Senate Will Vote On Amendment To Repeal War Authorization

news.antiwar.com

By Jason Ditz for Anti-War – Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’s push for a vote on his amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) appears to have been successful, and his office issued a press release confirming that such a vote will take place after all. Previously, there were doubts, as the Senate leadership sought to severely limit discussion of amendments and just push the NDAA through. The amendment is short and simple. It would repeal the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) as well as the 2002 AUMF against Iraq. The two authorizations would sunset in six months, giving Congress a window in which to debate a replacement authorization. Limited debate on the amendment was held Tuesday evening, with expectations of further debate Wednesday morning. There is no formal time set for the vote, but it’s expected Wednesday in the late morning. Paul has advocated the repeal of the AUMF because it has been used by recent presidents as a blanket justification for new wars. Despite the 2001 AUMF not having anything to do with them, it is presently used as the legal cover for seven US military operations worldwide. The hope is that it will attract support not just from antiwar senators, but also from senators who have wanted a new AUMF that is directly applicable to current wars…

No To War Call To Action

We say No to War sign seen at a 2007 anti-war protest. (Photo by Thiago Santos on flickr)

By Staff of No To War – The Afghan war, which has been a thoroughly bipartisan effort, was originally railed against by Donald Trump when he was running for president. He claimed to be against U.S. troop involvement in Afghanistan. Now he is moving forward with a “secret” plan of escalation that will also include Pakistan. He says the secrecy is to keep the “enemy” from knowing his plans, but it also keeps the U.S. people from knowing what he is doing in our name and from judging the human costs for the people of Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States. What we do know is that military escalation has repeatedly failed to bring peace in Afghanistan. It has caused more destruction and more deaths of civilians and soldiers alike and has cost trillions of dollars that could be spent on meeting basic needs here at home while repairing the destruction we have carried out abroad. Trump also emboldens the war machine here in the US against Black and Brown people and immigrants by fanning white supremacy and xenophobia and continuing the militarization of the police and ICE to incite racially-motivated violence and justify repression, including mass incarceration and mass deportations.

Begging For War: The Poor Understanding Of US & North Korea

Attila JANDI / Shutterstock.com

By Vijay Prashad for AlterNet – US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the Security Council that North Korea was ‘begging for war.’ She said this in reference to the test of a thermonuclear – hydrogen – bomb by the North Korean military. ‘Enough is enough,’ said Ambassador Haley. ‘We have taken an incremental approach, and despite the best of intentions, it has not worked.’ Ambassador Haley made these comments at the UN Security Council, where there are five permanent members and ten rotating members. These five permanents members (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) are all nuclear weapon powers. They are not on the Council permanently (with veto power) because they have nuclear weapons. There are declared nuclear weapon states (India, Israel and Pakistan) that do not have a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. It is an accident of history that gives these five countries the right to be the judges of the planet. Each of these five permanent members of the UN Security Council is already in possession of a thermonuclear bomb. The United States tested its hydrogen bomb in 1952; the Soviets followed the next year. The British tested their bomb in 1958, with the Chinese following in 1967 and the French in 1968.

No War 2017: War And The Environment

Photograph: Charles O’Rear, Environmental Protection Agency

By Staff of World Beyond War – These campaigns, which can be carried out by a small group, educate the public to the profits that are one of the driving forces for the continuation of nuclear weapons programs, and offers the possibility of bringing economic pressure in support of nuclear disarmament. The “Don’t Bank on the Bomb” campaign was developed in the Netherlands and operates throughout Europe.There the focus is on requesting investment funds to exclude corporations making nuclear weapons from their portfolios. Since the launch of that Campaign, 122 nations with a mandate from the UN General Assembly voted for a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons which bans them and outlaws any prohibited activities related to nuclear weapons, including use, threat to use, development, testing, production, manufacturing, acquiring, possession, stockpiling, transferring, receiving, stationing, installation, and deployment. In the U.S. the nuclear weapons corporations are a much more significant component of the economy.The first successful campaign in the US was requesting the Cambridge City Council to ask its Municipal Pension Fund to divest from such corporations, in particular Lockheed-Martin.

Syria’s Survival

An anti-war demonstrator is seen outside the White House before President Photo By Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty

By Barbara Nimri Aziz for Counter Punch – I’m talking about Syria here. Knowing that I write this at my peril, I continue. Not as a defense, but as an argument, one from a different and, I believe, a worthy perspective. Because some acknowledgement must be made– especially by those who are aware of the terrible might of US power and Washington’s determination to destroy Syria at any cost–of that small, ancient nation’s astonishing ability to resist. Just as those who applaud Palestinians’ resolute pursuit of statehood; just as those who now regard Viet Nam with admiration for its emergence as a self-reliant, noble nation. Syria’s current struggle against multiple assaults is not over by any means. It remains in a highly vulnerable state. Its people are scattered across the globe, its highly educated citizens lost to other nations ready to exploit their skills. Refugees in camps and those suffering at home are uncertain of anything at all. Syria’s military has lost tens of thousands of mortally wounded men. (And what about the injured?) Its youths flee conscription. Syria’s once strong economy is crippled and barely recognizable. Its social institutions are overwhelmed, and its cultural riches, including contemporary theater and television, are shrunken or destroyed.

The Hard Numbers On The War In Afghanistan Trump Left Out Of His Speech

President Donald Trump gestures before delivering remarks on the US's military involvement in Afghanistan at the Fort Myer military base on August 21, 2017, in Arlington, Virginia. (Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images)

By Mike Ludwig for Truthout – Last night, President Trump was expected to announce that he would be sending several thousand more troops to Afghanistan, where the United States has been at war for 16 years and violence and corruption have become a way of life. Instead, he outlined a vague strategy meant to appease both a public weary of endless war and the military generals who are now among his top advisors. In his address to the nation from Fort Myer, Trump did not say how many more troops he would send to Afghanistan, or how much more money he is willing to spend on the war. He only said that restrictions on wartime spending would be lifted, and that military commanders would have the freedom to launch attacks without waiting for approval from Washington. Trump also refused to give a timetable for withdrawing American forces, saying only that the enemy would not be privy to when and where the US would attack. He said the “nation-building” effort in Afghanistan is over, and the US would no longer seek to forge democracies in foreign lands “in our own image.” Trump did mention that the Taliban could have a place in a functioning Afghan democracy, a sign that the White House might now be willing to negotiate with anti-government forces after years of bloody warfare, but it’s not clear what such negotiations would look like.

Trump’s Afghan War Speech: More Of The Same, With More Killing

Trump, surrounded by troops and patriotic bunting, defines his “new” Afghan strategy (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

By W.J. Astore for Bracing Views – Actually, the consequences of an American withdrawal are both unpredictable and (most probably) acceptable. Sure, terrorist organizations may gain impetus from an American withdrawal. It’s also possible that a notoriously corrupt Afghan government might finally negotiate with the Taliban and other organizations, and that regional power brokers like Pakistan and Iran, who have their own interests in regional stability, might broker a settlement that Americans could live with. Trump further argued that a rapid U.S. withdrawal from Iraq in 2011 led to “hard-won gains slip[ping] back into the hands of terrorist enemies. Our soldiers watched as cities they had fought for, and bled to liberate, and won, were occupied by a terrorist group called ISIS.” The truth is far more complex. The prolonged U.S. occupation of Iraq helped to create ISIS in the first place, and failed American efforts to create and train reliable Iraqi security forces contributed to easy ISIS victories after U.S. forces left in 2011.

Korean Americans Denounce US War Threats In Coordinated Protests

뉴욕NY시위-8월-14일-낮-12시-10-1080x675

By Staff of Zoom In Korea – On August 14–ahead of the 72nd anniversary of Korea’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule–Korean Americans across the United States rallied to demand the U.S. government stop war provocations against North Korea and start talks towards peace. Korean Americans and other anti-war peace activists in New York, Washington DC, and Los Angeles held coordinated protest actions in their respective regions. Following the impeachment of former South Korean President Park Geun-hye and the election of liberal Moon Jae-in, Korean people around the world had high hopes for the resumption of North-South engagement. Many had expected North, South, and overseas Koreans to come together for a joint conference in Pyongyang or Seoul on August 15 in commemoration of Korea’s liberation. Just as Korea’s liberation was cut short by the arrival of U.S. occupying troops in 1945, however, the prospect of peace on the peninsula is once again thwarted, this time by Trump’s threats of “fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

The 16 Year War In Afghanistan – Headlines Tell The Story

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 11.37.46 AM

By Ralph Nader for The Nader Page – Since 2001 the US has been at War in Afghanistan – the longest war in US history. Headlines concisely tell the story of this cruel boomeranging quagmire of human violence and misery. Below are some newspaper headlines from 2010 to the present to show that a militarized foreign policy without Congress exercising its Constitutional duties and steadfast public engagement will drift on, costing our soldiers’ lives and limbs, nearly three-quarters of a trillion taxpayer dollars, hundreds of thousands of Afghani lives and millions of refugees, with no end in sight. Here we go – year by year: 2010. Setbacks in Afghanistan Aggravate Fissures Over Obama Administration’s Review Strategy, Magnifying Differences. US Money Financing Afghan Warlords for Convoy Protection, Report Says. Afghan Base Tests US Exit Plans. In Bank Scandal, Kabul Struggles to Recover Missing Money. Afghanistan Halts Taliban Peace Initiative. US Slows Troop Pullout in Afghanistan

How War Pollutes The Potomac River

From http://worldbeyondwar.org/war-pollutes-potomac-river/

By David Swanson and Pat Elder for World Beyond War – The Pentagon’s impact on the river on whose bank it sits is not simply the diffuse impact of global warming and rising oceans contributed to by the U.S. military’s massive oil consumption. The U.S. military also directly poisons the Potomac River in more ways than almost anyone would imagine. Let’s take a cruise down the Potomac from its source in the mountains of West Virginia to its mouth at the Chesapeake Bay. The journey down this mighty waterway details six EPA Superfund sites created by the Pentagon’s reckless disregard for the fragile ecosystem of the Potomac River watershed. The U.S. Navy’s Allegany Ballistics Laboratory in Rocket Center, West Virginia, 130 miles north of Washington, is a critical source of contamination in the Potomac River. The on-site disposal of explosive metals and solvent wastes contaminates soil and groundwater with hazardous chemicals. The groundwater and soil along the river are laced with explosives, dioxins, volatile organic compounds, acids, laboratory and industrial wastes, bottom sludge from solvent recovery, metal plating pretreatment sludge, paints, and thinners. The site also has a beryllium landfill. An active burning area is still used for waste disposal, sprinkling chemical dust over the river. It’s not good.

North Korea: Fire, Fury And Fear

U.S. President Donald Trump said he'd be 'honoured' to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. (Reuters)

By Pepe Escobar for Counter Punch – Beware the dogs of war. The same intel “folks” who brought to you babies pulled from incubators by “evil” Iraqis as well as non-existent WMDs are now peddling the notion that North Korea has produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead able to fit its recently tested ICBM. That’s the core of an analysis completed in July by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). Additionally, US intel believes that Pyongyang now has access to up to 60 nuclear weapons. On the ground US intel on North Korea is virtually non-existent – so these assessments amount to guesswork at best. But when we couple the guesswork with an annual 500-page white paper released earlier this week by the Japanese Defense Ministry, alarm bells do start ringing. The white paper stresses Pyongyang’s “significant headway” in the nuclear race and its “possible” (italics mine) ability to develop miniaturized nuclear warheads able to fit on the tips of its missiles. This “possible” ability is drowned in outright speculation. As the report states, “It is conceivable that North Korea’s nuclear weapons program has already considerably advanced and it is possible that North Korea has already achieved the miniaturization of nuclear bombs into warheads and has acquired nuclear warheads.”

We Need A Mass Movement To Prevent Nuclear Conflict In The Korean Peninsula

US activist Gloria Steinem (center) and Liberian Nobel Peace laureate Leymah Gbowee (right) march with other activists along the military wire fence near the border village of Panmunjom in Paju, South Korea, on May 24, 2015. (Photo: Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images)

By Simone Chun for Truthout – On August 2, US Sen. Lindsey Graham paraphrased President Donald Trump’s stance on the prospect of conflict in the Korean Peninsula as follows: “If thousands die, they’re going to die over there.” Less than a week later, on August 8, President Trump responded to North Korea’s latest missile test by threatening to unleash “fire and fury” against Pyongyang, raising alarms throughout the international community. These statements were only the latest excerpts of the ongoing hostile dialog between North Korea and the United States since both parties signed an armistice 64 years ago. A peace treaty was never reached. Will Trump’s heightened rhetoric lead the Korean Peninsula to the brink of war anytime soon? Most likely not. As many analysts point out, deterrence still holds in the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia, despite bellicose rhetoric on both sides. The United States knows that North Korea now has the capability and willingness to strike back if attacked. North Korea knows firsthand the overwhelming power of the United States, well proven in the devastation visited on the populace during the Korean War, when more than 30 percent of Koreans were either killed or injured.

Barbara Lee And Tulsi Gabbard Side With War Party On Sanctions

gabbard-n-lee-venezuela-845 (1)

By Danny Haiphong for Black Agenda Report – The House recently voted to enforce sanctions against Russia, Iran, and the DPRK. Congress included an unprecedented provision in the bill to restrict the President from amending the sanctions without approval from Congress. Despite vocal opposition, the Trump Administration was forced to sign the bill in the face of near unanimous support. All three in Congress who voted against the sanctions were Republicans. Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul were the only Senators to vote down the bill. Also missing from the opposition’s short list was Democratic Party representatives Barbara Lee and Tulsi Gabbard. Lee and Gabbard’s absence from Washington’s minuscule opposition to sanctions is significant because both representatives have a record of using their vote to curtail US war designs. Lee was the only elected official to vote against the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. She opposed the invasion of Iraq two years later. One of the few Black Congressional Caucus members with a consistent track record against foreign intervention, Lee also opposed President Barack Obama’s violation of the War Powers Act when he led the NATO invasion of Libya in 2011.

Clinton Lost Because PA, WI, And MI Have High Casualty Rates And Saw Her As Pro-War

Hillary Clinton at a rally last year. Photo by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons

By Philip Weiss for Mondoweiss – Last fall I winced whenever Hillary Clinton or her surrogates promised regime change in Syria. Don’t these people get it? Americans don’t want to be waging more wars in the Middle East. Now an important new study has come out showing that Clinton paid for this arrogance: professors argue that Clinton lost the battleground states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan in last year’s presidential election because they had some of the highest casualty rates during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and voters there saw Clinton as the pro-war candidate. By contrast, her pro-war positions did not hurt her in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and California, the study says; because those states were relatively unscathed by the Middle East wars. The study is titled “Battlefield Casualties and Ballot Box Defeat: Did the Bush-Obama Wars Cost Clinton the White House?” Authors Francis Shen, associate professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, and Dougas Kriner, a political science professor at Boston University, strike a populist note: With so much post-election analysis, it is surprising that no one has pointed to the possibility that inequalities in wartime sacrifice might have tipped the election.

Black Peace Advocate Wonders If Trump Can Rein In CIA

Trump flanked by the Blackstone CEO, Stephen Schwarzman, a Momentive investor and Trump’s ‘jobs czar’, and the General Motors CEO, Mary Barra. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

By Bruce A. Dixon for Black Agenda Report – President Trump’s cancellation of the CIA’s longstanding mission to train, arm and finance a jihadist overthrow of the Syrian government is recognition that “the Obama war has basically failed,” said Ajamu Baraka, spokesperson for the newly organized Black Alliance for Peace and the Green Party’s 2016 vice presidential candidate. Given that the military and intelligence services rebelled against President Obama’s attempts to cooperate with the Russians in Syria, last year, “it remains to be seen to what extent these elements of the ‘deep state’ are going to obey that directive,” said Baraka, who is also an editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report.