United for Peace of Pierce County, WA - We nonviolently oppose the reliance on unilateral military actions rather than cooperative diplomacy.

NEWS & COMMENT: Foreign reporters arrested in Ferguson

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On Monday veteran Die Welt reporter Ansgar Graw was arrested in Ferguson, Missouri, for doing his job, Public Radio International reported Tuesday.  --  Because he paused to take some photographs after a police officer warned him to keep moving, he was arrested and handcuffed.  --  Graw said he has "been in several conflict zones . . . the civil war regions in Georgia, the Gaza strip, . . . the Kaliningrad region . . . , Iraq, Vietnam, and in China, I've met Cuba dissidents.  But to be arrested and yelled at and be rudely treated by police?  For that I had to travel to Ferguson and St. Louis in the United States of America."[1]  --  "At least eleven reporters have been arrested and detained since the protests began," Matthew Bell said.  --  Graw was one of three German journalists arrested, and their arrests have "sharpened international scrutiny of the the events in the small Missouri city, where protests continue over the fatal shooting by a white police officer of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown," the Hollywood Reporter said.[2]  --  But a Google News search suggests that U.S. media are downplaying the arrest of journalists.  --  The New York Times, for example, has only mentioned Ansgar Graw's arrest in a piece that sardonically frames foreign complaints about American police-state practices as hypocritical and extreme.[3]  --  COMMENT:  This matter deserves more than sarcasm from the Times about RT's "neo-Soviet zeal."  --  Academic works like Mary L. Dudziak's highly praised Cold War Civil Rights: Race and the Image of American Democracy (Princeton UP, 2001) have shown that "the Cold War helped facilitate key social reforms, including desegregation.  --  Civil rights activists gained tremendous advantage as the government sought to polish its international image.  --  But improving the nation's reputation did not always require real change.  --  This focus on image rather than substance -- combined with constraints on McCarthy-era political activism and the triumph of law-and-order rhetoric -- limited the nature and extent of progress."  --  As we see in Ferguson....

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 August 2014 00:25 Read more...
 

COMMENTARY: Is jihadism mostly 'adolescent strop'?

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The spectacle of eager recruits for the Islamic State (a.k.a. ISIS) reminds Guardian columnist Michael White of other fanaticized youths in history who were eager to fight and risk their lives for some cause:  "the British army's eager, naive volunteers [of] 100 Augusts ago," the Irish Republican Army, and "Catholic and Protestant zealots" of Europe's 16th-century wars of religion, in particular; for some reason White does not mention the French Revolution, though he does mention the Spanish Civil War.[1]  --  If White is to be believed, jihadism is mostly to be attributed to "adolescent strop."  --  (Strop is a Britishism that Cambridge defines as "a bad mood, especially one in which a person will not do what they are asked and is unpleasant to other people.")  --  Given "how utterly in thrall" these jihadists seem to be to "so-called 'Western' technology and behavior," the Guardian associate editor concluded, a year from now we will no longer be "talking about ISIS."  --  COMMENT:  If Michael White takes seriously his historical parallels, his conclusion is hard to justify....

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 August 2014 23:38 Read more...
 

BACKGROUND: US police are so deeply militarized that more Fergusons are inevitable

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How feigned must be the shock of federal officials who, à propos of Ferguson, speak with surprise and dismay of something they have been fostering for decades:  the militarization of local police forces.  --  "[T]he federal government has been driving this trend for decades," said Robert Hennelly, who has observed the militarization of U.S. police up close as he reported on recent national political conventions.[1]  --  BACKGROUND:  The inquiring reader will find quite a bit of material on the militarization of American police on this website, since militarism is one of UFPPC's bêtes noires.  --  But police militarization in the U.S. goes far beyond equipment.  --  See, for example, UFPPC's critical synopsis of Dave Grossman's On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and Peace (3rd ed., 2008), a text much used in U.S. police training, which seeks to persuade them that they are "warriors in blue," that "[i]t may well be that we are a turning point in history, a new era, a time for warriors," that this is a time of crisis that may lead to "a new ear of stability and civic order," and that "warriors may well be the 'midwife' of the crisis" (On Combat, pp. xix & 367-69).  --  Hennelly is right:  "more Fergusons are coming." ...

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 August 2014 05:55 Read more...
 

NEWS: Back to Iraq -- US expanding war aims, using land-based bombers, promising help in Anbar

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Surprise, surprise:  the return of the U.S. military to combat in Iraq was not only about (1) protecting U.S. personnel and (2) preventing genocide.  --  U.S. war aims have expanded to include pushing ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State forces from the Mosul Dam, and Reuters reported Sunday that President Obama "had informed Congress he authorized U.S. air strikes in Iraq to help retake control of the Mosul Dam."[1]  --  He declared that this was "consistent" with the aim of protecting U.S. personnel.  --  The Associated Press noted that "The latest round of U.S. airstrikes in Iraq against the Islamic State extremist group includes the first reported use of land-based bombers in the military campaign."[2]  --  And so the expansion of aims in the Fourth Iraq War begins.  --  Last week, Anbar Provincial Governor Ahmed Khalaf al-Dulaimi told Reuters that "Americans had promised to help" in Anbar with "air support against the militants," among other things.[3]  --  The promises seem to include boots on the ground there, since al-Dulaimi said that "it will be very soon and there will be a presence for the Americans in the western area."  --  Although "U.S. diplomats and a senior military officer" were involved in making the promises, the Pentagon seemed embarrassed by the story and said it had no comment, Reuters reported.[4]  --  The State Dept. claimed that U.S. officials are only "having conversations about what it (any security assistance) might look like in the future, but nothing concrete beyond that."  --  COMMENT:  If you believe that, we have a bridge to sell you....

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 August 2014 00:53 Read more...
 

NEWS: US expands bombing campaign in Iraq

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U.S. bombing in Iraq expanded dramatically Saturday to include airstrikes near the Mosul dam in what the Los Angeles Times described as "the first joint operation with Iraqi and Kurdish ground forces attempting to retake the strategic northern facility from Islamist militants."[1]  --  The military denied that this represented an expansion of the war aims President Barack Obama articulated in early August, because, said one spokesman, "We've talked about protecting critical infrastructure before," and reporters Shashank Bengali, David S. Cloud, and Patrick J. McDonnell dutifully pretended to believe them.  --  "U.S. Central Command said in a statement that warplanes had conducted nine airstrikes Saturday near the dam and the city of Irbil, the heaviest day of attacks since the air campaign began, destroying or damaging 'four armored personnel carriers, seven armed vehicles, two Humvees and an armored vehicle.'"  --  Meanwhile, an Islamic State massacre of Yazidis refusing to convert took about 80 men's lives; the women and children of the village of Kocho, about ten miles from Mt. Sinjar, were taken away by Islamic State fighters, the London Guardian reported.[2] ...

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NEWS & COMMENTARY: Confusion in eastern Ukraine typical of neo-Orwellian 21st century

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On Friday afternoon, after a day of conflicting reports about the situation in eastern Ukraine, "what we don't know" predominated in Vox's summary of "what we know and what we don't know."[1]  --  What we know is what various officials have said.  --  We know that NATO and Ukraine have declared that Russian military vehicles (NOT the 280-vehicle humanitarian aid convoy organized by Moscow, but some other vehicles) made a cross-border incursion Thursday night.  --  And we know that Russia has called that report a "canard."  --  But we don't know, Zack Beauchamp and Max Fisher said, whether Russian tanks have crossed into Ukraine, or whether (as Ukraine claims) it fired on Russian vehicles.  --  Above all, we don't know what Russia's plans and intentions are, and we don't know what NATO, the U.S., and Europe will do if Russia does send forces into Ukraine.  --  The Financial Times of London reported Friday evening that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko confirmed the Ukrainian attack on Russian vehicles in a telephone call to British Prime Minister David Cameron, and speculation was mounting "that the attack would trigger a Russian invasion" as "dozens of Russian military vehicles, including columns of tanks, sophisticated anti-aircraft systems and armored personnel carriers were observed maneuvering in the hinterlands on Russia’s side of the border."[2]  --  But Russia's Defense Ministry said "that the convoy that allegedly crossed the border into Ukraine did not exist, and such statements based on fantasy and assumptions should not be seriously discussed."  --  "Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu in a telephone call to his U.S. opposite number Chuck Hagel 'guaranteed' there were no Russian military personnel involved in the humanitarian convoy, nor was the convoy being used as a pretext to further intervene in Ukraine," Sam Jones, Roman Olearchyk, and Courtney Weaver reported.  --  NATO "played down the risk of an imminent escalation of the crisis" and said that the Russian incursion it had observed "is just the continuation of what we have seen for some time."  --  AFP reported that "As the fallout snowballed, Ukraine's foreign minister announced he will meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Berlin on Sunday for talks alongside the top diplomats from France and Germany."[3]  --  COMMENT:  The confused situation in eastern Ukraine is typical of 21st-century international crises.  --  In the 21st century, states do things while claiming they're not and deny they're doing what they are doing.  --  Official announcements are not statements of facts, but part of a pre-arranged plan.  --  They are Information Operations in a neo-Orwellian Bizarroworld whose information supersaturation creates broad zones of mystery and perplexity.  --  In the 21st century, Israel pretends to be seeking peace, a cease-fire, and a two-state solution while pursuing war, escalation, and Eretz Israel.  --  European Union leaders claim their top priority is jobs but adopt policies that ensure greater unemployment.  --  And the United States deplores the militarization of domestic police forces as it gives free military equipment to police....

Last Updated on Friday, 15 August 2014 23:55 Read more...
 

BACKGROUND: How Israel evaded White House & went directly to Pentagon, Congress (WSJ)

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During the conflict in Gaza Israel has "pushed the administration aside" and "secur[ed additional] supplies of ammunition from the Pentagon without [the White House's and State Department's] approval," as a result "driv[ing] U.S.-Israeli relations to the lowest point since President Barack Obama took office," the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.[1]  --  Adam Enthous provided details of how Israel again and again outflanked the White House by going directly to the Pentagon, breaking protocol, and lying publicly about Secretary of State John Kerry's thinking.  --  "A senior U.S. official said the U.S. and Israel clashed mainly because the U.S. wanted a cease-fire before Mr. Netanyahu was ready to accept one. "  --  "The last straw for many U.S. diplomats came on Aug. 2 when they say Israeli officials leaked to the media that Mr. Netanyahu had told the U.S. ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, that the Obama administration was 'not to ever second-guess me again' about how to deal with Hamas." ...

Last Updated on Friday, 15 August 2014 05:05 Read more...
 

BACKGROUND: 'Israel's real reasons for invading Gaza this time around'

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In this piece, posted Monday on The Pierce Progressive website, Linda Frank pulls together a large number of links to material useful for getting to the reality behind the pro-Israel propaganda that dominates American mainstream media.[1]  --  Linda Frank is a member of a chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace in Pierce County, WA.

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NEWS: Senator calls for congressional vote as Obama sends still more advisers to Iraq

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The Pentagon announced Tuesday it had sent 130 additional military personnel to Iraq, raising yet again the number of U.S. troops on the ground there, USA Today reported.[1]  --  "Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, called on the White House to seek congressional approval for the airstrikes in Iraq," Tom Vanden Brook said.  --  "Kaine supports the humanitarian mission but emphasized that the administration needs congressional authority to continue the attacks." ...

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BACKGROUND: Shortage of supplies & enemy's ferocity caused early-August Kurdish setbacks

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Why did the peshmerga fail to hold back Islamic State jihadists in Kurdistan in early August?  --  Der Spiegel said Monday that the Kurdish fighters were overcome by their ferocity and hindered by their lack of supplies, but Katrin Kuntz and Christoph Reuter also suggested the the Islamic State's reputation for appalling cruelty also played a role.[1] ...

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NEWS: Putin forces Poroshenko to accept relief to eastern Ukraine under Red Cross auspices

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President Vladimir Putin had already made clear his intention to send "an aid convoy to eastern Ukraine," citing a document from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to buttress his case for intervention, and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen had called the chances of Russian military intervention "high," Reuters reported early Monday.[1]  --  A Russian force including tens of thousands of troops, scores of fighter jets, attack helicopters, tanks, and missile launchers, and hundreds of armored vehicles and artillery systems, was massed on the border.  --  This situation appears to have caused Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to blink, and, after long resisting the idea, on Monday Poroshenko announced an agreement on a plan.  --  Its purpose:  to "get aid to civilians trapped in embattled eastern Ukraine after Moscow agreed to submit to International Committee of the Red Cross oversight and the participation of Western governments," including (according to Ukraine) the U.S., the Los Angeles Times reported Monday afternoon.[2]  --  According to Ukraine, "there will be no Russian [military] forces, no soldiers," in the relief effort, USA Today reported.[3]  --  But many observers are convinced that a relief effort will lead to a forceful Russian intervention, which is why Ukraine has till now opposed it.  --  The devil is in the details, and the head of international Red Cross operations said that "The practical details of this operation need to be clarified before this initiative can move forward," the Financial Times of London said late Monday.  --  A Financial Times reader commented on the complex situation:  --  "VVP [i.e. Putin] has two unpalatable options:  to invade and incur even greater sanctions and international isolation; or allow the separatists to be defeated and lose face domestically.  --  Having raised ad pumped up the expectations of the people, it is going to be very difficult to manage down the rhetoric and return to some semblance of normality with Russia's neighbors.  --  The trouble is that even the former allied near abroad neighbors, Belarus and Kazakhstan, don't trust VVP an inch now either.  --  This leaves the EEU [the Eurasian Economic Union, created in 2014 by a treaty signed by Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus and set to go into effect in 2015] a broken reed and leaves the door open for the Chinese 'March Westward.'" ...

Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 August 2014 00:53 Read more...
 

NEWS: Most Americans can't deal with unexpected $400 expense without borrowing or selling something

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The Fed's Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2013 shows that most of those who are living in the United States are struggling financially, WSWS noted on Friday.  --  "Only 48 percent of respondents said that they would completely cover a hypothetical emergency expense costing $400 without selling something or borrowing money," the report said.[1]  --  A Google News search showed that the report's unwelcome findings were mostly slighted by the mainstream media....

Last Updated on Monday, 11 August 2014 05:41 Read more...
 

BACKGROUND: Why will no one say how many Americans are at risk in Irbil?

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At 9:30 p.m. EDT on Aug. 7, President Barack Obama announced from the State Dining Room of the White House "targeted airstrikes to protect our American personnel, and a humanitarian effort to help save thousands of Iraqi civilians."  --  On Aug. 9, in another statement, Obama said:  "We will protect our American citizens in Iraq, whether they’re diplomats, civilians or military. If these terrorists threaten our facilities or our personnel, we will take action to protect our people."  --  On both occasions, the president mentioned Americans at risk before he went on to concerns about a potential genocide of Yazidis.  --  But precisely how many "American citizens" is he talking about?  --  He didn't say, and no one else seems to be saying, either.  --  Mother Jones reported Thursday that "it's unclear just how many Americans and other foreigners are present in [Irbil, a.k.a. Erbil and Arbil], and what plans may be in place to evacuate them."[1]  --  Dana Liebelson and Jenna McLaughlin said that "U.S. companies began pulling employees from Iraq before ISIS's recent advances," mentioning ExxonMobil, BP, and Chevron as companies that have removed employees from Kurdistan in recent weeks.  --  Reuters reported that on Friday "The British government told its citizens to leave parts of Iraqi Kurdistan, including the regional capital Irbil," but did not say how many there were.[2]  --  In an interview published Thursday by Deutsche Welle, the mayor of Irbil did not indicate how many from Western countries there are, either.  --  Of Irbil itself, he said:  "We have over 30 foreign consulates, there are many U.N. institutions here, big global companies have subsidiaries here."[3]  --  It would appear that most of them are there in connection with oil.  --  On Friday, the Wall Street Journal noted that "The White House and Pentagon previously have said they reserve the right to use force in Iraq to protect Americans, and repeated that stance Thursday.  --  The U.S. troops in Erbil are part of a force of planners and advisers working in joint U.S.-Iraqi centers."[4]  --  But the 1,600-word article never addressed the question of how many Americans might be in Erbil.  --  The only direct testimony from a Westerner in Irbil that we have been able to find appeared on Sunday in a piece posted by Bulgaria's private news agency, Focus.  --  Vladimir Velikov, a Bulgarian working in Irbil, said that he did "not feel threatened" there.[5]  --  He said he felt "safe in Arbil," that the situation was "not much different" from the situation in Sofia, Bulgaria, and added that of the ten foreigners working in his unidentified firm that "no one has the intention of leaving." ...

Last Updated on Sunday, 10 August 2014 23:48 Read more...
 

NEWS & COMMENT: Faux urgency used to sell Obama's new 'long-term project' in Iraq to US public

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President Barack Obama is presenting his renewed intervention in Iraq as a quick response to an emergency situation, but in fact it is not.  --  At least six weeks ago the administration signaled it had decided to elevate fighting ISIS (or ISIL, the acronym the administration prefers) to the level of a strategic priority.  --  The position was taken then that the president needed no further authority to wage such a war, and in fact the U.S. signaled then that it was already at war with ISIS/ISIL.  --  The current crisis in northern Iraq is merely the opportune moment that has been chosen to present to the broader public a new policy.  --  The president told columnist Thomas Friedman on Friday :  "We do have a strategic interest in pushing back ISIL.  --  We’re not going to let them create some caliphate through Syria and Iraq."[1]  --  Another indication that this is above all a PR moment is the way the hour-long Friedman interview was organized.  --  It had all the trappings of a long-planned performance planned by both participants, and produced a polished 2,350-word account in a very few hours.  --  In fact, the president conceded he had hatched his plan long ago when he told Friedman:  "[W]e did not just start taking a bunch of airstrikes all across Iraq as soon as ISIL came in [in early June 2014] was because that would have taken the pressure off of [Prime Minister Nuri Kamal] al-Maliki."  --  It comes as no surprise, therefore, to hear that the president announced Saturday:  "This is going to be a long-term project."[2] ...

Last Updated on Sunday, 10 August 2014 06:01 Read more...
 

NEWS & COMMENT: White House bombs Islamic State positions with no one's by-your-leave

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In successive "waves," U.S. warplanes have unleashed 500-pound bombs and Hellfire missiles on the positions held by forces of the burgeoning Islamic State in northern Iraq, USA Today reported Friday.[1]  --  White House spokesman Josh Earnest declared that direct action against the burgeoning Islamic State (though the term he prefers is "ISIL") is justified "when they threaten our personnel and facilities," but he offered "no operational update," pleading that the president's plan is "very limited in scope."  --  "The president has not laid out a specific end date," Earnest said, however.  --  He also said the White House had contacted key leaders Thursday, and that the president and folks working for him "certainly welcome the partnership and support" of lawmakers.  --  COMMENT:  This language implies that their partnership and support are really supererogatory.  --  On the first day of this new military campaign, reporters had to rely on "a Pentagon official who spoke about the operation on condition of anonymity because officials were not authorized to speak publicly on those details" for the heart of the story.  --  Who knows?  --  Perhaps, given the White House's attitude toward "leaks," the reporters and officials informing the public are in danger of being arrested.  --  If direct military action is justified whenever "our personnel and facilities" are "threatened," the president can make war whenever and wherever he wants.  --  And that is indeed the case, as you've no doubt noticed.  --  As Jeremy Scahill remarked about a year ago, "In foreign policy, the United States is effectively a dictatorship."  --  Scahill described Barack Obama as "a very hawkish, hard-hitting president when it comes to counterterrorism policies, when it comes to assassination, when it comes to the U.S. reserving the right to bomb countries that it’s not at war with, and, most importantly, when it comes to convincing the American people that these things are all lawful and right and are smarter than the Bush-era big wars."  --  All this is clear enough.  --  What's not so clear is why Michelle Obama thinks that the White House "is really the 'People's House' . . . a place where everyone should feel welcome." ...

Last Updated on Saturday, 09 August 2014 01:09 Read more...
 

POEM: Marble counters shine!

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Jim Robbins, Tacoma's Haiku Master, was provoked by UFPPC's most recent statement to compose a five-haiku suite entitled "How to Sink a Ferry."[1]  --  NOTE: Full appreciation of both the statement and the poem requires perusal of the New York Times investigative report on the causes of the Apr. 16 Korean tragedy published on Jul. 26, 2014....

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UFPPC statement: The ship of state heads into stormy weather

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UNITED FOR PEACE OF PIERCE COUNTY

"We nonviolently oppose the reliance on unilateral military actions rather than cooperative diplomacy."

THE SHIP OF STATE HEADS INTO STORMY WEATHER

August 7, 2014

As the U.S. considers airstrikes to counter the advance of the Islamic State in northern Iraq, the time is ripe to review the panorama of disaster that post-9/11 U.S. policies have produced.  Each of these situations merits a lengthy discussion, but we shall be brief.

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ANALYSIS: Islamic State most radical change since Sykes-Picot, Shia domination in Iraq is finished

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The Islamic State now covers "an area larger than Great Britain and [is] inhabited by at least six million people, a population larger than that of Denmark, Finland, or Ireland," Patrick Cockburn noted in the London Review of Books (Aug. 21).[1]  --  The powers of the established order are, in general, in denial, hoping ISIS will fall victim to its own excesses.  --  It may, of course, but then again, it may not.  --  "For America, Britain, and the Western powers, the rise of ISIS and the Caliphate is the ultimate disaster.  --  Whatever they intended by their invasion of Iraq in 2003 and their efforts to get rid of Assad in Syria since 2011, it was not to see the creation of a jihadi state spanning northern Iraq and Syria run by a movement a hundred times bigger and much better organized than the al-Qaida of Osama bin Laden.  --  The war on terror for which civil liberties have been curtailed and hundreds of billions of dollars spent has failed miserably.  --  The belief that ISIS is interested only in ‘Muslim against Muslim’ struggles is another instance of wishful thinking:  --  ISIS has shown it will fight anybody who doesn’t adhere to its bigoted, puritanical, and violent variant of Islam.  --  Where ISIS differs from al-Qaida is that it’s a well-run military organization that is very careful in choosing its targets and the optimum moment to attack them." ...

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 August 2014 06:05 Read more...
 

BACKGROUND: Expansion continues of Islamic State, 'transnational, fully militarized, and very rich'

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The Islamic State's efforts at state formation are proceeding apace, thanks to over $3 million a day in oil revenues and further military advances, the Washington Post reported Monday.[1]  --  On Sunday, the self-proclaimed caliphate took Sinjar, an Iraqi town of 23,000 located near the Syrian border where the opening sequence for "The Exorcist" was filmed in 1973, from Kurdish peshmerga defenders.  --  There is concern that the Islamic State may have taken or be about to take control of the Mosul Dam, the largest in Iraq, putting it in a position to cause catastrophic flash flooding....

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NEWS & COMMENT: Corporate media ignoring growing humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine

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Western corporate media are mostly keeping mum as Kiev's brutal military campaign against pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine is creating a major humanitarian crisis there.  --  Reports on the displaced were common until about Jul. 25, but they have been few and far in Western media between since.  --  The last we have seen came on Jul. 29, when the BBC said:  "According to the U.N., at least 1,129 people have been killed and 3,442 wounded in the fighting in Ukraine since mid-April.  --  The violence has displaced more than 200,000 people, many of them fleeing to neighboring Russia."  --  Media organs unaffiliated with corporations, like Vatican Radio and Deutsche Welle conveyed the recent U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva's report that some 230,000 people have been displaced, but U.S. media did not.  --  The situation is likely soon to become dramatically worse.  --  The Washington Post reported Monday that the Ukrainian military "appeared to be readying a long-awaited major assault on the rebel stronghold of [the city of] Donetsk."[1] ...

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BACKGROUND: Conflict in Gaza reveals endemic racism in Israeli youth

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Racism has become so endemic in Israel among the young that "many Israeli teachers, particularly those who teach civics, have become afraid to even broach the issue of human rights in the classroom," the website VICE reported on Friday.[1]  --  "[M]ilitarism and nationalism have always been part of the Israeli education system," Philip Kleinfeld said, "but under Netanyahu’s watch, things seem to have gone further."  --  Palestinian perspectives have been expunged from school textbooks, and many Israeli youths have never known a Palestinian.  --  Education in civics has become "simplified stories and sheer indoctrination," said Nurit Peled-Elhanan, a professor of language and education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  --  These aspects of Israeli society are not really new, but in 2014 they have become more open and visible, creating a legitimation problem for the State of Israel outside of Israel.  --  This is because "[t]here is, particularly in the Jewish diaspora, a monumental gap between how Israel is represented and what is actually happening.   --  But in the present conflict, with over 1,000 dead in Gaza and youngsters pouring through Israel in violent mobs, these delusions may finally be coming undone."  --  Those unwilling to succumb to these currents of opinion are finding it difficult to express themselves.  --  "[S]ome people are weighing their options," Kleinfeld said.  --  'Two nights ago there was a big protest in Tel Aviv,' Sheen said.  --  'A long-time leftist was holding up a sign that said "flee while you can."  --  In conversations I’ve had with hardcore activists, everyone has said they are preparing an escape plan.  --  For people who have children or want to have children, this is no place to raise them." ...

Last Updated on Monday, 04 August 2014 06:06 Read more...
 
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Upcoming

2014 PEACE PICNIC! -- Sun., Aug. 31, 2pm-dusk @ Gig Harbor viewpoint on 5 Mile Drive in Point Defiance Park. -- Potluck; UFPPC provides charcoal fire, hot dogs, & hamburgers (meat or veg). -- Games (bring some!), Peaceful Pie Contest w/ ribbons to winners. -- Free door prizes and raffle tickets sold for prizes. -- See you there!

Meeting schedule

United for Peace of Pierce County meets 7:00-8:30 p.m. on the first and third Thursdays of every month at First United Methodist Church in Tacoma (621 Tacoma Avenue South).

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