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Blood on Our Hands

If the Iraq occupation lasts another 50 years, it's doubtful a better account of it will be produced than this one. Davies puts the invasion and occupation of Iraq into a framework not only of history but also of law. 'Blood on Our Hands' is packed with critical information that never made into the so-called first draft of history, the U.S. media. This is a thoroughly documented account of the motivations, launching, and the conduct through several stages of the Iraq War, a war that any one of these periods shows to have been, above all else, a massive crime.

McChrystal: Beheadings of Our Allies Simply to Be Expected

By David Swanson

How can we stand to live in a country where this exchange is shown live on tv and nobody comments?

REPORTER: [I]n Marja there are reports -- credible reports -- of intimidation and even beheading of local people who work with your forces. Is that your intelligence? And if so, does it worry you?

GEN. MCCHRYSTAL: Yeah. It absolutely is things that we see. But it's absolutely predictable.

I'm sorry. If it is predictable that people who work with you are going to have their heads sliced off, STOP FUCKING DOING THAT KIND OF WORK. After all, the work you are doing consists primarily of BLOWING other people's heads off.



It's not your country. You're not welcome there. People who try to help you are seen as enemies of their country. They get their fucking heads cut off. And your puppet president thanks you on their behalf.



If Afghanistan had an Arizona-style law, guess who would fit the profile? Guess who's illegal? Guess who is there in violation of the UN Charter, the will of 94% of Kandaharis and a majority of Americans, your own perverse counterinsurgency manual, and any code of human decency whatsoever?



And don't even think about asking for another $33 billion of our children's money to make it worse, which we all know you want purely because you think we're stupid enough to believe you're being tough, even though it will do no good whatsoever, your new assault is already failing before being funded, and a majority of us want the whole crime brought to a close.

You don't want to give in to terrorists? OK, then give in to those legally resisting your illegal occupation. Or give in to those nonviolently protesting it. Or give in to the wisdom of your own experts, envoy, ambassador, national security advisor, Army and GAO reports. Or give in to the staggering list of names on the Vietnam Memorial and the fact that there would be fewer if you'd just gotten the hell out sooner.

Or do this: get out and stop bombing Pakistan, which no one gave you any legal right to do, before a succesful bomber hits a US city. We all know you'll kill five million innocent human beings the moment such a bomber succeeds. We all know you don't really want to do that. So STOP FUCKING MAKING IT INEVITABLE that you will be in that situation.

Stop giving our kids illegal orders.


Bring them home.

Bring them home.

Bring them home.

NYT, Afghans and 'Corrosive Distrust'

Peter Hart calls out the New York Times for blaming the Afghan people for not trusting their lying sack of an excuse for a government, not to mention distrusting the benevolent Americans.

Despite violence rising, civilian deaths rising, the Taliban growing stronger, and the Afghan government growing weaker, the New York Times apparently considers it news that progress is being made, purely because Obama and Karzai said so.

Oh, and McChrystal said so too and even went to the trouble to ban the term "operation".

The End of War

By David Swanson

Last year I published a review of a book called "Will War Ever End: A Soldier's Vision of Peace for the 21st Century" by Captain Paul K. Chappell, U.S. Army. Chappell left active duty last November and is now the Peace Leadership Director for the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. His new book is called "The End of War: How Waging Peace Can Save Humanity, Our Planet, and Our Future."

We Want NO Votes on Escalation Bill, and YES Votes on Separating Escalation Funding from All the Lipstick

We want our representatives in the House to vote NO on war escalation funding, no matter what righteous stuff is packaged in with it.

But if there is a floor vote to separate the escalation funding from all the humanitarian measures, then we want Yes votes on that.

Audio: David Swanson on Iraq and Afghanistan with Keith Murphy on the Urban Journal
Listen today!
Segment 1 David Swanson, author Daybreak
Segment 2 Pastor Susan Smith, author Crazy Faith
Segments 3 and 4 Joe Madison, XM

What I learned in Afghanistan – About the United States

By Dana Visalli

I was surprised on my recent trip to Afghanistan that I learned so much…about the United States. I was in Afghanistan for two weeks in March of this year, meeting with a large number of Afghans working in humanitarian endeavors – the principal of a girls' school, the director of a school for street children, the Afghan Human Rights Commission, a group working on environmental issues. The one thing that all of these groups that we met with had in common was, they were penniless. They all survived on rather tenuous donations made by philanthropic foundations in Europe.

Juan Cole Is Confident of Troop Withdrawal

His math to get it down to 50,000 by the end of August doesn't quite work, especially if the withdrawal is delayed in June but even if it isn't, but Juan Cole is confident that the withdrawal will hit that target, as well as the December 2011 deadline, and that while the withdrawal will not be complete, it'll be complete enough for him. He also sees massive and expensive bases (and presumably the so-called embassy) as no deterrent to or indication of unlikelihood of complete departure. I hope he's right.

Senate Panel Approves $59 Billion to Fund Wars

By Brian Faler, Bloomberg

May 13 (Bloomberg) -- A Senate panel unanimously passed a $59 billion war-funding bill that would bring total spending on the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan to more than $1.1 trillion.

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted 30-0 for the measure, which would provide $33.5 billion for military operations, including President Barack Obama’s troop buildup in Afghanistan.

“This bill is neither a bailout or a stimulus,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye, a Hawaii Democrat. “It is the minimum necessary to meet emergency requirements and the cost of war.”

The measure includes $68 million to help pay cleanup costs from the oil spill at a BP Plc well in the Gulf of Mexico. “We all understand that more will be needed,” Inouye said.

It would set aside $6 billion for diplomatic and foreign- aid programs and $5 billion for disaster assistance in Tennessee, Rhode Island and other areas.

Five Dollar Friday: This Can't Be Happening

For today's five dollar friday I've given $5 to

This site has been expanded from Dave Lindorff's unequaled blog to a news and blog site with four contributors: Lindorff, Charles Young, John Grant, and Linn Washington. And their writing is phenomenal.

Downside of doing Kandahar assault before funding it? It's already failed.

Kandahar 'offensive' scaled back; new goal to improve government
By Dion Nissenbaum and Jonathan S. Landay, McClatchy Newspapers

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — Although it's just beginning, the U.S.-led effort to pacify the Taliban's spiritual capital in southern Afghanistan already appears to be faltering.

Key military operations have been delayed until the fall, efforts to improve local government are having little impact and a Taliban assassination campaign has brought a sense of dread to Kandahar's dusty streets.

NATO officials once spoke of demonstrating major progress by mid-August, but U.S. commanders now say the turning point may not be reached until November, and perhaps later.

At the urging of Afghan leaders, U.S. officials have stopped describing the plan as a military operation. Instead, they've dubbed it "Cooperation for Kandahar ," a moniker meant to focus attention on efforts to build up local governance while reducing fears of street battles.

"We're not using the term 'operation' or 'major operations' because that often brings to mind in peoples' psyche the idea of a D-Day and an H-Hour and an attack," U.S. Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal , the commander of U.S.-led international forces in Afghanistan , said Thursday in Washington .

Here's What's in the Escalation Funding Bill, Including the Lipstick and the Pig

The Administration has requested $63 billion in FY2010 supplemental appropriations:
• $33 billion for the Department of Defense (DOD) primarily for deploying 30,000
additional troops to Afghanistan;
• $4.5 billion in war-related foreign aid to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan;
• $5.1 billion to replenish the U.S. Disaster Relief Fund administered by the
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA);
• $2.8 billion for Haiti reconstruction and foreign aid in the wake of the
• $13.4 billion to compensate veterans exposed to Agent Orange;
• $3.4 billion to settle land trust claims of American Indians in the long-standing
Cobell case; and
• $1.2 billion to settle the discrimination claims of 70,000 black farmers in the
Pigford II case.

Details here: PDF.

Withdrawing Withdrawal Comment, and the Unpeaceful Peace Movement

By David Swanson

The peace movement, and the progressive blogosphere, can be very unpeaceful places, and it seems like I've spent the past day or two arguing with more people than I've communicated with pleasantly. This is not totally new, of course, but in this case I deserve a good share of the blame for it, so there may be an opportunity to learn a lesson.

Rep Mike Michaud Commits to Voting No on Afghan Escalation Funding and Urges Rep Chellie Pingree to Do the Same

Code Pink in Maine has reportedly been assured by Rep. Mike Michaud that he will vote No on the escalation funding and is urging Rep Pingree to do so too.

Follow the ever improving whip list at

Pentagon rethinking value of major counterinsurgencies

Here's a report from McClatchy that I think may present too credulously Pentagon claims that choosing not to create another Iraq or Afghanistan-like quagmire is driven by budget cuts. These wars have failed on their own terms, made us less safe, cost blood, and cost politicians elections. Cutting the military's budget is badly needed, but who's doing it? When? How?

Google Map of Every Drone Strike in Pakistan

See map.

Now we need one on GoogleEarth with images of the bodies of all the children, women, and men.

Obama Scraps Iraq Withdrawal

By David Swanson

So, we elected a president who promised a withdrawal from Iraq that he, or the generals who tell him what to do, is now further delaying. And, of course, the timetable he's now delaying was already a far cry from what he had promised as a candidate.

What are we to think? That may be sad news, but what could we have done differently? Surely it would have been worse to elect a president who did not promise to withdraw, right?

War Escalation Funding Bill to Get Lipstick, Eye Liner, Blush, Wig, New Hat, Nose Job

Looks like Senate wants to add LOTS of gloss to this pig including aid for every known type of disaster except war (although a bit of that too, with Agent Orange victims), and House wants to vote only once and only on the glossed-up Senate version.--DS

Senate panel readies war funding bill, flood aid

WASHINGTON — A top Senate Democrat is fashioning a nearly $60 billion measure mixing war funding with U.S. disaster funds and aid for Haiti in hopes of jump-starting the long-delayed measure and clearing it through a nasty legislative thicket by Memorial Day.

The emerging measure, by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, is one of the few must-pass money bills remaining on the Senate's agenda in this election year. As such, it's attracting lots of attention from lawmakers hoping to win money for priorities that would otherwise have to wait until the fall — or later.

Rep. Perriello: I May or May Not Vote for $33 B War Escalation

By David Swanson

Three of us constituents of Congressman Tom Perriello (D., Va.) talked with him for about 45 minutes on Tuesday, asking him to commit to voting against $33 billion to escalate war in Afghanistan. The congressman was polite, intelligent, and knowledgeable. He didn't rant about evil Muslims or Mexicans or anything his predecessor might have done. He even agreed with us on many of the downsides to dumping another $33 billion into escalating a war opposed by a majority of Americans. But he would no more commit to voting against the bill than Virgil Goode would have -- possibly less so. There are libertarian Republicans voting against war funding.

Did You Say $33 Billion?

Afghan Escalation Funding 
More War, Fewer Jobs, Poor Excuses
By David Swanson,

Isn’t it time to call what Congress will soon vote on by its right name: war escalation funding?

Early in 2009, President Barack Obama escalated the war in Afghanistan with 21,000 "combat" troops, 13,000 "support" troops, and at least 5,000 mercenaries, without any serious debate in Congress or the corporate media.  The President sent the first 17,000 troops prior to developing any plan for Afghanistan, leaving the impression that escalation was, somehow, an end in itself.  Certainly it didn't accomplish anything else, a conclusion evident in downbeat reports on the Afghan war situation issued this month by both the Government Accountability Office and the Pentagon.

Speaking Events



August 2-6: Peace and Democracy Conference at Democracy Convention in Minneapolis, Minn.


September 22-24: No War 2017 at American University in Washington, D.C.


October 28: Peace and Justice Studies Association Conference

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