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April 4, 2003
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EAW's Breaking News archive

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 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?

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?

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