The Hypocrisy Of The Bi-Partisan Congress On Militarism

From blackagendareport.com

By Ann Garrison for Black Agenda Report – Supporters of the British Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn marched through London streets on Saturday, July 1st, from the BBC headquarters to the Parliament Building at Westminster. The London- based Independent reports that tens of thousands joined the “Not One More Day” march against the Conservative Tory government and its austerity policies. They carried signs that read “Tories Out,” “No to Islamophobia, No to War,” “Cut War, Not Welfare,” and “Austerity is the New Terror. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn addressed the crowd upon their arrival outside Parliament. “What this election campaign, this anti-austerity movement, this current mood in British politics has done is unleashed the ideas and the imagination, unleashed that day-to-day conversation on every street corner, every café, and every pub of how differently this country could be run. The Tories are in retreat. Austerity is in retreat. The economic arguments of austerity are in retreat. It’s those of social justice, of unity, of people coming together to oppose racism and all those that would divide us that are the ones that are moving forward.”

US-Mexico Border Convergence Webinar Series

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By School of the Americas Watch. The SOA Watch movement began as a response to the call of solidarity to the people affected by the political, economic, and military US intervention in Central America during the 1980’s and 1990’s. However, the patterns of violence and forced migration established during the dirty wars of the 20th century have continued unabated. How do we respond to this reality? How do we build a shared analysis? In order to respond to these questions and create bonds of solidarity and resistance, SOA Watch invites you to participate in a series of webinars leading up to the Encuentro, to listen, learn and stand up in active solidarity with communities that challenge the militarization of the border. Our first webinar is this Thursday, July 13 at 8:00 pm ET.

Is Canada Planning Extreme Military Escalation?

From cupw.ca

By Staff of CUPW – Justin Trudeau certainly did not run on a military-strength platform. Nowhere on the campaign trail did Liberals talk about increasing military spending or using “hard power” abroad. The recent speech by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, alongside the announced 70% increase in military spending should ring alarm bells. Stephen Harper wouldn’t have dared such an announcement. Canadians wouldn’t have accepted it. Not with our hospitals, schools and infrastructure in such sorry shape. Not with indigenous communities left abandoned by our entire economic system. Not without real action on climate change. Harper couldn’t have gotten away with shovelling an extra $14-billion a year into military spending. Why should we let Trudeau? The recent revelation that the Liberals planned their “international pivot” before they even took office serves as a stark example of what this government represents. They knew they would make this turn, but kept it secret from the public. The reason for this is obvious. Nobody would have believed the Liberal “sunny ways” if they knew the truth: that the Liberals planned to massively increase military spending and project military power around the globe.

Miami Conference Signals Further Militarization Of US Policy In Central America

A man sits in front of a mural in Caracas, Venezuela | Photo: Reuters

By Jake Johnston for CEPR – In a high-level meeting Friday, the presidents of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador will discuss the region’s security with American and Mexican officials. Innocuous enough, you may think. But part of the meeting will be held on a US military base in Miami, Florida ― the headquarters of the US Southern Command, the Pentagon’s regional subsidiary that oversees American military operations throughout Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. Under President Donald Trump, the militarization of US foreign policy is about to stretch more deeply into Central America. Central America policymaking, hardly an open book to begin with, is set to become more secretive. With the Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America just days away, there is no official agenda of speakers or publicly listed events and no involvement of civil society organizations, and even press access is extremely limited. What we do know is US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be there, as will Vice President Mike Pence, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and of course, General John F. Kelly, the director of Homeland Security and the previous head of SOUTHCOM.

Killer Drones And The Militarization Of U.S. Foreign Policy

The MQ-9 Reaper, a combat drone, in flight. Wikimedia Commons / Ricky Best

By Ann Wright for AFSA – The militarization of U.S. foreign policy certainly didn’t start with President Donald J. Trump; in fact, it goes back several decades. However, if Trump’s first 100 days in office are any indication, he has no intention of slowing down the trend. During a single week in April, the Trump administration fired 59 Tomahawk missiles into a Syrian airfield, and dropped the largest bomb in the U.S. arsenal on suspected ISIS tunnels in Afghanistan. This 21,600-pound incendiary percussion device that had never been used in combat—the Massive Ordinance Air Blast or MOAB, colloquially known as the “Mother of All Bombs”—was used in the Achin district of Afghanistan, where Special Forces Staff Sergeant Mark De Alencar had been killed a week earlier. (The bomb was tested only twice, at Elgin Air Base, Florida, in 2003.) To underscore the new administration’s preference for force over diplomacy, the decision to experiment with the explosive power of the mega-bomb was taken unilaterally by General John Nicholson, the commanding general of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. In praising that decision, Pres. Trump declared that he had given “total authorization” to the U.S. military to conduct whatever missions they wanted, anywhere in the world—which presumably means without consulting the interagency national security committee.

Nationwide Protests Oppose ‘Anti-Conspiracy’ Bill, As Japan Moves To Remilitarize

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By Lisa Torio for Waging Nonviolence – Since Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “anti-conspiracy” bill entered the upper house of parliament in early April, thousands of people across the country have taken to the streets in protest. Demonstrations against the bill actually started in December, when Abe’s plan became known to the public, but their intensity has grown in recent weeks. As the ruling coalition is pushing to pass the bill before the end of the legislative session on June 18, hundreds of people are staging daily demonstrations in front of the government offices to demand lawmakers scrap the bill, which lies at the intersection of Japan’s struggles. “This bill cuts across all issues because our lives depend on our right to resist,” said Keiko Makimoto, a retired elementary school teacher, who has been participating in the anti-nuclear demonstrations in front of the government offices nearly every week since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. “I’m here today so that I can keep fighting everyday.” While Abe says the bill is tailored to combat terrorism and organized crime ahead of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2020, the scope of the proposed legislation is so broadly defined that it could give law enforcement agencies the ability to target activists and ordinary citizens they suspect of “preparing to commit a crime.”

In Heat Of Dakota Access Protests, National Sheriffs' Association Lobbied For More Military Gear

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By Steve Horn for Desmog Blog – At the end of 2016, as a mix of sheriffs, police, and private security forces were clashing with those protesting the Dakota Access pipeline at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, the National Sheriffs’ Association was lobbying Congress for surplus military gear and on undisclosed issues related to the now-operating oil pipeline. This information comes from federal lobbying disclosure forms reviewed by DeSmog. The National Sheriffs’ Association, a trade association representing sheriffs’ departments nationwide, hired the firm Ervin Hill Strategy to lobby on its behalf during quarter four of 2016 and quarter one of 2017. Lobbyist and former congressional staffer John Blount was assigned to the cause. Blount did not respond to a request for comment for this story. The multi-state policing response at Standing Rock came under sharp criticism due to its highly militarized nature against the Native American-led opposition. Spurred by the North Dakota governor’s emergency declaration, law enforcement officials nationwide began pouring into North Dakota under the auspices of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC).

Nuclear Double Standards: All Nuclear Weapon Tests Send The Same Message

Flickr/ Steve Snodgrass

By Andrew Lichterman for Truth Out – Although such tests are conducted routinely, the timing of this one may not coincidental; the U.S. military sees nuclear delivery system tests as “distinct messaging opportunities”. U.S. Air Force, Doctrine Annex 3-72, Nuclear Operations, May 2015. Regardless of the timing, it is clear that the message intended for North Korea (and the rest of the world) is that the United States has nuclear weapons, and is prepared to use them. In the past, U.S. officials have said so outright. Prior to a similar test in early 2016, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work told reporters “That’s exactly why we do this… We and the Russians and the Chinese routinely do test shots to prove that the operational missiles that we have are reliable. And that is a signal … that we are prepared to use nuclear weapons in defense of our country if necessary.” David Alexander, “U.S. test-fires ICBM amid tensions with Russia, North Korea,” Reuters, Feb 26, 2016. It also is hard to see the difference between the intentions behind North Korea’s displays of its nuclear and missile capabilities and those of the United States—aside from the fact North Korea has far more to fear, given that the United States has military and nuclear forces that far exceed those of North Korea, and that are exercised frequently close to North Korea’s shores.

“Storm The Heavens”: Notes From The Weather Underground On Resistance

Weather Underground Organization founding members Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn speak in San Francisco, California, February 20, 2009. (Photo: Steve Rhodes)

By Dahr Jamail for Truthout – Those of us living within the borders of the United States currently find ourselves living inside the churning engine of a hyper-militarized corporate-fascist farce of a democracy that is spiraling into darkness. The blades of this death-machine are grinding what is left of our precious planet into dust. Now, think back nearly five decades ago to the late 1960s. The Vietnam War was escalating dramatically and imperialism was lurching forward rapidly enough to cause ongoing demonstrations and political activism to spread like wildfire across the seething country. Some were fueled by a hunger for justice great enough they engaged in armed struggle against the US government. It was they who comprised The Weather Underground Organization (WUO), a faction of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) that took up arms in solidarity with the Black Panthers and other militant groups with the aim to “Bring the War Home.” Going underground to escape the relentless pursuit of the FBI and other law enforcement, the group managed to carry out several high-profile bombings…

Inauguration Offers Preview Of Trump-Era Policing

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By John Knefel for TruthOut. As much of the United States waits in collective distress to see exactly what the presidency of Donald J. Trump will bring, it is already clear that the country is in for an unprecedented assault on ethics regulations and legal obligations from the White House. At the same time, all the signs point to a renewed era of harsh law enforcement for the rest of the country, focused primarily on already heavily policed and marginalized communities. An ominous statement posted to the official White House website today reads: “The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong. The Trump Administration will end it.” It remains to be seen exactly how law enforcement will change under Trump, and whether he will actively pursue some of his most discriminatory campaign promises, like subjecting Muslims to increased surveillance and deporting millions of undocumented immigrants.

Will Israeli Soldier Get Away With Videotaped Killing Of Teen?

Nadim Siam Nuwara, 17, was shot dead by an Israeli soldier on 15 May 2014. (via Facebook)

By Ali Abunimah for EI – An Israeli soldier facing trial for the killing of an unarmed Palestinian teenager that was shown on TV screens around the world may now get away with a slap on the wrist. Israeli Border Police combatant Ben Dery is charged with manslaughter in the slaying of 17-year-old Nadim Nuwara on 15 May 2014 – Nakba Day, when Palestinians commemorate their 1948 ethnic cleansing from much of their homeland. But Israeli media are reporting that the manslaughter charge may now be dropped. Dery’s lawyer told the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz this week that prosecutors are discussing a plea bargain in which his client would admit only to “negligence”

Should War Opponents Work With Trump To Stop US Militarism?

by Jamelle Bouie | CC BY 2.0

By Diana Johnstone for Counter Punch – In 2016, the fundamentally undemocratic U.S. two-party system presented the public with the two most hated candidates in history. The choice was so dismal that over forty three percent of the voters could not bring themselves to go to the polls. Everyone hated one or the other of the candidates, or both. Whoever won was bound to face vehement opposition.

Countering The Militarization Of Youth

Goodfellow Operation KIDS

By Semih for CMOY WRI – Young peoples’ experiences of the military, and exposure to militarist values, differ around the world. In this webinar, we will gather examples from two countries, Israel and Germany, and discuss with activists about their campaigns and strategies to counter youth militarisation in their own contexts. Join us in this webinar to hear from Michael Schulze von Glaßer from DFG-VK (Germany), and Elisheva Gavra and Gilad Ben David from New Profile (Israel) on their ongoing projects and campaigns.

Israeli Forces Arrest 13-Year-Old Palestinian Weeks After Shooting Him

Ramzi Abu Ajamia holding a photo of his left leg taken the day previously, when Palestinian doctors were fixing the work done on his leg during his Israeli detention, which left the wound infected and at risk of amputation. (Photo: Sheren Khalel)

By Sheren Khalel for Mondoweiss – In March, 12-year-old Ramzi Abu Ajamia got word that Israeli forces were looking for him. Terrified of getting arrested, Ramzi stopped sleeping at home and going to school. He succeeded in dodging Israeli forces for five months before he was spotted at clashes during an Israeli night raid on Dheisha refugee camp, where the now 13-year-old was born and raised. It all happened within seconds, Ramzi recalled to Mondoweiss. Israeli forces spotted the boy on the streets around 1 a.m., and fired.

“Do Not Resist”: Police Militarization Documentary Everyone Should See

VANISH Films

By Ryan Devereaux for The Intercept – The officers, members of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department tactical team, were descending on a modest one-story house looking for drugs and guns. The team smashed through the windows of the home with iron pikes, then stormed the front door with rifles raised. Inside, they found a terrified family of four, including an infant. As the family members were pulled outside, Atkinson’s camera captured a scene that plays out with startling regularity in cities and towns across the country