Ray McGovern v. Militarized Madness

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Retired CIA analyst Ray McGovern has been an outspoken commentator on intelligence-related issues.  He was arrested last night at the door of the (New York City) 92nd Street Y where ex-General David Petraeus was scheduled to speak.  Although he held a ticket to the event, McGovern's arrest included charges of criminal trespass as well as resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. McGovern spent the night in jail and was arraigned about noon today.  He has a court date for Dec. 8. Read more about last night's events here.  Stay tuned for further developments.


WEAR ORANGE ON OCTOBER 30

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Stand in opposition to mass incarceration. On campuses, in the streets, in high schools, at work, on public transportation - everywhere you go that day, wear orange. Gather in public spots in your city town or campus with groups of people in orange, challenging others to join you and be part of the crew.


photo by RemsReports.com; more here

Orange is the color prisoners are forced to wear - from the torture chambers in Guantanamo, to the infamous SHU units in California, to the work gangs on Texas prison farms, to teeming youth detention centers coast to coast. We'll wear orange to turn this around - orange is the color of resistance, and known for that far and wide in society. It will help galvanize and give expression to our opposition.

This country has the highest incarceration rate in world history. 2.4 million people, a huge number of them Black and Latino youth, are in prison. Black men are incarcerated at a rate over 6 times that of white men, and given on average much higher sentences for the same offenses. We live in a society that offers no future to masses of Black and Latino youth except prison and punishment.

This is unacceptable! Throughout October resistance has been mobilized to the slow genocide of mass incarceration and police terror. The month was opened by taking the Pledge of Resistance in cities across the country. This was followed by sermons in dozens of religious institutions; symposiums at Columbia Univ, UC Berkeley and other campuses; more than a thousand people gathering for Ferguson October and now we're coming off a successful mobilization for October 22, the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. October 30 will be a day to make our resistance resonate further thruout society and deliver a message to one and all that mass incarceration and all its consequences must be stopped; and that we are determined to STOP it!

Be creative. Be bold. Be determined. Make a lot of noise, get a lot of attention. 

Send pictures, videos, and reports to smimreports@gmail.com  

You Can't Bomb a Virus

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Obama could have called Ebola a "public health threat" or "global health threat." But with this bold declaration that the virus is a "security threat", he is doing two things. First, he's trying to convey that the outbreak in West Africa -- even though it's on a distant continent -- presents an existential threat to America. This language shifts the focus from "them" to "us." Second, he's signaling that the risk is immediate enough to justify the galvanization of American resources.


9/11 politics of fear fail to address the root causes of today's epidemic and will only exasperate a rapidly deteriorating situation

One of the biggest decisions for the world's biggest single user of fossil fuel will be the location of some 7,000 U.S. military sites, according to a Pentagon report released Monday. 


We see an Arctic that is melting, meaning that most likely a new sea lane will emerge. We know that there are significant minerals and natural deposits of oil and natural gas there. That means that nations will compete for those natural resources. That's never been an issue before. You couldn't get up there and get anything out of there. We have to manage through what those conditions and new realities are going to bring in the way of potential threats... We are considering the impacts of climate change in our war games and defense planning scenarios. 


-- Defense secretary Chuck Hagel

A new book by Henry Giroux confronts the false narrative of neoliberal politics.


..widespread acceptance of the militarized lockdown of Boston crystalizes the degree to which society has come to accept martial law and mass surveillance as inevitable necessities of contemporary American life. Over-the-top repression of social movements like Occupy reveals an increasing intolerance and suspicion of those who challenge state and corporate power, while the violence marketed to youth as entertainment promotes further disconnection from a sense of cohesive community. The Violence of Organized Forgetting is a passionate call for public engagement as a means to push back against restrictions on freedom and the passive acceptance of a frightening status quo.


NOT ONE MORE DEPORTATION

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 Monday, October 13

 Rally 3 pm, March at 4 

 Fruitvale BART Plaza

 Oakland


Not One More Deportation! Stop the Criminalization and Deportation of the Children! The rounding-up and deportation of immigrants, including children, is part of Mass Incarceration - a conscious policy that criminalizes Black and Latino peoples, and treats them as less than human. Along with police murder, and the imprisonment of 2.4 million people, the vicious targeting of immigrants is part of a genocidal program that is accelerating in both numbers and brutality. Families are torn apart and children are being sent back to countries from which they fled for their lives.

 

Event is part of "October Month of Resistance"

StopMassIncarcerationBayArea@gmail.com  

(510) 984-3648

Last year's standards for civilian protection from drone strikes will not apply to U.S. military operations in Syria and Iraq, the White House has announced.  "Civilians" and designated "terrorists" or "militants" are all fair game for U.S. assassination. 


Asserting that civilian deaths from U.S. strikes are "much less than the brutality of the Assad regime", war crime apologist Adam Kinzinger resorts to that time-worn excuse, 


We're Not As Bad As the Other Guys.


Are beheadings by drones somehow less egregious than by sword? I'll spare you the photographs.

San Francisco Protests Endless War

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"[President Barack] Obama owns this immoral and illegal action, the ultimate war crime -- invasion of a sovereign nation that poses no imminent threat to the aggressor. 'We' did not ask for or approve this war. NOTHING good can come from U.S. bombing, and we need to say so immediately and widely," The World Can't Wait said in a statement calling for people to show up with sign and something to say...

Anti-war groups take to the streets

Photo by Kale Williams for SF Gate: Julianna Cheng of Occupy San Francisco and her daughter, Arielle.

God Bless Another War?

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Obama ended his executive declaration of more war with words that the military-industrial shills have slowly managed to turn into an obscenity: "May God bless our troops, and may God bless the United States of America."

engaging in the game of war is always an act of defeat

New Snowden Leak

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Former U.S. intelligence analyst Edward Snowden has accused the U.S. National Security Agency of routinely passing private, unedited communications of Americans to Israel, an expert on the intelligence agency said Wednesday.

James Bamford, writing in the New York Times, said Snowden told him the intercepts included communications of Arab- and Palestinian-Americans whose relatives in Israel and the Palestinian territories could become targets based on the information.

"It's one of the biggest abuses we've seen," Bamford quoted Snowden as saying...

NSA shared Americans private communications with Israel 


Note: Video of San Francisco Readings in Support of Edward Snowden posted here

Hands Off Syria

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"..as Americans, we welcome our responsibility to lead."

Obama's fine rhetoric fails to legitimize U.S. incursion into the sovereign state of Syria. We must not allow people to be bamboozled into supporting the lie of "humanitarian intervention" -- again. We can stop the next war. Now.

David Edwards, editor at medialens.org considered some "Unthinkable Thoughts," January 2000:

"It seems to me that there are some very basic psychological tricks being played on us. One trick is, 'We have to do something, there's a genocide', so that any sane person sits there thinking 'Well of course we can't sit back, it's like the holocaust, we've got to do something.' And then Tony Blair says, in response to the charge of hypocrisy - he said it on the BBC's Question Time - 'I'm sorry, but just because we can't help everybody doesn't mean we shouldn't help the people we can help'. But of course if you look at Iraq where 800,000 children have died as a result of Western sanctions, at Cuba where children with cancer can't get anti-sickness drugs because of sanctions and are vomiting 28 times a day, when Blair says we can't help those people, what he actually has to be taken to mean is 'We can't lift our boots from their necks', because that's what helping them would actually mean isn't it? 

We need to debate "American leadership" in endless war as a society. That debate can be fueled by scheduling a vote in Congress. But ultimately our own "boots on the ground" protest is required to interrupt the march of Empire.

Who is this "we" the president conjures, anyway?

Obama Orders 350 More Troops to Iraq

  

Though the militants of ISIS would undoubtedly be horrified to think so, they are the spawn of Washington.  Thirteen years of regional war, occupation, and intervention played a major role in clearing the ground for them.  They may be our worst nightmare (thus far), but they are also our legacy -- and not just because so many of their leaders came from the Iraqi army we disbanded, had their beliefs and skills honed in the prisons we set up (Camp Bucca seems to have been the West Point of Iraqi extremism), and gained experience facing U.S. counterterror operations in the "surge" years of the occupation.  In fact, just about everything done in the war on terror has facilitated their rise.  After all, we dismantled the Iraqi army and rebuilt one that would flee at the first signs of ISIS's fighters, abandoning vast stores of Washington's weaponry to them. We essentially destroyed the Iraqi state, while fostering a Shia leader who would oppress enough Sunnis in enough ways to create a situation in which ISIS would be welcomed or tolerated throughout significant areas of the country.

-- Tom Engelhardt, How America Made ISIS, TomDispatch.com   

Israel announced Sunday it will expropriate 400 hectares (988 acres) of Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank, angering the Palestinians and alarming Israeli peace campaigners.

The move to seize the land, in the Bethlehem area in the south of the territory, is the biggest of its kind in three decades...

Israel to annex 400 hectares in West Bank

Unlike the American media perception of US foreign policy goofily stumbling from one good-intentioned mishap to the next, the average person in the Middle East views the American military as a sociopathic power hell-bent on annihilation... 


see No-Win War on ISIS 

Map: Middle East, highlighting Libya, Egypt, Israel, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan

The U.S. has opposed Islamists in all eight of the turbulent lands stretching from Libya to Pakistan, yet has not managed to forge a solution in any of them. Are U.S. policies the problem, or is the region's upheaval beyond the reach of any outside power?


Credit: Alyson Hurt/NPR 


Nobody disputes the brutality and extremism of ISIS, but that is a completely different question from whether the U.S. should take military action against it. To begin with, the U.S. not only ignores, but actively supports, all sorts of brutal and extreme parties in the region... 


Sunsara Taylor and three other Abortion Rights Freedom Riders were arrested today around 12:30pm, as they stood in the middle of Guadalupe Street in Austin, TX, sounding the alarm on the abortion rights emergency: if nothing changes, this Monday will complete the largest round of abortion clinic closures ever to hit a single state! Women are NOT incubators! Several UT students joined them right there in the street, blocking traffic. Also arrested was a member of Stop Patriarchy who was standing on the side of the street, taking pictures. She had participated in civil disobedience last week and was arrested so brutally that a ligament in her shoulder is torn. Today, she was only taking pictures. This is unacceptable! 


U.S. Expanding War in Iraq

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Under cover of ISIS atrocities, Obama proposes deployment of an additional 300 troops to the 850+  in place and undisclosed thousands of security contractors who never left. 

"The United States, for its part, is not a charity organization, nor is it a neutral bystander. Washington is an active participant in the conflict. In addition to authorizing direct strikes, the Obama administration continues to arm the Iraqi government forces and ethnic Iraqi militias and paramilitary groups." -- Raed Jarrar, policy impact coordinator for the American Friends Service Committee