By Fran Quigley for Popular Resistance. Jessica Reznicek, 34, an Iowa peace activist, was arraigned Monday and charged with two felonies for breaking three windows with a sledgehammer at the Northrup Grumman facility outside the Omaha Nebraska Strategic Air Command at Offut Air Force base. Writing from her jail cell, Reznicek, who has lived and worked at the Des Moines Catholic Worker for years, said she broke the windows as an act of conscience “in an effort to expose the details of the defense contracts currently held by Northrup Grumman with U.S. Strategic Air Command (STRATCOM) at Offutt Air Force Base. Over the years, billions of taxpayer dollars are pouring into the hands of these money-hungry, bomb-building, and computer geek space war criminals.” Jessica is facing up to 20 years. Her trial is schedule for May 24th. She is currently incarcerated, refusing to pay bond.
By Debbie Bookchin for The Nation. Turkey – Right now, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is undertaking a massive assault on Kurdish communities in southeastern Turkey in an effort to wipe out the only truly democratic movement in the Middle East. In December, he unleashed a force of 10,000 soldiers, armed with tanks and mortars, who have cut water and electricity supplies, imposed draconian curfews, and razed buildings; they are following shoot-to-kill orders against local residents who venture from their homes to seek food, first aid, or alternative shelter. Already more than 200 Kurdish defenders, and 198 civilians, including children, teenagers, and the elderly, have been murdered. In photos, the areas under siege look like war zones, comparable in destruction to Syria and Bosnia.
By Adam Roufberg for Popular Resistance. Not long ago I was standing in a veritable war zone amid the tear gas, rubber coated bullets and stun grenades looking at the little yellow flowers I was unfamiliar with and thinking about how the western main stream media portrays this particular conflict in the usual fairly unbalanced thought-bytes and the only lives that are ever considered are the human ones: some humans matter more than others but the rest of flora and fauna has, essentially, no representation in the media and apparently doesn’t matter at all. We all know how important the environment is – ever since the word came to be in use – and, as a culture of refugees, colonialists, conquistadors and anything but the indigenous, we are indoctrinated in a culture of denial and disconnect from nature
By Rev. Osagyefo Sekou for Truthout. Democracy is dead. It has always been an afflicted creature – hobbling about – wounded at its very being. An enslaving disposition corrupted the United States before it matured. Its spiritual death was foretold, but the nation refused to hear the black voices crying out in the wilderness. A year before the racist, materialist and militaristic ax cut King down, he warned the nation of its demise. The now infamous “A Time to Break the Silence” speech at the Riverside Church on April 4, 1967, was a stern warning against the maladies of the American spirit – materialism, racism and militarism. The year between the Riverside speech and his assassination proved to be a radical one. As though he was racing against death’s chariot, King accelerated his critique of the United States and took up more radical tactics.
By Jason Macleod for Global Research – We have come to testify. There is much that we want the world to know. We want you to travel with us to the remote places of Papua—Wamena, Paniai, the Jayawijaya Highlands, the Star Mountains, Mindiptana, Timika, Arso, Mamberamo, Biak, Merauke, Asmat and many other places. We want you to hear stories of suffering from the mouths of ordinary people. Our memories are clear and sharp. ‘In this river our father was murdered’ ‘On that mountain slope there used to be villages. They were destroyed by the military’
By Joshua Robertson for The Guardian – A quarter of a century has passed since Ciaron O’Reilly, with a sledgehammer and a bottle of his own blood, took his first tilt at the US war machine. The Brisbane-born man served what is believed to be the longest jail stint for a civilian protester on US soil during the first Gulf war, over a New Year’s Day sortie by a band of Catholic peace activists into Griffiss air force base in New York in 1991. He poured blood on a runway from a bottle bearing pictures of Iraqi children and smashed up the tarmac till his hands were blistered, while his cohorts did the same to the engine of a B-52 bomber on standby for raids in the Gulf. O’Reilly served 13 months in jail, which nearly broke him at first.
Micah Zenko for The National Interest. United States – The primary focus—meaning the commitment of personnel, resources, and senior leaders’ attention—of U.S. counterterrorism policies is the capture or killing (though, overwhelmingly killing) of existing terrorists. Far less money and programmatic attention is dedicated to preventing the emergence of new terrorists. As an anecdotal example of this, I often ask U.S. government officials and mid-level staffers, “What are you doing to prevent a neutral person from becoming a terrorist?”
By Dahr Jamail for Truthout – Beginning in mid-January, Navy SEALs will be practicing unannounced and clandestine combat beach landings across Washington State’s Puget Sound and many other coastal areas of that state. The simulated combat exercises, which will include the use of mini-submarines and other landing craft, will deposit Navy SEALs carrying “simulated weapons” on 68 beach and state park areas in Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Washington’s west coast, unbeknownst to most of the relevant government agencies tasked with overseeing these areas.
By Alice Slater for Popular Resistance. This latest terrifying and dreadful underground nuclear test by North Korea should be a warning to the United States and the other nuclear weapons states, that the longer we continue to modernize and cling to our nuclear arsenals and promote a nuclear deterrence policy which promise catastrophic threats of nuclear retaliation if attacked, the more additional countries will be seeking to get their own “deterrent”, just as North Korea has done creating ever greater threats of accidental or deliberate nuclear disaster.. It is telling that at the same time we made the deal with Iran to rein in their “peaceful” nuclear power program and secure their enriched uranium in Russia, we promised “peaceful” nuclear reactors to Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Turkey so they too will have their bomb in the basement.
By Andre Vltchek for Dissident Voice – Day and night, for years, an overwhelming force has been battering this quiet nation, one of the cradles of human civilization. Hundreds of thousands have died, and millions have been forced to flee abroad or have been internally displaced. In many cities and villages, not one house is left intact. But Syria is, against all odds, still standing. During the last 3 years I worked in almost all of Syria’s perimeters, exposing the birth of ISIS in the NATO-run camps built in Turkey and Jordan.
By Gareth Porter for Middle East Eye – Seymour Hersh’s recent revelations about an effort by the US military leadership in 2013 to bolster the Syrian army against jihadist forces in Syria shed important new light on the internal bureaucratic politics surrounding regime change in US Middle East policy. Hersh’s account makes it clear that the Obama administration’s policy of regime change in both Libya and Syria provoked pushback from the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). That account and another report on a similar episode in 2011 suggest that the US military has a range of means by which it can oppose administration policies that it regards as unacceptable.
By John Foran for This Changes Everything. OK, here’s the idea. We’re in a crisis so deep, so knotted, so unprecedented, and so urgent that, well, we have to change everything, pretty much. Or else. And there’s no one to do it for us. There’s just us. Just-us. Justice. And who are we? We are everyone, everywhere, who wants to do this. Everyone, everywhere, who cares what happens to everything—each other, humanity, Mother Earth, nature, the planet, the future creatures for whom what we do this day—this year—will make a difference. Possibly all the difference. And what do we have to do? To repeat: we have to change most of the systems in which we live, whether we are in comfort or not, whether we have other preoccupations or not, whether we are happy or not, whether we have enough time, money, resources, or not. And we have to be radical.
By Jonathan Owen for the Independent. British soldiers who have served in Iraq may face prosecution for crimes including murder, the head of the unit established by the Ministry of Defence to investigate allegations of torture and unlawful killing in the war-torn country has said. In his first major interview, Mark Warwick, a former police detective in charge of the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (Ihat), told The Independent that he believed there would be sufficient evidence to justify criminal charges. “There are serious allegations that we are investigating across the whole range of Ihat investigations, which incorporates homicide, where I feel there is significant evidence to be obtained to put a strong case before the Service Prosecuting Authority to prosecute and charge,” he said. Ihat’s caseload of allegations of ill-treatment or unlawful killing by British forces in Iraq between 2003 and 2009 has risen tenfold since it was established.
By Bill Boyarsky for TruthDig. So what was the most significant event of 2015? It wasn’t a single event. Rather, it was a worsening of something that started several years before. It was the fast-increasing, huge migration of immigrants—many running for fear of their lives—making their dangerous and often fatal way by land and across the Mediterranean, the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea and the oceans of Asia. It is the greatest forced mass movement of refugees since World War II, caused by the confluence of civil war, brutal regimes, sectarian and ethnic hatred, and climate change all coming together in a world too weak and preoccupied to deal with such powerful forces. It is not a made-for-television disaster. It doesn’t have the immediacy of a video-cam shot of a police killing or saturation coverage of the aftermath of a white racist or Islamist terror murderous assault—all compelling fare for the cable news channels.
By Shepherd Bliss for Popular Resistance. Poet Robert Bly, now 89 years old, is a radical, by which I mean he returns to the roots. Haydn Reiss has captured him in his new, moving film “Robert Bly: A Thousand Years of Joy.” Watching the film was a trip down my memory’s lane, dating back to meeting the National Book Award-winning poet in the sixties. I was in boot camp training at Ft. Riley, Kansas, home of the Army’s First Division, the Big Red One. I intended to follow our family tradition, which gave our name to Ft. Bliss, Texas. I was on my way to the American War on Vietnam. Bly and others in the group Writers Against War, including poet Allen Ginsberg, came to Kansas with their poetic, prophetic message. They initiated my doubts about America’s War.