The New York Times claims that Russia offered to pay Afghans to kill U.S. (and allied) troops. It does not claim that any payments were made. It does not claim that any troops were killed. It does not claim that any impact was had on anything. It does not name its sources. It does not offer any evidence other than the supposed assertions of nameless government officials. It does not offer any justification for not naming them. It does not provide the context of all the years the U.S. government spent arming and funding Afghans to kill Russians, nor all the more recent years during which the U.S. military has been both the enemy of the Taliban and its top funding source (or at least second to opium). It promotes the ridiculous and debunked Russiagate notion that Trump is too kind to Russia.
We don’t know what the long-term damage is of coronavirus in those who recover. We don’t know who will die among those who catch it. We do know that we each have a responsibility to avoid catching it and avoid spreading it. Here are some ways to do that.
David Swanson was to speak at a conference in Florence, Italy, on April 25, 2020. The conference became a video instead. Below is the video and text of Swanson’s portion. As soon as we receive the video or text of the whole, in Italian or English, we will post it at worldbeyondwar.org. The video aired on April 25 on PandoraTV and on ByoBlu. Details on the full conference are here.
I know it’s stiff competition, but hear me out.
The threat of nuclear apocalypse is higher than ever. The threat of irreversible climate collapse is higher than ever and massively contributed to by militarism. The trillions of dollars being dumped into militarism are desperately needed for actual defense against these dangers including spin-off catastrophes like coronavirus. But military jobs and weapons production jobs (producing weapons for dictatorships and so-called democracies around the world; the U.S. handles 80% of the globe’s foreign weapons sales) are being deemed “essential” and actually being boosted with more funding.
10. Recognizing that a problem that has grown severe in other countries could grow severe in the United States would require thinking of the United States as existing in the same world, susceptible to the same forces, as everyone else. A willingness to recognize that would have led to earlier action and wiser action more coordinated with the rest of the world. Unfortunately, the United States is supposed to be exceptional.
It’s often hard to report on U.S. politics and government with a straight face. It’s even harder to report on the usual reporting on U.S. politics and government with a straight face. So much of it is beyond the reach of parody. Yet it also opens up opportunities to shock people with basic facts.
Indigenous people in Canada are giving the world a demonstration of the power of nonviolent action. The justness of their cause — defending the land from those who would destroy it for short term profit and the elimination of a habitable climate on earth — combined with their courage and the absence on their part of cruelty or hatred, has the potential to create a much larger movement, which is of course the key to success.
Elections, I think most of us can agree, usually bring out the idiocy, superficiality, and illogic in everyone who can muster any. Imagine supporting, as many did, Sanders and then Trump because they were both “outsiders.” On Tuesday, I heard somebody on CNN announce that Sanders and Klobuchar were both “change candidates” (because you’d have to change every bit of the platform of one of them to match that of the other?). Tokenism no longer embarrasses voters or even the candidates who openly campaign on it. When voters are asked on television how they choose a candidate, they talk about temperament, personality, debating skills, and intelligence.
“Both war and murder are crimes. It is a crime under Iraqi law to murder someone in Iraq, just as under U.S. law to murder someone here. It is a crime under international law to commit war in Iraq just as it would be in the United States. War is murder by military. Murder is war without military. The legal and moral distinction between murder and war is not and should not be what people suppose. And the distinction should not be a question of who the victims are.”
South Korea cannot choose to make peace with North Korea without the consent of a foreign power that keeps thirty thousand troops in South Korea, makes South Korea pay much of the cost of housing them, commands the South Korean military in war, holds veto power at the United Nations, and is not accountable to the International Criminal Court or the International Court of Justice.
Roger Hallam is of course right in his short book, Common Sense for the 21st Century: Only Nonviolent Rebellion Can Now Stop Climate Breakdown and Social Collapse. While some portion of humanity heaps scorn on the victims of the fossil fuel propaganda who deny climate science, only a much smaller portion points out the equally delusional and disastrous denial of the need for nonviolent revolution.