Wednesday, August 22, 2012


OMNI NEWSLETTER #2 US WESTWARD IMPERIALISM, PACIFIC OCEAN, EAST ASIA, August 22, 2012. Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace. (#1 May 8, 2012).

Here is the link to all OMNI newsletters: For a knowledge-based peace, justice, and ecology movement and an informed citizenry as the foundation for opposition to empire, militarism, and wars. Here is the link to the Index: See: Continental US Westward Expansion Newsletter, Indigenous People of Americas Newsletter, US Imperialism and Militarism Newsletter.

Contents #1 May 8, 2012

Tom Hayden, US Brinkmanship

Dick, Breaking News: China’s Eastward Movement


Jeju Island

San Juan, Intervention in Philippines

US Pacific Empire

Vandenberg Space Command

New Provocations

Hawaii Largest Pentagon Command

Contents #2

US/S. Korea War Games

US Marines to Australia

Wright, Jeju Island

Chomsky, Jeju

TomDispatch/Vine, Empire of Bases

San Juan, Philippines

Johnson, Blowback: Indonesia, Okinawa, etc.

US Starts Major War Game in Korea Again Tue Aug 21, 2012, from Veterans for Peace. Posted by: "Korea Peace Campaign" The article below is misleading. It does not mention the number of ROK troops participating in this major US war game with ROK, but the number is reported to be 56,000. So the total number of troops involved in this war game is 86,000. It is reported that N. Korean troops are put on high alert.

This is a provocative, unnecessary US-directed war game, which raises

further military tension in Korea while wasting our tax dollars.

Please protest against the war game, UFG Exercise, by contacting WH at

1-202-456-1111 or


VFP-Korea Peace Campaign


Stars and Stripes

Published: August 20, 2012

The annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise began Monday in South Korea in

what is expected to be the first major test of the U.S. military’s use of

mine-resistant, ambush protected vehicles, or MRAPs.

The largely computer-based exercise is one of two major U.S.-South Korean

war games held on the peninsula each year. More than 30,000 U.S. and South

Korean troops are participating in this year’s exercise, which ends on Aug.

31, according to U.S. Forces Korea.

“Ulchi Freedom Guardian is a key exercise in strengthening the readiness of

Republic of Korea and U.S. forces,” USFK commander Gen. James Thurman said

in a press release Monday. “It is based on realistic scenarios and enables

us to train on our essential tasks with a whole of government approach.”

The U.S. military’s first shipment of MRAPs, the vehicles used widely in

the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, was delivered to South Korea earlier this

summer. *Officials have said more than 80 of the vehicles will be tested

for up to a year to determine if they should permanently be incorporated

into the U.S. military’s plans in South Korea.*

North Korea has condemned the exercise, and leader Kim Jong Un recently

visited frontline troops and told them they must be prepared to lead a

“sacred war,” the Korean Central News Agency announced on Saturday.

“He ordered the service persons of the detachment to be vigilant against

every move of the enemy and not to miss their golden chance to deal at once

deadly counter blows at the enemy, if even a single shell is dropped on the

waters or in the area where the sovereignty of (North Korea) is exercised,”

a statement posted on the state-run organization’s website said.

First deployment of Talisman Sabre Marines arrive in 'culturally vibrant' Darwin by: By Malcolm Farr, National Political Editor

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• April 03, 2012 11:14PM

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• Darwin "delighted" by arrival of US troops

• Marines to arrive in six-month rotations

• "No US military bases in Australia" - Gillard

• US marines head to Darwin

• US President Barack Obama addressed Aust

US marines head to Darwin



US marines head to Darwin

200 American marines are setting up camp in Darwin this morning as the US sends in the first of its new defence force.

TEN3 April 2012

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US President Barack Obama addressed Australian troops and US Marines at RAAF with Prime Minister Julia Gillard last year. Picture: AFP Source: AFP

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Related Coverage

• China 'not bothered' by US troops, 13 May 2012

• Tea and scones ring in US Fox Company The Australian, 5 Apr 2012

• Here come the Marines Adelaide Now, 5 Apr 2012

• Critics wary as Marines land Perth Now, 4 Apr 2012

• US Marines touch down in Darwin The Australian, 4 Apr 2012

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THE first Marines to take part in a controversial series of deployments to Australia have arrived in Darwin.

And the Top End was delighted by their addition to what Chief Minister Paul Henderson called Darwin's "culturally vibrant community".

The 200 American troops are the advance guard of a controversial military rotation agreed to by Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Barack Obama when the US President visited Australia in November.

They will take part in the exercise Talisman Sabre with Australian troops in the Northern Territory and Queensland.

Marines will now arrive in six-month rotations for joint exercises and unilateral projects.

Eventually there will be 2500 soldiers in the Marine Air Group Task Force in the peaceful invasion.

"There are no US military bases in Australia and this will not change," Prime Minister Gillard said in a statement tonight.

"This initiative will provide tangible benefits for Australia by increasing the number, variety and complexity of training opportunities for the ADF and further developing our interoperability with US forces.

"It also supports Australia’s long-held strategic interests in supporting US engagement in our region in a manner that promotes peace and stability.

The initiative could also provide new opportunities for Australiana and US engagement with our partners in the region."

ANN WRIGHT, “Jeju Island, South Korea.”

1. Where in the world is Jeju Island? Symposium with Ann Wright ...

Mar 19, 2012 – Jeju Island Symposium Dinner and Program Special Guest: Ann Wright Friday March 30th, 6:30pm. Redwood Gardens 2951 Derby St Berkeley ...

2. Save Jeju Island with Peace Activist Ann Wright - North Bay Bohemian

Oct 26, 2011 – SRJC presents a talk about Jeju Island in South Korea and the Save Jeju Island campaign to stop the construction of a Naval Base in ...


No naval base! Save Jeju Island! - Ann Wright - YouTube

► 4:43► 4:43 6, 2011 - 5 min - Uploaded by sungbong2012

Ann Wright 앤 라이트는 알칸사스 벨톤빌에서 자랐고 알칸사스 대학교에서 법학 석사 학위를 받았다. 그녀는 또한 미국 해양전쟁대학에서 국가 ...


Jeju Island - YouTube

► 12:43► 12:43 29, 2011 - 13 min - Uploaded by scotalen808

... sign up now! Alert icon. Loading... There is no Interactive Transcript. Uploaded by scotalen808 on Aug 29 ...

5. More videos for Ann Wright Jeju Island »

6. Ann Wright told us about Jeju Island at dragonfly ranch blog

Sep 21, 2011 – Having Ann Wright visit the Dragonfly was an honor and a joy. She was also very informative! We learned about the history of the Jeju ...

Chomsky on Jeju

Bruce K. Gagnon

Posted by: "Global Network" brucekgag

Fri May 25, 2012 8:48 am (PDT)

July 15, 2012

Tomgram: David Vine, U.S. Empire of Bases Grows

It was January 15, 2004, and TomDispatch had only been in existence for a year when Chalmers Johnson, author of the prophetic book Blowback (published in 2000 and a bestseller after the 9/11 attacks), did a piece for this site entitled “America’s Empire of Bases.” He wrote then: “Due to government secrecy, our citizens are often ignorant of the fact that our garrisons encircle the planet. This vast network of American bases on every continent except Antarctica actually constitutes a new form of empire -- an empire of bases with its own geography not likely to be taught in any high school geography class. Without grasping the dimensions of this globe-girdling Baseworld, one can't begin to understand the size and nature of our imperial aspirations or the degree to which a new kind of militarism is undermining our constitutional order.”

It was a benchmark essay for TomDispatch and a theme -- the unprecedented way Washington was garrisoning the planet -- that Johnson would return to repeatedly and that others of us would take up. This mattered because, despite the crucial role that Washington's empire of bases played in the American way of war and its dreams of global dominance, bases were then, and remain today, a phenomenon largely ignored in the mainstream media.

In 2004, the Pentagon was, for instance, already building the first of its 505 bases, the biggest among them meant to be “enduring,” in Iraq -- American ziggurats, I called them at the time. Some of these were large enough to qualify as full-scale American towns, with PXs, fire departments, bus routes, the usual range of fast-food joints, internet cafes, and the like -- and yet it was the rare American reporter who saw a story of any sort in them, even when visiting one of them. The same was true in Afghanistan, where the U.S. was building (and is still upgrading) 400 or more bases. No one even bothered to try to count them up until Nick Turse did so in February 2010 for this site. (Ann Jones took TomDispatch readers onto one of them in August of that same year.)

In his books and at TomDispatch, Johnson put significant effort into trying to come up with a number for the bases the Pentagon garrisoned outside the United States. In January 2011, Turse returned to that task and found that number to be well over 1,100. Again, it’s not a figure you normally see reported in the mainstream. In March 2010, John Feffer reminded TD readers of just how far the Pentagon would go to hang onto a single major base, among so many, on the Japanese island of Okinawa.

One of the last essays Chalmers Johnson published at this site before his death in 2010 was entitled “Dismantling the Empire” and it was concerned with just how the U.S. could downsize its global mission and end its empire of bases. David Vine, anthropologist and author of Island of Shame: The Secret History of the U.S. Military Base on Diego Garcia, has been touring American bases for the past three years. In a major survey of the changing shape of our Baseworld, he suggests that unfortunately it isn’t shrinking at all, and that “dismantling” isn’t yet on the American horizon. This means that -- until the mainstream finally stumbles upon the import of this story -- TomDispatch has little choice but to stay on the bases beat for the foreseeable future. (To catch Timothy MacBain's latest Tomcast audio interview in which Vine discusses his experiences with the Pentagon’s empire of bases, click here or download it to your iPod here.) Tom

The Lily-Pad Strategy: How the Pentagon Is Quietly Transforming Its Overseas Base Empire and Creating a Dangerous New Way of War By David Vine

The first thing I saw last month when I walked into the belly of the dark grey C-17 Air Force cargo plane was a void -- something missing. A missing left arm, to be exact, severed at the shoulder, temporarily patched and held together. Thick, pale flesh, flecked with bright red at the edges. It looked like meat sliced open. The face and what remained of the rest of the man were obscured by blankets, an American flag quilt, and a jumble of tubes and tape, wires, drip bags, and medical monitors.

That man and two other critically wounded soldiers -- one with two stumps where legs had been, the other missing a leg below the thigh -- were intubated, unconscious, and lying on stretchers hooked to the walls of the plane that had just landed at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. A tattoo on the soldier’s remaining arm read, “DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR.”

Click here to read more of this

Date: Saturday, August 4, 2012, 11:24 AM




Except during the sixties when the Filipino-American War of 1899-1902 was referred to as “the first Vietnam,” the death of 1.4 million Filipinos has been usually accounted for as either collateral damage or victims of insurrection against the imperial authority of the United States. The first Filipino scholar to make a thorough documentation of the carnage is the late Luzviminda Francisco in her contribution to The Philippines: The End of An Illusion (London, 1973).

This fact is not even mentioned in the tiny paragraph or so in most U.S. history textbooks. Stanley Karnow’s In Our Image (1989), the acclaimed history of this intervention, quotes the figure of 200,000 Filipinos killed in outright fighting. Among historians, only Howard Zinn and Gabriel Kolko have dwelt on the “genocidal” character of the catastrophe. Kolko, in his magisterial Main Currents in Modern American History (1976), reflects on the context of the mass murder: “Violence reached a crescendo against the Indian after the Civil War and found a yet bloodier manifestation during the protracted conquest of the Philippines from 1898 until well into the next decade, when anywhere from 200,000 to 600,000 Filipinos were killed in an orgy of racist slaughter that evoked much congratulation and approval....” Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States (1980) cites 300,000 Filipinos killed in Batangas alone, while William Pomeroy’s American Neo-Colonialism (1970) cites 600,000 Filipinos dead in Luzon alone by 1902. The actual figure of 1.4 million covers the period from 1899 to 1905 when resistance by the Filipino revolutionary forces mutated from outright combat in battle to guerilla skirmishes; it doesn’t include the thousands of Moros (Filipino Muslims) killed in the first two decades of U.S. colonial domination.

The first Philippine Republic led by Emilio Aguinaldo, which had already waged a successful war against the Spanish colonizers, mounted a determined nationwide opposition against U.S. invading forces. It continued for two more decades after Aguinaldo’s capture in 1901. Several provinces resisted to the point where the U.S. had to employ scorched-earth tactics, and hamletting or “reconcentration” to quarantine the populace from the guerillas, resulting in widespread torture, disease, and mass starvation. In The Specter of Genocide: Mass Murder in Historical Perspective (2003), Prof. Gavan McCormack argues that the outright counterguerilla operations launched by the U.S. against the Filipinos, an integral part of its violent pacification program, constitutes genocide. He refers to Jean Paul Sartre’s contention that as in Vietnam, “the only anti-guerilla strategy which will be effective is the destruction of the people, in other words, the civilians, women and children.” That is what happened in the Philippines in the first half of the bloody twentieth century.

As defined by the UN 1948 “ Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide,” genocide means acts “committed with intention to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.” It is clear that the U.S. colonial conquest of the Philippines deliberately sought to destroy the national sovereignty of the Filipinos. The intent of the U.S. perpetrators included the dissolution of the ethnic identity of the Filipinos manifest in the rhetoric, policies, and disciplinary regimes enunciated and executed by legislators, politicians, military personnel, and other apparatuses. The original proponents of the UN document on genocide conceived of genocide as including acts or policies aimed at “preventing the preservation or development” of “racial, national, linguistic, religious, or political groups.” That would include “all forms of propaganda tending by their systematic and hateful character to provoke genocide, or tending to make it appear as a necessary, legitimate, or excusable act.” What the UN had in mind, namely, genocide as cultural or social death of targeted groups, was purged from the final document due to the political interests of the nation-states that then dominated the world body.

What was deleted in the original draft of the UN document are practices considered genocidal in their collective effect. Some of them were carried out in the Philippines by the United States from 1899 up to 1946 when the country was finally granted formal independence. As with the American Indians, U.S. colonization involved, among others, the “destruction of the specific character of a persecuted group by forced transfer of children, forced exile, prohibition of the use of the national language, destruction of books, documents, monuments, and objects of historical, artistic or religious value.” The goal of all colonialism is the cultural and social death of the conquered natives, in effect, genocide.

In a recent article, “Genocide and America” (New York Review of Books, March 14, 2002), Samantha Power observes that US officials “had genuine difficulty distinguishing the deliberate massacre of civilians from the casualties incurred in conventional conflict.” It is precisely the blurring of this distinction in colonial wars through racializing discourses and practices that proves how genocide cannot be fully grasped without analyzing the way the victimizer (the colonizing state power) categorizes the victims (target populations) in totalizing and naturalizing modes unique perhaps to the civilizational drives of modernity. Within the modern period, in particular, the messianic impulse to genocide springs from the imperative of capital accumulation—the imperative to reduce humans to commodified labor-power, to saleable goods/services. U.S. “primitive accumulation” began with the early colonies in New England and Virginia, and culminated in the 19th century with the conquest and annexation of Puerto Rico, Cuba, Guam, Hawaii, and the Philippines.With the historical background of the U.S. campaigns against the American Indians in particular, and the treatment of African slaves and Chicanos in general, there is a need for future scholars and researchers to concretize this idea of genocide (as byproduct of imperial expansion) by exemplary illustrations from the U.S. colonial adventure in the Philippines.

What happened in 1899-1903 is bound to be repeated with the increased U.S. intervention in the Philippines (declared “the second front” in the “war against terrorism”) unless U.S. citizens protest. Hundreds of U.S. Special Forces are at present deployed throughout the islands presumably against “terrorist” Muslim insurgents and the left-wing New People’s Army. Both groups have been fighting for basic democratic rights for more than five decades now, since the Philippines gained nominal independence from the U.S. in 1946. There is unfortunately abysmal ignorance about continued U.S. involvement in this former Asian colony—except, perhaps, during the 1986 “People Power” revolt against the Marcos “martial law” regime universally condemned for stark human-rights violations.

As attested to by UNESCO and human rights monitors, the situation has worsened since then with hundreds of killings of journalists, lawyers, women activists, and union organizers. The current crisis of the Arroyo regime, ridden with corruption and exposed for blatant vote rigging, is renewing alarm signals for Washington, foreboding a repeat of mass urban uprisings sure to threaten the comprador agents of global capital that abet the misery of millions—10 million of 80 Filipinos work as domestics and contract workers abroad—caused by World Bank, World Trade Organization, and International Monetary Fund policies imposed on a neocolonial government.

The revolutionary upsurge in the Philippines against the Marcos dictatorship (1972-1986) stirred up dogmatic Cold War complacency. With the inauguration of a new stage in academic Cultural Studies in the nineties, the historical reality of U.S. imperialism (the genocide of Native Americans is replayed in the subjugation of the inhabitants of the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Cuba) is finally being excavated and re-appraised. But this is, of course, a phenomenon brought about by a confluence of multifarious events, among them: the demise of the Soviet Union as a challenger to U.S. hegemony; the sublation of the Sixties in both Fukuyama’s “end of history” and the interminable “culture wars,” the Palestininan intifadas; the Zapatista revolt against NAFTA; the heralding of current anti-terrorism by the Gulf War; and the fabled “clash of civilizations.” Despite these changes, the old frames of intelligibility have not been modified or reconfigured to understand how nationalist revolutions in the colonized territories cannot be confused with the nationalist patriotism of the dominant or hegemonic metropoles, or how the mode of U.S. imperial rule in the twentieth century differs in form and content from those of the British or French in the nineteenth century.

Despite inroads of critical theory here and there, the received consensus of a progressive modernizing influence from the advanced industrial Western powersremains deeply entrenched here and in the Philippines. Even postcolonial and postmodern thinkers commit the mistake of censuring the decolonizing projects of the subalternized peoples because these projects (in the superior gaze of these thinkers) have been damaged, or are bound to become perverted into despotic postcolonial regimes, like those in Ghana, Algeria, Vietnam, the Philippines, and elsewhere. The only alternative, it seems, is to give assent to the process of globalization under the aegis of the World Bank/IMF/WTO, and hope for a kind of “benevolent assimilation.”

What remains to be carefully considered, above all, is the historical specificity or singularity of each of these projects of national liberation, their class composition, historical roots, programs, ideological tendencies, and political agendas within the context of colonial/imperial domination. It is not possible to pronounce summary judgments on the character and fate of nationalist movements in the peripheral formations without focusing on the complex manifold relations between colonizer and colonized, the dialectical interaction between their forces as well as others caught in the conflict. Otherwise, the result would be a disingenuous ethical utopianism such as that found in U.S. postnationalist and postcolonialist discourse which, in the final analysis, functions as an apology for the ascendancy of the transnational corporate powers embedded in the nation-states of the North, and for the hegemonic rule of the only remaining superpower claiming to act in the name of freedom and democracy.

The case of the national-democratic struggle in the Philippines may be taken as an example of one historic singularity. Because of the historical specificity of the Philippines’ emergence as a dependent nation-state controlled by the United States in the twentieth century, nationalism as a mass movement has always been defined by events of anti-imperialist rebellion. U.S. conquest entailed long and sustained violent suppression of the Filipino revolutionary forces for decades.

The central founding “event” (as the philosopher Alain Badiou would define the term) is the 1896 revolution against Spain and its sequel, the Filipino-American war of 1899-1902, and the Moro resistance up to 1914 against U.S. colonization. Another political sequence of events is the Sakdal uprising in the thirties during the Commonwealth period followed by the Huk uprising in the forties and fifties—a sequence that is renewed in the First Quarter Storm of 1970 against the neocolonial state. While the feudal oligarchy and the comprador class under U.S. patronage utilized elements of the nationalist tradition formed in 1896-1898 as their ideological weapon for establishing moral-intellectual leadership, their attempts have never been successful. Propped by the Pentagon-supported military, the Arroyo administration today, for example, uses the U.S. slogan of democracy against terrorism and the fantasies of the neoliberal free market to legitimize its continued exploitation of workers, peasants, women and ethnic minorities.

Following a long and tested tradition of grassroots mobilization, Filipino nationalism has always remained centered on the peasantry’s demand for land closely tied to the popular-democratic demand for equality and genuine sovereignty.

For over a century now, U.S.-backed developmentalism and modernization have utterly failed in the Philippines. The resistance against globalized capital and its neoliberal extortions is spearheaded today by a national-democratic mass movement of various ideological persuasions. There is also a durable Marxist-led insurgency that seeks to articulate the “unfinished revolution” of 1896 in its demand for national independence against U.S. control and social justice for the majority of citizens (80 million) ten percent of whom are now migrant workers abroad. Meanwhile, the Muslim community in the southern part of the Philippines initiated its armed struggle for self-determination during the Marcos dictatorship (1972-1986) and continues today as a broadly based movement for autonomy, despite the Islamic ideology of its teacher-militants.

Recalling the genocidal U.S. campaigns cited above, BangsaMoro nationalism cannot forget its Muslim singularity which is universalized in the principles of equality, justice, and the right to self-determination. In the wake of past defeats of peasant revolts, the Filipino culture of nationalism constantly renews its anti-imperialist vocation by mobilizing new forces (women and church people in the sixties, and the indigenous or ethnic minorities in the seventies and eighties). It is organically embedded in emancipatory social and political movements whose origin evokes in part the Enlightenment narrative of sovereignty as mediated by third-world nationalist movements (Gandhi, Ho Chi Minh, Mao) but whose sites of actualization are the local events of mass insurgency against continued U.S. hegemony.

The Philippines as an “imagined” and actually experienced ensemble of communities, or multiplicities in motion, remains in the process of being constructed primarily through modes of political and social resistance against corporate transnationalism (or globalization, in the trendy parlance) and its technologically mediated ideologies, fashioning thereby the appropriate cultural forms of dissent, resistance, and subversion worthy of its people’s history and its collective vision.

E. SAN JUAN, Jr., research fellow of the Harry Ransom Center, U of Texas, Austin, was recently a fellow of the W.E. Du Bois Institute, Harvard University. He was previously Fulbright Professor of American Studies at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, visiting professor of literature and cultural studies at National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan, and fellow of the Rockefeller Study Center, Bellagio, Italy.He directs the Philippines Cultural Studies Center in Connecticut and helps with the Philippine Forum in New York City. His most recent books are Racism and Cultural Studies (Duke UP), Filipinos Everywhere (IBON), Working Through the Contradictions (Bucknell U Press), In the Wake of Terror (Lexington Books), US Imperialism and Revolution in the Philippines (Palgrave Macmillan); Balikbayang Sinta: An E. San Juan Reader (Ateneo de Manila University Press);From Globalization to National Liberation (U.P. Press); Critique and Social Transformation (Edwin Mellen Press), and Toward Filipino Self-determination (SUNY Press).

CHALMERS JOHNSON, BLOWBACK: THE COSTS AND CONSEQUENCES OF AMERICAN EMPIRE. Holt , 2000. This book presents a partial history of US Pacific expansion. Chap. 2, “Okinawa: Asia’s Last Colony.” “Okinawa is still essentially a military colony of the Pentagon’s.” Ch. 3, partly about Indonesia. Ch. 4 S. Korea. Ch. 5 N. Korea. Chs. 6-7 China. Ch. 8 Japan. And more.

Book Review: Chalmers Johnson's Blowback

Blowback, by Chalmers Johnson, is a book that talks about America's sort of Empire and the Empire's likely costs. The book's conclusion, that America's dominance and power is fragile is insightful and very pertinent, given the disastrous Iraq war and the drastic decline of the dollar over the past year.

Chalmers Johnson was a former professor of Political Science at UC Berkeley who has just written a new book called The Sorrows of Empire and has recently been getting some press and interviews

Blowback is a very impressive book. Written in 2000 it describes how America's Empire is not in the interests of America or the world and the probability that if American policy and the US view of the world does not change then blowback is a probable consequence. Johnson makes the point that a terrorist attack is very likely on US soil in response to US policies. This was written in 2000. Johnson is not unique to have said this, but it is significant.

It is not written from the point of view of the black arm band view of history. Johnson says openly that the US's aims are far better and that it is not an empire as previous empires were. . . .

Many Americans do not care to see their country's acts, policies or situations compared with the Soviet Union's; some condemn such a comparison because it commits the fallacy of "moral equivalence". They insist that America's values and institutions are vastly more humane than those of Stalin's Russia. I agree.

But nonetheless, he sees that the US's very expensive global network of military bases as a mistake. He does not believe that the US is the "indispensable nation" as Madeleine Albright does.

The book goes into detail in the area of his expertise, East Asia. He describes how the US system of bases in Japan is problematic and how the economic relationship between the US and East Asia is unstable and undesirable.

He details the deals and awareness the CIA had of Korean massacres and other events and how US support of essentially corrupt politicians in Japan contributed to Japan's problems.

He also points out the problems with Japan and East Asia's growth, which is dependent on the US market while being sympathetic. He makes the point that there are different types of capitalism, he describes the US version as being finance capitalism while Japan had different institutions. He writes about how pure economic analysis ignores the more important role of institutions in different economies.

Johnson describes how the US - East Asian relationship suffered a strong blow in the Asian crash of '97. It is perhaps suffering and about to suffer its second crash now as the US dollar falls.

Johnson's views on terrorism are very sober and without the awful rhetoric that has arisen since the declaration of the so called 'War on Terrorism'. He writes about how terrorism as a very probable result of the US's push for global dominance.

As Member's of the Defense Science board wrote in a 1997 report to the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and technology, "Historical data show a strong correlation between US involvement in international situations and an increase in terrorist attacks against the US. In addition, the military asymmetry that denies nation states the ability to engage in over attacks against the US drives the use of transnational actors [that is, terrorists from one country attacking another]

He makes the point more than once too.

The view of the collapse of the Soviet Union is also interesting. He says that the USSR over extended itself in the Afghanistan war and that Gorbachev did not intend for the whole thing to fall apart, merely to change. He also makes the case that the largely US military build up in the 1980s did not cause the USSR's downfall as previous spending was quite sufficient. He writes about how Gorbachev was advised that missile defense projects were highly likely to be ineffective and easy to get around whilst constructing a missile defense system would cost huge amounts of money.

He goes on to say that US spending on Defence today is similar to the USSR's economy and that the US's economic position also has some similarities in that the US has, in order to try and assert it's authority over Pax America, strained itself in ways that will prove deleterious to the US.

He describes how in the US powers that liked the Cold War setup, once Communism had fallen, created the wonderful new threat of 'instability' which the US was required to counter militarily around the World. He also describes how globalisation was used to push capitalism with US style institutions, or not even that and being merely the recommendations of economic fundamentalists from the World Bank in order to co-opt other countries economically into Pax Americana.

In short, 4 years on from when it was written Blowback looks almost prophetic. The situation faced by the US today involves few changes from the one described by Johnson should the US not re-evaluate its path. It's sad that it looks like it will take more than a change of policy in Washington and instead a disaster in Iraq and a probably economic decline to make the powers that be realise that while the US is a great and powerful country it cannot and should not try to run the world.

Monday, August 20, 2012


Army Suicides: July Deaths Set A Tragic

Katie Drummond, Contributor
iwrite about things that raise eyebrows. Or singe them right off.    8/16/2012
Army Suicides: July Deaths Set A Tragic New Record

(Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

More bad news for a military already under suicide siege: The Army today announced that their July suicide rate was the highest since 2009, when the service first started publishing monthly data.

A total of 38 suicides, 26 among active-duty soldiers and another 12 among National Guard or Reserve members, have either been confirmed or are suspected, according to an Army report. The tally exceeds the Army’s previous single-month suicide record, in July of 2011, by five additional lives lost.

The Military's 'Invisible War:' A Call To Action To Stop Sexual Assaults   Kate Taylor   Forbes Staff

We Carry On - What Does A Disabled Vietnam Veteran Hero Have To Do With The Year Ahead?   Jeffrey Sica

How Do Military Veterans Feel When They Return Home From Combat?    Quora   Contributor

Overall, the military’s suicide rates are looking increasingly grim. So far this year, suicides in the Army far exceed rates reported in previous years. Other services aren’t doing much better, with suicide rates among both Marine Corps and Coast Guard personnel already outpacing those reported in 2011.

These new statistics also reveal a troubling trend: Older soldiers are now more likely to take their own lives than younger GIs. Analysts suspect that as troops draw-down from combat zones overseas, more veteran soldiers — many of whom have been deploying consistently since the dawn of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — are struggling to reintegrate into civilian life.

“Issues like minor depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances…begin to surface after a service member has been home for more than a year, and start to reintegrate with their family,” Bruce Shahbaz, a medical analyst with the Army’s Suicide Prevention Task Force told Time’s Battleland blog. “I liken it to a pot that’s on simmer….”

There’s no question that reintegration — after more than a decade of war — will continue to pose a significant challenge for soldiers and veterans. In addition to finding work (no small challenge) and managing the stresses of marriage and parenthood, some returning soldiers are also coping with a host of health problems — including post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury and addiction — that can potentially increase the risk of suicide.

To be sure, the military has made a concerted effort to better understand ailments like PTSD in recent years — they’ve funded everything from cutting-edge neurological research to far-out treatment methods. The military and the VA have also spent millions trying to enhance suicide prevention programs, with the VA earlier this year announcing plans to hire an additional 1,600 mental-health clinicians.

But for every step forward, there’s been at least one step back: Military and VA officials continue to be bogged down with allegations of inadequate mental-health care, excessive wait times and flawed diagnoses. In one particularly damning instance, clinicians at the Madigan Army Medical Center were earlier this year accused of reversing at least 300 PTSD diagnoses to cut costs.

Unfortunately, the military won’t be able to remedy the crisis of personnel suicides overnight. And, by many accounts, institutional problems still threaten to exacerbate the problem. I’m struck by one recent example: Earlier this week, I interviewed Sean Hamilton-Knapp, a 44-year-old veteran who has twice tried to take his own life. After two years of VA-funded counseling that have kept him from the brink, Hamilton-Knapp is being cut off.

“According to them, now that I’m stable and on-track, I don’t need the help anymore,” he told me. “The government is trying to save money, and I get that. But they sent someone somewhere, and that person came back broken. It’ll take more than two years to fix that.”



William Ward, Four-Star General, Investigated Over Spending

By LOLITA C. BALDOR 08/15/12 07:27 PM ET [via Huffington Post]

WASHINGTON — A four-star Army general who was the first head of the new U.S. Africa Command is under investigation and facing possible demotion for allegedly spending hundreds of thousands of dollars improperly on lavish travel, hotels and other items, The Associated Press has learned.

Gen. William "Kip" Ward has been under investigation for about 17 months, and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is expected to make a final decision on the matter before the end of the month, according to several defense officials.

The defense officials said Ward is facing numerous allegations that he spent several hundred thousand dollars allowing unauthorized people, including family members, to fly on government planes, and spent excessive amounts of money on hotel rooms, transportation and other expenses when he traveled as head of Africa Command.

A four-star general is the highest rank in the Army.

While the exact amount of alleged misspending was not disclosed, the estimated total raises comparisons with the $823,000 allegedly spent by dozens of employees of the General Services Administration, who were accused of lavish spending during an October 2010 conference at a Las Vegas resort.

Officials described the investigation to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it is a personnel matter and the report on the investigation has not been released publicly.

The Defense Department inspector general has completed its investigation into Ward's activities, and the issue is under legal review.

A request for comment from Ward was not immediately fulfilled Wednesday.

Panetta's options regarding Ward are limited by complex laws and military guidelines.

Panetta can demote Ward and force him to retire at a lower rank. Because Ward's alleged offenses occurred while he was a four-star general, he could be forced to retire as a three-star, which officials said could cost him as much as $1 million in retirement pay over time. It was not immediately clear whether Ward also could face criminal charges.

In order for Ward to be demoted to two-star rank, investigators would have to conclude that he also had problems prior to moving to Africa Command, and officials said that does not appear to be the case.

In making his decision, Panetta has to certify to Congress that Ward served satisfactorily at the rank at which he is retired.

Ward stepped down early last year after serving as the first head of the Europe-based Africa Command, which was created in 2007, and he intended to retire. He did all the paperwork and was hosted at a retirement ceremony in April 2011 at Fort Myer in Virginia, but the Army halted his plans to leave because of the investigation.

Ever since then, he has been working in Northern Virginia, serving as a special assistant to the vice chief of the Army.

That Army office long has been used as a holding area for general officers of varying ranks. For some it's a way station where senior officers under investigation go to await their fate.

For others, it's a quick stop en route to a new high-level command or assignment; a place they can hang their hat for a few weeks, working on special projects until their new post becomes available.

According to Army spokesman George Wright, Ward currently is the only special assistant to the vice chief, but at other times there can be several assigned there as they move from one command to the next.

For Ward, the investigation has dragged on so long that he technically has been demoted from his four-star general rank to two-star general. Under military guidelines, if a full general is not serving in a four-star command or office for more than 60 days, he or she is automatically reduced to two-star rank.

Major general, or two-star, is the highest rank to which an officer can be promoted by regular military action. Becoming a three-star – lieutenant general – or a four-star general requires a presidential nomination and confirmation by Congress. It, therefore, is not considered permanent, and lasts only as long as the person is serving in a job of that rank.

As a result, Ward's base pay went from more than $20,000 a month as a four-star to about $14,000 a month as a two-star general. Defense officials said that if the decision is to allow him to retire as a three-star or four-star, he would not receive any back pay for the 15 months he served at the lower rank.

The Stuttgart, Germany-based Africa Command was created in order to place a stronger focus on the continent, including vast sections of the north and east where al-Qaida-linked militant groups train and wage attacks. No U.S. military forces are assigned to Africa Command, other than the roughly 2,000 troops in Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa, based in Djibouti.

U.S. military activities in Africa long have been a sensitive subject among many nations that inhabit the sprawling continent and worry that the U.S. would try to establish bases or send forces there. Initial plans to set up a headquarters for Africa Command on the continent hit resistance and were shelved.

A key element of Ward's job was to dispel worries about the new command, meet with African leaders and work to expand and strengthen U.S. military ties so that the nations there are better able to provide for their own defense.

Gen. Carter Ham took over the command last year, gaining accolades as one of two key U.S. military leaders directing operations in the Libya conflict.

Lolita C. Baldor can be followed on Twitter at


Thursday, August 9, 2012



August 9, 2012

Dear Dick,

When Congress failed to make a deal on the debt ceiling last year they threatened to do something they've never done before - cut over $50 billion from the Pentagon budget.

But House Republicans are betraying their promise, and threatening to change the law by passing military spending bills that not only shield the Pentagon from any of the cuts they promised to make, they actually increase spending on war and weapons and missile defense by $8 billion.

Led by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), they want to cut funding for crucial programs for the neediest Americans, and others that help to get jobless Americans back on their feet.

Please sign this letter urging Congress to cut the Pentagon budget. So far, the Senate is standing up to House Republicans and promising not to let them back out of their commitment to cutting Pentagon spending.

But the military-industrial complex is just beginning to ramp up the pressure, and the Senate has often caved in to the House in the past.

We can’t let it happen again.

Sign our open letter to the Senate asking them to stand their ground and cut Pentagon spending just like they promised.

Together, we've have been fighting to cut wasteful Pentagon spending for years. But Congress has never passed a law promising to do so as they did last year.

This is finally our opportunity to make a change, but it won’t be easy.

Right now Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other Senate leaders are talking tough about holding the line against the House, but we need them to stick to that promise in the weeks ahead. And it will be a tough position for them to hold – especially since weapons makers are spending millions of dollars on lobbying and election spending.

That's why we need you to sign on to this open letter today - we're partnering with our friends at Council for a Livable World to get progressives involved now, before the lobbyists turn up the heat.

Will you sign on right now?

Thank for your help, Russ Feingold

Founder Progressives United

Make sure you receive email updates. Add to your approved senders list.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


AIR WAR, HIROSHIMA-NAGASAKI REMEMBRANCE 2012 NEWSLETTER. 67th Anniversary. August 5 (August 6 and 9, 1945), 2012. PART II. Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace.

Here is the link to all OMNI newsletters:   For a knowledge-based peace, justice, and ecology movement and an informed citizenry as the foundation for change.


Joseph Gerson, With Hiroshima Eyes: “This book is dedicated to the hibakusha of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and particularly to Junko Kayashige, Mitsuo Kojima, Shoji Sawada, Sumiteru Taniguchi, Senji Yamaguchi, and to the memory of Chieko Watanabe--friends, models of courage and vision” (vii).

Many more names may be found in the collection of paintings and drawings by hibakusha—Unforgettable Fire: Goro Ki yo yoshi, Tsutomu Ojiri, Kiyoshi Inoue, Sumaka Yamada, Yoshiaki Tamaru, Koi Nakamachi, Takchiko Sakai, Setsuko Yamamoto, Torako Hironaka, Kanichi Ito, Hatsuji Takeuchi, Yoshiko Michitsuji, Magoichi Jitsukuni, Masao Yamamura, Kishie Masukawa, Tomoe Harada, Yoshimi Ikeda, Ayako Uesugi (drawn from the first 35 pp. of the book).

These names were read at the 2012 Remembrance by Dick Bennett and John Rule.

Contents of 2012 Part I (July 1, 2012)

Dick Bennett, Continuing Remembrances

A-Bomb Survivors’ Stories

History: Bombings and Cover-up

Mitchell, Bombings Covered Up

Book of Hiroshima Photos

Goodman, Nagasaki

Goodman, Censorship

Mitchell, Why Nagasaki?


Aug. 6, 2011 Arrestees

H-N Peace Studies

Buddhist Call for Nuclear Abolition

Videos of N-H

Contents of 2012 Part II

News Release for August 5, 2012

OMNI’S Program August 5

Chomsky, Nuclear Bomb and Cuban Nuclear Crisis

Commemorating Hiroshima and Nagasaki 2012 USA and World

Dallas Peace Center etc.

Worth, Imperial Competition in the Pacific Leading to WWII

Hibakusha Memory in Art

Gerson, Ethics of Atomic War

Wittner, Nuclear Disarmament Movement


JULY 23, 2012

Contact Gladys Tiffany 935-4422

OMNI Center for Peace, Justice, and Ecology

Hiroshima Nagasaki Observance

Sunday August 5

6:30 pm

Town Center Plaza

Meet on the South side of the Fayetteville Town Square and walk together toward the Peace Sphere, where the event will take place.

Fayetteville has commemorated the first nuclear bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki since the 1960's. Join us for a simple but rich remembrance of tragedy, and celebration of life.

Hiroshima Nagasaki Remembrance

2012 Program

August 5, 2012 6:30 pm @ Town Center Plaza, Fayetteville

Welcome – Master of Ceremonies Honorable Uvalde Lindsey, Arkansas State House of Representatives

Opening Buddhist Chant – Dr. Barbara Taylor, Senior Dharma Teacher, Morning Star Zen Center

Blessing – Dr. Hameed Naseem, leader in the Ahmadiyya Islamic Community, Faculty Advisor Al Islam

Mayor's Proclamation – Mayor Lioneld Jordan

Music – Still on the Hill – Flower song... Pete Seeger

Speaker – Religious perspective on war – "Christians speak softly and are uncertain about big sticks" – Rev. Clint Schnekloth, Lead Pastor, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Music – “I Come and Stand At Every Door,” Ellis Ralph, lyrics by Nazim Ikmet, melody by James Walter

Reading of Names – Naoto Sekiguchi and Karen Takemoto

Music – Naoto Sekiguchi, Koto

Speaker - Political Perspective – “What Have We Learned?” Bill Williams,

Closing Readings – Dr. Barbara Taylor

Closing Music – Still on the Hill – Peace on Earth Chant

Noam Chomsky, In Hiroshima’s Shadow

The US/SU Confrontation at Cuba

Op-Ed, NationofChange, August 3, 2012: The events of October 1962 are widely hailed as Kennedy’s finest hour. READ




A video program will mark the anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Thursday, August 9.

This gathering will be held at the Ashton Community Room, 2215 Cedar Springs, Dallas 75201. Light refreshment will be available at 6:30 pm, the videos begin at 7:00 pm.

Rita Calvert, former exececutive director of the Dallas Peace Center, will present an edited clip by Fumiko Amano, and "Scarred Lands & Wounded Lives," a documentary on the human and environmental costs of nuclear war.

The Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed in 1945, the first use of atomic bombs in war.

The Dallas Buddhist Center (Soka Gakkai International) and the Nuclear Free World Committee of the Dallas Peace Center will host a Hiroshima memorial service August 5th. The observance will take place at 3 pm at the Buddhist center, 2600 N. Stemmons, Dallas TX 75207 at Market Center.

The atomic bombing of the city of Hiroshima occurred August 6, 1945, marking the world's first use of the weapon in war. It was followed on August 9 by the use of the first plutonium bomb on the city of Nagasaki.

The ceremony will include presentations by speakers from the Dallas Buddhist Center and the Nuclear Free World committee, video, and a memorial service honoring the lives lost in the bombing and subsequent nuclear events.


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No Choice But War: The United States Embargo Against Japan and the Eruption of War in the Pacific by Roland H Worth, Jr.

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In July 1941 the United States, after a decade of worsening economic relations, announced a total embargo against Japan. The embargo had actually begun in 1940 with a so-called moral embargo under which U.S. exports of planes and war material to Japan were barred. In early 1941 Washington squeezed the Tokyo government further by unofficially tightening exports of petroleum. By December 1941, over 90 percent of Japans oil supply was cut off, as was nearly 70 percent of its overall trade. From contemporary source documents, this is a detailed look at the U.S.-led embargo and how it contributed to Japans decision to attack Pearl Harbor and declare war on the United States. [Dick: Worth makes a well-documented case that WWII in the Pacific was an imperial conflict between the US and its Western allies and Japan. Villains on both sides in what became a racist “war without mercy.”]

Lawrence Wittner, Confronting the Bomb: A Short History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement

Stanford University Press, 2009

by marshall poe on September 11, 2009

Lawrence Wittner

In 1983, when I was in college, I participated in something called a “Die-In.” A group of us set up crosses on the commons and threw ourselves on the ground as if we were dead. The idea, such as it was, was to suggest that nuclear weapons were bad and should be done away with. Quite honestly, I didn’t really think it would work (to put it mildly). But as Larry Wittner shows in his compelling Confronting the Bomb: A Short History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement (Stanford, 2009), I was wrong, or at least partially wrong. Larry demonstrates that the nuclear disarmament movement had an impact on government policy. Politicians, not just here in the US but also in unlikely places like the USSR, actually listened to the protesters. But they sensed that a lot of people–like Einstein and me–were very uncomfortable with mutually assured destruction and wanted something done about it. Ronald Reagan listened. And so did Mikhail Gorbachev. After reading Larry’s book, I’m thinking I may organize another “Die-In.”

The Unforgettable Fire - Pictures Drawn by Atomic Bomb Survivors, Edited by Japan Broadcasting Corporation, 1981, Pantheon Books, New York, 116 pages, offset, perfect bound.

[Click image to download. 35.4 mb PDF file]

From the back cover: "The art in this book was a response to a request broadcast on a morning television program in Japan for drawings from atomic bomb survivors. The results were immediate. The television station was inundated with drawings. So powerful were the survivors' desires to share their memories that they turned to whatever materials were at hand – pencils, crayons, watercolors, Magic Markers, colored pencils, India ink – and drew on the backs of calendars, advertisements, bills, or even the paper used to cover Japanese sliding doors. Some drew on the backs of children's scribbled papers, probably those of their grandchildren."

With Hiroshima Eyes : atomic war, nuclear extortion, and moral imagination / Joseph Gerson

Author(s): Gerson, Joseph

Subjects: Nuclear weapons--Moral and ethical aspects--United States

Published: Philadelphia, PA : New Society Publishers : American Friends Service Committee, c1995

Table of Contents: Publisher's Note



Memories and Meanings 1

The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Playing the Master Card 25

The Cuban Missile Crisis: For Reasons of Prestige and Power 61

Vietnam: Failures of Nuclear Diplomacy 93

The Middle East: Nuclear Extortion and "The Prize" 127

Approaching the Twenty-First Century: The Continuing Imperative of Nuclear Weapons Abolition 169

About the Author 186

Selected Bibliography 187

Index 191

Contents 2010 Newsletter

3 Nuclear Weapons Abolition Organizations

Peace Action, NAPF, WAND

Zinn, The Bomb

Mayors for Peace

Dick, Appeal to President Obama

Dick, Reading Names

Karen Takemoto’s Statement

2 Letters Preparing for 2010 Remembrance

Dick, Joe Neal

Contents of 2011 Newsletter

News Release for August Remembrance of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the Victims of Air War Everywhere

Film: Grave of the Fireflies

Why we Remember the Destruction of Kobe

Film: White Light, Black Rain

Why We Remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Cindy Sheehan: A Day of Infamy

Top 10 Songs Against Nuclear War

National Park?

New Books:

Atomic Tragedy: Henry L. Stimson….

Rizzuto, Hiroshima in the Morning

Film: Hiroshima


Wednesday, August 1, 2012


US WARS AND US MEDIA, OMNI Control of Information for Wars Newsletter #2, August 1, 2012, Compiled by Dick Bennett. (#1 Jan. 26, 2011).

Here is the link to all OMNI newsletters: For a knowledge-based peace, justice, and ecology movement and an informed citizenry as the foundation for change.

Contents of #1:

Pilger on Media Deception by Mainstream Media

Z Magazine Example of Alternative Media Truth-Telling

Graphic Images Effective

Books on US Wars and Media Control

Limits of Dissent

Manufacturing Consent

Selling War

Ruses for War

Spinning War (made easy)

Contents of #2

NBC: War-o-tainment


Reporting Vietnam and Afghan Wars

NYT for Iraq Invasion

Martha Raddatz Reports the US Side

Jenkins, Selecting from the Bible

Dick Bennett, Control of Information and Control of the Media


Smirking Chimp / By David Swanson


NBC Invents War-o-tainment

NBC is promoting "Stars Earn Stripes" during its Summer Olympics telecast as the next big sporting event. But the sport it's exhibiting is war.

July 31, 2012

Photo Credit: dashingstock/


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If you've watched the Olympics on NBC you've probably seen ads promoting a war-o-tainment reality show cohosted by retired U.S. General Wesley Clark, co-starring Todd Palin, and with no apparent role for reality.

The ads brag about the use of real bullets in a way that promoters of the new Batman movie probably wouldn't try. But the chances that any of the celebrities engaged in "war competition" on NBC's "Stars Earn Stripes" will be shot and killed is essentially what it was for John Wayne, as he promoted war while dodging it (even if nuclear weapons testing got him in the end). and Just Foreign Policy have set up a website at to push NBC to show the real cost of war, and to help get them started.

"Stars Earn Stripes" is being produced by the TV “genius” behind Donald Trump’s “Apprentice” and “Sarah Palin’s Alaska.” (Husband Todd Palin is a “Stars Earn Stripes” co-star.) NBC is promoting the show during its Summer Olympics telecast as the next big sporting event. But the sport it's exhibiting is war.

On "Stars Earn Stripes," celebrities will pair-up with members of the U.S. military to compete at war-like tasks, including "long-range weapons fire." Only there won't be any of the killing or dying.

Our wars kill huge numbers of people, primarily civilians, and often children and the elderly. NBC is not showing this reality on its war-o-tainment show any more than on its news programs. Other nations' media show the face of war, giving people a very different view of war-making.

NBC news programs have repeatedly used retired generals, pretending independence but getting their pro-war talking points from the Pentagon. See New York Times: Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand and Glenn Greenwald: The Pulizer-Winning Investigation That Dare Not Be Uttered on TV .

In the United States, our tax dollars are spent by the billions each year marketing the idea that war is a sport and associating the military with sporting events. Media companies like NBC are complicit in the propaganda. While 57% of federal discretionary spending goes to the military, weapons makers can't seem to get enough of our tax dollars. In the spirit of transferring veterans' care to the realm of private charity, "Stars Earn Stripes" will give prize money each week to "military-based charities" in order to "send a message."

One of NBC’s corporate parents, General Electric, takes war very seriously, but not as human tragedy -- rather, as financial profit. (GE is a big weapons manufacturer.) A retired general hosting a war-o-tainment show is another step in the normalization of permanent war. And consider for a moment who that retired general is. During the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia commanded by Gen. Wesley Clark, civilians and a TV station were bombed, while cluster bombs and depleted uranium were used. Had Clark done these things for another nation, NBC would probably favor his prosecution and certainly not employ him. See Democracy Now! Confronts Wesley Clark Over His Bombing Of Civilians . is asking NBC to stop treating war as a sport, and to air an in-depth segment showing the reality of civilian victims of recent U.S. wars, on any program, any time in the coming months. We've provided some resources to help NBC research and show the reality of war, at

David Swanson's books include "War Is A Lie." He blogs at and and works for the online activist organization He hosts Talk Nation Radio.


This media analysis magazine was founded by FAIR, the anti-censorship, anti-monopoly national media watch group, which has offered criticism of media bias and censorship since 1986.

Peter Hart. “Super Cuts.” Extra! (Jan. 2012).

The corporate media have shown a must greater concern over cutting military budget than over cutting domestic programs.

Charles P. Pierce, “The Cost of America's Secret Wars, Then and Now” Esquire, December 6, 2011, RSN

Pierce writes: "This is what secret wars are about. Secret wars are still wars. There will be atrocities. And, because this is the nature of all governments in all wars, these atrocities will be covered up and lied about. But the problem with secret wars is not that they are secret from the people on whom they are waged, or the people who simply live in the country where they are waged. As Doonesbury once memorably pointed out, the 'secret bombing' of Cambodia wasn't any secret to the Cambodians. But secret wars, waged by the Executive branch beyond the reach of congressional oversight, inevitably lead to a deep and abiding corruption in the government of this country."


"The Censored War and You" By Kelley B. Vlahos,, posted April 5, 2011

Compares coverage of the Vietnam and Afghanistan wars


Bill Keller Speaks Out on Judy Miller, Iraq War Coverage and Fox News” Joe Strupp, Media Matters for America

The report begins: "New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller says one of his biggest mistakes as editor was not addressing the paper's misleading pre-Iraq War coverage sooner, including the reporting of former Times writer Judy Miller."


“THE AMERICAN SIDE OF WAR,” Extra! (Jan. 2012).

Military correspondent Martha Raddatz justified US drone strikes killing civilians as necessitated by combat.

“Public TV's Libya Limits: Narrow war debate on PBS NewsHour” 3/29/11

If public television's mission is to bring diverse viewpoints to the airwaves, the discussions about the war in Libya on the PBS NewsHour haven't lived up to that standard. Over the past two weeks, the NewsHour has featured an array of current and former military and government officials in its discussion segments--leaving little room for antiwar voices, U.S. foreign policy critics and legal experts.

-On March 18, the NewsHour interviewed the Obama administration's UN Ambassador Susan Rice.

-On March 21, anchor Jim Lehrer decided to get "perspective on the Mideast turmoil from two former U.S. national security advisers"--Carter's Zbigniew Brzezinski and Reagan's Brent Scowcroft. The same day also featured a discussion between retired Maj. Gen. Dutch Remkes and Robert Malley, a Clinton-era National Security Council official now with the International Crisis Group.

-On March 22, the NewsHour brought on Charles Kupchan, a former Clinton administration National Security Council staffer, along with a couple of rare guests without U.S. government or military backgrounds: Daniel Dombey of the Financial Times and former Libyan Ambassador Ali Suleiman Aujali, who broke with the Gadhafi regime and is aligned with the opposition.

-On March 23 the NewsHour was back to the officials-only format, interviewing a pair of former senators, Democrat Gary Hart and Republican Norm Coleman, both of whom support the White House action in Libya, and Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough.

-On March 24, the NewsHour interviewed retired Army Gen. Jack Keane and Frederic Wehrey, a former Air Force officer and Iraq War vet now at the Rand Corporation, both of whom supported sending some U.S. ground troops to Libya. Viewers weren't told that Keane's consulting firm, Keane Associates, includes major military companies among its clients (USA Today, 3/10/10), or that Keane is also on the board of General Dynamics, a major military contractor.

--On March 28, a discussion of "what's at stake for the president" featured Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus and Politico's Roger Simon.

There are many aspects of the Libya War that should be discussed on public television, featuring the views of those outside of elite Beltway circles. The 1967 Carnegie Commission report that gave birth to PBS envisioned it as a "forum for debate and controversy" that would "provide a voice for groups in the community that may be otherwise unheard.” The NewsHour should include those principles in its decisions about whom to include in its coverage of Libya.


Tell the NewsHour to open up its Libya discussions to voices outside the Beltway, including antiwar voices, U.S. foreign policy critics and legal experts.


PBS NewsHour

(703) 998-2138 You might also want to send your comments to PBS ombud Michael Getler (, and post copies of your comments on the FAIR Blog.

CENSORING THE BIBLE: Jenkins, Laying Down the Sword

“Christian Jihad “ by Patrick Allitt, The American Conservative, Feb. 11, 2012

Allitt writes: "Is it true that the Bible teaches peace and the Koran war? Only if you approach the books selectively, taking the gentlest of Jesus' teachings and setting them against the harshest of Muhammad's. Philip Jenkins's challenging new book 'Laying Down the Sword' shows that the Bible contains incitements not just to violence but also to genocide."


CONTROL OF INFORMATION USA: Two Annotated Bibliographies

Dick Bennett (James R.), Control of Information in the United States (Meckler 1987, 2,943 entries) and Control of the Media in the United States (Garland 1992, 4,479 entries).



August 1, 2012, Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace.

(#1 June 21, 2011; #2 October 29, 2011; #3 March 15, 2012; #4 May 17, 2012; #5 June 23, 2012). See Dick’s Blog, “IT’S THE WAR DEPARMENT”

Here is the link to all OMNI newsletters:

and the many newsletters related to U.S. Marine Corps, military-industrial complex, militarism, empire, fear, violence, torture, waste, war crimes, repression, secrecy, US economy, needs of the world in


Contents of #4, May 17, 2012

Cutting the Military Budget (3)

Lethal Consequences of Patriotic “Defense”

Homeland Security Campus

Pentagon Reporters Targeted

Contents #5

Chomsky, Atrocities


Killing and Propaganda

Engelhardt, Obama Admin.

Sojourner: GOP, Bombs Not Food

Rape in the Military: Essay, Film

Rachel Maddow, Drift

Juan Cole, Pentagon Propaganda, Creeping Fascism

Smith, Penttagon-President-Congress: Justifying Vietnam War

Contents #6

TomDispatch, Kramer: Spending Waste and Corruption

Tomgram, Militarism

Cappaccio, Pentagon Budget

Update: Budget Passes House

VFP, Bloated Pentagon

Wheeler, F-35 Costs Still Rising

People’s Guide to Budget

Pentagon Dissent/ Crowd Control

Pentagon Reading Our Email

Tomgram: Mattea Kramer, Spinning Ourselves Into a Deficit Panic

Posted by Mattea Kramer at 9:40am, July 17, 2012.

Follow TomDispatch on Twitter @TomDispatch.

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You couldn’t make this stuff up: thanks to Harold Rogers, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, and the power of “earmarks,” the Army has bought $6.5 million worth of “leakproof” drip pans “to catch transmission fluid on Black Hawk helicopters," reports the New York Times. Those pans were purchased from a company called Phoenix Products, whose owners, coincidentally, are contributors to the congressman’s political committee (and other Republican causes). Oh, and according to the Times, “the company has paid at least $600,000 since 2005 to a Washington lobbying firm, Martin Fisher Thompson & Associates, to represent its interests on federal contracting issues.” Anyway, do the math and you end up with a $17,000 Army drip pan -- and there’s one tiny catch: another company sells a comparable drip pan for about $2,500.

Is anybody shocked? This, after all, is the world of the U.S. military, which has been right up there with the 1% this last decade when it comes to garnering and squandering riches. It’s been ever more flush, while the taxpayers whose dollars it’s been raking in have done ever less well. And symbolic as those drip pans may be, they aren’t even a drip in the bucket of Pentagon expenses when you start looking at the big-ticket items.

Take the already notorious F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Once billed as a low-cost solution to maintaining control of the global skies, it's now in competition for first place in any most-expensive-jet-fighter-in-history contest. (The present title-holder is the F-22, a $400 million plane whose pilots fear an oxygen malfunction every time they take off, and which “sat out” all Washington’s recent wars.)

The F-35’s price tag went up yet again recently, though only by a piddling $289 million, even as its production schedule continues to fall ever further behind. As of now, the total cost for 2,457 of the aircraft is officially pegged at $395.7 billion, a jump of 75% over the original 2001 estimated price tag of $226.5 billion (for 2,866 planes). That’s one heck of a lot of drip-pan equivalents -- and no one believes that’s the final price, either. Of the total cost of the plane to produce and operate, expert Winslow Wheeler writes, “The current appraisal for operations and support is $1.1 trillion -- making for a grand total of $1.5 trillion, or more than the annual GDP of Spain. And that estimate is wildly optimistic.”

This is the sort of boondoggle that can’t be cut in Washington lest our safety be endangered, even as the country’s infrastructure decays, the jobs of police and teachers are cut, and the urge to savage the funds that go to the poor rises precipitously. Consider that just a little background for the world of spending misinformation that TomDispatch regular Mattea Kramer, senior research analyst at the National Priorities Project and lead author of the new book, A People’s Guide to the Federal Budget, reminds us has wall-papered our world these last years. Tom

Four Spending Myths That Could Wreck Our World

How Not to Solve an American Crisis

By Mattea Kramer

We’re at the edge of the cliff of deficit disaster! National security spending is being, or will soon be, slashed to the bone! Obamacare will sink the ship of state!

Each of these claims has grabbed national attention in a big way, sucking up years’ worth of precious airtime. That’s a serious bummer, since each of them is a spending myth of the first order. Let’s pop them, one by one, and move on to the truly urgent business of a nation that is indeed on the edge.

Spending Myth 1: Today’s deficits have taken us to a historically unprecedented, economically catastrophic place.

This myth has had the effect of binding the hands of elected officials and policymakers at every level of government. It has also emboldened those who claim that we must cut government spending as quickly, as radically, as deeply as possible.

In fact, we’ve been here before. In 2009, the federal budget deficit was a whopping 10.1% of the American economy and back in 1943, in the midst of World War II, it was three times that -- 30.3%. This fiscal year the deficit will total around 7.6%. Yes, that is big. But in the Congressional Budget Office’s grimmest projections, that figure will fall to 6.3% next year, and 5.8% in fiscal 2014. In 1983, under President Reagan, the deficit hit 6% of the economy, and by 1998, that had turned into a surplus. So, while projected deficits remain large, they’re neither historically unprecedented, nor insurmountable.

More important still, the size of the deficit is no sign that lawmakers should make immediate deep cuts in spending. In fact, history tells us that such reductions are guaranteed to harm, if not cripple, an economy still teetering at the edge of recession.

A number of leading economists are now busy explaining why the deficit this year actually ought to be a lot larger, not smaller; why there should be more government spending, including aid to state and local governments, which would create new jobs and prevent layoffs in areas like education and law enforcement. Such efforts, working in tandem with slow but positive job growth in the private sector, might indeed mean genuine recovery. Government budget cuts, on the other hand, offset private-sector gains with the huge and depressing effect of public-sector layoffs, and have damaging ripple effects on the rest of the economy as well.

When the economy is healthier, a host of promising options are at hand for lawmakers who want to narrow the gap between spending and tax revenue. For example, loopholes and deductions in the tax code that hand enormous subsidies to wealthy Americans and corporations will cost the Treasury around $1.3 trillion in lost revenue this year alone -- more, that is, than the entire budget deficit. Closing some of them would make great strides toward significant deficit reductions.

Alarmingly, the deficit-reduction fever that’s resulted from this first spending myth has led many Americans to throw their support behind de-investment in domestic priorities like education, research, and infrastructure -- cuts that threaten to undo generations of progress. This is in part the result of myth number two.

Spending Myth 2: Military and other national security spending have already taken their lumps and future budget-cutting efforts will have to take aim at domestic programs instead.

The very idea that military spending has already been deeply cut in service to deficit reduction is not only false, but in the realm of fantasy. The real story: despite headlines about “slashed” Pentagon spending and “doomsday” plans for more, no actual cuts to the defense budget have yet taken place. In fact, since 2001, to quote former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, defense spending has grown like a “gusher.” The Department of Defense base budget nearly doubled in the space of a decade. Now, the Pentagon is likely to face an exceedingly modest 2.5% budget cut in fiscal 2013, “paring” its budget down to a mere $525 billion -- with possible additional cuts shaving off another $55 billion next year if Congress allows the Budget Control Act, a.k.a. “sequestration,” to take effect.

But don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen. It’s likely that lawmakers will, at the last moment, come to an agreement to cancel those extra cuts. In other words, the notion that our military, which has been experiencing financial boom times even in tough times, has felt significant deficit-slashing pain -- or has even been cut at all -- is the Pentagon equivalent of a unicorn.

What this does mean, however, is that lawmakers heading down the budget-cutting path can find plenty of savings in the enormous defense and national security budgets. Moreover, cuts there would be less harmful to the economy than reductions in domestic spending.

A group of military budget experts, for example, found that cutting many costly and obsolete weapons programs could save billions of dollars each year, and investing that money in domestic priorities like education and health care would spur the economy. That’s because those sectors create more jobs per dollar than military programs do. And that leads us to myth three.

Spending Myth 3: Government health-insurance programs are more costly than private insurance.

False claims about the higher cost of government health programs have led many people to demand that health-care solutions come from the private sector. Advocates of this have been much aided by the complexity of sorting out health costs, which has provided the necessary smoke and mirrors to camouflage this whopping lie.

Health spending is indeed growing faster than any other part of the federal budget. It’s gone from a measly 7% in 1976 to nearly a quarter today -- and that’s truly a cause for concern. But health care costs, public and private, have been on the rise across the developed world for decades. And cost growth in government programs like Medicare has actually been slower than in private health insurance. That’s because the federal government has important advantages over private insurance companies when it comes to health care. For example, as a huge player in the health-care market, the federal government has been successful at negotiating lower prices than small private insurers can. And that helps us de-bunk myth number four.

Spending Myth 4: The Affordable Care Act -- Obamacare -- will bankrupt the federal government while levying the biggest tax in U.S. history.

Wrong again. According to the Congressional Budget Office, this health-reform legislation will reduce budget deficits by $119 billion between now and 2019. And only around 1% of American households will end up paying a penalty for lacking health insurance.

While the Affordable Care Act is hardly a panacea for the many problems in U.S. health care, it does at least start to address the pressing issue of rising costs -- and it incorporates some of the best wisdom on how to do so. Health-policy experts have explored phasing out the fee-for-service payment system -- in which doctors are paid for each test and procedure they perform -- in favor of something akin to pay-for-performance. This transition would reward medical professionals for delivering more effective, coordinated, and efficient care -- and save a lot of money by reducing waste.

The Affordable Care Act begins implementing such changes in the Medicare program, and it explores other important cost-containment measures. In other words, it lays the groundwork for potentially far deeper budgetary savings down the road.

Having cleared the landscape of four stubborn spending myths, it should be easier to see straight to the stuff that really matters. Financial hardship facing millions of Americans ought to be our top concern. Between 2007 and 2010, the median family lost nearly 40% of its net worth. Neither steep deficits, nor disagreement over military spending and health reform should eclipse this as our most pressing challenge.

If lawmakers skipped the myth-making and began putting America’s resources into a series of domestic investments that would spur the economy now, their acts would yield dividends for years to come. That means pushing education and job training, plus a host of job-creation measures, to the top of the priority list, and setting aside initiatives based on fear and fantasy.

Mattea Kramer, a TomDispatch regular, is senior research analyst at the National Priorities Project and lead author of the new book A People’s Guide to the Federal Budget.

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Copyright 2012 Mattea

July 5, 2012

Tomgram: Engelhardt, Washington's Militarized Mindset

[Note for TomDispatch Readers: After a July 4th break, we’re back and wanted to thank all of you who urged your friends, neighbors, relatives, and associates to sign up for TomDispatch over the last two weeks. If you meant to, but haven’t done so yet, one final reminder: urge them to go to the "subscribe" window at the upper right of TD's main screen, put in their email addresses, hit “submit,” answer the “opt-in” email that instantly arrives in your email box (or spam folder), and receive notices whenever a new post goes up. Your willingness to spread the word about this website makes such a difference to us! And while you’re at it, don’t forget to pick up your copy of the first volume in a new series from Dispatch Books that Nick Turse and I just published: Terminator Planet: The First History of Drone Warfare, 2001-2050. Pepe Escobar calls it “essential reading for contextualizing the lineaments of an already de facto surveillance state, where everyone is a suspect by definition, and the only 'winner' is the military-industrial complex.”]

The Military Solution

The Lessons Washington Can't Draw From the Failure of the Military Option

By Tom Engelhardt

Americans may feel more distant from war than at any time since World War II began. Certainly, a smaller percentage of us -- less than 1% -- serves in the military in this all-volunteer era of ours and, on the face of it, Washington’s constant warring in distant lands seems barely to touch the lives of most Americans.

And yet the militarization of the United States and the strengthening of the National Security Complex continues to accelerate. The Pentagon is, by now, a world unto itself, with a staggering budget at a moment when no other power or combination of powers comes near to challenging this country’s might.

In the post-9/11 era, the military-industrial complex has been thoroughly mobilized under the rubric of “privatization” and now goes to war with the Pentagon. With its $80 billion-plus budget, the intelligence bureaucracy has simply exploded. There are so many competing agencies and outfits, surrounded by a universe of private intelligence contractors, all enswathed in a penumbra of secrecy, and they have grown so large, mainly under the Pentagon’s aegis, that you could say intelligence is now a ruling way of life in Washington -- and it, too, is being thoroughly militarized. Even the once-civilian CIA has undergone a process of para-militarization and now runs its own “covert” drone wars in Pakistan and elsewhere. Its director, a widely hailed retired four-star general, was previously the U.S. war commander in Iraq and then Afghanistan, just as the National Intelligence Director who oversees the whole intelligence labyrinth is a retired Air Force lieutenant general.

In a sense, even the military has been “militarized.” In these last years, a secret army of special operations forces, 60,000 or more strong and still expanding, has grown like an incubus inside the regular armed forces. As the CIA’s drones have become the president’s private air force, so the special ops troops are his private army, and are now given free rein to go about the business of war in their own cocoon of secrecy in areas far removed from what are normally considered America’s war zones.

Diplomacy, too, has been militarized. Diplomats work ever more closely with the military, while the State Department is transforming itself into an unofficial arm of the Pentagon -- as the secretary of state is happy to admit -- as well as of the weapons industry.

And keep in mind that we now have two Pentagons, thanks to the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which is focused, among other things, on militarizing our southern border. Meanwhile, with the help of the DHS, local police forces nationwide have, over the last decade, been significantly up-armored and have, in the name of fighting terrorism, gained a distinctly military patina. They have ever more access to elaborate weaponry and gadgets, including billions of dollars of surplus military equipment of every sort, often being funneled to once peaceable small town police departments.

Click here to read more

Pentagon Would Keep 2006 Spending Power Under Cuts, CBO Finds

Tony Capaccio, Bloomberg, Jul 12, 2012

The Pentagon's basic budget for next year will be larger than in 2006 when adjusted for inflation even if automatic budget cuts take effect, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

The Department of Defense's $526 billion request for fiscal 2013, not including war spending, reflects a reduction of $45 billion from previous plans. If automatic cuts known as sequestration take effect in January, the funding would be further reduced to $469 billion, the nonpartisan CBO said in a report released yesterday.

"Accommodating those automatic reductions could be difficult for the department to manage because it would need to be achieved in only nine months -- between the cuts taking effect and the end of the fiscal year," the congressional budget analysts wrote. "Even with that cut, however, DoD's base budget in 2013 would still be larger than it was in 2006," when calculated in 2013 dollars.

The CBO report buttresses the view of some independent budget analysts, such as Gordon Adams of the Stimson Center in Washington and Todd Harrison of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, that sequestration wouldn't be the short- term budget disaster described by Pentagon and defense industry officials.

The independent analysts said the automatic cuts would essentially reverse the buildup after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the wars that followed in Iraq and Afghanistan.


The Congressional Budget Office said defense spending in fiscal 2013 also would remain "larger than the average base budget during the 1980s" in the Reagan-era defense buildup if the automatic cuts take effect.


[haw-info] Update: 2013 Defense Appropriations Bill via

Thanks to folks who made the calls!

There were a long list of amendments to this bill, most of which were brought to a vote. Perhaps the most important was an amendment by Barbara Lee, which would have limited expenditures for Afghanistan to the safe and orderly withdrawal of all US troops. This amendment was defeated with 107 Ayes,312 Noes and 12 not voting. One bright spot is that by a small margin, the majority of Democrats supported the Lee amendment, putting themselves in direct opposition to the White House on this crucial issue.

For roll-call on the Lee Amendment see:

The overall defense bill was whittled down by $1 billion as the result of a bipartisan amendment co-sponsored by Reps. Frank and Mulvaney, This still left a Pentagon budget of $606 billion for the next fiscal year.(In case anyone thinks this is a small amount of money to keep us all safe and sound, bear in mind that nuclear weapons, military construction and some other items are not included.They are in other appropriations bills.)

The not so inspiring total for the overall Defense Appropriations bill, which includes $88 billion to continue the war in Afghanistan was 326 Ayes,90 Noes and 15 Not voting. For the roll-call on the overall Defense Appropriations see:

Is this the end of the process? No.

This will still have to go to the Senate and will ultimately become part of a big budget fight, perhaps as late as the "lame duck" session in November. This is not more of the usual. Because of the Budget Control Act, passed last August, appropriations for the military, which exceed a cap (as this bill does)will come directly out of discretionary domestic spending.

Carolyn Eisenberg for the HAW Steering Committee

Urgent Action Alert: Congress Set to Waste 57 Percent of Our Taxes

Veterans For Peace via, 7-17-12 to jbennet

Exposing the true costs of war since 1985.

"I don’t vote for funding for war. I vote against preparation for the military. I will never again go down that road." --Rep. John Lewis

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Dear Dick,

This week Congress will debate and vote on a bill -- the so-called "Defense Appropriations Act" -- that will make us less safe by dumping over $600 billion into preparations for war. Combined with military spending in other departments, this is 57% of all federal discretionary spending.

Let Congress know we oppose this bloated spending.

Included in the bill is $88 billion for continued war right now in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pretending those wars are over doesn't stop the flow of funds -- which are needed for such domestic human needs as education, healthcare, and clean energy.

Tell Congress to make its priorities match ours, not Lockheed Martin's.

Moving our representatives toward decent spending priorities is a long-term project. But should they pass this bill, we can at least force them to begin some military cuts. We can insist that they keep the bipartisan ban on military sponsorships of NASCAR and other sporting events -- and vote for amendments being proposed by Rep. Barbara Lee to:

cut military spending on Afghanistan except to fund withdrawal;

cut military spending to that of the next 14 nations combined (from our current level which equals that of all nations combined);

cut military spending to 2008 level, unless the Pentagon produces auditable books;

cut military spending to comply with last year's Budget Control Act.

Tell your Representative to support these amendments, and that you'll be watching.

You’ll remember that Barbara Lee was the only member of Congress who voted against the Sept 14, 2001, blank check to George Bush for endless military adventure known as the “2001 Authorization to Use Military Force.”

Please forward to everyone you know this recent comment from Rep. John Lewis, the legendary civil rights activist:

"War is obsolete. It cannot be used as a tool of our foreign policy. It's barbaric. ... If I had to do it all over again, I would have voted with Barbara Lee. It was raw courage on her part. So, because of that, I don’t vote for funding for war. I vote against preparation for the military. I will never again go down that road."

P.P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Coleen Rowley, and many others.


Democracy Now: Rep. John Lewis, Civil Rights Icon

Linda Bilmes (Boston Globe): Afghanistan Is Missing From the Campaign

How the F-35 Nearly Doubled In Price (And Why You Didn't Know)

Winslow Wheeler, Time Magazine, July 9, 2012

On June 14 - Flag Day, of all days - the Government Accountability Office released a new oversight report on the F-35: Joint Strike Fighter: DOD Actions Needed to Further Enhance Restructuring and Address Affordability Risks. As usual, it contained some important information on growing costs and other problems. Also as usual, the press covered the new report, albeit a bit sparsely.

Fresh bad news on the F-35 has apparently become so routine that the fundamental problems in the program are plowed right over. One gets the impression, especially from GAO's own title to its report, that we should expect the bad news, make some minor adjustments, and then move on. But a deeper dive into the report offers more profound, and disturbing, bottom line.


As F-35 observers know and as the table shows, the cost documentation of the F-35 program started in 2001, not 2007. There has been a lot more cost growth than the "$117.2 billion (42 percent)" stated.

Set in 2001, the total acquisition cost of the F-35 was to be $233.0 billion. Compare that to the current estimate of $395.7 billion: cost growth has been $162.7 billion, or 70%: a lot more than what GAO stated in its summary.

However, the original $233 billion was supposed to buy 2,866 aircraft, not the 2,457 currently planned: making it $162 billion, or 70%, more for 409, or 14%, fewer aircraft. Adjusting for the shrinkage in the fleet, I calculate the cost growth for a fleet of 2,457 aircraft to be $190.8 billion, or 93%.

The cost of the program has almost doubled over the original baseline; it is not an increase of 42%.

Now, you know why DOD loves the rubber baseline. Reset the baseline, and you can pretend a catastrophe is half its actual size.


GAO is also correct to point out DOD management's declaration that the current F-35 operating cost estimate, "$1.1 Trillion for all three variants based on a 30-year service life," (page 10) is "unaffordable and simply unacceptable in the current fiscal environment" (page 11).


The F-35 should now be officially called "unaffordable and simply unacceptable." All that is lacking is a management that will accept - and act - on that finding.


A People's Guide to the Federal Budget

Mattea Kramer et al/National Priorities Project (Author), Foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich (Author), Afterword by Josh Silver (Author)

Search Inside This Book

Publication Date: June 4, 2012

From history of the budget process to detail about the ongoing conflict in Washington, from charts explaining where every federal dollar goes to simple explanations of budget terminology, this book covers it all. A Peoples Guide to the Federal Budget is for every American who wants to understand and participate in a process that affects all of us. It serves as a foundation for the novice reader, a reference tool for a more advanced audience, and is perfect for high school and college classroom use. Released to coincide with the fiscal year 2013 budget process and the 2012 presidential election, this guide includes up-to-the-minute numbers and explanation of President Obama s budget.


AlterNet / By Rania Khalek


6 Creepy New Weapons the Police and Military Use To Subdue Unarmed People

From microwave energy blasters and blinding laser beams to chemical agents and deafening sonic blasters, these weapons are at the cutting edge of crowd control.

August 1, 2011


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This article has been updated.

The US is at the forefront of an international arms development effort that includes a remarkable assortment of technologies, which look and sound like they belong in a Hollywood science fiction thriller. From microwave energy blasters and blinding laser beams, to chemical agents and deafening sonic blasters, these weapons are at the cutting edge of crowd control.

The Pentagon's approved term for these weapons is "non-lethal" or "less-lethal" and they are intended for use against the unarmed . Designed to "control crowds, clear streets, subdue and restrain individuals and secure borders," they are the 21st century's version of the police baton, pepper spray and tear gas. As journalist Ando Arike puts it, "The result is what appears to be the first arms race in which the opponent is the general population."

The demand for non-lethal weapons (NLW) is rooted in the rise of television. In the 1960s and '70s the medium let everyday Americans witness the violent tactics used to suppress the civil rights and anti-war movements.

Today’s rapid advancements in media and telecommunications technologies allow people to record and publicize images and video of undue force more than ever before. Authorities are well aware of how images of violence play out publicly. In 1997, a joint report from the Pentagon and the Justice Department warned:

"A further consideration that affects how the military and law enforcement apply force is the greater presence of members of the media or other civilians who are observing, if not recording, the situation. Even the lawful application of force can be misrepresented to or misunderstood by the public. More than ever, the police and the military must be highly discreet when applying force."

The global economic collapse coupled with the unpredictable and increasingly catastrophic consequences of climate change and resource scarcity, along with a new era of austerity defined by rising unemployment and glaring inequality have already led to massive protests in Spain, Greece, Egypt, and even Madison, Wisconsin. From the progressive era to the Great Depression to the civil rights movement, Americans have a rich history of taking to the streets to demand greater equality.

Meanwhile, tens of millions of dollars have been invested in the research and development of more "media-friendly" weapons for everyday policing and crowd control. This has lead to a trade-in of old school weapons for more exotic and controversial technologies. The following are six of the most outrageous "non-lethal" weapons that will define the future of crowd control.

1. The Invisible Pain Ray: The 'Holy Grail of Crowd Control'

Source: Pasadena Star News

It sounds like a weapon out of Star Wars . The Active Denial System , or ADS, works like an open-air microwave oven, projecting a focused beam of electromagnetic radiation to heat the skin of its targets to 130 degrees. This creates an intolerable burning sensation forcing those in its path to instinctively flee (a response the Air Force dubs the " goodbye effect ").

The Pentagon's Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program (JNLWP) says, "This capability will add to the ability to stop, deter and turn back an advancing adversary, providing an alternative to lethal force." Although ADS is described as non-lethal, a 2008 report by physicist and less-lethal weapons expert Dr. Jürgen Altmann suggests otherwise:

" ... the ADS provides the technical possibility to produce burns of second and third degree. Because the beam of diameter 2 m and above is wider than human size, such burns would occur over considerable parts of the body, up to 50% of its surface. Second- and third-degree burns covering more than 20% of the body surface are potentially life-threatening – due to toxic sensitivity to infection – and require intensive care in a specialized unit. Without a technical device that reliably prevents re-triggering on the same target subject, the ADS has a potential to produce permanent injury or death. "

The weapon was initially tested in Afghanistan , but later recalled due to a combination of technical difficulties and political concerns, including the fear that ADS would be used as a torture tool making it " not politically tenable ," according to a Defense Science Board report. The tens of millions of dollars spent to develop the ADS did not necessarily go to waste, however.

While the weapon may be too controversial for use on the battlefield, it appears that nothing is too sadistic for use on US prisoners, so the ADS has since been modified into a smaller version by Raytheon, for use in law enforcement. Last year, the renamed Assault Intervention System (AIS) was installed at the Pitchess Detention Center's North County Correction Facility at the behest of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD). Former LASD Commander, Charles “Sid” Heal had been lobbying for the pain ray for years, calling it the " Holy Grail of Crowd Control ," due to "its ability to make people scatter, almost instantly."

The device is operated by a jail officer with a joystick, and is intended to break up prison riots, inmate brawls and prevent assaults on officers. Sheriff Lee Baca added that it would allow officers to "quickly intervene" without having to physically enter the area to incapacitate prisoners.

The ACLU claims that use of such a device on American prisoners is "tantamount to torture." The organization even sent a letter to the sheriff in charge, demanding he never use the energy weapon against inmates. “The idea that a military weapon designed to cause intolerable pain should be used against county jail inmates is staggeringly wrongheaded,” said Margaret Winter, associate director of the ACLU National Prison Project. “Unnecessarily inflicting severe pain and taking such unnecessary risks with people’s lives is a clear violation of the Eighth Amendment and due process clause of the U.S. Constitution.”

The pain ray’s use in the Pitchess Detention Center is a pilot program. If successful, the weapon could find its way into other prisons around the country. The National Institute of Justice has also expressed interest in a hand-held, rifle-sized, short-range weapon "that could be effective at tens of feet for law enforcement officials."

2. The Laser Blinding 'Dazzler'

Source: Air Force Fact Sheet

The Personal Halting and Stimulation Response rifle, or PHaSR, is a massive laser shooter. PHaSR technology is being co-funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program (JNLWP), and the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and is being developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory. While JNLWP is interested in the technology for military applications, NIJ is focusing on its law enforcement use.

So what is the purpose of this light-shooting toy? Well, it won't kill you, but it will temporarily blind you — or as the NIJ prefers to say, it will "dazzle" you into disorientation — by shooting you with two low¬-power diode¬-pumped lasers.

Protocol IV , the Blinding Laser Protocol of the United Nations Convention on Conventional Weapons, states that, "The use of laser weapons that are specifically designed, as their sole combat function or as one of their combat functions, to cause permanent blindness to unenhanced vision is prohibited."

After the US agreed to the Blinding Laser Protocol in 1995 under President Clinton, the Pentagon was forced to cancel several blinding laser weapon programs that were in the works. . . .

According to a U.S. Air Force fact sheet , "The laser light from PHaSR temporarily impairs aggressors by dazzling them with one wavelength. The second wavelength causes a repel effect that discourages advancing aggressors.” The JNLWP website says that "a significant amount of research and experimentation is still required to gain a full understanding of the safety, military effectiveness, and limitations of these future capabilities."

3. The Taser on Steroids

Source: Taser website

The Albuquerque Police Department now has Taser shotguns in its arsenal. Most of us are familiar with hand-held Tasers and understand that they only work if the police are standing pretty close to you (about 20 feet).

But Taser has developed the Taser X12 , a 12-gauge shotgun that instead of firing lethal bullet rounds, is designed to fire Taser projectile rounds. Known as Extended Range Electronic Projectiles (XREP), the XREP cartridge, as defined by the Taser website, is a "self-contained, wireless projectile that delivers the same neuro-muscular incapacitation bio-effect [a fancy way of saying electric shock] as the handheld Taser, but up to 100 feet."

According to a July 21 press release , Taser International has taken the XREP to the next level, teaming up with the Australian electronic gun company Metal Storm to enhance the 12-gauge Multi-Shot Accessory Under-Barrel Launcher (MAUL).

The two companies will combine Metal Storm's MAUL stacked projectile technology to "provide semi-automatic fire as fast as the operator can squeeze the trigger," which boasts a full weapon reload of up to five rounds in less than two seconds. Picture five rounds of Taser XREP cartridges flying out in less than two seconds up to 30 yards away -- that is the plan.

In September 2010 Raw Story reported that the rate of Taser-related deaths were on the rise. The story cited an Amnesty International report from 2008 that found "351 Taser-related deaths in the US between June 2001 and August 2008, a rate of just slightly above four deaths per month." About 90 percent of the victims were unarmed and did not appear to pose any serious threat, according to an article in the Boston Review . The Amnesty report points out that Tasers are “inherently open to abuse as they are easy to carry and easy to use and they can inflict severe pain at the push of a button without leaving substantial marks.“ In Amnesty's US 2010 report , the Taser-related death toll had increased to 390 . If the MAUL-Taser combined shooter find its way into police departments around the country, it may not bode well for the rate of Taser-related deaths.

Another project of Taser International described by Ando Arike is the Shockwave Area-Denial System , "which blankets a large area with electrified darts, and a wireless Taser projectile with a 100-meter range, helpful for picking off “ringleaders” in unruly crowds," In 2007, Taser's French distributor announced plans for a stun-gun-equipped flying saucer that shoots stun darts at "criminal suspects or rioting crowds"; however, it has yet to be unveiled. Clearly there is no limit to Taser International’s capacity for creativity.

4. Calmative Agents for Riot Control

The Sunshine Project, a transparency and accountability organization, defines calmatives as "chemical or biological agents with sedative, sleep-inducing or similar psychoactive effects." Although the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention prohibits the use of riot control agents in warfare, JNWLP and NIJ have long considered calmatives for both military and law enforcement applications, such as dispersing a crowd, controlling a riot or calming a noncompliant offender.

The most well-known and widely used riot-control agents are tear gas (CS) and chloroacetophenone (CN), also known as mace. A few ways that more advanced non-lethal calmatives might be administered , depending on the law enforcement environment, would include "a topical or transdermal skin application, an aerosol spray, an intramuscular dart, or a rubber bullet filled with an inhalable agent," according to NIJ research.

In the March 2010 issue of Harper's magazine, Ando Arike gives an extensive overview of riot control technology in his article " The Soft Kill: New Frontiers in Pain Compliance ." He wrote:

Pentagon interest in “advanced riot-control agents” has long been an open secret, but just how close we are to seeing these agents in action was revealed in 2002, when the Sunshine Project, an arms-control group based in Austin, Texas, posted on the Internet a trove of Pentagon documents uncovered through the Freedom of Information Act. Among these was a fifty-page study titled “The Advantages and Limitations of Calmatives for Use as a Non-Lethal Technique,” conducted by Penn State’s Applied Research Laboratory, home of the JNLWD-sponsored Institute for Non-Lethal Defense Technologies.

Penn State’s College of Medicine researchers agreed, contrary to accepted principles of medical ethics, that “the development and use of non-lethal calmative techniques is both achievable and desirable,” and identified a large number of promising drug candidates, including benzodiazepines like Valium, serotonin-reuptake inhibitors like Prozac, and opiate derivatives like morphine, fentanyl, and carfentanyl, the last commonly used by veterinarians to sedate large animals. The only problems they saw were in developing effective delivery vehicles and regulating dosages, but these problems could be solved readily, they recommended, through strategic partnerships with the pharmaceutical industry.

Little more was heard about the Pentagon’s “advanced riot-control agent” program until July 2008, when the Army announced that production was scheduled for its XM1063 “non-lethal personal suppression projectile,” an artillery shell that bursts in midair over its target, scattering 152 canisters over a 100,000-square-foot area, each dispersing a chemical agent as it parachutes down. There are many indications that a calmative, such as fentanyl, is the intended payload—a literal opiate of the masses.

5. Screaming Microwaves That Pierce the Skull

Source: Wired

Researchers are in the process of developing the Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio or MEDUSA (that's right, from Greek mythology), which uses "a beam of microwaves to induce uncomfortable auditory sensations in the skull." The device " exploits the microwave audio effect , in which short microwave pulses rapidly heat tissue, causing a shockwave inside the skull that can be detected by the ears," explains David Hambling in the New Scientist. MEDUSA’s audio effect is loud enough to cause discomfort or even incapacitation. It may also cause a little brain damage from the high-intensity shockwave created by the microwave pulse.

MEDUSA's intended purpose is deterring crowds from entering a protected perimeter, like a nuclear site, and temporarily incapacitating unruly individuals. So far the weapon remains in development and is funded by the Navy.

6. Ear-Splitting Siren

Source: Associated Press

The Long Range Acoustic Device , or LRAD, developed by American Technology Corporation, "focuses and broadcasts sound over ranges of up to hundreds of yards," according to David Axe in Wired's Danger Room. LRAD has been around for years, but Americans first took notice when police used it in Pittsburgh to ward off protesters at the 2009 G-20 summit . David Hambling says it is generally used in two ways : "as a megaphone to order protesters to disperse; or, if they disobey, as an “ear-splitting siren” to drive them away." While LRAD may not be deadly, it can cause permanent Similar sonic blasters have proven deadly. One is the Thunder Generator, an Israeli-developed shock wave cannon that farmers commonly use to scare away crop destroying birds. According to a Defense News report last year, Israel's Ministry of Defense licensed ArmyTec to market the Thunder Generator in military and security versions.

In a brief overview, Hambling explains that it works using "gas from a cylinder of domestic liquid petroleum," which is mixed with air. When detonated it produces "a series of high-intensity blasts," at a range of 50 meters." While the makers insist it doesn't cause permanent damage, they warn that people within 10 meters could suffer lasting injuries or possibly death .

The Impact

The application of pain to control to coerce people into submission helps achieve the desired aims of perception management, while sheltering the public from the brutality of such devices.

Perhaps these less-lethal tactics for crowd control do result in fewer injuries. But they also severely weaken our capacity to enact political change. Authorities have ever more creative ways to manage dissent, at a time when the need for change by popular demand is vital to the future of our society and the planet.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been corrected since its original publication for more accurate attribution to original sources.

Rania Khalek is a progressive activist. Check out her blog Missing Pieces or follow her on Twitter @Rania_ak. Contact her a

ACTION: Stop the military from reading your email

Laura W. Murphy, ACLU via

August 1, 2012 to jbennet

FROM:Laura W. Murphy

Director, Washington Legislative Office

FACTS:The Cybersecurity Act of 2012 is on the Senate floor right now.

LEGISLATIVE BRIEF:The ACLU is demanding two key components of the Cybersecurity Act:

Stop corporations from sharing email information with the National Security Agency and the military

Keep companies from having unfettered access to monitor our communications


TAKE ACTIONTell your senators to defend privacy when they vote on the Cybersecurity Act of 2012.

Spread the Word. Help by sharing this campaign with friends.

Contents of #1 6-21-11

Pentagon War Budget, Cold War to Today

Pentagon Budget Today

Congress Will Trim the Budget?

Arming Mid-Eastern Despots

Nuclear Weapons

Pentagon Marketing Itself and Propaganda to Children

Counter-Recruiting Resistance

Book Censorship

Books: James Carroll, Arthur Ekirch, Sebastian Junger

Contents of #2 10-29-11

Lockheed Supports War Budget

Criminal Contractors

[War] Secretary Panetta and War Profiteers.

Military Fuel

Military Budget, Empire, China

Reducing Budget and the Fine Print

Empire/War Budget Increased 7-11

No-Bid Contracts

Clandestine War: Special Forces, Drones, Assassinations

War Industry, GOP, Debt

Military Sex Crimes

War Crimes and WikiLeaks

NBC Reports Pentagon

Cyber Security New War

Research on Militarism

Contents of #3

Think Tanks: Heritage Foundation

Weapons Costs

Colonial Roots

Experiments with Soldiers: Yes Support These Troops

Support These Troops Not

Non-Lethal Weapons?

NDAA vs. Due Process

More Generals and Admirals

Covert Ops: Books by Trevor Paglen

Myth of Military Job Creation


Economic Conversion: Seymour Melman (Celebrate!)