zaterdag 3 februari 2018


Deir-ez-Zor under siege, this documentary shows you the real facts ..After seeing it, you will understand that the US/EU so-called coalition is a hoax and a real threat to the Syrian and Iraqi people. In the Dutch news today: Soldiers returning with Post-Stress Syndroom, after their "peace-keeping" mission are now being drugged with MDMA, a party drug - Ecstasy, to forget that they have murdered and still do so many innocent lives in the Middle-east!

Mike Whitney: The Loser Democrats

The Loser Dems

The Democrats don’t seem to understand that the Russia investigation has made Trump stronger not weaker. They don’t see that their evidence-free probe has strengthened Trump’s base and convinced his supporters that their leader is being unfairly attacked. (According to a January Quinnipiac survey, a full eighty-three percent of Republicans believe the current investigation is “a witch hunt”. The data suggests that Russia-gate has rallied Trump’s backers to his defense.) Dems don’t grasp that, in the last 12 months, Trump has pushed through a massive tax bill followed by immigration reform that has broadened his support and silenced his GOP critics. When Trump took office, McConnell, Ryan and Graham were all on opposite sides of the political divide. Now Trump has them eating out of his hand. He took a fractious, splintered party and forced them to fall in line. Trump has succeeded in unifying his base while the collusion fiasco has had no noticeable impact at all. None.
As for the Dems, well, the Dems still refuse to pay attention to their own polling data that says that rank-and-file members want less emphasis on Russia and more emphasis on jobs, college tuition, health care, and entitlements. The tone-deaf Dems completely ignore that message choosing instead to pursue a counterproductive probe that has yet to produce a scintilla of hard evidence and that has helped to underscore the fact that the Dems have no platform, no vision for the future, and no solutions for the problems facing ordinary working class people.
Let me be completely honest: I don’t give a flying fig about Russia, Russia hacking, Russia meddling, Russia collusion or any other screwball thing related to Russia. What I do care about is what’s going on in this country. I do care that the man who ran on a campaign of “non-intervention” is currently building military bases in East Syria, stirring up trouble in the South China Sea, supporting counterinsurgency operations across Africa, facing off with Turkey, providing bombs for the ongoing genocide in Yemen, threatening North Korea with total annihilation, and pledging to build a new regime of “usable” nuclear weapons. That’s what worries me, not Russia. But what worries me even more is that, just when we need a strong, highly-principled, credible opposition party to fight the good fight for wages, the environment, social services, education, infrastructure, civil liberties, and peace– the Democrats have turned into jello, a wobbly, gelatinous mass of ingratiating losers. What’s that all about?
The Dems are a party without a leader and without a message. They keep carping about Russia and Trump because they have no convictions, no beliefs, and no fire in the belly. It’s a party of empty suits and phony flannel-mouth politicos. The only thing they’re good at is losing, which is an art they appear to have perfected. The problem is, that the rest of us are sick of the party’s sad-sack song-and-dance, sick of the excuses, sick of the buck passing, and sick of losing. We want candidates who actually stand for something, who actually believe in something, and who’ll actually fight for something.
Two weeks ago, the Dems shut down the government to see if they could force Trump into bending on the DACA issue. In less than 72 hours, they checked the polls, ran up the white flag, and caved in. I cannot remember a more flagrant display of political cowardice in my lifetime. Personally, I’d rather be on the side of someone who believes in something (even if he’s wrong!), than on the side of someone who believes in nothing at all. Democrat leaders believe in nothing, which is why they are not worthy of our support. Here’s how the World Socialist Web Site summed up the DACA cave in:
“The US Senate and House of Representatives voted Monday to approve a short-term budget resolution, putting an end to the partial shutdown of the federal government that began midnight Friday night. The deal leaves 800,000 DACA recipients without protection in what amounts to a total capitulation by Democrats to Trump and the Republicans…..
In the annals of cowardly capitulations, there are few spectacles that can match Monday’s collapse by the Democratic Party, which abandoned its blockade against the budget resolution less than 72 hours after it began. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer announced the decision in a brief, nearly blubbering speech on the Senate floor, which combined phony invective directed against Trump with a complete surrender to the bigot-in-chief in the White House….
The surrender was not Schumer’s individual decision, but the action of the entire Democratic caucus, which had no stomach for any serious fight…..” (“Federal shutdown ends as Democrats cave in to Trump”, World Socialist Web Site)
No stomach. No guts. No spine. Admit it: The entire Democratic party leadership isn’t worth the powder to blow it to hell. It would be better for everyone if someone just put them out of their misery.
The Dems think the midterms are going to be a landslide-blowout. But don’t count on it. It’s going to take more than Russia-gate and a few glitzy photos with ME TOO celebrity-victims to get disillusioned liberals back to the polls. It’s going to take a “message”, a vision, a progressive way out of the dark, Trumpian fog we’re all stuck in. Unfortunately, the Dems have no such vision, and they’re too busy chasing fictitious Russian trolls on FaceBook to give it a second thought.
Look: I worked in the Democratic party at the local level. I know that the people at the grassroots level are sincere, principled people that are truly committed to making the country a better place for everyone. I know that! But there comes a time when you have to accept the reality the party’s leaders believe in nothing, that they are joined at the hip with arms dealers, the neocons, the Intel agencies, Wall Street and the rest of the vermin who control this country.
I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that’s the truth.
It’s time to pull up our big boy pants and face the facts: The Democratic party is NOT a suitable vehicle for the progressive agenda. It just isn’t. We need to cut our losses and move on.

America's 'Winnable' Nuclear War

They're Talking About "Winnable" Nuclear War Again

Saturday, February 03, 2018 By William Rivers Pitt, Truthout | Op-Ed 

The night before my 18th birthday, I sternly reminded myself to get down to the post office in the morning and sign up for the Selective Service. I wasn't in a hurry to get drafted or anything like that; it was a chore and I wanted it off my desk … and yes, there was an element of ritual to it, a martial rite of passage into manhood that was mandated by law.  Volunteering to be involuntarily dragooned into fighting a war far away is what American men do on their 18th birthday, and I was a man. It said so right there on my driver's license.
I woke up the next day with Alice Cooper ringing in my head, cracked open the newspaper, and realized I was suddenly on a different planet: The Berlin Wall had fallen. People were dancing on the rubble and sledgehammering the rest. Checkpoint Charlie was a disco. It was the party of the century. My very first birthday present that day was history, living history -- brilliant, jubilant, rowdy, oh-shit-what-now history.
Filling out the Selective Service card later that morning, I found myself grinning like a fool. Yeah, sure, fellas, here's my name and vitals, but the Cold War just ended right there on the TV, so I don't think you'll have much use for these. I walked out of that building sure and certain in mind and heart that now, finally, there would be less war, less fear, less everything bad.
Before you go calling me starry-eyed, you had to be there to understand -- not in Berlin so much as anyplace with a television -- and if you were there, you remember. That mood, that feeling of lightness, was infectious even thousands of miles away. For more than 50 years, we had all been waking and working and sleeping and waking again under a nuclear sword of Damocles, a fear that was pervasive and permanent. It didn't disappear on my birthday, but damn if it didn't feel just a little bit better, and a little bit of that goes an awful long way.
was a fool that day, of course. We got two years of politicians talking about the "peace dividend" and the end of history after that, and then we kicked off a war in Iraq that hasn't ended some 27 years later. The Cold War turned out to be a nifty little dry run for the "war on terror," except this time the weapons weren't ballistic and coming over the pole.

The missiles are still there, though. Thousands and thousands of them, marking time in their holes like funnel-web spiders.

They were airplanes out of a clear blue sky, shoes, any car at any moment anywhere, so we got the mail with our oven mitts on and were told to watch what we say by the president's top spokesman. The threat was different, but the affliction of permanent fear was exactly the same. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
The missiles are still there, though. Thousands and thousands of them, marking time in their holes like funnel-web spiders. The astonishingly toxic byproduct left by their creation is still there, entombed in places like Yucca Mountain, and will be there for thousands of years unless it leaks or is stolen. The ability of a sitting president to use them is still there.
Some 25 years ago, we mostly broke the habit of building and testing more of these engines of annihilation, an absolute good in every sense. Not entirely, to be sure: The nuclear weapons program had its own gravity long before Trump came along, and it was President Obama who first put the trillion dollar weapons modernization program on the table. Still, it feels as if we've forgotten the things still exist and are existentially lethal.
We talked about Donald Trump's lack of fitness to have control of such weapons during the 2016 campaign, but it was almost an abstraction. Regardless, the man won the election, which means a great many people didn't much care that he could conceivably blow the mantle off the planet with a single conversation if he gets a bad bit of burger at bedtime.
Not even Trump's ongoing middle school shoving match with North Korea's Kim Jong-un and his growing nuclear toybox appears to have ruffled a great many feathers around here. Perhaps it's the surreal nature of this president and his administration that explains our national shrug at this incredibly dangerous, feckless faceoff. It's a strange plot twist in a weird animation starring two cartoon characters ordering bombs from the Acme catalog. Who could take these guys seriously?
Enter Robert R. Monroe, Vice Admiral, US Navy (Ret.) and his recent article in The Hill titled, "Only Trump Can Restore America's Ability to Win a Nuclear War." Vice Admiral Monroe, former director of the Defense Nuclear Agency, is the kind of man Curtis LeMay would have recognized as a brother on sight. "When the Cold War ended in 1991," laments Monroe in his opening line, "America made an unwise decision."

An arsenal of smaller bombs is key to Admiral Monroe's fever dream of a winnable nuclear war. It is a dream Trump appears to share.

It goes downhill from there. "Ongoing nuclear programs were stopped," seethes Monroe. "Budgets were cut. New nuclear capabilities were prohibited by law. A presidential moratorium denied underground nuclear testing. No research into advanced nuclear technology was allowed. Essentially, America went into an unannounced a nuclear freeze, and we have progressively increased its restrictions and denials for a quarter-century."
These are all good things, unless you are one of those interesting individuals who still believe a nuclear war can be won. "Putin has threatened military action in many areas of Europe," warns Monroe, "to recover the former Soviet empire. If armed conflict broke out tomorrow, the advancing Russian armor, mobilized troops, artillery, and tactical aircraft would be preceded by dozens of low-yield nuclear detonations, killing everything but leaving roads and bridges intact. The war would be over in days -- or hours. How would we react?"
Well, when you put it that way, Admiral, obviously we would knuckle up and win that nuclear war just like The Plan says, and then learn to breathe plutonium dust as we build impenetrable geodesic domes to fend off attacks from the swarms of giant mutant butterfly sharks created by the fallout. It's all so simple, really. Only a coward could see it otherwise.
Some of those old bombs might still have the fingerprints of a friend of mine on them. He was a sergeant and crew chief in the Air Force during the Nixon administration, stationed at an air base in Thailand. In October of 1973, the Yom Kippur War broke out. The US was arming Israel while the Soviet Union armed Egypt and Syria, and all of a sudden, a highly volatile Cold War proxy fight was underway on the Sinai Peninsula. My friend and his crew were ordered to Guam by way of a KC-135, where they spent the next several days arming B-52D bombers for nuclear war.
"Our military had been elevated to DEFCON 3 alert level," my friend (who requested his name not be used) explains, "just one level below imminent nuclear war. It was the highest alert status since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Our mission was to convert the B-52Ds from conventional weapons to nuclear weapons capabilities. Not long after we arrived, my crew commenced to converting and testing the weapons system on one plane after another."
"The hypervigilance and fear were overwhelming at the time," he recalls. "That mission and all the emotions that went with it are something never to be forgotten. The real danger associated with what I was doing didn't sink in until years later. It's still hard for me to comprehend that I was actually participating in preparing for nuclear war. It was not a drill. It was happening in real time. I still have flashbacks of being in a B-52 cockpit, running tests, watching nuclear weapons being loaded and preparing for the worst."
"The worst" was very real. Israel was threatening to deploy nuclear-armed fighters, and US intelligence had reason to believe a Soviet ship carrying nuclear weapons was on its way to Egypt. It was at this point that Nixon lifted the US military's alert status to DEFCON 3, and the two superpowers found themselves sliding into a precarious nuclear standoff. That matters reached such a dangerous pitch is not widely known these days -- it isn't part of the common Cold War lore like Cuba is -- but it happened all the same.

Donald Trump makes Richard Nixon look like Marcus Aurelius.

My friend endured this for a series of 20-hour days, all the while loading bombs, and every member of that crew knew what he knew: In the event of war, any Soviet nuclear target package would include Guam, because that's where the bombers were. A peace accord was struck on October 26, and he returned to Thailand with his crew. "Over the years," he says, "this event manifested itself into my psyche and I had no idea how to handle it. I was 21 at the time, not knowing if I'd live to age 22. I still see a VA psychiatrist every month for PTSD."
My friend, as you can imagine, doesn't truck much with the opinions of Vice Admiral Robert R. Monroe, US Navy (Ret.), nor do I or most anyone else. I still remember the fear during those years. My friend closes his eyes sometimes and sees the bombs to this day. Our experiences are not comparable, except in that we both survived an era of peril that must never, ever be allowed to return.
Donald Trump has already announced his desire to increase the massive US nuclear arsenal tenfold. The draft of his soon-to-be-released Nuclear Posture Review seeks significant production of so-called "low-yield" nuclear weapons, because our current weapons are theoretically too big to use with any degree of tactical success. It should be noted that, according to modern metrics, the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were also "low-yield." An arsenal of smaller bombs is key to Admiral Monroe's fever dream of a winnable nuclear war. It is a dream Trump appears to share.
The world is dangerous enough as it is, one would think. It is so dangerous, in fact, that a great many people are frozen to near-immobility by it, by the sheer immensity of the perils we face. Where to even begin?
If you seek a place to lay your chisel, I have two words: "No Nukes."
Should you choose this path, your first task is to remind everyone that the threat not only still exists, but is growing again. White House officials were concerned about Richard Nixon's mindset during the 1973 crisis, mired as he was in the Watergate scandal. Donald Trump makes Richard Nixon look like Marcus Aurelius. We are all in a great deal of trouble, and no one seems to care.
Make them care, please and thank you. Let's go find that peace dividend they were talking about on my birthday. I think we've earned it.
Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.

BDS Movement for Palestinian Rights Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

BDS Movement for Palestinian Rights Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

By Bjørnar Moxnes 
​(Member of the Norwegian Parliament)​

OSLO, Norway, Feb 2, 2018 (IPS) - As a member of the Norwegian parliament, I proudly use my authority as an elected official to nominate the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Nominating the BDS movement for this recognition is perfectly in line with the principles I and my party hold very dear. Like the BDS movement, we are fully committed to stopping an ascendant, racist and right-wing politics sweeping too much of our world, and securing freedom, justice and equality for all people.
Inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement and the American Civil Rights movement, the grassroots, Palestinian-led BDS movement is a peaceful, global human rights movement that urges the use of economic and cultural boycotts to end Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights and international law.
The BDS movement seeks to end Israel’s half-century of military rule over 4.5 million Palestinians, including the devastating ten-year illegal siege collectively punishing and suffocating nearly 2 million Palestinians in Gaza, the ongoing forcible eviction of Palestinians from their homes, and the theft of Palestinian land through the construction of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.
It seeks equal rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel, currently discriminated against by dozens of racist laws, and to secure the internationally-recognized legal right of Palestinian refugees to return to homes and lands from which they were expelled.
Palestinian refugees constitute nearly 50 percent of all Palestinians, and they are being denied their right to return, guaranteed by law to all refugees, simply because of their ethnicity.
The BDS movement’s aims and aspirations for basic human rights are irreproachable. They should be supported without reservation by all democratically-minded people and states.
The international community has a longstanding history of supporting peaceful measures such as boycotts and disinvestment against companies that profit from human rights violations. International support for such measures was critical in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa and the racist colonial regime in former Rhodesia.
If the international community commits to supporting BDS to end the occupation of Palestinian territory and the oppression of the Palestinian people, new hope will be lit for a just peace for Palestinians, Israelis and all people across the Middle East.
The BDS movement has been endorsed by prominent figures, including the former Nobel Peace Prize winners Desmond Tutu and Mairead Maguire. It is gaining support from unions, academic associations, churches, and grassroots movements for the rights of refugees, immigrants, workers, women, indigenous peoples and the LGBTQI community. It is increasingly embraced by progressive Jewish groups and anti-racist movements across the world.
Eleven years since BDS’ launch, it’s high time for us to commit to doing no harm, and for all states to withdraw their complicity in Israel’s military occupation, racist apartheid rule, ongoing theft of Palestinian land, and other egregious human rights violations.
Awarding a Nobel Peace Prize to the BDS movement would be a powerful sign demonstrating that the international community is committed to supporting a just peace in the Middle East and using peaceful means to end military rule and broader violations of international law.
My hope is that this nomination can be one humble but necessary step towards bringing forth a more dignified and beautiful future for all peoples of the region.

Een Begin? man heeft donderdagavond de ramen van Werkplein Drentsche Aa in Assen met een hakbijl ingeslagen. Tijdens zijn actie was er in het gebouw nog één medewerkster aanwezig. Zij schakelde de politie in. In totaal zijn er vier ramen gesneuveld. Een raam lag in duizenden stukjes op de grond. Bouwbedrijf Klok heeft de ramen dichtgemaakt. Wat de exacte toedracht van de man is geweest, is niet bekend. Woordvoerder Marianne Lakeman van Werkplein Drentsche Aa bevestigt dat de man is aangehouden. Er wordt tegen de man aangifte gedaan.

Erik Smit

Yeats: The Wheel

The Wheel THROUGH winter-time we call on spring, And through the spring on summer call, And when abounding hedges ring Declare that winter&#...