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11.20 Indonesia: dead whale had 1,000 pieces of plastic in stomach [We have to stop killing everything!!!]

11.18 How Extreme Weather Is Shrinking the Planet

11.18 Air pollution levels ‘forcing families to move out of cities’ [like from desertification, lack of drinkable water and rising oceans, there will also be pollution-caused immigration until humans fix things]

11.17 Policies of China, Russia and Canada threaten 5C climate change, study finds [Climate catastrophe is increasingly likely without worldwide organization, funding and commitment to winning THE WAR AGAINST GLOBAL WARMING.]

11.16 Scotland was first Industrialized Country to Run wholly on Wind in October

11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]

11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]

11.15  The long read:  The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]

11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]

11.15 Trump administration to cut air pollution from heavy-duty trucks

11.14 Backed by Ocasio-Cortez, Youth Climate Activists Arrested in Pelosi's Office Demanding Democrats Embrace 'Green New Deal'

11.13 What would a smog-free city look like?

11.13 Global report highlights Australia’s renewables potential amid mixed signals for coal

11.13 Interior department whistleblower: Ryan Zinke hollowed out the agency

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11.19 The Biggest Threat to Free Speech No One Is Talking About

Daily: FAIR Blog
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11.20 New York City subway and bus services have entered 'death spiral', experts say [death spirals are the end-thing nowadays]

11.19 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver 11/18/2018 (HBO) [29:26 video]

11.19 Michael Bloomberg: Why I’m Giving $1.8 Billion for College Financial Aid

11.19 Trump’s Diminishing Power and Rising Rage

11.19 Trump Says He Was 'Fully Briefed' and Also 'Not Briefed Yet' But Either Way Saudi Crown Prince 'Absolutely' Not Involved Because Trump Knows 'Everything That Went On' Without Listening to Tape of Khashoggi Murder

11.19 'We Need New Leaders, Period': Progressive Newcomers Urge Democrats to Embrace Bold Agenda or Face Primary Challenges [Current Democrat leaders are highly compromised by corporate donations]

11.19 SNL explains Jeff Bezos and Amazon’s HQ2 strategy: trolling President Trump [2:55 SNL video]

11.18 Trump says Pelosi deserves speakership, offers Republican votes [An affirmation of Pelosi's unsuitability]

11.18 Khanna to Pelosi: Don't Just Create Green New Deal Select Committee, Make Ocasio-Cortez Its Chair [Will Pelosi earnestly change, or end her career in disgrace?]

11.18 Chuck Schumer, Feckless Hack [Neoliberal Democrats must go!]

11.18 What the State of the VA Tells Us About Trump’s War on Welfare [Privatizing often results in outright fraud and higher costs by private prisons, privatized health insurance and health care, privatized public schools and online "colleges" like Trump University]

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11.20 'He may not rewrite immigration laws': Trump's asylum ban blocked by federal judge [Has anyone thought about putting razor-wire around the White House?]

11.20 Legal Blue Wave? New Democratic AGs Could Change the Face of Climate Fight

High Crimes?

11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]

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11.19 Bankrupt Sears wants to give executives $19 million in bonuses [blatantly immoral and sick to richly reward those who led the company into the bankruptcy]

11.18 Big Pharma Bankrolled Pro-Trump Group As Trump Pushed Pharma Tax Cut [Corruption Central!]

International & Futurism

11.18 New Evidence Emerges of Steve Bannon and Cambridge Analytica’s Role in Brexit

11.18 France demands UK climate pledge in return for Brexit trade deal [Excellent!]

11.17 Saudi crown prince's 'fit' delays UN resolution on war in Yemen

11.17 Thousands gather to block London bridges in climate rebellion [We're losing WWIII because the enemy is invisible while we're like frogs slowly cooking. We aren't informed enough to be alarmed, but must get organized and motivated to fight back. We need a War Plan to ruthlessly pursue the fight of our lives!]

11.17 CIA finds Saudi crown prince ordered Jamal Khashoggi killing – report

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  Holland Has Had Enough: Killing of Innocent Civilians Goes On Apace in Afghanistan

WE KILLED MORE POOR PEOPLE!

Holland Has Had Enough: Killing of Innocent Civilians Goes On Apace in Afghanistan

Who benefits from this war? What does the "winner" get?

by Dave Lindorff
Originally published in This Can't Be Happening earlier today, 22 February 2010

The challenge now is for the US peace movement to throw off its narcoleptic embrace of the Democratic Party and of President Obama, to take heart from the Dutch people, and to demand that the US too end its useless and expensive war making around the globe.

The civilian death toll in the celebrated Battle of Marjah is now up to 19, a third of them children. But that’s only part of this ugly story.

While the slaughter goes on in this pointless display of Marine power, civilians have been dying at American hands elsewhere in Afghanistan. On Thursday a US airstrike allegedly targeting “insurgents” ended up hitting and killing seven Afghani policemen. And yesterday, another airstrike, this time on a “convoy” of three vehicles, killed an astonishing 33 civilians and injured 12 more--and given the vicious nature of American weaponry, it’s a fair bet that many of those who were injured will end up dying of their wounds too.

Nice work Gen. Stanley McChrystal. Your newly professed “concern” about protecting civilians is working out nicely.

True to form, Gen. McChrystal’s response to these murderous outrages has not been to call for investigations and courts martial of those responsible for the deaths, but rather to express his concern that “inadvertently killing or injuring civilians undermines their [the Afghan people’s] trust and confidence in our mission.”

Ah, the “mission.”

Oh yeah, this general who earned his rep running a huge death squad operation in Iraq, says he’s also “extremely saddened by the tragic loss of innocent lives.” What he didn’t say though, was that he is that he is extremely angry that American forces are continuing to shoot first and ask questions later, or that he plans to call some people on the carpet and strip some badges off them to ensure compliance with his orders to protect civilians.

Why would this be?

Because the professed “concern” about protecting civilians in this war is all talk and showmanship. It’s not about actually caring about and protecting civilians.

America is not in Afghanistan because of any real concern about the welfare of the people of Afghanistan. It is in Afghanistan because America wants to control Afghanistan. This is a war about geopolitics, not about liberation.

If America really cared about the ordinary people of Afghanistan, who have endured decades of war, it would forswear the use of antipersonnel weapons, which the UN has been trying to ban--over the opposition of the US and other benighted powers like China and Israel--weapons that leave unexploded bomblets littering the landscape to maim and kill innocent people, disproportionately small children. It would sign and obey the land mine ban. It would cease using pilotless drones, which have been killing far more innocent people than actual enemy fighters, and it would stop using airstrikes on “suspected” enemy targets when those targets are likely to have civilians in them.

In fact, if the US really cared about the people of Afghanistan, it wouldn’t be fighting there at all. It would be organizing a regional peace conference, under the auspices of the United Nations and involving all the surrounding nations--Iran, China, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan--and reaching an agreement among all the forces within the country, including the Taliban, to establish a government of national reconciliation. The US would be relying not on war but on the carrot of aid to get such a government to actually work for the peaceful reconstruction of the country. And it would withdraw all of its forces promptly.

But there is no talk of such an approach. Rather, in Washington all we hear is talk of “winning” and “completing the mission,” though nobody seems able to say just what “winning” or the “mission” in Afghanistan might be. That’s understandable since the government of Afghanistan is a corrupt narco-regime led by a family of gangsters, thugs and profiteers, and the military and police are a hopeless combination of inept and corrupt. According to a first-hand, on-the-scene report in the New York Times, which has been an editorial backer of this war, Afghan forces have played almost no role in the Marjah battle, which is supposed to be a test run of the new Obama war strategy. That might explain why only one Afghan soldier has died in the battle, compared to 12 US and other NATO soldiers.

Happily, there is a light at the end of this blood-drenched tunnel. That light is the people of the Netherlands, who have so soured on their nation’s support for this stupid, criminal war, that they have brought down their government. Technically what happened is that the Dutch Labor Party, which opposes Dutch military involvement in the Afghan War, has denounced the war and, this week, pulled out of the governing coalition, leaving the coalition with just 47 of 150 seats in the country’s parliament. It is likely that the 2000 Dutch troops serving in Afghanistan will soon be pulled out.

The war, never popular in Europe, Canada or Australia, has become increasingly less popular everywhere but in America. Now, like the famed story of the little boy who saved Holland by putting his finger in a leaking dike, only in reverse, this pulling out of a Dutch finger could lead to a flood of European nations ending their commitment of troops to the NATO participation in the War in Afghanistan, leaving just US and British forces alone there.

The challenge now is for the somnolent and co-opted peace movement in the US to throw off its narcophilic embrace of the Democratic Party and of President Obama, to take heart from the Dutch people, and to demand that the US too end its war making, not just in Afghanistan, but around the globe.


Dave Lindorff in Washington

About the author: Philadelphia journalist Dave Lindorff is a 34-year veteran, an award-winning journalist, a former New York Times contributor, a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, a two-time Journalism Fulbright Scholar, and the co-author, with Barbara Olshansky, of a well-regarded book on impeachment, The Case for Impeachment. His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net.



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This story was published on February 22, 2010.
 

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