms to expedite logging projects. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will consider three bills designed to limit environmental reviews on a variety of logging and forest-management projects on public lands. Timber companies would be the only winners if these terrible bills pass.

Red Cross Warns of 'Harrowing' Spike in Civilian Deaths in Syria War (Yuliya Talmazan / NBC News & Syriahr.com)
The worst fighting since the 2016 battle for Aleppo is raging in Syria, causing hundreds of civilian casualties, the International Committee of the Red Cross reports. The ICRC reports an "increasingly worrying spike" in military operations in the past two weeks that correlates with high levels of civilian casualties. The organization says as many as ten hospitals have reportedly been damaged in the past 10 days, cutting hundreds of thousands of people from access to even the most basic healthcare.

ACTION ALERT: End the US-backed War on Yemen (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Daniel Larison / The American Conservative & Dan De Luce / Foreign Policy)
A confidential draft of the latest UN blacklist on child victims of armed conflict included Saudi Arabia and its coalition related to the large number of children they've killed and maimed in the war in Yemen. The report confirmed that Saudi actions "objectively led to" 683 child casualties, including attacks on both schools and hospitals within Yemen in the course of 2016." A new bipartisan resolution that seeks to stop US military participation in Saudi Arabia's war against the Houthis in Yemen.

"Trump's Benghazi": How the Trump Team's First Military Raid in Yemen Went Wrong (Cynthia McFadden, William M. Arkin and Time Uehlinger / NBC News)
Just days into the new Trump administration, in a country virtually unknown to the American public, on a troubled mission approved and ordered by a team that had never worked together before, Navy SEAL Ryan Owen died -- for a purpose that Owens' own father, a former special operator himself, questions. Over the past eight months, NBC News has spoken to more than two dozen officials and special operations insiders to piece together the facts of this Top Secret mission.

Divest from the War Machine: October 21-22 Conference (CODEPINK)
Seven wars in process. A potential war with North Korea and Iran. Tanks on our city streets. The war machine rakes in the profits, and it's up to us to do something about it. CODEPINK and 50 partner organizations are launching a new Divest from the War Machine campaign targeting companies like Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Northrop Grumman that make a killing from killing! Join us for a "Divest from the War Machine" conference on October 21 & 22.

War on Equality: The Growing Danger of Dynastic Wealth (Robert Reich / Robert Reich.org & CommonDreams)
Commentary: hite House National Economic Council director Gary Cohn, former president of Goldman Sachs, said recently that "only morons pay the estate tax." I'm reminded of Donald Trump's comment that he didn't pay federal income taxes because he was "smart." And billionaire Leona Helmsley's "only the little people pay taxes."

What More Is There To Say on Gun Laws? (BillMoyers / Moyers and Company)
Commentary: Over the years, we've done many, many stories on gun violence in America. We encourage you to watch and read our collection of stories, posts and videos. But mostly, we encourage you to call your congressional and state representatives and tell them that you're tired of the call for prayers, you're tired of the condolences -- you want action.

America Wasn't a 'Gun-loving Country' Until a $13.5 Billion Industry Made it So (Steve Ryfle / In These Times)
After the latest mass shooting -- by some statistical measures, the 273rd in the US this year -- Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) quickly assailed his colleagues for failing to act while such horrific incidents become normalized. Meanwhile, in her book, "The Gunning of America," historian Pamela Haag refocuses the gun debate on the moguls who made America into the land of guns -- and mass shootings.

Gun Culture and the American Nightmare of Violence (Henry Girouz / Truthout & Moyers & Company)
Focusing merely on mass shootings or the passing of gun legislation does not get to the root of the systemic forces that produced the United State's love affair with violence. A war culture now shapes every aspect of society as warlike values, a hypermasculinity and an aggressive militarism seep into every major institution in the United States, including schools, the corporate media and local police forces.

What's North Korea Afraid of? (David Swanson / World Beyond War)
Analysis: "Ignorance about the Korean war," writes Blaine Harden, "has . . . led to the cartoonish ahistorical understanding many Americans still have of contemporary North Korea. They know that a family of clownish-looking dictators named Kim has created a hermit state armed with nuclear weapons. But most do not know that the fears of North Korea's isolated citizens are firmly rooted in history: they are afraid that Americans might once again raze their country with ombs and napalm."

Prayers and Condolences Are Not Enough: Stop The Gun Madness in This Country (Bill Berkowitz / The Smirking Chimp & Carolyn Lochhead / The San Francisco Chronicle)
No state permit is required to purchase a rifle, shotgun or handgun in Nevada. Is it really too early to contemplate legislation that might prevent more massacres such as this one, the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history? At the same time, Congress could pass legislation as early as this week that would roll back decades-old restrictions on gun silencers, opening up the market for a device that critics say would make it difficult in a mass shooting to detect where gunfire is coming from.

Trump Sends His 'Warmest Condolences': White House Says It's Premature To Discuss Gun Violence (The Huffington Post)
Following the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history, President Donald Trump on Monday offered his sympathy to the victims, but made no mention of America's pervasive gun violence either in his tweets or his prepared statement from the White House. Trump read prepared remarks from the White House, called the shooting "an act of pure evil" and commended first responders and local officials. Not mentioned in statements from Trump and the White House: the issue of guns.

ACTION ALERT: Military Assault Weapons Do Not Belong on Our Streets (The Care2 Petitions Team & The Huffington Post & CREDO Action)
In the US, it is perfectly legal to own a fully automatic weapon, including machine guns used by the military. While there are federal restrictions that limit the purchase of new military-style assault weapons, people who bought machine guns prior to 1986 just have to pay a fee and register their weapon. In 2006,there were over 390,000 automatic military-style assault weapons registered to private owners in the US -- that's one machine gun for every thousand people living in the US . . . that we know of.

Gun Silencers Make It Easier to Commit Crimes Quietly (Peter AmblerTribune Content Agency)
Commentary: In the hands of criminals, gun silencers pose a serious threat to law enforcement officers and the communities they serve. Now Congress is trying to sneak a measure into an unrelated bill that would make it easier to obtain silencers. The Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act, which will soon be voted on in the House, would roll back an 80-year-old law that regulates the sale of silencers.

Trump Ignoring Diplomacy and Facts as He Pushes for War with North Korea and Iran (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Zack Beauchamp / Vox)
Hoping to avoid a devastating war that could go nuclear, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been working to open direct talks with North Korea. But Donald Trump tweets from his golf course retreat that Tillerson is "wasting his time trying to negotiate" and threatens military action. Meanwhile, Trump continues to attack the Iran nuclear deal, even suggesting that his he may formally declare Iran "in violation" of the pact by a key October deadline. But top military officials insist Iran is in compliance.

House Bill Would End US Role in War on Yemen (Daniel Larison / The American Conservative & Dan De Luce / Foreign Policy)
Two House Republicans and two Democrats have submitted a bill that would end US involvement in the Saudi-led war on Yemen on grounds that Congress has never approved the American role in the war. US involvement in the war is not only unauthorized, but it is enabling the commission of war crimes and other violations of international law. As a result of the war, more than 7 million people are on the verge of starvation in Yemen.

US Military Bases Spread Like Cancer Across the Globe (Col. Ann Wright (US Army, ret.) / Peace in Our Times)
Statement: "Here in the city of Guantanamo, I want to apologize to the people of Cuba for the military base the US forced on Cuba in 1898, 119 years ago, the military base outside the US that my country has occupied the longest in its history. Secondly, I want to apologize for the purpose of the US Naval Base Guantanamo. I apologize that for 15 years, since January 11, 2002, the Guantanamo prison has been the site for the illegal and inhumane imprisonment and torture of 800 persons from 49 countries."

Blue Planet II: Sir David Attenborough's New Series to Show 'Heartbreaking' Examples of Plastic Pollution (Imogen Calderwood / BBC Earth & Global Citizen & EcoWatch)
Sir David Attenborough has spoken out about "heartbreaking" examples of plastic pollution that were documented while filming Blue Planet II, his new BBC documentary series investigating how our oceans are changing as a result of human activities. Attenborough, the broadcasting legend who brought the world Planet Earth, recorded seabirds feeding their chicks with scraps of plastic -- gannets feeding plastic to their chicks off the coast of Scotland, and puffins with scraps of it in their beaks.

In Maria's Wake, Could Puerto Rico Go Totally Green? (Harvey Wasserman / The Progressive & Bold Progressives.org)
The ecological and humanitarian destruction of Puerto Rico has left the world aghast. But there is a hopeful green-powered opportunity in this disaster that could vastly improve the island's future while offering the world a critical showcase for a sane energy future. Instead of oil-fueled pole-and-powerline power, a decentralized network of green micro-grids with solar panels and battery backups could provide access to dependable local power that would promote self-sufficiency in the face of future storms.

Agent Orange and the Continuing Vietnam War (Bill Fletcher, Jr. / Full Disclosure & BlackVoiceNews)
In a 2009 visit to Vietnam, I asked a retired colonel in the Vietnam People's Army about the notorious toxin "Agent Orange." I asked when the Vietnamese first realized the long-term dangers associated with the herbicide. His answer was as simple as it was heart-wrenching: "When the children were born." Despite the official assurances that the use of Agent Orange was both safe and humane, the truth was: it was chemical warfare. And it is not an exaggeration to suggest that it was genocidal.

Bombs in Our Backyard: How Military Outsourcing Turned Toxic (Abrahm Lustgarten / ProPublica)
The military is one of the country's largest polluters, with an inventory of toxic sites on American soil that once topped 39,000. At many locations, the Pentagon has relied on contractors like US Technology to assist in cleaning and restoring land, removing waste, clearing unexploded bombs, and decontaminating buildings, streams and soil. One contractor, US Technology, won some 830 contracts -- worth more than $49 million -- to dispose of toxic wastes at Army, Air Force, Navy and logistics bases.

Ken Burns' Vietnam War Film Skirts Devastating Civilian Toll (Nick Turse / The Intercept)
The $30 million TV documentary, "The Vietnam War," provides lots of great vintage film footage, 25,000 stunning photos, a solid Age of Aquarius soundtrack, and plenty of striking soundbites. Maybe this is what Burns means by "triangulation." The series seems crafted to appeal to the widest possible US audience. But as far as telling us "what happened," I don't see much evidence of that. Combatants are not the main participants in modern war. Modern war affects civilians far more and far longer than combatants.

Ridding Vietnam of Unexploded Ordnance: The Essential Work of Project RENEW (Chuck Searcy / Conversations on Vietnam Development & Peace in Our Times (Veterans for Peace))
For most Americans, the Vietnam War ended in 1975. But for too many Vietnamese, the war didn't end then. They continued to suffer death, injury, and lifetime disabilities from munitions that remained on the surface or just under the soil. These weapons posed a constant danger to unsuspecting residents throughout the country. In 2001, Vietnam's Ministry of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs reported that more than 100,000 Vietnamese had been killed or injured nationwide by bombs and mines.

Nicaragua to Sign Paris Agreement, Leaving Trump Alone With Syria (Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch & 100 News1)
When Donald Trump decided to pull out of the Paris climate agreement in June, that left three of the United Nations' 197 countries that refused to sign the 2015 accord. Syria was embroiled in a full-scale civil war. Nicaragua claimed the pact was not strong enough). Nicaragua now plans to sign the accord out of "solidarity" with the "first victims" of climate change. Today, Trump's only ally is --Bashar al-Assad.

PBS Revisits Vietnam: Whose "Truth" Matters Most When We Recount the War? (Camillo Mac Bica / Common Dreams & Veterans For Peace)
Much has been written about the American War in Vietnam. In September 2017, PBS debuted a highly anticipated, 10-episode, 18-hour, "definitive documentary" directed by respected documentarians Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. The goal, according to the directors, was to "create a film everyone could embrace." Hopefully, the filmmakers will resist the urge to perpetuate what many historians and vets see as a Government-sponsored effort to sanitize and mythologize the US involvement in this tragic war.

The US Is a Nation of War Monuments: Where Are Our Monuments to Peace? (David Swanson / Let's Try Democracy & Counterpunch)
If you propose removing a monument to a Confederate general in a southern US city you can expect to be accused of being "against history" -- of wishing to "erase the past." This comes out of an understanding of the past as consisting entirely of wars. Where are our monuments to peace? Wouldn't the Geneva Conventions have greater respect if the war planners saw a Geneva Conventions Monument out their window?

Ken Burns' Vietnam War Film Skirts Devastating Civilian Toll (Nick Turse / The Intercept)
The $30 million TV documentary, "The Vietnam War," provides lots of great vintage film footage, 25,000 stunning photos, a solid Age of Aquarius soundtrack, and plenty of striking soundbites. Maybe this is what Burns means by "triangulation." The series seems crafted to appeal to the widest possible US audience. But as far as telling us "what happened," I don't see much evidence of that. Combatants are not the main participants in modern war. Modern war affects civilians far more and far longer than combatants.

How Trump Tramples Honest EPA Scientists with Harassment and Censorship (PBS News Hour & The Washington Post & Reuters & QZ.com & E&E News & The New York Times)
The Interior Department's former top climate policy official has filed an official complaint charging the Trump administration is threatening public health and safety by trying to silence honest scientists. Meanwhile, Trump's EPA has chastised scientists who linked super-hurricanes to climate change, calling it "an attempt to politicize an ongoing tragedy." And the person who handles EPA grants is a political operative who has said he doesn't want to see the phrase "climate change" in grant applications.

Flag Idolatry Is a Pathology That Crushes Real American Values (William Boardman / Reader Supported News)
Commentary: The typical American flag ritual is an exercise in mindless obedience with the underlying objective of enforcing fealty to the state. The ritual is totemic and totalitarian. Mindless obedience has long been a goal of self-appointed patriots invoking the flag to defend indefensible domestic injustice or criminal wars. There is no obligation to "respect" any abstract symbol -- much less one as drenched in horrifying contradiction as the US flag.

The Pentagon's Propagandization of American Sports (John Kiriakou / Reader Supported News)
Commentary: Donald Trump's divisive rhetoric condemning NFL football players exercising their constitutional right to freedom of expression has plunged the country into a social and political crisis. Our fearless leader simply cannot abide those with whom he disagrees having a voice that is contrary to his own.

Professor Says Laws Should Not Impede US Rush to Build and Deploy Robot Assassins (Darwin BondGraham / The East Bay Express)
A new book co-authored by University of California law professor John Yoo argues that America should be first in developing the deadliest, smartest, most autonomous new killing machines. As a member of the George W. Bush administration, Yoo authored several legal memorandums arguing that people captured during the US invasion of Afghanistan were not protected by the Geneva Conventions' ban on torture.

Toxic Chemicals Discovered in Drinking Water Near Army Base in Wisconsin (Laura Olah / Cease Fire Campaign & Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger (CSWA)
CSWAB petitioned the Wisconsin DNR today to develop drinking water Health Advisory Levels for toxic compounds that have been detected in groundwater at US Army Reserve Fort McCoy and other Wisconsin sites that used industrial fire-fighting foams. The petition is the first step in securing enforceable standards and cleanup. Approximately two thirds of the people living in Wisconsin rely on groundwater for their drinking water.

Trump's Climate Denialism Is Killing Us (Mark Hertsgaard / The Nation & Laila Lalami / The Nation)
The horrors hurled at Houston and the Himalayan lowlands were heartbreaking. How many times must we see this disaster movie -- Hurricanes Harvey in 2017, Sandy in 2012, and Katrina in 2005 -- before we intervene to change the ending? Multiply the death and destruction in Texas a hundredfold to comprehend the devastation in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh, where 16 million children "are in urgent need of life-saving support." This is murder, even if Trump's willful ignorance of climate science prevents him from seeing it.

San Juan's Mayor Rebukes Trump over Failure to Address Puerto Rico's Climate Crisis (Katherine Krueger / Splinter News & Justin T. Westbrook / Jalopnik.com)
Donald Trump took a break from feuding with the NFL last night to tweet about the crisis in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria, but the mayor of San Juan says the president only muddled matters by equating the lack of food, water, and shelter for millions with the island's debt crisis. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has denied a request to grant a waiver of the Jones Act for Puerto Rico to ease the shipping of food, fuel and other hurricane relief supplies despite previous waivers earlier this year.

Freedom Is Not Washington's Goal: The US Arms 73 Percent of World's Dictatorships
According to Freedom House's rating system of political rights around the world, there were 49 nations in the world, as of 2015, that can be fairly categorized as "dictatorships." As of fiscal year 2015, the last year for which we have publicly available data, the federal government of the United States had been providing military assistance to 36 of them, courtesy of your tax dollars. That means the United States is currently supporting over 73 percent of the world's dictatorships!

ACTION ALERT: Trump Tweets While Puerto Rico Dies (Perry O'Brien / Common Defense & Environmentalists Against War & Climate Hawks)
Puerto Rico -- an island of 3.4 million people -- has been without power for a week. 60% of their population is stranded without drinkable water. And 90% of their cell phone towers are down. This is a full-blown humanitarian crisis. And Trump isn't doing enough to help. According to White House sources, Trump doesn't plan to submit an aid request to Congress until the second week of October. Dragging his feet on this will cost innocent lives. Tell Trump Not to Abandon Puerto Rico.

ACTION ALERT: De-escalate North Korea Crisis Before Trump Blunders Us into a Nuclear War (Rep. Tulsi Gabbard / US House of Representatives & Win Without War)
Regime change policy has failed, and it has nearly bankrupted our federal government. Trading barbs, personal insults, and threats with Kim Jong Un has put the US in a more tenuous position in East Asia than we have experienced since the Korean War. Taking a hardline stance that abandons diplomacy has caused the North Korean military to multiply their ballistic missile tests, put Guam in their crosshairs, and now threaten to shoot down American military planes.

Support H.R. 669: Stop Trump from Launching a Nuclear Strike against North Korea (Hon. Barbara Lee / US House of Representatives & Council for a Livable World)
There is no military solution in North Korea, and escalating tensions will put US troops and families at risk. That's why Barbara Lee co-sponsored H.R. 669, legislation that would prevent Trump from starting a nuclear war. Add your name to call on Congress to vote on H.R. 669 to prohibit Trump from authorizing a nuclear strike against North Korea. Escalation is not the answer.

The Basel Declaration on the Crime of Nuclear Weapons (Abolition 2000)
A four-day international conference of doctors, lawyers, scientists and nuclear experts from 27 countries has produced a statement condemning nuclear weapons and nuclear energy. The Basel Declaration states "the risks and impacts of nuclear weapons, depleted uranium weapons and nuclear energy, which are both transnational and trans-generational, constitute a violation of human rights, a transgression of international humanitarian and environmental law, and a crime against future generations."

Observers Increasingly Fear Trump Is Not Fit For Office (Sam Levine / CNN & Paige Lavender / Huffington Post & Michael Calderone / The Huffington Post)
Members of a CNN panel have openly questioned whether Donald Trump is mentally fit for office. Psychologist Dr. John Gartner has warned: "If we could construct a psychiatric Frankenstein monster, we could not create a leader more dangerously mentally ill than Donald Trump. He's a paranoid, psychopathic narcissist who is divorced from reality and lashes out impulsively at his imagined enemies." The 25th Amendment allows for the vice president to remove the president from office if the Cabinet deems him unfit.

How the UN Provides Cover for US Aggression (JP Sottile / AntiWar.com)
Commentary: As the US has bombed and droned and deployed and invaded and covertly-acted and regime-changed all around the globe, the unspoken truth is that the United Nations has been America's all-too silent partner as Uncle Sam traipsed around the planet with a loaded gun, remote control assassination machines and paper-thin rationales for intervention.

Poll of 65 Nations Reveals US Is Seen as the Biggest Threat to World Peace (The International Business Times & The New York Post Editorial Board)
In their annual End of Year poll, researchers for WIN and Gallup International surveyed more than 66,000 people across 65 nations and found that 24 percent of all respondents answered that the United States "is the greatest threat to peace in the world today." Pakistan and China fell significantly behind the United States on the poll, with 8 and 6 percent, respectively. Afghanistan, Iran, Israel and North Korea all tied for fourth place with 4 percent.

Puerto Ricans Describe 'Horror In The Streets' After Hurricane Maria (Hayley Miller / The Huffington Post & Jennifer Bendery / The Huffington Post)
We've heard devastating stories in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, but not nearly enough about the impact of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico. The US territory was slammed by the tropical storm mere days ago. As 3.4 million residents continue to scramble to safety, the governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rossello, has called for more federal aid. Many residents do not have access to water, power or roads. It's been described as "apocalyptic."

Hate Crimes in the US Soar Under Trump (Christopher Mathias / The Huffington Post)
New data obtained by the Huffington Post shows hate crimes rose about 5 percent from 2015 to 2016. The numbers for 2017 aren't looking great either. According to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, the number of hate crimes rose across the US in 2016, marking the first time in over a decade that the country has experienced consecutive annual increases in crimes targeting people based on their race, religion, sexuality, disability or national origin.

Stones to Drones: A Short History of War on Earth (Gar Smith / World Beyond War #NoWar2017)
War is humanity's deadliest activity. From 500 BC to AD 2000 history records more than 1000 [1,022] major documented wars. In the 20th Century, an estimated 165 wars killed as many as 258 million people -- more than 6 percent of all the people born during the entire 20th century. WWII claimed the lives of 17 million soldiers and 34 million civilians. In today's wars, 75 percent of those killed are civilians -- mostly women, children, the elderly, and the poor.

No War 2017: War and the Environment (David Swanson Remarks at #NoWar2017 conference on September 22, 2017)
What war and war preparations do to the earth has always been a hard topic to get at. Why would those who care about the earth want to take on the beloved and inspiring institution that brought us Vietnam, Iraq, the famine in Yemen, torture at Guantanamo, and 16 years of gruesome slaughter in Afghanistan? But the fact is that if war were moral, legal, and inexpensive, we would still need to abolish it because of the destruction that war and preparations for war do as the leading polluters of our natural environment.

US Has Killed 2,617 Civilians in Syria: Trump's Airstrikes Kill 17 in Libya (New China / Xinhua.net & AntiWar.com)
A total of 2,617 civilians have been killed in the US-led anti-terror operations in Syria since late 2014, a monitor group reported Saturday. The death toll includes 615 children and 443 women, said the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Meanwhile, for the first time since Donald Trump's inauguration, the US has carried out airstrikes inside Libya, bombing what they described as an ISIS camp within central Libya, southeast of Sirte. 17 people were killed, and the US claimed all were ISIS.

Monumental Greed: Trump/Zinke's Plan for Drilling the Wilderness (EcoWatch & Natural Resources Defense Council & The Sierra Club & The Grand Canyon Trust)
A leaked memo reveals how Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke secretly proposed opening publicly held national monuments powerful corporations seeking to expand drilling, logging, commercial fishing and other activities for private profit. Despite receiving 2.8 million public comments in support of our national monuments, Zinke has announced plans to change the way at least 10 of these treasured areas are managed -- and to shrink the boundaries of at least four of them.

The US-Trained Warlords Committing Atrocities in Afghanistan (May Jeong / In These Times)
Investigative Report: In Afghanistan, residents of a village allege that dozens of civilian deaths were commited at the hands of a single US-trained strongman -- just one example of the "Afghan special forces" that the US has supported, armed and delegated to perform as its surrogate in America's longest-running war.

Under Trump, US Has Been Bombing Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria at Record Pace (AntiWar.com & Jennifer Wilson and Micah Zenko / Foreign Policy)
The candidate who once warned America about Hillary Clinton's hawkishness is turning into a war machine. US airstrikes in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan are all at multi-year highs. In the last 193 days of the Obama presidency, there were 21 lethal counterterrorism operations in these countries. Trump has quintupled that number, with at least 92 such operations in Yemen, seven in Somalia, and four in Pakistan.

The Deadly Rain of Obama's Bombs (Medea Benjamin / The Guardian)
In 2016 alone, the Obama administration dropped at least 26,171 bombs. This means that every day last year, the US military blasted combatants or civilians overseas with 72 bombs; that's three bombs every hour, 24 hours a day. While most of these air attacks were in Syria and Iraq, US bombs also rained down on people in Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan. That's seven majority-Muslim countries.

The Corporate Beneficiaries of the Warfare-Welfare State (Tyler Durden / ZeroHedge & Ron Paul / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity & BitOfNews.com)
Commentary: Congress long ago abandoned another primary duty -- preventing presidents from launching military attacks without first obtaining a congressional declaration of war. The uncomfortable question raised by Congress's abrogation of these two key functions is whether a republican form of government is compatible with a welfare-warfare state.

Is Trump About to Repeat George W. Bush's Worst Mistake: Starting an Unnecessary War? (Michael H. Fuchs / The Guardian)
Commentary: In 2003, the US initiated perhaps the greatest strategic disaster in US history by diverting attention . . . to an unnecessary war in Iraq. That war resulted in hundreds of thousands dead and wounded, untold economic catastrophe, states in the Middle East in ruin, and the rise of ISIS. Donald Trump's first speech before the UN general assembly made clear that he wants to take America down a similar path by starting an unnecessary conflict with Iran.

Iran Is in Compliance: It's Trump Who Would Be Violating the Iran Nuclear Deal (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Win Without War)
Trump has called the historic Iran Deal an "embarrassment." But what's really embarrassing is Trump's lies about the nuclear deal -- said in front of an institution that the US helped build in the name of diplomacy and peace. If Trump breaks the deal and once again destroys our nation's credibility on the global stage, no one will trust us to honor our word in future diplomatic agreements -- which means that you can kiss diplomacy with North Korea goodbye.

Trump to Flood the World with Weapons While Don Jr. Lobbies for Silencers (Mike Stone and Matt Spetalnick / Reuters & Chris Carr / Everytown for Gun Safety)
The Trump administration is preparing to make it easier for US gun makers to sell small arms, including assault rifles and ammunition, to foreign buyers. Aides to Donald Trump are completing a plan to shift oversight of international non-military firearms sales from the State Department to the Commerce Department. While the State Department is concerned about international threats to stability and maintains tight restrictions on weapons deals, the Commerce Department typically focuses more on markets and profits.

Trump to Roll Back Limits on Drone Strikes and Commando Raids (The Hill & The New York Times)
The Trump administration is set to roll back various limits on drone strikes and commando raids put in place under former President Barack Obama. Under the policy, strikes would be expanded to include "foot-soldier jihadists" who do not necessarily have leadership roles, instead of allowing strikes only if militants are considered "continuing and imminent threat" to US citizens. The proposed strikes would also no longer have to go through high-level vetting.

Naomi Klein: We Are Seeing the Shock Doctrine In Effect After Hurricanes Harvey & Irma (Amy Goodman and Naomi Klein / Democracy Now!)
We have these hurricanes, past and the coming ones, with extreme fires, storms, droughts, and massive floods -- 1,300 dead in South Asia now from floods -- and yet Fox, MSNBC, and CNN are hardly mentioning the word "climate change" when it comes to these horrific events, at the same time they are spending 24 hours a day reporting on these manifestations of climate chaos. This is the extreme world -- we're catching a glimpse of it -- that we've been warned about.

The Powerful Corporations that Influence Washington's Climate Policy (Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch & Climate Nexus )
For better or worse, corporations have a major influence on climate change policy. Koch Industries, a multinational owned by billionaires Charles and David Koch, has contributed hundreds of millions to candidates and lobbying over the last 25 years. The data shows the climate policy agenda is being driven by a small number of massive global corporations. Meanwhile, Investing giant Vanguard has voted to require ExxonMobil to include more detailed assessments of how climate policies impact its bottom line.

ACTION ALERT: ABC Silent on Climate Change (David Z. Morris / Fortune & Public Citizen & Fareed Zakaria / CNN)
As a brutal hurricane season continues to batter the Caribbean and the United States, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson thinks it might be too late to save coastal cities from the effects of climate change. "I worry that we might not be able to recover from this because all our greatest cities are on the oceans and water's edges, historically for commerce and transportation," deGrasse Tyson said.

California Cities, Counties Sue Oil Companies over Climate Change (Timothy Cama / The Hill & Natasha Geiling / ThinkProgress)
San Francisco and Oakland, Calif., are suing five major oil companies, blaming them for the effects of climate change. The cities announced Wednesday they each filed a lawsuit in their respective county courts against Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips Co., ExxonMobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell and BP. The lawsuits by add to an emerging legal strategy to try to hold individual fossil fuel companies responsible for rising sea levels, extreme weather and other effects of human-induced climate change.

51 Countries (and Counting) Ratify UN Nuclear Weapons Ban (AntiWar.com & World Beyond War & Susi Snyder / PAX & National Public Radio)
Nuclear weapons are terrifying. A blinding flash, a burning wind, the sound of a thousand thunderstorms, a cry for water too poisoned to drink, for help that isn't coming, only to end by begging for death. Those are the realities of nuclear weapons. We cannot allow these 15,000 doomsday weapons to endanger our world and our children's future. Under the ban's language, it takes effect 90 days after the 50th nation ratifies it. Only the nuclear powers reject this ban.

Pentagon Builds First Permanent US Base in Israel (Judah Ari Gross / The Times of Israel)
For the first time in history, the US on Monday established an official, permanent military base in Israel: an air defense base in the heart of the Negev desert. Dozens of US Air Force soldiers will call home the new base, located inside the Israeli Air Force's Mashabim Air Base, west of the towns of Dimona and Yerucham. The "base within a base" will be run by the US military's European Command (EUCOM). It includes barracks, offices and support services.

The Risk of Nuclear War With North Korea: On the Ground in Pyongyang (Evan Osnos / The New Yorker )
Could Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump goad each other into a devastating confrontation? Donald Trump's unhinged threats to launch a "preventive war" against North Korea risk abandoning the one thing that has prevented war in the past -- US restraint. Trump's new rhetoric of threats risks unleashing a spiral of hostility in which neither side intends to start a war but escalating intimidation leads to ever-more-aggressive behavior. Trump and Kim may goad each other into the very conflict that they are both trying to avoid.

Trump Calls for War Crime at UN Speech; Preaches Nationalism over Unity (Michael Harthorne / Newser & Sarah D. Wire / The Los Angeles Times & Julian Borger / The Guardian)
In his first speech in front of the UN General Assembly, President Trump threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea and its "rocket man" Kim Jong Un. ABC's chief foreign correspondent accused Trump of using "WWE rhetoric" to lob an "immoral threat" in front of the world's political leaders. Terry Moran says mulling the destruction of a country of 25 million people "borders on the threat of committing a war crime." The speech was greeted mostly with silence and occasional outbreaks of disapproving murmurs

Trump Invites United Nations to Destroy His Enemies (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali / Reuters & The White House)
Donald Trump demanded that the UN Security Council come together and make more moves against North Korea, adding it "is an outrage" that any nations are trading with North Korea at all because of their "reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons." In the course of criticizing North Korea, however, nuclear weapons were scarcely mentioned. Any conflict on the Korean peninsula could easily result in a degree of bloodshed unseen since the 1950-53 Korean War, which claimed the lives of millions of Koreans.

$700 Billion for DOD and Trump Wants a Big Military Parade, Too (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com &Richard Lardner / Associated Press & )
In an 89-8 vote, the Senate overwhelmingly passed the National Defense Authorization Act, a $700 billion military spending bill. The bill still needs to be reconciled with the House version before it goes to the White House for signature. Meanwhile, Donald Trump wants to flaunt US military might in North Korea-style displays of force. Having added military vehicles to his inauguration, Trump now wants the US military to "come marching down Pennsylvania Avenue" with parades of weapons in DC and New York, as well.

ACTION ALERT: "Whose Streets? Our Streets!" St Louis Police Are Out of Control (Color of Change & Hayley Miller, Ryan J. Reilly / The Huffington Post)
Commentary: Police are out of control in St. Louis and the Mayor has done nothing to stop them. Over the weekend of protests following the not-guilty verdict absolving Jason Stockley of accountability in the death of Anthony Lamar Smith, police taunted protesters with Ferguson-era chants like "Whose streets? Our streets?" -- imitating the neo-nazi terrorists in Charlottesville. Police also fired at protesters with rubber bullets, trampled an older woman, and pepper-sprayed people who tried to help her.

Beyond Harvey and Irma: Militarizing Homeland Security in the Climate-Change Era (Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & Michael T. Klare / TomDispatch)
The US just experienced its largest rainfall event in memory. For the first time in recorded weather history, two category 4 hurricanes hit in a single season (not yet over). And San Francisco experienced an unheard of 106 degree day. This as the new face of homeland security: containing the damage to our seacoasts, forests, and cities caused by extreme weather events made all the more frequent and destructive by climate change. This is a "war" without a name, but it will be no less real for that.

Global Warring is Warming: How Militarism Contributes to Climate Destabilization (Kim Carlyle / The War Crimes Times @ Veterans for Peace)
Carbon-based fuels power the planet's more than one billion automobiles and other modes of transportation and provide for the manufacture of consumer goods and heating and air conditioning -- all for the world's affluent. And this polluting fuel is also used for the machines of war. This profligate consumption of oil and coal releases more than 30 gigatons of carbon into the atmosphere each year. Today, a new and clearly recognized cause for war has emerged: climate change.

In this Korean Crisis, Trump's Bullying Tactics Aren't Working and Never Will (Michael Payne / Nation of Change)
Many experts in world affairs believe that if it were not for America's highly aggressive military agenda that has been aimed at North Korea for many decades, that that nation would never have initiated a nuclear development program. More and more psychiatrists and associated mental health experts are issuing warnings about Trump's mental state. What's going to happen if this president, in some fit of rage, loses control and gives the order to launch an attack, possibly a nuclear one, on North Korea?

ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress to Protect our Public Lands (Sierra Club & Juliet Eilperin / The Washington Post)
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has recommended that Donald Trump modify 10 national monuments created by his immediate predecessors, shrink the borders of four national monuments, and open six other national monuments to mining, drilling, logging, and commercial fishing. Zinke's memorandum is silent on the fate of the remaining 11 monuments, including Papahanaumokuakea, which Bush created but Obama expanded to more than 582,578 square miles of land and sea in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Beyond Harvey and Irma: Militarizing Homeland Security in the Climate-Change Era (Tom Engelhard and Michael T. Klare / TomDispatch)
Deployed to Houston to assist in Hurricane Harvey relief, US troops hadn't even completed their assignments when they were hurriedly dispatched to Florida, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands to face Irma, the fiercest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded. This is the new face of homeland security -- containing the damage to US coasts, forests, and other areas wracked by extreme weather made all the more frequent and destructive thanks to climate change. It is a "war" the Trump White House fails to acknowledge.

The American Military: Deployed Everywhere and Winning Nowhere (Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch)
In 2007, the Government Accountability Office found that the Pentagon could not account for nearly 30% of the weapons it had distributed in Iraq since 2004 -- about 200,000 guns. Similar stories could be told about Afghanistan, another country where US weaponry has disappeared in remarkable quantities. Someday, historians will have to ask one question above all: Why, year after year, in the face of obvious and repetitive failure, was no one in Washington capable of imagining another course of action?

New Book: 27 Psychiatrists Assess The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump (Bill Moyers / Moyers and Company)
The US president has particular powers. This makes Donald Trump the most dangerous man in the world. He's equally dangerous because of his finger on the nuclear trigger and because of his mind ensconced in solipsistic reality. The two are a dreadful combination. There will not be a book published this fall more urgent, important, or controversial than The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, the work of 27 psychiatrists, psychologists, and mental health experts to assess Trump's mental health.

The Noble Cause Principle Is a Total Lie (John Marciano / Peace in Our Times @ Veterans For Peace)
A powerful and fundamental belief has marked US history: it is the Exceptional Nation chosen to lead the world. This belief is the essential foundation for the Noble Cause principle that justifies US foreign policy.

US Wars and Hostile Actions: A List (David Swanson / Let's Try Democracy)
Since World War II, during a supposed golden age of peace, the United States military has killed some 20 million people, overthrown at least 36 governments, interfered in at least 82 foreign elections, attempted to assassinate over 50 foreign leaders, and dropped bombs on people in over 30 countries. The United States is responsible for the deaths of 5 million people in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, and over 1 million just since 2003 in Iraq.

EPA Head Ignores Climate Change: Scott Pruitt Says It's Not the Time to Talk Climate Change (Philip Bump / The Washington Post)
In an interview in March, Scott Pruitt denied the scientific consensus that human activity was driving the warmer climate -- a denial that suggested he would curtail the EPA's efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Once confirmed by the Senate, Pruitt got to work reshaping the agency in precisely that way. In April, the organization's page on climate change was removed; in May, a page focused on educating children was as well.

Egypt Gags Torture Report; Censors Criticism of Its Human Rights Abuses (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Nadine Awadalla / Reuters & Human Rights Watch)
Egypt's military junta has continued its growing media censorship Thursday with a ban on the Human Rights Watch website. This ban appears to have been related to a report released the day before, which the junta was furious about. The report, titled "We Do Unreasonable Things Here," details torture, arbitrary detentions, and disappearances since Egypt's summer 2013 military coup. It tells the story through the accounts of several different detainees.

Have We Been Deceived Over Syrian Sarin Attack? How a Pesticide Caused Mass Casualties in Khan Sheikhoun (Gareth Porter / Alternet & AntiWar.com)
The United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria issued a report this September that reinforced the official narrative that the Syrian air force dropped a bomb containing nerve gas sarin on the insurgent-controlled town of Khan Sheikhoun, Syria on April 4. But a months-long investigation by AlterNet into the questions around the attack raise serious questions about whether a sarin bomb was the source of the deaths.

New Book: 27 Psychiatrist Assess The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump (Bill Moyers / Moyers and Company)
The US president has particular powers. This makes Donald Trump the most dangerous man in the world. He's equally dangerous because of his finger on the nuclear trigger and because of his mind ensconced in solipsistic reality. The two are a dreadful combination. There will not be a book published this fall more urgent, important, or controversial than The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, the work of 27 psychiatrists, psychologists, and mental health experts to assess Trump's mental health.

'Vietnam War': New Documentary Is Powerful, Flawed and Necessary (David Wiegand / San Francisco Chronicle)
Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's PBS documentary, "The Vietnam War," comprises 18 hours organized in 10 parts airing over the course of nearly two weeks. It feels both overwhelming and, counterintuitively, somewhat insufficient, because no matter how much testimony we hear, see and read about the war, the question of "For what?" will always remain. Nearly 60,000 Americans and more than a million Vietnamese died in a war that every president since Dwight Eisenhower said privately was a futile effort.

ACTION ALERT: Demand Fossil Fuel Companies Pay for Hurricane Destruction! (Naomi Ages / Greenpeace USA & Max Greenwood / The Hill & Sarah van Gelder / Yes! Magazine)
Right before Hurricane Irma slammed into Florida, and while Texas was still recovering from Harvey, EPA chief Scott Pruitt grabbed the media stage to deny climate change yet again. He said it's "insensitive" to talk about climate during a hurricane! We can't sit back and make Pruitt's fossil fuel industry backers happy. Fossil fuel-fueled climate change made Harvey and Irma stronger. And that's why the oil and gas giants must be made to pay for the costs of fighting wildfires and recovering from hurricanes.

Military Defies Trump's Orders: Pentagon Plans for Addressing Climate Change (Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch)
Unlike his White House boss, Defense Sec. Jim Mattis does not believe that climate change is a "hoax" invented by the Chinese. The Defense Department has warned for years that climate change is a national security threat and, despite President Trump's orders, the agency continues to take steps to help the military prepare for the impacts of a warming planet. In an unprecedented act of defiance, the Pentagon is continuing to prepare to deal with the effects of climate change -- even though Trump told them to stop.

Trump to Aim Oil-seeking Airgun Blasts on Atlantic Whales, Dolphins (Mike Gaworecki / Mongabay)
The Trump Administration has taken steps to open up the US' Atlantic waters to offshore oil exploration and drilling, sparking fierce resistance up and down the coast. Oil exploration involves vessels armed with airguns blasting intense bursts of noise into the water every 10 to 12 seconds to determine what resources might lie beneath the ocean floor -- blasts so loud they can be heard underwater as far as 2,500 miles away. The blasting can go on for months. Such blasts can prove deadly to marine mammals.

The Freeze-for-Freeze Solution: An Alternative to Nuclear War (Gar Smith / WorldBeyondWar.org & The Free Press)
Over recent years, Washington has imposed sanctions on a wide array of targets -- Syria, Russia, Crimea, Venezuela, Hezbollah -- with negligible results. Kim Jong-un is not the kind personality that responds well to sanctions. And yet, in the past, North Korea has approached Washington with diplomatic invitations to end to hostilities. In 1994, President Clinton and the DPRK signed an "Agreed Framework" to halt to the North's production of plutonium. But George W. Bush breached the accord.

Most of the Proposed House Budget Goes for War (World Beyond War & The Hill & National Priorities Project & USA TODAY)
By a vote of 211-198, the House passed a $1.2 trillion package of spending bills to fund wide swaths of the federal government, ranging from the Department of Homeland Security to the Environmental Protection Agency. Under the GOP budget, that's $696 billion for war and $523 billion everything else -- a 57% cut for war (up from 54% last year). It's closer to 64% of the budget if you include funds for nuclear weapons which are channeled through the Department of Energy.

NASA Celebrates: Prepares to Contaminate Saturn with Deadly Plutonium (Karl Grossman / Nation of Change)
The crashing of the nuclear power-energized Cassini space probe into Saturn -- a process that began on April 22, Earth Day -- will culminate on September 15. The probe -- containing more deadly plutonium than has ever been used on a space device -- will then reach Saturn's atmosphere and disintegrate as it plummets to Saturn. NASA has insisted that nuclear power is needed for deep space missions beyond the orbit of Mars. However, that has been proven false by NASA's solar-powered Juno spacecraft.

ACTION ALERT: US Foreign Military Bases Aren't for 'Defense' (Thomas Knapp / AntiWar.com & CounterPunch & Coalition Against US Foreign Military Bases & Socorro Gomes / World Peace Council)
Commentary: The maintenance of nearly 1,000 US military bases on foreign soil isn't just a nightmare for peaceniks. It's also also an objective threat to US national security. Defensively, scattering US military might piecemeal around the world -- especially in countries where the populace resents that military presence -- multiplies the number of vulnerable American targets. Shutting down those foreign bases and bringing the troops home are essential first steps in creating a functional national defense.

ACTION ALERT: Civil Society Calls for Diplomacy to Deal with Korea Nuclear Crisis (Basel Peace Office & The Korea Herald & Abolition 2000 )
Launching a "preventive" military attack against North Korea would not resolve the nuclear threat in the region, it would only "make matters much worse." 110 organisations and over 200 civil society representatives from 44 countries are calling on the US and North Korea to step back from the brink of war in North East Asia and adopt a diplomatic approach to prevent war. We call for the immediate commencement of negotiations to prevent a military conflict from erupting, and to resolve the underlying conflicts.

Diplomacy With North Korea Has Worked Before, and Can Work Again (Tim Shorrock / The Nation)
At some point, the United States is going to have to sit down with Kim's representatives and seek to hammer something out that will put the North on the path to denuclearization -- or accept it as a nuclear power and seek to temper its program.

The Time for Debate Is Over: Climate Change Is Happening Now! (Bill McKibben / The Guardian & Raghu Karnad / The Guardian)
Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, flash fires, droughts: all of them tell us one thing – "We need to stand up to the fossil fuel industry and fast!" Climate change is here. Extreme weather has created tens of thousands of refugees from their homes in the US. Meanwhile, in India, Mumbai, Assam and other regions have been devastated by extreme flooding. With one-third of Bangladesh under water displaced citizens were demanding: "The powers that be must adjust, and fast!"

US Solar Industry Sees Phenomenal Growth (Solar Energy Industries Association & EcoWatch)
The US solar market continued its years-long expansion in the second quarter of 2017 as the industry installed 2,387 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaics (PV), the largest total in a second quarter to date. This tops Q1's total and represents an 8 percent year-over-year gain. Last year, solar companies added jobs 17 times faster than the rest of the economy and increased our GDP by billions of dollars.

United Nations: Enablers of 'Aggressive War' (Robert Parry / Consortium News)
Commentary: Many people still want to believe that the United Nations engages in impartial investigations. But trust in UN agencies is no longer well placed. While UN investigative reports -- like a new one condemning Syria for alleged sarin use -- are received as impartial and credible, they often are just more war propaganda from compromised bureaucrats.

Climate Change Could Extinguish Vital Parasites that Support Life on Earth (Amy Goodman and Colin Carlson / Democracy Now!)
As the United States continues to deal with unprecedented floods and hurricanes, a new study has revealed climate change is also driving the mass extinction of parasites that are critical to natural ecosystems, and could add to the planet's sixth great mass extinction event that's currently underway -- about a third of all parasite species could go extinct by 2070 due to human activity. The loss could have profound ripple effects on the environment and might pave the way for disastrous health outcomes.

Torture, Beatings, Rape: Egypt Censors Report on Government's Human Rights Abuses (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Nadine Awadalla / Reuters & Human Rights Watch)
Under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt's regular police and National Security officers routinely torture political detainees with techniques including beatings, electric shocks, stress positions, and sometimes rape. The free press no longer exists under al-SIsi and some 424 different websites, mostly media with some human rights groups, are now subject to junta censorship.

URGENT ACTION ALERT: Senate to Vote on Amendment to Repeal President's War Authorization (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Rand Paul / Rare Politics)
Sen. Rand Paul's push for a vote on his amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act -- which allows a president to declare a war without congressional action as required by the US Constitution -- appears to have been successful, and such a vote will take place after all. There is no formal time set for the vote, but it's expected Wednesday in the late morning. Contact your Senators.

Saudi Government Allegedly Funded a 'Dry Run' for 9/11 (Paul Sperry / The New York Post )
Fresh evidence submitted in a major 9/11 lawsuit moving forward against the Saudi Arabian government reveals its embassy in Washington may have funded a "dry run" for the hijackings carried out by two Saudi employees, further reinforcing the claim that employees and agents of the kingdom directed and aided the 9/11 hijackers and plotters.

Crime and Punishment: Will the 9/11 Case Finally Go to Trial? (Andrew Cockburn / Letters from Washington @ Harper's Magazine)
After years of glacial legal progress, the momentous charge that our Saudi allies enabled and supported the most devastating act of mass murder on American soil may now be coming to a resolution. Thanks to a combination of court decisions, congressional action, and the disclosure of long-sequestered government records, it appears increasingly likely that our supposed friend and peerless weapons customer will finally face its accusers in court.

Trump Hints at a 'Mini-Nuclear' War: Instead of Missiles, North Korea Launches a Party (Brian Bender / Politico & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)
The Trump administration is considering proposing smaller, more tactical nuclear weapons that would cause less damage than traditional thermonuclear bombs -- a move that would give military commanders more options but could also make the use of atomic arms more likely.

America's War against Freedom: Prison Slavery & the Attica Rebellion (David A Love and Vijay Das / Al Jazeera & Shaun Gude / Jacobin Magazine)
The US has the world's highest incarceration -- 760 people per 100,000. Between 1999-2010 the use of private prisons increased by 40% at the state level and by 784% at the federal prison level. This rapid expansion is the subject of much debate and has been termed the "Prison-Industrial Complex." Prisoner abuse runs rampant and constitutes a modern-day version of slavery. The 1,300 Attica Prison inmates who rebelled on September 9, 1971 remain a symbol of resistance in the face of institutional injustice.

UK Unions to Vote on Public Ownership of Energy (The Campaign Against Climate Change & Trade Unions for Energy Democracy)
As the impacts of climate change are increasingly felt, urgent action is needed. Yet UK Prime Minister Theresa May's weak and divided government puts deregulation first. And Donald Trump's outright climate denial protects the interests of fossil fuel oligarchs behind false promises of jobs for workers. But the Campaign Against Climate Change believes that another world is possible, with workers leading the transition to a low carbon economy.

New Study: Greenhouse Emissions Linked to Fossil Fuel Companies (Dan Rather / Facebook & Farron Cousins / Nation of Change)
The data provided in this report could likely become one of the most valuable tools in the fight to hold corporations accountable for the harm they have caused to the planet. Documents have shown that ExxonMobil knew about the damage that fossil fuel emissions were causing to the environment in the 1970s and covered up the damage that fossil fuel companies were inflicting on the planet. This cover-up could result in lawsuits against the oil giant.

Climate Denialism Was Literally Killing Us While Exxon Hid the Truth (Mark Hertsgaard / The Nation & Connor Gibson / EcoWatch)
Multiply the death and destruction Hurricane Harvey a hundredfold to comprehend the scale of devastation in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh, where a staggering 16 million children "are in urgent need of life-saving support" after "torrential monsoon rains and catastrophic flooding." Meanwhile, a breakthrough study from Harvard reveals how Exxon covered up its climate-disrupting pollution with an extensive propaganda campaign designed to destroy public trust in climate change science.

Deforestation Has Double the Effect on Global Warming Than Previously Thought (Aristos Georgiou / International Business Times & Rainforest Alliance)
In the fight against climate change, much of the focus rests on reducing dependence on fossil fuels and developing alternative energy sources. However, the results of a new study suggest that far more attention should be paid to deforestation, the effects of which make a much larger contribution to climate change than previously thought. Forests are home to two-thirds of the world's plants and animals. In the biodiversity-rich tropics, deforestation results in the extinction of an estimated 100 species per day.

Bill McKibben on Hurricanes and the Dangerous New Planet We Have Created (Democracy Now & The Huffington Post & The New York Times)
Hurricane Irma is the most powerful storm ever recorded over the Atlantic. Houston -- the nerve center of the world hydrocarbon industry -- has been devastated by Hurricane Harvey, one of the most powerful hurricanes in US history. The Pacific Northwest is aflame with wildfires raging over hundreds of thousands of acres. Suddenly, our once-familiar planet is melting, drying, acidifying, flooding, and burning in ways that no human has ever seen. We have, in effect, created a new, and increasingly dangerous planet.

ACTION ALERT The Politicians Who Voted Against Hurricane Relief (Brad Johnson / Climate Hawks)
In the wake of tens of billions of dollars of damage from Hurricane Harvey, 107 members of Congress in the Senate and House -- including 4 from Texas -- voted "NO" on an aid package to help survivors in the Gulf and to keep FEMA funded. Their excuse? They wanted the cost of this disaster relief to threaten a government shutdown in order to secure tax cuts for billionaire polluters while making the rest of America suffer the consequences of rampant climate change and an entrenched oligarchy.

How 'Regime Change' Wars Led to the Korea Crisis (Robert Perry / Consortium News)
The US-led aggressions against Iraq and Libya are two war crimes that keep on costing, with their grim examples of what happens to leaders who get rid of WMDs driving the scary showdown with North Korea

US Economic Sanctions Are an Act of War (Jacob G. Hornberger / The Future of Freedom Foundation)
If any Third World nations targeted by US sanctions or embargoes were First World nations, there is little doubt that they would respond with a military counterattack against the United States. Few nations are going to permit another nation to intentionally target and kill their citizenry, either by bombs or sanctions.

Trump Sends Billions to Bahrain Dictators to Suppress Freedom (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Mike Stone / Reuters & Amnesty International)
The US State Department has approved $3.8 billion in weapons sales to the tiny island nation of Bahrain. Congress held up a similar sale last year over Bahrain's many, many human rights problems. The $3.8 billion sale is almost entirely going to Lockheed Martin, who will be providing 19 F-16V fighter jets, along with substantial upgrades to the nation's existing fleet of F-16s. Raytheon will be selling 221 anti-tank missiles to go with it.

The Lofoten Declaration: 220 Organizations Call for Rapid, Global Transition to Achieve Low Carbon Future (Julia Conley / Common Dreams)
As scientists stress that climate change has fueled to the enormous strength of hurricanes that have flooded Houston, devastated the Caribbean, and now threatens Florida, a coalition of more than 220 organizations called for a "managed decline of fossil fuel production" with an immediate end to new oil, gas, and coal development. The Lofoten Declaration demands "unprecedented action to avoid the worst consequences of our dependence on oil, coal, and gas."

ACTION ALERT: Rising Seas -- Brought To You By ExxonMobil (The Union of Concerned Scientists / Special to Environmentalists Against War)
As Hurricane Harvey finally retreats from the Gulf Coast and Hurricane Irma threatens Florida's coastline, communities are surveying the devastating damage done by these storms. After extreme weather events, communities face years of recovery and costly rebuilding. As the costs add up, it raises the question: Who should be held accountable for the costs being borne by communities across the United States?

122 Nations -- Including North Korea -- Vote to Ban Nuclear Bombs (Alice Slater /The Nation & In Depth News & Pressenza)
On July 7, 2017, a UN Conference mandated by the UN General Assembly negotiated a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, the only weapons of mass destruction yet to be banned. The US refused to sign, however, claiming a nuclear ban would cause "divisions at a time . . . of growing threats, including those from the DPRK's ongoing proliferation efforts." Ironically, North Korea is the only nuclear power to have voted for a treaty to ban atomic weapons.

ACTION ALERT: Congress to Consider Bill to Get Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future (Katy Kiefer / Food & Water Action Fund)
This is the kind of transformational energy bill we've been waiting for. As we witness the devastation of Harvey and now Irma, our hearts are with the communities impacted by these terrible storms. With a warming climate, extreme weather catastrophes will become more frequent and deadly, with low-income areas and communities of color hit hardest. The Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act is based on the most recent science and is the strongest piece of climate legislation in Congress to date.

ACTION ALERT: Tell US to Join Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons Possession (The Action Network / World Beyond War)
The majority of the world's nations are proceeding with a treaty banning the possession of nuclear weapons. We need to tell every nation to sign on, including the nuclear nations, and including the US. With Trump pushing the US Congress to start funding former president Obama's one trillion dollar nuclear weapons and infrastructure program before he even completes the traditional expected "nuclear posture review," there is not one champion in the Senate or the Congress for nuclear abolition!

In the Wake of Hurricane Harvey: Now Is the Time to Talk About Climate Change (Amy Goodman and Naomi Klein / Democracy Now!)
The World Meteorological Organization has declared that Hurricane Harvey's devastation is linked to climate change. All past US rainfall records have been shattered and the devastating storm is expected to bring even more rain to Louisiana and Texas in the coming days. And yet, the corporate networks have avoided linking the record-breaking storm to climate change. We examine storm coverage with Naomi Klein, best-selling author of "This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate."

Why US Bases Make Okinawa, Guam Nuclear 'Targets' (Jon Letman / Al Jazeera)
The pattern remains predictable: a defiant North Korean missile test followed by provocative war games, then another missile launch, more angry threats and warnings, followed by counter-threats and new sanctions, and now a sixth nuclear test and more severe warnings. The island of Guam has come into sharp focus with North Korea's announced plans to fire four Hwasong-12 ballistic missiles near the US territory in response to Donald Trump's threat to unleash "fire and fury" on Pyongyang.

The Korean Crisis: A Way Out (Justin Raimondo / AntiWar.com)
The latest North Korea nuclear test coincides with hints that the Trump administration is demanding renegotiation of the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement, and is preparing to withdraw from it. And therein lies a possible, albeit unintentional, resolution of the crisis on the peninsula where the relationship between South Korea and the US is unique in the history of empires -- i.e., in exchange for allowing US troops to occupy their territory, America's Asian protectorates have been granted tariff-free access to our markets.

Hundreds of South Korean Villagers Protest Installation of US THAAD Missiles (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Associated Press & Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept)
Public opposition to the deployment of a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense System missile defense system near a South Korean farming village has grown into major protests, with demonstrators coming out in force after the announcement the government was letting the US install four additional launchers. Some 38 people, including six police officers, were injured after thousands of police were sent to remove hundreds of protesters from a road leading to a former golf course where the THAAD was to be set up.

War, Hunger and Now Cholera: Yemen's Crisis Worsens (Sudarsan Raghavan / The Washington Post & Megan O'Toole / Al Jazeera)
Last December, the main hospital in the city of Hajjah in northern Yemen had already received 200 suspected cases of cholera. The patients were being treated at a month-old cholera center supported by the World Health Organization. Today, the number of suspected cholera cases in Yemen has reached half a million and nearly 2,000 people have died. It is now the largest cholera epidemic in the world.

We Can't Be Silent on Climate Change or The Unsustainability of Capitalist System (George Monbiot, Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh / Democracy Now!)
It is not only Donald Trump who censors the discussion of climate change; it is the entire body of polite opinion. This is why, though the links are obvious, most reports on Hurricane Harvey made no mention of the human contribution to it. In 2016, the hottest year on record, the US was hammered by climate-related disasters yet the total combined coverage for the entire year on the evening news on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox News amounted to 50 minutes. The issue of our lives has been blotted from the public's mind.

Donald Trump's Reckless Response to North Korea's Nuclear Test (Amy Davidson Sorkin / The New Yorker)
Commentary: It 's not clear what time Donald Trump, our restless President, was told of the latest North Korean nuclear test, which took place close to midnight Saturday, Washington time, but it only took until 7:30 A.M. for Trump to make an extremely dangerous and volatile situation worse. He did so, in part, by attacking South Korea -- a country at risk in any confrontation -- for a supposed lack of toughness. Even at a moment of historic crisis, Trump can't shake his bully's instincts.

Does Trump Want War? North Korea Offered Peace Deal; US Refused (Son Daekwon / The Diplomat)
It appears clear that Pyongyang is willing to freeze its nuclear program in exchange for suspension of the US-South Korea joint military exercises. Pyongyang has repeatedly put forward the same idea through several channels. Washington, however, apparently ignored this proposal. Even when jointly proposed by China and Russia, Washington dismissed the mutual de-escalation deal as a "non-starter."

The Importance of Civilian Control of War in the Trump Era (Derek Royden / Nation of Change)
Commentary: The long-standing argument about ensuring civilian control of the military has become more relevant than ever during the Trump presidency. The culture of most militaries doesn't normally reward creative thinking, at most times and in most places, it's a culture of 'yes men' who go along to get along.

UN Rights Chief: Trump's Attack on Press Is "Dangerous" (Tharanga Yakupitiyage / Nation of Change)
Commentary: Freedom of the press is under attack in the US and could incite further violence against reporters, said a UN official. During a press conference, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein criticized US President Trump for attacking news organizations and expressed concern over the consequences of such rhetoric. Freedom of the press is now itself under attack from the President himself. "It's sort of a stunning turnaround. And ultimately . . . a dangerous one,"

Climate Breakdown: We Can No Longer Ignore the Science and the Evidence Before Us (Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers / Nation of Change & Marlene Cimons / Nation of Change)
Climate breakdown is happening before our eyes. At the same time, the anti-science movement in the US which includes government officials, industry and others who deny climate change exists, provides cover for elected officials to do nothing or act inadequately on the urgent reality of climate chaos so that corporations continue to threaten the planet. There are 100 companies responsible for 71 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Good government would hold them responsible.

Hurricane Harvey's Lesson: Climate Change Has Become More Powerful than Government (Charles P. Pierce / Esquire Magazine)
Commentary: Once, long ago, the conservative activist Grover Norquist famously said that he wanted to shrink "government" to a size at which it could be drowned in the bathtub. Well, people actually are drowning in Houston now, and so is the political philosophy that reached its height when Ronald Reagan said in his first inaugural that government wasn't the solution, but the problem itself. We all moved onto a political flood plain then, and we're being swept away.

US Infrastructure Collapsing While Govt. Pours Billions into 'The Black Hole of War' (Michael Payne / Nation of Change)
The more taxpayer dollars that are sucked into that black hole of war the more cracks appear in the foundation of America, its national infrastructure, at the center of almost everything that goes on in America; from the transportation of goods to massive refineries shut down by Hurricane Harvey. Washington's ongoing obsession with war -- together with the massive costs of the US, military empire -- are contributing to a massive, widespread deterioration that is happening across America.

South Korea Simulates Attack on North's Nuclear Site: US Says North Is 'Begging for War' (Foster Klug and Kim Tong-Hyung / Associated Press & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com )
South Korean warships conducted live-fire exercises at sea Tuesday as Seoul continued its displays of military capability following US warnings of a "massive military response" after North Korea detonated its largest-ever nuclear test explosion. Washington and Seoul have agreed to develop more powerful weapons to boost attack the North with a "pre-emptive strike."

Nearly 60,000 Rohingya Refugees Flee Violence: Children 'Beheaded and Burned Alive' (Agence France-Presse & BBC World News & Will Worley / The Independent)
Police in Bangladesh have reportedly begun ignoring government orders to stop the influx of Rohingyas fleeing violence in Myanmar, as the United Nations confirmed that 58,600 refugees have made it through the border crossing since violence erupted last week. Myanmar's security forces have launched a violent campaign against the country's minority Rohingya Muslim community in Rakhine State with thousands of homes burned down and civilians attacked by security forces.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Trump's Appointment of Climate-Denying Non-Scientist to Head NASA (Joe Romm / ThinkProgress & RL Miller / Climate Hawks)
Donald Trump just nominated an anti-science climate denier to run NASA. Jim Bridenstine is not a scientist. He's a member of Congress with no experience in space. And he has an ugly history of anti-science rants. On the House floor in 2013, Bridenstine demanded President Obama apologize for dedicating federal resources to studying climate change, citing junk science and outright lies to justify his assertion that climate change isn't real.

The Stain of Yemen: US Support in Saudi War Remains Appalling (The Editorial Board of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Of the six wars that the US is involved in, Yemen is surely the most appalling, for at least three reasons. The first is the state that Yemen has been reduced to. It was the poorest country of the Middle East even before the war started. Now, its cities demolished by years of US-backed bombing by Saudi Arabia, it has experienced an estimated 16,200 deaths, many of them children and other civilians. It is now in the grip of malnutrition and a cholera epidemic, with an estimated 500,000 victims.

Oil Company Files Suit to Destroy Greenpeace Calling it an "Eco-Terrorist Organization" (Amy Goodman, Annie Leonard, Tara Houska, and Antonia Juhasz / Democracy Now!)
The company that owns the Dakota Access pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, has sued Greenpeace International, Earth First! and other environmental groups, accusing them of inciting "eco-terrorism" for their protests targeting construction of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. The lawsuit is part of a well-organized corporate crackdown on environmental activists who dare to challenge the fossil fuel industry by exposing the reality of human-driven climate change.

AG Sessions Says Militarize Police to Fight Hurricanes and Confront Non-existent Spike in Crime (Laura Finley / Peace Voice and Justice.gov & echDirt.com)
On August 28, the Trump administration announced it would lift President Obama's ban on programs to equip local law enforcement and school police with surplus military gear -- including armored vehicles, grenade launchers, high-caliber weapons and camouflage uniforms. Now Attorney Jeff Sessions has cited Hurricane Harvey and a bevy of questionable statistics to argue (unconvincingly) that cops need tanks and assault rifles to keep the peace and battle climate change.

Top General Forced to Admit He Ignored Growing US-caused Civilian Deaths (Samuel Oakford / Foreign Policy & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & David Alexander / Reuters)
Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, commanding general in Washington's war against the Islamic State has steadfastly ignored evidence that US forces have killed hundreds of innocent civilians. Independent monitors have blamed more than 1,900 civilian deaths in Raqqa on the US-led coalition since June 6. Finally, on September 1, facing mounting criticism, the Pentagon confirmed it had likely killed 61 Iraqi and Syrian civilians, raising the number of civilians it has acknowledged killing since the conflict began to 685.

Japan Polls Show Most People Oppose Shinzo Abe's Call for Pre-emptive Strike against North Korea (Mari Yamaguchi / Associated Press)
Japan is debating whether to develop a limited pre-emptive strike capability and buy cruise missiles -- ideas that were anathema in the pacifist country before the North Korea missile threat. Japan's self-defense-only principle under the country's war-renouncing constitution prohibits its military from making a first strike. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has turned hesitant about discussing pre-emptive strikes, a position that is not popular among the majority of Japanese voters who favor Japan's pacifist policies.

Trump and Zinke Plot to Extinguish America's Parks and Monuments (Derek Royden / Nation of Change)
Commentary: The quietness with which the Secretary of the Interior is doing his job might have the effect of making him, and others like Scott Pruitt (EPA) and Rick Perry (Dept. of Energy), who are taking a similar tack, that much more dangerous, as they proceed to gut their agencies and the regulations they're supposed to enforce. As the person in charge most federal lands (and programs involving the country's native peoples), Zinke is well-placed to open wild lands to oil, timber, and mining interests.

The "Freeze to Freeze" Solution: US Peace Delegation Calls for Immediate Response To North Korea's Offer to Freeze Its Nuclear Program (Task Force to Stop THAAD in Korean and Militarism in Asia and the Pacific)
A delegation composed of Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK, Reece Chenault of US Labor Against the War, Will Griffin of Veterans for Peace, and Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has returned from the Korean Peninsula with a call for the US and South Korea to refrain from hosting provocative "military exercises" and THAAD missile-defense escalations. Instead, the US should respond to North Korea's invitation to cease its nuclear program in return for an end to US military provocations and sanctions.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Pentagon's THAAD Base in South Korea (Task Force to Stop THAAD in Korean and Militarism in Asia and the Pacific)
As residents of South Korea, the United States and the world, we are united in our fervent desire for a peaceful, just resolution of the extremely dangerous conflict on the Korean peninsula. We urge President Trump and President Moon to begin diplomatic dialogue with North Korea by freezing the upcoming US/South Korean military exercises in exchange for a freeze of North Korea's nuclear and missile testing.

Afghanistan: More of the Same but Wrapped in Secrecy (Veterans for Peace)
Commentary: Donald Trump's recent speech on Afghanistan only promises more of the same disastrous policies that we have seen for 16 years -- except Trump wants to completely abandon pursuit of a political solution and shroud the war in a cloak of secrecy. Trump only knows how to divide and fear-monger. Now he is using fear of people in another country to wage endless war. Veterans For Peace calls for US troops to leave Afghanistan followed by a robust effort to pursue a political solution to end the war.

73 Years Ago, Vice President Henry A. Wallace Warned of the Rise of American Fascism (Henry Scott Wallace / Peace in Our Times / Veterans for Peace & Henry A. Wallace / The New York Times)
The perfect type of fascist throughout recent centuries has been [a leader] who developed such hatred for other races and such allegiance to a military clique as to make him willing at all times to engage in any degree of deceit and violence necessary to place his culture and race astride the world. In every big nation of the world are at least a few people who have the fascist temperament. An American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings.

ACTION ALERT: Houston Hurricane -- A Harbinger of Climate Change (Jim Hightower / Our Revolution)
Devastating floods along the Gulf Coast and across the world this week are not isolated incidents -- they are our new climate reality. We need members of Congress to take radical steps to combat the worst effects of climate change now before things get even worse. Senators Bernie Sanders and Jeff Merkley, and Representatives Tulsi Gabbard, Pramila Jayapaul, Raul Grijalva and many others have introduced legislation to transition our energy economy off of dangerous fossil fuels to renewable energy.

ACTION ALERT: Help Hurricane Recovery Efforts; Condemn Trump's Denial of Climate Change (Reggie James / Sierra Club & Amanda Terkel / The Huffington Post & Petition / The Daily Kos)
Commentary: Our hearts are with those in Texas and Louisiana whose lives were affected by this horrific disaster. Meanwhile, for Donald Trump, Hurricane Harvey proved a golden opportunity to promote himself. Nearly every chance he gets, Trump brags about the size of his hurricane. He has repeatedly worn his own campaign merchandise (which is on sale at his website) to Hurricane Harvey events. Trump made no mention of the dead, suffering or displaced nor did he express any sympathy for them.

US Launches Missile Intercept Test; Calls for Bombing in the Waters Off Hawaii (Missile Defense Agency News & William Cole / Honolulu Star-Advertiser & Jessica Else / The Garden Island)
The Missile Defense Agency and US Navy sailors aboard the USS John Paul Jones successfully conducted a missile defense flight test during a test off the coast of Hawaii. The US missile successfully intercept a medium-range ballistic missile using SM-6 guided missile. Meanwhile, the National Marine Fisheries Service has approved a five-year USAF plan for bombing practice at sea off Kauai. The munitions used are expected to increase impacts on whales and dolphins in the local waters.

Fool's Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan (Book Review by Justin Raimondo / AntiWar.com)
After 16 years of writing about it, I thought I knew a lot about the war in Afghanistan, but Scott Horton's new book, "Fool's Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan," revealed how much I didn't know. Did you know that the Taliban tried desperately to surrender, offering to turn over Osama bin Laden to the country of Washington's choice -- but that George W. Bush would have none of it? In July 2001, the Taliban warned the White House that an attack on US soil was coming. The Bush team ignored the warning.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Pentagon's THAAD Base in South Korea
As residents of South Korea, the United States and the world, we are united in our fervent desire for a peaceful, just resolution of the extremely dangerous conflict on the Korean peninsula. We urge President Trump and President Moon to begin diplomatic dialogue with North Korea by freezing the upcoming US/South Korean military exercises in exchange for a freeze of North Korea's nuclear and missile testing.

2017 NoWar Conference Will Feature Powerful Film on What War Does to the Earth (David Swanson / Talk Nation Radio & Scarred Lands Film.com)
Alice and Lincoln Day have produced an amazing film about the impact of war on the natural environment, which fits perfectly with World Beyond War's upcoming conference on that theme. "Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives" was produced between 2006 and 2007 in Australia, California, Vermont, Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia. The film will be screened at the 2017 No War Conference set for September 22-25 at the American University in Washington DC. (See event details below.)

US Airstrikes Are Wiping Out Entire Families in Yemen and Syria: UN Asks for War Crimes Investigation (Darius Shahtahmasebi / The AntiMedia & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Bethan McKernan / The Independent & United Nations Human Rights Council)
In June, UN war crimes investigators warned that US attacks in Raqqa killed 300 civilians in a seven-day period. The terror in Syria is not taking place in isolation. The US is delivering this disturbing criminality all over the world. In Yemen, the Saudi-led coalition -- which is armed, trained, and protected by the US and Britain -- is doing the exact same thing. Almost 60 rights groups recently have demanded the UN investigate human rights abuses and possible war crimes in war-torn country.

ACTION ALERT: Endorse the Petition For Diplomatic Solution to US-Korea Clash (Appeal of Abolition 2000 )
The escalating tensions and threat of military conflict over North Korea's nuclear and missile capabilities make a diplomatic solution of vital importance and the highest priority. The increasing risk of war -- and possibly even the use of nuclear weapons by miscalculation, accident, or intent -- is frightening. An international campaign is insisting that US legislators must call on President Trump to step back from the nuclear brink following his threats to unleash 'fire and fury' on North Korea.

ACTION ALERT: Help Move Your Government To Ratify the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty (Abolition 2000)
Democracy broke out at the UN this summer when 122 nations working closely with Civil Society adopted a treaty to ban nuclear weapons on July 7, 2017 after three weeks of negotiations; mandated by the UN General Assembly. For the first time in history; nuclear weapons will be ruled unlawful and prohibited; just as the world has done for other weapons of mass destruction such as biological and chemical weapons.

Can the US and North Korea Move From Threats to Negotiations? (Gareth Porter / AntiWar.com & Julian Borger / The Guardian)
The Trump administration and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have each made a series of moves that have appeared to take them ever closer to war. The US and the South Korean military war plan for the Korean Peninsula, OPLAN 5015, calls for surgical strikes on North Korea's nuclear and missiles sites and command-and-control facilities, as well as "decapitation" raids by Special Forces to take out senior North Korean leaders. But a closer review reveals that both sides are maneuvering for extended negotiations on a new framework for peace on the Korean peninsula. The Trump administration is well aware that it has no real military option against the North.

Arms Bazaar: Needs Wars, Eats Lives (Paul Rogers / Open Democracy)
Commentary: It seems to be business as usual in the worldwide "war on terror". The United States military is currently embroiled in many hotspots where violence, fear, and the ever-present reality or threat of high explosive are the order of the day. Those conditions mean, for people at the sharp end, multiple distress. But for suppliers of weapons and military equipment, the good times -- which never really went away -- are back.

Jeff Sessions Reveals Deadly Misunderstanding (Alan Pyke / ThinkProgress)
Attorney General Jeff Sessions struck a new blow in his war against police reform by backing Donald Trump's plan to increase local cops' access to military hardware designed for war zones. The long-predicted move will put grenade launchers and bayonets back on small-town police department shopping lists. In a speech riddled with falsehoods, Sessions' explanation of the thinking behind Trump's move was a bizarre and unsubstantiated claim that police reform is somehow harmful to public safety.

NRA's Video Message to 'Elites': 'We're Coming for You' (Lisa Marie Pane / Associated Press)
Emboldened by the Trump White House, the NRA has begun a campaign against laws and liberal forces bent on undoing the progress it's made -- and the political powerhouse is resorting to language that some believe could incite violence. the NRA has put out a series of videos that announce a "shot across the bow," and say the gun-rights group is "coming for you" and that "elites . . . threaten our very survival," terms that suggest opponents are enemy combatants.

Trump Orders Police to Confront American People with Bayonets, Grenade Launchers, Tanks (Ryan J. Reilly / The Huffington Post)
Donald Trump has announced plans to sign an executive order repealing limits placed militarizing America's domestic police forces. Barack Obama installed these limits in 2015 in response to the August 2014 unrest in Ferguson, Mo., where St. Louis County Police officers atop armored vehicles pointed sniper rifles at peaceful demonstrators in broad daylight. A Justice Department report found that these highly militarized police actions "inflamed tensions" and violated constitutional rights.

How Climate Change Likely Heightened Hurricane Harvey's Fury (Craig Welch / The National Geographic & Michael E Mann / The Guardian)
While scientists maintain that no single weather event can be solely attributed to climate change, two centuries of fossil-fuel burning has altered temperatures enough to almost certainly make hurricanes worse. And there is another way that oil exploitation has led to increased coastal flooding. Some sea level rise attributed to climate change actually is due to coastal subsidence caused by activities such as oil drilling, which has cause some coastal lands to sink more than 6 inches over the past few decades.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress to End the War in Afghanistan And Stop Supplying the Taliban with US Military Equipment (ActionNetwork & The Daily Kos & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Shawn Snow / The Army Times)
On August 21, Donald Trump announced that he would expand military engagement in the Pentagon's intractable, unwinnable 16-year Afghan war. In addition to risking more lives, Trump's decision also means inadvertently arming the Taliban. Over the years, armored vehicles, night vision devices, M-4s, laser illuminators and scoped optics have all found their way into Taliban hands. And at times the US has been forced to combat its own armored vehicles and weapons.

Billionaire Koch Brothers Bankrolling Plans to Rewrite the US Constitution (The Democratic Legislative Committee & The International Business Times)
According to a new report, right-wing groups funded by the Koch brothers, a pair of billionaire oil barons, are pushing legislation calling for a constitutional convention in more than 30 states. If the Kochs' GOP allies gain control of just two more state legislatures, they'll win the power to unilaterally call a convention to re-write our constitution -- without a single Democratic vote.

Trump Administration Declares War on Bears -- Cubs Included (Charles P. Pierce / Esquire Magazine)
It appears that the US Department of the Interior has decided to turn the National Parks into free-fire zones, the equivalent of taxpayer-funded game ranches similar to the one at which Dick Cheney once ventilated his friend's face. Under a new Trump administration bill, the National Park Service would be prevented from regulating the hunting of bears and wolves in Alaska wildlife preserves, including the practice of killing bear cubs in their dens.

Toxic Armories: National Guard Inaction Exposes Communities to Lead Poisoning (Rob Davis / The Oregonian)
An award-winning four-part series reveals the disturbing extent of neighborhood lead pollution from National Guard sites across the US. An 18-month investigation has revealed that hundreds of armories were routinely contaminated by dangerous amounts of lead dust. In two Oregon armories, parents unwittingly let infants play on neurotoxin blanketed floors with lead levels 10 times higher than the federal safety standard. The Pentagon knew about the danger for nearly two decades but failed to address the problem.

Domestic Terrorists vs Islamic Terrorists: An Accounting (David Neiwert / Reveal and The Investigative Fund)
An early high-water mark of Donald Trump's presidency came Feb. 28, with his first address to Congress. Midway through the speech, the new president turned to national security: "We are also taking strong measures to protect our nation from" -- and here he paused for emphasis -- "radical Islamic terrorism." But the inconvenient fact is that episodes of far-right violent extremism are far more common inside the US. From January 2008 to the end of 2016, there were nearly twice as many incidents of rightwing violence.

Hurricane Harvey Triggers Chemical Clouds over Houston: Climate Deniers Close Ranks (The New Republic & Ellie Shechet / The Slot)
There are huge public health risks from pollution releases during any hurricane, but the risk is particularly high with Harvey. The plants in the area hit directly by the storm "are responsible for roughly 25 percent of the United States' petroleum refining, more than 44 percent of its ethylene production, 40 percent of its specialty chemical feed stock and more than half of its jet fuel."

The Uninhabitable Earth: Climate Change Could Trigger Famine and Economic Collapse Sooner Than You Think (David Wallace-Wells / New York Magazine)
Commentary: If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible, even within the lifetime of a teenager today. It is, I promise, worse than you think. Absent a significant adjustment to how billions of humans conduct their lives, parts of the Earth will likely become close to uninhabitable, and other parts horrifically inhospitable, as soon as the end of this century.

When Climate Change Starts Wars (John Wendle / Nautilus Magazine)
The American Meteorological Society has reported that the warming rate in Central Asia has been twice the average global warming rate over the same period, and larger than any previous decade. As the region heats up, it faces increasing political instability and violence. Violent ethnic disputes over natural resources make armed conflict as a result of climate change more likely in a region that has seen hundreds killed in two pogroms over the past 27 years, in part fueled by fights over territory and water.

Uninhabitable Planet: Humanity Is Getting Very Close to Extinction (Nathan Curry / VICE )
Commentary: With "Doomsday Preppers" the highest-rated show on the National Geographic Channel, the general public seems to be getting ready for societal collapse. Recent climate data suggest we may have already tripped several irrevocable, positive feedback loops -- as temperatures soar, the permafrost is melting, arctic ice is falling into the sea. The link between climate change and human extinction is basically this: the planet becomes uninhabitable for humans if the average temperature goes up by 4° to 6°C.

7 Reasons We Face a Global Water Crisis (Leah Schleifer / World Resources Institute & EcoWatch)
Droughts in Somalia. Water rationing in Rome. Flooding in Jakarta. It doesn't take a hydrologist to realize that there is a growing global water crisis. In August, water experts, industry innovators and researchers gathered in Stockholm to address our most pressing water issues. Climate change is warming the planet, making the planet's hottest regions even more scorching as clouds are driven from the equator and toward the poles At the same time, 21 million people worldwide are at risk of historic, and cataclysmic flooding.

New Zealanders Demand Inquiry into Afghan Civilian Deaths During 2010 SAS Raid (TVNZ & Stuff & Radio New Zealand)
Protesters from New Zealand's Hit & Run Campaign have held a commemoration at the Wellington Cenotaph, demanding an independent inquiry into claims that Afghan villagers were killed or injured in the August 2010 raids led by the New Zealand SAS.

Warming Arctic Spurs Battles for Riches, Shipping Routes (Frank Jordan / Associated Press)
As climate change pushes the cold and ice a little farther north each year, it is spurring talk of a gold rush for the Arctic's abundant natural resources, prized shipping routes and business opportunities in tourism and fishing. The Arctic, including the fabled Northwest Passage between the Atlantic and the Pacific, is among the last regions on earth to remain largely unexplored. In April, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to reverse Obama-era restrictions on oil drilling.

Weapons Money Intended For Economic Development Being Secretly Diverted to Lobbying (Alex Emmons / The Intercept)
According to emails obtained by The Intercept, the United Arab Emirates has created a "slush fund" using money meant for domestic economic development projects and funneled it to a high-profile think tank in the US. When a country buys weapons from a firm overseas, it pumps a large amount of money out of its economy, instead of investing in its own defense industry or in other domestic projects. So to make large weapons deals more attractive, arms companies offer programs to "offset" that effect.

US Ignores UN Pleas, Continues Bombing Raqqa; US Troops Accused of Executing Children in Somalia (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Al Jazeera)
US and Somali troops attacked a farming village early Friday morning, capturing a group of ten civilians -- including three children -- and summarily executed them one at a time. US African Command confirmed that US troops were involved in the assault. Meanwhile, the soaring civilian death toll form US airstrikes against the ISIS capital city of Raqqa has gotten so bad that the US issued a formal appeal to Washington to halt the attacks and allow civilians to flee. The Trump administration shruged off the request.

US Ignores UN Pleas, Continues Bombing Raqqa; US Troops Accused of Executing Children in Somalia Raid (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Al Jazeera)
US and Somali troops attacked a farming village early Friday morning, capturing a group of ten civilians -- including three children -- and summarily executed them one at a time. US African Command confirmed that US troops were involved in the assault. Meanwhile, the soaring civilian death toll form US airstrikes against the ISIS capital city of Raqqa has gotten so bad that the US issued a formal appeal to Washington to halt the attacks and allow civilians to flee. The Trump administration shruged off the request.

UN Panel Condemns Trump's Response to Racism (Marina Fang / The Huffington Post & UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination)
The United Nations' Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has released an unusually strong warning criticizing "the failure of the highest political level of the United States of America to unequivocally reject" racism.

US Elections Ranked Worst in World (Pippa Norris / FairVote)
As one of the oldest democracies, Americans often like to think that the US provides an influential role model for how elections should be run in other countries. At the same time, a long series of vulnerabilities in the conduct of US elections was documented by the 2014 report of the bipartisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration. In addition, there is systematic evidence that US elections are so flawed that the US now rates poorly compared with other long-standing democracies worldwide.

Mercenaries"R"Us: Blackwater's Eric Prince Pushes to Privatize US Wars (Derek Royden / Nation of Change)
The heir to a billion dollar auto parts empire, Blackwater's Eric Prince has argued that the US "can 'restructure' the war, similar to bankruptcy reorganization. By aligning US efforts under a presidential envoy" who would head a mercenary army to attain a "self-supporting Afghanistan." Turning over operations to a for-profit army, Prince argues, could cut 80% of the current billions the Pentagon has been spending annually to win a war that has dragged on for more thant16 unwindable years.

Trump's Attorney Attempts to Bankrupt Greenpeace with $300 Million Lawsuit over Pipeline (Steve Horn / The DeSmog Blog)
The owners of the Dakota Access pipeline have hired Marc Kasowitz, Donald Trump's personal attorney, to file a $300 million Racketeering lawsuit against Greenpeace and other environmental groups to punish them for their active opposition to the long-contested North Dakota-to-Illinois oil-transfer project. Kasowitz' complaint charges that the actions of "putative not-for-profits and rogue eco-terrorist groups" have caused the company to lose "billions of dollars" in potential revenue.

The Conflict in Afghanistan Is Trump's War Now (Andrew J. Bacevich / Los Angeles Times & Daniel Larison / The American Conservative & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Steven Shepard / Politico.com)
The main effect of the ongoing war on terrorism has been to exacerbate the problem that it purports to solve. Trump has defined the mission as "killing terrorists" (which guarantees that more terrorists will be created and ensures the mission will never end). There have been higher numbers of civilian casualties in Iraq and Syria since Trump took office, and his statement that he "lifted restrictions the previous administration placed on our warfighters" promises that the same will happen in Afghanistan.

US Airstrikes Kill More that 100 Civilians in Syria; Women, Children Die (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Samuel Osborne / The Independent & Suleiman Al-Khalidi / Reuters)
US-led coalition air strikes killed at least 42 civilians after targeting densely-populated neighborhoods in the city of Raqqa. The victims included 19 children and 12 women. More than 170 civilians have been killed by US-led strikes on Islamic State in Raqqa city in the past week. The United Nations estimates there are up to 25,000 civilians trapped inside the city, with food and fuel supplies running short.

US-backed Saudis Kill 60 in Hotel Bombing; UN Official Slams Saudis for Blocking Aid to Yemen (Bethan McKernan / The Independent & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)
Riyadh has been repeatedly criticised for causing unnecessary loss of life in its two-and-half-year air campaign to oust Shia rebels from the Yemeni capital of Sanaa. In the latest outrage, Saudi-led coalition air strikes near the Yemeni capital destroyed a hotel, killing an estimated 60 people and injured 13. Air strikes have also been known to hit hospitals and other vital civilian infrastructure. The bombing of a funeral gathering mistaken for a military target killed 140 people in October last year.

Trump's Afghanistan 'Unstrategy': Continue to Fight and Call It 'Victory' (Spencer Ackerman / The Daily Beast)
Commentary: "Donald Trump took ownership of the Afghanistan war with an incoherent strategy that combined maximal promises with uncertain commitments of blood and treasure to achieve them. The president announced he's going to dispatch more troops to die in Afghanistan -- without a coherent plan for what those young men and women might give their lives for. All Trump is doing is ordering US troops -- and Afghan civilians -- to their deaths for the latest installment of an open-ended mission."

An inconvenient Truth: The Taliban Tried to Surrender, the US Said No. (Ryan Grim / Action Network & Jeremy Scahill / The Intercept)
Shortly after the US invaded Afghanistan, the Taliban tried to surrender. But the US said "No way." Only full annihilation was enough for the Bush administration. They wanted more terrorists in body bags. The problem was that the Taliban had stopped fighting (having either fled to Pakistan or put down their weapons and gone back to civilian life) while Al Qaeda was down to a handful of members. So Afghans that the US worked with solved the problem by fabricating bad guys; labelling innocent people as "Taliban."

The Afghan War Lies Trump Will Tell (The White House & Matt Hoh / Common Dreams)
Commentary: Speaking of the decision to escalate the failed strategies of the 16-year war in Afghanistan, the White House stated: "President Trump's top priority remains . . . protecting the American people." But critics note that "there has never been progress by the US military in Afghanistan." The only "winners" have been the US military contractors, Afghan drug barons, and US allies in the Afghan government, militias and security forces. Most Afghans have only known suffering and destruction.

Trump's Wink and Nod toward White Supremacists Ensures There Will Be More Blood (Bill Berkowitz for Buzzflash at Truthout)
May 10, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI issued a Joint Intelligence Bulletin that surveyed white extremist violence between the years 2000 to 2016. The report declared that "lone actors and small cells within the white supremacist extremist (WSE) movement likely will continue to pose a threat of lethal violence over the next year." What the report did not anticipate were "United the Right" rallies like the one in Charlottesville, Virginia, which resulted in the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer.

Climate Migrants to Soar but Wind and Solar Could Save Lives and Money (Baher Kamal / Nation of Change & Marlee Kokotovic / Nation of Change)
Imagine a world with as many as one billion people facing harsh climate change impacts resulting in devastating droughts and/or floods, extreme weather, destruction of natural resources, in particular lands, soils and water, and the consequence of severe livelihoods conditions, famine and starvation. The proven speed with which the process of climate change has been taking place, might lead to such a scenario by 2050. If so, 1 in 9 human beings would be on the move by then. Wind and solar could save lives.

North Korea Warns Provocative US Military Exercise Risks Nuclear War (Oren Dorell / USA TODAY & Andrew Cockburn / TruthDig)
North Korea warned Sunday that the joint US-South Korean military exercises set to start Monday will be "adding fuel to the fire" of already heightened tensions with the United States and its allies. An editorial in North Korea's Rodong Sinmun newspaper described the annual military drill as "reckless behavior driving the situation into the uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war" because "no one can guarantee that the exercise won't evolve into actual fighting."

ACTION ALERT: Trump Rejects National Climate Report, Silences 50 Climate Experts (The Conversation / EcoWatch.org & CREDO Action)
Commentary & Analysis: A scientific report done every four years has been thrust into the spotlight because its findings directly contradict statements from the president and various cabinet officials. If the Trump administration chooses to reject the pending national Climate Science Special Report, it would be more damaging than pulling the US out of the Paris agreement. Censoring experts for doing their jobs is an abuse of authority.

Trump's EPA Budget Cuts Slow Uranium Cleanup in Navajo Nation (Autumn Spanne / Reveal News (The Center for Investigative Journalism))
More than 500 abandoned Cold War uranium mines remain near the Navajo reservation, now home to about 175,000 people. Thousands of these families unwittingly used water from contaminated wells and springs to drink, bathe, hydrate their livestock and irrigate their gardens. Now, EPA head Scott Pruitt has proposed a 30 percent reduction in grants to fund tribes' environmental protection and a 30 percent cut to the Superfund program that funds cleanups of the nation's most toxic sites.

Dick Gregory, 'Presente': Comedian, Civil Rights Activist Dies (Daisy Nguyen / Associated Press)
Dick Gregory, the comedian and activist and who broke racial barriers in the 1960s and used his humor to spread messages of social justice and nutritional health, has died. Gregory rose from an impoverished childhood in St. Louis to win a college track scholarship and become a celebrated satirist who deftly commented upon racial divisions at the dawn of the civil rights movement. He was 84.

War on the Biosphere: Trump Disbands Climate Committee (Chas Danner / New York Magazine & The Independent)
In yet another move that indicates the White House does not take the threat of climate change seriously, the Trump administration has disbanded a federal advisory panel that worked to translate the government's climate data into insight for policymakers and the private sector. The 15-member Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment was tasked with helping public and private-sector officials integrate the findings of the National Climate Assessment into their long-term planning.

Nations Must Reject Washington's Venezuela Invasion Plans at UN Session (Earl Bousquet / teleSURtv)
Venezuela is most likely headed for the UN Security Council's agenda as the White House seeks to ratchet-up global action. Having failed to excite or influence Latin American and Caribbean neighbors to gang-up collectively against Caracas, Washington is now placing its bets on mobilizing international action through the United Nations ahead of very possibly marching US troops in urgent fury into Venezuela.

War May Be the Next Big Venture on Trump's Agenda (Adria Vasil Interviews Naomi Klein / Now Toronto)
Toronto-based activist and journalist Naomi Klein takes on corporate media's (and her own) Donald Trump addiction, the repercussions of Trudeau's arms build-up, and how NDP leadership contenders are missing a Bernie Sanders-style opportunity. Meanwhile, corporate CEOs, billionaires and bankers busily are quietly using the cover of endless crises in American politics to launch a coup of their own against the welfare state.

The Connection Between US Training and Military Coups (Jesse Dillon Savage and Jonathan Caverley / War on the Rocks)
Favoring the military over alternative tools of US foreign policy remains one of the few consistencies within the current administration. Internal documents have proposed folding USAID into the State Department and "zeroing" out development assistance programs that do not advance specific US political or strategic objectives. A third of all US foreign aid funds, $17 billion, goes towards military aid and security assistance, making it on its own the fourth-largest foreign aid budget in the world.

North Korea Calls Off Missile Launch: US Prepares to Launch "Military Exercise" Aimed at the North (AntiWar.com & Reuters & USA Today)
The North Korean government has decided to exercise restraint with a recent announcement that it won't test-fire ballistic missiles near Guam at this time. Instead, a North Korean statement said Kim Jong Un would observe what it called 'foolish and stupid conduct' of the US before deciding whether to order the missiles fired. In response, the US plans to deploy 20,000 troops in a provocative US/South Korean military exercise aimed at toppling the North Korean regime.

China, Russia Offer 'Freeze for Freeze' Peace Plan for Korea: US Responds with Massive Military Exercise (The Associated Press & Stuart Leavenworth / The Charelotte Observer)
America's annual joint military exercises with South Korea always frustrate North Korea. Following Donald Trump's ominous "fire and fury" threat, the war games --set to begin Monday -- hold more potential to provoke than ever. Meanwhile, Steve Bannon told the American Prospect that Washington might consider a "freeze-for-freeze" deal in which North Korea suspends its nuclear buildup with verifiable inspections and, in exchange, the US removes its troops from the peninsula.

Is Trump Fit? Congresswomen Calls for Medical/Mental Examination (Casey Tolan / Bay Area News Group & Bill Curry / Salon & )
Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) has introduced a congressional resolution urging President Donald Trump to undergo a medical and psychiatric examination to determine if he should be removed from office. Over time, says one observer, Trump's mental health has seemed to decline as "he threw more and bigger public tantrums; lied more often and less artfully." Trump doesn't like being forced to denounce racism for the very simple reason that he himself is, and always has been, a racist.

Welcome to the Post-American World (Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch )
Commentary: If you want a personal gauge of American decline, consider this: barely half a year into office, Donald J. Trump is already threatening to launch a nuclear war and exploring whether he has the power not just to pardon aides, friends, and family, but himself in case of future convictions. With the previous decade and a half in mind, here's a question for you: Pardon me, but even if he pardons himself, who's going to pardon the rest of us?

ACTION ALERT: Don't Pay for War! Support H. R. 1947 (The Acton Network and World Beyond War)
People who oppose war, regardless of their religion or lack thereof, must have the right to direct their tax dollars to peaceful initiatives and not to war or preparations for war. We ask you to ensure that tax laws respect this right of conscientious objection. H.R. 1947, the "Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Act of 2017," would legalize conscientious tax refusal. If a citizen believes "Thou Shalt Not Kill," he or she should be should be able to argue "Thou Shalt Not Pay" for war and preparations for war.

Authors Confront the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza (Rose Aguilar and Malhe Razazan / Your Call Radio & the Kirkus Review)
June 2017 marked the 50th anniversary of the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. After visiting the occupied territories, renowned novelists and essayists Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman marked the anniversary by inviting international writers to bear witness to the human cost the Israeli occupation. They appeared on KALX's Your Call radio to talk about their new book, Kingdom of Olives and Ash: Writers Confront the Occupation.

Peace Volunteers Pave Way for Palestinian Homecoming After 20-year Displacement (Jim Haber / Waging Peace)
A new project in the rural hills of the West Bank, called Sumud: Freedom Camp, is the latest sign of a resurgence of strategic, nonviolent organizing in Palestine that is creating strong bonds between Palestinians and Jewish activists from Israel and around the world. I traveled to Palestine in May with a delegation organized by the Center for Jewish Nonviolence to help a unique coalition of Palestinians, Israelis, Jews and international justice seekers standing in solidarity with the village of Sarura.

No More Separation of Church and State: White House Announces Bible Study Group (Bill Berkowitz / Buzzflash at TruthOut & Moises Velasquez-Manoff / The New York Times)
What could be more Trump-esque than for Pastor Ralph Drollinger, a controversial, homophobic, climate change denying, anti-Catholic pastor, who once claimed that mothers do not belong in state office, to lead a White House Bible Study Group among executive cabinet members -- for the first time in at least 100 years. Are there effective strategies for dealing with the resurgent far-right? A small town in Germany has found a way to deal with neo-Nazis -- with "humorous subversion."

UN Report: Saudis Killed 502 Children in Yemen in Past Year (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Khalid Alokozay and Fahim Abedaug / The New York Times)
A Saudi-led military coalition conducting airstrikes in Yemen committed "grave violations" of human rights against children last year, killing 502, injuring 838, according to a draft report by the UN Secretary General António Guterres. "The killing and maiming of children remained the most prevalent violation" of children's rights in Yemen, according to the 41-page draft report obtained by Foreign Policy.

South Korea's President Moon Rules Out War on Korean Peninsula (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Al Jazeera & Edith M. Lederer /Associated Press)
Marking his 100th day in office, South Korea's President Moon Jae-in appears to be increasingly assertive, flat out ruling out any war on the Korean Peninsula in comments today, and reiterating that dialogue must resume at some point. Moon insists that he has absolute right to veto any US military action against North Korea -- and intends to do so. For its part, North Korea warned that it will never put its nuclear weapons program on the negotiating table as long as the US keeps up its "hostile policy and nuclear threat."

US Forces to Stay in Syria for 'Decades' (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & John Davison / Reuters)
Pentagon officials have been pretty clear about their intention of keeping troops in Iraq more or less forever. The plans for Syria, however, have been far less public, mostly owing to the fact that US troops are there without the approval of the Syrian government.

US Drone Strikes in the Philippines Would Be a Massive Mistake (A. Trevor Thrall and Erik Goepner / The Cato Institute & The Washington Post )
The United States is on the verge of carrying out military operations in yet another country as part of the war on terrorism. The Philippines -- specifically the southern island of Mindanao -- may soon become the latest target of the world's busiest and most powerful military. But conducting drone strikes in the Philippines would be a serious mistake because it would further erode America's moral credibility by putting US firepower in the service of Rodrigo Duterte's thuggish regime.

A Memo to Donald Trump on the Nuclear Threat (Elliott Negin / Catalyst Magazine, Union of Concerned Scientists)
Comments by the Trump administration seem to be encouraging a new arms race. We have a president who has made some deeply disturbing comments about nuclear weapons. During last year's presidential campaign, candidate Donald Trump repeatedly said it was important to be "unpredictable" about whether the United States would use nuclear weapons. As a review of US nuclear weapons policy gets under way, UCS recommends several strategies to make us safer.

Former President Jimmy Carter Releases a Statement on North Korea (Jimmy Carter / Fox 5)
Historical analysis: "In June 1994, I met with Kim Il Sung in a time of crisis, when he agreed to put all their nuclear programs under strict supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency and to seek mutual agreement with the United States on a permanent peace treaty, to have summit talks with the president of South Korea, to expedite the recovery of the remains of American service personnel buried in his country, and to take other steps to ease tension on the peninsula."

Who Will Put an End to Donald Trump's Warmongering? (John Cassidy / The New Yorker)
In this mad Presidency, there have been many mad days, but Friday may have been the maddest yet. It began with Donald Trump Tweeting war threat. "Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely." When a reporter asked for a comment to reassure Americans on edge after all the threatening talk, he replied: "Nobody loves a peaceful solution better than President Trump," referring to himself in the third person. He appeared to be thoroughly enjoying himself.

Trump's War on Alaska's Bears Triggers Increase in Orphaned Cubs (Filipa Ioannou / San Francisco Chronicle)
Last year, under President Obama, the US Fish and Wildlife Service put new restrictions on hunting in Alaska's 16 wildlife refuges -- which span more than 76 million acres -- but they were nullified in April by the Trump administration at the urging of the National Rifle Association and other groups. The new rules allow for practices like shooting bears from helicopters and planes. As a result, there has been a disturbing increase in the number of emaciated, orphaned bear cubs.

How War Pollutes the Potomac River (David Swanson and Pat Elder / World Beyond War)
The Pentagon's impact on the river on whose bank it sits is not limited to the impact of global warming and rising oceans (fueled by the military's massive oil consumption). The Pentagon also directly poisons the Potomac River in more ways than almost anyone would imagine. A cruise down the Potomac from its source in the mountains of West Virginia to its mouth at the Chesapeake Bay encompasses six Superfund sites created by the Pentagon's reckless disregard for the Potomac's fragile watershed.

Trump Slashes Science Budgets; EPA Vet Resigns in Dismay (Marla Cone / The Reveal & EcoWatch and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility)
The Trump administration has proposed a series of drastic cuts to science research at federal agencies across the US, with the Environmental Protection Agency slated to bear the brunt. A recent budget proposal aims to eliminate more than $30.6 billion (nearly 21 percent) of research and development funding in fiscal year 2018. Elizabeth Sutherland, a 30-year EPA senior official, has resigned, calling Trump's EPA appointee Scott Pruitt "the leading candidate for worst boss in the world."

A National Calamity in the Making: Provoking a Civil War Could Be Trump's Plan for Seizing Power (Robert Reich / Robert Reich's Blog & Zach D. Roberts / Nation of Change)
The terrorist attack on peaceful counter protesters in Charlottesville was not an isolated incident. The violence is a product of white supremacists and homegrown terrorists. While hateful violence is hardly new to America, never before has a president licensed it as a political strategy. Trump and his consigliere Steve Bannon have been quietly encouraging a civil war between Trump's base of support -- mostly white and worried -- and everyone who's not.

Behind the Battle for a Statue: Robert E. Lee's Conflicted Legacy (Gar Smith / Environmentalists Against War & Harvey Wasserman / Solartopia)
What if these words by Robert E. Lee were added to the monument that bears his name in Charlottesville's Emancipation Park? "So far from engaging in a war to perpetuate slavery, I am rejoiced that Slavery is abolished. I believe it will be greatly for the interest of the South. So fully am I satisfied of this that I would have cheerfully lost all that I have lost by the war, and have suffered all that I have suffered to have this object attained." Still, while Lee could be gracious and chivalrous, his core was medieval.

Trump's War on AlaskaBears Triggers Increase in Orphaned Cubs

Fake News: Korea Can't Strike US Despite Corporate Media's Claims (Paul Gottinger / Reader Supported News)
North Korea's missile tests on July 3 and July 28 were described as successful tests of an intercontinental ballistic missile that put much of the US in range of a strike. Hawkish "experts" immediately claimed the missile tests proved Pyongyang can now strike the US. The corporate media's hyping of the "threat" began pushing the country toward a catastrophic war as Americans were warned how to "prepare" for a nuclear strike -- by covering their heads during the blast and taking showers afterwards! But it was all fake news.

ACTION ALERT: A Peace Monument for Charlottesville and Nine Truths (David Swanson / World Beyond War)
Charlottesville has three Confederate war monuments, one WW I monument and one Vietnam War monument. RootsAction.org, World Beyond War, Pax Christi Charlottesville, Amnesty International Charlottesville, and the Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice are proposing creation of a monument to peace. A peace pole is one easy -- and widely recognized -- way to mark a public interest in nonviolence. Note: Armed attacks with fists and clubs are not covered by the First Amendment.

ACTION ALERT: Charlottesville: Actions and Reactions (NationAction & Collier Meyerson / The Nation & Peter Rothberg / The Nation)
This weekend was heartbreaking. White nationalists descended on the community of Charlottesville, Virginia, with a message of hatred, racism, anti-Semitism, and terrorism. Heather Heyer, one of the brave protesters fighting back, was killed and 19 others were injured when a white supremacist plowed his car into a crowd of demonstrators. Join the continuing fight against the hatred on display this weekend and too often throughout our nation's history.

Charlottesville: Responding to Violence with Positive Action (US Senator Jeff Merkley & Tom Perriello / Slate & Josh Levin / Slate)
Senator Merkley: "It is time that every American denounces racism, anti-Semitism, bigotry, and violence. We need to have some hard conversations with our family and friends of all political leanings about why the hateful ideology on display in Charlottesville takes root in America, and how we can do better."

ACTION ALERT: Stand in Solidarity with Charlottesville -- Find an Event Tonight (Barbara Lee / US House of Representatives & Indivisible & Robert Weissman / Public Citizen & Monique Teal / Daily Kos & Will Fischer / VoteVets & Dan Cantor / Working Families Party )
This weekend, hate groups and domestic terrorists of all stripes went to Charlottesville, VA to push their hateful message of white supremacy, fascism, anti-Semitism, and bigotry. Tonight and tomorrow, Indivisible groups, along with our friends at many other organizations will come together in solidarity with our brave friends in Charlottesville who put themselves at risk to fight against white supremacy. Attend an event in your community to show that you're standing with Charlottesville.

Trump's Speech Fails to Condemn Violence of his Alt-Right Supporters (David Boddiger / SplinterNers & Al Jazeera & Sarah Wildman / Vox)
Commentaries: "Whether or not President Trump is a straight-up racist or simply doesn't want to alienate his white supremacist base no longer matters. Because his response to Saturday's domestic terrorist attack that killed at least one person and injured 19 others leaves no doubt about which side he is on." "We are seeing the beginning of white supremacist movement in the US." In Warsaw, Poland, Donald Trump issued a battle cry that resorted to rhetorical conceits typically used by the European and US alt-right.

Confronting White Supremacy and Hate: A Personal Report from Charlottesville (Helena Cobban / Just World Educational)
This weekend, for the third time this year, our home-city of Charlottesville has been the target of a campaign by leaders of the hate-filled "Alt-Rights" and their associates to claim the space of this city as their own. Yesterday, one of their apparent supporters, who had driven here from Ohio, plowed his car into a group of anti-hate protesters very near to the downtown mall that is the heart of our city, killing one woman (32-year-old Heather Heyer) and injuring more than a dozen others.

Is Trump's Ill-considered Threat to Nuke North Korea Just Another Diversion? (Marc Ash / Reader Supported News)
Analysis: Donald Trump's outrageously irresponsible remarks threatening unspecified military action against North Korea belie a far more complex military and geopolitical reality. North Korea may be "isolated" politically and economically, but the Hermit Kingdom sits in a very crowded and strategically sensitive neighborhood -- sandwiched between two superpowers, China and Russia. A nuclear option is so implausible that it seems more likely that the implied threat is merely Trump's latest diversionary tactic.

US Airstrikes Kill More Civilians in Afghanistan (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Khalid Alokozay and Fahim Abedaug / The New York Times)
Afghan officials today confirmed that US airstrikes targeted and killed at least 16 civilians, mostly women and children, in the eastern Nangarhar Province, targeting the civilians as they tried to flee out of an ISIS-held district where heavy fighting has been ongoing.

Thousands Have Died Due to Saudi's Closure of Yemen's Airport (Al Jazeera)
The Norwegian Refugee Council reports at least 10,000 people have died in Yemen as a result of the Saudi-led coalition's closure of Sanaa airport a year ago. The rights group joined 14 other aid organisations that called on warring parties in Yemen to reopen the country's main airport. "Without access to safe, commercial travel, Yemenis are left with no way to access critical medical care. The result is devastating. Thousands of women, men and children who could have been saved lost their lives."

Washington's Long History of Attacking North Korea (Sheldon Richman / The Libertarian Institute)
The North Korean people have seen their share of "fire and fury" at the hands of the US military. Almost 70 years ago, Harry Truman unleashed America's savage vengeance during the Korean War. More napalm was dropped on Korea than on Vietnam and with much more devastating effect. Gen. MacArthur called the US destruction of North Korea's targeted cities and populations "a slaughter such as I have never heard of in the history of mankind."

Trump's Solution to Climate Change: Ban the Term (Bill McKibben / The Guardian)
In a bold new strategy, the US Department of Agriculture -- guardians of the planet's richest farmlands -- has decided to combat the threat of global warming by forbidding its employees from using the words. Under guidance from the USDA's director of soil health, Bianca Moebius-Clune, a list of phrases to be avoided includes "climate change" and "climate change adaptation." Instead, the USDA's staff has been ordered to only use the phrases "weather extremes" and "resilience to weather extremes."

Trump's Speech Fails to Condemn Violence of his Alt-Right Supporters (David Boddiger / SplinterNers & Al Jazeera & Sarah Wildman / Vox)
Commentaries: "Whether or not President Trump is a straight-up racist or simply doesn't want to alienate his white supremacist base no longer matters. Because his response to Saturday's domestic terrorist attack that killed at least one person and injured 19 others leaves no doubt about which side he is on." "We are seeing the beginning of white supremacist movement in the US." In Warsaw, Poland, Donald Trump issued a battle cry that resorted to rhetorical conceits typically used by the European and US alt-right.

Confronting White Supremacy and Hate: A Personal Report from Charlottesville (Helena Cobban / Just World Educational)
This weekend, for the third time this year, our home-city of Charlottesville has been the target of a campaign by leaders of the hate-filled "Alt-Rights" and their associates to claim the space of this city as their own. Yesterday, one of their apparent supporters, who had driven here from Ohio, plowed his car into a group of anti-hate protesters very near to the downtown mall that is the heart of our city, killing one woman (32-year-old Heather Heyer) and injuring more than a dozen others.

ACTION ALERT: Don't Let Trump Start a Nuclear War (Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan / Democracy Now! & Harvey Wasserman / Solartopia)
Donald Trump threatened nuclear war this week, just six months into his presidency. The US nuclear system was already dangerous, irresponsible, insane. It can only get worse with Trump holding his finger on the trigger. Words matter. This is how wars start. Richard Nixon was the last president to seriously threaten the use of nuclear weapons. The only reason he relented, he explained privately, was that he "feared the response of the global anti-war movement."

ACTION ALERT: Stopping the March to War with North Korea (Will Fischer / VoteVets & CREDO Mobile Petition & Emily Tamkin / Foreign Policy)
The threat of military conflict with North Korea is increasing by the day. This morning, President Trump tweeted that "Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. But what's really missing from this conversation is being bold about diplomatic solutions. Donald Trump currently has the power to launch thousands of nuclear weapons at will. H.R. 669, the Restricting the First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act, would stop Trump from starting a nuclear war.

Take the Nukes Away From the Madman in the White House (Scott Galindez / Reader Supported News)
Commentary: I have always argued that we are hypocrites to say other countries can't have nuclear weapons but we can. People have always said we were not crazy enough to use them. (Um . . . Hiroshima and Nagasaki.) Even if you ignore those bombings, there now is a madman in the White House threatening fire and fury. Kim Jong-un may be a nut job (and the world is a more dangerous place with him in power) but the new problem is Donald Trump -- a nut job with a more dangerous military at his disposal.

ACTION ALERT: Call for Global Action Against Military Bases -- 7 October 2017 (NoDalMolin, CODE PINK & Hambastagi)
Determined activists around the world have been resisting occupation, militarism, and foreign military bases on their lands for decades. These struggles have been courageous and persistent. Let’s unite our resistance into one global action for peace and justice. This fall, during the first week of October, we invite your organization to plan an anti- militarism action in your community as part of the first annual global week of actions against military bases.

A Korean War Would Quickly Escalate -- And Could Go Nuclear (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & David Brunnstrom and John Walcott / Reuters & NBC News)
Former US defense officials and experts warn that any new military conflict with North Korea would almost certainly escalate quickly to the use of nuclear weapons, bringing catastrophic casualties not seen since World War Two and an untold economic impact worldwide. Recent supercharged rhetoric between the unpredictable Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have heightened the risk of miscalculation that could make that nightmare a reality, they say.

Can US Attack North Korea and Claim 'Self Defense'? Congress Cannot Stop Trump from Launching a Nuclear First-strike (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Dan Lamothe / The Washington Post)
The Congressional Research Service states the president "does not need the concurrence of either his military advisors or the US Congress to order the launch of nuclear weapons" [and] "neither the military nor Congress can overrule these orders." Under the War Powers Act, the president need not seek congressional approval until 60 days after the start of a war. Attempts to stop a nuclear attack order until Congress declares war is unlikely to pass with Republicans controlling both chambers of Congress.

North Korea Does Not Trust America for a Pretty Good Reason (Doug Bandow / The National Interest)
North Korea obviously wants to be a nuclear power with the ability to deter the United States. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sought to reassure Pyongyang about America's intentions. Unfortunately, however, Kim Jong-un would be a fool to believe any promises made by Washington. Only actions are likely to convince him. The US routinely runs aircraft carriers along North Korea's coast and flies bombers over North Korea's cities. Kim wants to rule an independent nation, not a de facto PRC province.

Trump White House Weighs Unprecedented Plan to Privatize Much of the War in Afghanistan (Jim Michaels / USA TODAY & Justin Raimondo / AntiWar.com)
Team Trump hopes to privatize healthcare, schools, public utilities, and air traffic control -- so why not war? The plan includes 5,500 private contractors and a 90-plane private air force to provide air support in the nearly 16-year-old war in Afghanistan. One of the biggest winners in this war-profiteering plan is Erik Prince, founder of the controversial Blackwater security firm and the brother of Trump's Education Secretary, Betsy Devos.

A-bomb Anniversary in Nagasaki Amid US-North Korea Tension (Mari Yamaguchi / Associated Press)
Amid growing tension between Washington and North Korea, the mayor of Nagasaki said Wednesday that the fear of another nuclear bomb attack is growing at a ceremony marking the 72nd anniversary of the US atomic bombing of his city. Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue urged nuclear states to abandon such weapons and criticized Japan's government for not taking part in the global effort toward a nuclear ban.

Trump Praises His Powerful Missiles, Mattis Threatens Destruction of North Korea's People, Lockheed Investors Rejoice as Profits Soar (Doina Chiacu / Reuters & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)
Continuing months of war rhetoric, Defense Secretary James Mattis today warned North Korea risks a course of action that "would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people." He insisted North Korea needs to immediately "stand down." The US, of course, has constantly threatened their own preemptive strikes against North Korea for years now, and those threats have only grown. Meanwhile, these rumors of war are a big windfall for the Pentagon's No. 1 arms supplier, Lockheed Martin.

Former US Secretary of Defense Cautions Trump: 'There Is A Deal To Be Made With North Korea' (William J. Perry / The Huffington Post)
The North Korean leaders are not crazy, as some people believe. The North Korean leadership understands that if it launches a nuclear attack, its country will be destroyed. North Korea might agree to a nuclear deal in return for economic concessions from South Korea and security assurances from the US. In fact, they already did -- when they agreed to abandon their nuclear missile program during Bill Clinton's administration. Unfortunately, when George W. Bush became president, he ended the discussions.

Former US Officials Explain Why US Should Get Out of Syria (Oriana Pawlyk / Military.com & David Swanson / World Beyond War )
What's at stake for the US being involved in a conflict that grows more complicated by the day? Everything, said former State Department official Matthew Hoh and former CIA analyst John Kiriakou. US military planes and drones kill a lot of people. Airways has identified thousands of civilian deaths from US and allied airstrikes (4,734 to 7,337 in Syria and Iraq). What purpose is served by US planes over Syria?

ACTION ALERT: Trump Threatens North Korea with "Fire and Fury" (MoveOn.org & The New York Times)
On the anniversary of the US atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Donald Trump apparently has threatened a "fire and fury" nuclear attack on North Korea. Trump is making us more unsafe with every unhinged comment, tweet, and threat. His rhetoric threatening North Korea is exacerbating a dangerous situation, putting everyone around the world in grave danger. While a nuclear North Korea is a real concern, the answer must be diplomacy first, not a rush to a potentially devastating nuclear war.

ACTiON ALERT: Tell Trump to Stop Threatening North Korea: Negotiation, Not Detonation (Roots Action & Nuclear Age Peace Foundation & Medea Benjamin / CODE PINK & Sputnik News & teleSUR & Richard Becker / Global Research & John Laurits / JohnLaurits.com & Jason Le Miere / Newsweek)
Donald Trump claims he has no choice but to threaten North Korea with war -- a war that would prove disastrous to the entire world. Legally, when North Korea tests missiles it breaks no laws. The US tests missiles all the time. But when the US threatens war it commits a grave violation of the law as well as risks getting us all killed. North Korea has repeatedly offered to abandon its nuclear weapons program in exchange for a halt to US/South Korea military exercises. Let's chart a different course before it is too late.

13 US Agencies Confirm Burning Fossil Fuels Is Driving Climate Change and Extreme Weather (Michael Biesecker and Seth Borenstein / Associated Press)
Directly contradicting Donald Trump, a draft report produced by 13 federal agencies concludes that the United States is already feeling the negative impacts of climate change, with a stark increase in the frequency of heat waves, heavy rains and other extreme weather over the last four decades.The report calls the long-term evidence that global warming is being driven by human activities "unambiguous . . . . There are no alternative explanations." Plus: Trump names climate denier to Ag Dept. post.

A Global Resolution on Peace (Peace Now.com)
The Global Resolution supports the Culture of Peace that encourages individuals to become agents of peace and non-violence. We, global citizen signatories from 192 Nations, respectfully call upon the United Nations and all countries to create infrastructures in their governments and in civil society to develop and implement policies, programs and practices that promote, establish, and maintain human and environmental security and justice.

On 72nd A-bomb Anniversary, Hiroshima Highlights Japan's Refusal to Join UN Nuclear Bomb Ban (Sophie Jackman / The Japan Times)
Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui marked the 72nd anniversary of its atomic bombing by calling on the central government to support a treaty banning nuclear weapons. This year's ceremony at Peace Memorial Park near ground zero follows last month's adoption -- by 122 UN members -- of the world's first treaty to comprehensively ban nuclear weapons. But Shinzo Abe, Japan's pro-US leader, has joined forces with the world's nuclear weapon states and refused to participate in the UN treaty.

War Crime: US Airstrikes on Residential District Kills at Least 43 Syrian Civilians (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Xinhua News )
New reports out of the ISIS capital city of Raqqa say US airstrikes hit a number of residential districts in the city over the course of Saturday, killing at least 43 civilians and wounding an unknown, but substantial number of others. There was no obvious specific target for the strikes. A Raqqa-based Red Crescent official report ed that US coalition airstrikes recently had targeted the National Hospital, bombing the hospital's electricity generator and forcing the closure of damaged wards used to treat the injured.

A Conference to End War: Why We Can and Must End Our Greatest Crime (David Swanson / World Beyond War & Thomas Knapp / AntiWar.com)
Following September 1, the International Day of Peace, World Beyond War will host a three-day meeting in Washington DC to address how the antiwar and environmental movements can work together to end war. Since World War II, the US has killed some 20 million people, overthrown at least 36 governments, interfered in at least 82 foreign elections, attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders, and dropped bombs in 30 countries. The US has used "special forces" in two-thirds of the world's countries.

Trump TV: Just like North Korea, Donald Trump Launches His Own State Media (Trump TV & Jake Taper/CNN & Keith Olbermann/ The Closer & Aaron Blake / The Washington Post & Tod Perry / Good Worldwide Inc.)
Commentary: On August 7, the second edition of Trump TV debuted on Facebook with a promise to provide the Real News of the week "from Trump Tower in New York!" In the first 90-second segment, anchor Kayleigh McEnany made a number of questionable claims about Trump's achievements. The Washington Post called the event "a lot like real propaganda -- or state TV." Trump TV is reportedly run by Eric Trump's wife, Lara, and has used campaign funds to finance the broadcasts.

Global Warming, the Tipping Point, and Environmental/Economic Justice (SBS News & Kate Aronoff / The Nation)
Scientists report that world temperatures are likely to rise by more than 2 degrees Celsius this century, surpassing a "tipping point" that a global climate deal aims to avert Al Gore's latest film draws climate change back into the political limelight, but fails to draw connections between environmental and economic justice. Seriously confronting the warming of our planet would essentially spell the end for free market capitalism.

What's So "Moderate" about Constant Warmongering? (Barbara Boland / Rare )
Commentary: Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain are frequently referred to as "moderates," which is pretty astonishing when you look at how frequently and openly they've campaigned for costly and unnecessary American military interventions overseas. Graham and McCain's "war first, last, and always" stance has consistently resulted in disaster. But their constant inaccuracy has not made them shyer or their rhetoric less sharp.

The US Has Called for Economic Sanctions on Iran, North Korea and Russia. How about Economic Sanctions against the US? (teleSUR & Richard Becker / Global Research and Liberation)
Over the past several decades, the US -- sometimes through the UN Security Council, sometimes on its own -- has imposed sanctions, embargoes, and blockades on dozens of countries. President Barack Obama once described US sanctions as a means of "twisting the arms" of sovereign counties so that they "do what we need them to do." The targets of US sanctions are all countries that oppose US imperialist policies while many US allies -- that are certified violators of human rights -- receive a free pass.

War and the Environment (Peace Pledge Union)
Because war disrupts social structures, ecostructures are neglected and abused, with lasting and costly consequences. It's widely agreed that Sudan's 1988 famine was caused by its protracted civil war. The testing and manufacture of nuclear arms has been responsible for some of the most profound and persistent environmental damage to life on Earth. Meanwhile, the complex mixture of poisonous contaminants found on many military sites continues to infiltrate the land, air and water.

Hiroshima & Nagasaki Commemorative Events: National Nagasaki Day (Joseph Gerson / American Friends Service Committee & John Rainwater / Peace Action & Harvey Wasserman / Solartopia)
Hopes and expectations here are high for the recently negotiated Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty, anticipating that treaty signings and ratifications that will begin on September 20 can over time impact the nuclear weapons states, which have boycotted the Ban Treaty process. Those of us living in the nuclear weapons states have our work cut out for us.

US Prepared to Launch 'Preventive War' Against North Korea (Jason Le Miere / Newsweek)
The United States is preparing for all options to counter the growing threat from North Korea, including launching a "preventive war," national security adviser H.R. McMaster said in an interview with MSNBC that aired Saturday. The comments come following North Korea carrying out two tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles last month. "The president's been very clear about it," McMaster stated. "He said he's not gonna tolerate North Korea being able to threaten the United States."

The Truth About North Korea: Why the US Should Stop Provoking the DPRK (John Laurits / JohnLaurits.com)
Commentary: The US dropped 635,000 tons of bombs and 32,557 tons of napalm on North Korea, destroying 5,000 schools, 1,000 hospitals, 600,000 homes, and killing 3 million North Koreans. Pyongyang has reason to fear a foreign invasion -- for 70 years the US and South Korea have staged annual military exercises aimed at invading the North. North Korea has repeatedly offered to halt nuclear missiles tests in exchange for an end to the joint military exercises on the DPRK's border. So far, the US has refused.

Is the Expanding US Military Presence in Syria Legal? (Sharmine Narwani / The American Conservative)
In July, the White House and Pentagon requested authority from Congress to build further "temporary intermediate staging facilities" inside Syria in order to combat ISIS more effectively. Yet when questioned about the international law grounds for this US military presence inside Syria, CENTCOM didn't have a response on hand. It's clear that official Washington simply doesn't want to answer the "international law" question Washington's military presence inside on Syria.

American Ground Troops in Yemen as US-Backed Airstrikes Kill More Women, Children (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Thomas Gibbons-Neff / The Washington Post & Sami Aboudi /Reuters )
The Pentagon has confirmed that US ground troops has been deployed into Yemen for an ongoing operation against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Since February 28, the US has conducted roughly 80 airstrikes against al-Qaeda militants in Yemen. On August 4, a US-backed airstrike killed three women and six children in northern Yemen. In March, a coalition air strike killed 22 and wounded dozens in western Yemen. In June, at least 25 Yemenis were killed in a Saudi-led airstrike on a market.

Congress Pushes for Development of Nuclear Missiles Banned Under US/Russia Treaty (Sputnik News )
The GOP is preparing several defense bills that would require the Pentagon to violate a 1987 Treaty with Russia that bans development of medium-range missiles. Washington's unilateral withdrawal from the treaty -- which was designed to limit the missile potential of the two superpowers -- might lead to a buildup of missiles on both sides, with Europe and the rest of the world risking getting caught in the crossfire.

Senate Bill Would Criminalize Free Speech and Jail US Foreign Policy Critics for 20 Years (Aniqa Raihan / AntiWar.com & Grant Smith / AntiWar.com)
The proposed Israel Anti-Boycott Act would make it a felony for American citizens to express support for campaigns to boycott Israel and would impose a penalty of up to $1 million and 20 years in prison. The bill has bipartisan support, with 32 Republicans and 15 Democrats signed on as cosponsors. The has called the bill a "direct violation of the First Amendment." A 1982 Supreme Court decision upholds the right to support peaceful boycotts to "bring about political, social, and economic change."

Senior Officials Resign from EPA to Protest Scott Pruitt (Sam Knight / Nation of Change & Kristin Brown / League of Conservation Voters)
An inside look at the Trump administration's deregulatory agenda was proffered in the resignation of a 30-year veteran of the Environmental Protection Agency. Elizabeth Southerland announced this week that she was leaving her post at the agency, where she served as a senior executive with both the Water and Superfund programs. On her way out, she sent a lengthy farewell message to her colleagues criticizing Pruitt's anti-regulatory, polluter-friendly policies.

Hiroshima Nagasaki Commemorations (Joseph Gerson / American Friends Service Committee & John Rainwater / Peace Action)
Hopes are high for the recently negotiated Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty, anticipating that treaty signings and ratifications set to begin on September 20 can over time influence the nuclear weapons states. Meanwhile, we are asking that the $1.2 trillion that the Pentagon plans to spend to upgrade nuclear weapons and delivery systems instead be used to preserve and expand essential social services, for education, and for green infrastructure modernization to address climate change and create jobs.

Peaceful Oil Pipeline Protesters Treated Like Terrorists: Behind the Secret Surveillance Operation at Standing Rock (Rose Aguilar and Sana Saleem / KALX & Alleen Brown, Will Parrish, and Alice Speri / The Intercept)
Leaked documents and public records reveal a troubling fusion of private security, public law enforcement, and corporate money in the fight over the Dakota Access Pipeline. The way TigerSwan discusses protesters as "terrorists," their direct actions as "attacks," and the camps as a "battlefield," reveals how the protesters' dissent was not only criminalized but treated as a national security threat.

Pentagon's US Burn Pits Are More Dangerous than Feared (Abrahm Lustgarten / ProPublica & CSWAB)
The federal government appears to have significantly underestimated the amount of lead, arsenic and other dangerous pollutants that are sent into the air from uncontrolled burning of hazardous wastes at Pentagon sites inside the US. The first results in a national effort to better measure the levels of contaminants released through the burning of munitions and their waste show elevated levels of lead, arsenic and other toxins.

US Ground Troops in Yemen as US-Backed Airstrikes Kill More Women, Children (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Thomas Gibbons-Neff / The Washington Post & Sami Aboudi /Reuters )
The Pentagon has confirmed that US ground troops has been deployed into Yemen for an ongoing operation against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Since February 28, the US has conducted roughly 80 airstrikes against al-Qaeda militants in Yemen. On August 4, a US-backed airstrike killed three women and six children in northern Yemen. In March, a coalition air strike killed 22 and wounded dozens in western Yemen. In June, at least 25 Yemenis were killed in a Saudi-led airstrike on a market.

Abolishing War: America's Foreign Bases Assure Private Profits, Not National Defense (David Swanson / World Beyond War & Thomas Knapp / AntiWar.com)
The main purpose of the US "defense" establishment since World War Two has been to move as much money as possible from your pockets to the bank accounts of politically connected "defense" contractors. Foreign bases are an easy way to blow large amounts of money in precisely that way. Shutting down those foreign bases and bringing the troops home are essential first steps in creating an actual national defense.

Two CIA 'Torture Shrinks' to Face Trial for Prisoner Abuse (Sheri Fink / The New York Times)
A federal court judge has refused to drop a lawsuit against two psychologists who helped devise the CIA’s interrogation program -- one of the few attempts to hold people accountable for harm caused by the CIA's "enhanced interrogation" tactics. The psychologists profited from their work: in addition to receiving up to $1,800 a day as consultants, they later formed a company that charged taxpayers $81 million to carry out and expand the CIA's interrogation program.

Don't Blame the Generals: Washington Continues to Fight Wars that Can't Be Won (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Leon Hadar / The National Interest)
Donald Trump has faulted Gen. John Nicholson, Jr. for "not winning the war" in Afghanistan. But the truth is the fault is not in the execution of the "Global War on Terror" but in the very conception of the GWOT. It has become increasinglh apparent that this failed global strategy -- begun by George W. Bush -- has made the world more unstable and dangerous and helped ignite several costly wars.

ACTION ALERT: Close All Overseas US Military Bases (Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers / Popular Resistance & AntiWar.com)
The Pentagon's imperial reach includes a global real property portfolio that consists of nearly 562,000 facilities, located on over 4,800 sites worldwide and covering more than 24.9 million acres in 42 nations. The Coalition Against Foreign Military Bases is a new campaign focused on closing all US military bases abroad. This campaign strikes at the foundation of US empire, confronting its militarism, corporatism and imperialism. We urge you to endorse this campaign.

If Human Rights and International Law Are Important, How About Sanctions Against the United States? (Andy Piascik / Z Comm.org & Popular Resistance)
Commentary: As the US imposes sanctions on Russia and moves to do likewise to Venezuela, it's essential to keep in mind which country it is that's the most destructive and dangerous in the world today. The answer overwhelmingly is: the United States. People in the global South know this all too well from the long and brutal history of US foreign policy. The US's club of dictators includes the Somozas, Suharto, Diem, Savimbi, the Duvaliers, Mobutu and others who were loyal servants of Western business interests.

Goodbye Nuclear Power; So Long, Oil and Gas (Harvey Wasserman / Progressive.org & Kate Aronoff / Nation of Change)
Two of the last four commercial nuclear power plants under construction in the US -- at the V.C. Summer site in South Carolina -- have been cancelled. A decision on the remaining two in Georgia will be made in August. The US may soon be free of all new commercial reactor construction for the first time since the 1950s, marking the definitive death of the dream of "too cheap to meter" radioactive energy. Most teens now see the fossil fuels as bad for society while jobs with oil and gas companies are unappealing.

The Unsustainable Price of Empire: America Cannot Afford More Military Adventurism (Doug Bandow / The National Interest)
Commentary: Congress and the president must begin to rethink priorities as America's fiscal situation becomes more precarious. No security imperative requires defending prosperous and populous allies in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, fighting other nations' battles in Africa and the Middle East, engaging in seemingly endless nation-building in Central Asia and the Middle East, and treating the slightest instability anywhere as a summons to act.

Construction of Trump's Border Wall Set to Begin -- Inside a Wildlife Refuge (ProPublica and the Texas Tribune & Joe Sexton / ProPublica)
America may get its border wall. It just might have to do without a lot else. US Customs and Border Protection is preparing to use its own funds to start construction on the first part of Trump's wall in November -- a 3-mile segment that will damage one of the nation''s most cherished bird-watching locales. The fiscal 2018 $2.6 billion cost for the first stage of the border wall will mean massive cuts to America's environmental, social, health, and arts programs.

Biological Warfare: US and Saudis Use Cholera to Kill Yemenis (William Boardman / Reader Supported News)
More than two years of bombing has largely destroyed Yemen's water and sewage systems, hospitals and clinics, leaving the population of about 25 million with almost no protection against the spread of cholera. The UN calls Yemen's cholera epidemic is "the largest ever recorded in any country in a single year." This may not be literal biological warfare, but it is certainly biological warfare by other means. This is biological warfare in reality, if not in law.

Neither Trump Nor Obama Have Felt Constrained by the Constitution When It Comes to Starting a War (Ron Paul / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity & Ivan Eland / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity)
Donald Trump seems to be impatiently racing toward at least one disastrous war. Maybe two. The big question is who will be first? North Korea or Iran? One unnamed Pentagon source has claimed that Trump "is to order a military strike against North Korea within a year." Barack Obama's claim that he didn't need congressional authorization for his wars in Iraq and Syria is equally troubling. However, history shows that Obama was not the first to believe that a president has the imperial authority for war by executive fiat.

Urgent Warning: Washington Needs to Deescalate Military Threats Against North Korea (Medea Benjamin / CODE PINK & Nation of Change & Sputnik News)
Why is North Korea paranoid? Perhaps because of Washington's actions. There are 83 US military bases on South Korean soil and US warships often patrol the coast. US-South Korean military exercises have been getting larger and more provocative, including dropping mock nuclear bombs on North Korea. The US has long held a "pre-emptive first strike" policy toward North Korea. This frightening threat of an unprovoked US nuclear attack gives North Korea good reason to want its own nuclear arsenal.

The 'Great Game' of Global Energy Imperialism (Zoltan Zigedy / ZZS-Blog)
During June 29 Energy Department meeting, Donald Trump declared a US policy of "energy dominance." Clearly, Russia is a target of the emerging policy. Despite the near total neglect of the foreign policy implications of this emerging policy by US commentators, they have not gone unnoticed in important circles internationally. Trump's recent European tour was a sales trip for US liquified natural gas interests as much as it was a photo-op the G20 summit. It's a battle of OPEC monopoly vs US hegemony.

China's Great Green Grid: Capturing China's "Wasted" Wind and Solar Power (Molly Bradtke / New Security Beat)
In 2016 alone, China installed 34.2GW of solar PV and 23.4GW of wind capacity -- nearly 50 percent of the world's new solar and wind capacity. Yet, many of these renewable energy sources remain untapped as provinces continued to build their own local coal-fired plants.

The Race to Solar-power Africa (Bill McKibben / Reporter at Large @ The New Yorker)
There is a boom in boom in solar power in sub-Saharan Africa. From Ghana, to Ivory Coast, to Tanzania, and along the way you can a variety of new solar ventures, most of them US-led. Some, such as Ghana's Black Star Energy install solar micrograms -- small-scale versions of the giant grid Americans are familiar with -- while others, such as Off-Grid Electric, in Tanzania and Ivory Coast, market home-based solar systems that run on a panel installed on each individual house.

While US Inequality Grows, Denmark's Citizens Are Increasingly Happy (Sam Pizzigati / Nation of Change & Joshua Holland / The Nation)
Two years ago, in 2015, just about all the nations in the world agreed to make reducing inequality -- the gap between rich and poor -- a prime United Nations "sustainable development goal." The US -- the world's wealthiest nation -- continues to lead the world in income inequality, with taxes on workers nearly triple the taxes paid by corporations. The hunger and privation that exists in the US are unknown in Denmark. Though Danes pay a lot more in taxes and fees, they get a much more back in social services.

Water and US National Security (Peter Gleick / Pacific Institute & Army War College & Intellibriefs.com)
Fresh water has long been a vital and necessary natural resource, and it has long been a source of tension, a military tool, and a target during war. National and international leaders must take steps to reduce the risks and threats associated with water insecurity. The failure to address water problems through diplomacy will lead to new and growing security risks, including for the US.

The National Rifle Association Gets Its Own TV Network! (Bill Berkowitz / Buzzflash @ TruthOut)
The National Rifle Association now has at its disposal is NRATV. While the fledging network may not yet be among the choices in your cable television package, or available through existing streaming services, given the power of the gun lobbying organization, NRATV may soon be coming to screen near you. NRATV's declared mission is to provide "The most comprehensive video coverage of Second Amendment issues, events and culture anywhere in the world."

Witnesses of the Unseen: Seven Years in Guantanamo (Robert Koehler / PeaceVoice )
To read Witnesses of the Unseen: Seven Years in Guantanamo is to run your mind along the contours of hell. The book, by Lakhdar Boumediene and Mustafa Ait Idir -- two Algerian men arrested in Bosnia in 2011 and wrongly accused of being terrorists -- allows us to imagine ourselves at Guantanamo, this outpost of the Endless War.

What Costs More than Transgender Soldiers (Sam Levine / The Huffington Post)
President Donald Trump on Wednesday cited "tremendous medical costs" as one of the reasons he will no longer allow transgender people to serve in the US military. Since the 2016 Pentagon decision that allowed trans people to openly serve in the military, health care costs have risen by between $2.4 million and $8.4 million a year, according to one estimate. For perspective, here are a few other things that cost way, way more than health care expenses for trans troops.

Burning Raqqa: America's War Against Syria's Civilians (Laura Gottesdiener & Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch)
The US is now one of the deadliest warring parties in Syria. In May and June, the US-led coalition killed more civilians than the Assad regime, the Russians, or ISIS, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights. The US-led coalition has bombed or shelled: at least 12 schools, a health clinic, an obstetrics hospital, residential neighborhoods, bakeries, at least 15 mosques, cars carrying civilians to the hospital, a funeral, water tanks, at least 15 bridges, a refugee camp, and an Internet cafe in Raqqa.

The Drone War Is Not Sustainable: Traumatized "Pilots" Quitting in Droves (Alex Edney-Browne, Lisa Ling / Los Angeles Times Op-Ed)
Drone pilots have been quitting the US Air Force in record numbers in recent years -- faster than new recruits can be selected and trained. They cite a combination of low-class status in the military, overwork and psychological trauma. Curiously, a widely publicized new memoir promoting America's covert drone war fails to mention what the Air Force euphemistically calls "outflow increases."

Where There's Smoke, There's Danger: The Pentagon's Domestic Burn Pits (Kelly Macias / The Daily Kos)
Though the face of the mainstream environmental movement is largely white, environmental justice is an issue of pressing concern for people of color. There is a direct link between race, class, and environmental issues and black people are on the forefront of our nation's environmental crisis -- with exposure to lead paint, and the chance of living in proximity to landfills and toxic waste sites disproportionately affecting our community.

Trump Plan Could Open California's Giant Sequoia Monument to Logging (Oliver Milman / The Guardian)
The largest living things standing on the planet, California's giant sequoias have a lineage stretching back to the Jurassic period. But their survival is now in question owing to plans being hatched in Washington. As the Trump administration continues to roll back protections on public lands, timber industry advocates are pushing to reduce federal defenses for California's giant trees.

Washington's War Crimes: US-Trained Iraqi Soldiers Murdered Women and Children in Mosul (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Human Rights Watch)
Iraq's US trained and armed 16th Division stands accused of committing myriad war crimes during its assault on the city of Mosul. Leahy's Law obliges the US to suspend direct military aid to the 16th Division -- unless the Iraqi government shows that they are making serious efforts to prosecute war criminals and to prevent such actions in the future. The soldiers and officers haven't made ever a token attempt to abide by US or international law.

ACTION ALERT: No Pentagon Budget without an Audit! (Michael C. Burgess and Grover Norquist / USA Today Op-ed & Karl W. Eikenberry / USA Today)
In 1990, Congress passed the Chief Financial Officers Act requiring every department and agency in the federal government to produce verifiable financial statements that can be fully audited. To date, each major agency has been able to complete this task except one -- the Department of Defense. In January 2015, the Defense Business Board issued a report on Pentagon operations that revealed at least $125 billion in administrative waste. This is unacceptable. It is time to audit the Pentagon.

Marking the Centennial of the Silent Protest against Lynching in America (NAACP & Chad Williams / Brandeis University)
At the break of summer 1917, racial tension simmered across the nation. In East St. Louis, white residents launched a bloody attack on the rapidly expanding black community. Dozens of black residents were killed and thousands more were left homeless after their neighborhood was burned to ashes. The NAACP wasted no time in composing a retort and soon issued a call for a Silent Protest Parade. Their tactic was silence, but their message resounded: anti-black violence is unjust and un-American.

War on the Biosphere: Humans Have Created 9 Billion Tons of Plastic (Tim Radford / Climate News Network & Kate Melges and Nathalie Arfvidson / Greenpeace)
Scientists recently have calculated the mass of all the plastic bottles, bags, cups, toys, instruments and fabrics ever produced and tracked its whereabouts -- another index of the phenomenal change to the face of the planet made by recent human advance. Since about 1950, more than 8.3 billion tons of synthetic organic polymers have been generated, distributed and discarded -- of this, 6.3 billion tons are classified as waste. Read Greenpeace's action page on becoming part of the Plastic-Free Challenge.

ACTION ALERT: Why and How to Bring Environmental and Peace Movements Together (David Swanson / World Beyond War)
If war were moral, legal, defensive, beneficial to securing freedom, and inexpensive, we still would be obliged to make abolishing it our top priority -- solely because of the destruction that war and preparing for war inflict on our natural environment. The Pentagon is the world's leading consumer of petroleum and a major polluter. The funds spent on F-35 fighter jets could convert every US home to clean energy. Join us in Washington, DC on September 22-24 for a meeting to unite environmental and peace activists.

Environmental Decisions in the Context of War: Bombing ISIL's Oil (David C. Harary / The Center for Development and Strategy)
Based on this paper's analysis, the best option for military and intelligence decision-makers to choose, would be to target ISIL's petroleum transportation vehicles. This option would pose 26 percent less risk towards the social, environmental, and economic elements of society in Iraq and Syria than not deploying precision-guided munitions at all. So a "war for oil" becomes a "war ON oil."

ACTION ALERT: The US Bail Industry Is a Corrupt War on the Poor (Robert Greenwald / Brave New Films)
There is a country where nearly a half-million people have been seized by police, abducted and jailed without trail or conviction. A country where many people, not convicted of any crime, have not only lost their freedom but also have lost their lives. That country is the USA -- the "land of the free." In the past year, 815 people have died in jail awaiting trial. A third of them died within the first three days of incarceration. Most were in jail for one reason only: They were too poor to pay bail.

Trump's Unhinged Speech to the Scouts and Why Trump Must Resign by August 9 (John Graham / Life on the Edge & Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman / Reader Supported News)
Commentary: Surely even Trump's acolytes in Congress must know now in their heart of hearts that the man is dangerously unfit for the most powerful office in the world. We do not need more incidents like the speech to the Boy Scouts to know that a deeply disturbed man holds the White House. Republicans in Congress must stop the dangerous game they're playing -- hoping Trump doesn't blow up the world while they advance their agenda behind the uproars he creates.

Trump's New Interior Pick Loves Oil, Hates Wildlife (Chris D'Angelo / The Huffington Post & Eric Dexheimer / American-Statesman)
Former Texas Comptroller Susan Combs once likened proposed Endangered Species Act listings to "incoming Scud missiles" headed for her state's oil and gas-rich economy. Combs, also a former state representative and agriculture commissioner, regularly sparred with the US Fish and Wildlife Service over species listings. In 2015, she petitioned to have protections removed for an endangered songbird native to central Texas, claiming the bird jeopardized military readiness.

US-backed Massacre Leaves Mosul a Graveyard of Rubble and Body Parts (Middle East Eye)
Iraqi soldiers received a brutal, final order in last days of battle with IS -- kill anything that moves. The results can be found crushed into rubble. Hundreds of corpses lie half-buried in the broken masonry and rubble that was once a bustling, historic quarter. The stench of decaying flesh, which comes fast in the 50C summer heat, overwhelms the senses. Feet are the most distinguishable remains; there are many poking from the rubble.

ACTION ALERT: Building a Mass Movement to Stop Mass Killing (Medea Benjamin / CODEPINK & Nation of Change)
Commentary: The $600 billion cost of the US military budget eats up 54% of all federal discretionary funds. No wonder we lack money to address global warming, build public transportation systems, institute a Medicare-for-All health system, or provide the free college education that all our youth deserve. Instead, the funds are spent on "killer drones." How can so many Americans think we had the right to murder people thousands of miles away who were never charged, tried, or convicted of anything?

Don't Believe the Dangerous Myths of 'Drone Warrior' (Alex Edney-Browne, Lisa Ling / Los Angeles Times Op-Ed)
Drone pilots have been quitting the US Air Force in record numbers in recent years -- faster than new recruits can be selected and trained. They cite a combination of low-class status in the military, overwork and psychological trauma. A new book, "Drone Warrior," argues that drones "save lives and empower humanity." Critics, however, call the book "at best, a tale of hyper-masculine bravado and, at worst, a piece of military propaganda designed to ease doubts about the drone program and increase recruitment."

Trump's Legacy: Killing Civilians in Iraq and Syria (Edward Hunt / Nation of Change)
The ongoing US effort to eradicate the Islamic State by launching airstrikes against targets that include non-combatants is causing significant harm to civilians in Iraq and Syria. Estimates of civilian deaths from airstrikes range from the hundreds to the tens of thousands. Although the US government says that it has killed 603 civilians in airstrikes since the start of military operations in 2014, the monitoring group Airwars estimates that airstrikes have killed at least 4,500 civilians, including nearly 1,000 children.

The Environmental Impact of Trump's Border Wall and Dirty Energy Plans (Emily Flitter / Reuters & Jessica Corbett / Nation of Change & Natasha Geiling / ThinkProgress)
The US Customs and Border Patrol plans to use a 2005 anti-terror law to sidestep an environmental impact study for a section of Donald Trump's border wall that will pass through a Texas national refuge for endangered ocelots. Meanwhile, as Senate Democrats stay silent on an energy bill that environmentalists call "a pro-fracking giveaway to oil and gas interests that would commit America to decades more of dangerous fossil fuel dependence," Sen. Bernie Sanders is being hailed for speaking out against it.

Yemen's Aid Workers Face the World's Worst Humanitarian Disaster (Amy Goodman / Democracy Now!)
The number of cholera cases in Yemen has now topped 368,000, with 1,828 deaths. The World Health Organization estimates some 5,000 Yemenis are falling sick daily -- and Oxfam projects the number of suspected cases of cholera could rise to more than 600,000, making the epidemic "the largest ever recorded in any country in a single year since records began."

An Inconvenient Sequel: "It Is RIGHT to to Save Humanity! It Is WRONG to Pollute This Earth!" (Steve Inskeep / Morning Edition)
Former Vice President Al Gore helped shape the conversation about climate change with An Inconvenient Truth. Now he's back with a sequel -- called An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, due out next month -- and it follows Gore as he continues the crusade he made famous with that first film. The movie shows Gore standing in Miami floodwater, flying over imploding boulders of ice in Greenland and in Paris -- trying to push the climate agreement over the finish line.

Government Whistleblower Sounds the Alarm as Alaskan Villages Are Threatened by Climate Change (John Light / The Washington Post & Joel Clement / Washington Post )
The rapidly warming Arctic means that dozens of villages inhabited by Alaskan native peoples need to relocate -- but the money isn't there. Meanwhile, a scientist looking for a way to help Alaska Natives whose villages are sinking was reassigned by the Trump administration to a job collecting royalty checks from fossil fuel companies.

Trump Ignores Climate Change as Seas Threaten to Swallow Alaskan Villages (John Light / The Washington Post)
Even as the Trump administration struggles to determine how fully to lean into its climate denial, Americans in the Arctic are facing the disruptive effects of three record-breakingly warm years following decades of rising temperatures, rising seas and melting permafrost. The planet's poles are warming at roughly twice the rate of everywhere else, and in the Arctic, evidence was especially clear.

Apocalypse in the Arctic: All Hell Breaks Loose as the Tundra Thaws (Jeremy Plester / The Guardian & Kevin Loria / Business Insider & The Siberian Times)
Strange things have been happening in the frozen tundra of northern Siberia. A recent heat wave in Siberia's frozen wastes has triggered a massive melting of the region's permafrost and triggered outbreaks of deadly anthrax, which hadn't been seen in the region for 75 years. At the same time, local residents -- and scientists -- have been startled by the appearance of large methane-filled craters and a the region has been rocked by series of violent explosions.

Why James Cromwell Faces Arrest, Jail to Oppose Fossil Fuels (Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan / Nation of Change)
Actor James Cromwell was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in the hit movie "Babe," and throughout his career for numerous Emmys. But on a cold December day in 2015, the drama he participated in was no act. Cromwell and five others were arrested in upstate Wawayanda, New York, protesting against the construction of a 650-megawatt fracked gas power plant. He and two others refused to pay their fines and were sentenced to a week behind bars.

ACTION ALERT: Trump and Perry Planning to Cut Clean Energy Funding by 70% (Public Citizen & NRDC & Nation of Change & League of Conservation Voters)
The bipartisan Energy and Natural Resources Act is supposed to be voted on in the Senate this week has been called "a pro-fracking giveaway to oil and gas interests that would commit America to decades more of dangerous fossil fuel dependence." In a statement opposing the bill Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders declared: "Our job is to move away from fossil fuels toward sustainable energy and energy efficiency. This bill does the opposite."

"Missile Defense Will Protect You," Missile Builders Assure USA Today Readers (Jim Naureckas / Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting & "Jennifer Sinco Kelleher / Associated Press)
"US Missile Defense Plans to Zap North Korean Threats" was the headline of a USA Today story on July 17, 2017. Strikingly, the piece contains no sources at all substantiating the chilling claim that "North Korea may be only a year or so away" from having missiles that "can hit anywhere in the world with a nuclear warhead." The Aerospace Security Project, a pro-missile lobbying group, assures the public that spending $3 billion on their weapons will somehow provide security against a nuclear attack.

ACTION ALERT: Peace Economies, Perpetual Wars, and the Pentagon Budget: A Webinar (Code Pink & Nation of Change & Win Without War)
The Trump administration has proposed an increase in the military budget of at least $54 billion dollars, making it more than $600 billion a year. This is more than half of federal discretionary funds! It's no wonder we don't have money to address the crisis of global warming, build effective public transportation systems, institute a Medicare-for-All health system, or provide the free college education that all our youth deserve.

Rising Budget Stakes for Space Warfare (Jonathan Marshall / Consortium News)
As a backdrop to the Russia-gate hysteria and the heightened fear of China is a budget war over how much US taxpayer money to pour into space warfare. There's a civil war being fought in our capital. It pits the Secretary of Defense and senior generals against a bipartisan band of militant legislators who accuse the Pentagon of standing pat while Russian and China work to achieve military superiority over the US in space. These macho posturing for new war-fighting capabilities in space are deeply destabilizing.

How Toxic Waste Sites Run by the Pentagon Are Poisoning Americans (TruthDig)
A detailed new report by ProPublica reveals how the US military continues to engage in unsafe methods to destroy hazardous waste at sites across the country, and how this practice is harming nearby communities. The story, which is "the first in a series examining the Pentagon's oversight of thousands of toxic sites on American soil," exposes how "outdoor burning and detonation is still the military's leading method for dealing with munitions and the associated hazardous waste."

Toxic Harm: Humanitarian and Environmental Concerns from Military-origin Contamination (Dr. Mohamed Ghalaieny / The Toxic Remnants of War Project)
Exposure to dioxin has been implicated as a cause of birth defects documented in Vietnamese civilians, yet the problem is only now being acknowledged and is still far from resolved -- more than 40 years after the initial contamination. In light of the inherent uncertainty in studying the origins of disease, a key question involves the need for the precautionary principle, which necessitates preventative action in the face of uncertainty and forms the basis of many peacetime health protection norms.

Open Burns, Ill Winds: Bombs in Our Backyard (Abrahm Lustgarten / ProPublica & PBS News Hour)
More than 30 years ago, Congress banned US industries from disposing of hazardous waste in "open burns" because uncontrolled incineration created unacceptable health and environmental risks. Companies that had openly burned waste for generations were required to install incinerators, filters, and smokestacks to meet strict limits on emissions. The Pentagon and its contractors received a temporary reprieve to continue burning military waste. That exemption has remained in place ever since.

Climate Scientist Blows the Whistle after Trump Administration Tries to Silence Him (Walter Einenkel / The Daily Kos)
Joel Clement used to be the director of the Office of Policy Analysis at the US Interior Department. Last week, Mr. Clement lost his job and Wednesday he became a whistleblower on the Trump administration and their practice of trying to silence facts and reality. In an op-ed written over at the Washington Post, Clement explains how things have changed since Trump and his fossil-fueled cabinet appointments took over.

Report: Troops in Cameroon Tortured and Killed Prisoners At US Base (Robert Trafford and Nick Turse / The Intercept)
Troops in the West African nation of Cameroon have tortured prisoners at a remote military base that is also used by US personnel and private contractors for drone surveillance and training missions. As the US military has fortified the Cameroonian site, known as Salak, and supported the elite local troops based there, the outpost reportedly has become the scene of illegal imprisonment, brutal torture, and even killings.

Tillerson to Shutter State Department War Crimes Office (Colum Lynch / Foreign Policy)
Critics have charged the US Secretary of State with giving the green light to perpetrators of mass atrocities. Rex Tillerson reportedly is set to downgrade the US campaign against war crimes by closing an office that worked for 20 years to hold war criminals accountable. "This is a very harsh signal to the rest of the world that the US is essentially downgrading the importance of accountability for the commission of atrocity crimes," says Northwestern University law professor David Scheffer.

'Liberation' from Militants Leaves Devastation in Mosul (Susannah George  / Associated Press & Jugal K. Patel and Time Wallace / The New York Times)
There was a smell of death in Mosul's Old City when Ayman Hashem came back this week to see what happened to his home. His neighborhood was unrecognizable. "All that's left is rubble and the bodies of families trapped underneath," the 23-year-old said.

Iraq Demands US Restitution for Mosul Attack (Associated Press)
Iraqi officials demanded compensation from the US-led coalition following an investigation into a March 17 airstrike in which the Pentagon acknowledged a US bomb targeting Islamic State group fighters in Mosul set off a series of explosions that killed more than 100 civilians.

ACTION ALERT: Stop the Trump/McConnell Fracking Bill (Food and Water Watch & Common Dreams)
The US Senate is poised to make this hot, dirty summer even worse. As fossil-fueled heat waves bring wildfires, drought, and killer storms to the nation, Donald Trump continues to stack his administration with fossil-fuel lobbyists and climate change deniers. Now our allies on Capitol Hill warn us that Mitch McConnell will try to pass a pro-fracking, pro-drilling, pro-coal energy bill next week to give Trump and the Kochs a much-needed victory.

Bombing the Rubble: America's Empire of Destruction (Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch )
If you want a single word to summarize American war-making in this last decade and a half, I would suggest rubble. It's been a painfully apt term since September 11, 2001. In addition, to catch the essence of such war in this century, two new words might be useful: rubblize and rubblization. Let me explain what I mean. In recent weeks, another major city in Iraq has officially been "liberated" -- meaning: more than a million people were uprooted and major portions of the ancient city were turned into rubble.

Interior Selling off Public Lands as Farmers Raise Solar Panels to Block Oil Pipeline (Greenpeace & Phil McKenna / Nation of Change)
The Interior Department are currently reviewing the status of national monuments, marine sanctuaries, and protections from offshore oil and gas drilling, potentially opening up new drilling activity in the Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Meanwhile, Trump's Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is meeting almost exclusively with fossil fuel lobbyists, ignoring the voices of people in this country.

Washington's "Defense" Establishment Needs Rent Control (Jason Sibert / The Progressive Populist )
In the discipline of economics, the term rent means more than a payment to a landlord. Making a profit from the sale of goods or services in a free market is different from rent, which is extracted from the public by entities who hold monopoly rights or something close to it. The military-industrial complex extracts larger rents from the American taxpayer than justified. In 2015, Raytheon -- the world's leading producer of guided missiles -- received 90% of its revenues from the federal government.

Trump Ends Covert CIA Program to Arm anti-Assad Rebels (Greg Jaffe and Adam Entour / The Washington Post)
Donald Trump has decided to end the CIA's covert program to arm and train "moderate" Syrian rebels battling the government of Bashar al-Assad -- a move long sought by Russia, The program was a central plank of the Obama administration to pressure Assad, but even its backers have questioned its efficacy since Russia deployed forces in Syria two years later. Officials said the phasing out of the secret program reflects Trump's interest in finding ways to work with Russia.

Constitution Torpedoed as Paul Ryan Strips Rep. Lee's War Authorization Amendment from Pentagon Funding Bill (Barbara Lee / US House of Representatives & Anthony L. Fisher / The Week & Ellen Mitchell / The Hill)
Earlier this week, it looked as though the war in Afghanistan (the longest sustained military conflict in US history) might soon come to an end -- because of one congresswoman who saw through the fog of fear and rage in the days after the 9/11 attacks. Barbara Lee has insisted that, under the US Constitution, Congress, not the President, is entrusted with the role of declaring war. But those hopes were dashed when Speaker Paul Ryan stripped Lee's amendment from the Pentagon Appropriations bill.

After the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty: A New Disarmament Politics (Zia Mian / The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists)
A treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons was adopted by an overwhelming vote and met with loud cheers this week at the United Nations. More than 70 years in the making, the treaty offers widely agreed principles, commitments, and mechanisms for ending the nuclear weapons age. Getting here was not easy, and achieving nuclear disarmament will still be a long struggle. But the new treaty creates space and means for a creative new disarmament politics based on law and ethics and democracy.

ACTION ALERT: Congress Stonewalls Bill to Stop Funding Terrorists (Mark Anderson / The Progressive Populist & Rep. Tulsi Gabbard / US Congress & Tima Kurdi)
Bipartisan legislation -- Sen. Rand Paul's S 532 and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's Stop Arming Terrorists Act (HR 608) -- would bar the federal government from giving money and weapons to known terrorists. "For years, our government has been providing both direct and indirect support to . . . armed militant groups, who are working directly with or under the command of terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS," Rep. Gabbard bravely stated. But neither bill has garnered much support on Capitol Hill.

Trump Threatens Iran Nuke Agreement: Iran May Abandon Deal in Face of Major US Violation (Mehr News Agency & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Mohammad Zargham and Steve Holland / Reuters)
Less than 24 hours after formally certifying Iran's compliance with the P5+1 nuclear deal, the Trump Administration has announced a new round of sanctions against Iran, nominally for having a ballistic missile program. This bizarre disconnect between reality and policy was prefaced by the White House, which simultaneously confirmed Iran's compliance and threatened that Iran "won't go unpunished" for non-specific allegations.

Al Gore's 'Inconvenient Truth' Sequel to Include Trump's Exit From Paris Accord (Dave McNary and Ricardo Lopez / Variety & Democracy Now!)
Al Gore's new climate-change documentary, "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power" will get a last-minute edit to incorporate Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the US from the Paris climate agreement. Paramount said the filmmakers have revised the movie to include Trump's controversial move. "An Inconvenient Sequel" is slated for release July 28.

ACTION ALERT: Donald Trump vs. the Grand Canyon: Mining America's Natural Monuments for Dirty Profits (RootsAction)
Donald Trump may do something far worse to the Grand Canyon than build a Trump Tower in it. According to The Guardian, powerful mining interests and allied officials in Arizona and Utah are urging a receptive Trump administration to lift the Obama-era ban on mining uranium in the area around the Grand Canyon -- a proposal that would pose a serious threat to the groundwater and anyone who drinks it.

Did British Spies Stage a Terrorist Attack and Use Fake News to Get US into WWII? (Marc Wortman / The Daily Beast)
Sir William Stephenson -- the original model for Ian Fleming's fictional James Bond – was a flamboyant British spy who infiltrated the US in a successful attempt to prod America into entering WWII to prevent the collapse of Great Britain. To fulfill his mission, Stephenson created a bogus news agency in the US that spread "fake news" stories designed to demonize Germany and incite Americans to join the Allied fight against the Reich.

Trump's Air War Has Killed More Than 2,000 Civilians (Samuel Oakford / The Daily Beast)
Donald Trump promised to "bomb the sh*t" out of ISIS but an Airwars investigation reveals that more and more innocents are being killed in American-led attacks. Civilian casualties from the US-led war against the so-called Islamic State (already high under the Obama administration) are on pace to double under Trump.

ACTION ALERT: Big Military Spending Boost Threatens Our Economy and Security (Ron Paul / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity & Win Without War)
On Friday the House overwhelmingly approved a massive increase in military spending, passing a $696 billion National Defense Authorization bill. The Republican-led House found Donald Trump's request for a $50 billion Pentagon increase far too small. The explosion in military spending comes as the US is planning to dramatically increase its military actions overseas. Trump is expected to send thousands more troops back to Afghanistan -- at 16 years and counting, the longest war in US history.

Civilian Deaths in Afghanistan Hit New Record High (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Rebecca Kheel / The Hill & Sune Engel Rasmussen / The Guardian)
The civilian death toll in Afghanistan, some 16 years into the US-led invasion and occupation, continues to rise precipitously, with the most recent figures out of the United Nations showing 1,662 civilians killed in the first half of 2017, the highest civilian toll of the entire war. A UN report claims that child deaths in Afghanistan have risen 9% while casualties among women are up 23%. The report claims the Taliban's homemade bombs, which have caused 40% of civilian casualties in the first six months of 2017.

California Extends Landmark Climate Change Law; The Age of the Gas Guzzlers Is Ending (Jonathan J. Cooper / Associated Press & Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch)
California lawmakers voted Monday to extend a climate change initiative that Governor Jerry Brown holds up as a model for states and nations looking to lower carbon emissions. Brown's signature will add another decade of life to the state's cap-and-trade program, bolstering the Democratic governor's quest to portray California as a leader in the fight against climate change at a time when Donald Trump is pulling back and gas-powered cars are about to pass from the scene.

Children Losing Limbs in Turkish Attacks (Hisham Arafat / Kurdistan 24)
At least five civilians including children lost their lives when the Turkish army on Wednesday bombed the outskirts of Syria's northwest Kurdish district of Afrin.According to Afrin hospital, some of the patients were in critical conditions. "We received four wounded civilians, three were in a stable condition, but one was in a critical condition," a nurse in Afrin hospital told Kurdistan24. So far there has been no comment from the Turkish military.

US Building Third Military Airport inside Syria: Trump Wants to Build More Foreign Bases (Basenews English & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)
The Syrian Democratic Forces, a military alliance backed by the US-led Coalition against Islamic State (ISIS), revealed that the US has begun to establish a third airport in Syrian Kurdistan. Meanwhile, the White House has issued a statement calling on Congress to grant Donald Trump unilateral legal authority to open new, temporary military bases in Iraq and Syria. What "temporary" actually means is unclear, since the Pentagon has implied it intends to keep US ground troops in Iraq more or less forever.

War in Syria Kills over 330,000 -- Shells Hit Russian Embassy in Damascus (Arab Times Online & Agencies)
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it has documented the deaths of 331,765 people across Syria since the conflict erupted in mid-March 2011 with anti-government protests. Included in the overall death toll are 99,617 civilians. A total of 18,243 children and 11,427 women were among the civilians killed.

Behind the Hidden War on US Freedom, Democracy, and Equality (Kristin Miller / Bill Moyers & Company)
In her book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America, author Nancy MacLean unearths a stealth ideologue of the American right. James McGill Buchanan, a Southern political scientist and father of "public choice economics," has had a massive impact on the ideology of the far right. None other than billionaire oil baron and political funder Charles Koch has looked to MacLean's theories for inspiration.

ACTION ALERT: Mitch McConnell's Dirty Energy Bill (Mark Ruffalo and Fisher Stevens / The New York Daily News)
Commentary: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has devised to kill three birds with one dirty energy bill: a legislative victory, a giveaway to the fossil fuel industry, and paving the way to pass Trumpcare after. McConnell is rushing the Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017 to the floor as early as next week, foregoing committees and hearings. The massive, 850-plus-page energy bill includes much of the fossil fuel industry's wish list.

The UN and Gaza after 50 Years of Occupation: Conference in New York (Helena Cobban / Just World Books)
Commentary: On June 29-30, the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People convened a highly informative conference in New York to mark the 50th anniversary of Israel's occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The UN has been involved in Israeli/Palestinian affairs almost since the organization's founding in 1945. Until 1967, UN peacekeepers oversaw Gaza's boundary. In the past week, two UN reports have detailed the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

How Australian Special Forces Tried to Cover Up Killing of Afghan Children (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Dan Oakes and Sam Clark / Australian Broadcasting's National Reporting Team )
The Australian Federal Police has confirmed to the Austrailian Broadcasting Corporation it is considering whether to launch a full investigation into at least one of the incidents, in which the shooting of a boy in Kandahar Province in 2012 was allegedly covered up by soldiers. Meanwhile, a secretive defense inquiry into the conduct of Australian Special Forces in Afghanistan is examining the alleged killing of at least two children in separate incidents by Australian troops.

Mosul Counts Cost of Airstrike Campaign Against ISIS (Patrick Cockburn / The UNZ Review)
"There were very few Daesh [ISIS fighters] in our neighbourhood, but they dropped a lot of bombs on them," says Qais, 47, a resident of the al-Jadida district of Mosul. "We reckon that the airstrikes here killed between 600 and 1,000 people."

Inspiring Water Win in New Zealand (Greenpeace New Zealand )
With our rivers crashing, farmers urgently need cleaner ways of farming. The good news is that sustainable solutions exist. Watch our beautiful new short film: The Regenerators: A Better Way of Farming Related update: Hawke's Bay Regional Council appears to have hammered the last nail in the coffin of the Ruataniwha Irrigation Dam. Councillors confirmed that they will not be using the Public Works Act to grab the land needed to make the dam a reality.

ACTION ALERT: Our Greenest US Senators and Trump's New Threat to America's National Monuments (Alexandra Jacobo / Nation of Change Staff & The Center for Biological Diversity)
The administration is threatening to roll back protections for 11 marine monuments and sanctuaries. Now for some good news: Check out which Senators have the best environmental records. The list is made up entirely of Democrats and no Republicans. Are you surprised?

Amnesty: US-Backed Coalition Violated International Law in Mosul Killings (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Amnesty International & Bethan McKernan / The Independent & Charlie Savage / The New York Times )
A new report into human rights abuses during battle for Iraqi city claims US-led coalition forces used 'unnecessary' force and indiscriminate targeting which could constitute war crimes.

US Allies Caught on Film Torturing Prisoners in Syria (Daniel Brown / Business Insider)
A video recently surfaced showing US-backed forces torturing captives near the Syrian city of Raqqa, ISIS' de facto capital that was recently invaded by coalition forces. The video shows men in YPG uniforms kicking and stomping prisoners. One YPG fighter holds a knife as he repeatedly bounces up and down on a stool on the back of one detainee. He then smashes an object over his head.

Who Is the Real Enemy? The White House Targets Iran When it Should Be Focusing on Saudi Arabia (Philip Giraldi / The UNZ Review)
The problem with the Trump analysis is that he has his friends and enemies confused. He is actually supporting Saudi Arabia, the source of most of the terrorism that has convulsed Western Europe and the United States while also killing hundreds of thousands of fellow Muslims. Random terrorism to kill as many "infidels and heretics" as possible to create fear is a Sunni Muslim phenomenon, supported financially and doctrinally by the Saudis.

ACTION ALERT: No Drilling in Arctic Refuge (Josh Nelson / CREDO Action & Matt Egan / CNN & Alaska Wild.org)
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is an irreplaceable, unspoiled wilderness. But If Donald Trump gets his way, millions of acres of our nation's most fragile wildlife lands will be opened up to drilling -- for his friends and donors in the oil and gas industry. Only Congress can vote to hand over this iconic landscape to the fossil fuel industry, and it is currently working out the details of the 2018 fiscal year budget, which includes Trump's proposal. We must pressure Congress to protect ANWR's 19 million acres.

Vote To Put the Brakes on War (Peter Certo /OtherWords & AntiWar.com & Robbie Gramer / Foreign Policy)
A bipartisan House bill has reasserted Congress' Constitutional authority to declare war, thereby reducing the odds that a reckless president could start a global conflagration. Ironically, by putting a sinister face on Barack Obama's militaristic foreign adventures, Donald Trump might have inspired lawmakers to rein in America's post-9/11 war machine. Reconsidering America's paranoid and bellicose nature -- especially with regard to Russia, China, North Korea and Iran -- would be a good step back from the risk of global annihilation.

US Deploys Advanced Anti-Aircraft Missiles in Baltics for First Time (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Andrius Sytas / Reuters)
Lithuania's Defense Ministry has made a surprise announcement today that the United States has deployed an unspecified number of Patriot missile batteries into Lithuania, nominally for a military drill that is ongoing for the next two weeks.

Trump Considers Escalating US Intervention in Libya (Barbara Starr, CNN Pentagon Correspondent / CNN)
A new diplomatic and military policy for Libya that could significantly expand US involvement in the country could be finalized by the Trump administration in the next few weeks. The policy, if approved, would aim to further the existing US goal of supporting reconciliation between rival factions in eastern and western areas of Libya. The policy could also lead to the eventual re-opening of the US embassy and the establishing of a new intelligence sharing effort led by US special forces

The Price Of Ignoring Human Rights: Lost Credibility, Brutal Allies And New Enemies (Doug Bandow / Forbes)
One of Donald Trump's less admirable qualities is his warm regard for foreign dictators. They don't have to be full-fledged despots to win his friendship. The president seems to identify with those who bury liberty in the name of security. Russia's Vladimir Putin is one, but no one views Russia as an ally. Similarly, President Trump has a budding bromance with China's President Xi Jinping, whom the former called "a very good man" and "gentleman," though the relationship appears to run only one-way.

ACTION ALERT: No Drilling in Arctic Refuge
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is an irreplaceable, unspoiled wilderness. If Donald Trump gets his way, millions of acres of our nation's most fragile wildlife lands will be opened up to drilling for his friends and donors in the oil and gas industry.

In Battle Against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, Civilians Suffer Most (Petra Cahill / NBC News)
Malnourished, injured and emotionally traumatized civilians have been staggering out of Mosul's Old City as the last remnants of ISIS fighters are driven out of the area. The US military has confirmed that at least 603 civilians had "more likely than not" been "unintentionally killed" by coalition airstrikes since August 2014.

US Bombers Drill Near North Korea In 'Show of Force' (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Agence France-Presse & The Times of Israel)
In response to North Korea's successful test of an ICBM (their first success ever), the US immediately responded by launching its own missile along North Korea's borders as a "show of force." As part of a solid week of threats, the US dropped numerous bombs in what is also being called a "show of force."

Pentagon Announces $9 Billion in New War Profits for Lockheed (Mike Stone / Reuters & Oriana Pawlyk / DODBuzz)
In late June, Lockheed Martin Corp's Sikorsky Aircraft Corp subsidiary was awarded a US Army contract worth $3.8 billion for Black Hawk helicopters for sale to Saudi Arabia. In early July, the DoD awarded Lockheed a $4.49 billion "undefinitized" contract to continue producing the F-35 Joint Strike Fighters even as it continues to negotiate a price for the jets.

Shocking Resistance to US-backed Military Assault: Woman with Baby Detonates Bomb in Mosul (The Times of Israel Staff and Agencies)
In the last days of the fight for Mosul, Islamic State increasingly sent female suicide bombers hidden among fleeing civilians. More than 20 female bombers have carried out attacks over the past two weeks. One of the bombers was only 15. Over the weekend, a woman holding an infant, detonated an explosive vest in an attempt to kill Iraqi security forces.

Vote To Put the Brakes on War (Peter Certo /OtherWords & AntiWar.com & Robbie Gramer / Foreign Policy)
A bipartisan House bill has reasserted Congress' Constitutional authority to declare war, thereby reducing the odds that a reckless president could start a global conflagration. Ironically, by putting a sinister face on Barack Obama's militaristic foreign adventures, Donald Trump might have inspired lawmakers to rein in America's post-9/11 war machine. Reconsidering America's paranoid and bellicose nature -- especially with regard to Russia, China, North Korea and Iran -- would be a good step back from the risk of global annihilation.

Trump Considers Escalating US Intervention in Libya (Barbara Starr / CNN)
A new diplomatic and military policy for Libya that could significantly expand US involvement in the country could be finalized by the Trump administration in the next few weeks, according to two US officials. The policy, if approved, would aim to further the existing US goal of supporting reconciliation between rival factions in eastern and western areas of Libya.

End the Korean War (Eric Margolis / The UNZ Review)
"I have some pretty severe things we're thinking about," Trump said of North Korea at a news conference in Warsaw. "Doesn't mean we're going to do them." What President Trump really meant is that he has painted the US into a corner with all his threats of war and really does not know what to do next. North Korea called his 'or else' bluff. Good. No action on North Korea is better than any conceivable military operation.

Failures of US Journalism: Hiding US Lies About Libyan Invasion (Joe Lauria / Consortoium News)
In 2016, when a British parliamentary report demolished the excuse for the US and its allies invading Libya in 2011, it should have been big news, but the US mainstream media looked the other way. Ignoring or downplaying a story is one way US corporate media deliberately buries news critical of American foreign policy. It is often news vital for Americans to understand their government's actions abroad, actions that could mean death or life for US soldiers and countless civilians of other lands.

A Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty -- Rx for Survival (Robert Dodge / AntiWar.com)
Nuclear weapons have threatened humanity for 72 years, ultimately becoming the greatest eminent threat to our survival. This past Friday, July 7, nuclear weapons at long last joined the ranks of other weapons of mass destruction including biologic and chemical weapons, landmines and cluster munitions in being banned and declared illegal under international treaty law. The UN adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Analysis: Trump's G20 Performance Signals America's Decline as World Power (Christ Uhlmann / The Australian Broadcasting Corp. & Abby Zimet / Common Dreams & Lorenzo Marsili, Beppe Caccia / Common Dreams)
Commentary: Hundreds of thousands of activists took to the street of Hamburg to protest a G20 divided between two bad alternatives: status quo or authoritarianism. The G20 became the G19 as it ended. On the Paris climate accords the United States was left isolated and friendless.

North Korea Isn't the Only Rogue Nuclear State (Matt Taibbi / Rolling Stone)
North Korea's loony regime of Kim Jong-un conducted a successful missile launch test -- landing about 60 miles south of the Russian city of Vladivostok, according to some reports -- marking a frightening nuclear escalation that has heightened tensions across the planet. That this first serious confrontation in ages is happening now is ironic, given that a little-reported showdown about the use of nuclear power will soon take place in the UN.

US Airstrikes on ISIS Have Killed 4,000 Civilians in the Last Year (Ash Gallagher / Yahoo News)
Airwars, an advocacy organization tracking airstrike casualties, says there have been at least four thousand civilian deaths from coalition strikes since last August in Iraq and Syria. But the US has only acknowledged causing around 400 fatalities based on its own investigations. Yet in Iraq specifically, American planes have carried out at least 68 percent of the total airstrikes.

ACTION ALERT: Trump's Next Attack on Democracy: Mass Voter Suppression (Former US Senator Russ Feingold / The Guardian & Common Cause)
Commentary: The most important aspect of any democratic election is participation. A democracy gains its legitimacy through elections only so far as those elections represent the will of the people. Limit voter participation, and there is a direct correlation between the legitimacy of an election and the democratic system. The Trump administration's 'election integrity' commission is declaring war on voters -- our democratic legitimacy be damned

Liberal Media Shifts to the Right as Conservative Syndicates Seizing Control of Local News (Kelsey Sutton / MIC & Daniel Kreps / Rolling Stone & Adam Johnson / FAIR)
Bret Stephens, a conservative columnist from the New York Times, has joined MSNBC and NBC as an on-air contributor. The network, which has been on a conservative hiring spree. In the past several months, MSNBC hired conservative radio show host Hugh Hewitt, a former spokesperson for George W. Bush who worked on the 2008 McCain/Palin presidential campaign. John Oliver, alarmed at the troubling conservative takeover of news outlets, has warned of "potential problems in corporate consolidation of local news."

122 Nations Set to Approve Nuclear Weapons Ban: US Boycotts Meeting (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Edith M. Lederer / The Associated Press)
After protracted international talks, an estimated 129 nations are set to sign a global ban on nuclear weapons -- the first multilateral nuclear disarmament treaty in more than 20 years. Unfortunately, it won't involve any actual disarmament. Why? Because every single nuclear weapons-having nation on the planet (Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, and the US) has boycotted the effort, along with the entire NATO alliance -- except for the Netherlands.

122 Nations Create Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons (David Swanson / World Beyond War & Action Network)
Analysis: On Friday the United Nations concluded the creation of the first multilateral nuclear disarmament treaty in over 20 years, and the first ever to ban all nuclear weapons. While 122 nations voted yes, the Netherlands voted no, Singapore abstained, and numerous nations didn't show up at all. But this treaty is a big step in the right direction. When 122 countries declare something illegal, it is illegal on Earth. That means investments in it are illegal. Complicity with it is illegal.

Global Nuclear Weapons Ban Approved in 122-1 Vote (AntiWar.com & Ian Sample / The Guardian)
In a decisive 122-1 vote at the United Nations, a global ban on nuclear weapons was approved,a massively important step toward disarmament made somewhat less impactful by all the current nuclear-armed states boycotting the meetings. Both Iran and Saudi Arabia signed on the dotted line: The US did not. All of the countries that bear nuclear arms and many others that either come under their protection or host weapons on their soil boycotted the negotiations.

The United Nations Prohibits Nuclear Weapons (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)
After a decade-long effort by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), and 72 years after their invention, today states at the United Nations formally adopted a treaty, which categorically prohibits nuclear weapons. Until now, nuclear weapons were the only weapons of mass destruction without a prohibition treaty, despite the widespread and catastrophic humanitarian consequences of their intentional or accidental detonation.

G-20 Protests: "Welcome to Hell" and Goodbye to Gasoline (teleSURtv & Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch)
"Welcome to Hell." That's the greeting for Donald Trump and other world leaders from tens of thousands of anti-capitalist protesters in Hamburg who aim to disrupt the July 7-8 G20 summit. The Carbon Paradigm has also been disrupted by Volvo's announcement that it is halting production of petroleum-fueled cars. France, Germany, and Norway also have declared plans to ban and abandon the internal combustion engine in favor of clean, renewable, climate-friendly non-carbon transportation.

Trump's Administration Pursues Radical Expansion of Offshore Oil Drilling (Shiva Polefka / ThinkProgress)
New offshore oil drilling in Atlantic, Arctic, and Pacific may be the next phase in Donald Trump's new "energy dominance" strategy. Despite the risk of massive oil spills, mounting bipartisan opposition, and growing public concern, Trump's Department of Interior is moving forward with offshore drilling plans. EarthJustice attorney Erik Grafe has vowed: "We will resist this attempt to sacrifice the health of our coastal communities, wildlife and climate all for the benefit of the oil industry."

US Electoral Meddling in 45 Foreign Countries? Would You Believe 81? (Nina Agrawal / The Los Angeles Times & Claire Bernish / MintPress News)
Ask an average American who makes a habit of following government-mouthpiece corporate media about interference in national elections and you'll likely elicit a nebulous response concerning Russian hackers and a plan to install Donald Trump in the White House -- but you probably won't hear a single syllable pertaining to United States government's actual attempts to do the same.

Gaza-51-Days Campaign to Run from July 7 to August 27 (Helena Cobban / Just World Educational)
From July 7 through August 27, Just World Educational will be running a broad campaign of public information about the situation of the two million Palestinians trapped in Gaza. We aim to increase the understanding of world publics about these people's plight and its causes, and to bolster the efforts that Palestinians and their allies around the world are making to end Gaza's suffering. This campaign will mark the anniversary of the 51-day military assault that Israel launched against Gaza in July 2014.

Trump's Drone Killed my Daughter: A Yemeni Survivor's Story (Saleh Mohsen al-Ameri / The Independent)
During the operation, I heard strong explosions hitting the area and Apache planes striking homes and targeting everything mobile. Anyone, who tried to escape from their homes -- whether a man, a woman or a child -- were killed. I saw the dead bodies everywhere. While I was searching among the bodies, I found my daughter Fateem lying dead in the street with her child in her arms. She was covered with blood.

UK Special Forces Accused of Cold-Blooded Executions of Afghan Civilians (teleSURtv )
The British Special Air Service is facing accusations of war crimes following the exposure of an internal investigation into murderous rampages conducted across Afghanistan that were subsequently covered up. Family members and officials claim that some victims were handcuffed with plastic zip-ties prior to being murdered in cold blood.

UN Peacekeepers Hit by New Allegations of Sex Abuse (Al Jazeera)
At least 55 UN peacekeepers are accused of sexual exploitation and abuse of civilians across UN missions around the globe since January 2017. Data released by UN show new allegations continue to stream in despite secretary-general's commitment to end scourge.

In India, 1.5 Million Volunteers Plant 66 Million Trees in 12 hours (Lorraine Chow / Nation of Change & teleSURtv & Chris Baynes / The Independent)
The central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh set a new Guinness World Record after 1.5 million volunteers planted more than 66 million tree saplings in just 12 hours along the Narmada river. The effort bested the state of Uttar Pradesh's previous record-breaking feat, when 800,000 participants planted 50 million trees in one day in July 2016.

ACTION ALERT: Cease Fire Campaign -- Stop Burning Military Toxics (Laura Olah / Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger )
The history of CSWAB is an inspirational story of how ordinary people can create extraordinary good. Our challenge -- to assure that the Pentagon fulfills its commitment to the complete cleanup of toxins that have placed ecological and human health at risk -- has been no small task. Environmental cleanup of the 7,400-acre Badger Army Ammunition Plant will be the largest such project in the history of the state of Wisconsin; expected remediation costs have been estimated to be as high as $250 million.

Out of Sight: The Toxic Footprint of America's Prisons (Candice Bernd, Zoe Loftus-Farren, and Maureen Nandini Mitra / Earth Island Journal and Truthout)
The plight of US prisoners is a nationwide problem inextricably linked to power imbalances within the criminal legal system. A special investigation by Earth Island Journal and Truthout reveals how the toxic impact of prisons extends far beyond any individual prison, or any specific region in the United States. Though some prisons provide particularly egregious examples, mass incarceration in the US impacts the health of prisoners, prison-adjacent communities, and local ecosystems from coast to coast.

US Nuclear Base Inspection Results Made Secret to Conceal Failures, Dangers (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Max Greenwood / The Hill & Associated Press)
Pass-Fail results of Pentagon inspections of US nuclear weapons facilities have historically been a matter of public record -- and one that has proven an ongoing embarrassment for revealing repeated substandard performance and disastrously bad security. These grades have now been declared off-limits. The Pentagon says this is to prevent adversaries from learning too much about nuclear weapons vulnerabilities. Critics say the blackout serves to hide Pentagon mistakes.

Moral Injury of War: The Invisible Wound of Empire (Nozomi Hayase / CommonDreams)
Commentary: With the failure of the Democratic establishment, the crisis of liberal democracy is now seized by a new rise of power. The US empire with Trump as commander-in-chief has renewed its vow toward colonial domination. With nationalism and militarism in full swing, Trump's America aims to radically alter the future of this country. A similar trend is happening with US ally, Japan, where the ultra right is pressing to renounce the country's anti-war constitution and revive Japan's prewar imperialism.

On the Fourth: Mourning America's Lost Independence and Freedom (Ron Paul / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity & Thomas Knapp / The William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism )
Commentary: Some 241 years after the American Revolution, we live in a country that is oppressive, with a government that increasingly views its citizens as the enemy. The US intelligence community has robbed us of our privacy. The military industrial complex stifles peaceful research and development. The US dollar has lost 98 percent of its value over the past century. Today's children can't remember a time without metal detectors, bag searches and a state of perpetual fear.

Isreal Seizes and Dismantles Solar Power Farm in Palestine (International Middle East Media Center & Steve Hanley / Clean Technica)
The Netherlands has reacted with outrage after Israeli authorities seized dozens of solar panels, from a remote occupied West Bank village, that were donated by the Dutch government. Between 60 and 96 solar panels were seized and taken down, along with related electronic equipment. Equipment not seized was destroyed by Israeli forces and left behind. The cost of the confiscated and damaged equipment was valued at 40,000 euros. Thirty families have lost access to electricity for their homes.

Militarizing the Minds of Police Officers (Jelani Cobb / The New Yorker)
The image of local police in camouflage and travelling in armored vehicles has blurred the lines between civilian law enforcement and military occupation. Pentagon funds have promoted the "rise of the warrior cop." Today's police officers have become a kind of domestic militia tasked with subduing a potentially lethal enemy. Danger is ambient, ever present, and unpredictable. Last year, 63 police officers were killed by armed assailants. However, of the 1,000 people killed by police, 170 of were unarmed.

ACTION ALERT: Resist Chemical War on Earth's Climate (Oil Change International & Rainforest Action Network)
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) released its Final Environmental Impact Statement Friday for the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a controversial 303-mile pipeline that would carry two billion cubic feet of fracked gas per day from West Virginia through Virginia. Oil Change International found that the Mountain Valley Pipeline will cause nearly 90 million metric tons of greenhouse gas pollution per year.

Fire Engulfs Syrian Refugee Camp in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley (Al Jazeera)
At least one child has died after a fire engulfed a camp for Syrian refugees in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. Flames and thick clouds of black smoke rose on Sunday from the site near the town of Qab Elias, an hour's drive from the capital, Beirut. Exploding gas canisters could be heard from a distance. The blaze, which destroyed about 100 tents, left at least six people injured according to the Red Cross. Emergency workers said the fire had turned the tent camp into "ashes."

10,000 Protesters Call for G-20 to Focus on Global Climate (Al Jazeera)
Thousands of people took to the streets of Hamburg to protest a Group of 20 summit set for next weekend. Sunday's demonstration in the northern German city was organised by environmental, labour, human rights, and church groups protesting against the policies of the world's richest countries. Police reported the rally was "completely peaceful," with canoeists protesting on the nearby river Alster, while Greenpeace staged a climate demonstration near a ship laden with coal in the port of Hamburg.

ACTION ALERT: No US War Planes in the Skies over Syria (The Nation/RootsAction/Daily Kos/Veterans for Peace & Katrina vanden Heuvel / The Nation)
Katrina vanden Heuvel recently reported on the dangers of "a stealth escalation of our military involvement across the Middle East," warning that increased US involvement was launched "without public support, without a sensible strategy or a clear purpose." With the use of US warplanes in Syria, this escalation risks a catastrophic conflict with Russia. That's why The Nation, RootsAction, Daily Kos, Veterans For Peace are calling on Congress to immediately remove all US war planes from Syria.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Fracking Waste from Being Dumped into the Gulf of Mexico (Nation of Change & The Center for Biological Diversity)
Nation of Change, the Center for Biological Diversity and others, hope to convince the EPA to reject a planl that would allow for unlimited dumping of fracking wastes into the Gulf of Mexico. The proposed permit violates the Clean Water Act because it causes an undue degradation of the marine environment and fails to account how dumping wastewater containing chemicals from fracking and acidizing operations would impact water quality and marine wildlife.

Pentagon Admits It Rarely Talks to Witnesses or Victims of US Airstrikes (Sarah Knuckey, Ole Solvang, Jonathan Horowitz and Radhya Almutawakel / Just Security & Margaret Griffis / AntiWar.com)
During June, at least 4,928 people were killed in Iraq, and another 1,630 were wounded. How many were victims of US airstrikes is unknown because the Pentagon has now admitted its investigators rarely bother to interview witnesses or survivors of its airstrikes. Human rights groups have long voiced concerns about the inadequacy of US investigations into the consequences of US strikes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere.

Civilian Victims of the US-Led Airstrikes Are Routinely Ignored by Pentagon (Mike Giglio / BuzzFeed News)
The US-led air campaign against ISIS in Iraq has taken a devastating toll on civilians, with very little accountability. BuzzFeed News visited seven sites in Mosul where witnesses say that innocent people were killed by airstrikes from the US and its allies. Most incidents in which civilian casualties are likely are never fully investigated. Witnesses, victims, and their relatives are "not automatically" contacted and coalition investigators rarely, if ever, visit sites.

NRA Encourages Members to Attack Trump's Critics (Bill Moyers and Michael Winship / Nation of Change & Zack Beauchamp / Vox Media & Francine Prose / The Guardian)
The gun lobby's new "recruitment ad" is really a call for white supremacy and armed insurrection, deliberately crafted to stir anger and fear. Why would someone would suggest using a gun to intimidate, silence, or even shoot innocent people whose only crime is the harboring of different political views? Whose interest are served by turning us into warring stereotypes -- conservative v liberal -- with no consideration of the nuances and the subtle differences that make us individuals?

Trump Wins One: New York Times, AP Retract (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Associated Press & Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept)
Among the most oft-repeated claims of the entire Russia election hacking scandal is that of absolute unanimity among US intelligence agencies, with media and politicians regularly claiming that "all 17 US intelligence agencies have agreed that Russia tried to influence the 2016 election to benefit Donald Trump." It's not true.

US Conference of Mayors Passes Historic Peace Budget Resolution (World Beyond War )
This week the US Conference of Mayors passed three resolutions urging Congress to move money out of the military and into human and environmental needs -- exactly the reverse of Trump's budget. Those historic actions came after more than 20,000 people signed a petition promoted by World Beyond War and RootsAction.org, and after several cities passed similar resolutions promoted by Code Pink, World Beyond War, and the US Peace Council.

Most US Terrorists Are White, Right-wing, and Racist (Mirren Gidda / Newsweek)
Donald Trump was elected on a vow to get tough on "radical Islamic terrorism" and has struggled to implement a travel ban barring people from six Muslim-majority nations from entering the US (while tweeting about Islamist terrorist attacks around the world). But, according to a new report, Trump has his facts muddled. The Center for Investigative Reporting has found that within the past nine years, right-wing extremists plotted or carried out nearly twice as many terrorist attacks as Islamist extremists.

All War, All the Time (Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & Rebecca Gordon / TomDispatch)
There's just one institution in American society that gets uniformly staggeringly positive votes of "confidence" from Americans in polls and that's the US military (83%). And this should be the greatest mystery of them all. The fact is, the Pentagon hasn't won a significant conflict since World War II, the unaudited Pentagon budget has improvised the homeland, and US forces engaged in illegal incursions in more than a dozen foreign nations are killing hundreds of innocent civilians and turning survivors into enemies.

Is Giant Sequoia National Monument Next on Trump's Hit List? (Jason Mark / Sierra Magazine & EcoWatch)
When Donald Trump ordered Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke to review national monuments established since 1996 and larger than 100,000 acres to determine whether they should be rescinded or reduced in size, California's national monuments seemed relatively safe. Now a new proposal would slash the Giant Sequoia National Monument by two-thirds. Conservationists say the idea ignores the biological necessity of protecting entire ecosystems. For the sequoias to thrive, the surrounding forests also have to thrive.

ACTION ALERT: House Committee Votes to Repeal Act that Allows Presidents to Start Wars without Congressional Consent (AntiWar.com & The Hill & Rep. Barbara Lee)
In a stunning move, the House Appropriations Committee today approved an amendment to the military spending bill that would repeal the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force. A succession of presidents have used the AUMF to launch numerous wars without having to obey the Constitution's fundamental principle that only Congress can declare war. Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee have fired back, however, calling this attempt to return to "the rule of law" "out of order."

House Panel Votes to Finance Wars in Space (Jared Serbu / Federal News Radio & AntiWar.com)
The House Armed Services Committee voted late Wednesday night to create a sixth branch of the US armed forces: the US Space Corps, which would absorb the Air Force's current space missions. With an eye toward fighting major future wars in space, the US Air Force today has announced a reshuffle of its senior leadership posts, including the establishment of the new Deputy Chief of Staff for Space Operations post.

Make No Mistake, We Are Already at War in Syria (Philip Giraldi / The American Conservative)
No one has argued that Syria in any way threatens the United States, and the current policy is also an affront to common sense: like it or not Syria is a sovereign country in which we Americans have set up military bases and are supporting "rebels" (including jihadis and terrorists) who are seeking to overthrow the legitimate government.

How the Conflict Between the US and Iran Is Fast Escalating Toward War (Jefferson Morley / AlterNet)
The long-simmering conflict between the United States and Iran is fast escalating toward war. After 15 years of unsuccessful war in Afghanistan and Iraq, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the Trump administration is pursuing a policy of "regime change" in Iran that might lead to a third US ground war in the Middle East since 2001.

What's Behind Trump's Unsupported Claim that Syria Is Planning a Chemical Attack? (Sputnik News)
Earlier this week, White House spokesperson Sean Spicer claimed that the United States allegedly "observed potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime." The charge of a Syrian chemical attack has been discredited as "fake news." The Trump administration's statements that it will not give proof of its allegations that the Syrian government is preparing a chemical attack have been criticized as being "out of line with norms of international relations."

Dozens of Civilian Prisoners Killed in 'US-led Strike' in Syria (Al Jazeera)
A suspected US-led coalition air raid on an ISIL-run prison in eastern Syria has killed at least 57 people, according to a monitoring group. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Tuesday that most of the dead in the town of al-Mayadeen in Deir Az Zor province were civilian inmates.

Why Does Donald Trump Insist on More Military Spending? (Medea Benjamin and Kate Harveston / Nation of Change)
If you think we spend too much on our military as it is (more that the next eight countries combined), you might be shocked to hear President Trump has asked for an increase in military spending by 10%, or $54 billion. Where is all this money going to come from? What will it be used for? If Donald Trump really wants to take an "America First" approach, why is he slashing our domestic budget and putting money into a war machine that only continues to inflame tensions around the world?

Why Do Deficit Hawks Ignore War? (Adam H. Johnson / The Los Angeles Times)
Crippling deficits and a nightmarish national debt are popular, recurring tropes in American politics: Every few months, politicians and the pundit class seem to recall that we're broke. Rep. Paul Ryan somehow got a reputation as a deficit hawk despite voting for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and every one of their supplemental budgets (current total $5 trillion and counting). Defense budgets and those that pad them operate in an alternate universe where military spending, somehow, isn't spending.

Trump Cites "Fake News" to Justify New Threat to Attack Syria (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & David Choi / Business Insider & Peter Weber / The Week)
In April, the US fired 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian air base after falsely accusing Syria of using a chemical weapon against civilians. US intelligence investigations ultimately concluded there was no evidence a chemical weapon attack took place. The Pentagon and State Department were caught flat-footed when Donald Trump suddenly threatened to attack Syria, which he accused of plotting "another chemical weapons attack" -- another Trump falsehood.

The Return of Famine as a Weapon of War (Alex de Waal / The London Review of Books)
In its primary use, the verb 'to starve' is transitive: it's something people do to one another, like torture or murder. Today's famines are all caused by political decisions, yet journalists still use the phrase 'man-made' as if such famines were unusual. In Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen -- four countries wracked mass starvation -- the main culprits are wars that result in the destruction of farms, livestock herds and markets, and 'explicit' decisions by the military to block humanitarian aid.

Saudis Face the End of Oil as Dubai Builds a Sun-powered Sustainable City (Juan Cole / Nation of Change & Jon Jensen and Tom Page / CNN)
Crude oil prices are cratering, down 20% this year, in the biggest 6-month free fall in years. Muhammad bin Salman is in a hurry to find something else for his kingdom to do for a living. As investment guru Dennis Garten recently admitted: these days, petroleum is "a worthless commodity." The future lies in electric automobiles and sustainable energy. Dubai and UAE have announced a $163 billion investment in alternative energy and has built a Sustainable City of 500 homes powered by solar panels.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Coal Mining Assault on Pristine Roadless Forest (Earthjustice)
In one of the first opportunities to push back against the devastating on-the-ground impacts the Trump administration's fossil fuel agenda will have on our public lands, the Forest Service is asking to hear from the public -- until July 24 -- on a plan to bulldoze pristine roadless forests in Colorado for coal mining. The Forest Service wants to give Arch Coal, the nation's second largest coal company, the right to expand its mining into 1,700 acres of the Sunset Roadless Area -- lands that belong to all Americans.

Seymour Hersh Exposes Alleged Syrian Sarin Gas Attack as 'Fake News.' US Media Refuse to Publish Findings (Jonathan Cook / Jonathan Cook's Blog & Seymour M. Hersh / Die Welt am Sonntag)
Donald Trump ignored important intelligence reports when he decided to attack Syria after he saw pictures of dying children. Award-winning investigative journalist Seymour M. Hersh has disproven the story of a Syrian-launched Sarin gas attack but, unfortunately, the man who exposed the Mai Lai massacre during the Vietnam War and the US military's abuses of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in 2004, has been increasingly marginalized by the US media while his work has been denigrated and ignored.

Filmmaker Sebastian Junger Probes the Nature of ISIS and its Atrocities in Syria (Rosa Furneaux / The East Bay Express)
Analysis: The idea that people have of ISIS is that they're psychopaths. Which they are. But they were murderous psychopaths for a very rational reason. Why was ISIS was committing atrocities in public. What was the thinking? I suddenly realised, that's us. That's Europe. That's everybody. We've all done that -- used public violence to cow the population and send a message. The awful lynchings of black men in the south were done in the town square -- and everyone was there to see it.

The Libya Connection: (Derek Royden / Nation of Change)
Although the conflicts in Libya, Iraq and Syria have usually been described as civil wars, these theaters have been invaded by large numbers of foreigners, inevitably followed by the air-forces of Western and other countries. As Jeremy Corbyn noted during the recent UK elections: "Many experts, including professionals in our intelligence and security services have pointed to the connections between wars our government has supported or fought in other countries, such as Libya, and terrorism here at home."

North Korea Threatens "Nuclear Sword of Justice": Pope Warns World Is Facing Destruction (Aletha Adu / The Express & Mike Head / World Socialist Web Site)
North Korea has chillingly threatened to attack the United States with a "nuclear sword," hinting a destructive war between the two nations is looming. This comes after repeated warnings from the White House that there is "absolutely" the chance of a "major, major conflict" with North Korea.

World's Biggest Coal Company Closes Mines as Solar Sales Soar (Lorraine Chow / Nation of Change )
India's energy market is undergoing a rapid transformation as it moves away from fossil fuels. Coal India, the world's biggest coal mining company and producer of 82 percent of the country's coal, announced the closure of 37 mines that are financially "unviable." Last month, the Indian government cancelled plans to build nearly 14 gigawatts of coal-fired power stations.

US Cities Could Shift Nearly 42 Percent of US Electricity to Renewables By 2035 (Alexander C. Kaufman / The Huffington Post)
The US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement is prompting more than 1,400 mayors to make their own climate-protection pledges. The Conference of Mayors -- the country's largest coalition of city leaders -- recently pledged to make 100 percent renewable power a top policy priority over the next decade. The five states that are the worst emitters of greenhouse gases are: Texas, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Florida and Ohio.

GOP Politician Proposes Law to Criminalize Pipeline Protests (Itai Vardi / EcoWatch & DeSmogBlog)
A recent intensification in protests against the planned Atlantic Sunrise pipeline in Pennsylvania has prompted a state senator to propose legislation aimed at limiting demonstrations. The proposed legislation would pass the costs of law enforcement responding to protests onto the demonstrators, essentially forcing protesters to pay for their own arrests – and giving police departments a financial incentive to violate the First Amendment.

1973 Memo Reveals Nixon White House Plotted Violent Attack on Anti-war Activists (Ari Melber, Noel Hartman and Lize Johnstone / NBC News)
An extensive investigation has uncovered evidence that the Nixon White House plotted an "assault on antiwar demonstrators" at a US Capitol rally. The attack was to target whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and other anti-war "notables." An 18-page 1973 memorandum from the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, sheds new light on how operatives working for President Richard Nixon conspired to instigate acts of domestic political violence directed against anti-war activists -- an extremely serious charge.

US, Saudis Accused of Brutal Torture, Interrogations in Yemen (The Associated Press)
Yemen's internationally-recognized government on Saturday ordered the creation of a committee to investigate allegations of human rights violations, following reports that US military interrogators worked with forces from the United Arab Emirates who are accused of torturing detainees in Yemen. At least 18 detention centers have been accused of using extreme forms of torture -- including the "grill," in which the victim is tied to a spit like a roast and spun in a circle of fire.

Pentagon Terrorism: US Airstrikes Killed 472 Syrian Civilians in Past Month (Alexa Liautaud / VICE News & Airwars)
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the period between May 23 and June 23 saw the highest civilian death toll in coalition raids for a single month since they began on September 23, 2014. The new deaths brought the overall civilian toll from the coalition's campaign to 1,953, including 456 children and 333 women.

Pakistan Issues Warning as Trump Threatens to Increase US Drone Attacks (Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali / Reuters & The News)
On June 19, Pakistan shot down an Iranian drone inside its airspace, calling the incursion a breach of national sovereignty. Now the Trump Administration is heading into another major diplomatic row, reportedly set to revise US policy toward Pakistan to more of a hard line approach, complete with an increase in drone strikes against targets inside Pakistan.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Introduces the Stop Arming Terrorists Act (Office of Congressional Rep. Tulsi Gabbard)
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's Stop Arming Terrorists Act has been introduced in the US Senate by Senator Rand Paul. The bipartisan legislation (H.R.608 and S.532) would prohibit any Federal agency from using taxpayer dollars to provide weapons, cash, intelligence, or any support to al-Qaeda, ISIS and other terrorist groups, and it will prohibit the government from funneling money and weapons through other countries who are directly or indirectly supporting terrorists.

House Republicans Call for $640 Military Spending Bill (AntiWar.com & The Hill)
Faced with a massive military spending increase proposal from President Trump, and a Budget Committee which expected to well exceed even that, the House Armed Services Committee has decided to outdo everybody by advancing its own $640 billion base budget. The move sets up a potential showdown with the White House, which proposed a $603 billion defense budget. It also could be in conflict with Congress's budget, as the Budget Committee is eyeing a $621 billion defense budget.

Military Spending is the Biggest Scam in American Politics (Ted Rall / Rall.com)
The militarism scam is the best-kept secret in American politics. Military spending is the biggest waste of federal tax dollars ever and both political parties are equally complicit. As we move past Memorial Day -- the holiday when we remember the war dead, the vast majority who died not to defend America but to oppress people in other countries who never posed a threat to the United States -- we should reconsider the assumption that all military spending is good spending.

Carpet-bombing the Economy: The Corporate Tax Dodgers of the Pentagon (Philip Ewing / DODBuzz & Pat Garofalo / ThinkProgress)
While the official US corporate tax rate is 35 percent, the top 10 defense contractors less than half of that amount. Some brand-name defense giants paid no taxes at all. According to one study, by 2010, the effective corporate tax for America's corporate war profiteers had dropped to a "tiny 10.6 percent." Boeing came in with the lowest tax rate among defense firms -- minus 1.8 percent -- and demanded that taxpayers reimburse the company by claiming a "tax credit."

Another "Troop Surge": Trump's Massive Mistake in Year 16 of the Afghan War (A. Trevor Thrall and Erik Goepner / The New York Daily News & The Cato Institute)
Commentary: After President Trump gave Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis the authority to set troop levels in Afghanistan, the Pentagon announced it will send an additional 4,000 troops to the embattled nation. Mattis, who has acknowledged that the US is "not winning in Afghanistan right now," is believed to favor a more aggressive strategy requiring thousands more troops beyond the 9,800 already deployed. The fact that this "troop surge" strategy has failed to achieve any lasting gains in 16 years of fighting.

Homeland Tyranny: Nixon White House Secretly Plotted to Attack Ellsberg, Anti-war Pacifists (Ari Melber, Noel Hartman and Liz Johnstone / NBC News)
Watergate prosecutors had evidence that operatives for then-President Richard Nixon planned an assault on anti-war demonstrators in 1972, including potentially physically attacking Vietnam whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, according to a never-before-published memo obtained by NBC News.

Seeing Through the Wall: 50 Years After the 1967 (Angela Alston / Seeing Through the Wall & Peter Beaumont / The Guardian / http://olddogdocumentaries.org/shop/seeing-through-the-wall/)
This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Six-day War, fought from June 5-10 1967, which saw Israeli forces capture east Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories as well as the Golan Heights and Sinai in a series of lightning advances. For Israelis and for Jews around the world, the 1948 War of Independence was a miracle -- and a new beginning for a suffering people. For Palestinians, it turned out to be a catastrophe. Both narratives are authentic. Need we choose one over the other?

Poor Countries Do More to Protect Wildlife (Mike Gaworecki / Nation of Change)
Poorer countries tend to be more active in protecting biodiversity than richer nations. African countries Botswana, Namibia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, together with South Asian nation Bhutan, were the top five megafauna conservation performers, for instance. Norway came in at sixth, the top-ranked developed country, followed by Canada, which came in at eighth. The United States ranked nineteenth, lower than countries like Malawi and Mozambique that are among the least-developed in the world.

Impeach Perry: The US Energy Secretary Is a Science-denying Ideologue (Joe Romm / Climate Progress)
After a week full of misleading and inaccurate statements, Energy Secretary Rick Perry remained incredulous and defiant when confronted with climate science-related facts in a Senate budget hearing. Monday on CNBC, Perry falsely claimed that carbon dioxide was not the primary cause of recent global warming, along with a bunch of other nonsense. He also defended his right to be a "skeptic."

ACTION ALERT: Trump's Next Target -- Whales (Rhea Suh / NRDC & Steve Mashuda / EarthJustice)
The government giveaway of America's Atlantic coast to oil companies has officially begun . . . . The Trump administration has proposed permits for dangerous, large-scale seismic blasting up and down the Atlantic coast, from Delaware to Florida, to detect the presence of oil and gas. And this seismic blasting is dangerous and destructive -- scientists have determined it can injure or even kill whales, dolphins and many other species of marine wildlife.

Plastic Pollution in Antarctica 5 Times Worse than Expected (Lorraine Chow / Nation of Change & Paul Buchheit / Nation of Change )
As many as 51 trillion microplastic particles -- 500 times more than stars in our galaxy -- litter our seas, seriously threatening marine wildlife. The Southern Ocean, which covers approximately 8.5 million square miles and represents 5.4 percent of the world's oceans, is under increasing threat from fishing, pollution and the introduction of non-native species.

Human vs. Drone Combat Is the New Normal (David Axe / Motherboard @ Vice & Ben Sullivan / Motherboard @ VICE News)
US human pilots have shot down two enemy drones this month alone. But according to one expert, one day soon -- within the next two decades -- the drones will outmatch the best human pilots. Get used to it. Clashes between drones and manned warplanes could become much more frequent in coming years. And eventually, the drones might start winning. Meanwhile, insurgent forces are, for the first time, building their own air forces -- using commercial drones purchased online and adapted to drop bombs.

The Peace Whisperer: Mastering the Art of Negotiation (Anna Maria Tremonti / The Current @ CBC Radio)
Adam Kahane has helped resolve some 50 conflicts around the world, credited by Nelson Mandela with assisting the South African government in the post-apartheid era. 'We always have a choice if we want to collaborate.' Says peace negotiator and conflict mediator Kahane. When the president of Colombia was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work ending 50 years of civil war in his country, among those he credited was Canadian negotiator Adam Kahane.

US Dangerously Escalates Air War over Syria (AntiWar.com & Agence France Presse & The New Indian Express)
A growing number of US attacks targeting the Syrian government and militias aligned with the Syrian government are a sign that the US involvement in the Syrian Civil War is widening, and nothing was so indicative of this than yesterday’s US downing of a Syrian Su-22 bomber.

Recognizing Escalation Risks, Australia Halts Air Missions over Syria (Al Jazeera)
Australia's military said it was temporarily halting air missions over Syria after the shooting down of a Syrian jet by US forces. The decision came amid increasing tension between the US and Russia, which warned it would track coalition aircraft in Syria as potential "targets" and halted a military hotline with Washington over the incident.

ACTION ALERT: World Refugee Day -- The Worst Refugee Crisis in World History (CNN & United Nations & Amnesty International USA)
June 20 was World Refugee Day. We are in the midst of the world's worst refugee crisis in history. More than 65 milliion people are now counted as forcibly displaced by the United Nations. That's like the entire population of the UK or France, or about as many as everyone in New York State, Texas and Florida -- all forced from their homes. Just over one-third are refugees, people forced to flee their countries because of persecution, war, or violence.

America Will Regret Helping Saudi Arabia Bomb Yemen (Medea Benjamin / The Guardian)
Selling weapons to Saudi Arabia has consequences. The Yemeni people who have been on the receiving end of US bombs dropped by Saudi pilots know all too well that the United States is complicit in their suffering. The intense anti-US sentiment in Yemen should be a wake-up call for Americans. Republican Sen. Rand Paul and Democrat Sen. Chris Murphy have been trying to halt the weapons sales but the Trump administration and the majority of US senators have failed to heed their call.

US vs. Russian Dogfights over Syria? (Juan Cole / Informed Comment & Yara Bayoumi / Reuters)
The problem with the US shooting down that Syrian plane is that the Syrian air Force is allied with the Russian Federation, and the Russian Aerospace forces often fly alongside the Syrian pilots. The Russians complain that the US did not warn them before bombing in east Syria, and they should have under the agreement between Washington and Moscow. And, Russia announced that it would possibly shoot down any US aircraft operating in western Syria.

Reporters Face 70 Years in Prison over anti-Trump March (Patrick Strickland / Al Jazeera)
Even when heavily armed riot police closed off a square block and surrounded protesters, media workers and legal observers alike, independent journalist Alexei Wood did not realise he was about to be arrested. Yet on that day, January 20, more than 230 people were arrested during protests against the inauguration of right-wing US President Donald Trump. Most were charged with felony rioting which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $25,000. Among them were Wood and other journalists.

The Climate Movement Charges On, Even Without the US (Winnie Byanyima / Oxfam America)
The spirit of Paris charges on, even without the US. But the oilmen who fuelled this crisis are still doing their dirty business as usual -- because the system perpetuates their wealth and power. The richest one percent today own more than the 99 percent combined; eight men own as much as the bottom 3.6 billion. Political institutions march to the tune of powerful corporations and the super-rich. Tackling the gap between rich and poor and tackling climate change is part of the same struggle.

The US Military Is the World's Biggest Polluter (Whitney Webb / Mint Press News & EcoWatch)
In May 2017, mainstream media outlets gave minimal attention to the news that the US Naval station in Virginia Beach had spilled an estimated 94,000 gallons of jet fuel into a nearby waterway, less than a mile from the Atlantic Ocean. While the incident was by no means as catastrophic as some other pipeline spills, it underscores an important yet little-known fact -- that the US Department of Defense is both the nation's and the world's, largest polluter.

Trump vs. Planet Earth (Associated Press & Jeff Goodell / Rolling Stone)
Commentary: "The outrage over Trump's move runs deep because the Paris climate deal was never about just the climate. It was also about unity, equality, trust, sympathy - in short, all the qualities that make it possible for seven billion human beings to live together peacefully on the planet."

US Escalates Syrian War by Shooting Down Syrian Jet inside Syrian Airspace (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Luis Martinez and Katherine Faulders / ABC News)
The US has confirmed that in an incident Sunday evening, an American F/A-18E Super Hornet shot down a Syrian government Su-22 bomber south of Tabqa, accusing the Syrian jet of having dropped bombs on Kurdish fighters. The Russian Defense Ministry blasted the US's action as a "massive violation of international law" and said it will begin treating US-led coalition jets flying west of the Euphrates River in Syria as targets.

America's Long Misguided War to Control the Greater Middle East (Charles Glass / The Intercept)
Commentary/Analysis: The conviction that invasion, bombing, and special forces benefit large swaths of the globe, while remaining consonant with a Platonic ideal of the national interest, runs deep in the American psyche. Nothing undermines the American belief in military force. No matter how often its galloping about results in resentment and mayhem, the US gets up again to do good elsewhere. Failure to improve life in Vietnam, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya stiffens the resolve to get it right next time.

Russia Accuses US of 'Longstanding Tradition' of Starting Wars and Supporting Terrorism (Fort Russ News and Al Mayadeen & Associated Press & RIA Novosti)
The Syrian Army has condemned the US attack on a Syrian fighter jet as an act of "US aggression" that confirms Washington is openly supporting terrorism by revealing the open coordination between the Pentagon and ISIS and exposing Washington's "malicious intentions of using terrorism to achieve the desired goals in the region."

Are Marxist Antiwar Meetings Anti-Science? (David Swanson / David Swanson.org)
Commentary/Analysis: Science requires observing what does and does not work. What science and experience teaches us is that nonviolence has had more success than violence not only in the Philippines but around the world, that nonviolent campaigns are over twice as likely to succeed and those successes very likely to be much longer lasting.

US-backed Saudi Airstrikes on Saada Market Kill Dozens of Civilians (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Al Jazeera)
Saudi warplanes have attacked northern Yemen's Sadaa Province, the Shi'ite-dominated home of the Houthi movement, hitting a crowded marketplace in the Shada District, killing at least 25 civilians and wounding an unknown number of others. This is the latest in a series of Saudi airstrikes against Yemen over the past two-plus years that hit civilian targets, with such incidents killing thousands of people and fueling international criticism of growing human rights violations and outright war crimes.

Lockheed Nears $37 Billion-plus Deal to Sell F-35 Jet to 11 Countries (Mike Stone / Reuters )
Lockheed Martin Corp is in the final stages of negotiating a deal worth more than $37 billion to sell a record 440 F-35 fighter jets to a group of 11 nations including the United States -- the biggest deal yet for the stealthy F-35 jet, set to make its Paris Airshow debut this week. The sale represents a major shift in sales practices from annual purchases to more economic multi-year deals that lower the cost of each jet.

US Drone Kills Two Unnamed "Suspects" in Yemen (Mohammed Mukhasaf / Reuters & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)
A suspected US drone strike killed two men believed to be al Qaeda militants in southern Yemen residents and local sources said. The strike took place in the al Naqba area of Shabwa province where residents heard a loud explosion that completely destroyed a vehicle carrying armed people. Residents from the area say they are unsure who the two slain people were. As is always the case, however, the two slain men were described as "suspects" in reports on the attack

"A War We Don't Want": Defense Secretary Mattis Explains What War with North Korea Would Look Like (Alex Lockie / Business Insider & Arielle Berger and Sara Silverstein / Business Insider)
Asked why the US doesn't just go to war to stop North Korea from developing the capability to hit the US, Secretary of Defense James Mattis painted a grim scenario: "It will be a war more serious in terms of human suffering than anything we've seen since 1953. It will involve the massive shelling of an ally's capital, which is one of the most densely packed cities on earth [with ametro-area population of 25 million]. "It would be a war that fundamentally we don't want."

How Nature Heals (Note: EAW Will Return on June 16) (Kathleen Richards / The East Bay Express)
Every month for the past three years, pediatrician Nooshin Razani and her UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland colleagues have taken a group of patients and their families on a park outing, part of a program called Stay Healthy in Nature Everyday, or SHINE. This collaborative effort between the hospital and the East Bay Regional Park District aims to both improve the health of patients and their families while also encouraging awareness and usage of the green spaces in their backyard -- by letting Nature heal.

Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill (Lt. Col. Dave Grossman / Phi Kappa Phi National Forum)
Michael Carneal, the 14-year-old killer in the Paducah, Kentucky school shootings, had never fired a real pistol in his life. He stole a .22 pistol, fired a few practice shots, and took it to school. He fired eight shots at a high school prayer group, hitting eight kids, five of them head shots and the other three upper torso. Where does a 14-year-old boy who never fired a gun before get the skill and the will to kill? Video games and media violence.

ACTION ALERT: Take the Plastic-free Challenge (Kate Melges and / Greenpeace)
Disposable cups, grocery bags, packaging, plastic water bottles, condiment packets are ubiquitous in our daily lives -- as well as in our landfills and the planet's oceans. According to one study, there will be more plastic than fish in the world's oceans by 2050. Here are ten of our favorite ideas for reducing your plastic footprint.

What Do Spy Agencies Tell Foreign Governments About Americans? (Conor Friedersdorf / The Atlantic)
What do spy agencies tell foreign governments about Americans? A new ACLU freedom of information request aims to find out, in concert with civil society groups abroad seeking similar answers from their countries. The US collects vast troves of private information on American citizens and foreigners. How much of that data should be shared with allied democracies like Canada or France? How about repressive, illiberal allies like Saudi Arabia? Or adversaries like Russia or Venezuela?

US Criticized for Using White Phosphorous Weapons Against Syria (Reuters & The New York Post)
Human Rights Watch expressed concern on Wednesday about the use of incendiary white phosphorous weapons by the US-led coalition fighting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, saying it endangers civilians when used in populated areas. "No matter how white phosphorus is used, it poses a high risk of horrific and long-lasting harm in crowded cities like Raqqa and Mosul and any other areas with concentrations of civilians," said a spokesperson for Human Rights Watch.

With US Reactors Failing Financially, China Proposes Building "Mini-Nukes" (Bloomberg & The Japan News & Channel News Asia)
With more than half of America's nuclear reactors bleeding cash and racking up losses totaling about $2.9 billion a year, China is betting on new, small-scale nuclear reactor designs to be used in isolated regions, on ships and even aircraft -- all part of China's ambitious plan to wrest control of the global nuclear market.

Iran's Leader Blames US for Creating ISIL (Parisa Hafezi / Reuters & Prof. Michel Chossudovsky / Global Research)
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday blamed the United States for instability in the Middle East and said Washington's fight against the Islamic State militant group was "a lie. You (the United States) and your agents are the source of instability in the Middle East . . . who created Islamic State? America . . . America's claim of fighting against Islamic State is a lie." The US is protecting both Al Qaeda and ISIS-ISIL-Daesh with the terrorists portrayed as heroes and "freedom fighters."

How the US Created and Protects Al Qaeda and ISIS (Prof. Michel Chossudovsky / Global Research)
Recent developments confirm what is known and documented: Washington is behind the Islamic State (ISIS-ISIL-Daesh) and at the same time it is behind the moderate Al Qaeda terrorists, which the Trump administration is supporting as part of America's alleged campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS). And they expect us to believe that they are committed to waging a campaign against terrorists. The fact is, in Syria, the US is protecting both Al Qaeda and ISIS-ISIL-Daesh.

The UN, Human Rights, and the Bombing of Civilians in Syria (Paulo Sergio Pinheiro / The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic)
Personal Testimony to the UN by Mr. Paulo Sergio Pinheiro: "This update marks the twentieth time that I have addressed this body concerning the unspeakable toll of violence being inflicted on the people of the Syrian Arab Republic. Thus, I have been reflecting upon six years of work that my colleagues on the Commission of Inquiry and I have done, and upon all the lost lives, hopes, and futures that our investigations have documented."

The Six-Day War at 50 (Richard N. Haass / The Project Syndicate & The Yomiuri Shimbun)
Commentary: The world is about to mark the 50th anniversary of the June 1967 war between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, and Syria -- a conflict that continues to stand out in a region with a modern history largely defined by violence. The war lasted less than a week, but its legacy remains pronounced a half-century later.

Senate Vote Fails to Block $100 Billion Saudi Arms Deal (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Mallory Shelbourne / The Hill & Sen. Rand Paul / Fox News & Tyler Durden / ZeroHedge)
The Senate has voted on the resolution introduced by Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) aiming to block portions of President Trump's $110 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia. Sen. Paul spoke extensively on the need to limit arms sales to Saudi Arabia, citing the humanitarian calamity of the Saudi invasion of neighboring Yemen and the Saudi regime's "very troubled record" on human rights.

Chain Reaction of Antagonism in Middle East Should Be Stopped (Editorial / The Yomiuri Shimbun)
The turmoil in the Middle East has been exacerbated. The latest developments may have an adverse impact on the campaign to stamp out the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) extremist group and even on the world economy. There must be an early end to the turmoil. Countries concerned, such as the United States and Turkey, must accelerate their mediation diplomacy and stop the chain reaction of sectarian conflicts and terrorism that would destabilize the Middle East.

US Coalition Strikes on School, Homes, Kill as Many as 370 Civilians in Syria (The Telegraph)
A March 22, US coalition raid on a mosque outside Aleppo left as many as 46 dead, making it the deadliest attack on civilians in the past two years. Earlier in March, the coalition said its raids in Syria and Iraq and unintentionally killed at least 220 civilians. But other monitors say the number is far higher. Airwars, a UK-based organization that monitors international air strikes against ISIL, suggested as many as 370 civilian deaths could be attributed to coalition raids in the first week of March alone.

Water Shortages to Affect a Quarter of the World's Population By 2050 (Edith M. Lederer / Associated Press)
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Tuesday that by 2050 global demand for fresh water is projected to grow by more than 40 percent and at least a quarter of the world's population will live in countries with a "chronic or recurrent" lack of clean water. "Water, peace and security are inextricably linked," Guterres said. "Without effective management of our water resources, we risk intensified disputes between communities and sectors and increased tensions among nations."

UN Ocean Conference Warns of Plastic Waste in Waters (George Leonard and Chelsea Rochman / The San Francisco Chronicle)
Plastic is now embedded in the aquatic food chain. It has been found in more than 800 (and counting) species of marine life, from the smallest plants to the largest whales. Notably, plastic has been found in the stomachs of 49 species of commercial fish, many of which are being dished up right now -- tuna and salmon as well as mussels, clams, scallops, oysters, shrimp and lobster. Microplastics have been found even in sea salt.

Rwanda's Children of War-Rape Are Coming of Age (Danielle Paquette / The Washington Post)

'The Apology': Voices of Japan's Wartime Sex Slaves (G. Allen Johnson / San Francisco Chronicle)
During WWII, Japan forced thousands of women into military brothels to satisfy the Emperor's soldiers as "comfort women." Japan has yet to apologize for this crime. Tiffany Hsiung's moving new documentary, "The Apology," offers a powerful, intimate portrait of how aging victims from all across Asia -- South Korea, the Philippines, China, Taiwan and others -- have mobilized in an attempt to force an apology (and possibly restitution) from the intractable Japanese government.

Mosul's Children at Risk (Sinan Salaheddin / Associated Press)
Mosul's children are bearing the brunt of the fight between US-backed government forces and the Islamic State group in the city's western half, the UN children's agency warned. "Children's lives are on the line. Children are being killed, injured and used as human shields. Children are experiencing and witnessing terrible violence that no human being should ever witness." It is estimated that 100,000 girls and boys are still in the Old City neighborhood and other areas, living under extremely dangerous conditions.

Japan Restarts Takahama Nuclear Reactor amid Protests (Tetsuya Kasai / Asahi Shimbun & Eric Johnston / The Japan Times)
Kansai Electric Power Co. restarted its Takahama No. 3 reactor June 6, making it the fifth in operation nationwide under stricter safety standards introduced after the Fukushuima nuclear disaster. The company plans to start generating electricity from the reactor on a commercial basis in July. KEPCO restarted Takahama's No. 4 reactor in May following the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors at Kyushu Electric Power Co.'s Sendai nuclear plant in Kagoshima Prefecture and the No. 3 reactor at Shikoku Electric Power Co.'s Ikata reactor.

Syria Today and the Legacy of the 1967 War (Ranj Alaaldin / Brookings)
Analysis: Fifty years on, the legacy of Isreal's 1967 War has been an omnipresent element of the conflict in the Middle East. In Syria, the ongoing civil war that has killed hundreds of thousands and displaced millions now overshadows regional events. While there have been other visible major conflicts in the region since 1967 -- the grueling eight-year Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, the 1990 Gulf war, and the 2003 Iraq war -- the Syrian conflict is unlike any other that has gripped the region in recent decades.

How States Can Lead on Clean Energy (Gov. Terry McAuliffe / Washington Post Op-ed & Michael Gerson / Washington Post Op-ed)
Opinion: Climate change poses a serious threat. Unchecked, it will affect everything from our water quality to the air we breathe to whether and where residents can make investments or buy a home. The science is real. And the stakes could not be higher. Climate policy is the new culture war, driven by nearly theological passions. Here is the climate bottom line: to avoid the worst climate disruption, it will be necessary to keep more than 80 percent of existing coal reserves in the ground, unexploited.

The Six-Day War at 50 (Richard N. Haass / The Project Syndicate & The Yomiuri SHimbun)
Analysis: The world is about to mark the 50th anniversary of the June 1967 war between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, and Syria -- a conflict that continues to stand out in a region with a modern history largely defined by violence. The war lasted less than a week, but its legacy remains pronounced a half-century later. Yet, fifty years after six days of war, the absence of peace between Israelis and Palestinians is part of an imperfect status quo that many have come to accept and expect.

US War Veteran Now Fighting to Save Africa's Elephants (Khaled Kazziha / Associated Press )
A decorated US war veteran with two decades' experience in military intelligence, Lt. Col. Faye Cuevas spent half her career providing intelligence support to US counter-insurgencies in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa. Now she is using her expertise to fight a different kind of conflict: the war on wildlife poaching.

India's Rising Temperatures, Already Deadly, Are Going to Get Worse (Katy Daigle / Associated Press)
India is now two and a half times more likely to experience deadly heat waves than a half-century ago, and all it took was an increase in the average temperature less than 1 degree Fahrenheit. Even if countries are able to meet the Paris Agreement goals in curbing climate-warming carbon emissions, that would still only limit the global temperature rise to an estimated 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F). Donald Trump's pledge to exit the Paris treaty won't help.

Marawi Fighting Could Turn Philippines Orphans into Terrorists (Jhesset O. Enano / Philippine Daily Inquirer)
The conflict in Marawi City and the declaration of martial law in Mindanao could produce a new generation of war orphans taking up arms against the government, a Muslim professor and researcher has warned: "Emerging rebels are mostly youth who are orphans of war. [They have] no ideology, no direction. They don't know anything but carry arms and shout 'Allahu Akbar'." Statistics from the Department of Education show that the fighting in Marawi has displaced more than 22,000 students.

How the Threat of Apocalypse Justifies American Empire (Chris Lehmann / In These Times)
Commentary: A new book argues that in the military's hands, warnings of world's end become self-fulfilling prophecies. The American imagination is in the grip of apocalyptic fantasy. We continually rediscover that the end is nigh, be it in the popcult fables of a zombie apocalypse or the Revelation porn of the Left Behind novels. We should break the American addiction to world-disfiguring apocalyptic fantasy in favor of a "practical and inclusive radical optimism."

How US Accidentally Bombed Switzerland in WWII (Michael Peck / The National Interest)
On the first of April, 1944, the United States committed an act of war against the nation of Switzerland. Though it was April Fool's Day, the citizens of the Swiss town of Schaffhausen found nothing funny about sixty tons of high explosive descending without warning on their heads. Nor were the US and Swiss governments amused.

CSWAB Efforts Lead to Better Water Testing at Former Ammo Plant (Laura Olah / Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger )
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) is requiring the Army to analyze drinking water and groundwater at the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant for contaminants resulting from the breakdown of explosives in the environment.

ACTION ALERT: Big Timber Corp Targets Greenpeace in $300 Million Lawsuit! (Greenpeace USA)
Resolute Forest Products wants Greenpeace to be labeled a criminal enterprise under anti-racketeering laws originally created to prosecute the mafia. This is the biggest threat to Greenpeace's existence in our history. We won't allow ourselves to be silenced by a logging corporation -- or anybody else

Pentagon Loses $1 Billion Worth of Arms in Iraq (Amnesty International<)
The US Army failed to keep tabs on more than $1 billion worth of arms and other military equipment in Iraq and Kuwait according to a now declassified Department of Defense (DoD) audit, obtained by Amnesty International following Freedom of Information requests. "This audit provides a worrying insight into the US Army's flawed -- and potentially dangerous -- system for controlling millions of dollars' worth of arms transfers to a hugely volatile region," said an Amnesty International spokesperson.

In Trump's America Reporters Are Beaten and Protesters Face Decades in Jail (Common Cause & Celisa Calacal and Lauren Kaori Gurley / AlterNet & Patrick Strickland / Al Jazeera)
Our democracy relies on a free, fair, and adversarial media to hold power accountable. But since Donald Trump took office, his repeated attacks on journalists and outspoken hostility towards a free, independent media have been followed by outright physical attacks on reporters. Meanwhile, nearly six months after Trump was sworn into office, more than 200 protesters who gathered in Washington, D.C. to protest his inauguration are facing felony charges that carry sentences of 70 to 80 years.

In 1943, America Killed Its Own Troops with Poison Gas (Michael Peck / The National Interest)
What a perfect night for a weapon of mass destruction. It was December 2, 1943 as Nazi bomber crews began flying over the Italian port of Bari. One eye-witness wrote: "Although the raid only lasted 20 minutes, the results were spectacularly successful for the Germans. Not since Pearl Harbor had the Allies lost so many ships at one time. Hits on two ammunition ships resulted in explosions of major proportions, which shattered windows 7 miles away" and released clouds of chemical gas stored on one ship.

Complicity: US Bombs Syria 3 Times and Press Says Nothing (Ben Norton / Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR))
The US has bombed Syrian government-allied forces three times in just eight months. Major media outlets have overwhelmingly failed to ask critical questions about these incidents, preferring instead to echo the Pentagon. For years, media have consistently downplayed the extent of US military intervention in Syria, and repeatedly propagated the long-debunked myth that Washington never pursued regime change there in the first place. The distorted reporting on these US attacks reflects this longer trend.

ACTION ALERT: Trump's Election Commission Amounts to a War on Democracy (CREDO Action)
Donald Trump just made his move to rig elections for Republicans. A report on the 2016 election indicates that suppression efforts kept 200,000 people from voting in Wisconsin, a state Trump won by less than 23,000 votes. Trump's sham commission on 'election integrity' is led by one of the worst perpetrators of voter suppression in the country, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Tell Democratic officials: Stand up for voting rights and refuse to serve on Trump's voter suppression commission.

Colombian Gov't Sells Out Indigenous Peoples' Drinking Water To Western Mining Interests (MintPress News Desk & Caleb T. Maupin / Mint Press News)
Colombia's Wayuu people have struggled to live without water since 2011, as a dam built that year has diverted the tribe's only water source to a coal mine that consumes an astounding 17 million liters of water a day. The Wayuu say 14,000 children have died since the dam was built.

ACTION ALERT: House Move to Block Saudi Arms Deal (News Release from Office of US Rep. Justin Amash)
A bipartisan group of six representatives, led by Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.), today introduced a joint resolution of disapproval, H.J. Res. 102, to block proposed sales of precision-guided munitions and other offensive weapons to the Government of Saudi Arabia.

More Bombs Don't Mean More Peace: We Can't Kill Our Way to Victory (Friends Committee on National Legislation Newsletter)
Donald Trump is proposing massive increases in Pentagon spending, lamenting that "we never win wars anymore." Leaders on the Armed Services committees have proposed a $100 billion increase for next year. But the president doesn't have the final word on how our nation spends its money. The Constitution stipulates that Congress determines spending, and lawmakers from both major political parties have called Trump's overall budget priorities "dead on arrival."

Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty Negotiations -- Begun in March -- Set to Resume at UN on June 15 (Physicians for Social Responsibility)
At long last, negotiations have begun for a nuclear weapons ban treaty that will impose on nuclear weapons the same legal status as chemical and biological weapons: illegal under international law. As expected, the US and most of nuclear-armed countries voted "no" on the ban. Unless nuclear-armed states sign onto the ban treaty, it will not directly lead to elimination of nuclear arsenals. But history will view passage of the Ban Treaty as the beginning of the end of the nuclear weapons era.

Keep Australia Out of US Wars (John Menadue / Pearls and Irritations)
Commentary: In the event of war between the USA and any other nation in our region, Australia could not avoid involvement, because of its alliance with the USA. That is the reality we need to address. To avoid the possibility of war, an independent foreign policy for Australia is urgently required. Mr Trump's presidency only adds to the urgency.

How US Accidentally Bombed Switzerland in WWII (Michael Peck / The National Interest)

US in Afghanistan: 16th Unwinnable Year; One Million Dead, Three Milliion Refugees (Vijay Prashad / FRONTLINE & AlterNet)
Commentary: The American war in Afghanistan will soon enter its 16th year. Over this period, the United States and its allies have lost close to 3,000 soldiers, while an unknown number of Afghans have died. The official figure for the Afghan dead, above 150,000, is laughable. Each year, as the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan finds, the percentage of women and children among the official death toll increases, many of the deaths a result of aerial bombardment.

Civilians Continue to Die in Syria and Iraq: US Strike Kills 43 (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Xinhua News & Margaret Griffis / AntiWar.com & Baseness English)
The civilian death toll of the US air war against ISIS continues to soar today, with the latest US strikes against the ISIS capital city of Raqqa leveled a large apartment building in the residential area of the city, killing at least 43 civilians and wounding many others. US airstrikes killing dozens of civilians in Iraq or Syria have been nearly daily occurrences at this point, as officials continue to escalate the rate of strikes to try to "pressure" ISIS, and end up killing a soaring number of innocent bystanders.

Lockheed Sees $28 Billion From Saudi Arms Sales, Boeing Expects $50 Billion (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Paul Auskick / 247Walist.com)
The massive US arms deal with Saudi Arabia signed last month by President Trump is continuing to drive up arms makers' stock, though at present the exact dollar values for specific companies are a matter of some speculation. Lockheed Martin, long expected to be one of the big sellers, put their figure at $28 billion. Boeing offered their own estimates on Saudi contracts, saying they believe they're getting $50 billion.

Missing the Real Story about Manuel Noriega (Jonathan Marshall / Consortium News)
The death of former Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega should have sparked more reflection in the US on Noriega's ugly history of service to the CIA, the hypocrisy of Washington's "sudden discovery" of his abuses once Noriega became an unreliable ally against the Nicaraguan Sandinistas, and George H.W. Bush's bloody and illegal invasion of Panama in December 1989. The real story: Washington's hypocrisy in justifying a bloody invasion that deepened Panama's role in the drug trade.

Ottawa Demonstrators Disrupt Major Military Trade Show (Ingrid Style & David Pugliese / Ottawa Citizen & Sophia Reuss / Rabble)
On May 31, 2017, 40 Canadian peace activists blocked the two main entrances to the annual two-day Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CANSEC) trade show. Traffic was backed up for more than an hour as protestors waved signs reading: "No to Trump's Military Demands." "Stop the Saudi Arms Deal." "Abolish Nuclear Weapons." Although police were called to the scene, there were only smiles -- there was no violence.

ACTION ALERT: We, the People of the United States, Sign on to the Paris Agreement (Patrick McHeffey / MoveOn Petition & Mark Schapiro / The Pacific Standard)
In 2015, a group of young Americans filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration, claiming that the government's failure to take sufficient action on climate change was unconstitutional. With legal guidance from Our Children’s Trust, the 21 plaintiffs --  between the ages of nine and 21 --  allege that the government's inaction on climate has violated their Constitutional right to "life, liberty, and property." The case is due to go to trial this year.

US Military Admits Failures to Monitor Over $1 Billion Worth of Arms Transfers to Iraq (Amnesty International & Democracy Now!)
The US Army failed to keep tabs on more than $1 billion worth of arms and other military equipment in Iraq and Kuwait according to a now declassified Department of Defense (DoD) audit, obtained by Amnesty International following Freedom of Information requests. The scathing report criticized "the US Army's flawed -- and potentially dangerous -- system for controlling millions of dollars' worth of arms transfers to a hugely volatile region."

The Saudi Deal Shows Just How Broken The US Arms Export Process Has Become (A. Trevor Thrall / Defense One)
A system meant to keep weapons sales from undermining US national security has become a sham. The $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia was another sign that the American arms sales process is broken.

The British Vote, Peace, the Environment, and Ariana Grande (Environmentalists Against War & Al Jazeera & Associated Press)
Labor Party opposition candidate Jeremy Corbyn has been called the "Bernie Sanders of Britain" because of his progressive politics. A win by Conservative candidate Theresa May ("the Maybot") would put the Tories in power. The Tories would prioritize the interests of the rich by reintroducing fox-hunting, legalizing the ivory trade (which sees around 20,000 African elephants killed each year), and putting the profits of the fossil fuel industry ahead of the environment, as ice caps melt and sea levels steadily rise.

Terror in Britain: What Did the Prime Minister Know? (John Pilger / John Pilger's Website)
The unsayable in Britain's general election campaign is this. The causes of the Manchester atrocity, in which 22 mostly young people were murdered by a jihadist, are being suppressed to protect the secrets of British foreign policy.

Trump's Support of Dictators Echoes Long-standing US Policies (Robert Reich / Reader Supported News & David Vine / TomDispatch & TruthDig)
Analysis: More than half of America's foreign military bases are located in undemocratic countries ruled by autocratic leaders. US bass and troops are effectively helping block the spread of democracy in countries like Cameroon, Chad, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kuwait, Niger, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The silencing of critics of human rights abuses in these countries makes the US complicit in these crimes. Maintaining US troops in foreign countries costs at least $150 billion a year.

Congressional Hawks Expect Battle for Military Spending Hikes (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Rebecca Kheel /The Hill)
There's been a trend in the US in military spending in recent years. The president asks for a substantial increase in spending, Congress condemns it as too small, proposes an even bigger one, then the House and Senate take turns trying to outdo one another until the budget has been completely busted. But fear of cuts to the State Department, to foreign aid, and to domestic spending are all going to turn some Congressmembers against Trump's reckless military-spending proposals.

Remembering Past Wars; Preventing Future Wars: Hochschild, Ellsberg, Cabasso and Hartsough (World Beyond War )
On the Memorial Day weekend -- a century since World War I and a half-century since Vietnam -- World Beyond War hosted a group of authors who gathered in San Francisco to discuss the lessons learned from history and to assess the new tides of anti-war activism currently underway. The speakers included: Adam Hochschild, Daniel Ellsberg, Jackie Cabasso, and David Hartsough.

ACTION ALERT: An Unprecedented Threat: Trump's Decision on the Paris Climate Accord (Michael Brune / EcoWatch & Ken Kimmell / The Union of Concerned Scientists & Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis / Washington Post)
Donald Trump is about to announce whether he'll keep the US in the Paris Climate Agreement. It is abundantly clear that the Trump and his administration doesn't treat climate change as a real threat. He is willing to cede US leadership in the fight against climate change to other countries. That's why it is necessary to redouble our efforts to protect science -- and fight for science-based policies that protect us all.

Environmental impact of US-Australian Talisman Sabre Military Exercises (Justin Tutty / Darwin No Waste Alliance & Australian Departmentof Defense & Ruby Jones / Australia Broadcasting Corporation)
Analysis: Critics have expressed growing concerns about the impacts of "Talisman Sabre," a joint US-Australian military exercise set to begin in June 2017. Environmentalists fear the "unmanaged risks stemming from the unprecedented changes of a growing foreign military presence" including Special Forces, amphibious landings, parachuting, land force maneuvers, urban operations, air and maritime operations, the firing of live ammo and explosive ordnance from small arms, artillery, naval vessels and aircraft.

What the North Korean "Crisis" Is Really About (Paul Craig Roberts / The Institute for Political Economics)
Commentary: "The North Korean "crisis" is a Washington orchestration. North Korea was last at war 1950-53. N. Korea has not attacked or invaded anyone in 64 years. N. Korea lacks the military strength to attack any country, such as South Korea and Japan, that is protected by the US. Moreover, China would not permit N. Korea to start a war. So what is the demonization of N. Korea by the presstitutes and Trump administration about?"

Russia Calls House Bill an "Act of War." Will the Senate Block H.R. 1644? (Gar Smith / World Beyond War & Op-Ed News & Information Clearinghouse)
Top Russian officials are concerned that a bill passed by the US Congress will do more than increase sanctions on North Korea. Moscow claims H.R. 1644 violates its sovereignty and constitutes an "act of war."

US Launches ICMB to Intercept Mock Warhead over Pacific (ABC News & RT News & CNN)
The US has "successfully intercepted" an intercontinental ballistic missile during the first test of its ground-based intercept system. The test occurred days after the North Korean regime launched its ninth missile this year. The US launched its first ICBM in 1961. North Korea debuted its first ICBM in 2012. Pyongyang has not yet tested its KN-08 and KN-14 missiles.

Trump Faces Showdown With Congress Over Saudi Arms Deal (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Ben Kentish / The Independent)
Donald Trump has been bragging about his massive $350 billion Saudi Arabia arms deal,but a wary Congress may not agree to accept it, especially given complaints from the United Nations and a number of human rights organizations that have documented a series of deadly Saudi airstrikes in Yemen -- on civilian targets including hospitals, markets, schools and a large funeral.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Condemns New US Arms Sale to Saudi Arabia (Information Clearing House & Tulsi Gabbard / US House of Representatives)
Congresswoman and former US Army Major Tulsi Gabbard has condemned the $460 billion deal with Riyahd, noting that Saudi Arabia is a repressive monarchy that suppresses human rights at home and is arguably the world's largest sponsor of terrorism -- the leading propagator of the Wahhabi Salafist extremism that fuels terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda.

Are We Fighting Terrorism, Or Creating More Terrorism? (Ron Paul / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity)
Commentary: Do we really believe we are fighting terrorism by terrorizing innocent civilians overseas? "Collateral damage" is just another word for "murder." Last week, US and "coalition" attacks left more than 200 Syrian civilians dead and many hundreds injured. US intervention was supposed to protect the population from government attacks, instead, US-led air strikes have killed more civilians over the past month than air strikes of the Assad government. That is like a doctor killing his patient to save him.

US Troops: Killing Civilians from Syria to Yemen (Xinhua News & The Intercept & Iona Craig / The Intercept & Matthew Cole / The Intercept)
At least 20 civilians were killed when a US-led airstrike struck their convoy near the northern city of Syria's Raqqa. Last Thursday, 35 civilians were killed by US strikes on IS-held city of Mayadeen in the eastern province of Deir al-Zour. Five civilians including a child were killed and another five were wounded in the latest US Navy SEAL raid in Yemen. The May 23 raid also destroyed at least four homes. Fifteen-year-old Abdullah Saeed Salem al Adhal was shot dead as he fled from his home with women and children.

"Take Out Their Families": Trump's Illegal Terrorist Agenda (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Tom LoBianco / CNN & Gregory Krieg / CNN)
Over the course of the past week, US warplanes have repeatedly targeted the town of Mayadeen, in the ISIS-held part of Syria. The casualties have been overwhelmingly civilian in nature, and many reports suggest those civilians were mostly relatives of ISIS fighters. During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump publicly advocated a US military strategy of deliberately killing civilian relatives of ISIS members. To be noted: deliberately targeting civilians is a war-crime, irrespective of who they are related to.

Death in al Ghayil: How Women, Children Died in Trump's 'Highly Successful' Raid (Iona Craig / The Intercept)
According to residents of the village of al Ghayil, in Yemen's al Bayda province, the first to die in the assault was 13-year-old Nasser al Dhahab. Airstrikes obliterated Mohammed al Ameri's house, killing three of his children, ages 7, 5, and 4. Abdulraouf, whose house appeared to be one of the targets, was the apparent target of at least three separate airstrikes between 2011 and 2013, including one in September 2012 that killed 12 civilians -- a pregnant woman and three children were among the dead. Following the deaths, Abdulraouf called on the families of victims to hire international lawyers to take their cases to court in the United States.

Thousands March in Brussels to Protest NATO and Trump (Popular Resistance & Marthe van der Wolf / Voice of America)
War protesters blocked the entrance to the NATO meeting in Brussels to underscore concerns that NATO is actually a war machine, and that far from ensuring peace and security in the world, it only reinforces its instability through the threat of the use of nuclear arms. Peace protesters are demanding that US nuclear weapons be removed from sites in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Turkey and The Netherlands.

This Memorial Day, Remember the Victims of Democide (Thomas Knapp / AntiWar.com)
Commentary: "This weekend, Americans will seize the opportunity to sleep in an extra day, fire up the family grill, and maybe -- probably not, but maybe -- wheel out to a family cemetery, lay flowers on graves, and contemplate the memories of their beloved for a few minutes. But to be honest, I'd rather expand the holiday back to its original purpose -- mourning and remembering all those killed in war and by state violence, not just those in uniform. And, furthermore, resolving to put a stop to the carnage."

The Hazards of Military Worship (Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & Danny Sjursen / TomDispatch)
The US Air Force is running out of ordinary bombs, smart bombs, and in some cases missiles. No kidding. The air war over Syria and Iraq that began in August 2014 and is now two-and-a-half years old has eaten through America's supply of bombs. In the era of Donald Trump, the generals are increasingly running their own wars, which, if the daily drumbeat of news about them is accurate, are only ramping up further. Everywhere you look, from Yemen to Iraq, Syria to Somalia, the American military is growing more assertive as civilian casualties rise.

ACTION ALERT: End the Dickey Amendment: Allow Research on Gun Violence (Nation of Change Petition)
Gun violence kills nearly 100 Americans every day. But Congress refuses to move forward on gun control legislation claiming that there is not enough evidence and not enough research to move forward. In 1996, the NRA-backed Dickey Amendment ordered the Center for Disease Control to halt studies on the effect of gun violence on the American public. Meanwhile, the American Medical Association, the most powerful medical association in the United States, has called gun violence a "public health crisis."

US Kills Record Number of Civilians as War on Terror Fails (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Alex Hopkins / AirWars.org)
The US is eager to brag about their record number of airstrikes in the ISIS war, with the rate of growth in the number of strikes launched limited only by their ability to get enough weapons to drop on people. But NGOs keeping track of the number of civilians the US is killing tell a different story with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights putting the death toll at 225 over the last month -- the most civilians the US has killed in any one month span of the ISIS war.

Rising Numbers of Children Are Dying in Afghan War (Ruchi Kumar / Truthout)
In its annual report for 2016, UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan documented 11,418 civilian casualties, an increase over previous years. Children accounted for at least 30 percent of these casualties. The report noted 3,512 child casualties (923 deaths and 2,589 injuries), a 24 percent increase from 2015, and the highest number of child casualties recorded by UNAMA in any single year. This year hasn't been any better. The first four months of 2017 have already listed the highest number of children killed.

World to Cut Emissions With or Without Trump (Zofeen Ebrahim / Nation of Change)
In March, Donald Trump threatened to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord and roll back the widely supported climate protection policies of former president Barack Obama. World leaders are trying to convince Trump to recognize the science and the critical need to address climate change, noting that future climate action will require farsightedness, political courage, intelligent regulations and getting corporations on board.

Audit: US Army Lost Track of Over $1 Billion in Arms in Iraq in 2016 (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Thomas Gibbons-Neff / The Washington Post)
In the ever-growing number of wars and interventions the US has gotten itself entangled in since 2001, the Pentagon has had a recurring problem -- sending billions of dollars worth of arms and vehicles into warzones and then quickly losing track of it. A new government audit on the transfers related to the Iraq has found that improper record-keeping and a total lack of accountability after the gear is dispatched has left more than $1 billion in military materiel unaccounted for.

Trump Killing More Syrian Civilians than Assad (AntiWar.com & MiddleEastEye)
Donald Trump has signed off on a war crime by fulfilling his campaign promise to "go after the families" of ISIS fighters. In one two-day period in May, US-led coalition air strikes have killed more than 100 Syrian civilians. At least 80 of the dead were described as "relatives" of ISIS fighters. The dead included dozens of women and at least 33 children. Between April 23 and May 23, 146 civilians were killed by Syrian government aircraft while at least 225 civilians were killed by US-led airstrikes.

UN Condemns US Airstrikes as 106 Civilians Are Killed in Syria (Al Jazeera & PressTV News Videos)
he UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has condemned rising civilian casualties in airstrikes in Syria mostly carried out by the US-led coalition. Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein has urged all parties in Syria to take greater care and distinguish between legitimate military targets and civilians. At least 106 civilians -- including 42 children -- have been killed in a series of US-led airstrikes on an ISIL-held town in eastern Syria.

US Admits Killing at Least 105 Civilians in Mosul: Iraq Demands Compensation (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Raptly TV & France 24 & BBC News & Rudaw & AP)
Iraqi officials are demanding compensation for victims of a US-led coalition airstrike on March 17. The Pentagon belatedly acknowledged killing at least 105 civilians in an attack the US insists was targeting Islamic State fighters. Other reports claim the devastating attack killed more than 230 civilians. Neighbors insist that there were no IS fighters or explosives inside the house struck by the US strike -- an attack that has been called "one of the most calamitous US airstrikes in modern history."

New War Authorization Bill Would Subvert Constitution, Make Trump "21st Century King George III" (Steven Nelson / UN News & World Report)
New bipartisan legislation would legitimize certain US military campaigns that are currently considered unlawful. Legal experts have raised alarms that the bill could become a blank check for presidential war-making because it further erodes Congress's Constitutional authority to declare war. The new Authorization for the Use of Military Force could be "subject to potentially sweeping interpretations" and "does little to curtail unilateral executive authority."

Roots of The Manchester Attack: The Only Way to Stop the Atrocities Is to End the Wars that Feed Extremism (The New Cold War & The Intercept & Al-Monitor & Consortium News & Press TV & Iran Daily & War On The Rocks )
Donald Trump left the Middle East having done his bit to make the region even more divided and mired in conflict than it was before. At the same moment that Trump was condemning the suicide bomber in Manchester as "an evil loser," he was adding to the chaos in which al-Qaeda and ISIS have taken root and flourished. It may be a long distance between the massacre in Manchester and the wars in the Middle East, but the connection is there.

The 'War On Terrorism' Isn't Working (Justin Raimondo / AntiWar.com)
Commentary: If insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, then our foreign policy surely qualifies as madness. Since the September 11, 2001 attacks, the US has been in a state of constant warfare: the hapless Afghan conflict has become the longest sustained combat in our history. From Iraq to Syria to Somalia and beyond, US forces and their proxies are engaged in a "war on terrorism" that shows no signs of slowing down, only expanding. And where has it gotten us?

It's Time to Ban the Bomb (Alice Slater / World Beyond War & The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)
This week, the "United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading Towards their Total Elimination" released the draft of a treaty that would ban and prohibit nuclear weapons -- just as the world has done for biological and chemical weapons. The Ban Treaty is to be negotiated at the UN from June 15 to July 7 as a follow-up to the March 2017 negotiations that were attended by members of civil society and representatives of more than 130 governments.

Why Were the Saudi Streets So Quiet? (Medea Benjamin / CommonDreams)
With the world's media focused on President Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia, it's curious that the streets of Riyadh were so empty. Unlike most of Trump's public appearances, there was not a protester in sight. Why didn't they come out to call for the freedom of political prisoners, like the three young men on death row who were arrested as juveniles for protesting? Here's why: Protest is illegal in the kingdom. It's illegal to "distort the reputation of the kingdom" -- punishable by jail, flogging, torture, and publicly beheadings.

ACTION ALERT: Campaign to Block Saudi Arms Deal (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Mark Hensch / The Hill & Rep. Tulsi Gabbard & Bryan Schatz / Mother Jones)
Sen. Rand Paul intends to force a Senate vote on the record $110 billion US arms deals with Saudi Arabia. Paul was expected to introduce the bill on Wednesday. The Arms Export Control Act gives senators 10 days to challenge arms sales, and Paul will have to act fast since the Senate is leaving of Friday for the Memorial Day holiday, after which they have an entire week off. You can bet the Arms Industry's lobbyists will turn out in force to torpedo any such vote.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Washington to Stop Arming Terrorists (Rep. Tulsi Gabbard / US House of Representatives & Alex Newman / The New American)
A bipartisan bill to prohibit US taxpayer-funded arming of terrorist groups and their associates is making progress in Congress. Recently a companion bill was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). The legislation, originally sponsored in the House by Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hi), takes aim at lawless US government "regime change" schemes overseas that often involve providing money, weapons, training, and other support to savage terror organizations.

Trump Targets EPA for Cuts; Ignores Job-creating Renewables Revolution; Makes a $2 Trillion Math Mistake on Budget Plan (Andy Rowell / Oil Change International & EcoWatch & Ryan Teague Beckwith / TIME Magazine & Lawrence H. Summers / The Washington Post & Max Ehrenfreund / The Washington Post)
Analysis: The Trump team prides itself on its business background but choses sto rely on ludicrous supply-side economics. Trump's new budget rests on "a logical error of the kind that would justify failing a student in an introductory economics course" -- a mistake no serious businessperson would make; the most egregious accounting error in a presidential budget in nearly 40 years. How could the Treasury Secretary, the OMB director and the director of the National Economic Council allow such an elementary error?

Trump's Border Wall Threatens 93 Endangered Species (The Center for Biological Diversity / CommonDreams)
Donald Trump's border wall threatens 93 endangered and threatened species, including jaguars, ocelots, Mexican gray wolves and cactus ferruginous pygmy owls, according to a new study by the Center for Biological Diversity. The study also found that 25 threatened or endangered species have designated "critical habitat" on the border, including more than 2 million acres within 50 miles of the border.

Plan to Drill in Monuments Exposed: Trump Order Could Open Up Area Larger Than Yellowstone to Drilling (Greenpeace / EcoWatch & Jennifer A Dlouhy / Bloomberg)
Areas set aside by the Obama Administration as natural wonders now are under review. Critics say Donald Trump may bow to oil companies and end wilderness protections. An investigation by Greenpeace, published Wednesday by Bloomberg, has revealed that more than 2.7 million acres of iconic US land could be at risk from fossil fuel exploration following Donald Trump's decision to review the protection on dozens of national monuments.

Should Psychiatrists Speak Out Against Trump? (Jane Mayer / The New Yorker)
When Donald Trump accused his predecessor Barack Obama of wiretapping him, James Comey, then the FBI director, told colleagues that he considered Trump to be "outside the realm of normal," and even "crazy." Many Americans share this view, but the professionals who are best qualified to make such an assessment have been forced to remain mum. The "Goldwater Rule" forbids mental-health professionals to give opinions on public figures they haven't personally examined. Some may make an exception.

Rape Culture and the Problem of Patriarchy (Robert Jensen / Waging Nonviolence)
Commentary and Analysis: Do we live in a rape culture, or is rape perpetrated by a relatively small number of predatory men? From football-obsessed state schools to elite private campuses, the reality of rape and rape culture continues to be reported by journalists and critiqued by victim-survivors. The only sensible way to understand these issues is through a feminist critique of patriarchy -- "the manifestation and institutionalization of male dominance over women and children."

Washington Has Plans to Nuke Russia and China (Paul Craig Roberts / PaulCraig Roberts.org)
Commentary: Washington's demonization of Russia and President Putin, the incessant lies about Russian deeds and intentions, and the refusal of Washington to cooperate with Russia on any issue have convinced the Russian government that Washington is preparing the Western populations for an attack on Russia. It is obvious that China has come to the same conclusion.

US Commerce Secretary Raves about Protester-free Saudi Arabia: "No Bad Placards" (Jen Hayden / The Daily Kos)
When Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross appeared on CNBC to talk about his trip to Saudi Arabia with Donald Trump, he praised the oppressive Saudi monarchy, declaring: "There was not a single hint of a protester anywhere there during the whole time we were there. Not one guy with a bad placard." Maybe that's because, in 2016, Saudi Arabia beheaded more than 150 of its citizens.

Pentagon Places New Orders for Assassination Mini-Drones (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Patrick Tucker / Defense One)
It's no news that the Pentagon is open to using mini-drones on "kamikaze" missions to assassinate people on the president's "kill list" but it may come as a surprise to learn that the military "urgently" wants another 325 of the flying executioners. Now the military wants cheap kamikaze drones that troops could fire from handheld bazooka-like launchers.

Amid Growing Famine, War, and Poverty Calls for Global Cuts in Military Spending (Global Campaign on Military Spending)
According to the updated 2016 military spending data published by SIPRI, world military expenditure in 2016 increased by 0.4% in real terms, and is now estimated at roughly $ 1686 billion. The top 10 spender in 2016 was the USA. With the world plagued by growing threats of war, famine and poverty, the Global Campaign on Military Spending is calling for a yearly 10% cut in military spending.

Trump Plan to Drill in Monuments Exposed (Greenpeace / EcoWatch)
Areas set aside by Obama as natural wonders now under review. Critics say Trump may bow to oil companies and end wilderness protections.

GE & Blackstone Use Trump's Visit to Strike Saudi Deals; Congresswoman Condemns US/Saudi Arms Agreement (Reuters & Agence France-Presse & AntiWar.com)
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) has condemned the Trump Administration's $460 billion arms deal with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia -- a country with a devastating record of human rights violations and a long history of providing support to terrorist organizations that threaten the American people. Meanwhile, GE used Trump's trip to sign $15 billion worth of deals with Saudi Arabia to increase oil production and finance medical health research.

Saudi Arabia's Long Record of Floggings, Beheadings, Mysogeny and Support for Global Terrorism (HumanRightsWatch & Elizabeth McLaughlin / ABC News)
The State Department's 2016 Human Rights Report made no secret of Saudi Arabia's human rights abuses, including: "citizens' lack of the ability and legal means to choose their government; restrictions on universal rights, such as freedom of expression, including on the internet, and the freedoms of assembly, association, movement, and religion; and pervasive gender discrimination and lack of equal rights that affected most aspects of women's lives." Not to mention the beheadings.

Trump's Real Danger Is Not with Russia but with the Middle East (Sheldon Richman / The Libertarian Institute)
Commentary and Analysis: "While the chattering classes spend all their time rehashing Donald Trump's alleged... coordination with Russians over their alleged hacking of the Democrats' email, a story with far more ominous implications is being ignored. I refer to Trump's trip, beginning today, to Saudi Arabia and Israel. For a guy who promised to concentrate on domestic matters, he's sure engaging in a lot of empire preservation. The two most destabilizing countries in the Middle East are Saudi Arabia and Israel."

The Resolute Forest Products Paper Company Wants to Wage War on Ancient Boreal Forests (Colin Beavan / Yes! Magazine)
An avaricious paper company is clearcutting critical boreal forests but when Greenpeace published a critical report revealing the scope of damage caused by Resolute Forest Products, the company responded by suing Greenpeace for $300 million. You probably haven't read about this in the New York Times, Washington Post, or LA Times. Why? Because Resolute provides the paper for the nation's biggest newspapers and publishers. So it's up to independent media to speak out.

What America's New Arms Deal with Saudi Arabia Says about the Trump Administration (Alex Ward / Vox.com & Kareem Shaheen / The Guardian)
Donald Trump has announced a 10-year, $350 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia which includes tanks, helicopters, ships, aircraft, and a missile-defense radar system. But the Saudis have used US weapons to wage a war in Yemen that has killed at least 10,000 people and displaced more than 3 million since March 2015. Millions now are at risk of famine while Saudi warplanes -- equipped with US bombs and missiles -- have targeted hospitals, schools, roads, bridges, farms, livestock, and other civilian targets.

Trump Saudi Arms Deal Boast of "Jobs for Americans' Means Famine and Death for Yemenis (Lauren McCauley / CommonDreams)
The arms deal offered to Saudi Arabia will be used against the people of Yemen, who are currently facing a deadly cholera outbreak and a devastating famine. In exchange for the $110 billion package -- the largest arms deal in history -- Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has offered to invest at least $200 billion in US infrastructure. One possible outcome of Trump's visit could be a green light to attack the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, where the bulk of the humanitarian aid enters Yemen.

Trump's Saudi Trip Should Not Be to Clinch Arms Deal but to End Yemen War (Medea Benjamin / AlterNet)
Commentary: Donald Trump should use his trip to put a halt to weapons sales and press the Saudis to sit with neighboring countries to find new political solutions. Instead of acting as a salesman for the arms industry, Trump should be a statesmen for the suffering Yemenis. He should use his visit to press for a ceasefire and negotiations to end the conflict in Yemen.

US 3 A.M. Airstrike Kills 30 Syrian Civilians, Including a Dozen Children (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Reuters & Agence France-Presse & Brett Wilkins / Digital Journal)
Adding to the growing civilian death toll caused by US airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, a cowardly 3 A.M. airstrike on the Syrian border town of Abu Kamal killed at least 30 civilians. More than a dozen children were reported to be among the dead after airstrikes believed to be carried out by US coalition planes. The United States military has said it makes "extraordinary efforts" to avoid civilian deaths in its air strikes in Syria and Iraq.

Trump's $110 Billion Arms Deal With Saudi Arabia May Be Illegal -- and Congress Can Block It (Akbar Shahid Ahmed / Huffington Post & Al Jazeera)
The human rights arm of the American Bar Association has sent the Senate a legal analysis saying that President Donald Trump's plan for an arms deal with Saudi Arabia worth more than $100 billion would be illegal because of the Saudis' bloody role in the ongoing conflict in Yemen, which has killed thousands of innocent civilians and now is about to plunge the nation into a devastating famine. It is illegal to sell US weapons to countries that use these weapons against civilian populations.

Targeting a Living Icon: The Rhino Wars (Al Jazeera & Clinton Wright / The National Geographic)
A war is currently being fought between nations across the world. A war with human casualties on both sides -- but without anyone truly realizing what is at stake. We are in the midst of what can loosely be termed the Second Rhino War. The Second Rhino War is mankind's third attempt at eradicating rhinos from our planet.

A New Novel on the Human Price of Wars (Nick Turse / TomDispatch & Peter Van Buren / TomDispatch)
Daniel Ellsberg calls Peter Van Buren's new novel, "Hooper's War, a "book for our times." CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin says that it's a "stunningly written tale," a "haunting WWII novel that reveals the darkest secrets about war and the warriors." CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou says former State Department official Peter Van Buren has crafted a novel all too "relevant to our own current political and military struggles." The author writes about his newest work.

Chelsea Manning Is Free but Whistleblowers Still Face Jail -- And the Scorn of the Mainstream Media (Janine Jackson / Counterspin & Max Anderson / Human Rights Watch)
Chelsea Manning is free but, as a statement from Human Rights Watch notes, Manning's "absurdly disproportionate" 35-year sentence for passing classified documents to Wikileaks in 2010, was prosecuted under the Espionage Act of 1917, which still stands ready for use against the next whistleblower. The corporate media did failed to call for clemency, even though Mannings revelations informed countless media reports -- including revelations about a 2007 US military attack in Iraq that killed two Reuters journalists.

Trump's Foreign Agenda: $350 Billion to the Saudis to Bomb Yemen and a Call for an "Arab NATO" (Daniel Larison / The American Conservative & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Mythili Sampathkumar / The Independent)
Of all the countries Trump could have chosen for his first visit, he chose to visit Saudi Arabia -- the country whose government is largely responsible for causing a major man-made famine in one of the world's poorest countries and has implicated the US in numerous war crimes because of our government's assistance with their war effort. While Trump will be schmoozing with despots in Riyadh, millions of Yemenis will continue to be starved as a result of deliberate policy choices supported by Washington.

Trump's War on Clean Energy and the EPA (Andrea Germanos / EcoWatch & CommonDreams)
According to a draft of the government's 2018 budget proposal, he Trump administration is planning to gut the US Department of Energy's budget for its renewable energy and energy efficiency program -- with a proposal to slash it by 70 percent. Support for sustainable transportation would be cut nearly 70-percent. Energy efficiency programs would be cut 79%. The cuts are so draconian that observers predict the plan is unlikely to win congressional approval.

US Soldiers Fighting Multiple "Shadow Wars" in Africa (Nick Turse / VICE News)
Six years ago, a conservative estimate claimed Navy SEALs, Army Green Berets, and other special operations forces were engaged in116 missions across the globe. Today, special operators are carrying out nearly 100 missions in Africa alone -- 1,700 US military troops spread out across 20 countries. Special operations forces were deployed to at least 32 African nations in 2016.

10 Reasons Trump Should Not Strengthen US-Saudi Ties (Medea Benjamin / Nation of Change)
If the Trump administration truly wants to find a way out of the wars in the Middle East and make the United States safer from terrorists, it would do well to stop arming, aiding and abetting the ruthless Saudi regime.

A New Novel on the Human Price of Wars (Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & Peter Van Buren / TomDispatch)
Daniel Ellsberg calls Peter Van Buren's new novel, "Hooper's War, a "book for our times." CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin says that it's a "stunningly written tale," a "haunting WWII novel that reveals the darkest secrets about war and the warriors." CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou says former State Department official Peter Van Buren has crafted a novel all too "relevant to our own current political and military struggles." The author writes about his newest work.

America's Empire Includes Military Bases in 45 Undemocratic Nations (Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & David Vine / TomDispatch)
Donald Trump has invited a growing list of autocrats to the Oval Office. Egypt, Turkey, Thailand, and The Philippines all have two things in common: They are among the world's 45 "less-than-democratic nations" and they host US military bases. For nearly 75 years, the US has invested tens of billions of dollars building bases in repressive states. Today, US troops are effectively blocking the spread of democracy in Cameroon, Chad, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kuwait, Niger, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

A Growing Blowback to Trump's Illegal Military Attacks (John Nichols / The Nation)
There is an easy way to determine whether a member of Congress is bearing true faith and allegiance to their oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic." If they demand that presidents of both parties seek congressional approval for military action, the oath is being taken seriously. If they don't, the oath is abandoned -- along with any sense of duty to defend the most basic premises of the American republic.

US Denies Launching Airstrike that Killed 42 Civilians in Syria (Erika Solomon / Financial Times & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)
More than 40 civilians have been killed in a suspected US-led coalition strike in eastern Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Colonel John Dorrian, the spokesman for the coalition, denied any of its aircraft had struck the city of al-Bukamal. A US strike in Mosul in March was reported to have killed 200 people, and a series of US raids has been linked to many deaths in Syria. A US strike on a mosque in northwestern Syria is believed to have killed more than 45 civilians.

Do We Want an Empire, or a Democracy? How to Revive the Peace Movement (Daniel May / The Nation)
Americans are reluctant to support bombing countries they've never heard of, so the Pentagon keeps those bombings secret. We refuse to allow our soldiers to be killed, so the president attacks its targets with flying robots and outsources combat to private contractors. We don't want to face the cost of foreign wars, so a small percentage of our citizens are asked to serve -- and serve longer. Such strategies are needed because war is politically unpopular. Our wars are made to feel "distant" by design.

Donald Trump: High Crimes and Misdemeanors? (Greg Miller and Greg Jaffe / The Washington Post & Dahlia Lithwick / Slate & Juan Cole / Informed Comment)
Commentaries: Since the news broke on Tuesday that Donald Trump had fired FBI Director James Comey, Harvard Law School's Laurence Tribe has been arguing that the president's conduct, in and of itself, is illegal and amounts to impeachable "high crimes and misdemeanors." And Juan Cole comments: "Trump is not fit to be president, as a matter of temperament. But his temperament was on full display before the American public and they voted for him anyway, so those voters deserve him."

North Korea Wouldn't Have Nukes Today if We'd Kept Our Word in the Past (Bruce Cumings / The Nation & Justin Raimondo / AntiWar.com & The Burning Platform)
The standard neocon-cold war liberal line is that the North Koreans, in league with Moscow and Beijing, launched a war of aggression on June 25, 1950, when North Korean troops poured across the disputed What this truncated history leaves out is that, in doing so, they preempted South Korea's own plans to launch an invasion northward. Sixty years after the non-ending of the Korean war -- there is, to this day, no peace treaty. The lesson of that conflict is that involvement in other peoples' civil wars is never to our benefit, or theirs.

A Murderous History of Korea (Bruce Cumings / The London Review of Books)
This April, Kim In-ryong, a North Korean diplomat at the UN, warned of "a dangerous situation in which a thermonuclear war may break out at any moment." A few days later, Donald Trump stated that "we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea." Even a relatively "contained" nuclear war would threaten the survival of the world's population. We have arrived at this point because of an inveterate unwillingness on the part of Americans to face the history of its actions targeting North Korea.

One Week of Gun Deaths in America (David Waldman / Daily Kos & GunFAIL)
An average week in gun-happy America: five law enforcement officers were involved in gun accidents, three people accidentally shot family members, three people accidentally shot themselves but lied to the cops about it, three people accidentally fired guns they were cleaning or clearing, two people accidentally fired into their neighbors' homes, and two people were accidentally shot to death at their own birthday parties.

Chelsea Manning Set To Be Released On May 17, 2017 (Popular Resistance & Chelsea Manning / The Guardian & Ed Pilkington / The Guardian)
On May 17, 2017, Chelsea Manning will be freed from prison after serving seven years of a 30-year sentence for releasing sensitive Pentagon information to Wikileaks -- including shocking videotaped evidence of US war crimes in Iraq. Pentagon Papers whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg, has called Manning a 'hero'. Below is an article Manning wrote thanking those in prison who helped her get through the ordeal. Chelsea's exit from prison comes after Barack Obama commuted her 30-year sentence.

The Globalization of Misery and the Destruction of Mosul (Tom Engelhardt / Nation of Change Op-Ed)
Commentary: In mid-October 2016, the US-backed Iraqi army first launched an offensive to retake Mosul from the militants of the Islamic State in a campaign that was expected to "take weeks or even months." By the end of January 2017, after 100 days of fierce fighting, only the eastern part of Mosul was marginally back in government hands. US air power has repeatedly caused civilian deaths as hundreds of thousands of desperate and hungry inhabitants try to survive in the battle-scarred city.

GOP Is "The Most Dangerous Organization in Human History": Chomsky (Lorraine Chow / Nation of Change & Paul Buchheit / Nation of Change )
In a BBC interview, Professor Noam Chomsky repeated his claim that the Republican Party is the most dangerous organization "in human history," in light of its refusal to admit that climate change is real. Americans with wealth and power don't generally care about the middle and lower classes and they are doing real damage to the people they don't care about. In 2016, the richest 1% shifted nearly $4 trillion from the rest of the nation to themselves. Nearly half ($1.94 trillion) came from the nation's poorest 90%.

Fukushima Wildfire Covers Japan in Radioactive Smoke (Beyond Nuclear & Deutsche Welle)
A raging wildfire in the Fukushima radiation zone not far from the March 2011 Japan nuclear power plant disaster, demonstrates that a nuclear accident has long-term and on-going effects that can worsen over time. The fire, which began on April 21, s being fought from the air with helicopters spraying water. The range of radioactive contamination could be expanded as smoke from the forest fire lofts radioactivity into the air and spreads it to regions that were not contaminated by the nuclear accident.

White House Close to Finalizing More Than $100 Billion in Arms Sales to Saudis (AntiWar.com & Reuters)
US officials said the US was seeking to reach "billions" of dollars in arms sales to Saudi Arabia as part of Trump's visit to Riyadh. Details are still emerging, but the plan is for this to set out a series of growing deals over the next decade that will involve more than $300 billion going to arms dealers, not just to arm the Saudis, but in extra aid to Israel to ensure their "qualitative military edge" over the Saudis. White House officials said the move would be good for the economy.

Tens of Thousands Fill Capital to Protest Deadly US-backed Saudi Aggression in Yemen (PressTV & Tom Miles / Reuters)
Tens of thousands of people have held a massive rally in the Yemeni capital Sana'a to voice their outrage at the US-backed Saudi military campaign against the impoverished Arab country. Since March 2015, Saudi warplanes have killed more than 12,000 Yemenis. Nearly 3.3 million Yemenis, including 2.1 million children, suffer from acute malnutrition. Meanwhile, the UN warns that a Saudi attack on Yemen's Houthi-controlled port city of Hudaydah could displace a minimum of 400,000 people.

ACTION ALERT: The American Way of War is a Budget-breaker (William D. Hartung / Nation of Change)
When Donald Trump wanted to "do something" about the use of chemical weapons in Syria, he had the US Navy lob 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield (cost: $89 million). While $89 million is a rounding error in the Pentagon's $600 billion budget, it's more than twice the $38 million annual budget of the US Institute of Peace and more than half the $149 million budget of the National Endowment of the Arts -- both slated for elimination under Trump's heavily militarized budget blueprint.

ACTION ALERT: How the Global Bail Bond Industry Wages War on Poor Families (Color of Change & teleSUR)
Today is Mother's Day. But many Black mothers, who are too poor to pay for their own freedom, are locked up in jails unable to be with their loved ones. The money bail system hurts families and traps communities in debt and poverty by jailing poor Black people. But there is something that is less visible: there are just a few bail bond companies at the top making millions of dollars every year from preying on the poor. California now is on the verge of passing legislation to overhaul the money bail system.

Climate Activists Face Jail for Shutting Tar-sand Valves: Judge Forbids Mention of Climate Change during Trial (Climate Direct Action & Democracy Now!)
The Climate Action Five are facing jail terms for daring to shut down five oil sand pipeline valves that fuel climate change. Their direct action shut down 15% of US crude oil imports for nearly a day. The defendants hoped to use the "necessity defense," to argue that they acted to prevent greater harm. But the judge has barred the defense team from arguing that these actions were needed to prevent worse climate harms.The court also banned the defense from mentioning the impacts of climate change.

ACTION ALERT: The Dakota Pipeline Is Already Leaking: Write to the 17 Banks Funding Polluting US Pipelines (Julian Brave NoiseCat / The Guardian & James Trimarco / Nation of Change)
On April 4, Energy Transfer Partners' not-yet-operational Dakota Access pipeline leaked a bathtub-full of shale oil at a pump station in Spink County, South Dakota. The leaks prove that the water protectors have been right all along: Pipelines leaks all the time. The pool of tar left behind is just a warning of what's to come. Of the more than 60 banks helping to finance the expansion of tar sands infrastructure, the indigenous-led environmental campaign Mazaska Talks has identified 17 as worst offenders.

Argentina Protests Court Ruling that Offers Leniency to Criminals Involved in Bloody U.S.-backed Operation Condor (teleSURtv )
Thousands of people filled Argentina's historical Plaza de Mayo on May 11 to reject a controversial Supreme Court ruling against human rights. The law reduces the sentence of prisoners convicted for dictatorship-era crimes against humanity during Operation Condor. Argentina's "Dirty War" was an offshoot of the U.S.-backed Operation Condor, a covert Cold War-era campaign of violence that lead to thousands of civilian arrests, abductions and deaths across Latin America.

Trump's War on Democracy: Hacking the Vote; Rigging the Outcome (Ari Berman / The Nation & Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! & Greg Palest / GregPalast.org)
Donald Trump has signed an executive order creating a commission on "election integrity," based on his debunked claims that millions voted illegally in 2016. Mike Pence and Kris Kobach are to co-chair the commission. Investigative reporter Greg Palest, says appointing Kobach to the "Voter Integrity Commission," would be "like appointing Al Capone to investigate The Mob." Kobach is the GOP mastermind behind the secretive system that purged 1.1 million citizens from the voter roll in the 2016 election.

US Military Contractors Using Former Child Soldiers from Africa to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan (Al Jazeera)
As the military trade grows and private military companies try to find the cheapest available soldiers around the world, who are the mercenaries? And what are the consequences of the privatization of war? Child Soldiers Reloaded looks at the changing nature of war, the business of warfare and the issues behind it. How private companies recruit former child soldiers for military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

US Killing Civilians in Battle for Mosul (Kyle Anzalone and Will Porter / Libertarian Institute)
In addition to around 100,000 Iraqis, an estimated 6,000 American military personnel are now stationed in Mosul, as well as over 3,500 Pentagon contractors. Exact troop numbers are difficult to determine, however, since the administration stopped disclosing troop deployments in Iraq and Syria. More than 8,600 civilians are estimated to have been killed in Nineveh Province since the coalition began its current operation in October 2016. US bombs have contributed to the excessive civilian death toll.

America's Ready Supply of Enemies (Col. Ann Wright (ret.) / AntiWar.com)
Enemies of the US come and go. We now recognize Cuba and Vietnam. North Korea is recognized by 164 countries but not by the US, France, Japan or Saudi Arabia. It took the US 30 years to recognize the Peoples Republic of China. The US refuses to reestablish diplomatic ties with Iran citing Tehran's meddling in the affairs of its neighbors. At the same time, the US has invaded and occupied Iran's neighbors -- including Iraq and Libya -- and has launched military operations in Syria and Yemen.

Trump OKs Seismic War on Whales in the Atlantic (Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch & Lauren McCauley / Common Dreams)
The Interior Department is moving forward with seismic surveys in the Atlantic Ocean following Donald Trump's executive order to aggressively expand offshore drilling in protected areas off the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. US government estimates expect that seismic blasting in the Atlantic will injure as many as 138,000 marine mammals -- dolphins and whales. 120 East Coast cities, 1,200 elected officials, 35,000 businesses, and 500,000 fishing families publicly oppose offshore drilling and seismic blasting.

Mother's Day: A Day of Peace; A Day to Protest War (The Peace Alliance & Donald E. Skinner / UU News)
Too few Americans are aware that early advocates of Mother's Day in the US originally envisioned it as a day of peace, to honor and support mothers who lost sons and husbands to the carnage of the Civil War. In 1870 -- nearly 40 years before it became an official US holiday -- Julia Ward Howe issued her inspired Mother's Day Proclamation, calling on mothers of all nationalities to band together to promote the "amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace."

Win for Environmentalists: Senate Keeps an Obama-Era Climate Change Rule Limiting Methane Emissions (The New York Times & EarthJustice & The League of Conservation Voters)
In a surprising victory for President Barack Obama's environmental legacy, a bipartisan majority of pro-environment allies in the US Senate voted 51 to 49 to block consideration of a resolution to repeal the 2016 Interior Department rule to curb emissions of methane, a powerful planet-warming greenhouse gas. Also blocked: planned GOP-backed reductions in the EPA budget designed to gut clean energy funding and use the funds to build Donald Trump's border wall.

ACTION ALERT: How to Save 27 National Monuments that Trump Wants to "Unprotect" (Michael J. Dax and Tracy Matsue Loeffelholz / Nation of Change)
Presidents, both Republican and Democrat, have made "monuments" out of hundreds of millions of acres of public lands to protect them from development, and no president has ever "unprotected" them. The Trump administration has now singled out 27 national monument areas to do just that. The Trump administration wants to know how you feel about your national monument lands. A public comment period opens May 12.

Tunnel Collapse at Hanford Nuclear Dump Foreshadows the Collapse of the Struggling Nuclear Power Industry (Harvey Wasserman / The Progressive)
The collapse of a tunnel at a massive nuclear waste dump at Hanford, Washington, has sent shock waves through a nuclear power industry already in the process of a global collapse. Edwin Lyman of the Union of Concerned Scientists has warned that "collapse of the earth covering the tunnels could lead to a considerable radiological release . . . this a potentially serious event."

The Korean War Forgotten, Unknown, and Unfinished (H. Patricia Hynes / Truthout)
The American war in Korea lasted three years, one month and two days and ended in a stalemate on July 12, 1953, at 10:12 am. Fighting continued for 12 more hours, with even more "blood and treasure" on all sides wasted in the intense, deadly fireworks of frustrated, war-wearied soldiers. Americans at home had tired of the deadlocked war and they disconnected from it; American soldiers fighting in it did not understand its historical roots. And now, the menace of nuclear war embodies its toxic legacy.

Statement Calling for Immediate Dialogue on the Korean Peninsula Crisis (The Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict)
The Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict is deeply concerned by the heightening tensions on and around the Korean Peninsula, and calls for an immediate return to dialogue and communications as the only way to deescalate the situation, prevent violence and promote denuclearisation, peace and cooperation in the region. All efforts must be made to immediately convene such dialogue, working for both denuclearisation and a peace treaty to replace the 60-year-old Korean War armistice.

ACTION ALERT: Ask EPA to End Open Air Burns of Munitions (Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger & Jennifer Mayerle / WCCO-TV)
Toxic pollutants are released when munitions are burned, detonated or incinerated in open-air burn-pits. These toxic emissions endanger public health by contaminating nearby air, groundwater and soils. Military personnel are often the most exposed to these toxic pollutants, mainly at overseas bases. Hundreds of US communities have felt the adverse effects of these toxic pollutants at home. It is time for the EPA to ban the open-burning and open-detonation of waste explosives.

Revealed (but Not in Western Media): ISIS Funded by 40 Western Countries
From Nafeez Ahmed: Secret Pentagon report reveals West saw ISIS as strategic asset Anti-ISIS coalition knowingly sponsored violent extremists to 'isolate' Assad, rollback 'Shia expansion', originally posted in Medium.

In South Korea, Women Are Leading the Resistance to US-Backed Militarization (Christine Ahn / The Nation & Foreign Policy In Focus)
Proponents of THAAD say that it's needed to intercept North Korean ballistic missiles. But MIT military analyst Theodore Postol says the system's ability to deter missiles is "insignificant." Rather, Postol explains, THAAD "will definitely be looked upon by China as a significant military provocation by the US" that could trigger military confrontations or war. South Korean women aren't buying the argument, either. Women residents from Seongju and Gimcheon, flanked by local Won Buddhists, have vowed to protest.

Lockheed Martin-Funded Experts Agree: South Korea Needs More Lockheed Martin Missiles (Adam Johnson / Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR))
The Center for Strategic and International Studies is a think-tank that promotes missile defense spending by providing Official-Sounding Quotes to reporters. But CSIS is not an impartial news source. As FAIR reports, five of CSIS's ten major corporate donors ("$500,000 and up") are weapons manufacturers: Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Boeing, Leonardo-Finmeccanica, and Northrop Grumman. Three of it its top four government donors are the United States, Japan and Taiwan.

Moon Jae-in Elected in South Korea, Promises New Push for Peace With North (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Lee Jung-ae / The Hankyoreh)
In a move that had been widely expected by the polls, Democratic Party candidate Moon Jae-in has won the presidency of South Korea. Moon is a major departure from the recent string of hawks in the South Korean presidency, advocating peaceful reunification with North Korea. He is seen as keen to return to the Sunshine Policy of the early 2000s, aimed at improving bilateral ties and trying to avoid war. That's not likely to sit well with the Trump Administration.

Ignoring the Costs of War (Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & William D. Hartung / TomDispatch)
In this century of nonstop military conflict, the American public has never fully confronted the immense costs of the wars being waged in its name. The human costs -- including an estimated 370,000 deaths, more than half of them civilians, and the millions who have become refugees -- are surely the most devastating consequences of these conflicts. But the economic costs of our recent wars should not be ignored.

US Fires 2 Nuclear-capable Ballistic Missiles; Says 'Yes' to Nuke Tests, 'No' to a Nuke Ban Treaty (John LaForge / PeaceVoice)
Twice in seven days, the US shot nuclear-capable long-range missiles 4,000 miles over the Pacific, while refusing to join UN negotiations aimed at securing a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley addressed the US boycott of the New York meeting, explaining that atomic weapons were needed by "those of us that are good, trying to keep peace and safety."

Is Political Hubris an Illness? (Evan Osnos / The New Yorker)
In the months since he entered the White House, Donald Trump has become a kind of international case study of mental health's role in politics. Trump appears to display a disorder called "Hubris Syndrome" -- identified by "impetuosity, a refusal to listen to or take advice and a particular form of incompetence when impulsivity, recklessness and frequent inattention to detail predominate."

Massive, Relentless Attacks on the US Media; A Precursor to a Totalitarian State? (Michael Payne / Nation of Change)
What kind of a president with what kind of characteristics would be needed to take this country in the direction of a totalitarian state? The relentless attacks on the media by the Trump administration could be a sign that this government could be heading down a road leading to a dictatorship. Trump and his advisers are trying very hard to figure out how to create laws by which they could take the various elements of the media to court when they strongly criticize something this government does.

How Trump's Genocidal Hero Andrew Jackson Might Have "Avoided the Civil War" (Harvey Wasserman / Solartopia & Reader Supported News)
Commentary: "Donald Trump's latest insane excursion into US history has been to claim that his great hero, Andrew Jackson, might have prevented the Civil War. Given his racist, genocidal nature, our seventh president could only have done that by giving up slavery in the South, spreading it into the North or giving the Southwest back to Mexico. Jackson, of course, would never have given up slavery, which was the cause of the war and the core of his fortune."

ACTION ALERT: 500,000 Children Face Death from Famine in Yemen. So Ask Ivanka to Tell Her Father to Watch This Video (Robert Naiman / Just Foreign Policy & Max Bearak / CNN)
It this how foreign policy works these days? Faced with another looming humanitarian disaster -- the deaths of half-a-million children in Yemen -- we no longer resort to phone calls or letters to the Oval Office? Instead, we sign a petition to plead with the president's daughter to persuade him to watch an eight-minute video to learn what is happening to the people (and the "beautiful babies") in Yemen. Well, if that's what it takes, it's worth the effort.

There's No Such Thing as 'Limited' Nuclear War (Sen. Dianne Feinstein / The Washington Post)
Last month, it was revealed that a Pentagon advisory committee authored a report calling for the United States to invest in new nuclear weapons and consider resuming nuclear testing. The report even suggested researching less-powerful nuclear weapons that could be deployed without resorting to full-scale nuclear war. This is terrifying and deserves a swift, full-throated rebuke.

US Nuclear Escalations Endanger the World (Conn Hallinan / Dispatches from the Edge & The Berkeley Daily Planet)
At a time of growing tensions between nuclear powers -- Russia and NATO in Europe, and the US, North Korea and China in Asia -- Washington has quietly upgraded its nuclear weapons arsenal to create, according to three leading American scientists, "exactly what one would expect to see, if a nuclear-armed state were planning to have the capacity to fight and win a nuclear war by disarming enemies with a surprise first strike."

Worried World Urges Trump Not to Pull Out of Paris Climate Agreement (Oliver Milman, Jonathan Watts and Tom Phillips / The Guardian)
Donald Trump's scorched-earth approach to environmental protections has shocked current and former government officials overseas who are waiting nervously to see whether the US will destabilize the Paris Climate Agreement. With Trump already peeling away pollution reducing rules imposed by President Obama, alarmed officials around the world are warning Trump – a notorious climate-change denier -- not to reverse historic global climate protection efforts.

A CIA Plot to Kill Kim? It Would Not Be the First Time the US Has Plotted the Death of a World Leader (The Guardian)
North Korea has accused the CIA of attempting to assassinate its leader, Kim Jong-un, using unspecified biochemical substances. Since 1945, the CIA has succeeded in deposing or killing a string of foreign leaders, but was forced to cut back after a Senate investigation revealed its illegal covert acts in the 1970s. The CIA and South Korean intelligence have refused to comment on the accusation.

Russian Official Claims US House Bill 1644 Amounts to A 'Declaration of War' (Sputnik News & GovTrack.us & Mathew Maavak / Sputnik News)
The Korean Interdiction and Modernization of Sanctions Act, which passed the House by a near-unanimous vote, calls for enhancing sanctions against North Korea. But the chair of Russia's upper house of parliament's international committee has called the bill "an act of war" because it includes provisions for forced inspections of foreign vessels by US warships and presumes to extends US control over ports in China, Iran, Syria and the Russian Far East. Both acts constitute violations of international law.

Hanover Prepares Mass Evacuation of 50,000 Following Discovery of 13 Buried WWII Bombs (Al Jazeera)
German authorities in the town of Hanover are preparing the second-biggest mass evacuation in decades ahead of major bombs disposal operation. More than 50,000 people have been ordered to leave their homes to allow bomb squads to remove 13 WWII bombs uncovered at a construction site. Hanover was a frequent target of Allied bombing in the latter years of the war. On October 9, 1943, some 261,000 bombs were dropped on the city.

ACTION ALERT: No President Should Have Absolute Authority to Launch Nuclear Weapons (The Union of Concerned Scientists)
Donald Trump -- like every president for decades -- has sole authority to launch a US nuclear attack. And no one -- literally no one -- has the authority to stop him. The saber rattling between the United States and North Korea is a stark reminder of why this is so outrageous and unacceptable. It's time to change this deeply flawed system.

"The Planet's Most Important Lawsuit": Kids Sue Trump over Climate (John Light / Nation of Change)
As hundreds of thousands gathered in Washington for the People's Climate March, 14 young Americans, ranging in age from 9 to 21, held a press conference in front the Supreme Court. They are among 21 young plaintiffs suing the US government to force it to take action on climate change arguing that federal energy policy threatens to deprive them of "life and liberty." Environmental activists Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein -- and legal scholars alike -- call this "the most important lawsuit on the planet right now."

Democrats Propose A Bill To Completely Wean The US Off Fossil Fuels By 2050 (Alexander C. Kaufman / The Huffington Post)
Senators Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have introduced legislation outlining how the US can completely wean itself off fossil fuels by 2050. The legislation calls for half of all US electricity to derive from renewable sources, such as solar and wind power, by 2030. Unfortunately, the bill has little chance of becoming law in a Republican-dominated Congress lead by Donald Trump, who has repeatedly dismissed global warming as a hoax and made boosting fossil fuel production a top priority.

The "100 by '50 Act" Is Not Sufficient to Prevent a Climate Catastrophe (Ezra Silk / CommonDreams)
Commentary: The "100 by '50 Act," billed as "the most ambitious piece of climate legislation Congress has ever seen," is a largely symbolic gesture. Environmental critics warn that this bill will not solve the climate crisis. The bill is incremental, non-comprehensive, and fails to meet the challenge of this historic moment. It's time to go back to the drawing board. We need a true climate emergency bill grounded in climate truth.

Terror Is in the Eye of the Beholder: America's Blindness to Its Own History of Terrorism (Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & John Dower / TomDispatch)
Analysis: In one form or another, populist nationalisms today are manifestations of acute "victim consciousness." The American way of remembering its wars is distinctive for several reasons. Alone among major powers, the US escaped devastation in World War II, and has been unmatched in wealth and power ever since. "Terrorism" has become a word applied to others, never to the US. Yet during World War II, US and UK strategic-bombing planners explicitly called their firebombing of enemy cities "terror bombing."

Angry South Korean Citizens Protest US Anti-Missile System (Kim Tong-Hyung / Associated Press )
Anger boiled over in Seosongri village last week when US and South Korean military workers rushed to install key parts of the THAAD anti-missile system. Hundreds of banners now hang on trees and fences along a half-mile stretch of the road leading to a police blocade. The banners say: "Withdraw the illegal THAAD immediately" and "Stop US militarism."

How the US Can Save Billions and Avert a War with North Korea: Withdraw from South Korea (Doug Bandow / The Hill)
War fever appears to be hitting a fever pitch with Donald Trump warning of a "major, major conflict" with North Korea. US casualties likely would be very high is US forces attacked a North Korean army backed by biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons. Casualty estimates start in the tens of thousands. To trigger the war that the US spent 64 years tryng to prevent would be insane. Especially since there is a simple way to remove the North Korean threat to the US: Withdraw US troops from the Republic of Korea.

Rebuilding 'Liberated' Mosul Will Take Many Years and Billions of Dollars (Ahmed Aboulenein / Reuters & Patrick Cockburn / The Independent)
It could take five years to rebuild the bombed-out Iraqi city of Mosul starting with replacement of destroyed water, electricity and fuel systems. But the Iraqi government lacks the billions of dollars needed to restore the devastated city. While the capture of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria has been presented as the death knell for ISIS, the rebel forces are simply withdrawng to the countryside. Meanwhile, the Iraqi and Syrian armies do not have enough troops to guarantee their long-term control over the "liberated" territory.

Open Burning at US Military Sites Inflames Activists in Nearby Towns (Dan Ross / FairWarning.org)
The open burning and open detonation of hazardous waste explosives is banned in many countries, including Canada, Germany and the Netherlands. Likewise, in this country, private industry long ago was forced to abandon the primitive disposal practice. But the US military and Department of Energy have been allowed to continue the open burning and detonation of explosives and, in a few cases, even radioactive wastes under a 1980 exemption from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Terror Is in the Eye of the Beholder: America's Blindness to Its Own History of Terrorism (Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & John Dower / TomDispatch)
Analysis: In one form or another, populist nationalisms today are manifestations of acute "victim consciousness." The American way of remembering its wars is distinctive for several reasons. Alone among major powers, the US escaped devastation in World War II, and has been unmatched in wealth and power ever since. "Terrorism" has become a word applied to others, never to the US. Yet during World War II, US and UK strategic-bombing planners explicitly called their firebombing of enemy cities "terror bombing."

ACTION ALERT: War Is Not Entertainment: Dropping Bombs Does Not Make You Presidential (Jackie Wattles / CNN & Win Without War)
Noting that Donald Trump has received unwarranted applause for authorizing missile strikes in Syria and dropping a powerful bomb on an ISIS camp in Afghanistan, former CBS anchor Dan Rather schooled his colleagues in the media that: "Dropping bombs, having missile strikes, doesn't make one presidential." Tell CNN, MSNBC, and the mainstream, corporate media: Stop treating war like entertainment and responsibly report on US military action.

The Syrian Side of the Story You Never Hear (Ted Snider / AntiWar.com)
The Syrian story is not the simple narrative of good and evil offered up by Washington and the mainstream media. The conclusion among many independent intelligence and military experts is that "the nerve agent attack described in the WHR [White House report] did not occur as claimed." As Peter Ford, former British ambassador to Syria, points out: "Assad may be cruel [and] brutal,l but he's not mad. It defies belief that he would bring this all on his head for no military advantage."

Let's Call Western Media Coverage of Syria By Its Real Name: Propaganda (Michael Howard / Paste Magazine)
Commentary: "In his essential study of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, University of Kent Professor Richard Sakwa writes that, somewhere down the road, Western media's reductive, ideological coverage of the conflict 'will undoubtedly become the subject of many an intriguing academic study.' That's if the human race isn't wiped out by environmental catastrophe or nuclear holocaust first."

Donald Trump, an Authoritarian President, Has Committed Impeachable Acts (Robert Reich /Nation of Change & Robert Reich / Robert Reich's Facebook Page)
Commentary: Donald Trump's authoritarianism is a consistent and coherent philosophy of governing. But it's not America's. The framers of the US Constitution created separation of powers, checks and balances, and federalism precisely to avoid concentrated power -- to stop authoritarians like Trump. If Trump isn't impeached for treasonous collusion with Russia to influence the 2016 election, he could be impeached for violating Article I Section 9, the Constitution's "emoluments" clause.

Rapists in Blue Helmets: The Crimes of UN Peacekeepers (Nimmi Gowrinathan and Kate Cronin-Furman / Al Jazeera)
Last month's Associated Press report on the estimated 2,000 allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeepers and United Nations personnel around the world wasn't precisely breaking news. Allegations of serious misconduct directed by peacekeeping troops have dogged the UN for years. But the AP report contained several testimonies from the victims of Sri Lankan peacekeepers, who sexually abused and raped children during the 2007 UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti.

US Dropping Bombs Quicker Than They Can Be Replaced (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Matt Novak / Gizmodo & Marcus Weisgerber / Defense One)
So many bombs have been dropped in massive air wars in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan that the US has nearly run out of bombs. Between August 2014 and May 2016, the US-led coalition had conducted 12,453 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria since . More than 8,500 of the strikes occurred in Iraq and nearly 4,000 in Syria. US warplanes and drones conducted 9,495 of the strikes. More than 41,697 bombs were dropped in those strikes -- with the US "loaning" bombs to allies participating in the strikes.

Business Is Booming for Lockheed and Other US Bombmakers (Marcus Weisgerber / Defense One)
In February 2016, the Pentagon announced it was starting to run low on the smart bombs used in its 9,000-plus airstrikes against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and Barack Obama asked Congress toe for $1.8 billion to buy 45,000 new bombs. With the bombing campaign costing about $11.2 million per day, Lockheed and other bombmakers back in the US were registering record profits and expanding its munition factories to meet rising demand -- from fighting ISIS to building new weapons for Great Power wars at sea.

Survivors Refute Pentagon's False Claims Regarding Likely US War Crime in Mosul Airstrike (ason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Martha Raddatz / ABC News & Maggie Michael / Associated Press)
Witnesses Deny US Claims ISIS Forced Them Into Houses On March 17, US airstrikes leveled three buildings in Mosul's Old City, killing hundreds of civilians within. The official death toll is still not totally clear, but all told was close to 300 according to some accounts. The Pentagon version is that they were responsible for 14 deaths. Witnesses and survivors of the US strike say the widely publicized story about ISIS using civilians as "human shields" and putting them in the targeted homes never happened.

Trump Would Be 'Honored' to Meet North Korean Leader. Or He Might 'Nuke' Him: "I Don't Know, I Mean, We'll See." (AntiWar.com & The New York Post & The Washington Post)
Donald Trump said he would "be honored" to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un amid heightened tensions over the rogue regime's nuclear weapons program. At the same time, Trump did not appear to be ruling out military action against North Korea if the country pushes forward with its nuclear weapons program. Asked whether this meant he is considering a military attack on yet another foreign country, Trump explained his foreign policy position thusly: "I don't know. I mean, we'll see."

No US War on North Korea, We Hope . . . (Dave Lindorff / Nation of Change Op-Ed)
Commentary: "It's not common knowledge in the US, but the reality is that during the Korean War, US bombers dropped, over a period of a couple of years, a tonnage of bombs on North Korea equal to all the bombs dropped in the Pacific Theater during WWII, killing a third of the country's population. Virtually every North Korean has at least one family member who was killed by American bombers during the brutal onslaught."

Water War: Ukraine Builds Costly Dam to Cut River's Flow to Breakaway Crimea (UAWire & TASS & Mansur Mirovalev / Al Jazeera)
Three years ago, after the Russian annexation of Crimea, the US-backed government in Ukraine built an expensive dam to block the flow of water from the Dnieper River along the North Crimean canal, thereby depriving Crimea of its main source of water. While Crimea responded by building desalination plants, the dam has caused environmental problems inside Ukraine. The costly, ill-considered dam has become a symbol of political corruption.

Criminal Warrant Issued for Former Leader of US-backed Ukraine Coup (TASS & Elena Chernenko and Alexander Gabuev / Kommersant)
A Russian court has issued an in-absentia arrest for Ukraine's former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, ruling that he was directly implicated in the toppling of Ukraine's elected pro-Russian regime. A political conspiracy that has been called "The most l=blatant coup in history." Yatsenyuk faces several charges under the Russian Criminal Code, namely participation in an armed group and crimes committed by this group, including intentional murder. He was put on an international wanted list on February 21, 2017.

Exxon Fined $20 Million for Polluting our Air: Sanders Has a Bill to Protect Our Air (Alexandra Jacobo / Nation of Change)
ExxonMobil has been ordered to pay nearly $20 million in fines after finding that one of the company's chemical plants released millions of pounds of pollutants into the environment. Between 2005 and 2013 Exxon gained more than $14 million in benefits by failing to follow provisions of the Clean Air Act. Senators Jeff Merkley, Bernie Sanders and Ed Markey, along with climate movement leaders responsible for the People's Climate March, announced legislation calling for 100% clean energy by 2050.

Energy Transfer Partners Spills Oil over Wetlands; Judge Says Companies Can Keep Oil Spills Secret (Natasha Geiling / ThinkProgress)
Energy Transfer Partners -- the company behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline -- has spilled drilling fluid into two pristine Ohio wetlands this month. The company spilled as much as 2 million gallons of drilling fluid on April 13, and as much as 50,000 gallons a day later and 100 miles from the first spill. Meanwhile, federal judge has ruled that the pipeline's developer can keep some information about spill risks secret from the public.

Russia Calls Trump's Missile Deployments in Poland and Romania a Violation of Nuclear Treaty (AntiWar.com & AAP & The Express)
Russia has accused the US of violating an existing arms treaty following the deployment of an $800 million ballistic missile system in Romania and plans for more in Poland. The US has long tried to dismiss this complaint by insisting that the missile defense system wasn't targeting Russia, long presenting it as aimed at Iran, despite being wholly outside of the range of even Iran's most advanced missiles.

Stop the Chemical Warfare on our Soil (David R. Montgomery / Nation of Change)
One of the biggest modern myths about agriculture is that organic farming is inherently sustainable. It can be, but it isn't necessarily. After all, soil erosion from chemical-free tilled fields undermined the Roman Empire and other ancient societies around the world. Other agricultural myths hinder recognizing the potential to restore degraded soils to feed the world using fewer agrochemicals.

Talk to, Don't Provoke, North Korea (Sheldon Richman / The Libertarian Institute)
There's little more we can do than hope that some cool heads around Donald Trump are telling him he'd be nuts to attack North Korea. I don't know who they might be. Still, we must hope. No military resolution of the standoff is available. A conventional US attack would be catastrophic, a nuclear attack far, far worse. Where, then, is the Trump from a year ago? You know, the one who said, "I would speak to him [North Korean tyrant Kim Jong-un]. I would have no problem speaking to him."?

The Shame of Killing Innocent People (Kathy Kelly / AntiWar.com & Sen. Rand Paul / Rare.us)
According the the UN Human Rights Commission, "At least 3,200 civilians have been killed and 5,700 wounded since coalition military operations began [in Yemin] , 60 percent of them in coalition airstrikes." Between May and September, the US sold $7.8 billion worth of weapons to the Saudis. The US Congress could put an end to US complicity in the crimes against humanity being committed by military forces in Yemen. Congress could insist that the US stop supplying the Saudi led coalition with weapons.

ACTION ALERT: Test US Military Bases for Water Contamination (Laura Olah / Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger & Jennifer McDermott / Associated Press)
On April 28, the EPA requested public input on existing regulations that could be repealed, replaced, or modified to make them less burdensome (to polluters, of course). Details about opportunities for public comment and to register for an upcoming listening session (by telephone) are posted below. In 2016, the mizitary announced plans to examine hundreds of US bases to determine whether chemicals from foam used to fight fires have contaminated groundwater and spread to drinking water.

Monkey Wrenching the Sky: The Age of Geoengineering (Ian Baldwin / The Vermont Independent)
According to the publisher's introduction: "Earth Day 2017 marks the beginning of our series on geoengineering, the most important and underreported global environmental phenomenon of our time, researched and written by Chelsea Green co-founder Ian Baldwin." A wall of silence surrounds the subject of geoengineering but for nearly three-quarters of a century geoengineering has been conducted for reasons that have little to do with addressing climate change and much to do with war and commerce.

Trump: Absolutely a Chance for "Major, Major War" With North Korea (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Amy Goodman and Noam Chomsky / Democracy Now!)
The United States continues to send wildly conflicting signs on their intentions toward North Korea. Massive US "war games" in the region and Trump administration talk of military buildups around the Korean Peninsula have fueled concerns about the US attacking North Korea outright. Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman speaks with world-renowned linguist and dissident Noam Chomsky and asks Chomsky about one of the most serious threats to the survival of the human species -- nuclear war.

Instead of Threats of War, Trump Should Make an Artful Deal: Halt US War Exercises in Exchange for a Halt to the North's Weapons and Missile Testing (Bruce Cumings / The Nation & John Delury / The Washington Post)
There is no way to hit North Korea without being hit back harder. There is no military means to "preempt" its capabilities. The prudent move would be to open direct talks with Pyongyang. Start by negotiating a freeze on the fissile-material production cycle, return of Atomic Energy Agency inspectors, and a moratorium on testing nuclear devices and long-range missiles. In return, the US should entertain Pyongyang's long-standing request for to halt its massive joint military exercises with South Korea.

Trolling for a Race War Through Alt-Right v. Alt-Left Conflict (Matthew Sheffield / Salon.com )
Despite being almost religiously devoted to Donald Trump during his presidential campaign, the legions of online racists referred to as the "alt-right" have already decided to move on to their next big project: sparking widespread political conflict that they hope to turn into a nationwide race war. Today's far right has adopted the tactics of nonviolent civil disobedience to spread a message of hate. And radical fringe groups on the left are accommodating the alt-Right scenario by arming themselves and turning to violence.

Drought and War in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria, and Yemen (Jeffrey Gettleman / The New York Times)
Another famine is about to tighten its grip on Somalia. And it's not the only crisis that aid agencies are scrambling to address. For the first time since anyone can remember, there is a very real possibility of four famines -- in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen -- breaking out at once, endangering more than 20 million lives. International aid officials say it's the biggest humanitarian disaster since World War II. And they are determined not to repeat the mistakes of the past.

Visit to Site of MOAB Bombing: "It Was More of a Dud"
The April 13 strike by US forces in eastern Afghanistan saw the first deployment of the MOAB, the Mother of All Bombs. The 22,000 lb pound bomb, the biggest non-nuclear weapon in the US arsenal, was supposed to send a "message" to other nations. Locals report that the MOAB did way less damage than you'd think. Green trees were still standing 100 meters from the center of the blast, with no sign of damage. Tunnels used by the ISIS fighters appeared all but untouched. Many victims were anti-ISIS fighters.

Should We Bomb Syria (or Anywhere)? (Colin Beavan / Nation of Change)
Commentary: Critics of nonviolence say that option is the prerogative of the privileged. But actually it's the other way around. Can one actually admit to the "pragmatism" of force in one case without opening the door to the use of force at any scale in all cases? If you declare one war "just," haven't you agreed that every war -- to some degree or in some group's view -- is also in some way just?

The Pentagon Is the Leading Source of Fake News (teleSURtv )
It seems the Pentagon needs all it can to sugarcoat the U.S. and its aggressive foreign policy. The Department of Defense spent an average of more than $626 million annually on propaganda -- more than all other federal government agencies combined. According to a report from the Government Accountability Office, from 2006-2015, the Pentagon was allocated 66 percent of the $1 billion annual federal spending on public relations. Pentagon employees account for 40 percent of the federal PR workforce.

US Airstrike Kills Family of Eight Fleeing Syria Fighting (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Philip Issa / Associated Press<)
US officials have made much of Kurdish YPG forces attacking the town of Tabqa, which is at least somewhat under ISIS control. Locals are trying to flee the fighting, however, and that seems to be where the US is most involved, attacking and killing a family of eight outside of Tabqa as they tried to get away. The family, including five children aged 15 or under, were in a vehicle fleeing the town, and that the US attacked and destroyed the vehicle, killing all within. The Pentagon has yet to comment on the killings.

ACTION ALERT: Trump Targets Protected Wilderness Areas -- A "Monumental Disaster" (Center for Biological Diversity & VoteVets & Greenpeace USA)
Donald Trump is poised to threaten more than 1 billion acres of national monument protection in a devastating and unprecedented attack on America's public lands and oceans. No president has ever attempted to withdraw a monument named by a predecessor. Trump is expected to issue an executive order calling for a review of every national monument that's been protected by presidential proclamation since 1996. His goal is to turn these natural wonders over to special interests -- including mining and logging industries.

ACTiON ALERT: Tell Trump to Stop Threatening North Korea (Roots Action & The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation)
Donald Trump claims he has no choice but to threaten North Korea with war -- a war that could prove disastrous for the entire world. From all appearances, Trump has no clue as to the choices available. When North Korea tests missiles it breaks no laws. The US tests missiles all the time and the US launches nuclear-capable ICBMs. North Korea has repeatedly offered to abandon its nuclear weapons program if the US and South Korea would halt military exercises and other provocations along the shared border.

Escalation Nation: US Fires Nuclear-capable ICBM Over Pacific Ocean (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Fox News)
The test-firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile would be cause for angry condemned by the US as a dangerous provocation tantamount to an act of war. Not today, however, because the missile in question was test-fired by the US itself. A Minuteman III nuclear-capable ICBM was launched from the US at a target 4,000 miles away in the South Pacific. This provocation appears designed to underscore Washington’s ability to wipe out much of the planet, amid growing concerns about aggressive US warfare.

How US Media Is Preparing Country for Attack on North Korea (Matt Novak / Gismodo.com)
President Donald Trump continues to beat the drums of war, and the media are going along with him. Trump doesn't have any particular incentive to bomb North Korea or advocate for regime change in the country. It's not even clear that Trump knows the leader of North Korea's name. ut Trump is above all a man who likes to be liked. And so far, the actions that have won him the most praise have been when he dropped a bunch of bombs on Syria.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

US Navy Admits to Having Released Chemicals Known to Injure Infants' Brains (Dahr Jamail / Truthout)
For decades, the US Navy, by its own admission, has been conducting war game exercises in US waters using bombs, missiles, sonobuoys (sonar buoys), high explosives, bullets and other materials that contain toxic chemicals -- including lead and mercury -- that are harmful to both humans and wildlife.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Navy Admits to Having Released Chemicals Known to Injure Infants' Brains (Dahr Jamail / Truthout)
For decades, the US Navy, by its own admission, has been conducting war game exercises in US waters using bombs, missiles, sonobuoys (sonar buoys), high explosives, bullets and other materials that contain toxic chemicals -- including lead and mercury -- that are harmful to both humans and wildlife. Navy "testing and training events" fire missiles, torpedoes, guns and other explosive firings into US waters biennially. Explosive "sonobuoys" are dropped from planes and never recovered.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ACTION ALERT: On Centennial of WWI, a Series of Conferences to End All War World Beyond War (World Beyond War)
This April 4th will mark 100 years since the US Senate voted to declare war on Germany and 50 since Martin Luther King Jr. spoke out against the war on Vietnam (49 since he was killed on that speech's first anniversary). Events are being planned -- in Washington, DC, New York and San Francisco -- to help us try to finally learn some lessons -- to move beyond, not just Vietnam, but all war.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yet Another Undeclared US War (Tom Engelhardt and Rebecca Gordon / TomDispatch & AnbtiWar.com)
Commentaries: What is it about America and its twenty-first-century wars? They spread continually -- there are now seven of them; they never end; and yet, if you happen to live in the United States, most of the time it would be easy enough to believe that, except for the struggle against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, there were no conflicts underway. The long national nightmare that was the 2016 presidential election is finally over. Now, we're facing a worse terror: the reality of a Trump presidency.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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