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      The Peace Exchange Bulletin

      Published by Tom Hayden, The Peace Exchange Bulletin is a reader-supported journal, critically following the Pentagon's Long War in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, as well as the failed U.S. wars on drugs and gangs, and U.S. military responses to nationalism and poverty around the world.

      Wednesday
      Oct292014

      "Citizenfour" And "Kill The Messanger"

      These are outstanding films for anyone engaged in confronting the global surveillance state. They may well contain lessons for the future.

      Laura Poitras' "Citizenfour" is a beautifully filmed documentary about the odyssey of Edward Snowden, the independent whistleblower on the National Security Agency. Snowden on the run is filmed surreptitiously in a Hong Kong hotel room and briefly seen in Moscow, and comes across as an immensely likeable, human and compelling human being under conditions that would drive many people beyond paranoia. Poitras is an utterly non-intrusive presence, invisible in the room, and whose email messages with Snowden (known as "ES") convey a sense of curiosity and urgency that makes her altogether human. 

      Click to read more ...

      Wednesday
      Oct292014

      Patriotic Betrayal

      Saddam Hussein was a CIA operative whom the American spy agency deployed in 1959 to kill the ruler of Iraq, Abdul Karim Kassem. Whenthat assassination attempt failed, Saddam entered a CIA protection program in Egypt until his Ba'ath Party, also supported by the CIA, seized power in 1963. At least five thousand Iraqis, many of them student activists, were executed immediately by the Ba'athist regime. And so our Iraq War began.

      This is one of the many reminders of the CIA's uncontrolled hubris contained in Patriotic Betrayal, a new history of how the CIA infiltrated and funded the US-based National Student Association for Cold War purposes starting in the Fifties. The author, Karen Paget, is a Washington-based consultant who was deeply involved with the NSA as a youngliberal in the Sixties... (see a full review at this site next week)

      Wednesday
      Oct292014

      California Energy Strategists Push for 100% Clean Energy, Without Fossil Fuels or Nuclear Power

      Over one hundred key environmental and social justice organizers met Oct. 16 in San Rafael to launch a strategy for boosting California's leading role in fighting greenhouse gas emissions and bolstering jobs and environmental justice at the same time. While climate-deniers and their oil and gas industry supporters dominate Congress, states and regions already are building a clean energy economy in the so-called "blue" states where 160 million Americans live. The conference debated ways to build up this "Green Power Bloc" as the pressure builds to achieve global limits on greenhouse gas emissions. The Democracy Journal will report on the progress of this new movement, which will meet again in January. The Huffington Post article below by climate expert John Berger describes the October 16 conference proceedings.

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      Wednesday
      Oct292014

      Why Congress Must Vote on War

      No American president, from Nixon to Obama, has accepted the legal legitimacy of the 1973 War Powers Resolution, one of the major achievements of the movement against the Indochina War. The core claim of the White House has been that executive war-making power cannot be abridged, even though the US Constitution seems to expressly grant the Congress a power-sharing role.

      In a few weeks, Congress once again will face a fateful choice to either cede its war-approval powers to the White House or take an authorizing vote on Iraq and Syria. Peace activists have a choice as well, whether or not to push for a Congressional authorization while knowing that it likely will be favorable.

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      Tuesday
      Oct282014

      How to Shorten the Long War

      The next turning point in the new Iraq War will be when President Barack Obama and Congress decide whether to maintain their promise to send no American ground troops. 

      If they hold firm, an early diplomatic settlement may be forced on them since the Iraqi armed forces cannot stop the "clear, build and hold" strategy of the Islamic State. Iraq's Shiite forces cannot, or will not, defend Sunni areas, and Iraq's Kurds are fighting to defend their territory.

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      Monday
      Oct272014

      Can the Brown Administration Exceed New European Emissions Standards?

      California clean energy advocates and Brown administration officials should be cheered by the European Union's announcement that they will cut greenhouse gas emissions by "at least" 40 percent by 2030, a doubling of their current trajectory of 20 percent by 2020. Cuts are measured from 1990 levels.

      Demystifying these numbers, this means that the 28-nation European bloc will take major enforceable steps to cut carbon use in the next fifteen years consistent with the United Nations goal of staving off worse-case climate chaos by mid-century. The European announcement will be followed early next year by declarations from other countries as talks continue towards a possible global climate agreement by 2015.

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      Friday
      Oct242014

      Cuba Leads While U.S. Lags in Ebola Battle

      In what a New York Times editorial called "Cuba's Impressive Role on Ebola" (October 19, 2014), hundreds of Cuban doctors and nurses are being dispatched to West Africa to battle Ebola, train medical personnel, and create isolation and treatment centers. The Cubans are playing "the most robust role" of any country in battling the Ebola plague, which has erupted virulently because of a broad failure, according to the Times, "to produce medicines and vaccines for diseases that afflict poor countries."

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      Wednesday
      Oct222014

      November 4th Elections & The Democracy Crisis

      The November election will be a defensive battle to preserve democracy's claims against a corporate state fueled by rising sums of secret corporate donations coupled with intense machinations at diminishing the popular electoral vote. The reason for Republican and corporate panic is the emergence of "the majority faction" which the Federalists feared - embodied in the Obama coalition of a multi-cultural, multi-racial majority.

      The political culture of "off-year" elections is stacked against us. Since that's not likely to change any time soon, the "off-year" battles are defensive in nature, preparing for the larger turnout ahead in 2016. Knowing that, the Republicans will exploit their 2010 and 2014 gains to keep the floodgates open to secret corporate money and making ballot boxes as closed as possible through 2016.

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      Monday
      Oct132014

      The Machiavellian Evil in Kobani 

      The horror and sorrow of war is falling on the Kurds resisting ISIL in Kobani while the Turkish government ignores their plight and the US bombs ineffectively. Here's the core of the story: the PKK in Syria, "adhere to a left-wing philosophy that many Western policymakers and other critics see as a throwback to the 1960s-era revolutionaries." As an example, the Times cites the presence of many local women who pushed out ISIL militarily. 

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      Tuesday
      Sep232014

      Congress Wavers on War

      Congress gave President Obama a half-hearted half-measure of support for arming the Syrian rebels last week, just before Obama took the next step up the ladder of escalation by bombing Syria without United Nations authorization. The congressional war authorization was designed to put off further debate until after the mid-term elections, when Congress will return to the issues. There were 108 House "no" votes on the authorization and 22 in the Senate, including possible future presidential contenders Rand Paul, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand. 

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