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

NEWS: Nuclear materials fall into hands of The Islamic State

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"Terrorist groups" have seized about 40kg of uranium that was being kept at the University of Mosul, Baghdad told the IAEA in a letter dated Jul. 8, 2014, the New York Times reported.[1]  --  Iraq's ambassador to the U.N. "said the Islamic State group also took control of a vast former chemical weapons facility northwest of Baghdad, where remnants of 2,500 degraded chemical rockets filled decades ago with the deadly nerve agent sarin are stored along with other chemical warfare agents," the Associated Press said.[2]  --  Both the U.S. and the IAEA played down the risk the material represents, but "Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich . . . said:  'The sheer fact that the terrorists . . . show unmistakeable interest in nuclear and chemical materials is, of course, very alarming,'" Reuters reported.[3]  --  A former IAEA inspector said that "there should be no enriched uranium in Mosul," Fredrik Dahl said.  --  Fox News was able to locate an expert who said that "There is theoretically the potential for a dirty bomb," however.[4]  --  BACKGROUND: As Adam Curtis pointed out in his three-hour 2004 documentary, "The Power of Nightmares," the "dark fantasy" of terrorists with nuclear weapons has become the principal legitimation of the power of the national security state....

Last Updated on Friday, 11 July 2014 15:52 Read more...
 

NEWS: Donetsk prepares for siege as Ukrainian forces encircle city

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As calls from outside Ukraine for a cease-fire and a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the east fall on deaf ears in Kiev, "Donetsk is steeling itself for a siege," Bloomberg reported.[1]  --  The siege has not begun yet, but Ukrainian troops are encircling the city, the largest in the Russian-speaking region of Ukraine, and residents fearing the worst are fleeing in droves, Denis Hazansky, Daryna Krasnolutska, and Daria Marchak said....

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NEWS & BACKGROUND: Netanyahu deliberately 'made an utterly avoidable nightmare inevitable'

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Rockets fired from the Gaza Strip were Israel's justification for unleashing lethal "airstrikes against more than 150 sites in Gaza," the Washington Post reported Tuesday.[1]  --  "Ashraf al-Qidrah, a spokesman for Gaza’s Health Ministry, said early Wednesday that 24 Palestinians had been killed in the Israeli attacks and 152 wounded," William Booth and  Ruth Eglash said.  --  Israel has mobilized more than 40,000 reservists and is "mobilizing two infantry brigades, artillery, combat bulldozers, and tanks along the Gaza border in preparation for a possible ground invasion."  --  "Israel said it had undertaken more than 273 airstrikes against the strip on Tuesday," Al Jazeera reported early Wednesday.[2]  --  BACKGROUND: At the origin of this latest round of bloodletting was the abduction and killing of three Israeli youths.  --  On Tuesday, Max Blumenthal, who recently spoke in Tacoma, made the startling charge that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the country’s military-intelligence apparatus are responsible for what is happening, because "[t]hrough a toxic blend of propaganda, subterfuge, and incitement, they inflamed a precarious situation, manipulating Israelis into supporting their agenda until they made an utterly avoidable nightmare inevitable."[3]  --  Rather than tell the truth, Blumenthal said in his Electronic Intifada piece, "Israel’s Shin Bet intelligence agency imposed a gag order on the national media, barring news outlets from reporting that the teens had almost certainly been killed, and forbidding them from revealing the identities of their suspected killers.  --  The Shin Bet even lied to the parents of the kidnapped teens, deceiving them into believing their sons were alive.  --  Instead of mounting a limited action to capture the suspected perpetrators and retrieve the teens’ bodies, Netanyahu staged an aggressive international public relations campaign, demanding sympathy and outrage from world leaders, who were also given the impression that the missing teens were still alive.  --  Meanwhile, Israel’s armed forces rampaged throughout the occupied West Bank and bombarded the Gaza Strip in a campaign of collective punishment deceptively marketed to Israelis and the world as a rescue mission."  --  Netanyahu's motive, according to Blumenthal, was that he was "still smarting" from U.S. recognition of a Palestinian unity government and "resolved to milk the kidnapping for maximum propaganda value" to undermine the Palestinian cause.  --  The claim that the leadership of Hamas is responsible for the murders is false, Blumenthal said....

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TRANSLATION / ANALYSIS: Why Iraq imploded

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Le Monde diplomatique has devoted much of its July 2014 issue to Iraq.  --  Prominent among the articles the number contains is a probing analysis by Peter Harling, translated below.  --  Harling is an analyst at the International Crisis Group, an establishment NGO with many prestigious names associated with it.  --  He explains why he mostly blames Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for the catastrophe, but also looks more deeply into the reasons Maliki acted as he did.  --  In the Middle East today, he concludes, increasingly "[t]he art of governing that is spreading consists in abandoning any ambition to govern at the level of the nation-state.  --  Regimes no longer even try to overcome the splits that divide their societies, whether these be of ideology, development, or repression.  --  Instead, they attack along these fault lines, make them worse, and seek conflict.  --  By radicalizing one part of society, they consolidate their position in another, and spare themselves the trouble of any constructive program:  the fear of what might replace them suffices to keep them in power.  --  They also tend to weaken the national character of their institutions by depriving them of their autonomy, in order to make themselves indispensable.  --  Then they sell themselves abroad in the name of the 'war on terrorism' on the strength of a 'democratic' election that reflects the hysterical vote of one swath of society and the fatal boycott of another."[1] ...

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 July 2014 05:54 Read more...
 

NEWS & ANALYSIS: Poroshenko to 'continue operation' as Ukraine rebels vow 'fight to end'

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On Sunday the New York Times quoted approvingly a Ukrainian "director of military programs" at a "policy research organization" (don't bother asking how they find these people) who said that in the renewed fighting in eastern Ukraine the government forces had "overcome that psychological barrier in which the military were afraid to shoot living people . . . not simply to shoot living people, but their own people," thus permitting their "recent success."[1]  --  But, said David Herszenhorn, "The biggest test is just ahead.  --  After fleeing south from Slovyansk, large numbers of rebels appeared Sunday to be regrouping in Donetsk, a city of one million, where any push to contain them will involve dangerous urban warfare.  --  Signaling resilience, insurgents on Sunday seized a building belonging to the state penitentiary service. . . . [T]he rebels, after suffering losses, appeared to be searching for weapons."  --  AP reported that the self-described governor of the Donetsk People's Republic declared at a rally attended by thousands that rebels would "begin a real partisan war around the whole perimeter of Donetsk."[2]  -- "[T]he mood was dire Sunday at a rebel checkpoint on the outskirts of Donetsk," Yuras Karmanau said.  --  "'We will fight to the end because we have nowhere left to retreat,' said one of the masked fighters."  --  Residents fear that Donetsk "will be left in ruins like Slovyansk," an inhabitant said.  --  They have reason to fear, as this weekend's promised diplomacy never got off the ground.  --  Reuters, in an analytical piece, said Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko may be ignoring both European and Russian views in pursuing his military offensive, and instead "show[ing] an ear acutely tuned to Ukrainian domestic politics,"[3] which is virulently nationalistic, even fascistic.  --  "After the success of the offensive in taking Slovyansk, Poroshenko shows no sign of negotiating another truce," said Thomas Grove and Richard Balmforth.  --  "He took triumphantly to Twitter on Sunday:  'My order is now in effect -- tighten the ring around the terrorists,' he wrote.  'Continue the operation to liberate Donetsk and Luhansk regions.'" ...

Last Updated on Monday, 07 July 2014 06:56 Read more...
 

NEWS: 'No doubt' Israel headed for fighting with Hamas, former army intel chief says

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Another round of bloodletting has begun in Israel-Palestine.  --  As Monday approached there were riots in Israeli Arab towns, stone-throwing in Jerusalem's Old City, and both rocket fire from Gaza and Israeli Air Force strikes in response.  --  According to Haaretz updates, former army intel chief Amos Yadlin stated that there is no doubt Israel is headed for another round of fighting with Hamas.[1]   --  On Sunday afternoon Palestinian Attorney General Muhammad Abd al-Ghani Uweili said that Muhammad Abu Khdeir, the 16-year-old Palestinian whose body was found in a Jerusalem forest last Wednesday, was burned alive."  --  Hamas is said to be seeking a cease-fire without conditions, but "the Al-Nasser Salah al-Deen Brigades said in a press conference in Gaza that the Palestinian factions will not accept a ceasefire that does not include a removal of the blockade on the Gaza Strip and a resumption of normal daily lives in the West Bank and Jerusalem."  --  The chairman of a religious Zionist party (Habayit Hayehudi) complained that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's "quiet will be met with quiet" policy "harms Israeli deterrence and allows Hamas to build up from round to round."  --  On Sunday evening Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Lieut. Gen. Benny Gantz was meeting with infantry and tank commanders deployed in the northern Gaza Strip, saying that Hamas is responsible for rocket fire from the Strip and "that the security establishment will respond with force if calm is not restored to the south." ...

Last Updated on Sunday, 06 July 2014 21:57 Read more...
 

TRANSLATION: PNB's fine was 'imposed by the North American empire' (J.-L. Mélenchon)

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In his latest statement, published Wednesday and translated in its entirety below, Parti de Gauche founder Jean-Luc Mélenchon analyzed the historic record fine levied by the U.S. Department of Justice on the French bank BNP Paribas, and discussed the midterm budget votes in France's National Assembly....

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COMMENTARY: 'Economist' calls for 'tougher measures' against Russia

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As the Economist saw it on Saturday, "Russia has, in effect, already invaded eastern Ukraine," and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is "under intense pressure not to extend the temporary ceasefire that Mr. Putin persistently and disingenuously calls for."[1]  --  "The question for Mr. Putin is how far he is willing to go if Ukrainian forces seem to be gaining the upper hand over the rebels. In a pure military contest Kiev is likely to prevail, given enough time.  --  'Even just standing still will require Russia to put in more resources,' says Mark Galeotti of New York University.  --  Mr. Putin may not be able to avoid this.  --  Igor Korotchenko, a military analyst and editor who is close to the defense ministry, argues that Russia should step up its support to anti-Kiev forces following the precedent of America’s support to Syria’s rebels."  --  The Economist, for its part, it seems, would like to see more violence.  --  "The question for the West is how much of an appetite it has for tougher measures.  The recent cycle of threats of more sanctions, followed by meek postponements, does not bode well."  --  COMMENT:  The neoliberal Economist, which may be considered to be the voice of Western capital, blames the fighting on Russia.  --  On the left, it is easy to find narratives according to which all the aggression is on the Ukrainian/Western side and Russia acting defensively.  --  The existence of such diametrically opposed narratives enable both sides easily to justify escalation as defensive, make it harder for either side to back down, and greatly increase the dangerousness of this situation....

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NEWS & COMMENT: Intensified fighting in eastern Ukraine

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"[F]ighting appeared to intensify" Friday as Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko "continued an offensive against pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine," even as he said he "would be willing to resume peace talks" on Saturday, USA Today reported.[1]  --  But the Wall Street Journal said Poroshenko "said he hadn't received a response" to his proposal of Minsk as a venue for talks and said Russia was "massing thousands of troops on its border with Ukraine."[2]  --  Even as Poroshenko attacked pro-Russian separatists in the east with heavy weapons, he "shook up his faltering military Thursday, appointing a new defense minister and top general" and making a belligerent speech to parliament in Kiev, the Associated Press reported.[3]  --  Angela Merkel and Barack Obama, solidly in the Ukrainian camp, agreeing Thursday "that the U.S. and Europe should levy further costs on Russia if it doesn’t de-escalate the situation quickly."  --  Deutsche Welle, though, said that Poroshenko's decision Monday to end a cease-fire came over the objections of Merkel.[4]  --  Ukrainian rhetoric is harsh:  its defense minister characterized the aim of the fighting as "liquidating terrorists," and hundreds of Ukrainian civilians are said to have died.  --  On Friday, however, AP said that no one really knows what is going on in eastern Ukraine.  --  "It is nearly impossible to prove or disprove the claims from opposing sides, since the fighting consists of intermittent clashes with no fixed front line and it is dangerous for journalists and other observers to travel around," David McHugh said.[5]  --  While Western corporate- and state-owned media gaze calmly at the fighting, Russian media describe the situation in dire terms.  --  Russia Today called the situation "horrendous" and published an interview with Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois, in which Boyle said that the situation in eastern Ukraine "is degenerating into outright genocide, if it is not there already. . . . President Putin needs to shut off all the gas [to Ukraine] in the name of the genocide convention."[6]  --  "I am afraid we are going to see a humanitarian catastrophe over there [in Ukraine] in the next three weeks," Boyle said.  --  COMMENT:  The Western-engineered Ukrainian "revolution" has replaced Russian-leaning oligarchs with pro-Western ones whose foreign allies are trying to keep Moscow at bay with the threat of sanctions.  --  This threat would appear to be working: on the Fourth of July, the Kremlin released a friendly telegram Vlaidimir Putin sent Barack Obama, but the White House spurned the olive branch:  it "confirmed to POLITICO that it has seen the statement but had no comment."[7] ...

Last Updated on Friday, 04 July 2014 17:48 Read more...
 

BACKGROUND: NY Times gearing up for a new crusade

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Are you ready for a new crusade?  --  Now that ISIS has declared itself, as "The Islamic State," to be a new caliphate, the New York Times seems to be gearing up for renewed combat.  --  On Thursday, it posted a snazzy interactive multimedia website devoted to presenting the latest developments and declared that ISIS (for some reason the Times is refusing to adopt its new name) is now a "rogue state."[1]  --  We all know what that means.  --  The texts of the Times' tendentious commentary are presented below; click on the link to see how they are superimposed on satellite pictures of Mesopotamia....

Last Updated on Friday, 04 July 2014 08:13 Read more...
 

UFPPC statement: Haven't we done enough?

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UNITED FOR PEACE OF PIERCE COUNTY

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

HAVEN'T WE DONE ENOUGH?

July 3, 2014

[NOTE TO READERS: We consider the present crisis in Iraq to be an epochal one and are therefore taking the opportunity to review at some length our engagement with the issues it raises.]

On June 25, Prof. Juan Cole said that "the whole country of Iraq . . . is in its last throes."  The vast plain where the Tigris and the Euphrates meander toward the Persian Gulf has often witnessed historic spasms.  Iraq is part of the Tigris-Euphrates watershed known as Mesopotamia, where the Romans fought it out with the Parthians and suffered one of their most serious defeats when Crassus and seven Roman legions were defeated at Carrhae in 53 BCE.  Negotiations over a truce went sour, and Crassus, the wealthiest man in Rome, was killed.

That was only one of dozens of epochal moments in a region that European imperialists like Halford Mackinder (1861-1947) identified as a "pivot" or "heartland" of world history in his famous 1904 article, "The Geographical Pivot of History."  The region's centrality goes back to the days when Bronze Age societies initiated the first real arms race.  It's telling that for all the subsequent (and current) hand-wringing about democracy in Iraq, the initial (and fraudulent) justification of the United States in Iraq invoked new weapons technology.

Now Iraq seems to be breaking apart.

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NEWS & COMMENT: Poroshenko unleashes 'full-scale fighting' & 'open warfare' in eastern Ukraine

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Fighting resumed this week in eastern Ukraine after the new president, Petro Poroshenko, went on the attack against pro-Russian militants in more than 100 places.  --  The New York Times reported late Wednesday that a "Russian statement [that] was unusually harsh . . . signaled blistering outrage in Moscow over the renewed military effort to end the rebellion."[1]  --  The day before, Russian President Vladimir Putin "reiterated his commitment to protecting 'Russian people' wherever they live," David Herszenhorn said.  --  USA Today reported that "five Ukrainian troops and hundreds of pro-Russian separatists were killed as government forces engaged in more than 100 clashes since late Monday night."[2]  --  Deutsche Welle reported that after a diplomatic meeting in Berlin initiated by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, saying the situation had "dramatically escalated . . . and might get totally out of control," the foreign ministers of Ukraine, Russia, Germany, and France said they had agreed on conditions for a cease-fire and talks would reopen no later than Saturday.[3]  --  The U.S. is expressing support for Ukraine's attacks, IANS reported.[4]  --  So is Thomas Friedman, who noted with approval in his syndicated column that Poroshenko's lethal attack followed three days after in Brussels he "signed a trade pact with the European Union that will lower tariffs on Ukrainian exports to the 28-nation E.U. market in return for Ukraine implementing anti-corruption, transparency, and quality-control reforms designed to bring its economy up to Western standards."[5]  --  He trotted out the Putin = Hitler line for the occasion:  "Today, Poroshenko -- fed up with Putin’s Goebbels-quality lying -- moved forces to regain control of eastern Ukraine and his country’s right to choose its future.  Putin is clearly afraid of more sanctions.  It is time the U.S. and EU imposed them."  --  Friedman endorsed the idea that Russia must be considered "a revisionist empire hostile to the West." ...

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NEWS: There goes Iraq -- Kurds to vote on independence

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You could see it coming... about a hundred years ago, when Kurds were denied a state in the post-WWI settlements.  --  The largest ethnic group in the world without a state, Kurds are likely to get one now.  --  On Tuesday the president of Kurdistan "publicly declared he would schedule a referendum on independence," Time reported, in "several months."[1]  --  "Polls and previous votes indicate that the measure is certain to pass, leading, in all likelihood, to an independent Kurdistan on the northern and northeastern borders of Iraq." ...

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 July 2014 07:04 Read more...
 

NEWS: Iraqi parliament meets, adjourns acrimoniously

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All the admonitions of urgency from international organizations, foreign nations, and spiritual leaders were for naught on Tuesday when the Iraqi parliament's effort to form a new government "collapsed in factional acrimony in less than half an hour," the New York Times reported Tuesday evening.[1]  --  "[A]fter Ms. Najib and Mr. Naji exchanged words, a recess was called," Rod Nordland said.  --  "Only 60 legislators returned from the recess, however, so there was no quorum to continue.  --  Parliament was adjourned until July 8."  --  Meanwhile, "a United Nations report issued Tuesday confirm[ed] that June had been the deadliest month in Iraq since at least 2008, with 2,417 people killed, 1,531 civilians and 886 members of the security forces -- three times as many as in May." ...

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BACKGROUND: Dispute over Blair-Bush exchanges delaying UK's Chilcot report

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On May 30, the Financial Times of London called for the publication in the Chilcot Inquiry (into Britain's decision to wage war against Iraq in 2003) of the full text of exchanges between Tony Blair and George W. Bush.  --  It has been reported both that Tony Blair made a deal with the David Cameron to suppress these documents or, what is more likely, that the United States is responsible; the Financial Times called on Blair to authorize their publication.  --  Sir John Chilcot originally said he expected to conclude his inquiry in 2011, but the latest word, the London Guardian reported on Jun. 26, is that it "is unlikely to be published until next year," i.e. in 2015.[2]  --  The inquiry has so far cost Britain $15.4 million....

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NEWS: US raises to 800 number of troops going to Iraq

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For the third time in June the Obama administration announced on Monday that it was sending additional U.S. forces to Iraq, bring to about 800 the number of American soldiers returning to an Iraq, CNN reported.[1]   --  Iraq is facing what is looking much more like the beginning of a new war than some "crisis."  --  Meanwhile, Iraqi government claims that its forces have retaken Tikrit are not borne out by reports by those on the ground there, CNN said in a separate article.[2]  --  Confirmed reports of war crimes on both sides are multiplying.  --  Other powers continue to intervene:  Iraq has just purchased 25 warplanes from Russia, for example....

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LOCAL NEWS: No bogey in News Tribune scare story about JBLM cuts

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Not until paragraph 11 of the News Tribune's article do you learn that the cuts at JBLM that it was trying to scare you with last week are actually "far more severe than the Army is contemplating."[1]  --  Far more severe, that is, than those the Army is contemplating, if Adam Ashton cared to express himself properly.  --  Speaking of which, how is it that Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA 10th) says: "The potential elimination of thousands of military and civilian positions is devastating"?  --  It's the actual elimination of the positions that would (supposedly) be devastating, not the potential elimination.  --  BACKGROUND: In any case, it's well-known that the notion that defense spending is good for the economy is a myth.  --  One recent analysis found that while $1 billion spent on defense creates 11,600 jobs, tax cuts for individuals create 14,800 jobs, spending on clean energy creates 17,100 jobs, spending on health care creates 19,600 jobs, and spending on education creates 29,100 jobs.  --  As for the local situation, economists are upbeat about the prospects for the South Puget Sound economy.  --  Amd it should be remembered that JBLM is the largest military base on the West Coast, and was one of the big "winners" in the recent reorganization of bases.  --  So the drastic cuts envisioned by the report are about as likely as an egg breaking a stone....

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NEWS: Blackwater threatened to kill US investigator 3 weeks before Nisour Square atrocity

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On Sunday night the New York Times published an extraordinary document: a memo in which a State Department investigator described how his life had been threatened by a Blackwater boss, demonstrating, the investigator said, that there was in Baghdad "an atmosphere where the contractors, instead of Department officials, are in command and control."[1]  --  "During and after my stay in Iraq, it has become fully apparent to me that the management structures in place to manage and monitor our WPPS contracts in Iraq have become subservient to the contractor themselves."  --  Three weeks later Blackwater killed seventeen civilians in Nisour Square, but a special State Department panel appointed by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to investigate claimed that it "did not find any . . . significant pattern of incidents . . . that the embassy had suppressed in any way."  --  COMMENT:  The panel didn't look very far:  It never interviewed the State Dept. investigators who had been there only three weeks before, and who had filed the reports quoted above.  --  The notorious Erik Prince, who was the CEO of Blackwater at the time, claimed that he "never been told about the matter."  --  At present, "four Blackwater guards involved in the Nisour Square shooting are on trial in Washington on charges stemming from the episode, the government’s second attempt to prosecute the case in an American court after previous charges against five guards were dismissed in 2009."  --  As usual, underlings suffer, kill, and die while those ultimately responsible for their acts are not even investigated.  --  This episode had no effect on Erik Prince's profits, as Blackwater and its successors continued to obtain government contracts to the tune of hundred of millions of dollars.  --   In a nutshell, this is what happened:  the U.S. government backed up its thug's murder threat and continued business as usual in Baghdad.  --  After all, atrocities are what *the other side* does.  --  Paul Valéry said: "War is fought by people who do not know each other and who kill each other for the profit of people who are well acquainted and never hurt each other." ...

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NEWS & DOCUMENT: ISIS declares caliphate restored as 'The Islamic State'

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ISIS chose Sunday, the beginning of Ramadan, to declare that ISIS (or ISIL, for 'Islamic State of Iran and al-Sham [i.e. 'the Levant' or 'Greater Syria'] has achieved the restoration of the Islamic caliphate and is now "The Islamic State."  --  "A spokesman for the new entity . . . said the group's chief, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, remains its leader, and called on residents in areas under its control to swear allegiance to al-Baghdadi and support him," USA Today reported.[1]  --  "The group . . . has developed an elaborate bureaucracy and an efficient model of governance, providing modern social services together with medieval justice," and "has supporters in Jordan, Gaza, the Sinai Peninsula, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia," Oren Dorell said.    --  The Washington Post said the historic declaration of "the restoration of the 7th-century Islamic caliphate" was "an ambitious challenge to al-Qaeda’s established leadership."[2]  --  "ISIS’s chief, an Iraqi known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, will be the caliph, or leader, of the new caliphate, and all Muslims worldwide will be required to pay allegiance to him," Liz Sly and Loveday Morris said.  --  An analyst at the Brookings Doha Center said that "Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has declared war on al-Qaeda."  --  Sly and Loveday said that according to the statement "The state will cover lands now under Islamic State control, stretching from the northern Syrian province of Aleppo to the eastern Iraqi province of Diyala."  --  Wikipedia, always up to date, has already changed the name of its article on the entity to The Islamic State.  --  The declaration of the founding of the caliphate is a lengthy document.  --  It declares that "the shaykh (sheikh), the mujāhid, the scholar who practices what he preaches, the worshipper, the leader, the warrior, the reviver, descendent from the family of the Prophet, the slave of Allah, Ibrāhīm Ibn ‘Awwād Ibn Ibrāhīm Ibn ‘Alī Ibn Muhammad al-Badrī al-Hāshimī al-Husaynī al-Qurashī by lineage, as-Sāmurrā’ī by birth and upbringing, al-Baghdādī by residence and scholarship" has "accepted the bay’ah (pledge of allegiance)" and is therefore "the imam and khalīfah for the Muslims everywhere.  Accordingly, the 'Iraq and Shām' in the name of the Islamic State is henceforth removed from all official deliberations and communications, and the official name is the Islamic State from the date of this declaration."[3]  --  "[I]t is incumbent upon all Muslims to pledge allegiance to the khalīfah Ibrāhīm and support him," it states.  --  Though the call is a universal appeal, declaring "By Allah, if you disbelieve in democracy, secularism, nationalism, as well as all the other garbage and ideas from the west, and rush to your religion and creed, then by Allah, you will own the earth, and the east and west will submit to you.  This is the promise of Allah to you," it specifically tells other jihadists that "the legality of your groups and organizations has become invalid," and indeed these organizations are its chief target, since it says that "nothing has delayed victory and delays it now more than these organizations."  --  The full text is posted below....

Last Updated on Monday, 30 June 2014 07:15 Read more...
 

NEWS & COMMENT: Daily Mail interviews Moqtada's commander in Baghdad

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On Saturday Barbara Jones published in the London Daily Mail an account of her interview with Ibrahim al-Jaberi, the Mahdi Army's militia commander in Baghdad.[1]  --  COMMENT:  Moqtada al-Sadr, the leader of the Mahdi Army, is a hero to millions of Iraqi Shiites and the only leader who has a chance of uniting Iraqis to fight off the fanatical ISIS.  --  He represents genuine Iraqi nationalism and is the only major Shiite leader has fought to defend Sunnis and thus has a claim to their allegiance.  --  But the forces he fought to defend them were American and British, and he represents the poorer strata of Iraqi society, to which U.S. policy is indifferent when it is not hostile.  --  As a result, Moqtada and his Mahdi Army get only negative press in the West when they get any press at all.  --  The failure of the U.S. to come to terms with Moqtada is a clear sign that maintaining the unity and territorial integrity of Iraq is not the highest American priority....

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STATEMENT: 'The more the U.S. military intervenes in Iraq, the worse the outcome will be'

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On Saturday, People for Peace, Justice, and Healing adopted a statement on the crisis in Iraq.  --  The Tacoma group said the fighting should be regarded as "a new war," one in which the United States "should not be involved."[1]  --  Expressing concern that President Obama is "making a tragic mistake" by sending more soldiers to Iraq, the statement asserts that, at this point, "The more the U.S. military intervenes in Iraq, the worse the outcome will be."  --  It calls for U.S. limiting its future involvement in Iraq to humanitarian reparations that should be administered by the international community....

Last Updated on Sunday, 29 June 2014 00:47 Read more...
 
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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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