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Obama meets with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin fd60d
May
19

United States Wants War With Russia

Tag: Peace and War

By David Swanson, American Herald Tribune

After provoking Russia for decades, the United States government has apparently concluded that the Russians are all saints and decided to escalate the provocations with confidence that nothing will go wrong, or go nuclear. Either that or the U.S. government truly wants World War III.

I wouldn't treat a diseased rat the way the United States treats Russia. The Russian government has exercised such incredible restraint that the United States has apparently decided it can get away with being even nastier, a move that is now openly described by Washington insiders as being driven by weapons profiteering:

"'This is the "Chicken-Little, sky-is-falling" set in the Army,' the senior Pentagon officer said. 'These guys want us to believe the Russians are 10 feet tall. There's a simpler explanation: The Army is looking for a purpose, and a bigger chunk of the budget. And the best way to get that is to paint the Russians as being able to land in our rear and on both of our flanks at the same time. What a crock.'"

In fact, the United States spends well over 8 times what Russia does on militarism, not counting "Homeland Security" or Energy or State or Veterans, etc. The world still contains enough nuclear weapons to destroy human life if just a small fraction of them are used, and 93 percent of them belong to Russia and the United States.

Why aren't the nukes gone, when Gorbachev was willing to give them up?

May
17

Talk Nation Radio: Meike Capps-Schubert on U.S. Military Resistance in Germany

Tag: Peace and War, Talk Nation Radio

  https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-meike-capps-schubert-on-us-military-resistance-in-germany

Meike Capps-Schubert is the co-founder and current manager of The Clearing Barrel GI-Coffeehouse in Kaiserslautern next to Ramstein Airbase, Germany, the only GI-coffeehouse outside the United States. A long-time peace and justice activist in Germany, Meike is a counselor with the Military Counseling Network e.V. -- the German branch of the GI-rights-hotline, which provides free, confidential, and accurate information on U.S. military regulations and practices to members of the U.S. military, veterans, and their families. She has also helped build critical support for U.S. war resisters in Germany since 2003. Learn more:http://theclearingbarrel.blogspot.dehttp://www.mc-network.dehttps://www.betterplace.org/en/projects/5543-the-clearing-barrel-gi-cafe-germanyhttp://gicoffeehousetour.blogspot.de

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.Producer: David Swanson.Music by Duke Ellington.

Download from LetsTryDemocracy or Archive.Pacifica stations can also download from Audioport.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete athttp://TalkNationRadio.org

and athttps://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/tracks

May
14

Just War Lies

Tag: Peace and War

With the Catholic Church, of all things, turning against the doctrine that maintains there can be a "just war," it's worth taking a serious look at the thinking behind this medieval doctrine, originally based in the divine powers of kings, concocted by a saint who actually opposed self-defense but supported slavery and believed killing pagans was good for the pagans -- an anachronistic doctrine that to this day still outlines its key terms in Latin.

Laurie Calhoun's book, War and Delusion: A Critical Examination, casts an honest philosopher's eye on the arguments of the "just war" defenders, taking seriously their every bizarre claim, and carefully explaining how they fall short. Having just found this book, here is my updated list of required reading on war abolition:

A Global Security System: An Alternative to War by World Beyond War, 2015.War: A Crime Against Humanity by Roberto Vivo, 2014.War and Delusion: A Critical Examination by Laurie Calhoun, 2013.Shift: The Beginning of War, the Ending of War by Judith Hand, 2013.The End of War by John Horgan, 2012.Transition to Peace by Russell Faure-Brac, 2012.Beyond War: The Human Potential for Peace by Douglas Fry, 2009.Living Beyond War by Winslow Myers, 2009.

These are the criteria Calhoun lists for jus ad bellum:

be publicly declared have a reasonable prospect for success be waged only as a last resort be waged by a legitimate authority with right intention, and have a cause both just and proportional (sufficiently grave to warrant the extreme measure of war)

I would add one more as a logical necessity:

have a reasonable prospect of being conducted with jus in bello.

These are the criteria Calhoun lists for jus in bello:

only proportional means to sound military objectives may be deployed noncombatants are immune from attack enemy soldiers must be respected as human beings, and prisoners of war are to be treated as noncombatants.

There are two problems with these lists. The first is that even if every item were actually met, which has never happened and can never happen, that would not make the mass killing of human beings moral or legal. Imagine if someone created criteria for just slavery or just lynching and then met the criteria; would that satisfy you? The second problem is that the criteria are, as I've mentioned -- just as with President Obama's similar, extra-legal, self-imposed criteria for drone murders -- never actually met.

May
12

The Best and Least Known Killing Spree

Tag: Political Ideas

This week we lost one of the best lawyers and activists the United States has known, Michael Ratner, on the same day on which Bob Marley had died years before. It was Michael Ratner who told us who killed Che Guevara. This led me to make this little list:

1955 John Wayne

1960 Ernest Hemingway

1961 Paul Robeson

1963 John Kennedy

1965 Malcolm X

1967 Che Guevara

1968 Martin Luther King Jr.

1968 Robert Kennedy

1976 Bob Marley

(Never give up?) Fidel Castro

2015 Beau Biden

What does this list have in common? These are all people whom I hope some of you know of and who quite likely died of the same disease: U.S. militarism (except Fidel, but not for lack of trying).

But perhaps I don't have to try such bizarre approaches anymore to get anyone to care about mass murder. Donald "kill their families" Trump admitted this week that U.S. wars are one-sided slaughters, that the U.S. government kills millions of people, and that the U.S. government lies about it.

Perhaps someone else on television will say that again. Perhaps reporters will report on it.

Ha. Ha. Just kidding. Back in reality, click on a few of the famous names above and see if that moves you.

May
12

Maybe a country that cannot even count delegates doesn't deserve to go on

Tag: Elections

I'm not a big fan of Bernie Sanders, but I do find it revolting how everyone pretends he's lost an ongoing election, thus increasing the chances that the primates who have yet to vote will vote against him.

The stunning news in this election is actually the extent to which people have defied the media and voted for Bernie despite being told, in many different ways, not to. People have pleasantly shocked me. I predicted he wouldn't get anywhere like this far. But the message that he's already lost is a pretty powerful message -- if you ignore the actual facts of the matter.

Clinton has 1719 and Sanders 1425 actual voted for delegates. There are 897 left to win. If Sanders wins 596 or more of them, he wins.

Then, if despite a grossly rigged system Sanders actually wins more actual delegates, the problem of the superdelegates can be dealt with. If, on the other hand, Clinton wins more actual delegates, she will of course claim that the superdelegates don't matter. Of course, they have mattered immensely in maintaining the pretense of a huge and insumountable lead. But there's no reason for voters in the remaining states not to understand the facts and not to vote en masse against a candidate as dangerous as Hillary Clinton.

May
11

How to Oppose the Draft for Women and Not Be Sexist

Tag: Peace and War, Political Ideas

For the majority of people in the United States who have no idea, yes, draft registration still exists, but only for males. However, the U.S. House of Representatives is interested in adding young women to the rolls. In fact the House Armed "Services" Committee passed such a measure in April, and it is now part of the National "Defense" Authorization Act pending review, amendment, debate, and passage.

An amendment proposed by Congressman Pete Sessions would undo this "progressive" development. Some rightwing groups that consult the Bible for their standards of women's rights also want to stop the extension of "selective service" to all 18 year olds. Some peace activists believe that the key to ending warmaking is actually activating the draft in as big a way as possible. And liberal humanitarian warriors want equal war rights for women. Much of the rest of the world, meanwhile, believes the United States has overdosed on military madness.

As a helpful public service, I offer this guide on how (and why) to oppose extending draft registration to women without being a sexist pig.

1. Oppose the draft extension while wearing a Hillary hat.

2. Just kidding. The goal here is to prevent wars, not launch a dozen new ones. Stay principled. This isn't actually that hard.

3. Join a growing movement backing legislation to end draft registration in the United States for everyone.

May
11

Bush-Obama Powers Will Pass to Next President

Tag: Peace and War, Political Ideas

Remember when coups and assassinations were secretive, when presidents were obliged to go to Congress and tell lies and ask permission for wars, when torture, spying, and lawless imprisonment were illicit, when re-writing laws with signing statements and shutting down legal cases by yelling "state secrets!" was abusive, and when the idea of a president going through a list of men, women, and children on Tuesdays to pick whom to have murdered would have been deemed an outrage?

All such resistance and outrage is in the past by mutual consent of those in power in Washington, D.C. Whoever becomes the next president of the United States could only unfairly and in violation of established bipartisan precedent be denied the powers of unlimited spying, imprisoning, and killing. That this is little known is largely a symptom of partisanship. Most Democrats still haven't allowed themselves to hear of the kill list. But the widespread ignorance is also a function of media, of what's reported, what's editorialized, what's asked about in campaign debates, and what isn't.

The new book, Assassination Complex: Inside the Government's Secret Drone Warfare Program, from Jeremy Scahill and the staff of The Intercept, is terrific to see even more for what it represents than for what it actually teaches us. We've already learned the details it includes from the website of the Intercept, and they fit with similar details that have trickled out through numerous sources for years. But the fact that a media outlet is reporting on this topic and framing its concerns in a serious way around the dangerous expansion of presidential and governmental power is encouraging.

May
10

Talk Nation Radio: Jean Trounstine and Karter Reed on Murder, Juvenile Injustice, and Redemption

  https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-jean-trounstine-and-karter-reed-on-murder-juvenile-injustice-and-redemption

Jean Trounstine is the author of Boy With a Knife: A Story of Murder, Remorse, and a Prisoner's Fight for Justice.

Karter Reed is the subject of and the author of the Epilogue to the book. He was convicted of murder as a child in an adult court, and was sent to adult prison.

Trounstine and Reed discuss Reed's story and U.S. policies on juvenile crime.

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.Producer: David Swanson.Music by Duke Ellington.

Download from LetsTryDemocracy or Archive.Pacifica stations can also download from Audioport.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete athttp://TalkNationRadio.org

and athttps://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/tracks

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