France’s ambassador to Niger, Sylvain Itté, left Niamey early on September 27, three days after Paris announced that it would also withdraw its 1,500 troops from the West African country by the end of the year. Niger has joined its regional neighbors, Mali and Burkina Faso, in expelling French troops from its soil. The three countries have since forged a pact for collective defense and mutual cooperation, known as the Alliance of Sahel States (AES), amid rising attacks by armed groups in the region. The AES was formed just days before the 78th session of the United National General Assembly.
Wars and Militarism
On Ukraine, it is extremely difficult to get any airing for anti-war opinions. On the mainstream media, it is simply impossible to get a hearing,” Craig Murray said. The human rights campaigner and former diplomat sat with “MintPress News” to discuss forever wars, whistleblowing and a future conflict with China. “There’s a universal media consensus on stoking the proxy war, pouring in billions and billions of dollars, pouring in more and more advanced weapons systems. And anybody on social media who attempts to counter that narrative is marked as disinformation or a Russian state asset,” Murray lamented, noting that even during the Iraq War, there was more space for dissenting opinions.
Last month CNN published a poll revealing 55% of people surveyed in the United States do not support spending more money on the Ukraine war. A tone-deaf White House responded by requesting another $24 billion, mostly for weapons and military training that would bring the Ukraine war tab for US taxpayers to nearly $140 billion. CODEPINK, a member of the Peace in Ukraine Coalition that represents over 100 anti-war organizations, is committed to raising up the majority opinion that the U.S. needs to stop fueling this war. We condemn the illegal Russian invasion but we believe that this conflict has no military solution, only stalled counter-offensives, random drone attacks and profound heartache for the families losing their loved ones, their homes and their livelihoods.
Activists from the Defuse Nuclear War coalition on Sunday launched a week of action to demand the U.S. government take steps to reduce the existential threat of thermonuclear annihilation, including by reinstating arms control treaties, shutting down hair-trigger missiles, and engaging in "genuine diplomatic efforts to end the war in Ukraine." Defuse Nuclear War is organizing around 40 events across the United States. Demonstrations are planned in Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia, Tucson, Fresno, and Salt Lake City, pickets are scheduled across Washington state, vigils are set to take place in Hawaii and California, activists plan to unfurl a banner at a Lockheed Martin facility in Pennsylvania, and an interfaith gathering will be held outside United Nations headquarters in New York.
If it can be said that one person is responsible for the awful death toll from the recent flooding in eastern Libya, Barack Obama should be named as the culprit. If nothing else, Obama certainly has a lot of nerve. The person who was determined to destroy the Libyan state did just that. His personal hench lady, aka Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, carried out the dirty work. Along with allies like the UK and France, she made the case for a “no fly” zone, which prevented Libya’s army from being protected by its air force. For good measure she whipped up a phony human rights case, complete with claims about troops taking viagra in order to commit mass rapes.
The United States has articulated a policy that it wishes to continue this war to severely ‘weaken Russia’ – as US defence secretary Lloyd Austin and other high officials have been explicitly stating – and, it is claimed, to place Ukraine in a stronger bargaining position for eventual negotiations (or in a weaker position, if the Russian offensive makes an impact, a strong likelihood that is quietly ignored). The policy of trying to ‘weaken Russia’ through the escalation of the war in Ukraine is the position of the United States and the United Kingdom, and with some variation, their European allies (France, as usual, demurs here and there, but when push comes to shove, lines up with Washington).
On September 11th of this year, on the third floor of the Nauticus museum in Norfolk, Virginia, defense and intelligence representatives gathered for the first and only unclassified meeting of a Naval Special Warfare Command “technology integration exercise,” called Trident Spectre 2024. What is Trident? The three-minute video above was unveiled for attendees. It pitched the program as a matchmaking forum for contractors and “defense leaders” who “tour the experimentation camp during the exercise, leading to technology transition or outright acquisition,” the contract-hungry crowd was told, in tantalizing narration.
Three days before the Abu Mansur and Al Bilad dams collapsed in Wadi Derna, Libya, on the night of September 10, the poet Mustafa al-Trabelsi participated in a discussion at the Derna House of Culture about the neglect of basic infrastructure in his city. At the meeting, al-Trabelsi warned about the poor condition of the dams. As he wrote on Facebook that same day, over the past decade his beloved city has been ‘exposed to whipping and bombing, and then it was enclosed by a wall that had no door, leaving it shrouded in fear and depression’. Then, Storm Daniel picked up off the Mediterranean coast, dragged itself into Libya, and broke the dams. CCTV camera footage in the city’s Maghar neighbourhood showed the rapid advance of the floodwaters, powerful enough to destroy buildings and crush lives. A reported 70% of infrastructure and 95% of educational institutions have been damaged in the flood-affected areas. As of Wednesday 20 September, an estimated 4,000 to 11,000 people have died in the flood – among them the poet Mustafa al-Trabelsi, whose warnings over the years went unheeded – and another 10,000 are missing.
During the disastrous Vietnam War, it was said that the US government treated the public like a mushroom farm: keeping it in the dark and feeding it with manure. The heroic Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers documenting the unrelenting U.S. government lying about the war in order to protect politicians who would be embarrassed by the truth. A half-century later, during the Ukraine War, the manure is piled even higher. According to the U.S. government and the ever-obsequious New York Times, the Ukraine war was “unprovoked,” the Times’ favorite adjective to describe the war. Putin, allegedly mistaking himself for Peter the Great, invaded Ukraine to recreate the Russian Empire. Yet last week, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg committed a Washington gaffe, meaning that he accidently blurted out the truth.
A friend and colleague wrote in an unusually sage commentary a couple of years ago that Ukraine would prove “NATO’s Waterloo.” He called the brewing conflict there “a debacle-in-waiting.” This was two months before the U.S. provoked the Russian intervention in February 2022. Now that is prescience. Ukraine, indeed, has revealed NATO somewhat in the way of the old pun: No action, talk only. As Scott Ritter argued in a recent speech, it now appears the alliance is incapable of waging war in Ukraine or anywhere else in Europe. But let’s set NATO’s surprising weakness aside for now and consider who, as the Ukrainian sinkhole widens and deepens, is tumbling fastest into it.
The ground war in Ukraine has run its course, a new phase is beginning. Even diehard supporters of Ukraine in the Western media and think tanks are admitting that a military victory over Russia is impossible and a vacation of the territory under Russian control is way beyond Kiev’s capability. Hence the ingenuity of the Biden administration in exploring Plan B — counseling Kiev to be realistic about loss of territory and pragmatically seek dialogue with Moscow. This was the bitter message that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken transmitted to Kiev recently in person. But President Volodymyr’s Zelensky’s caustic reaction in a subsequent interview with the Economist magazine is revealing.
A hidden disadvantage of our ruling class within the US/NATO imperialist sphere is that frequently, these elites need to scramble in response to developments they haven’t foreseen, and whose consequential outcomes they have limited control over. When the Democratic Party and its partnered intelligence agencies used the DNC leaks to construct a narrative about “Russian hacking,” they hadn’t planned the inciting incident; they were reacting to it. And their attempt to turn the leak in their favor by pointing to it as “evidence” of a Russian plot against America wasn’t ultimately effective. When somebody decides to lie strategically, they then take on the risk of that lie getting exposed.
After nine powerful months of international hearings on sanctions & economic coercive measures, we announce the closing event of the International People’s Tribunal on U.S. Imperialism: Sanctions, Blockades, and Economic Coercive Measures. Hosted over two days, September 29 and 30, at the People’s Forum in New York City, this concluding chapter will not only deliver our verdict but also lay the groundwork for the continuation of our international movement to abolish sanctions regimes. While this marks the end of the Tribunal, it is only the beginning of our collective efforts as an international movement.
The American public is hurting. The bare necessities—clean water, nutritious food, and affordable housing—are hard to come by. Tap water is contaminated with lead, PFAS, and other pollutants. The water systems that serve cities and towns suffer additional stressors, including drought, overuse, and a failure to incorporate greywater systems. And, like many necessities, you have to pay for it in the United States: Water utility prices continue to go up and up. Hunger is a severe problem. Insufficient money and/or access means that millions of families regularly go hungry. Massive corporations dominate what is available in a grocery store, and much of what they produce is innutritious.
Everyone should know what happened in Washington on September 14, 2001, even though there is an exhortation to remember the attacks which took place on September 11, 2001. On September 14 the Senate and the House of Representatives passed joint resolutions which resulted in the Authorization for Use of Military Force of 2001 (AUMF) , which President George W. Bush signed into law on September 18. Just three days after September 11, when senators and members of congress should have been asking hard questions about what happened on that fateful date, they instead chose to give President Bush carte blanche to wage war whenever and wherever he chose.