President Trump ignites fire storm by admitting America’s deadly actions: “You think our country’s so innocent?”

Here is a portion of the interview of President Trump by Bill O’Reilly, Fox News, aired before the Super Bowl

O’Reilly: You talked to Putin last week. You had a busy week last week.

Trump: Busy week and a half.

O’Reilly: Do you respect Putin?

Trump: I do respect him but —

O’Reilly: Do you? Why?

Trump: Well, I respect a lot of people but that doesn’t mean I’m going to get along with him. He’s a leader of his country. I say it’s better to get along with Russia than not. And if Russia helps us in the fight against ISIS, which is a major fight, and Islamic terrorism all over the world, major fight — that’s a good thing. Will I get along with him? I have no idea.

O’Reilly: But he’s a killer though. Putin’s a killer.

Trump: There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think — our country’s so innocent. You think our country’s so innocent?

O’Reilly: I don’t know of any government leaders that are killers.

Trump: Well, take a look at what we’ve done, too. We’ve made a lot of mistakes. I’ve been against the war in Iraq from the beginning.

O’Reilly: Mistakes are different than

Trump: A lot of mistakes. Okay, but a lot of people were killed. So,  there are a lot of killers around. Okay?

Starting at 2:08

Here’s what Trump’s decision means for the Dakota Access Pipeline; new wave of protests after Trump signs executive action

From Grist


This story was originally published by High Country News and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the pipeline industry have been locked in bitter dispute over the Dakota Access Pipeline. The 1,172-mile pipeline is nearly finished, except for a section that would cross under Lake Oahe, which the tribe relies on for water. But this week, they were on the same page: They agree Trump’s executive actions will likely lead to authorizations first for the Dakota Access Pipeline and then other big projects.

On Tuesday, the president signed a memorandum instructing the U.S. Army and the Army Corps of Engineers to “review and approve in an expedited manner, to the extent permitted by law and as warranted, and with such conditions as are necessary or appropriate, requests for approvals to construct and operate (the Dakota Access Pipeline).” It also directs the Army to “consider, to the extent permitted by law,” whether to rescind the Obama administration memorandum that stalled construction last month. Following that memorandum from the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, the agency on Jan. 18 issued its notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement and asked for public comment due Feb. 20 before deciding whether to allow an easement needed to complete construction. The Trump memorandum also asked the Army to consider dropping that environmental impact statement.

Trump’s presidential memorandum on the Dakota Access Pipeline is full of legal language and doesn’t directly order the permit necessary for the pipeline to be completed. Still both sides concede that it paves the way for the pipeline to go ahead, probably more effectively than a direct order would have.

Industry representatives say the muted language will make it harder for successful legal challenges once the Army approves the pipeline. The president also signed another memorandum in support of reviving the Keystone XL pipeline to bring tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, and an executive order mandating that environmental reviews of infrastructure be expedited. “They did it for strategic reasons,” says John Stoody, a vice president of the Association of Oil Pipelines. “While the memorandums look vaguer on the surface (than directly ordering an easement), they’re actually stronger legally and have a better chance in resulting in a positive outcome.” Industry officials heralded Trump’s actions as an early indication that a new era of job-creating infrastructure projects has dawned.

The Standing Rock Sioux’s chief lawyer, Jan Hasselman, says under a straightforward reading of Trump’s Dakota Access Pipeline memorandum, the Corps should still go forward with the full environmental impact statement and additional consultation with the tribe as ordered by the Army. That would take many months. “Do I think that’s what’s going to happen? No,” Hasselman, an attorney for Earthjustice, conceded.

One strong point in Trump’s favor, industry officials say, is that even the Obama administration argued that the Army had been on sound legal footing when it initially conducted a streamlined environmental review instead of the full study it’s now planning. “The last administration itself admitted it comported with the law,” Stoody says.

Assistant Secretary of the Army Jo-Ellen Darcy made this point when announcing the decision to stall the pipeline to conduct an environmental impact statement and further consult with the tribe. “I want to be clear that this decision does not alter the Army’s decision that the Corps’ prior reviews and actions comported with legal requirements,” Darcy wrote in a memorandum Dec. 4. “Rather, my decision acknowledges and addresses that a more robust analysis of alternatives can and should be done under these circumstances, before an easement is granted for the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross the Missouri River on Corps land.”

If, as expected, the Corps approves the easement, the tribe intends to challenge it in court. Hasselman underscored that Trump’s memorandum doesn’t mention the tribe, its treaty rights, or its concerns about water quality. “This is another action in a long history of sidestepping treaty rights and trampling on the rights of indigenous people,” he said. “If this is how the Trump administration is going to be approaching issues in Indian country, it’s going to be a long four years.”

Dave Archambault II, chair of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, told reporters that he had repeatedly tried to speak with the Trump administration but was rebuffed.

The tribe got the attention of the Obama administration last year after thousands of protesters gathered in and near the reservation to protest the pipeline plans. Now, the tribe has asked demonstrators to leave by Feb. 18, because of concerns for their health and welfare. “We’re asking that the camp be cleared. We’re asking that people don’t come,” Archambault said during a conference call Wednesday with reporters. “The fight is now in D.C.”

Archambault called on the public to stand up and for civil servants to resist the Trump administration, warning that many more attacks on the environment and people’s rights are on the way. “Now we have to go and make noise where we can be heard.”

Here’s what Trump’s decision means for the Dakota Access Pipeline

From Lakota People’s Law Project Report
January 27, 2017

President Donald Trump has given the green light to streamline construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota. His decision is not surprising given that his cabinet picks are full of pro-oil candidates like Exxon Mobil executive Rex Tillerson and former Texas Governor Rick Perry.

The pipeline construction in its current proposition has been found to understate the risks posed by landslides and amount of safety construction to contain spills. Such spills are most likely going to poison groundwater that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe needs to sustain itself. If the pipeline construction is complete, Standing Rock could be the next Flint, where residents have to use bottled water for daily use.

This executive action overturns all the work water protectors have made recently under the Obama administration, and which is unfortunate because the Standing Rock Sioux tribe formally asked the encampments to disperse on Friday, January 20th according to Reuters. While Archambault stated that the fight is now in the courts, the tribe needs support and solidarity now more than ever.

This unfortunate turn of events overshadows the recent victory of the water protectors in the North Dakota Supreme Court, which allowed for out-of-state lawyers to represent the over 600 protesters that have been arrested so far . With arrests still ongoing, this number is likely to rise.

President Trump’s actions have not fallen on deaf ears, however. Various representatives of environmental groups and civil rights groups, including the ACLU and the Sierra Club, have all voiced their opposition to this revival of pipeline construction.

Activists like Chase Iron Eyes, Lead Attorney for the Lakota People’s Law Project, have been especially active in standing against these actions. On Facebook posted:

Fighters, brothers and sisters. Come. Heed the call to defend this country against all enemies, foreign & domestic. We shall find out who loves this land, who is loyal to the water and who is a traitor to this land, to our water.”

Protests have also occurred in New York outside of Trump Tower and Trump International Hotel—attendance numbering in the hundreds—to show the President that these actions will not go on without consequence.

As the situation intensifies, people are again diverting their attention to the confrontation in Standing Rock. Chairman of the United Nations (UN) Working Group on the issue of Human Rights, Transnational Corporations and other Business Enterprises, Pavel Sulyandziga, and Grand Chief Wilton Littlechild, member of the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, have both arrived in North Dakota. These two gentlemen will be joined by representatives of the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) as well as the ACLU Human Rights Program who participated in a human rights training workshop on Sunday January 22nd.

The water protectors still have a long battle ahead of them. In addition to the frigid weather, the state of North Dakota has introduced bills that make it illegal to wear masks at protests and for people to join the resistance camps  under threat of being fined $5,000 dollars.  Oh but what the North Dakota assembly attempted to make legal, by way of a bill introduction, is the “unintentional” mowing down of protesters being fast moving vehicles.

If these actions are not enough to make you cringe, the Trump administration denied a request by Dave Archambault II to engage in dialogue about moving forward with the oil pipeline. If the President is not even willing to hear both sides of the issue he is essentially declaring what side he stands for.

The fight to protect the water rights and the livelihoods of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is far from over. We must remain vigilant in this crucial time and do everything we can to stand in solidarity with those who have vowed to protect the land, tribal sovereignty, and clean water.

Please add your comment to the Army Corps of Engineers’ Environmental Impact Statement at lakotalaw.org.dapl-action before the filing period ends on Feb. 20.

http://ourchildrenaresacred.org/new-wave-of-protests-after-trump-signs-executive-action-for-dapl-completion/

Banning people is wrong, but killing them is even worse; “What’s refusing a visa to a Libyan compared to bombing him?”; immigration is forced by U.S./EU rampages

In their anti-Trump crusade, some ‘progressives’ appear perfectly happy to link arms and sing ‘Kumbaya’ with the serial warmongers who unleashed the carnage which caused the refugee crisis in the first place.

The Nuremberg judgment of 1946 rightly held that to initiate a war of aggression was the “supreme international crime,” but that seems to have been forgotten today.

From RT

By Neil Clark
February 1, 2017

Banning people is wrong, but killing them is even worse
Which is more morally reprehensible: (1) Introducing a ban on refugees and immigrants from a small number of countries for a temporary period or (2) Killing people and destroying their countries through illegal regime change wars?

A bit of a no-brainer, eh? It has to be the second answer, surely.

Well, you’d think so, but for some it seems, the first option is far worse than the latter.

How else to explain that large sections of the Western liberal-left seem to be more incensed by Donald Trump’s ban on visitors from some Muslim countries (unjust though it is) than they were by the war which destroyed Libya, a country that had the highest living standards in Africa.

In their anti-Trump crusade, some ‘progressives’ appear perfectly happy to link arms and sing ‘Kumbaya’ with the serial warmongers who unleashed the carnage which caused the refugee crisis in the first place?

Placing visa restrictions on certain Muslim majority countries seems to have caused a greater moral outrage than bombing them.

Trump’s executive order has caused a furious liberal backlash which Obama’s backing of jihadist death squads in Syria never did. It has led to widespread protests in the US and UK. Over 1.7 million people have signed a petition calling for the State visit of the American president to the UK to be called off. In the House of Commons on Monday, Trump was called a fascist and likened to Hitler and Mussolini, while outside Downing Street angry demonstrators shouted ‘Donald Trump has got to go!’ Parliamentary sketch writer Quentin Letts said the eyes of politician Yvette Cooper were “bulging so much she could have gone to a fancy dress party as Marty Feldman.”

“If the Olympic Games ever goes in for synchronized crossness, we’ll be dead certs for a medal position,” Letts observed.

If you can’t remember this level of ‘synchronized crossness’ during Barack Obama’s bombing of Libya, then it’s not surprising. Similar protests did not occur. There was no talk of a Hollywood strike. Yvette Cooper’s eyes did not bulge; she supported the refugee-making bombing of Libya as she did the refugee-making Iraq war.

You don’t have to be a Trump supporter to acknowledge that ‘Barack O’Bomber’ and his predecessors in the White House have got off very lightly. Deportations? The ‘liberal’ Obama deported more than 2.5 million undocumented migrants between 2009-2015 and a record 438,421 people in 2013.

To the best of my knowledge, Owen Jones organized no protests.

Trump’s executive order didn’t just appear out of thin air, the list of ‘countries of concern’ was, as Seth Frantzman has pointed out, already compiled by the Obama administration. “The media should also be truthful with the public and instead of claiming Trump singled out seven countries, it should note that the US Congress and Obama’s Department of Homeland Security had singled out these countries,” Frantzan says.

The hypocrisy doesn’t end there.

We’ve heard a lot these last few days about how Trump’s ban is an “assault on American values” (Obama himself has said ‘American values’ are at stake) conjuring up an image of the pre-Trump USA whose doors were opened wide for migrants and refugees from all over the world.

The truth is that for a long time it’s been pretty tough to get into the US if you’re in possession of the ‘wrong’ kind of passport, and sometimes even if you have the ‘right’ one.

“Americans seem to think it’s alright to subject everyone else to the pointless rigmarole of passing through their Homeland Security but when they travel they expect to be allowed through other countries’ immigration without fuss,” writes Peter Hill in the Daily Express.

We all know someone who’s been turned back at US immigration as they failed one entry requirement or another, and has been sent straight back home on the next flight. The son of Hungarian friends of ours always dreamed of going to the US, and hoped to work there, but he was turned back on arrival as the authorities didn’t believe he had enough money to support himself.

Fair enough, it’s the US authorities’ call; America is a sovereign country, and they set their own rules of entry. This tough approach at the borders didn’t just start on Friday when Dr. Evil aka Donald Trump formally became president.

That said, there are legitimate grounds to object to what the new president has ordered.

Even though he wasn’t responsible for the regime change wars which caused the migrant crisis, and has promised a less meddlesome foreign policy, Trump should at least acknowledge that the US has a moral obligation to take in refugees from countries that the US, under previous administrations, has set out to destabilize.

We can also question why some countries are affected by the temporary ban, and others not. If national security is the issue, why wasn’t Saudi Arabia, the home country of 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers, on the list? I’m not suggesting Saudi nationals should be banned from the US, only pointing out the omission.

Many of those sanctimoniously moralizing about Trump’s abusive & hateful policies TODAY were alright with humanitarian bombs YESTERDAY https://twitter.com/NeilClark66/status/825828947527102464 

But unfair as it undoubtedly is, the reaction to Trump’s executive order has been overblown, if we compare it to the non-reaction to far worse things US governments have done. As Bertolt Brecht might have said if he was still around: What’s refusing a visa to a Libyan, compared to bombing him? The Nuremberg judgment of 1946 rightly held that to initiate a war of aggression was the “supreme international crime,” but that seems to have been forgotten today.

Prioritising free movement over the right to life is the height of white privilege. https://twitter.com/NeilClark66/status/825828947527102464 

Such is the ‘Sorosification‘ of the Western liberal-left that to impose controls on immigration is now regarded as a more heinous crime than launching brutal, imperialist wars of aggression, which are a prime cause of the significant level of migration from the Middle East. At the same time, the people who create and propagandize for destructive wars for economic gain against countries of the global south, are regarded as less reprehensible than those who advocate visa restrictions, especially if they come out and condemn visa restrictions.

Liberals, for instance, fawned over the former Secretary of State Madeline Albright when she said she “stands ready” to “register as Muslim” in “solidarity” against Trump. The very same Madeline Albright once declared that the death of half a million (predominantly Muslim) children in Iraq due to sanctions was a price that was “worth it.”

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/RM0uvgHKZe8&#8243; frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen><!–iframe>

Will Albright be met with large-scale protests next time she comes to the UK for defending infanticide in Iraq? Don’t hold your breath. She’s against ‘The Donald’ so must be a good ‘un.

Serial warmonger John McCain has also come out to blast Trump’s executive order. He’s the man who, when asked what he was going to do about Iran if elected president, sang “Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran,” to the Beach Boys tune Barbara Ann.

How many Muslims would have been killed if McCain had bombed Iran? But hey, he opposes Trump’s visa ban, so he must be a pretty cool dude. Let’s invite the wannabe bomber of Teheran on the next ’Solidarity with Muslims’ protest, shall we?

In 2015, a report called Body Count, the Physicians for Social Responsibility, Physicians for Global Survival and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, revealed that at least 1.3 million people had lost their lives in the US-led ‘war on terror’ in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.’ As I wrote at the time: As awful as that sounds, the total of 1.3 million deaths does not take into account casualties in other war zones, such as Yemen – and the authors stress that the figure is a “conservative estimate.”

The vast majority of these deaths will have been Muslims. What a pity their deaths, and the deaths of countless others in US-led regime change ops and “liberal interventions,” did not lead to the same level of ‘synchronized crossness’ that Trump’s executive order has.

Follow Neil Clark on Twitter

Neil Clark is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. He has written for many newspapers and magazines in the UK and other countries including The Guardian, Morning Star, Daily and Sunday Express, Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman, The Spectator, The Week, and The American Conservative. He is a regular pundit on RT and has also appeared on BBC TV and radio, Sky News, Press TV and the Voice of Russia. He is the co-founder of the Campaign For Public Ownership @PublicOwnership. His award winning blog can be found at http://www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. He tweets on politics and world affairs @NeilClark66

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/375894-banning-people-regime-change-muslims/

Kiev launches major offensive against DPR (Biden’s final instructions?); heavy DPR losses, very major losses for Kiev; Poroshenko’s game.

From Fort Russ

January 31, 2017 –
By Eduard Popov for Fort Russ – translated by J. Arnoldski –
Since Fort Russ readers rather well know the situation prevailing in Donbass, I’ll take the liberty of refraining from regurgitating facts and details. Instead, I dedicate today’s commentary to two unfolding events in and around Donbass. I base my commentary on media sources, social networks in the DPR and Ukraine, and on insider information I receive from Donetsk – Dr. Eduard Popov
The military situation in the Donetsk People’s Republic
Battles have not quieted down since January 29th. The Ukrainian Armed Forces’ tactic of gradually seizing neutral territories (“creeping offensive”) appears to have highly infatuated Ukrainian officers and patriots in the rear and is now taking on a life of its own. The result has been that the Ukrainians have convinced themselves that Donbass forces are weak and therefore decided to undertake a massive offensive. This is a fatal mistake.
According to reports from sources in the DPR, the republic’s army has suffered heavy losses. Alexander Zhuchkovsky has reported dozens of killed. But the UAF and neo-Nazis’ losses are several times higher. Today, the DPR’s intelligence services intercepted and published a secret report by the ATO headquarters for President  Poroshenko. The total number of casualties among the UAF over the past two days of firefights is estimated at 78 dead and several dozen wounded. Let me draw your attention to the fact that we are talking about the bodies of Ukrainian soldiers that have been recovered and taken to the morgue in nearby and far-off cities. The number of bodies that weren’t recovered from the battlefield while under artillery fire, the number of bodies completely destroyed by the explosion of military vehicles (tanks, volley artillery, etc.), and the number of wounded still in hospitals – these figures remain unknown. The real figures of the irreversible losses of the UAF over the past two days of fighting are probably no less than 100 men.
As Zhuchkovsky and DPR fighters themselves have reported, the Ukrainians have been surprised by the stiff resistance put up by the republic’s forces. Hitherto, the DPR army had heartbreakingly refused to respond “eye for an eye” to the UAF’s provocative fire. On January 29th and 30th, however, Donbass’ artillery finally put in heart and soul and laid down a “whirlwind of fire” (Zhuchkovsky’s expression) on Ukrainian positions.
The general result: although the situation in the combat zone is complex and fraught with escalation and large losses, overall it is going well for the Donbass republics. 
Thus, political conflict in Ukraine moves to the fore. 
Poroshenko’s gamble 
As Ukraine’s military adventure fails, Poroshenko is starting to playing a diplomatic gamble. Poroshenko’s efforts on January 31st fit into this formula. First, he urgently interrupted his visit to Germany and meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel. Then he called to convene the Tripartite Commission (the “Normandy Four” minus Russia). The Ukrainian foreign ministry today issued a statement which routinely accused Russia of escalating the conflict in Donbass. Without a doubt, soon will follow a Ukrainian appeal to the UN and other international organizations.
But I’m not going to talk about the stupidity of such speculations. Even Ukrainian officers admit that the offensive was undertaken by the Ukrainian side. Russia does not benefit (especially not now) from an escalation of the situation in Donbass. The only beneficiary is the ruling Ukrainian regime. 
 
According to his press service’s official statement, Poroshenko was forced to urgently return to Ukraine to address the “humanitarian situation” in Avdeevka which, let us note, occurred as a result of none other than the Ukrainian army’s adventurous actions on Poroshenko’s orders. 
The situation in Avdeevka and the massive losses that the Ukrainian army is incurring nevertheless give the Ukrainian president an occasion to play the role of the victim and cry to the world (the West) to punish the offender (Russia). If the UAF had not met such tough resistance on its attack and if the offensive had gone deep into the republics of Donbass, then Poroshenko would simply conjure another formula justifying Ukraine and blaming Russia. To be more precise, such a formula has long since been hatched and is waiting its turn.
The main actor for whom this whole bloody spectacle is being played is US President Donald Trump. We’ve already repeatedly written for Fort Russ on how Poroshenko is attempting to provoke a war in Donbass in order to prevent normal dialogue between the US and Russia. Allow us to recall the content of one of our articles, in which my sources in the DPR’s military circles forewarned that they expect a massive UAF offensive just before or immediately after Trump’s inauguration. 
Poroshenko’s regime is practically at a stalemate on both the international and domestic political fronts. Before the new team of American diplomats appointed by Trump starts working and Trump’s new European policy principles swing into action, Poroshenko will try to win over the American president. His method? By literally producing the fait accompli of “pro-American” Ukraine (in reality, pro-liberal and “pro-democratic”) needing support in Donbass. The Americans call this trick “wag the dog.”
Donald Trump has barely had time to settle into the office of US President, yet his name has already started to bear fruit in Donbass. I believe that the consequences of this factor will be devastating – if not for Ukraine, then for the ruling Poroshenko regime. 

Trump in 2012: “Let’s get out of Afghanistan. ” Petition to President Trump — End U.S. war in Afghanistan

From David Swanson.org

The U.S. war in Afghanistan is well into its 16th year. In 2014 President Obama declared it over, but it will remain a political, financial, security, legal, and moral problem unless you actually end it.

The U.S. military now has approximately 8,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan , plus 6,000 other NATO troops, 1,000 mercenaries, and another 26,000 contractors (of whom about 8,000 are from the United States). That’s 41,000 people engaged in a foreign occupation of a country 15 years after the accomplishment of their stated mission to overthrow the Taliban government.

During each of the past 15 years, our government in Washington has informed us that success was imminent. During each of the past 15 years, Afghanistan has continued its descent into poverty, violence, environmental degradation, and instability. The withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops would send a signal to the world, and to the people of Afghanistan, that the time has come to try a different approach, something other than more troops and weaponry.

The ambassador from the U.S.-brokered and funded Afghan Unity government has reportedly told you that maintaining U.S. involvement in Afghanistan is “as urgent as it was on Sept. 11, 2001.” There’s no reason to believe he won’t tell you that for the next four years, even though John Kerry tells us “Afghanistan now has a well-trained armed force …meeting the challenge posed by the Taliban and other terrorists groups.” But involvement need not take its current form.

The United States is spending $4 million an hour on planes, drones, bombs, guns, and over-priced contractors in a country that needs food and agricultural equipment, much of which could be provided by U.S. businesses. Thus far, the United States has spent an outrageous $783 billion with virtually nothing to show for it except the death of thousands of U.S. soldiers , and the death, injury and displacement of millions of Afghans. The Afghanistan War has been and will continue to be, as long as it lasts, a steady source of scandalous stories of fraud and waste. Even as an investment in the U.S. economy this war has been a bust.

But the war has had a substantial impact on our security: it has endangered us. Before Faisal Shahzad tried to blow up a car in Times Square, he had tried to join the war against the United States in Afghanistan. In numerous other incidents, terrorists targeting the United States have stated their motives as including revenge for the U.S. war in Afghanistan, along with other U.S. wars in the region. There is no reason to imagine this will change.

In addition, Afghanistan is the one nation where the United States is engaged in major warfare with a country that is a member of the International Criminal Court. That body has now announced that it is investigating possible prosecutions for U.S. crimes in Afghanistan. Over the past 15 years, we have been treated to an almost routine repetition of scandals: hunting children from helicopters, blowing up hospitals with drones, urinating on corpses — all fueling anti-U.S. propaganda, all brutalizing and shaming the United States.

Ordering young American men and women into a kill-or-die mission that was accomplished 15 years ago is a lot to ask. Expecting them to believe in that mission is too much. That fact may help explain this one: the top killer of U.S. troops in Afghanistan is suicide. The second highest killer of American military is green on blue, or the Afghan youth who the U.S. is training are turning their weapons on their trainers! You yourself recognized this, saying: “Let’s get out of Afghanistan. Our troops are being killed by the Afghans we train and we waste billions there. Nonsense! Rebuild the USA.”

The withdrawal of U.S. troops would also be good for the Afghan people, as the presence of foreign soldiers has been an obstacle to peace talks. The Afghans themselves have to determine their future, and will only be able to do so once there is an end to foreign intervention.

We urge you to turn the page on this catastrophic military intervention. Bring all U.S. troops home from Afghanistan. Cease U.S. airstrikes and instead, for a fraction of the cost, help the Afghans with food, shelter, and agricultural equipment.

ADD YOUR NAME.

SIGNED BY:Elliott Adams, Veterans For PeaceDeborah K. Andresen, Tackling Torture at the TopRita Archibald, Nonviolence TrainerJudy Bello, Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the WarsMedea Benjamin, Code PinkFred BiallyBarry Binks, Veterans for Peace Ch. 87, Occupy BealeToby Blome’, Code PinkAlison Bodine, Mobilization Against War and OccupationLeah Bolger, World Beyond WarJohn Calder, Veterans for Peace Ch. 69Kathleen Christison, Author, Veterans for PeaceRamsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney GeneralHelena Cobban, Just World BooksDavid Cobb, 2004 Green Party Presidential NomineeJeff Cohen, RootsAction.orgGerry Condon,Veterans for Peace National Board of DirectorsMary Crosby, Roman Catholic Women PriestsJames Eilers, Code Pink AuxiliaryMichael Eisenscher, U.S. Labor Against the WarMelissa Crosby, Black Lives MatterNicolas J S Davies, authorMary Dean, World Beyond WarThomas Dickinson, Tackling Torture at the Top, Women Against Military MadnessJennifer DiZio, UC BerkeleyMaria Eitz, Roman Catholic Women PriestsDaniel Ellsberg, whistleblowerJodie Evans, Code PinkJoseph J. Fahey, Pax Christi USA Ambassador of PeaceRobert Fantina, World Beyond WarBill Fletcher Jr., BlackCommentator.comMargaret Flowers, Popular ResistanceGlen Ford, Black Agenda ReportBruce K. Gagnon, Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in SpaceJohan Galtung, Founder Trancend InterntionalLindsey German, Stop the War Coalition UKThe Rev. Dr. Diana C. Gibson, Multifaith Voices for Peace & JusticeMichael Goldstein, The 99 PercentKevin Gosztola, Shadowproof.comWill Griffin, The Peace ReportPatty Guerrero, Tackling Torture at the Top, Women Against  Military Madness, Pax-SalonBishop Thomas Gumbleton, Catholic Archdiocese of DetroitAmith Gupta, student, NYU School of LawBill Habedank, Veterans For Peace Ch. 115Steve Harms, Peace Lutheran Church, Past-President Interfaith Council of Contra Costa CountyDavid Hartsough, PeaceworkersJan Hartsough, San Francisco Friends MeetingHayley Hathaway, Quaker Earthcare WitnessDud Hendrick, Veterans for PeaceAdam Hochschild, authorMatthew Hoh, former director of Afghanistan Study GroupMartha Hubert, Code Pink San FranciscoAaron Hughes, Iraq Veterans Against the WarTony Jenkins, World Beyond WarSonja Johnson, Women Against Military MadnessKathy Kelly, Voices For Creative NonviolenceGary W. King, Tackling Torture at the Top, Women Against Military MadnessJohn Kiriakou, former Central Intelligence agency officerDennis Kucinich, former Member of United States CongressPeter Kuznick, Professor of History, American UniversityBarry Ladendorf, Veterans For Peace President Board of DirectorsPaul Leuenberger, Veterans for PeaceDave Lindorff, This Can’t Be HappeningDave Logsdon, Veterans For Peace Ch. 27Richard Lord, Charlottesville Center for Peace and JusticeDouglas Mackey, Global Days of ListeningJody Mackey, New Traditions Fair TradeMike Madden, Veterans For Peace Ch. 27Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace LaureateBen Manski, Liberty Tree Foundation for the Democratic RevolutionStephen Matchett, AVP Trainer, San Francisco Friends MeetingSherri Maurin, Campaign Nonviolence, Associate Veterans for Peace Ch. 69Ken Mayers, Veterans for PeaceRay McGovern, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for SanityCynthia McKinney, former member of United States CongressStephen McNeil, American Friends Service CommitteeMichael T. McPhearson, Veterans For Peace Executive DirectorTom Morman, Nonviolence Coalition San JoseNick Mottern, Knowdrones.comElizabeth Murray, former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East, NICMichael Nagler, Metta Center for Nonviolence Founder and PresidentCarroll Nast, Veterans for Peace Ch. 122Agneta Norberg, Swedish Peace CouncilCathe Norman, Veterans for Peace AssociateTom Norman, Veterans for Peace Ch. 60Todd E. Pierce, JA, MAJ, USA (Ret.)Gareth Porter, journalist, authorPancho Francisco Ramos-Stierle, Casa de Paz, Canticle FarmJohn C. Reiger, Veterans For PeaceDenny Riley, Veterans For Peace Chapter 69Coleen Rowley, retired FBI agent and legal counselMike Rufo, MusicianJudith Sandoval, Veterans for Peace Ch. 69Bill Schwab, Americans for JusticeJulie Searle, EducatorMichael Shaughnessy, educatorCindy Sheehan, peace activistEva Sivill, Casa de Paz, Canticle FarmAlice Slater, Nuclear Age Peace FoundationGar Smith, Environmentalists Against WarDavid Solnit, Global Organizer, Writer, PuppeteerNorman Solomon, RootsAction.orgMelvin Starks, Unitarian Universalist ChurchJill Stein, 2016 Green Party presidential candidateDavid Swanson, World Beyond WarShelley Tannenbaum, Quaker Earthcare WitnessBrian Terrell, Voices for Creative NonviolenceTiffany Tool, Nonviolent PeaceforceChip Tucker, Charlottesville Friends MeetingLouie J. Vitale, OFM, Pace e Bene, Nevada Desert ExperienceZohreh Whitaker, Veterans for Peace, Peace ActionPhil Wilayto, the Virginia DefenderAnn Wright, retired U.S. Army colonelKevin Zeese, Popular Resistance

(organizations above for identification)

ALSO SIGNED BY:

Creating a Culture of PeaceMobilization Against War and Occupation, Vancouver CanadaPopular ResistanceVeterans For PeaceVoices for Creative NonviolenceWorld Beyond War

http://davidswanson.org/node/5428

Top Democrat proposes bill to stop Trump from relaxing sanctions on Russia, with GOP McCain and Graham support

“[Obama] wanted to make sure that [Trump] had grave difficulty in maintaining any normal strategic policy at all and particularly with regard to Russia. So he left that time bomb if you like…Schumer himself is a rabid, and I use this word advisedly, rabid, political advocate concerned only with domestic political outcomes. He’s certainly not looking at the strategic picture, he’s absolutely trying to undermine the Trump administration.”
Gregory Copley, editor-in-chief of the Defense & Foreign Affairs journal

From RT

January 23, 2017

A top Senate Democrat is planning to introduce bipartisan legislation designed to stop President Trump from relaxing US sanctions on Russia. Critics argue that the bill is a “rabid and short-sighted” move to undermine the new administration.

President Donald Trump’s cautious statements about the desirability of working towards rapprochement with Moscow, which could include easing economic sanctions on Russia, have not gone unnoticed by some in the US establishment.

Shortly after Trump’s inauguration, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said on Sunday that a bipartisan group of US Senators was preparing to introduce a bill that would significantly restrict the president’s ability to lift the sanctions that Washington imposed on Russia in 2014 after Crimea voted to leave Ukraine and rejoin it in a referendum.

The bill would demand that any changes to the restrictions be put to a vote in the US Congress, thus preventing the president from acting unilaterally.

“We repeal sanctions, it tells Russia, ‘Go ahead and interfere in our elections and do bad things;’ it tells China; it tells Iran. That would be terrible,” Schumer told ABC’s This Week show, adding that he has secured support from GOP Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

“We need more sanctions against Russia. We should not relax them,” McCain said on the same program, adding “if we don’t keep those sanctions on and even increase them, it will encourage Vladimir Putin, who is a war criminal.”

Earlier in January, Trump floated the idea of lifting the sanctions as part of a new nuclear weapons reduction deal.

“For us to repeal sanctions, given what Russia has done in Ukraine and threatened the Baltics, and now they have clearly tried to intervene in our election – whether it had an effect or not – that is something, that’s a danger that we have never faced to this extent in American history,” Schumer went on.

However, Gregory Copley, editor-in-chief of the Defense & Foreign Affairs journal, told RT that the bill was surely designed “as a part of the legacy that the then-president Obama wanted to leave for President Trump.”

Republicans will try to stop Trump from getting close with Moscow – fmr asst US def sec

“[Obama] wanted to make sure that he had grave difficulty in maintaining any normal strategic policy at all and particularly with regard to Russia. So he left that time bomb if you like,” Copley asserted.

Allegations that Russia interfered in the US elections are unsubstantiated, the expert continued, while noting that Washington itself has waged “political warfare” against other countries in the past.

“There’s a lot of material around to show that the Obama administration interfered with the election processes in Ukraine, in Israel and in other countries,” he said.

“Schumer himself is a rabid, and I use this word advisedly, rabid, political advocate concerned only with domestic political outcomes. He’s certainly not looking at the strategic picture, he’s absolutely trying to undermine the Trump administration,” Copley concluded.

https://www.rt.com/usa/374745-senators-trump-russia-sanctions/

Telephone conversation between President Trump and President Putin, January 28, 2017

[The White House has not yet posted a statement on this conversation]

From the Kremlin

January 28, 2017

Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with US President Donald Trump.

Vladimir Putin congratulated Donald Trump on taking office and wished him every success in his work.

During the conversation, both sides expressed their readiness to make active joint efforts to stabilise and develop Russia-US cooperation on a constructive, equitable and mutually beneficial basis.

Mr Putin and Mr Trump had a detailed discussion of pressing international issues, including the fight against terrorism, the situation in the Middle East, the Arab-Israeli conflict, strategic stability and non-proliferation, the situation with Iran’s nuclear programme, and the Korean Peninsula issue. The discussion also touched upon the main aspects of the Ukrainian crisis. The sides agreed to build up partner cooperation in these and other areas.

The two leaders emphasised that joining efforts in fighting the main threat – international terrorism – is a top priority. The presidents spoke out for establishing real coordination of actions between Russia and the USA aimed at defeating ISIS and other terrorists groups in Syria.

The sides stressed the importance of rebuilding mutually beneficial trade and economic ties between the two counties’ business communities, which could give an additional impetus to progressive and sustainable development of bilateral relations.

Mr Putin and Mr Trump agreed to issue instructions to work out the possible date and venue for their meeting.

Donald Trump asked to convey his wishes of happiness and prosperity to the Russian people, saying that the American people have warm feelings towards Russia and its citizens.

Vladimir Putin, in turn, emphasised that the feeling is mutual, adding that for over two centuries Russia has supported the United States, was its ally during the two world wars, and now sees the United States as a major partner in fighting international terrorism.

The two leaders agreed to maintain regular personal contacts.

The conversation took place in a positive and constructive atmosphere.

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/53787

 

BREAKING: Trump pulls U.S. out of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

From Newser

By John Johnson
January 23, 2017

President Trump had a busy morning, signing three executive orders on trade, abortion, and federal hiring, and issuing a warning to US companies that they’ll be penalized if they move overseas. Details:

  • TPP: As promised, Trump signed an order withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which the New York Times points out is President Obama’s most important trade deal, though it was never ratified by Congress. Coupled with Trump’s promise to renegotiate NAFTA, Trump’s trade stance is “a drastic reversal of decades of economic policy in which presidents of both parties have lowered trade barriers and expanded ties around the world.”

http://www.newser.com/story/237277/trump-signs-3-big-executive-orders.html

Soros-funded orgs, including MoveOn, among groups calling for anti-Trump protests after election

From RT

November 16, 2016

Some of the anti-Trump protests in the US have been organized by groups that were sponsored by Clinton sympathizer and billionaire George Soros.

MoveOn.org issued a press release on Wednesday afternoon about the protests where they wrote “hundreds of Americans, dozens of organizations to gather peacefully outside the White House and in cities and towns nationwide to take a continued stand against misogyny, racism, Islamophobia, and xenophobia.”

“Tonight, thousands of Americans will come together at hundreds of peaceful gatherings in cities and towns across the nation, including outside the White House, following the results of Tuesday’s presidential election.”

“The gatherings—organized by MoveOn.org and allies—will affirm a continued rejection of Donald Trump’s bigotry, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and misogyny and demonstrate our resolve to fight together for the America we still believe is possible,” the statement continued.

“Those that are stirring it up, and many of them do work for Soros-fronted organizations are really telling those innocent protesters, and perhaps less innocent protesters, they are in danger by Trump, even though Trump has done nothing but preach unity since he won the election,” Marko Gasic, a British-Serbian political commentator told RT on Friday.

The global elite’s objections to in President-elect Donald Trump is perhaps different from what they are telling protesters, Gasic said.

“It’s an election where they had all of the media, power and money and yet they’ve lost to him,” said Gasic. “It’s a toss-up now between the Clinton-Soros view that the only democracy allowed is a one party democracy that agrees with what they say and if that doesn’t happen they are ready to do a counter-revolution to destroy that democracy and that democratic vote.”

However, Gasic doesn’t think they would try to get rid of Trump.

“But they want to intimidate him to get him to agree to social peace at home as long as the global elites are allowed to pursue their wars abroad. They want him to become a neocon just like they are,” he added.

Since Trump won on Tuesday, protests have occurred out in cities across the US, all of which are Democratic strongholds. There have been three nights of protests, with more planned for Friday night and many slated for the weekend.

At a rally in Portland attended by more than 4,000 people on Thursday night, police declared it a riot and fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the crowd after claiming they were attacked by protesters. They arrested 26 people.

Leading Democratic funders in California have started a campaign calling to reject the election results, arguing it was not consistent with the state’s values.

Gasic believes someone is “stirring the pot” because “America has never traditionally had a problem with accepting the outcome of an election.”

“We now have Soros behind many ‘color’ revolutions in other countries and financing in effect a semi-color revolution in US,” Gasic told RT, a reference to the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, among others. “I don’t know if it categorizes as treason. He certainly operates from the shadows. His only legitimacy is his wallet. His only concern is to create the kind of democracy he can prop up and gain an interest from. That’s the kind of person who is behind this continuing protest against a valid, legitimate, free election.”

-funded ‘superlawyer’ challenges voter ID laws to ‘protect the Obama coalition’ http://on.rt.com/7m46 

From Cold to “Hot War”? Operation Barbarossa II: U.S. military buildup in eastern Europe, the Yanks in their armoured parade

Global Research, January 18, 2017
New Eastern Outlook 18 January 2017
usa tank russia

I stated some months ago, while assembling a criminal dossier against the NATO powers for the ultimate war crime of aggression, that the build-up of NATO forces in Eastern Europe, particularly American, concentrated on the Baltic states and Ukraine, presaged hybrid war operations against Russia leading to a general war. This build up of forces and ancillary developments I termed Operation Barbarossa II in light of the remarkable similarities to the build up of forces by Nazi Germany for the invasion of the USSR in 1941 which the Germans code-named Operation Barbarossa. Events have only confirmed my views.

The degradation of American democracy continues before our eyes with the incessant hysterical allegations against Russia generally and the manipulation of Donald Trump as a device to put out even more sensational allegations, a campaign which serves two purposes; the first, to build up anti-Russian feeling in the west to war levels by accusing Russia of cyber attacks and attacks on “democracy,” the second to either justify the removal of Trump as a factor in the presidency or to force him to toe the line of the war faction and drop any conciliatory rhetoric towards Russia.

It appears that this strategy is working. At his recent press conference Trump not only adopted the “Russia did it” theme but went further and stated that if people thought Hilary Clinton was going to be tough on Russia, they would soon see that he will be tougher than she ever could be. The hopes by some in the United States that Trump was going to open a new policy of dialogue with Russia have been completely shattered. But this should have been no surprise with his immediate insult to China the day after his election and with his cabinet choices and their various testimonies before Congress the past days, as they are vetted for their posts, that show his administration will use war to dominate the world just as enthusiastically as the outgoing administration.

Trump has said that it is better to have good relations with Russia and that only fools would reject that idea. But this statement is part of the general line that if Russia does not do what the US dictates then, of course, force will be used instead. On the PBS Newshour on Thursday July 12 a “former” senior CIA officer, when asked whether Trump had a point in wanting good relations with Russia, laughed and said,

“The United States should not look for good relations with any country. We should strive for one thing only, the advancement of American national interests, and if diplomacy does not work then coercion must be used.”

This is the talk of gangsters.

The world is fatigued with the circus that is the struggle for power taking place between the ruling factions in the United States. There is clearly little to separate these factions ideologically regarding foreign policy and very little regarding domestic policy. It’s just a gang war.

The use of lurid allegations against Trump to portray him as not only a willing dupe of Russia but also a target of blackmail, which allegations appear to originate with a “former” senior MI6 agent named Christopher Steele, smacks of the MI5 and MI6 plot to bring down British Prime Minister Harold Wilson in the 1970s, as they had brought down the Labour government in 1924 with the production and distribution in the press of a forged letter from Zinoviev to the British Communist Party calling for a mass insurrection in Britain. In Wilson’s case too, forged documents were put out by MI5 and MI6 with the help of the CIA, through a compliant media, to smear him as a Russian agent and he later stated that he knew of two planned military coups against him. John Kennedy was assassinated in the coup d’état of 1963 in a poisonous atmosphere generated by allegations he was “soft on communism,” that is, once again, the Russians.

Frankly, whether Trump is ousted in a coup, or by impeachment later, as the Washington Post suggested could happen, or is allowed to stay in office as a compliant front man as the other presidents have been since Kennedy was murdered, matters not; the result is the same, the continuation of a permanent war regime in the United States, that lives for, by and through a permanent state of war. The American people were brainwashed into tolerating and accepting the coup of 1963 and it would hardly be surprising if another one is carried out and tolerated when intelligence agencies, political enemies, the media and Hollywood celebrities are openly calling for a coup to be staged. Democracy? The vote? Who cares? Civil unrest? A price to pay. The result is that the preparations for war continue, and are amplified by the Trump election, which the intelligence services are using to intensify the propaganda attack on Russia and President Putin.

Meanwhile, as the media and Obama regime keep the people off-balance with the Trump scandal US military forces continue their deployments against Russia and China. The machine is in motion. In Europe the Americans have just added to the pressure on Russia with the placement of the 3rd Armoured Brigade in Poland, right on Russia’s doorstep, which Russia rightly considers a threat to its security. This is a unit that was involved as an assault force in the Normandy landings in 1944 and was used to invade Iraq in 2003. The unit is noted for its speed of attack. These forces will fan out from Poland to cover a wide front from Estonia and Latvia to Romania with tank, artillery and armoured mobile infantry units. These are not garrison or occupation troops, these are assault troops.

US Army General Scaparrotti, commander of US forces in Europe and NATO supreme allied commander in Europe, stated that the movement of this force to Poland “marks a significant moment in European deterrence and defence.” He stated,

“The European infrastructure and integrated support has enabled our forces to rapidly be ready and postured should they need to deter Russian aggression.”

Since there is no Russian “aggression” and since the Americans are continually stating that they expect Russia to engage in hybrid, that is unconventional warfare against Eastern Europe, we can be sure that these forces themselves and their specialised units will engage in false flag attacks and provocations to make it look like Russia is taking hostile action to justify the use against Russia of these and allied European forces. It is just a matter of time unless a diplomatic breakthrough occurs which appears highly unlikely, despite Russia’s diligent efforts.

At the same time it was reported on Friday the 13th that Trump’s appointed foreign minister. Mr. Tillerson stated to Congress on the 11th of January, that the US should deny Beijing access to its islands in the South China Sea. China state media responded that any such attempt would lead to large-scale war. Yet, on January 5th, just a few days before Tillerson’s statement the Pentagon announced that “ships and units from the USS Carrier Carl Vinson strike group will soon depart San Diego for the western Pacific” where US strategic B1 and B2 bombers have already been deployed on Guam, capable of carrying nuclear armed cruise missiles.

And lastly, on the propaganda front, the recent illegal seizure of investigatory material by Dutch police from Dutch journalists returning from Donetsk once again adds to the evidence that the shoot down of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 with 298 people on board in July 2014 was an action of the Kiev regime with US knowledge. I recently stated in an essay on that subject that it was a Kiev military jet that shot down the airliner, and referred to a Sukhoi 25 being used but I since been shown evidence that it was in fact a Kiev Mig-29 that was used. In any event, the NATO powers have colluded in covering up this fact in order to keep up their propaganda the Russia was behind it.

The situation is grave and the doomsday clock must be knocking on the door of midnight. Many of us have called for the anti-war and peace movements to mobilise but they are nowhere to be seen. Many of them, especially in the United States have been co-opted into supporting these wars, and the left, that is supposed to be against imperialist wars, whether the hard or the soft left, appears to be too weak to make itself felt. It seems there are too few of us in the west any more who give a damn.

But we better act now and make people give a damn or else it will be too late because as my friend, Harold Pinter, so well put it to me once at dinner in London, the world is faced with a people in love with themselves who don’t seem to care about anything or anybody except themselves and think they can commit any crime and get away with it. I can’t express the disgust so well as Harold did in a poem he once sent me that he found difficult to get published, one of several, but which is now in a short collection of his poems called War. Perhaps if there were more like him, more poems like this, read widely enough, more voices speaking out, people would react, wake up, stiffen up, get back their sense of decency and backbone. I don’t know. But I offer it to you here in the hope, perhaps naïve, that it has an effect.

God Bless America

Here they go again,

The Yanks in their armoured parade…

Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel “Beneath the Clouds. He writes essays on international law, politics and world events, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”