Only once in a while does a book come along that sheds new light on the 1960s. Karen Paget’s forthcoming Patriotic Betrayal (Yale University Press) is just such a work, telling the inside story of how the Central Intelligence Agency corrupted the natural and democratic growth of students’ rights movement by infiltrating the National Student Association (NSA) and directing it to its Cold War ends.
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.
Top presidential aide, John Podesta, slipped off to Beijing last month to secretly negotiate the US-China climate agreement announced this week. One might say, borrowing from Naomi Klein, that "this changes everything." Podesta simply notes, "It's a big deal."
The climate strategy based on diplomacy with China has been pursued by President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, California Governor Jerry Brown and environmental groups including NRDC, which has a staff of thirty there. The new announcement opens the path for a growing Green Bloc of regions building clean energy economies while waiting and wondering about the commitments of the greatest power emitters. Between them, China and the US are responsible for 40 percent of carbon emissions.
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Congress must use its constitutional powers under the War Powers Resolution to place limits on the unauthorized US military intervention in Iraq and Syria. By executive order alone, our government is plunging into a deepening sectarian war. Congressional debate can shed light on this new war, and a Congressional vote can allow American citizens to hold our elected representatives accountable in 2016. While pledging "no US ground troops", the administration has dispatched 3,000 American troops as advisers and to provide close air support in combat zones, where they will come under fire. The bombing campaign cost$580 million through mid-October, and the president is asking for a down payment of $5 billion for a war projected to last three years.
By Paul Ryder and Tom Hayden
[Research by Paul Ryder]
The nation needs a full public debate and a Congressional vote on whether to authorize the current American military interventions in Iraq and Syria and, if so, under what conditions.
Dear Members of Congress,
The New War has escalated since we sent this letter November 3, 2014. President Obama has dispatched another 1,500 US troops and requested $5 billion in new funding. The president also has requested a congressional authorization. It is time for Congress to act and widen the public debate.
The Congressional losses, which are being blamed on you by the Republicans and mainstream media, were actually not as bad as they would have us believe. Ignored in the commentary are the huge losses, for example, suffered in off-year elections by Bill Clinton, Dwight Eisenhower and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Those presidents came back and are remembered well.
California is moving towards a historic integration of greenhouse gas reduction strategies with a foundation based on environmental justice. That means we need a broader program and a broader coalition, more like a Green New Deal model than the market model favoring deregulation and unleashing the coal, oil, gas and nuclear industries.
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.
Only once in a while does an original book come along that truly sheds new light on the Sixties as a whole. Karen Paget's forthcoming Patriotic Betrayal (Yale) is such a work, telling the inside story of how the CIA corrupted the natural and democratic growth of student rights by infiltrating and directing the National Student Association to its Cold War ends.
The story begins in the 50's, leaving many to wonder if it's not a stale and useless tale bynow. It's relevant today, however, because of the cancerous growth of Big Brother surveillance and the proliferation of clandestine operations branded in the name of "democracy promotion", from Cuba to the Ukraine. The pervasive rise of Secret Money in campaigns, moreover, makes it impossible to know whether operatives of our intelligence agencies have any role in harrassing radicals or steering social movements, or whether such roles have passed toprivate foundations. Democracy is increasingly in the dark. Any light from history can be high-beams to help illuminate the future. (Aee a full review at this site next week)
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.