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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.


Things Congress Could Do for Peace -- From the Easiest to the Hardest (David Swanson / David Swanson.org & Woeld BEYOND War)
Please consider sending this "To-Do List" to your representatives in Washington: When talking about how to fund useful projects, or talking about the federal budget or the US economy, talk as if US military spending exists. With 67 percent of federal discretionary spending going to militarism, don't talk about the "size" of the government as if only the other 33 percent exists. Be aware of the fact that military spending is an economic drain, not a jobs program, and speak accordingly. And so on . . . .

US Adopts Christian Ideology to Guide Foreign Policy (William Boardman / Reader Supported News)
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went to the American University in Cairo early this year to deliver what may be the clearest statement of foreign policy principles that will come from this administration. Pompeo's speech began with his acknowledgement that he views the world through a pair of self-reinforcing ideologies: Christian evangelism and American Salvationism.

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

Russia, US Fail to Save Missile Treaty, Washington to Pull Out (Robin Emmott /Reuters)
Initially ratified in 1987, the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which famously kept all nuclear missiles out of Europe for decades, is set to collapse, with US officials saying they will withdraw from the treaty next month.

ACTION ALERT: US Arrests American-born Journalist: No Charges Given (AntiWar.com & Roots Action & Environmentalists Against War & National Iranian American Council)
Marziyeh Hashemi, a US citizen who works as an anchor and reporter for Iran's state-run PressTV, has been arrested and detained by the US government. She was arrested at St. Louis Lambert International Airport trying to board a flight, and is being held without charges.

A Planet in Crisis: The Heat's on Us as We Face Global "Co-extinction" (Dahr Jamail / TomDispatch)
Climate change could lead to a "domino effect" that might, in the end, annihilate all life on the planet. Organisms will die out at increasingly rapid rates because they depend on other species that are also on their way out. It's a process the study calls "co-extinction." According to its authors, a five to six degree Celsius rise in average global temperatures might be enough to annihilate most of Earth's living creatures.

ACTION ALERT: Humans, Just 0.01% of all Life, Have Destroyed 83% of Wild Mammals; Today, 60% of All Mammals Left on Earth Are Livestock (Damian Carrington / The Guardian & Avaaz.org)
Humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970, leading the world's foremost experts to warn that the annihilation of wildlife now threatens human civilization. The new estimate of the massacre of wildlife -- from a major WWF report involving 59 scientists from across the globe -- finds that the growing consumption of food and resources by the global population is destroying a web of life -- billions of years in the making -- upon which human society ultimately depends.

Amazon Ecosystem at Risk as Bolsonaro Acts; Brazil's Socio-environmental Groups Resist (Sue Branford and Thais Borges / Mongabay)
In Brazil, the newly elected Bolsonaro administration is barely two weeks old, but the new president and his appointees continue to make incendiary statements and press forward with provisional measures and policies that could seriously infringe indigenous and agrarian reform land rights, and environmental protections. Amazon land thieves also have been emboldened since the election, with the invasion of the Arara Indigenous Reserve. There has been no federal law enforcement response to either conflict.

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

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

Renew the Nuclear Arms Control Treaty, Don't Destroy It (Andrew Lichterman and John Burroughs / Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy)
The INF Treaty and the enterprise of nuclear arms control are at risk, as Andrew Lichterman of IALANA affiliate Western States Legal Foundation and LCNP's John Burroughs explain in the below IPS opinion piece. LCNP and WSLF helped develop a RootsAction-led online campaign enabling constituents to contact their representative and senators to urge action to save the treaty - please participate! As this piece explains, Congress has the authority and power to do so.

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

ACTION ALERT: How to Fund the Green New Deal: Bring Back Reagan-era 70% Tax Rates for the Wealthy (Demand Progress & Politico & New York Magazine)
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has an excellent idea to take on concentrated wealth and the climate crisis: tax the rich. Recently, on 60 Minutes, she called for higher taxes on millionaires and billionaires, asking them to pay up to 70% on incomes above $10 million. She wants some of that money to help support the Green New Deal to address the climate crisis. She's already getting attacked by corporate Democrats for her plan. Let's show her that we've got her back.

General Dynamics: Profiting Off War, Surveillance, and Suppression of Migrants (Invistigate / American Friends Service Committee)
General Dynamics, one of the largest military contractors in the world, is providing weapons and munitions used by the Israeli air force against Palestinian civilians and is involved in monitoring the US-Mexico border and surveilling immigrant communities inside the United States.

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

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

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

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

Why Donald Trump Poses an Increasing Risk to Democracy in the US and What We Can Do about It (Robert Reich / The Guardian UK)
Commentary: Trump’s entire presidency to date has sacrificed the means of democracy to preserve his personal power, and the shutdown over the border is no different. Here is what MoveOn has planned to win this fight.

Corporations Set to Launch 5G Networks Despite Risks to Human Health and the Environment (Zacks.com & Salon & Radiation Health Risks.com)
Forget 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution), the stage is set for 5G wireless race in the US telecom space. With the US telecom industry continuously evolving, companies in the sector are fighting it out to stay ahead of the curve. But as next-gen cell networks get closer to reality, public health watchdogs stage a final stand.

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

Hawking the News: America's Militaristic Mainstream Media (Gregory Shupak/ Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting)
In December, President Donald Trump said that he planned to withdraw from Syria the US troops there, which number between 2,000 and 4,000. Trump's claim was widely condemned in corporate media, demonstrating the commentariat's shared belief in American benevolence toward other peoples, in Washington's alleged right and duty to decide other countries' fates, and the forever war the US supposedly has to wage in the Middle East.

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

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

Congresswoman (and Former Army Major) Tulsi Gabbard Announces She Is Running for President as an Anti-war Candidate (Honolulu Star-Advertiser )
Gabbard becomes the first high-profile Democrat to announce a run for president in a field that is expected to become crowded with challengers who view the president as vulnerable. Other Democrats who have been mentioned as possible challengers include Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, California Sen. Kamala Harris, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Trump Declares Himself a National Emergency (David Swanson / David Swanson.com)
Commentary: "Donald Trump is the most antiwar president the United States has seen in decades. As a dedicated peace activist, I believe Trump needs to be removed from office immediately. How can this be so?"

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

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

After Wildfires, Solar Power Could Play a Greater Role in California's Electric Grid (J.D. Morris / San Francisco Chronicle)
Advocates of solar power say the technology can play a bigger role in the state's electric grid -- an opportunity they say has become much more necessary as climate change increases the likelihood of extreme weather with the potential to fuel devastating wildfires.

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

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

After $8 Billion and 11 Years, US-Backed Afghan Air Force Appears to Be a Failure ( & David Zucchino / The New York Times)
In recent months, some of the airstrikes in Afghanistan have been credited to the Afghan Air Force. This air force is operational, to some extent, though calling it functional would be an exaggeration. US planes still conduct 80% of the strikes inside the country while the Afghan Air Force is responsible for killing more civilians in aerial attacks.

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

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

President Bolton Overrules Trump's Promise on Syria Withdrawal (Juan Cole / Informed Comment)
The Last Two Neoconservatives in the Trump administration, National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have swung into action to repeal Trump’s troop withdrawal from Syria.

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

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

The New Congress Needs to Create a Green Planet at Peace (Medea Benjamin and Alice Slater / Common Dreams & World BEYOND War)
Commentary: We cannot tolerate a new Democratic-controlled Congress continuing to do business as usual, with a military budget of over $700 billion and a trillion dollars projected for new nuclear weapons over the next ten years, while struggling to find funds to address the climate crisis. It's time to leave the nuclear age and divest from the war machine , freeing up trillions of wasted dollars over the next decade. We must transform our lethal energy system to one that sustains us.

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

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

ACTION ALERT: Tell Thrivent Financial to #DivestFromWar (CODEPINK & Divest from War et al.)
Thrivent Financial, an organization founded by Lutherans, represents over 2 million members. As a membership-based Christian organization, it advises on insurance and finance in addition to investment opportunities. Thrivent Financial investments include weapon manufacturers BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Boeing, General Dynamics, and BlackRock -- the largest investor in nuclear weapons in the world.

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

US Sends Troops to Gabon; Trump Warns Congo Against Post-Vote Protests (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Mathilde Boussion / Associated Press)
Congo faces what could be its first democratic, peaceful transfer of power since independence from Belgium in 1960. The Catholic Church has threatened an uprising if untrue vote is announced. Anticipating post-election protests in this far-off land, Donald Trump has ordered US troops to neighboring Gabon and has taken it upon himself to warn the Congolese not to protest.

US Bases in Okinawa Are a Threat to Freedom (David Swanson / World BEYOND War & Bernie Sanders / US Senate)
The US builds giant military bases in other people's countries to "protect freedom in the US." But consider the people of Okinawa: they are not free to enjoy unpoisoned water, they are not free to live without noise pollution and crashing airplanes, are not free from the fear of attacks by drunken soldiers and rapists and not free from massive environmental destruction. Repeatedly they elect governments to shut down these bases and, repeatedly, more bases are built in the name of "spreading democracy."

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

US Accused of Killing Greatest Number of Civilians; Press Accuses Taliban of "Threatening" Oil Fields (The News & Agence France-Pressse & Abdul Matin Sahak / Reuters)
The Taliban blamed US and Afghan forces for almost 90 percent of civilian casualties in 2018 -- in a report that suggested Afghanistan's largest militant group was not responsible for a single death or injury. Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Taliban fighters are "threatening" major oil wells near the northern Afghan city of Sar-e Pul following days of fighting in which dozens of members of the security forces have been killed and wounded.

Washington Trained Guatemala's Mass Murderers -- and the Border Patrol Played a Role (Greg Grandin and Elizabeth Oglesby / The Nation)
Even before Ronald Reagan's 1980 election, two retired generals playing prominent roles in his campaign traveled to Central America and told Guatemalan officials that "Mr. Reagan recognizes that a good deal of dirty work has to be done." Once in office, In office, Reagan supplied munitions and training to the Guatemalan army to carry out that "dirty work." Now two Guatemalan children have died under Border Patrol custody. But the agency's role in Latin American oppression has a long history.

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

ACTION ALERT: Honor MLK and Say "No to NATO" (Joe Lombardo and Marilyn Levin / United National Antiwar Coalition)
The United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) has initiated a call for a demonstration in Washington, DC on Saturday, March 30, 2019 to protest the fact that NATO leaders will be coming to DC on April 4, 2019 to hold a "celebration" of NATO’s 70th anniversary. April 4 is also the anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the date, a year earlier, of Dr. King's famous antiwar speech. This call to action against NATO, War and Racism has now been joined by a broad section of the US peace movement.

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

State Dept Says No Timeline for Syria Withdrawal as US Attacks Kill Children (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)
A senior US State Department official declared Friday that the US "do not intend to have an indefinite military presence in Syria," but also confirmed that there is no definite timeline for actually leaving. Meanwhile, US airstrikes pounded the village of Kishkiyeh in eastern Syria on Friday, killing at least 11 civilians, according to activist group DeirEzzor 24. The death toll was later confirmed by the Syrian government.

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

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

Trump Bows to Domestic Pressure by Delaying Withdrawal from Syria (Elijah J Magnier / EJMagnier.com)
In response to domestic pressure, Trump agreed to extend the deadline for withdrawal of thousands of US troops from the northeaster Syrian province of al-Hasaka from the initial 30 days previously announced until April this year. Journalistic warmongers and hawks in think-tanks and among the US establishment have been railing at Trump with implausible arguments for maintaining the presence of US forces in Syria.

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

The United States is First in War, But Trailing in Crucial Aspects of Modern Civilization (Lawrence Wittner / Z Magazine)
Does the US government's priority for military spending explain, at least partially, the discrepancy between the worldwide preeminence of the US armed forces and the feeble global standing of major American domestic institutions?

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

Reporter Quits NBC Citing Network's Support For Endless War (Caitlin Johnstone / Caitlin Johnstone.com & William M. Arkin)
Long-time reporter Willian Arkin is leaving NBC and MSNBC, complaining in a remarkable statement that these outlets are captive to the national security state and devoted to Endless War -- cheerleaders for "open and subtle threat mongering" and are reflexively pro-war.

Isolationism or Imperialism or . . . . New Thinking for New Year (David Swanson / David Swanson.org & World BEYOND War)
The United States is the only nation on earth that has not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is the only country to have pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement. It is by many measures a top destroyer of the natural environment, yet has been a leader in sabotaging climate protection negotiations for decades. The United States not only stands outside the International Criminal Court, but openly threatens sanctions against it and against nations that support it.

This Is What It Looks Like When Imperialism Comes Home (Maj. Danny Sjursen / TruthDig & AntiWar.com)
Commentary: "You have to hand it to him -- the man has a way with words and he sure knows how to fire up his base. Early in November, Donald Trump addressed a crowd of supporters in Montana and gushed with pride about his deployment of troops to the US border with Mexico. The commander-in-chief bragged about the job his troops were doing in fending off the "invasion" -- that isn't an invasion at all -- from a "caravan" of asylum-seeking Central American migrants who were, at the time, 700 miles away.

The Future of Peace in the World (Juan Gomez / Redaccion Chile & Pressenza.com)
Commentary: "Frequently we ask ourselves if peace is possible. Many people are disappointed thinking that it is just a delusion, an unattainable utopia. Even those who support and adhere to the peace movement, still appear to struggle to mobilize for it. There are powerful interests behind the scenes working towards total domination, power and control."

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

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

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

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

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

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

There Is No Place for Nuclear Power in a Green New Deal (Harvey Wasserman / The Progressive & Portside)
The environmental policy centerpiece of the incoming Democratic House has ignited tremendous grassroots enthusiasm but it is threatened -- by fossil fuel interests from without and pro-nuclear advocates from within. While the draft proposal has ignited tremendous grassroots enthusiasm -- with massively favorable poll readings, even among some Republicans -- some Democrats are still promoting nuclear reactors as a "clean" power source. Moreover, the DoD budget needs to be cut to fund the transition.

Bill Blum, Presente! Honoring an Author, Activist and Powerful Critic of US Foreign Policy (Chris Agee and Louis Wolf / CovertAction Magazine)
William Blum was an author, historian, and critic of US foreign policy. In 1967, he abandoning his career as a State Department Foreign Service Officer, because of his opposition to the US war in Vietnam. He then became one of the founders and editors of the Washington Free Press, the first '"alternative'" newspaper in the capital. As a freelance journalist in Chile in 1972-3, he covered the Allende government's tragic overthrow in a CIA-backed coup, which cemented his role as a critic of US policies around the world.

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

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

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

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

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

Dems Vow to Curb President's Post-9/11 War Powers (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Bryan Bender and Gregory Hellman / Politico)
The House changeover is giving new life to calls by some lawmakers to reexamine the sweeping authority that Congress granted the White House 17 years ago. The post-9/11 Authorization for the Use of Military Force against al-Qaeda offered American presidents broad war-making powers. Now, 17 years and umpteen wars later, it's safe to say the presidents have been misusing that unconstitutional power. The incoming Democratic House of Representatives is looking to change that.

Trump Scores, Breaks Generals' 50-Year War Record (Gareth Porter / The American Conservative)
Commentary: The mainstream media has attacked Donald Trump's decision to withdraw US troops from Syria as impulsive, blindsiding his own national security team. But detailed, published accounts of the policy process over the course of the year tell a very different story. They show that senior national security officials and institutions have been playing a political game aimed at keeping Trump from wavering on our indefinite ground presence in Syria. It's the same dynamic prolonged the failed US war on Vietnam.

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

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

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

Could This Be Our Best Hope of Removing Trump From Office? (Paul Street / TruthDig)
The dog whistle couldn't have been any clearer. When Donald Trump said that "the people would revolt" if he were impeached, his extremist base of neo-Nazis, Klan members, right-wing militias and sympathetic service members most likely heard the following: "Feel free to attack Democrats, liberals, leftists and progressives if the incoming ouse of Representatives acts on its constitutional right to impeach me."

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

Bring the Troops Home, But Let's Also Stop the Bombing (Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies / AntiWar.com)
A good New Year's resolution for the United States would be to put an end to the wars we have been engaged in for the past 17 years, and to make sure we do not allow the same military madness that got us into this mess to sucker us into new wars on North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, or other countries. Yes, let's bring the troops home, but let's also stop the bombing.

22-day-long "Cast Lead Plus10" Campaign Starts December 27 (Helena Cobban / Just World Educational & Miko Peled / Just World Educational)
On December 27, 2008, Israel launched Operation Cast Lead, a massive, 22-day military assault on the Gaza Strip. The ferocity of the attack was unprecedented in six-decade-old conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Some 1,400 Palestinians were killed, mostly civilians. In the aftermath, a UN fact-finding team found evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by both the Israeli military and Palestinian militias. Investigations by human rights groups came to the same conclusion.

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

ACTION ALERT: Don't Let the Dem's Bury the Bury the Green New Deal (Christopher D. Cook / In These Times)
As House Democratic leaders prepare to reclaim power this January, they are clamping down on insurgent progressive initiatives like the Green New Deal, which could be sidelined in favor of a broader climate committee with limited powers -- despite pledges from at least 43 Democrats to support a Green New Deal select committee.

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

22-day-long "Cast Lead Plus10" Campaign Starts December 27 (Helena Cobban / Just World Educational & Miko Peled / Just World Educational)
On December 27, 2008, Israel launched Operation Cast Lead, a massive, 22-day military assault on the Gaza Strip. The ferocity of the attack was unprecedented in six-decade-old conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Some 1,400 Palestinians were killed, mostly civilians. In the aftermath, a UN fact-finding team found evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by both the Israeli military and Palestinian militias. Investigations by human rights groups came to the same conclusion.

ACTION ALERT: Elites United in Panic Over Syria Pullout, Afghanistan Drawdown (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & CodePink)
Open-ended war has so much momentum in the US that Donald Trump's announced pullout from Syria shocked the nation. Followed up the same week with a drawdown from Afghanistan, the mainstream is now completely apoplectic. On the left and right, comfort with the status quo was virtually uniform. Criticism of the drawdowns vary depending on the side of the aisle the commenter is on, but the message is uniform opposition to ending a war Congress never authorized in the first place.

Why Trump Decided to Remove US Troops from Syria (MoonofAlabama & Popular Resistance)
Last Friday, President Trump had another long phonecall with the Turkish President Erdogan. Thereafter he overruled all his advisors and decided to remove the US boots from Syria and to also end the air war. This was the first time Trump took a decisive stand against the borg -- the permanent neoconservative and interventionist establishment in his administration, the military and congress, that usually dictates US foreign policy.

The Lethal Crescent: Where the Cold War Was Hot (Review by Daniel Immerwahr / The Nation)
In August 1945, the US dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. US firebombing had already wrecked more than 60 other population centers but, as George Orwell warned. atomic bombs portended a new era in world history. In an astonishingly prescient essay, Orwell predicted the atomic future would mark an "end to large-scale wars" and the dawn of a new form of chronic half-war with the US and the USSR locked in a perpetual threat of nuclear annihilation. Orwell called this new standoff the "cold war."

"Alexa, Drop a Bomb": Amazon Wants in on US Warfare (Nick Mottern / TruthOut & World Can't Wait)
Amazon is seeking to build a global "brain" for the Pentagon called JEDI, a weapon of unprecedented surveillance and killing power, a profoundly aggressive weapon that should not be allowed to be created.

Army Major Argues "Trump Right on Syria" (Maj. Danny Sjursen / AntiWar.com)
Commentry: Neither the mainstream left or the interventionist right is willing to admit that Trump is capable of cogent policy, but when maintaining national "honor" becomes a last ditch argument for continuing indecisive, perpetual war, perhaps it really is time to leave. Why is the US always fighting seemingly endless, unwinnable wars? Partly because the US is an increasingly militarized (ostensible) republic in which a world-leading domestic arms industry all but owns Congress and the corporate media.

"Alexa, Launch Our Nukes!": The Coming of Hyperwar (Michael Klare and Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch)
In the years to come, increasing billions of those dollars are going to be invested in creating a future battlespace in which "intelligent" machines fight our wars and, in the end, the only role left for humans may be the dying. In other words, we're heading for a militarized, automated, artificially intelligent Hell on Earth. The very nature of a future AI-driven hyperwar will only increase the risk that conventional conflicts could cross a cataclysmic threshold: an actual nuclear war between two nuclear states.

It's Time the US Ends Its Illegal Presence in Syria and Withdraws from Afghanistan (Black Alliance for Peace Says)
Commentary: "A real panic among the militarists and flunkeys of the military-industrial complex: They are concerned the US president has gone completely off the ruling-class imperialist script. We find that hard to believe, since a move away from militarism and violence would indicate a fundamental departure from the very essence of the methods and strategy that created the United States. "

Eradicating Peace in Colombia: A Return to War and Pesticides (Evan King and Samantha Wherry / The North American Congress on Latin America)
Colombia's new president, Ivan Duque, continues to push for failed supply-side drug war policies in Colombia -- a reversal of alternative coca substitution policies negotiated in 2016 as part of country's peace accords. On October 12, the Colombian government kicked off a pilot program of aerial fumigation of coca crops via drones. The initiative lasted 45 days since the drones could only fumigate three to four hectares a day.

Global Updates on Nuclear Bar Treaty (Basel Peace Office)
In this update we report on US Congress and other parliamentary actions in response to US President Trump's announcement of intent to withdraw from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, and on the decision of the Australian Labor Party to give conditional support to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (Ban Treaty).

ACTION ALERT: Reactions to the Call for Troop Withdrawal from Syria (Veterans Against the War & World BEYOND War & Massachusetts Peace Action)
Yesterday Donald Trump announced a withdrawal of 2,000 troops from Syria, putting the national security state into a tailspin and the GOP into a full-on meltdown. Removing ground troops and ceasing base construction will be a start. More important is ceasing to bomb from above. The US should close its 800-plus military bases around the world and provide aid instead of arms.

Nuclear Weapons and Climate Change in the Age of Corporate Globalization (Andrew Lichterman / Western States Legal Foundation )
On those occasions when people talk about global warming and nuclear weapons, the focus usually is on their effects. They are two different ways that the human species can do enough damage to the ecosystems we depend on to threaten our own survival and that of most life on this planet. But at the same time, the threats posed to humanity by global warming and nuclear weapons share common causes. Each are predictable products of an economy and society dependent on endless material growth.

ACTION ALERT: Legislation to Address the Urgent Threat of Climate Change (Food & Water Watch)
Petition: We are writing today to urge you to consider the following principles as the 116th Congress debates climate change legislation and momentum around the country builds for a Green New Deal. As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently warned, if we are to keep global warming below 1.5°C, we must act aggressively and quickly. At a minimum, reaching that target requires visionary and affirmative legislative action in the following areas . . . .

Trump Recalls Troops from Syria; Dem/GOP Hawks Call for More War; Russia Winds Down Attacks (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & World BEYOND War & Common Dreams)
Donald Trump has declared victory over ISIS in Syria and has ordered a complete withdrawal of US military forces from Syria. In another sign that foreign military operations in Syria are winding down, the number of Russian military flights inside Syrian airspace has dropped 99% drop from the war's peak. Antiwar activists are insisting that the US withdrawal from Syria should be followed by the similar withdrawal of the US military from Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya.

The Dawn of Empire! Tragic Rise of Overseas Imperialism (Maj. Danny Sjursen / TruthDig & AntiWar.com)
Empire. It is a word that most Americans loathe. After all, the US was born through its rebellion against Britain, the great empire of the day. According to the old historical narrative, the US has always been a democratic republic. The truth is far more discomfiting. The US was an empire before it had even gained its own independence. Native tribes were conquered and displaced westward. With no Indians left to fight and no Mexican lands worth conquering, Americans looked abroad for new monsters to destroy and new lands to occupy.

The Peace Dividend: The Most Controversial Proposal in the History of the World (Ron Ridenour interviews author John Rachel / This Can't Be Happening.net)
In 1992 with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the citizens of the United States and the world were promised the arrival of a new era of peace and prosperity. The Cold War was over. Much of the money spent in the military standoff with the Soviets, and the preparation for a cataclysmic war, would now be diverted to peaceful ends. This massive reordering of our priorities and the windfall which would result was called the peace dividend. It never arrived.

Using "Human Shields" as a Pretext to Kill Civilians (Neve Gordon & Nicola Perugini / Al-Jazeera)
Given the strategic and pervasive adoption of the phrase, "human shields," it seems clear that the term is not only being deployed as a descriptive expression to depict the use of civilians as weapons, but also as a kind of pre-emptive legal defense against the accusations of having killed or injured them. By claiming that the other side is using human shields, the attacker provides itself with a pre-emptive legal defense.

Will Humans Be Extinct by 2026? (Arctic News Blogspot )
In the Arctic, vast amounts of carbon are stored in soils that are now still largely frozen. As temperatures continue to rise and soils thaw, much of this carbon will be converted by microbes into carbon dioxide or methane, adding further greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Arctic Ocean temperatures increased by as much as 54 degrees F in February 2017. Now, scientists writing in the Arctic News Blog warn that humans could become extinct by 2026 if climate initiatives are ignored across the globe.

Our Children Are Crying Out: "You Are Stealing Our Future" (Greta Thunberg and Severn Cullis-Suzuki / Democracy Now! & TEDx Talks & the Rio Summit)
In June 1992, 12-year-old Severn Cullis-Suzuki spoke from the podium at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and her stark and moving appeal left the media calling her "the girl who silenced the world" -- for six heartfelt minutes. In 2018, a 15-year-old Swedish girl named Greta Thunberg stood behind a UN podium and once more raised a cry for the world's leaders to become "mature" and address the existential threat of planetary climate change. We can ignore climate change only if we ignore our children.

Burning Up: How Capitalism Fuels Climate Change (https://truthout.org/articles/until-we-confront-capitalism-we-will-not-solve-the-climate-crisis/)
International climate negotiations have failed to curb runaway greenhouse gas emissions since the first UN treaty on emission reductions was adopted in 1992. Consumer-focused solutions to climate change simply won't be enough to address the systemic nature of the crisis. Australian school pupils understand the simple arithmetic better than they understand politicians' promises -- which is why they went on strike in protest at inaction on climate change. They will not be the last ones of their generation to do so.

Collapse of the Antarctic Ice Cap: An Unheeded Warning from 20 Years Ago (Andy Caffrey / Climate Action Now!)
120,000 years ago, when Earth's climate was somewhat similar to our situation today, a 100-year span of "climatic havoc" (recorded in the limestone of the Bahama Islands) saw sea levels rise 20 feet and then plunge to at least 30 feet below modern levels -- all within the span of 100 years. Researchers agree sea-level rise has quickened during the past century, along with atmospheric warming, coastal erosion and flooding. People living on the coasts will be among the first to experience the next "Madhouse Century."

Okinawans Protest US Military's Destruction of the Henoko Coral in Okinawa (Joseph Essertier / World BEYOND War)
On US television, in newspapers, and on US-based Internet sites there has been a near-perfect silence as our military ignores local protests and continues the destruction of critical coral habitat in a once-thriving marine ecosystem in Okinawa. For several years now, democracy-loving people in Okinawa and across Japan, have been demonstrating against this new US military base. Almost all the world's bases -- the ones in other people's countries -- are ours, so why do we want yet another one in Okinawa?

Divestment from Coal, Oil and Gas Is Hitting the Fossil Fuel Industry Where It Hurts (Bill McKibben / The Guardian)
Bill McKibben writes: We have marked the 1,000th divestment in what has become by far the largest anti-corporate campaign of its kind. Trillions of dollars of investments in dirty coal, oil, and gas industries have been moved out of carbon-intensive companies. The latest to sell their shares -- major French and Australian pension funds, and Brandeis University -- bring the total amount of portfolios and endowments in the global divestment campaign to just under $8 trillion. Governments must now take notice.

Planet of War: Trapped in Unwinnable Regional Wars, the Pentagon Plans for Global Combat (Maj. Danny Sjursen (US Army) / TomDispatch & Information Clearing House)
Commentary: American militarism has gone off the rails -- and this middling career officer should have seen it coming. Earlier in this century, the US military not surprisingly focused on counterinsurgency as it faced various indecisive and seemingly unending wars across the Greater Middle East and parts of Africa. Today, training scenarios were no longer limited to counterinsurgency operations. Washington has decided it was time to prepare for "real" war with a host of imagined enemies.

Trump Hands Billions to One of the World's Biggest Drivers of Climate Catastrophe (Sarah Lazare / AlterNet)
IN 2017, Donald Trump's first federal budget proposal called for dramatic cuts to initiatives aimed at combatting climate change, as well as a wide swath of social programs -- in oder to finance tax cuts for the wealthy and a $54 billion increase in military spending. But Trump's proposal was also environmentally irresponsible because (according to a congressional report released in December 2012) the US military is a key climate polluter and the "largest organizational user of petroleum in the world."

Exclusive: The US Has More Military Operations in Africa than the Middle East (Nick Turse / Vice.com)
Over the last three years, the United States has conducted more than 30 named operations and activities in Africa. In 2017, US troops carried out an average of nearly 10 missions per day -- 3,500 exercises, programs, and engagements for the year -- across the African continent. There are now 34 US military outposts in at least African 33 countries.

NATO Aggression Reaches for Russian Waters (Tony Cartalucci / Global Research & RT News)
The recent Kerch Strait incident marks a new low amid the US-led expansion of NATO eastward. The intentional provocation executed by Kiev saw three Ukrainian naval vessels seized by Russia. The vessels were intentionally violating the protocol for passing through the Strait -- previously agreed upon by Kiev and previously observed by Ukrainian naval vessels. Meanwhile, a photo has surfaced of Ukraine leader Petro Poroshenko posing with a soldier wearing a Nazi Waffen SS symbol on his uniform.

Bill McKibben Calls FBI Tracking of Environmental Activists "Contemptible" (Steve Hanley / Clean Technica)
An investigation by The Guardian has revealed the FBI has targeted members of 350.org -- the climate activism group founded by Bill McKibben -- as part of an ongoing anti-terrorism campaign. "When much of our government acts as a subsidiary of the fossil fuel industry, it may be par for the course," McKibben says, adding that the FBI's apparent failure to distinguish between nonviolent civil disobedience and domestic terrorism was "contemptible."

The Demands of the Yellow Vest Movement Are Growing into Real Systemic Change (Phillip J. Watt, / The Washington Times & Popular Resistance)
French citizens have revolted for the fourth week in a row calling for changes in governmental and corporate design. Even though UN Military and thousands of French police have been deployed in response, the police have actually been filmed removing their helmets in solidarity with the French people. The YVM want real change, which is the good. The bad is that they haven't yet identified the key priorities required for real systemic change. And the looting is counter-productive behaviour.

The Latest Odds of a Shooting War Between NATO and Russia: (Ann Garrison / Special to Consortium News & Alex Christoforou and Mark Sleboda / The Duran)
Hungarian scholar George Szamuely sees a 70 percent chance of combat between NATO and Russia following the incident in the Kerch Strait and that it is being fueled by Russia-gate. There has been a proxy war within Ukraine since 2014, with NATO backing Poroshenko's Ukrainian government and Russia backing the separatists who speak Russian and identify as Russian in Ukraine's southeastern Donbass region. But in the Kerch Strait the hostilities are between Russia and Ukraine, with NATO behind Ukraine.

Black Internationalists Demand Closure of Hundreds of US Military Bases (San Francisco Bay View & The Black Alliaince for Peace)
The United States operates more than 1,000 military facilities on six continents. This enormous presence embodies the US policy of Full Spectrum Dominance, which threatens democracy and self-determination for other nations. Black Alliaince for Peace reaffirms our commitment to this world-wide campaign and has launched a related campaign -- US Out of Africa! -- aimed at shutting down the Pentagon's Africa Command (AFRICOM) -- a US military program that is now present in 53 out of 54 African countries.

Saudi-gate: Investigators Probing Saudi Collusion and Trump's Military Kickbacks (Ken Klippenstein / The Young Turks & Erin Banco / The Daily Beast)
Ignoring calls for sanctions following the murder of a Washington Post reporter, the Pentagon is set to support Saudi Arabia's military forces through 2025. Meanwhile, the Mueller investigation into foreign collusion in the 2016 US presidential election has been expanded to include individuals in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Israel.

Study Finds War Is Not an Inherent Part of Human Nature (Rutgers University & The Scientific American)
Is it in our nature to go to war? Should we just accept the fact that humans have this innate tendency and are hardwired to kill members of other groups? No, says R. Brian Ferguson, professor of anthropology at Rutgers University-Newark. There is no scientific proof that we have an inherent propensity to take up arms and collectively kill.

The Abolition of War Requires New Thoughts, Words, and Actions (David Swanson / World BEYOND War)
There's action happening now in the US Senate on ending US participation in the war on Yemen. There's a big loophole in the bill. There's the matter of selling Saudi Arabia its weapons. There's the House of Misrepresentatives to worry about. There's the veto threat. There's the question of getting compliance out of a president you've pretty well promised never to impeach, at least not for any of dozens of documented offenses unrelated to Russia. All that being said, the current action is a very good thing

The CIA Killed My Father. Where Is His Body? (Hajira Hematyara / The Washington Post)
My father was Gul Rahman. Sixteen years ago, he was wrongfully imprisoned by the CIA because it suspected he was a militant. He was then tortured and killed in a secret CIA prison in Afghanistan -- the only person known to have been killed at a CIA "black site." I was 10 years old when he disappeared. He was a good and ordinary man and a wonderful father to me and my three younger sisters. For 15 years, my family had been asking for information, pleading to know whether he was alive or dead.

INF Weapons Treaty Pullout Means Big Profits for Arms Industry (Dave Lindorff / RT News)
Trump has been tearing up treaties since taking office, but his latest threat to pull out of the nuclear deal, negotiated by President Reagan in the 80s, may be his biggest mistake. The reality is that it has largely been the US that has been the aggressor through the terrifying and costly decades of the Cold War. The main driver of the current Trump threat to quit the INF Treaty is basically about "keeping up profits in the arms industry and securing the Pentagon bureaucracy."

Pentagon Corrects $331 Million 'Accounting Error,' (RT News)
The Pentagon is clawing back hundreds of millions of taxpayer-subsidized dollars it gifted to Saudi Arabia and the UAE over a three-year period, when it 'accidentally' refueled their aircraft for free during their war on Yemen.

Senate Votes to End Support for Saudi War in Yemen (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & CODEPINK & World BEYON War)
The US Senate overwhelmingly voted to officially pass the Yemen War Powers Resolution, introduced by Senators Bernie Sanders, Mike Lee, and Chris Murphy. Senators have chosen to move toward ending US complicity in the Saudi-led attacks in Yemen, where the humanitarian crisis is growing worse by the day and an estimated 85,000 children have already died.

Trump's Push for Arms in Space Sparks a Space Spat at the United Nations (Paul Meyer / The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists & Jacqueline Klimas / Politico)
At the United Nations, outer space used to be a realm of relative peace and cooperation. That is no longer the case with Donald Trump in the Oval Office. In a troubling break with the past, the US has rejected all four resolutions on space security adopted this fall at the UN General Assembly's First Committee.

Trump Plans to Downgrade Nuke Waste from Dangerous to "Safe" (Nicholas K. Geranios / Associated Press)
The Trump administration wants to reclassify some radioactive waste left from the production of nuclear weapons to lower its threat level and make disposal cheaper and easier. The Department of Energy proposal would lower the status of some high-level radioactive waste in several places around the nation, including the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State -- the most contaminated nuclear site in the country.

The University of California Is Complicit in Nuclear Build-up (Beatrice Fihn / The Los Angeles Times)
A new nuclear arms race is underway, with California at the center, though it's not clear its citizens realize it. In California, the new nuclear arms race is bringing in a flood of cash to laboratories run by the University of California, where scientists, engineers and technicians have had a hand in designing every single nuclear weapon the US has ever built. California is complicit in the arms race, and if nuclear weapons were ever launched, it would be one of the prime attack targets.

At World Climate Summit, Trump Team at Odds With Own Scientists (James Rainey / NBC News)
The Trump administration continued its rejection of mainstream climate science -- and embraced Earth-warming fossil fuels -- in the second week of the UN climate conference in Poland. Those contrarian views emerged even as US government scientists reported that humanity's actions are driving up temperatures rapidly, with devastating impacts for the Arctic and the rest of the globe. Trump further divorced the US from most other nations by promoting the long-term burning of coal and natural gas.

ACTION ALERT: Two Critical Words Are Missing from the Paris Agreement: "Fossil Fuels" (Oil Change International & ClimateTruth)
ight now, world leaders are gathered in Poland at this year's UN climate talks, negotiating the rules for how the Paris Agreement will be implemented. This is important. Within the Paris Agreement are critical goals, agreed to by over 100 countries, to take efforts to limit global warming to 1.5 C, a goal shown to be all the more important after the recent IPCC special report. But there are two critical words missing from the Paris Agreement: "fossil fuels."

The Dire Environmental Impacts of Trump's Proposed Border Wall (Dino Grandoni and Juliet Eilperin / The Washington Post)
Documents have revealed that Interior Department officials downplayed federal wildlife experts' concerns about Trump's border wall and show Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke felt obliged to "support the border security mission." Previously hidden documents reveal officials censored a key letter to US Customs and Border Protection citing a number of warnings by career biologists and wildlife managers about the potential impacts of the border wall on the area's rare cats and other animals.

Why Green New Deal Advocates Must Address Militarism & An Open Letter to Bernie Sanders (Medea Benjamin and Alice Slater / Common Dreams & World BEYOND War)
Where is the call for the New Peace Deal that would free up hundreds of billions from the overblown military budget to invest in green infrastructure? Environmentalists need to contest the Pentagon's staggering global footprint. The US military is the world's largest institutional consumer of fossil fuels and the largest source of greenhouse gasses, contributing about 5 percent of global warming emissions.

What the President Could Do If He Declares a State of Emergency (Elizabeth Goitein / The Atlantic)
Commentary and Analysis: "What if a president, backed into a corner and facing electoral defeat or impeachment, were to declare an emergency for the sake of holding on to power? Americans might be surprised to learn how readily a president can deploy troops inside the United States. From seizing control of the Internet to declaring martial law, our laws and institutions might not save us from a presidential power grab. They might be what takes us down."

Trump Echoes Washington's Secret Plans to "Shut Down Government" and "Suspend the Constitution" (E. Camayd-Freixas / US Immigration Reform and Its Global Impact & History Commons)
In the 1980s, Col. Oliver North and FEMA prepared a secret plan to suspend the US Constitution. The plot included surveillance of political dissenters and preparations to detain up to 400,000 refugees -- undocumented aliens, US residents and citizens -- in response to "national security threats" such as a "mass exodus" from across the Mexican border or domestic "civil unrest" in the form of anti-war protests against a possible US invasion of Central America. As far as anyone knows, these plans are still in effect.

"Our Democracy Is At Risk": An Historic Warning from 44 Former US Senators (Max Baucus, et al. / The Washington Post )
Commentary: "As former members of the US Senate, Democrats and Republicans, it is our shared view that we are entering a dangerous period, and we feel an obligation to speak up about serious challenges to the rule of law, the Constitution, our governing institutions and our national security."

Cities Align with UN's Nuke Ban Treaty as Senate Moves to Stop Trump's New Atomic Arms Race (Lydia Wood / NuclearBan.US & Office of Senator Elizabeth Warren)
On December 10, 2018, Berkeley, California Mayor Jesse Arreguin was presented with a certificate from NuclearBan.US, recognizing the city's "Alignment" with the 2017 UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The recognition was bestowed by campaigners involved with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, winner of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. Meanwhile, Senate democrats are backing legislation to stop Trump's plan to breach the treaty and revive the nuclear arms race.

US Dwarfs Rest of the World in Arms Production (AntiWar.com & USAReally & Radio Free Europe & Reuters)
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has released its latest report on the global arms trade, and as has been the case in recent studies, the conclusion is that the United States dominates the production and sale of arms. The US is not only in a leadership position, but dominates the entire rest of the planet combined. NOTE: Access to websites with further information and action options has been blocked.

Can We Feed Humanity without Destroying the Planet? (Tim Searchinger, et al. / World Resources Institute)
By 2050, nearly 10 billion people will live on the planet. Can we produce enough food sustainably? Sustainably feeding nearly 10 billion people by 2050 is possible -- but it will require significant innovation and investment by the public and private sector.

Is Insect Extinction a Bigger Threat than Global Warming? (Robert Hunziker / Transcend Media & John Lieff, MD / Searching for the Mind)
The Paris Accord is riding the wrong horse -- global warming is a long-term project compared to the insect catastrophe happening right now! An alarming loss of insects is likely to take down humanity before global warming hits maximum velocity. The worldwide loss of insects is simply staggering with some extinction reports of 75% up to 90%. And this is happening much faster than the paleoclimate record rate of the past five major extinction events.

How to Revive the Peace Movement in the Trump Era (Daniel May / The Nation & Comments / The Nation)
An essay worth revising: It is hard to imagine a more difficult target, from an organizing perspective, than military policy. The US empire today leaves a great deal of ruin in its wake, but its cost is only vaguely felt by most citizens, while its huge profits are pocketed by a few and its most recognized organization -- the military -- is celebrated as a hallowed public institution. In the wake of the election -- as the need for a constituency to challenge militarism grows in urgency -- how might such challenges be met?

As Glaciers Melt into the Sea Climate Denial Amounts to Mass Murder (Mort Rosenblum / Reader Supported News & World Beyond War)
Commentary: Let's be clear before it is too late. Any government leader or corporate executive who flouts irrefutable evidence of climatic shifts is complicit in murdering the human race. Barack Obama bragging to a crowd in Texas of his great increases in fossil fuel production is part of a grand fictional enterprise in which eliminating humanity is praised by portions of humanity. Crocodiles and cockroaches will survive as temperatures rise, but humans will be among the first to go. When? Does it matter?

Beyond GDP: It's Time to Accept that the GDP Is Not a Good Measure of Wellbeing (Joseph E. Stiglitz / Project Syndicate)
What we measure affects what we do. If we focus only on material wellbeing -- on, say, the production of goods, rather than on health, education, and the environment -- we become distorted in the same way that these measures are distorted; we become more materialistic.

Young Blue-Wave Dems Unmask Corporate Attempt at "Bipartisan" Political Indoctrination (Harvard Kennedy School & Jake Johnson / San Diego Free Press)
Pulling back the curtain on the ostensibly "bipartisan" orientation for newly elected members of Congress at Harvard's Kennedy School in Boston, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib have revealed how -- contrary to the ideologically neutral advertising -- the private "orientation" session (sponsored by the oil-baron Koch brothers) featured a heavy dose of speeches by corporate CEOs and completely shut out the voices of organized labor and members of the progressive community.

Aide of Saudi Prince Implicated in Reporter's Death Also Accused of Torturing Jailed Female Human Rights Activist (Middle East Eye)
A top aide to Saudi Arabia's crown prince has been accused of personally overseeing the torture of at least one detained female human rights activist earlier this year. Reuters reports that Saud al-Qahtani was present when the activist, along with at least three others, was subjected to sexual harassment, electrocution and flogging between "at an unofficial holding facility in Jeddah."

The 'Great Dying': Rapid Warming Caused "Largest Extinction Event Ever" Scientists Report (Oliver Milman / The Guardian UK)
Scientists have concluded that a mass extinction known as the "Great Dying" -- that occurred around 252 million years ago and marked the end of the Permian geologic period – was the result of rapid global warming caused by a huge spike in greenhouse gas emissions. The single greatest calamity ever to befall life on Earth, the Great Dying wiped out the vast majority of all marine and terrestrial life on the planet.

In Syria, Yemen, and Around the World, Civilians Continue to Die from US-backed Wars (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Ron Paul and Daniel McAdams / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity)
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports the US-led coalition has killed at least nine civilians in the town of Hajin. Among the slain were six children. According to the UN refugee agency, the US-backed war on Yemen caused 1,500 civilian casualties from August through October -- an average of 123 casualties per week. Meanwhile, US politicians alarmed by the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi are silent on the thousands of civilians being routinely killed by US drones.

The Psychology of Materialism, Violence and War (Robert J. Burrowes / Scoop)
Analysis: "The individual who uses violence does so because they are very frightened that one or more of their vital needs will not be met. In virtually all cases, the needs that the individual fears will not be met are emotional ones (including the needs for listening, understanding and love) and the violence is simply a dysfunctional attempt to have these needs met."

The Great Drying and the Great Dying: How Extreme Weather Is Shrinking the Planet (Bill McKibben / The New Yorker)
With wildfires, heat waves, and rising sea levels, large tracts of the Earth are at risk of becoming uninhabitable. But the fossil-fuel industry continues its assault on the facts at the same time it conducts its increasingly destructive assault of the planet.

Beyond GDP: It's Time to Accept that the GDP Is Not a Good Measure of Wellbeing (Joseph E. Stiglitz / Project Syndicate)
What we measure affects what we do. If we focus only on material wellbeing -- on, say, the production of goods, rather than on health, education, and the environment -- we become distorted in the same way that these measures are distorted; we become more materialistic.

Yemeni Women Demand Seat at the Table as Peace Talks Begin in Stockholm (Aaya Al-Shamahi / Middle East Eye & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com / Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.)
Yemeni women are protesting that they have been sidelined from peace talks and consultations on ending Yemen's long civil war -- and they are demanding that this must change. Pictures released of delegates attending the talks showed only one woman present on the negotiating table from both sides of the civil war, which has been going on for nearly four years.

The Ancient Mythical Rites of Pearl Harbor Day (David Swanson / Foreign Policy Journal)
What the US mainstream media won't inform you in their ritualistic annual Pearl Harbor Day rites is that the Japanese attack was anything but a surprise. On November 3, 1941, the US ambassador sent a lengthy telegram to the State Department warning that Washington's punishing economic sanctions might force Japan to commit "national hara-kiri." He wrote: "An armed conflict with the United States may come with dangerous and dramatic suddenness." And that, it appears, was the very idea.

Climate Change Requires that We Convert the US War Machine Now (Bruce K. Gagnon / Organizing Notes )
"Climate Change Requires Conversion." This is the message we will be carrying to Bath Iron Works (BIW) during the next Navy destroyer 'christening' protest calling for the conversion of the shipyard to build sustainable technologies so that we can give the future generations a real chance to live on our Mother Earth. The Pentagon is the largest carbon polluter on the planet. We cannot effectively deal with the ravages of climate change by ignoring the colossus in the middle of the teashop.

CNN Fires Professor after Powerful Speech Calling for Palestinian Rights on UN Human Rights Day (United National Antiwar Coalition Statement)
Temple University professor and CNN commentator Marc Lamont Hill was fired from CNN after giving a powerful speech at the United Nations in support of Palestinian rights. The Nov. 29, 2018, UN meeting was to commemorate the 70th year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The meeting also fell on the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, when 700,000 Palestinians were forced from their homes by the newly declared state of Israel as hundreds of Palestinian villages were destroyed.

Text Test

George HW Bush and the Saudis; Bush and the Dorfmans; The Bush Family's Hidden History (Craig Unger / The Guardian & Ariel Dorfman / The Guardian & SGTreport)
Commentary: The former president has been widely praised for his command of foreign policy. The reality, writes the author of House of Bush, House of Saud, was much more complex -- and dark. Also, a Chilean author and political activist recalls a close encounter with GHWB and a short video uncovers some unseemly history involving GHWB and the Bush family.

The Ignored Legacy of George H.W. Bush: War Crimes, Racism, and Obstruction of Justice (Mehdi Hasan / The Intercept)
Bush started a war on Iraq based on a "mountain of lies," falsely claiming that "250,000 Iraqi troops and 1,500 tanks stood on the border, threatening the key US oil supplier" when satellite images showed an empty desert. The US committed war crimes in its "shock and awe" attack on Iraq's infrastructure and civilian population. And there was the illegal, covert Contra War against Nicaragua, the Iran-Contra "affair" (which lead to a criminal investigation of GHWB), and Bush's pardons of his political cohorts.

"I Don't Believe It": Trump v US on Climate Change (William Boardman / Reader Supported News )
"I don't believe it" is not, by definition, a rational argument supported by evidence. It's a statement of faith and, as such, is useless to effective governance. "I don't believe it" is the empty opposite of the Fourth National Climate Assessment that is part of a continuing, multi-disciplinary, real-world examination of climate change that began in 1990. The NCA is the latest report in a 30-year climate watch that has seen steady, unchanging trends toward global catastrophe. And Trump doesn't believe it.

We Need to End the Pentagon's "Forever Wars" and Create a Peace Economy (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)
Commentary: We are currently involved in military action in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia. Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed either as collateral damage from US strikes or from the instability caused by our interventions. Millions have fled, adding to the global refugee crisis. America should not be in the business of destabilizing foreign countries. We must end the "forever war," bring our troops home, and end our terrorist air strikes.

Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Sound a Planetary Alarm on Climate Change (Naomi Klein / The Intercept & Jason Murdock / Newsweek)
The bold moral leadership of newly elected members of Congress like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has me feeling more optimistic about our collective chances of averting climate breakdown than I have in years. But a whole lot of things need to happen very quickly if the political tide is going to shift in time -- including finding new ways to engage the public in this fight.

ACTION ALERT: The CIA Killed My Father. Where Is His Body? (Hajira Hematyara / The Washington Post)
My father was Gul Rahman. Sixteen years ago, he was wrongfully imprisoned by the CIA because it suspected he was a militant. He was then tortured and killed in a secret CIA prison in Afghanistan -- the only person known to have been killed at a CIA "black site." My family filed a request for information about what happened to my father's body. The US did not answer. I am hoping the American people will join us in asking Washington to do what is right, so we can do the right thing for my father.

Russia Responds to Trump's Threats with Major Mobilization of Ground and Nuclear Forces (TASS)
Russia's brass are mulling measures to beef up the army amid Washington's plans to withdraw from the INF Treaty. The Russian Defense Ministry now plans to hold more than 4,000 drills and 8,500 practical combat training events throughout 2019 and Russia's Strategic Missile Force is being rearmed with Yars missile systems and the Avangard complex -- with the hypersonic glide vehicle -- has gone into serial production.

Noam Chomsky and Daniel Ellsberg on Humanity's Two Existential Threats: Climate Change and Nuclear War (Amy Goodman / Democracy Now! & Paul Jay / The Real News)
World-renowned political dissident, linguist and author Noam Chomsky says Republican leaders are dedicated to "enriching themselves and their friends" at the cost of the planet, and warns: "We have to make decisions now which will literally determine whether organized human life can survive in any decent form." And Daniel Ellsberg argues that massive reductions in ICBM's and transforming the economy away from the military-industrial complex are prerequisites for human survival.

How A US-Backed Coup in Honduras Is Fueling the Migrant Crisis (Juan Gonzales and Amy Goodman / Democracy Now!)
The US is pouring money into Honduras to support the same security forces and sectors of the economy that are causing the very repression, the very destruction of the economy that people are fleeing. US-funded militarization within Honduras supports US-trained forces using the same US-manufactured tear gas that was used against desperate refugees gathered at the US border -- the same tear gas that has been used against peaceful protesters and bystanders in Honduras for years.

Trump Rejects Nuclear Treaty then Gives Russia 60 Days to 'Comply' with Nuclear Treaty (AntiWar.com & John Lewallen / Avoiding Nuclear War.com)
The US needs to immediately announce a no-first-use nuclear posture and reduce weapons and deployments to avoid an accidental or pre-emptive strike. Both Democrats and Republicans should support the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. At the same time, the US has vowed to ignore the INF treaty, accusing Russia of violating the same treaty. Russia denies it. The apparent goal is to provide the Pentagon with a pretext to deploy more US nuclear missiles inside Europe.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress to Save The Nuclear Forces Treaty (Roots Action & Ira Helfand / CNN)
The 100th anniversary of the World War I armistice underscored the great folly of Donald Trump's threat to pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia. Vladimir Putin's response that "there would be nothing left except an arms race" shows our world leaders have failed to learn from history. Nuclear weapons are doomsday weapons that should be understood as "suicide bombs." Nuclear weapons and nuclear threats are a "lose-lose proposition."

Trump Says "Pull the Plug" on Syrian Peace Talks: Prefers Another Endless War . . . or WWIII (Tom O'Connor / Newsweek & AntiWar.com & Laura Rozen / Al-Monitor)
Donald Trump came into office harshly critical of endless wars in the Middle East, but seems to be staring down the barrel of another such conflict in Syria. In addition to wanting ISIS defeated, the US wants Iran ousted, and all Shi'ite militias out of Syria. On top of that, they also want regime change, and a role in determining Syria's future. In the meantime, Trump's US envoy James Jeffrey wants the world to "pull the plug" on peace talks involving Syria and Russia.

In November, US Killed 206 Civilians in Syria: More Civilians Bombed in Afghanistan (Xinhua News & MSN & NBC News)
At least 206 civilians were killed in November this year by US-led airstrikes on areas controlled by the Islamic State in eastern Syria -- as many as 77 children and 57 women were among those killed. Meanwhile, Afghan officials say an airstrike killed at least 10 civilians in the eastern Paktia province bordering Pakistan while US airstrikes inside Afghanistan have killed nearly 280 civilians in the first nine months of 2018.

AFRICOM: Uncovering the Pentagon's Vast "Bootprint" in Africa (Nick Turse / The Intercept)
The US military has long insisted that it maintains a "light footprint" in Africa, and there have been reports of proposed drawdowns in special operations forces and closures of outposts on the continent, due to a 2017 ambush in Niger and an increasing focus on rivals like China and Russia. But through it all, US Africa Command has fallen short of providing concrete information about its bases on the continent, leaving in question the true scope of the American presence there.

Portrait of a Planet on the Verge of Climate Catastrophe (Robin McKie / The Guardian UK)
As hundreds of politicians, government officials and scientists will gather in Poland for the annual UN climate conference, this year's will be a grim. As recent reports have made clear, the world may no longer be hovering at the edge of destruction but has probably staggered beyond a crucial point of no return. Climate catastrophe is now looking inevitable.

Two Presidents Bush; Two Iraq Wars; One Shared Goal: US Access to Oil (Middle East Research and Information Project & History.com & Naval History and Heritage Command & Antonia Juhasz / CNN & Portside)
In 2000, Big Oil, including Exxon, Chevron, BP and Shell, spent more money to get fellow oilmen Bush and Cheney into office than they had spent on any previous election. The National Energy Policy Development Group, chaired by Cheney, brought the administration and the oil companies together to plot our collective energy future. In March, the task force reviewed list of targets, outlining Iraq's entire oil productive capacity. Planning for a military invasion was soon under way.

Yemen, Poisoned Water, and a Green New Deal (David Swanson / World BEYOND War)
UN figures suggest that it would take 1% of US military spending to provide the world with clean drinking water. The US could end Yemen's cholera epidemic the worst in recorded history for far less than it is spending to create the epidemic through the US-Saudi war on Yemen. Meanwhile, the most widespread poisoning of water sources around the globe is resulting from the use of chemicals on US military bases -- chemicals that are not needed, used on bases that are worse than not needed.

An Empire of Bases Poisons Water, Threatening Its Own Collapse (Pat Elder / World BEYOND War)
Per-flouro octane-sulfo-nate or PFOS, and Per-flouro-octa-noic acid or PFOA, are the active ingredients in the foam routinely used to train soldiers to extinguish aircraft fires at US military bases around the world. The toxic chemicals are allowed to leach into surrounding soil to poison groundwater. The result is one of the greatest water contamination epidemics in human history. Doubt that? Click on Google News and enter: "PFOS PFAO Military Base."

US Military Bases Pollute Countries Worldwide (RT News & The Associated Press & RT News)
Rivers and ponds near a US airbase in Germany are increasingly polluted by a toxic chemical believed to cause cancer. Water and soil around the base is contaminated with perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), a substance thought to cause cancer. The water at or around at least 126 military installations contains potentially harmful levels of perfluorinated compounds, which have been linked to cancers and developmental delays for fetuses and infants, the Pentagon has found.

"I Don't Believe It": Trump vs. US on Climate Change (William Boardman / Reader Supported News )
The Fourth National Climate Assessment is part of a continuing, multi-disciplinary, real-world examination of climate change that began in 1990. Produced by the 13 government agencies that comprise the US Global Change Research Program, the report warned that climate change is driven by human activity -- including the massive reliance on burning coal, oil and gas. If humans fail to take immediate action, a global catastrophe will strike civilization. Donald Trump's response: "I don't believe it."

ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress to Stop Trump from Abandoning Critical Nuclear Treaty (RootsAction & John Burroughs / Institute for Public Accuracy & Walter C. Clemens / The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists)
Donald Trump has announced plans to withdraw the United States from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a key nuclear disarmament pact with Russia signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1987 and approved by the US Senate. The INF prohibits the United States and Russia from deploying both nuclear and conventional missiles with ranges between 310 and 3,420 miles. These are among the weapons most likely to lead to miscalculation or misadventure in a crisis.

Dismantle the American Doomsday Machine: Ellsberg (Paul Jay / The Real News Network)
Former Pentagon nuclear strategist and whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg says Congress should eliminate the nuclear "hair-trigger," retire obsolete ICBM's, and hold hearings into the threat of an atomic war unleashing a nuclear winter. The obstacle to banning these world-ending weapons is not "public opinion" so much as the intransigence of officials and elites in both parties and major institutions that consciously support militarism, American hegemony, and arms production and sales.

In Foreign Policy Speech, Elizabeth Warren Takes Aim at Global Corruption (Alex Emmons / The Intercept & Sen. Elizabeth Warren)
In a 35-minute speech on November 29, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), laid out a foreign policy vision, linking corruption to the global rise in authoritarianism and calling for US engagement that aggressively fights climate change and corporate power. Warren called for the US to take a "sharp knife" to defense spending, invest in diplomacy, and argued that the US should take aim at corruption, internationally and at home.

Comparing Elizabeth Warren's Address with JFK's 1963 "Peace Speech" (Michael Brenner / Special to Environmentalists Against War)
Commentary: Elizabeth Warren's speech has evoked an unusual amount of interest. That led me to take a close look at it and to compare it to John Kennedy's historic "Peace Speech" at American University in 1963. A troubling element to Warren's worldview was pointed out by some perceptive readers. The section that addresses challenges from Russia and China is implacably hostile -- making no mention of what might the terms for conciliation, or -- at least -- 'peaceful co-existence.'

The Progressive International: A Global Movement against Fascism, War and Planetary Extinction (The Common Dreams Staff & Nemonte Nenquimo / Common Dreams)
With fascist movements on the rise and controlling the levers of power in the US and across the world, the Sanders Institute and Europe's DiEM25 have announced the launch of Progressive International with the goal of standing up against right-wing forces with an organized "grassroots movement for global justice." And, from the forests of the Amazon, Nemonte Nenquimo, brings inspiration and a call for Indigenous Resistance against forces that are destroying the natural world.

Pentagon Fails Audit in the Face of Historic Trillion-dollar Fraud (Dave Lindorff / The Nation & Defense News / Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.)
The Pentagon has literally been making up numbers in its annual financial reports to Congress -- representing trillions of dollars' worth of seemingly nonexistent transactions -- knowing that Congress would rely on those misleading reports when deciding how much money to give the DoD the following year. The funds the Pentagon has been amassing over the years through its bogus bookkeeping maneuvers "could easily be as much as $100 billion."

US Bombs Hospital and Prison in Syria; Kills 18 Women and Children in Afghanistan (AntiWar.com & BBC World News & Reuters)
The UN has confirmed that a US attack in Afghanistan's Helmand Province killed 23 civilians -- including eight women and 10 children -- adding to the number of Afghan civilians killed by the US. Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, reports US attacks are killing many civilians and non-combatants. US strikes against al-Shafa targeted a hospital, a prison, and several homes. The toll of noncombatants is expected to rise as more bodies are found in the rubble.

A "Long, Dark Tunnel" Leading to an Illegal and Unjust War (Conn Hallinan / Dispatches from the Edge & The Berkeley Daily Planet)
Book Review and Commentary: "Want another thing to keep you up at night? Consider a conversation between long-time Middle East reporter Reese Erlich and former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Charles Freeman, Jr. on the people currently directing the Trump administration's policy toward Iran." Official lies and misrepresentations about Iran are designed to lure the US public into a "long, dark tunnel" that will lead to an illegal, unnecessary, deadly, and a potentially global, catastrophic conflict.

America's Post-9/11 Wars Have Cost $5.9 Trillion and Killed 240,000 Civilians (William Hartung / American Committee for East-West Accord)
Despite the fact that the Pentagon's military budget is the largest in the history of the world, the US hasn't won a war since 1945 and has spent 17 years losing a futile war in Afghanistan. Nonetheless, the National Defense Strategy Commission is warning that America faces a "national security emergency" that leaves its ability to defend "its allies, its partners, and its own vital interests" increasingly in doubt -- and the only solution is to give the military even more money.

Saudi Lobbyists Pay US Senators to Block Vote to Halt Yemen War (The Guardian & Al Jazeera & The Center for Economic and Policy Research)
A UN resolution calling for a ceasefire and the resumption of humanitarian deliveries in Yemen was stalled by the US and other Security Council members after a lobbying campaign by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Meanwhile, five of the US senators who voted against the bill are known to have received major donations from Saudi lobbyists. Missouri's Roy Blunt, who voted against the US's role in the Yemen war, received $19,200 from pro-Saudi lobbyists in 2017.

The Global Extinction Rebellion Begins (Dahr Jamail / Truthout)
Dr. Gail Bradbrook, a mother of two boys, has seen enough of her government's complicity in pumping increasing amounts of CO2 and methane into an already overburdened atmosphere. A professor of molecular biophysics, her deep understanding of science has led her to confront the existential crisis facing humans. Acting on her love for her children and the disrupted world that is being left to them, she has channeled her horror about this crisis into action, co-founded the group, Rising Up!

Banned in Combat: The Underreported Dangers of Tear Gas (Alex Horton / The Washington Post )
CS gas is an aerosol compound considered a chemical weapon. It has been outlawed on the battlefield by nearly every nation on Earth, including the US. But as a riot-control agent, 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile is legal to use by both police and federal authorities in the United States and many other countries. On Sunday, US Customs and Border Protection agents fired these chemical weapons over an international border at unarmed refugees and families seeking asylum in the US.

UN Warns World Has Only Two Years to Halt Mankind's Destruction of Life on Earth (Jonathan Watts / The Guardian & Damian Carrington / The Guardian)
The UN warns the world has two years to halt a 'silent killer' as dangerous as climate change, or face the collapse of human civilization. Humanity has virtually wiped out the majority of other living species on the planet. Now we must stop biodiversity loss or we could face our own extinction. And there's not much time left to act.

The Insect Apocalypse Is Here< (Brooke Jarvis / The New York Times Magazine)
In the United States, scientists recently found the population of monarch butterflies fell by 90 percent in the last 20 years, a loss of 900 million individuals; the rusty-patched bumblebee, which once lived in 28 states, dropped by 87 percent over the same period. With other, less-studied insect species, one butterfly researcher told me, "all we can do is wave our arms and say, 'It's not here anymore!' "

Victory for Tanzania's Maasai (The Oakland Institute)
For years, the Maasai of Loliondo, Tanzania have lived under intimidation, harassment, and violence -- simply for standing up for their land rights. Their homes have been burned. They are beaten and arrested. They suffer from hunger and starvation -- all for the benefit of foreign safari companies. Today, these communities celebrate a major victory!

ACTON ALERT: Tell Congress to Block Trump and Bolton: Save Nuclear Ban Treaty! (Roots Action, World BEYOND War, The Nation, Environmentalists Against War et al.)
The White House proposal to withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty has been widely criticized, for good reason. Former military officials and diplomats see the INF treaty as a "bedrock" of arms control that eliminated thousands of deadly medium-range missiles in Europe. The Trump administration alleges the INF is flawed but if there is a problem, the answer is to try to fix the treaty, not walk away from it.

ACTION ALERT: An Open Letter to Senator Bernie Sanders (World BEYOND War et al.)
Dear Senator Sanders: We write to you as US residents with great respect for your domestic policies. We support the position of more than 25,000 people who signed a petition during your presidential campaign urging you to take on militarism. We believe that Dr. Martin Luther King was correct to assert that racism, extreme materialism, and militarism needed to be challenged together rather than separately, and that this remains true today.

Listen to the Governor of Okinawa (Alexis Dudden / Foreign Policy in Focus & Portside)
The first step the US can take to reduce the chance of a naval confrontation with China is to listen to the new governor of Okinawa -- home to over half of the 50,000 US troops stationed in Japan and to US nuclear assets as well. By ending construction of a controversial military base in Okinawa -- scene of long0running protests -- the US can atone for its past conduct, honor the democratic desires of Okinawans, and begin to think more broadly about peace in the East China Sea and beyond.

I Never Expected to Become a Conscientious Objector (Matt Malcom / World BEYOND War)
Commentary: "I never expected to become a conscientious objector. If you would have asked me two years ago to name the first things that came to mind when I heard this title, it would have been words like coward, afraid, selfish, ignorant, and unpatriotic. I guess it's how growing up tends to work. Now I see that these words couldn't be farther from the truth." Other potential recruits might well consider WBW's "Top Ten Reasons Not to Enlist in the US Army."

Women against the Bomb: Why the Fate of the Earth Depends on Women (Beatrice Fihn / The Nation)
The breakthrough for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons came after we showed political leaders the faulty foundations of the realpolitik arguments underpinning the nuclear world order. When it comes to doomsday weapons, the supposed realists ignore reality -- reality like the 7,000-degree-Fahrenheit ground temperature in Nagasaki after an American B-29 bomber dropped "Fat Man" on the city in August 1945.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Attacking Migrant Families at the Border (CREDO Mobile & The Huffington Post & Refuse Fascism & The White House)
Every day, Donald Trump's white supremacist war on immigrants grows worse. The US border patrol has just tear-gassed mothers with children and toddlers in diapers seeking asylum on our southern border. Tell Secretary of Defense Mattis: "No lethal force at the border." Trump has no right to lecture about the "sanctity of borders" given that the US border patrol has -- on several occasions -- killed unarmed migrants on the other side of the US-Mexican border.

Global War: To Infinity and Beyond (Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & Maj. Danny Sjursen / TomDispatch)
Commentary: There are about 800 American military bases worldwide (not counting, the more than 420 bases in Guam, Puerto Rico and the continental US). It is often said that -- in an Orwellian sense -- every nation needs an enemy to unite and discipline its population. Still, the US must stand alone in history as the only country to militarize the whole globe (with space thrown in) in preparation for taking on just about anyone. Now, that's exceptional.

The Three Most Chilling Conclusions From the White House Climate Report (Rachel Gutman / The Atlantic)
The National Climate Assessment, prepared by scientists at 13 federal agencies, traces the effects that climate change has already wrought upon every region of the United States, from nationwide heat waves to dwindling snowpacks in the West. In blunt and disturbing terms, it also envisions the devastation yet to come.

White House Study Warns Climate Change Will Cost US $500 Billion a Year. Trump's Response: "I Don't Believe It" (Joe Romm / ThinkProgress & The Huffington Post & Grist & USGS, Department of the Interior)
The White House stands accused of trying to "bury" a 1,700-page scientific report that concludes US temperatures will warm at least 3 more degrees by 2100 unless the use of fossil fuels is dramatically curtailed. It also confirmed that climate change is linked to outbreaks of deadly and costly wildfires, floods, and storms, and quantifies the staggering cost of Trump's climate science denial. The report projects our current path of unrestricted carbon pollution will devastate America.

How America Spreads Global Chaos (Nicolas J.S. Davies / Consortium News)
The US government may pretend to respect a "rules-based" global order, but the only rule Washington seems to follow is "might makes right" -- and the CIA has long served as a chief instigator and enforcer.

Since 9/11, the US Has Killed Between 480,000 or 6 Million People in Foreign Wars (Murtaza Hussain / The Intercept & Nicolas J S Davies / Consortium News)
Compilations of "passive reporting" can never account for more than a fraction of the actual numbers of people killed by US aggression since 2001. At least 480,000 people have been killed in US attacks on Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Add the estimated death toll in Libya, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen, and America's post-9/11 wars may have killed 6 million people. Perhaps the true number is only 5 million. Perhaps it is closer to 7 million. Either way, the US body count is in the millions.

ACTION ALERT: US Sanctions on Iran Threaten Children Worldwide (Reza Saiedi / No Medical Sanctions & Sarah Maan / Change.org)
Despite the recent order from the International Court of Justice that US economic sanctions on Iran not "hurt exportation to the territory of Iran of goods required for humanitarian needs" US sanctions anctions have seriously affected Iran's access to health and medical services. But Iranian patients are not the only victims of Washington's sanctions. Many thousands of patients across the globe also are suffering from sanctions imposed on critical Iranian medical supplies.

The Dramatic Struggle for Our Planet and for Humanity in Henoko, Okinawa (Joseph Essertier / World BEYOND War)
The US military has had bases in Okinawa for most of the last century and Okinawans have constantly struggled against making their islands into battlefields. Ever since the Battle of Okinawa, in which over 100,000 Okinawan civilians lost their lives (about one-third of the population), a large percentage of the population has opposed US bases and the vast majority of the current population now opposes the new base construction at Henoko. A crime against nature is about to be committed.

UN Warns Climate Window Is Closing: Greenhouse Gases Hit Level Not Seen for Millions of Years (Harry Cockburn / The Independent & World Meteorological Organization)
The last time a comparable level of carbon dioxide was in the atmosphere, temperatures were over 2C warmer and sea levels 10-20m higher, UN scientists warn. The urgency and extent of the actions needed to address climate change have not sunk in. 'The science is clear. Without rapid cuts in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, climate change will have increasingly destructive and irreversible impacts on life on Earth. The window of opportunity for action is almost closed."

Gore Accuses Trump of Trying to (Steve Franl / CBS News & Bill McKibben / The New York Review of Books)
Former VP Al Gore has blasted the White House for trying to "bury" a critical government report on climate change by releasing it the day after Thanksgiving. The National Climate Assessment directly contradicts Trump's claim that climate change is not "man-made." Bill McKibben adds: "We're running out of options, and we're running out of decades" and that means that climate change will cease to be a "problem" that can be "solved" and will become a calamity that can't be reversed.

Brazilian Amazon at Risk from "Trump of the Tropics" (David Mack / BuzzFeed)
Deforestation in the Amazon rainforest is at its worst level in a decade, Brazilian officials announced Friday, amid concerns that logging in the world's largest forest will only increase once the country's anti-environment president-elect, Jair Bolsonaro, takes office. The country's new far-right president-elect has vowed to open up more of the Amazon to logging. His campaign was backed by illegal loggers and miners who want to open the Amazon for more business.

Bolton to Meet with Brazil's New Far-right Leader. Mission: To Target Cuba and Venezuela (Franco Ordonez / McClatchy)
President Donald Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton will meet next week with Brazil's President-elect Jair Bolsonaro to discuss a regional strategy in confronting Cuba and Venezuela. Bolsonaro, a far-right former army captain, who has been dubbed the "Trump of the Tropics," has called the leaders of those countries, along with Nicaragua, "clowns." Bolsonaro has also stated that the United States "looks forward to watching" these governments fall.

Alarming White House Report: US Scientists Rebuke Trump on Climate Change (Seth Borenstein / The Associated Press & Axios.com)
White House Report Warns of Human-caused Climate Change As California's catastrophic wildfires recede and people rebuild after two hurricanes, a massive new federal report warns that these types of disasters are worsening in the US because of global warming. The National Climate Assessment directly contradicts the anti-environmental, pro-coal-and-carbon policies of Donald Trump.

Green New Deal: Young Progressives Are Forcing Democrats to Actually Do Something About Climate Change (Matt Laslo / VICE)
Some of the Democratic Party's newly elected progressives are pushing leaders to embrace a Green New Deal that would, among other things, respond to climate change by ending US reliance on fossil fuels. Within days after the midterms, 10 House Democrats had already signed on to the call to put the nation on the path to a 100 percent renewable energy economy, build a national "smart" energy grid, and boost domestic manufacturing and exporting of emerging "green" technologies.

Trump's Response to Deadly Wildfires: Log the Trees (Timothy Cama / The Hill)
The Trump administration is pointing to the deadly California wildfires to renew its call for Congress to boost the administration's ability to remove more brush and trees from federal forests. Ignoring the evidence that increasingly deadly wildfires are linked to climate change, Trump's Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke claimed the fires were caused by "radical environmentalists . . . [who] would rather burn down the entire forest than cut a single tree."

Climate Change Action Would Kill Imperialism (Manuel Garcia, Jr. / CounterPunch & Blood and Oil: The Middle East in World War I)
Climate change action would kill imperialism, and that is why we can't have it in America. American political power is based on fossil fuels and the US military is the engine that consumes those fuels to produce that power. So long as there is an American political elite that craves lucrative personal prestige and the ability to dominate internationally, the US economy will be fossil-fueled capitalism that maintains the military colossus that enables and protects those elite ambitions.

Trump Calls for Use of "Lethal Force" against Migrants Seeking Refuge at US Border (The Daily Beast & The Military Times & Tara Copp / Military Times)
The White House has authorized US military troops deployed at the Mexican border to use lethal force and conduct law-enforcement operations. The memo, signed by Chief of Staff John Kelly, gives Department of Defense personnel the freedom to conduct "a show or use of force (including lethal force, where necessary), crowd control, temporary detention, and cursory search" in order to protect border agents from the migrant families crossing the border to seek a better life.

ACTION ALERT: November 25: San Diego March in Solidarity with the Refugee Caravan (The San Diego Migrant and Refugee Solidarity Coalition & National Immigrant Solidarity Network, et al.)
We migrant rights and social justice groups, invite individuals and organizations to demonstrate in their cities, and if they are able, to join our rally and march to the US/Mexican border. November 25th marks the anniversary of the 2017 Honduran election stolen by the US-backed, right-wing military dictator Juan Orlando Hernandez. We are demonstrating on this day to draw attention to the US role in creating the current social and political crises driving the mass-exodus from Central America.

US Bombs Continue to Kill in Laos 50 years after the Vietnam War (Padraic Convery / Al Jazeera & Mark Landler / The New York Times)
This year's Thanksgiving celebration marks 50 years since the American military embarked on the biggest bombing campaign in world history -- decimating the small Southeast Asian country of Laos by dropping more than two million tons of bombs on it at the height of the Vietnam War. Half a century on, innocent lives are still being lost as the country struggles with the leftovers of the conflict.

US and South Korea to Scale Back Provocative Spring Military Exercises Aimed at the North (AntiWar.com & Agence France-Presse)
Though officials had previously been threatening a return to large-scale military exercises in South Korea, the Pentagon has once again agreed with South Korea to dramatically scale back a major exercise, in this case the spring 2019 war-games. This is Foal Eagle, which is usually one of the major Korea wargames for the US, and usually a big source of tensions with North Korea.

Criticism Rises as Trump Preaches "America First" and Insists Saudi Money is Worth More than America's Soul (Associated Press & The Daily Beast & The View & Face the Nation)
Donald Trump's embrace of Saudi Arabia has exposed a foreign policy rift as some of his GOP colleagues warn that giving the kingdom a pass for murdering a US-based columnist will have dangerous consequences. Even Sens. Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul have denounced Trump's decision not to levy harsher penalties on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the death and dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Consulate.

Our Planet Is Being Destroyed for Short-term Profit: It's Time to Join the Extinction Rebellion (Bill McKibben / 350.org & Bill McKibben / The New Yorker)
Commentary from Bill McKibben: "Every once in a great while, I write a piece that I think is important to share. This time it's an essay in this week's New Yorker. I warn you, it's not all easy reading. In fact, given the horrific fires still burning in California, an almost literal pall hangs over the words. But I want you to know I write it from a place of engagement, not despair. So do me the favor of reading this essay, and sharing it with others who might appreciate it. And then back to the fight!"

Trump's Sorry Saudi Saga: "America First" Means "Money First" (Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept)
Donald Trump has proclaimed that, dispute the anger toward the Saudi regime over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, "the United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region." To justify his decision, Trump noted that "Saudi Arabia is the largest oil producing nation in the world" and a big client for "Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and many other great US defense contractors."

How The New York Times Deceived the Public on North Korea (Tim Shorrock / The Nation)
After its publication set off alarms, a New York Times "expose" about "hidden missile bases" in North Korea was widely derided in the circle of people who closely follow North Korea. Once these doubts were voiced, both The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post avoided the Times' claim of deception and played down its dire conclusions that North Korea is cheating on the agreement it reached with Trump last June.

ACTION ALERT: November 25: San Diego March in Solidarity with the Refugee Caravan (The San Diego Migrant and Refugee Solidarity Coalition & National Immigrant Solidarity Network, et al.)
We migrant rights and social justice groups, invite individuals and organizations to demonstrate in their cities, and if they are able, to join our rally and march to the US/Mexican border. November 25th marks the anniversary of the 2017 Honduran election stolen by the US-backed, right-wing military dictator Juan Orlando Hernandez. We are demonstrating on this day to draw attention to the US role in creating the current social and political crises driving the mass-exodus from Central America.

Anti-NATO Rally in Dublin Says US Empire Is Failing; It's Time to Change Course (Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers / Popular Resistance)
At the No US/NATO Bases conference, an overriding message was the breadth and depth of US empire and the impact of US and western imperialism around the world, including the environmental and health risks. The US empire consists of 800 US bases in 80 countries and US military personnel in more than 170 countries. In addition, the US uses economic war and sanctions to dominate other nations. This has brought misery to people around the globe.

ACTION ALERT: Close NATO's Global Empire of Bases (Global Unity Statement / No NATO Bases.org)
We, the undersigned peace, justice and environmental organizations and individuals from around the world, endorse the following Statement of Unity and commit ourselves to working together in a broad-based international campaign to organize an International Conference Against all US/NATO Military Bases, with the goal of raising public awareness and organizing nonviolent mass resistance against all US, NATO and EU military bases, and their military missions around the world.

Green Party Urges International Criminal Court to Investigate Crimes against Palestinians (Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese / Popular Resistance & The Green Party of the United States)
On November 29, 2018, members of the Green Party United States traveled to the International Criminal Court in The Hague to deliver a letter calling for a full investigation of Israel for war crimes it has committed against the Palestinians.The Green Party recognizes that the US is complicit in Israel's crimes by providing financial support, selling weapons and providing political cover. The letter was also signed by more than 1,000 organizations and individuals from the United States.

Demand the US End its Occupation of Africa! (The Black Alliance for Peace)
October 1, 2018 marked 10 years since the United States African Command (AFRICOM) had been established. The purpose of AFRICOM is to use US military power to impose US control of African land, resources and labor to service the needs of US multi-national corporations and the wealthy in the United States. Today, there are 46 US bases on the continent well as military-to-military relations between the US and 53 of the 54 African countries. US Special Forces troops now operate in more than a dozen African nations.

The Greatest Crime on Earth (David Swanson / World BEYOND War)
Commentary: The US military and its European accomplices make up some three quarters of the world's militarism in terms of their own investment in wars plus their dealing of weapons to others. Attempts to claim that an external threat exists have reached ludicrous levels. We need to tell advocates of a European military that you can't oppose US madness by imitating it. I can't imagine weapons companies would like anything more than some intra-NATO competition.

The Pentagon Fails Its First-Ever Audit (AntiWar.com & Reuters & Ron Paul / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity)
After generations of being a black hole down which money goes, never to return, a team of 1,200 auditors tried to give the Pentagon its first-ever comprehensive audit. Unsurprisingly, it went poorly, and was declared a failure. How bad the failure was is something of a mystery at this point, with officials refusing to disclose the exact results, or even ballpark how much money is unaccounted for. The only clue to the sheer scope of the matter is that they believe it will take "years" to sort out.

Trump's Space Force Is No Joke (In These Times & Sputnik International & POLITICO/Lockheed Martin)
In the rush to heap scorn upon the Trump administration, the president's critics sometimes miss the forest for the trees. Critics mocked the idea as "ridiculous," "stupid" and part of an "imaginary space war." "There's no threat in space! Who are we fighting?" But "war in space" is no joke. For all intents and purposes, a space force already exists. International conflict in space is no longer a plotline ripped from a sci-fi paperback. A space war is becoming more and more likely.

The War to End War, 100 Years On: An Evaluation and Reorientation of Our Resistance to War (Robert J. Burrowes / Popular Resistance)
As we commemorate 100th anniversary of the armistice ending 'the war to end war', one can only marvel at how wrong humans can be sometimes. Not content with the violence inflicted during WW I, humans used the 20th century to decimate human and other life as war raged across the planet with an increasingly massive and sophisticated armory. By mid-century -- in a tribute to their technological ingenuity and psychological dysfunctionality -- humans had invented a weapon that could destroy life on Earth.

The Warlords of Greed: Starving Our Poor So We Can Kill Their Poor (Matt Taibbi / Rolling Stone)
Using a time-honored trick, a bipartisan congressional panel argues we should boost the president's record defense bill even more. The bipartisan commission has determined that Donald Trump's recent record defense bill is insufficiently massive to keep America safe, and we should spend more, while cutting "entitlements."

Democrats Are Planning To Target The Arms Sales Trump Loves (Akbar Shahid Ahmed / The Huffington Post)
Top Democrats are discussing how to use their upcoming control of the House of Representatives to more tightly regulate US weapons sales abroad -- a move that would shore up the party's antiwar credentials and make it harder for President Donald Trump to continue his high-profile arms deals with countries accused of human rights violations like Saudi Arabia.

The Anti-War Speech That Sent Eugene Debs to Prison for 10 Years (Tom Twiss / The Socialist Worker & Eugene V. Debs / The Canton Speech)
Commentary: the working class who fight all the battles, the working class who make the supreme sacrifices, the working class who freely shed their blood and furnish the corpses, have never yet had a voice in either declaring war or making peace. It is the ruling class that invariably does both. They alone declare war and they alone make peace. The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and all to lose -- especially their lives.

ACTION ALERT: Lawless Trump to Open Arctic to Offshore Drilling (Sabrina Shankman / InsideClimate News & Brandy Doyle / CREDO Action & & Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch)
The Trump administration has begun the process to open a large area of federal waters off Alaska to oil and gas drilling -- a plan that is already being challenged in court. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will be accepting public comments about oil drilling in 65 million acres of offshore waters in the Beaufort Sea and hold a lease sale in 2019. In one of his final acts as president, Barack Obama placed these water off limits to drilling. One of Trump's earliest acts was to overturn rule with an executive order.

Congressional Blue Wave's New Crusade: A "Green New Deal" for America (E. A. Crunden / ThinkProgress & The People's Demands for Climate Justice )
A bold new generation of Democrats are already pushing forward on climate action, in a dramatic change of pace that could spell a very different tune in Washington come January, as well as within the wider party. Republicans and Democrats alike have largely waffled on addressing climate change, to the dismay of activists. But that could be about to change and news faces in Washington a are demanding a "Green New Deal" to get to achieve 100 percent renewables energy "because our lives depend on it."

UK Climate Activists Block London's Bridges and Glue Hands to Entrance of Government Building (Matthew Taylor and Damien Gayle / The Observer and The Guardian)
Protesters, including families and pensioners, blocked five of London's main bridges in one of the biggest acts of peaceful civil disobedience in the UK in decades. The move was part of a mass civil disobedience campaign organised by Extinction Rebellion, which hopes to force governments to treat the threats of climate collapse and extinction as an existential crisis. The group is calling on the UK government to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2025 -- or face a global catastrophe in as little as 12 years.

Big Oil v. the Planet Is the Fight of Our Lives (David Sirota / The Guardian UK)
The Carbon Industry's control of the "Oil & Gas Caucus" in Congress has given it political supremacy -- even in left-leaning states -- but immediate action by an incoming Blue Wave of young, dynamic, and progressive congressmembers might make it possible to hold off an impending environmental state of emergency.

Human Extinction by 2026? A Last Ditch Strategy for Human Survival (Robert J. Burrowes, Ph.D. / Editorial, TRANSCEND )
Commentary: When evidence of the climate catastrophe (fed by the burning fossil fuels) became incontrovertible, the industry shifted its focus to arguing that the timeframe, which it presented as 'end of the century', meant that we could defer action (and thus profit-maximization) through business-as-usual policies that could continue indefinitely. But now, scientists tell us, we have only 12 years left to avoid a climate catastrophe.

Rep. Gabbard and Sen. Paul Call for End to Support for Saudis, Bahrain, and Yemen War (Tulsi Gabbard / US House of Representatives & AntiWar.com)
After House Republicans blocked a vote on bipartisan resolution (H. Con Res. 138) to end US military support for Saudi Arabia's genocidal war in Yemen, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard urged Members of Congress to vote against the Republican rule and bring the resolution to the floor for a vote. Meanwhile, iin a 21-77 vote, the Senate rejected a bill from Republican Sen. Rand Paul aiming to block a $300 million arms sale to Bahrain -- one of the participants in the Saudi-led, US-backed war in Yemen.

The Pentagon Fails Its First-Ever Audit (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Idrees Ali and Mike Stone / Reuters)
After generations of being a black hole down which money goes, never to return, a team of 1,200 auditors tried to give the Pentagon its first ever comprehensive audit, just to see where all that money went. Unsurprisingly, it went poorly, and was declared a failure. How bad the failure was is something of a mystery at this point, with officials refusing to disclose the exact results, or even ballpark how much money is unaccounted for.

US Airstrikes Killed Over 100 Civilians in Eastern Syria This Week: Mainly Women and Children (AntiWar.com & Xinhua News & Zaman Al Wasl News)
Over the past week, daily US airstrikes against a handful of towns in eastern Syria have killed well over 100 civilians, mainly women and children. Most of the airstrikes are just hitting homes across the towns, killing a lot of women and children inside.

America's Permanent-War Complex (Gareth Porter / The American Conservative)
What President Eisenhower dubbed the "military-industrial complex" has evolved over the decades into a "permanent-war complex" that is now engaged in conflicts in at least eight foreign countries -- none of which are intended to be temporary. The privatization of military and intelligence began before the end of the Cold War and was designed to benefit about 50 dominant US companies. Today, roughly half of the annual defense budget goes to private contractors including Lockheed, Raytheon and Boeing.

Mass Shootings -- When the 'War on Terror' Comes Home (Priya Satia / San Francisco Chronicle Op-ed)
Commentary: The terrorism of guns and mass shootings in the US is not purely a domestic phenomenon, but a product of America's relationship with the world. Terrorism in American life is inseparable from American violence in the world. The ties between violence and industrial capitalism are deep and systemic, dating from the 18th century. These domestic shootings are shaped by the business of arms. While many struggle to regulate firearms, the arms makers push to keep markets everywhere open.

US Soldiers Died for Nothing in WWI (Jacob G. Hornberger / The Future of Freedom Foundation)
If the US had not intervened in World War I, it is a virtual certainty that there would have been a negotiated settlement between the warring parties. US interventionism instead brought about the total defeat of Germany. The result of Germany's total defeat? The vengeful Treaty of Versailles, which later provided Hitler with his rationale for his rise to power. So much for making the world safe for democracy.

ACTION ALERT: Tell New House Leaders to Refuse War Lobby Money (World BEYOND War & Lee Fang / The Intercept)
Weapons makers are moving money to the Democrat in line to chair the House Armed Services Committee. Rep. Adam Smith, a hawkish Democrat from Washington state is beholden to the military-industrial complex. Sarah Smith, a working-class activist and democratic socialist, has attacked Smith's pro-war record. Read who's been taking War Lobby contributions and sign the petition asking Democrats (especially those appointed to serve on critical committees) to refuse and return all War Lobby donations.

The War to End War, 100 Years On: An Evaluation and Reorientation of Our Resistance to War (Robert J. Burrowes / Popular Resistance)
As we mark the 100th anniversary of the armistice ending 'the war to end war', one can only marvel at how wrong humans can be sometimes. Not content with the violence inflicted during WWI, humans used the 20th century to systematically decimate human and other life as violence and war raged across the planet with an increasingly sophisticated armory. By mid-century, in a tribute to their technological ingenuity and psychological dysfunctionality, humans had invented a weapon that could destroy life on Earth.

GOP House Crushes Attempt to End US Role in Genocidal Yemen War (Hon. Tulsi Gabbard / US Congress & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)
Late last night, House Republicans on the Rules Committee voted to block our bill, HConRes 138, from coming to the House floor for a vote. The bill would have ended US support for Saudi Arabia's genocidal war in Yemen, which has resulted in the worst humanitarian crisis in generations. It's time to end US support for Saudi Arabia's atrocities and bring HConRes 138 up for a vote. Become a citizen co-sponsor and support HConRes 138 today. See which 77 Democrats and 4 Republicans support HConRes 138.

With Nearly $6 Trillion Spent Since 9/11, the US Military Can No Longer Afford to Dominate the Planet (AntiWar.com & CBS Evening News)
Starting in late 2001, the US has engaged in wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere around the world. Many of those wars have become more or less permanent operations. Now, a new report by a bipartisan Congressional commission says the US could lose a war against China or Russia. The warhawks claim the Pentagon is "underfunded" and the military needs more money because, unlike China and Russia, the US goal is not self-protection but the maintenance of global power.

US Bombs Killing Record Numbers of Civilians in Afghanistan and Syria (Niall McCarthy / Forbes & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)
Since Donald Trump announced a new Afghan strategy and committed more troops to the country, the number of bombs dropped by the US coalition has surged dramatically while a change in the rules of engagement has led to more civilian deaths. Meanwhile, in Syria, Trump's threat to "target the families" of rebel forces has lead to the deaths of at least 41 civilians in the town of Hajin while US airstrikes killed another 28 in neighboring al-Shaafa. At least nine children were killed in these US airstrikes.

ACTION ALERT: Address Climate Change, Inequality, and War: Young, Insurgent Congressmembers Demand a Green New Deal (Gideon Resnick / The Daily Beast & Ryan Grim and Briahna Gray / The Intercept & The Select Committee on a Green New Deal)
During her freshman orientation, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the newly elected NY congresswoman from New York, showed her determination to address climate change and social inequality by joining an environmental group that had occupied California Democrat Nancy Pelosi's office to push for action by demanding that the party fully support the passage of a Green New Deal for America.

After 17 Years, Many Afghans Blame US for Unending War (Kathy Gannon / Associated Press)
When US forces and their Afghan allies rode into Kabul in November 2001 they were greeted as liberators. But after 17 years of war, the Taliban have retaken half the country, security is worse than it's ever been, and many Afghans place the blame squarely on the Americans. The United States has lost more than 2,400 soldiers in its longest war, and has spent more than $900 billion on the Afghan cause. None of it worked. Today, Afghanistan is rife with conspiracy theories, including the idea that Americans didn't stumble into a "forever war," but planned one all along.

Veterans Are Not Honored by Forever War: The Original Goal of Veterans Day Was to Assure Enduring Peace (Daniel L. Davis / The National Interest & David Stockman / AntiWar.com)
Commentary: The Marine heroes of the bloody battle of Belleau Wood did not die "in the trenches for the cause of freedom". Instead, they died there owing to the fanatical megalomania of President Woodrow Wilson. The ives of those who wear the uniform should not be risked on missions intended on "sending a message" or for the security of some other country. We should not sacrifice our citizens for the security of Baghdad, Kabul, or to favor one band of rebels over another in civil wars across the globe.

A Former Marine Views Nov. 11 as "A Celebration of Killing and Dying" (Camillo Mac Bica / AntiWar.com)
Commentary: Anyone who has experienced the insanity of the battlefield understands that when the shit hits the fan, we kill and sacrifice not for god, flag, country, or even for Corps, but for the man or woman at our side. I have realized that, by living according to the Marine ethos, I have become a murderer, a realization that has caused me (and many others) profound guilt, shame, and moral distress.

In Place of Trump's Nov. 11 Military Parade, Activists Host a Peace Congress in Washington, DC (Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers / Popular Resistance)
On November 10 and 11, 2018, the No Trump Military Parade coalition of 250 organizations held a Peace Congress in place of Donald Trump's proposed Military Parade -- which they helped to stop. In a historic show of opposition to the glorification of war and waste of millions of public dollars, the coalition went beyond traditional public peace protest to host a two-day event thainclude anti-poverty, housing, the environment and more.

US Refuses to Adopt a Nuclear Weapon "No-First-Use" Pledge (Paul Jay Interviews Daniel Ellsberg / The Real News / Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.)
Commentary from a former nuclear weapons planner: In an atomic attach, nearly everyone on Earth will die. But if we go back to earlier calculations -- 50 million dead on a first strike versus 150 million or 100 million on a second strike -- there, again, the idea was that we will survive that 50 million well. But our values -- meaning our democracy -- would be very unlikely to survive just one or two explosions on a single city.

US Airstrikes Have Killed Hundreds of Syrians Civilians in 2018 (Brett Wilkins / BrettWilkins.com & CounterPunch & AntiWar.com)
The US-led coalition against Islamic State has carried out more than 100 new air strikes targeting the militant group's remaining strongholds in Syria's Deir Ezzor province, killing at least 80 civilians -- including dozens of women and children -- in recent weeks. US-led bombing resumed on October 24 following a particularly deadly period in which scores of Syrian men, women and children were killed in strikes on homes and mosques in and around the village of al-Sousa.

ACTION ALERT: Tell New House to End War! (Win Without War & Politico)
On November 11, election night, control of the House of Representatives flipped. And the next day, we woke up in a world where we can end the United States' longest war. Some new members of Congress stepping into office this January were preteens when this war started. They're ready to end this war. You and I are ready to end this war. And we have the political power to do it.

Saudi-Led Attacks on Yemen Port Escalate; 150 Killed in 24 Hours (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Mohammed Ghobari / Reuters)
Heavy fighting between invading Saudi-backed forces and the Shi'ite Houthi movement continues to escalate, with medics saying at least 150 people killed on Monday in just a 24 hour span. Street battles raged on Sunday in residential areas of Yemen's main port city of Hodeidah, forcing medical staff to flee the largest hospital, as Houthi insurgents tried to repel forces backed by a Saudi-led coalition.

How in Heck did Armistice Day (a Day Dedicated to Peace) become Veterans Day (a Day Dedicated to War)? (Arnold Oliver / AntiWar.com)
Commentary: In 1954 Armistice Day was hijacked by a militaristic US congress and renamed Veterans Day. Today few Americans understand the original purpose of Armistice Day, or even remember it. The message of peace-seeking has been all but erased. Worst of all, Veterans Day has devolved into a hyper-nationalistic quasi-religious celebration of war and the putatively valiant warriors who wage it. We no longer have a national day to recognize or reflect upon international peace.

Trump Removes Oversight on Weapons Deals: Arms Sales Soar 13% (Mike Stone / Reuters & Annie Linskey / The Boston Globe)
Donald Trump greenlighted the sale of 1,600 semiautomatic pistols to Turkish President Erdogan’s security detail last year, arming the thuggish dictator with some of the best guns money can buy. The very next day, Turkish bodyguards beat up several US citizens protesting outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington. Lawmakers are required to be consulted before allowing sales of high-powered weapons to foreign dictators. Trump wants Congress out of the picture.

Trump Prepares to Dump Nuclear Treaties and Resume Atomic Arms Race (Conn Hallinan / Dispatches from the Edge)
Donald Trump's expressed intention to withdraw from the Intermediate Nuclear Force Agreement appears to be part of a broader strategy aimed at unwinding over 50 years of agreements to control and limit nuclear weapons -- and returning to an era characterized by the unbridled development weapons of mass destruction. The White House has already announced that it does not plan to extend the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) when it expires in 2021.

ACTION: Tell Trump Not to Halt Critical Humanitarian Aide to North Korea (AFSC, CODEPINK, Environmentalists Against War, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, et al)
The following letter regarding US NGO humanitarian aid to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) was delivered in-person on Friday, October 26th to the Korea desk, Special Representative for North Korea Policy Steve Biegun, and other relevant bureaus during a roundtable discussion between NGOs, UN actors, and the State Department.

Celebrate Armistice Day, Not Veterans Day (David Swanson / The Humanist & John Reuwer, MD / World BEYOND War & Neal Cassidy)
Commentary: Do not celebrate Veterans Day on Sunday. Celebrate Armistice Day instead. The danger of honoring veterans without honoring peace is that it becomes little more than a recruiting tool to prepare the next generation for war. Is that what we want?

Help Us Reclaim Armistice Day 2018 As Day Of Peace (Veterans for Peace & Jack Gilroy / Syracuse.com)
When Armistice Day was declared one year after WW1 ended, people were beginning to understand that the bloodshed was not about valor or glory or medals or service, but about power and money. In the US alone, 15,000 new millionaires were made in the course of the war. In 1954, we dropped the name "Armistice Day" and adopted "Veterans Day." We replaced a sacred day of thanksgiving with a day to glorify warriors. That was not the intent of veterans of World War I.

Did A North Korean Nuclear EMP Bomb Threat Lead Trump to Peace Talks? (John Lewallen / Avoiding Nuclear War )
Kim and Trump seemed on a catastrophic collision course, threatening war instead of pursuing diplomacy. The sudden change may have been due to Kim testing "thermonuclear nuke . . . which can be detonated at high altitudes for a super-powerful EMP attack."

ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress: "No Funding for Border Wall" (CREDO Action & Courage to Resist & Don't Attack Iran)
Donald Trump was so desperate for votes that he manufactured a xenophobic crisis ahead of the midterms. In response, voters gave a diverse and progressive group of Democrats control of the House. The message to Trump was "Don't build that wall." The message to troops on the border: "Don't obey illegal orders." And now may be time to revive a 2007 bill that would call any preemptive US attack on the 70 million people of Iran "illegal and criminal -- a crime of the highest magnitude."

Trump Versus Nuclear Treaties: Unwrapping Armageddon (Conn Hallinan / Dispatches from the Edge)
The US and the Soviet Union have come within minutes of an accidental nuclear war on at least two occasions. The INF Treaty came about because of strong opposition and huge demonstrations in Europe and the US. That kind of pressure, coupled with a pledge by countries not to deploy such weapons, will be required again, lest the entire tapestry of agreements that kept the horror of nuclear war at bay vanish.

The UN Votes on Nuclear Arms Issues (The Basel Peace Office)
October 24-30 was UN Disarmament Week, during which member states voted on a range of disarmament decisions and resolutions. Decisions are binding on the United Nations. Resolutions are not binding but can be very authoritative and influential if supported by key countries. The deliberations and votes took place in an environment of increasing tensions between nuclear-armed States, and also an increasing divide between nuclear-armed and non-nuclear countries.

Since 9/11, US Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan Have Killed 500,000 People (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Neta C. Crawford / The Watson Institute)
Brown University has released a new study on the cost in lives of America's Post-9/11 Wars -- in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The study estimates between 480,000 and 507,000 people were killed in the course of the three conflicts. This includes combatant deaths and civilian deaths. Civilians make up over half of the roughly 500,000 killed, with opposition fighters and US-backed foreign military forces each sustaining in excess of 100,000 deaths as well.

Remembering Armistice Day (Jack Kenny / AntiWar.com)
Commentary: Those of us of a certain age may remember that Veterans Day used to be called Armistice Day -- the day the guns fell silent in war-torn Europe at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. The Great War -- that we now call World War I -- had reached a ceasefire. In the months and years that followed, the victorious allies would rearrange the boundaries of much of the globe, uprooting peoples and nations in a fragile peace that set the stage for World War II.

US Threatens World: Ban Iranian Oil Tankers or Risk Catastrophic "Accidents" (AntiWar.com & Agence France-Presse & Channel News Asia & Associated Press)
The US State Department has issued a series of warnings demanding that all world ports avoid even nominal contact with Iranian commercial ships, warning that even limited contact could lead to US sanctions. All ports and maritime insurance companies were ordered to "steer clear" of Iranian ships or face US sanctions. The US warned that any country that allowed an Iranian oil tanker to even enter its territorial waters would suffer "catastrophic economic damage."

ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress to Pass Legislation to Protect the Special Counsel Investigation (CREDO Action & Jonathan Chait / The National Interest & Andrew Prokopandrew / Vox.com)
Donald Trump has fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The new acting attorney general is a Trump loyalist who opposes the special counsel investigation. This is simply unacceptable. The results of Tuesday's election made it clear that the American people want a check on Trump, and an honest accounting of any corruption or conflicts of interest. But Congress still hasn't passed legislation to protect special counsel Mueller's investigation into Trump's potential Russia ties.

Another Shooting Incident: Man Trained to Commit Mass Murder Commits Mass Murder (David Swanson / DavidSwanson.org)
Commentary: In US mass shootings, military vets are more than twice as likely to be mass shooters. Needless to say, this is a statistic about a large population, not information about any particular individual. While profiling and discrimination are counterproductive, here's what else might be counterproductive: Training people to commit mass murder, launching wars, and returning people traumatized by wars into a heavily armed society taught that mass-killing is the way to solve problems.

Game of Drones: A New Type of War Crime That's Going Unpunished
Unmanned drones are the modern weapons of choice in the fight against terrorism. The tribal areas of Pakistan where various militant groups seek a hideout have been hit by numerous CIA drone strikes. The attacks are far from precise and it's claimed they have often killed or maimed civilians, including children.

POST-ELECTION ACTION ALERT: Tell New House to End the US War in Afghanistan! (Win Without War)
Last night, control of the House of Representatives flipped. And today, we woke up in a world where we can end the United States' longest war. After seventeen years, this terrible, failed war is STILL tragically costing lives and throwing trillions of dollars down the drain -- and into the overflowing coffers of the US Arms Industry.

The Military Impacts of November 6: A Post-election Roundup (Gregory Hellman / Morning Defense @ POLITICO)
Democrats seized the majority in the House for the first time eight years in the midterm elections -- a shakeup that could stymie the ambitions of Donald Trump and pro-Pentagon defense hawks. The takeover puts Democrats in position to launch tough oversight and challenge the GOP on a slew of defense policies. And it gives Democrats substantial leverage in budget negotiations to demand any further hikes in defense spending be matched by more money for domestic priorities.

43 Years since the 'Green March': Morocco's Occupation of West Sahara (TeleSUR)
November 6 marks 43 years of Morocco's occupation of the Western Sahara, which displaced the indigenous Saharawis people who were forced into precarious living conditions in the forbidding Sahara desert. Living under occupation, the Saharawi people have been denied basic human rights and are subjected to frequent arrest, intimidation, detention, and torture.

A Global Call for US to Stop Being a Threat to Peace (Chen Weihua / China Daily)
Commentary: US politicians never tire of scaremongering about China. But China, despite all the accusations by the US, has never done anything remotely as destructive to world peace as the US war in Afghanistan. Global polls, including by Gallup, have shown repeatedly over the years that the US is considered the greatest threat to world peace. It's clearly time for these narcissist US politicians to look at themselves more carefully in the mirror.

The Pentagon's Plan to Dominate the US Economy (William Hartung / TomDispatch & AntiWar.com)
The essence of the Pentagon's scheme for "making America safe" for a never-ending policy of war preparations (and war) is to organize as much of the economy as possible around the needs of military production. What's behind the militarization of the US economy? In large measure, policy is driven by profit and driven by frequent industry "listening sessions" with the likes of the National Defense Industrial Assn., an advocacy organization representing 1,600 companies in the US arms sector.

War Crimes Committed by US Arms: How Do Weapons Manufacturers Sleep at Night? (David Swanson / Let's Try Democracy & Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. Davies / Foreign Policy in Focus)
The five largest US arms manufacturers -- Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics -- owe much of their profits to the sale of weapons to three repressive nations -- Saudi Arabia, Israel and Egypt -- that have a long history of repressing their own citizens and killing civilians in neighboring countries. But nobody in the Big War lobby is losing any sleep over this relationship.

A Warning from Moscow: Trump's Breach of Nuclear Treaty Would Free Russia to Install Missiles in Cuba (RT News & Tyler Durden / ZeroHedge.com)
Donald Trump's unilateral plan to walk away from the crucial Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty has Moscow considering siting military facilities in Cuba. With the US already having installed bases and missiles along the Russian border, a senior Russian official has proposed that his country respond to Trump's provocation by building a military missile base inside Cuba. Moscow has warned that a failure of talks between the US and Russia could trigger "a new Cuban crisis."

Withdrawing From the INF Treaty: One of Trump's Most Dangerous Moves Yet (Martin Fleck / Foreign Policy in Focus and AntiWar.com & Julian Borger and Martin Pengelly / The Guardian)
On October 21, 2018, Donald Trump announced that the US would unilaterally withdraw from the INF nuclear arms agreement. Withdrawing from the INF treaty would turn back the clock to a dangerous era that put the United States and Russia on the brink of nuclear war. This ill-advised move could fuel a new arms race and ignite another Cold War, or worse. The Kremlin has already hinted that it's prepared to develop new weapons to "restore balance" in preparations for a nuclear war.

November 6: International Day to Protect Nature from War (The United Nations & PAX for Peace, Conflict & Environment Observatory, et al.)
Over the last 60 years, at least 40 percent of all internal conflicts have been linked to the exploitation of natural resources -- timber, diamonds, gold and oil. A joint statement by civil society and academics on November 6 -- Environmental Conflict Day -- calls for governments to increase the protection of people and ecosystems by strengthening measures to enhance environmental security before, during and after armed conflicts.

Despite $900 Billion Spent and 2,400 US Lives Lost, Afghanistan Continues to Deteriorate (Christian Britschgi| / Reason)
The latest Inspector General's report finds that US efforts to stabilize Afghanistan "mostly failed," despite spending $4.7 billion since 2002. The report notes "the US greatly overestimated its ability to build and reform government institutions in Afghanistan" and US aid -- far from reducing violence or strengthening Afghan governance -- often "exacerbated conflicts, enabled corruption, and bolstered support for insurgents." The US-backed regime has lost land to Taliban rebels while civilian deaths have soared.

Navy's Costliest Carrier Unable to Handle Bombs (Anthony Capaccio / Bloomberg)
The US NAvy's $13 billion Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier -- the costliest warship in history -- was delivered last year without elevators needed to lift bombs from below deck magazines for loading on fighter jets. Previously undisclosed problems with the 11 elevators for the ship built by Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. add to long-standing reliability and technical problems with two other core systems -- the electromagnetic system to launch planes and the arresting gear to catch them when they land.

Final Thoughts of a Green Party Peace Candidate (Pat Elder / Pat Elder for Congress & The Naval Sea Systems Command Warfare Centers)
Commentary: Our campaign has attempted to define progressivism as it exists in America today. The platform of the Green Party US has been our guide throughout this six-month ordeal. These people loved my platform of universal health care, daycare, college, and a guaranteed wage of $15 per hour, but they often told me, "It ain't gonna happen." Their spirits are broken, and their minds are confused. We must orchestrate an uplifting educational program and figure out a way to reach them.

"Fish Wars" Are Beginning to Break Out Across the World's Oceans (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
There are similarities between the world's reliance on oil and a comparable dependence on fish. Every fifth fish caught worldwide is done so illegally, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization says. Meanwhile, sea-bordering countries are using military force to protect what they see as critical national assets. With growing demand for the resource and scarcer quantities, the fight for fish is likely to intensify.

Don't Microwave the Earth: A Global Appeal to Stop 5G Technology (Arthur Firstenberg / Cellular Phone Task Force)
If the telecommunications industry's plans for 5G come to fruition, no person, no animal, no bird, no insect and no plant on Earth will be able to avoid exposure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to levels of RF radiation that are tens to hundreds of times greater than what exists today. These 5G plans threaten to provoke serious, irreversible effects on humans and permanent damage to all of the Earth's ecosystems.

The Risk of Extinction from Climate Change May Be Worse than the IPCC Predicted (Arctic News Blogspot)
Commentary: According to the IPCC's latest report on global warming, things aren't looking good. But, instead of providing good advice, the IPCC bends over backward in efforts to maintain the oil-burning addiction. The Paris Agreement calls for all nations to keep the temperature rise below 1.5ºC. The IPCC should have honored this commitment. Instead, the IPCC report contrives to make it look as if temperatures are lower than they really are -- so polluters can be allowed to keep polluting.

ACTION ALERT: Trump's EPA Tells Children, "You're Disposable" (CREDO Action & CBS News & Vox)
Dr. Ruth Etzel is the EPA's top expert on children's health. A pediatrician and epidemiologist, her job is to protect children from toxic chemicals, pesticides and lead in our environment. In response to the Flint water crisis, she led a team to create a new federal strategy to protect kids from lead poisoning. But a month ago and with no explanation, Trump's acting EPA chief abruptly put her on leave. After 30 years of service -- with the lead strategy still unreleased -- she was asked to turn in her badge.

Trump's Border Wall Threatens Butterflies, Birds, Botanicals, and Entire Bioregions (Claire Harbage / National Public Radio & Melissa del Bosque / The Texas Observer & Jonathan Hilburg / The Architect's Newspaper)
The National Butterfly Center, a 100-acre wildlife center and botanical garden in South Texas, provides a habitat for more than 100 species of butterflies. It also sits directly in the path of the Trump administration's proposed $1.6 billion border wall. Construction of the wall will require nullifying 28 existing laws designed to protect public lands, wildlife and the environment. Trump has already begun to divide the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge, one of the largest US refuges, to build a levee wall.

Hydro Electric Firm, Honduran Military on Trial for Planning the Murder of Environmental Activist Berta Caceres (teleSUR)
Berta Caceres -- a 43-year-old Indigenous Lenca, teacher, and feminist -- was known for her environmental activism, which had earned her the Goldman Prize. Caceres was murdered in 2016. The eight men accused of her murder include members of the Honduran military and executives of DESA, a company that wanted to build a hydroelectric plant that Caceres opposed. The alleged mastermind of the murder plot, DESA Executive President David Castillo Mejia, will face a separate trial.

Tell the Truth: Veterans Day Is A National Day of Lying (David Swanson / World BEYOND War)
A National Museum -- backed by federal funding and claiming to be "the clearinghouse of veteran voices" where "producers or authors or podcasters in the future" come "for authentic from-the-veteran voices" -- has opened in Columbus, Ohio. Unfortunately it is a war museum that is also openly a war memorial constructed by a war-making society that has normalize permawar. There are deeper and truer lessons to be learned from two devastating new books -- "Guys Like Me" and "There Is No 'Good War'."

US Imposes Sanctions on Iran, Without Cause; Grants Exemptions to 8 Allies (Amanda Cooper / Reuters & Parisa Hafezi / Reuters)
Nearly 40 years after the 1979 Islamic revolution saw the exit of Western oil companies from Iran, the Iranian oil sector faces yet another costly disruption from US-imposed sanctions. The US granted eight countries waivers from the sanctions. Though the EU were not awarded waivers, they stated they intend to ignore Washington's groundless economic powerplay and keep buying Iran's oil. But there are no waivers for the people of Iran, who will suffer immensely from this latest US act of economic aggression.

Who Is the World's Leading Sponsor of Terrorism? Iran? Saudi Arabia? Or the US? (Martin Williams / Channel4.com & Jonah Shepp / New York Magazine & Wikipedia)
Donald Trump has claimed that Iran is the world's "leading state sponsor of terror." But is that fair? Before he became president, Trump said the "world's biggest funder of terrorism" was Saudi Arabia! An honest look at history over the past century would suggest the leading sponsor of global terrorism -- both by direct attacks and interventions and by training and arming proxy "rebel" terrorist armies -- has been the United States of America.

World Condemns US Embargo on Cuba (UN News & Voice of America News)
A total of 189 UN Member States voted in favor of condemning the US embargo on Cuba. The resolution shines a spotlight on the nearly total isolation of the US regarding the embargo, which was first imposed in 1960. The only country to side with the US was Israel. Cuban officials noted that restrictions on lifesaving medicines have caused "Incalculable human damage . . . which is qualified as an act of genocide" in violution of the Convention on the Prevention of Genocide.

US Supreme Court Sides with Kids over Trump on Climate Change Trial (Reuters & RT News)
The US Supreme Court on Friday rejected for now a bid by the President Donald Trump's administration to block a trial in a lawsuit filed by young activists who have accused the US government of ignoring the perils of climate change. The administration now faces a high-profile examination of US climate change policy.

ACTION ALERT: Pardon Whistleblower Reality Winner (Courage to Resist)
On June 3, 2017, NSA contractor Reality Leigh Winner was arrested and charged under the Espionage Act for providing a media organization with a single five-page top-secret document that analyzed information about alleged Russian online intrusions into US election systems. Winner was ultimately sentenced to serve five years in prison -- by far the longest sentence ever given in federal court for leaking information to the media.

The Growth of Human Civilization Now Endangers the Planet (James E. M. Watson, James R. Allan and colleagues / Nature)
Global conservation policy must stop the disappearance of Earth's few intact ecosystems. A century ago, only 15% of Earth's surface was used to grow crops and raise livestock. Today, more than 77% of land (excluding Antarctica) and 87% of the ocean has been modified by the direct effects of human activities. There is nothing to stop the slow erosion of these places from small-scale and often unplanned industrial activity. In our view, a bold yet achievable target is to define and conserve 100% of all remaining intact ecosystems.

Anti-Drone Protesters Arrested While Blocking Traffic at US Drone Base (CODEPINK and Veterans for Peace, et al. & Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute)
Four drone protesters arrested at a US drone base in California face trespassing charges with a maximum penalty of six months in prison. Thousands of civilians have been killed. Funerals, weddings, mosques, and schools have been hit by US drones. The activists oppose the use of drones to kill both civilians and "enemy soldiers," explaining the use of "remotely controlled aggressive violence, without any imminent threat, has become normalized in US foreign policy." The US owes the public an accounting of who is being killed.

Trump Suggests Shooting Migrants. Meet One Family that Could Become Victims of US Gunfire (The Telegraph & Julie Watson / Associated Press)
Donald Trump has suggested that soldiers could open fire on the migrants at the US boarder. Trump warned: "anybody throwing stones, rocks . . . we will consider that a firearm, because there's not much difference." Meanwhile, on the 15th day of their journey, Joel Eduardo Espinar and his family were hurting. 11-year-old Jason had stomach pains. His sister sat on the pavement with her head between her knees. The baby was burning with fever. Espinar's exhausted wife had a nagging cough and sore throat.

Why Jair Bolsonaro's Presidency Threatens Disaster for the Brazilian Amazon (Avaaz & Christian Poirier / Amazon Watch & Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept)
The extreme right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro was elected Brazil's president on Sunday in a victory that hands him a powerful mandate to enact a series of sweeping changes to the country's political, economic, social, and environmental order. His victory represents a profound setback for human rights and ecological preservation in the world's fourth largest democracy, with implications for the entire planet, particularly global climate stability.

ACTION ALERT: Congress Should Publicly Condemn Trump's Anti-immigrant Attacks (CREDO Action & Robert Reich's Website)
Politicians and media moguls have long understood that fear and hate sell better than hope and compassion, no matter how much we might wish it otherwise. Trump's brand of hate has given a political home to violent white supremacists. People have died at the hands of these extremists and instead of stopping this crisis, Trump is making it worse. He just launched another series of anti-immigrant attacks.

ACTION ALERT: Troops Called to Resist Trump's Illegal Border Order (Courage to Resist & Christopher Fonzone /Just Security)
Donald Trump has once again declared that active duty US military personnel need to be deployed to the southern border in order to repel an "assault on our country." It's easy to attack a ragtag group of immigrants, traveling in a public caravan, seeking asylum, and this kind of rhetoric plays well to his anti-immigration base, leading up to the midterm elections. However, it's more than just rhetoric.

US Officials Call for Cease Fire in Yemen Following Revelations of Saudi's Duplicity (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Sudarsan Raghavan / The Washington Post & The Star & Lesley Wroughton and Jonathan Landay / Reuters)
Following Defense Secretary James Mattis' and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's calls Tuesday for an immediate ceasefire in Yemen, and talks to be set up in the next 30 days, the US is continuing to push for peace talks, saying they believe "the climate is right" for a UN-backed effort. As doubts about the Saudi's honesty multiply, they are raising questions about whether Donald Trump's administration can trust what Saudi Arabia is telling US officials about its conduct of the war in Yemen

Let's Stop the Merchants of Death: US Arms Makers (Sheldon Richman / AntiWar.com)
America's arms makers, the military contractors, are routinely mislabeled "defense" contractors. But the military-industrial complex has little, if anything, to do with defense. It's about empire, aggression, and illicit profits. It's safe to say that America's major military contractors would not exist were it not for the US government and its mammoth military establishment. When it comes to demanding weapons of mass destruction the Pentagon has no rival and the US is the world's largest arms exporter.

ACTION ALERT: International Conference Against US/NATO Military Bases (World BEYOND War & No Foreign Bases.org et al.)
From Italy to the Indian Ocean, from Japan to Honduras, the far-reaching story of the perils of US military bases overseas -- and what these bases say about America today. American military bases circle the globe. More than two decades after the end of the Cold War -- and nearly three-quarters of a century after the last battles of World War Ii -- the US still stations troops at some 800 locations in foreign lands. Join us in Dublin to strategize and organize.

Voting for Democracy in the Age of Trump (Michael Waldman / San Francisco Chronicle & Robert Reich / San Francisco Chronicle)
The midterm elections have been marred by controversy over alleged voter suppression in Georgia, North Dakota and elsewhere. Once again, partisans want to make it harder for fellow citizens to cast their ballots. But something else is happening: For the first time in years, citizens have responded with a robust push to expand democratic rights. Tyrants create cults of personality. Trump is beyond that, equating America with himself and disloyalty to him with insufficient patriotism.

Shut Down Creech! The Fourth Annual Vigil Against US Killer Drones (Toby Blome / CODEPINK)
On October 4, 2018, as part of CODEPINK's week-long anti-drone protest at Creech Assassin Drone Base, 7 protesters and a couple of supporters bravely stepped across the base entrance road to temporarily "halt" the cruel and illegal Air Force "remote killing machine" located at a base in the beautiful Nevada desert. While holding large banners across the roadway, our voices repeatedly called out as loudly as we could muster: "STOP the murder, STOP the War Crimes," "The People Demand Peace!"

What Happens When People Find Out Capitalism Was a Lie? (Umair Haque / Eduaimonia)
Commentary: "It's hardly just America. In Canada, two provinces have fallen to extremism. In Britain, there is the spectacular folly of Brexit. In Germany, neo-Nazis are on the rise. Poland, Hungary, Italy, Turkey -- the list is endless. The world is destabilizing, fracturing, unravelling, coming undone. Why? And what does the future hold? The truth, my friends, may be grimmer -- and yet a little more hopeful, in a strange and funny way -- than you might think. Let me start at the beginning."

Time to End the War in Afghanistan, 'Betrayal' of American Soldiers and Marines (The Committee for Responsible Foreign Policy & Breitbart News)
Commentary: When Americans join the military, they trust their leaders will only send them on missions that endanger their lives when it is absolutely necessary and to fight for the country's freedom not to "implement the grand strategy of some egghead at a think-tank who's never been in a fight in his life, and who has a great plan for offensive war against people who've never attacked us."

The Art of Provoking WWIII for Private Profit: Poland to Build 'Fort Trump' (Doug Bandow / The National Interest & AntiWar.com & The Ron Paul Liberty Report)
Stationing troops overseas isn't cheap. The Pentagon operates multiple bases in different lands, cultures, and economies. It established commissaries, base exchanges, movie theaters, gyms, infirmaries, and schools. It transports and stores military equipment. Although Congress continues to hike military outlays, such increases are not sustainable. Washington is essentially bankrupt. Poland has offered the US $2 billion to build a new military base in the country -- and plans to call it "Fort Trump."

Governments Should Stop Selling Arms to Right Violators (Robert Fisk / The Independent & Benjamin Kentish / The Independent)
US arms -- bombs, missiles, and guns -- are winding up in the hands of Washington's "enemies" on a regular basis because it's profitable to arm both sides of any given conflict. Now an influential group of British MPs is demanding that governments should look to block arms sales to countries accused of rights abuses. The ministers urged the introduction of monitoring to determine where UK weapons are being deployed, in bid to stop them being used to commit war crimes.

Regulating Apocalypse (David Swanson / World BEYOND War)
Commentary: I've just read a new book called by James Crossland that looks at efforts to regulate or end war from the 1850s through the 1900s. War needs to be eliminated and replaced with nonviolent arbitration. If we end in nuclear holocaust, will those who tried to end war still have been silly dreamers? Or will world government or mandatory arbitration or disarmament sound slightly less goofy if the alternative that peace advocates identified for many decades as apocalypse turns out to be apocalypse?

One Civilian Killed Every Three Hours in Yemen: Saudis Using Famine as Weapon of War (gence France-Presse & Anti-War.com & Laura Rozen / Al-Monitor)
A civilian is killed every three hours in Yemen, Oxfam said Friday, calling on the United States, Britain and other European states to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia. The UN categorises Yemen as the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with 14 million people now facing a serious threat of famine. Oxfam is calling on the UK, US and other governments "to suspend arms sales to the Saudis because of their disregard for civilian lives in the war in Yemen."

Diplomat Tells UN Russia Is Getting Ready for War -- Because of US Aggression (RT America News)
A top Russian official has told the UN that he country is indeed readying itself for war -- so it can defend its people against American aggression. Russia doesn't seek a confrontation, he said, unlike the US. "Why else would the United States pull out of the [INF] Treaty, increase their nuclear potential, adopt a new nuclear doctrine that lowers the threshold for nuclear weapons use"? Washington's decision to scrap the Cold War-era agreement alarmed both Europe and Moscow.

Nuclear Weapons and UN Disarmament Resolutions (Move the Nuclear Money Campaign and the Basel Peace Office)
The anti-nuclear campaign has some practical suggestions for reinvesting the money spent on weapons of global mass destruction. The $1 trillion the US plans to spend to "modernize" the nuclear arsenals over the next 10 years could, instead, be used to help end poverty, protect the climate, and achieve sustainable development goals. Meanwhile, world peace is threatened by the increased scale and tempo of war games -- including nuclear drills -- by nuclear-armed states and their allies.

Super Typhoon Yutu: Climate Change Causes Worst US Storm Damage Since 1935 (Martin Petty / Reuters & Haidee V Eugenio and Doyle Rice, Pacific Daily News & USA Today)
Residents of the Northern Mariana Islands are preparing for weeks without power after being hit by the most powerful typhoon in half-a-century. People are in desperate need of immediate housing, food and other assistance. Despite the damage the US president continues to deny the link between the burning of fossil fuels and climate change. Ominously, 7 of the 10 strongest hurricane and typhoon landfalls have occurred since 2006.

Massive US/NATO Drill in Norway Prompts Fears of New World War (Andreas Berg / Special Ops & Andrew Osborn / Reuters)
Opposition of Norwegian politicians have warned that "Trident Juncture," a large-scale drill involving about 50,000 from 31 nations is exacerbating tensions between the US and Russia, and placing Norway in the middle as Washington increasingly targets Russia with provocations. Meanwhile, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has denounced Donald Trump's decision to leave an arms control treaty that helped end the Cold War. Gorbachev fears a new arms race and an increased risk of nuclear conflict.

Nuke-warhawk John Bolton Put in Charge of WWIII (Scott Ritter / The American Conservative & Peter Lavelle / RT News)
Donald Trump appears to have surrendered to the anti-arms control philosophy of John Bolton, who views such agreements as unduly restricting American power. Bolton was also behind the 2001 decision by President George W. Bush to withdraw from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, an act the Russians viewed as inherently destabilizing. The Russians have been asking the US to provide evidence to substantiate its allegations of Russian noncompliance, something the US so far has not done.

Build that Wall . . . Around the South Pole! (Reuters & RT News)
A group of researchers have devised an audacious proposal to stave off one of the worst effects of climate change -- by building a massive wall under the Antarctic ice sheet to keep it frozen place for the next millennium. It would constitute the largest geoengineering project in human history but if no dramatic action is taken, the world's oceans are set to rise ten feet. If all the ice were to melt, the planet's continents would vanish under 200 feet of rising water.

US to Send Next-generation Nuclear Weapons to Turkey (Nerdun Hacıoglu / Hurriyet Daily News)
Russian state media claimed on July 2 that the United States is preparing to send the next generation of B61 guided nuclear gravity bombs to NATO bases in European countries, including Turkey. The United States currently has a total of 150 nuclear weapons in five NATO member countries, including Turkey.

A Chance for the US To Distance Itself From Saudi Arabia (Gareth Porter / Middle East Eye)
The murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi now seems very likely to prompt Congress to impose some sanctions on the Saudi government, and it may finally act to end the active US role in the Saudi-UAE war on Yemen. Perhaps more significantly, some senior Democratic Party figures in Congress have called for the first serious reconsideration of the whole US-Saudi "special relationship", citing the need for fundamental changes in the relationship. Such a critical reappraisal is long overdue.

Will Congress Have the Spine to Defy Trump and Defend the US-Russia Nuclear Treaty? (Bruce Fein / The American Conservative & Jacob Heilbrunn / The National Interest)
Congress commands clear constitutional authority to prohibit Donald Trump from terminating the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia. But does it have the spine? As Alexander Hamilton explained, the president was denied plenary power over treaties because presidential venality or narcissism might compromise the national interest. Among other things, Hamilton emphasized, "An avaricious man might be tempted to betray the interests of the state to the acquisition of wealth."

ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress to End US Support for the Saudi-led War in Yemen (Shia News and World Services & CREDO Action )
Saudi Arabia's gruesome assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has captured worldwide attention, but it is just one example of the Saudi regime's brutal disregard for human rights. For more than three years, Saudi Arabia, with massive US support, has been waging a war in Yemen that has created the world's worst humanitarian crisis. At last, there is political momentum to finally end United States support for its war in Yemen -- which could lead to the end of the war for good.

ACTION ALERT: Invasions, Coups, Guns, and Drugs: How the US Sparked the Central American Refugee Crisis -- In 8 Simple Steps (CREDO Action & Roque Planas and Ryan Grim / The Huffington Post)
Tell the mainstream media to push back on Donald Trump's lies about the migrant caravan. Since the 1950s, the US has sown violence and instability across Central America. Decades of Cold War gamesmanship -- together with the relentless global war on drugs -- have left a legacy of chaos and brutality in these countries. In many parts of the region, civil society has given way to lawlessness. It's these conditions the women, men and children are fleeing.

Saudi War Crimes in Yemen Continue with US Aid (Al-Jazeerah & Daniel Larison / The American Conservative & Colin Dwyer / National Public Radio)
On October 24, the US-backed Saudi coalition bombed a vegetable market near Hodeida, killing at least 21 civilians, including two children. US military assistance is just helping the coalition to blow up civilian targets. Unless the US cuts off support to the coalition and halts this offensive, there will be many more attacks on civilians like the airstrike on this vegetable market. Congress needs to vote for H.Con.Res. 138 and S.J.Res. 54 to stop to this despicable war on one of the world's poorest countries.

The INF Treaty and the Crises of Arms Control (Zia Mian / The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists)
The decision by the Trump Administration to withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty is causing concern and rightly so. Some of the blame can be laid at the door of generations of American politicians, strategists, military planners and weapon builders, and their advocates ideologically opposed to limiting US military power, wary of treaties and international institutions, and seeking to sustain and expand dominance. Upon reflection, arms control crises are not an exception but the rule.

Trump's Treaty-busting "Powers" Stem from Congressional Weakness (Russell Feingold / NBC News)
Commentary: During this administration, everyone has to be watching for potential abuses of power. The Constitution provided for the separation of powers to save us from autocrats but the legislative branch has undermined that. Donald Trump now can unilaterally withdraw from treaties because Congress has abdicated responsibility. The failure to assert Congress' constitutional prerogative now hands an erratic and often vengeful leader the power to undo crucial international agreements.

United Nations Meeting; Statement on War and Pollution (Conflict and Environment Observatory & Toxic Remnants of War Network Statement)
Across the UN system, initiatives are underway to address the environmental dimensions of armed conflicts. The Security Council is exploring early warning and risk management in connection with climate change, resource conflicts and water scarcity. This statement is delivered on behalf of 15 organisations working to strengthen the protection of civilians and the environment from the impact of conflicts and military activities.

US Military and Economic Policies Are Driving Central America's Mass Migration (Joseph Nevins / The Conversation & Associated Press & Raymond Bonner / The Nation)
Three essays on the long and ugly history of US military, economic and political interventions in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. The US presence in the region has triggered bloody civil wars, destroyed communities, disrupted economies, magnified poverty and inequality. US military bases have proliferated through the region as local populations became the victims of repression orchestrated by regimes dedicated to the expansion of US capital and control over the region's land and mineral resources.

How Many Millions of People Have Been Killed in America's Post-9/11 Wars? Part 1: Iraq (Nicolas J.S. Davies / Special to Consortium News)
The numbers of casualties of US wars since Sept. 11, 2001 have largely gone uncounted. Our estimate is that about 2.4 million people have probably been killed in Iraq as a result of the historic act of aggression committed by the US and UK in 2003. In this report, I will explain in greater detail how we arrived at that estimate and provide some historical context. In Part 2 of this report, I will make a similar up-to-date estimate of how many people have been killed in America's other post-9/11 wars.

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

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

US Gun Laws Are behind the Refugee Flight to US (The Brady Report & Lisa Marie Pane / Associated Press)
The recent photos of imprisoned toddlers huddled under aluminum foil blankets on concrete floors have awakened Americans to the inhumane conditions suffered by migrant children from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. What many people may not realize is that the violence that forced these families to flee in the first place is driven in considerable part by US gun laws. On average, 253,000 US-made firearms flood into Mexico each year.

Trump's Supreme Court to 'Climate Kids/: You Have No Lawful Right to a Future (Benjamin Hulac / E&E News & Climatewire)
The Supreme Court today halted a federal climate change lawsuit brought by a group of young people, handing the Trump administration at least a temporary victory in its long-running bid to knock down the case. The plaintiffs, 21 children and young adults, sued the government in 2015, arguing that it had violated their Constitutional rights to a safe and livable climate. They are asking for a court-ordered mandate for the government to phase out the burning of fossil fuels nationwide.

NASA Chief to Trump: 'No Reason to Dismiss' Recent UN Climate Report (Timothy Cama / The Hill)
he head of NASA bucked President Trump this week, saying that he sees no reason to reject the findings of a major climate change report from the United Nations. Trump previously said he would review the dire report issued this month by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, but he was also skeptical of it. "It was given to me, and I want to look at who drew it," Trump said, seeming to mistake the detailed and extensive scientific report for a comic book.

14-year Gulf Oil Spill Could Be Worst in US History (Kristin Hugo / The Independent & National Geographic & Diane Hoskins / The Hill)
Oil has been leaking into the Gulf of Mexico for the last 14 years in what may soon become the worst oil spill in US history. In 2004, Hurricane Ivan disrupted an offshore drilling operation owned by Taylor Energy. Between 300 and 700 barrels leak into the Gulf each day. That's 12,600 to 29,400 gallons per day for 14 years, and it continues to this day, just 12 miles off the coast of Louisiana. Taylor Energy has argued that there's no evidence to prove any of the wells are leaking.

Massive Anti-War Rally Held Near Pentagon Goes Unreported by US Media (Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese / Popular Resistance)
More than 1,000 marched on the Pentagon yesterday but you did not hear about it in the media. It seems that the people in power, including the media, do not want the public to know that the peace movement is growing. Here is our report on the event and the upcoming Peace Congress on November 10.

With Growing Global Calls to Abolish Nukes, Trump Vows to Abandon Historic Nuclear Treaty (Alice Slater / World BEYOND War & Institute for Public Accountability & Fox News & The Guardian)
With 122 nations having voted last summer to adopt a treaty for the complete prohibition of nuclear weapons, just as the world has banned chemical and biological weapons, it seems that the world is locked in a new Cold War time-warp, totally inappropriate to the times. Donald Trump has confirmed the US will leave an arms control treaty with Russia dating from the cold war that has kept nuclear missiles out of Europe for three decades.

In 2017, Trump Was Planning for a Missile That Would Break a Nuclear Arms Treaty With Russia (W.J. Hennigan / TIME Magazine)
(January 3, 2018): "Buried inside the mammoth $700 billion defense bill President Donald Trump signed last month is a relatively miniscule $25 million to fund development of a new road-mobile, ground-launched cruise missile. The program could be easily overlooked amid the Christmas list of military hardware the administration is buying, except for one thing: the missile is prohibited by a 30-year-old Cold War arms control agreement with Russia."

"Congress Must End US Military Aid to Saudi War in Yemen" (Hon. Ro Khanna, US Congress / San Francisco Chronicle)
Commentary: Every ghastly new detail we learn about the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi suggests that this was a premeditated murder, carried out at the direction of the highest level of the Saudi dictatorship. Since 2015, the Saudis have launched an estimated 18,000 air strikes on Yemen, attacking hospitals, schools, water treatment plants, funerals, markets and even farms. 12 million to 13 million innocent civilians at risk of dying from the lack of food within months.

Trump Threatens US-Russia Anti-Nuke Treaty: A Prelude to a New Atomic Arms Race? (Zeke Miller and Michael Balsamo / Associated Press)
First, Donald Trump announced he was abandoning the Iran Nuclear Deal -- despite all evidence holding that Iran was in full compliance with the agreement. Now Trump says he intends to scrap a landmark arms control agreement with Russia claiming -- again without offering specific evidence -- years of violations by Moscow in developing prohibited weapons. The Kremlin, for its part, has accused the US of violating the agreement, warning that the pullout "would be a very dangerous step."

Pentagon Planning for War with Russia and China at the Same Time (Aaron Mehta / Defense News)
The Pentagon is in the opening stages of "redesigning the force" around the challenges of Russia and China, the department's No. 2 uniformed official said Tuesday -- while warning that America may not be able to afford preparing for two unique problem sets. In recent strategy documents, the Pentagon narrowed its focus to what it calls the 4 + 1 threats -- Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and terrorism. There was no mention of climate change, hunger, disease, economic instability, or on-going environmental collapse.

ACTION ALERT: Ryan Zinke, Interior's Corrupt and Unfit Secretary, Must Resign (Josh Nelson / CREDO Action)
The evidence of corruption and incompetence just keeps piling up for Trump's Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Considered "the most scandal-plagued member" of Trump's cabinet, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke -- public lands-enemy number-one -- is facing a dozen federal investigations into shady business dealings, unethical behavior, violations of federal law and misuse of taxpayer money.

Washington Is Building a New Atomic Weapon to Threaten Russia (Manlio Dinucci / Global Research & Sputnik News)
The US has also approved plans to build long-range nuclear missiles that would violate the US-Russia nuclear non-proliferation treaty. However, a decisive difference is ignored: the Russian missiles (assuming their range is intermediate) are deployed in a defensive position inside Russian territory, while the US intermediate-range missiles would be deployed in an offensive position close to the Russian border. It is as if Russia deployed nuclear missiles pointed at the US in Mexico.

Politicians, Media and Scientists Call for Action on Earth's Climate Emergency (The Climate Mobilization & The Portland Press Herald & The Guardian & The Young Turks & NYMagazine)
The publication of the IPCC's report on climate change has dramatically underscored the fact that we face an existential climate emergency, and only a WWII-scale climate mobilization can protect humanity and the natural world. The consequences of catastrophic warming will be political and even military, not just environmental.

12 Years to Catastrophe and a Bold Agenda to Save Planet Is Missing! (Jake Johnson / Common Dreams)
Hundreds of mammal species have been wiped out due to human activity, planetary warming has sparked global insect die-off that is horrifying scientists, and United Nations experts are warning that the international community has just 12 years to transform global energy systems in order to avert climate catastrophe. But in Washington, Republicans and House Democrats are brushing aside widespread and growing public demands for urgent action in favor of "incremental steps and hearings."

Why Catastrophic Climate Change is Probably Inevitable Now: Thank Facism (Umair Haque / Eudaimonia & Co)
Commentary: It strikes me that the planet's fate is now probably sealed. We have just a decade in which to control climate change  -- or goodbye, an unknown level of catastrophic, inescapable, runaway warming is inevitable. The reality is: we're probably not going to make it. It's highly dubious at this juncture that humanity is going to win the fight against climate change. That is for a very unexpected -- yet perfectly predictable -- reason: the sudden explosion in global fascism.

Why We Need a New Armistice Day (David Swanson / David Swanson.org & World BEYOND War)
Exactly at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, in 1918, 100 years ago this coming November 11th, people across Europe suddenly stopped shooting guns at each other. Up until that moment, they were killing and taking bullets, falling and screaming, moaning and dying, from bullets and from poison gas. The 'Great War' was the worst, most concentrated violence that white people had ever imposed on themselves, and that they were not used to it. We need a new Armistice Day -- one that honors peace, not war.

ACTION ALERT: No Coal from Military Bases (CREDO Action from Working Assets & Jennifer A. Dlouhy / Bloomberg)
Trump's scandal-plagued Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is considering a dangerously misguided proposal to use West Coast military bases to ship coal and natural gas overseas. Using military bases to ship coal and natural gas overseas would fuel climate change and undermine national security. Demand a halt to this climate destabilizing plan. It threatens both national security and international security.

Trump's Mistaken: Saudi Arms Sales Wont Boost Jobs (Alexia Fernandez Campbell / Vox.com)
Donald Trump has been pushing back against public pressure to cancel weapon sales to Saudi Arabia in light of recent news that Saudi leaders ordered the assassination of a US resident and journalist who wrote for the Washington Post. Trump wants America to think that tons of US jobs depend on the sale of US military weapons to Saudi Arabia and other shady regimes. But they really don't.

Violence against Women is Integral to War and Armed Conflict (Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, et al.)
The negative impacts of patriarchy on our society are on full display when it comes to weapons, war, and militarism. The dominant discourse on these subjects tends to reinforce the highly problematic gendered norm that men are violent and powerful and women are vulnerable and need to be protected.

Endless War: How Shooting Games Perpetuate War as the New Normal (Patricia Hernandez / National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth)
The "war on terror" makes it clear that the purpose of modern war is control -- not conflict resolution. Peace isn't on the drone's radar. More war is. For in the "war on terror," enemies could be anyone, anything; it has no particular enemy. Pro-war video games became high in demand in US markets after 9/11 and the military scrambled to develop better simulations to, as the book "Games of Empire" puts it, "anticipate the new challenges of the war on terror."

Jamal Khashoggi's Last Column: "What the Arab World Needs Most Is Free Expression" (Jamal Khashoggi / The Washington Post & Voice of America)
Commentary: There is only one country in the Arab world that has been classified as "free." That nation is Tunisia. As a result, Arabs are either uninformed or misinformed. A state-run narrative dominates the public psyche, and while many do not believe it, a large majority of the population falls victim to this false narrative. Sadly, this situation is unlikely to change.

An Even More Repressive Saudi Climate for Journalists under Crown Prince (Justin Shilad/ Committee to Protect Journalists & Nouf Abdulaziz / Hana Al-Khamri @hanaalkhamri)
In Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's "new" Saudi Arabia, issues touching on politics, religion, or the royal family are out of bounds. On June 1, a group of Saudi security personnel arrested journalist Marwan al-Mureisi at the bedside of his five-year-old son inside Riyadh's Specialized Medical Center Hospital. They took him and left his child in the hospital alone. Since then, no one has heard from him. His family has been unable to see him or to know where he is held or what accusations were filed against him.

Why is Saudi Arabia under Fire over Jamal Khashoggi, but Not Yemen? (Lloyd Russell-Moyle / The Guardian)
The alleged killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has rightly triggered a diplomatic crisis for Saudi Arabia, but it apparently has not jeopardized the multibillion-dollar arms deals between the US, Britain and the House of Saud. Unlike Khashoggi, the thousands of Yemeni civilians who have been blown up by the Saudi Royal Air Force don't write for the Washington Post. If the assassination of one man can unify the world against Saudi aggression, why not the preventable deaths of hundreds of thousands of Yemenis?

Trump Opposes Demilitarization of Korea (Hyonhee Shin / Reuters & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)
The US opposes a plan by South and North Korea to set up a no-fly zone over their heavily fortified border -- the latest sign of a rift between Seoul and its top ally, the US. Behind the scenes, there are growing signs of disagreement between Seoul and Washington as South and North Korea forge ahead with plans to defuse military tensions and rebuild economic ties. Secretary of State Pompeo has expressed "discontent" with an agreement that includes a halt in "all hostile acts" and other steps toward demilitarization.

American Mercenaries Hired To Assassinate Politicians In The Middle East (Aram Roston / BuzzFeed News)
There was a targeted assassination program in Yemen. The company that hired the soldiers and carried out the attack is Spear Operations Group, incorporated in Delaware and founded by Abraham Golan, a charismatic Hungarian Israeli security contractor who lives outside of Pittsburgh. The press office of the UAE's US Embassy, as well as its US public affairs company, Harbour Group, did not respond to multiple phone calls and emails.

Not Worth Another Life: An Afghan Anniversary To Lament (Maj. Danny Sjursen / AntiWar.com)
The absurd hopelessness was the worst part. No, it wasn't the Commentary: "Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) blowing limbs off my boys, or the well-aimed gunshot wounds suffered by others; it wasn't even the horror of ordering the deaths of other ("enemy") human beings. No, for a captain commanding 100 odd troopers in Southwest Kandahar province at the height of the Obama "surge" of 2011, what most struck me was the feeling of futility; the sense that the mission was fruitless operationally, and, of course, all but ignored at home."

Jobs Are No Excuse for Arming a Murderous Regime (Sen. Rand Paul / Fox News & William D. Hartung / AntiWar.com)
Commentary: If the Saudi government is indeed behind the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi there should be consequences -- political, military, economic, and repetitional. It is no surprise that we help arm, train, equip and otherwise prop up the government of Saudi Arabia. The Saudis have long bought and paid for many politicians and for an image of moderate pro-Americanism as part of the face they show the world. But this face is not reality.

Confessions of an US Afghan Vet (From Tom Violett / Monmouth County Liaison, Green Party)
Commentary: "No, I never killed anyone in Afghanistan. People like to ask me that question a lot. People also ask me if I regret going over -- and the answer is, of course I do. I'm not asking for "love" or "support" or even attention from this post. I just need to get it off my chest. I gotta be honest -- it was a damn waste of human life and potential. I wish I would have gone to college instead. Learned how to help people instead of kill them. There was nothing good that came from the war."

ACTION ALERT: Stop the Trump/Bolton Plan to Attack Iran (Kaili Lambe / CREDO Action & Hon. Tom Udall / US Senate)
Donald Trump wants war with Iran. The media coverage of Trump's speech to the United Nations General Assembly largely focused on other world leaders laughing at him. Meanwhile, the speech's appeal for "regime change" in Iran (Washington code for war) was widely ignored. Now, a group of US senators has introduced The Prevention of Unconstitutional War with Iran Act of 2018, which makes it clear that a preemptive attack against Iran is illegal under the War Powers Act and the US Constitution.

New Nukes Increase Risk of War, But Citizens Possess the 'Power to Stop Them' (Paul W. Lovinger / War And Law League News)
The nuclear peril never went away. Mankind is 2 minutes to 'midnight.' New nukes increase risk of war, but citizens possess 'power to stop them' according to speakers at a San Francisco panel that argues 'people power' can overcome the failures of a deficient media and prevent nuclear debacle. Speakers at the recent anti-nuclear forum included Ray McGovern, Marylia Kelley, and Jacqueline Cabasso.

The US Has No "Party of Peace": Few Democrats Criticize Foreign Wars, Civilian Deaths, Pentagon Spending (Jeff Cohen / RootsAction, The Nation, & AntiWar.com)
With consistently moral foreign policies that reject costly militarism and continuous intervention, Democrats could inspire the party base and gain support among swing voters and independents (especially third-party voters). But advocacy of those policies come mostly from a minority of Democratic "backbenchers," not leaders. While Democratic leaders have failed to resist Trump over ever-increasing war spending, they did loudly resist the prospect of peace breaking out in Korea.

On Afghanistan War Anniversary: What Lessons Have We Learned? (Kirkpatrick Sale / The Post & Courier)
Seventeen years ago this month, in response to an attack on American soil, the US under Acting President Dick Cheney (sorry, make that Vice President) launched what became the longest and most expensive war in American history -- a war that, strangely and stupidly, still goes on with no more signs of victory than it has ever had in all these years. The US war on Afghanistan has been responsible for killing 110,000 Afghans -- including 31,000 civilians -- and 2,375 US soldiers. All at a cost of trillions of wasted dollars.

An Act of Desperation: Trump Wants US Military Bases to Store, Export Oil, Coal (Matthew Brown / Associated Press)
The Trump administration is considering using West Coast military bases or other federal properties as transit points for shipments of US coal and natural gas to Asia, as officials seek to bolster the domestic energy industry and circumvent environmental opposition to fossil fuel exports. Trump's plan amounts to a "neo-colonial" end-run around West Coast officials who have rejected private-sector efforts to build new coal ports in their states in order to protect both local health and the global climate.

Trump Is Shaping Plans for "an Arab NATO" (Khalid Al-Jaber / Al-Jazeera & Marwan Kabalan / Al-Jazeera)
The Trump administration is continuing to push forward with plans to establish a so-called "Arab NATO". The military alliance is supposed to include the six Gulf Cooperation Council members -- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates -- in addition to Egypt and Jordan. The Middle East Strategic Alliance is meant to "serve as a bulwark against Iranian aggression, terrorism, extremism" while bringing "stability to the Middle East." The launch of MESA is set for early 2019.

Why More And More Countries Are Blocking Arms Sales To Saudi Arabia And The UAE (Dominic Dudley / Forbes & Tom O'Connor / Newsweek)
Even before reports of the alleged murder of a reporter during a visit to the Saudi Embassy in Turkey, civilized nations were cutting military ties with the Saudi regime. Spain has become the latest country to halt an arms deal with Saudi Arabia, as criticism continues over the conduct of the war in Yemen -- which may have directly killed 50,000 civilians. Other countries to sever military arms ties with the Saudis include: Belgium, Germany, Norway, Finland, The Netherlands, and Canada.

America's Secret War on Yemen. Q: Why Yemen? A: It's About Oil (Jack Dresser / CounterPunch and United National Antiwar Coalition)
Far too few Americans seem to be asking an obvious question, why is the United States supporting the genocidal Saudi war upon Yemen? Considering that Yemen's humanitarian crisis now exceeds every other disaster in the world, this vital question deserves an informed and serious answer incorporating the geography and history that Americans learn neither from their schools nor their media.

New Saudi Airstrike Hits Bus Carrying Civilians in Yemen (Deutsche Welle & Al-Jazeera & Ahmen al-Haj / Associated Press)
A bus full of civilians was destroyed when the Saudi-led coalition targeted Houthi rebels in Yemen's port city of Hodeida. At least 17 people -- including eight from one family -- were killed and 20 injured in a Saudi-led airstrike on Saturday. At least 17 people. The latest bombing comes after a coalition airstrike killed 40 children on a school trip.

US War Crimes in Syria: Thousands of Civilians Killed by Coalition Bombs (Hiba Dlewati / Associated Press & David Swanson / DavidSwanson.com)
Amnesty International has condemned the US-led coalition's failure to adequately acknowledge or investigate the number of civilian deaths cause in its attack on the Syrian city of Raqqa. Searchers have recovered 2,521 bodies from the battle for Raqqa -- most killed by US-backed coalition bombs -- and expect to find at least 3,000 more bodies. AI has previously accused the coalition of underreporting civilian deaths in the campaign to liberate Raqqa. So when is it "justified" to drop bombs on civilians?

ACTION ALERT: Accused of Brutal Murder, Saudi Regime Threatens to Retaliate Against Sanctions (Medea Benjamin / CODEPINK & Patrick Wintour / The Guardian)
Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was apparently lured to the Saudi Arabian embassy in Turkey. Mounting evidence suggests he was then murdered by a Saudi hit-team at the behest of the Saudi government. Governments and businesses around the world are pulling back from dealing with the Saudis over this brutal crime. The Saudi monarchy has replied by warning any attempts to oppose sanctions on the operations of the Saudi Royal family will result in economic retaliation on the Saudis part.

Trump on Climate: Shouldn't Entrenched Stupidity Be Grounds for Impeachment? (Associated Press)
In November 2012, Trumps began calling climate change a hoax, "created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive." Faced with a string of multi-billion-dollar floods and hurricanes, Trump has changed his tune. Sort of. "I think something's happening," he said, "but I don't know that it's manmade. I will say this: I don't want to give trillions and trillions of dollars. I don't want to lose millions and millions of jobs." But it seems losing hundreds of thousands of homes is acceptable.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Trump's Unconstitutional Suppression of Protests in the Nation's Capital (The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund & Veterans for Peace)
New rules proposed by the Trump administration and Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke will severely restrict (if not eliminate) peaceful protests near the White House -- and the Trump Hotel -- by imposing restrictions on certain protests, banning all vigils while instituting long waiting periods for requests, granting fewer permits, restricting the use of sound systems and requiring demonstrators to pay steep fees to cover costs of barricades, roadblocks and police overtime.

Outside In: Trump's Plan to Remake the Middle East (Ted Snider / Mondoweiss)
First Donald Trump cut US financial support for Palestine refugees by 50%. Trump then ordered the State Department to slash an additional $200 million of Palestinian aid. Next Trump shut down the PLO's Washington office and redefined "refugee" to include only those who lived in Palestine prior to Israel's 1948 expulsion. In short, now you have to be over 70 to be a refugee. Soon there will be no "refugees" -- problem erased by definition.

Trump Has Put US On Path To War With Iran While Nobody is Paying Attention (Ben Armbruster / LobeLog)
Sixteen years ago this week, 77 US senators and 296 members of the House of Representatives gave President George W. Bush the authority to wage war in Iraq -- arguably the biggest strategic foreign policy blunder in US history, needlessly killing hundreds of thousands and costing trillions of dollars. If you think the US government learned its lesson from this tragedy, think again. Once again, the administration is pounding the war drums and the media is playing right along.

ACTION ALERT: US Out of Africa -- Shut Down AFRICOM (Black Alliance for Peace & Kathryn Watson / CBS News)
October 1st marked the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the US Africa Command (AFRICOM). The Black Alliance for Peace has launched a "US Out of Africa!: Shut Down AFRICOM" campaign designed to end the US invasion and occupation of Africa. BAP demands "that AFRICOM be immediately dismantled. AFRICOM is an integral part of the military industrial complex, that we oppose an embodiment of US imperialism, and it is therefore a great danger to the people of Africa and the world."

New Saudi Airstrike Hits Bus Carrying Civilians in Yemen (Deutsche Welle & Al-Jazeera & Ahmen al-Haj / Associated Press)
A bus full of civilians was destroyed when the Saudi-led coalition targeted Houthi rebels in Yemen's port city of Hodeida. At least 17 people -- including eight from one family -- were killed and 20 injured in a Saudi-led airstrike on Saturday. At least 17 people. The latest bombing comes after a coalition airstrike killed 40 children on a school trip.

Trump's Troubling Amorality: You Can Kill Journalists As Long As You Give Us Money (The Guardian & Senator Rand Paul / The Atlantic & AntiWar.com & Mother Jones Magazine)
Responding to mounting evidence that an American-based journalist was entrapped, beaten, tortured, killed and dismembered, Donald Trump noted that Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi was "not a United States citizen." Trump's desire to protect weapons sales and family's relationship with Saudi monarchy could prompt clash with Republicans. Moreover, Trump made it clear that, whatever the outcome, the US would not forgo lucrative arms deals with Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia Is Largest Buyer of US Weapons: Arms Dealers Say the Murder of a Journalist Isn't Worth the Loss of $100 Billion in Sales (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Irina Ivanova / CBS MoneyWatch & Reuters)
Major US defense contractors -- like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon -- have expressed concern to the Trump administration that lawmakers, angered by the disappearance of a Saudi journalist in Turkey, will block further arms deals with Saudi Arabia, costing them some very lucrative sales. Trump has agreed, arguing that the death of one journalist ("who isn't even a US citizen") isn't worth the loss of $110 billion in weapons sales. Congress, however, may have other ideas.

Ignoring Climate Change Warnings, Hurricane Trump Continues to Tear Apart the EPA (Marianne Lavelle / InsideClimate News & Lisa Friedman / The New York Times)
Jeffrey Bossert Clark has repeatedly challenged the science underpinning US climate policy. He'll be defending the administration's policy rollbacks. At the same time, an EPA panel that advises the agency's leadership on the latest scientific information about soot in the atmosphere is apparently to be shut down next year at Donald Trump's order.

12 Years Left to Act: What Climate Failure Would Mean (Bob Berwyn / InsideClimate News)
Another half-degree Celsius rise in global temperatures will dramatically increase risks to people and ecosystems they depend on, a new report shows. Stopping it means cutting emissions fast. Without a radical transformation of energy, transportation and agriculture systems the planet with confront unprecedented risks to human civilization and the ecosystems that sustain life on Earth.

Pentagon Calls for More Weapons, Death and Destruction When What We Need Is a "New Green Deal" (Kevin Zeese / Popular Resistance & Edward Robinson / Open Democracy)
Commentary: As the IPCC publishes its new report on global warming of 1.5 degrees, we need a political and economic stock-take. Instead, the Pentagon's September 2018 report encourages a weapons-based industrial policy when, what we need, is an industrial policy that serves people's necessities and does so without damaging our wounded biosphere.

Can Carbon Farming Save Our Planet? (The Daily Beast, et al.)
In an apocalyptic report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned the world the planet has 12 years, or until 2030, to reverse global warming. Without drastic change, the Earth is on track to see temperatures rise by almost 5 degrees C by 2100 -- far beyond the 2 degrees needed to contain global warming. Scientists are now working to figure out a technology that can pull carbon out of the air and convert it into useful products. Can "carbon farming" save us -- if we act in time?

China Has Sent 60,000 Soldiers to Plant Trees (Laura Oliver / World Economic Forum & Xinhua News & Asia Times)
China has redeployed a record number of soldiers to fight pollution and climate change by planting new forests. In 2018, Beijing is on track to reforest an area of 84,000 square kilometers -- roughly the size of Ireland -- as it aims to increase forest coverage to 23% of total landmass by the end of the decade. China's has added 33.8 million hectares in the past five year and hopes to halt spreading desertification by building a "Great Green Wall" of vegetation.

'Time for This War in Afghanistan to End,' Says Departing US Commander (Mujib Mashal / The New York Times)
Nearly 17 years to the day, since the Pentagon was attacked, the commander of the American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, he stood under the shade of pine trees in Kabul and delivered an emotional farewell. General John W. Nicholson Jr who spent 31 months heading a quagmire of a mission that has cast a shadow on a generation of American military leaders, said he wanted to speak from the heart. "It is time for this war in Afghanistan to end," General Nicholson said. "It is time for this war in Afghanistan to end," General Nicholson said.

Bernie Sander's New Internationalist Vision Draws Praise and Criticism (Sen. Bernie Sanders / Medium.com & Meagan Day / Jacobin Magazine)
Sanders's life and his task have changed considerably since his presidential campaign catapulted him from relative obscurity into the national spotlight. Now, Sanders seems to be taking more seriously the responsibility he bears to represent the Left on American foreign policy. This responsibility entails using his platform to differentiate a leftist approach to foreign policy from a liberal one, as he's done with domestic policy. In his recent speech, he spelled out a dual opposition to authoritarianism and oligarchy.

Trump Dismisses UN Report That Sounds Climate Change Alarm; Trump's Supreme Court Writes Off the Planet's Future (Lydia O'Connor / The Huffington Post & Chris D'Angelo / The Huffington Post & Jay Michaelson / The Daily Beast)
Donald Trump sounded skeptical about the United Nation's dire new report on the potentially catastrophic effects of climate change, telling reporters that he wants to look into those who crafted it. Trump said the report "was given to me. And I want to look at who drew it" (appearing to mistake the report for a children's coloring book).

This Is the Way the World Ends: Will We Soon See Category 6 Hurricanes? (Jeff Nesbit / The Guardian)
There is no such thing as a category 6 hurricane or tropical storm -- yet. But a combination of warmer oceans and more water in the atmosphere could make the devastation of 2017 pale in comparison.

Statement on Military Violence Against Women (International Institute on Peace Education)
Violence against women (VAW) under the present system of militarized state security is not an aberration that can be stemmed by specific denunciations and prohibitions. VAW is and always has been integral to war and all armed conflict. It pervades all forms of militarism. It is likely to endure so long as the institution of war is a legally sanctioned instrument of state; so long as arms are the means to political, economic or ideological ends.

World Scientists Issue Stark Warning: A Final Call to Save the World From 'Climate Catastrophe' (Matt McGrath / BBC News & Phil Mckenna / Inside Climate News )
A landmark report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns the world is running out of time to make the changes needed to stop a global climate catastrophe. To head off a mass-extinction, we need to take dramatic and costly action over the next decade. Instead, the Trump administration is promoting the dying coal and oil industries by rolling back regulations on the toxic emissions that threaten our existence.

The Fate of Our 190,000-Years-Old Human Race Depends on a Massive Greening Effort Over Just 30 Years (Juan Cole / Informed Comment)
Commentary: In a new scientific report, terrified scientists are warning -- as vehemently as these polite researchers know how -- that we need to be Net Zero Carbon by 2050 and we have to jump on getting there RIGHT NOW -- during the next decade -- or else, Very Bad Things will happen. What can we do? It isn't so hard, folks. And it isn't expensive. It will actually save us all massive amounts of money. Above all, elect Green politicians: Government has the levers necessary to make things happen quickly.

World's Endangered Bees Enslaved by Capitalism and Climate Change (Byard Duncan / Reveal News: The Center for Investigative Reporting)
The crime scene was a mess of boxes, some half-assembled, others scattered across patches of dried grass and partially gouged to raw wood. The victims scrambled about looking for food and water. There were thousands of them. Maybe millions. "What we had here was a chop shop of beehives. You had some beehives that were alive, and you had some hives that were dead." It was the largest bee heist in US history -- 2,500 hives, worth nearly $1 million, some stolen from orchards hundreds of miles apart.

Remembering Songwriter, Singer and Activist, Vic Sadot (The Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists)
Vic Sadot, a beloved, longtime Bay Area anti-war and social justice activist, passed away over the weekend. He was an ardent truth teller, a giant of an activist who defended his values and beliefs with admirable passion, a fine musician and songwriter, and a dear friend. These small tributes are posted with love and gratitude for all he did for his friends, his neighborhood, and for the world.

After 17 Years, Afghanistan Continues to Prove (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Gulabuddin Ghubar /Tolo News & Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis (US Army, Ret.) / Townhall)
On the 17th anniversary of the US's involvement in Afghanistan, 49% of Americans say their country has failed to win the war. On this grim anniversary, ongoing Taliban attacks were reported in 14 of Afghanistan's provinces. The evidence that our war in Afghanistan is failing and cannot be won is dramatic and overwhelming.

ACTION ALERT: Block Trump's 'Easy-fire' Nukes; Challenge the Expanded Nuclear-War-Powers Obama Created (Win Without War & Marc Ambiner / Politico)
Can you imagine Donald Trump having access to a nuclear bomb that he and his advisers think is safe to use? Well, the Pentagon is on track to give him exactly that. Thanks to Barack Obama, our current nuclear war plans -- OPLAN 8010-12 -- specifically envision a scenario where the president orders a limited nuclear strike to deter proliferators of weapons of mass destruction. Sarin gas qualifies. So, under Obama's expanded nuclear war plan, Trump could have ordered a nuclear bomb dropped on Syria..

As Climate Warms, Trump Attacks Pollution Laws, Sabotages Regulators (James Osborne / The Houston Chronicle & Scott Waldman / E&E News Climatewire)
Trump's plans to bail out the financially struggling coal and nuclear power sectors drew criticism from both parties but his policy of "Polluters First" continues to put the country -- and the planet -- at risk. Trump now plans to install Bernard McNamee, a fossil-fuel promoter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. In addition, Trump wants to rewrite regulations to undermine the positive health and social benefits of reducing exposure to pollutants like mercury, industrial gases, and radiation.

ACTION ALERT: US Blocking Humanitarian Efforts in North Korea (Daniel Jasper / KoreaCollaboration & American Friends Service Committee )
US NGO's operating humanitarian assistance programs in North Korea have recently encountered new obstacles in their work: The State Department is now stopping US humanitarian actors from traveling to North Korea by denying applications for special validation passports, which are required for US passport holders to travel to North Korea. This shift in policy jeopardizes life-saving aid and may undermine high-level diplomacy. If your organization would like to sign a letter of concern, contact Daniel Jasper below.

Tensions Rise as US Threatens to 'Take Out' Russian Missiles (Jonathan Marcus / BBC & BBC News)
The threat from a senior US diplomat to "take out" Russian missiles that Washington believes are in breach of an important Cold War arms control treaty looks set to cause additional tensions with Moscow, just ahead of a meeting of NATO defence ministers that opens in Brussels. The threat came from Trump's NATO ambassador, Kay Bailey Hutchison, who added the warning that "They are on notice." It is not exactly clear what she is saying. Is she threatening a pre-emptive strike out of the blue? Surely not.

As High Court Opens, SCOTUS Considers the Fate of a Frog (Robert Barnes / The Washington Post)
The fate of the dusky gopher frog will be the first order of business for the Supreme Court as it opens its new term Monday. While politicians, the media, and the public strive to deal with the trauma of Brett M. Kavanaugh's High Court nomination, the justices will focus on a frog. The case pits Weyerhaeuser Company against the frog's legal defender -- the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Democracy in Crisis: Trump Threatens Freedom; US Supports 73% of World's Dictatorships (Michael J. Abramowitz / Freedom House & Rich Whitney / Truthout)
Democracy faced its most serious crisis in decades in 2017 as its basic tenets -- including free and fair elections, the rights of minorities, press freedom, and the rule of law -- came under attack around the world. Some 71 countries suffered net declines in political rights and civil liberties. This marked the 12th consecutive year of decline. The US retreated from its traditional role as both a champion and an exemplar of democracy amid an accelerating decline in American political rights and civil liberties.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Ryan Zinke: No Tax on Public Protests (Brandy Doyle / CREDO Action)
Imagine if Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had to cancel the 1963 March on Washington because he couldn't find a corporate sponsor. Imagine if you needed one to protest Trump. Under a Trump administration proposal, the National Park Service could charge people high fees to hold a protest or demonstration in public spaces around Washington. Charging for protests would make free speech a privilege for groups with big financial backers -- and inaccessible to those who most need a voice.

Latest UN Report on Global Warming Carries "Life-or-Death Warning" (Associated Press & The New Arab & Agence France-Presse & Phil McKenna / Inside Climate News & Carolyn Gramling / Science News)
In a 728-page report, the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change detailed how Earth's weather, health and ecosystems would be in better shape if the world's leaders could limit future human-caused planetary warming to just 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit (a half degree Celsius) instead of the currently agreed-upon goal of 1.8 degrees F. A lead author of the report warned that the planet is now facing "a life-or-death situation without a doubt."

ACTION ALERT: No Military Exercise at Jeju Base Petition (Association of Gangjeong Villagers against the Jeju Navy Base et al.)
The International Fleet Review set for the Jeju Naval Base in Gangjeong Village from 10 October 2018 will be the biggest event for the Korean Navy since the naval base was constructed. It will involve around 50 vessels and 20 aircraft from 45 countries. Gangjeong villagers and civil society organizations are determined to make Jeju Island "the Island of Peace," free of military activities. They are calling for an endorsement for the International Solidarity Statement against the International Fleet Review in Jeju.

ACTION ALERT: Three Days of Action for Yemen in November (Voices for Creative Nonviolence and Veterans for Peace)
The US-financed Saudi-led war, which now is in its fourth year, has killed thousands of civilians created tens of thousands of refugees Yemen is the world's worst humanitarian crisis, prompted the outbreak of deadly diseases, and left 60% of the population -- 18 million people -- without clean water and sufficient food. The UN has called Yemen "the world's worst humanitarian crisis." And Washington -- along with the Saudi monarchy -- is largely responsible for the carnage in what has been called a "war rime."

Trump's Sanctions Have Cost Venezuela $6 Billion Since August 2017 (Joe Emersberger / teleSUR)
Why is Venezuela's economy in free-fall? In large part because, in August of 2017, Donald Trump imposed sanctions that made it illegal for Venezuela to obtain financing from the US. The was devastating for two reasons: (1) all the Venezuelan governments' outstanding foreign currency bonds are governed under New York state law; and (2) one of the Venezuelan government's major assets -- the state-owned CITGO corporation -- is based in Texas. These "misguided" US sanctions have harmed Venezuelans.

Project Censored: The Real Fight Against Fake News (Paul Rosenberg / The East Bay Express)
On the 80th anniversary of Orson Welles' famous "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast, Project Censored presents the year's Top 10 underreported stories. Project Censored has long been engaged in more than just uncovering stories that don't get enough attention in the mainstream media. The list of underreported stories remains central to Project Censored's mission to honor independent news media, without which we would remain uninformed or misinformed about crucial issues."

Project Censored: The Real Fight Against Fake News (Paul Rosenberg / The East Bay Express)
On the 80th anniversary of Orson Welles' famous "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast, Project Censored presents the year's Top 10 underreported stories. Project Censored has long been engaged in more than just uncovering stories that don't get enough attention in the mainstream media. The list of underreported stories remains central to Project Censored's mission to honor independent news media, without which we would remain uninformed or misinformed about crucial issues."

US Planning BioWar with Virus-armed Bugs and Plants Used as Spies (Josh Gabbatiss / The Independent & Erin Durkin / The Guardian )
Insects could be turned into "a new class of biological weapon" using new US military plans, experts have warned. The Insect Allies programme aims to use bugs to disperse genetically modified (GM) viruses to crops. Such action will have profound consequences and could pose a major threat to global biosecurity.

2018 Nobel Peace Prize Reveals Trauma of Rape as a Weapon of War (Haroon Siddique / The Guradian & Emma Graham-Harrison / The Guardian & Lauren Wolfe / The Guardian)
The Congolese gynaecologist, Denis Mukwege, who has treated thousands of rape victims, and Nadia Murad, the Iraqi Yazidi, who was sold into sex slavery by Isis, have been jointly awarded the 2018 Nobel peace prize. The committee said: "They have both put their own personal security at risk by courageously combating war crimes and securing justice for victims" while helping to "give greater visibility to war-time sexual violence."

ACTION ALERT: The Most Destructive Force for Climate Change You've Never Heard Of (Amazon Watch)
A company few have even heard of is one of the most destructive forces for climate change in the world. BlackRock, the world's largest investment firm, holds more shares in fossil fuel and other industries that cause climate change than any other company in the world. That means that BlackRock's portfolio constitutes a huge liability for putting the planet on a path towards runaway climate change.

The US Military Is The Worst Polluter on the Planet -- And It's Totally Unregulated (Project Censored 2010)
The US military is responsible for the most egregious and widespread pollution of the planet. Impacts include: uninhibited use of fossil fuels, massive creation of greenhouse gases, and extensive release of radioactive and chemical contaminants into the air, water, and soil. In spite of the evidence, the environmental impact of the US military goes largely unaddressed by environmental organizations and was not the focus of any discussions at the 2010 UN Climate Change Conference.

Regenerative Farming: The Next Stage of Organic Food -- and Civilization (Project Censored & Ronnie Cummins / Organic Consumers Association)
Regenerative agriculture represents not only an alternative food production strategy but a fundamental shift in our culture's relationship to nature. As Ronnie Cummins, director of the Organic Consumers Association and a founding member of Regeneration International, wrote, regenerative agriculture offers a "world-changing paradigm" that can help solve many of today's environmental and public health problems.

America Is Determined to Fight the World (Doug Bandow / The National Interest)
Commentary: America is the world's strongest, most dominant nation. However, its power has become a problem. Hubris conquered Washington. Today the Trump administration appears determined to go to war, military, political, and/or economic, with virtually every other state.

US Militarism Marches On (Martin Hart-Landsberg / Reports from the Economic Front)
Republicans and Democrats like to claim that they are on opposite sides of important issues. Of course, depending on which way the wind blows, they sometimes change sides. Tragically, however, there is no division when it comes to militarism. In the words of the New York Times: "In a rare act of bipartisanship on Capitol Hill, the Senate passed a $700 billion defense policy bill . . . that sets forth a muscular vision of America as a global power, with a Pentagon budget that far exceeds what President Trump has asked for."

Costa Rica Sets an Example for the World: Carbon Neutral by 2021 (Fabiola Ortiz / In Depth News)
In the 1980s, Costa Rica was on the brink of an environmental crisis losing around 70,000 hectares of forests a year, the equivalent to 1.7 percent of the national territory. 22 years ago, Costa Rica introduced a national program to pay landowners to keep the forests standing for people and the planet. Today, the country hosts 5 percent of the world's biodiversity, more than half of its territory is covered with forests, and nearly all of the country's energy needs are met by renewable power sources.

The Environmental Consequences of a Justice Brett Kavanaugh (Emily Atkin / The New Republic)
If Brett Kavanaugh wins an appointment to a seat on the Supreme Court, SCOTUS will have an entrenched majority of pro-business, anti-regulatory justices. Under this scenario of a conservative majority, it seems likely that the EPA would no longer be required to count so-called "co-benefits" of reducing pollutants like soot and nitrogen oxide when it's regulating mercury, for instance. It would only be required to count the benefits of reducing mercury.

Why Aren't We Talking More About Trump's Nihilism? (Matt Taibbi / The Rolling Stone)
Commentary: While the press has focused either on Donald Trump's daily lunacies or his various scandals, the real danger of Trump's administration have been his systematic wreckage of the state. A policy that not only recognizes but embraces inevitable global catastrophe is the ultimate expression of Trump's somehow under-reported nihilism. At first climate change was a "hoax." Now the White House says we might as well pollute because global catastrophe is inevitable.

ACTION ALERT: US Defies World Court Amid Threats to Attack Iran (Women's Action for New Directions & Politico & The New York Times & The Hill & NPR)
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the US is terminating the 1955 Treaty of Amity with Iran -- further proof that the Trump Administration is setting the stage for another endless war in the Middle East. We need Congress to tell Trump that the American people are not going to stand for war with Iran. Sen. Tom Udall -- joined by several senators, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Sen. Bernie Sanders -- has introduced new legislation that limits funding for active military operations in or against Iran.

US Air Force Seeks to Control 70% of Nevada's Desert National Wildlife Refuge (Project Censored Award & Tay Wiles / High Country News)
The US Air Force wants to take control of nearly 70 percent of the 1.6-million-acre Desert National Wildlife Refuge. The 300,000-acre base expansion would push into intact bighorn sheep and exclude the Moapa Band of Paiutes, whose ancestral lands span much of southern Nevada, and who rely on access to the Desert National Wildlife Refuge for traditional resources, including food and medicinal herbs

ACTION ALERT Tell Congress: Stop Fueling War in Yemen (Win Without War)
The US is in Yemen because, in part, Raytheon's powerful lobbyists In Washington managed to sway Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Meanwhile, 23 members of the US House have introduced a War Powers Resolution that would withdraw US Armed Forces from supporting unconstitutional hostilities alongside Saudi Arabia in Yemen. This resolution needs urgent public support to stop US involvement in the horrific attacks on the people of Yemen.

Koreans Join Forces to Begin Removing Landmines From Border (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & BBC News)
The Korean War began in 1950, and 68 years later a peace deal is still not finalized. There is hope, however, as troops from both Koreas are active along the demilitarized zone, removing some of the estimated 800,000 landmines buried around the area.

Loose Cannon John Bolton Threatens Iran with Unprovoked Aggression (Abigail Tracy / Vanity Fair)
When Donald Trump threatened to "totally destroy North Korea" at the UN General Assembly a year ago, he sent shock waves around the world. Now Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, has warned that Iran will have "hell to pay" if it doesn't fall in line with the US. Experts note this bellicose approach "didn't work with North Korea and it won't work with Iran." The head of the Cato Institute called Bolton's threats "reminiscent of the Bush administration's war bombast in the lead up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq."

When All You've Got Is Bullying: A New Way of Dealing With America (Ted Snider / AntiWar.com)
Donald Trump has established his brand of "negotiating." Instead of diplomacy and compromise, Trump employs threats, braggadocio and bullying. Trump, a multiple-bankruptee and self-styled "billionaire" who boasts that he is "a great deal maker" really has no negotiating skill to fall back on. He brings to the table nothing but bullying. No negotiating, no diplomacy: "totally on our terms" or it will be the "ruination" of you.

Democracy Index Reports US Democracy in Decline under Trump (The World Economic Forum & The Economist Intelligence Unit)
For a country that obsesses on the words "freedom" and "democracy," there is an odd reluctance to acknowledge the annual published rankings of global democracies. Perhaps this is because the US has been steadily falling in the Freedom House and Economist listings. The US is no longer in the Top Ten world democracies (It's fallen to #21) and the country has been down-graded from a "democracy" to a "flawed democracy."

2018: Annual Report Finds Freedom in Decline Around the World (Michael J. Abramowitz / Freedom House)
The year 2017 marked the 12th consecutive year of decline in global freedom. Perhaps most worrisome for the future, is that young people -- with little memory of the long struggles against fascism and communism -- may be losing interest in the democratic project. Meanwhile, Donald Trump's attacks on the free press and the courts, undermine democratic checks and balances and could ultimately have serious consequences for the health of US democracy and America's role in the world.

And, in Other News: US Stages Provocations Aimed at China and Russia, Triggering Reactions (TIME Magazine & Reuters & TASS & Sputnik News & RT News)
With attention riveted on the Kavanaugh hearings, troubling military maneuvers by the Big Powers have received little attention. In one case, a US navy ship conducted a provocative 10-hour patrol in the South China Sea, sailing within 12 nautical miles of Chinese outposts. China responded by cancelling scheduled security talks with the US. The US threatened Russia with a naval blockade over gas pipeline project but has granted Russia permission to surveil US activities using a high-tech spy-plane.

Is War Like Alcohol Addiction -- Intoxicating and Deadly? (David Swanson / David Swanson.org & World BEYOND War)
Commentary: War is a self-perpetuating habit that harms its users and can provide a certain momentary high. Is there an epidemic of people falsely thinking of war as being too much like alcohol? I think there is. Why is the 1928 Kellogg-Briand Peace Pact the only law held to not really exist if it's ever violated? I take the notion that the Pact "didn't work" to be absurd given the progress it brought in almost ending conquest, in reshaping international law, in stigmatizing war and prosecuting war criminals.

Here's What We Could Have If We Slashed The Military Budget (Lindsay Koshgarian / Jacobin Magazine)
The US military budget sucks up an enormous amount of resources without making the world more peaceful or democratic. Here are a few ways we could better spend that $717 billion.

Torture. Police State. Election Meddling. Authoritarianism: Kavanaugh Is the Wrong Nominee for Our Times (Popular Resistance Newsletter<)
On the basis of his past rulings, Brett Kavanaugh confirmation to the Supreme Court could not only damage women's rights but could also promote the expansion of a police state -- with more surveillance and fewer rights -- while putting at risk the remaining critical environmental protections that have not yet been compromised or destroyed by Donald Trump's polluter-friendly cabinet appointees.

Canada's Bloated War Economy Shortchanges Canada's Citizens (Matthew Behrens / Rabble)
Canada proudly repeats the mantra about how much the government supports women's rights as human rights. Yet the government continues to approve weapons sales to the world's most misogynist regimes -- the USA and Saudi Arabia -- and is silent as the federal budget continues to fund the War Department to the detriment of children, students, the elderly, and Canada's women.

ACTION ALERT: Tell the International Rescue Committee Not to Honor War Profiteer Larry Fink (CODEPINK and World BEYOND War)
CODEPINK and World BEYOND War are co-sponsoring a petition urging the International Rescue Committee not to honor BlackRock CEO Larry Fink with a humanitarian award at its November gala in NYC. BlackRock owns billions of shares in weapons companies that are propping up war and violence in Yemen, Israel, and elsewhere.

F-35 Fighter Jet -- Pentagon's "Trillion-dollar Turkey" -- Crashes in South Carolina (Agence France-Presse & The Times of Israel & The Guardian & News Corp Australia Network & The American Conservative)
A US F-35 fighter was destroyed in a crash while training Friday. The crash -- the first of its kind for the troubled program -- marks an unfortunate moment for the most expensive plane in history. The Pentagon has reportedly covered up performance and design flaws and classified its April report into problems encountered in the F-35's first operational deployment. We don't know how it went. We won't know how it went. We know problems emerged.

Trump's EPA: Science Out, Politics In (Mark Hand / ThinkProgress)
The Environmental Protection Agency wants to combine the Office of Science Policy and the Office of the Science Advisor, a move that critics contend is another example of the Trump administration trying to diminish the role of scientists at the agency. The merger would downgrade the science advisor's role by placing it into a position lower in the agency, according to experts.

Republican Rebels Block Restrictions on Saudi Nuclear Deal (Bryant Harris / Al Monitor)
A handful of Senate Republicans are bucking their leadership by holding up a resolution calling on the Donald Trump administration to refrain from reaching a nuclear deal with Saudi Arabia that falls short of America's so-called gold standard. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to unanimously pass a nonbinding resolution on the floor urging the Trump administration to "prohibit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from enriching uranium or separating plutonium on its own territory."

US Stores Nuclear Bombs in 5 Foreign Countries, in Violation of the NPT (John LaForge / CounterPunch)
The US military practice of placing nuclear weapons in five other countries (no other nuclear power does this) is a legal and political embarrassment for US diplomacy. The US currently deploys 150-to-180 nuclear weapons at bases in Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Turkey and Belgium. The governments involved refuse to "confirm or deny" the locations of the B61 free-fall gravity bombs -- even though all six countries are parties to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

Commemorating 17 Years of Getting Afghanistan Completely Wrong (David Swanson / David Swanson.org & World BEYOND War)
Commentary & Analysis: There are, as far as I know, no polls on the percentage of people in the United States who know that the war is still going on, but it seems to be pretty low. Polling Report lists no polls at all on Afghanistan in the past three years. For longer than most wars have lasted in total, this one has gone on with no public discussion of whether or not it should, just annual testimony before Congress that this next year is going to really be the charm.

All Wars Are Illegal, So What Do We Do About It? (Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese / Popular Resistance)
Every war being fought today is illegal. Every action taken to carry out these wars is a war crime. In 1928, the Kellogg-Briand Pact or Pact of Paris was signed and ratified by the United States and other major nations that renounced war as a way to resolve conflicts, calling instead for peaceful ways of handling disputes. A fundamental task of the antiwar movement is to enforce the rule of law. What good are new treaties if we can't uphold the ones that already exist?

UN Report: Increasing Numbers of Afghan Women and Children Are Dying in US Airstrikes (Agence France-Presse & James Mackenzie and Abdul Qadir Sediqi / Reuters)
An airstrike appears to have killed 12 members of an Afghan family, including ten children aged six to 15, the United Nations said, citing preliminary findings, as US and Afghan forces ramp up aerial bombardments against militants. UN investigators also are reviewing reports of civilian casualties from "a number of alleged air strikes in other parts of the country," including "credible reports" that nine members of a family were killed in an air strike on Saturday in the eastern province of Kapisa.

ACTION ALERT: Ask The International Criminal Court To Investigate Israel's Crimes (Popular Resistance & The Green Party of the United States)
Since the Nakba in 1947, Israel has displaced, brutalized and murdered Palestinians. Israel's biggest supporter, the US, regularly provides cover for these crimes. For these reasons, US citizens have a special responsibility to demand that Israel be held accountable for its war crimes. To that end, a letter is being circulated worldwide by Peace Action and the Green Party US calling on the ICC to investigate Israel's crimes against Palestinians. The letter will be delivered to the ICC in November.

ACTION ALERT: Stop the Deadly, Illegal War in Yemen (Medea Benjamin / CODEPINK)
Yemen is facing a massive humanitarian catastrophe and we need your help to stop it. American aid is crucial to the Saudi war effort, and removing our assistance would limit Saudi attacks and maybe even push them to the negotiating table.

Bipartisan War Powers Bill Would Stop US Military Involvement in Yemen (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Rebecca Kheel / The Hill & Emily Birnbaum / The Hill)
A bipartisan resolution was introduced in the House of Representatives Wednesday under the War Powers Act. If the bill is passed, it would formally end US military involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen. The war in Yemen was never authorized by Congress, and US participation has become increasingly controversial, as Saudi airstrikes kill staggering numbers of civilians.

US Is Helping to Trap Refugees Fleeing Yemen War (Khury Petersen-Smith / Foreign Policy in Focus & In These Times)
While both the Houthis and the coalition take actions with destructive consequences for Yemen's population, the overwhelming blame for the devastation and the humanitarian crisis lies with the United States, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The United States is supplying the aircraft to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the precision munitions they're dropping, intelligence and midair refueling of the coalition war planes. The United States also continues to carry out military operations in Yemen directly.

ACTION ALERT: Planning a Vacation? Patronize Peace by Considering These Demilitarized Destinations (Abir Gupta / StoryPick.com)
Countries often spend millions in order to strengthen their armed forces. But even in this world where most of the countries are stuck in an arms race, there are a few countries that have no army at all. Here is a list of countries that survive without any armed forces.

ACTION ALERT: Support Senate Bill to Block the Trump/Bolton Push for War with Iran (Win Without War & Julia Conley / Common Dreams & World BEYOND War & Hon. Tom Udall / US Senate & CREDO Action)
Yesterday, at the United Nations, Trump demanded a roomful of world leaders get behind "regime change" in Iran. That's Washington-speak for war. We cannot let this terrible administration drag us into war with Iran. We've got to fight back the best and strongest way we know how: People power. Support Tom Udall's Senate bill to block a preemptive strike against Iran as illegal under the War Powers Act and the United States Constitution which states that only Congress can declare wars.

'Fighting for Freedom' -- America's Abiding Myth (Gar Smith / The-Edge)
In 1993, a Congressional Research Service report listed "234 instances in which the US has used its armed forces abroad in situations of conflict or potential conflict or for other than normal peacetime purposes." A Global Policy Forum assessment of "US Interventions -- 1798 to the Present" reveals a record of imperial meddling unmatched in the long, bloody history of nations. Of the UN's 192 member states, over the past two centuries, the US has attacked, invaded, policed, overthrown or occupied 62 of them.

US Weapons Responsible for Soaring Civilian Deaths in Yemen and Afghanistan (International Rescue Mission & AntiWar.com & Reuters)
The US-backed, Saudi-led war in Yemen has seen the already huge civilian death toll of the war skyrocket 164% just since June. A single nine-day period in August left nearly 500 civilians killed. In Afghanistan, a soaring number of US airstrikes -- nearly 3,000 strikes in the first six months of 2018 -- have left 149 civilians killed and 204 wounded. Women and children made up more than half of the casualties.

Propaganda Blitz: Hold the Front Page -- The Reporters are Missing (John Pilger / Special to Consortium News)
John Pilger's review of a new book called Propaganda Blitz by David Edwards and David Cromwell offers a searing and naked indictment of our current media environment. As Pilger observes: "So much of mainstream journalism has descended to the level of a cult-like formula of bias, hearsay and omission. Subjectivism is all; slogans and outrage are proof enough. What matters is 'perception.'"

Trump Puts Arms Sales Ahead of Yemeni Lives (Michael Horton / The American Conservative)
How much is a Yemeni child worth? Not much it seems: about $400 if one uses the Trump administration's calculations. The UK-based charity Save the Children estimates that five million Yemeni children are at risk of starvation. That risk has increased markedly thanks to the Trump administration's fear of endangering $2 billion worth of weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the Emirates. This came after an American-made missile fired by either a Saudi or Emirati jet incinerated a bus full of schoolchildren last month.

War Profiteers: The US War Machine And the Arming of Repressive Regimes (Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies / CODEPINK)
The US is the leading purveyor of arms, global war and militarism, with 800 military bases in 80 countries around the world and a military budget larger than the next seven countries combined. Since the 1980s, Washington has increasingly used the armed forces in an offensive -- not defensive -- way, to attack other countries from Nicaragua and Panama to Iraq and Libya. These interventions created more global insecurity, disrupting the lives of ordinary people and raising tensions between nuclear-armed nations.

US Weapons Responsible for Soaring Civilian Deaths in Yemen and Afghanistan (International Rescue Mission & AntiWar.com & Reuters)
The US-backed, Saudi-led war in Yemen has seen the already huge civilian death toll of the war skyrocket 164% just since June. A single nine-day period in August left nearly 500 civilians killed. In Afghanistan, a soaring number of US airstrikes -- nearly 3,000 strikes in the first six months of 2018 -- have left 149 civilians killed and 204 wounded. Women and children made up more than half of the casualties.

ACTION ALERT: Don't Iraq Iran -- Is the Media Going to Lie for Trump? (CODEPINK )
Donald Trump appeared at the United Nations to build a case for the US to go to war with Iran. Sign our letter to the New York Times and Washington Post asking them not to be complicit in laying the groundwork for war with Iran -- like they were in the case of Iraq. Tell them to debunk Trump’s lies and distortions, and to promote diplomacy.

The 'Silent Green Wave' That Could Rock the November Vote (Russell McLendon / Mother Nature Network)
Environmental issues tend to fall through the cracks in American politics, where they are often ignored, belittled or even denied by politicians. Yet this familiar political climate, much like Earth's climate, is more changeable than it might seem. There are 15 million Americans who consider themselves to be environmentalists but who never bother to vote. What if a new "Green Wave" of Earth-loving voters decided to show up at polling stations in November?

2018 Planet Candidates: More than 150 Congressional Candidates Pledge to Vote for the Earth! (Food & Water Action,, Sunrise Movement, Climate Hawks, et al.)
"In 2018, with climate disaster happening in live feed, you either support a mandate for 100% renewables to outlaw pollution, or you're denying the science," said Todd Fernandez, of Climate Action Mondays, NYC. "Time has run out for half-measures." To give voters a clear choice, climate leaders have made a novel demand: to outlaw pollution, categorically. Not regulate or trade it. Ban it. And that's the game-changer. A new litmus-test for a political showdown.

What If Governments Stopped Fighting and Started Obeying the Law? (David Swanson / David Swanson.org & World BEYOND War)
Commentary: "Remembering why we still fight in Afghanistan" was the title of a recent newspaper editorial. What's really worth remembering is how we got mislead into this long, blood, costly and illegal war in the first place. After 17 years, why do we still have 48,000 people engaged in the military occupation of a foreign country? What if we simply obeyed world law? Compliance with the 1928 Pact of Paris would mean no more wars. Compliance with the 1907 Hague Convention would mean nonviolent arbitration.

The Effects of Modern War and Military Activities (Michael J. Lawrence, Aaron J. Zolderdo, Daniel P. Struthers, Steven J. Cooke and Holly L.J. Stemberger / Carleton University)
War is an ever-present force that has the potential to alter the biosphere. Here we review the potential consequences of modern war and military activities on ecosystem structure and function. We focus on the effects of direct conflict, nuclear weapons, military training, and military produced contaminants. Overall, the aforementioned activities were found to have overwhelmingly negative effects on ecosystem structure and function.

Finding New, Peacetime Uses for Costly, Sprawling US Military Bases (Joe Mathews / San Francisco Chronicle & Ramstein Air Base)
At 200 square miles, California's Camp Pendleton Marine Base is bigger than San Jose. The largest open coastal space between Santa Barbara and Mexico, the property offers scenic mountains, canyons, mesas, estuaries, a lake, a bison preserve, a free-flowing river -- along with theaters, museums, golf courses, a new hospital, scuba center, YMCA, 11 fire stations, five public schools, 14 barbershops, and eight dry cleaners. But now that wars are conducted by drones, how much of the base does the DoD need?

Korea Should Reunify Outside the Western Empire (David Swanson / David Swanson.org & World BEYOND War)
Commentary: Imagine if the United States made peace with North Korea. There are perhaps three ways to do it. The most likely outcome and the best outcome are not the same. But the reason we're considering any of them at all is because the two Korean governments are already trying to work around the disastrous US presence -- so who knows what's possible?

German Army Rocket Test Ignites Destructive Wildfire (The Guardian & Deutsche Welle)
The fire was triggered when rockets tests in the moor by Germany's armed forces -- the Bundeswehr -- went awry. The rockets were fired from helicopters as part of the drill, but the all-terrain fire engine meant to put out the subsequent fire was out of action and its replacement was at the garage for maintenance work. The fire was thus able to spread quickly.

Mass Murder: Made in America (Nima Elbagir, Salma Abdelaziz, and Laura Smith-Spark / CNN)
Last month, a CNN investigation found remnants of a US-made bomb at the scene of an airstrike that left dozens of schoolboys dead. Now, an independent Yemen-based human rights group called Mwatana has given CNN exclusive access to a trove of documents that show fragments of US-manufactured bombs at the scene of a string of other incidents since 2015, when the civil war began. In each of these cases, civilians were either killed or put at risk.

US Caught Plotting a Rightwing Coup in Venezuela (Lesley Wroughton / Reuters & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Gabriel Hetland / Jacobin & Alliance for Global Justice )
A hallmark of the Trump era is the open embrace of ideas and practices that have long been central to the fabric of US politics -- but publicly disavowed. So it is with white supremacy, police brutality, and now, military coups in Latin America. Now, 45 years after the US overthrow of a democratically elected government in Chile -- and the installation of a brutal and bloody rightwing dictatorship -- members if Washington's imperial elite are planning to seize control of another Latin American nation.

ACTION ALERT: Pompeo's Push for Arms to Saudis: More Bombs for Yemen and Profits for Raytheon (Win Without War & Lee Fang and Alex Emmons / The Intercept)
Commentary: You've probably never heard of Charles Faulkner but he's the reason Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lied to Congress last week to keep US weapons flowing into Yemen. Before being appointed as Donald Trump's Acting Assistant Secretary of State, Faulkner worked as a lobbyist for Raytheon, the massive arms maker. Raytheon happens to have a $2 billion arms sale to the Saudis and UAE pending in Congress. Corruption doesn't get much more black and white than that.

Pentagon Races to Empty Its Coffers by Month's End (Frank Konkel / Defense One)
The federal government is primed to spend as much as $300 billion in the final quarter of fiscal 2018 as agencies rush to obligate money appropriated by Congress before Sept. 30. Because any unspent funds must be returned to the Treasury Department, the Pentagon is on a spending spree to burn through as much money as possible. But to spend all the money appropriated, they may have to obligate well over $200 billion more in the final quarter of fiscal 2018, which ends in two weeks.

War on Africa's Elephants: Policing Slaughter-for-Profit (Laura Geggel / Live Science & Yasemin Saplakoglu / LiveScience)
How do you crack the complicated empire of cartels that kill hundreds of thousands of elephants every year for their ivory? You put an international slew of gumshoe geneticists on their tail. These geneticists have uncovered Africa's three largest ivory cartels -- located in Mombasa, Kenya; Entebbe, Uganda; and Lome, Togo -- by analyzing the DNA within elephant tusks found in illegal trafficking shipments.

For This Year's International Day of Peace, Korea Takes the Lead (Kevin Martin / Common Dreams)
There is precious little peace, or near-term hope for it, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Palestine/Israel, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and countless other countries within our military tentacles' reach. This rare, historic outbreak of peace on the Korean Peninsula should be celebrated and supported by all the peoples of the world -- including and especially Americans and our government.

Trump's War on the First Amendment: Treating Protest as Terrorism (Will Parrish and Sam Levin / Guardian)
Indigenous activists in Montana fear the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline could break and spill, destroying tribal waters and desecrating sacred Native American sites. But that's not the most immediate threat. Recently released records reveal the Trump administration has vilified nonviolent pipeline opponents as "extremists" and violent criminals who pose a risk of potential "terrorism." If the pipeline gets final approval, massive demonstrations are anticipated -- along with a police crack-down.

New Zealand Greenpeacers Freed after Blocking World's Largest Oil-search Ship (Nick Young / Greenpeace Aotearoa, New Zealand)
Charges against Greenpeace New Zealand's Executive Director Dr. Russel Norman and climate activist Sara Howell have been dropped after they were arrested for swimming in front of the world's largest oil and gas exploration ship to stop the search for fossil fuels off the Wairarapa Coast. On September 11, 2018, 33 years after French agents bombed and the flagship vessel -- an act of state-sponsored terrorism that killed one crew member -- the Rainbow Warrior II returned to Auckland.

ACTION ALERT: Aug. 24 Deadline -- Big Oil & Gas vs. Endangered Species (Miranda Carter / Food & Water Watch)
Bald eagles, grizzly bears, California condors, grey wolves, American alligators . . . The Endangered Species Act (ESA) successfully brought these and other iconic species back from the brink. That's pretty amazing. Now the Trump administration is trying to gut endangered species protections for the benefit of the oil and gas industry. It's possible to stop this if we all speak up loudly and refuse to back down -- but the deadline for comments is September 24.

Pompeo Lied to Congress About Yemen To Protect Arms Sales (Daniel Larison / The American Conservative)
Mike Pompeo's certification earlier this month that the Saudi coalition was working to reduce harm to civilians in Yemen was an obvious sham. According to The Wall Street Journal, Pompeo made the decision to lie for the Saudis and Emiratis because he feared it would hurt arms sales. The US should not be in the business of arming governments that we know will use them to commit war crimes, and that certainly applies to the Saudis and the UAE as long as the war on Yemen continues.

The International Day of Peace -- September 21 (The United Nations)
The International Day of Peace was created by the UN, it is a global observance by hundreds of millions people and thousands of organizations each year on September 21st. The music and images in this video are entertaining, and the message provides a sense of hope.

The Forever War's Cheerleaders (Lyle Jeremy Rubin / The Nation)
Commentary: There is a chasm of awareness that often exists between veterans and civilians, especially during an age in which an all-volunteer military prosecutes never-ending wars, and in which those Americans who end up experiencing combat prove statistically negligible. It isn't so much a chasm of awareness as a chasm of memory. The problem with veterans is we keep remembering our wars when we are supposed to join everyone else in forgetting them.

US-Russia Nuclear Arms Racing: Still Crazy After All These Years (Andrew Lichterman and John Burroughs / TruthDig)
President Vladimir Putin's major address on March 1 to Russia's Federal Assembly was candid about the economic and social challenges facing Russians. What attracted attention in the United States, however, was a detailed description, complete with video animations, of an array of new nuclear weapons delivery systems, including a nuclear-powered cruise missile and an underwater drone. The Pentagon's proposals manifest a commitment to an increasing and long-term reliance on nuclear arms. The review also lowers the threshold for use of nuclear weapons.

Health Professionals Tackle War (David Swanson / David Swanson.org & World BEYOND War)
Commentary: When I discovered that militarism is one of the top destroyers of the natural environment, that war wastes more money than anything else, is a major promoter of racism, is the primary threat to civil liberties and the push for militarized police, and is the top barrier to the rule of law and global cooperation, I added that to my case against war. But when I read that militarism is a top public health threat that medical professionals have a responsibility to prevent, I'm struck with conflicting responses.

Climate Catastrophe Threatens Global Health and Food Emergencies (Justine Calma / Grist & Nicola Davis / The Guardian & Carla Green / The Guardian)
One of the larger themes at this week's massive Global Climate Action Summit taking place in San Francisco is the relationship between climate change and human health. City heatwaves could lead to two to three times as many deaths by 2050, the report says. Rising levels of carbon dioxide could make crops less nutritious and damage the health of hundreds of millions of people. By 2100, without a reduction in emissions, California could see a 77% increase in the average area burned by wildfires.

The Seas Are Trying to Tell Us Something (Jorge Ramos / Splinter News)
Our feverish oceans are spitting out hurricanes. They are spewing invasive seaweed onto our beaches. Beneath the water, the coral is turning pale. Something is wrong, very wrong. And the seas are trying to tell us something.

The American War in Yemen: A Descent Into Hell (Tom Englehardt /TomDispatch & Rajan Menon / TomDispatch)
Despite the thousands killed and the billions spent on Washington's "Global War on Terror," there's not much to show on the anti-terrorism front. Indeed, the Saudi coalition's airstrikes and US drone attacks in Yemen may be moving Yemenis -- enraged by the destruction of their homes and livelihoods and the deaths of loved ones – to join the ranks of Al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula. In short, a war on terror has turned into a war of and for terror -- and America's prospering arms barons couldn't be happier.

Trump Cuts Humanitarian Aid for Palestinians; Has No Plan for Peace (Daniel Estrin / National Public Radio & Ali Sawafta and Maayan Lubell / Reuters)
The Trump administration has confirmed it will no longer fund peace-building programs for Palestinians and Israelis -- including an interfaith youth program and a project for children with disabilities. It's the latest in a series of announcements of the US cutting hundreds of millions of dollars for Palestinians -- a move that could put "Israelis and Palestinians on a collision course for further conflict."

How the Top 5 US Arms Makers Fuel Global Conflict (Valerie Vande Panne / Common Dream)
Most Americans want peace -- in the world, in their country, and in their own homes and communities. So why is it then that so many Americans work for private, for-profit companies profiting from war? And why are so many Americans invested financially in the merchants of death profiting from war and manufactured terror around the globe?

Evo Morales To Marco Rubio: US is The Real Global Threat, Not Venezuela (teleSur)
Responding to Senator Marco Rubio's proposal to invade Venezuela because its government "has become a threat for the region and even for the US," Bolivian President Evo Morales declared: "Senator Marco Rubio, warns of using the Empire's army against the people of Venezuela because he assumes a 'threat' against the security of the US" and pointed out that is the US is the real threat to the world's people, citing "its history of interventionism and military coups d'etat in the world."

The Original 9/11: 45 Years After the US-backed Coup, the Words of Salvador Allende and Victor Jara Are Still With Us (Yves Engler / CounterPunch & President Salvador Allende & Victor Jara)
On September 16, 1973, the democratically elected president of Chile, Salvador Allende, was overthrown in a US-backed coup engineered by Henry Kissinger, "America's preeminent surviving war criminal." The US-installed dictator, General Augusto Pinochet instituted a bloody reign where tens of thousands were tortured, murdered and "disappeared" while hundreds of thousands were driven from the country. Allende committed suicide and folksinger Victor Jara was publicly tortured and executed by the junta.

Accessory to War: Neil Degrasse Tyson Defends the Military-Industrial Complex and Trump's Space Force Proposal (Marcelo Gleiser / National Public Radio & The Tonight Show & Joe Setyon / Reason)
The book's message rings like a wakeup call, even if an uncomfortable one for the pacifists out there. War makes the world go 'round. It heats up the economy, as governments flush private military industries with lucrative contracts. It heats up scientific research, as governmental. Knowledge flows both ways, from the university laboratory to the military and back. Everyone benefits from the unspoken alliance. The great fuel has been the Cold War and the consequent race to conquer space.

Epic Polynesian Canoe Voyage Arrives In San Francisco to Honor 'Island Earth' (KPIX TV & Diane Ako / KITV Island News)
After dodging two hurricanes along the way, a Polynesian voyaging canoe propelled solely by nature's power -- wind, waves, and sun -- arrived in San Francisco after completing a 23-day journey that began in the Hawaiian Islands. The native crew of 13 left Hawaii on August 18th and stayed on course for 2,8000 miles, using only their ancestors' ancient navigation techniques and arriving right on time for California's Global Climate Summit. They were met on shore by members of the indigenous Ohlone community.

Private Citizens Launch Initiative to Remove the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
Engineers set sail from San Francisco with a 2,000-foot-long floating boom designed to help clean Pacific Ocean pollution, specifically, the plastic litter floating in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch -- an island of trash twice the size of Texas. The system was conceived by Boyan Slat, a 24-year-old innovator who became passionate about cleaning the oceans at the age of 16 after he went scuba-diving in the Mediterranean and was shocked to encounter more plastic bags than fish.

Neil deGrasse Tyson and the Weakness of Science (David Swanson / David Swanson.org)
Commentary: "In a recent interview on National Pentagon Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson discussed the interactions between (1) the US military and (2) astrophysics. The former is an enterprise that I consider evil and Tyson seems to consider mildly worthy of discomfort but the necessary producer of the research for which he lives. The latter is a field of human endeavor that Tyson apparently considers supremely noble, and I consider absolutely inexcusable."

Military Recruiting inside the US: In Violation of UN Law on Rights of the Child (Pat Elder / Pat Elder for Congress & The Naval Sea Systems Command Warfare Centers)
As a candidate for Congress, I call on the US to join the clear majority of the nations in the world in setting 18 as the absolute minimum age for military recruitment. Currently, 10% of US recruits are 17 year-olds. The UN has put the US on notice regarding US failure to abide by the treaty. The complaints below were adopted by the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

The Demonization of Russia in a New Cold War Era (Mairead Maguire / AntiWar.com)
Commentary by Nobel Peace Prize-winner Mired Maguire: "All armies must have an enemy to deem them necessary. An enemy must be created, and the people must be convinced that there is need for action to safeguard the freedom of their country. We must ask the question: Is this leading to more arms, a bigger NATO? Missile compounds are being erected in Romania, Poland and other ex-Soviet countries, while military games are set up in Scandinavia close to the Russian border."

Americans Would Limit Aid to Nuclear Israel (Grant Smith / AntiWar.com )
Most Americans would place limitations on US aid to Israel under laws triggered by its nuclear weapons program. When told the CIA believed Israel has nuclear weapons, 54.8% of Americans agreed that Arms Export Control Act limitations to the non-signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) should apply. According to formerly top-secret and secret Central Intelligence Agency files, the US secretly conspired in the 1960s to divert weapons-grade uranium from a Pennsylvania-based government contractor into Israel's nuclear weapons program.

A Yom Kippur Prayer For Our Sins as Individuals and As a Society (Rabbi Michael Lerner / Tikkun)
The Tikkun community invites you to share this with your friends -- of all religions and none -- as an example of what a religious spiritual practice might contribute to the tikkun-ing (the "healing and transformation") of our world. If you happen to be going to a Kol Nidre and/or Yom Kippur service, bring this with you, feel free to make copies and distribute to the people with whom you pray.

Kofi Annan, the Last UN Secretary-General Who Paid for His Independence (Roberto Savio / Independent Press Service)
This testimony to Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General, comes a month after his death. Much has already been written, and it is now superfluous to recall his efforts for peace and international cooperation. It is better to place his figure in a crucial context: how the great powers progressively reduced the figure of the UN Secretary-General and charged a high price from those who tried to keep the system's independence.

As Trump Commits to Endless War, Corporate Media Obsess Over Anonymous Op-Ed (Reed Richardson / Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting)
Trump has effectively endorsed endless US war in Syria but almost no one in the press noticed. On September 9, 2018, Fox News was one of a minority of news outlets that reposted the Associated Press report on the White House announcement that US troops would continue to be occupying Syria for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, Meet the Press -- like most of the corporate mass-media -- devoted the most time on all the Sunday news shows to obsess over the parlor game of "Who-wrote-the-op-ed?"

Raytheon, Lockheed and General Dynamics: Complicit in Yemen War Crimes (Marcelo Guadiana / AntiWar.com & Alex Ward / VOX)
For more than three years, Raytheon, a major US defense contractor, has been aiding and abetting war crimes in Yemen, manufacturing the world's worst humanitarian crises and profiting upon the bodies of Yemeni children torn apart by their bombs. Largely hidden from the public, billions of dollars have been made by American arms manufactures in the US backed war in Yemen. Also involved in making the bomb that killed 44 schoolchildren on a bus in Yemen -- Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics.

US-backed Saudi Warplanes Attack Yemen Bus Station: 20 Civilians Killed (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Leith Aboufadel / Al Masdar News)
US lawmakers' patience with the Saudi coalition is wearing thin as the civilian death toll increases. Outrage increased last month after the coalition struck a school bus and killed 40 children, prompting major Congressional moves to limit involvement in the war. But Secretary of State Pompeo has overruled Congress, certifying Washington's continued refueling of coalition aircraft in the Yemen civil war.

Fighting Threatens Millions of Civilians: Yemenis Forced to Eat Leaves to Survive (Ahmed Al-Haj / Associated Press & Maggie Michael| / The Daily Star)
A recent bout of fighting between Yemeni government forces backed by a Saudi-led coalition and Shiite rebels around the Red Sea port city of Hodeida could jeopardize shipments of 46,000 tons of wheat expected to arrive within the next ten days. Humanitarian workers, infrastructure and food supplies have been targeted in recent days. The fighting could impact World Food Program's ability to supply up to 3.5 million people in dire need.

ACTION ALERT: Time to Repeal the Unconstitutional War Powers Act (The Office of Hon. Barbara Lee / US House of Representatives)
Under the US Constitution, only Congress -- not the president -- can declare a state of war. On September 14, 17 years ago, Rep. Barbara Lee stood alone on the US House floor just days after the 9/11 tragedy and dissented against the Authorization of Use of Military Force (AUMF) -- a resolution that has indefinitely allowed any sitting US president to wage war at any time, in any place, for any reason. Since 2001, US presidents have used the AUMF more than 37 times to use military force in at least 14 countries.

Latin America's Second World War (David Swanson / David Swanson.org & World BEYOND War)
Mary Jo McConahay's "The Tango War" is an engaging, extensive, well-researched, well-written account of a topic that still manages to offend me. World War II is sacred history in the United States, the ultimate clash of pure good and evil, the fundamental origin myth of the military industrial complex. It is the top subject of books, films, and shows. Finding a novel angle on World War II that has not yet been exhaustively covered is, at this point, a significant feat. Finding a whole continent is a major victory.

From Peace to Armageddon: The Israel-Palestine Nightmare (Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & Sandy Tolan / TomDispatch)
With the endless march of settlements, Israel's continued impunity, a fractured Palestine divided between the West Bank and Gaza, and a Trump administration empowering people who believe Armageddon is near, a solution to the Israel-Palestine nightmare may seem impossible. But maybe a just peace is coming sooner than you think. After all, who predicted the fall of the Berlin Wall or the end of apartheid in South Africa?

US Support for the Bombing of Yemen To Continue, For Now (Kevin Martin / AntiWar.com & Jonathan Landay / Reuters)
The humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen is considered the world's worst at this moment, with well over 10,000 people having been killed (an estimated 20 percent are children) and 15 million of the total Yemeni population of 23 million considered "food insecure." Earlier this year, the US Senate filed to stop US in-air refueling of Saudi jets and other logistical, intelligence and targeting support that allows the continued bombing of civilians in Yemen -- killing schoolchildren with bombs made by US-based Lockheed.

Raytheon's War Crimes in Yemen (Marcelo Guadiana / AntiWar.com)
Largely hidden from the public, billions of dollars have been made by American arms manufactures in the US backed war in Yemen. For more than three years, Raytheon, a major US defense contractor, has been aiding and abetting war crimes in Yemen, manufacturing the world's worst humanitarian crises and profiting upon the bodies of Yemeni children torn apart by their bombs.

John Bolton vs. the International Criminal Court (Thomas Knapp / AntiWar.com & Juan Cole / Informed Comment)
In a September 10 speech, National Security Advisor John Bolton offered "a major announcement on US policy toward the International Criminal Court." Bolton declared the ICC "fundamentally illegitimate" and threatened sanctions against the court and those who cooperate with it in investigating war crimes involving the US or Israel. Bolton finds it unconscionable that anUS soldier, sailor, airman, Marine, or politician might be accused of crimes committed in Afghanistan and be tried in an Afghan court.

ACTION ALERT: Betsy DeVos Plans to Let Schools Buy Guns With Federal Funds (Madhuri Sathish / Bustle & Equality PAC & We Are Progressives.org)
In the months after a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, killed 17 people, conservatives and gun rights advocates suggested that teachers should be allowed to keep firearms in their classrooms. School district leaders in Parkland ultimately voted against arming teachers, but in a letter issued on Friday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said she will allow schools to buy guns using federal grants.

Washington Quietly Increases Lethal Weapons to Ukraine (Ted Galen Carpenter / The American Conservative)
US Secretary of Defense James Mattis acknowledges that US instructors are training Ukrainian military units at a base in western Ukraine. Washington also has approved two arms sales to Kiev's ground forces in the past nine months. The first $41.5 million transaction in December 2017 was limited to small arms -- including the Model M107A1 Sniper Systems, ammunition, and associated parts and accessories. A transaction in April 2018 was more serious and included 210 Javelin anti-tank missiles.

How Do Weapons Makers Sleep At Night? (David Swanson / David Swanson.org & Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies / CODEPINK)
A new report by Medea Benjamin and Nicolas Davies focuses on the five largest US arms manufacturers -- Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics -- and their dealings with three repressive nations: Saudi Arabia, Israel and Egypt, all of which have used US-made weapons from the companies listed above to kill, injure, and traumatize huge numbers of innocent people, committing war crimes both in their own countries and in countries beyond their borders.

The US Has Spent $1.5 Trillion On War Since September 11 Attacks (Amanda Macias / CNBC & Nabih Bulos / The Los Angeles Times)
US wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria have cost taxpayers more than $1.5 trillion since Sept. 11, 2001. US military operations -- for Operation Freedom's Sentinel (Afghanistan), Operation Inherent Resolve (Syria and Iraq), and Operation Noble Eagle {for homeland security in the US and Canada) -- account for $185.5 billion of that. Currently there are around 14,000 Americans in Afghanistan and 70,000 US Special Operations forces have been deployed to 133 nations on missions Americans are not allowed to know about.

I Remember: A Remembrance of 9/11 (Mark Dunlea / MarkDunlea.org)
Commentary: I remember that many of us said "Do not treat our cries of grief as a cry for war. Seek justice. Treat it as a criminal act. Use it to build peace, not war."

ACTION ALERT: US Troops Out of Afghanistan (CODEPINK & World BEYOND War)
The US war in Afghanistan is well into its 17th year. The US military now has approximately 8,000 US troops in Afghanistan, plus 6,000 other NATO troops, 1,000 mercenaries, and another 26,000 contractors (of whom about 8,000 are from the US). That's 41,000 people engaged in a foreign occupation of a country. The US is spending $4 million an hour on planes, drones, bombs, guns, while Afghanistan continues its descent into poverty, violence, environmental degradation, and instability. It's time to stop.

The Human Costs of the Afghanistan War (Samira Abrar / CODEPINK & Dr. Hakim / CODEPINK)
Commentary: War has had a terrible impact on children in Afghanistan. After almost two decades of United States development efforts, with the hopes of helping the war-weary country take a path to stability and self-reliance, little has changed on the ground for children growing up today in Afghanistan. They are not safer. They do not have more rights. And they have never known peace.

Leave Syria the Hell Alone (David Swanson / David Swanson.org & World BEYOND War)
Commentary: Last weekend I was on Iranian TV being asked about the meeting in Tehran at which the presidents of Iran and Russia had refused to agree with the President of Turkey to stop bombing people in Syria. I said Iran and Russia were wrong. I also said that nobody involved, least of all the United States, was right. Here's my 5-step plan for Syria. Step 1: "Get the bloody hell out and stay out."

The Trump "Thugocracy" Takes Aim at International Criminal Court, PLO (Steve Holland / Reuters)
The Trump administration on Monday threatened tough action against the International Criminal Court should it try to prosecute Americans for alleged war crimes in Afghanistan and said the PLO's office in Washington would be closed for seeking to punish Israel through the court. The planned PLO closure is yet another pressure tactic by a Trump administration that has slashed funding to a UN agency for Palestinian refugees and to hospitals in East Jerusalem, which Palestinians want as capital of a future state.

The Importance of Remembering World War 1 (Harry Blain / AntiWar.com & Robert M. La Follette)
The First World War -- known as the "Great War" in Europe -- has largely faded from memory on this side of the Atlantic. Arguably, this is because our involvement was so brief -- joining the slaughter over two years after it began and leaving it just over eighteen months later. But, beyond the fact that it claimed the lives of over 100,000 Americans, there are good reasons why, a century later, we should remember this chapter in our history, not least because it has ominous parallels with today.

After Seventeen Years -- and $1.5 Trillion -- Al Qaeda May Be Stronger than Ever (Amanda Macias / CNBC & Nabih Bulos / The Los Angeles Times)
he collective wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria have cost US taxpayers more than $1.5 trillion since Sept. 11, 2001, according to a Defense Department report. Currently there are approximately 14,000 Americans in Afghanistan. In the days after Sept. 11, 2001, President George W. Bush vowed to "starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest." Seventeen years later, Al Qaeda may be stronger than ever -- thanks to US policies in the Mideast.

Trump vs. World Law: Accused of Committing War Crimes, the US Threatens the International Criminal Court (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & David Swanson / World BEYOND War)
As the International Criminal Court (ICC) moves to investigate US war crimes committed during the 17-year long war in Afghanistan, the Trump Administration is moving to position itself in direct opposition not just to the investigations, but the court itself. The US has long resisted ICC oversight of its myriad war crimes and misdeeds, and has long insisted that Americans are immune from ICC prosecution.

Is Donald Trump Encouraging Climate Change to Promote Fascism and Genocide? (Matthew Barad / Keep Colorado Green & Tim Hollo / At the Well & Gaby Galvin / US News and World Report)
Commentary: While the wealthy remain safe in their bunkers, while the nationalists hide behind their borders, the rest of humanity will be left to starve, wither, drown, and burn. This is the world of Donald Trump. This is the future of Climate Fascism.

ACTION ALERT: Idlib Is on the Brink of a Humanitarian Catastrophe (Amy Goodman and Rania Abouzeid / Democracy Now! & Hon. Tulsi Gabbard / US House of Representatives)
The leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey met in Tehran on September 8 as the Syrian military threatened a massive invasion of the rebel-held city of Idlib. The UN is warning that an assault on Idlib could lead to a humanitarian catastrophe. Syria already has experienced about half a million dead. Half of the country of 23 million people has been displaced. And while these numbers are massive, every number is a person who was part of a family, who was part of a community. And that is the tragedy of Syria.

Pentagon Misleads American Public on the Afghan War (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Rod Nordland, As Ngu and Fähig Abed / The New York Times)
Seventeen years into the war in Afghanistan, the Pentagon has gone through several periods of trying to sell the American public on the idea that the war isn't a disastrous failure. This is increasingly difficult, because the war is going really badly.

US Again Threatens to Strike Syria: US Politician Says UK Preparing a Chemical Attack to Be Blaimed on Syria (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Phil Stewart / Reuters & Laura Vozzella / The Independent)
US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joe Dunford reports that he has been in discussions with the White House about military options for attacking Syria if they ignore US threats to attack if Syria uses chemical weapons. Meanwhile, Virginia state senator Richard Black, in an MI6 service is planning to stage a chemical weapons attack in Syria, which it would then blame on President Bashar al-Assad as a pretext to strike Syria -- as it has done before.

Trump Forces Caught Plotting Overthrow of Venezuelan Government (Ernesto Londono and Nicholas Casey / The New York Times)
The Trump administration held secret meetings with Venezuelan military officers to discuss plans to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro. Establishing a clandestine channel with coup plotters in Venezuela was a big gamble. Many in the region still deeply resent the United States for backing previous rebellions, coups and plots in countries like Cuba, Nicaragua, Brazil and Chile, and for turning a blind eye to the civil and human rights abuses that followed the installation of US-friendly rightwing military regimes.

ACTION ALERT: Rise for Climate, Jobs & Justice. Marches Erupt in 95 Countries around the World (Rise for Climate.org & Oliver Milman / The Guardian)
Rise for Climate, Jobs & Justice is taking off all over the world -- in more than 900 locations in 95 countries! We've seen massive events and actions from Uganda to Paris, across the country and now in San Francisco, where the official count was 30,000. We'll have another end of day recap later today so look out for that. But here's what we got form the middle of the march here in SF!

America's Overblown Fear of Terrorism (Daniel R. DePetris / The National Interest)
While nobody likes to read about 20-30,000 ISIS members bunkering down in Iraq and Syria or Al Qaeda exploiting proxy conflicts in the region to deepen their foothold, nobody should lose sleep about it either. An American is more likely to die drowning in a bathtub than being killed in a suicide bombing. Only 100 people on American soil have been killed in acts of terrorism over the last 16 years (nearly half of which resulted from a single lone-wolf 2016 mass shooting at a Florida nightclub.

Nearly 90 Elephants Found Dead Near Botswana Sanctuary, Killed by Poachers (Emily Sullivan / NPR)
The carcasses of 87 elephants have been discovered near a Botswana protected sanctuary, killed and stripped for their tusks. The elephants were discovered by Elephants Without Borders, a conservation nonprofit. The organization said they "discovered the alarming rate while flying the Botswana government aerial [elephant] census."

Ecuador Ordered To Pay Exxon for Oil Spill Aftermath (teleSUR)
Ecuador will be forced to pay economic reparations to the oil giant. The over 30,000 affected people in the Amazon haven't received any compensation. The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague has ruled in favor of oil giant Chevron and declared Ecuador guilty of violating a bilateral investment treaty signed with the United States in 1997, of withholding justice from the company, and for not providing Chevron with "just and equitable" treatment.

Trump Toys with Dictatorship as a Solution to Political Opposition (Ryan Koronowski / ThinkProgress)
In another troubling turn toward an authoritarian dictatorship, Donald Trump has declared that more should be done to ban protesters and obstruct authors of books critical of him. Trump's attack on the First Amendment didn't end with his call to curtail protesters' free speech rights. Trump also called for DC to "change libel laws" -- presumably in reaction to a forthcoming tell-all book by journalist Bob Woodward -- and has called on the Justice Department to arrest the author of a critical New York Times op-ed.

Keystone Pipeline Protesters Fear Federal Surveillance and Crackdowns (Phil McKenna / Inside Climate News & Nicholas Kusnetz / Inside Climate News)
The US Army Corps of Engineers is defending its claim that the Dakota Access pipeline will have no significant environmental impact, but it issued only a brief summary of its court-ordered reassessment while refusing to release crucial details about potential oil spills. With the Keystone XL pipeline expected to draw protests from indigenous and environmental activists the ACLU is worried that federal law enforcement agencies may be planning a massive surveillance and a militarized crackdown on protesters.

Why Defending Indigenous Rights Is Integral to Fighting Climate Change (Jade Begay and Ayse Gursoz / Independent Media Institute and Rainforest Action Network)
Even as the Trump regime rolls back regulations meant to protect Americans from pollution, the EPA has released a report that finds that people of color are much more likely to breathe toxic air than their white counterparts. Indigenous and politically marginalized communities are hardest hit by the climate crisis -- even though they are the least responsible for causing it. From Standing Rock to the pipeline fights across the US and Canada, Indigenous peoples are leading the resistance to fossil fuels.

Protecting Half the Earth (Shreya Dasgupta / Mongabay)
How much of the Earth should we protect to save species from going extinct? Some conservationists have suggested an ambitious number: half of the planet. Prominent biologist Edward O. Wilson, for instance, proposes devoting half the world to nature would help save the majority of species. But what half do we protect? According to a new study, achieving this figure simply by creating large protected areas isn't going to save much biodiversity. We need to protect the right areas -- places that. have species in them

Trump Commits US to 'Indefinite' Military Presence in Syria (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)
According to State Department officials, President Trump has recently abandoned his desire to "get out" of Syria and bring US troops home. He has signed a new strategy, which includes new military goals, and eliminates all timelines for removing troops from Syria.Meanwhile, new reports on Israel's arming and funding of Syrian rebel groups reveals that no less than 12 rebel factions, all in southern Syria, were on the receiving end of Israeli aid.

US Resists as North Korea Presses for Nuke-free Peace (AntiWar.com & Reuters & Associated Press)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his commitment to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and suspension of future long-range missile tests, while expressing faith in Donald Trump's increasingly embattled efforts to settle a nuclear impasse. Kim reportedly expressed frustration with skepticism about his nuclear disarmament intentions and demanded that his "goodwill measures" be met in kind.

Trump Isn't Winning in Afghanistan He's Repeating the Mistakes of Bush and Obama (Bonnie Kristian / Reason)
The Trump administration is optimistic about Afghanistan. Since Trump introduced his plan a year ago -- putting more US boots on the ground and committing to our fifth round of re-entrenchment in America's longest war -- the conflict has been punctuated by a key milestone -- its first ceasefire since 2001. But the Pentagon's overall assessments of Afghanistan are bleak. In recent months have seen the "Taliban maintain their grip on much of the country, and the civilian death toll has reached a record high."

Growing Calls for US to Stop Fueling Saudi Atrocities in Yemen (Jake Johnson / Common Dreams & Jon Queally / Common Dreams & ulia Conley / Common Dreams & Daniel Larison / The American Conservative)
After the US-backed Saudi-led coalition issued a statement on Saturday calling its deadly bombing of a Yemeni school bus "unjustified" and claiming it was the result of mere "mistakes," human rights groups and progressive lawmakers ramped up calls for the US to immediately halt all arms sales to Saudi Arabia, which has been viciously bombing Yemen for years. Meanwhile, munitions experts confirmed that a Lockheed Martin-produced bomb was behind the deaths the children in the bus attack.

US Prepares for Massive New Military Provocations along Russian Border (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Shawn Snow / Marine Corps Times)
In the latest of a series of major NATO wargames aimed at Russia, US Marines are in Sweden to gear up for an amphibious wargame across Sweden and Norway. Described as NATO's largest military exercise in over a decade, it will involve 40,000 NATO troops and dozens of warships. Moscow has objected that this latest in series of NATO "war-games" is an act of war, adding: "This demonstration of military potential will unfold in the immediate proximity to Russian borders and has a clear anti-Russian nature."

'Mad Scientist' at Air Force Academy Uses Butterfly Wings to Find Chemical Weapons (Tom Roeder / The Colorado Springs Gazette )
The Air Force Academy has always had the perfect backdrop for mad scientists. Lasers, wind tunnels and bubbling chemistry labs are all part of the scenery at the academy, nationally renowned for its science and engineering programs. Now the school also might have the perfect character for that set: Lt. Col. Joshua Kittle. He pulls the wings off butterflies to detect chemical weapons.

Capitalism to the Rescue: Profiting Off PTSD (Jasper Craven and Suzanne Gordon / Reveal @ The Center for Investigative Journalism)
Every day in America, roughly 20 former service members die by suicide. A lot of these deaths are attributable to a lack of appropriate treatments for PTSD. With this crisis in mind, private companies are racing to develop solutions -- financed by federal grants. Yet many of the proposed cures are unproven and questionable. Multiple studies of alternative PTSD treatments rely on self-reported results, as opposed to what's called the "clinician-administered" PTSD scale, the gold standard.

Why Is ExxonMobil Still Funding Climate Science Denier Groups? (Elliot Negin / Union of Concerned Scientists)
A decade after pledging to end its support for climate science deniers, ExxonMobil gave $1.5 million last year to 11 think tanks and lobby groups that reject established climate science and openly oppose the oil and gas giant's professed climate policy preferences. Until ExxonMobil stops funding these groups, its avowed support for a carbon tax, the Paris Climate Agreement and other climate initiatives can't be seen as anything more than a cynical PR ploy.

ACTION ALERT: Spain Cancels Arms Sale to Saudi Arabia Amid Yemen Concerns (Fritz Parra / Associated Press & Amy Frame / Win Without War)
On September 4, Spain cancelled the sale of 400 laser-guided bombs to Saudi Arabia amid fears that the weapons could be used in the Riyadh-led coalition fighting the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels in Yemen. The deal was originally signed in 2015 under a conservative government. The new Spanish center-left administration plans to return the 9.2 million euros (10.6 million dollars) already paid by the Saudis. The US should follow Spain's example and cancel further arms sales to the Saudis.

US-backed Saudi-UAE Coalition Admits Yemen School Bus Attack 'Unjustified' (Al Jazeera)
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have admitted that the bombing of a school bus in Yemen -- which killed 51 people, including 40 children -- was "unjustified." On the day of the attack, a coalition spokesperson insisted the air raid hit a "legitimate military target" that included "operators and planners." Saudi investigators now promise that those behind the mass-slaughter should be held accountable. Lockheed (which made the bomb) and the US (which provided it) also should be held accountable.

Dublin Conference Seeks to Close Hundreds of US Military Bases Around the World (David Swanson / David Swanson.org)
The US spends about five times what China does on its military. These costs include maintaining a global garrison that reaches almost every country on Earth, including 800 -1,000 major military bases outside the US. The bases typically evict the local residents and anger neighboring communities generating noise, pollution, and crime -- including physical and sexual violence. On November 16-18 Dublin Ireland will be the site of a conference to discuss efforts to close down US and NATO military bases worldwide.

War on Democracy: For Manafort, US Election Hacking Was an Inside Job (Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman / Reader Supported News)
Donald Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort worked with the GOP operatives who stole Ohio's 2004 presidential election (while working to install the Kremlin's chosen leader in Ukraine). At 11:14 p.m. on election night, as John Kerry led by 4.2 percent, the vote count mysteriously went dark. When it came back online, Kerry's lead had flipped into a 2.5 percent Bush victory. The statistical impossibility, involving a shift of 300,000 ballots, gave Bush the 20 electoral votes needed for re-election.

The Pentagon's "Forever War" in Afghanistan: The Limits of American Courage (Maj. Danny Sjursen / AntiWar.com & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)
Commentary: "I watched incredibly brave and dedicated officers and men battle the Taliban at the peak of American strength in Afghanistan in 2011. Courage wasn't enough then. It isn't now. Afghanistan will never be what we'd hoped for in 2001 -- a model democracy birthed in America's image. The inconvenient question is this: how many more Americans will die before we accept that truth?"

Future of Diego Garcia: Hearings of the Chagos Case Against the UK (Lindsey Collen / LALIT & Talk Nation Radio & Roland Oliphant / The Telegraph & Larry Luxner / The Washington Diplomat & Harriet Alexander / The Telegraph)
The Diego Garcia (Chagos) case against Britain is coming up at the International Court of Justice (IJC) at the Hague on September 3-6. It is quite exciting that some light is finally being shed on this British-US land-grab of 1965 -- which lead to the expulsion of the local populations and the creation of a massive US military base. Hearings will be streamed live and on demand in English and French on the ICJ site as well as on UN Web TV, the official UN site.

Lockheed's F-35 Boondoggle: A $1.7 Trillion Tale of Corruption, Coverup and Collusion (Gina Harkins / DODBuzz @ Military.com & Dan Grazier / Project on Government Oversight)
Desperate to keep the program on schedule, the Pentagon is downplaying F-35 Joint Strike Fighter flaws that could risk pilots' lives. The F-35s the Pentagon has purchased (and continuities to buy) have hundreds of design flaws. The GAO estimates the DoD will end up spending another $1.4 billion (at least) to correct these flaws. Lockheed holds an exclusive contract to maintain the flawed fleet. With 2,443 F-35s, US taxpayers can expect to be paying Lockheed $12.2 billion a year to keep the aircraft flying.

How Repairing a Single F-22 Took Six Years and 11,000 Replacement Parts (Oriana Pawlyk / Military.com)
One of the Air Force's oldest F-22 is set to resume flying again after six years of costly repairs. Boeing, Lockheed and the Air Force worked 27 months to overhaul the plane to get it back into flying status. This required 25,000 man-hours of labor and almost 11,000 individual fixes or parts. Air Force officials did not disclose the total cost to repair the aircraft. Unit cost for a single F-22 was around $150 million in 2009 but some estimates put the per-plane cost at closer to $250 million in current-day dollars. ","

ACTION ALERT: Social and Ecological Imperatives of War Abolition & WBW's 2018 #NoWar Conference: Sept. 21-22 (Greta Zarro / World BEYOND War )
World BEYOND War is a decentralized, global grassroots network of volunteers, activists, and allied organizations advocating for the abolition of the very institution of war and its replacement with a culture of peace. Our work follows a two-pronged approach of peace education and nonviolent direct action organizing campaigns. More than 75,000 people from 173 countries have signed our declaration of peace, pledging to work nonviolently for a world beyond war. Join us in Toronto on September 21-22.

ACTION ALERT: Preventing Nuclear War: A Campaign Emerges (Robert Dodge / AntiWar.com & Prevent Nuclear War)
A national collaborative grassroots coalition to abolish nuclear weapons is rapidly emerging in this country. The effort called "Back from the Brink: A Call to Prevent Nuclear War" was started last fall after the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted by 122 nations -- with the US and other nuclear nations boycotting. This Call was crafted by dozens of organizations including Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Soka Gakkai International.

New Bill Offers Aid to Vets Injured During 1966 Clean-up of Nuclear Bomb Accident (Leo Shane III / Military Times & Dave Collins / The Associated Press)
Veterans exposed to radioactive debris more than five decades ago haven't made much progress in the courts to have their illnesses recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs, so now they're hoping Congress can intervene. A bill sponsored by Sen. Richard Blumenthal would force VA to offer care to vets involved the 1966 cleanup of a calamitous nuclear-bomb accident in Palomares, Spain,that may have exposed more than 1,600 American service members to deadly levels of radiation.

US Drone Policy Goes from Bad to Worse: The Stimson Center Report for 2018 (Laurie Calhoun / The Libertarian Institute)
Every two years, the Stimson Center Task Force on US Drone Policy issues recommendations to Washington on the use of weaponized unmanned aerial vehicles -- i.e. "drones." The drone program rests on the premeditated, intentional, extrajudicial assassination of persons (usually Muslim males) suspected of possibly plotting possible future terrorist attacks -- or simply being potentially capable of doing so. Now Trump is rolling back the few existing "restraints" on the use of "assassination drones."

War and Nature: SEJ 17th Annual Awards for Reporting on the Environment (Society of Environmental Journalists)
Pro Publica's series "Bombs In Our Backyards" did exactly what it set out to do, to expose the menace lurking in the nation's neighbourhoods -- the US military, which ironically, is charged with defending the nation. In a sweeping series, journalist Abrahm Lustgarten revealed the military as the biggest polluter not only in the United States, but surely on the planet.

"Defence Scientists" Gather in Montreal to Research Fighting in Urban Areas (David Pugliese / Ottawa Citizen)
Defence scientists from a number of countries will be in Montreal in mid-September to participate in an experiment to look at new technologies for fighting and conducting operations in cities. The Contested Urban Environment 2018 experiment will take place from September 10-21 and will involve participants from Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the US. The goal? To improve the ability of soldiers to conduct military operations in "complex urban environments."

California Passes Trio of Gun Control Bills (Amanda Michelle Gomez / ThinkProgress)
California could soon join nine other states that have enacted strict bans on firearms for domestic abusers. The Democratic-controlled legislature sent the domestic violence bill, as well as two other measures -- a lifetime ban on people placed on involuntary psychiatric holds twice in one year and new standard for residents to obtain a concealed weapon permit (eight hours of training and pass a live-fire shooting test) -- to Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) desk for consideration.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Trump to Pardon Reality Winner (RootsAction & Trevor Timm / The Intercept)
On June 3, 2017, NSA contractor Reality Leigh Winner was charged under the Espionage Act for allegedly leaking a top-secret document with information about alleged Russian intrusions into a US election. Winner has now been sentenced to five years in prison, the longest federal sentence ever given for leaking information to the press. Reality Winner took a principled stand on behalf of truth and transparency. Justice has not been served in this case.

NATO and the Myth of the Liberal International Order (Tony Wood / The New York Review of Books)
In the run-up to July's NATO summit in Brussels, Donald Trump prompted a flurry of concern within the US liberal establishment by voicing doubts about NATO's continuing usefulness. Behind Trump's bullying and bluster, though, the core message he delivered in Brussels was not that different from those given by previous administrations. Indeed, the same kvetches have recurred under every US government, Democrat and Republican alike, since the end of World War II.

Study: US Police Militarization Leads to More Violence, Targets Black People
A new study of more than 9,000 US law enforcement agencies has revealed that militarizing police units has a reverse effect on communities, triggering higher levels of violence, distrust towards law enforcement, and discrimination. Unlike local police officers, SWAT teams receive advanced combat training and therefore have a higher commitment to both military equipment and training.

The Death of Sgt. Van Dale Todd (Daniel Borgstrom / Daniel Borgstrom.Blogspot.com)
Van had once believed in the Vietnam War, and he was a guy who'd fight for what he believed in. He'd enlisted in the Army, volunteered for the paratroopers, and asked to be assigned to Vietnam. He spent seventeen months in combat with the 101st Airborne in 1969 and 1970. After returning from Vietnam, however, he had a complete change of heart, and joined Vietnam Veterans Against the War and took part in peace marches.

The Fallacy of Calling McCain -- or Anyone Else -- a War Hero (Daniel Borgstrom / Dissident Voice)
Commentary: A Marine Corps veteran asks: What is it that might qualify someone as a "hero"? "Unlike so many warmongering chickenhawks -- such as Karl Rove, Paul Wolfowitz, Robert Kagan and most other neocons – John McCain did actually serve in the military. But the same could be said for nearly all top Nazis -- including Hitler and Goering. They fought in a war and they loved war. They were destructive persons who learned nothing positive from their military experience."

US Bombs Are Killing Children in Yemen. Does Anybody Care? (Moustafa Bayoumi / The Guardian)
This is not a column about Donald Trump, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen or Robert Mueller. On the contrary, this is a column about the things we are not paying attention to -- and why we should. On 9 August, the US-backed Saudi-led coalition dropped a bomb on a school bus and killed 44 children. Two weeks later, Saudi-led coalition airstrikes killed yet another 26 children and four women. Under US law (the Arms Export Control Act), future US arms sales to the Saudis should be halted.

Standoff over Syria: US and Russia Trade Chemical Weapons Warnings (Bloomberg & Japan Times)
The US and Russia exchanged warnings about a possible chemical attack in Syria and a Western military intervention in response, on the eve of what may be one of the decisive campaigns in the Middle Eastern country's civil war. Tensions between the nuclear powers flared after National Security Adviser John Bolton told his Russian counterpart that the US is making preparations to attack Syria if it believes President Assad attempts to use chemical weapons in the battle recapture the province of Idlib. The US is ready to respond forcefully, Bolton said during a five-hour meeting in Geneva on Thursday, according to four people familiar with the discussions.

What John Bolton Needs to Understand about Russia and History (Juan / The Saker)
Commentary: One would hope that someone of Bolton's long service would have developed a sense of who is doing what, with which and to whom, but it is apparent that his distinguished service in the Maryland National Guard from 1970-1976 (he managed to stay out of Vietnam during those turbulent times) did little to educate him in regards to the current, and perhaps past, world. Perhaps Mr. Bolton needs a little education in regards to recent, and not so recent, history concerning Russia and USA.

Leaked Document Reveals: Putin Lobbied Trump on Arms Control (Bryan Bender / Politico)
According to a Russian document obtained by Politico, during their Helsinki meeting, Vladimir Putin invited Donald Trump to join in discussions to control nuclear arms and prohibit weapons in space. Widespread agreement exists that the US should seize the opportunity to promote the Cold War legacy of arms treaties with Russia. But the Center for Security Policy -- a conservative group headed by Frank Gaffney, an ally of Trump national security adviser John Bolton -- calls Putin's offer in Helsinki "a trap."

Wildfires Exploding WWII Bombs (James Hetherington / Newsweek & George Winston / War History Online & Adam Higginbotham / The Smithsonian Magazine)
Record heat waves and widespread droughts have left their scars this summer -- from massive wildfires across Siberia to devastating blazes in Greece that left more than 85 people dead. In Germany, firefighters are now encountering a new challenge: WWII-era ammunition being set off by the flames. More than 70 years after being dropped in Europe, the ordnance is still inflicting harm and mayhem.

Space: The Next Battlefield? (Alice Slater / The Hill & Stephanie Nebehay / Reuters & Mia Gandenberger / Reaching Critical Will & Lawrence J. Korb / The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists & Tom Z. Collina and Zack Brown / DefenseOne)
The Trump administration has called for the creation of a new military command, the US Space Force, emphasizing President Donald Trump's urging that "It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space: we must have American dominance in space." The rationale for militarizing the heavens is that Russia and China "have been working to bring new weapons of war into space itself." In fact, Russia and China have been arguing for years for a UN treaty to prevent stationing weapons in outer space.

Ending the US-Saudi War on Yemen: Trump Ignores Civilian Casualties (David Swanson and Shireen Al-Adeimi / Talk Nation Radio)
With little public attention, Donald Trump used his August 13 signing statement for the $716 billion National Defense Authorization Act to override restrictions aimed at minimizing civilian deaths in the US-Saudi war on Yemen. The move came days after the Saudi-led coalition struck a school bus in Yemen with a US-made bomb, killing 54 people, 44 of them children. After three years and tens of thousands killed, Trump has no intention of curbing its role in the bloody war it inherited from Obama.

US Stepping Up Armed Drone Operations in Niger (Ibrahim Ahmed / VOA News & VICE News)
The US Air Force is months away from completing the construction of an air base in Niger for armed drones that will target militant groups operating in the region. To date, the Air Force has spent approximately $86.5 million on the construction project at Nigerien Air Base 201. The total estimated construction cost, including FY19 planned projects, is $98.5million. Critics warn: "This trend raises some concerns about foreign powers taking roots in the Sahel to pursue national interests that are not always clear."

UN Accuses Saudi-UAE-US Alliance of Possible War Crimes in Yemen (Alan Fisher /Al Jazeera)
The United Nations has accused the Saudi-UAE military alliance of committing possible war crimes in Yemen, adding there was "little evidence of any attempt . . . to minimise civilian casualties." In a damning report on Tuesday, the UN said air attacks had caused the most direct civilian casualties in the war, and a blockade of Yemeni ports and airspace may have violated international humanitarian law. Fragments of a US-made MK-82 bomb were found near a school bus that was bombed earlier this month.

The Yemen Bus Massacre Is Lockheed's Crime (Ahmad Algohbary and Faisal Edroos / Al Jazeera & Nima Elbagir, Salma Abdelaziz, Ryan Browne, Barbara Arvanitidis and Laura Smith-Spark / CNN)
Eyewitness reports: "A video taken by one of the boys on the bus, Osama al-Hamran, showed the children excited for the day ahead. In one clip, the children recited verses from the Quran. In another, they were smiling and giggling. After stops at a graveyard for local fighters and a nearby shrine, the bus was supposed to take its young passengers to Saada city for a visit to the ninth-century al-Hadi mosque, a historical site which is venerated by Yemen's Houthi rebels. But the children never made it."

GOP Rejects Call to Curb US Funding for Killing Children in Yemen (Jon Queally / Common Dreams & The Humanist Report)
Less than a day after Senate Republicans rejected a chance "to slam on the brakes and stop [America's] role in enabling the suffering in Yemen," at least 26 more children were slaughtered by a US-backed Saudi-led bombing in the country. Condemning the bombing the UN's humanitarian chief and head of the UN Children's Fund said the attack -- in which four women, in addition to the children, were killed -- took place as the victims tried to flee the area. Humanitarian groups have also aimed criticism at the US.

Trump Warns Google: Criticism of his Statements and Actions "Will Be Addressed" (Daniel Howley / Yahoo Finance & Gar Smith / The Berkeley Daily Planet & EAW)
In an early-morning tweet, Donald Trump claimed that Google News only shows news from the "National Left-Wing Media;" suggested that doing so might be illegal; alleged that Google and others" are "suppressing voices of Conservatives" and asserted that the situation "will be addressed." Meanwhile, a White House survey/fund-raising pitch raises concerns about Oval Office bias and questions about campaign fund-raising practices.

Russia Warns: US Preparing "False Flag" Chemical Attack as Pretext to Attack Syria (RT News & Tyler Durden / Zero Hedge & The Saker & Sputnik)
The US, UK and France are preparing new airstrikes on Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry said, adding that militants are poised to stage a chemical weapons attack to frame Damascus and provide a pretext for strikes. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov warned that eight canisters of chlorine have been delivered to a village near Jisr al-Shughur to stage the plot. Meanwhile, Trump advisor John Bolton has ominously threatened that any chemical attack would be met with force.

Russia's Biggest Military Exercise in 40 Years Includes China -- and Nuclear Scenarios (Rebecca Perring / The Express & Tyler Durden / Zero Hedge)
Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said Russia's military forces in the country's east were on high alert ahead of a five-day "snap inspection" of troops to pave the way for the massive exercised called Vostok-2018. Shoigu said Vostok-2018 will be "unprecedented in scale, both in terms of area of operations and numbers of military command structure, troops and forces involved." The largest military exercise since 1981, it also will include more than 3,200 troops from China and Mongolia.

WWIII Fears: US "Test-drops" Nuclear Bomb; Russia Threatens Use of Nuclear Weapons in Syria (Kris Osborn / The National Interest & Warrior Maven & Matt Drake / The Express)
Russia has warned it may deploy nuclear weapons to Syria in response to the US policy of imposing sanctions over Moscow crossing "red lines", a senior Russian lawmaker has warned. Meanwhile, a USAF B-2 Stealth bomber has test-dropped an upgraded B61-12 nuclear bomb. The Pentagon claims this more "usable" weapon "changes the strategic landscape with regard to nuclear weapons mission possibilities."

US and Russia Continue Plans for a World-ending Nuclear War (Tyler Durden / Zero Hedge & Anna Nemtsova / The Daily Beast & Nikolay Shevchenko / Russia Beyond & Anton Valagin / Rossiyaskaya Gazeta)
FEMA has significantly updated its nuclear disaster plans. The new scenario has been described as "truly terrifying." The new plan includes preparedness for a scenario involving large-scale thermonuclear detonations -- 100 kiloton to 1,000 kiloton detonations -- "over the 60 largest US cities." In Russia, 40 million people recently participated nuclear-war "defense" drills and massive bunkers have been built below Moscow to shelter millions of civilians in the event of a nuclear attack.

Saudi-led Coalition to "Investigate" Its Own War Crimes: Sen. Warren Demands Answers from Pentagon (Alex Emmons / The Intercept)
In the aftermath of a horrific bombing that killed dozens of children aboard a school bus in Yemen, the US urged the US-backed, Saudi- and UAE-led coalition to examine and account for the loss of civilian lives. But as calls for an investigation mount, a new report from Human Rights Watch finds "fundamental problems" with the way the coalition investigates allegations of civilian harm. Meanwhile, Sen. Elizabeth Warren is demanding answers about the US role in aiding the Saudi and UAE bombing campaign in Yemen.

Revisiting War's Impact on the Syrian Residents of Eastern Ghouta (Al Jazeera & World Food Program USA & BBC World News )
After a fierce seven-week offensive that left much of Eastern Ghouta in rubble, and an alleged chemical attack, the Syrian army regained control of the areas, which have been held by opposition fighters since 2012. Over the course of 30 days, the war claimed 1,473 civilians lives, including 301 children and 185 women. Syria's state news agency SANA says that "terrorists" are using civilians as human shields. About 400,000 residents of Ghouta have been under siege by Russian-backed Syrian forces since 2013.

August 27: Celebrate the 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact, Which Outlaws War (David Swanson / David Swanson.org)
If Frank Kellogg had launched a major war, he might be better known. But he is the only Secretary of State with his name on a treaty that bans war, and the only one buried in a section of the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. dedicated to peace. On August 27th, we celebrate the 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact, which outlawed war – and continues to do so. Celebrate August 27 as a war abolition holiday, a peace holiday, and take inspiration from the Kellogg-Briand Pact.

2018 Peace Prize Awarded to David Swanson (The US Peace Memorial Foundation)
Michael Knox, chair of the US Peace Memorial Foundation, has observed: "We have a culture of war in the US. Americans who oppose a war are often labeled traitors, unpatriotic, un-American, and antimilitary. As you know, to work for peace you must be brave and make great personal sacrifices." At the Veterans For Peace Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, on August 26, 2018, the US Peace Memorial Foundation awarded its 2018 Peace Prize to David Swanson, director of World BEYOND War.

US Army Brass Warns Against Overuse of Drones, But 'Pandora's Box' Already Open (Sputnik International)
War abolition activist Leah Bolger warns that weaponized drones allow wars to be fought without human combatants actually facing each other, and that's not a good thing. In drone warfare, "we don't really know who we're killing. We don't know what the damage is. We don't know who those people are, or all the 'collateral damage,' as they use that euphemism." EAW offers a selection of videos that reveal the potential threat posed by militarized drones -- from hand-grenade quadcopters to the Pentagon's Predator drones.

Secret Israeli Report Confirms Armed Drone Used to Kill Four Boys Playing on Gaza Beach (Robert Mackey/ The Intercept)
A confidential report by Israeli military police investigators -- concealed from the public until now -- explains how a tragic series of mistakes by air force, naval, and intelligence officers led to an airstrike in which four Palestinian boys playing on a beach in Gaza in 2014 were killed by missiles launched from an armed drone. The testimony raises new questions about whether the attack, which unfolded in front of dozens of journalists and triggered global outrage, was carried out with reckless disregard for civilian life.

US Ignored Call from China and Russia to Sign Treaty to Ban Space War (Matthew Loffhagen / Outer Places & Joe Pappalardo / Popular Mechanics)
Russian and Chinese diplomats have been lambasting America for refusing to sign the aptly titled "Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space" (PAROS) treaty. Instead, the US is moving forward with tests of all kinds of terrifying weapons, most notably hypersonic rockets. Basically, anything that's ever turned up in a Star Wars movie is fair game in the modern era of very real space war. It's no wonder the Doomsday Clock just ticked forward to two minutes before Nuclear Midnight.

Pompeo Reportedly Preparing Trump's Illegal Plot to Attack Iran (Erica Fein / Win Without War & CBS Evening News)
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has started building Trump's Iran regime change army, appointing a bunch of people to formal positions in the "Iran Action Group" whose job is to topple the elected government in Iran. This new agency is just one small piece of a large and powerful Iran-regime-change industry within US government, media, and think tanks. The State Department faces a November 4th deadline when sanctions will be reimposed on other nations that are still importing Iranian oil.

What 15 Years of US Occupation Has Produced: Angry Iraqis (Reese Erlich / ReeseErlich.com)
What has the US accomplished? Before the 2003 US invasion, Iraq had a thriving economy with public education, a stock exchange, and one of the region's best medical care systems. Today Iraq faces major electricity shortages. In Basra. salt water flows from faucets and militant protests continue in the oil rich city despite harsh government crackdowns. Thousands of Iraqis are demanding jobs and the restoration of basic utility services. Iraq is now listed as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

Top-secret War Plan Revealed: US Sought Total Nuclear Annihilation of China and Soviet Union (The National Security Archive / George Washington University)
Declassified documents obtained by the George Washington University-based National Security Archive reveal that US nuclear war plans during the Johnson administration included the option of a retaliatory strike against nuclear, conventional military, and urban-industrial targets with the goal of destroying the Soviet Union as "a major industrial power" and destroying it as a "viable" society.

US, Russian Navies Returning to Cold War Confrontation Status (Wesley Morgan / Politico)
While Russia has announced plans to decrease its military funding over the next few years, US officials maintain there are growing numbers of Russian submarines in the Atlantic. Because the US feels challenged by both Russia and China, the Pentagon is reviving the Navy's 2nd Fleet -- a Cold War relic retired in 2011 -- primarily to confront Russia.

How US Interference in Russia's Elections Brought Vladimir Putin to Power (Stephen Kinzer / The Boston Globe )
For one of the world's major powers to interfere systematically in the presidential politics of another country is an act of brazen aggression. Yet it happened. Sitting in a distant capital, political leaders set out to assure that their favored candidate won an election against rivals who scared them. They succeeded. The year was 1996 and Bill Clinton decided that US interests would be best served by finding a way to re-elect Boris Yeltsin despite his deep unpopularity.

How America's Wars Have Wasted Billions of Dollars and Created Piles of Debt with Little Strategic Benefit) (Jacob Heilbrunn / The National Interest & Laura Strickler and Dan De Luce / NBC News)
Since the end of Bill Clinton's presidency -- when the US ran a budget surplus -- the Pentagon-driven debt level has been rising steadily. It jumped from $10.6 trillion during the George W. Bush administration and to $19.9 trillion under Barack Obama. The truth is, entanglements in foreign wars are contributing more to the national deficit than is often acknowledged. An Inspector General's report estimates that, over the course of 11 years, the US squandered $15.5 billion in Afghanistan.

Privatizing War for Profit: Erik Prince Eyes The War In Afghanistan (Jared Keller / Task and Purpose & NBC News)
Donald Trump is growing increasingly frustrated over the Pentagon's failed strategy in Afghanistan and is showing renewed interest in a proposal by Blackwater founder Erik Prince to privatize the war. This has raised ethical and security concerns among senior military officials, key lawmakers and members of Trump's national security team. A year after Trump's strategy announcement, his advisers fear his impatience will cause him to seriously consider proposals like Prince's.

US-backed Saudi Airstrike on Refugee Camp Kills 22 Children (Al Jazeera & AntiWar.com & Xinhua)
Yemen's Houthi rebels say air raids by the Saudi-UAE military alliance have killed at least 31 civilians -- including 22 children -- sheltering in a refugee camp. 79 civilians were wounded, again overwhelmingly children. The attack came two weeks after another coalition air attack that killed 51 civilians, including 42 boys who were taking a field trip in a school bus. The US-backed war has so far killed more than 10,000 Yemenis, mostly civilians, and displaced about 3 million others.

Senate Blocks Voting on Amendment to Defund Yemen War Crimes (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Hon. Chris Murphy / US Senate)
Sen. Chris Murphy's amendment to withdraw all funding for the US involvement in the war in Yemen was blocked by Senate leadership. According to the United Nations, up to one-third of all Saudi-led coalition airstrikes hit civilian targets. Data shows there has been a 37% increase in civilian casualties from airstrikes in 2018 compared to 2017.

How the US Helped Massacre Yemeni Schoolchildren (Belen Fernandez / Jacobin)
Commentary: Anyone familiar with the United States' track record will be aware that protecting innocents is never really the name of the game. CNN reported that the munition responsible for the school bus massacre in Yemen was a 500-pound "laser-guided MK 82 bomb made by Lockheed Martin," a pillar of the US military-industrial complex. The bomb's provenance is not enormously surprising given the $110 billion US-Saudi defense deal to which Donald Trump gave birth last year in Riyadh.

Afghanistan's Children Have a Question: "Can We Abolish War?" (Dr. Hakim / World BEYOND War)
#Enough!, is the name of the Afghan Peace Volunteers campaign to abolish war. Fatima, one of the students -- who participated in the very first street kids' demonstration in Kabul demanding a school for 100 street kids -- also has helped plant trees and has protested war by burying toy weapons. On September 21, 2017 -- the International day of Peace -- she was one of 100 street kids who served a lunch meal to 100 Afghan laborers. "In place of war," Fatima explained, "we will do acts of kindness."

What Happens if a Navy Aircraft Carrier Is Sunk? Why Do US Navy Ships Keep Crashing? (Henry Holst / The National Interest & Justin Bachman / Bloomberg)
Any weapon that has a remote chance of hitting a carrier throws a wrench in a plan that may be costing US taxpayers around half a trillion dollars. The sinking of a US aircraft carrier would likely be the defining moment where the era of "perceived" US global military dominance would come to an end. Such an event -- greatly magnified by a 24-hour global news cycle -- would alter the entire globe's political and strategic balance.

Overthrowing Other People's Governments: The Master List (William Blum / William Blum.org)
Historical instances of the United States covertly overthrowing, or attempting to overthrow, a foreign government since the Second World War. (* indicates successful ouster of a government.) A list of Washington's attempts to assassinate foreign leaders. A list of revolutions thwarted by secret US interventions.

US Army Officer Says "Shame on Us" for Not Putting an End to War (Maj. Danny Sjursen / AntiWar.com)
Commentary: Numbness or apathy. These seem to be Americans' go-to responses when each new overseas tragedy unfolds. Recently, 40 Yemeni children were killed by a Saudi airstrike on a school bus. And it is the US that refuels the warplanes, sells the bombs and otherwise enables a Saudi terror campaign that's killed tens of thousands of Yemeni civilians. Then there's Afghanistan, Niger, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, and Pakistan -- all under attack by US troops who are fighting, killing, or dying with no end in sight

It's Time to Rethink the Institution of War (Dr. Hakim / AntiWar.com & Brian Cloughley / AntiWar.com)
It's frustrating that whereas all human beings wish to live meaningful lives, we seem helpless in the face of a few individuals waging wars and exploiting resources. But we can do something about this insensible status quo. Ordinary folk in the People's Peace Movement are showing us how by taking one barefoot-step at a time, traveling to the Northern areas of Afghanistan to persuade fellow Afghans -- whether they're with "insurgent groups" or with the US/NATO/Afghan forces -- to stop fighting.

NYC's Plan to Protect Climate Targets Big Oil and Trump Tower (Alexander C. Kaufman / The Huffington Post )
Drastic climate action in New York City could include laws to mandate dramatic energy-use cuts in big buildings -- by far the largest source of Manhatan's air pollution. This historic move could set a new standard for cities worldwide. On the target list: Trump Tower. Meanwhile, Mayor de Blasio and the city are suing five major oil companies over infrastructure damage from encroaching climate change. The mayor also plans to divest roughly $5 billion in fossil fuel investments from the city's five pension plans.

'Fat Leonard' Scandal Grows with Indictment of Three More Retired Navy Officials (Craig Whitlock / The Washington Post & Stars & Stripes)
The worst corruption scandal in Navy history reached new heights Friday as federal prosecutors announced bribery and fraud charges against three retired sailors, including an officer who allegedly took part in a wild two-day party with prostitutes in Tokyo that cost $75,000. A grand jury in San Diego indicted retired Capt. David Haas, 50, of Kailua, Hawaii, on charges that he took $145,000 in bribes from Leonard Glenn Francis, a Singapore-based defense contractor known as "Fat Leonard" in Navy circles.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Greenwashing Wars and the US Military: The IUCN Turns a Blind Eye to Terracide (Col. Ann Wright (US Army Ret.) / Consortium News)
A recent congress of major conservation groups soft-pedaled criticism of the US military and other war-makers despite the massive damage they inflict on humans, animals, plants, cultural sites and the environment, reports retired Col. Ann Wright. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature held a six-day conference in Hawaii followed by 4 days of discussions and 1300 workshops. And yet there was no mention of the environmental destruction caused by military operations and wars.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ACTION ALERT: Vets Oppose Trump's Call for Weapons Parade (Associated Press & VoteVets & Common Defense & The Huffington Post)
Donald Trump has ordered the Pentagon to prepare for a military parade. Our military should not be used to prop up Donald Trump's fragile self-image. Trump doesn't actually honor the troops, he wants to force the troops to honor him. If Trump wants to see us marching in the streets of DC, we'll go -- In protest. Plans are underway to stage a "Tiananmen Square" moment -- with hundreds of protesters walking into the street to confront the first M1 Abrams tank that lumbers down the road.

Trump Might Well Break International Law Over North Korea (Jonathan Power / IDN-INPS)
We are soon going to have a clash between President Donald Trump and international law. This is predicable when one examines the presidential discourse over what to do about North Korea and its possession of nuclear-tipped rockets. Trump's threat to "destroy" North Korea with thermonuclear "fire and fury" doesn't sound like the opening words of the UN's Charter.

What Trump Did Not Say about Foreign Policy (Mohammed Cherkaoui / Al Jazeera)
In his first State of the Union address, Trump also took a page from the Cold War playbook and resurrected the idea that the US is the protector of global freedoms. Just like Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon frequently did in the 1980's, he shaped the sections of his speech that deal with foreign policy around advocacy of freedom and American morality.

ACTION ALERT: How to Back the US Away from Nuclear Madness (World Beyond War)
In Trump's State of the Union he proposed building more nuclear weapons to counter "rivals" who "challenge" US "values." The Pentagon's new Nuclear Posture Review proposes nuclear weapons to counter even "cyber warfare" and of course for "deterrence," but also for "achievement of US objectives if deterrence fails." How do we back Washington away from madness? This might help. . . .

ACTION ALERT: The Winter Olympics Shows a Path to Peace (Athletes for Peace / Veterans for Peace)
Commentary: As former and current atheltes, we value the Olympic spirit and tradition of bringing men and women from diverse nations together for peaceful competition and performance. The Olympic Truce represents an important opportunity to defuse tensions and begin the work of reconciliation on the Korean peninsula. We therefore call upon the US Olympic Committee to fully support both Korean governments' current efforts to restore a peace process.

As Congress Feeds the Merchants of Death, the People Must Divest (Medea Benjamin / NationofChange )
In recent budget negotiations, Senate Democrats agreed to a boost in military spending that exceeded the cap for fiscal 2018 by $70 billion, bringing the total request to an enormous $716 billion. Inevitably, this means more Pentagon contracts will be awarded to private corporations that use endless war to line their pockets. If neither major political party will stand up to this status quo, what can be done? One answer might be found in the recent push to divest from fossil fuel -- from Norway to New York City.

50 Years in the Making, We Must Again Confront and Reject US Warmongering (Ajamu Baraka / Black Alliance for Peace)
Mission Statement: The Black Alliance for Peace seeks to recapture and redevelop the historic anti-war, anti-imperialist, and pro-peace positions of the radical black movement. Through educational activities, organizing and movement support, organizations and individuals in the Alliance will work to oppose both militarized domestic state repression, and the policies of de-stabilization, subversion and permanent war agenda of the US state globally.

The War You've Never Heard Of: AFRICOM The US Invasion of Africa (Nick Turse / Vice News & Nick Turse / The Intercept)
Six years ago, a deputy commanding general for US Army Special Operations Command revealed 116 missions were being carried out by Navy SEALs, Army Green Berets, and other special operations forces across the globe. Today, according to US military documents, special operators are carrying out nearly 100 missions in Africa alone. There are now more special operations personnel devoted to Africa than anywhere except the Middle East -- 1,700 people spread out across 20 countries.

Trump's Nuclear Posture Review: Back to Armageddon (Michael T. Klare / The Nation)
While Donald Trump's proposed expansion of the nuclear stockpile will channel hundreds of billions of dollars into the coffers of US military contractors (consistently among Trump's major cheerleaders), there is much more to all this than prestige and profits. Trump, and his associates in the White House, reject the measured and conservative outlook that governed Obama's nuclear policy and instead profess a stance that is both darker and far more combative.

We Can Avoid War with North Korea -- If We Listen to Women Peacemakers (Erica Fein / MS. Magazine)
Commentary: The US/Canada Summit on Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula which met in Vancouver in January was composed of countries that sent troops to fight North Korea during the Korean War. When a global delegation of women demanded a seat at the negotiating table, they were turned away. "Our reason was simple: when women influence the peacemaking process, studies show that agreements are almost always reached, are more likely to be implemented. and are likely to last longer."

New Defense Strategy: Instead of 'War on Terror' a 'War with Great Nations' -- and the Democrats Who Voted for Trump's New Arms Race (Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers / Popular Resistance & Alexandra Jacobo / NationofChange)
Trump's new National Defense Strategy pivots away from the 'War or Terror' to focus on conflicts with "Great Power" and a new arms race -- complete with an escalation of nuclear weapons development. The US' is spread across the world with troops fighting simultaneously in conflicts on several continents -- any one of which could become an all-out war with China or Russia. Who benefits? Weapons manufacturers, defense contractors, lobbyists, and other beneficiaries of the military-industrial complex

ACTION ALERT: Divest from the War Machine -- A Week of Resistance (CODEPINK / Divest from the War Machine)
This Tuesday's State of the Union address emphasized war, violence, and weapons. As we watch our country invest more of our money in weapons and war, we can take action and send a message to companies like Lockheed Martin that we will not invest in their acts of war.

ACTION ALERT: Trump's New Nuclear Doctrine Called a "Roadmap to Nuclear War" (The Basel Peace Office, Abolition 2000, Sen. Edward J Markey et al.)
The Trump administration's new Nuclear Posture Review has been criticized as a "roadmap to nuclear war" that calls for developing new low-yield "tactical" nuclear weapons and increases the role of nuclear weapons in US military planning by lowering the bar on the threats that could trigger a nuclear war. It backs a modernization of the existing nuclear arsenal that would increase the nuclear weapons budget by $60 billion per year.

ACTION ALERT: Join the "Off Fossil Fuels" Campaign (Food and Water Watch)
For five years, Food & Water Watch has worked to ban fracking because it presents unacceptable risks to our water supply. Now, we're taking on dirty energy for another reason: climate chaos. The goal: to move the US from fossil fuels to 100% renewables by 2035. Over 400 organizations have signed onto a letter urging support for this "visionary legislation," including 350.org, Friends of the Earth, Center for Biological Diversity, Progressive Democrats of America, Our Revolution, National Nurses United and more.

Donald Trump Loves the F-35 but the People of Vermont Do Not (William Boardman / Reader Supported News & Tyler Rogoway / The Drive)
Corrupt practices are driving the Burlington City Council in a headlong campaign to force a neighboring city to host a weapon of mass destruction -- the F-35, a nuclear capable fighter-bomber. In development since 1992 (at a cost of $400 billion and counting), the trouble-plagued F-35 was first flown in 2000 and is still not reliably deployable in 2018. The F-35 can't shoot straight and has more than 200 other deficiencies. Donald Trump sees no problems: he actual (and falsely) believes the F-35 is "invisible."

Around the World, Democracy Is in Decline -- Led by the United States (Amanda Erickson / The Washington Post & The Economist)
Democracy is in under siege around the world, according to a new report by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The annual Democracy Index tracks the health of the world's governments. And the results for 2017 are depressing. In 89 countries, democratic norms look worse than they did last year, the report's authors write. Just 4.5 percent of the world's residents live in fully functioning democracies, down from 8.9 percent in 2015. That precipitous drop is thanks, primarily, to the United States.

It's Time to Take War Off Its Pedestal (William J. Astore and Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & AntiWar.com)
Commentary: Our troops are human and vulnerable and imperfect. We don't help them when we put them on pedestals, give them flags to hold in the breeze, and salute them as icons of a feel-good brand of patriotism. Talk of warrior-heroes is worse than cheap: it enables our state of permanent war, elevates the Pentagon, ennobles the national security state, and silences dissent. That's why it's both dangerous and universally supported in rare bipartisan fashion by politicians in Washington.

Trump's Arctic Oil Plan Violates Law, Could Lead to Extinction of Polar Bears (Sabrina Shankman / InsideClimate News & Zahid Mahmood / CNN)
A new study warns that polar bears are starving as a result of fossil-fuel-driven climate change and could face extinction faster than previously thought. Meanwhile, Earthjustice and other groups warn that a proposed National Petroleum Reserve lease sale failed to consider how burning the fossil fuels might impact climate change. There is also concern that the areas made available for leasing included the Teshekpuk Lake Special Area, which is among the largest and most ecologically significant wetlands in the world.

America's Response to School Shootings; Teachers Are Being Trained to Shoot Their Students (Joel Gunter / BBC News & Patricia J. Williams / The Nation)
Two schoolchildren died on Tuesday and 14 others suffered bullet wounds when a classmate opened fire outside a school in Benton, Kentucky. It was the third shooting incident at a school in 48 hours and the 11th in the three weeks since the start of the year. In lieu of any serious discussion about gun control, there has been instead a proliferation of laws and bills that would arm teachers, and train them to be able to kill -- to kill their own armed students, if necessary.

ACTION ALERT: Join the "Off Fossil Fuels" Campaign (Food and Water Watch)
For five years, Food & Water Watch has worked to ban fracking because it presents unacceptable risks to our water supply. Now, we're taking on dirty energy for another reason: climate chaos. The goal: to move the US from fossil fuels to 100% renewables by 2035. Over 400 organizations have signed onto a letter urging support for this "visionary legislation," including 350.org, Friends of the Earth, Center for Biological Diversity, Progressive Democrats of America, Our Revolution, National Nurses United and more.

ACTION ALERT: Join the "Off Fossil Fuels" Campaign (Food and Water Watch)
For five years, Food & Water Watch has worked to ban fracking because it presents unacceptable risks to our water supply. Now, we're taking on dirty energy for another reason: climate chaos. The goal: to move the US from fossil fuels to 100% renewables by 2035. Over 400 organizations have signed onto a letter urging support for this "visionary legislation," including 350.org, Friends of the Earth, Center for Biological Diversity, Progressive Democrats of America, Our Revolution, National Nurses United and more.

Creating an Empire of Graveyards (Tom Engelhardt / NationOfChange)
Commentary: "Since he rode down that Trump Tower escalator into our political lives in June 2015, this sort of thing and more or less nothing else has largely been "the news." It goes without saying -- which won't stop me from saying it -- that not since Nebuchadnezzar's words were first scratched onto a cuneiform tablet has more focus been put on the passing words, gestures, and expressions of a single human being."

Trump's State of the Union: Lies, Damn Lies, and Nuclear Posture Reviews (David Swanson / World Beyond War)
Commentary: Trump's State of the Union gave several justifications for building more weapons -- aka a "safe, secure, and effective nuclear deterrent." There is, of course, nothing safe or secure about producing, maintaining, or threatening to use nuclear weapons. Nor is there evidence that they have ever deterred anything that the United States wanted deterred. We should all contemplate for a moment what the US objectives are that can be achieved by nuclear weapons "if deterrence fails."

Reality Check: Where Are the World's Nuclear Weapons? (Reality Check Team / BBC News)
The Pentagon has outlined how it wants to revamp the US nuclear arsenal, and develop new low-yield bombs. Reality Check looks into where the world's nuclear weapons are located and who owns them.

What's Behind the Spike in Deadly Terror Attacks in Afghanistan? (Andrew Wilder / US Institute of Peace)
In Afghanistan, a string of attacks has killed more than 130 people and wounded more than 300 in just over a week. Bombings and gun battles jarred a busy downtown block near a government hospital, an international hotel, a military training academy, and the global charity Save the Children. Andrew Wilder, of the US Institute of Peace, offers some analysis.

America's Second Great Sin: Beyond Slavery Lies the Holocaust of Native Americans (Reed Lannom / The Orlando Sentinel & Indian Country Today)
A campaign must be started immediately to remove all statues of and monuments to US Supreme Army Gens. William T. Sherman, Ulysses S. Grant and Philip Sheridan for the following reasons: In the 28-year span of the Plains Indian Wars from 1862 to 1890, the same top military leaders who commanded the Union Army in the Civil War were also the top military commanders in the US Army's war of genocide against the Plains Indians. And Abraham Lincoln cannot be given a pass.

ACTION ALERT: Divest from the War Machine (CODEPINK / Divest from the War Machine)
CODEPINK, in partnership with an array of peace and disarmament groups, is launching a divestment campaign to encourage universities, religious organizations, retirement funds, mutual funds, private investors, and other financial institutions in the United States to take action to reduce violent global conflicts and slow the hyper-militarization of our world by divesting from the US War Machine. Pledge to work with CODEPINK to stop those who are making a killing on killing and stealing our future!

Protesters Target US Spy Base in Waihopai, New Zealand (NewsHub.com & Stuff.com & TV New Zealand & NewsTalk ZB)
The annual protest against the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) listening station at Waihopai, near Blenheim, is on again. Protesters say they will be at the main gate at Waihopai Valley Road say the GCSB systematically spies on New Zealanders, and on other countries. In 2008 three peace activists broke into Waihopai and deflated a dome covering one of the satellite dishes.

Donald Trump's For-profit Mercenary Army (Emily Ludolf / Occupy.com)
Mercenaries have gone corporate. The UN Mercenary Convention, signed in 2001, places limits on what constitutes mercenaries. Although there are notable holdouts, the UN's position is that mercenarism is against international humanitarian law. But this hardly seems to matter because, by exploiting loopholes in international law, the modern mercenary now operates with impunity. US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq increasingly rely on private contractors, Blackwater being the most infamous.

FEMA to Abandon Puerto Rico: Bernie Sanders Proposes Billion-dollar Program to Solarize the Island (Ashley Curtin / NationofChange & Senator Elizabeth Warren & Julia Conley / Common Dreams & EcoWatch)
As parts of Puerto Rico continue to struggle to recover four months after Hurricane Maria devastated the island, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has announced it will shut off food and water aid to the island as of Jan. 31. A third of Puerto Rico residents are still without electricity and lack access to clean water. Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders has proposed a $146 billion recovery package that could lead the way for Puerto Rico to become a leader in solar power and other sustainable energy.

Pentagon Releases Suppressed Afghan Finding: No Military Solution in Afghanistan (AntiWar.com & The News International & Reuters)
After this morning's revelation that the Pentagon had prohibited the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) from including Afghan district data in his quarterly report to Congress, despite that data being unclassified, media pressure has led to a surprising reversal. Meanwhile, Pakistan's Foreign Office has issued a statement, saying that history has shown there is no military solution that will bring a lasting peace in Afghanistan.

Capitalize on the Olympic Truce, Formalize a Freeze With North Korea (Kevin Martin / AntiWar.com)
At the recent meeting of foreign ministers (mainly from countries involved in the devastating 1950-53 Korean war), Rex Tillerson dismissed the most promising starting point for negotiations with North Korea -- the "freeze for a freeze" proposal. Under this approach, North Korea would freeze its nuclear and ballistic missile testing and the US and South Korea would postpone joint-military exercises that include simulated nuclear bombing runs and "decapitation strikes" aimed at toppling the North Korean regime.

ACTION Divest from the War Machine -- Week of Action, February 5-11, 2018 (World Beyond War & Divest from the War Machine / CODEPINK)
World Beyond War is joining with Code Pink to promote a week of actions to divest from the war machine. The War Machine refers to the massive, global US military apparatus that operates largely thanks to an alliance between the arms industry and policy makers. We need to tell the companies that earn their profits from the spread of war and militarism that their priorities are not our priorities. As we join together to take action against the War Machine here are some ways to get started.

Trump Arms Cops Amidst School Shootings and Escalates the War on Terror Abroad (Ashley Curtin / NationofChange & Gareth Porter / Truthout & Antiwar.com)
There have been 11 school shootings this year alone. And Trump's answer to keep children safe at schools is to supply law enforcement with military gear. The candidate who campaigned on a promise to stop waging foreign wars quickly abandoned his non-intervention vows when the generals' made their pitch for the indefinite continuation of the 16-year-old Afghan war -- and showed Trump photographs of Afghan girls in Kabul in miniskirts to convince him that Western values could prevail in Afghanistan.

Vietnam: The War That Never Ends (for the US Military High Command) (Major Danny Sjursen / TomDispatch & Consortium News)
A 50-year-old war, once labeled the longest in our history, is still being refought by one group of Americans -- the military high command. And almost half a century later, they're still losing it and blaming others for doing so. A preoccupation with the "win-ability" of the Vietnam War has persisted among US military commanders who doggedly pursue the War on Terror, despite all indications of the disastrous reality of both conflicts, writes US Army Major Danny Sjursen.

US Petcoke: A Carbon-based Weapon of Mass Destruction (Tammy Webber and Katy Daigle / Associated Press)
US oil refineries that are unable to sell a dirty fuel waste product at home are exporting vast quantities of it to India instead. Petroleum coke, the bottom-of-the-barrel leftover from refining Canadian tar sands crude and other heavy oils, is cheaper and burns hotter than coal. But it also contains more planet-warming carbon and far more heart- and lung-damaging sulfur -- a key reason few American companies use it. Instead, US refineries are sending it around the world, especially to energy-hungry India.

Remembering Investigative Journalist Robert Parry (Marc Ash / Reader Supported News & Norman Solomon / The Nation)
In 1995, award-winning investigative journalists Bob Parry launched a unique journalistic space called Consortiumnews, where he worked intensely as publisher, editor, and writer for the next 22 years. Last month, he died suddenly following a stroke. He will be missed. What made Bob Parry a trailblazer for independent journalism also made him a bridge burner with the media establishment. He refused to take on faith the official story, whether from governments or news outlets.

Robert Parry's Legacy and the Future of Consortiumnews (Nat Parry / Consortium News & Robert Parry / Consortium News)
Commentary: "With my dad, professional work has always been deeply personal, and his career as a journalist was thoroughly intertwined with his family life. I can recall kitchen table conversations in my early childhood that focused on the US-backed wars in Central America and complaints about how his editors at The Associated Press were too timid to run articles of his that -- no matter how well-documented -- cast the Reagan administration in a bad light."

ACTION ALERT: New Trump Nuclear Policy Veers into Dangerous Territory (Martin Fleck / Physicians for Social Responsibility)
The Huffington Post has leaked a draft of the Trump administration's new Nuclear Posture Review. The NPR, which officially defines the role of US nuclear weapons, dangerously increases reliance on nuclear weapons rather than pursuing diplomacy to prevent conflict and move towards arms reductions. Help PSR hold our government accountable in calling this reckless policy unacceptable.

Nuclear War: A Thousand Buttons (Conn Hallinan / Dispatches from the Edge)
When President Donald Trump bragged that his nuclear "button" was bigger and more efficient than North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un's "button," he was perpetuating the myth that the leaders of nuclear-armed nations control their weapons. But you do not have to be Trump, Kim, Vladimir Putin, Theresa May, Xi Jinping, Narendra Modi, Mamnoon Hussain, or Benjamin Netanyahu to push that "button." There are thousands of buttons and thousands of people who can initiate a nuclear war.

Hawaii's False Alarm Raises Questions About Militarization (Jon Letman / LobeLog.org)
Commentary: In the days since Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency mistakenly issued an emergency alert warning of an inbound ballistic missile, many of us in Hawaii have been thinking a lot about weapons and war. Everyone agrees that the frightening mishap should serve as a wake-up call not just for Hawaii but the entire country. The debate over how much duct tape and Vienna sausage to keep in stock in case of a nuclear attack overlooks the US role in perpetuating a system that terrorizes people around the world.

Facing Up to US Nukes: In 2017, Activists Occupied a US Nuclear Bunker inside Germany (John LaForge / CounterPunch)
First-person account: "The fairy tale that nuclear weapons provide state security is a fiction believed by millions. On July 17, five of us proved that state guarantees of 'highly secure' nuclear weapon facilities are just as fictitious. After nightfall, an international group of five peace activists got deep inside the Buchel Air Base and, for the first time in a 21-year long series of protests against its deployment of US nuclear bombs, we occupied the top of one of the large bunkers potentially used for storing nuclear weapons."

Behind Trump's Attack on Solar: A Carbon/Nuclear Energy Crisis (Harvey Wasserman / The Progressive)
There is virtually no economic margin for any other new energy production construction beyond solar, except wind and natural gas. Even gas -- with its uncertain long-term supply -- is on the cusp of being priced out. The shutdown of four more major reactors would be a huge blow to the downwardly spiraling atomic energy industry.

Heatwaves and Fires: Hell on Earth for Australia's Wildlife (International Fund for Animal Wildlife & National Geographic & Nikkei Asian Review)
After an intense heat wave in Australia which spiked past 117°F this month, the animal death toll in New South Wales is climbing. The extreme heat and bushfires in New South Wales, Australia are scorching animals' homes. Helpless animals have been left orphaned and suffering from heat exhaustion, starvation and burns. Your urgently needed gift can help save suffering wildlife in New South Wales, Australia and animals in need throughout the world.

2017 Was the Hottest Year on Record for Oceans (Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch)
Last year wasn't just one of the hottest years on Earth's surface, as it was the hottest year on record for the global ocean, according to a new study from the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP)/Chinese Academy of Science. Researchers Lijing Cheng and Jiang Zhu found that the top 2,000 meters of ocean waters are hotter than ever recorded.

Pentagon Suggests Countering Devastating Cyberattacks With Nuclear Arms (David E. Sanger and William J. Broad / The New York Times)
For decades, American presidents have threatened "first use" of nuclear weapons against enemies in only very narrow and limited circumstances. Now, a newly drafted US nuclear strategy that has been sent to the Oval Office for approval would permit the use of nuclear weapons to respond to a wide range of devastating but non-nuclear attacks on American infrastructure -- including what current and former government officials described as the most crippling kind of cyberattacks.

As Olympic Truce Raises Promise of Peace, US Responds with New Threats of War (Kanga Kong / Bloomberg & Veterans for Peace)
The question as to whether the Olympic detente will continue after Games end in March has been complicated the Washington's announcement that it intends to order a resumption of military exercises aimed at destabilizing North Korea. The US announcement came after North Korea issued a call for unification of the two Koreas. It would appear that the US prefers military action to a diplomatic resolution that could bring peace to the Korean Peninsula.

ACTION ALERT: US Aiding Child Sexual Abuses in Afghanistan (RT News & Win Without War & Human Rights Watch)
A new US government report has found that US military troops stationed in Afghanistan have turned a blind eye on thousands of "gross human rights abuses" by the Afghan military forces over the past few years, including many instances of child sexual abuse. The heavily-redacted report was supposed to remain classified until June 2042. According to the report, the Pentagon has given a free pass to the perpetrators of no less than 5,735 cases of child sex abuse between 2010 and 2016 -- in violation of US laws.

Democrats and Congressional Black Caucus Use DACA to Join the Mad Rush to War (Glen Ford / Black Agenda Report)
Commentary: The top Democrats in Congress have transformed DACA (the effort to protect childhood immigrants from deportation) into a gargantuan funding tool for the Pentagon. It is Democratic leadership -- not Donald Trump and his mad generals -- that has been the driving force in this year's military spending insanity. In July, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi gave the Pentagon $57.4 billion more than it requested -- ensuring that the what remains of the social safety net will be slashed into oblivion.

How Military and Corporate Advertisers Are Hoping to (Cooper Hedger and Pat Elder / World Beyond War & Cooper Hedger / Change.org)
SkoolLive's interactive electronic kiosks bring advertising into schools where kids are offered up as a captive audience for a stream of commercial advertising and invited to engage in personal data-trolling. SkoolLive kiosks are making it much easier for the military and corporate America to circumvent federal privacy laws designed to protect children at school. These profit-seeking electronic intruders are an affront to American public education.

ACTION ALERT: US Bombers in Guam Seen Readying For Tactical Nuclear Strike on North Kore (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Alex Lockie / Business Insider)
With all other signs of tensions on the Korean Peninsula on the decline, the US is stepping up its deployment of nuclear-capable bombers and general firepower to the airbase at Guam. This is further fueling speculation that the US is preparing itself for the long-speculated sneak attack on North Korea, and that such a sneak attack could involve B-61 gravity bombs as part of a tactical nuclear strike.

Is Trump Plotting a "Bloody Nose" Attack against North Korea: If So, It Would Be a War Crime (Michael Schmitt and Ryan Goodman / Just Security)
As tensions de-escalate on the Korean Peninsula, the international legal debate over the so-called "Bloody Nose Strategy," which involves "a limited military strike against North Korean sites without igniting an all-out war on the Korean Peninsula" has moved in the other direction. Our best assessment is that it would amount to a violation of the prohibition on the use of force set forth in Article 2(4) of the UN Charter and customary international law. It would also likely fit the definition of a crime of aggression.

Iceland Named the Most Peaceful Country in the World: US Places 114th (IcelandNaturally.com & The Norwegian Government & G. S. McCLure / Travel & Leisure )
Each year, the Institute for Economics & Peace's project, Vision of Humanity, releases the Global Peace Index to rank the world's most peaceful countries and least safe countries. In 2017, to no one's surprise, Iceland topped the list -- for the tenth year in a row. The USA ranked among the world's less peaceful and more dangerous nations -- 114 out of 163 countries.

US Agents Commit Inhumane Acts on Mexican Border; Arrest Humanitarian (Rafi Schwartz / Splinter News & E.J. Montini / AZcentral)
United States Customs and Border Patrol officers arrested an immigration activist just hours after his group presented damaging video evidence that captured CBP agents in the act of destroying humanitarian aid -- water and food -- left for undocumented immigrants trying to survive an arduous trek through the Arizona desert. Some 7,000 bodies have been found along the border wilderness. Now, it appears, some of those deaths may have been due to the Border Patrol's criminal acts.

Atomic 'Doomsday Clock' Now One Minute Closer to Nuclear Midnight (Doyle Rice / USA TODAY)
"Because of the extraordinary danger of the current moment, the Science and Security Board today moves the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock 30 seconds closer to catastrophe," said Rachel Bronson, president of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. "This is the closest the Clock has ever been to Doomsday, and as close as it was in 1953, at the height of the Cold War."

ACTION ALERT: Legislation to Prevent Trump from Starting Nuclear War Introduced as 'Doomsday Clock' Nears Midnight (Basel Peace Office & Hon. Edward J. Markey / US Senate)
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists today moved the hands of the symbolic Doomsday Clock to 2 Minutes to Midnight, indicating that the world is the closest to possible nuclear Armageddon since the height of the Cold War. Now 22 Senators say US commitment to the elimination of nuclear weapons -- not the creation of new, more "usable" weapons -- should be core components of Nuclear Posture Review.

Pentagon and Military Industrial Complex Only Winners In Endless, Losing, $11 Trillion War on Terror' (Andrew J. Bacevich / The American Conservative)
No nation in recorded history has ever deployed its troops to more places than has the United States since 2001. We have rained US bombs and missiles on dozens of countries. We've killed an astonishing number of people. And what have Americans gotten in return for the $11 trillion (give or take) expended over the past 16-plus years of continuous war? In Washington, the question goes not only unanswered but unasked.

Forget Trump's Border Wall. A $14-Billion Sea Wall Is Needed to Protect Houston (Steve Campion / KTRK Eyewitness News & Diana Budds / CO Designs & Fault Lines / Al Jazeera English)
When Hurricane Ike reached the Houston-Galveston area in 2008, it pushed a 19-foot storm surge into the Galveston Bay, causing $29 billion in damage and releasing more than 500,000 gallons of crude oil. Refineries around Galveston Bay and the Houston Ship Channel process 40% of the US' petroleum and half of its jet fuel. Without the construction of a protective sea wall, flood waters could cause a massive disaster, spilling millions of gallons of oil and chemicals into local rivers, the bay, and the Gulf of Mexico.

A National Defense Strategy of Sowing Global Chaos (Nicolas J. S. Davies / AntiWar.com)
Presenting the 2018 US National Defense Strategy at the Johns Hopkins University, Defense Secretary James Mattis painted a picture of a dangerous world in which US power -- and all of the supposed "good" that it does around the world -- is in decline. "Our competitive edge has eroded in every domain of warfare," he said. "And it is continually eroding." What he could have said instead is that our military is overextended and much of the chaos seen around the world is the direct result of Pentagon adventurism.

The US Maintains More Than 800 Overseas Bases and Has a Military Presence in 172 Foreign Countries (Alice Slater / The Nation)
On the Martin Luther King Day weekend, Baltimore University hosted more than 200 peace, environment, and social-justice activists to launch a timely new initiative -- the Coalition Against US Foreign Military Bases. Ajamu Baraka, Green Party vice-presidential candidate and co-founder of the Black Alliance for Peace, opened the meeting reminding us that Rev. King, in his historic anti-war speech more than 50 years ago at Riverside Church, called the US "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today."

Beyond Vietnam (Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)
In this historic, watershed speech, Dr. King took a stand against Washington's military violence and moral corruption. He clearly warned: "When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered. . . . A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."

Trump Calls for Unneeded and Costly Offshore Drilling While Attacking Solar Panels (Karl Grossman / NationofChange & Yossarian Johnson / The Intellectualist)
The Trump administration's push for increased offshore drilling is completely unnecessary. The US is awash in petroleum and oil drilling in the sea ten times more costly than drilling for oil on land. Plus, renewable energy, led by solar and wind, is now well-developed and cheaper than fossil fuels. At the same time, renewable energy, led by solar and wind, is now well-developed and cheaper than fossil fuels. Trump's response? A tariff on imported solar panels that could cost 48,000 to 63,000 US jobs.

As the Global Elite Head for Davos, Inequality Continues to Divide the World (Winnie Byanyima / Al Jazeera)
For the past five years, I have carried Oxfam's call to tackle global inequality to the rich and powerful people attending the World Economic Forum in Davos. I don't sing alone there any more. Nearly every politician I meet in Davos will talk about the evils of inequality. How could they not? The evidence is overwhelming. A new billionaire is created every other day because the top 1 percent pocket more than 80% of the wealth our world creates while the bottom half of humanity gets none of the new wealth.

Questioning Washington's Foreign Bases: An Imperial Occupation that Encircles the World (Ann Garrison / Counterpunch)
Last year, a divided Congress approved a military spending bill of $700 billion, more than either the President or the Pentagon had requested. Hundreds of billions will go to maintain and arm nearly 1,000 overseas US military bases and US troops in more than 175 foreign countries. The US is the largest, most lethal military power in human history -- with seven geographic commands spanning the globe. The annual cost of these bases -- approximately $156 billion -- diverts funds that could improve lives inside the USA.

It's Time to Call Economic Sanctions What They Are: War Crimes (Patrick Cockburn / CounterPunch)
The record of economic sanctions in forcing political change is dismal, but as a way of reducing a country to poverty and misery it is difficult to beat. Punishing UN sanctions imposed against Iraq from 1990 until 2003 lead to the death of millions of civilians. Saddam Hussein and his senior lieutenants were rightly executed for their crimes, but the foreign politicians and officials who were responsible for the sanctions regime that killed so many deserved to stand beside them in the dock.

Nazi Rallies and White Extremists: From Kiev to Charlottesville (David Swanson / Let's Try Democracy & Bill Berkowitz / Buzzflash @ Truthout)
Commentary: Nazi rallies in the news in recent years have most prominently been held in Charlottesville, Virginia, and in Ukraine where Nazis are marching 20,000 strong. US taxpayers would fiercely object if they knew that Washington has been quietly providing Kiev's Nazis with weapons. It is time to stop supporting fascism both in Ukraine and in the US. White the White House repeats warnings about "radical Islamic terrorism" it ignores the fact that homegrown white extremists have killed more Americans.

The Rise of Walls in a Warming World (Todd Miller / San Francisco Chronicle)
In 2015, 400,000 people living in what has become Honduras' "dry corridor" planted seeds and waited for rain that never came. What came instead was an extreme drought that stole their livelihoods. Central America has become ground zero for climate change in the Americas. The coming climate upheavals, which also include superstorms and sea level rise, are predicted to leave unprecedented numbers of people with no other choice but to move. And, increasingly, walls are rising to block their flight.

A New Domestic Threat: Drones in the Hands of Rebels, Robbers, and Madmen (Paul Buchheit / Common Dreams)
As armed drones become cheaper, smarter, and more readily accessible, they could launch the modern armed revolution of the undervalued human being against the world's entrenched -- and previously inaccessible -- elites. Technologies needed to build autonomous weapons -- intelligent targeting algorithms, geo-location, facial recognition -- are already with us. While the 'good' people of the Earth may be targeted by terrorists, those at the top end of an unequal society may be targeted by revolutionaries.

Women's March 2018: We Shall Overcome (Zach D. Roberts / NationofChange & Nina Mast / Media Matters)
Commentary: With the government shutdown, Donald Trump must have had free time clearly to look outside his window and see the thousands of Women's Day marchers carrying messages from "Dump Trump" to "Lock Him Up!" Despite the huge turn-out for the second global Women's March, the protests were largely ignored by the mainstream media. The longest mention was a meager 20 seconds on NBC's Meet The Press. Other shows were worse.

Trump Presidency Spurs Mass Resignations at National Park Service (Ashley Curtin / NationofChange & Darryl Fears / The Washington Post)
Nine out of 12 members of the National Park Service's advisory board abruptly resigned on January 15. The resignations come after the Department of the Interior announced its plan to open the nation's coastline to offshore drilling. Three days before, the Trump administration announced it would strike the Canada lynx from the endangered-species list -- despite a 2016 assessment that warned the species would die out in its northern range by the end of the century without federal protection.

Trump's 'Mini-Nukes' Would Increase -- Not Diminish -- the Likelihood of Nuclear World War (Gar Smith / Truthout )
The Pentagon claims a new line of "fashionable, well-tailored mini-nukes" would provide the military with "more options" and "greater flexibility." Instead of facing the terrifying specter of engaging in all-out nuclear war with 400-kiloton thermonuclear planet-killers, mini-nukes would free Washington's military planners to whack at its enemies with smaller, more "palatable" blasts of atomic threat that would obliterate practically anything within a mile of Ground Zero. Or, they could trigger a thermonuclear world war.

A Troubling Series of False Nuclear Missile Alarms: From Hawaii, Japan, and the Pentagon (Lucy Steigerwald / Foundation for Economic Education & The Associated Press & Alex Ward / VOX News)
On January 13, residents of Hawaii were terrified by a text message that said a missile was heading their way, and they should "seek shelter immediately." On January 17, the Japan Broadcasting Corp. issued an erroneous alert about a North Korean missile fired at Japan. On January 15, the Pentagon tweeted false report claiming that the US maintains "secret silos" for its nuclear warheads and has "B-1 bombers that can drop them from the air." Should the survival of humanity hinge on bureaucratic protocols?

Wilderness at Risk as Trump Desecrates the US Interior Dept. (Elizabeth Kolbert / The New Yorker & Jane Kay / The Reveal)
Commentary: "Nearly all Trump's Cabinet members have shown disdain for the regulatory processes they're charged with supervising. And, when it comes to conflicts of interest, they seem, well, unconflicted . . . . In the decades to come, one can hope that many of the Trump Administration's mistakes -- on tax policy, say, or trade -- will be rectified. But the destruction of the country's last unspoiled places is a loss that can never be reversed."

Climate-Change-Stoked Bacterial Plague Kills 200,000 Endangered Antelope (Merritt Kennedy / National Public Radio)
"You went from one or two animals to within three or four days -- thousands. And then they were all dead by the seventh day. The animals were showing normal behavior, normal signs, normal grazing and then suddenly they'd start looking a little bit unhappy and stop feeding. Within about three hours they were dead." There's evidence that unusual weather patterns could be having similar impacts in other animal populations, such as reindeer and musk ox. "We may be looking at a much more global effect."

War and Poverty: End War and Fund Peace by Supporting the New Poor People's Campaign (David Swanson / World Beyond War)
A whole new world opens up if military funding stops. Options include tax cuts for working people and a shift in power to state and local levels. The economy benefits from the removal of military spending -- in tax cuts for working people, the creation of more and better-paying jobs. There would be enough savings to assure that every worker can be retrained for transition to a peace-based economy. And then the $1 trillion doubles to $2 trillion if the rest of the world demilitarizes as well.

Trump Is Turning the State Department Into a Global Weapons Dealer (Haley Pedersen and Jodie Evans / AlterNet)
In the Trump administration, the State Department -- an agency originally created to promote peace -- is now fomenting war. hrough a plan dubbed "Buy American," the administration is calling for US attaches and diplomats to play a larger role in the sale of US weapons, effectively solidifying their role as lobbyists for the arms industry rather than agents of diplomacy -- essentially forcing the State Department to undermine its role of fostering peaceful global relations and, instead, fomenting militarism and instability.

Report: White Right-wing Extremists Are a Greater Domestic Threat than Islamic Extremists (Christopher Mathias / The Huffington Post)
According to a new report from the Anti-Defamation League's Center on Extremism, white supremacists in the United States killed more than twice as many people in 2017 as they did the year before, and were responsible for far more murders than domestic Islamic extremists, helping make 2017 the fifth deadliest year on record for extremist violence in America. Of the 34 people killed, 18 were murdered by white supremacists, marking a 157 percent increase over the 7 people killed by white supremacists in 2016.

US Homeland Security Agents Now Deployed in 70 Foreign Nations (Ron Nixon /The New York Times)
An estimated 2,000 Homeland Security employees -- from Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to TSA officials -- now are deployed to more than 70 countries around the world. Hundreds more are either at sea for weeks at a time aboard Coast Guard ships, or patrolling the skies in surveillance planes above the eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.The expansion has created tensions with countries who say that the US is trying to export its immigration laws to their sovereign territory.

The World Has Officially Lost Confidence In US Leadership Under Trump (Alana Horowitz Satlin / The Huffington Post & The Gallup Poll)
Global views on US leadership have plummeted since President Donald Trump took office, according to a Gallup poll. The poll shows that only 30 percent of the public approves of US leadership, down from 48 percent in 2016. At the same time, 43 percent of people expressed a negative opinion of the US leadership, up from 28 percent in 2016.

The Island Paradise Where The US Tests Missiles to 'Neutralize' The North Korean Threat (Jon Letman / The Daily Beast)
The recent Korean Olympic peace pause is a good sign -- a welcome step back from the brink and a hopeful step down the path of diplomacy. But in the meantime, in Hawaii, the US is developing and deploying weapons meant to block Kim Jong Un's missiles. Hawaii's Pacific Missile Range Facility is the launch site for testing the Pentagon's Advanced Hypersonic Weapon -- a massive nuclear-strike missile capable of hitting anywhere in the world in under an hour.

War. What Is It Good For? Lockheed, Northrop, General Dynamics, Boeing. Ab$olutley (William D. Hartung / TomDispatch & Nation of Change)
As Donald Trump might put it, major weapons contractors like Boeing, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin cashed in "bigly" in his first year in office. They raked in tens of billions of dollars in Pentagon contracts, while posting sharp stock price increases and healthy profits driven by the continuation and expansion of Washington's post-9/11 wars. But last year's bonanza is likely to be no more than a down payment on even better days to come for the military-industrial complex.

Pentagon Study Declares American Empire Is 'Collapsing' (Nafeez Ahmed / www.medium.com)
An extraordinary new Pentagon study concludes that the US-backed global order established after World War 2 is "fraying" and may even be "collapsing," threatening US "primacy" in world affairs. The Pentagon's vision of what comes next hardly inspires confidence. The plan to protect US power calls for more surveillance, propaganda and military expansion. What is really driving the end of the American Empire? What is the real solution?

Koreas Opt for Diplomacy and Cooperation While Trump Continues to Threaten War (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Choe Sang-Hun and Mark Landler / The New York Times & Reuters)
North and South Korea may have generations of mistrust to work through, but the two Koreas have made big progress in just a few meetings, agreeing to march side-by-side at next month's Winter Olympic -- and even field a common team for ice hockey. Meanwhile, US unwillingness to engage in direct talks with North Korea looks all the more like the real aberration in the region as Washington continues to launch threats of increased sanctions and open war on the Korean Peninsula.

Under Trump's Presidency, Civilian Deaths in Iraq and Syria Have Soared More than 200% (Alex Hopkins / AirWars)
Sold as the "most precise campaign in history" by US officials, the urban battlefields in Iraq and Syria laid waste by bombs, artillery and improvised explosives told another story. Non-combatant deaths from US air and artillery strikes rose by more than 200 percent compared to 2016, with between 3,923 and 6,102 civilians estimated killed. Roughly 65% of all civilian deaths from Coalition actions since 2014 occurred over the last 12 months. This unprecedented death toll coincided with the start of the Trump presidency.

Nuclear War and Extreme Weather Lead List of Top 2018 Threats (AntiWar.com & Reuters & USA Today & The World Economic Forum)
The World Economic Forum's 13th annual Global Risks Perception Survey reveals that the risk of wars -- both limited and major -- are both increasing substantially. The report predicts that 2018 could see a 79% increase in the risk of state-on-state military conflict. The risk of political and economic confrontations between major powers, including outright military conflicts, has risen sharply. Top risks for 2018 include threats from extreme weather, economic inequalities, cyber attacks, and nuclear weapons.

Disposable People: Deporting US Veterans (Paul Cox / The Volunteer: The American Lincoln Brigade)
As many as 8 percent of US Army enlistees are immigrants. Despite risking their lives, many face deportation after the end of their service, Today, the ACLU estimates that around 300 US veterans have been deported to countries around the world. These veterans are now stuck in a country they may have left as infants; some do not even speak the language.

ACTION ALERT / VIDEOS: Uncovering and Opposing the Pentagon's Global Empire of Bases (No Foreign Bases Coalition & World Beyond War & Popular Resistance)
Unknown to most Americans, the Pentagon operates a vast, global empire of military bases that circles the planet. This hidden empire consists of nearly 562,000 facilities worth more than $585 billion located on more than 4,800 sites in 42 nations and covering over 24.9 million acres -- equal in size to the entire state of Kentucky. The US cannot be a moral or ethical country until it faces up to the realities of US empire and the destruction it causes around the world.

The Unifying Force of War Abolition (David Swanson / Let's Try Democracy)
Commentary: "Unless we redistribute wealth, we cannot redistribute power. We can't create media unless we have something important to say. We can't protect the Earth’s climate while steadfastly ignoring the top consumer of petroleum on earth because criticizing the military would be inappropriate. But we will go on ignoring it if we don't create good media. We have to do it all, and there are various ways in which we can become more united, more strategic, and potentially more effective."

Trump Expands Offshore Drilling in Assault on Biodiversity and Indigenous Communities (Subhankar Banerjee, Nermeen Shaikh and Amy Goodman / Democracy Now!)
Bipartisan opposition is growing to President Trump's proposal to greatly expand offshore oil and gas drilling. The reversal of the Obama-era restrictions would open more than a billion acres of water in the Arctic, Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico to offshore oil and gas drilling. The Interior Department moved to allow offshore oil and gas drilling in nearly all US coastal waters but spared Florida after complaints from Florida's Republican Governor -- triggering protests from every other coastal state.

Sen.Warren Condemns Trump's Offshore Oil Plan (Andrew Emett / NationofChange)
In response to Donald Trump's announcement to permit offshore drilling along US coastlines, Sen. Elizabeth Warren strongly condemned his plan while accusing the president of being "weak-kneed" and beholden to Big Oil, instead of the American people. Enumerating recent natural disasters and oil spills, Warren warned Trump that he will be held responsible for the economic and environmental impact caused by climate change and Big Oil's dwindling safety regulations.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on the Real Reason North Korea Has Nukes (Dave Lindorff / This Can't Be Happening)
Commentary: "We already knew that Tulsi Gabbard was courageous. . . . Now, as basically the only member of Congress with the guts to call out the US as the cause of our current knife-edge threat of a nuclear war, she's demonstrated her courage again."

Trump's War on the First Amendment, Free Speech, the Media, and Public Protest (Patrick Strickland / Al Jazeera & Chris Stevenson International Editor / The Independent)
On January 20, 2017, the day of Donald Trump's inauguration, 230 US citizens -- demonstrators, medics, journalists and bystanders -- were rounded up and arrested by police. Charged with" felony rioting," they faced a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. While their trials continue, Mr. Trump responded to the publication of a book critical of his time in the Oval Office by calling for stronger libel laws so "you wouldn't have things like that happen where you can say whatever comes into your head."

In Trump's White House, Coal Is in Control (The Us Campaign & Lisa Friedman / The New York Times)
President Trump's first year in office has been a boon for the coal industry, with the Trump administration rolling back regulations on coal-fired power plants and withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate change agreement. Weeks after Trump's inauguration, Robert E. Murray (a coal company owner and major Trump contributor) sent a memo to the White House with a wish-list of environmental rollbacks. A year later, Trump is on track to fulfill most of Murray's 16 detailed Earth-exploiting demands.

Let's Wrench Power Back From the Billionaires (Bernie Sanders / The Guardian UK)
Commentary: In a time of dire news, an inspiring call to action from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders: "Difficult as it is to comprehend, the fact is that the six richest people on Earth now own more wealth than the bottom half of the world's population" but "If we stand together against powerful special interests, we can eliminate poverty, increase life expectancy and tackle climate change."

Trump to Cut Red Tape on Overseas Sales of US Weapons (Carlo Muboz / The Washington Times & The White House)
The Trump administration is taking aim at another US industry it says it being held back by overregulation and government red tape, moving to reduce federal rules and restrictions governing overseas sales of weapons and armament, in a bid to accelerate American arms deals to a growing international clientele eager to field the latest generation of US-made weaponry. US diplomats and military attaches will be tasked with talking up and promoting the sales of US military-industrial products abroad.

A Model for US Activists: British Protesters Challenge UK Arms Sales to Saudis (Campaign Against the Arms Trade)
Saudi Arabia is the UK's biggest arms customer and most shameful relationship. One of the world's most authoritarian regimes, its repression at home and aggression abroad is propped up and supported by UK arms sales. The UK's military support for the Saudi regime makes us complicit in its wrongs. The UK must end all arms sales and military support to Saudi Arabia.

After US False Missile Alarm: Koreas Meet to Talk Peace and Pentagon Plans to Launch War (AntiWar.com & The New York Times )
A war with North Korea would be "catastrophic" still, about two dozen current and former Pentagon officials and senior commanders insist that planned US attack exercises largely reflect the military's instructions to be ready for any possible military action on the Korean Peninsula. Meanwhile, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard -- long an advocate of diplomacy -- says that America's long history of wars of regime change is the reason North Korea feels the need to have nuclear armed missiles as a deterrent.

ACTION ALERT: Help Create the Largest Protected Area on Earth: The Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary (Greenpeace)
On December 1, 2017, the Ross Sea Marine Protected Area -- a land sanctuary covering 1.5 million square kilometers -- came into force. Now the Antarctic Ocean needs protection. Greenpeace writes: "We are calling for the creation of the biggest ocean sanctuary in the world, to protect the fragile and amazing wildlife in the Weddell Sea, like the irreplaceable penguins, whales and seals that call it home. But we simply can't do it without your help. And we want you to come along for the journey!"

Hawaii's Fake Missile Alert versus a Real Existential Threat (Robert Reich & Jon Letman / The Daily Beast<)
Commentary: "I know this could be the end of my life. Or not. The tub is filling with water. My wife and son are seated on the bathroom floor, the most protected room in the house, I suppose. But the thought this wooden could protect us is laughable but I know there is no time to go anywhere. ""Something must be done. Not just about the flawed warning system in Hawaii, but about a world in which nations are poised to destroy each other with barely a moment's notice.:

Israel Has Already Killed Three Palestinian Children in 2018 (Maureen Clare Murphy / The Electronic Intifada & The International Middle East News Center)
With the second week of 2018 not yet over, Israeli occupation forces had killed three Palestinian children. Fourteen Palestinian boys and girls under the age of 18 were killed by soldiers and police in all of 2017. Two children were shot and killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip on Thursday. A third child was seriously injured. Amir Abd al-Hamid Abu Musaad, 15, died immediately after being hit in the chest with a live bullet during a protest along the Gaza-Israel boundary.

New York City Just Declared War on the Oil Industry (Bill McKibben / The Guardian UK & Naomi Klein / The Intercept & Suzanne Goldenberg / The Guardian)
New York City, the home of Wall Street, announced on Wednesday that it will be divesting its massive pension fund from fossil fuels. That hits fossil fuel giants where it hurts. Five years after the ravages of Hurricane Sandy, New York announced it was divesting its massive pension fund from fossil fuels -- and suing the five biggest oil companies for damages. Our planet's most important city is now at war with its richest industry.

Will I Die at Guantanamo Bay? (Sharqawi Al Hajj / Newsweek)
Commentary: "I was captured when I was in my 20s and brought to Guantanamo Bay in 2004, after more than two years in secret prisons. I have been imprisoned here without charges since then. I am now 43. I feel like an old man. I am one of the last remaining prisoners at Guantanamo. I wonder if I am going to spend the rest of my life here."

ACTION ALERT: Stop Trump's Destructive EPA Budget Cuts (Rhea Suh / NRDC Action Fund)
Donald Trump and EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, along with their anti-environment allies in Congress, are pushing for bone-deep cuts to EPA funding that would make critical environmental cleanups nearly impossible. Congress must pass a new spending bill by January 19 to keep the government running -- and Trump and his cronies are using this deadline as an excuse to force their extreme anti-environment agenda into law. Ask your representatives to stand up for environmental protections.

It's Time to Bury the Monroe Doctrine (David Swanson /World Beyond War & No Foreign Bases)
The US policy of antidemocratically and often violently seeking to dominate the nations to its south, in the name of preventing some other force from doing so, has seen its shelf-life expire. The Monroe Doctrine -- as evolved and abused over the centuries -- ought to be buried.

UN Sanctions Iran but Not US for Yemen Weapons (Cesar Chelala / CommonDreams & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Agence France-Presse)
While the US actively supplies weapons that kill civilians in Yemen, Iran has been accused of failing to halt the transfer of "component." Health facilities in Yemen continue to be hit by Saudi bombs and health and humanitarian workers are increasingly targeted. In a scene out of Guernica, one survivor described a Saudi airstrike killed at least 63 civilians: "It was like something out of Judgment Day. Corpses and heads scattered, engulfed by fire and ashes."

Militarism: Escaping the Trap (Washington Newsletter / Friends Committee on National Legislation)
Militarism permeates US society. Our budget is skewed towards the Pentagon, local towns depend on military industries for revenue, Washington gives surplus military gear to local police to use against their own citizens. Martin Luther King, Jr. called for a shift from a "thing-oriented" to a "person-oriented" society. "When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered."

Trump Secretly Readies Nuke Bombers as Talks Begin in Korea (Jason Ditz /AntiWar.com & Dan Lamothe / The Washington Post)
During the bilateral talks between North and South Korea, the US Air Force deployed three nuclear-capable B-2 Spirit bombers to Guam, along with some 200 airmen. The troubling fact is that, while the US never formally objected to the Korean peace talks, there were reports that Trump was considering a "limited" sneak attack against North Korea. Deployment of B-2s during the Winter Olympics -- and shortly after Trump tweeted that his "Nuclear Button" was bigger -- was seen as inflammatory.

ACTION ALERT: Trump's New Nuclear Policy: More Nukes, Including Smaller, (Ashley Feinberg / The Huffington Post & International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons & Win Without War)
On the order of President Trump, the US Department of Defense is currently concluding a sweeping review of the United States' nuclear policy -- a "nuclear posture review" -- expected to be released at the end of this month. But already now, the text has leaked and shows that the Trump administration will loosen constraints on the use of nuclear weapons and develop more "usable" nuclear warheads.

ACTION ALERT: Vancouver Women's Forum on Peace and Stability on the Korean Peninsula (Nobel Women's Initiative, Women Cross DMZ, WomenPeaceKorea, et al.)
On January 16, 2018 Foreign Ministers from 20 nations will gather in Vancouver to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula. Research clearly shows that the participation of women's movements in peace processes leads to far better outcomes. Women must be at the table! An international delegation of 16 woman leaders representing peace, environment, women's and social justice movements from across Asia, Europe and North America is ready to participate in the discussions.

The Pentagon's Sprawling Empire of Bases: A US Military Land and Sky Grab (Carol Miller / Space Alert! )
How many new and expanded military bases is the Pentagon building and why is it so difficult to answer this question? While the media has paid some attention to global base relocation and expansions around the world, the massive military expansion within the US has remained mostly under the radar. There are many land, air, and sea space expansions underway in the US itself and every expansion destroys fragile and important ecosystems, harms protected species, range animals, wildlife and people.

Poll: Americans Finally Tiring of Costly, Endless, Unwinnable Foreign Wars (Center for Citizen Initiatives & James Carden / The Nation)
For years, the US media has consistently supported a militaristic mindset presenting wars as exciting, brave and all-American. But a new polls reveals that a majority of Americans -- particularly the younger business and professional class -- are now "largely skeptical of the practicality or benefits of military intervention overseas, including both the physical involvement of the US military and also extending to military aid in the form of funds or equipment as well."

Breaking News: A Major Step Forward as Leading Dutch Bank Drops Nuclear Investments (Selma van Oostwaard / PAX for Peace & Maaike Beenes / Don't Bank of the Bomb & Susi Snyder / Don't Bank on the Bomb)
"We received great news today: the largest pension funds in the Netherlands has decided to end its investment in nuclear weapon producers! We had a big campaign against ABP planned, which is not needed anymore :). ABP mentioned the shifts in national and international context and the ban treaty as strong arguments to make this decision." And, in October, the Nobel Foundation announced its intention to divest from nuclear-weapon-producing companies.

Trump's Wars Mean Big Profits for Oil Companies (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Sharon Cho / Bloomberg)
In the last three and a half years, crude oil prices fell precipitously and have languished at prices rarely seen in the post-9/11 era. Citigroup analysts say they expect that to reverse in 2018, as the Pentagon's mounting wars once again drive prices higher. Citigroup says that Donald Trump "looms large" as a potential wildcard whose various overseas wars are likely to drive the price of oil to $80 a barrel within the next year.

January 12-15 Conference: Close All US Military Bases on Foreign Soil (Coalition Against US Foreign Military Bases)
The Coalition Against Foreign Military Bases is focused on closing all US military bases abroad. This campaign strikes at the foundation of US empire, confronting its militarism, corporatism and imperialism. Foreign nations that allow US bases on their soil serve as client states of Washington and are controlled through the economic power of the US, World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The US has used regime change tactics, including assassination and military force, to keep its empire intact.

US Special Ops Now at War in 149 Countries -- from Afghanistan to Somalia (Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & Nick Turse / TomDispatch)
There is no persuasive security rationale for having US Special Operations forces involved in an astonishing 149 countries, given that the results of these missions are just as likely to provoke greater conflict as they are to reduce it, in large part because a US military presence is too often used as a recruiting tool by local terrorist organizations.

Israeli Planes Attack Damascus; Children Die as Syria Attacks Rebel Strongholds (Al Jazeera)
Israel has launched a series of predawn air strikes then followed up with artillery fire on an army base near the Syrian capital, Damascus. After the air raids, Israel also launched rockets from the occupied Golan Heights. Syria wrote a letter to the UN Security Council demanding that it condemn Israel's cross-border strikes. Meanwhile, ten children were killed in Syrian strikes on a rebel enclave in Ghouta, near the Syrian capital. Warning: Graphic videos of airstrike aftermath.

When a Terrorist Is a White Supremacist, the DOJ Stays Quiet (Ryan J. Reilly / The Huffington Post & Bill Berkowitz / Buzzflash at Truthout)
Usually, when the FBI arrests a terrorist, it's a big deal. But the Trump Justice Department's quiet handling of the federal terrorism case against Taylor Michael Wilson -- an armed White Supremacist -- is indicative of the government's approach to domestic terrorism. On October 22, 2017, Wilson hijacked an Amtrak train and took hundreds of passengers hostage. The failure to publicize this brazen attack suggests an attempt to obscure a terrorism case that doesn't fit into Trump's broader agenda

Police 'Gun-buys' Don't Work When the Police Turn Around and Offer the Guns for Sale (Martha Bellisle / Associated Press)
After the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives declined to release tracking information on guns associated with crimes, the Associated Press created a database of almost 6,000 firearms sold by law enforcement since 2010 and found more than a dozen firearms sold by police in Washington state since 2010 ended up as weapons seized in the commission of new crimes.

ACTION ALERT: Words and Deeds: Challenging War -- on Billboards and in Baltimore (World Beyond War & The Coalition Against US Foreign Military Bases)
The US maintains a costly global empire of military bases outside its territory, estimated at almost 1000 (95% of all foreign military bases in the world. The annual cost of these bases to the American taxpayers is approximately $156 billion. The support of US foreign military bases drains funds that can be used to fund human needs and enable our cities and States to provide necessary services for the people. Devoting just 3% of US military spending could put an end to starvation everywhere on Earth.

Terror or Entrapment? How the FBI Creates Terrorist Plots and Provides the Bombs (Darwin BondGraham / The East Bay Express)
Five recent Bay Area terrorism cases by the FBI raise questions as to whether the bureau has enticed young, troubled Muslim men to attempt acts they wouldn't have otherwise committed. All of the terror suspects were young and Muslim, each of them had been struggling with mental health issues and family problems, and each was heavily assisted by undercover FBI agents who posed as terrorists and provided money, drugs, vehicles and even bombs.

Open Letter to the American People from the Former President of Honduras (Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales / Socialist Project and The Bullet)
Former Honduran President Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales writes: The people of the United States, have been sold the idea that your government defends democracy [but the US is] supporting blatant electoral fraud fin Honduras. At least one opposition protester has died in shootings in Honduras after the country announced a curfew and suspended constitutional rights in the face of protests over a disputed election.

Mega-Dams May Be History in the Brazilian Amazon! (Christian Poirier / Amazon Watch)
Hydroelectric dams have caused great damage to indigenous and traditional communities and the environment, but they are only one of many serious Amazon threats -- new roads, railways, waterways, mines and other infrastructure all result in great destruction. While the just-announced shift in hydropower policy is important, experts agree that major changes are needed before one can talk of a real conservation breakthrough in the Brazilian Amazon.

Trump to Order Diplomats to Pimp for Pentagon Weapon Makers (Mike Stone and Matt Spetalnick / Reuters)
The Trump administration is nearing completion of a new "Buy American" plan that calls for US military attaches and diplomats to help drum up billions of dollars more in business overseas for the US weapons industry, going beyond the limited assistance they currently provide. One senior administration official described the proposal as a "180-degree shift" in the current arms-length approach to foreign weapons sales.

Guam's Military Perspective: Let The Public Be Damned (Harry Brill / The Berkeley Daily Planet)
Guam, which is a possession of the United States, has been making the news in response to military threats by North Korea. North Korea's warning was triggered by military threats from President Trump. It is probably unlikely that either nation will attack the other. On the other hand, Trump does not need the approval of Congress to launch an assault even with the deployment of nuclear weapons.

Energy Agency Rejects Trump Bid to Boost Coal, Nuclear Power (Matthew Daly / Associated Press)
An independent energy agency on Monday rejected a Trump administration plan to bolster coal-fired and nuclear power plants, dealing a blow to President Donald Trump's efforts to boost the struggling coal industry. The decision by the Republican-controlled Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was unexpected and comes amid repeated promises by Trump to revive coal as the nation's top power source.

Western Complicity Is Fuelling Yemen's Humanitarian Crisis (Stephen McCloskey / Open Democracy)
The United Nations Humanitarian Co-ordinator for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, has described the conflict in Yemen as "absurd" and "futile," characterised by "the destruction of the country and the incommensurate suffering of its people." A besieged and starved population has been pushed to the brink of famine. The UK, US and France need to re-evaluate their relationship with Saudi Arabia.

ACTION ALERT: Israel Implements a Deliberate Policy to Terrorise Palestinian Children (Kamel Hawwash / Middle East Eye)
Israel's founding father David Ben-Gurion once said about the Palestinians: 'The old will die and the young will forget.' How wrong was he about the Palestinian people. There are currently some 450 Palestinian children who have been placed in detention by Israel. Warning: Contains graphic video of an armed soldier shooting a Palestinian child.

War on America's Poor: Why Sessions (and the Prison Industry) Needs Pot Laws (Harvey Wasserman / Op-Ed News)
There are two main reasons behind the US Attorney-General's plan to pursue federal pot prosecutions: power and money. The Republican Party is vested in America's vast private prison system. Every new arrestee means money in the pockets of the investors who own and operate them. Keeping those cells and beds occupied is the essence of the industry and of Pot Prohibition. The Drug War is a giant cash cow for the prison owners, cops, guards, lawyers, judges, bailiffs and others.

Pollution and Global Disease: Washington's War on Americans' Health (Christopher Ingraham / The Washington Post & Alexandra Jacobo / NationofChange & Sophie Haigney / San Francisco Chronicle)
American lives are shorter on average than those in other wealthy nations, and the gap is growing -- owing to electromagnetic radiation, pollution, and chemical addictions. In 2016, US life expectancy dropped for the second year in a row. Children with low birth-weights -- less than 5 pounds 8 ounces -- are at increased risk for diabetes, heart disease and hypertension in later life.

The World's Policeman Comes Home: US Policing Abroad and Military Tactics at Home (Danny Sjursen / Tom Dispatch & The Nation)
Commentary: As in Baghdad, so in Baltimore. It's connected, you see. Scholars, pundits, politicians, most of us in fact like our worlds to remain discretely and comfortably separated. That's why so few articles, reports, or op-ed columns even think to link police violence at home to our imperial pursuits abroad.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Twitter to Revoke Donald Trump's Twitter Account (CREDO Mobile & Jack Moore / GQ Magazine)
Donald Trump has used Twitter to demean religions, other countries, immigrants, and world leaders. Now he is using Twitter to threaten a nuclear crisis. Ordinarily an online comment like that would send the CIA and FBI scrambling into action to track down and immobilized the "terrorist threat." It's time to demand that Twitter revoke Donald Trump's Twitter account for violations of the terms of service and institute safeguards to prevent a single tweet from sparking armed conflict.

The CDC Promotes Trump's Threat of a Nuclear War (Brett Molina / USA TODAY & Tyler Durden / ZeroHedge.com)
As tensions between North Korea and the US rise, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention want Americans to be prepared in case of a "nuclear event." The CDC's traditional role involves preventative intervention -- hygiene and vaccinations. Teaching the public "how to survive a nuclear detonation" is like teaching the public how to survive an influenza epidemic -- after stepping aside and allowing it to happen. If the CDC took nuclear war as seriously as the flu, it would be working on ways to prevent war.

$406 Billion for Trouble-plagued F-35 Jet but Healthcare "Too Costly" -- as Jets Endanger Childrens' Health (Ashley Curtin / NationofChange & Reuters & James Marc Leas / Truthout)
Members of Congress say the US is "too broke" to increase spending on programs that intend to improve education and healthcare, but $27 billion more could go to F-35 jet program. Meanwhile, the health of children in a working-class neighborhood of Vermont is suffering from exposure to the roar of jet fighters overhead. This jet noise is set to sharply increase in two years when the Air Force plans to replace the F-16s with four-times-louder F-35 fighter bombers.

ACTION ALERT: Trump's War on Independent Investigations (March for Truth & MoveOne.org & Glenn R. Simpson and Peter Fritsch / New York Times)
"Why did Mr. Trump repeatedly seek to do deals in a notoriously corrupt police state that most serious investors shun?" That's a question posed by the founders of Fusion GPS in a new op-ed for The New York Times.

Trump's Articles of Impeachment: A Greatest Hits Collection (David Swanson / FireDonaldTrump.org & Let's Try Democracy)
Although several potential articles of impeachment against Trump stand very strongly on their own, the strongest case for impeachment is a cumulative one. Because I cannot predict which articles, if any, will gain the most popular or Congressional support. I am have collected the strongest ones at FireDonaldTrump.org and will add more as the crime wave rolls on. I pushed for impeaching Bush and Obama for some similar offenses but many of Trump's high crimes and misdemeanors are unprecedented.

Psychiatrist Who Briefed Congress on Trump's Mental State Says: This Is (Eliza Barclay / Vox & Donald Trump / The New York Times)
The longer Donald Trump is in office, the more he shocks and alarms us with his strange and extremely unpresidential behavior. From the incoherent, fallacious interview he gave the New York Times on December 28 to Tuesday's tweet about his "nuclear button" to his smearing of Steve Bannon, the incendiary remarks keep getting more menacing and portentous of disaster. As Vox's Ezra Klein recently wrote: "The president of the United States is not well."

The Pentagon's Kadema Air Base Called "World's Most Dangerous Airport" (The Peace Report / Veterans for Peace & Jon Mitchell / The Japan Times)
The Kadema Air Base on Okinawa Island is the largest US Air Force installation in Asia. Equipped with vast runways and thousands of hangars, homes and workshops, the base and adjoining arsenal cover 46 square kilometers. Over the years, accidents and neglect have polluted local land and water with hazardous chemicals -- including arsenic, lead, polychlorinated biphenyls, asbestos and dioxin -- while US officials hid this information, putting at risk the health of US service members and 184,000 civilians living nearby.

Is Rebuilding after "Victory" Possible? Restoring Mosul Will Take Time, Money, and Will
Nearly every city or town in formerly ISIS-occupied territory needs repair. The longer it takes, the longer many of those who fled the fighting remain uprooted. While 2.7 million Iraqis have returned to lands seized back from the militants, more than 3 million others languish in refugee camps. Worst hit is Mosul. The UN estimates 40,000 homes there need to be rebuilt or restored. Returning residents face billions in construction costs and decades of rebuilding, but the source of financial aid remains uncertain.

Donald Trump's War Crimes (War Criminals Watch & Marjorie Cohn / TruthOut)
Since World War II, the United States has greatly expanded its global military presence and interventions around the world in order to protect overseas investments and to exploit global resources, including human labor, to establish itself as the dominant superpower. Just two and a half months into his presidency, Donald Trump quickly distinguished himself as a war criminal. His administration stands accused of killing unusually large numbers of civilians, in violation of US and international law.

A Deadly Legacy of Pollution Haunts Overseas US Military Bases (Whitney Webb / Mint Press & John Lindsay-Poland and Nick Morgan / The Institute for Policy Studies)
Producing more hazardous waste than the five largest US chemical companies combined, the US Department of Defense has left its toxic legacy throughout the world in the form of depleted uranium, oil, jet fuel, pesticides, defoliants like Agent Orange and lead, among other pollutants.

Three-day Conference on US Foreign Military Bases Begins January 12 (Coalition Against Foreign Military Bases)
The United States maintains the highest number of military bases outside its territory, estimated at almost 1000 (95% of all foreign military bases in the world). There are US military bases in every Persian Gulf country except Iran. US foreign military bases are NOT in defense of US national, or global security. They are the military expression of US intrusion into the lives of sovereign countries on behalf of the dominant financial, political, and military interests of a Western ruling elite.

ACTION ALERT: Trump's Un-American War on Immigrants (Mom's Rising / Mamas Con Poder & Nicole Prchal Svajlenka, Angie Bautista-Chavez, and Laura Muñoz Lopez / Center for American Progress)
The Trump administration is ripping away Temporary Protected Status status from thousands of families. This is un-American. Lives are in grave danger. TPS beneficiaries are integral to the US economy and American society: They have lived in the US for an average of 19 years and are employed at high rates, ranging from 69.2 to 83.5 percent. The contributions made by TPS holders will only continue to grow in the future, as they are collectively raising families that include nearly 275,000 US-born children.

Is Rebuilding after "Victory" Possible? Restoring Mosul Will Take Time, Money, and Will
Nearly every city or town in formerly ISIS-occupied territory needs repair. The longer it takes, the longer many of those who fled the fighting remain uprooted. While 2.7 million Iraqis have returned to lands seized back from the militants, more than 3 million others languish in refugee camps. Worst hit is Mosul. The UN estimates 40,000 homes there need to be rebuilt or restored. Returning residents face billions in construction costs and decades of rebuilding, but the source of financial aid remains uncertain.

36,898 Reported Killed in Iraq in 2016 -- And Probably More Have Died (Margaret Griffis / AntiWar.com)
At least 36,898 people were killed, and 8,753 were wounded in Iraq during 2017. These figures should be considered lowball estimates, especially considering that the number of casualties being reported publicly was reduced. During 2016, 52,369 people were killed 21,795 were wounded. The Iraqi government censored information about security casualties and perhaps even civilian ones. Consequently, at the end of 2016, the UN was hectored into limiting the number of casualties it was allowed to compile.

How It May Soon Be Possible to Prosecute War as a Crime (David Swanson / World Beyond War & Thomas Knapp / AntiWar.com)
War is a crime. The International Criminal Court has just announced that it will finally treat it as a crime, sort-of, kind-of. But how can war's status as a crime effectively deter the world's leading war-maker from threatening and launching more wars, large and small? How can laws against war actually be put to use? How can the ICC's announcement be made into something more than a pretense?

Palestinian Refugee Camp Is the Most Tear-Gassed Place on Earth, According to New Study (brahim Husseini and Liam O'Hare / Al Jazeera)
Refugee camps are among the most vulnerable to tear-gas exposure. A recent report finds that one Palestinian refugee camp in the occupied West Bank may be the most tear-gassed community in the world. While tear gas is usually composed of synthetic or naturally occurring gases, including pepper spray, the specific chemical utilized "is unknown" although Israel is obligated to disclose the composition of the tear gas it uses so medical professionals can treat the symptoms the chemicals cause.

Wars of Aggression to Become Global Crimes; Leaders Could be Held for Trial (Coalition for the International Criminal Court)
Marathon diplomatic negotiation at 16th Assembly of States Parties in New York achieves consensus on activating ICC jurisdiction over leaders who wage aggressive war -- with conditions.

Trump Mulls His Own Private Army (Jefferson Morley / The Progressive Populist)
President Trump is maneuvering to establish his own intelligence service to do what the CIA cannot or will not do for him. According to BuzzFeed, Trump is considering a proposal for a private company, the Amyntor Group, "to set up a large intelligence network and run counterterrorist propaganda efforts." The Intercept reports the plan was developed by Erik Prince, founder of the Blackwater private security firm, with help from Oliver North, a key figure in the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s.

Pop Quiz! How Much Do You Know About the Korean War? (Refuse Facism)
Donald Trump has threatened "fire and fury" against people living on the Korean Peninsula. Many people fear and hate Trump but do not know the history of Korean-US relations including the Korean War of the 1950s. Take this test and RefuseFascism will email you the results of your quiz and publish overall responses as soon as the quiz generates at least 1,000 submissions.

The Iranian Protests and Washington's Opportunism (Daniel Larison / The American Conservative & teleSURtv & Juan Cole / Informed Content)
Many of the problems racking Iran stem from long-standing US pressures, including an array of punishing economic sanctions. The near seven decades of US interference in Iran have included the orchestration of a military coup against a democratically elected government. The key thing that US politicians and policymakers need to keep in mind is that Iran's internal protests are not about us, nor are they an "opportunity" for us to exploit. Trump doesn't really care about Iran's troubled citizens.

Honduran Election Fraud Follows Decades of Corruption Funded By US Drug War (Danielle Marie Mackey / The Intercept)
Olancho is gorgeous, with elevated cloud forests flush with orchids and fresh water that tumbles down majestic cliffs, spilling into lowland rainforests or emerald rolling pastures and valleys. But a sinister history lies below the surface and reveals itself only indirectly. A satellite image of a preserved rainforest that traverses the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve reveals a cemetery of hacked trees. The extent of the carnage was almost certainly too big and had happened too fast to be funded by anything other than drugs.

Washington's Earlier Wars: The Anti-Imperialist League and the Battle Against Empire (Thomas E. Woods, Jr. / The Mises Daily<)
In April 1898 the US went to war with Spain for the stated purpose of liberating Cuba from Spanish control. When the war had ended, Cuba had been transformed into a US protectorate, and Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines had become American possessions. When the US government failed to grant independence to the Philippines, the result was a brutal guerrilla war that stretched on for years and claimed the lives of some 200,000 Filipinos.

ACTION ALERT: Ekecheiria! An Olympic Peace Week for Korea (Roots Action & the United Nations)
The United Nations has asked its member states to observe an Olympic truce during the upcoming February 9-25 Winter Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, and for one week on either side. That would be February 2 to March 4. South Korea has asked the United States to delay its war rehearsal flights over South Korea until after the truce. If the world can prove that it can refrain from war during a sports competition, it will have proved that it can do so after the competition as well.

Earth Anthems: Imagine a New National Anthem: One that Celebrates Peace and Not War (Stephen Longfellow Fiske, Michael Jackson, et al.)
In 1931, Congress officially designated "The Star-Spangled Banner" as the US National Anthem. Now, in the ongoing folk tradition of adding new verses to old songs, visionary singer, songwriter Stephen Longfellow Fiske (descendant of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow) brings the evolution of the song to the global perspective of the 21st century, blending democratic ideals, peace, and environmental harmony with his Earth Anthem.

The 10 Most Ridiculous Things Media Figures Said About Climate Change and the Environment in 2017 (Kevin Kalhoefer / Media Matters for America / Research)
When it comes to climate change denial, various pundits and media sources unleashed a storefront of fake news during 2017. Here is a short-list of some of the most outlandish whoppers.

How Dick Cheney and His Allies Created the Korea Crisis (Gareth Porter / AntiWar.com & Julian Borger / The Guardian)
The Trump administration has been telling people for months that the crisis with North Korea is the result of North Korea's relentless pursuit of a nuclear threat to the US homeland and past North Korean cheating on diplomatic agreements. However, North Korea reached agreements with both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations that could have averted that threat, had they been completed. Instead, a group of Bush administration officials led by then-Vice President Dick Cheney sabotaged both agreement.

Ellsberg's The Doomsday Machine: The Madness of America's Nuclear Weapons (William J. Astore / AntiWar.com)
Daniel Ellsberg's new book, The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner, is a shattering portrayal of the genocidal nature of US nuclear planning during the Cold War -- and that threat of worldwide genocide (or omnicide, a word Ellsberg uses to describe the death of nearly everything from a nuclear exchange that would generate disastrous cooling due to nuclear winter) persists to this day.

Germany Generates Such a Huge Excess of Wind Energy Consumers Are Paid to Use It! (Josie Cox / The Independent & Josh Gabbatiss / The Independent)
In Germany -- thanks to the growth of clean, renewable energy -- demand for energy has been outstripped by supply on weekends. This year, when factories across the country powered down and many offices closed, wind power generated such a glut of energy that customers were paid to use it. Germany aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 95 percent by 2050. Meanwhile, in Britain, the latest government figures show 'record high' for electrical power produced from sources like wind and solar.

Why Doesn't Congress Care When Israel Kills American Citizens? (Alex Kane / The Forward)
When Americans of Palestinian descent are shot dead by Israeli soldiers, no Senators or Congressmen rush to press for accountability from Israel's army, or put the names of Palestinian victims on legislation that would tie US aid to Israel to policy changes. On February 26, 2016, Mahmoud Shaman, a 16-year-old teenager from Florida who had moved to his family's village near Ramallah, was fatally shot an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint. Witnesses said the boy's hands were raised when he was shot.

The Impact of Global Warming in the Land of Santa Claus (Josh Gabbatiss / The Independent)
Lapland occupies a happy space in the popular imagination as a winter wonderland, occupied by reindeer, elves and Father Christmas. The real life Lapland, however, is increasingly facing up to the grim reality of global warming. Research has revealed the disproportionate impact of climate change in the Arctic, where temperatures are currently rising at double the rate of the global average. The far north is bearing the brunt of global warming.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Is Honored With a Nobel Peace Prize (Alice Slater / The Nation & Beatrice Fihn / ICAN & Setsuko Thurlow / ICAN)
It has been just 10 years since ICAN first launched its astonishing campaign to ban nuclear weapons, just as chemical and biological weapons have been banned as well as land mines and cluster bombs. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has now closed a legal gap in the 1970 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that only requires "good faith efforts for nuclear disarmament" by the then-five existing nuclear weapons states -- the United States, Russia, UK, France, China.

Trump Inauguration Protesters Acquitted: Victory for the First Amendment (Alexandra Jacobo / NationofChange & Ryan J. Reilly / The Huffington Post)
During a protest of Donald Trump's inauguration, police arrested nearly 200 people, charging them with conspiracy to riot, engaging in a riot, and five counts of criminal property destruction -- simply based on the fact that they participated in the protest. A jury has now acquitted the first six defendants to be tried on these charges. This key First Amendment case could determine the fate of others arrested during the protests who found themselves facing "guilt-by-association felonies."

The GOP Tax Bill: How the Environment Lost (Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch)
The Republican tax bill has major repercussions for our precious environment. While the electric vehicle industry and the wind and solar sector can breathe a little easier that the sweeping legislation preserves their tax credits, fossil fuel producers are likely cheering the opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling. Environment America notes that the bill continues massive incentives for fossil fuel production amounting to tens of billions of dollars over the next decade.

There Is No Military Solution to End War in Yemen (Al Jazeera & Daniel Larison / The American Conservative)
Every day that the US continues to provide arms and fuel to the Saudi-led coalition is another day that the administration shows that it is not serious about addressing the causes of the humanitarian catastrophe engulfing Yemen. The Red Cross reports that there are now more than a million cases of cholera in Yemen.

ACTION ALERT: Federal Court Invalidates Trump's Call to Allow Trophy Hunting (Endangered Species Coalition & The Humane Society & Care2 Petitions)
The US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has ruled that the US Fish & Wildlife Service did not follow the law in its recently-announced decision to allow the importation of elephant and lion "trophies" from Zimbabwe and Zambia. Meanwhile, the Pentagon routinely mutilates and kills animals in military exercises designed to train medics to deal with "battlefield injuries."

Pentagon Confirms 'Multiple' US Ground Operations in Yemen (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Hans Nichols and Mosheh Gains / NBC News)
While the Pentagon has been very secretive about what they've been doing in Yemen all year, on Wednesday officials confirmed that they have carried out "multiple ground operations," as well as 120 airstrikes in 2017. Before Wednesday's statement, the extent of the US counterterrorism operations in Yemen was unknown under the Trump administration, with only sporadic acknowledgement of US military operations there.

US Plans for a 'Bloody Nose' Attack on North Korea Could Trigger Massive Deaths (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Ben Riley-Smith / The Telegraph & Dr. Laura Grego / Union of Concerned Scientists)
According to a new report in the Daily Telegraph, the concerns about a US attack on North Korea are very well-founded, and the White House has "dramatically" stepped up plans for what it is calling a "bloody nose" attack on North Korea. Apparently ignoring months of analyst warnings that there is no way to have a "limited" war with North Korea, the White House envisions a quick, damaging attack.

France to Ban Oil and Gas Extraction: US Bank Breaks Vow to Ban Oil Pipeline Investments (Ruth Milka / NationofChange & Sharon Kelly / DeSmogBlog)
In a major victory for the planet, French parliament has passed a law that bans all exploration and production of oil and natural gas by 2040 within France and all its overseas territories. Meanwhile, US Bank (which announced it would be the first large American bank to completely halt loans for oil and gas pipeline projects) has quietly offered a $4 billion loan to the company behind the Dakota Access pipeline project.

ACTION ALERT: For the Sake of a Single Tree (Neil Cohen / Solartopia.org)
When we found the unedited report from the arborist hired by the city, we were stunned to discover that he actually wrote a GLOWINGLY SUPPORTIVE report about this tree -- but that the city's staff for some reason chose to cut, paste, and rearrange the arborist's written narrative in order to HANG the tree.

Trump: Pursuing a Defense Spending Hike and a Pentagon Audit at the Same Time? (Curt Mills / The National Interest)
Left unmentioned in the president's speech on Monday regarding the National Security Strategy is that, under his direction, the Pentagon is undergoing its first audit in history. It's not referenced in the document itself, either, though "restraining Federal spending" and "making government more efficient" are mentioned. The National Interest pointed out last week how little attention the audit is getting.

ACTION ALERT: South, North Korea Hope for Peaceful Olympics Games. Will US Cancel Military Exercises? (Roots Action & Nam Hyun-woo / The Korea Times & Doug Bandow / The American Conservative)
South Korea wants to delay the joint military drills with the United States during the PyeongChang Olympic Games. For the past two months, North Korea has been acting within this concept. Unfortunately, the US has not scaled down its drills and plans to add another exercise. In order to bring the North to the discussion table, some action from the US should be seen. Does the US want to exacerbate or defuse the crisis?

The US Is Building Its Biggest Overseas Base -- In South Korea (Jon Letman / The Diplomat)
Now in the final stage of a massive base expansion, when completed around 2020, Humphreys will have tripled in size to nearly 3,500 acres -- roughly the size of central Washington, D.C. -- making it the largest overseas American military base in the world, capping off over a dozen years of transformation and consolidation of the US military footprint in South Korea.

The Boys Who Said "No": The Story That Was Missing in the Ken Burn's Vietnam Documentary (Judith Ehrlich / The Boys Who Said No and Robert Levering / Waging Peace)
Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's PBS series, "The Vietnam War," deserves an Oscar for its depiction of the gore of war and the criminality of the warmakers. But it also deserves to be critiqued for its portrayal of the anti-war movement. Millions joined the struggle against the war. Any semblance between the peace movement I experienced and the one depicted by the Burns/Novick series is purely coincidental. A new documentary, "The Boys Who Said 'No'", hopes to set the record straight.

US-backed Saudi Airstrikes in Yemen Kill 136 Civilians in 11 Days (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & The Associated Press)
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes against targets across northern Yemen have continued since the early 2015 invasion, and civilians have borne the brunt of the strikes. Escalating attacks suggest a disturbing trend, with the UN High Commission for Human Rights expressing deep concern. Not only are the civilian death tolls mounting, but the nature of the strikes has been increasingly troubling. Recent strikes have hit a hospital, a prison, a TV station, and a carload of women returning from a wedding.

Trump's 'National Security Strategy' Is the Opposite of National Security (Thomas Knapp / AntiWar.com)
Commentary: The Goldwater-Nichols Act requires the president to submit a "National Security Strategy" report each year. Every president since Ronald Reagan has failed to comply with the law in one or more years of his administration, but on December 17 Donald Trump issued his report. Unfortunately, Trump's offering is of a piece with his prior displays of economic illiteracy and foreign policy jingoism. It's a dog's breakfast of policy pronouncements.

ACTION ALERT: 1000 Days of War: Stop the Humanitarian Disaster in Yemen (Win Without War)
December 20, 2017 marks 1000 days of Saudi Arabia's intervention into Yemen's civil war. Thanks to this disastrous war -- that is waged with the support of the US, UK, and France -- millions of Yemeni civilians are on the brink the largest famine the world has seen in decades as millions more face outbreaks of preventable diseases like cholera and diphtheria, and indiscriminate violence. Add your name to a statement on the need to end the war and find a political solution to this man-made disaster.

Three Administrations, One Standard Playbook (Danny Sjursen and Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch)
Commentary: In a Washington politically riven in ways not seen since the pre-Civil War era, take hope. Despite everything you've read, bipartisanship is not dead. On one issue, congressional Democrats and Republicans, as well as Donald Trump, all speak with a single resounding voice, with, in fact, unmatched unanimity and fervor as they stretch hands across the aisle in a spirit of cooperation. Perhaps you've already guessed, but I'm referring to the Pentagon budget.

Carbon Colonialism: The Failure of Carbon Offset Projects in Uganda (Anuradha Mittal / The Oakland Institute)
As the One Climate Summit began in Paris, the Oakland Institute's new report, Carbon Colonialism: Failure of Green Resources' Carbon Offset Project in Uganda, exposed the false solutions to climate change promoted by some Western corporations and institutions in Africa. In Uganda, one major carbon-offset project -- supported by a number of international financial institutions -- illustrates how climate change is increasingly misused as a pretext for imposing a new form of "carbon colonialism" in Africa.

ACTION ALERT: Why Is Tellerson Backtracking on Korea Diplomacy? (Tulsi Gabbard / US House of Representatives & AntiWar.com & Ron Paul / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity)
Commentary: It seems pretty reasonable to open talks with North Korea after a period of "good faith" gestures between Washington and Pyongyang. Why not agree on no US/South Korean joint military exercises for six months in exchange for no North Korean missile launches for the same period and then agree to a meeting on neutral ground? How could it possibly hurt, particularly considering the alternative?

Is Trump Building His Own Global Private Spy Agency? (Bill Berkowitz / Buzzflash & TruthOut)
What could be more exciting for a chickenhawk president who bullies, boasts and brags, then to have his own private spy network at his beck and call? According to The Intercept, that's exactly what Erik Prince is proposing: "to provide CIA Director Mike Pompeo and the White House with a global, private spy network that would circumvent official US intelligence agencies, according to several current and former US intelligence officials and others familiar with the proposals."

Call for a Ban as Pentagon Explores Genetic Extinction Warfare (Arthur Neslen / The Guardian)
A US military agency is investing $100 million in genetic extinction technologies that could wipe out entire species. The technology could be used to wipe out malaria-carrying mosquitos or other pests, but UN experts say fears over possible military uses and unintended consequences strengthen case for a ban. The UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is debating whether to impose a moratorium on the gene research next year and several southern countries fear a possible military application.

The 'American Dream' an 'illusion,' Says UN. US Now 'World Champion' of Inequality (United Nations News Centre & Ed Pilkington / The Guardian)
United Nations special rapporteur Philip Alston, fresh from two-week, fact-finding tour, has issued a devastating critique of US society that condemns "private wealth and public squalor . . . . The face of poverty in America is not only black or Hispanic, but also white, Asian and many other colors. 'American Dream' quickly becoming an 'illusion.' The persistence of extreme poverty is a political choice made by those in power. With political will, it could readily be eliminated."

Costly New US-Russia Nuke Arms Race Features New, More Dangerous Weapons (Scot Paltrow / Reuters)
President Barack Obama rode into office in 2009 with promises to work toward a nuclear-free world. His vow helped win him the Nobel Peace Prize that year. He promised that America would develop no new types of atomic weapons. Instead, Obama initiated a $1 trillion modernization program that is making nearly all of the Pentagon's nuclear weapons more accurate and deadly. And Russia, its weapons badly degraded from neglect after the Cold War, has begun its own costly modernization program.

War Against Equality: Over the Past Year, the Income of the USA's Top .001% Increased by 636% (teleSUR & The Huffington Post)
Global Economic Inequality is surging, further widening the pay gap between the haves and have-nots, according to a new World Inequality report. The report, which highlights the growing gulf between haves and have-nots, was compiled by five economists, including scholars Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty. Average annual income for the bottom 50 percent has remained basically unchanged at $16,000 over the past 40 years. In 2016, the richest one percent held 39 percent of the country's wealth.

The Planet's Shrinking Wilderness -- Ignored at Our Peril (Wildlife Conservation Society & Science Daily)
The majority of remaining wilderness areas are in the deserts of Central Australia, the Amazon rainforest in South America, the Tibetan plateau in central Asia, and the boreal (snow) forests of Canada and Russia. These ecosystems play a key role in regulating local climates, sequestering and storing large amounts of carbon and supporting many of the world's most culturally diverse and marginalized communities. Maps of these critically important wilderness areas are now freely available online.

US Allegations of Iran Missiles in Yemen Met With Skepticism (AntiWar.com & Reuters & Moon of Alabama)
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley presented what she called "irrefutable" evidence that a Yemen-fired missile was of Iranian origin on Thursday, but there remains substantial speculation about what, if anything, she actually proved in the presentation. Haley's presentation was very light on specifics. France was very clear about how skeptical they are of the Haley comments, noting that the UN has not drawn any conclusions.

War on the First Amendment: Medics, Observers and a Journalist Face 50 Years in Prison for Trump Inauguration Protests (Amy Goodman / Democracy Now! & The Huffington Post)
Final arguments are underway today in Washington, DC, in a case that could shape the future of free speech and the right to protest in the US: the first trial of the nearly 200 people arrested during Donald Trump's inauguration. The first so-called trial to go to a jury involves six people, including one journalist, Alexei Wood, a freelance photojournalist. The defendants face multiple felony and misdemeanor charges, including multiple counts of destruction of property. Evidence against the defendants has been scant.

Privatize the Wars: Erik Prince Is On the Move (Bill Berkowitz / Buzzflash @ TruthOut & Charles Pierce / Esquire)
Erik Prince, the founder of the notorious Blackwater (now known as Academi) private army that wreaked havoc during the Bush-era military adventures in Iraq, the chair of Frontier Services Group, an aviation, logistics, and security firm, brother of education secretary Betsy DeVos, and close friend to Steve Bannon, is not letting any grass grow under his mercenary and entrepreneurial feet. Prince is looking to franchise FSG operations in China.

Donald Trump and Rupert Murdoch Have Set Our Future on Fire (Mark Hertsgaard / The Nation & Climate Nexus / EcoWatch)
Commentary: The fires of hell roared through the City of Angels, dispatched by the lords of darkness. Blasted by 80-mile-an-hour winds that turned palm trees into giant torches. In one of those ironies so glaringly obvious that fate seems to be commanding that humans pay attention, one of the properties scorched by the LA fires belonged to Rupert Murdoch, the founder of Fox News, a lavish donor to the GOP, a close confidant of Donald Trump, and a major purvey of "fake news" about the "hoax" of global warming.

War Against Equality: Over the Past Year, the Income of the USA's Top .001% Increased by 636% (teleSUR )
Global Economic Inequality is surging, further widening the pay gap between the haves and have-nots, according to a new World Inequality report. The report, which highlights the growing gulf between haves and have-nots, was compiled by five economists, including scholars Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty. Average annual income for the bottom 50 percent has remained basically unchanged at $16,000 over the past 40 years. In 2016, the richest one percent held 39 percent of the country's wealth.

ICC Rules Aggression Is a War Crime: Will Washington Be Held to Account? (Coalition for the International Criminal Court)
Marathon diplomatic negotiations at 16th Assembly of States Parties in New York have achieved consensus on activating International Criminal Court jurisdiction over world leaders who wage aggressive wars -- with conditions. "For the first time since the post-WWII trials in Nuremburg and Tokyo, an international cou