Warning comes as Trump administration reportedly considers pulling out of UN Human Rights Council
By Nika Knight / Common Dreams
“Disregard for human rights is a disease, and it is a disease that is spreading,” warned United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres in a keynote address as the U.N. Human Rights Council (OHCHR) opened its main session on Monday.
“We are increasingly seeing the perverse phenomenon of populism and extremism feeding off each other in a frenzy of growing racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim hatred and other forms of intolerance,” Guterres said, referring to growing intolerance in the U.S. and Europe as far-right figures such as President Donald Trump gain power. [Read more…]
Ignoramus-In-Chief Is OK With Allies Who Sponsor Terrorism
Why did Trump try to impose tighter vetting on 7 nations in the Middle East without including Saudi Arabia and Egypt? Could it be that it’s because Saudi Arabia which is a hotbed of terrorism is also an ally of the US and an enemy of Iran?
Fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were Saudis. Osama bin Laden was a Saudi. The machete wielding attacker at the Louvre recently was Egyptian. Neither Egypt nor Pakistan nor Afghanistan were included on the so-called President’s list. Pakistan harbored bin Laden. Afghanistan is the home of the Taliban. If Trump had wanted to keep terrorists out of the US, surely he should have included these countries in his ban. But terrorism is more about US alliances than it is about morality or human rights. [Read more…]
The Mexican Repatriation and hard times
Editor Note: “Build a wall” and “Send them all back” have become the mantra of the Trump campaign and Republican party. This is not the first time in our history that racism and xenophobia have threatened our democracy and the lives of our citizenry.
Between 1929 and 1944, over two million people of Mexican descent were repatriated to Mexico. Sixty percent of these individuals, 1.1 million, were American citizens. This encore presentation of Maria Garcia’s article originally published in 2015 provides insight into how this policy affected the lives of people living in San Diego at the time.
As William Faulkner observed “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” [Read more…]
Center for American Progress Action Fund
Coming off the heels of President Donald Trump’s immigration executive order barring refugees and others from seven predominantly Muslim countries entry into the United States, more than 200 military veterans released a letter on Monday, denouncing the president’s order.
The letter is signed by many of the Truman National Security Project members and veterans and a growing list of other Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard veterans. Addressed to President Trump, the letter urges him to honor America’s promise and rescind the order.
In a press call hosted by the Center for American Progress Action Fund and the Truman National Security Project, military veterans, former diplomats, and refugee policy experts discussed President Trump’s immigration order and its impacts on refugees and interpreters who serve on the frontlines with American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. [Read more…]
Serious People are claiming that news accounts about Russian meddling in US elections are somehow equivalent to the Weapons of Mass Destruction stories peddled in the run-up to the US invasion of Iraq. Or a liberal version of the group-think on the Trumpian right about millions of illegal aliens voting for Hillary Clinton.
And then there are others on the right, like the Heritage Foundation, who would have us believe the special relationship between two oligarchs is somehow a good thing. They find much to admire about having a strongman in charge, as opposed to an imperfect democracy.
The reluctance of the FBI/Homeland Security report to disclose sources and methods along with the Obama’s administration’s reliance on the (often meaningless) tactic of diplomatic expulsions as the public side of their response to Russia are cited as reasons to doubt the official account.
By Veterans for Peace
The war in Syria has been ongoing for five years, with the situation in Aleppo, once Syria’s most populous city, having deteriorated over the past four years into a multi-proxy war and a humanitarian disaster.
We have seen strong disagreements within the peace movement on the reasons behind this war, and on what our response should be. Those disagreements even exist within our ranks. As we struggle through the complexities of the war, we recognize that most of us are far removed from it, fortunate to be safe in our homes and able to voice these disagreements without fear of reprisal.
However, our mission at Veterans For Peace has not changed. We oppose war. We are against the targeting of, as well as the failure to protect, innocent civilians caught up in war, or any other conduct by an individual, group or nation that could be classified as a war crime. We oppose U.S. military involvement in other countries that violates international law. [Read more…]
By Shawn VanDiver
“There are some assholes in the world who just need to be shot.”
What a striking sound bite–especially when it is ascribed to President-elect Trump’s choice for Secretary of Defense, the beloved and seemingly infallible General “Mad Dog” Mattis. Reality, however, cannot always be summed up through sound bites. And besides, General Mattis surely could not have meant that unarmed civilians or detainees in the custody of the U.S. Military deserve to be killed without trial or imminent threat. Therefore when Rep. Duncan Hunter, Jr.–whose father previously held the office for many years–used this quote from General Mattis, my lie detector went off. [Read more…]
‘Presidents, Republicans and Democrats, have understood that our goal must be to reduce the number of nuclear weapons, not expand them.’
By John Queally / Common Dreams
Sen. Bernie Sanders has made it known that Donald Trump should not go unchallenged by his congressional colleagues as troubling comments by the President-elect about nuclear weapons this week sparked alarm across the United States and the world.
Following an initial out-of-the-blue tweet Thursday saying the U.S. should “expand” its nuclear arsenal followed by “clarifying” remarks Friday to MSNBC in which Trump said, “Let it be an arms race,” Sanders responded: “It’s a miracle a nuclear weapon hasn’t been used in war since 1945. Congress can’t allow the Tweeter in Chief to start a nuclear arms race.” [Read more…]
By Stan Levin
Regarding the proposed expansion of the military–
By all means we must ramp it up, for the following rational reasons, in no particular order:
The weapons manufacturers are in dire need of further enrichment,
and Congress needs the various kinds of kickbacks available in order to avoid being poverty-stricken; [Read more…]
Prayer gathering and vigil in San Diego on December 5
San Diego Free Press asked Stan Levin and Gil Field of San Diego Veterans for Peace to let us know about local involvement at Standing Rock. Over two thousand veterans are currently providing support and protection at the Standing Rock Sioux nation camp near the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.
Stan and Gil put us in touch with Veteran for Peace Will Griffin whose work can be found at the Peace Report. Will provided us with the video below from his October 2016 trip to Standing Rock with Matthew Hoh, Advisory Board Member of Veterans For Peace. [Read more…]
By William John Cox
From amongst themselves, the people of the United States have empowered some of their members to enforce their laws and to police their society, but things have gone terribly awry.
The police are killing those they are sworn to protect and they themselves are becoming the target of public anger over racial inequality and discrimination. Video images of recent police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota were followed by the mass murder of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, apparently in response to these shootings
The killing of an unarmed mentally-disturbed man last week by El Cajon, California police officers—and resulting civil disturbances—once again raises the question of the use of deadly force by law enforcement officers. The question involves complicated issues of law and policy, but the decision to shoot must often be made in a nanosecond. [Read more…]
Hector now lives in Tijuana while he awaits citizenship papers. In the meantime, he fills his time as director and founder of the Deported Veterans Support House, a shelter located in Otay, Mexico. He created the shelter in 2012 and currently six people live there, including one female who is not a veteran, but is staying at what he called ‘the bunker.’
“We try to do what we can. We try to help each other out. We live by the motto leave no man behind,” Hector says. “We have veterans deported from 24 different countries, from the Vietnam War to Iraq and Afghanistan. They served honorably, but after their service they got into some kind of trouble with the law. It could be a $300 check to something like a discharge of a firearm, like myself. I did three years in prison. I had my legal residence. I was not undocumented.”
One of the issues Hector is working on is to allow deported veterans to still get their medical benefits. Just because they are deported, doesn’t mean they lose their health care. However, since they can’t come across into the United States, they can’t be physically present for their appointments. Hector is working to get the VA to outsource those programs. That way, all these men who fought in Iraq and Vietnam and have PTSD can, at the very least, receive treatment. [Read more…]
By Stan Levin
Yesterday, August 31, speaking to an audience at The American Legion convention taking place in Cincinnati, Hillary Clinton offered remarks about “American exceptionalism,” a statement she often uses, and one to which I am compelled to take exception.
A moment later, and what I found particularly disturbing, she explained her meaning of the term: “It means that we recognize America’s unique and unparalleled ability to be a force for peace and progress”.
“Bannering” against upcoming airshow on August 18
By San Diego Veterans for Peace
Each year, San Diego hosts the giant Miramar Air Show, which is attended by up to 500,000 people. This air show is typical of many other air shows around the country in that it attempts to glorify and glamorize war and militarism, as well as being an excellent opportunity for defense contractors and the overall military industrial complex to sell products which lead to the deaths and injuries of so many people on earth. [Read more…]
There are 14 (15 if you count SeaWorld’s nightly show) fireworks displays on the 4th of July, plus a couple of others earlier in the weekend.
Despite the fact that fireworks of just about every kind are illegal in America’s Finest City, I can just about guarantee the knuckleheads down the street will have their own show planned.
No matter where you go, parking will be a bother as will be the traffic after the event. It’s all part of the thrill… [Read more…]
By Meteor Blades / Daily Kos
June 25th marked the 140th anniversary of the Little Big Horn Battle, known as Custer’s Last Stand to Americans at the time and ever afterward. Remembered as the Battle of the Greasy Grass among the Lakota (Sioux), Cheyenne and Arapahoe, it’s hard to overstate how much the 7th Cavalry’s defeat in the hills of Montana that June day in 1876 affected the nation then and how it has shaped and reshaped subsequent views of both Custer and American Indians.
In the past couple of weeks, there have already been a few published commentaries about the battle and its impacts, including this fascinating New York Times piece: A Real War Story, in Drawings. It looks at colored pencil pictographs of the battle drawn five years after it occurred by Red Horse, a Mniconjou Lakota. [Read more…]
Interview conducted by James Resnick / E-International Relations
Noam Chomsky is Emeritus Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Seen by many as “the father of modern linguistics”, his work as a theoretical linguist from the 1950s revolutionized the field of linguistics by treating language as a uniquely human, biologically based cognitive capacity. Through his contributions to linguistics and related fields, including cognitive psychology and the philosophies of mind and language, Chomsky helped to initiate and sustain what came to be known as the “cognitive revolution.” Chomsky has also gained a worldwide following as a political dissident for his analyses of the pernicious influence of economic elites on U.S. domestic politics, foreign policy, and intellectual culture.
The author of more than 120 books, Chomsky is widely recognized as a paradigm shifter who helped spark a major revolution in the human sciences, and is one of the most cited scholars in the last few decades. His most recent documentary, Requiem for the American Dream, focuses on the defining characteristic of our time—the deliberate concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a select few. [Read more…]
By Brian Trautman
It is becoming increasingly clear that one of the shooter’s perceived justifications for perpetrating the murderous rampage may have been intense psychological and emotional pain over his sexual orientation – a catastrophic blend of deep shame, humiliation and bitterness over his possible queerness.
Besides his apparent queer inclinations, there were several noteworthy details about the shooter’s life that were omitted during many discussions about motives: his history of domestic violence, both as a victimizer and a witness to it in childhood; his employment with, one of the largest private security firms in the world, for which he rendered services that included the imprisonment and mistreatment of juvenile offenders; and, his fascination with the NYPD, which he apparently idolized as a would-be police officer. [Read more…]
By Nile Sisters
In 1996, memories of a recently passed high school examination quickly faded as San San N., seven family members, and 35 others fled to the Burmese jungle to escape government troops. With their food supplies exhausted after 22 days, they quickly learned to forage for edibles in the jungle.
Approaching the Thai border, they slid down a mountainside to the river’s edge only to set off buried land mines along the shore, one exploding near San San. The terrified group had never before experienced such deadly weapons, which killed two members and injured several others with shrapnel. Miraculously, San San and her family crossed the river by boat and arrived alive in Thailand. [Read more…]
History is filled with the consequences of silence and passivity.
By Thom Hartmann / AlterNet
This is a particularly interesting week to be traveling across the French countryside, as news fills the papers and the airwaves of another assault weapon-of-war used in another mass shooting done by another frightened—and thus hate-filled—American.
The Europeans know well the wages of hate and fear. And it goes way back into the dim mists of history, well before the era of the names we all know so well from the 20th century.
“The Other” is the key.
Once a demagogue successfully turns a person, a group, a gender (or gender preference), a region, a nation, or a race into the Other, the consequences are terribly but consistently predictable. [Read more…]
The Washington Post joined the ever-growing list of media barred from receiving credentials by the Donald Trump presidential campaign on Monday. The Post joins the Des Moines Register, Politico, the Huffington Post, the National Review, Univision, and a host of other outlets in Trumpian political purgatory.
‘Displeasing The Fearless Leader will get you banished’ is the message. He’s already promised to “open up” the law, no doubt to construe libel in terms of what the rich and powerful may lose by others writing anything about them. Enjoy your First Amendment while you can, folks.
Today, by the way, is Donald Trump’s birthday. [Read more…]
I had to fly to RAF Brüggen
to find an olive branch
for the country of my birth
talking itself to death
I had to travel to Germany
to see runways
outflanked by forest
in fortified bunkers frozen by Cold War
carpet bombed by meadows [Read more…]