The Peace Press — Saturday, October 9, 2021 edition

“Real fiscal insanity is what Congress does year after year, taking most of its discretionary spending off the table and handing it over to the Pentagon before even considering the country’s urgent domestic needs.”

“President Biden and the Democratic Congress are facing a crisis as the popular domestic agenda they ran on in the 2020 election is held hostage by two corporate Democratic Senators, fossil-fuel consigliere Joe Manchin and payday-lender favorite Kyrsten Sinema.

But the very week before the Dems’ $350 billion-per-year domestic package hit this wall of corporate money-bags, all but 38 House Democrats voted to hand over more than double that amount to the Pentagon. Senator Manchin has hypocritically described the domestic spending bill as “fiscal insanity,” but he has voted for a much larger Pentagon budget every year since 2016.

Real fiscal insanity is what Congress does year after year, taking most of its discretionary spending off the table and handing it over to the Pentagon before even considering the country’s urgent domestic needs. Maintaining this pattern, Congress just splashed out $12 billion for 85 more F-35 warplanes, 6 more than Trump bought last year, without debating the relative merits of buying more F-35s vs. investing $12 billion in education, healthcare, clean energy or fighting poverty.”

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/10/06/why-does-congress-fight-over-funding-childcare-not-f-35s
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“Saving a trillion dollars that could be devoted to preventing pandemics, addressing climate change, or reducing racial and economic injustice is no small matter.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/10/07/cbo-shows-how-cut-1-trillion-pentagon-progressives-urge-spending-true-security
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The real Afghanistan — — -where American foreign invaders and occupiers were hated for 20 years.

“Everyone here hated the Americans,” said Zabiullah Haideri, 30. His shop was shattered by an airstrike in 2019 that killed 12 villagers. “They murdered civilians and committed atrocities.”

https://archive.vn/tSmFJ
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“The bloody, tumultuous withdrawal from Afghanistan was a predictable disaster. It was also an incredible, surprising anti-war victory.”

https://reason.com/2021/10/04/the-unexpected-predictable-end-of-the-war-in-afghanistan/
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Why isn’t the nobel peace prize awarded to Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, Antiwar .com or some actual advocate for peace and anti-Imperialism.

“At a moment when the world’s largest weapons dealer, most frequent launcher of wars, dominant deployer of troops to foreign bases, greatest enemy of the International Criminal Court and the rule of law in international affairs, and supporter of oppressive governments — the U.S. government — is trumpeting a division between so-called democracies and non-democracies, the Nobel Committee has chosen to throw gas on this fire…”

https://consortiumnews.com/2021/10/08/nobel-committee-gets-peace-prize-wrong-yet-again/
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“Institutional interests, including military budgets and self-preservation, will drive bad national security decisions every time.”

https://original.antiwar.com/porter/2021/10/06/how-the-self-licking-ice-cream-cone-prolonged-the-20-year-war/
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“Americans are tired of war. They want the U.S. to be involved in the world. But they prefer to send diplomats rather than soldiers to solve problems. In short, Americans are over the Neocon moment when war was seen as the solution to most foreign problems. And Washington elites decided that “the price is worth it” the world over irrespective of how many people were killed along the way.

A recent survey by the Eurasia Group Foundation found that Americans are cautious internationalists. The US comes first, but most want to engage the world. The endless war lobby, ever willing to sacrifice other people’s lives for dubious foreign crusades, are in a distinct minority.”

https://original.antiwar.com/doug-bandow/2021/10/05/americans-are-tired-of-war-could-ancient-warrior-joe-biden-inaugurate-a-new-age-of-diplomacy/
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“It is not surprising that almost all states in Southeast Asia want nothing to do with the militarized anti-China coalition that the U.S. is trying to assemble. Having endured some of the worst losses during the Cold War, the nations of Southeast Asia do not want to be forced to choose sides or to become pawns in someone else’s struggle yet again. The reaction of the Malaysian and Indonesian governments to the recently announced AUKUS partnership is typical of this aversion to heightened US-Chinese tensions. While China hawks in Washington cheered the new partnership, Malaysia expressed fears that it would provoke more aggressive behavior in the region and Indonesia worried about an intensifying arms race. As the US makes military efforts central to its approach to China and the surrounding region, it makes conflict more likely to happen and it makes it more likely that it will have very few other states willing to cooperate with the US otherwise.”

https://original.antiwar.com/Daniel_Larison/2021/10/05/the-bankruptcy-of-great-power-competition/
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Diplomacy with China is the best pathway forward. If President Biden is honest about such diplomatic overtures, then kudos to President Biden.

“The US and China have reached an agreement “in principle” to hold a virtual summit between President Biden and President Xi before the end of the year, Axios reported on Wednesday, citing a senior Biden administration official.”

https://news.antiwar.com/2021/10/06/us-china-agree-to-hold-virtual-biden-xi-before-end-of-the-year/
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“Like their ancient Roman counterparts, U.S. legions supplement regional security, and so the footprint grows.”

https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2021/10/04/lithuania-wants-to-be-the-new-eastern-outpost-for-us-empire/
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“The ugly scenes of the Taliban takeover and the US retreat from Kabul underscored an uncomfortable truth about foreign military adventures: If you bet big, you can lose big — and it had better be worth it. The war in Afghanistan wasn’t. Still, the barrage of indignation from establishment politicians and the mainstream media exposed their continued refusal to confront the real issue: that invasions and occupations invariably provoke resistance, rarely work, and are hardly ever worth the cost.”

https://outline.com/CPAaXk
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“President Biden’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan has produced just the exposure the generals hoped to avoid with Trump’s defeat.”

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/with-all-due-respect/
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“Experts say that the 20-year military and political presence of international forces ended with shame and embarrassed Washington.”

https://tolonews.com/afghanistan-174946
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“The latest episode in an ironic reversal of the roles of the foreign powers that have tried their luck in Afghanistan is unfolding before our eyes. Britain’s profitless involvement (1839–1919) is ancient history, but more recently the Soviet intervention (1979–1989) and America’s subsequent “longest war” (2001–2021) have both ended in strategic failures.

Because the United States failed to know its enemy, it appears to have cleared the ground for China’s grand entry into the geopolitical game in Central Asia. That entry may well be successful, in the medium term at least, because it will not be accompanied by Beijing’s attempts to establish an ideologically friendly government in Kabul, or to conduct experiments in social engineering in the tribal lands, as the U.S. has a history of doing.”

https://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/in-afghanistan--america-failed-to-know-its-enemy-and-itself/
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ABOLISH NATO — — — -A USELESS RELIC OF THE COLD WAR. NOW BUT A TOOL FOR PERPETUAL WAR AND PERPETUAL WAR-PROFITEERING.

“Over the last two decades, with the Soviet Union and “communist threat” receding memories, the U.S. has systematically expanded this anti-Soviet, anti-communist postwar alliance called NATO to surround Russia. Any unprejudiced person looking at a map can understand Russia’s concern. Russia spends about a fifth of what the U.S. and NATO spend on military expenses. Russia is not a military threat to Europe or North America. So — the Russians have been asking since 1999, when Bill Clinton broke his predecessor’s promise to Gorbachev and resumed NATO expansion by adding Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia — why do you keep trying to expend to surround us?

Meanwhile more and more Europeans are doubting the leadership of the United States. That means doubting the purpose and value of NATO. “

https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/10/06/france-and-the-fraying-of-nato/
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“Meanwhile, there is no indication that the Cold War atmospherics that developed in U.S. relations with Russia and China in the Trump administration are being addressed, let alone alleviated. Biden’s constant references to a campaign of “democracies vs. authoritarians” suggests continued polemics with the term “authoritarians” substituting for the “communists” of an earlier Cold War. Last month, the Department of Defense quietly removed the deputy assistant secretary of defense for nuclear and missile defense, which leaves the Biden administration without a serious arms and disarmament expert at a time when it is finalizing its Nuclear Posture Review. Biden once warned President Barack Obama not to get “boxed in” by the military, but he has certainly been boxed in on the issue of disarmament. Any downgrading of disarmament serves to block a key path to serious diplomatic dialogue with the Kremlin.

A “group think” approach is in place vis-a-vis China, with hard-liners occupying key posts.”

https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/10/06/the-mounting-confusion-of-president-bidens-national-security-policy/
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“FAIR (3/9/17, 11/29/17, 4/9/20) has repeatedly pointed out how governments like to decry “fake news” or “disinformation” to discredit sources of unfavorable information, or to use those nebulous accusations as a cynical pretext to outright censor perspectives they dislike. Corporate media reports of “bots” or fake social media accounts alleged to be from foreign governments (like Russia) that Washington dislikes are oftentimes themselves fake news (FAIR.org, 4/5/18).”

https://fair.org/home/chinese-disinformation-and-us-propaganda/
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“President Biden campaigned on reducing the role of nuclear weapons, yet that’s changed since he’s taken office. He needs to make good on his pledge.”

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/roll-back-nuclear-modernization-programs-mr-president-194912
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“The council turned its back on victims, bowed to pressure from the Saudi-led coalition, and put politics before principle.”

“Human rights defenders are expressing outrage after the United Nations Human Rights Council on Thursday voted against continuing a U.N.-backed probe into possible war crimes in Yemen.

Amnesty International said the outcome followed “pressure by Saudi Arabia and other coalition partners.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/10/08/saudi-arabia-accused-sabotaging-un-probe-war-crimes-yemen
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The U.S. left the JCPOA and it is the U.S. that must rejoin it. The notion that Iran did anything to undermine the JCPOA or that it is responsible for resurrecting it is completely ridiculous and comical. President Biden — — -reverse course on the Trump policy of backing out of the JCPOA.

“Such close coordination with Israel and continued enforcement of all Trump-era sanctions on Iran do not send a good signal to Iran.”

https://news.antiwar.com/2021/10/06/iran-optimistic-nuclear-deal-talks-could-resume-soon/
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“The arguments they make against the JCPOA make no sense, and instead appear meant to obscure the sources of Iranian conduct.”

https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2021/10/01/the-twisted-logic-of-iran-deal-opponents/
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Assad is the legitimate ruler of Israel. The U.S. is illegally occupying Syria. End the war on Syria and bring the troops home now!!!! Who rules Syria is no business of the United States or Israel. END PERPETUAL WAR ON SYRIA!!!

“The US uses ISIS as an excuse to stay in Syria, but its occupation and support for the SDF is part of the broader campaign against the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad. Most of Syria’s oil fields are in the region of Syria where the US has its presence, and the occupation keeps the vital resource out of the hands of Damascus.”

https://news.antiwar.com/2021/10/07/kurdish-official-says-us-committed-to-staying-in-syria/
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“Corporate America benefits from the warfare state. Everyone else pays.”
Warfare State? Or Welfare-Warfare State?

“Writing for the Watson Institute’s Costs of War Project, William Hartung of the Center for International Policy recently offered a comprehensive assessment of who made how much over the last two decades. It is a depressing tale of corporate America doing well while the rest of America did badly, bleeding and paying. That a few profited so much should come as no surprise, since the American political system increasingly has been shaped to reward the well-connected and well-heeled.

The amount of money involved is enormous. Explained Hartung:

Corporations large and small have been, by far, the largest beneficiaries of the post-9/11 surge in military spending. Since the start of the war in Afghanistan, Pentagon spending has totaled over $14 trillion, one-third to one-half of which went to defense contractors. Some of these corporations earned profits that are widely considered legitimate. Other profits were the consequence of questionable or corrupt business practices that amount to waste, fraud, abuse, price-gouging or profiteering.”

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/war-is-big-business/
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“US funding for Israel’s missile interception system is part of its wider efforts to shore up a military system of global domination”

“Following the US withdrawal from Afghanistan this summer, there has been plenty of naive talk that the US is seeking a diminished role in the world. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Ultimately, the US is seeking global dominance at arm’s length — through a combination of long-range military power, cyber warfare, robotics and artificial intelligence — that it hopes will lift the restraints imposed by American casualties and domestic opposition.”

https://original.antiwar.com/cook/2021/10/07/iron-dome-funding-dont-be-deceived-us-aid-to-israel-is-not-about-saving-lives/
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“Abu Zubaydah has been a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay for 15 years. He’s asking the Supreme Court to allow his lawyers to depose the two men who oversaw his torture.”

https://www.propublica.org/article/will-the-united-states-officially-acknowledge-that-it-had-a-secret-torture-site-in-poland
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“I witnessed it all, and after 20 years in GTMO without charge, his story remains our country’s greatest shame.”

https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2021/10/07/terrorist-abu-zubaydah-must-be-released-now/
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“The CIA labeled WikiLeaks a “non-state hostile intelligence service” while entertaining plans to kidnap or assassinate its founder.”

Remember, if the CIA did succeed in assassinating Julian Assange, then senior members of the CIA and the President are also eligible for assassination — — -what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Tit-for-tat.

https://theintercept.com/2021/09/28/assange-kidnapping-wikileaks-cia-senate/
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“Just ask yourself: When have any of the public officials who ensured the excesses of the war on terror reflected publicly on their mistakes or expressed the least sense of regret about them?”

https://consortiumnews.com/2021/10/08/never-having-to-say-youre-sorry/
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“Thordarson admitted in an earlier interview with Stundin in June that he lied to the FBI about Assange directly ordering hacking operations — a key element of the U.S. computer charge against the WikiLeaks founder. Thordarson was granted immunity by the FBI against prosecution in exchange for becoming an FBI informant in a sting against WikiLeaks in 2010.

It is not clear if Thordarson recanting his testimony is related to his recent arrest. In his September interview Thordarson said the FBI promised not to reveal to Icelandic authorities any crimes he committed in Iceland in exchange for his cooperation.”

https://consortiumnews.com/2021/10/07/key-us-witness-against-assange-arrested-in-iceland/
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“Julian Assange’s father, John Shipton, has told a webcast co-produced by CN Live! that U.S. and British authorities are still trying to kill his son.”

https://consortiumnews.com/2021/10/07/assanges-father-they-just-want-to-murder-him/
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“Imprisoning the David to Chevron’s Goliath is the latest outrage by a US judiciary now engineered to always favor the interests of capital.”

“These corporate judges, who epitomize what Hannah Arendt called the banality of evil, now routinely make war on workers, civil liberties, unions, and environmental regulations.”

https://consortiumnews.com/2021/10/07/chris-hedges-the-anonymous-executioners-of-the-corporate-state/