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‘Historic Victory’ as Senate Votes to End U.S. Involvement in ‘Unauthorized War’ in Yemen

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announces joint resolution to remove U.S. armed forces from hostilities between the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthis in Yemen, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

“This vote immediately diminishes U.S. political support for the war and puts more pressure on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to end their brutal tactics and negotiate an end to the war.”

By Jake Johnson | Common Dreams

After defeating two last-minute amendments by ultra-hawkish Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) that would have completely gutted the measure, the Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly passed Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) resolution to end U.S. military support for Saudi Arabia’s years-long assault on Yemen by a bipartisan vote of 56-41.

The vote—which marks the first time the Senate has passed a War Powers resolution—was applauded by anti-war groups as an important first step toward ending America’s complicity in the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.

“This vote immediately diminishes U.S. political support for the war and puts more pressure on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to end their brutal tactics and negotiate an end to the war,” said Paul Kawika Martin, Peace Action’s senior director for policy and political affairs.

Martin added that the passage of Sanders’ resolution—which was also sponsored by Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah)—”is a testament to the power of political activism, and a reminder that we must continue the struggle for a just and responsible foreign policy, because that struggle makes a difference.”

Despite the fact that—with the help of five Democrats—the GOP succeeded in passing a rule that effectively kills the possibility of a House vote on the Yemen War Powers resolution this year, Sanders nonetheless celebrated the vote as a “historic victory” in the fight to end America’s major role in the Saudi-led assault on Yemen.

In a statement, Kate Gould, legislative director for Middle East policy at the Friends Committee on National Legislation, said the incoming House Democratic leadership must “pledge to hold a vote in early January on ending support for this war.”

If the measure passes the House next year, it will have to pass the Senate again before reaching President Donald Trump’s desk.

“Today, the Senate sent the strongest signal yet that America must stop enabling the starvation of children,” Gould concluded.

In a video posted to Twitter after Thursday’s vote, Murphy vowed to continue to fight for the resolution’s full passage in the next Congress:


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New Study Details ‘Staggering’ $6 Trillion (and Counting) Price Tag of Endless US War

Total U.S. spending on war and all of its related costs will hit nearly $6 trillion by the end of 2019, according to the Watson Institute (Photo: Carpetblogger/flickr/cc)

By Julia Conley | Common Dreams

While the human costs will remain impossible to calculate, a new analysis shows that the Pentagon barely scratched the surface of the financial costs of U.S. wars since September 11, 2001 when it released its official estimate last August regarding how much the U.S. has spent on fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere.

The Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs reports (pdf) that by the end of the 2019 fiscal year, the U.S. will have spent $5.9 trillion on military spending in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and other countries, as well as veterans’ care, interest on debt payments, and related spending at the Homeland Security and State Departments.

The figure far exceeds the Pentagon’s estimate of $1.5 trillion in total spending since September 11—a number that does not even account for combined State Department spending and the Pentagon’s war fund, which totals $1.8 trillion according to the Watson Institute.

“We were told to expect wars that would be quick, cheap, effective and beneficial to the U.S. interest,” said Neta Crawford, the author of the study, at a news conference hosted by Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) on Tuesday. “The U.S. continues to fund the wars by borrowing, so this is a conservative estimate of the consequences of funding the war as if on a credit card, in which we are only paying interest even as we continue to spend.”

Veterans’ healthcare, benefits, and disability spending alone has cost the U.S. $1 trillion, as nearly three million Americans have deployed to countries including Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, many for numerous tours.

With spending continuing at its current level, the study reads, Americans can expect their government to spend more than $6.7 trillion on war by the end of 2023—not including future interest costs.

“Moreover, the costs of war will likely be greater than this because, unless the U.S. immediately ends its deployments, the number of veterans associated with the post-9/11 wars will also grow,” Crawford wrote in the report.

The Watson Institute’s latest report comes days after another study detailing the estimated death toll of the so-called “War on Terror.” The Defense Department reported on about 500 civilian deaths in 2017 in various U.S. wars earlier this year and its website reports several thousands deaths of U.S. soldiers since 2001—numbers the Watson Institute also found to be severely underestimated as it reported about half a million deaths in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan as a result of the U.S. invasions and prolonged occupations of those countries.

“It’s important for the American people to understand the true costs of war, both the moral and monetary costs,” Senate Armed Services Committee ranking member Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) said in a statement.

“In sum, high costs in war and war-related spending pose a national security concern because they are unsustainable,” reads the Watson Institute’s report. “The public would be better served by increased transparency and by the development of a comprehensive strategy to end the wars and deal with other urgent national security priorities.”


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Half Million Killed by America’s Global War on Terror ‘Just Scratches the Surface’ of Human Destruction

CLN Editor Note: It seems pretty clear that the U.S. Government has no intention of stopping their endless wars. It’s all about nation building and money for our war machine contractors. The sanctity of human life doesn’t appear to be a factor. We the people need to do something about it. Our consciousness MATTERS. Join the “Heal the Middle East 2018 Peace Intention Experiment” on Monday, November 12 at 10:30 am Pacific/1:30 pm Eastern/6:30 pm UK/7:30 pm Europe.

A new study from Brown University’s Costs of War Project found that the U.S. “War on Terror” has killed half a million people in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. (Photo: Spc. Phillip McTaggart/Flickr/cc)

By Jessica Corbett | Common Dreams

The United States’ so-called War on Terror has killed about half a million people in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, according to a new estimate from the Costs of War Project at Brown University’s Watson Institute.

“This new body count signals that, far from diminishing, the war is only intensifying,” Stephanie Savell, co-director of the project, pointed out in a piece for Axios. The overall death toll “is an increase of 113,000 over the last count, issued just two years ago.”

The new report (pdf) estimates that since 2001, between 480,000 and 507,000 people have been killed because of war violence in those three nations—a tally that does not include “the more than 500,000 deaths from the war in Syria, raging since 2011, which the U.S. joined in August 2014,” and “indirect deaths,” or those killed by war’s impact on public health, such as limiting access to food, water, hospitals, and electricity.

The “direct deaths” accounted for in the estimate include U.S. military, contractors, and Defense Department employees; national military and police as well as other allied troops; opposition fighters; civilians; journalists; and aid workers. About half of those killed were civilians—between 244,000 and 266,000 across Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Up to 204,000 of them were Iraqis.

While the U.S. government has repeatedly underestimated the costs of waging war, since the project launched in 2011, its team has aimed to provide a full account of the “human, economic, and political costs” of post-9/11 U.S. military action in the Middle East, “and to foster better informed public policies.”

This latest report comes on the heels of the U.S. midterm elections in which Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives. Looking forward, Savell suggested that “House Democrats will try to advance a national security strategy emphasizing restraint and accountability for the costs of the War on Terror.”

Outlining some expressed goals from a handful of House Democrats, Savell wrote for Axios:

Research shows that governments become more careful when civilian deaths from “collateral damage” are reported on. A wave of Democrats now in control of the House plan to push for just that. Representative Ro Khannasays he wants to hold as many as three days of hearings with Trump’s national security team to “justify, for the American people, what our mission is, what the costs are, what the risks are, and why we’re there.” Representative Adam Smith, poised to become chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, plans to increase oversight of the military, and others led by Representative Barbara Lee hope to end the war in Afghanistan.

Regardless of how Democrats in the House proceed, Neta C. Crawford, a Boston University political science professor who co-directs the Costs of War Project, argued in the report’s conclusion that there is a need to keep the public more informed about the consequences of the seemingly endless wars in the Middle East in order to drive demands for improving U.S. foreign policy.

“This update just scratches the surface of the human consequences of 17 years of war,” Crawford wrote. “Too often, legislators, NGOs, and the news media that try to track the consequences of the wars are inhibited by governments determined to paint a rosy picture of perfect execution and progress.”

“The U.S. has made some effort to increase transparency,” she acknowledged, “but there are a number of areas—the number of civilians killed and injured, and the number of U.S. military and veteran suicides, for instance—where greater transparency would lead to greater accountability and could lead to better policy.”

Responding to the report’s findings, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif drew attention to the human and financial consequences, tweeting: “Cost to U.S. taxpayers: 7K dead Americans + $5.6 trillion. Cost to MidEast: Unfathomable.”


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‘Glimmer of Hope’ for Yemen as Khanna Invokes War Powers Act to End US Support for Saudi-Led Slaughter of Civilians

A young boy runs with his tyre past buildings damaged by air strikes in Saada Old Town, Yemen. (Photo: Giles Clarke/OCHA)

By Jessica Corbett | Common Dreams

Amid reports that civilian deaths have “surged dramatically” in Yemen since June, when the Saudi-led coalition launched an offensive to take control of the port city Hodeidah, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) on Wednesday officially introduced a highly anticipated resolution invoking the War Powers Act of 1973, in hopes of ending American support for the coalition’s attacks and the resulting humanitarian crisis.

The resolution (pdf) “directs the president to remove United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen, except United States Armed Forces engaged in operations authorized under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force…not later than 30 days after the date of the adoption of this concurrent resolution unless and until a declaration of war or specific authorization for such use of United States Armed Forces has been enacted into law.”

The measure was immediately applauded by peace advocates and human rights groups that have long charged, as Paul Kawika Martin of Peace Action outlined Wednesday, that “the unauthorized U.S. role in the war has given rise to the worst humanitarian disaster in the world, made the U.S. complicit in countless war crimes and violations of international law, and undermined our national security interests.”

“This House resolution offers a glimmer of hope to the suffering people of Yemen because if the U.S. withdraws its support for the Saudi-led bombing, a negotiated settlement is sure to follow,” responded CODEPINK co-director Medea Benjamin.

“Let’s make sure the August bombing of a busload of children marks a turning point in U.S. policy,” she added, referencing an August attack that killed 40 boys aged six to 11.

“This resolution should be a no-brainer for Congress. What more do they need to finally end this tragedy?” said Elizabeth Beavers, associate policy director for Indivisible. “If they’re not persuaded by the fact that the U.S. is engaging in unauthorized warfare, the growing civilian body count should demand their attention.”

William D. Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy, noted: “Rarely does Congress have an opportunity make a difference in the lives of millions of people. This legislation is one such chance, and the time to act is now.”

Last year, Khanna was part of a small group of House members who were demanding an end to U.S. complicity in the war and introduced a similar measure. “One year later, the bloodshed continues with widespread destruction and disease contributing to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. U.S.-fueled planes continue to drop U.S.-made bombs on innocent victims,” he said in a statement Wednesday. “This time around, our coalition to end the war has expanded and the call for withdrawing U.S. involvement is louder.”

Backed by a bipartisan group of nearly two dozen lawmakers, Khanna asserted that withdrawing U.S. support for the coalition “is now a mainstream position within the Democratic Party,” and that he is “confident the House Republican leadership will allow this resolution to come to a vote and that members of the House will hear from their constituents in support of our position against this unauthorized war contributing to Yemen’s humanitarian catastrophe.”

Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, is one of the resolution’s co-sponsors. “The U.S. should be aggressively pushing a peaceful solution to end this civil war instead of supporting the Saudi-led coalition military campaign that has only destabilized the crisis further,” the congressman charged on Twitter Wednesday.

The resolution’s other co-sponsors—which include the ranking members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee as well as the Rules Committee—are: Reps. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Michael Capuano (D-Mass.), Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.), Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.), Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.).


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With US Bombs Killing Kids in Yemen, Sanders Tells Pompeo ‘Human Lives Worth Far More Than Defense Contractor Profits’

“Yemeni civilians are dying every day because of this war and you (America) are fueling this war, so stop fueling this war,” Radhya al-Mutawakel, chairwoman of the Yemen-based human rights group Mwatana, said in a statement. (Photo: Mwatana via CNN)

By Jake Johnson | Common Dreams

“Hopefully this news will reach the living rooms of all Americans, because I have faith the great people of this country do not support a war like this.” ~ Rep. Ro Khanna

RELATED ARTICLE: Sept 21-23: A Weekend for Peace Culminating With the World’s Largest Peace Meditation on Sunday

American-made bombs are being used to massacre large numbers of civilians in Yemen, and new reporting shows that the Trump administration is allowing this carnage to continue and escalate in order to protect the profits of defense contractors.

Just days after the Yemen-based human rights group Mwatana gave CNN exclusive accessdocuments showing that U.S.-manufactured bomb fragments have been found at the scene of at least 11 separate Saudi-led attacks on Yemeni civilians since 2015, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo opted to continue American military support for Saudi Arabia over the objections of his staff in an effort to preserve $2 billion in weapons sales to the brutal monarchy.

“Pompeo overruled concerns from most of the State Department specialists involved in the debate who were worried about the rising civilian death toll in Yemen,” the Journalreported, citing a classified State Department memo. “He sided with his legislative affairs team after they argued that suspending support could undercut plans to sell more than 120,000 precision-guided missiles to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).”

“Secretary Pompeo’s certification last week that the Saudi-led coalition was taking appropriate steps to protect civilians in Yemen was ridiculous on its face,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) wrote in response to the Journal‘s reporting on Thursday. “But now we find out that Pompeo overruled the advice of his own State Department experts and legal advisers in order to make that certification to Congress, because he feared not doing so would endanger U.S. arms sales to the Saudis and Emiratis currently destroying Yemen.”

“Mr. Pompeo: human lives are worth far more than defense contractor profits,” Sanders added. “The Senate must also investigate this effort to mislead us.”

News that Pompeo’s decision to “certify” U.S. military support for the Saudis was motivated by a desire to appease war profiteers comes shortly on the heels of CNN‘s report detailing the American-made bombs that have been used to slaughter Yemeni civilians since 2015.

“This report makes it clear that the United States is participating in the commission of war crimes,” Win Without War wrote on Twitter. “Congress must stop our participation in the war in Yemen and it must stop it now.”

In seven of the 11 attacks examined by CNN and the human rights organization Mwatana, bomb fragments were traced back to the major American defense contractor Raytheon—which stands to profit massively from the Trump administration’s recent arms deals with Saudi Arabia.

“Yemeni civilians are dying every day because of this war and you (America) are fueling this war, so stop fueling this war,” Radhya al-Mutawakel, chairwoman of Mwatana said in a statement. “It is a shame that financial interests are worth more than the blood of innocent people.”

The U.S., al-Mutwakel added, bears a “legal and moral responsibility for selling weapons to the Saudi-led coalition.”

Raytheon did not respond to CNN‘s request for comment.

In a Twitter thread reacting to CNN‘s report, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.)—one of the few members of Congress who has worked on legislation to end American support for the Saudi-led coalition’s assault on Yemen—wrote, “How can someone look at these photos and continue to support this war in Yemen?”

“While this reporting just confirms what we already knew, seeing the photos of these U.S.-made bombs should be a wake-up call to all Americans,” Khanna concluded.


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US-Backed War Risks Killing an ‘Entire Generation’ of Yemeni Children

(MEE) — More than five million children are at risk of famine in Yemen as the ongoing war causes food and fuel prices to soar across the country, charity Save the Children warned on Wednesday.

Disruption to supplies coming through the embattled Red Sea port city of Hodeidah could “cause starvation on an unprecedented scale”, the British based NGO said in a new report.

Save the Children said an extra one million children now risk falling into famine as prices of food and transportation rise, bringing the total to 5.2 million.

Any type of closure at the port “would put the lives of hundreds of thousands of children in immediate danger while pushing millions more into famine”, it added.

Impoverished Yemen has been mired in deadly conflict between Houthi rebels and troops loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi since 2014.

A Saudi-led alliance has been launching attacks since 2015 in a bid to bolster the president. Nearly 10,000 people have since been killed.

Deadly clashes resumed around the Houthi-held Hodeidah following the collapse of talks in Geneva earlier this month.

“Millions of children don’t know when or if their next meal will come,” said Helle Thorning-Schmidt, CEO of Save the Children International.

“In one hospital I visited in north Yemen, the babies were too weak to cry, their bodies exhausted by hunger.”

He added that the war risks killing “an entire generation of Yemen’s children who face multiple threats, from bombs to hunger to preventable diseases like cholera.”

The United Nations has warned that any major fighting in Hodeidah could halt food distributions to eight million Yemenis dependent on them for survival.

Last week, Jameel al-Qirwi, a trader in Sanaa warned that a blockade on Hodeidah would constitute a siege on all northern provinces that depend on aid that comes through the port city.

Hodeidah is a lifeline for millions of Yemenis across the country. About 70 percent of all humanitarian assistance and nearly all commercial food stocks for northern Yemen enter through the ports of Hodeidah and Saleef, just to the north of the city, according to the UN.

Hodeidah is also under threat of attacks on its food storage, which would affect the country’s northern areas.

“The mills in Hodeidah feed millions of people. We’re particularly worried about the Red Sea mill, which currently has 45,000 metric tonnes of food inside, enough to feed 3.5 million people for a month. If the mills are damaged or disrupted, the human cost will be incalculable,” UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen Lise Grande said in a statement last week.

“So much has already been destroyed. In the last six weeks alone, houses, farms, livestock, businesses, roads, a water facility and a flour mill have all been hit.”

By MEE and agencies  Middle East Eye / 




After 9/11: The Staggering Economic and Human Cost of the War on Terror

The Pentagon reports that the Afghan conflict costs US taxpayers $45 billion per year. (Photo: Debra Sweet/flickr/cc)

By Benjamin Dangl | Common Dreams

“Our war on terror begins with Al Qaeda, but it does not end there,” President George W. Bush announced on September 20th, 2001, following the 9/11 attacks.

Bush’s “War on Terror” did not end with Al Qaeda – it has roared on into an endless conflict spanning the globe, costing hundreds of thousands of lives and trillions of US taxpayers’ dollars.

“Americans should not expect one battle,” Bush continued, “but a lengthy campaign unlike any other we have ever seen.”

Days later, the Bush administration launched its air war. By the end of 2001, the US had dropped 17,500 bombs on Afghanistan.

The War in Afghanistan is now in its 17th year, making it America’s longest war. The Pentagon reports that the Afghan conflict costs US taxpayers $45 billion per year.

The human and economic cost of the post-9/11 US War on Terror has been investigated extensively by the Costs of War Project, based out of the Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs at Brown University.

The Project is made up of researchers, legal experts, human rights officials, and physicians whose focus is to reveal the cost of the post-9/11 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the related conflicts in Pakistan and Syria.

Their research findings are staggering.

The Project’s investigations show that at least 370,000 people have been killed in the post 9/11 wars. Project researchers explain that it is likely that many more people have died indirectly due to environmental catastrophes, malnutrition, and broken infrastructure tied to the wars.

In addition, over 10 million Afghan, Iraqi, and Pakistani people have been displaced as war refugees.

The Project calculated the US budgetary costs in the post-9/11 wars to be $5.6 trillion. (In the decade after 9/11, US military spending doubled.)

Their research also shed a light on worldwide US military operations, showing that the US conducted counter-terror operations in 76 centuries around the globe from 2015-2017.

The Project developed a map illustrating drone operations, the deployment of troops, locations of military bases, and training programs – all demonstrating the complex global reach of the US War on Terror.

“Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists,” Bush ominously warned in his 2001 speech.

It quickly became clear where Bush’s line in the sand was drawn with the Patriot Act, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, the administration’s military operations.

Nearly two decades have passed since 9/11, and the War on Terror appears more like an Endless War.


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BOMBSHELL Documents Expose The Secret Lie That Started the Afghan War

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Moz8hs2lJik

Source: corbettreport

How did the war in Afghanistan start? And how did NATO become involved in this conflict? These details are never discussed because they have for nearly two decades, been hidden behind a shroud of secrecy.

But now, after nearly two decades of lies, the remarkable truth about the secret documents that helped launch the Afghan war can finally be revealed. This is the story of The Secret Lie That Started the Afghan War.




Less Than 24 Hours After Senate Rejected Effort to Curb Yemen Slaughter, 26 More Children Killed by US-Backed Bombing

More than 6,000 Yemeni children have been killed or injured in the Yemen war – an average of about five children every day since the conflict began. Even after the conflict ends, the effects of malnutrition – stunted growth and delayed cognitive development – will likely linger. In the worst cases, it is fatal. The number of out-of-school children – already high before the conflict – has reached more than 2 million. Education for these children cannot wait. Yet, the U.S. continues to enable the suffering in Yemen.(Photo: my1give on Twitter)

By Jon Queally, staff writer | Common Dreams

Less than a day after Republicans in the United States Senate rejected a chance this week “to slam on the brakes and stop [America’s] role in enabling the suffering in Yemen,” at least 26 more children were slaughtered by a U.S.-backed Saudi-led bombing in the western part of the country.

Condemning the bombing near the Red Sea port of Al Hudaydah that occurred Thursday, but was not widely reported until Friday, the United Nation’s humanitarian chief, Mark Lowcock, and head of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Henrietta Fore, said the attack—in which four women, in addition to the children, were killed—took place as the victims tried to flee the area.

“This is the second time in two weeks that an airstrike by the Saudi-led Coalition has resulted in dozens of civilian casualties,” said Lowcock, who noted that “an additional air strike in Al Durayhimi on Thursday resulted in the death of four children.”

As the New York Times reports:

Criticism of Saudi Arabia and its partners has been growing over thousands of civilian casualties, many of them caused by munitions fired from the coalition’s warplanes.

Humanitarian groups and antiwar activists have also aimed criticism at the United States, a main provider of the Saudi coalition’s weapons, intelligence, warplane refueling and guidance technology for missiles and bombs.

Just two weeks ago, as Common Dreams reported, another Saudi airstrike in the city of Saada—which investigators later showed was carried out using U.S.-manufactured bombs—killed at least 40 children riding in a school bus as they enjoyed a rare field trip. In reaction to that massacre, an outraged Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) declared, in all capital letters, “We just bombed a SCHOOL BUS.”

“I had hoped that the outrage that followed the Saada attack in Yemen two weeks ago would be a turning point in the conflict. Yesterday’s reported attacks in Al-Durayhimi, killing 26 children, indicate that it was not,” said Fore of UNICEF on Friday.

“These deaths are on our hands, and many more children will die in  as long as the U.S. supports the Saudi-led war,” declared the Friends Committee on National Legislation, the anti-war Quaker advocacy group, in a tweet.

It was the August 9th slaughter of the school children on the bus in Saada that drove Sen. Murphy on Wednesday of this week to push for a vote on his amendment that would have “cut off United States’ support for the Saudi Arabia-led coalition’s war in Yemen until the Secretary of Defense certified that the coalition’s air campaign is not violating international law and U.S. policy related to the protection of civilians.” But Republicans, led by Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, objected to the measure and would not allow a vote.

Less than twenty-four hours later, more than two dozen innocent children were dead.

As the peace advocacy group Win Without War put it: “Shame on those Senators who let our involvement in this war continue. History will not be kind to you.”


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The Human Cost of War for Afghan Children

A young Afghan girl observes as coalition aircraft provide aerial security during a village clearing operation in northern Khakrez District, May 25, 2011, Kandahar province, Afghanistan. (Photo: DVIDSHUB/Flickr/cc)

By Samira Abrar | Common Dreams

War has had a terrible impact on children in Afghanistan.

After almost two decades of United States development efforts, with the hopes of helping the war-weary country take a path to stability and self-reliance, little has changed on the ground for children growing up today in Afghanistan. They are not safer. They do not have more rights. And they have never known peace.

The truth is, living conditions in the country may be worse than when the “peacemaking” started in 2001.

We often see numbers and figures about the country in various survey findings, human rights reports and corruption indexes. But what do these numbers mean to Afghans?

In 2017, 8,000 children were reported killed and hurt in conflicts from Syria and Yemen to Congo and Afghanistan. Afghan children account for more than 40 percent of the total. Casualties among Afghan children had increased by 24 percent in 2016.

Beyond the physical cost is the mental toll of war. Almost half of children between ages 7 and 17, or 3.7 million, do not attend school, and the rate of out-of-school children has increased to 2002 levels. Girls account for 60 percent of this number.

War has decimated the educational system in Afghanistan. Attacks on schools have risen, especially in conflict zones, which now are expanding. Operating schools in rural parts of Afghanistan face overwhelming challenges. Since the country has one of the lowest electricity usages in the world, students have limited access to basic in-class and out-of-classroom educational resources. These conditions make learning difficult, if not impossible.

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On top of that, over the past few years as a “war on peace” began, child exploitation in Afghanistan has intensified. Children have been recruited and used in combat and to plant improvised explosive devices. Many human rights organizations have found children being detained on serious charges, including being Taliban fighters, would-be suicide bombers, bomb makers and alleged associates of armed groups. A lot of these children, still under the age of 18, are being held in a high-security prison for adults without due process.

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Afghanistan has one of the youngest populations in the world. Almost half of the country’s 35 million people are under the age of 15. Despite all the promises for protecting children’s right and improving their lives, youth still remain the most tragic victims as the country rolls from one war to another.

The U.S. and international community are not helping with their spending in Afghanistan. Instead of funding war and creating limited results that make aid dependency greater, aid should focus on meeting the needs of children, the most affected and vulnerable population in Afghanistan.

Because of extreme poverty, an estimated quarter of all Afghan children work for a living. They endure long hours for little or no pay, and toil in labor-intensive industries, including carpet-weaving, brickmaking, mining, metalwork, and farming.

The hazards of war lead to other heartbreaking consequences. Sometimes, families must sell children for food.

Still, the war machine diverts attention away from the child rights crisis in Afghanistan. While the poor suffer, the rich keep getting richer.

It’s a familiar, sad story.

Anyone who cares about justice for all must stand up for the rights of children in Afghanistan and divest from the U.S. war machine that is funding this humanitarian crisis.

If we don’t, what hope for peace do any of us have?

This article was produced by Local Peace Economy, a project of the Independent Media Institute.


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8 Things That Are Undermining Your Freedom That You Need To Know About (But Probably Don’t)

By Gary Z McGee | The Mind Unleashed

“The system cannot be fixed by the system.” ~Tom Morello

It is of the first order of importance to remember this: “the system cannot be fixed by the system.” It can only be fixed by the resistance of healthy, reasonable, imaginative, knowledgeable, compassionate and non-violent individuals. It can only be fixed by people who have re-conditioned their cultural conditioning, un-matrixed the Matrix, ninjaneered their statist indoctrination, and unwashed their political brainwash.

All of this despite uncomfortable cognitive dissonance, myopic tribal affiliation, and blind nationalism.

In short: the system can only be fixed by people who have dared to take a leap of courage outside the box of the system itself, and then double-dogged dared themselves to gain knowledge that undermines the unhealthy system while proactively building a healthier system.

1.) The expansion of imperial war undermines freedom:

“At the end of the cold war we could have diverted tax dollars to the quality of our lives, things like health care, education, infrastructure, eliminating poverty, and protecting against climate change. Alas, the peace dividend never happened. Why not? Because the military, and persons profiting from the military, like weapons manufacturers and their lobbyists in Congress didn’t want to. That’s why. Only 8 percent of Americans polled in 2014 wanted the United States to lead the world military. But that 8 percent won out. That’s plutocracy.” ~Ted Stanford, WWII Navy Veteran

If slavery is the opposite of freedom, then war is probably its inverse. It’s simple: human beings cannot be free when other human beings are threatening them with guns and bombs.

To the extent that guns and bombs are necessary is only in a defense-minded sense. Otherwise, the use of guns and bombs is just cold, calculated, murderous and offensive, war. It is only necessary if the Non-aggression principle has been violated and the loss of human life is at stake. Then, and only in a defensive sense, is the use of bombs and guns necessary.

The problem with war today is that it is not defense-minded but offense-minded. It is built upon an imperialist agenda and a money-making war machine that’s bolstered by a fight against phantom-terrorism that cannot be won. It seeks power and the control of natural resources, usually at the expense of innocent lives. In short: it is offensive and overreaching and not conducive to healthy and free human beings.

2.) The bloated military budget undermines freedom:

“Once weapons were manufactured to fight wars. Now wars are manufactured to sell weapons.” ~Arundhati Roy

The main reason the war machine is so offensive and overreaching is because of the bloated military budget. Exacerbated by war-profiteering companies like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, the U.S. military is larger than the next seven militaries in the world, combined!

Let that sink in. World military spending totaled more than $1.6 trillion in 2015. The U.S. accounted for 37 percent of that total. If that’s not a bloated military, I don’t know what is. It’s time to scale back. It’s time to see the military industrial complex for what it really is: a terrorist generating war machine propped up by profiting weapons manufacturers.

The propaganda machine that the military industrial complex uses to convince its citizens that it needs more money is based on myopic nationalistic pride that imagines the money is going to our brave military men and women. Nothing could be further from the truth. It goes toward $200 million B-52 bombers and faulty F-35 fighter jets costing $400 billion each. Each! That is the height of insanity. Just imagine what use that money could go towards.

And yet we all just go about our day imagining that the government knows best. Meanwhile, our education system falters, our health care is being eroded, and our infrastructure crumbles. We can no longer see the error of our ways. As Noam Chomsky said, “The general population doesn’t know what’s happening, and it doesn’t even know that it doesn’t know.”And here we are, not even caring that we don’t know.

3.) The continual bailing out of Big Banks undermines freedom:

“The federal rescue of Wall Street didn’t fix the economy – it created a permanent bailout state based on a Ponzi-like confidence scheme. And the worst may be yet to come.” ~Matt Taibbi

Bailing out Wall Street was the ultimate bait-and-switch. It turns out that we’ve all been bamboozled. This mafia-esc, multi-layered, lie-upon-lie shit-cake goes so deep that it fooled congress twice into eating it –hook, line, and sinker. This article goes into detail about it.

The biggest problem with the bail out, other than that it has further entrenched the Too Big to Fail banking system, is that it has made lying on behalf of the most corrupt banks the official policy of the United States government.

This undermines freedom because it not only allows power to become absolute, it allows power to corrupt absolutely. There must be checks and balances on power. Especially power over people’s lives. Unchecked power tends to become tyrannical power. Tyrannical power tends to become evil. Failed systems should be allowed to fail lest failure be confused with success in some Orwellian double-spoken way.

4.) Overreaching offense-minded policing undermines freedom:

“The law is an opinion with a gun.” ~Stefan Molyneux

Healthy policing is an extension of healthy self-defense. Self-defense turned violent and overreaching is no longer about self-preservation. Similarly, policing turned violent and overreaching is no longer about protecting and serving. Violence should only ever be used in self-defense and never as a means toward enforcing one’s values, rules, or laws onto others, no matter how popular they are.

Defense-minded policing must remain a core philosophy if a police force intends to be a moral institution. The solution is not more ill-trained offense-minded police with too much power, but more well-trained defense-minded police with just enough power (a power with built-in checks and balances in place to prevent power from corrupting). In short: a complete eradication of the Thin Blue Line is in order.

The bottom line is that no single person should have as much power as a cop has. Nobody should be allowed to be judge jury and executioner in the street. To the extent that a defense-minded cop has power, it should be checked and balanced by the people who pay for the policing, first, and by other defense-minded cops, second. And all cops should be held to a higher standard precisely because of the immense power that they wield.

Until we can achieve a level of civilization where we have all evolved to a point where voluntarism and the non-aggression principle are second nature, the best alternative is defense-minded policing that doesn’t offensively overreach its power by shoving its gun down everyone’s throat.

5.) The corrupt electoral system undermines freedom:

“If you vote, you have no right to complain.” ~George Carlin

The electoral process has cemented into place a system of legalized bribery. Elections have become auctions. They are ridiculously overrated and flawed to begin with. They attract power-hungry egomaniacs at best and warmongering sociopaths at worst. It’s time to usher in a new system of appointing leaders.

The problem is our choices are limited due to bi-partisan claptrap. Our decision seems to be “vote” or “not vote” which is influenced by state manipulation, cultural conditioning, and entrenched political propaganda with corrupt lobbying that creates divisiveness.

But there is a third option. We can “elect” to think outside the ballot box. We can “elect” to take money out of politics. We can “elect” to have a complete electoral system reboot. We can “elect” to implement a sortition system that lotteries-in leaders from an assembly of authentic leaders and prestigious elders and votes-out bad leaders. We can “elect” to devise a system that uses impeachment more often than it uses aggrandizement.

Indeed. We can “elect” to not elect a president at all, because we don’t need a scapegoat-puppet who is hamstrung by lobbyists, corporations, and bankers for a “leader.” We just need authentic leaders and prestigious elders –plural; chosen randomly from a competitive assembly of other authentic leaders and prestigious elders. That will get the job done just fine, while also preventing scapegoating and the rise of psychopaths.

6.) Despotic leadership undermines freedom:

The control of information is something the elite always does, particularly in a despotic form of government. Information, knowledge, is power. If you can control information, you can control people.” ~Tom Clancy

The chain of command. The chain of obedience. Allegiance to authoritative hierarchies. Top-down leadership. These forms of “leadership” have utterly failed us as a species. They have only ever led to unhealthy rigid order – creating robots, pawns, and sheep; which has only ever led to unnecessary wars waged between robots, pawns, and sheep who never had the courage to question authority. As Mark Passiosurmised, “Order followers are the people who keep the system of slavery in place.”

The chain of command isn’t even leadership. It is despotic followership. It’s grossly outdated. They don’t train followers how to become leaders, they train followers how to remain followers through rank and file. A true leader must break rank at some point in order to become such, otherwise he/she is only a “leader” by authoritarian dictate, or according to some myopic and vacuous rank.

True leaders cannot be controlled; they learn, through self-mastery, through the teachings of other leaders, from Pain and Nature, how to discipline themselves. True leaders don’t follow power; they learn how to turn the tables on power, even their own, so that power does not corrupt.

True leaders don’t kowtow to tyranny or authoritarian rule; they attempt to dismantle it, despite the “rank and order” that props it up. Therefore, a true leader is a bottom-up leader who has the courage and the wherewithal to question the despotic top-down chain of obedience.

Strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom must be thwarted. This requires courageous bottom-up leaders to throw a wrench into the machinery of the so-called “chain of command.”

7.) Hoarding and shortsighted distribution undermines freedom:

“The problem with the Western world is surplus production. We’re in surplus production in almost every area. But there is a terrible distribution system where people around the globe suffer and die from starvation. This is a distribution problem, not a production problem.”~John Ralston Saul

Extreme poverty and starvation are avoidable in this age of extreme surplus. The utter failure of our distribution system undermines freedom. It prevents people from thriving because they are expending all their vital energy on merely surviving.

If, as Harry Frankfurt said, “From the point of view of morality, it is not important that everyone should have the same. What is morally important is that each should have enough,” then it behooves us, as both reasonable and moral human beings, to make sure that we each have enough by fixing the corrupt system of distribution.

The deeper psychological problem is that we believe that our sense of worth is wrapped up in how skilled we are at something, because we were raised and conditioned in a culture that values competition over cooperation. This creates ego-centric specialists concerned only with narrow-minded one-upmanship over open-minded compassion.

But we are social creatures, first and foremost. We need each other to survive. Competition has always been secondary to cooperation; otherwise we wouldn’t have survived as a species (Darwin).

So, our worth is actually wrapped up in how much we care for each other. The problem is that we’ve had the cart (competition) in front of the horse (compassion) for too long. It’s time we got the horse back in front of the cart. This will be an arduously Herculean task, considering our cultural conditioning. But it is very important, for the survival of our species, that we get it right.

8.) Statism itself undermines freedom:

“At the core of all well-founded belief, lies belief that is unfounded.”~Ludwig Wittgenstein

How do you know if you are a statist? You are a statist if you believe that you need a ruler to rule over you, if you believe that you require permission to be free, if you blindly worship a flag, and if you believe that violence is the answer to solving problems.

As it stands, the USA lives in an oligarchic state disguised as a democratic republic. Since a massive amount of wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few, we’re unable to maintain a healthy horizontal democracy. Instead, we’re forced to deal with the snake of an unhealthy vertical democracy which has the diabolical snakehead of oligarchic plutocracy.

If we lived within a horizontal democracy, we would have a better chance at being free. No masters, no rulers, and no chance for power to become concentrated in the hands of a few. As Edward Abbey said, “Since few men are wise enough to rule themselves, even fewer are wise enough to rule others.” Easier said than done, sure, but as Spinoza said, “All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.”

When it comes down to it, it’s impossible to live freely within a plutocratic state. The plutocrats will simply continue buying up power by creating oppressive laws and “legal”extortion rackets that keep the people without wealth and power in a permanent state of poverty and powerlessness. Add to that the use of lobbyists and a fiat currency based on debt, and you have a nation of hoodwinked debt slaves (soft slavery) under the delusion that they live in a free democratic republic.

It’s time to decide upon the only choice that really matters: Free human, or indoctrinated statist; uncomfortable freedom, or comfortable slavery. The choice is yours.

And if the overreaching state should continue to use violence against us, then we plant our heels deep into the ground, we lay our shields low, and we declare to the Powers That Be, as Henry David Thoreau did: “I was not designed to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest.”

About the Author

Gary Z McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide awake view of the modern world.

This article was originally created for The Mind Unleashed and is published here with permission. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution and author bio.




‘War Crimes’: Lawmakers Demand Answers About US Role in Slaughter of Yemeni Civilians

The Saudi-led coalition, which receives essential military support and intelligence from the U.S., “has repeatedly hit civilian targets—including schools, hospitals, funerals, and weddings—nowhere near military targets.” ~ Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.)

By Jake Johnson | Common Dreams

In the wake of the U.S.-backed Saudi-led coalition’s horrific bombing of a school bus last week that killed 40 Yemeni children and amid reports on Tuesday of dozens more civilian deaths after a new wave of Saudi bombings, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) has sent a detailed letter (pdf) to the Department of Defense Inspector General demanding an investigation into whether Trump administration officials violated U.S. or international law by assisting the Saudis in their assault on Yemen.

The Saudi-led coalition, which receives essential military support and intelligence from the U.S., “has repeatedly hit civilian targets—including schools, hospitals, funerals, and weddings—nowhere near military targets,” Lieu writes, pointing to an analysis by the Yemen Data Project showing that a third of Saudi bombings in Yemen have hit civilian targets. “I previously served on active duty as a JAG [Judge Advocate General] and a number of the coalition’s airstrikes look like war crimes.”

“If the coalition’s targeting of farms, food storage sites, and water sites was deliberate, these airstrikes would constitute a violation of Article 14 of Additional Protocol II and customary international law in non-international armed conflict,” Lieu adds. “I am deeply concerned that continued U.S. refueling, operational support functions, and weapons transfers could qualify as aiding and abetting these potential war crimes.”

The California congressman goes on to note that the U.S.-backed Saudi attacks on civilian targets cannot be attributed to mere faulty intelligence or incompetence.

“The coalition, which has air superiority, has in a number of cases very precisely struck civilian targets,” Lieu notes. “For example, coalition jets precisely struck a funeralattended by a large number of people and then came around and struck the same civilian target again. It is indisputable that the DoD-supported coalition has killed large numbers of children, women, and men who are civilians.”

In a letter (pdf) of her own on Tuesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called on Gen. Joseph Votel—the top commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East—to explain the U.S. military’s role in the Saudi-led coalition’s bombings of Yemeni civilians.

“According to public reports and non-governmental organizations operating on the ground in Yemen, coalition airstrikes, including some that are likely to have been supported by U.S. refueling and supplied with U.S. munitions, have resulted in the deaths of thousands of Yemeni civilians since the beginning of the military campaign in 2015, including most recently a school bus carrying dozens of children,” Warren noted.

Lieu and Warren’s letters come as Yemen-based journalists reported that yet another Saudi-led bombing campaign in the port city of Hodeidah on Tuesday killed more than 30 people, including women and children.

Since the U.S.-backed Saudi coalition’s bombing of a school bus last week, journalists and human rights advocates have denounced the attack as a clear war crime and demanded to know precisely what role the U.S. played in the massacre.

As Democracy Now! noted in a segment Tuesday morning, images posted to social media suggest that the bomb used in the attack was a Mark-82, which is manufactured by the massive American defense contractor Raytheon.

While U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis has dispatched an American general to assist the Saudis with its “investigation” into the school bus bombing, Shireen Al-Adeimi—a human rights activist and professor at Michigan State University—told Democracy Now! that it is “preposterous to think” that the Saudis can properly investigate their own crimes, particularly given that one Saudi official has already described the school bus as a “legitimate target.”

“Every single day, there are airstrikes and casualties and civilians who have been killed by Saudi-led airstrikes. They have essentially absolved themselves of all wrongdoing every time they have investigated themselves,” Al-Adeimi concluded. “What Yemenis need is really an independent investigation, which has been put forward in the U.N. twice already and has been rejected by the Saudi-led coalition and the U.S. unfortunately has provided cover for the Saudi-led coalition at the U.N.”

Watch Al-Adeimi’s full interview on Democracy Now!:


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‘God Only Knows’: The Tortured, Killed, or Forcibly Disappeared People of Yemen

“To date, the US continues selling weapons to the UAE and to its coalition partner, Saudi Arabia, despite several Congressional debates and a few increasingly close votes demanding a full or partial end to US weapons sales considering the terrible practices being carried out as part of the Yemen war.” (Photo Xinhua)

By Kathy Kelly | Common Dreams

“If they would just confirm to us that my brother is alive, if they would just let us see him, that’s all we want. But we can’t get anyone to give us any confirmation. My mother dies a hundred times every day. They don’t know what that is like.”

In July of 2018, an Amnesty International report entitled “God Knows If He’s Alive,”documented the plight of dozens of families in southern Yemen whose loved ones have been tortured, killed, or forcibly disappeared by Yemeni security forces reporting to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE is part of the Saudi-led coalition that, with vital US support, has been bombarding and blockading famine and disease-ravaged Yemen for three brutal years. The disappearances, and torture, can sadly be laid at the doorstep of the United States.

One testimonial after another echoes the sentiments of a woman whose husband has been held incommunicado for more than two years. “Shouldn’t they be given a trial?” she asked. “Why else are there courts? They shouldn’t be disappeared this way – not only are we unable to visit them, we don’t even know if they are dead or alive.”

The report describes bureaucratic farces in which families beg for information about their loved ones’ whereabouts from Yemeni prosecutors and prison officials, but the families’ pleas for information are routinely met with silence or intimidation.

The families are appealing to an unelected Yemeni exile government whose president, Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, (when “elected” president in 2012, he was the only candidate) generally resides in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The UAE has, so far, supported Hadi’s claim to govern Yemen. However, the Prosecutor General of Hadi’s government, as well as other officials, told Amnesty International the government of Yemen has no control over operations “spearheaded by the UAE and implemented by the Yemeni forces it backs.”

When months and years pass and families of people who are missing still have no news about their loved ones, some try to communicate unofficially with prison guards or with former detainees who have been released from various detention sites. They repeatedly hear stories about torture of detainees and rumors about prisoners who died in custody.

The Amnesty report implicates UAE-backed local forces in Yemen, as well as the UAE military, in the crimes of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees. Of seven former or current detainees interviewed by Amnesty, five said they were subjected to these abuses. “All seven witnessed other detainees being tortured,” the report adds, “including one who said he saw a detainee held in a cell next to him being carried away in a body bag after he had been repeatedly tortured.”

In June 2017, Human Rights Watch and the Associated Press exposed a network of clandestine prisons operated by the UAE in Yemen. Their reports described ghastly torture inflicted on prisoners and noted that senior US military leaders knew about torture allegations. Yet, a year later, there has been no investigation of these allegations by the Yemeni government, by the UAE, or by the UAE’s most powerful ally in the Yemen war, the United States.

“It is shocking, to say the least,” the Amnesty report states, “that one year after a network of secret prisons operated by the UAE and the Yemeni forces it backs was exposed, these facilities continue to operate and that there has not been a serious investigation undertaken into credibly documented violations, including systemic torture in custody.” The Amnesty report calls on the US to “facilitate independent oversight, including by the US Congress, over US military or intelligence cooperation with Yemeni and UAE forces involved in detention activities in Yemen.” It further calls for investigating any involvement of US military or intelligence personnel in detention-related abuses in Yemen.

To date, the US continues selling weapons to the UAE and to its coalition partner, Saudi Arabia, despite several Congressional debates and a few increasingly close votes demanding a full or partial end to US weapons sales considering the terrible practices being carried out as part of the Yemen war.

Since March of 2015, a coalition of nine countries led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE and relying on crucial U.S. logistical aid, has bombarded Yemen while blockading its major port, despite Yemen’s status as one of the poorest countries in the world. Targeting transportation, electrical plants, sewage and sanitation facilities, schools, mosques, weddings and funerals, the vicious bombing has led to starvation, displacement, and the spread of disease including cholera.

On the same day that the Amnesty report was released, Saudi Arabia’s King Salmanpardoned “all military men, who have taken part in the Operation Restoring Hope of their respective military and disciplinary penalties, in regard of some rules and disciplines.” It seems likely that the Amnesty report precipitated this royal decree.

Along with three countries in North Africa’s “Sahel” desert region, Yemen has been cited as part of the worst famine crisis in the 70-year history of the UN. In the past three years of aerial and naval attacks, Yemen’s key port of Hodeidah has remained partially or fully closed despite the country’s vital need for relief supplies. And, while Yemenis suffer the chaos and despair characteristic of war, the Saudis and UAE refer to the war as “Operation Restoring Hope.”

Many thousands of Yemenis, subjected to consistent bombing and threats of starvation and famine, have fled their homes. Many seek refuge out of Yemen. For instance, close to 500 Yemenis have traveled nearly 500 miles to reach a visa-free port on South Korea’s Jeju Island. On July 21, during an international phone call hosted by young friends in Afghanistan, listeners heard Kaia, a resident of Jeju Island, describe the “Hope School.” She explained how she and several other young people are trying to help welcome Yemenis now living in their village of Gangjeong.

The young people are already committed to peacefully resisting U.S. and South Korean military destruction of their shoreline and ecosystem. Now, they have started an informal school so Yemeni and South Korean residents can learn from one another. Small groups gather for conversational exchanges translated from Arabic to English to Korean. Many South Koreans can recall, in their own familial history, that seven million Koreans fled Japanese occupation of their land. Their Korean forebears relied on hospitality from people in other lands. The Catholic Bishop of the Jeju diocese, Monsignor Kang Woo-il, called on Koreans to embrace Yemeni refugees, labeling it a crime against human morality to shut the door on refugees and migrants.

Kaia’s account of the newly launched school describes an effort that truthfully involves restoring hope. The cynical designation of Saudi and UAE led war in Yemen as “Operation Restoring Hope” creates an ugly smokescreen that distracts from the crucial need to investigate war crimes committed in Yemen today.

US citizens bear responsibility for the US government’s support of these crimes.

The Yemenis mean us no harm and have committed no crime against us. Congressional votes have come quite close, with bipartisan support, to ending US participation in and support for the Saudi and Emirati led Coalition war against Yemen. Ending arms sales to the UAE and Saudi monarchies, supported by both sides of the aisle, will signal to the UAE and Saudi Arabia the US will no longer assist their efforts to prolong war and siege in Yemen. On cue from the initiative and energy shown by young South Koreans, people in the US can and should organize campaigns to educate their communities, educational institutions, and media outlets about the plight of people in Yemen. Conscious of the nightmare faced by Yemenis whose husbands, brothers, fathers and sons have been disappeared or detained by shadowy military enforcers, US people can work toward implementing each recommendation in Amnesty’s devastating report.


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Long Time NSA Intelligence Official Shares His Thoughts About Supposed ‘Russian Hacking’

By Arjun Walia | Collective Evolution

Hearing about all of this Russian hacking, Trump, and politics, in general, these days seems to be like eating the same type of food every night, you literally get sick of it. This begs the question, should we even pay attention to it? Of course, we should, the political realm and the corporate stranglehold over it (and above that sit the financial elite) are taking advantage of us because WE are the ones that allow this entire charade to continue. It would be the same thing as not paying attention to the fact that pharmaceutical drugs are killing many people. There are many examples. To simply ignore it allows those ridden with the disease of power to keep taking advantage of us.  One thing is for sure, our so-called “leaders” don’t seem to care. Sure, they gather at summits every year to supposedly discuss solutions to the global problems, but solutions have been in existence for decades and nothing seems to happen. This alone should make every single person question what’s really going on behind the scenes because nothing seems to really make any sense at all.

This article sheds light on one common problem that’s existed for decades, and that’s the constant blaming of Russia, as well as other governments and global politicians for problems that don’t even exist. Perhaps the best example would be 9/11 and Iraq, or the recent supposed chemical gas attacks in Syria, and much more. Each is an example for humanity to wake up and see what’s really going on, because it keeps on happening over and over again, and to stop it, awareness is key, human consciousness is key…

It’s always critical to look at the information that’s not coming from mainstream media sources, and if you do, you will find multiple ex-intelligence agents and employees saying the exact opposite of what’s presented within the mainstream media. You can also find hard evidence to corroborate these statements, unlike the ones that come from mainstream media. These are brave people, who chose to share truth rather than sticking to their national security oaths, simply because “national security” has now become a term used to justify completely immoral action, like mass surveillance, for example.

[Read more here]

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield, Massachusetts and New England (USA) & “virtually” the world. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.




Ralph Nader Asks Former First Ladies: Why No “Heartfelt Concern for Tens of Thousands of Children Killed or Seriously Maimed” by Their Husbands’ Wars?

“Would be nice if Laura Bush and Michelle Obama had expressed similar heartfelt concern for the tens of thousands of children killed or seriously maimed by the wars of their husbands in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere,” Ralph Nader tweeted Friday. (Image: WikiMedia Commons)

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer | Common Dreams

Noted consumer advocate and author Ralph Nader on Friday offered a sharp retort to Laura Bush and Michelle Obama in response to the former first ladies levied criticism at the Trump administration’s cruel immigration policy that separated immigrant children from their families.

“Would be nice if Laura Bush and Michelle Obama had expressed similar heartfelt concern for the tens of thousands of children killed or seriously maimed by the wars of their husbands in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere,” he tweeted.

As it’s signed “-R,” it was written by Nader himself, rather than his staff who often tweet on his behalf.

The tweet follows an op-ed published Sunday at the Washington Post in which Bush took aim at Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy, writing that she “was among the millions of Americans who watched images of children who have been torn from their parents.”

“I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart,” she wrote, tweeting out the same section of text.

Michelle Obama retweeted that, adding, “Sometimes truth transcends party.”

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), it should also be noted, was created under the George w. Bush administration and the Obama administration also came under fire for his deportation policy, treatment of child migrants, and the detention of immigrant families.

The other living first ladies have also weighed in on the Trump administration’s widely condemned policy of ripping families apart at the Southern border, with all expressing at least some measure of criticism.

The current First Lady’s reaction to the separations and detention of chidlren was quite mild, with a spokesperson for Melania Trump saying she “hates to see children separated from their families.” It also rang particularly hollow, as, on her way to visit a detention center at the border, she wore a jacket emblazoned with the words “I really don’t care, do U?”


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Article Source: Common Dreams