By Vijay Prashad for AlterNet – A few years ago, I asked a retired Iraqi Air Force officer what it felt like to be bombed periodically by the United States in the 1990s. Whenever US President Bill Clinton felt irritated, I joked, he seemed to bomb Iraq. The officer, a distinguished man with a long career serving a military whose political leadership he despised, smiled. He said with great lightness – ‘When our leadership said something threatening those words itself were taken to be terrorism; when the United States bombs, the world does not even blush.’ To me this is an intuitive statement. I was thinking about it as I watched the parade in Pyongyang (North Korea) to celebrate the birth of Kim Il-sung. The imagery from North Korean television was grand – the vast Kim Il-sung Square packed with soldiers as the massive arsenal of North Korea was paraded past its leadership. On twitter, amateur arms experts gave a run-down of this undersea missile and that trans-continental one. It was breathtaking to watch the performance and feel the anxiety in the Western media that North Korean would launch an attack on someone, somewhere.
By Sam Levin for The Guardian – The FBI is investigating political activists campaigning against the Dakota Access pipeline, diverting agents charged with preventing terrorist attacks to instead focus their attention on indigenous activists and environmentalists. The Guardian has established that multiple officers within the FBI’s joint terrorism taskforce have attempted to contact at least three people tied to the Standing Rock “water protector” movement in North Dakota. The purpose of the officers’ inquiries into Standing Rock, and scope of the task force’s work, remains unknown. Agency officials declined to comment.
By Richard Ochs for Popular Resistance – Now that the 28 pages of the Joint Congressional Intelligence Report of 2002 have been declassified, we know that Saudi Arabia did more than furnish 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11. It is no conspiracy theory that the the Chairman of this Committee Report, former Senator Bob Graham, said: “the Saudi government was a co-conspirator in 9/11.” It is a fact, not a theory, that the 28 pages state that then-Saudi Ambassador to the U.S., Prince Bandar bin Sultan and his wife sent $100,000 to Saudi agent Bassnan in San Diego, who lived across the street from the two named Saudi hijackers. A long-time colleague of Bassnan named Bayoumi, receiving money from the Saudi Ministry of Defense…
By Paul Street for Counter Punch – An excellent example is a recent CNN report on how U.S. President Donald Trump’s Muslim travel ban is playing out in the small Vermont city of Rutland. A CNN reporter spoke to two local players on different sides of the question of whether Syrian refugees should be settled in Rutland. The first source was the town’s mayor, Chris Louras, who has been leading an effort to make Rutland a refugee resettlement hub that would welcome 25 Syrian families in 2017. When asked about why he’s been pushing for this, the mayor cited humanitarian concerns (“it’s the right thing to do”) but also (and above all) mentioned economic considerations. Rutland’s unemployment rate of 3 percent is “dangerously low,”
By Beenish Ahmed and Dylan Petrohilos for Think Progress – Governors from more than half of country are attempting to block refugees fleeing conflict in Syria from being settled in their states citing concerns that they might carry out terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. Experts familiar with the issue say their fears are largely unfounded. Evidence collected so far suggests that refugees were not involved in carrying out the gun and bomb attacks on the French capital. While hundreds of thousands of migrants have turned up on European shores in the last several months seeking asylum, the U.S. refugee resettlement program vets each person it admits through rigorous background checks that have a nearly flawless record at keeping terrorists out.
By Eric Draitser for Mint Press News – The corporate media is predictably churning out nauseating retrospectives of Obama’s presidency, gently soothing Americans to sleep with fairy tales about the progressive accomplishments of President Hope and Change. But amid the selective memory and doublethink which passes for sophisticated punditry within the controlled media matrix, let us not forget that in Africa the name Barack Obama is now synonymous with destabilization, death, and destruction. The collective gasps of liberals grow to a deafening roar at the mere suggestion that Obama is more sinner than saint, but perhaps it would be useful to review the facts and the record rather than the carefully constructed mythos being shoehorned into history books under the broad heading of “Legacy.”
By Tom Suarez for Mondoweiss – Good evening, thank you so much for taking time out of what I know are your busy schedules to be here now. My thanks to Jenny Tonge for making this meeting possible; and I would like to thank three people without whom the book would not exist: Karl Sabbagh, my publisher; Ghada Karmi, who inspired the book; and my partner, Nancy Elan, who was my constant alter-ego during my research and without whom I surely would have given up. My work is based principally on declassified source documents in the National Archives in Kew. When I have had to rely on published works, I have trusted established historians who cite first-hand sources.
By Staff for Ma’an News Agency. Israeli forces Friday suppressed Bethlehem’s “Santa Claus March,” shooting tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at participants, with many suffering from tear gas inhalation. The march, which includes participants dressing up as Santa Claus close to the Christian holiday of Christmas, was launched under the banner “Terrorism and occupation are two sides of the same coin,” and demanded the opening of Israeli checkpoints for Christian tourists to celebrate the holiday in the birthplace of Jesus Christ. A Ma’an reporter witnessed Israeli forces fire rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas into the crowd, which caused a number of participants to suffer tear gas inhalation. Five journalists were also injured, including the cameraman for the Jordanian al-Roya TV Muhammad Shoudha. Israeli forces reportedly fired tear gas canisters directly at his foot.
By Staff of Tulsi Gabbard – Washington, DC—Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) introduced the Stop Arming Terrorists Act today. The legislation would prohibit the U.S. government from using American taxpayer dollars to provide funding, weapons, training, and intelligence support to groups like the Levant Front, Fursan al Ha and other allies of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, al-Qaeda and ISIS, or to countries who are providing direct or indirect support to those same groups. The legislation is cosponsored by Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT-AL), Barbara Lee (D-CA-13), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA-48), and Thomas Massie (R-KT-04), and supported by the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) and the U.S. Peace Council.
By W. J. Astore for Bracing Views. On this 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in 2001, we should ask ourselves what those attacks inaugurated. In a word, calamity. The wildly successful actions of Al Qaeda, combined with the wild overreactions of the Bush/Cheney administration, marked the 21st century as one that will likely become known to future historians as calamitous. In thinking about the 9/11 attacks, as an Air Force officer, what struck me then, and still does now, is the psychological blow. We Americans like to think we invented flight (not just that the Wright Brothers succeeded in the first powered flight that was both sustained and controlled). We like to think that airpower is uniquely American. We take great pride that many airliners are still “Made in the USA,” unlike most other manufactured goods nowadays.
By Silvia Cattori for information Clearinghouse. Dr Nabil Antaki could have abandoned Aleppo to ensure his own safety. Instead he decided to remain and to serve the besieged people of his City, working with various local charities. Above all, he wanted to bear witness to the destruction caused by Western support for the foreign armed groups who have been systematically destroying Syria and terrorising its people for the last 5 years. Yesterday Silvia Cattori recorded this report from Dr Antaki on the recent amplification of propaganda surrounding events in Aleppo. It has been translated from the French by Vanessa Beeley. “With regards to recent events in Aleppo, I state very clearly that the mainstream media are lying by omission. Since the beginning of the war in Aleppo that began 4 years ago, they have consistently failed to report all the facts.
By Rebecca Gordon for Tom Dispatch – So who was this infamous figure, and where is he now? His name is Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn, but he is better known by his Arabic nickname, Abu Zubaydah. And as far as we know, he is still in solitary detention in Guantánamo. A Saudi national, in the 1980s Zubaydah helped run the Khaldan camp, a mujahedeen training facility set up in Afghanistan with CIA help during the Soviet occupation of that country. In other words, Zubaydah was then an American ally in the fight against the Soviets, one of President Ronald Reagan’s “freedom fighters.” (But then again, so in effect was Osama bin Laden.)
By Staff of World Beyond War – World Beyond War is planning a big event in Washington, D.C., in September 2016, just after the International Day of Peace, including a conference beginning Friday afternoon September 23, running all day Saturday September 24, and with activist workshops on Sunday morning the 25th. We’re also working with Campaign Nonviolence and the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance to plan a nonviolent activism training and a nonviolent action in D.C. on Monday September 26th.
By Frank Barat for US Uncut – Today’s terrorist attack in Brussels is an unspeakable tragedy, and the victims should never be forgotten. However, seeking vengeance through a militarized response will only create more terrorists. As a citizen of Belgium and activist in Brussels, there are 5 things everyone should bear in mind