War State America

War Dept. Spending Set To Hit Near-Record Levels, While ‘Establishment Says We Can’t Afford’ Programs To Help Citizens

“Very few in Congress are questioning how the U.S. can afford to spend $7.5 trillion on the military.” By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (4/19/19) Pentagon spending is on track to grow significantly for the fifth consecutive year, but “very few in Congress are questioning” how the U.S. can afford it. That’s according to the Washington Post‘s Jeff Stein and Aaron Gregg, who reported Thursday that “the United States is expected to spend more on its military in 2020 than at any point since World War II, except for a handful of years at the height of the Iraq War.” In his 2020 budget…

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Assange’s Indictment Is Trump’s Next Step In His War On Our Free Press

  By Trevor Timm The Guardian (4/13/19) The WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is so disliked in journalism and political circles that many reporters and liberal politicians were publicly cheering on Thursday when the Trump administration released an indictment of Assange, which was related to his interactions with the whistleblower Chelsea Manning in the months leading up to the publication of Pentagon and state department cables in 2010. Please do not fall for this trap. It is exactly what the Trump administration is hoping for, as the Department of Justice (DoJ) moves forward with its next dangerous step in its war on journalism…


US Government’s Refusal To Confirm Or Deny It Put American Journalist On Drone Kill List Called ‘Chilling’

“The government seeks to shield itself from all inquiry into the process by which it acts as prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner.” By Julia Conley Common Dreams (4/2/19) Lawyers for an American journalist who believes he was placed on the government’s infamous “kill list” warned Tuesday that the rights of all U.S. citizens are at stake if the country’s drone assassination program is allowed to continue. The organization’s comments came as part of a response to the U.S. government’s attempt to dismiss a lawsuit regarding its use of the list. Reprieve is representing Bilal Abdul Kareem, a journalist and U.S….


Max Blumenthal’s “The Management Of Savagery” Explores The American Role In Rise Of Global Extremism

Amazon Review: The Rise Of International Jihad & Western Ultra-nationalism In the Management of Savagery, Max Blumenthal excavates the real story behind America’s dealings with the world and shows how the extremist forces that now threaten peace across the globe are the inevitable flowering of America’s imperial designs. Washington’s secret funding of the mujahedin provoked the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. With guns and money, the United States has ever since sustained the extremists, including Osama Bin Laden, who have become its enemies. The Pentagon has trained and armed jihadist elements in Afghanistan, Syria, and Libya; it has launched military interventions…


We Have Spent $32 Million Per Hour On War Since 2001

The U.S. military is escalating a shadowy network of “anti-terror” operations all across the world — in at least 76 nations, or 40 percent of countries on the planet. The Mind Unleashed (3/25/19) This March marked the 16th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. In 2003, President George W. Bush and his advisers based their case for war on the idea that Saddam Hussein, then dictator of Iraq, possessed weapons of mass destruction — weapons that have never been found. Nevertheless, all these years later, Bush’s “Global War on Terror” continues — in Iraq and in many other countries. It’s a good…


On The 16th Anniversary Of Disastrous Iraq War, Matt Taibbi Asks ‘Where Were The Reporters?

In this March 23rd episode of The Zero Hour Richard ‘RJ’ Eskow and Rolling Stone journalist and book author Matt Tiabbi mark the 16th anniversary of the disastrous Cheney/Bush Iraq by reviewing the many mistakes, errors and missed opportunities and close cooperation of most of the American media in leading the nation to war and the Middle East to multiple senseless tragedies. Link to 34-Minute Video ****** 16 Years Later, How The Press That Sold The Iraq War Got Away With It How the media built new lies to cover their early ones. By Matt Taibbi Rolling Stone (3/22/19) Sixteen…


Venezuela Coup Leader’s Oil Plans Revealed: Guaidó Hopes To Privatize State-Controlled Industry

  By Ben Norton The Grayzone (3/14/19) The international news agency Reuters has confirmed that Venezuela’s US-appointed coup leader Juan Guaidó and his right-wing economic advisers drafted a plan to privatize the country’s petroleum industry and open up the oil-rich South American country to foreign corporations. This privatization scheme will be difficult to implement, however, given the Venezuelan government still remains under the control of its elected leftist president, Nicolás Maduro, and the coup attempt led by the Donald Trump administration has thus far failed. The Grayzone reported on the opposition’s moves to try to privatize Venezuela’s oil industry immediately after the coup attempt began nearly…


Silicon Valley Revolt Ripples In Response For Big Tech War Dept. Projects

  Should Big Tech partner with the War Department? The New York Times podcast “The Daily” looks back at the Vietnam era involvement of Dow Chemical in War Department  weapons development is a cautionary tale for America’s war industry. Link to 24-Minute Audio (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )


An Ocean Of Lies On Venezuela: Abby Martin & UN Rapporteur Expose American-Led Coup

  The Empire Files (2/22/19) On the eve of another US war for oil, Abby Martin debunks the most repeated myths about Venezuela and uncovers how US sanctions are crimes against humanity with UN Investigator and Human Rights Rapporteur Alfred De Zayas. Link to 39-Minute Video (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2019. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org ) ***** The Coup Has Failed So Now The U.S. Is Looking To Wage Yet Another War For Oil: Venezuelan Foreign Minister Speaks Out Democracy Now! (2/25/19) Venezuela’s opposition is calling on the United States…


Venezuela & The Bipartisan Record Of War: The U.S.’s 68th Regime Change Disaster

This generation of Americans has already seen how our government’s endless sanctions, coups and wars have only left country after country mired in violence, poverty and chaos. By Medea Benjamin & Nicolas J.S. Davies Common Dreams (2/4/19) In his masterpiece, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and C.I.A. Interventions Since World War II, William Blum, who died in December 2018, wrote chapter-length accounts of 55 U.S. regime change operations against countries around the world, from China (1945-1960s) to Haiti (1986-1994).  Noam Chomsky’s blurb on the back of the latest edition says simply, “Far and away the best book on the topic.” We agree. If you…


‘Shock Doctrine’ Author Naomi Klein Worries ‘What Next?’ If Trump Succeeds In Inventing A ‘National Emergency’

“What is to stop him from declaring emergencies again and again if this works?”   By Jon Queally Common Dreams (1/10/19) As a result of creating a fake crisis in order to appease his far-right base and achieve a policy goal that has majority public opposition, President Donald Trump continues to threaten to declare a “national emergency” as a way to commandeer military funds in order to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. But even as experts debate whether or not Trump has the authority to make such a declaration—and consensus that an immediate legal battle would ensue—author and activist Naomi Klein…


Some Prominent Democrats Join With Trump, Media, CIA & War Criminal Elliot Abrams To Overthrow Nicolás Maduro & Steal Venezuela’s Oil

    “We learn from history that we do not learn from history.” — Friedrich Hegel   By Jeremy Scahill The Intercept / Intercepted podcast(2/2/19) The Trump administration is openly engaging in a blatant effort to overthrow the government of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. It’s a campaign aimed at regime change, and it’s being publicly promoted as an opportunity to steal Venezuelan oil for the benefit of U.S. corporations. They’re not even pretending. But this is not some insane Twitter thought spewed by Trump after guzzling down gallons of Fox and Friends. It’s open imperialism, and it’s not just being…


Inside America’s Meddling Machine: The US Funded Group Interfering In Elections Around the Globe

  By Max Blumenthal Grayzone Project (8/20/18) On June 13, 2018 the US government-funded National Endowment for Democracy presented its 2018 Democracy Award to a collection of Korean activists who aim to topple the communist government of North Korea. The event was timed to coincide with President Donald Trump’s peace summit in Singapore with Kim Jong-Un. The ceremony appeared to be the opening shot of a massive public relations effort aimed at stifling normalized relations with North Korea. I covered the ceremony because these organizations are doing precisely what Congress accuses Russia-funded media outlets and troll farms of doing in the United…


Surveilance Capitalism: How Tracking & Selling Your Personal Data Became A Business Model

On Point / WBUR (1/15/19) There are new calls for tech companies to stop selling your location to third parties. We’ll look at the economics and perils of “surveillance capitalism.” Guest — Shoshana Zuboff, professor emerita at Harvard Business School and former faculty associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. Author of “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power,” among other titles. Excerpt from “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism” by Shoshana Zuboff The Unprecedented One explanation for surveillance capitalism’s many triumphs floats above them all: it…


It Could Go On Forever: What Trump Could Legally Do If He Declares A State Of Emergency To Save Himself

From seizing control of the internet to declaring martial law, President Trump may legally do all kinds of extraordinary things. By Elizabeth Goitein The Atlantic (Jan/Feb 2019) In the weeks leading up to the 2018 midterm elections, President Donald Trump reached deep into his arsenal to try to deliver votes to Republicans. Most of his weapons were rhetorical, featuring a mix of lies and false inducements—claims that every congressional Democrat had signed on to an “open borders” bill (none had), that liberals were fomenting violent “mobs” (they weren’t), that a 10 percent tax cut for the middle class would somehow pass…


U.S. Strategic Command Rings In The New Year With Adolescent War Porn Threat

As if the American runaway war machine isn’t enough of a threat and dark obscenity to begin with, the U.S. Strategic Command somehow thought it fit to ring in the New Year with a grotesque bit of war porn promoting America’s darkest profile… #TimesSquare tradition rings in the#NewYear by dropping the big ball…if ever needed, we are #ready to drop something much, much bigger At the same time U.S. war planes and intel facilitate the starvation and murder of hundreds of thousands of Yemini families and children by Saudi Arabia — using American weapons and bombs — some knucklehead officer…


American Military Policy Of Uncounted Civilian Casualties In Iraq

  The Daily / New York Times (2017) The American-led battle against the Islamic State has been hailed as the most precise air campaign in history. But its airstrikes have killed far more Iraqi civilians than anyone has acknowledged. Basim Razzo, a resident of ISIS-occupied Mosul, lost his family and his home in one of these airstrikes. Video of the strike shows a target hit with military precision. Why was Mr. Razzo’s home targeted? And how often does this happen? Uncounted Civilian Casualties in Iraq was produced by Annie Brown, with reporter Azmat Khan and edited by Lisa Tobin for The Daily….


Search For Missing $21 Trillion Comes Up Empty As Pentagon Fails First Audit In 71-Year History

The War Dept can’t account for trillions. Yet we are told there isn’t enough money to care for citizens. We have the resources, they are just in the wrong hands.   [Editor’s Note: This story barely made nary a ripple in the mainstream corporate press, which — of course — gobbles down multiple billions in war industry advertising dollars. This scandal is a real opportunity for the democrats in the House, but will they hold meaningful hearings? — Mark L. Taylor] By Randi Nord Mint Press News (12/21/18) WASHINGTON — Despite being legally required to conduct audits since the early 90s…


The U.S. & Saud Family Have Been Getting Away With Murder For Years

  By Roqayah Chamseddine In These Times (10/16/18) March 2015 marked a decisive phase in what is now a more than three-year war in Yemen. Saudi Arabia, in coordination with members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, initiated a military operation against Yemen’s capital of Sana’a in an effort to dislodge any fragment of Houthi presence while also fomenting a tide of psychological warfare that would signal the ruthless course of action to come. Yemen’s infrastructure was so thoroughly upended by coalition attacks that within a year and a half of the initial salvo, the local population was struck by the…


‘A Moment To Remember’ — When The US Abandoned Any Pretense Of Democracy For The Love Of ‘Our S.O.B.s”

“In December 1954, the NSC [National security Council] met in the White House to stake out a strategy that could tame the powerful nationalist forces of change sweeping the globe. Across Asia and Africa, a half-dozen European empires that had guaranteed global order for more than a century were giving way to new nation, many — as Washington saw it — susceptible to “communist subversion.” In Latin America , there were stirrings of leftist opposition to the region’s growing urban poverty and rural landlessness. To make it “absolutely clear we will not tolerate Communism anywhere in the Western Hemisphere.”influential Secretary…


Ralph Nader Addresses Conservative Audience On Eisenhower’s Prophetic Warning Of The Danger Of The Corrupt Military, Congressional, Industrial Complex

“The military, congressional, industrial empire complex — if not stopped — will destroy the United States of America.” — Ralph Nader The American Conservative (7/6/18) On June 21, 2018, The American Conservative hosted its annual crony capitalism conference at which Ralph Nader delivered a speech on the military industrial congressional complex titled “Eisenhower’s Warning: Prophetic and Presently Understated.” Nader is an author, consumer advocate, and former presidential candidate. He is one of America’s most effective social critics, and has emerged as a leading voice against the growing convergence of government and corporate interests. He is the author of Unstoppable: The…


Arming Up Foreign Despots, Terrorists, Gangs & Drug Cartels: Trump Pumping Up U.S. Small Arms Exports

Our very own gunrunner-in-chief. By William D. Hartung Tomgram (8/14/18) American weapons makers have dominated the global arms trade for decades. In any given year, they’ve accounted for somewhere between one-third and more than one-half the value of all international weapons sales. It’s hard to imagine things getting much worse — or better, if you happen to be an arms trader — but they could, and soon, if a new Trump rule on firearms exports goes through. But let’s hold off a moment on that and assess just how bad it’s gotten before even worse hits the fan. Until recently, the Trump administration had focused its arms…


The Anti-War Speech That Sent Eugene Debs To Prison In 1918 Rings True Today

Mark Ruffalo Reads Eugene Debs Voices of a People’s History of the United States (3/13/08) Actor Mark Ruffalo reads union leader Eugene Debs’ famous “Canton, Ohio” speech. Part of a reading of Voices of a People’s History of the United States (Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove) at All Saints Church in Pasadena, CA on Feb 1, 2007. Link to 4-Minute Video ***** Excerpt From Deb’s Famous Speech For Which He Lost His Citizenship & Was Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison On June 16, 1918, Eugene Debs made a speech in Canton, Ohio in opposition to World War I and was arrested…



Impunity For American War Criminals: Why John Bolton Really Hates The International Criminal Court

  By Brett Wilkins Common Dreams (9/13/18) On February 12, 2010, US Army Rangers conducted a nighttime raid on a home in the village of Khataba, outside Gardez, Afghanistan. Dozens of men, women and children, including the district prosecutor and local police chief, had gathered at the house to celebrate the naming of a newborn baby just before the raid occurred. The Rangers stormed the home with guns blazing, killing the prosecutor, police chief, two pregnant women and a teenage girl. The US military lied about the Khataba raid, initially making the outrageous claim that the women and girl had been killed…


Reinforcing US Status As World ‘Bully and Hegemon,’ Bolton Threatens ICC Over Probes Into America’s War Crimes

John “Bones” Bolton   By Owen Bowcott, Oliver Holmes & Erin Durkin The Guardian (9/10/18) John Bolton, the hawkish US national security adviser, has threatened the international criminal court (ICC) with sanctions and made an excoriating attack on the institution in a speech in Washington. Bolton pushed for sanctions over an ICC investigation into alleged American war crimes in Afghanistan. He also announced on Monday the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) office in Washington because of its calls for an ICC inquiry into Israel. “The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from…


The U.S. Is Winning In Afghanistan. No, Really … As Long As We Keep Losing Really, Really Bad!

  By Nick Turse The American Empire Project (9/5/18) 4,000,000,029,057. Remember that number. It’s going to come up again later. But let’s begin with another number entirely: 145,000 — as in, 145,000 uniformed soldiers striding down Washington’s Pennsylvania Avenue. That’s the number of troops who marched down that very street in May 1865 after the United States defeated the Confederate States of America. Similar legions of rifle-toting troops did the same after World War I ended with the defeat of Germany and its allies in 1918. And Sherman tanks rolling through the urban canyons of midtown Manhattan? That followed the triumph over the Axis in 1945….


Don’t Let The Media’s Breathless Canonization Of John McCain Erase His Far Right Legacy Of Corporate State War & Death

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (8/27/18) The Sunday news was filled with one somber tribute to Sen. John McCain after another. We were told of his great sense of humor and respect for colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the Senate. There were detailed stories of his horrific experience as a prisoner of war after his jet fighter was shot out of the skies over North Vietnam. Over and over he was described as the adult in the room and a respected “elder statesman” of the Senate. As a survivor of torture, he spoke out…


The Very Active Role Of The U.S. In Saudi War Crimes In Yemen Humanitarian Crisis

[Editor’s Note: Once again, human rights atrocities in our name and on our dime. — Mark L. Taylor] On Point / WBUR (8/22/18) After a reportedly American-made bomb killed dozens of children in Yemen, we’ll take a hard look at U.S. interests, actions and responsibilities in Yemen. Guests: Jane Ferguson, recently snuck into northern Yemen to report on the conflict and humanitarian crisis for PBS NewHour, where she is a special correspondent. She’s also a contributor to The New Yorker on issues related to the Middle East. (@JaneFerguson5) Kristine Beckerle, Yemen and United Arab Emirates researcher for Human Rights Watch. (@K_Beckerle)…


Israeli Terrorism: Defiant Musicians Return To Play Music In The Bombed Ruins Of Gaza Cultural Center

“I used to sing songs for Palestine, for peace and childhood, and this place gave me a platform. It is like they have stolen our voices.” By Abby Zimet Common Grounds (8/10/18) Last week, as part of its ongoing terror campaign, a series of air strikes conducted by “the world’s most moral army” virtually leveled Gaza’s five-story al-Meshal Theater and Cultural Center, a cherished cultural landmark for local artists and writers, to “make residents feel the price of escalation.” A “place of love” and one of the few surviving cultural spaces in a ravaged Gaza, the center’s elegant 350-seat theater hosted plays, poetry readings,…


A Video For Every American To Watch: Schoolchildren Just Moments Before Being Massacred By U.S.-Backed Saudi Bombing

  “If the American people can take back control of what is being done in our name, maybe we can finally begin washing away this spreading moral stain.” — Will Bunch, Philly.com [Editor’s Note: Once again, an atrocity in our name and on our dime. As Americans, we are all morally responsible. — Mark L. Taylor] By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (8/13/18) As funeral ceremonies for the 51 Yemenis—including 40 young children—massacred by the latest U.S.-backed Saudi bombing took place in the war-torn district of Saada on Monday, cellphone footage captured by one of the murdered children just moments before the coalition’s airstrike hit…


The US War Machine Is Ramping Up & Spreading Across Africa

“Peace does not define U.S. foreign policy. Everything is geared toward intimidation and war.” By Vijay Prashad Independent Media Institute (8/1/18) Last week, on July 26, the United States House of Representatives passed the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, which will then go on to the U.S. Senate and finally to the U.S. president. It is worthwhile to note that 139 Democrats, including the entire Democratic Party leadership, voted for this bill. This Act provides the U.S. government with $717 billion for a year’s military spending. This is $100 billion more than was spent last year (which is itself more than…


The US Gov’t Has “Lost” Enough Radioactive Material To Bomb Nagasaki 800 Times Over

  By Matt Agorist Activist Post (8/16/18) San Antonio, TX — When civilian contractors who use certain radioactive substances to test pipe strength or other inspections “lose” these items, news agencies widely report it and a massive search is conducted until it is found. However, as a recent case out of San Antonio illustrates, when government loses one of the most dangerous radioactive substances on the planet which could be used to create nuclear bombs to wipe out entire countries, all we hear are the proverbial crickets. In March of 2017, two security experts traveled to San Antonio from the Department of…


Your Choice: Where Would You Be In This Picture?

  Go along or resist. Stand up or lay down. Speak out or be silent. There will be no neutral. By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (6/31/18) The arrival of government detention — concentration — camps for an oppressed and dehumanized minority group means that politics in America is about to become far more personal and much, much more consequential. The kidnapping of children into for-profit concentration camps has added an especially grotesque dimension. The forcible separation of parents from their infants and children into concentrations camps have made it official: We are living in a fascist state now. With…


History Of Fascist Spain Government Child Abductions Will Become Model For Trump’s Kidnapping Program

  “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see.” — Winston Churchill By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (6/28/18) As the brutal Trump child kidnapping program continues on with arrogance, cruelty and casual incompetence we are going to see many of the 2,300-plus children now incarcerated permanently stolen from their parents; they will never be reunited. There are already reports of parents deported back to Central America while their children remain in U.S. concentration camps. (And make no mistake, that is the proper term for these camps. And, no, it is not “separation”, it is kidnapping.) History provides insight on where this will go…


‘Calculated Sadism’ — Detained Children Forced To Recite Pledge Of Allegiance ‘Out of Respect’ For Country That Tore Them Away From Parents

    By Julia Conley Common Dreams (6/25/18) While tearing children away from parents under a policy designed to keep asylum seekers from entering U.S. society, the Trump administration is forcing those same children to pledge their allegiance to the country that is actively trying to expel them. President Donald Trump signed an executive order last week stating that families would be detained together under his “zero tolerance” immigration policy, but thousands of children remain separated from their parents. The Washington Post on Monday detailed the conditions in which many of those children are living, in detention centers like Casa Padre in Brownsville, Texas, describing “a converted…


Senator: “Let Me Repeat… The US Helped Bomb A Doctors Without Borders Civilian Cholera Treatment Facility

By Jon Queally Common Dreams 96/12/18) After the international humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières on Monday announced that a newly constructed cholera treatment center in Yemen was bombed on Monday, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)—who has led the fight in the U.S. Senate to end the U.S. military’s key role in assisting Saudi Arabia’s assault on its war-torn and poverty-stricken neighbor—lashed out in disgust and anger on social media. Chris Murphy✔@ChrisMurphyCT The Yemen War is spiraling out of control. The Saudi/UAE/U.S. coalition bombed a Doctors Without Borders cholera treatment facility earlier today. Let me repeat that – the U.S helped…


Bipartisan Boost To American ‘Forever’ War

By Renee Parsons Common Dreams (6/5/18) As the Forever AUMF 2018 (SJRes 59) (Authority for the Use of Military Force) continues to await action by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, one can only imagine the extent of the behind-the-scene efforts underway to sway those few wavering Senators who may be reluctant to go down in American history as voting to eliminate Congress’ sole, inviolate Constitutional authority ‘to declare war’. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11.    The law would remove Congress from its statutory authority as it transfers “uninterrupted” authority on “the use of all necessary and appropriate force” to one individual, allowing…


Trump’s Leverage: Study Links White American Intolerance With Support For Authoritarianism

  By Noah Berlatsky NBC News (5/27/18) Since the founding of the United States, politicians and pundits have warned that partisanship is a danger to democracy. George Washington, in his Farewell Address, worried that political parties, or factions, could “allow cunning, ambitious and unprincipled men” to rise to power and subvert democracy. More recently, many political observers are concerned that increasing political polarization on left and right makes compromise impossible, and leads to the destruction of democratic norms and institutions. A new study, however, suggests that the main threat to our democracy may not be the hardening of political ideology, but rather…


One Last Memorial Day Musing: The Pawns Of War

  By Philip Farruggio Nation of Change (5/28/18) She would always have the brightest smile as she stood at the intersection of Avenue T and Ocean Ave in Brooklyn, N.Y. circa 1968. She was our crossing guard and we all loved Mrs. Lombardo. Each morning and afternoon during school days she would greet each and every kid who passed by her post. On Sundays, before and after each Catholic Mass at St. Edmunds church, she would be there, again with that contagious smile. The young kids loved her as one would love a favorite aunt, and the seniors, who seemed to make…