DPR forces beat back Ukrainian offensive on southern front

From Fort Russ

November 26, 2016 – Fort Russ News –
RusVesna reports – translated by J. Arnoldski –
Active hostilities broke out this morning near the residential area of Sakhanka. This has been reported by a representative of the Donetsk People’s Republic’s operational command from the scene of events. 
The Ukrainian armed forces and volunteer battalions, including no less than three platoons and supported by artillery, attempted to go on the offensive from the direction of Dzerzhinskoye (called Azov in Ukraine). 
 
 
The attack was repulsed by the armed forces of the DPR and the enemy lost no less than 5 soldiers and 8 wounded. A UAF APC was also hit. 
Fighting also erupted near Shirokino, where the Ukrainian side attempted to attack the DPR’s positions on the southern front. The operational command of the DPR reported: “At 10:00 on November 26th, the enemy, with forces of up to three platoons of personnel and supported by armored vehicles under the cover of 82mm and 122mm mortar fire from Shirokino, attempted to attack our positions near the village of Vodyanoe. Over the course of the firefight, the enemy was stopped and driven back to their original positions.” 
The escalation of fighting began yesterday after Ukrainian Interior Minister Avakov’s statement that Kiev’s occupation forces could seize Donbass in two years. This is not the first unsuccessful attempt by Kiev to break through the DPR’s line of defense on the southern front in recent time. On November 23rd, 5 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 7 were wounded in a similar unsuccessful attempt. 

Aleppo offensive: SAA liberates half of E. Aleppo, water supply to residents restored

From Fort Russ

November 28, 2016 – Fort Russ News –
RusVesna – translated by J. Arnoldski –
The Syrian army has just taken complete control over the Sheikh Khader and Sheikh faris districts of Aleppo. Engineering units have begun de-mining the neighborhoods.
“The Syrian army and its allies have liberated more than 20 out of the 45 square kilometers of Eastern Aleppo and taken the huge square of blocs east of the city. The SAA already controls almost half of the entire territory of eastern Aleppo,” the press service of the Lebanese Resistance, Hezbollah, has reported in addition to publishing fresh maps.
 

 

 
In the districts taken by the army, sweeping operations and non-intensive firefights are still ongoing. Most likely, a portion of militants were unable to flee the seized districts along with the bulk of bandits.
Another important victory has since been reported: SAA units attacking from two sides have finally met at and retaken the most important water pumping station, Suleiman al-Halabi.
 
 
The Syrian Arab Republic’s army has thus liberated the largest water station and its massive water action pumps. Now the problem of the city’s water supply can be resolved, and water will be provided to residents’ apartments 24 hours a day. Earlier, the militants controlling the pumping station blocked the water flow and threatened to blow it up to blackmail the government. 
Technicians have already begun repairing the station to restore it to full operation. 

Russia: USA supports chemical weapons (VIDEO)

From Fort Russ

November 27th, 2016 – Fort Russ News –
Various – Translated by Inessa Sinchougova

The West’s fake wars in the Middle East are nothing new, but it is not well known that during the Clinton presidential campaign, a Pulitzer prize winning investigative journalist by the name of Seymour Hersch released a terrifying article – “Whose Sarin?” While it was largely swept under the rug by mainstream media, the findings confirm that Hillary Clinton not only knew of the rebels’ posession of chemical weapons in Libya, but that she authorised their use, in her capacity as Secretary of State. Later, the same kind of weapons would be blamed on Assad in Syria, in order to topple his government.

Based on Mr Lavrov’s press conference in recent days, it is evident that US funded chemical weapons use in Syria continue to this day.

NATO force on Russian border ‘not a threat in any way’ – U.S. State Department

From RT

November 22, 2016

© Ints Kalnins
© Ints Kalnins / Reuters

Washington has expressed discomfort over Russia’s deployment of Iskander missiles and air defenses in Kaliningrad, saying that NATO is a “defensive alliance”and is not threatening Moscow. Meanwhile, more tanks and troops are being deployed to the Baltics.

“NATO is a defensive alliance, it’s always been a defensive alliance, it will remain a defensive alliance,” State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Tuesday. “There is no reason why Russia should view NATO in any way, shape or form as a threat.”

On Sunday, NATO kicked off “Iron Sword 2016”exercises in Lithuania, the largest such maneuvers to date, involving 4,000 troops from across the alliance. The exercises in 2015 and 2014 involved 2,500 and 2,000 troops, respectively.

“There is no reason for anybody in Russia to feel threatened by NATO’s military activities or preparations.” Kirby continued. “In terms of recent months and years, there would have been no reason for NATO to advance and commit additional capabilities on the European continent – including American capabilities – had it not been for Russia’s move in Ukraine.”

This is in line with NATO’s official position that military activities in eastern Europe were a defensive response to alleged Russian “aggression” in Ukraine. NATO said Russia was responsible for “annexing” Crimea from Ukraine. The region voted to join the Russian Federation in March 2014, following the coup that overthrew Ukraine’s elected government.

Moscow responded to the recent NATO build-up by announcing it would deploy S-400 air defense systems and “Iskander” missile launchers to Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave containing almost one million inhabitants sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania.

“Russia is doing all that is necessary to protect itself amid NATO’s expansion toward its borders,” Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, told reporters at the Kremlin on Tuesday. “The alliance is a truly aggressive bloc, so Russia does what it has to do. It has every sovereign right to take necessary measures throughout the territory of the Russian Federation.”

‘Russia is doing all that is necessary to protect self’ – Kremlin spokesman on deployment of missiles in Kaliningrad http://on.rt.com/7vt8 

Photo published for Russia has right to defend against ‘aggressive’ NATO – Kremlin on Baltic missile placement — RT News

Russia has right to defend against ‘aggressive’ NATO – Kremlin on Baltic missile placement — RT News

Russia has the right to protect itself against NATO’s eastward expansion, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, commenting on the deployment of Russian ballistic missiles in the Kaliningrad Region….

rt.com

NATO’s military drill on Russia’s border comes amid preparations to permanently station 4,000 alliance troops in Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia, a decision made at the NATO summit in Warsaw in July.

A quarter of the force would be composed of US troops currently based in Germany, who would relocate to Poland. A 1,000-strong German-led force equipped with tanks would be deployed in Lithuania in February for the first time since WWII. The remaining 2,000 British and Canadian troops would be stationed in Estonia and Latvia.

READ MORE: Germany to send modern tanks to Russian border – Defense Ministry

NATO has accused Russia of “aggressive military posturing” over reports that missiles would be deployed in Kaliningrad, while on Monday Kirby called for Moscow to “refrain from words or deeds that are inconsistent with the goal of promoting security and stability.”

Kosovo: An evil little war (almost) all US candidates liked (Op-Edge) http://on.rt.com/7822 

Established in April 1949 – six years before the Warsaw Treaty Organization – NATO ensured a permanent US presence in western Europe during the Cold War. After the dissolution of both the WTO and the Soviet Union, NATO expanded both its boundaries and its mission. On March 12, 1999, the alliance admitted the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary. Twelve days later, NATO attacked Yugoslavia. After a 78-day bombing campaign, alliance troops were allowed occupy the Serbian province of Kosovo as “peacekeepers.”

Bulgaria, Romania and the Baltic states joined the alliance in March 2004, putting NATO on the shores of the Black Sea and on the western border of the Russian Federation. In March 2011, NATO launched an intervention in Libya, aiding the rebels that overthrew the government of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

https://www.rt.com/usa/367860-russia-missiles-nato-defensive/

History: How Britain protected Ukraine’s Waffen-SS Galitsia Division in the wake of World War II

Global Research, November 21, 2016
Slavyangrad.org 20 November 2016

Amid the continued support given to the fascist politicians and military of Ukraine by western governments, many people are asking how such a betrayal of the sacrifices of the Allies in World War Two could take place. However, what most people are unaware of, in large part due to an ever-more corrupted media, is that these governments have a shocking history of protecting the perpetrators of some of the most terrible crimes of that war. One of the most egregious examples of this practice of shielding war-criminals from justice was confirmed in 2005 with the declassification of British Home Office papers showing that the British government protected at least 8,000 members of the Waffen-SS Galitsia Division from the justice that awaited them in the Soviet Union.

When Nazi Germany surrendered to the Allied Powers in May 1945, the 14th Waffen-SS ‘Galitsia’ Division, made up of Ukrainian volunteers, continued to retreat westward from their positions in Austria in order to avoid capture and punishment by the advancing Red Army. The Division—approximately 10,000 soldiers—ultimately chose to surrender to British and American forces and was briefly sent to an internment camp in Spittal an der Drau, Austria. The British government, in contravention of the agreements made at the Yalta Conference, refused to repatriate the Galitsia Division to the Soviet Union, instead transferring them to another internment camp in Bellaria-Igea Marina, in northern Italy. It was here that a troika of prominent Ukrainian fascists—Mykola Lebed, Father Ivan Hry’okh and Bishop Ivan Buchko—persuaded the Vatican to intercede on behalf of the soldiers, whom Bishop Buchko described as “good Catholics and fervent anti-communists.”

Galitsia Division troops interned at Rimini, Italy

As a result of this intercession, the British and American authorities overseeing the internment camp remained steadfast in their refusal to abide by their obligation to repatriate the soldiers to the Soviet Union. One of the principal British proponents of the decision not to repatriate the Galitsia Division was Major Denis Hills. Major Hills was keen on protecting these soldiers, and despite admitting that he “knew about the SS”, he said the army “was not interested in war crimes.”

According to British academic, Stephen Dorril, in his book M16: Inside the Covert World of Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Major Hills was a self-described fascist and a staunch anti-communist who took it upon himself to ensure that the Galitsia Division would be transferred to Britain. Hills personally advised the head of the Division, Major Yaskevycz, to instruct his men that when questioned by the Soviet repatriation commission they must lie and insist that they were forced to serve alongside the Nazis and were not by any means volunteers. As a result of this, and due to British fears that improved relations between Italy and the Soviet Union could result in repatriation, the decision was made on April 1st, 1947, to relocate at least 8,000 members of the Galitsia Division to Britain.

Troops of Galitsia Division being transported to Britain

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Russian servicemen kidnapped in Crimea by Ukrainian operatives

From Sputnik

November 21, 2016

Ukrainian security operatives have abducted two Russian servicemen in Crimea, and are attempting to press criminal charges against them, the Russian military is reporting.

Moscow says they are considering the kidnapping a “flagrant provocation,” and is demanding the immediate release and return of Maksim Odintsov and Aleksander Baranov to Russia.

“We consider such actions by the Ukrainian security bodies against Russian citizens as another flagrant provocation and demand their immediate return to Russia,” a statement by the ministry’s press service said.

The ministry said on Monday that the two soldiers were kidnapped on November 20, and taken across the border to the Nikolayev region of Ukraine with an apparent goal of pressing charges against them. They also expressed concern that authorities may use psychological and physical torture to coerce the two men into falsely confessing to crimes against Ukraine.

Russia’s historical southern region of Crimea rejoined the country after a 2014 referendum. Nearly 97 percent of the region’s population voted for reunification in a referendum.

https://sputniknews.com/russia/201611211047686492-ukranian-operatives-abduct-russian-service-members/

NATO mulls worst-case scenario in case Trump pulls US troops out of Europe – report

From RT

November 12, 2016

NATO strategists are reportedly planning for a scenario in which Trump orders US troops out of Europe, as the shock result of the US presidential election sinks in, spreading an atmosphere of uncertainty.

According to Spiegel magazine, strategists from NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg’s staff have drafted a secret report which includes a worst-case scenario in which Trump orders US troops to withdraw from Europe and fulfills his threat to make Washington less involved in European security.

“For the first time, the US exit from NATO has become a threat” which would mean the end of the bloc, a German NATO officer told the magazine.

During his campaign, Trump repeatedly slammed NATO, calling the alliance “obsolete.” He also suggested that under his administration, the US may refuse to come to the aid of NATO allies unless they“pay their bills” and “fulfill their obligations to us.”

“We are experiencing a moment of the highest and yet unprecedented uncertainty in the transatlantic relationship,” said Wolfgang Ischinger, former German ambassador in Washington and head of the prominent Munich Security Conference. By criticizing the collective defense, Trump has questioned the basic pillar of NATO as a whole, Ischinger added.

The president-elect therefore has to reassure the European allies that he remains firm on the US commitment under Article 5 of the NATO charter prior to his inauguration, the top diplomat stressed.

Earlier this week, Stoltenberg lambasted Trump’s agenda, saying: “All allies have made a solemn commitment to defend each other. This is something absolutely unconditioned.”

Fearing that Trump would not appear in Brussels even after his inauguration, NATO has re-scheduled its summit – expected to take place in early 2017 – to next summer, Spiegel said.

The report might reflect current moods within the EU establishment as well, as Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, has called on the member states to establish Europe’s own military.

Washington “will not ensure the security of the Europeans in the long term… we have to do this ourselves,” he argued on Thursday.

If Trump is serious about reducing the number of US troops stationed in Europe, large NATO countries like Germany have little to offer, Spiegel said. Even major member states’ militaries lack units able to replace the Americans, which in turn may trigger debate on strengthening NATO’s nuclear arm, a sensitive issue in most European countries for domestic reasons.

Still, an increase in defense spending has already been approved by the Europeans following pressure from the outgoing US administration. Over the past few days in Brussels, representatives of NATO states have been working on the so-called “Blue Book,” a secret strategy paper which stipulates each member’s contribution in the form of troops, aircraft, warships, and heavy armor until 2032, Spiegel reported.

The document stipulates an increase in each NATO members’ military spending by one percent of each nation’s GDP, in addition to the current two percent.

Uncertainty over Trump’s NATO policy seems to be taking its toll; Germany, one of the largest military powers in Europe, plans to allocate 130 billion euros ($140bn) to military expenditures by 2030, but the remarkable figure may be a drop in the ocean.

“No one knows yet if the one percent more would be enough,” the German NATO officer told Spiegel.

Nevertheless, the US is continuing to deploy troops to eastern Europe, justifying the move with the need to protect the region from “assertive Russia.” Earlier this week, the largest arms shipment yet, 600 containers, arrived in Germany to supply the US armored and combat aviation brigades, expected to deploy in Europe by January 2017.

https://www.rt.com/news/366668-trump-us-support-nato/

Imperial nations threatened by the Libyan Army victory in Libya’s oil crescent

Global Research, November 09, 2016
Jamahiriya News Agency 12 September 2016

By August 22 plans were in place to seize Libyan oil fields and ports that were under the control of the oil installation guards led by Ibrahim Jadhran who is allied with Tripoli’s government of accord, working under the command of the presidential council’s national guard (LIFG).

To prepare the way for the liberation of the oil crescent, Sheikh Saleh Alatyosh delivered a stern warning to the men serving under Jadhran.

*I ask the people of my tribe to ensure that no one has a son in the oil installations guards…and advise them to return to the embrace of the tribe…We are with the national army under the leadership of the Khalifa Haftar, with Parliament headed by Saleh and the government emanating from it and we in Cyrenaica do not recognize the legitimacy of the presidential council.

الأول من اليسار شيخ قبيلة المغاربة صالح الاطيوش. (تصوير: صلاح الاطيوش) (photo: )

In 2013 Ibrahim Jadhran declared war on Tripoli’s GNC, announcing Cyrenica’s autonomy and return to the kingdom of Libya’s 1963 regional borders.
Libya-map-AI
With Sheikh Saleh Alatyosh’s announcement, not only were Jadhran’s political ambitions annihilated. The imperialist plot to partition Libya was crushed.

The Libyan National Army launched their strategic strike on the oil installations on Sunday. Aerial bombardments were immediately followed by ground assaults. Within hours the oil fields and ports were firmly under their control.

In an appeal following the victory, Sheikh Saleh Alatyosh offered assurances to Jadhran that if he surrendered to the army he would be well treated. He urged employees of the oil installations to cooperate in a peaceful handover of the facilities to the armed forces in Ajdabiya. He cautioned them to refrain from further sedition and bloodshed and return to their homes.

The victory was a humiliation for the UN-instated presidential council and the foreign nations backing the puppet regime. Fayez al-Sarraj was in the midst of a meeting in Italy when the news of the LNA victory reached him. Clearly shaken, he returned to Tripoli to assess the damage and save what he could of his reputation and that of the sham regime propped up by the United Nations and NATO.

After months of the government of accord’s show battle in Sirte under the command of al Qaeda and LIFG forces, where hundreds of Misratan fighters lost their lives as Da’esh left the city in concerted waves seeking a new base, the Libyan National Army, impeded by international sanctions, proved itself to be the superior, most effective force in the country, capable of defeating terrorist armies, securing Libya’s resource wealth for the people, restoring the rule of law and protecting the civilian population.

The power of the Tribes must also be considered. This victory was achieved through the Libyan National Army’s alliance with Tribal leaders. While the United Nations and foreign interlocutors continue to exclude the Tribes, this victory demonstrates that nothing of benefit to the people in Libya happens without their cooperation. However many meetings the United Nations may host in the name of national reconciliation, they have no power or authority. Their efforts, their declarations and political agreements are dismissed as irrelevant, illegitimate, unwarranted interference in Libya’s sovereign affairs – the most recent deprecation being the Supreme Council of Libyan Tribe’s response to the Tunis meeting held earlier this month.

Authentic Libyan dialogues are the sole province of the Libyan people and the Tribes.

Today the governments of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom and the US issued a joint statement condemning the Libyan army’s victory, demanding that the legitimate armed forces withdraw immediately, without preconditions. They falsely claim that the energy infrastructure is under threat and that only their client regime in Tripoli should have control over Libya’s rich reserves.

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David Swanson: Michael Moore owes me $4.99

From David Swanson.org

October 28, 2016

Michael Moore has made some terrific movies in the past, and Where to Invade Next may be the best of them, but I expected Trumpland to be (1) about Trump, (2) funny, (3) honest, (4) at least relatively free of jokes glorifying mass murder. I was wrong on all counts and would like my $4.99 back, Michael.

Moore’s new movie is a film of him doing a stand-up comedy show about how wonderfully awesome Hillary Clinton is — except that he mentions Trump a bit at the beginning and he’s dead serious about Clinton being wonderfully awesome.

This film is a text book illustration of why rational arguments for lesser evilist voting do not work. Lesser evilists become self-delusionists. They identify with their lesser evil candidate and delude themselves into adoring the person. Moore is not pushing the “Elect her and then hold her accountable” stuff. He says we have a responsibility to “support her” and “get behind her,” and that if after two years — yes, TWO YEARS — she hasn’t lived up to a platform he’s fantasized for her, well then, never fear, because he, Michael Moore, will run a joke presidential campaign against her for the next two years (this from a guy who backed restricting the length of election campaigns in one of his better works).

Moore maintains that virtually all criticism of Hillary Clinton is nonsense. What do we think, he asks, that she asks how many millions of dollars you’ve put into the Clinton Foundation and then she agrees to bomb Yemen for you? Bwahahaha! Pretty funny. Except that Saudi Arabia put over $10 million into the Clinton Foundation, and while she was Secretary of State Boeing put in another $900,000, upon which Hillary Clinton reportedly made it her mission to get the planes sold to Saudi Arabia, despite legal restrictions — the planes now dropping U.S.-made bombs on Yemen with U.S. guidance, U.S. refueling mid-air, U.S. protection at the United Nations, and U.S. cover in the form of pop-culture distraction and deception from entertainers like Michael Moore.

Standing before a giant Air Force missile and enormous photos of Hillary Clinton, Michael Moore claims that substantive criticism of Clinton can consist of only two things, which he dismisses in a flash: her vote for a war on Iraq and her coziness with Wall Street. He says nothing more about what that “coziness” consists of, and he claims that she’s more or less apologized and learned her lesson on Iraq.

What? It wasn’t one vote. It was numerous votes to start the war, fund it, and escalate it. It was the lies to get it going and keep it going. It’s all the other wars before and since.

  • She says President Obama was wrong not to launch missile strikes on Syria in 2013.
  • She pushed hard for the overthrow of Qadaffi in 2011.
  • She supported the coup government in Honduras in 2009.
  • She has backed escalation and prolongation of war in Afghanistan.
  • She skillfully promoted the White House justification for the war on Iraq.
  • She does not hesitate to back the use of drones for targeted killing.
  • She has consistently backed the military initiatives of Israel.
  • She was not ashamed to laugh at the killing of Qadaffi.
  • She has not hesitated to warn that she could obliterate Iran.
  • She is eager to antagonize Russia.
  • She helped facilitate a military coup in Ukraine.
  • She has the financial support of the arms makers and many of their foreign customers.
  • She waived restrictions at the State Department on selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Qatar, all states wise enough to donate to the Clinton Foundation.
  • She supported President Bill Clinton’s wars and the power of the president to make war without Congress.
  • She has advocated for arming fighters in Syria and for a “No Fly” zone.
  • She supported a surge in Iraq even before President Bush did.

That’s just her war problem. What about her banking problem, prison problem, fracking problem, corporate trade problem, corporate healthcare problem, climate change problem, labor problem, Social Security problem, etc.?

Moore parts company from substantive critique in order to lament unproven rightwing claims that Hillary Clinton has murdered various people. “I hope she did,” screams Moore. “That’s who I want as Commander in Chief!” Hee hee hee.

Then Moore shamelessly pushes the myth that Hillary tried to create single-payer, or at least “universal” healthcare (whatever that is) in the 1990s. In fact, as I heard Paul Wellstone tell it, single-payer easily won the support of Clinton’s focus group, but she buried it for her corporate pals and produced the phonebook-size monstrosity that was dead on arrival but reborn in another form years later as Obamacare. She killed single-payer then, has not supported it since, and does not propose it now. (Well, she does admit in private that it’s the only thing that works, as her husband essentially blurts out in public.) But Moore claims that because we didn’t create “universal” healthcare in the 1990s we all have the blood of millions on our hands, millions whom Hillary would have saved had we let her.

Moore openly fantasizes: what would it be like if Hillary Clinton is secretly progressive? Remember that Moore and many others did the exact same thing with Obama eight years ago. To prove Clinton’s progressiveness Moore plays an audio clip of her giving a speech at age 22 in which she does not hint at any position on any issue whatsoever.

Mostly, however, Moore informs us that Hillary Clinton is female. He anticipates “that glorious moment when the other gender has a chance to run this world and kick some righteous ass.” Now tell me please, dear world, if your ass is kicked by killers working for a female president will you feel better about it? How do you like Moore’s inclusive comments throughout his performance: “We’re all Americans, right?”

Moore’s fantasy is that Clinton will dash off a giant pile of executive orders, just writing Congress out of the government — executive orders doing things like releasing all nonviolent drug offenders from prison immediately (something the real Hillary Clinton would oppose in every way she could).

But when he runs for president, Moore says, he’ll give everybody free drugs.

I’ll tell you the Clinton ad I’d like to see. She’s standing over a stove holding an egg. “This is your brain,” she says solemnly, cracking it into the pan with a sizzle. “This is your brain on partisanship.”

http://davidswanson.org/node/5326

Viggo Mortensen – Why am I voting for Jill Stein?

From Jill 2016.com

Why I am voting for Jill Stein

I’ve been scolded by friends and strangers, sometimes mildly and sometimes with disdain, for supporting Jill Stein in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

viggo2a.jpgSome of the attacks I’ve received publicly and privately have been surprisingly angry and patronizing. I’ve been told that I’m a patsy for Donald Trump, that I’m naïve, misinformed, elitist, ignorant, and worse.

This has been an unusually carnivalesque election so far, from the primary season through to the “main event”, with a premium on vitriol and mendacity, dominated by a frequently disheartening lack of profundity and objectivity from the mainstream media.

This is the poorest two-candidate race for the presidency that I have ever witnessed the corporate media/political Establishment attempt to ram down the throats of the U.S. electorate.

So, why am I voting for Jill Stein?

I previously supported Bernie Sanders because he was, on many levels, a welcome voice speaking truth to power, drawing attention to rampant institutional economic inequality, racism, corruption in the electoral system, and the urgent need to address climate change. Like a lot of people, I was disappointed when Sanders lost the Democratic Primary race to Hillary Clinton.

I hoped at that point that he might join forces with Jill Stein and the Green Party, but he declined that unique opportunity.

Bernie never spoke to the all-important issues of U.S. economic and military imperialism the way that Jill Stein has consistently done, but he was a credible voice for change in many other areas. He made his choice to get on the Hillary Clinton Democratic Party bandwagon because he appeared to feel that it would be the best way to prevent a Trump presidency.

I understand and respect his stance, shared by many other well-intentioned and thoughtful people, but I believe it is short-sighted. It is not enough to simply say “I tried, I voted for Bernie in the Democratic Primary, but now I have to get in line behind Hillary.”

The powerful few who control national politics and the mainstream media by virtue of their overwhelming economic advantages are counting on supporters of Bernie Sanders and other political alternatives to now support the two Establishment candidates.

They are counting on no real change happening in the way this country is run and how average citizens are represented. At some point the system has to be overhauled, and the weeds have to be pulled out by the root. I do not want to reach the end of my life and have to accept that I did not vote my conscience as a citizen when it mattered most.

Democracy is not a fixed thing; it is an ongoing process that must be nurtured, pruned, and actively encouraged to grow or it will gradually cease to yield meaningful progress.

Times are changing and people all over this land – especially younger voters, who are the future of our republic’s continuing democratic experiment – are awake and paying attention. They did not go to sleep when Bernie Sanders largely gave up the fight for significant change in our political-economic system.

Like many that supported Bernie, I trust Hillary Clinton about as far as I can throw Donald Trump.

Jill_and_Viggo.jpgJill Stein is the only candidate with a serious plan to halt climate change and switch to 100% renewable energy by 2030.

She’s the only candidate, now that Sanders is out of the race, with a plan to release students from impossible levels of debt.

She’s also the only candidate who is talking seriously about Black Lives Matter, institutional racism, and police brutality—and she has realistic and workable plans to address these social problems.

She is also taking a stand against unexamined military overspending and the irresponsible and often criminal misuse of those who volunteer to serve in our country’s armed forces.

She eloquently draws attention to the patriots who are forced to fight in illegal, immoral, unnecessary, and unwinnable wars. As she has unflinchingly pointed out, “This results in a multitude of deaths, injuries (both mental and physical) and presents a crisis of conscience situation for many in combat.

Following discharge, veterans are much more likely to commit suicide, become homeless, become dependent on drugs or alcohol, and have significantly higher rates of divorce, spousal and child abuse.

Jill Stein knows that these are problems that have not been honestly addressed, and that it is extremely unfair that those willing to give the ultimate sacrifice for their country are not properly supported or taken care of. Unlike Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, she will never deploy troops into unnecessary or illegal combat.

She cares deeply about our country being truly exemplary – in action and not just in high-sounding words uttered by our political leaders – as a member of the family of nations. For these and other positions that Jill Stein and her running mate Ajamu Baraka hold, I strongly recommend that voters take the time to have a look at the website jill2016.com and follow Jill Stein and the Green Party on social media.

You may agree or disagree with Jill on some points, but I sincerely believe that you are doing your conscience a disservice if you ignore her well-considered and constructive proposals.

If you feel, as I do, that the issues that only Jill Stein has the courage and decency to fully address need urgently to be part of the national political discourse during this election and beyond, please donate now to Jill’s campaign for President.

Jill’s campaign has been hit hard by the Clinton campaign’s fear-mongering, which has seriously driven down donations. You can help push back against these unprincipled attacks by making your defiant contribution today.

So, why am I voting for Jill Stein?

Because I have done my best to inform myself about the many important issues that face our country, because I am following my conscience as an engaged citizen and a passionate supporter of the democratic process.

Because now is the time, not later, because I will not be intimidated by those who operate out of fear of significant change, because I will not be dissuaded by those who are understandably nervous about thinking long-term, about standing firm in the eternal battle for socio-economic justice and true political freedom in this country.

Because I am proud to be part of an ongoing, centuries-old democratic experiment that ought to always stand for fairness, compassion, and strength based on common sense and human decency at home and abroad.

Because there is always hope.

Because all we need to do to help it thrive is to embrace it and cultivate it to the best of our abilities in a conscious effort to eliminate the real obstacles to liberty and justice for all.

Viggo Mortensen

http://www.jill2016.com/viggo