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Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, The Swamp of War

November 30, 2016

General News 11/29/2016 at 09:27:50

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This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

Sometimes it’s tough to pull lessons of any sort from our confusing world, but let me mention one obvious (if little noted) case where that couldn’t be less true: the American military and its wars. Since September 11, 2001, the U.S. has been in a state of more or less permanent war in the Greater Middle East and northern Africa. In those years, it’s been involved in a kaleidoscopic range of activities, including full-scale invasions and occupations, large-scale as well as pinpoint bombing campaigns, drone strikes, special ops raids, advisory missions, training programs, and counterinsurgency operations. The U.S. military has fought regular armies, insurgencies, and terror groups of all sorts, Shiites as well as Sunnis. The first war of this era, in Afghanistan — a country Washington declared “liberated” in 2002 — is still underway 16 years later (and not going well). The second war, in Iraq, is still ongoing 13 years later. From Afghanistan to Libya, Syria to Yemen, Iraq to Somalia, the U.S. military effort in these years, sometimes involving “nation building” and enormous “reconstruction” programs, has left in its wake a series of weakened or collapsed states and spreading terror outfits. In short, no matter how the U.S. military has been used, nothing it’s done has truly worked out.

Now, we are about to enter the Trump era in which a series of retired generals, previously involved in these very wars, may end up running parts of the government or directly advising the president-elect on what course to take in the world. As Trump said in his recent interview with the New York Times, speaking of appointing retired General James Mattis as secretary of defense, “I think it’s time maybe, it’s time for a general. Look at what’s going on. We don’t win, we can’t beat anybody, we don’t win anymore. At anything.”

Nonetheless, you don’t have to be either a genius or a general to draw a simple enough lesson from these last 15 years of American war, even if it’s not Trump’s lesson: don’t do it. Of course, the new crew (aka the old crew) will naturally have ideas about how to “utterly destroy ISIS” and fulfill the president’s other promises in ways different from those already used. They will undoubtedly convince themselves that, unlike their predecessors (who just happen to be them), they have answers to the conundrum of how to effectively prosecute the war on terror. They will not, in other words, have learned the obvious lesson of these years and will, in some fashion, once again apply U.S. military power to the Greater Middle East and northern Africa — and whatever they do, however successful it may look in its early moments, it’s a guarantee that further disaster will ensue sooner or later. Guaranteed as well: that vast region will be “greater” only in terms of the ever vaster expanses of rubble where cities and towns used to be; and our “empire of chaos” there will continue to blow back here as well. It will come home in expense, in frustration, and in god knows what other ways.

Rest assured of one thing, it won’t be pretty, either there or here, a point made by TomDispatch regular Andrew Bacevich, author of America’s War for the Greater Middle East, while doing something that, strangely enough, has scarcely been done in all these years of war: evaluating the performance of America’s generals. Tom

Winning
Trump Loves to Do It, But American Generals Have Forgotten How
By Andrew J. Bacevich

President-elect Donald Trump’s message for the nation’s senior military leadership is ambiguously unambiguous. Here is he on 60 Minutes just days after winning the election.

Trump: “We have some great generals. We have great generals.”

Lesley Stahl: “You said you knew more than the generals about ISIS.”

Trump: “Well, I’ll be honest with you, I probably do because look at the job they’ve done. OK, look at the job they’ve done. They haven’t done the job.”

In reality, Trump, the former reality show host, knows next to nothing about ISIS, one of many gaps in his education that his impending encounter with actual reality is likely to fill. Yet when it comes to America’s generals, our president-to-be is onto something. No doubt our three- and four-star officers qualify as “great” in the sense that they mean well, work hard, and are altogether fine men and women. That they have not “done the job,” however, is indisputable — at least if their job is to bring America’s wars to a timely and successful conclusion.

Trump’s unhappy verdict — that the senior U.S. military leadership doesn’t know how to win — applies in spades to the two principal conflicts of the post-9/11 era: the Afghanistan War, now in its 16th year, and the Iraq War, launched in 2003 and (after a brief hiatus) once more grinding on. Yet the verdict applies equally to lesser theaters of conflict, largely overlooked by the American public, that in recent years have engaged the attention of U.S. forces, a list that would include conflicts in Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen.

Granted, our generals have demonstrated an impressive aptitude for moving pieces around on a dauntingly complex military chessboard. Brigades, battle groups, and squadrons shuttle in and out of various war zones, responding to the needs of the moment. The sheer immensity of the enterprise across the Greater Middle East and northern Africa — the sorties flown, munitions expended, the seamless deployment and redeployment of thousands of troops over thousands of miles, the vast stockpiles of material positioned, expended, and continuously resupplied — represents a staggering achievement. Measured by these or similar quantifiable outputs, America’s military has excelled. No other military establishment in history could have come close to duplicating the logistical feats being performed year in, year out by the armed forces of the United States.

Nor should we overlook the resulting body count. Since the autumn of 2001, something like 370,000 combatants and noncombatants have been killed in the various theaters of operations where U.S. forces have been active. Although modest by twentieth century standards, this post-9/11 harvest of death is hardly trivial.

Yet in evaluating military operations, it’s a mistake to confuse how much with how well. Only rarely do the outcomes of armed conflicts turn on comparative statistics. Ultimately, the one measure of success that really matters involves achieving war’s political purposes. By that standard, victory requires not simply the defeat of the enemy, but accomplishing the nation’s stated war aims, and not just in part or temporarily but definitively. Anything less constitutes failure, not to mention utter waste for taxpayers, and for those called upon to fight, it constitutes cause for mourning.

By that standard, having been “at war” for virtually the entire twenty-first century, the United States military is still looking for its first win. And however strong the disinclination to concede that Donald Trump could be right about anything, his verdict on American generalship qualifies as apt.

Never-Ending Parade of Commanders for Wars That Never End

That verdict brings to mind three questions. First, with Trump a rare exception, why have the recurring shortcomings of America’s military leadership largely escaped notice? Second, to what degree does faulty generalship suffice to explain why actual victory has proven so elusive? Third, to the extent that deficiencies at the top of the military hierarchy bear directly on the outcome of our wars, how might the generals improve their game?

As to the first question, the explanation is quite simple: During protracted wars, traditional standards for measuring generalship lose their salience. Without pertinent standards, there can be no accountability. Absent accountability, failings and weaknesses escape notice. Eventually, what you’ve become accustomed to seems tolerable. Twenty-first century Americans inured to wars that never end have long since forgotten that bringing such conflicts to a prompt and successful conclusion once defined the very essence of what generals were expected to do.

Senior military officers were presumed to possess unique expertise in designing campaigns and directing engagements. Not found among mere civilians or even among soldiers of lesser rank, this expertise provided the rationale for conferring status and authority on generals.

In earlier eras, the very structure of wars provided a relatively straightforward mechanism for testing such claims to expertise. Events on the battlefield rendered harsh judgments, creating or destroying reputations with brutal efficiency.

Back then, standards employed in evaluating generalship were clear-cut and uncompromising. Those who won battles earned fame, glory, and the gratitude of their countrymen. Those who lost battles got fired or were put out to pasture.

During the Civil War, for example, Abraham Lincoln did not need an advanced degree in strategic studies to conclude that Union generals like John Pope, Ambrose Burnside, and Joseph Hooker didn’t have what it took to defeat the Army of Northern Virginia. Humiliating defeats sustained by the Army of the Potomac at the Second Bull Run, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville made that obvious enough. Similarly, the victories Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman gained at Shiloh, at Vicksburg, and in the Chattanooga campaign strongly suggested that here was the team to which the president could entrust the task of bringing the Confederacy to its knees.

Today, public drunkenness, petty corruption, or sexual shenanigans with a subordinate might land generals in hot water. But as long as they avoid egregious misbehavior, senior officers charged with prosecuting America’s wars are largely spared judgments of any sort. Trying hard is enough to get a passing grade.

With the country’s political leaders and public conditioned to conflicts seemingly destined to drag on for years, if not decades, no one expects the current general-in-chief in Iraq or Afghanistan to bring things to a successful conclusion. His job is merely to manage the situation until he passes it along to a successor, while duly adding to his collection of personal decorations and perhaps advancing his career.

Today, for example, Army General John Nicholson commands U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan. He’s only the latest in a long line of senior officers to preside over that war, beginning with General Tommy Franks in 2001 and continuing with Generals Mikolashek, Barno, Eikenberry, McNeill, McKiernan, McChrystal, Petraeus, Allen, Dunford, and Campbell. The title carried by these officers changed over time. So, too, did the specifics of their “mission” as Operation Enduring Freedom evolved into Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Yet even as expectations slipped lower and lower, none of the commanders rotating through Kabul delivered. Not a single one has, in our president-elect’s concise formulation, “done the job.” Indeed, it’s increasingly difficult to know what that job is, apart from preventing the Taliban from quite literally toppling the government.

In Iraq, meanwhile, Army Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend currently serves as the — count ’em — ninth American to command U.S. and coalition forces in that country since the George W. Bush administration ordered the invasion of 2003. The first in that line, (once again) General Tommy Franks, overthrew the Saddam Hussein regime and thereby broke Iraq. The next five, Generals Sanchez, Casey, Petraeus, Odierno, and Austin, labored for eight years to put it back together again.

At the end of 2011, President Obama declared that they had done just that and terminated the U.S. military occupation. The Islamic State soon exposed Obama’s claim as specious when its militants put a U.S.-trained Iraqi army to flight and annexed large swathes of that country’s territory. Following in the footsteps of his immediate predecessors Generals James Terry and Sean MacFarland, General Townsend now shoulders the task of trying to restore Iraq’s status as a more or less genuinely sovereign state. He directs what the Pentagon calls Operation Inherent Resolve, dating from June 2014, the follow-on to Operation New Dawn (September 2010-December 2011), which was itself the successor to Operation Iraqi Freedom (March 2003-August 2010).

When and how Inherent Resolve will conclude is difficult to forecast. This much we can, however, say with some confidence: with the end nowhere in sight, General Townsend won’t be its last commander. Other generals are waiting in the wings with their own careers to polish. As in Kabul, the parade of U.S. military commanders through Baghdad will continue.

For some readers, this listing of mostly forgotten names and dates may have a soporific effect. Yet it should also drive home Trump’s point. The United States may today have the world’s most powerful and capable military — so at least we are constantly told. Yet the record shows that it does not have a corps of senior officers who know how to translate capability into successful outcomes.

Draining Which Swamp?

That brings us to the second question: Even if commander-in-chief Trump were somehow able to identify modern day equivalents of Grant and Sherman to implement his war plans, secret or otherwise, would they deliver victory?

On that score, we would do well to entertain doubts. Although senior officers charged with running recent American wars have not exactly covered themselves in glory, it doesn’t follow that their shortcomings offer the sole or even a principal explanation for why those wars have yielded such disappointing results. The truth is that some wars aren’t winnable and shouldn’t be fought.

So, yes, Trump’s critique of American generalship possesses merit, but whether he knows it or not, the question truly demanding his attention as the incoming commander-in-chief isn’t: Who should I hire (or fire) to fight my wars? Instead, far more urgent is: Does further war promise to solve any of my problems?

One mark of a successful business executive is knowing when to cut your losses. It’s also the mark of a successful statesman. Trump claims to be the former. Whether his putative business savvy will translate into the world of statecraft remains to be seen. Early signs are not promising.

As a candidate, Trump vowed to “defeat radical Islamic terrorism,” destroy ISIS, “decimate al-Qaeda,” and “starve funding for Iran-backed Hamas and Hezbollah.” Those promises imply a significant escalation of what Americans used to call the Global War on Terrorism.

Toward that end, the incoming administration may well revive some aspects of the George W. Bush playbook, including repopulating the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and “if it’s so important to the American people,” reinstituting torture. The Trump administration will at least consider re-imposing sanctions on countries like Iran. It may aggressively exploit the offensive potential of cyber-weapons, betting that America’s cyber-defenses will hold.

Yet President Trump is also likely to double down on the use of conventional military force. In that regard, his promise to “quickly and decisively bomb the hell out of ISIS” offers a hint of what is to come. His appointment of the uber-hawkish Lieutenant General Michael Flynn as his national security adviser and his rumored selection of retired Marine Corps General James (“Mad Dog”) Mattis as defense secretary suggest that he means what he says. In sum, a Trump administration seems unlikely to reexamine the conviction that the problems roiling the Greater Middle East will someday, somehow yield to a U.S.-imposed military solution. Indeed, in the face of massive evidence to the contrary, that conviction will deepen, with genuinely ironic implications for the Trump presidency.

In the immediate wake of 9/11, George W. Bush concocted a fantasy of American soldiers liberating oppressed Afghans and Iraqis and thereby “draining the swamp” that served to incubate anti-Western terrorism. The results achieved proved beyond disappointing, while the costs exacted in terms of lives and dollars squandered were painful indeed. Incrementally, with the passage of time, many Americans concluded that perhaps the swamp most in need of attention was not on the far side of the planet but much closer at hand — right in the imperial city nestled alongside the Potomac River.

To a very considerable extent, Trump defeated Hillary Clinton, preferred candidate of the establishment, because he advertised himself as just the guy disgruntled Americans could count on to drain that swamp.

Yet here’s what too few of those Americans appreciate, even today: war created that swamp in the first place. War empowers Washington. It centralizes. It provides a rationale for federal authorities to accumulate and exercise new powers. It makes government bigger and more intrusive. It lubricates the machinery of waste, fraud, and abuse that causes tens of billions of taxpayer dollars to vanish every year. When it comes to sustaining the swamp, nothing works better than war.

Were Trump really intent on draining that swamp — if he genuinely seeks to “Make America Great Again” — then he would extricate the United States from war. His liquidation of Trump University, which was to higher education what Freedom’s Sentinel and Inherent Resolve are to modern warfare, provides a potentially instructive precedent for how to proceed.

But don’t hold your breath on that one. All signs indicate that, in one fashion or another, our combative next president will perpetuate the wars he’s inheriting. Trump may fancy that, as a veteran of Celebrity Apprentice (but not of military service), he possesses a special knack for spotting the next Grant or Sherman. But acting on that impulse will merely replenish the swamp in the Greater Middle East along with the one in Washington. And soon enough, those who elected him with expectations of seeing the much-despised establishment dismantled will realize that they’ve been had.

Which brings us, finally, to that third question: To the extent that deficiencies at the top of the military hierarchy do affect the outcome of wars, what can be done to fix the problem?

The most expeditious approach: purge all currently serving three- and four-star officers; then, make a precondition for promotion to those ranks confinement in a reeducation camp run by Iraq and Afghanistan war amputees, with a curriculum designed by Veterans for Peace. Graduation should require each student to submit an essay reflecting on these words of wisdom from U.S. Grant himself: “There never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found to prevent the drawing of the sword.”

True, such an approach may seem a bit draconian. But this is no time for half-measures — as even Donald Trump may eventually recognize.

Andrew J. Bacevich, a TomDispatch regular, is professor emeritus of history and international relations at Boston University. His most recent book is America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History.

Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Book, Nick Turse’s Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead, and Tom Engelhardt’s latest book, Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.

Tom Engelhardt, who runs the Nation Institute’s Tomdispatch.com (“a regular antidote to the mainstream media”), is the co-founder of the American Empire Project and, most recently, the author of Mission Unaccomplished: Tomdispatch Interviews with American Iconoclasts and Dissenters (Nation Books), the first collection of Tomdispatch interviews.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, The Swamp of War Sometimes it’s tough to pull lessons of any sort from our confusing world, but let me mention one obvious (if little noted) case where that couldn’t be less true: the American military and its wars.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: William Hartung, Trump for the Defense As with so much of what Donald Trump has said in recent months, his positions on Pentagon spending are, to be polite, a bundle of contradictions.

Monday, November 21, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, No “New Normal” The night after the election, this long-time pacifist dreamed she shot a big white man carrying an arsenal of guns. He was wandering around a room full of people, waving a pistol and threatening to fire.

Thursday, November 17, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Mattea Kramer, You Don’t Leave Home Without It Not long before Election Day, but thousands of miles away in the Afghan village of Bouz Kandahari, 30 to 36 civilians died (including a significant number of children and infants).

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 (2 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Nick Turse, America, the Election, and the Dismal Tide It wasn’t to be, but had it been, Hillary Clinton would have become not only the first woman president, but the first president to enter the Oval Office as a lame duck.

Monday, November 14, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Engelhardt, Through the Gates of Hell The one thing you could say about empires is that, at or near their height, they have always represented a principle of order as well as domination.

Monday, November 7, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Michael Klare, Whose Finger on the Nuclear Button? Once upon a time, when choosing a new president, a factor for many voters was the perennial question: “Whose finger do you want on the nuclear button?”

Thursday, November 3, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Engelhardt, Resurrecting My Parents From the Dead for Election 2016 To say that this is the election from hell is to insult hell.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Ann Jones, Donald Trump’s Open Carry Donald Trump grabbed a new lifeline. Speaking at a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, on October 15th, he raised a hand as if to take an oath and declared: “I am a victim!”

Monday, October 31, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Nate Terani, One Veteran’s War on Islamophobia Recently, I was asked a question about Kill Anything That Moves, my history of civilian suffering during the Vietnam War. An interviewer wanted to know how I responded to veterans who took offense at the (supposed) implication that every American who served in Vietnam committed atrocities.

Thursday, October 27, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Nomi Prins, Too Big to Fail, Hillary-Style Of a Hillary Clinton presidency, so much less has been written and yet she’s the woman who never saw a bank CEO she couldn’t get a couple of hundred thousand dollars from for giving thoroughly unsurprising speeches.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: William Hartung, The Doctrine of Armed Exceptionalism Here’s the strangeness of it all: America’s wars have been going badly for years in almost every way imaginable across the Greater Middle East and North Africa and yet, the Pentagon’s budget is already coming up roses and no matter who enters the Oval Office, it’s only going to get bigger.

Monday, October 24, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Gary Younge, America’s Deserving and Undeserving Dead Children On average, seven children a day, about 2,500 a year, are shot to death in this country. Given the availability of guns of every sort here, this should surprise no one.

Thursday, October 20, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Nick Turse, The Perpetual Killing Field Today’s TomDispatch post is a monumental piece of reporting from “the worst place on Earth” and, on a planet where, from Cambodia to Rwanda, people remember the grim slaughter grounds of our recent history, the least noticed “killing fields” around.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Sandy Tolan, The Death of the Two-State Solution The Obama administration just agreed to a 10-year military aid deal that will give Israel $38 billion dollars in, among other things, America’s most advanced weapons systems. The White House terms it “the largest single pledge of military assistance in U.S. history.”

Monday, October 17, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, Finding Hope in Dismal Times Luckily, not everyone has been glued to the screen, eternally watching The Donald. From Black Lives Matter to the climate change movement, activists have, as TomDispatch regular Rebecca Gordon points out in a powerful (and powerfully upbeat) new post, never stopped working to make this a better world.

Thursday, October 13, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: John Feffer, Slouching Toward the Apocalypse This piece suggests far wilder ways in which Trump couldn’t be more in that same grain, if what you have in mind is the Dr. Strangelovian current that runs through American life, involving evangelicals, apocalyptics, survivalists, and white racists; even his extremity, that is, couldn’t be more us — or, if you prefer, more U.S. This one is an original and definitely a must-read!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Dilip Hiro, Unipolar No More As Dilip Hiro points out in his TomDispatch post today, if you’ve noticed the growing assertiveness of China and Russia, you’ll know that we’re on an increasingly multipolar planet.

Thursday, October 6, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Engelhardt, This Is Not About Donald Trump I attempt to take a step back when it comes to the Trump phenomenon and look at what, despite the millions of words pouring out about him, is seldom said or thought much about: the ways in which, unique as this presidential election season may be, Trump himself couldn’t be more in the American tradition — as American, in fact, as a piece of McDonald’s baked apple pie.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, The National Security Void You may have missed it. Perhaps you dozed off. Or wandered into the kitchen to grab a snack. Or by that point in the proceedings were checking out Seinfeld reruns. During the latter part of the much hyped but excruciating-to-watch first presidential debate, Lester Holt posed a seemingly straightforward but cunningly devised question.

Monday, October 3, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Karen Greenberg, What Actually Keeps Americans Safe We have a vast national security state that remains remarkably helpless when it comes to finding the terrorists in our American world. It is simply incapable of picking those unexpected needles out of the vast haystack of us.

Thursday, September 29, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Nomi Prins, Trump’s Future Piggy Bank, Our Country? As Nomi Prins, author of All the Presidents’ Bankers points out in her latest TomDispatch piece on election 2016, there’s one thing Donald Trump is not prepared to do, whatever the political positions he may espouse: give up what’s best for Donald Trump.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016 (3 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Nick Turse, Killing People, Breaking Things, and America’s Winless Wars America’s post-9/11 wars have been going on for years and it seems as if, in conflict after conflict, the U.S. military can’t get out of them and can’t win any of them either.

Monday, September 26, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, Arresting Our Way to “Justice” More than 2.3 million people are in American jails and prisons at any moment, more than 11 million cycling through them each year.

Thursday, September 22, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Engelhardt, War, Peace, and Absurdity Here’s my version of why, in war and peace, bombing and politics, the stories out of this country these days should boggle our minds.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Chip Ward, Peace Pipes, Not Oil Pipes With the return of Utah environmentalist Chip Ward to TomDispatch comes a vivid analysis of the latest dramatic oil pipeline battle in the West, the stand-off at Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

Monday, September 19, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Peter Van Buren, Class of 2017 — So Sorry! Fifteen years after 9/11, war and possible war are embedded in our American way of life and the public is consumed with safety and security-related fears, of terrorism in particular, that have little basis in reality but have helped immensely to expand our national security state.

Thursday, September 15, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Michael Klare, The Rise of the Right and Climate Catastrophe Today, consider what TomDispatch’s invaluable energy expert Michael Klare has to say about the rise of versions of The Donald globally and what, in climate-change terms, that means for the health of our planet.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Aviva Chomsky, Deportations “R” Us Sometimes, as today at TomDispatch, what’s needed is a little history lesson to remind us that what seems unique in our moment — in this case, Donald Trump’s attitude toward immigrants (whether Mexican or Syrian) — is anything but unique to our time.

Monday, September 12, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Bill Moyers, Money and Power in America Bill Moyers on how the U.S. became a 1% society — and why democracy and plutocracy don’t mix.

Thursday, September 8, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Engelhardt, A 9/11 Retrospective: Washington’s 15-Year Air War I offer what I hope is a unique 9/11 retrospective for the 15th anniversary of that nightmare: a look at what’s been at the heart of events since that morning — a set of air wars that have gone on fruitlessly and destructively for 15 years and show no signs of ever ending.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Nick Turse, What the U.S. Military Doesn’t Know (and Neither Do You) What the Pentagon and the U.S. military do matters greatly on this conflicted planet of ours, which is why I regularly find it amazing, even unnerving, that, in a world of monster media organizations, covering what the U.S. military does in Africa — and it’s doing more and more there — has largely been left to Nick Turse of TomDispatch.

Monday, August 29, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Arlie Hochschild, Trumping Environmentalism TomDispatch takes you on a remarkable journey into the bayous of Louisiana, a world of Tea Party supporters, of an environmental disaster, and of the confounding contradictions of American political life in the midst of Election 2016.

Thursday, August 25, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Ann Jones, “I Didn’t Serve, I Was Used” At TomDispatch today, a powerful piece on how, from Big Pharma to the Koch brothers, vets coming home from America’s wars have been taken to the cleaners.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Todd Miller, The Great Mexican Wall Deception Todd Miller reminds us, Trump supporters shouldn’t feel complete despair if, in the course of this election campaign, The Donald goes down in flames.

Monday, August 22, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, Making Sense of Trump and His National Security State Critics Rebecca Gordon takes a clear-eyed look at the Republican national security luminaries who recently signed a letter declaring Donald Trump unfit for the Oval Office (and yes, indeed, he is unfit for office).

Thursday, August 18, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Best of TomDispatch: Andrew Bacevich, Pentagon, Inc. A writer who dares to revisit a snarky article dashed off five-plus years earlier will necessarily approach the task with some trepidation. Pieces such as the one republished below are not drafted with the expectation that they will enjoy a protracted shelf life. Yet in this instance, I’m with Edith Piaf: Non, je ne regrette rien.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Judith Coburn, On the Mean Streets of America Step aside, Sam Spade. Move over, Philip Marlowe. You want noir? Skip the famed private eye novels and films of the 1930s and 1940s and turn to our present American world and to neighborhoods where the postman doesn’t ring even once, but the police are ready to shoot more than once, often on the slightest excuse.

Thursday, August 11, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: William Astore, Why It’s So Hard for Members of the Military to Speak Out These days, who writes about how little public dissent or criticism of U.S. foreign policy and its disastrous wars comes from those who are at the heart of the process, who should know so much better than the rest of us? In all these years, I’ve seen next to nothing on the subject military dissent in particular.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016 (2 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Engelhardt, The Election From Hell Consider this post my attempt to make some sense of what we’re still calling an “election campaign,” although it has by now become more like an all-encompassing way of life and, despite its many “debates” (that now garner National Football League-sized audiences), is also what I label “the tao of confusion.”

Thursday, August 4, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, Pseudo-Election 2016 Andrew Bacevich takes a trip back to his childhood — to the 1956 election between Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower and Democrat Adlai Stevenson and offers a particularly clear-eyed look at how, over six decades, American politics at the national level descended into the pathological election campaign of the present moment.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Nick Turse, The U.S. Military Pivots to Africa and That Continent Goes Down the Drain Things are not exactly going well militarily 15 years after 9/11. The Obama administration will hand over at least seven wars and conflicts across the Greater Middle East and Africa to the next administration and from Afghanistan to Libya, Somalia, and Nigeria, things are just getting worse.

Monday, August 1, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Frida Berrigan, Guns for Tots Frida Berrigan uses her experiences as a mother with her three young children to explore, in a freewheeling and fascinating way, toy culture, toy guns, the NRA, the weapons industry, and kids (and what we adults can take from such subjects).

Tuesday, July 26, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: William Hartung, How to Arm a “Volatile” Planet So here’s this morning’s puzzle for you: two major U.S. industries make things that go boom in the night: Hollywood and the arms business.

Monday, July 25, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Engelhardt, Crimes Against the Future In this one, as befits my age, I imagine the world I will, sooner or later, be leaving behind: a destabilizing country and a planet filling with refugees, especially millions of children uprooted from their worlds and lives, deprived often of parents, education, and a childhood.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Adam Hochschild, Letting Tarzan Swing Through History Adam Hochschild recently discovered that the latest reboot of the Tarzan movies, The Legend of Tarzan, was, bizarrely enough, in part based on his classic book King Leopold’s Ghost — on, that is, the colonial nightmare of the Belgian Congo.

Monday, July 18, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, How Extrajudicial Executions Became “War” Policy in Washington Rebecca Gordon’s new post is an eye-opening look at how two American administrations changed the nature of war, using the drone to bring extrajudicial executions — presidentially ordered assassinations — into the heartland of American foreign policy.

Thursday, July 14, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Michael Klare, Fossil Fuels Forever Based on the latest yearly report from the U.S. Department of Energy, while renewable forms of energy are growing far faster than anyone expected, so — startlingly enough — is the use of fossil fuels. As a result, it looks like oil, coal, and natural gas will continue to expand and dominate the global energy landscape for decades to come.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: William Astore, We Have Met the Alien and He Is Us When we go to the movies, we identify with the outgunned rebels, the underdogs, the liberators, against the alien invaders, the imperial stormtroopers, the Terminators. Here, however, is one retired Air Force lieutenant colonel’s hard won realization that we — the U.S. military in particular — may be the invading “aliens” in much of the world.

Monday, July 11, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Nomi Prins, Trump Wins (Even If He Loses) Nomi Prins turns to the billionaire who has taken possession of us all. Her focus: his frenetic version of “You’re fired!” this election season and how that’s played out with the Republican establishment, without whom (and without whose money) she doubts he can make it to the Oval Office.

Thursday, July 7, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Engelhardt, Where Did the American Century Go? Is this actually the American Century? And concludes that perhaps it’s not, despite the fact that we remain the globe’s “sole superpower.”

Tuesday, July 5, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Nick Turse, Revolving Doors, Robust Rolodexes, and Runaway Generals Nick Turse offers a riveting look at what “retirement” means for top commanders in the U.S. military and believe me, if you don’t think public service pays big time, think again.

Thursday, June 30, 2016 (2 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Thomas Frank, Worshipping Money in D.C. Thomas Frank takes us on an eye-opening tour of the lobbying industry in Washington, a dimly lit corner of “corruption-free America,” a completely legal and remarkably unethical world that comes with its own guidebook: Influence, a newsletter chronicling daily dalliances involving money, alcohol, and political influence.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Patrick Cockburn, An Endless Cycle of Indecisive Wars As Patrick Cockburn points out in his TomDispatch post today, we have entered “an age of disintegration.” And he should know. There may be no Western reporter who has covered the grim dawn of that age in the Greater Middle East and North Africa.

Monday, June 27, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: John Feffer, Donald Trump and America B John Feffer focuses on the post-Cold War global economy and who it left behind, a group that has no name here but is known in Poland as “Poland B” and is now triumphantly represented in power by a rabid right-wing political party there.

Thursday, June 23, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Nick Turse, Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics… and U.S. Africa Command Turse explores the way U.S. Africa Command has seemingly massaged its numbers in testimony to Congress and so evidently managed to disappear piles of its missions on that continent, obscuring the expansion of U.S. military operations there.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 (4 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: William Astore, The End of Air Power? air power alone can’t be blamed for the sorry fates of the lands of the Greater Middle East, increasingly descending into chaos and terror, but let’s just say — as retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel William Astore does in his new post — that it has proven startlingly incapable of producing any positive results.

Thursday, June 16, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Andrew Cockburn, Victory Assured on the Military’s Main Battlefield — Washington Today, Andrew Cockburn, whose recent book, Kill Chain: The Rise of the High-Tech Assassins (just out in paperback), is a devastating account of how U.S. drone warfare really works, suggests that such results are anything but. Quite the opposite, it represents strategic thinking and maneuvering of the first order and results in the Pentagon regularly taking the budgetary high ground in Washington.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Ann Jones, Donald Trump Has the Traits of a Wife Abuser and Women Know It Ann Jones makes sense of Donald Trump’s stunningly unfavorable polling numbers among women and why, thanks to what lies behind them, the only billionaire in the running may not, in fact, make it to the White House.

Noam ChomskyMonday, June 13, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Noam Chomsky, Tick… Tick… Tick… It’s no small horror that, on this planet of ours, humanity continues to foster two apocalyptic forces, each of which — one in a relative instant and the other over many decades — could cripple or destroy human life as we know it.

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

How I Produce Fake News for Russia

November 29, 2016

David Swanson via WarIsACrime.org david@davidswanson.org via sg.actionnetwork.org
6:12 PM (4 hours ago)

Please read my response to the Washington Post’s labeling non-corporate viewpoints “Russian propaganda”:

How I Produce Fake News for Russia

While Russia has, in fact, failed to ever pay me a dime for anything, so — for the most part — have all the outlets I’ve written for that the Washington Post has smeared. I depend for my work on generous support from you. Please donate what you can.
Without your help I can’t produce Talk Nation Radio (free to any station, please recommend it to them), or maintain WarIsACrime.org and DavidSwanson.org. Here are three recent TNR shows:

Greg Palast on Stripping 7 Million Voters from Rolls, Swinging Election

Jonathan Simon on How Machines May Have Counted Our Votes Wrong

Sonia Kennebeck on the Drone as National Bird
Without your help I can’t keep speaking at events like these:

Dec. 1 David Swanson speaking at the Iraq Tribunal in Washington DC. (Watch the livestream!)

Dec. 7 David Swanson at screening of National Bird at Naro Cinema in Norfolk Va.

Dec. 10 David Swanson speaking at summit on Gun Violence at American University in Washington DC.

Without your help I can’t keep doing interviews:
AUDIO: I discussed what else on connect the dots
AUDIO: I discussed elections and other catastrophes with Paulette Spencer on WBAI last night

Video: I debated US election today on Press TV

Without your help I can’t keep creating initiatives like this (please sign!):
To: Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court

People of the U.S. and World Ask ICC to Prosecute U.S. War Crimes: SIGN.

Without your help I can’t keep writing:
Top 10 Reasons This Year’s Nobel Peace Prize Events Will Feature Henry Kissinger

Solving Abusive International Relationships

James Mattis Is a Secretary of Offense

Dear Mr. Trump, About Your 29 Ideas

Registering Japanese Americans Is Precedent Only for Crime

Born on Home Plate

Michael Flynn Should Remember Truths He Blurted Out Last Year

Another $11.6 Billion for Obama/Trump Wars? Hell No!

John Heuer Was a Tremendous Advocate of Peace

The Skeletons in Keith Ellison’s Display Case

Now More Than Ever: Stand for Peace in Charlottesville

Un-Trump the World

Calexit Yes

Top 10 Election Problems

Armistice Day 98 Years On and the Need for a Peace to End All Wars

A Good Time to Review Bush’s War Crimes

Hurricane Donald and the Storms of Changing Climate

Now We Can Finally Get to Work

The US Wars No One is Talking About and Obama’s Foreign Policy Legacy

Post-Election To-Do List

How Drone Pilots Talk

What Could Unite a Larger Peace Movement? Oh, This!

I appreciate your support!

If you need your donations to be tax deductible, please donate to World Beyond War.
Help support DavidSwanson.org, WarIsACrime.org, and TalkNationRadio.org by clicking here: http://davidswanson.org/donate.

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The First 100 Day Resistance Agenda

November 26, 2016

Published on
Monday, November 21, 2016
by RobertReich.org

byRobert Reich
34 Comments

Resist. In all the ways we can imagine. (Image: Pixabay/CC0/with overlay)
Trump’s First 100 Day agenda includes repealing environmental regulations, Obamacare, and the Dodd-Frank Act, giving the rich a huge tax cut, and much worse. Here’s the First 100 Day resistance agenda [with thanks to Alan Webber]:

1. Get Democrats in the Congress and across the country to pledge to oppose Trump’s agenda. Prolong the process of approving choices, draw out hearings, stand up as sanctuary cities and states. Take a stand. Call your senator and your representative (phone calls are always better than writing). Your senator’s number here. Your representative’s number here.

2. March and demonstrate—in a coordinated, well-managed way. The “1 Million Women March” is already scheduled for the Inauguration —and will be executed with real skill. See here. There will be “sister” marches around the country—in LA and elsewhere. They need to be coordinated and orchestrated. And then? 1 Million Muslims? 1 Million Latinos? What would keep the momentum alive and keep the message going?

3. Boycott all Trump products, real estate, hotels, resorts, everything. And then boycott all stores (like Nordstrom) that carry merchandise from Trump family brands. See here. See also here.

4. Letters to Editors: A national letter-writing campaign, from people all over the country, every walk of life and every level of society, from celebrities to sports heroes to grassroots Americans. In most papers, the Letters to the Editor section is the most-read part of the paper.

5. Op-Eds: A steady flow of arguments about the fallacies and dangers of Trump’s First 100 Day policies and initiatives, from name-brand thinkers and doers to ordinary folk writing for their city’s or community’s newspaper.

6. Social media: What about a new YouTube channel devoted to video testimonials about resisting Trump’s First 100 Day Agenda? Crowd-sourced ideas, themes and memes. Who wants to start it?

7. Website containing up-to-date daily bulletins on what actions people are planning around the country, and where, so others can join in. Techies, get organized.

8. Investigative journalism: We need investigative journalists to dig into the backgrounds of all of Trump’s appointees, in the White House, the Cabinet, Ambassadors and judges.

9. Lawsuits: Our version of “Drill, baby, drill” is “Sue, baby, sue.” Throw sand in the gears. Lawyers, get organized.

10. Coordinated fund-raising: Rather than having every public-interest group appeal on their own, have a coordinated fundraising program to fill the coffers of the most endangered and effective opposition groups. Is there a way to do a televised fundraiser with celebrities raising money for the Resistance?

11. Symbolic opposition: Safety pins are already appearing. What else? What more? Make the resistance visible with bumper stickers, a label pin, a branding campaign that has great language, great logo, great wrist band (remember the Lance Armstrong “Livestrong” yellow wrist band—it sold millions!).

12. Intellectual opposition: Take Trump on where he’s weakest—with serious ideas. I’ll try to do my part. You do yours, too.

13. Serious accountability: Establish performance metrics to evaluate his delivery on his campaign promises. An updated web site of promises made and not kept. This is one especially suited to public policy students.

14. Your idea goes here. Call a meeting of family and friends this weekend. Come up with to-dos.

The First 100 Days Resistance Agenda. We’re not going away.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.
Robert Reich
Robert Reich, one of the nation’s leading experts on work and the economy, is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. Time Magazine has named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the last century. He has written thirteen books, including his latest best-seller, Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future; The Work of Nations; Locked in the Cabinet; Supercapitalism; and his newest, Beyond Outrage. His syndicated columns, television appearances, and public radio commentaries reach millions of people each week. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, and Chairman of the citizen’s group Common Cause. His widely-read blog can be found at http://www.robertreich.org.

Message to President Bach of the IOC

November 25, 2016

皆様

バッハIOC 会長宛メッセージをお届けいたします。
東京五輪が原子力問題と表裏の関係にあることを国民は
理解するに至っていることを指摘しました。

P.S.で指摘したとおり電通が3年半前から原発の広告
を再開したことに多くの国民は怒っております。
国会で電通を通ずる資金の支払いを認めたJOCの内部調査の結果は
公的に了承されたのでしょうか。
IOC は under control 発言を放置し続けております。小池都知事に 不純の
影響力を行使しているのではと見られ出しております。
P.S. で指摘しましたが総括原価方式の継続容認にも呆れます。
天地の摂理は不道徳の永続を許さないことを関係者は想起するべきです。

ご理解とご支援をお願い申し上げます。

 村田光平
(元駐スイス大使)

Dear Friends,

I am sending you my message addressed to President Bach of the IOC.
I have sent this message to Governor Yuriko Koike,reminding her
that the results of the investigation of the payment of a large amount of money
by the JOC through Dentsu are yet to be officially reported.
We are entering a new stage that could require a crisis management.
Please allow me to count on your understandin and support.

With warmest regards,
Mitsuhei Murata
Former Ambassador to Switzerland

(My message to President Bach sent on 24 November,2016)

Dear President Thomas Bach,

I am sending this message for your information.
The Tokyo Olympic Games is closely linked with the nuclear issue.
It plays down the gravity of the consequenses of Fukushima nuclear disaster.
The Japanese people have now clearly understood this link.

The decision of Vietnam to stop constructing two nuclear reactors
seems to be of great significance. Great Britain may face the similar
obstacles. Deepening meltdown of nuclear industries as asserted by an eminent expert ?

An influential weekly magazine “Shukan Gendai”(December 3)published
the attached article entitled “Governor Yuriko Koike could decide on
retreating from the Tokyo Olympic.”
Please just have a glance at it.
It is nothing but a surmise, but it helps to awaken the public opinion.
Two days ago, Asahi News Paper reported the publication of a book
“Anti- Tokyo Olympic Declaration”.

The erthquake and the subsequent tsunami in Fukuhima remind us of the huge mistake
to have constructed 54 nuclear reactors in Japan.
The remedy is obvious and needs urgent action.

Dentsu is envolved in publicity promoting nuclear reactors since three and half years ago. .
The public is extremely critical about it.
The results of the ongoing investigation about Dentsu’s mismanagement of its working system
are awaited with great interest.

With highest regards,
Mitsuhei Murata

P.S. In my message sent to you on 18 July,2016, I wrote;

“In the book review of ”The propaganda of nuclear reactors”(Iwanami Shinsho) published in the Asahi News Paper of 10 July,a surprising fact is revealed.Two major advertising companies,the Dentsu Group and the Hakuhoudou had spent more than 2 trillion 400 billion yen to promote nuclear reactors prior to 3・11Fukushima Accident.The propaganda restarted around March,2013,and is diffusing a ” myth of security”,minimizing the dangers of radiation.The infamous accounting system (soukatsu genka houshiki)is still allowed to persist and allows the accumulation of benefits defined as a given percentage of the costs!
The higher the cost, the bigher the benefit !
This system is the source of the promotion of nuclear reactors.
The impact of this book is beyond imagination.”

No Discrimination, Oppression!

November 22, 2016

Friend —

Just a few weeks after my fifth birthday, in the spring of 1942, my parents got my younger brother, my baby sister, and me up very early, hurriedly dressed us, and quickly started to pack.

When my brother and I looked out the window of our living room, we saw two soldiers marching up the driveway, bayonets fixed to their rifles. They banged on our front door and ordered us out of the house. We could take only what we could carry with us.

We were loaded on to train cars with other Japanese-American families, with guards stationed at both ends of each car as though we were criminals, and sent two-thirds of the way across the country to an internment camp in the swamps of Arkansas.

For nearly three years, barbed wire, sentry towers, and armed guards marked home. Mass showers, lousy meals in crowded mess halls, and a searchlight following me as I ran from our barracks to the latrine in the middle of the night — in case I was trying to escape — became normal.

So when I hear Donald Trump’s transition advisors talk about building a registry of Muslims and his surrogates using the internment of Japanese-Americans as their model, I am outraged — because I remember the tears streaming down my mother’s face as we were torn away from our home. And I am resolved to raise my voice and say, loudly and clearly, that this is not who we are.

My mother was born in Sacramento, my father grew up in San Francisco, and my siblings and I were born in Los Angeles. We were American citizens, as proud of our country as we were of our Japanese heritage. But in the fear and mass hysteria of wartime, none of that mattered. When our government allowed hatred and racism to overtake our values, nothing else mattered.

We cannot allow our country to be led down that dark path ever again.

I am committed to fighting for our values, our democracy, and the moral character of our nation. And I am committed to standing with the Democratic Party against bigotry and oppression for the next four years and beyond, no matter what form it takes. I hope you will do the same. Add your name today to stand with me:

http://my.democrats.org/Next

Thank you,

George

Election: Here’s what we do now – a personal note of Greg Palast

November 21, 2016

GregPalast.com

Here’s what we do now – a personal note
by Greg Palast

Being right never felt so horrid.
“This is the story of the theft of the 2016 election.
It’s a crime still in progress.”
So opens my film, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.
And on Election night I waited for the returns to make a fool of me.

Instead, the returns made the fool a President.

And so, my vacation’s cancelled. My life’s cancelled; that is, a life of anything but sleuthing and exposing the details of the heist of our democracy.

What’s at stake?
No way around it, this is one frightening moment.

Decades of progress created with sweat and determination face destruction. Within the next six months, we may see the Voting Rights Act repealed—and civil rights set back 50 years; the entirety of our environmental protection laws burnt in a coal pit; police cruelty made our urban policy; the Education Department closed to give billionaires a tax holiday; and a howling anti-Semite as White House Senior Counselor.

But the horror we face is countered by this one hard and hopeful fact: Donald Trump did NOT win this election.

Trump not only lost the popular vote by millions — he did not legitimately win the swing states of the Electoral College.

Michigan, Florida, North Carolina, Arizona, Ohio: every one was stolen through sophisticated, and sickeningly racist vote suppression tactics.

If you saw my report for Democracy Now! on election morning, it revealed that Ohio GOP officials turned off anti-hacking software on voting machines, forced Black voters to wait hours in line (while whites had no wait).

And, crucially, I confirmed that purged tens of thousands of minority voters on fake accusations they’d voted twice. I first exposed this bogus double-voter blacklist called Crosscheck, in Rolling Stone. It’s the sick excrescence crafted by Kris Kobach, the Trump transition team’s maven who also created the Muslim-tracker software he’s bringing to the Trump administration.

What can we do now?
I have been INUNDATED with requests for my factual reports and findings by media and, most important, the front-line activist groups preparing for the fierce fight to protect our votes. Some examples:
Rev. William Barber of the NAACP filed a suit based in North Carolina, hoping to overturn the Trump “victory” — and protect the tiny margin of the Democrat’s win of the Governor’s mansion. The NAACP cites my discovery of “Crosscheck” — in which North Carolina removed upwards of 190,000 voters on false charges they voted twice.
They now need my facts.
Congressmen Keith Ellison and Alcee Hastings of the Congressional Black Caucus, personally presented Attorney General Loretta Lynch with my investigative reports and demanded investigation — “and indictments.” That investigation must kick off immediately.
They now need my facts.
The Asian-American civil rights group 18 Million Rising has gathered 50,000 signatures to push the Justice Department to investigate my evidence of a massive attack on the Asian-American vote.
They now need my facts.
In Michigan, the ACLU is ready to take action on the purge scheme I uncovered, “Crosscheck,” that wrongly gave the state to Trump. In Ohio, voting rights attorney Robert Fitrakis is going into court with evidence, much that I uncovered, of racist voting games — from 5-hour-long lines in Black precincts to shutting off ballot security measures on the voting machines.
The team need my facts.

I expect to be in Washington at the Justice Dept and meeting with civil rights groups in December before the Electoral College meets.

Information—plus film, video, investigative reports
And beyond the voluminous files and confidential documents my team has uncovered, we are deluged with requests for our film, videos, writings and more.

And now we have US networks, even major comedy shows, asking for our material and, of course, new investigative findings.

Information and facts make a difference
With our investigative reports, with our hard and unassailable evidence, we can challenge the legitimacy of the Trump “election.” Most important, we must begin the difficult but necessary work of protecting and restoring voting rights. The 2018 Election — and the threat of more stolen elections — is upon us.

What we need to keep going…
Your extraordinary support and faith in our work funded my film The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, which is now more relevant than ever and being seen by ever more audiences.

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Fukushima Nuclear Waste Annihilates Pacific Ecosystem

November 16, 2016

福島の核廃棄物により破壊される太平洋のエコシステム

皆様

本日福島の核廃棄物により破壊される太平洋のエコシステムと題する
アラーミングなメールが寄せられましたので下記の通りBCC英文発信で拡散いたしました。
下記のコメントを付しました。
「一瞥すれば世界は福島に由来する現実の危険に目覚めるでしょう。
止められない福島の惨事への対応に最大限努力するため、
日本が東京五輪から撤退することが緊急に必要とされます。
できるだけ広範囲で人類の叡智を動員することが不可欠となっております。」
福島隠しは既に限界です。
皆様のご理解とご支援をお願い申し上げます。

 村田光平
(元駐スイス大使)

Dear Friends,

I received this mail this morning.
Just a glance at it will help the world to be awakened
to the real and present dangers emanating from Fukushima.
Japan’s retreat from the Tokyo OLympic 2020 in order to consecrate
maximum efforts to cope with the unstoppable Fukushima disaster
is urgently needed.
The mobilization of human wisdom on the widest possible scale
is indispensable.

With warmest regards,
Mitsuhei Murata
Former Ambassador to Switzerland

Fukushima Nuclear Waste
Annihilates Pacific Ecosystem

By Yoichi Shimatsu
Exclusive To Rense
5-24-16

Strolling over the cliffs in Southern California, I looked down at a white-sand beach pimpled with a crimson rash along the high-tide line. Close up, the red dots turned out to be hundreds of thousands of thumb-sized crustaceans of the species Pleuroncodes planipes that resemble tiny lobsters. Most of those pelagic red crabs or langostilla, also known as tuna crabs, were sprawled dead on the sand, tangled in strands of kelp or alive but listless inside the rocky tide pools. The crustaceans appeared to be in fresh, without signs of injury or disease, and there was no stench of the fish market.

Beached pelagic red crabs at Crystal Cove, Orange County, May 2016

Dosimeter reading of red crab, 0.7 points above human safety level

Seagulls had left the smaller limbs at the water’s edge but soon quit the all-you-can eat buffet, indicating their ability to detect a hidden toxin. The langostilla kill-off cannot be called an act of nature since my dosimeter detected radiation levels of between 0.12 microSieverts per hour and 0.18 micSv in their bodies. The official safety level for human health set by the pro-nuclear government of Japan is 0.11. Considering the difference in body weight and the water content in their flesh, these marine creatures were terminated by radioactive exposure.
A World Without Mercy
A Japanese saying about the predatory instinct translates as: “Nature is harsh”. Hermit crabs are natural-born killers, whose feasting on victims was the last act of gratification in a microcosm without mercy or moral conscience. Inside the barren tide pools, shell-shielded hermit crabs skittered toward living langostilla to prod and poke at the jerking joints. After hacking off a limb from its prey, a hermit crab would stumble off to dine in private, only to be accosted and robbed by fellow thieves. One pelagic red crab still had the residual energy to escape its attackers by darting backward, propelled by curling its tail. Its blind retreat led straight to a gang of hermits that pounced on the meal.
While most other shoreline species have hit dead end by now, these tiny monsters survive by tucking their thoraxes into the shells of dead mollusks, which serve as a shield against the elements and other predators. The calcium content of the stolen shells seems to block strontium, temporarily at least, affording the hermits a critical edge over other types of crabs, whose bare flesh is vulnerable to radioactivity during molting. The undisturbed cherry-blossom pink flesh of a rock crab revealed an utter lack of defense against radioactive seawater when bereft of its hard carapace. Though it smelled as salty sweet as any tidbit at a sushi bar, no hermit or gull came near it, here again indicating predators have a sensory alarm against radioactive flesh.
Along 3 kilometers of an otherwise lifeless coastline, I saw thousands of twitching shells that housed hermit crabs, but only a handful of surviving rock crabs. This proportion is in stark contrast with two years earlier when rock crabs were a dominant species in tide pools, then brimming with marine organisms including anemones, mussels, sea snails, giant keyhole limpets, colorful fishes, rock lobsters and octopuses. The kill-off is by now over, and the radioactivity in langostilla flesh is probably dooming those hungry hermits. Even the most vicious survivors in this biological disaster will soon perish.
The demise of marine life is caused by a misplaced faith in science of a non-oceanic species called homo sapiens, which parasites off nuclear reactors to light and cool their own hermitages. The nearby San Onofre facility and distant Fukushima have both been spilling radioactive wastewater onto these magnificent shores of Southern California. It is astonishing how humans are as psychologically stunted as hermit crabs, wallowing in greed, myopia and acedia. Predatory cruelty is indelibly stamped on our character, for it is the brute impulse that led to the original sin of rejecting our obligation to stewardship over life on Earth. As radioactivity and pollution annihilate the mother ocean, we come to understand, that without the strong safeguard of ethical principles, science is a just sharp instrument for robbery, bloodshed, cannibalism and moral lobotomy.
Scientific Fraud Dooms the Whales
Lethal beachings of pelagic red crabs occurred on these shores twice before, in January and June of 2015. These arrivals have been unusual events since their native habitat is on the seafloor in the tropical waters from Mexico south to Chile. In clumsy attempts to explain last year’s beachings, some marine biologists stated flat-out to the news media that the red crabs moved northward to the California coast to mate due to warmer waters caused by El Nino. The unsupported claim is blatant scientific fraud.
The overwhelming majority of the beached langostilla were juveniles, about half to two-thirds of the full-grown 13-centimeter (5 inch) length of a mature red crab. None had egg-sacs attached to their bellies, and therefore did not swim north for breeding purposes.
The actual force that warms the Southern California coastal waters is the annual countercurrent of semitropical water during the winter months, between January and March, originating in the Coronado Island region off San Diego. This annual back-flow is unrelated to El Nino and sufficed to carry the first batch of free-swimming red crabs in January 2015. During the rest of the year, El Nino has a negligible effect on the California current, doing absolutely nothing to encourage local surfers to doff their wet suits.
The red crabs did not mass migrate because of El Nino. The second migration occurred in June and the third in May, at the start of coldest period in the California Current, meaning the langostilla were not interested in romance but had fled a recurrent disaster affecting the continental shelf off Mexico. Nor did these invertebrates die from domoic acid poisoning related to El Nino, since there have been no toxic shellfish warnings along the coast and public-health records show safe levels in Southern California. A domoic acid “contagion” is the catch-all theory for West Coast kill-offs from a questionable marine chemistry team at U.C. Santa Cruz. The bogus claims are dismissed below, at the end of this essay.

Kelp with very high radiation level, equivalent to beaches in Fukushima Province

The federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has grossly abused its science-funding role to promote climate change as the sole culprit threatening the global mega-ecosystem. Ethically compromised research centers have gone along with the pro-corporate deception, including the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI), Scripps at La Jolla and the numerous universities under their censorial influence. With thousands of marine species and countless human lives at stake, the cover-up of radioactive contamination of the Pacific Ocean and the atmosphere over the Northern Hemisphere is shaping up as the most disgraceful chapter in the annals of scientific fraud.
A fair standard of truthfulness, based on observations along the shoreline, along with deep-sea data if ever such become available, will show that the driving force behind this mass death of crustaceans is a major disruption of the Pacific marine ecosystem resulting from nuclear-dumping from Fukushima’s melted-down reactors since 2011, as well as radioactive leaks from San Onofre. The poisoning by radionucleotides of pelagic red crabs, which have a vital role in the food chain, has dire implications for great whales and other sea mammals as well as sea turtles, fish and invertebrates, including a wide range of seafood consumed by humans.
Mid-Level in the Food Chain
Crustaceans comprise the largest share of animal biomass in the oceanic food chain. Microscopic copepods and amphipods are a major component of zooplankton, which comprise the broad base of the protein pyramid. Krill and pelagic crabs anchor the diet of migratory baleen whales on either end of their annual tropic-to-polar and return journeys. Baleen whales, including the blue whales, feed on red crabs in the tropic waters during the winter months, scooping up the crustaceans from the sandy seafloor (the benthic zone) or passing these through their cartilage filters in the open waters (the pelagic regions).
As discussed in my autumn 2011 essay from the coast of Japan, titled Death of the Pacific (rense.com/general95/death.htm), the bulk of zooplankton in the North Pacific is generated east of the Tokyo region in huge eddies generated by the convergence of the warm Kurioshio stream and the cold Oyashio current. Radioactive isotopes from Fukushima are absorbed by phytoplankton (algae), which sustain microscopic zooplankton and larvae. These microorganisms, the major feed stock for fish and marine mammals, are then carried along the North Pacific Current to the West Coast of North America, and spread as far as Alaska and Chile.
During the trans-Pacific passage, of course, the concentration of radioactive salts and solid “hot” particles is diluted by the vast volume of oceanic water. Although only a minuscule amount may be present in clusters of zooplankton, radioactive isotopes are steadily bioaccumulated in krill and pelagic red crabs, as evidenced in the dosimeter readings at Crystal Cove in a Southern California.
The ongoing sea-dumping from Fukushima and other nuclear plants eventually affects the reproduction cycle of zooplankton species, such as the copepods, protists, diatoms, which form the primary diet for the pelagic red crabs and krill. Gamma and beta radiation disrupts the mitosis, or cell division, of tiny marine organisms, disrupting gene sequences, which results in mutations or outright death. When the die-offs of individuals drops the cluster population before critical mass, physical dispersion prevents these tiny organisms from biochemically signaling each other for mating. A fatal separation eliminates the possibility reproduction, and zooplankton becomes ever-scarcer in the empty currents.
At that point of disbandment, or collapse of the bottom tier of the food chain, the pelagic red crabs must swim away into new feeding zone in search of “greener pastures.” Thus, the red crab escaped to California, a most dangerous feeding ground due to the risk exposure near radioactive kelp beds. Presumably, a similar movement toward the south occurs as more distant hordes of langostilla move down the South American coast to forage off the temperate waters of southern Chile. Hostile colder waters slows down the pelagic red crabs and makes them more susceptible to radioactivity-related disorders.
Pursuing the ever-slower red crab hordes, the great whales gorge themselves on these crustaceans but eventually intake a fatal radioactive dosage. Radionucleotide poisoning during the red crab diaspora into the temperate zone probably accounts for the mass deaths of 337 Sei whales off Chile, as well as the many fatalities among gray whales off the U.S. West Coast and Alaska. Irregular heartbeat due to cesium build-up in the coronary region is the probable cause of these whale mortalities, as shown in my 2013 field research on sea lions at San Onofre.(http://rense.com/general95/sanofre.html)
A question that any skeptical observer may ask is: Why is this person one of only a handful out there, along with Canadian Dana Durnford in British Columbia, assigning blame for the Pacific kill-offs on radiation from Fukushima?

Juvenile gastropods compared in size with U.S. penny and Hong Kong 20 pence

The answer is: Field studies with simple radiation-detecting devices enable this type of inquiry, despite the lack of research vessels, sophisticated scientific instruments and budgets. Given the cross-species kill-offs, the causal factor cannot be a highly specialized pathogen. Therefore reasonable conclusions can be arrived at despite the many limitations. This series of essays is meant only to stand in while proficient, experienced and honest marine biologists are being muzzled and prevented from disclosing their findings.
Probably more marine scientists and veterinarians that anyone suspects know full well that radiation is doing massive harm to sea life but cannot address the public with their concerns due to professional peer pressure and risk to their careers and possibly their lives. Many researchers, as far as I can tell from volunteer colleagues, are doing radioactivity measurements in private, apart from the increasing regime of surveillance over lab work. I hope that those honest scientists continue their work on behalf of the living ocean and its importance for humanity, and emerge with public disclosure when the political atmosphere becomes more propitious for policy and action. Now let’s proceed to the microcosm of tide pools.
Lethal Sandbars, Dead Pools
Judging from the similarity between radiation levels in the younger kelp washed ashore and the beached red crabs, lethal exposure occurred on the sandbars between 2 meters and 7 meters below sea level and at a horizontal distance of 30 meters to 200 meters from shore. After journeying northward the pelagic crabs clustered below the kelp beds on sandbars along the coastal shelf. Slightly further out, there are steep canyons where any crustacean would drop into the jaws of dolphins and oarfish. (The highest radiation levels were found in on-shore samples of tall kelp of theMacrocystis fibrosis species and sea palm, or Eisenia arborea.)
The kelp on these sandbars are becoming increasingly toxic over recent years due to the bioaccumulation of radioactive isotopes carried by the California Current. Older stands of kelp, which naturally serve as a major food source for coastal species, now has an opposite effect of killing everything that comes into contact with it, from shellfish to higher species.
Radioactivity on the permanently underwater sandbars was confirmed by vast numbers of juvenile gastropod shells that washed up into the tide pools, many of them small enough to fit on a penny coin. The innumerable tiny cone-shaped shells of Conus californicus provide a telltale sign of offshore toxicity, since these predatory mollusks are concentrated on sandbars. Likewise. immature specimens of purple olive snails (Olivella biplicata), once used as shell money by Indian tribes, are also strewn in unusually large quantity over the beaches. There were a few Trivia solandri,a species of ribbed shell similar in appearance to a cowry.
The fat dog whelk (Nassarius perpinguis), a a snail with a fine-grained spiral shell, inhabits rocks at extreme low-tide mark, but I could no living specimens during the ebb flow. Small round shells of this type are now favored by hermit crabs,in the thousands, as mobile homes. A few immature abalone were still clinging to the rocks, and here also could be found anemones but these were torpid, failing to unfurl their flowery tentacles. I did spot one large sea snail at the outer edge of a far-out tide pool zone.
The wipe-out of invertebrates gets stunning in the mid-low tide zone, where living snails are absent and large shells, such as the once-abundant wavy turban (Lithopoma undosum) are now gone or broken. Only a few small samples of empty shells of unicorn snails (Acanthina lugubris) and festive murex (Pteropurpura festivus) were spotted.
In the shallows, there were only a few remaining hollowed-out spiral shells of Ocenebra circumtesta, which predated on the once abundant mussel beds, which have since been reduced to shattered opalescent half-shells. There were a few clumps of barnacles, which are actually a sessile crustacean.
Amid these sad pools, the most disturbing piece of forensic evidence was a warped purple scallop shell, probably a radioactivity-caused mutant. Its asymmetric form inspired the nickname Quasimodo, after the hunchback of Notre Dame. Several beachcombers told me that they have never before seen a misshapen scallop shell. Scallops attach to rocks as deep as 20 meters (70 feet) below the waves, indicating radioactivity is by now accumulating on the seabed of the continental shelf.
Domoic Acid Theory Aids Exploiters
The red crabs, which dwell in the benthic depths and also feed in open-sea pelagic zones, provide an invaluable periscope into the macrocosm of the Pacific food chain. The radioactivity levels in these crustaceans indicate nuclear-sourced contamination of the entire range of sea life from the tiniest microorganisms up to the largest of all animals, the blue whale. The pelagic crab deaths stand as incontrovertible evidence that the inter-species extinction event has origins in nuclear releases from Fukushima and also other leaking reactors at San Onofre and Diablo Canyon in Southern California, along with the Hanford Site and military nuclear waste dumped in the Pacific.
Against the slew of evidence on radioactivity as a primary cause of sea-life kill-offs, marine chemists at U.C. Santa Cruz have argued for domoic acid as the sole culprit. This propaganda campaign is no doubt egged on by federal funding agencies and private interests. In addition, the domoic theory has origins in Australia, where climate scientists support a proposed global carbon tax, to be globally administered by the Rothschild Bank. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, on entering office, did what was required by ethics and accountability by axing 3,000 climate scientists on the government payroll who contributed to the financial scam.
The knowingly false domoic acid hypothesis is disproved by no less than the California Department of Public Health, which issues a monthly report on levels along this state’s coasts. At the height of the so-called El Nino scare in the summer of 2015, CDPH showed safe levels of domoic acid along the entire coast and did not issue any warning over the related threat of amnestic shellfish poisoning. Domoic acid enters the human diet via clams and mussels that consume the toxin-producing Pseudo-nitzschia diatom.
The falsifiers at Santa Cruz have claimed that warmer waters generated by the 2015-16 El Nino caused massive blooms of Pseudo-nitzschia,a diatom, or microorganisms with a silicon exterior. The public health data maps showed that extraordinary blooms did not occur, despite the strong El Nino over the past 18 months.
According to meteorology consultancy Golden Gate Weather Service, it is an urban myth that El Nino automatically raises water temperatures along the California coast. This recurrent weather event is generated near the equator in the Western Pacific, at latitudes and longitudes far away from the North American coast and where dominant current moves in the opposite direction, toward Asia.
The “blob” of warm water that developed off the California coast over the past three years, which is possibly linked to the regional drought inland, is unrelated to El Nino. A much likelier cause was the build-up of a dense fog belt over the radioactive marine layer along the California Current. Radioactive isotopes in large quantity, especially in cloud-like conditions, generate heat and have electromagnetic effects that can influence affect rain patterns.
Nutrient availability is a far more probable cause than warm water for Pseudo-nitzschia blooms along the West Coast. The largest-ever domoic acid event occurred off the coast of Washington State in 2004, one of the two lowest-ever El Nino years. That massive bloom, some 30 nautical miles in circumference, was not the result of higher water temperatures.
What then could be the main cause of Pseudo-nitzschia blooms? Nitrogen. The California Public Health data-maps show a correlation of nitrogen sources (shipping and offshore oil platforms) with areas of domoic acid concentration.
The coast of Washington State is located at the collision point of the westward-moving North Pacific Current and the outlet of the inland Puget Sound/Salish Sea, two of the world’s most-heavily trafficked routes for commercial vessels along with cruise ships heading for Alaska. At that crux, the swirl of the Juan de Fuca Eddy acts as a trap for wastewater from bunker fuel tanks of commercial vessels, human sewage and garbage from Alaska cruise ships, and agricultural runoff, which all provide ideal conditions for growth of Pseudo-nitzschia. (Ammonia and related urea are readily soluble in water, which can collect inside bunker fuel tanks.)
As for concentration of domoic acid in Northern California, these include the maritime region between the Farallons and San Francisco Bay, a center for international shipping, where large container ships illegally empty their bilges and dump wash from bunker fuel tanks. In addition, agribusiness fertilizers in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers flow in the fresh water layer atop saltwater from the Bay into the Pacific.
The other major clusters of domoic acid off Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and Newport Bear occur around offshore oil platforms that release natural gas as a waste product. An unwanted byproduct, that gas contains as much as 60 percent ammonia in total volume.
Of course marine scientists are aware of nutritional factors in diatom blooms. Blaming domoic acid on warmer water is a scandalous attempt to divert public attention from its origins in the dumping of waste containing nitrogen. The marine chemists and allied biologists are involved in pseudo-scientific exercise to misdirect public attention away from the corporate culprits, many of which are silent donors to the ocean-studies programs.
To cover their arrears when the stench of domoic acid theory wafts too far in the sea breeze, the UC Santa Cruz hustlers are rolling out seawater acidification and iron content as understudies for the villain’s role. It’s all sewage. UCSC is scurrying amid an ambitious capital-spending program to boost its marine sciences programs to swill at the NOAA and National Science Foundation trough. UCSC remains tight-lipped about their corporate partners, but they’re probably the same ilk as one of its major donors, Donald Rumsfeld’s Gilead corporation. The entire University of California system is up for sale to any and all bidders, now that the indebted state has reduced its funding appropriations. Shiftless survival by the sea is all so reminiscent of Cannery Row, not the marine samples lab of Doc Ed Ricketts but Dora Flood’s house of ill-repute.
It should come as no surprise that the marine biosciences are allied with the ocean-resource industries including nuclear power, offshore energy and shipping lines. Sanitized environmental-impact reports for these corporate exploiters provide lucrative income for consultant scientists and their research labs. BP and Shell Oil have promoted themselves as “green” corporations and maintain corporate partnerships with dozens of laboratories and environmental groups that promote diversionary climate-change scams, including the Earthwatch Institute and the UN Global Compact. The most laughable and sickening scam from the unethical marine-science fakers is how oil rigs are now being touted as “green reef islands”, a pristine paradise for sea life!
Saving What’s Left
Political leaders, high bureaucrats, corporate executives and international NGO heads have abysmally failed to save the seas. To the contrary, the self-appointed global elite are environmental felons. Marine biologists have insinuated themselves in a media role as protectors of the ocean, alongside various government agencies and those environmental NGOs that raise funds from “saving” baby seals and whales. None of these preposterous eco “defenders” bothered to show up for the do-or-die battle against radiation in the Pacific. Their self-interests are intertwined with the corporations that exploit the sea and contaminate the marine biological community. Legal immunity for the nuclear industry is a touchstone of that shameful alliance.

“Quasimodo” the mutant purple-hinged scallop

Rot fells the biggest trees. Fresh saplings grow from new seeds. It can only be hoped that biologists, environmentalists, regulators, funders, fishermen and citizens who refuse to pander their conscience to corporate interests should rally around an authentic movement to save the seas in desperate need of a human-aided transition toward a livable future on behalf of generations to come. Small yet genuine steps to save what’s left of life in the seas for the distant future, include:
– Removing older stands of kelp that have bioaccumulated radioactivity, drying these and burying it safely in barrels in isolated locations on land; and replace these with new kelp to absorb incoming radioactivity. Instead of being towers of radioactivity, managed kelp beds can act as life-saving filters for sand bars, tide pools and shores.
– Creating pockets of managed habitat for marine biological communities using aquaculture techniques and seawater filtered of radionucleotides. Biospheres cleared of radioactivity and chemical pollution need to created along shorelines, lagoons, estuaries, islands and atolls.
– Redesigning the concept and role of aquariums from marine circuses toward large-scale havens for marine species and outdoors fisheries, especially for breeding genetically diverse groups of endangered species.
– Collecting DNA, plankton larvae, eggs, tissue samples, and whole organisms, along with stem cell genesis, for cryogenic preservation in event of long-term contamination of the oceans lasting up to several centuries or even a millennium.
Pyrrhic Victory for the Crustaceans
The presence of hermit crabs and barnacles is a credit to their body armor, that thin hard layer of exoskeleton and stolen shell. As witnessed in the mass death of pelagic red crabs, however, the toughest and meanest crustaceans are themselves vulnerable to radioactivity via ingestion. By now, many of these invertebrates have suffered significant losses, for example, sand fleas and other bug-like decapods that dwell below ground at the waterline.
In my boyhood on the coasts of California and Japan, on either side of the Pacific, I dug out and de-shelled these juicy morsels as bait for surf casting. On those predawn expeditions, I’d also put a hogshead into a wire cage and heave the baited trap off a rocky jetty. Pulling up the heavy cage a few hours later, the haul was always a bunch of feisty big crabs for the boil. By comparison to those halcyon days of abundance, a now-radioactive Pacific Ocean is nearly devoid of life and poses an ever-greater health risk to surfers, swimmers, sailors and beachcombers.
After harvesting so much sustenance and enjoyment from the ocean, the cycle of destruction and renewal now requires that we return life to the seas. Our earliest ancestors and their descendants arrogantly abandoned their calling to stewardship, yet the choice remains, for we still have one last chance to revive the waters and land given to our care before the sand slips through our fingers and humankind, too, disappears.
Yoichi Shimatsu, a former editor with the Japan Times media group, is a science journalist who conducts research on radioactivity effects in the Fukushima region. His research and articles have helped to shut down the Rancho Seco and San Onofre nuclear plants in California. Photos by author.

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Now Is the High Time to Cooperate for Peace, Not to Complain for Pandemonium

November 9, 2016

Now We Can Finally Get to Work

By David Swanson
http://davidswanson.org/node/5341

Dear Democrats,

Are you finding yourselves suddenly a bit doubtful of the wisdom of drone wars? Presidential wars without Congress? Massive investment in new, smaller, “more usable” nuclear weapons? The expansion of bases across Africa and Asia? Are you disturbed by the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen? Can total surveillance and the persecution of whistleblowers hit a point where they’ve gone too far? Is the new Cold War with Russia looking less than ideal now? How about the militarization of U.S. police: is it time to consider alternatives to that?

I hear you. I’m with you. Let’s build a movement together to end the madness of constantly overthrowing governments with bombs. Let’s propose nonviolent alternatives to a culture gone mad with war. Let’s end the mindset that creates war in the first place.

We have opportunities as well as dangers. A President Trump is unpredictable. He wants to proliferate nuclear weapons, bomb people, kill people, stir up hatred of people, and increase yet further military spending. But he also said the new Cold War was a bad idea. He said he wanted to end NATO, not to mention NAFTA, as well as breaking the habit of overthrowing countries left and right. Trump seems to immediately back off such positions under the slightest pressure. Will he adhere to them under massive pressure from across the political spectrum? It’s worth a try.

We have an opportunity to build a movement that includes a focus on and participation from refugees/immigrants. We have a chance to create opposition to racist wars and racism at home. We may just discover that what’s left of the U.S. labor movement is suddenly more open to opposing wars. Environmental groups may find a willingness to oppose the world’s top destroyer of the environment: the U.S. military. Civil liberties groups may at long last be willing to take on the militarism that creates the atrocities they oppose. We have to work for such a broader movement. We have to build on the trend of protesting the national anthem and make it a trend of actively resisting the greatest purveyor of violence on earth.

I know you’re feeling a little beat down at the moment. You shouldn’t. You had a winning candidate in Bernie Sanders. Your party cheated him out of the nomination. All that stuff you tell yourselves about encouraging demographic trends and the better positions of young people is all true. You just looked for love in all the wrong places. Running an unpopular candidate in a broken election system is not the way to change the world. Even a working election system would not be the central means by which to improve anything. There’s no getting back the mountains of money and energy invested in this election. But activism is an unlimited resource. Directing your energies now in more strategic directions can inspire others who in turn can re-inspire you.

Dear Republicans,

Your outsider is threatening insiderness. He’s got the same tribe of DC corporate lobbyists planning his nominations that Hillary Clinton had lined up for hers. Can we resist that trend? Can we insist that the wars be ended? Can those moments of off-the-cuff honesty about dinosaurs like NATO be turned into actual action? Donald Trump took a lot of heat for proposing to be fair to Palestinians as well as Israelis, and he backed off fast. Can we encourage him to stand behind that initial inclination?

Can we stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership and end NAFTA as well? We heard a million speeches about how bad NAFTA is. How about actually ending it? Can we stop the looming war supplemental spending bill? Can we put a swift halt to efforts in Congress to repeal the right to sue Saudi Arabia and other nations for their wars and lesser acts of terrorism?

How about all that well deserved disgust with the corporate media? Can we actually break up that cartel and allow opportunities for media entrepreneurs?

Dear United States,

Donald Trump admitted we had a broken election system and for a while pretended that he would operate outside of it by funding his own campaign. It’s time to actually fix it. It’s time to end the system of legalized bribery, fund elections, make registration automatic, make election day a holiday, end gerrymandering, eliminate the electoral college, create the right to vote, create the public hand-counting of paper ballots at every polling place, and create ranked choice voting as Maine just did.

Voter suppression efforts in this year’s elections should be prosecuted in each state. And any indications of fraud in vote counting by machines should be investigated. We should take the opportunity created by all the McCarthyist nonsense allegations of Russian interference to get rid of unverifiable voting.

There are also areas in which localities and states, as well as international organizations and alliances, must now step up to take the lead. First and foremost is investing in a serious effort to avoid climate catastrophe. Second is addressing inequality that has surpassed the Middle Ages: both taxing the overclass and upholding the underclass must be pursued creatively. Mass incarceration and militarized police are problems that states can solve.

But we can advance a positive agenda across the board by understanding this election in the way that much of the world will understand it: as a vote against endless war. Let’s end the wars, end the weapons dealing, close the bases, and cut the $1 trillion a year going into the military. Hell, why not demand that a businessman president for the first time ever audit the Pentagon and find out what it’s spending money on?

Dear World,

We apologize for having elected President Trump as well as for nearly electing President Clinton. Many of you believe we defeated the representative of the enlightenment in favor of the sexist racist buffoon. This may be a good thing. Or at least it may be preferable to your eight-year-long delusion that President Obama was a man of peace and justice.

I hate to break it to you, but the United States government has been intent on dominating the rest of you since the day it was formed. If electing an obnoxious president helps you understand that, so much the better. Stop joining in U.S. “humanitarian wars” please. They never were humanitarian, and if you can recognize that now, so much the better. The new guy openly wants to “steal their oil.” So did the last several presidents, although none of them said so. Are we awake now?

Shut down the U.S. bases in your country. They represent your subservience to Donald Trump. Close them.

Want to save the earth’s climate? Build a nonviolent movement that resists destructive agendas coming out of the United States.

Want to uphold the rule of law, diplomacy, aid, decency, and humanitarianism? Stop making exceptions for U.S. crimes. Tell the International Criminal Court to indict a non-African. Prosecute the crime and crimes of war in your own courts. Stop cooperating in the surrounding and threatening of Russia, China, and Iran. Clinton wanted to send weapons to Ukraine and bomb Syria. Make sure Trump doesn’t. Make peace in Ukraine and Syria before January.

It’s time that we all began treating the institution of war as the unacceptable vestige of barbarism that it can appear when given an openly racist, sexist, bigoted face. We have the ability to use nonviolent tools to direct the world where we want it to go. We have to stop believing the two big lies: that we are generally powerless, and that our only power lies in elections. Let’s finally get active. Let’s start by ending war making.

Help support DavidSwanson.org, WarIsACrime.org, and TalkNationRadio.org by clicking here: http://davidswanson.org/donate.

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November 6, 2016

Here is a very interesting and informative film for you and to share:

http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/before-the-flood/videos/before-the-flood/

How Drone Pilots Talk

November 5, 2016

David Swanson via WarIsACrime.org david@davidswanson.org via sg.actionnetwork.org

8:31 AM (15 minutes ago)

How Drone Pilots Talk

What Could Unite a Larger Peace Movement? Oh, This!

The Purpose of Demonizing Putin

But How Do You Use Nonviolence Against a Nuke?

When Charlottesville Was Nuked

Of Veterans and Black Mirror Roaches

What Radio Can Be: Recent Shows from Talk Nation Radio

Talk Nation Radio: James Marc Leas on Canceling the F-35

What Keeps the F-35 Alive

All Governments Lie, The Movie

Michael Moore Owes Me $4.99

Disobey or Die

Public vs. Media on War

Help support DavidSwanson.org, WarIsACrime.org, and TalkNationRadio.org by clicking here: http://davidswanson.org/donate.

If you were forwarded this email please sign up at https://actionnetwork.org/forms/activism-alerts-from-david-swanson.